Reno N’Zoth Rogue seems to be gaining a bit of popularity lately. The deck has a lot of powerful Deathrattle cards, and utilizes some of the unique cards from the class, such as Journey Below, Undercity Huckster, Unearthed Raptor, Tomb Pillager, and Xaril, Poisoned Mind. Thanks to goYugiohPro for allowing us to re-host this awesome guide!
Hello, you are reading an in depth guide to a new deck style. This is N’Zoth Rogue with Reno Jackson. I’ll call it RnR for short. N’Zoth Rogue is a very powerful deck that focuses on playing the old god N'Zoth, The Corruptor on turn 9 or 10 and generating a full board of previously used deathrattle minions. Reno Jackson helps shore up it’s main weakness (lack of heals).
I mostly used this deck to climb to legend, peaking at rank 52 early in the month of June. My overall winrate was about 60% playing mostly against legend players since I climbed quickly during early season.
Why Reno N’Zoth Rogue?
I’m working on my gold portraits and Rogue was up next. I’m not a huge fan of the Miracle playstyle so I worked on some original concepts including C’Thun Rogue, Malygos Rogue, and this one. This deck is very fun; it has 1 of a bunch of unique cards so you’ll always have something fun to do.
It’s also capable of hanging with a lot of the best decks and you can definitely hit legend with it.
Winning with Reno N’Zoth Rogue
This deck will generally win on turn 10. I keep Reno Jackson when I’m dealt it in the mulligan phase. You’re not really an aggressive deck so you should focus mostly on value trading and tempo in the early game. Sometimes your opponent will leave an opening and you can swing through early but I’m making it to turn 10 more often than not.
Ideally you’ll have a Shadowstep or the Xaril version by then. You play N’Zoth and if they’re likely to have answers you just bounce it back to hand. That should generate a full field usually and your opponent probably can’t survive two N’Zoth effects,
Because this is a Reno Jackson deck, you’re running 1 of every card so there’s a lot of room for flex. Here are the core cards to the strategy in my opinion:
- Deadly Poison
- Journey Below
- Fan of Knives
- Shadow Strike
9 class spells, all solid choices. I tested a few of the other spells like Betrayal and Assassinate, along with Perdition's Blade, but none of them stuck. This deck can suffer from decking out so I would not recommend Sprint.
- Bloodmage Thalnos
- Undercity Huckster
- Harvest Golem
- SI:7 Agent
- Unearthed Raptor
- Infested Tauren
- Tomb Pillager
- Xaril, Poisoned Mind
- Azure Drake
- Dark Iron Skulker
- Cairne Bloodhoof
- Gadgetzan Auctioneer
- Reno Jackson
- Sylvanas Windrunner
- N'Zoth, The Corruptor
This is the list of minions I would consider core. This will leave 6 flex spots. This deck is rather dust-heavy so I will provide some alternatives as well.
6 Flex Spots (My Choices Below)
I went with these choices. I would consider Farseer, Defender, Abomination, and Harrison to be very strong picks and pretty much core for me at least. You could also flirt with Chillmaw. It’s nice to have a few deathrattle taunts in case you’re in danger at the end. asd
Tech and Replacements
There are quite a few kinky cards in this deck that you might not want to craft. Nothing in this deck is really irreplaceable except Reno and N’Zoth. I would also strongly recommend having Xaril, his toxin that gives a Shadowstep is just too good in this deck.
Here’s a list of tech choices that can also function as replacements, try to replace minions with similar levels for each other.
- Edwin VanCleef – he was in before now he’s out
- Perdition's Blade – it was in before now it’s out
- Southsea Squidface – I’m not a fan of this card though it is a deathrattle at 4.
- Loot Hoarder – I cut this for Toad
- Mind Control Tech – our deck is a bit slow but not slow enough for this card.
- Stampeding Kodo – an option to consider if you can’t make Cairne or Sylvanas
- Chillmaw – another high mana replacement option
Mulligans: Keep the 2 drops and Backstab/Deadly Poison for tempo. I always keep Reno. I’d also keep the 3’s, especially if the rest of my hand is playable. I generally keep Journey Below going first. You’ll usually be weaponing up on 2, but it’s nice to be able to play a 2 instead. You can keep Preparation against more aggro matchups like Warlock and Shaman, I wouldn’t recommend it against other classes like Warrior and Priest since they don’t play minions early.
Early Game: Don’t hesitate to burn spells to get rid of minions that will give you trouble. Your goal is really to outlast until 10 and you’ll get plenty of card advantage back so don’t worry about it. Early focus is just clearing and trading.
Mid Game: Try to maximize the amount of summons you make per turn and try not to float mana since the deck is pretty slow overall. Keep their board clean. If you have Reno, feel free to burn health especially right before you drop him.
End Game: Don’t get too greedy with N’Zoth. If he’s the best play on 10 with only a few deathrattles, that’s still fine. If they’re low on resources and are spent on removal, or I’m threatening lethal, I’ll leave him. But in a lot of matchups you should be bouncing NZ back to hand.
Journey Below: This is obvious but pick the card that will fill out your curve. Tempo is extremely important so I would basically always pick the card that fills the next point in my mana curve that I don’t have a good play for.
Bloodmage Thalnos: If you need the cycle go ahead and play him. This deck doesn’t run that many damage spells so it’s not like your’e gonna get fat value from the spell damage.
Xaril, Poisoned Mind and Shadowstep: The Shadowstep effect is one of the best in the deck. The cards I most frequently use this on are N’Zoth 1, Reno 2, and then Farseer or Harrison 3. Against control decks, the Shadowstep is huge and will often win you the game.
