This is the matchup analysis of Fatigue Warrior versus Rogue.
We’re using this decklist as a basis. Keep in mind there are decklists with slight variations, each one tweaked to the player’s own taste and the meta they’re facing.
Cards To KeepShield Slam Fiery War Axe Slam Bash Bouncing Blade Death’s Bite
Shield Block with Shield Slam
Harrison Jones if the rest of your hand is good or you know that you face the Oil Rogue, not a more Aggro build
Rogue Meta Decks
Honestly, I have played only 2 games against the Rogue with this deck. One against the Oil Rogue and one against the Pirate Rogue. 2 games after over 100 games in total. So this section will be based on the theory mostly for two reasons. The first one is, obviously, because I don’t have enough experience in those matchups so I didn’t get enough practice. And the second one is that Rogue is one of the least popular classes in the meta and you won’t likely meet them often, so you won’t likely need the best possible description of the matchups.
TGT didn’t give any new tools for the Rogue, the Inspire cards and Justicar Trueheart (probably the biggest neutral Legendary in the set) are useless in this class. It means that a lot of decks got stronger, while Oil Rogue didn’t. TGT allowed to build a semi-viable Pirate Rogue deck, but it’s still not really popular thing. Control Rogue is another thing people have tried, but it’s generally a fail. I mean, it would actually be very strong against the Fatigue Warrior (ironically one of the worst legends of the set – Anub’arak would be incredibly strong in this matchup), but it sucks against lots of decks so it’s also not popular.
The first archetype I’m going to cover is Pirate Rogue. You actually have to treat it like a standard Aggro deck.
You have a much stronger late game, but they have a lot of the early game tempo. So you need to survive the early game and you should start stabilizing after turns 5-6. Pirate Rogue has a very strong early game because of the synergies. Buccaneer opening is actually not that scary for you, because it’s mostly a 2/1 minion.
If enemy wants to Hero Power on turn 2, you don’t mind – he loses a lot of tempo by doing that, even if the weapon is 2/2. He might also run other 2/1’s like Leper Gnome and Southsea Deckhand. While not really too threatening, you don’t have a great way to deal with 1 health minions. Slam or Fiery War Axe will probably be the best ones.
On turn 2 Rogue might drop the Ship’s Cannon and that’s a very high priority target. It’s like a big version of Knife Juggler, but only for Pirates. Let’s say enemy plays 3 Pirates when Ship’s Cannon is on the board and it suddenly deals 6 additional damage. Since you won’t likely have any minions on the board, that’s like a free Fireball into your face. You can’t afford that. But since it’s a 2/3 it lines perfectly with the Axe or Bash.
The other 2-drop they run is Bloodsail Raider, but since they don’t have any weapon on turn 2 that’s just a 2/3, so again, no problem when it comes to removal.
Some builds also ran the One-Eyed Cheat, but I don’t think it’s viable in so Paladin-heavy meta (where it can be countered so easily by Muster for Battle on turn 3), which also has a lot of Mages in it (1 damage Hero Power).
Try to remove every Pirate from the board before turn 3, because they have Shady Dealer and Southsea Captain. While the Captain is 3/3, so it should also be removed easily, Shady Dealer – if buffed – might be harder. While it lines with the Death’s Bite, taking 5 damage from a 3-drop hurts in an Aggro matchup.
Turn 4 shouldn’t be the hard one in this matchup. They MIGHT run the Piloted Shredder, but only one version of the Pirate Rogue I’ve seen did. It’s mostly a 2x 2-drop or 3-drop + 1-drop etc. So while the play is high tempo, it’s pretty low on the value.
Turn 5 is that last “big” proactive turn they probably will have. Azure Drake is their first play – it’s good, because not only it lets them refill their hand, it’s still a 4/4 threat. The other one is Captain Greenskin. The 5/4 for 5 is bad, but in case enemy has the weapon in play it might be one of your worst nightmares. Even the 1/2 dagger is turned to a 2/3, meaning a lot more damage.
Not to mention that a lot of builds run a single Assassin’s Blade. It’s one of the best cards in the matchup if you don’t have Harrison Jones. If you do – destroying it should mean you win the game. But if you don’t, that’s 12 damage for 5 mana AT BASE. While it takes 4 turns to swing 4 times, Rogue has a lot of time, because you don’t really pressure him. If you think 12 damage for 5 is good, think again. With Deadly Poison or Captain Greenskin that suddenly becomes 20 damage. If Rogue also plays the Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, he can kill you with that weapon only.
The first 5 turns are probably the hardest ones for you. You have to deal with all their threats, if you manage to and you’re still at high health, they shouldn’t be able to kill you. If you kill everything they play up this point, they should be running out of steam. The big weapon is probably their best win condition right now. Even if you don’t have Harrison, Sludge Belchers are another way to block it.
In best case scenario, if enemy has no way to deal with the 1/2 Slime leftover, one Belcher can tank two big weapon hits. Belcher is AWESOME in this matchup – Rogue rarely has enough space in the deck to put the Sap or Ironbeak Owl there. Pirate Rogue might have some surprise burst with stuff like Southsea Deckhand + Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, Eviscerate or even Skycap’n Kragg. It means that you shouldn’t be too greedy with the weapons, staying at high health is a good thing.
Playing your defensive minions as soon as you can is also a good rule of thumb – once you take the board and start gaining Armor, Rogue won’t win the game. Even if they run the Sprint, they have to spend their whole turn 7 to use it. Meaning that unless you’re really low on health, it gives you a whole turn to get ahead and just seal the game. The game won’t likely go to the fatigue – Rogue won’t likely have a way to deal with your minions. Yes, they can eat Execute or a big weapon hit, but Rogue won’t likely do that – he needs those to kill you, he can’t afford to use win conditions (direct damage) on your minions.
