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Highlander Mage deck list guide - Descent of Dragons - Hearthstone (December 2019)

How to play Highlander Mage in the Descent of Dragons meta.

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About James Law

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Our Highlander/Reno Mage deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 69 of Hearthstone (December 2019). You can also find some general strategy advice and a breakdown of the deck’s key combos, but we will continue to add more over time.

Highlander Mage is a deck inspired by Reno the Relicologist. Clearly not the same as the Reno Jackson so many know and love in the Wild format, this one has the same deckbuilding restriction, but with a slightly less immediately impressive battlecry. When you play Reno the Relicologist with no duplicates in your deck, he deals 10 damage evenly split amongst all enemy minions. Note that it does not hit the opponent’s face, meaning it’s quite likely that your Reno the Relicologist will clear whatever board the enemy has amassed.

Whilst this may not be as impactful as the original Reno’s ‘heal to full’ effect, the anti-aggro effect is very similar. A lot of Beast Hunter decks would cower in fear at such a strong board clear that leaves a 4/6 body on the board. Mage has a lot of strong cards too, so there are numerous ways to keep your enemies guessing when it comes to playing a Relicologist deck. As well as this, Zephrys the Great acts as a hugely impactful card, allowing you to discover the ‘perfect’ card as long as you fulfil Reno the Relicologist's deck condition.

Highlander Mage deck list and strategy

Here is the version of Reno Mage we’re going for at the opening of Descent of Dragons. Expect further refinements with card reveals and meta shifts, and we’ll be sure to update this page as and when they happen.

1 x Ray of Frost1 x Doomsayer
1 x Ancient Mysteries1 x Zephrys the Great
1 x Frostbolt1 x Vulpera Scoundrel
1 x Arcane Intellect1 x Bone Wraith
1 x Counterspell1 x Sunreaver Warmage
1 x Flame Ward1 x Zilliax
1 x Frost Nova1 x Khartut Defender
1 x Stargazer Luna1 x Siamat
1 x Arcane Keysmith1 x Alexstrasza
1 x Conjurer's Calling1 x Dragonqueen Alexstrasza
1 x Blizzard1 x King Phaoris
1 x Reno the Relicologist
1 x Archmage Antonidas
1 x Flamestrike
1 x Luna's Pocket Galaxy
1 x Power of Creation
1 x Tortollan Pilgrim
1 x Kalecgos
1 x Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EHnGKAckDqwTFBMsElgXhB+wHuAi+7ALu9gLG+AKggAODlgPTmAOfmwOgmwOKngPYoAOhoQOloQPCoQP8owOLpAOSpAO/pAPypQOEpwP0qwMAAA==

More great Mage guides:

General strategy

The Mage class has a lot of strong spells. So much so, in fact, that restricting deckbuilding to ban duplicates is not the most shocking thing to ask. This deck includes a decent number of ‘big’ spells to reliably enable Sunreaver Warmage’s Battlecry as well as King Phaoris’ huge board summon.

Early Game: You’ll want to go for a standard ‘tempo’ style of play at the beginning of the game. We found a decent bit of success playing Zephrys the Great on turn 2, as he offered us cards like Animal Companion and Brightwing to help us continue curving out towards the later game.

In general, your goal is to find the minions and spells you can play early on, and try your hardest not to fall to aggro. Removal like Frostbolt helps nicely, and Ray of Frost and Frost Nova can provide you with situational aid depending on the opponent’s action. If you can secure some card draw with Stargazer Luna then it’s extremely valuable, and Bone Wraith is a great way to stall the opponent out for a couple of turns.

Mid Game: You have spells as you clear the enemy’s board with Flamestrike or Blizzard, and transforming their big guys with Polymorph. Unfortunately, Luna's Pocket Galaxy’s recent nerf has led to it being a whole lot more clunky to play in the mid game, but if you manage to squeeze this spell into a turn without getting killed by your opponent, then do so as it’ll set you up for some real beefy plays later on. The chance for a 1 mana King Phaoris or Kalecgos is hard to pass up.

