MUA: Reno Lock vs Secret Paladin

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 […]


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

The first matchup we are going to be covering here is the Secret Paladin matchup. Today’s great majority of Paladin decks being played on the ladder are Secret Paladin, so despite the possibility of finding a Midrange Paladin here and there, you’ll always be mulliganing and playing the first turns of the game as if you were playing against a Secret Paladin.

The cards you’ll want in this matchup are:

  • mortal-coil – Good to get rid of Paladin’s pesky 1/1s, or to complete the damage to kill a bigger minion.
  • zombie-chow – Good overall early game minion, no excuses not to pick this in any matchup.
  • dark-peddler – Another overall good card that you’ll always want in any matchup.
  • ironbeak-owl – A good way to get rid of early avenge and blessing-of-kings, keep in mind most Paladins are running 2 of these lately.
  • imp-gang-boss – Trades very good with anything Paladins can put on the board.
  • demonwrath and hellfire – Unconditional AOE.
  • acidic-swamp-ooze – To break early game weapons.
  • sunfury-protector – a Solid 2-drop in case you have nothing better to do.
  • imp-losion – Only if you have The Coin.

How to Win

Secret Paladin runs very little board removal, some only run a single consecration, others run no board control cards whatsoever, so you win this game by getting Control of the board and flooding it.

This is by no means an easy matchup for the Warlock, but it is also winnable. The Paladin will start with having the edge, dropping minions faster than you and will eventually either win the game, or have their whole board wiped out.

This game can be won by a turn 4-5 board wipe, followed by a bigger minion dropped on 5-6, and a way of dealing with either mysterious-challenger or dr-boom (Yes, I am talking about big-game-hunter).

In the process of obtaining board Control the Warlock usually takes a lot of damage and requires some sort of Healing to keep up with the game – That is where reno-jackson can come in handy.

All the scenarios this deck wins is by having a better hand than the opponent’s and being able to consistently do the correct plays. Keep in mind that even if you play correctly, if the Paladin has a better hand than yours you’ll likely lose, so don’t get upset by that.

Early Game Strategy

The game might as well end here if you have a stronger start than your opponent. Do everything to keep his board clear, try to save your ironbeak-owl to remove buffs rather than just removing Divine Shields and Deathrattles.

Your other Early Game minions can save you the trouble of having to go through all the desperation of the mid-late game fights, because once you have board Control early in the game, only an unresponded mysterious-challenger can turn the tables.

The cards you’ll want from your dark-peddler here can vary a lot on what you have in hand and what you need to have.

corruption can be a good way to deal with Mysterious Challenger if you have no other response, soulfire is also a nice removal to get rid of piloted-shredders, and mortal-coil is overall decent. flame-imp only in case the board is yours and voidwalker can easily trade with almost a full muster-for-battle and even bloodsail-corsair can be a nice utility card destroying that truesilver-champion.

Keep in mind that because some Paladins run divine-favor you’re likely to not care very much about discarding cards with your soulfire, unless that card is either reno-jackson or antique-healbot, because of the reasons we said in the last section (you’ll always need to heal yourself up mid to late game).

The early game usually ends with you wiping the Paladins board with a sweeper, and the Mid game starts.

Mid game Strategy

Here is where you’ll start to get Control of the board if you didn’t already lost.

This part of the game is where your opponent will either drop their big bombs: mysterious-challenger, dr-boom, ragnaros-the-firelord and tirion-fordring, or they’ll lose. In case they drop those bombs, you’ll either have ways to deal with that, or you will lose.

Sometimes the Reno Lock player is lucky enough that the Paladin won’t play these cards and will just draw bad, but that usually won’t happen as you can see the number of “bombs” the Secret Paladin has is quite big.

Good things to do here: big-game-hunter usually kills all of these threats except for Tirion.

sylvanas is a nice response to mysterious-challenger in case health isn’t a problem (you’ll still take damage from the Challenger the following turn), and having the Sylvanas get hit by repentance is actually beneficial here.

In case you don’t have Big Game Hunter as a response for these bombs, but you do have Control of the board, then trading into these bombs is also a possibility.

Keep in mind Dropping a doomguard here to obtain Control of the board is acceptable even if you discard good cards, because you’ll also be playing around Divine Favor.

Late Game

If you are in this phase of the game, it means your health is probably low and you survived Paladins early and Mid game. Here you’ll want to play around their last resource of Damage as much as possible. Try to get taunts up for truesilver-champion and play around the Paladin drawing blessing-of-kings at any time.

Heal yourself!

Feel free to flood the board as much as you want, no respectable Secret Paladin will equality+consecration your board, and if they do, its because they already lost anyway.


Secret Paladin is a hard matchup, but not as hard as some people make it to be, I have a positive winrate against them but I give that to me being a better player than my opponents and my general luck against them, but I would say this matchup is around 58-42 in favor of the Paladin.

Hope this helped you guys, giving you an edge in this matchup :3

Love yall!