December 11, 2016
Table of Contents
Gadgetzan Brew: Combo-Hungry Raza Priest
Hello hello hello! It’s me Fireflyer again and I’m very excited to bring to you a VERY fun brew that I’m currently 22-17 with and has gotten me to Rank 8. This brew is mostly based on a video I saw of Kripparian where he uses this insane combo with Raza the Chained and I wanted to try it out. I also saw that Savjz was hitting Legend #1 with his own version of Reno Priest that had another combo I enjoyed using Dirty Rat so I decided to make room for that little combo and combine the two to make my own insane version. I’ll go over my version of the deck and then go over the pieces that I didn’t use which are in Kripparian and Savjz decks so you can decide how to make your own little tweaks. So let’s do this!
Deck Introduction: Reno Raza
Alright, so for those not so familiar with Mean Streets of Gadgetzan let me go over some details about the new Priest decks. In Gadgetzan, three gangs own the streets and one of them is the Kabal which are the “mage” type classes of Hearthstone: Mages, Warlocks and Priests. Their leader Kazakus and his buddies of the Kabal are all fans of the Reno Jackson effect and have decided to devote themselves to that. However, another problem is that in Gadgetzan a bunch of new Dragon Priest cards came out which are really beneficial to the current Dragon decks but if you’re wanting to run the singleton Reno Jackson type cards, they become harder to use because of the smaller amount of dragons in your deck.
Our deck still uses a good amount of dragons but what it does is cuts most of the “early” game dragon cards like Wyrmrest Agent and Twilight Whelp so you’re not hurting on Turn 1/Turn 2 when you’re missing a dragon in your hand (which happens a lot). Cards like Netherspite Historian are okay because even if they don’t come out on Turn 2, they’re still super effective later on in finding good big dragons and you can also wait to combine the effect with Brann Bronzebeard for more dragons so it’s not necessary to come out right on Turn 2.
The best part of this deck are the two major “combos” in the deck that make every game really interesting. I will go over the combos in detail but just to let you get an idea, the first combo is Raza the Chained + Spawn of Shadows + Garrison Commander + Shadowform + Sir Finley Mrrgglton. If you can’t figure out how the combo works, scroll down below and I’ll explain in detail! The other combo is (Brann Bronzebeard Optional) + Dirty Rat + Mind Control Tech.
Let’s check out the decklist and then I’ll explain the combos a bit more in detail.
Decklist: Fireflyer’s Brew
Reno Jackson: This is one of the main staple cards of the deck. If you’re new and you aren’t familiar to Reno Jackson, get ready, he can be frustrating. He is going to be your answer against most aggro games if you can draw into him which can be a major problem sometimes. His tactic is pretty simple, wait until you’re pretty low, I usually wait until 10 or less health, and then drop him for a full heal. There actually isn’t much more to him than that, but it’s important to get the timing of his ability down so you can get the maximum heal off of him. Learn to judge when your opponent has lethal and when they don’t so you don’t waste a turn dropping him at 12 health when you can wait one extra turn, put out some more minions or spells, and then use him the next turn. It makes a big difference but can also be risky if you don’t see something coming next turn which finishes you off like a random Pyroblast.
Kazakus: This card is pretty ridiculous, the spell it gives you is quite powerful and will usually either wipe the board or draw you a bunch of cards. There are THREE major things to keep in mind for Kazakus. 1. Most people on Reddit say that the 5-mana cost spell is the best one because it’s the most efficient. It feels like most of the spell options go 1-2-3 for the spell costs, so one option for the 1-mana spell is freeze 1 enemy minion or draw 1 card, 5-mana cost is freeze 2 minions and draw 2 cards, 10-mana cost is 3 minions 3 cards. Paying 5 extra mana to just get 1 more isn’t that important since you’d rather spend that mana doing other things like controlling the board after you use your spell. 2. If you feel like you have control of the game, don’t cast him really early because it’s better to react to your opponent and make a spell you need right now. Also, we have Brann Bronzebeard in the deck which means sometimes you can create TWO spells which is a huge game changer. You’ll get to make each spell separately so sometimes I even make a 1-mana cost spell just to control the board a little and maybe keep Brann Bronzebeard alive and then use my second spell to make a 5-mana cost spell. 3. READ YOUR SPELLS. This is something I forgot to test but it’s important to read your spells after you make them. I’m 99% sure that it goes in order of stuff you picked but make sure you read it again before you cast it because I’ve messed up once or twice with my effects because of the order. Like say there are 3 minions on your opponent’s field and you pick “Deal 5 damage. Freeze 2 random enemy minions.” for your spell to try and keep board control. It will deal the 5 damage first but before that minion dies it will freeze 2 minions, even the one you just killed. This left me open to get punished the next turn by the unfrozen minion so just be very careful when casting Kazakus spells!
