Welcome to the third installment of this series. This time, my focus will be on to the rogue class, a class that was my least played class until WotOG. Why? It is difficult to master, you constantly struggle with health issues and plays are complex: hold off your Preparation and wait for the perfect Gadgetzan turn or is it better to make an early giant Edwin VanCleef? There are a multitude of decision to be made and all are very dependent on the class you play against.
Atop, before Standard, Rogue did not have many viable archetypes. In tournaments, you almost never saw anything besides Oil Rogue and very rarely Malygos or old school (post nerf) Miracle Rogue. Mostly, the class was played by specialists who understood the class perfectly and were able to squeeze wins out of almost every matchups. There was also the gist that rogue specialist always think, that they are favored, despite the data on the matchups.
Where Does Rogue stand Now? What Decks Do We Got?
How times have changed. I am far from an expert in Rogue, but I learned quite a lot since the Old Gods set released. I will show you, how the class opened up by making many archetypes viable in the following deck lists. I will not give you detailed guides to each deck, because other people can offer more detailed instructions than I would ever be capable of.
Today, by far the most played archetype is again Miracle Rogue (MR). It almost totally vanished after the Leeroy Jenkins and Gadgetzan Auctioneer nerf (check out my timeline too, to see when that happend). There are some slight variations in 2 or 3 three cards inside the list, but the core is really narrow. There is one exeption: N’Zoth Miracle Rogue (N’MR). Nevertheless, the game plan of both decks is to control your opponent early by removing their minions, either by spells (MR) or by minions (NMR). Undercity Hucksler one way to get control early and SI:7 Agent is present in both variations as it is incredible early, mid and even late game. A key component to the deck is to get either Tomb Pillager or Xaril, Poisoned Mind on the board early to generate coins or cheap spells respectively which that you can use to trigger Gadgetzan Auctioneer (GA) starting turn 6. Conceal will make the pesky goblin stay to get the real miracle going the turn after. More expensive spells are best combined with Preparation while the Auctioneer is on the board. This creates an insane amount of cycle to draw into all your answers and finishers. Leeroy Jenkins + Cold Blood are there to close out the game as well as leftover Eviscerates. Spell Power Minions like Azure Drake and Bloodmage Thalnos round up the deck and give you additional draw. Obviously in the N’Zoth variation, N’Zoth is the finisher in the place of Leeroy & Cold Blood combined with more deathrattle minions like Hucksler and discovered DR minions from Journey Below. Normally, one or two Earthen Ring Farseer help you to survive through the mid game are aggressive onsloughts which you can clear by the means of Fan of Knives.
There are some problems you can face while playing the decks. The first is not drawing your Auctioneer. This normally results in losing the game. It is that, that drawing Auctioneer with Conceal almost always wins you the game nowadays. There are just too few answers to remove GA despite of Flametrike. Bomb Lobber was the way to go, but it rotated out with Standard.
Secondly, you can be stuck with only situational spells in the early game and lose because of that. In N’MR, sometime you face the problem, that your hand gets to cluttered with coins and cheap spells so that you face the possibility to burn important cards. Be aware of that and be ready to throw away a coin if necessary.
Additionally to N’Zoth Miracle Rogue there is also Reno N’Zoth Rogue. Additionally, there is C’Thun Rogue with or without Reno Jackson, with which I have no huge experience but I tried them a bit. Both variations of Reno Rogues are really fun to play and can pull out some sick late game. Playing three C’Thuns or N’Zoths because of Shadowstep and Shadowcaster is so sick and almost no other deck can withstand that. The problem might be that you have to reach the later stages of the game, which due to inconsistency, you may struggle to. Despite of that, I love these decks because the feel refreshing and rewarding. C’Thun versions use cultists for early game pressure and has C’Thun as a finisher as all other C’Thun decks do. Twin Emperor Vek’lor and Blade of C’Thun provide late game and protection and removal, respectively. The rest is quite similar to most Rogue lists, effective spells, Thalnos, Azure Drakes and SI: 7 Agents.
Malygos Rogue shares a large portion of the cards with Miracle, but uses Malygos in conjunction with Sinister Strike or other cheap damage spells (+Preparation) to seal the game with huge burst damage. Another last minute inclusion is a Dragon Rogue by @Mryagut that abuses the miracle component in addition to dragon synergy.
In the aggro department, just yesterday, a seemingly viable Pirate Rogue appeared on C4mlann’s stream. C4mlann is a German streamer and multi- legend player from flowesports. Also on this team is TwoBiers, the world’s first 100in10 Arena challenge winner. While coaching the player “Wolfgang” used this aggressive deck to crushed C4mlann (video). I also found another pirate deck that got good reviews, but I do not know how it performs in real life. Anyway, I thought it might be of interest and included it in my list. If you know any other viable archetypes, I will be more than happy to amend them. Just give me a hint and I will obbey! 😉
Without further ado, let’s head to the deck lists. As always, please leave comments below or tweet me @OtakuMZ1978.
Good luck and have fun!
Aggro / Pirate
Miracles and Dragons
Bonus Deck by F2K_J4CKIECHAN (HQ will be added later)