Check out part 1 of this series here!
Ah, Reno Warlock. A deck that has been on the verge of viability ever since the addition of its signature card, Reno Jackson. It’s never truly had its chance to take off, however, due to many metagame picks that have kept the deck largely out of the top tier of decks. Even as a tier 2 deck, as card games go, it’s simply not enough. With the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan however, Reno Warlock has definitely made another debut as a contender for one of the most powerful, consistent, and fun decks out of the current meta that is taking form in the new expansion. My name is Startale, and I’ll be guiding you through this short series on how to play Reno Warlock by going over card picks! I believe with this method you as a player will be able to fully understand the ins and outs of each card and in learning so, become a better player.
The possibilities are endless!
For part 2 of this Reno Warlock guide, I’m going to be going over a few tools that the deck has that really allows a fluid playstyle, while highlighting some of their key features and uses. First up is our lovely friend Siphon Soul, and while this card is rather straightforward, the question of using this card or not largely comes down to timing.
In order to understand when to use Siphon Soul, you have to understand a few things. The first question you have to ask is, “Is the minion I’m destroying important enough to use Siphon on?” If you’re having trouble with, let’s say a 4/8 Twilight Drake on the board, consider that your opponent may be using a lower tier creature in order to bait our your removal so they can play more powerful cards, such as Emperor Thaurissan. The second consideration, and one more important in this author’s humble opinion, is that of tempo. Siphon Soul is amazing card, however too often I see other Reno Warlocks use the card right at 6 mana without bothering to consider other plays they could make. Always prioritize plays that will leave you with a bigger board than your opponent, even if it’s a small minion like a 2/2 Dark Peddler. Siphon Soul is best used in later turns when you can use the card to great effect while spending remaining mana building a board that will make your opponent’s future plays trickier. Siphon Souling a minion might be a good option, but if it leaves the entire board empty when you hit that end turn button, you’re simply handing over initiative to your opponent.
Bran Bronzebeard is a tricky card to use in Reno Warlock. Sure, you can combo his effect with cards such as Earthen Ring Farseer and Refreshment Vendor for massive heal swings, but the only reason this card really exists in the deck is to combo it with our dear friend Kazakus. As I’m sure you all know, the effect of Kazakus is extremely powerful, and doubling that ability makes for an almost unstoppable hand potential and ability to close out games. For this reason, you will rarely find yourself playing Brann Bronzebeard on anything earlier than turn 7 with a powerful Kazakus play to combo along with it. Patience is key here, and proper use of Brann as the second half of the Kazakus combo will lead to more wins than simply playing him to, say, buff a Twilight Drake to absurd health levels. Don’t be afraid to play it as a tempo card versus aggressive Shaman and Warrior decks though.
Abyssal Enforcer is just too good.
The third and final card I’ll talk about today is Abyssal Enforcer. If you have the spare dust, I’d craft this baby in gold because this card is simply a superstar pick for any Reno Warlock. It has a bunch of things that you want, such as being a big body, giving you tempo, and being able to clear out minions efficiently is a hallmark of Reno Warlock. When we take a look at the field of decks being used in the meta, this card becomes even better as a way to gain board control and fight off aggressive Shaman decks. The power of this seven drop is simply insane, as it can win games on its own. In the screenshot above, I managed to clock my opponent twice with the Enforcer after clearing out 4 of his minions. That’s value.
Join me next time as we continue our overview of the set of cards in the most popular iteration of Reno Warlock and their uses!