Reno Jackson’s shake-up of the Hearthstone meta-game is still feeling rumblings today. In the lead up to Standard format, despite Reno’s rumblings, the meta is a bit stale. You’ll be hard-pressed to see a new, up and coming deck climb the ladder. This week’s guide tackles a variation of the staple Renolock, focusing on the titular League of Explorers and their nemesis, Rafaam.
Like many Reno Warlocks before it, the Explorers Warlock spreads itself a bit thin as there’s only one of each card. This makes it feasible to round out the mana curve of your deck – meaning you’ll probably have something to play on each and every turn.
Each of the Explorers found in this deck bounce off each other very well. Late in the game, when you’ve burned through most of your deck, Warlock’s hero power is more of a detriment to you. Enter: Sir Finley Mrrglton! This murloc lets you change your hero power. Pick something defensive like Priest’s or Warrior’s or go for a bit of damage with Mage’s. Unless it’s a Rogue or Shaman hero power, you pretty much can’t go wrong. Arch-Thief Rafaam gives you an extremely powerful spell to choose from. Elise Starseeker puts you on the path to having a deck literally comprised of just Legendaries. Reno Jackson is Reno Jackson.
Brann Bronzebeard has the amazing ability to activate your minions’ battlecries twice. Having Dr. Boom spawn four Boombots, Stampeding Kodo killing two minions with two attack or less, and Elise Starseeker putting two Maps to the Golden Monkey in your deck is amazing, but Brann is just one card. This deck has many situations benefited from him but isn’t reliant on him to win the game.
Run down this list and you’ll find lots of cards that work well together. Use the Abusive Sergeant on your opponent’s minion to take it out with Big Game Hunter. Use Knife Juggler right before dropping an Imp-plosion or an Imp Gang Boss. Drop Iron Beak Owl and then Shadowflame it to clear a small, pesky board.
Much of this deck can be retooled and adjusted as you feel fit – it’s one of the many perks of Reno Warlocks. Don’t have Jaraxxus or Saraad? Plug something else in there for good measure. The experimentation found in this deck means that while it may work for me, it might not work for your sensibilities.
Properly tuning this deck to certain match ups is important. I’ve often switched out Acidic Swamp Ooze for Harrison Jones or Mind Control Tech for Kezan Mystic; it all depends on the match up. In ladder, you won’t really know what you’re going to fight against, so being ready for any situation can sometimes be the best and worst thing for you to do. The only real threat that can trump you more often than not is Paladin, and that’s if you draw exceptionally poorly.