Oil Rogue was still pretty popular before TGT. It wasn’t the best deck ever and you didn’t meet a lot of them, but it was present. Right now, it’s not. Like I’ve said, TGT didn’t give anything new to the Oil Rogue, while others got stronger, so Oil is kinda left behind. You will rarely face this deck, I think it’s even less common than the new Pirate Rogue actually. But when, if you do, the matchup is very explosive.
When it comes to the Early game, it’s really good for you. Rogue rarely runs small drops – no 1 drops, sometimes they do have a Goblin Auto-Barber in 2-drop slot, but that’s fine. Another thing they can drop on 2 is Bloodmage Thalnos, but that’s also obviously fine. It’s a 1/1 and you can just ignore it for now if you don’t have a way to kill it. Not only you deny the card draw, but the +1 Spell Damage is useless at this point.
Often Rogue won’t drop anything until turn 3. But the turn 3 also isn’t very strong – he has two 3/3 minions – SI:7 Agent or Earthen Ring Farseer. But that’s not a problem – in both of cases you’re going to take them down with Fiery War Axe, Bash or Death’s Bite. They will be dropped as vanilla 3/3’s, because Rogue won’t likely waste the Coin to deal 2 damage (SI:7 Agent’s Combo) and he’s going to be at 30 health so the 3 healing from Earthen Ring is also useless.
Sometimes Rogue might go for a big power move with Edwin VanCleef, especially if he starts second. It’s a very risky move from his side, so you aren’t going to see it often, but stuff like Hero Power on turn 2 into Deadly Poison + Coin + Preparation + Eviscerate + Edwin VanCleef might happen on turn 2. It makes a very big body (10/10 in this case). It’s a really desperate move against you, because it can get taken down with Execute, Bouncing Blade and Big Game Hunter. But if they’re lucky and you have basically no answer, such a big minion on turn 3 can carry the game. Even though 10/10 or bigger will be rare, 4/4 or 6/6 VanCleef is much more often. That’s why Bouncing Blade can be good in the early game.
But, turn 4 is where Rogue really starts the game. He has two powerful drops – Piloted Shredder or Violet Teacher. Deal with the first one like in any other matchup – weapon hit or Bash for the first body and then you need to adjust depending on whatever drops from it.
Violet Teacher might be tricky. The minion is really scary, because it can spawn A LOT of 1/1’s and as you already know, Fatigue Warrior has a bad time dealing with 1/1’s. You need to kill it as soon as possible. Keeping Slam for the exactly that reason – Violet Teacher is out of range of your weapon hits or Bash, but thanks to the Slam you can get it into the range.
Bouncing Blade might be perfect counter or nearly useless card. If he drops Violet Teacher on turn 4 without doing anything more, you can just snipe it with the Blade. But If he has the Coin and goes for something like Coin + Poison or does the high tempo play with let’s say Preparation + Eviscerate into face to spawn two 1/1’s, you can’t kill it with the Bouncing Blade anymore. If you don’t have a way to kill it instantly, that’s not a BIG deal if you have the Death’s Bite. You can equip it and hit into something. If your life total isn’t under any threat, you can hit the Violet Teacher to make it 3/1. Then, you’re going to kill it with Whirlwind Effect on the second hit + you also can kill Azure Drake if enemy plays one + all the 1/1 leftovers. This play loses against Earthen Ring Farseer – if enemy has it, he can heal up the Violet Teacher to 4 and you are forced to hit it again. The more safe play is to attack the face with 1st charge and then Teacher with the second.
Turn 5 is most likely Azure Drake. Again, cycling, drawing cards, having some board presence – that’s what Rogue wants. And you want to deny them the board presence.
If Rogue has no minions, the Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil suddenly becomes much worse. Loatheb is big in this matchup for the enemy. That’s another reason you want to clear the board. I mean, you might want to bait a great Brawl or something, but if enemy already has a lot of minions on the board and he goes for something like Loatheb + Prep + Oil, you probably lost the game.
Don’t be too greedy. Oil Rogue doesn’t run A LOT of threats and most of them are mid range. It means that you can eventually grind them out of the cards. Just kill every threat they play, gain as much Armor as you can to stay out of their burst range and that’s it. You should win the game this way. The only big threat Rogue usually runs is Dr. Boom, and that’s often the only Big Game Hunter target in this matchup. He’s going to draw it eventually with the amount of cycle he has, so just keep BGH to kill it.
Another BGH target is actually a 4+ attack minion buffed by the Oil, so you shouldn’t play it for the tempo on turn 3 (it often just dies to Backstab or SI:7 which you don’t really want). The story of this matchup is that you deal with their mid game threats and then you try to get out of range of their burst. You want to draw cards. Don’t keep the Shield Block and cycle the Slams.
Also, try to Harrison Jones a big weapon, but even doing that on a 1/2 is often good enough. It gives you some tempo, draws 2 cards and gives minion on the board. Rogue is going to draw A LOT in this matchup, so you can’t stay behind. You don’t worry about getting into fatigue – Rogue is going to fatigue way before you. Between Bloodmage Thalnos, Fan of Knives, Azure Drake and Sprint Rogue should be at Fatigue when you’re still at 10 cards left in your deck. So drawing can get you into the right answers you maybe would not get otherwise.
Your deck has enough answers for every Rogue’s threat, your only problem is to draw them all in the right order. Justicar Trueheart is absolute beast in this matchup – by gaining 4 Armor per turn you quickly escape the Rogue’s burst range. The matchup can go either way and it really depends on your answers for their threats. But I think that Fatigue Warrior is a favorite here.