THE 10 BEST Reno Casino Hotels of 2021 (with Prices ...

What's the best casino in Reno for comps?

I tend to play a lot of blackjack in 7-8 hour sessions. Are there any that are better for free weekend nights or comp dollars?
submitted by abtse321 to Reno [link] [comments]

What the best casino in Reno, NV to play Holdem?

Thanks at the Sans now and this place is no good for poker. Thanks!
submitted by akuzin to poker [link] [comments]

What’s was the most money you won at a casino here in Reno & or your best experience at a casino here!?

submitted by emotionenthusiast to Reno [link] [comments]

Best average casino room in Reno?

I'll be staying in Reno in two weeks. I may have discounts at Harrah's but I don't know their quality.
submitted by GnarlsGnarlington to Reno [link] [comments]

Best Casino Sportsbook in Reno?

I am from out of town but plan on spending Monday night in Reno. I want to watch the Monday Night Football game at a big casino sportsbook in Downtown Reno, any recommendations?
submitted by 81toog to Reno [link] [comments]

T’was the night before matching

And I’m hyped as heck
I’ll type this story before i doublecheck
My Redditgifts profile for the millionth time
All is want, is to ensure that I’m
Through with answers, and funny too
It’s time for the recap without further adou.

Man those rhymes are getting worse and worse.
Anyway, I'm back with another adventure calendar countdown. For anyone unfamiliar, I send my giftees on an immersive treasure/scavenger hunt every year for secret santa. I’m talking through my side of things just as a way to give you a peek behind the curtain.
You can check the last three posts here, here, and here.

Wanna know what happens when an adventure doesn’t go quite as planned? Because this is what happens when an adventure doesn’t go as planned.

I give you:
Constructed Adventure no. 46: The Archer Princess and the cactus pin.
I was super intrigued when I learned my giftee lived in a small town outside Reno, NV. I was even more intrigued when I learned that she often did Legacy Horseback rides and was learning horseback archery.
This adventure was going to be in the wilderness.
After a bit of communication, I was relieved to learn that her and her husband would be fine heading into Reno. There was just so much more to work with.
I landed in Reno, booked my stay at one of the cheap hotel/casinos (Note: They’re all cheap) and went scouting! I’d done the usual Yelp/Google/TripAdvisor scrape to find my best possibilities for stops and beelined to a cute little place called “Daughter’s Cafe.” This is a Restaurant built in a home. The Owner lives upstairs. She’s super cool and the food was incredible. Pretty sure I ate there every day. Anyway, unprompted, the owner told me about these wild chickadee birds that live in the mountains halfway from here to lake tahoe (about a 45 minute drive). She hand drew me a map and gave me a bag of seed and said
“If you stand still, they’ll eat out of your hand”
So I drove up the mountain, rented up some snowshoes, and fed some chickadees. It was a magical experience that I HAD to send my giftee on. (note: normally I dont like having any spot have a longer travel distance than 15 minutes but occasionally I’ll make an exception).
Also, since she did archery, I really wanted her to have to shoot something down. So I scouted a spot 5-10 minutes into the trail where she would shoot down a chest from a tree.
After that spot, most of the other stops were pretty simple. She’d hit a few places in the Riverfront district, before stopping in at a speakeasy, then hitting an incredible hike, deciphering someone doing semaphore 100’s of feet away, and then meeting me up the mountainside under a fully decorated real christmas tree!
When she got her initial package, it contained a little cactus pin. The goal was to signpost every stop with the pin. (Signposting is a technique puzzlemakers use to let players know they’re on the right track). Everywhere she went, she either found, or someone was wearing one of the pins!
The day kicked off perfectly! The weather was temperate and everything looked up. My giftee and her husband hit the cafe, ate breakfast, and headed up the mountain. They picked up the snowshoes from a place midway to the spot. The guy behind the counter was kind of a jerk, but he still played along.
Then they got to the spot. I actually passed them as they got out of their car! Me and a friend who I flew in (Same guy who helped me will all the other adventures) returned our shoes and then waited...and waited….and waited....
An hour passed by.
Turns out there were two parallel paths with the same name! One was the correct path (Signposted with large roses along the way) and the other was the incorrect path. I made three big mistakes that led to this snafu:
  1. I should have done more thorough scouting to notice the other path with the same name.
  2. I should have been more detailed with directions and how long they should expect to take on the trek
  3. I gave them my phone number at the beginning of the adventure but never got theirs. They ended up leaving the note with my number in their car.
So after snowshoeing 2-3 miles into the mountains, they decided to turn back to their car, get my number, and text me.
Needless to say we were just a bit behind schedule.
Once they got back to their car and messaged me, we sorted the issue and they found and shot down the chest with ease!
They headed back down the mountain and continued their adventure. But we’d lost a ton of time on the day. Once i arrived at what was supposed to be the final location, it was getting dark, and it was brutally windy. I was pretty miserable up there and I can’t imagine they would want to be up there after snowshoeing such a long way!
So I called it! I messaged them to stay in the speakeasy and order more drinks! I drove back to the spot, and gave them all their presents at the bar. It was so much nicer than up on a dark windy hilltop.
So that’s it! Another adventure in the bag. Definitely NOT what I expected but still fun. I learn a lot of lessons after each adventure and sometimes hiccups happen!
It goes without saying that if you’re ever planning a treasure/scavenger hunt for someone, don't hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to double check your plan and point out potential pitfalls you might have.
Hope you enjoyed this recap. No shameless plug this time! Just a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to the mods and admins who run Redditgifts. Tomorrow is their day of reckoning and all i can say is

༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ MODS TAKE MY ENERGY ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

submitted by squeakysqueakysqueak to secretsanta [link] [comments]

