Miracle Rogue is the premier combo deck on the current ladder. It has a lot of burst, reliable draw and some incredibly strong midrange threats. As a result, when taking to the ladder you need to know how to best combat it. This guide will look at the combo oriented list and focus on how Yogg Druid, another popular deck, is able to use quick ramp and fast combos to take Valeera down.
There is a lot of variation when it comes to building Yogg Druid. Though the core of the deck, which is mainly token based, is going to remain the same, there are a lot of one-ofs that can be changed to best suit your style. Some versions run Onyxia over Cenarius (or sometimes both), some rely on more draw and removal, while others like to fit in more midrange threats. You can also tweak the curve to be better against aggro or control. The choice is yours. To help you figure which direction to go, a deck has been posted on the side.
When facing Rogue you want to prioritize your ramp and then look for your removal. Though they have a string of strong midrange threats, Rogue tends to start slow. You should use that time to get to your bigger cards as quickly as you can. Having an early removal spell will help with turn three, but you need to find your extra mana as soon as you can.
Cards to KeepInnervate Living Roots Raven Idol Power of the Wild Wrath Wild Growth Mulch Feral Rage
Mire Keeper can be kept with early ramp.
Nourish is a strong keep if you have the ramp to play it early.
How to Win
The best way to beat Rogue is by never giving up priority. Any Miracle deck depends on having time to set up their combos or getting a minion to stick. If you play the tempo game, trading while keeping your minions on the board, you should be able to push through a lot of pressure. This will force Rogue to use their cards to clear your threats, taking away their damage and combo potential. Once that happens you should be able to drag out the long game.
Though you always want to find ways to pressure, it is also important to never let Rogue’s minions live if you can afford it. The newer versions play the core draw they always have, but most no longer rely on charge. Rather, they use their minions and burst to end the game from an already set board. If you can make sure they never get anything to stick you should be able to keep the pressure off your own face and play your own game.
Early Game Strategy
As noted, the start of the game is going to be all you. Rogue is usually going to just react to your plays, giving you one, two or three turns where you can freely get extra crystals uncontested. That is very important for your middle game and will open up your removal options. Beyond that, just make sure you clear anything they do play.
An important part of this game is recognizing what type of Rogue you are playing. Though almost all Rogues are miracle, there are two versions running around in Classic and Deathrattle. The Classic is built on spells, while Deathrattle plays to N’zoth. If you see an early Journey for Below or Undercity Huckster, then you are playing Deathrattle. Any other opening and you should assume you are facing Classic.
Innervate out any big threat or big turn that you can. Spamming the board with early minions is a great way to force Rogue to use a lot of their resources earlier than they want to. This eats at their hand quite well. In addition, putting them on Sap can be a good plan, but you never want to commit too many resources to playing a big threat just in case they send it back to your hand.
Turn three is important because it is where Rogue starts to play minions. Any good Rogue player is simply going to run out threats to force your early removal and wear down your hand moving into the middle game. Always try to have three damage ready to fight against both Earthen Ring Farseer and SI:7 Agent.
The middle turns of the game are going to be played in two modes depending on what your opponent is doing. If your opponent gets a strong opening and is able to keep your plays in check you want to be very careful and take the time to kill everything you can. However, if you got the jump early then you need to push, push, push. This is not a game where you can afford to be reactive and these turns are going to be the most important because they will decide if you make it to your end game.
The card you need to be absolutely ready to clear here is Tomb Pillager. The 5/4 is big problem because you cannot afford to take five damage from Rogue and it also will clear a lot of your cards like Violet Teacher or Fandral Staghelm without dying. Just as with having three damage on turn three, your goal should be to have a way to do four damage on turn four.
Understand that you want your opponent to react to you. This means you need to push for as much damage as you can and always play your threats before your opponent does. Rogue is a deck that has so much burst potential that once they get ahead on board you will have to spend all of your time removing their threats. This then sets you back and they drown you in card advantage. Being the aggressor reverses those roles.
Your best threat is Violet Teacher. However, Rogue has a lot of ways to clean up the 3/5. As a result, never go “all in” unless you have already seen some of their removal. If they have a lot of cards you usually want to only make a few tokens to test to see what is in their hand.
Understand that Gadgetzan Auctioneer is going to come down and it is going to draw your opponent cards. You have no way to interact with a big auctioneer turn except by putting off your opponent’s combo by threatening damage. For that reason, it is important to try and stack up a strong board by turn six. It may not hold off your opponent’s combo, but it will at least make them think about it.
Late Game Strategy
The last turns of the game are going to be played depending on your health. If you are at higher levels then your whole goal is going to be pushing to end the game as quickly as possible. However, if you are at the low to mid teens (or lower) you need to just clear as much as possible and play to your big threats. You have a lot of huge game-ending minions, and sometimes stalling until you draw one if the right answer.
By the end of the game Rogue is going to have most of their cards, which means they are going to have most of their damage as well. Clearing is important during the middle game but it become crucial here because their burst ceiling is much higher. In that same vein, pushing for damage and playing to Savage Roar are also key because you want to bait out that burst or kill your opponent before they can kill you.
Try your best to save Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End for the turn your opponent uses their Conceal. It is the only way you can deal with a stealth’d board, and a clutch AOE will help you win games. The only other mode you want to use this in is you have completely lost the board and it is your only out.
Only use Mulch when you absolutely have to. The kill spell is very valuable in this matchup for when you don’t have any other removal at your disposal so you always want to make sure it goes last. Though there are times where you are going to have to use it on midrange threats, the real goal is to save it for a huge Edwin Vancleef.