Reno Pirate Rogue

Last updated 1 year, 5 months ago by
  • Casual

The Voyage to the Sunken City expansion has just launched, and to celebrate this milestone we're doing an event called Wild Week. Over the next 10 days, there will be one guide a day, one for each class, using as many new cards as possible. Today, we're going to be looking at Reno Pirate Rogue in Voyage to the Sunken City.

Reno Pirate Rogue is a new archetype enabled by Pirate Admiral Hooktusk. Unlike most pirate decks, it's not an aggressive deck - on the contrary, it may sometimes win by aggression and seem to be an Aggro deck in the early game through all the pirates it plays, but it is in fact a deck that has a unique win condition: stealing the opponent's entire hand and deck through repeated uses of Pirate Admiral Hooktusk. This can be done as early as turn 8 (see Highlights for an image of this happening). Rogue has multiple powerful bounce effects, Battlecry doublers, and cost reduction effects that allow you to accomplish this, as well as Togwaggle's Scheme to shuffle multiple copies of Pirate Admiral Hookstusk into your deck. 

Why is going the Reno deck route great for a Pirate Admiral Hooktusk deck? Reno Jackson and Zephrys the Great are cards that synergize greatly with all of Rogue's bounce effects, meaning you can use them multiple times per game. They also help you survive to be able to play Admiral Hooktusk and comeback on the board if your pirates have not won you the game early.

In addition to Pirate Admiral Hooktusk, Reno Pirate Rogue uses multiple new cards such as Filletfighter, Gone Fishin', Amalgam of the Deep, Cutlass Courier, Pufferfist, and Swordfish to help in its gameplan. Pufferfist is especially notable as it has a combo with Plague Scientist which allows you to clear your opponent's side of the board repeatedly. This is crucial for Rogue which as a class has a lack of board clears and makes this Reno deck function even better. Overall, if you want to play with Pirate Admiral Hooktusk and enjoy decks with unique win conditions that don't necessarily focus on damage, give this deck a try!

Past decks in Wild Week can be found here.

Now, let's get into a guide on playing the deck. It's going to go through major overarching strategies to keep in mind, how to mulligan, gameplay tips on key synergies, and card choices.

Deck Ratings


Interesting Synergy

Fun and Unique Moments

Difficulty to Master



You have 3 main strategies: aggression with pirates which can win you the game against opponents with no removal, survival is used for surviving to your Pirate Admiral Hooktusk turns, and finally Pirate Admiral Hooktusk as your main win condition along with bounces, Battlecry doublers, and shuffling more Hooktusks into your deck.

Aggro - You have a lot of pirates in this deck, along with cards that discover or add more pirates to your hand. You also have Swordfish which can deal 12 damage over 3 turns. If you manage to get a wide board with pirates, Zephrys the Great can give you Bloodlust and allow you to win the game early.

Survival - Zephrys the Great and Reno Jackson are your key tools to survive against Aggro if your own pirates don't manage to keep up with them on the board. You can bounce each of them multiple times. In addition, Shadowcrafter Scabbs is close to a board clear and Pufferfist and Plague Scientist can allow you to keep clearing your opponent's board every turn. Pirate Admiral Hooktusk can actually be used for survival as well by stealing the opponent's highest cost minion with Take their Ship!.

Hooktusk - Pirate Admiral Hooktusk can be used to win the game by stealing the opponent's hand and deck with Take their Gold! and Take their Supplies! combined with Battlecry doubling effects like Brann Bronzebeard and Spirit of the Shark and bounce effects like Tenwu of the Red Smoke, Shadowstep, and more. You can also use Scabbs Cutterbutter to enable more powerful turns, especially with Spirit of the Shark, and Togwaggle's Scheme to shuffle multiple copies of Pirate Admiral Hooktusk into your deck. You win by simply stealing the opponent's hand and deck, but also by being able to use the cards you steal to form a win condition even if you don't manage to steal their entire deck.

You can try to surprise opponents, pretending you're an Aggro Pirate Rogue in the early game and later winning by stealing their hand and deck.


This highlight shows how Pirate Admiral Hooktusk can steal the opponent's entire hand and deck by the end of turn 8.



The key to playing this deck well is to balance playing your bounce effects early for survival with saving some for your Pirate Admiral Hooktusk turns.

Below are gameplay tips regarding many of the synergies in this deck and how to use them effectively.

Pirate Synergies

You need to summon 8 pirates to activate Pirate Admiral Hooktusk's effect. Usually, you can easily complete this by turn 8. However, sometimes if you're not drawing pirates you may want to use some of your bounces on either Bloodsail Flybooter representing three extra pirates or Amalgam of the Deep for 2 extra ones. You can also use Brann Bronzebeard or Spirit of the Shark along with these two pirates to get more. Again, this is usually not necessary, but just something to keep in mind if it's getting close to turn 8 and you're not on track for summoning 8 pirates by the time you want to play Pirate Admiral Hooktusk.

Always play a pirate if possible before using Raiding Party so that Patches the Pirate gets summoned and not drawn.