Try to die with open eyes

I work in a small bar in Reno. We’re away from the casinos downtown that attract the most tourists, but we’re tucked away near a couple of bigger, separate casinos. We’re a hole in the wall but we do get our share of people wandering in, taking a break from the busy, crowded casinos they’re staying in. We’re also on a couple of major bus routes, so we get locals of all classes and descriptions. Mostly, though, we’re pretty quiet.
Especially these days. Shifts can be long and lonely.
So I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel one night last week when, about ten minutes before I could have closed for the night and two hours after the last customer left, a woman walked into the bar. Two hours of doing nothing had made me eager to leave, but these days it’s hard to turn down even a few potential tip dollars.
I bit down my irritation and greeted her with a smile. At least until I walked down the bar closer to her and got a good look at her face.
She was obviously distressed. Not actively, maybe, but she wore the shadows of exhaustion like dark makeup smeared under her eyes. She was rail thin, unkempt. Dark curling hair in a ponytail that didn’t look like it had seen a brush in a while. Clothes that looked well worn and not well washed. I would have thought she was a tweaker - we get those pretty often too, it’s Reno - but her eyes were clear enough and she didn’t seem to have the shakes. She seemed utterly exhausted.
She looked about thirty if you stood back and squinted. If you came close and met her eyes she looked about three hundred.
But hey, I’m a professional. I set a coaster in front of her and asked what she wanted.
“Shot of whiskey,” she said, and her voice rasped out of her like tires over gravel. “Highest proof you have.”
We’re not a high class joint, but we have a decent 100 proof. I poured her a shot and slid it over, and the second it was in her reach it was down her throat, and the empty glass slid back to me.
“Another one. Please.”
Fair enough. But the second shot vanished as fast as the first. She gestured for a third one, but I poured it a little more slowly.
“Bad day?” I asked, since acting like a therapist is, of course, part of the job.
She snorted, threw down the third shot, and seemed to realize I wasn’t going to keep them coming so fast. She sighed. “Can I get the same thing on the rocks? I’m just staying up the road, I’m not driving.”
I made the drink, feeling her eyes on me the whole time. This time I rang up the whole tab before I went back to her, and gave her the total. She slid a few big bills across to me, which confirmed at least that she wasn’t in withdrawal from anything, at least not for financial reasons.
As she sipped her drink, I debated whether I could go back and sit at the end of the bar and stare at my phone some more without threatening my tip.
She answered that for me by peering at me suddenly. “Do you think people have souls?”
Oh boy.
I put on that faux-thoughtful look I was so practiced at, the one that came to me the minute someone started spouting off about religion or politics or anything else I vowed not to have opinions about while I was on the clock.
“I don’t know,” I said, my standard response. “I’m not really a philosopher.”
She stared at me. “What do you think?”
For the record, I hate that kind of thing so much. I work in customer service. If you’re not one of the regulars I’ve waited on for the two years I’ve worked here, then I have no beliefs or opinions or anything else. I am an empty vessel meant to provide thoughtful nods and lots of alcohol. That’s it.
Still, she looked intense, and it was close enough to quitting time that I could be magnanimous. So I answered her for real.
“I think...there’s something about humanity that makes us different. Millions of species of animals on the planet, and none of them come anywhere near us in terms of society and art and culture. There’s something special inside of us. You could call that a soul, I guess.”
She nodded, looking satisfied. “You’re right. There is something inside of us. I don’t think it makes us special, though. I think it makes us damned.”
Oookay. I drew back a little, grabbing a rag to polish an already clean spot on the back bar. “Yeah, I’m not very religious or whatever, so.”
“I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about what happens to us after we die.”
My eyebrows rose. “Is that not religion?”
“No. They’re wrong. Every one of them. Anyone who thinks we go to some shiny white afterlife, or a fiery hell, or we come back as a cow or whatever the fuck. Even the people who think we just dissolve into the air like pure energy. Even the people who think we die and that’s that, nothing but blackness and rest afterwards.”
“All of them are wrong, huh? Doesn’t leave many options.”
I don’t think she appreciated the lightness in my tone. But for fuck’s sake, I’m not paid to be a sounding board for people. Most of the time I just don’t care what my customers talk about. When they go right for the Big Issues I tend to blank out entirely.
“I died almost a year ago,” she said, her voice sharp. Before I could gently peel her drink from her clenched hand, she went on. “I got revived, but I was clinically dead for almost ten minutes.”
“Ah.” I smiled faintly. “I don’t know whether to say I’m sorry or congratulations on coming back.”
“Don’t say anything. It’s the worst thing that ever happened to me. I saw it, lady. I know what happens when we die. And it’s worse than any hell you could imagine.”
Admittedly, I was curious. Fifty-fifty on whether she was just a crackpot, but the tension in her voice and those shadows under her eyes...those were hard to deny.
So I went ahead and asked. “ saw...what? The real hell?”
“No. Hell is a fucking fairy tale. It’s bullshit. You know what happens to us when we die? Absolutely fucking nothing.”
“And that’s…bad?”
“I don’t mean nothing like everything goes black and that’s that. I mean nothing. It’s not like falling asleep, it’s not like a coma. Your body fucking dies, and your soul stays right where the fuck it is.” She took a deep draw of her whiskey. “I was dead for ten minutes. I died in the ambulance. Overdose,” she said, staring at me intently, waiting for me to judge it.
I didn’t. I wasn’t thinking much except that I wished I’d closed ten minutes earlier that night.
“I died with my eyes open. My body was gone, okay? Nothing, no feeling. No breath, no heartbeat. But I was stuck inside of it. I could see what was happening around me but not really understand it. I could hear things, but like I was underwater. And soul or my energy or whatever the hell you want to call knew. It understood. This was the beginning, not the end. I was going to be put in some cold storage, autopsied, dressed up fancy for some viewing, and put into the ground to rot. And I was going to be stuck inside of this prison for the whole thing. Our souls...we don’t leave. We don’t stop. We are going to last forever, stuck inside of rotting bodies buried in dark holes. No sights, no sounds, no chance to escape. It’s like…”
She looked up at me suddenly, snapping her fingers impatiently. “What is it? That thing where the doctors think someone’s a vegetable but they’re awake and aware the whole time?”
I shrugged. “I know what you’re talking about, though.”
“It’s that. But it’s forever.” She downed her drink and slid the glass across the counter. “Think I’m crazy if you want to, but I know. I lived it. I remember everything.”
I poured her a double, and poured a shot for myself. “Okay, but...there’s a lot of stories of people who died and came back, and I haven’t ever heard anything like that.”
“I know. I’ve looked everywhere.” She scowled. “You know what I think? I think that knowing you’re going to spend eternity trapped in your own body is fucking traumatizing, so people who experience even a minute of it block it out when they come back. But unlike them, my brain fucking hates me.”
Which, okay: mood. But jesus. “What about...I mean eventually your body’s not going to be there anymore.”
“Something will. Dust. Ashes if you’re cremated. In a million years, little specks of fucking carbon atoms.” She sighed. “I was there for ten minutes, months ago. And I can’t forget it. I can’t....function, just about. I can’t stop thinking that there have been billions of people on this planet, that every inch of ground we walk on is probably holding some poor souls prisoner. I pass a cemetery and can practically hear them screaming to be let go. There’s no end. I can’t sleep, because I lay there in the dark and know that I’ll spend eternity just that way. Blind and deaf and incapable of moving. Forever. Do you even….ten minutes of it felt like a year. A month will be enough to drive someone crazy. And we’ll be there for an eternity.”
She lofted her glass. “This, the drinking, is all I can do to make myself feel better for even an hour at a time. I swear, I’d be back on heroin in a second to try and forget it if I didn’t realize that I might overdose again, and end up in hell for good.” She shuddered. “I might have a few decades left in me, but it’s not like I can enjoy it. How could anyone?”
I had no answers, of course.
I didn’t believe her, not at the time. But she seemed utterly convinced, and it was a scary future to think about. She looked legit, like she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in a year. Like she couldn’t eat, like she never smiled.
She didn’t stay long. She had one more drink, which we sat through in silence. Then she pushed away from the bar, stumbled a little as she slid off the stool.
“Want my advice?” she asked as she dropped more bills on the bar. “When it’s your time, do your best to die with your eyes open. Because it’s something, that blurry vision. It won’t last long before they shut your eyes for a viewing or tomb you in somewhere so black that it won’t matter. But it’s some kind of transition. The smallest kind of mercy. Considering everything, it’s the most you could hope for.”
She seemed unsteady on her feet as she headed for the door. Not wasted, but not sober. I expect drinking so much since her overdose had driven her tolerance up through the roof.
I want to say that I did the responsible thing and told her to wait, called her a cab, made extra sure she wasn’t driving. But that would have meant spending even a few minutes more with her, and I didn’t think I could handle that. So I let her leave.
I closed the place up fast and left there. Figured I’d go home, watch some dumb youtube videos until she seemed distant and laughable, and then go to bed and forget it ever happened.
Instead I lay there that night, still, in the darkness and the silence, and couldn’t stop thinking about being trapped that way for eternity.
She was probably a nutcase. She had overdosed on heroin, she’d implied, so whatever she thinks she experienced had to be skewed. There were too many other stories out there, light at the end of the tunnel, that kind of thing. I had - I have - no reason to believe that this one woman alone in humanity has accessed some kind of truth about life and death.
But I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t let things get silent around me. I have to turn on a lamp to get any sleep at all. I’m scared of the dark now, scared of not being able to move. Terrified of death.
There was an article on google news the day after she came in, about a pedestrian who had been hit by a car crossing against the light two blocks from my bar. I remember hearing the sirens going by, but that wasn't particularly notable on our street, and I'd been in a hurry to leave.
I haven't looked into it. I don't know what I'm more scared of, the thought that it might be her, that me letting walk out meant it was my fault, that she had confessed her fears and then walked right into them again. Or that maybe, because it was quick, maybe she hadn't seen it coming.
Maybe her eyes weren't open in the end.
submitted by ljhall to nosleep [link] [comments]

AITA for telling my mom my honest opinion of her, her religion, the way she raised me

Sorry for formatting, I am on mobile.
So last year, (8th grade for me) my mom decided she was going to pull me back into a $1500 a year christian homeschooling program (I was homeschooled most my life other than 6th, to 8th when i was in a co op). i essentially begged her not to but she refused to budge and threatened punishment if I even spoke of the topic again.
I reluctantly did the school till about November, when i fell behind a little bit, and was told i was grounded till i had straight A's.
This really pissed me off but again i tried my best to do so. Eventually i fell behind a little more but got my grades back up to B's, but that wasn't good enough and i was told i was now required to get up at 4 AM and go to work with my dad everyday, and work side by side with him for 8 hour days at a minimum, with a 2 hour drive in both direction.
I managed this for about 2 weeks. The whole time becoming more and more exhausted as my mom would love to go to the casino at least 2 to 3 times a week and likes to stay out till 1, 2 or even 3 am sometimes and i would have to be awake the entire time to watch my 3 younger brothers (ages 7, 4, and 1 at the time) and was not allowed to go to sleep while babysitting in case one of them woke up and needed something.
At the end of the 2 weeks my mom was going on a vacation with my grandma, grandpa, and aunt and uncle to reno (a casino resort and hotel).during this time i had to watch my 3 younger siblings and do schoolwork the whole time. However I ended up not doing any schoolwork over the weekend as i was chasing my brothers around. And during this time i ended up writing a 2 page letter telling my mom everything.
The jist of itwaas that she was a crappy parent and now i have ocd and am an extreme perfections with almost everything to where i have a breakdown if i dont think i did a good enough job, i have depression and anxiety, that she refuses to take me to the doctors for, (she says as a christian it is my fault that i have those because it is my body and my choice to have those mental illnesses, and that it would be an embarrassment to the family to tell anyone i had them).the letter also told her ididnt hate her but i also didnt lover her.
I ended up not sending this letter for another week after this just tryingg to build my courage.
After sending the message her immediate response was to ground me and make me give my dad all my electronics phone included, and that she would talk to me when she got back from her current vacation. When she got back she had a fake looking cry on her face and told me she was sorry i felt the way i did, but she thought it was my fault i felt the way i did. She made me grounded for 2 months and made me complete the school year. This new school year, she is telling me the same thing she did last year, that i have no choice where i go to school and that she is going to make me do the same school again. I have not responded to this yet, but i am wanting to just flat out say no, no matter what.
Edit: i posted an update in the comments. It just wouldn't fit in the post.
submitted by The_avatar999 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

Best strategy for a 3 night stay at casino

I got a 3 night free stay at the Peppermill resort and casino in Reno from signing up for their rewards card. I know they are betting that if I stay for 3 nights and play long enough, chances are they'll recoup their losses and more. I won $1k playing slots the last time I was there so that's probably why they're sending me this offer. What's the best strategy to come out ahead in this case if I do choose to take advantage of this offer? Planning to at least spend one day in Tahoe. I usually play slots.
submitted by kautica0 to gambling [link] [comments]

Midrange Highlander Mage - A New and Proactive Take

Hello CompetitiveHS!
I am Giffca, and I like building off-meta decks that occasionally play well against the existing meta. You may remember me from Incredible Arcane Watcher Shaman only a few months ago! I've got something new for you today. This deck in particular feels like it can hang with any deck in the game right now. I cut out all of the slow reactive cards from a traditional HL list and replaced them with some more proactive packages that have a bit more strategy than "try not to die and play poof/box as soon as possible".
To be quite honest, I didn't think I was doing anything that special (hence the initial decklist name, "whynot" lol). But I've had really solid success over the last week climbing from D5 to legend, and intend to see how far I can take this list. I have maintained a +70% winrate over a 75ish game sample size, which is nothing to scoff at. This deck has a nice set of inter-mingling synergies that feel powerful and make for very dynamic games.

Below is the deck, its stats, and a brief overview of the key packages:
### whynot
# Class: Mage
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Phoenix
# 1x (1) Arcane Breath
# 1x (1) Brain Freeze
# 1x (1) Devolving Missiles
# 1x (1) Lab Partner
# 1x (1) Magic Trick
# 1x (1) Primordial Studies
# 1x (1) Violet Spellwing
# 1x (1) Wand Thief
# 1x (2) Astromancer Solarian
# 1x (2) Cram Session
# 1x (2) Frostbolt
# 1x (2) Sorcerer's Apprentice
# 1x (2) Zephrys the Great
# 1x (3) Arcane Amplifier
# 1x (3) Chenvaala
# 1x (3) Firebrand
# 1x (3) Vulpera Scoundrel
# 1x (4) Azure Explorer
# 1x (4) Conjurer's Calling
# 1x (4) Crimson Hothead
# 1x (4) Fireball
# 1x (4) Potion of Illusion
# 1x (4) Twilight Drake
# 1x (5) Cobalt Spellkin
# 1x (5) Jandice Barov
# 1x (5) Malygos, Aspect of Magic
# 1x (6) Onyx Magescribe
# 1x (6) Reno the Relicologist
# 1x (8) Mana Giant
# 1x (9) Dragonqueen Alexstrasza

Stats (51-20, all games were played between D5 and Legend 5000ish):

Packages and Card Choice Overview
Highlander Package (Zeph, Reno, Alex, Potion of Illusion):
The first three need no explanation, but the fourth one likely raises some eyebrows. It's not a must-have, but it is so strong any time you can play it. Don't be greedy, as this deck does not lack value. My most common targets for potion are Reno and Malygos, and getting a single extra of either can be game-winning on its own. You will almost never potion a Zeph, but potion'ing DQA's 1 mana minion can be great too. Reno and Zeph are the reason you play this deck, Alex is a consolation prize.

