The Strikers will host the Hobart Hurricanes in Sunday's final after captain Travis Head had propelled them to white-knuckle win on Friday night at Adelaide Oval.
Chasing 179 to win the semi-final, the Renegades made 4-177 - they needed three runs to win from the last ball but could only scamper one bye.
Head wasn't supposed to be playing - he was given a late release from the Australian Twenty20 squad to lead his Strikers.
And the classy left-hander proved the difference, smacking an unbeaten 85 from 57 balls in Adelaide's 5-178.
Head then opened the bowling and claimed the key wicket of Renegades opener Marcus Harris, who blasted 45 off 29 deliveries.
Harris gave the Renegades momentum in a brisk 71-run stand with Tim Ludeman (28 off 20 balls) for the second wicket, but the pair were dismissed in a five-ball span.
Tom Cooper (36no) and Dwayne Bravo (26 from 16 balls) regained momentum for the Renegades with a 52-run stand but, after Bravo's dismissal, they still required 39 from the last four overs.
Bravo's fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard was afforded a chance in the 17th over when he skied a high ball to Jake Lehmann at deep mid-on, but the Striker horribly misjudged and the ball landed metres behind him.
Pollard and Cooper needed 20 runs from the last two overs; then 13 from the final six balls bowled by Ben Laughlin.
Pollard cracked the first ball for four and the Melbourne franchise ultimately needed three from the last ball, only for Pollard (29 from 21 balls) to swing and and miss before running a bye.
Earlier, Head and opener Jake Weatherald thrilled the parochial 36,298-strong home crowd with a blazing partnership.
The duo combined for a 104-run second-wicket partnership from only 76 balls.
Weatherald made 57 from 43 balls and Head put the finishing touches on a challenging target for the Renegades who had five bowlers - Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie, Dwayne Bravo, Jack Wildermuth and Kieron Pollard - take a wicket each.