Raza the Chained: This is THE most important card in the deck, I would say. He’s a powerful 5 mana 5/5 that trades really well and doesn’t need to survive in order to get his awesome effect which lets you heal every turn for free! He’s also very important because you NEED him active in order for your main combo to go off so I always put important on him over the other 4 combo pieces which are pretty much useless unless you draw Raza the Chained. He’s so important that I even keep him in my hand when I mulligan even though I like to usually aggressively mulligan for my early game cards. When I first heard about this card I didn’t care much about it but after using my hero power a billion times in a game I can definitely see the use even without a combo to use him with. You will learn to love him.
Netherspite Historian: This isn’t an important card of the deck if you’re looking for something to cut but it can provide you good answers with Taunt dragons or just big dragons to finish the game. I will usually drop him Turn 2 if I have a dragon in hand but if you have Brann Bronzebeard sometimes it’s better to hold him and get more dragons. I like the big dragons but sometimes it’s more useful to pick up effective cards like Azure Drake or Drakonid Operative.
Twilight Guardian: Not much to say about this guy. Make sure he has a yellow border around him before you cast him! Sometimes you’ll forget and cast a dragon the turn before and not remember that he needs another one to be active. That’s all there is to this guy, make sure he activates and watch your opponent struggle or waste some spells just to move him out of the way. Great wall.
Azure Drake: You will almost never use this card for the spell damage unless MAYBE with a Turn 10 Holy Nova or if you’re desperate, Excavated Evil (which kills him too) so I usually just play him for the card draw and trade him with my opponent’s minions. The card draw and dragon activation is worth it though, sometimes I even keep him in my hand since he’s just a card draw so I can make sure things like Drakonid Operative and Book Wyrm can be active when I draw into them.
Chillmaw: Amazing Taunt dragon that also does a good job of board clearing if you play him at the right time. Good to use against stuff like Hunters and Paladins but watch out when going against Mage/Shaman because of Polymorph/Hex which will negate his Deathrattle and ruin your board wipe.
Ysera: This is another card that can MAYBE be removed from the deck. This wasn’t in either of the competitive versions of this deck but I put her in because she’s a great dragon activation, she’s very hard to kill by avoiding Shadow Word: Pain and Shadow Word: Death and also has tons of health, and she also is a great control card. I think about taking her out sometimes but she has never really lost me a game or anything, she’s been pretty effective the times I’ve used her. This one is up to you, if you want another dragon in the deck or something else.
Drakonid Operative: Great new card from Gadgetzan that allows you to Discover cards in your opponent’s deck which is just awesome. Your opponent’s deck is usually around 80% good cards with 20% cards that only work well with synergy like Smuggler's Run or Upgrade! but since you can discover out of 3 cards, you can usually pick something really good. This card is also a huge 5/6 so he does a good job of putting in damage to make your combo easier to hit or taking out a few minions.
Book Wyrm: This is basically an expensive Shadow Word: Pain that has a lot of health and can eat small minions up. Make sure he’s active just like Twilight Guardian because you will feel real dumb (like Thijs) if you forget!
Holy Nova: One of your many board wipe spells. Works really well on Shaman totems and Pirate Warrior/Rogue/Shaman pirates. It won’t kill bigger stuff like Druid Jade Golems but it works well to trade with your high health minions like Twilight Guardian or Drakonid Operative and then heal them up after while adding more damage. Probably the least effective of the board wipe spells so if you’re looking for something to remove it MIGHT be okay to take this out.
Excavated Evil: Definitely want to keep this board wipe in though. The 3 damage is effective to kill most things and if you can have Bloodmage Thalnos or if you’re desperate Azure Drake you can kill MOST things that will annoy you like…. Azure Drakes. This board wipe is really effective and shouldn’t be removed but there’s one small detail that might make you remove it…. Reno Jackson. If you’re up against another Priest Reno deck and they use Excavated Evil on you, it’ll turn off ALL of your Reno cards. This can be really annoying so it’s sort of a reason to take it out but I also like to think of it the opposite way, you can mess up Priest decks by putting Excavated Evil into theirs and turning off their Reno cards. The decision is up to you.