Card Generation Package (too many to list, Mana Giant, Conjurer's Calling):
Pretty much every card in this list adds additional cards to your hand, meaning you are very unlikely to run out of value any time soon. Not only does this mean that you can adapt your game plan to your opponent, it also means that you can hang with the likes of Control/HL priest well into the late game. As a happy bonus, you will often be able to discount your mana giant to be 0-4 mana, which can lead to a conjurer's calling creating a ton of stats on board out of nowhere. Note that conjurer's calling also works really well with "1 mana" cards created by potion of illusion or DQA, as well as 5-drops from Jandice Barov.

Burn Spells Package (Frostbolt, Fireball, Malygos, Azure Explorer):
Not many people expect fireball to be hard-run in a highlander mage list, which means you are regularly able to finish the game earlier than your opponent expects. Augment the above with generated burn, malygos spells, and some cheap spell damage, and you've got 12+ reach from hand constantly ready to go. All of these cards are also quite effective at controlling the board if needed.

Spell Damage / Cheap Spells Package (too many to list, Firebrand, Chenvaala):
These cards give us early game plays and anti-aggro defense, but scale really nicely into the late game. Using boosted cram sessions to re-load or reclaim the board with 1 mana spells that become really dangerous really quickly again fits the deck theme of being able to stave off aggression while also playing the long game. I very seldom "Go Off" with Chenvaala, but it is a must-kill minion with huge upside.

Dragon Package (the 7 Dragons):
This mostly started because Cobalt Spellkin gives extra devolving missiles which are great, and arcane breath is a strong card which complements our game plan nicely. Twilight Drake because our hand is regularly quite full, Onyx Magescribe because he's a big body with an easily activated and strong effect, and Crimson Hothead because he helps keep you alive. I think regular Alexstrasza is too slow for this meta and doesn't fit that well with this list.

Other Specific (Weird?) Card Choices and Omissions:
Sorcerer's Apprentice - This deck doesn't aim for Wombo-Combos, but it has enough cheap spells where SA can be helpful. It is a must-kill minion with an upside that enables some nice tempo plays. Sometimes you can potion a SA for cheeky plays later on down the line, but don't be greedy with her.
Vulpera Scoundrel - Just a nice early game play that you can adapt to your specific needs. If you know the game is going late, get greedy, otherwise an extra arcane missiles or freeze can be life or death vs. aggro.
Chenvaala / Arcane Amplifier - Don't tell anyone, but these are actually the same card. 3 mana 2/5's that get your opponents to kill them immediately. Even aggro decks can't help themselves from trading into those inviting statlines. And if they don't die, they've both got nice upsides.
Jandic Barov - I play this card because it's new and neat and I opened it, but it's pretty substitutable. In fact Ras Frostwhisper might be better with all the spell damage, but this feels better to drop on an empty board (we're a proactive list after all). It also synergizes with Conjurer's and Potion of Illusion.
Reno the Hero - Too slow and reactive for what this deck is aiming to do (in my opinion). Honestly it could earn a spot but I don't want any more dead cards that can land in my mulligan vs. aggro.
Archmage Antonidas - I only recently thought about giving him a try. He can turn your cheap/situational spells into additional fireballs, which seems really good. If you're facing mostly control, feel free to give it a shot, but I think this deck already fares pretty well vs. control.
Weapon Destruction - This deck does not have a good time against bomb warriors or rogues that get weapons + boosters early. Running a 1-of ooze won't fix that problem.
Big Spells Package - Dragoncaller into deep freeze or power of creation or box is very strong, but being alive against aggro on turn 7 with those cards in your hand is a big ask.
Secrets - Too reactive and easy to play around, make for very weak draws when played for 3 mana. This deck is too proactive to want to include a Flame Ward or Ice Barrier.

High Level Match-ups / Strategies:
This deck does not have a singular "strategy", which can make it tough to learn and play. You need to remain adaptable, make good choices with your discovers, and know when/how to lean into the RNG. Unlike regular HL mage, you don't just stall until turn 7/10 and slam Box or Poof hoping to win the CasinoStone. However, there will be games where I intentionally pick up a box from Vulpera on turn 3 knowing that it will come in handy as a probable board clear later.
Against aggro, mulligan for your early drop cards and try to contest the board as much as you can until Reno/Zeph/Firebrand can help decisively swing things in your favor. Potion'ing a Firebrand or Reno leads to many instant concedes. Once you've won the board, you need to be proactive and put your opponent on a clock. People do not play around fireball from HL mage. There have been games where I've kept up with a tempo/stealth rogue into the mid/late game, only to get burned down from full HP over two turns.
Against control, you will not run out of value. Hand size management is critical, because nearly every card replaces itself. 1 or 2 card potions of illusion are plenty, choose your target(s) wisely. You have a steady stream of threats, so spread them out properly and then use burn to finish the job. Playing a DQA on one turn followed by cheap dragons followed by a Mana Giant Conjurer's is often too tough for control decks to handle in succession. If your deck is thin, it can often be correct to discover and shuffle multiple Solarian Primes into your deck, because he is just that powerful. It can be risky to have two Solarian Primes in your deck if you haven't used your HL payoff cards yet, so be warned!

The stats say that Paladin is the toughest matchup, but I don't think we're that unfavored. I think that bomb warrior is by far the toughest matchup, followed closely by aggro rogue or face hunter with really aggressive draws. The thing that I like about this list is that truly every matchup feels winnable and every game feels different.
Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections after giving it a try. Best of luck, and thanks for reading!

submitted by rodlike to CompetitiveHS [link] [comments]

The Demon Hunter destroyer - Legend with Secret Stealth Rogue



Hey guys. I'm a hardcore paladin main who's hit legend multiple times with off meta pally lists, which I've posted some past guides for. Unfortunately, I've hit a bit of a problem recently - Paladin kind of sucks right now. More so than usual! Pure Paladin is the only viable deck the class has right now, but its lack of card draw makes the losses feel really bad.
Around a month ago, after a break from the game, I was looking for some cheapish midrange alternatives when Secret Stealth Rogue caught my eye. An archetype that was briefly explored at the start of the expansion but quickly lost popularity, I somehow became absolutely convinced that I had found the secret dark horse of the expansion. There was one problem though - the number of rogue wins I had at the time was in the single digits.
It took a long time to get used to playing rogue, as well as refining the pretty terrible decklist I had started off with, and I spent the entirety of the previous season getting to grips with the deck. After settling on a definitive version at the start of the current season, and over the course of over a hundred games, I have finally reached Legend. The purpose of this post will both be a guide and a hopefully compelling case for you to give this deck a try.
Legend proof 1
Legend proof 2
Deck overall stats (from Bronze 10 to Legend, W-L of 76-49, 61% winrate)
Deck matchup stats (final version starting from around Diamond 10, W-L of 49-29, 63% winrate)


Secret Stealth Rogue
2x (0) Backstab
1x (0) Shadowstep
2x (1) Blackjack Stunner
2x (1) Pharaoh Cat
2x (1) Spymistress
1x (1) Worgen Infiltrator
2x (2) Ambush
1x (2) Ashtongue Slayer
2x (2) Dirty Tricks
2x (2) Eviscerate
1x (2) Shadowjeweler Hanar
2x (2) Skyvateer
1x (3) Edwin VanCleef
2x (3) EVIL Miscreant
2x (3) Greyheart Sage
2x (3) Hooked Scimitar
2x (4) Burrowing Scorpid
1x (7) Cursed Vagrant
Deck code: AAECAaIHBrIC7QLiB7q4A7u4A/vEAwy0AYgHj5cD/6UD9acDm7YDubgDzLkDzrkDz7kD0LkD2b4DAA==

