Just wow. Prince Renathal has taken over Hearthstone by a storm. Right now, more than half of the decks played in Diamond and Legend include the wayward Prince. With Prince Renathal in your deck, you can play with 40 cards instead of 30, and you also start with 40 Health instead of 30.
While great for anyone who is indecisive about what to include in the deck, running a 40-card deck is actually bad for you. The deck becomes less consistent and you have to include cards of a lower quality to fill it. This is a similar detriment as Reno decks that can only include a single copy of each card, but a larger deck with duplicates allowed is less punishing than singletons.
Starting at 40 Health, on the other hand, is a big reward. In many ways, it is better than Reno Jackson, as you always have the reward without having to draw any specific cards. Like Reno decks, Renathal decks will also get even better as the card pool grows bigger, as you will have more good options to fill your deck. Renathal’s full power will not be on display in Standard until December!
Renathal naturally supports a slower game plan where you take your time to stabilize first and then follow up with devastating power plays. However, the most popular Renathal deck actually has a different plan!
Let’s explore the world of Renathal decks. What are the best decks to use him in? Are these decks any good? Can you still play without him? It is time to find the answers.
Renathal Prestor Druid
I honestly don’t know how to feel about this deck. This is by far the most popular early Renathal deck. It is also currently a contender for the title of the best Druid deck in the game. OK, that is a low bar to clear given how abysmal Druid has been as of late, but still.
At first sight, the deck looks like a random mess of cheap minions. To be fair, it is an early Renathal deck and there surely are improvements still to be found, but this random mess serves a purpose.
That purpose is Lady Prestor. You want to turn your random junk into random Dragons as soon as possible, and hope that you hit some big effects, like Kazakusan. You have so many targets that you will almost inevitably come up with something good.
Having 40 cards in a deck that desperately just wants one specific card seems kind of awkward, but the deck has both Capture Coldtooth Mine and Jerry Rig Carpenter as tutors for Lady Prestor. So, really, you only need to find one of five cards to get your game plan rolling. In the mulligan, it is also useful to keep Wildheart Guff that will help you keep your engine rolling once your deck is full of Dragons. That’s pretty much it.
Performance-wise, Renathal Prestor Druid is a tier-two deck. You can absolutely use it to climb to Legend, but there are still better options out there.
Renathal Celestial Druid
Where there is a force, there is a counterforce. With the rise of Prestor Druid to immense popularity, the tides have washed ashore another Druid. Celestial Alignment is back once again!
Celestial Druid’s main ticket to fame is its Prestor Druid matchup, which is roughly 60-40 in favor of Celestial Alignment. Celestial Druid is also better against some other slow decks like Boar Priests and Ping Mage, but in most other matchups it is between 5% and 10% weaker than Prestor Druid. It remains to be seen whether Celestial Druid will be an answer to multiple Renathal decks, but right now it looks like a precision weapon: it beats Prestor Druid, but lacks the consistency to survive aggressive decks despite 40 starting Health.
Renathal Quest Priest
- 0Desperate Prayer2
- 1Call of the Grave2
- 1Seek Guidance1
- 1Shard of the Naaru2
- 2Condemn (Rank 1)2
- 2Thrive in the Shadows2
- 4Lightmaw Netherdrake2
- 4Najak Hexxen1
- 4Shadow Word: Ruin1
- 5Spirit Guide2
- 6Lightshower Elemental2
- 6Undying Disciple2
- 7Blackwater Behemoth1
- 8Xyrella, the Devout1
Having more Health has always been the Priest dream. In the past, Priest has had access to 40 Health, but that required jumping through the hoops of Awaken the Makers Quest in Journey to Un’Goro. Now, Priest can start the game with 40 Health!
On a serious note, Quest Priest is just about perfect for Renathal. The deck does not seem to experience any downsides from its inclusion, and instead, it has gained a steady 1-2% against most aggressive decks as compared to Quest Priest without Renathal. This puts the deck comfortably over the 50% win rate line and makes it viable. These are also still the very early days of Renathal Quest Priest, so I expect the deck to get better over time. The ability to heal and a bigger Health pool are the perfect fit.
The best Priest deck is still Naga Priest by the way. However, if Quest Priest can be refined further – and there is no reason to think it could not – it may be able to challenge Naga Priest in the near future and become the best Priest deck in the game.
Renathal Highlander Quest Priest – the abomination!