Dragonfire Potion: The BEST board wipe of them all! This will kill PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING that you’re worried about and also leave your dragons alive which is just crazy. It’s hard to time because of the high mana cost but it’s worth it when you get it off just right. You’ll hate this card a little when you’re fighting against another Priest deck and they use Twilight Guardian or Azure Drake but against all the other classes it’s awesome.
Shadow Word: Pain: Basic removal card, use it to kill early game. Don’t feel like you need to use it too early because you can always heal through small damage so save it for important “small” minions.
Shadow Word: Death: Basic removal card, use it to kill fat minions. If you know what type of deck you’re up against like C'Thun or Jade Golem Druid, make sure you save this for when you really need it because this deck does not run Entomb and doesn’t have too many answers for big minions except to trade your dragons into them.
Potion of Madness: Fun little card for this deck that works in lots of situations. In aggro it can take one of their guys and usually trade it with another or help you kill something bigger with a board wipe. In control, you can take all sorts of different minions, the ones that mainly come to mind are Bloodmage Thalnos, Loot Hoarder and Acolyte of Pain to basically steal their card draw and use it against them. It’s situational so use it when you find a good opening because you may not get another. Savjz‘s version of the deck runs a little more synergy with this card so if you enjoy Potion of Madness go check out the alternate cards section below for some cards that will work well with it.
Doomsayer: This card is hard to use in this deck. Unlike freeze mage where you can use Frost Nova to almost guarantee a good Doomsayer, this deck relies on basically predicting when your opponent doesn’t have an answer for it. It’s best used on Turn 2/3 against aggro where you can either board wipe or just negate 7+ damage and try to stall until you can get your board wipe cards. That’s also what I use it for late-game if I don’t feel like I can get one off effectively, I use it to stall damage and try to get into my good spells.
Acidic Swamp Ooze: GOTTA have this card in this deck, with all the Pirate decks going around. You’ll see tons of Pirate Warrior, Pirate Rogue and Pirate Shaman right now, so Ooze is going to be your best answer against them. You only have one so I would suggest against Warrior/Shaman who use big weapons, save it for those. Doomhammer and Fiery War Axe/Arcanite Reaper will be your best targets, especially if they Upgrade! any of the Warrior weapons.
Greater Healing Potion: I call this my mini-Reno Jackson. It’ll heal you enough to stall a turn or even two turns against aggro and you still have enough mana to do lots of other things like drop board wipe or drop a medium dragon like Twilight Guardian or Drakonid Operative. I was skeptical at first when I saw this in Kripparian‘s version but after I tried it out, I really like it.
Bloodmage Thalnos: Against aggro I like to drop this early and trade/stall while drawing me into my board wipes. Against control I sometimes play it early to get a card draw if I need better cards to fight control or I can save it for late in the game when I want to use a board wipe for more damage. The only reason you should save the spell damage is for board wipe so if you don’t need it, drop him down and get the card draw. If you don’t like the spell damage he gives you can swap him out for Loot Hoarder which Kripparian uses and will at least deal a little more damage when it trades.
Power Word: Shield: Basically card draw but sometimes I will use it with important things like Twilight Guardian, Brann Bronzebeard or Doomsayer to keep them alive a little longer. Usually I play it on the first minion I can just to get the card draw but maybe not use it on a Bloodmage Thalnos or anything too small.
The Curator: A big taunt minion for decent mana that will also get you a dragon, but the MOST important thing is that he gets you one of the combo pieces, Sir Finley Mrrgglton. You usually have a big hand size but if you have the mana and the hand size to draw cards, play him down early, get your free dragon and get your combo piece so you don’t draw into him and make him a “dead draw” which is when you draw something useless. Taunt, draw and finds a combo piece, what more do you want?
Kabal Courier: I call this card a card draw because the 2/2 body doesn’t do much of anything except sometimes trade with Pirate decks, however the card you get to discover is super important. I like to wait to cast him late in the game for two reasons, reason #1 Brann Bronzebeard will let you discover two cards and that’s a huge difference, and reason #2 you cna use this card as a reaction to your opponent like if they drop an 8/8 that you don’t have a Shadow Word: Death for, drop Kabal Courier and maybe discover something like Polymorph or Flame Lance. IMPORTANT: If you ever see Coldarra Drake off of Kabal Courier TAKE IT. If you can activate Raza the Chained you basically win. More details below in the combo section.