Deck Discussion

The Stealth Package
Spymistress: A staple of the stealth package, Spymistress is a very generously statted card, able to contest the earlygame against other aggressive decks such as Demon Hunter, and also able to dish out big amounts of damage against enemy heroes for just 1 mana. Knowing when and when not to attack with a stealthed minion is one of the most important things to learn when playing this deck. Keeping the minion stealthed can have many advantages, such as denying enemy plays (Satyr Overseer for example), and keeping an activator for your stealth combo cards.
Worgen Infiltrator: Strictly worse than Spymistress, and originally wasn't run in the deck. So why did I decide to include it? First of all, I found that I wasn't activating Greyheart Sage (the best card in the deck) often enough. Secondly, I wasn't getting my 1-drops in my starting hand as much as I'd liked. Still though, I didn't like the idea of running what I thought was a sub-optimal minion. But then, u/FunkiMonkiTwitch came with his Stealth Rogue list, and this card's HSReplay stats on it were surprisingly decent. This is what pushed me to add one copy to the list.
Ashtongue Slayer: I originally ran two copies, since on paper this card seems pretty busted, right? Maybe for a pure aggro list, but I soon came to find that not only was I unable to actually use their battlecries very often, but its effect also seemed kind of underwhelming, effectively being "deal 3 damage to face or have your stealthed minion make a very awkward trade, and make the Greyheart Sage in your hand useless". However, the card does work well with Skyvateer, with the attack boost and immunity allowing for some nice trades. In the end, one copy seemed like the best option.
Skyvateer: Another staple, it doesn't have the most aggressive statline but this deck seriously needs card draw, and having a card that does both that and has stealth is too good of a deal to pass up on.
Greyheart Sage: The best card in the deck, a 3 mana 3/3 that draws 2 cards is just absurd. As mentioned earlier, in many situations you'll probably want to refrain attacking with a stealthed Skyvateer so you can get this card's effect off.
Burrowing Scorpid: While this is technically part of the stealth package, it's also just all-around a great card. Its battlecry of dealing the magic 2 damage helps immensely against DH, and its attack stat of 5 damage trades well into many things, most notably Shield of Galakrond and Glaivebound Adept.
Cursed Vagrant: Again, technically part of the stealth package, but its real use lies in its potent finishing power. The amount of pressure this card exerts is insane, clearing it doesn't help as it just summons an unstoppable deal 7 damage next turn. Used to run two copies, but as good as the card is, it's just too expensive. Due to the amount of draw in the deck, the likelihood of getting this in the midgame is pretty high anyway.
The Secret Package
Blackjack Stunner: A completely nutty card even after the nerf, the tempo swing it provides is insane. Due to the amount of draw in the deck, you will usually have a secret at your disposal.
Shadowjeweler Hanar: Still absurdly strong, a useful source of refill and can win games on its own if your opponent can't clear it.
Ambush: You should generally treat this card as a 2-drop. A 2 mana 2/3 poisonous is pretty strong, and very necessary too since your only other 2-drop is Skyvateer.
Dirty Tricks: An important card source of card draw, but at times you should aim to only play this if absolutely necessary, since keeping a secret in your hand to activate Blackjack Stunner and Shadowjeweler Hanar can be very important.
Notable Misc
Shadowstep: Synergizes with various cards in the deck. However, when running two copies it became a dead card more often than I liked.
Pharaoh Cat: One of the best 1-drops in the game, it provides a reasonable body and gives you a whole card for just 1 mana. Reborn minions are generally decent, and the card generation is seriously welcomed in this deck.
EVIL Miscreant: Interestingly, FunkiMonki's list does not run this card. I can understand why, since it's not the most aggressive resource, but EVIL Miscreant has many uses. Lackeys are just insanely powerful for starters, but they also make for great combo activators, making your Edwin significantly stronger. Both useful against aggro and a great value generator, and all in one package.
Hooked Scimitar: Kind of forgot this card existed, I decided to give it a try after seeing FunkiMonki's list and it worked surprisingly well. A very potent source of burst.
Notable Exclusions
Blazing Battlemage: Seems like a pretty good inclusion. However, due to the lack of space in the deck, and the decent number of existing 1-drops in the deck already, I ended up leaving it out. Although this card has the extra attack, it is just a horrible topdeck and is only useful if it ends up in your starting hand, which doesn't happen enough unfortunately.
Bamboozle: I used to run two copies of this, but not only was its effect often underwhelming, but it was just too reactive in nature. In most cases you should be ahead of your opponent on board, which goes against the point of this card. I was worried that without it, I wouldn't be able to draw secrets reliably enough to activate the Stunner and Hanar, but that ended up not being the case.
Akama: This card just isn't good enough. I haven't actually played with the card since I really did not want to craft it due to dust shortages, but I guessed that it wouldn't be much good in the first place since a 3 mana 3/4 with stealth just isn't strong enough, and drawing the prime would be such a rare occurrence due to the aggressive nature of this deck. And turns out, in the current Stealth Rogue list on HSReplay, it's one of the worst cards in the deck.
Flik Skyshiv: A solid card, but too slow in this deck, and too reactive. Plus, with two Blackjack Stunners, it's a bit unnecessary too. Could maybe be tech against Glowfly Swarm?
General gameplan
Each matchup is played quite differently, so it's hard to generalize this deck's gameplan. One thing is for sure though: this is not pure aggro like Aggro Stealth Rogue, and you should refrain from dumping everything from your hand. In a way, this is a classic Tempo Rogue deck. More detailed gameplans are included in the section below.


Good Matchups
Demon Hunter: 27-6
This deck completely shreds Demon Hunter. I went 27-6 against them, a winrate of 82%. Your early stealth minions do great with controlling the board, and very often your opponent will think they're facing a Galakrond Rogue that hasn't drawn any of their invokes, which means that they'll face tank A LOT. You can easily take advantage of this, maintain board control and burst them down before they do anything too crazy. The only time you'll lose if they have the absolute nuts opening (something like Battlefiend into Umberwing into Satyr) and you don't have a Backstab or any 1-drops.
Sample Win: Here, I start off with a pretty mediocre opening hand. An EVIL Miscreant helps me to stabilize, and I eventually gain board dominance. The DH has then proceeds to face tank like crazy, dropping his health from 23 to 12, which allows me to pull off a surprise lethal.
Sample Loss: DH has the nuts opening, but I somehow manage to stabilize, again with the help of EVIL Miscreant. I'm in a good position, threatening lethal with a taunted up Cursed Vagrant, but he freezes it to prevent lethal and kills me next turn due to having Kayn to ignore the taunt.
Hunter: 8-1
A very good matchup, you completely dominate the earlygame and midgame and can usually kill your opponent before they can do crazy stuff with their higher costed stuff. Play should come very naturally - you have more cards to play early on, and you just play them to win the board.
Sample Win: Despite a solid opener from my opponent, an EVIL Miscreant allows me to build up a huge board, which gets very sticky later thanks to Hanar shenanigans.
Sample Loss: I have a horrible start here, unable to do anything for 6 turns, and my opponent puts me out of my misery with a turn 7 Brann. The downside of Shadowstep is displayed pretty well in this replay.
Paladin: 0-2
Okay, I know what this looks like. But a Pure Paladin that draws the nuts opening is hard to stop. I don't know how this managed to happen twice, but it did. In theory, this should be a great matchup, mostly due to your Blackjack Stunners which completely destroy them. I've played plenty of Pure Paladin, and Galakrond Secret Rogue was always my least favorite matchup.
If you don't trust me, here's the replay. Not much I could have done there.
Shaman: 2-1
I ran into three Highlander Shamans. This is a really easy matchup, treat it as a typical control deck, which means applying constant aggression but not overextending. Because of all your draw, you can steadily build up burst in your hand and finish your opponent off before they do anything crazy. Except that in Shaman's case, they don't really have any crazy plays to begin with. The one game I lost was due to some really bad draws.
Priest: 9-4
People love to whine about Priest, and rightly so - Priests are annoying as hell. But annoying doesn't mean good, and playing this deck has helped me realize that. You need to keep in mind that Priest has horrible draw, so probability wise they should not have many clears at their disposal. Sure, there will be some games where they draw all the answers and you can't really do anything the whole game, but most of the time they'll just sputter, cough and die. The key takeaway is: test for their clears, and don't be afraid to go all in.
Your Blackjack Stunners are one of your most important cards in this matchup, always keep a secret in hand so you can play them when you need to.
Sample Win: In this game, I carefully maintain a steady stream of aggression. My opponent has the occasional clear but I can always reload, while simultaneously building up burst in my hand, eventually leading towards the final attack.
Sample Loss: I'm in a pretty comfortable position throughout the game. The first thing to go wrong is my Cursed Vagrant not sticking around due to a discovered Shadow Word: Ruin. Then I get completely destroyed with an Amet + Soul Mirror combo, with both cards being randomly generated. Nasty stuff.
Meh Matchups
Druid: 9-7
Not much to say about this matchup. If your opponent draws their ramp stuff, they win. If they don't, you win. Play as aggressively as possible and hope for the best.
This does not make for very interesting replays, unfortunately.
Sample Win: Here, I decide to shadowstep the Ashtongue Slayer for maximum damage output. I build up a board which manages to clear the enemy's Glowfly Swarm. The stealthed Burrowing Scorpid really comes alive here, which becomes a very annoying threat for my opponent. His Emerald Explorer activates the Ambush, which leads to lethal.
Sample Loss: Opponent has double overgrowth, completely steamrolls me. Typical druid highroll stuff.
Mage: 3-6
In theory, a good matchup. Your opponent doesn't have too many good ways of dealing with all your threats. You have plenty of burst to counter Mage's lack of heal, and if you make sure to restrain from throwing everything in and maintain an even stream of aggression, everything should be fine, right?
Yeah, no. When you play against Mage, you enter a casino. And casinos tend to be pretty rigged. Your best hope is to cross your fingers and hope RNG doesn't screw you over. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen very often.
Sample Loss 1: Probably the biggest robbery of my whole climb. This was not pleasant to go through. The Khartut from Power of Creation was bad enough, but whiffing the burst from my deck even after shadowstepping the Greyheart Sage was enough to force me into a small break from the game.
Sample Loss 2: Scratch that, THIS was the biggest robbery. The early box that summoned Khartut Defenders, the Reno, the Conjurers Calling into two taunts, the other Reno, and the Hoggers. I had so much burst in my hand and still somehow lost.
Rogue: 9-9
Galakrond Rogue performs significantly worse without the Coin than with it.. As a result, whoever goes second in this matchup will have the advantage. You should aim to play this matchup fairly aggressively, since Gala Rogue doesn't have too many good early plays. Especially if they don't have the Coin, which can make things very awkward for them.
Sample Win: In this game, I just play my cards naturally, gaining a gradual advantage and finishing the opponent off quickly before he could do any of his power plays.
Sample Loss: Here, I had gotten off to a strong start, building up an advantage before it came to a screeching halt due to my Cursed Vagrant getting sapped. This wasn't the end of the world, but the Wand into Galakrond was.
Bad Matchups
Warlock: 2-3
Quest Warlock feels like a very strong deck to me. It has the tools to fend off aggro and once the quest is completed, which usually happens just before turn 10, it's pretty much game over. Play this one aggressively, since you're aiming to close off the game before quest completion. However, their access to AOEs and heal make things difficult.
Sample Win: Here, I barely squeeze out a win after having my board cleared multiple times.
Sample Loss: In this game, my opponent is completely unfazed by everything I throw at him. From big stealthed minions to a 14/14 Edwin to a hail mary Deathwing, nothing works.
Warrior: 7-10
This is going to be your worst matchup. Your stealthed minions can get cleared easily by Risky Skippers and Bladestorms, and if they have an Armorsmith at the ready no amount of burst will get through them. Once again, the only time you'll win is if your opponent does not have the answers, so treat it as if they don't and who knows - sometimes you'll get lucky. Your main win condition in this matchup is to build a big Edwin. Usually they don't have a way to clear it, and you just need to be careful of Bladestorm.
Sample Win: My opponent doesn't draw any of their weapons and gets destroyed by a huge Edwin.
Sample Loss: After barely getting through a wall of taunted up Warmaul Challengers, my board gets wiped by a Risky Skipper and I get finished off shortly afterwards with an inner raged Grommash.


