Mastering Miracle Rogue: Matchups & Mulligans

One of the hardest part of Miracle Rogue is knowing how to mulligan. You will look at these Fan of Knives, SI-7 Agents, Backstabs, Eviscerates, Azure Drakes, Cold Bloods, Conceals and be kind of overwhelmed. In general you want to look for the cards below against every deck (as already mentioned in Part 1, I […]

One of the hardest part of Miracle Rogue is knowing how to mulligan. You will look at these Fan of Knives, SI-7 Agents, Backstabs, Eviscerates, Azure Drakes, Cold Bloods, Conceals and be kind of overwhelmed.

Basic Mulligan

In general you want to look for the cards below against every deck (as already mentioned in Part 1, I will cover the exceptions in the next section)

1. Backstab

Backstab is the best card to trigger your combo cards like (Eviscerate, Agent,..) It is an extremely efficient removal (and a tempo booster), because it costs zero mana and can deal more than two damage with the help of Bloodmage Thalnos and Azure Drake.

2. Deadly Poison

Like Backstab this card is a very good early game removal. You can take out smaller minions and can easily trigger your combo cards.

3. si7-agent, Tomb PillagerViolet Teacher and sometimes Edwin VanCleef

Agent is a very good minion to play early on to deal with some smaller opposing minions like Flame Imp. With the Coin the Agent is obviously very powerful, but even without the Coin you have a decent amount of ways to trigger the combo effect quite early (Deadly Poison, Backstab, Preparation).

Edwin on the other hand is a very tricky card. He is very powerful and can be outright game winning sometimes. In general you should only keep him if you have the Coin or already good removal (Deadly Poison, Backstab) against aggressive decks. Otherwise I would mulligan him in search of better cards. A Turn 2 4/4 with the Coin is good in every matchup. Never keep multiple 3 drops if you don’t have some early game removal (Keeping double Agent without the Coin is not good. Just keep one.)

Against everything but the fastest decks, I would always keep both Tomb Pillager and Violet Teacher (if you have the Coin) in your opening hand. Sometimes if you already have a good amount of removal (f.ex.: Backstab and Eviscerate) keeping Tomb Pillager or Violet Teacher even without the Coin is a good idea.

4. Preparation

Preparation is together with Innervate   the most powerful spell in the game. I would recommend keeping it against every non- Control deck, especially because this version plays two Violet Teachers. The reason why you don’t keep Preparation against slower decks is that Tempo is a non factor against them. They usually have no good early game minions, their entire early game consists of removal spells.

5. Eviscerate

If your hand lacks any kind of early game removal, but you have Eviscerate I would recommend keeping Eviscerate so that you have at least one way to kill a small minion like Flame Imp, if you still don’t draw into one cheap removal spell. Against decks that have a lot of higher health midgame minions like Shaman you always keep Eviscerate together with Deadly Poison or Backstab to have a very clean way to kill something like Totem Golem or Frothing Berserker.

 

Matchup Analysis

Midrange Hunter

Face Hunter is completely extinct in the Standard metagame. Their early game is too weak, when compared to Aggro Shaman and Pirate Warrior. Because of the high power level of Call of the Wild Midrange Hunter is viable and will be the only Hunter deck you will face on the ladder.

Unlike the older versions of Midrange Hunter this is not a very aggressive and fast deck, their early game minions are weak and most of their stronger cards are rather expensive (Call of the Wild and Savannah Highmane). Due to the slow nature of Midrange Hunter, Miracle Rogue is the aggressor in this matchup, whereas Midrange Hunter has to assume the Control role and slow down the Rogue and make sure to not lose too many life points.

So from the Miracle Rogue’s point of view you want to gain early board control and then start racing them. Savannah Highmane is of course a very powerful minion, and Sap counters it very hard, but don’t be afraid to use Sap on something like Infested Wolf if you are already in a good position and can get a lot of damage in. In many games the Hunter player very rarely has time to play a Savannah Highmane, because he needs to deal with Rogue’s minions.

Always try to find the biggest tempo plays possible, so don’t be greedy with your Coin and Preparation when you can use them to make big tempo plays. Hunter has very inefficient removal, which makes the Hunter very often  skip his entire turn if he wants to deal with a minion.

Also keep Deadly Shot in mind when going for Conceal plays, so don’t be too greedy when you play Edwin VanCleef or Gadgetzan Auctioneer

Mulligan for

  • The Basics
  • Keep Violet Teacher/Tomb Pillager without the Coin if you already have a very good hand with a lot of early game action (like Agent, Backstab, Eviscerate).
  • Always keep Violet Teacher and Tomb Pillager with the Coin

Verdict

Midrange Hunter is  a good matchup (65/35)

Aggro Shaman/ Midrange Shaman

Both decks have a very similar early game with Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral SpiritArgent Squire etc., which makes it sometimes very hard to recognize in the early game against which version you are playing against. Sir Finley MrrggltonArgent Horserider and Abusive Sergeant usually signal Aggro Shaman, and Mana Tide Totem signals Midrange Shaman.