Spawn of Shadows: After Raza, this is the 2nd most important card in your combo. This card also lets you not fully combo but deal 8-16 damage if you’re good with the hero power activation and abusing the other pieces of this combo. I almost always save it in my hand to finish the game either with the full combo or a partial combo for lethal damage.
Garrison Commander: Allows you to activate twice in a turn. With Raza the Chained this means 2 free activations. He won’t survive a turn so I usually only play him when I’m comboing to win, but there will be times where you’re getting close to dying and the combo won’t save you, so it’s okay to drop him, get two activations of Lesser Heal, and then use something like Sir Finley Mrrgglton to get Armor Up! and activate twice for 4 armor. I’ve used this tactic once or twice to stall a game and try to win in the next turns.
Shadowform: Important piece for the combo if you want to do max damage with it but sometimes it’s important to activate this early if you find it will help you against something like Pirate aggro. I never use it early but I’m not saying that there won’t be times that you will want to.
Sir Finley Mrrgglton: Finley! Only important for the combo but if you have Garrison Commander out and you need to survive, he can give you a little extra by reactivating your hero power. Mostly for the combo though.
Dirty Rat: Against aggro I will play this early to grab something small from their hand and give myself a 2/6 taunt but the most fun is against a control deck. Timing this card is very difficult but in the right situations you can pull stuff like Kazakus or Reno Jackson to prevent them from casting it and getting the heal/spell. Another tactic is if they play Doomsayer you can pull another minion from their hand to die on their turn. Also works if you pull Doomsayer from their hand which will wipe the board on their turn. Lastly, pulling something important like Brann Bronzebeard and then having Shadow Word: Pain or just minions to kill it immediately. Prevents them from casting him and then getting a Battlecry on top of it in the same turn.
Brann Bronzebeard: Helps activate double Battlecry. Most important to least important: Kazakus, Kabal Courier, Drakonid Operative, Netherspite Historian, Dirty Rat, Mind Control Tech, Azure Drake, The Curator.
Combos: Raza Hungers for Combos!
Combo #1 – The Lethal Hero Power
First, you have to have Raza the Chained active. Next, you need to have Spawn of Shadows to deal damage with your hero power. Spawn alone gives you 2 damage to self, 4 damage to your opponent. Next piece is Garrison Commander who lets you hero power again. 6 mana used for Spawn and Garrison, 2 hero powers, 4 damage to self (after damage+heal) and 8 damage to your opponent. Not enough to lethal yet? Let’s keep going then. Now we need a hero power reactivation, either Shadowform or Sir Finley Mrrgglton. If you’re low on health and think you need some to survive the Spawn of Shadows damage, take Finley. For now let’s calculate the Shadowform because Finley’s damage varies. Use Shadowform and hero power twice to your opponent’s face. 9 mana used for Spawn, Garrison and Shadowform, 4 hero powers for 0 mana each, 12 damage total to self and 20 damage to your opponent. Your opponent still isn’t dead? Activate Finley! Depending on what hero power you pick, here are the results. So far you’ve dealt 12 damage to yourself so if you take something that doesn’t heal or give you armor, then you will take 20. If you’re at 19 health when you started that means you have to pick Druid or Warrior, or even Priest again if you Shadowform first. Make sure you watch your health because you don’t want to end the game in a draw because you didn’t pick the right power. Now for the damage, you’ve dealth 20 damage so far to your opponent so if you pick the Hunter hero power, you will deal 32 total, if you pick Rogue/Druid/Mage you will deal 30 damage total, lethal. This means that Paladin/Shaman/Warrior/Warlock/Priest will only deal 28 damage total so if your opponent is maxed out you won’t lethal them. (By the way you should never be picking Warlock.) You can also do smaller version of this combo if your opponent is low on life, which I usually do against a Warlock match. With Raza the Chained active, even missing Garrison Commander means you can do 16-18 damage using just Spawn of Shadows + Shadowform + Sir Finley Mrrgglton. Try to calculate how much damage you have if your Raza the Chained is active and you have Spawn of Shadows in your hand so if your opponent gets low enough you can surprise them with this combo.