Always keep: Pharaoh Cat, Spymistress, Skyvateer, Greyheart Sage
Sometimes keep:


Thanks for reading. Despite the occasional bad luck, I've had a blast playing this deck to legend this season. Keep in mind that I've barely been playing Rogue for more than a month and still managed to do pretty well with this deck. In the right hands, this deck has some serious potential to do some damage in the meta. Feel free to leave any questions and criticisms in the comments below, and I hope you'll give this deck a shot.
submitted by payloadchap to CompetitiveHS [link] [comments]

He Zong Lian Heng Chinese Wild Meta Report #9 - translated

This is a translation of the latest Chinese Wild meta report from He Zong Lian Heng of NGA.CN, first published 5 June 2020.
Gallery of decklist images, credit to glormagic.
Tier Score Deck 1 Deck 2 Deck 3
1 100 Pirate Warrior
98 Even Shaman
96 Odd Demon Hunter
93 Reno Quest Mage
92 Discard Warlock
90 Reno Secret Mage
2 (high) 89 Secret Mage
88 Galakrond Warrior Murloc Paladin
87 Malygos Druid
86 Quest Mage Cube Warlock Big Priest
85 Spell Token Druid
83 Odd Warrior
82 Odd Paladin
81 Even Warlock Jade Druid Reno Warlock
80 Odd Rogue Reno Hunter Kingsbane Rogue
2 (low ) 79 Mech Paladin
77 Reno Mage
75 Big Shaman
73 Reno Priest
70 Albatross Priest (estimate)
3 60 Treachery Warlock (estimate)
To attack backwards while riding a horse, to advance while feigning retreat, this period has seen fierce meta change; compared to the past, there is definite structural change.

Meta overview:

The third patch for Ashes of Outland dropped suddenly, including buffs as well as nerfs. Regarding Wild format, Odd Demon Hunter welcomed its third blow, and last expansion's strongest deck, Even Shaman, was buffed. Seemingly, the meta would develop towards Even Shaman, but this did not come to pass. Odd Demon Hunter, after briefly showing weakness, struck back. Even Shaman has unfinished business; its revival was ended even before it began...
From the perspective of the changed cards, Even Shaman, Reno Hunter, and Odd Demon Hunter are the only Wild meta decks to be affected. (Buffs to Wild Paladin and other decks did not make waves). Declines in Odd Demon Hunter's popularity or power level are bound to move the meta; as Cube Warlock and Even Shaman are both suppressed by that deck, after the patch, they both gained a degree of freedom, but a rebound in Odd Demon Hunter's popularity will reverse that change. However, the changes to the meta are not limited to the patch, as shown by three decks without changed cards. Since the last meta report, many decks have risen and fallen; among them, Pirate Warrior and Malygos Druid are especially attractive.
Long before the patch, Pirate Warrior had already begun to solidify its position, its popularity rising day by day. Before the patch, the deck's popularity reached new heights as the meta was unable to react quickly enough to its rise. Golakka Crawler did not make much of an appearance as tech cards against Pirate Warrior were limited to Glacial Shard and Frozen Shadoweaver, the two more targeting Odd Demon Hunter. As for countering Pirate Warrior, Even Shaman was a quicker reaction than Golakka Crawler. In the short post-patch period when Odd Demon Hunter was in hibernation, Pirate Warrior was still very popular. Even Shaman quickly became the weapon of choice to counter Pirate Warrior, and, lacking counters, became the undisputed top deck. Though Even Shaman's reign was subsequently cut short by Odd Demon Hunter, the deck is still inherently strong, and remains one of the strongest meta decks. Pirate Warrior's aggression is fast; a bomb variant runs Wrenchcalibur, with the new card Corsair Cache substantially increasing the chance of drawing it. Thus, highlander decks cannot stand against Pirate Warrior; even if they run multiple Oozes, the Oozes must be drawn on time. Some decks that have passive early turns, such as Quest Mage, Malygos Druid with a bad draw, and Cube Warlock that does not draw Defile, also struggle against Pirate Warrior. Pirate Warrior not only excels against highlander and slow decks, it also dominates other aggro. The successfully returning to popularity Pirate Warrior also adds another coffin cover to many aggro decks, such as Kingsbane Rogue, Odd Paladin, and Galakrond Warrior. For a long time, Kingsbane Rogue has lost to Pirate Warrior. Though the two decks are similar, the main difference is in the effectiveness of the early game Pirates. N'Zoth's First Mate and Sky Raider are notably better than Kingsbane Rogue's Buccaneer and Bloodsail Flybooter. After the nerf to Ancharrr in Descent of Dragons, Kingsbane Rogue saw a slow rise, then a fall, but the deck still has some power. Now, the rise of Pirate Warrior is bound to end Kingsbane Rogue's existence, and it can be said that the coffin has closed on the latter deck for the last time. Odd Paladin was once like a fish in water, doing well against Odd Demon Hunter, with unfavored matchups rare and favored matchups everywhere. However, Odd Paladin is heavily unfavored against Pirate Warrior. Last time, we mentioned that if Pirate Warrior trends, it is a danger sign for Odd Paladin. Now, this hidden danger has come to pass. Odd Paladin has fallen from the altar and its meta suitability has dropped precipitously. Even Even Shaman has gained a new tool to take on Odd Paladin. Galakrond Warrior runs a Pirate package, so it has some similarities to Pirate Warrior, with the differences being midgame value versus early game tempo. Galakrond Warrior's greatest advantage over Pirate Warrior is its more favorable matchup against Even Shaman. If Even Shaman could have taken over the meta post-patch, then Galakrond Warrior would have also had a chance to rise. However, in the end, Even Shaman did not succeed in taking over. But, Galakrond Warrior's inherent flaws are glaring: its curve is insufficiently low and it often has passive early turns, making it lose to other aggro. Whether it is Odd Paladin, Pirate Warrior, Odd Demon Hunter, Secret Mage, or Mech Paladin, Galakrond Warrior is always slightly downwind. (It is not heavily unfavored owing to the early game strength of the Pirate package). As it is not fast enough, Galakrond Warrior also may lose to combo decks. Relatively speaking, Pirate Warrior, which fares better against both aggro and combo, is the better choice.
Speaking of combo decks, one cannot avoid discussing a newly popular combo deck: Malygos Druid. The nerf to Kael'thas Sunstrider was of course a huge blow to Druid, but on the positive side, the card can now be tutored with Juicy Psychmelon. As Malygos Druid necessarily runs many low-cost spells, the list with Kael'thas has been slowly optimized, and it gradually became popular just before the patch. To increase its speed, the deck has cut the Oaken Summons package to increase the effectiveness of Jepetto Joybuzz. Defensively, the deck can only rely on small removal, Spreading Plague, and armor. Thus, Malygos Druid is a very extreme deck, relying on the speed of its combo to win. It has similarities to a previously popular combo deck, Hemet Mech'athun Warlock. Both counter slow decks, both have little regard for their life total, and both fear Dirty Rat. The differences are that Malygos Druid can combo earlier and how they face aggression. Druid cards are better at maintaining a high health total, while Warlock cards lack healing but are better at clearing the board. Now, Mech'athun Warlock has fallen out of favor, but Malygos Druid continues to deeply influence the meta.
But, whether it is Reno OTK Priest, Mecha'thun Warlock, or Malygos Druid, none of them can compare to the previous Quest Mage. Whether it is facing aggro or Dirty Rat, or combo speed, Quest Mages best all the other combo decks. Though the quest progress was nerfed to be increased by two, after the third patch, as its counters have weakened, Quest Mages are beginning to reappear. Quest Mage is unstable, as it relies on drawing well to beat aggro, but its advantage is in its speed relative to other combo decks, being able to combo one or two turns earlier. It suppresses other combo and slow decks. Quest Mage's high ceiling will destine it to have players give it a go to try and create miracles. In fact, Quest Mage is often common among top 200 Legend (on the Chinese server). “All or nothing" describes Quest Mage's line of thinking. Relatively speaking, Reno Quest Mage is more stable, and its matchups are less polarized. After three patches of nerfs to aggro, the meta has become much more favorable for it and it is now a stable pick. It is now popular and can be found at all ranks.
Last report, the authors thought the restraining forces on the Wild meta were loosening. The abdication of Quest Mages significantly lowered the meta pressure. Now aggro is dominant, though not to the previous extent of combo, allowing for more deck variety. Now, relative to the past, deck variety is more diverse; multiple highlander decks, midrange decks, and aggro decks can be played. But as aggro decks are weaker, combo decks may rise again. Slow or midrange or highlander decks may fall victim to combo. From the perspective of winning, one must still consider the top meta decks.
No matter when, Wild has a special quality: the meta differs significantly among ranks. In the past, it was Mech Hunter, then Mech Paladin, and now Secret Mage and Mech Paladin. At low ranks, Mech Paladin and Secret Mage and perform very well, and are relatively popular. But as rank increases, their popular drops. Within top 1000 Legend, these two decks are virtually unseen. When they do appear, they are often easily defeated. The main elements behind this phenomena are the differing attitudes and skill levels of players at different ranks. Simultaneously, streamers also profoundly influence the meta. Finally, it is not only that at higher ranks decks become more utilitarian. At low ranks, to perform well is to beat weak decks, thus Mech Paladin and Secret Mage can be the best choices. At high ranks, with multiple strong decks in contention, the meta will naturally be different.
Deck Popularity conditions Popularity grade
Pirate Warrior Indisputably the best, both strong and popular, popular at all ranks S
Even Shaman Though it was the victim of Odd Demon Hunter, it cannot be decisively defeated and is still popular S
Odd Demon Hunter After falling from popularity, it is once again popular S
Reno Quest Mage As its counters have weakened, it has gradually adapted to the meta and become popular S
Discard Warlock An aggro deck with a high element of luck, very popular all over ladder S
Reno Secret Mage Very unpopular, almost unseen E
Secret Mage Virtually absent at high Legend, but more popular at other ranks A
Galakrond Warrior A starving camel is larger, but not more lively, than a horse; currently the deck is unpopular C
Murloc Paladin A truly rare sight in the meta D
Malygos Druid Very popular, Druid's default deck S
Quest Mage More popular at high Legend, is a casino-style deck, unpopular at other ranks B
Cube Warlock Though the meta has not become more favorable, it is relatively popular at 10-star MMR S
Big Priest Has some level of popularity, with a wider range of application than Odd Warrior, but its performance is unsatisfactory, and its performance is similarly limited B
Spell Token Druid A newly developed deck, needs optimization C
Odd Warrior Relatively extreme, suitable in an aggro-heavy meta, but not very popular owing to its limitations B
Odd Paladin Unpopular due to meta changes C
Even Warlock Almost nonexistent; even if it exists, it is largely Reno Even Warlock played by fans of Shovel Mouth (streamer) E
Jade Druid Fallen out of favor relative to other Druid decks, but still played C
Reno Warlock Has definite popularity A
Odd Rogue Rogue's default deck, but unpopular B
Reno Hunter Fallen in popularity after meta changes, popularity is not ideal C
Kingsbane Rogue Not lifeless, popularity already decaying D
Mech Paladin God of low ranks, almost nonexistent at high ranks A
N'Zoth Reno Mage Though its power is limited, it is more fun and still has players C
Big Shaman Only suitable at certain ranks and certain metas, limited popularity B
Reno Priest Though its power is limited, and the meta is unsuitable, it is still popular S


Note: The decklists are for reference only; the writeups take precedence.

