Mastering the Oil Rogue: Advanced Guide

Because of the bursty nature of this deck, you need to be aware of the damage you have on the board and the potential damage in your hand (especially the longer the game goes). For example using any potential burst on Turn 6 on a minion that does not need to be removed, can later […]

Tips / Pointers

  • Because of the bursty nature of this deck, you need to be aware of the damage you have on the board and the potential damage in your hand (especially the longer the game goes). For example using any potential burst on Turn 6 on a minion that does not need to be removed, can later cost you the game.
  • Never go full Edwin VanCleef. Before the Naxxramas Adventure very few decks played silence effects, because there were not as many targets for it. Nowadays almost every deck plays at least 1 Silence (mainly Ironbeak Owl, Big Game Hunter is also very dangerous), so investing too many cards on a gigantic Edwin is is a bad idea in the majority of matchups. Preparation for an Eviscerate that removes a minion and then playing a 6/6 Edwin is a good move. Playing double Preperation for nothing and then coining an 8/8 on Turn 3 is very rarely a good play. A big Edwin, where you invest a lot of resources for almost nothing is only a good play against Mech Mage and Tempo Mage (They normally don’t run Polymorph or Silence effects, so it is difficult for them to to have an answer for 10/10 Edwin).
  • Sap is a rather complex card to play. Don’t use it on a minion you can easily remove otherwise. Example: It is Turn 5 against Paladin and you have Piloted Shredder on the board. Your opponent only has a Sludge Belcher in play. Your hand is Sap, Backstab, Deadly Poison, Blade Flurry, SI:7- Agent. It may some very juicy to simply send the Sludge back to the opponent’s hand and use Agent on the opponent’s face and then get four damage from the Shredder. But the best play is removing Sludge Belcher (Hero Power + Deadly Poison and SI:7)  and then eating the Slime with the Piloted Shredder. Sap is at its best when you already have a good board and and is especially good at removing hard to kill minions like Tirion Fordring (I have seen a lot of players using Sap on a minion that was not a good target for it, and then later losing because they used the Sap poorly). 
  • Depending on the Aggro variant you can use very aggressively your dagger to kill minions. F.ex against fast Zoo it is very often good to double attack a Flame Imp or to triple attack a Voidwalker (let us pretend you have Eviscerate in your hand as your only removal, it is way better to remove smaller minions with your hero power and to save Eviscerate), because they don’t have a lot of burst in their deck. But against Hunter double attacking minions is only good if you lack any kind of minion removal.

Against Aggro Deck Types

You want to have board control against aggro decks. Having early board control will inevitably result in victory, while not having control of the board will very likely lead to a loss. Thus removing your opponent’s minions is a top priority. Non Hunter aggro decks, you can simply outcontrol and then slowly beat them. Hunter on the other hand, needs to be raced at some point, because they can consistently deal damage to you without having any kind of board presence using their Hero power and minions with Charge.

Against Midrange Deck Types

There are a lot of different Midrange decks on the ladder. Some are aggressive (such as Double Combo Druid), which means they can pressure you and kill you quite quickly, while others are slower and play like Control decks (such as Midrange Paladin). In general the slower the Midrange deck is, the more important becomes card draw, because the majority of your losses will only then come from the lack of card draw and not the lack of minion removal.


You have The Coin, Preparation, Sprint, Backstab, si7-agent

Against Midrange Paladin? Full keep. While you don’t have an effective way to to deal with Muster for Battle, you have enough removal to make Sprint a good card to play on Turn 3 or 4. Paladin is a rather slow deck with a really low amount of burst, so even not having board control for a couple of turns is not that bad.

Against Double Combo Druid? We would not keep the Sprint here. Druid has a high amount of reach (Force of Nature + Savage Roar), so losing board control for a couple of turns can translate into a lot of damage that may later lose you a game you were about to win. An Azure Drake or any other 3 or 4 drop is so much better than Sprint against Druid.

Against Control Deck Types

Non Warrior Control decks are extremely good matchups (Priest, Control Paladin, Ramp Druid) They can’t go above 30 health, they normally can’t pressure you (Handlock is the exception, a Turn 4 8/8 is very threatening). So you will have a lot of time to play your minions, get some damage in and draw a bunch of cards while the game goes in mid/late game. Getting card draws is more important in these kind of matchups.


Against Priest, your starting hand is Sprint, tinkers-sharpsword-oil, Blade Flurry. You would keep the Sprint and mulligan the rest. One of the two ways you lose against Priest is the lack of card draw, the other one is an Injured Blademaster or a minion buffed with velens-chosen you can’t get rid of (mainly also because of the lack of card draw).

Tech Choices / Alternate Cards

Antique Healbot can be added to the deck if Aggro Druid and Face Hunter get more popular. Against Midrange Hunter Antique Healbot is not very crucial, whereas against Face Hunter Antique Healbot can be game deciding.

Big Game Hunter can be replaced with the second Fan of Knives if you face a lot of Paladins. Oil Rogue is still favored against every Paladin deck even with only one Fan of Knives.

There are a lot of versions with Dr. Boom and only 1 Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil or some variaton of it.

A good example would be Mr. Yagut’s Oil Rogue.

This version cuts Combo cards for Midrange cards, which will have an impact on the following matchups:

Better Against

Combo Druid, Control Warrior

Against Combo Druid and Control Warrior your burst is a good way to win the game, but not the best way to win. A better path to victory is with board presence. So adding more Midrange cards (like Dr. Boom & Sludge Belcher) gives you better minions to play and less comboish draws, where you can’t play anything.

Worse Against

Patron Warrior, Oil Rogue, Hunter

All these matchups very often reach a point where having board presence will not translate into a victory, but having more burst and damage will. Everyone of these decks can assemble a lot of burst, even if you have a superior board presence, so you are far better off, to outright kill them and not play any fancy minions that may also benefit them (Dr. Boom can make lose you the game against Unleash the Hounds).

Matchups & Mulligans

For more details on how to handle specific matchups and mulligans, check out our Oil Rogue: Matchups & Mulligans guide.

Please also let us know if you find our new method of categorizing deck guides (splitting them into Basic/Advanced/Mulligans) makes it easier for you, our readers and supporters!