If you cannot handle the early game minions of both versions, you will have a very hard time to win the game, so although you might face Midrange Shaman that does not feature that much burst, you can’t be too greedy when you mulligan. Aggro Shaman is also more popular than its Midrange counterpart. Also keep in mind that Aggro Shaman does not have any board clears or good single target removal like Hex, so feel free to make a big Edwin VanCleef or go all in with Violet Teacher once you know you are playing against Aggro Shaman. The matchup against Aggro Shaman is a pure damage race, so a lot of the time it is a bad idea to attack a 0/2 totem with Tomb Pillager, because you then miss quite a lot of damage.

Although the matchup against Aggro Shaman is quite bad, you can still expect to win about 30 % of the time, which is not too shabby. So don’t get tilted, when you face Aggro Shaman that has a very good opener, the matchup is by no means as bad as Freeze Mage versus Control Warrior. Against Midrange Shaman, once you have stabilized and dealt with their early game it is important to respect Lightning Storm and not play too many minions. Aside from facing a quick death because they overrun you (happens rarely), Midrange Shaman also can grind you out of resources and slowy whittle down your life total, once you get out of resources.

Mulligan for

  • The Basics
  • Keep Violet Teacher/Tomb Pillager without the Coin if you already have a very good hand with a lot of early game action (at least two from the following: Backstab, Preparation, Eviscerate, Deadly Poison).
  • Always keep Violet Teacher and Tomb Pillager with the Coin
  • Keep Shadow Strike, if you already have a good hand with a minion and another removal spell, because it deals quite well with Totem Golem and Thing from Below

 

Verdict

Aggro Shaman is your second worst matchup (the worst is Pirate Warrior); Midrange Shaman is slightly favorable, but is highly dependant on whether they can draw their 1 copy of Doomhammer or not

Zoo Warlock

Midrange Warlock is a deck that plays a lot of cheap minions, but lacks late game minions and removal for your minions. They are very reliant on having a board presence, so you should try to remove every minion on their board to make cards like Abusive Sergeant and Power Overwhelming almost useless for them, before going for face damage (unless you can set up lethal with Conceal and you are in no danger of dying)

Violet Teacher is at her best against Zoo Warlock. Once you have her and a couple of 1/1’s on an empty board, winning becomes very easy. Therefore simply using Backstab on a mere 1/1 token is very often a good and recommended play.

A lot of Zoo versions play Leeroy Jenkins, so be aware of a 10 damage or even 14 damage burst from their hand. Gadgetzan Auctioneer is the majority of time rather useless in this matchup, because usually games against Zoo are won or lost before Turn 6. Very often it is correct to play Gadgetzan Auctioneer on Turn 6 as a 4/4, once you have board control.

 

Mulligan for

  • The Basics
  • Fan of Knives (Zoo has a lot of ways to spawn 1/1’s)
  • Keep Violet Teacher/Tomb Pillager without the Coin if you already have a very good hand with a lot of early game action (at least two from the following: Backstab, Preparation, Eviscerate, Deadly Poison).
  • Always keep Violet Teacher and Tomb Pillager with the Coin

Verdict

Slighthly favorable matchup

Control Warrior/ C’thun Warrior

Although the matchup against both decks is a very good one, I don’t enjoy playing against them. The reason for that is that, in order to win you need to draw Gadgetzan Auctioneer before they can start gaining an insurmountable amount of life with Justicar Trueheart or Ancient Shieldbearer. If you don’t draw Auctioneer in time, you have a super hard time to win, because both decks play an abundance of removal and have a lot of lifegain. But if you draw Auctioneer in time, you’re a huge favorite to win. They have no good way of dealing with a stealthed Auctioneer and will simply lose the majority of time, because you draw too much damage and at the same time can handle everything they play.

Control Warrior cannot pressure you in any meaningful way before Turn 8, therefore the matchup is even better. It’s only dependant on whether you draw Auctioneer in time or not. C’thun Warrior sometimes has access to some big tempo plays and also has much better curve (Twin Emperor Vek’lor on curve is very annoying, and sometimes even C’thun’s Chosen is too). In addition to that you also have no good way at handling a big C’thun. But overall the matchup against C’thun Warrior is still a very good one, and you should be happy whenever you play against one.

Also be aware of Brawl, once you play Conceal together with Auctioneer you want to have no other minions on the board, to not give the Warrior a 50 % chance to kill the Auctioneer. Also try to play around Sylvanas Windrunner and Shield Slam, another way the Warrior can deal with an Auctioneer that has Stealth.