1, Pirate Warrior

From the second Outland patch onward, Pirate Warrior's popularity has gradually risen. Before the third patch, its popularity reached the peak. Pirate Warrior's aggression is fierce, with the early tempo of N'Zoth's First Mate, and Ship's Cannon and Skybarge creating an unshakable advantage. If the opponent cannot clear, Southsea Captain buffs the board to strike a lethal blow. Also, the deck can run Wrenchcalibur to counter Reno Jackson and deal heavy damage. Whether against aggro or slow decks, Pirate Warrior performs extremely well. As the meta evolves, no one runs Golakka Crawler, but rather Oozes have seen a slight increase, but even this cannot stop Pirate Warrior.
As for deck construction, recently, Pirate Warrior has seen two variants, mainly differing in weapon choices. One variant runs Livewire Lance; the other runs Wrenchcalibur. Wrenchcalibur is very favored against highlander decks. Livewire Lance is less favored against highlander, but as the weapon, and Ancharrr, both cost three mana, this avoids a passive turn after playing Corsair Cache, making the variant better against aggro. Of course, there is a variant popular on other servers that does not include weapons besides Ancharrr, but from many angles, the inclusion of Livewire Lance increases the deck's stability and power, so that variant has not been popular on the Chinese server.

Wrenchcalibur Pirate Warrior


Livewire Lance Pirate Warrior


2, Even Shaman

The king of the last expansion was fatally struck by Odd Demon Hunter. Initially, it could have gone a whole expansion without making a difference; however, in the third patch, Even Shaman was buffed, while its mortal enemy Odd Demon Hunter was nerfed, seemingly signaling that Even Shaman could have its way again. Pirate Warrior, still popular post-patch, also laid out the red carpet: to beat that deck, picking Even Shaman was imperative. Thus, Even Shaman temporarily became the best deck. However, the good times don't last forever. After a brief dormancy, Odd Demon Hunter revived. In spite of its nerfs, Odd Demon Hunter was still favored against Even Shaman. But, Even Shaman found ways to fight back, preventing the opponent's Hench-Clan Thug from snowballing, and using The Lurker Below, Murkspark Eel, and Sea Giant to flip the board. As long as life total is healthy, there is chance to win, but the matchup is still heavily unfavored.
It must be noted, Even Shaman is very draw-dependent. There is a great disparity if the opening hand lacks Totemic Surge and Totemic Might. Drawing Totemic Surge when aggression is needed, and Totemic Might to hold the board, can make the deck unstoppable. In the mulligan, it is crucial to toss everything to find those two zero-cost cards.
As for deckbuilding, the basic skeleton of the deck can be said to be fixed. By the pre-expansion rank one Legend list by 小太阳, Cryostasis has completely supplanted Earthen Might.

Totem Even Shaman


3, Odd Demon Hunter

Though Odd Demon Hunter has been nerfed three times in succession, it still has strong individual cards. Though the deck vanished right after the patch, it came roaring back. The Crimson Sigil Runner nerf decreasing its attack by one, like that of Sludge Slurper, was seemingly insignificant but greatly weakened the card, and now it has been cut. Priestess of Fury being nerfed to 6/5 did not kill the card, but now it is rarely played, perhaps because it has been disenchanted for dust.
On the whole, after the third patch, Odd Demon Hunter is now lower in value and it runs out of cards more quickly. Cutting Crimson Sigil Runner decreases its card draw, and there is no high-cost mainstay to replace Priestess of Fury. This indicates Odd Demon Hunter easily runs out of stamina. After gradual nerfs, though the deck is definitely strong, its current weakness of lacking endurance has been exposed. Once it is unable to occupy the early board, it cannot ever kill the opponent. Once it reaches turn 6, it completely loses initiative. In the current meta, Odd Demon Hunter is no longer the strongest deck, but it is definitely popular, and continues to deeply shape meta trends.
Regarding deck construction, there are many differences. At the 1 and 3 cost spots, there are many choices, including Glacial Shard, Frozen Shadoweaver and Vulpera Scoundrel, as well as Priestess of Fury.

Odd Demon Hunter


4, Reno Quest Mage

Reno Quest Mage's core issue is that is unable to simultaneously beat back aggro while completing the quest. But the problem did not need to be solved by Reno Quest Mage itself, as the nerf to Odd Demon Hunter significantly reduced the pressure from aggro. Reno Quest Mage is most afraid of decks that can win even after Reno is played; this includes past Odd Demon Hunter and Even Shaman with a good draw. But as Odd Demon Hunter has cut Priestess of Fury, Reno Quest Mage can clear the board, play Reno on time, and win, without worrying about being unable to remove Priestess. Against other aggro, Reno Quest Mage has the same line of thought, only Pirate Warrior is more troublesome. If Wrenchcalibur cannot be dealt with in a timely fashion, then Reno Quest Mage will be crushed; thus, nowadays, the deck is starting to run Gluttonous Ooze. Against slow and combo decks, Reno Quest Mage basically holds a definitely advantageous position. Relying only on Dirty Rat and armor is not enough to beat Reno Quest Mage. Only aggression can threaten the deck.
As for deck construction, owing to Odd Demon Hunter's popularity, Volcanic Potion has already become a popular inclusion. As board-flood aggro has declined, Frost Nova's effectiveness has also dropped, and it is now only played by a minority. Recently, the deck has seen two variants, one with Stargazer Luna and Mana Cyclone, the other with Brann Bronzebeard. I personally recommend Brann as it affords better tempo, which the deck needs in the current expansion. As for tech cards, the only recommendation is Gluttonous Ooze, which can work against many decks.

Dragon Reno Quest Mage


5, Discard Warlock

After a period of optimization and popularization, Darkglare Discard Warlock has become the most popular variant. Cataclysm is again becoming an option, but even with that card, from the perspective of deck speed, Flame Imp is still needed to strengthen early tempo. Darkglare Discard Warlock can more stably build large boards without relying on Silverware Golem. Against slow decks, Darkglare Discard Warlock's extreme development can prove decisive. But in Wild, even though the deck can play a 3/2 minion on turn 1, it suffers against other aggro. N'Zoth's First Mate and even and odd hero powers are stronger presences against aggro. In all, relying on a good draw to build a large board around turns 3-5 is the core idea behind Discard Warlock.

Darkglare Discard Warlock


6, Reno Secret Mage

For a long time, Reno Secret Mage was relatively unpopular, but now, it is still recommended. Though compared to Secret Mage, Reno Secret Mage is insufficiently aggressive, it has more resources, runs out of cards less easily, and has the means to flip the board with highlander cards. After the addition of Astromancer Solarian from Ashes of Outland, the deck's direct damage has increased.
Currently, highlander decks are seeing a revival. Secret Mage's aggression is obstructed everywhere; once the opponent plays Reno, Secret Mage most likely loses. But Reno Secret Mage has more value, with Brann, Kazakus, Zephrys the Great and Loatheb to achieve more stability; it has more explosive boards. In the current meta, Reno Secret Mage has more competitiveness than Secret Mage, or, in other words Secret Mage has lost some of its competitiveness. From a popularity perspective, it can be said that Reno Secret Mage has not entered the mainstream, but from a power perspective, the deck actually is already tier 1.
Regarding construction, this time Aluneth is recommended for an aggressive style.

Reno Secret Mage


7, Malygos Druid

Last version, Druid combo decks were in a lukewarm state, but with Kael'thas changed to 7 mana, all the combo decks now run Juicy Psychmelon, Kael'thas, cheap spells and Ultimate Infestation. Among them, Malygos Druid is naturally the most suitable form, as it must run Moonfire and Living Roots, and Ultimate Infestation can be used for damage. To increase combo speed, Malygos and other combo decks cut the Oaken Summons package to increase the effectiveness of Jepetto Joybuzz. But, this makes for passive early turns and worse matchups against aggro, as it can only rely on Spreading Plague.

Malygos Druid


8, Murloc Paladin

Murloc Paladin is also an unpopular but strong deck. The Prismatic Lens variant is unstable, but Murloc Paladin's snowball ability is enough to keep a foothold in Wild, and the Lens is just icing on the cake. The variant without Lens, running Hand of A'dal is another choice. In all, Murloc Paladin is not bad in the meta. Though it is unpopular, its presence cannot be completely ignored.

Prismatic Lens Murloc Paladin


9, Secret Mage

Though no matter on what server, Secret Mage has the highest winrate, it cannot be denied that at high Legend, its performance is not ideal. When the opponent can guess the secrets, Secret Mage's effectiveness takes a steep discount. And, Secret Mage's floor is relatively low. If only secrets are drawn, but no minions, the opponent can easily occupy the board and take initiative. In the end, losing with an empty hand is normal. But, Secret Mage is the best choice against the recently popular Malygos Druid, so it still has meta significance.

Secret Mage


10, Quest Mage

"Winning means partying with models, losing means going to sea to eke out a living" is even more so the current state of Quest Mage. Currently, the deck relies on Mana Cyclone and Evocation to complete the quest, both of which are inadequately stable, to say nothing of whether they can be drawn on time. Even if they are drawn on time, the generated spells pose great variance. To play the spells effectively, Sorcerer's Apprentice is key. In all, Quest Mage's strength is highly dependent on luck, but its high ceiling earns it players' favor.
On deckbuilding, the current Quest Mage usually runs at least one copy of Questing Explorer for early tempo, with some builds running two. The inclusion of Archmage Vargoth varies from person to person. Most builds run it, but many experts think it is unneeded. Chenvaala is another alternative.

Flamewaker Quest Mage


11, Spell Token Druid

Token Druid is a deck that has recently become popular, already making an impact at high ranks. Not every deck can play an AOE on time, allowing Spell Token Druid a foothold. Even if its board is cleared, the deck can redevelop with its other copies of Wispering Woods and Glowfly Swarm. To beat the deck, the opponent must clear the board while developing its own board. For example, Reno Priest, a deck with many clears, cannot easily gain board presence itself and must expend clears on even small Druid boards.
Regarding deckbuilding, one variant is pure token, and the other runs Jade Idol.

