Today we feature an article from sipiwi94, a Legend player from EU. He’ll be guiding us through the Tempo Rogue, which he used to reach Legend rank in both Season 3 and 4. Some of you might remember his popular deck in the previous season, featured on Hearthpwn. This is the updated and latest verion!
I’m sipiwi94 and this is my new rogue guide. Some of you have probably seen a different version, but this one is up to date and more extensive than the other one. I have always loved rogue and I used it to hit legendary in Season 3 and 4. I started playing rogue when it was a very unpopular class, but I have always felt that rogue was a strong class because of its ability to combo and give your cards high value. Rogue can be played in many ways and this guide will show the one I think is the best due to its consistency. Before I made the deck I thought about the strengths of the class and how to build a deck around them. The combos and the high value came to my mind, but how do you use this while choosing other cards? Well, one important thing is that combos are hard to use if the cards in the deck cost too much to play so I chose to make a “Big Aggro” deck (going for board control early and trying to snowball it from there with bigger minions than normal aggro). A second important thing is that even though the high value from Rogue cards always will be a good thing, it is used most effectively in a deck that goes for superior trades instead of going for face or trying to stall the game for a sick 3-card combo or something like that. With that in mind I tried to find cards with a mana cost between 1 and 4 that had the potential of trading 2 for 1, or be effective removal. Cards that cost more than 4 should be very good to justify picking them. That’s how I created this deck, which has helped me a lot on my climb to legend. I am constantly changing a few cards around depending on the meta, but I will tell more about that below.
The cards in this deck serve different purposes (some cards are multipurpose).
To get or keep control of the game the deck uses Backstab, Eviscerate, and Sap. Other cards like SI:7 Agent and the weapons do the same, but the three cards mentioned are special because they can’t trade 2 for 1. Their only purpose is to keep the tempo going by killing big threats or trading with cards that cost more to cast than they do. Sap is special, since it can’t even trade 1 for 1. Many people don’t like Sap because of this, but try thinking about it this way. Sap destroys a minion (even plays around deathrattles if used on Cairne Bloodhoof for instance) until it is played again. Your opponent will almost never play the sapped minion again because it is too slow. This makes Sap the perfect removal for this deck.
Deadly Poison, Blade Furry, Loot Hoarder, Perditions Blade, Harvest Golem, SI:7 Agent, Chillwind Yeti, Defender of Argus, Assassins Blade, and Azure Drake all serve the same purpose. They need to trade efficiently, which is also why the neutral cards are seen in a lot of decks. They are simply the most efficient cards in the game.
A deck with a lot of low cost cards must also have card draw. This is why the deck runs Loot Hoarder, Bloodmage Thalnos, Azure Drake, and Sprint. Loot Hoarders are simply good to have in almost any deck. Bloodmage Thalnos and Azure Drakes would be decent cards even without spell power, but the spell power sends them through the roof. Spell power is not a very important thing to have in rogue decks, but 3 damage Backstabs and killing a Chillwind Yeti with Eviscerate works wonders. Sprint is a card that I didn’t like at first because I felt it was too slow, but I figured out that this deck can usually afford to “waste” a turn playing it because of the huge control the deck has. Furthermore one of the 4 cards you draw is more often than not a removal that lets you remove what your opponent played on that turn played.
This deck would have a huge problem if it didn’t have cards that could end the game when the opponent at 10 hp sets up a wall of taunts, plays Ragnaros the Firelord into Ysera, etc. Luckily it has Eviscerate, Blade Furry (+ Deadly Poison), Perditions Blade, and Leeroy Jenkins. These cards come in handy when you feel that the opponent is about to take control of the game. It’s surprising how much damage it can actually burst. One combo is Leeroy Jenkins, Perdition’s Blade, Deadly Poison, and Blade Flurry = 16 damage with an empty board.
Big Game Hunter
A card that is very good at the minute, since it isn’t devastating to play it without using its battlecry. This is one of the cards I would consider swapping out though. Feel free to do it if you don’t think you get value out of him a lot.
How to Fit into the Meta
There are many good cards that haven’t made it too this decklist and some of them are good to swap in. When you swap cards you should do it based on what decks you face the most and changing your deck is a huge part of playing ranked. Acidic Swamp Ooze is very nice when facing a lot of hunters and warriors. Senjin Shieldmasta can be used instead of Chillwind Yeti if there is a lot of aggro decks. The Black Knight is a card that I used quite a lot while Handlocks were everywhere. Blood Knight, Spellbreaker, Argent Commander, and Spiteful Smith are also cards that I sometimes use.
Strategy and Mulligan
The strategy has been mentioned before. You want to control the game and trade efficiently. Don’t go for face and let your opponent trade as he pleases or throw a Flamestrike at you. This deck can’t finish people fast enough for that.