Mulligan for

  • Azure Drake and Gadgetzan Auctioneer and don’t keep anything else
  • If you already have Auctioneer you can keep Tomb Pillager or Deadly Poison (to deal with Acolyte of Pain)

Verdict

Control Warrior is a highly favorable matchup (80/20), C’thun Warrior is not as good, but still very good (65/35)

Tempo Warrior

Tempo Warrior is a much tougher matchup than the slower versions of Warrior. An unanswered Frothing Berserker can finish you in a couple of turns, so against this matchup you need to mulligan for removal in order to gain board control at some point. The matchup is also quite similar to Midrange Hunter. Miracle Rogue is the aggressor, because Tempo Warrior has some very high value legendaries, you have a tough time dealing with if you don’t have a tempo advantage (Sap on a big minion does almost nothing if you have no minions in play).

Mulligan for

  • The Basics
  • Keep Violet Teacher/Tomb Pillager without the Coin if you already have a very good hand with a lot of early game action (like Agent, Backstab, Eviscerate).
  • Always keep Violet Teacher and Tomb Pillager with the Coin
  • Also keep Azure Drake or Gadgetzan Auctioneer if your hand has the Coin and a good mixture of spells and early game minions

Verdict

Good matchup (60/40)

Control Priest and Control Paladin

The prey. Paladin and Priest are very easy. It’s almost a Miracle if you manage to lose against one of them. Both decks are very slow and they have a very hard time pressuring you. Make sure to not waste any damage early on, so only push for damage when you have good board position, because then it has very hard for them to both heal themselves and clear your board. Control Priest has no way of dealing with a very big Conceal‘d Edwin VanCleef, but keep in mind that Paladin has a lot of ways to deal with bigger minions, and also minions that have stealth, because of Equality combos.

Against both decks you want to go as late as possible for big Auctioneer turn, they cannot pressure you and in addition to that they will have a tough time dealing with your midgame minions.

Mulligan for

  • Azure Drake and Gadgetzan Auctioneer
  • If you already have Auctioneer you can keep Tomb Pillager or Deadly Poison

Verdict

Almost a free win (90/10)

C’thun Druid

Druid got hit quite hard with the nerfhammer, and this is the deck they are left with. It is an okayish deck, and even a good one if you can consistently activate and play Twin Emperor Vek’lor on Turn 7. From the Rogue’s point of view the matchup is quite similar to Midrange Hunter, except that Druid does not have any good burst or even good removal. A Turn 3 6/6 or 8/8 Edwin VanCleef is very often just game over for them. C’thun Druid almost always has to spend their entire turn, whenever they want to clear a minion with spells. They also can’t deal with a Conceal‘d board or Gadgetzan Auctioneer. You only lose this matchup, when they have a fast start with a good curve and your hand is very slow or when you skip entire turns, because you don’t draw any minions to play.

Mulligan for

  • The Basics
  • Always keep Tomb Pillager and Violet Teacher
  • Also keep Azure Drake or Gadgetzan Auctioneer if your hand has the Coin and a good mixture of spells and early game minions

Verdict

Very Good matchup (70/30)

Miracle Rogue and N’zoth Rogue

Both decks have an abundance of minion removal, which would normally be a good foundation for a 20 minute grindfest. But gladly or sadly (depending on whether or not you like very long games), Rogue has no way of dealing with a Gadgetzan Auctioneer that has Stealth and also does not have any meaningful lifegain. In this matchup every point of damage you prevent your opponent from doing to you or you deal to your opponent is very important, because of the lack of recovery mechanics. Playing minions every turn and trying to make them stick, while at the same time removing every opposing enemy minion is of utter importance. If one Rogue player fails to remove a minion Cold Blood combined with Conceal can very easily end the game.

The Rogue with more burst damage and Conceal has a big advantage, so Miracle Rogue is favored against N’zoth, the Corruptor– Rogue.

Because of the unique nature of the Rogue mirror you mulligan quite differently, in general you only keep removal spells if you already have minions. Minions are of utter importance, because of the lack of life gain you cannot afford to simply always remove minions, without ever playing one yourself.

Mulligan for

  • Minions like SI:7 Agent, Edwin VanCleef (only with the Coin), Violet Teacher and Tomb Pillager
  • Only keep Preparation, Backstab, Deadly Poison if you already have some minions
  • Only keep Gadgetzan Auctioneer if you already have a good opener with a mixture of removal and cheap minions. Due to the face paced nature of the mirror match, Gadgetzan Auctioneer can sometimes be far to slow. An exception would be if you know that you play against N’zoth Rogue, which does not have great burst, is much slower and also does not run Conceal to punish you for letting a minon stick for one turn. In this matchup it is okay to keep Gadgetzan Auctioneer if you have the Coin.

Verdict

N’zoth Rogue is a good matchup (65/35)

Closing

My Miracle Rogue guides should give you a better insight and some tips on how to pilot the deck efficiently. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the section below.