Jade Spell Token Druid


Spell Token Druid


12, Cube Warlock

Though Odd Demon Hunter was nerfed, it has not disappeared, and its key cards against Cube Warlock, namely Mana Burn and Consume Magic, still exist. Until now, Odd Demon Hunter still has a degree of popularity, limiting Cube Warlock's proliferation. Cube Warlock's era has not come, and the flourishing of combo decks like Malygos Druid also suppress Cube Warlock. Therefore, limited by Odd Demon Hunter, and an improving Even Shaman, Cube Warlock is not ideal, and has not returned to tier 1.
As for deckbuilding, to counter aggro, Dark Skies is very important, so two copies must be run. Demons can be run based on personal preference. Aside from conventional ideas, a list here runs Molten Giants for a more anti-aggro approach.

Egg Cube Warlock


Molten Giant Cube Warlock


13, Jade Druid

Due to the rise of Malygos and Spell Token Druid, Jade Druid's playrate has gradually fallen. Though the deck has a definite strength, it is worse in an era of the rise of combo Druid decks.

Jade Druid


14, Big Priest

Big Priest's meta position is similar to that of Odd Warrior, both eating aggro, only not as extreme. It has fewer unwinnable matchups than Odd Warrior. Also, Big Priest has proactive plays, so in actual games, it beats aggro, but it can win much faster than Odd Warrior. In the time it takes Odd Warrior to win one game, Big Priest may already have won two. If one does not trust their bladder but also wants to beat aggro, Big Priest is a good choice.

Big Priest


15, Reno Hunter

The nerf of Scavenger's Ingenuity was not a mortal blow to Reno Hunter. It can only be said that a non-key card was nerfed to a normal power level. Currently, Reno Hunter's specialty is its high number of Rush minions, indicating an advantage against small opposing boards. Against large boards, it can only rely on Zephrys. Reno Hunter's offensive depends on its draw. As a deck with a relatively high curve, it often has passive turns. Only by spending all its mana can it organize an offense. As it often cannot apply early pressure, and can only begin to apply pressure by turn 5, Reno Hunter is slightly unfavored against other slow decks.

Reno Hunter


16, Galakrond Warrior

Though Galakrond Warrior is not as good as Pirate Warrior in the current meta, it can be said to be a lower quality substitute. But being a substitute for the strongest deck is nothing to be ashamed of. As the saying goes, even a starving camel is larger than a horse. Though it is not as strong as Pirate Warrior, it is still a strong aggro deck. The tempo advantages of the Pirate package are clearly evident, allowing the deck not to be heavily unfavored against other aggro. And, the deck's value means that it is not powerless even if its early board is cleared. But, Galakrond Warrior's inherent flaws are clear. Owing to curve problems, it is relatively easy to have passive early turns. Wild does not accept aggro decks with passive early game, as that is halfway to surrender.

Galakrond Warrior


17, Reno Warlock

Reno Warlock's orthodox build is N'Zoth, but both Malygos and Leeroy variants have come to the cutting edge of the meta. N'Zoth Reno Warlock has relatively better defensive capability and value; against combo decks, it can rely on Dirty Rat and taunts to win. But Malygos and Leeroy Reno Warlock are more midrange, opportunistically pairing with burst damage to win, but also lacking value. In all, Reno Warlock has a foothold in the meta. Relatively speaking, it is a deck that can slowly creep up.

Malygos Reno Warlock


N'Zoth Reno Warlock


18, Mech Paladin

Mech Paladin, god of low ranks! This expansion's Mech Paladin has included a copy of Replicat-o-tron; once board initiative is gained, a greater threat is posed to the opponent, who cannot easily clear. But, Mech Paladin is historically unfavored against other aggro. In higher ranks, where aggro is rampant, it is definitely unfavored.

Mech Paladin


19, Odd Warrior

It can be said, Odd Warrior's polarization makes any scoring of the deck useless. Against aggro, Odd Warrior is a tier 0 deck. Against combo and slow decks, Odd Warrior's score is 0. Baku screams, and the opponent flees.
As for deckbuilding, Coldlight Oracle and Deathlord are two contested inclusions. Deathlord is better against aggro and Malygos Druid. To further counter Malygos Druid, Bulwark of Azzinoth is recommended.

Odd Warrior


Mech Odd Warrior


20, Odd Paladin

Pirate Warrior and Even Shaman are bad news for Odd Paladin. A meta filled with Pirate Warrior is torment for Odd Paladin. Though the deck's favored matchups are not few, those advantages are not enough to overcome the heavily unfavored matchups against Pirate Warrior and Even Shaman.

Pirate Odd Paladin


21, Odd Rogue

In the current meta, Odd Rogue is strong against all other aggro decks, with the exception of Pirate Warrior. But its weakness is its inability to defeat slow decks, whether it is Druid with Oaken Summons, Odd Warrior, highlander decks, or Cube Warlock. The main problem is that Odd Rogue is not aggressive enough, as it has a greater ability to clear the board. In addition, the dilution of the Lackey pool from EVIL Miscreant is a problem. There is now a lower chance to get tempo Lackeys, with Draconic Lackey being the lifelong enemy of the Lackey pool.

Odd Rogue


22, Even Warlock

Even Warlock can be said to have almost no popularity, but the deck is not weak. It is not strong enough to be popular. Regarding its level of fun, there is no streamer effect, but rather, Reno Even Warlock has been popularized by a streamer. But Reno Even Warlock is not as strong as Even Warlock and Semi-Reno Even Warlock.

Even Warlock


23, Reno Priest

After the rise of Pirate Warrior, the last Reno Priest also turned to Pirate Warrior (specifically referring to streamer 老中医). In fact, many meta changes are unfavorable to Reno Priest: Bomb Pirate Warrior, Reno Quest Mage's revival, and Malygos Druid's attractiveness. Every combo deck is favored against Reno Priest.

Reno Priest


24, N'Zoth Reno Mage

After the nerf to the unparalleled Quest Mage, highlander decks began to be able to gain a foothold in the meta. Though N'Zoth Reno Mage is not particularly strong, it is at least a tier 2 deck that can climb. It is also relatively fun, so its popularity is not unusual.

N'Zoth Reno Mage


25, Kingsbane Rogue

Though Kingsbane Rogue has almost no popularity, it is after all one of the two playable Rogue decks. As for deck quality, Kingsbane Rogue has essentially been completely replaced by Pirate Warrior. Compared to Kingsbane Rogue, Pirate Warrior has higher tempo, twice the number of Ship's Cannons (referring to Skybarge), roughly similar stamina, and it also beats Kingsbane Rogue. Kingsbane Rogue's low popularity is completely normal.

Fal'dorei Strider Kingsbane Rogue


26, Big Shaman

Big Shaman is a deck that arose and became popular after the patch. In truth, Big Shaman's strength has limits, and its offense is inconsistent. Ancestor's Call is relatively luck-dependent. In actuality, in terms of power and stability, Big Shaman is not as good as Big Priest. Any deck with large removal can completely beat Big Shaman. Though opinion in the fora extols Big Shaman, in reality the deck is overrated.

Big Shaman

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Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands in talks to sell Vegas Strip properties

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 66%. (I'm a bot)
LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. is considering selling its two hotel-casinos on The Strip, the company confirmed to the Reno Gazette Journal Monday.
News of the potential sale comes at a time when Las Vegas Strip properties are struggling to attract visitors due to COVID-19 travel fallout.
Las Vegas Sands Corp last week reported a third-quarter loss of $565 million, after reporting a profit in the same quarter last year.
Following Bloomberg's report, the company's stock jumped more than 3%.'We're in a world of hurt'The disappearance of conventions in the wake of COVID-19 contributed to a second quarter loss of almost $1 billion for Las Vegas Sands.
"Las Vegas cannot perform without return of these segments," said Las Vegas Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein in a July earnings call.
His Las Vegas Sands Corp. is one of the largest casino and resort companies in the world with the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Strip and lucrative casinos in Macau.
Summary Source | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: LAS#1 VEGAS#2 Sands#3 company#4 billion#5
Post found in /news.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
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Top Post Nerf Legend Decks for Ashes of Outland | Standard & Wild | Weekly Report #51

Welcome to our Post Nerf Report, featuring the best Decks for Hearthstone play after the newest Nerfs.
In this report, we feature Decks played Top 500 Legend. Most featured Decks are Meta, but we also feature a lot of Offmeta Decks.
Almost all Decks in this Report were found on Twitter. Did you saw a Deck this week you found interesting (unimportant of the ranked you saw it on) - Share it!

How to use Deck Codes:

  1. Copy the code
  2. Open Hearthstone Collection
  3. Create a new deck, you will be asked “Do you want to create a deck from the clipboard”

Newest News, Guides and Articles

Standard Decks

Demon Hunter


  • No decks – You can watch some older list here: Druid Decks!




  • No decks – You can watch some older list here: Paladin Decks!




  • No decks – You can watch some older list here: Shaman Decks!


  • No decks – You can watch some older list here: Warlock Decks!


Wild Decks

Demon Hunter










Want to support my work?

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What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
submitted by Soccervox to USLPRO [link] [comments]

15 Most Famous Slot Machines and Most Popular Slot Games

1. Liberty Bell

Invented and designed by a San Francisco mechanic named Charles Fey in 1895, the Liberty Bell is the first slot machine. The main symbols here include horseshoes, stars, spades, diamonds, hearts, and Liberty Bells. Once three bells are aligned, the machine pays 50 cents.
Having a coin slot at the top, it features small reels in the middle and a paytable at the bottom. It works like this - players insert a Nickel and pull a lever on the right-hand side to spin the reels. Although the Operator Bell and Liberty Bell have been removed from casinos, the original Liberty Bell on display can be seen in the Liberty Belle saloon in Reno, Nevada.

2. Lion's Share

One of the most famous slot machines, Microgaming’s classic slot Lion's Share, gained a lot of success back in 2014, due to news channels that discussed the topic on how Lion's Share's progressive jackpot hasn’t been hit for two decades. Thousands of people have tried but no one was lucky enough to pull it off.
Although the machine only featured 3 reels and only 1 payline, Lion’s Share has managed to become one of the most popular releases in Vegas, so popular that people waited in line just to put a coin into it and try spinning those reels.
Eventually, a New Hampshire couple hit the $2.4 million progressive jackpot in MGM’s Grand’s Lion’s Share. Soon after, MGM Grand made a decision to retire the Lion's Share machine since it required a lot of maintenance. Still, the game became part of slot history with a jackpot that took 20 years to win.

