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Highlander Mage deck list guide - Scholomance Academy - Hearthstone (August 2020)

How to play Highlander Mage in the Scholomance Academy meta.

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 this point in Scholomance Academy. Expect further refinements with meta shifts, and we’ll be sure to update this page as and when they happen.

1 x Arcane Breath1 x Primordial Studies
1 x Ray of Frost1 x Brain Freeze
1 x Astromancer Solarian1 x Devolving Missiles
1 x Firebrand1 x Doomsayer
1 x Combustion1 x Zephrys the Great
1 x Imprisoned Observer1 x Twilight Drake
1 x Frost Nova1 x Escaped Manasaber
1 x Arcane Intellect1 x Jandice Barov
1 x Conjurer's Calling1 x Khartut Defender
1 x Rolling Fireball1 x Siamat
1 x Malygos, Aspect of Magic1 x Alexstrasza
1 x Reno the Relicologist1 x Dragonqueen Alexstrasza
1 x Dragoncaster
1 x Power of Creation
1 x Deep Freeze
1 x Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
1 x Kalecgos
1 x The Amazing Reno

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EHooBqwTFBMsEjQiDlgOfmwOgmwOKngOhoQPCoQP8owOSpAOEpwP6rAPsrwPwrwORsQOEtgOMtgPhtgPDuAONuwPexAPgzAP4zAPHzgPNzgOU0QPZ0QMAAA==

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 tries to use these spells, as well as value generating cards, to win the game later on.

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 Arcane Breath can provide you with situational aid depending on the opponent’s action.

Mid Game: You have spells as you clear the enemy’s board with Flamestrike or Blizzard, and transforming their big guys with Polymorph. You want to keep on tempo with this deck, so try to play out minions when you can, and target enemy minions when necessary.

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 momentum the enemy has gained up to this point.

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. Your Malygos, Aspect of Magic spell should come in handy late on too.

Still struggling late-game? Well, for just 10 mana, you can play The Amazing Reno, who'll make all enemies (and friendly minions) disappear without triggering Deathrattles or anything. Pretty sick

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. Astromancer Solarian is worth keeping, as you'll get extra damage from early spells as long as it's alive, as well as shuffling Solarian Prime into your deck upon its death.

2. Zephrys the Great is a great early minion, 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. Against aggro, Ray of Frost is important to slow them down early on.

Highlander Mage tips, combos and synergies

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

- The Amazing Reno makes all minions disappear. This means they don't trigger Deathrattles or any other effects, all but guaranteeing a completely clear board for a turn.

- 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.

- Alexstrasza changes the health total of a hero to 15, which can lead to a surprise lethal if you have a strong board.

- 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.

- Mo'arg Artificer doubles damage dealt to all minions, meaning you can more easily kill off aggressive boards with the likes of Arcane Breath, Frostbolt, and Ray of Frost.

- Evocation is a fantastic final gambit play, as it fills your hand with Mage spells that must be cast on the same turn. It's only 1 mana, so you should be able to cast a few of the spells before they're discarded.

- 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.

- Solarian Prime targets enemies with damage spells if possible, making it far more reliable than other similar effects, like Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron.

- Imprisoned Observer works great for keeping aggressive opponents at bay. They won't want to overextend into a board they know is going to take a bunch of damage.

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James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.