Combo #2 – The Dirty Steal
There are two situations where you can play this combo, with Brann Bronzebeard and without. Usually if you have the two other pieces and your opponent has at least 3 minions it’s best to use it early to try and take something important really fast. But if you happen to have Brann and Dirty Rat while waiting for Mind Control Tech and you draw it, then good for you! The combo is really simple, play Dirty Rat and pull something random from your opponent and then use Mind Control Tech to steal a random minion. If you use Brann Bronzebeard they still need to have 3 minions because it checks the “4 minion” requirement during each Battlecry so if they have 2, and it goes to 4, you’ll only get one stolen. This combo is hilarious because you will steal some crazy stuff, like when I stole Malygos from a Druid and he conceded right after.
Combo #3 – The Unicorn
Out of my 40+ games with this deck I’ve had this happen once and it’s worth it to play this deck just to make it happen again. The hardest thing to do for this combo is getting the Unicorn which is Coldarra Drake from Kabal Courier. Now, this combo still requires Raza the Chained to be active which is why I think he’s the most important card in the deck. Once you have Raza the Chained active and Coldarra Drake it’s all about getting Shadowform for infinite damage or Sir Finley Mrrgglton for infinite anything! You can only get this off on Turn 7 and you have to play Coldarra Drake that turn to make sure it doesn’t die, so try to hit Raza the Chained on turn 5-6 and activate Shadowform if you need to, and then on Turn 7 drop Coldarra Drake and Sir Finley Mrrgglton unless you already cast Shadowform. For me, I got Finley off and pulled the Druid hero power, activating it 29 times so I can attack my opponent for lethal.
Alternate Card Choices
These are alternate card choices from both Savjz who got to Rank 1 Legend with his version of Reno Priest and also the cards that I removed from Kriparrian’s version that I saw on his stream. I’ll just do a short recap of these cards and say if I like them or not.
Northshire Cleric: This card is good in Savjz deck because he has a lot of early minions with high health. He will get card draws but my deck version won’t. Use this if you like early minions.
Twilight Whelp: Great early game dragon, hard to activate in a Reno Dragon deck so I didn’t mind not having it in.
Wyrmrest Agent: Same as above, great early game dragon card but also not a dragon so even harder to use in Reno Dragon decks.
Kabal Talonpriest: Good for early game to give your minions high health vs aggro but not that great in control matchup.
Kabal Songstealer: Good silence, not sure if it would fit well in my deck but it’s an idea if you think that silence will help your decklist out.
Entomb: I want to have this card in the deck but I can’t find room. It’s too expensive and wastes your whole turn to shut down something but would be effective against a lot of Deathrattle stuff. I want to find a spot for it.
Jeweled Scarab: Good for fetching answers to stuff but also sometimes a dead card if you don’t find anything useful.
Conclusion: COMBOS ARE FUN!
There it is! My Combo-Hungry Raza deck. I know you might think my winrate at the beginning of this article isn’t that great but one thing to remember is that these records are over multiple versions of the deck and I admit that I lost a lot of early games due to thinking Pint-Size Potion and early dragon minions would be better. Once I made the full change to mostly Kripparian‘s version I was able to do a LOT better and climb ranks pretty effectively. The control matchups are your best since your opponent will be trying to control the board and stay high on health which won’t matter once you get your combo going. Just remember to keep yourself high on health as well since your combo will do LOTS of damage to yourself.
That’s all the time I have for this article! I know you might be wondering about a Mulligan section but with a Reno deck it’s hard to mulligan because your mulligans are so random that they’re hard to rely on. Hold your early game removal like Shadow Word: Pain and I try to always keep Raza the Chained because of how important he is for all the combos. Other than that just throw your big spells away and roll with what you get, cause that’s how a Reno deck plays. Every game is different and that’s part of what makes a Reno deck so much fun, all the different ways you have to mess with people.
If you have ANY questions about the deck please let me know below, I’m sure I forgot a few things in the article as I always tend to do, so if there’s anything on your mind don’t be shy and ask away! I do my best to answer all my comments so let me know of any ideas or suggestions you have for this deck. I plan to grind this deck on my stream next week to climb the Ranked ladder so come watch me at Twitch.tv/ItsFireflyer or follow me on Twitter to get updates at @HS_Fireflyer. Leave me some love below and tell me if there are any deck themes that you’re curious about in the new expansion and I may do that deck next! Until next time!