This depends on 2 things. Are you coin or no coin? What deck is your opponent using? As coin you throw more stuff away, since you have an extra card and the coin, which is a huge deal as rogue. You want to keep Defias Ringleader, SI:7 Agent, Harvest Golem, Argent Squire, Deadly Poison, Loot Hoarder, and Backstab most of the time. If you are lucky enough to draw more than one of these you should think about your mana curve (do you have a play for turn 1, 2, and 3?). If you have 3 2-drops throw away the worst one or maybe 2 of them. As no coin you can’t afford to throw away as much. Another difference to being coin is that you don’t want to keep combo cards if you don’t have a Backstab, or in rare cases an Argent Squire. You still keep Argent Squire, Backstab, Harvest Golem, Loot Hoarder, and Deadly Poison most of the time. To mulligan is probably the hardest part of the game and it’s impossible to make a complete guide, but looking at what deck you think you are facing and choosing accordingly is important. If you are against a control deck, and you already have something to play early, Sap could be a nice card to keep. Against aggro Loot Hoarder might be too slow etc. The list of scenarios is long, but with these guidelines you should be fine. Mulligan is something that comes with experience!
The pros and cons of this deck are quite fast to cover and they are reflected in the matchups. The deck is consistent, since it doesn’t depend on drawing specific cards. The deck requires a lot of decisions, which makes it more fun to play and winning more rewarding. The deck can have a hard time against too many taunts and decks that just want to rush down your health (not aggro decks, but pure face decks).
One of the easier matchup for this deck, since it has cheap cards that are more valuable than the Murlocks. Murlocks require board control to work out, which is also something our deck is good at taking away from the opponent. Keep in mind how you use your removal, since Doomguard and Murloc Warleader can be annoying to deal with.
A matchup that I like playing against. The taunts that druids run can normally be killed by an Eviscerate + something small, and they can’t challenge your board control until after turn 6. Ancient of War is a pain, but luckily it is not very popular. You need to care for the Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo (14 damage + 2 per minion that can attack) from turn 7 where he can Innervate it out. It is usually only a problem if you have used your face to clear the board a lot.
It is about who draws better, but generally this deck has a little advantage. The one that draws better can go for face forcing the other to trade. If you draw Defender of Argus at the right moment you should be in good shape and removals are also important in this matchup. When you are ahead don’t put him below 12 hp if he can burst you with 6 damage Mortal Strikes and Heroic Strikes. Instead you should put him at 12-13 and burst him.
The match is usually face, face, face. It’s one of the harder matchups, but if you draw fine you can rush them before they rush you. It’s very hard to win if you have to trade with their chargers, since they have already dealt damage to you once. Care for Unleash the Hounds!!
A fine matchup. They normally kill your first minions with removal, but if you keep pressuring they can’t stand it. Care for Brawl. That spell wins games against any aggro deck, but this deck can play around it more easily with its higher cost minions. Remember how much armor Armorsmith gives the opponent if you try to finish him with Blade Flurry.
Sigh… All those taunts. If you don’t attack them they will put out 9/9 taunts and if you attack them they will put out 9/9 taunts. Jokes aside this matchup is hard. You can deal with 1 or 2 taunts and a little more with Sap or Big Game Hunter, but more than that loses you the game. However you can do things to secure that they don’t put out all those taunts. Try to keep their hp at about 10 + the amount of mana they have to avoid Molten Giants. At some point you have to go all in and hit them, but do it at the right moment when you have the damage to kill them (normally it can’t be done in 1 turn).
Depends a lot on what cards the players draw. The matchup is about even, but if he draws well you will need a Defender of Argus. Taunts are very good against Miracle Rogue. Blade Flurry is very good at killing a stealthed Gadgetzan Auctioneer.
This match is about even, but it has a little advantage if it runs Earth Elemental, but its at least an amazing target for Sap. The good thing about facing Shaman is that most of their removals can’t kill Yetis or Harvest Golems, but Lightning Storm can be a pain. Also taunt totems can slow us down a lot.
Other aggro decks should be treated like Aggro Warrior and Murlocks
Other control decks should be treated like Druid and Control Warrior
How to replace cards
I already mentioned some cards that are good in this deck and no card in this deck is needed for it to work. It can be played by most players even if they don’t have the legendaries, epics etc. Leeroy Jenkins is actually one of the first cards I would remove from this deck and he could be replaced with and good card. What you shouldn’t do is using an Arcane Golem instead of him. Just stick to some of the other high value cards so you can get that board control. Bloodmage Thalnos is another card I imagine some people are missing. It’s the most used legendary card in the game I think. Craft it! But this deck works fine without it. You can put in an Acidic Swamp Ooze instead or a Gnomish Inventor (very underrated card) if you run out of cards. Swap Blade Furry with a 2- or 3- drop minion like Acidic Swamp Ooze or Blood Knight. Same goes for Perditions Blade and SI:7 Agent. Big Game Hunter can be replaced with The Black Knight or just another high value card like Senjin Shieldmasta or Scarlet Crusader.
I hope this guide will help some of you climb the ladder, and I hope to see a Rogue invasion of Hearthstone. Make it happen. Feel free to ask questions about this deck in the comments below or at https://www.facebook.com/sipiwi1994, https://twitter.com/sipiwi94 or when I’m streaming at http://www.twitch.tv/sipiwi94. Peace!
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