MUA: Deathrattle Rogue vs. Aggro Shaman

Deathrattle Rogue is one of the newest decks to Hearthstone’s metagame. It is a very strong deck that has the ability to control the board better than any other deck in the game. As a result, it is a very good choice for laddering. If you are going to take Deathrattle Rogue to battle, you […]


Deathrattle Rogue is one of the newest decks to Hearthstone’s metagame. It is a very strong deck that has the ability to control the board better than any other deck in the game. As a result, it is a very good choice for laddering. If you are going to take Deathrattle Rogue to battle, you have to be ready to fight against the other popular decks. This guide will help by showing how it fights against Aggro Shaman, another extremely popular newcomer to the game.

Sample Decklists 

There are a lot of deathrattle minions in the game, and you should always try to play ones that best combat the decks you are seeing the most on ladder. However, Deathrattle Rogue is a deck that not only has a lot of card options, but also two different builds. One version of the deck is distinctly aggressive, using the early deathrattle and sticky minions to push damage through. The other version goes a lot bigger, and is much more midrange slanted. When making a deck you always want to play styles that you are most comfortable with. This will give you the best chance to win. To help you choose what style is best for you a deck building guide and a the core Deathrattle Rogue decklist have been linked below.


Mulligan Guide

In some matches you can mess around when mulliganing, keeping some higher cost cards to set you up for the later stages of the game. This is not one of those matchups. Aggro Shaman is a very fast and explosive deck that wins by coming out faster than their opponent. For that reason, you need to hard mulligan for all of your low cost minions and spells. That means you need to only keep things that cost one or two (or three with the coin). Removal is key here, as is putting up early board presence. Not having something to start the game will almost always lead to a loss.

Cards to Keep

Backstab Leper Gnome Abusive Sergeant Haunted Creeper Eviscerate Loot Hoarder

Situational Keeps

Unearthed Raptor is good with the coin or with a strong opening.

SI:7 Agent should always be kept with the coin or Backstab

Piloted Shredder is a good keep if you have the coin and a strong opening curve.

Defender of Argus can be kept only if you have sticky deathrattle minions (Nerubian Egg, Haunted Creeper) to play before it.

How to Win

You win this matchup by staying alive. That may be obvious, but you need to understand the best way to go about that. Since you have a lack of healing and very few taunts, you have to be extremely proactive. Never wait around for Shaman to make the move, always try to make the aggressive play by putting down minions on the board.

Clear all of their minions as soon as you can. You may want to focus on face or developing your board, but even taking one turn off can give Shaman what they need to win. They have access to a lot of removal, which can then give them a clear board. While you may want to drop an Unearthed Raptor on turn three, using your Abusive Sergeant and Eviscerate to clear often makes more sense.

The other important part of winning this matchup is to understand how important your life is. Aggro Shaman works because of how much burn they have access to. They can kill you out of nowhere if you aren’t careful. Be careful when using your dagger to clear, and also be very careful about how and when you play taunts. The longer this game goes, the more dangerous they get due to the most damage they can draw.

Early Game Strategy

Backstab is going to be your best tool in this matchup. Not only does it enable you to clear out something for free, but you also get to play a minion that same turn. Shaman is an aggro deck with a ton of burn. However, they do need some early board to set up lethal. If you can get minions down they will be forced to use their burn to clear, which then helps keep pressure off of your face.

In the same vein, always try to get value out of SI:7 Agent. The three drop is a powerhouse in the early game, and you want to do your best to trigger it. Playing it on curve is not the worst thing in the world, but you most often want the damage. It is usually even worth waiting a turn to play a card just to make this trigger.

The two cards you want to be ready for are Feral Spirit and Totem Golem. Each of these are very annoying to deal with, and make clearing just that much harder. These two cards are why you need to keep Eviscerate when you see it. Remember, when you are busy clearing, Shaman is setting up damage. As such, always try to empty their board in the most efficient way.

Unearthed Raptor, while not as proactive as your other openers, is a very good card that you want to get down as soon as possible. Shaman protects its minions through burn, and depends on its spells to cement the board. The raptor ruins that plans and almost always gives you something that can trade.

Midgame Strategy

You will start to ramp up your minions during the middle game. However, Shaman won’t care. Rather, they will start to ignore the board and go face as hard as possible to set up lethal. Even your bigger threats like Sylvanas Windrunner do nothing because they will just run past them.

The only way you can stop them from ignoring the board is by putting up taunts. Defender of Argus and Sludge Belcher are the two cards that will carry you through these turns. You have no access to healing, which means taunts are the only ways you can really mitigate damage. Never be afraid to drop either of these minions, and always try to set up defender when it can hit two minions.

The biggest threat Shaman has is Doomhammer. Taking four damage a turn is scary against an aggro deck, and the potential with Rockbiter is usually game-ending if it connects. Taunts are your only way to stop the windfury weapon. Going back to the idea of proactivity, try to set up taunts to intercept the hammer, not after it has already hit you.

Late Game Strategy

The end of this game is usually going to go one of two ways. One, you have full control of the board and a comfortable life total. When that happens, you should win no problem by clearing everything that comes down and steadily wearing down their life. The other is when you are at a low life total, doing your best to not take damage.

For the games where you aren’t breezing through you have to be as aggressive as you can. Just like when playing against Hunter, Shaman will eventually wear your down due to their high amount of burn. You can only really fight that by killing them before they kill you. Once you have the board, start pushing forward as fast as possible. Once you shift into the late turns, you want to end the game before they draw a key Lava Burst or Doomhammer. Only clear the board if you can keep up the pressure or you need to not die.

Final Tip

Never forget about your damage potential. Aggro or Midrange, this is not a battle where you want to race. They have more burn and will more often get your to zero first. That being said, you are a Rogue. Setting up two turn lethal is really hard against Aggro Shaman, but it is possible since they usually ignore the board in favor of going face. If you think you can make the push before they can, don’t be afraid to take a chance.