MUA: Reno Lock vs Midrange Druid

Hello everyone, today I decided to write something quite different than what I use to write: Today I am writing the Renolock MUAs. Not only one, but I will try to write MUA guides for all the most common matchups Renolock can face in the ladder. Renolock is a new archetype created after League of […]

Introduction

Hello everyone, today I decided to write something quite different than what I use to write: Today I am writing the Renolock MUAs. Not only one, but I will try to write MUA guides for all the most common matchups Renolock can face in the ladder.

Renolock is a new archetype created after League of Explorers’ release, thanks to reno-jackson, Life Tap (Warlock’s Hero Power), and Warlocks arsenal of redundant spells, Reno Lock became one of the most powerful decks to be played in this metagame.

Sample Decklist

Thanks to the high number of utility cards available in the game right now, the versions of Reno Lock can vary a lot. There are simply thousands of ways you can build your Reno Jack Warlock deck, but regardless of this I decided to post here the most updated Reno Warlock list  up to date.

This list runs acidic-swamp-ooze as a response to Aggro Shaman’s Rise on the metagame, it also run the voidcaller demonic Shell (but only 1 of each) which adds up consistency to the Deck as well as extra survivability.

Most of the cards contained in this deck are, however, standard to most Renolock decks, and only part of the Techs such as the ones mentioned above (among other techs) will change from Renolock to Renolock.

Mulligan Guide

Midrange Druid is the deck we’re making the analysis this time. The matchup is totally focused on Board Control early in the game, which means we will want cards made specifically to fight over for board Control, these cards are:

  • mortal-coil – We might be playing against Face Druid, so we will always want to keep this against our opponent, just to be sure.
  • zombie-chow, dark-peddler and imp-gang-boss – The all-star warlock cards that we will always want to have in our starting hand, regardless of matchup because of how they affect the board early in the game.
  • darkbomb – Useful to get rid of both darnassus-aspirant and piloted-shredder. In the aggro matchup, which we will be discussing later in another article, Darkbomb is also good to deal with a plethora of threats.
  • acidic-swamp-ooze and sunfury-protector – Vanilla minions that might help you in getting board Control. They’re not amazing but they can act as a removal to trade with other minions.
  • piloted-shredder and imp-losion – Only keep one of those, and only if your hand is already good enough, or if you have The Coin.
  • demonwrath – Deals with Shade of Naxxramas.

How to Win

The Midrange Druid matchup is a slightly unfavored matchup for the Reno Jackson Warlock. That happens because of how quickly the Druid can set up a combo turn, which will usually result in the Reno Lock dying before it can respond. However, the Renolock has the ability to fight for board Control that can sometimes overcome Druids powerful minions. This matchup is mostly decided by “if” the druid can, or can not, get a good ramping start early in the game, generating tempo and overcoming the Warlock with value.

Druids only way of dealing with the board is through minion trading, so once the Warlock gets Control of the board the game is pretty much over, while the Warlock can always come back from a Druid control with a good sweeper turn, and that is what gives the Warlock some chance in the matchup.

Reno Jackson helps the Warlock getting it out of Combo range later in the game, sometimes even double savage-roar combo.

Early Game Strategy

You both will start the game by dropping minions on the board, sometimes the Druid will skip a couple of turns in order to get wild-growth going, to generate tempo and drop bigger minions than the Warlock. Here the Warlock will have to play around these possible minions that will be dropped on the turns, for example: The Druid is going to have 5 mana next turn, then you’ll start to play around a possible druid-of-the-claw next turn and set up for a way to deal with it.

Here, knowing your opponent’s deck is prime, but usually Druids are pretty standard about their plays, it is always Shade on 3, Shredder on 4, DotC on 5, Thaurissan or Sylvanas on 6 and Ancients of Lore or War on 7 and Dr. Boom also on 7.

Back to how you should be playing on the Early game, try to get ahead on board by spamming minions on it, play around swipe when making trades and never forget Druids don’t have sweepers.

Here you’re likely to always want soulfire or power-overwhelming from your dark-peddler, in case the option isn’t presented to you, go for the strongest possible minion.

Mid Game Strategy

Here is where things will get hairy. By this time the druid has already dealt enough damage on you that he will want to set up a turn to force-of-nature+savage-roar you down. During the Mid stages of the game you’ll always want to keep their board clean and play around a FoN+Roar combo as much as you can.

However, sometimes there will be situations where you won’t be able to play around combo, and in case that happens you shouldn’t do crappy plays just to “take less damage” when you already know your opponent will have lethal regardless, in case a situation like this rises, all you’ll have to do is play the odds: Play as if your opponent don’t have the combo anyway, and go for the win (if you can), or for the board in case that is your objective.

Late Game Strategy

If you got here, it means you already have Control of the board and either your opponent doesn’t have the combo yet (and you know it, otherwise you would be dead) or you “Reno Jackson”’d out of Combo range and your opponent is desperately trying to get you once again into lethal range.

Here you probably already won if you do the correct plays, which are: play around double Roar combo (with innervate), which deals 22 damage on an empty board, and set up taunts while not leaving anything on the board alive.

Conclusion

And this is it for the Midrange Druid matchup, if you follow the steps correctly you’re likely to have an even matchup against the Druid, which is more than enough for Renolock.

The matchup is overall known to be slightly unfavorable, but if you play it correctly you can win more games than lose because your opponent might sometimes be playing poorly.

I hope this was helpful enough for you guys and that the matchup gets a little better now that you know how to play it properly!

Love you all!

Cuddles,

Nuba