Keep on playing out this plan, and you’re bound to find the answer to your opponent’s moves. Reno the Relicologist is a great turn 6 play to flip the tides of battle too, likely clearing any board the enemy has gained up to this point. Sunreaver Warmage is here to help with that too, and its 4 damage Battlecry attached to a 4/4 body is great for board control. Just make sure you have a big spell in hand before playing it!

Late Game: It’s your time to shine now. Value-wise it’s hard to beat you, especially if you’ve managed to get your Luna's Pocket Galaxy played out early on. Tortollan Pilgrim can discover a board clear for you too, meaning you can double up on Flamestrikes or Blizzards if you so desire, provided you haven’t drawn them already. Keep an eye out for the perfect Siamat play to clear enemy minions and leave an imposing presence on the board.

Still struggling late-game? Well, for just 10 mana, you can cast Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, the new Mage spell that casts 10 completely random spells on completely random targets. It’s a last resort, but just like Yogg-Saron, it can pull victories from nowhere. Archmage Antonidas gives you that little bit of extra reach to finish off opponents who just need to be beaten by a little burst damage.

Highlander Mage Mulligan Guide

In the beginning, you want to stay alive so you can embrace the unlimited value offered to you. Here’s how to get to that phase.

1. Doomsayer is a fantastic keep against aggro. You can play it on an empty board to stall them out for a turn, which can give you time to play more anti-aggro cards like Bone Wraith.

2. Zephrys the Great is worth keeping, as playing it proactively can shape the game in such a way that the opponent never really gets a look-in. A great tempo play on turn 3 can eliminate any need for a big board clear later in the game.

3. Ancient Mysteries is a great early keep, allowing you to draw out one of your deck’s Secrets and play it for no extra cost. It thins out your deck for more impactful draws, as well as being strong tempo-wise in the early game. Counterspell ruining your opponent’s Animal Companion and the like can stall any early momentum they’ve built up.

Highlander Mage tips, combos and synergies

Highlander Mage has a long-term gameplan. Here are some notable synergies and tips to keep in mind:

- Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron can be an incredibly powerful finisher, but also has the potential to ruin your gameplan too.

- Tortollan Pilgrim acts as a way to mitigate the disadvantage of building a Highlander deck, allowing you to pick from a spell you’re yet to draw from your deck. You can even cast Luna's Pocket Galaxy if you’ve failed to draw it yet.

- Please don't Coin out Kalecgos on turn 9. Please.

- Bomb Warrior is of course a problem, given that they can turn off your Highlander mechanics with multiple Bombs, but generally you want to be taking the front foot against this kind of deck anyway. If you are coming up against a lot of Bomb Warriors though, make sure you play Zephrys the Great early so you get the value from him.

- Khartut Defender works great when you want to stay alive for a bit longer. Don’t be fooled by its 4 health - it comes back alive, takes another hit and heals you for 6 in the process.

- Siamat is a great card that can turn the board situation back into your favour. Be careful with choosing the right keywords to give him though - sometimes Taunt and Divine Shield is a good choice when fending off aggression.

- Zephrys the Great can find you lethal with a card from the Basic or Classic set. Keep an eye out for interesting combos that’ll get you over the finish line.

- Conjurer's Calling was nerfed by 1 mana, but remains a strong play if you manage to get a cheap Mountain Giant onto the board, as well as being extremely powerful when used on the likes of King Phaoris.

- Zilliax is in the deck because it fits almost anywhere. Zilliax gives you staying power and life gain, as well as a Taunt to throw in your opponent’s way if need be.

- Reno the Relicologist is a great way to catch up if you’ve surrendered the board to the enemy, so don’t forget to play him for a solid board clear that exclusively targets minions.

- If you discount King Phaoris with Luna's Pocket Galaxy and draw him early, he can represent a massively strong play that can stop the opponent in their tracks and force them to deal with a huge board of minions. It’s harder to pull this off post-nerf, but it remains a strong way to close out a game.

- Archmage Antonidas can be played alongside a couple of cheap spells to give you some Fireballs in hand and give you the extra damage you need to finish off opponents. If the guy sticks on the board as well, your Fireballs can even generate more Fireballs, so things can get pretty scary for opponents.

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