3. Megabucks

Created by IGT, Megabucks has managed to become one of the world's best progressive slot machines. The game is also responsible for numerous big wins throughout the entire jackpots’ history. Also known as the biggest money jackpots of all time, Megabucks slot machines are described as simple games with a massive progressive jackpot. One of the biggest wins was when an anonymous engineer won a staggering $39.7 million at Las Vegas' Excalibur, back in 2003.
As for the other big wins hit on this machine, there was a cocktail waitress Cynthia Jay Brennan who snagged an incredible $34.9 million at Vegas' Desert Inn, as well as a retired flight attendant hitting $27.5 million at Vegas' Palace Statio­n. J­ohanna Huendl won $22.6 million whereas an Illinois businessman hit $21.3 million on the very first spin.
However, after winning the prize, one of the winner's family members had a tragic accident, which (as some believe) only supported the theory of a Megabucks curse. Other unfortunate stories are just believed to be urban legends, including anecdotes about underage players, as well as casino employees, being big winners but not being able to claim their jackpots because of specific state laws and regulation.

4. Wheel of Fortune

IGT’s Wheel of Fortune has proven to be the second most famous slot machine of all time. Featuring a bonus feature just like the real show, the slot machine is usually played by many slot fans and can be found in numerous casinos all over the globe. Although the game comes in more variations, probably the most popular one is still its 3-reel version, with a colourful wheel at the top.
The Wheel of Fortune multiplayer game features a bank of machines where every player gets their own screen. What makes the game even more exciting is the multiplayer edition where people can play the bonus round together, which really intensifies the game show aspect.
In a 5-reel Wheel of Fortune slot, however, Wild symbols will help players land winning combos and, if you’re lucky enough, you may get a Super Wild that will boost your win up to 5x! Last but not least, the Triple Action Bonus is activated by getting at least 3 Triple Action Bonus symbols anywhere on the reels. But still, none of the newer Wheel of Fortune slots measure up to the original one because of the large progressive jackpot involved.

5. Mega Fortune

Featuring 5 reels and 25 paylines, NetEnt’s Mega Fortune slot became very popular among players as it usually grows into a multimillion-euro amount before being hit. The main symbols here include luxury cars, yachts, and expensive jewellery, Mega Fortune is an online slot machine game which justifies its theme that comes with the largest ever online slot jackpots.
The game offers a few different features that make the entire gameplay more fascinating, however, by far the most interesting ones are the 3 different progressive jackpots: Mega Jackpot, Major Jackpot and Rapid Jackpot. There are counters for all 3 of these that are displayed above the reels. Champagne is the Scatter and if you land at least 3 of them simultaneously, you will trigger Free Spins bonus round. Likewise, Wheel of Luck is the Bonus symbol, and if you land 3 or more symbols in succession from left to right on an active payline, you will activate the Bonus game.
What’s interesting about this slot is the fact that a Finnish man won a huge jackpot worth €17.8 million while spinning the reels of Mega Fortune. This record from 2013, has been passed by Mega Moolah, but the game is still proof how rich players can get after playing Mega Fortune.

6. Mega Moolah

Powered by Microgaming and being among most popular slot games, Mega Moolah is a 25-payline progressive slot which has served as a competitor to Mega Fortune's big jackpots. Followed by African safari music, the game features antelopes, elephants, giraffes, lions, monkeys and zebras as the main symbols.
Landing at least 3 Scatters at the same time will trigger 15 Free Spins. What’s more, all wins hit during Free Spins are tripled, whereas Free Spins can also be retriggered. Players can win one of the 4 Progressive Jackpots within the randomly triggered Bonus round.
The game paid some of the largest slot machine jackpots that have ever been triggered. In 2015,for example, Mega Moolah gained international recognition when a British soldier Jon Heywood won a massive €17,879,645.

7. Cleopatra

Inspired by the famous Egyptian theme and Developed by IGT, Cleopatra is a 20-payline classic game that managed to stand out above similar releases. Featuring ancient Egyptian music, the main symbols here include Cleopatra, the Eye of Horus, scarabs, and pyramids. Landing at least 3 Sphinx symbols will trigger the Cleopatra Bonus, which awards 15 Free Spins. All prizes, except for the 5 Cleopatra symbols, are tripled in the Free Spins round.
The game has been so successful that it inspired its creators to make a sequel, Cleopatra II, with richer graphics and engaging sound effects. But even if you choose the original game, you'll be playing a classic that's still enjoyed by various players today. And, in case you land 5 Cleopatra symbols you’ll get a jackpot of 10,000 coins.

8. Book of Ra

Having a popular Ancient-Egypt theme, Book of Ra has always been one of the best choices to play in land based and online casinos. Powered by Novomatic, Book of Ra is a 9 payline video slot that offers plenty of bonus features and big payouts. With entertaining narrative and energising gameplay, there are numerous ways to win here.
In case you land 5 archaeologists simultaneously, you’ll get an impressive 5,000x your line bet. Earning big bucks, however, comes from the Free Spins feature. What players need to do is land at least 3 Scatter books to trigger the Free Spins feature. Pages of the book will flip and randomly determine which symbol will expand during the 10 Free Spins.
Although hitting the jackpot may not be easy, with only a few one in between, when big wins come, they can be big.

9. Starburst

There’s no denying NetEnt’s Starburst slot became kinda legendary in the iGaming universe. With its dark background and shiny space looking gemstones, Starburst slot features 5 reels and 10 paylines. The well-known futuristic music in this release is also easily noticeable, as is the game’s expanding Wild.
More precisely, the Wilds may only occur on the reels 2, 3 and 4, and, once 1 or more wilds appear on those reels, the Starburst Wild feature will be activated. During this feature, Starburst wilds expand to cover the entire reel and remain while the other reels re-spin. Should a new wild land during a re-spin, it expands and stays along with any previously expanded Starbursts for another re-spin.
Another cool feature is that Starburst pays both ways, instead of only paying you for landing at least 3 identical symbols on adjacent reels starting with the reel furthest to the left. The maximum single spin payout for a person (betting the $200 maximum) is $100,000. But, in order for that to happen, you must land five bars on consecutive reels on an active payline. Players love this slot, probably because it’s suitable for both newbies and experienced players.

10. Immortal Romance

Powered by Microgaming, Immortal Romance is based on sci-fi and the cult of Vampires which has become one of the popular casino slot machines in the last couple of years. Apart from superb graphics and great audio and visual effects, the slot features 5 reels and 243 paylines, and the theoretical RTP rate of 96.86%. The four main characters are Amber, Troy, Michael and Sarah.
When it comes to features and bonus games, Immortal Romance offers different variants. Wild Desire feature can occur randomly, and as soon as it does, it can turn 1 to 5 reels completely Wild. Likewise, landing 3 or more Scatters anywhere on the reels in this game, activates the Chamber of Spins feature which cannot be triggered during Wild Desire.
The game is still among the most popular slots, as many players still try their luck in this slot in the hope to get the highest multiplier possible.

11. Gonzo’s Quest

Beautifully designed video slot powered by NetEnt, Gonzo Quest features 5 reels and 20 paylines. The story is based on the famous conquistador Gonzalo Pizzaro who is on his way to the Peruvian ruins and just about to experience the unique quest.
Now, Gonzo’s Quest has become one of the most popular slot games of all time, probably because it comes with a few interesting features, Avalanche Multipliers feature being the most interesting one of all. In Essence, the reels in the slot move in a cascading manner which resemble an Avalanche. As you activate each new Avalanche, you will win a multiplier. Multipliers are displayed above the reels, and go up to 5x, that is if you land 4 or more avalanches simultaneously.

12. Age of the Gods

Being among famous slot machines and inspired by Ancient Greek mythology, Age of the Gods is a 5-reel, 20-payline progressive slot powered by Playtech. The main characters are Athena, Zeus, Hercules, and Poseidon power up 4 free game modes that offer extra wilds and win multipliers! Once you start spinning, you’ll come across a series of bonus features, such as Athena Free Games, Zeus Free Games, Poseidon Free Games and Hercules Free Games.
Wild logo is the game’s wild card and it substitutes for all symbols, with the exception of the Scatter. Landing at least 3 Scatters anywhere on the reels simultaneously triggers the Bonus game. Moreover, landing 5 God symbols in any order on an active payline will get you 200x your line bet!
During the main game, any spin can activate the Age of the Gods Mystery Jackpot. This mini game guarantees a win of up to 4 progressive jackpots. All you gotta do is click on the coins to reveal jackpot symbols, and if you match 3 identical ones, you will win that jackpot.

13. Money Honey

Having a cute theme, Money Honey is a 5-reel and a 243 payline slot themed around honey. With Wilds, Free Spins, Scatters and multipliers, it is a fast-paced exciting creation featuring vibrant colours. Likewise, it is a mobile-optimized slot which may be an excellent choice if you’re new to online gambling or if you’ve been playing for years.
Just like in other games, Wilds will help you win payouts as they are able to replicate most other symbols on the reels once a winning combination has been made. Another symbol you may want to keep your eyes on is a Money Wheel card. Once you manage to land at least 3 of them on your reels after a spin, the bonus game begins, and you spin a big wheel to choose a prize.

14. Quick Hit

And our selection wouldn’t be complete without Bally's Quick Hit slot. Featuring traditional Las Vegas symbols with sharp graphics and relaxed music, the video slot has 5 reels, 3 rows, and 30 paylines. Once you decide how many paylines you want to bet on, your gaming adventure can begin. There are Scatters symbols and three bonus games to benefit from.
The biggest payout here comes from landing the triple seven symbol. Should you land 5 of these lucky numbers on the reels at the same time, you will win 5,000 coins, whereas if you land five wild symbols, you’ll get 12,500 coins.
Those looking for hitting a jackpot should pay attention to Quick Hit Platinum symbols as 5 of these contribute to 5,000x players’ original bet amount – and even more, with the max bet activated. The second-highest jackpot can be hit by landing 9 Quick Hit Slot symbols. Both the Quick Hit Platinum and regular Quick Hit symbols must occur on or within one position of the first payline to be eligible for a jackpot win.

15. SlotZilla Zip Line

And now something completely different. We’re finishing our selection of famous slots in style, with the world’s largest slot machine - StotZilla Zip Line - 128 feet tall which has two take-off levels. This $12 million SlotZilla zip line took more than a year to build and opened its doors in 2014 and has already had more than 2 million riders so far.
The 11-story slot machine is decorated with over-sized dice, a glass of martini, a pink flamingo, video reels, coins, and two showgirls - Jennifer and Porsha. SlotZilla offers two different rider experiences - the upper Zoomline and a lower Zipline. This unique machine has a huge video screen with reels and a gigantic arm, replicating a true slot machine experience.
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LIVE Casino Playing in RENO Slot Machines with Brian ...

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