Sylvanas Windrunner and Shadow Strike: Sylvanas + Shadow Strike is a solid combo that can almost single handedly win you certain matchups. I always save this combo against Rogue for the turn they conceal Auctioneer. I also always save it against C'Thun decks.
Druids play a very slow early game so make sure to mulligan to try to hit an early curve so you can get some free damage in. You always want to hold Prep + Damage or Shadow Strike for the turn where they play Violet Teacher or Fandral Staghelm on a clear field and hope you don’t have an answer.
Basically most Druid matchups are in your favor but it’ll come down to whether or not they play a monster Fandral or Teacher and you have no answer. I don’t consider kinky Beast Druid to be a real thing but Reno should help there.
C’Thun Druid minions are very weak against Rogue because of Backstab, Hero Power, and SI:7 Agent. By the time they play their bigger taunts, you should always have enough power and removal to take care of them. You can definitely lose to an overwhelming C’Thun but I have more than enough answers by then. And they don’t have an answer to N’Zoth.
Hunters have calmed down quite a bit in the early game. Their most likely play will be 2/1, then 3/2, then either an animal companion or a weapon on 3. Their turn 4 is pretty weak on an empty board and you generally want to clear their beasts to avoid Houndmaster Value.
The weakness of Hunter is that they get very predicable in the midgame until turn 8. That’s because they’re generally playing one threat at a time on curve which lines up really well with all of our removal and taunts.
As long as they’re not playing 2 Call of the Wilds and Savannah Highmanes, you should win this pretty easily. They don’t really have an answer for N’Zoth and can’t pressure you enough to kill you before 10 if you get a decent draw.
Mages are another favorable matchup. Generally they’re too slow to pressure you enough to keep you from eventually playing N’Zoth. Just save removal for Flamewaker since they will probably try to play him protected. I haven’t run into Freeze Mage but I can’t imagine that being unfavorable due to Reno.
I haven’t played against many Paladins. 4 total matches during my entire climb. I would imagine they are either the 1 health Divine Shield build or the N’Zoth control types. Against the 1 health deck, our hero power lines up well against them and they don’t put that much pressure out. Just focus on clearing off the 3/3 that buffs them and try to keep their field clear. All of our sticky minions line up well against theirs and we’ll probably get to play N’Zoth multiple times.
Priest also has a pretty slow opening. There are no aggro variants so I never keep Reno. It’s either a few 1 attack minions like Northshire Cleric or Museum Curator or nothing for quite a few turns. So you want to take advantage of this and put damage on the field early.
Most of their minions in the midgame are 5 health. They have a few board clears and some hard removal but not enough to keep up. A lot of our clutch minions line up well with their board again (Cairne Bloodhoof, Reno Jackson, Gadgetzan Auctioneer). They don’t have enough pressure to stop you before you play N’Zoth, and ideally you’ll have 2 Shadowstep effects. Try to bait Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing on a board you can afford to lose and they won’t have much to stop you after.
Rogue plays a very slow early game so you want damage on the board early. They do have plenty of board clears though. Generally the real game against Rogue starts around turn 4 or 5. They’ll almost always have a Tomb Pillager or Azure Drake, and you’ll probably trade removal with them.
You’re definitely on a timer against Rogue, though Reno helps a lot. They’ll look to play Auctioneer on either 6 or 7, usually concealed and with Cold Blood. So if you didn’t see Reno and didn’t put out pressure, you can actually lose by turn 8 reliably.
Pretty tough matchup against all variants. Deadly Poison is one of the best cards to keep since it will take out all of the common plays except Totem Golem. Shaman just has a really strong early game and a lot of board control which is tough for Rogue to deal with.
You’re not really going to burst them down and totems give them targets for Rockbiter Weapon or Flametongue Totem and increase the odds for the taunt totem. So I would generally focus on clearing their board each turn and keeping my life totals high. Don’t hesitate to Prep to kill Totem Golem on 2. It’s not like you’ll be able to kill it easier as the game goes on and that might save you 6+ damage which is hug.
If Pirate sees a lot of play you will want to keep PBD against them. But 80%+ of Warriors lately skew toward some form of control or C'Thun. Generally the match will come down to you baiting out brawls and then playing N’Zoth multiple times for the win. I play Harrison instantly although I’d want to punish a Gorehowl most. Clear Acolytes as they come and try not to put a bunch of 1 health guys out at the same time. Use the Pillagers and Drakes to soak up the Executes and they should run out. Generally I max out at 3 threats and they’ll eventually be forced to Brawl that.
Warlock is mostly all Zoo at this point in time. You’ll want a fast start and try to keep their board clear. At certain points you can just go for face, but keep in mind their buffs come in +1, +2, or +4 attack flavors so your big guys are generally rarely safe, even against a 1 drop of theirs.
Imp Gang Boss is a pain that should be removed quickly. Keep their board clean and you should be able to win. Zoo in general doesn’t put out that much damage if you’re actively clearing things off and saving removal for the Darkshire Councilman. They certainly don’t have enough damage to prevent you from Reno’ing on 6 and hopefully you can turn the game around from there.
That does it for this guide. I hope you enjoy playing this deck and shoutout to the people who first started playing around with N’Zoth Rogue. I just recently started playing Hearthstone again and I’m having a lot of fun trying out new strategies. I’ll be streaming on Twitch soon so keep an eye out for that if you enjoy my work.