- 0Desperate Prayer1
- 1Call of the Grave1
- 1Gift of the Naaru1
- 1Holy Smite1
- 1Seek Guidance1
- 1Shard of the Naaru1
- 2Condemn (Rank 1)1
- 2Serena Bloodfeather1
- 2Thrive in the Shadows1
- 3Devouring Plague1
- 3Devout Dungeoneer1
- 4Lightmaw Netherdrake1
- 4Najak Hexxen1
- 4Void Shard1
- 5Spirit Guide1
- 6Lightshower Elemental1
- 6Mi’da, Pure Light1
- 6Undying Disciple1
- 7Blackwater Behemoth1
- 8Murozond the Infinite1
- 8Xyrella, the Devout1
Someone had to think about it, right. What if I cripple my deck in two separate ways to gain access to two powerful rewards? 40 Health combined with Reno Jackson, what could possibly go wrong?
The most hilarious thing about this deck is that on HSReplay, even though the deck has a sample size of 1,500 games, the site is unable to give individual card statistics for some of the included cards. Is Tuskarrrr Trawler a strong addition to the deck? Even after 1,500 games, we have no idea, it has not been seen often enough.
In an omen of things to come once Renathal Quest Priest is properly tuned and gets even more cards to choose from, even this take on the archetype is able to hit a 50% win rate on the ladder. It is clearly weaker than the non-Reno version, but as the card pool grows, who knows what can happen. Many players will never even see all the cards in their deck as they play this!
Renathal Questline Curse Warlock
I don’t even know what game I’m playing here anymore.
Sure, Curse Warlock was excited about Prince Renathal, as having more Health is very useful for the archetype. But the best-performing lists are not just going for those curses. Nope, they are also adding The Demon Seed back into the mix. There would be room for many graphics of Moe throwing Barney out of the bar in this article. In fact, I’m just going to make another one of those, this revolving door has earned it. Here you go.
I mean, I get it. First, you’re trying to just stay alive by adding Renathal. Then, more than half of the meta is running Renathal and your curses start to feel a little ineffective. So, you go looking for more ways to deal damage. And what could be a better way to deal damage than drawing yourself to fatigue long before your opponent and then turning that fatigue damage into damage on your opponent instead.
Renathal Big Spell Mage
OK, I’m starting to freak out a little over here.
Want to know the best Big Spell Mage deck right now? Yes, it is this one, and it runs Prince Renathal too.
It kind of makes sense. Big Spell Mage’s one big weakness has been survivability. So, you go to 40 Health and you add some more survivability, instant upgrade! Right?
It is actually not that straightforward. The Renathal variant of Big Spell Mage pretty much gives up against fast Murloc Shamans and aggressive Demon Hunters. It is actually worse to have 40 health and a less consistent deck in those aggro matchups. On the other hand, this variant is even stronger against midrange decks and better against Curse Warlocks too, as they just cannot kill you fast enough, so you will find the right tools, consistent deck or not.
The final word on the top Big Spell Mage variant has not been written yet.
Renathal Beast Hunter
- 0Devouring Swarm2
- 2Doggie Biscuit2
- 2Quick Shot2
- 2Selective Breeder2
- 3Harpoon Gun2
- 3Ramming Mount2
- 3Revive Pet2
- 4Azsharan Saber1
- 4Stormpike Battle Ram2
- 5Barak Kodobane1
- 5Pet Collector2
- 5The Rat King1
- 6Beaststalker Tavish1
- 7Mountain Bear2
- 9King Krush1
- 9Wing Commander Ichman1
In a final crescendo, I present the best Renathal deck on the ladder at the moment, and also the best Beast Hunter deck. Renathal Beast Hunter is an actual thing. Ambassador Faelin looks really good in this list. The world as we knew it has changed for good.
Prince Renathal: Hit or Miss?
Prince Renathal has changed the Hearthstone meta for good. In this article, we have just scratched the surface of the Standard format. The early signs from Wild indicate that Renathal may have a major role to play in the eternal Hearthstone format as well, but ascertaining that will take some more time.
It is important to note that Renathal is not an answer to everything. Aggro decks do not want Renathal. The early attempts to include the card in Demon Hunter have failed. Ironically, the most archetypal control class in the game, Warrior, also seems to have little to gain from the card. Warrior was always based on armor, not on Health. Now, other classes have a way to close that gap and play control decks with more leeway, much like Warrior has always been able to. The best current Control Warrior lists do not run Renathal, but this may yet change as the card pool grows.
Interestingly, Renathal has also found a home in some midrange decks like Prestor Druid and Beast Hunter. The slower side of midrange, the ones that struggle the most to survive the early game, have found new hope in the Prince.
The surge of Renathal decks has also sparked new life in decks that can counter slow decks. Murloc Shamans are mrglgglglgl’ing like never before. Mech Paladins and Mech Mages enjoy doing things uncontested in the early game and can blast through 40 Health easily. These three decks look stronger than any Renathal decks right now.
Yet, Renathal will grow stronger as the card pool grows. If it is this good now, how good will it be in August? What about in December? Blizzard has released a strong card that will forever shape the Hearthstone meta. I hope they have been able to strike just the right balance with it, as players will try their utmost to use it to break the meta.