If you have drawn both Blackwater Cutlass and Swordfish but have not played Raiding Party yet, you may want to trade Blackwater Cutlass so that you will draw 3 cards with Raiding Party later.

You should usually use Swordfish to Dredge a pirate, however there are some exceptions. For example, you may want to Dredge up a key card like Zephrys the Great or Reno Jackson instead, or get Togwaggle's Scheme in hand early so it starts upgrading rather than keeping it on the bottom of the deck. However, if you also have Gone Fishin' in hand, you can get a pirate with Swordfish and Gone Fishin' will be able to get the key non-pirate card.

Don't wait too long to play Edwin, Defias Kingpin - even drawing one card means he is a 4 mana 4/4 that drew a card and made progress towards activating Pirate Admiral Hooktusk. If he draws two cards and is a 6/6, that's great. In this deck, you definitely don't want to hold him too long, play him if you don't have any better plays on turn 4 or 5.

Plague Scientist and Pufferfist Synergy

Plague Scientist and Pufferfist can combine to give Pufferfist Poisonous, meaning when you attack all enemy minions without Divine Shield will be destroyed. This can be repeated, and this combo can win the game against board based decks without spell or weapon removal or Rush.

In general, it is not advisable to use your 1/2 weapon from your hero power to hit face in this deck unless you think you will win with the Aggro strategy - you may need it on turn 6 or later to activate Pufferfist and in most games pure face damage won't matter as you will win with Pirate Admiral Hooktusk.

Both Plague Scientist and Pufferfist can be useful outside of this combo. Plague Scientist can be used on any small pirate to destroy a big threat, and is especially great with Stealth minions like Skyvateer and minions played from Shroud of Concealment. Pufferfist is a pirate, meaning you can draw him with Cutlass Courier and Raiding Party, and he can be used as a 1 damage board clear or as a pirate for Pirate Admiral Hooktusk.

In general, you should try to save these two cards to be used together, but you can use one or the other by itself if it would help you a lot with tempo and you have no other good plays, especially if you have a bounce effect to later get the minion back into your hand.

Something to note is that after you play Shadowcrafter Scabbs, you won't be able to equip a weapon from your hero power anymore to use with Pufferfist, so you may want to either keep a 1/2 dagger equipped or make sure that you have a weapon in hand.

Pirate Admiral Hooktusk Turns

There are many, many ways to win with Pirate Admiral Hooktusk. Most of the cards that are used for Pirate Admiral Hooktusk can also be flexibly used earlier with any other key minions such as Reno Jackson or Zephrys the Great. The only two cards you really need to win the endgame are Pirate Admiral Hooktusk and Togwaggle's Scheme to shuffle more of them into your deck. Everything else should be used flexibly for survival. It's crucial to avoid being greedy and keeping all of these tools for the Hooktusk turn if not using them earlier will make you lose the game. So, keeping that in mind, here are some of the ways you can maximize Pirate Admiral Hooktusk's effect.

You have three choices for Pirate Admiral Hooktusk: taking the opponent's highest attack minion with Take their Ship!, stealing their hand with Take their Gold!, and stealing their deck with Take their Supplies!. You should note that stealing their deck puts the cards you steal into your hand, not  your deck.

Shuffling Pirate Admiral Hooktusks into your deck with an upgraded Togwaggle's Scheme is itself a potent win condition, as you can keep stealing the opponent's deck and hand.

However, this is a bit slow at taking effect, and there are ways to do it faster.

You can play Spirit of the Shark into Foxy Fraud into Scabbs Cutterbutter to have your next 2 cards be discounted by 6. This allows you to play Pirate Admiral Hooktusk for 2 mana and have its effect trigger twice, then play Tenwu of the Red Smoke on it, replay it, Shadowstep Tenwu of the Red Smoke, use it on Hooktusk again, and get another 2 triggers for a total of 6 triggers in this turn. This can be done without Foxy Fraud and may require discounts from Shadowcrafter Scabbs (his hero power adds 2 mana to your turns) or Potion of Illusion. This is very powerful and allows you to steal the entire opponent hand and some of their minions or some of their deck.

There are other ways in which you can trigger Pirate Admiral Hooktusk multiple times in one turn, some ways relying on Shadowcrafter Scabbs discounts, Scabbs Cutterbutter discounts, or discounts from Potion of Illusion which you can use to set combo pieces to 1 mana (including Brann Bronzebeard, Scabbs, Spirit of the Shark, and even Pirate Admiral Hooktusk if played on turn 10 along with a Shadowcrafter Scabbs discount). You can do combos including Brann Bronzebeard and Pirate Admiral Hooktusk and Shadowstep and Tenwu, or combos with only 2 or 3 of these pieces.

In general, out of these cards (Brann Bronzebeard, Scabbs Cutterbutter, Foxy Fraud, Spirit of the Shark, Tenwu of the Red Smoke, and Pirate Admiral Hooktusk) any of these may be good to use Potion of Illusion on to maximize the number of triggers of the Hooktusk effect on the turn you play it.

Even without Potion of Illusion or Shadowcrafter Scabbs discounts, there are many combinations of those cards and Shadowstep that you can do, especially if against a deck that can't remove Spirit of the Shark if you play it a turn earlier. So, be on the lookout for different combos with those cards and Pirate Admiral Hooktusk while not being afraid to use many or even all of them (as you should have Togwaggle's Scheme as your ultimate backup win condition) on Reno Jackson, Zephrys the Great, and other things for survival and tempo such as Foxy Fraud activating Combo cards.

The priority for Pirate Admiral Hooktusk should be stealing hand before deck, even if their deck has more cards. This is because without a hand, they won't be able to stop you from bouncing Pirate Admiral Hooktusk and stealing their deck next turn anyway or removing your minions. If they have some big minions on the board, you may want to use the steal the highest attack minion to win the board and potentially prevent yourself from losing. Finally, don't be afraid to steal hand and deck even if you have no hand space for it, it will still help you win because those cards will be destroyed.

In the end, you will either win because the opponent will have an empty hand or deck, or you will have stolen at least their hand and minions and win on tempo while they are top decking. If you don't manage to steal a lot and have to use Togwaggle's Scheme (which you can combine with your power turns of Pirate Admiral Hookstuks anyway, except remember that that will shut down your Reno Jackson and Zephrys), you can try and use the cards you stole to implement whatever win condition the opponent has in those cards or at least stall until you draw your other Pirate Admiral Hooktusks.

Card Choices

This section is going to go through the main packages of cards in the deck. Each package has cards that help the deck with a specific goal. When playing the deck, it's useful to know what purposes each card serves and what other cards in the deck have synergy with it or help achieve the same purpose. This section might also be useful if you're interested in the reasoning for why each card was included in the deck.


Bloodsail Flybooter Card Image Filletfighter Card Image Patches the Pirate Card Image

Prize Plunderer Card Image Skyvateer Card Image Amalgam of the Deep Card Image

Cutlass Courier Card Image Edwin, Defias Kingpin Card Image Pirate Admiral Hooktusk Card Image

These are the pirates in the deck. Pirate Admiral Hooktusk is activated by summoning them, so even summoning Patches the Pirate counts. Bloodsail Flybooter and Amalgam of the Deep are especially noteworthy as they add more pirates to your hand. Apart from activating Pirate Admiral Hooktusk which is your main win condition, these pirates have low cost and can enable Combo cards as well as fight for the board early in the game.


Blackwater Cutlass Card Image Swordfish Card Image

These weapons are useful for being drawn from Raiding Party, and Blackwater Cutlass can always be traded back into the deck if you've drawn both weapons before playing it. Swordfish is in because it can be a 4/3 weapon if it hits a pirate while also being able to Dredge up a key non-pirate (for example Zephrys the Great) that would otherwise have been on the bottom of your deck for the entire game.


Prize Plunderer Card Image Zephrys the Great Card Image Pufferfist Card Image Plague Scientist Card Image Reno Jackson Card Image Pirate Admiral Hooktusk Card Image Shadowcrafter Scabbs Card Image

These cards are the key to be able to survive against Aggro onslaughts, providing both board clears and healing.

Mana Discounts

Preparation Card Image Shadowstep Card Image Blackwater Cutlass Card Image Foxy Fraud Card Image Tenwu of the Red Smoke Card Image Potion of Illusion Card Image Scabbs Cutterbutter Card Image Shadowcrafter Scabbs Card Image

These cards provide mana discounts to help keep up tempo throughout the game and enable more powerful Pirate Admiral Hooktusk turns. Many of these also let you play Combo cards earlier. Some of these provide mana discounts for one turn only, while others can be used to store a mana discount for later.

Bounce Effects

Shadowstep Card Image Togwaggle's Scheme Card Image Tenwu of the Red Smoke Card Image

Potion of Illusion Card Image Shadowcrafter Scabbs Card Image

These cards let you bounce key minions, and most offer mana discounts to replaying them as well.

Battlecry and Combo Doubling

Brann Bronzebeard Card Image Spirit of the Shark Card Image

These cards let you double your Battlecries and Combos, which is especially powerful along with Pirate Admiral Hooktusk but also useful with cards like Zephrys the Great.

Card Draw

Blackwater Cutlass Card Image Gone Fishin' Card Image Secret Passage Card Image

 Skyvateer Card Image Swindle Card Image Cutlass Courier Card Image

Raiding Party Card Image Shroud of Concealment Card Image Edwin, Defias Kingpin Card Image

Card draw crucial to the deck to draw to Pirate Admiral Hooktusk by turn 8 more consistently - this is why the deck has so much card draw. This also makes you draw the Plague Scientist Pufferfist combo faster, as well as generally being great to draw any key card such as Reno Jackson and Zephrys the Great by the time you need it. Having a low deck size early in the game also makes you draw Pirate Admiral Hooktusks more often after you shuffle multiple copies into your deck with Togwaggle's Scheme.

Reno Pirate Rogue is one of the most fun decks to play if you want to win by doing something unique like stealing an opponent's hand and deck rather than winning with pure damage. If you have a question or comment, or are wondering about a card substitution, post below.

What are your favorite wild decks? Which off meta decks have you been playing? Share them via our deckbuilder and let us know in the comments below!

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