Aggro Rogue is a really old archetype. It shined during the time when Miracle Rogue was popular, because it was a really nice counter to it. It emerged now and then to see some brief ladder or tournament play, but generally wasn’t popular for a long time already.
Last month, NA player – Nostam – has created a new version of the deck and finished the season at Legend rank 33. He also took the deck to Legend this season already with a great success.
The deck has pretty strong matchups against a lot of popular decks like Aggro Paladin, Handlock and Midrange Hunter. It however loses to the heavy anti-Aggro decks like Control Priest or Control Warrior. So depending on what you face on the ladder, it can be used to climb it pretty fast!
What’s important to note is that the deck is really cheap. Besides the Loatheb from Naxx (which you should unlock no matter what!), it costs only about 1.5k dust. It doesn’t use anything above Rare, so even more beginner players can afford it.
The deck is not exactly a standard Aggro deck. While the main goal is to go face, it usually starts pretty slowly. The first turns are all about clearing enemy board and getting some board presence. Aggro Rogue is much more combo based than other Aggro decks, thus allowing to unleash the heavy burst in the mid game as long as you keep your minions alive. Enemy is often gonna feel safe at 20+ health and then get bursted down over two turns.
Cold Blood – 4 damage for 1 mana is pretty strong. If enemy has no answer for the buffed minion, it’s gonna push for a lot more. Best when used on Argent Squire because of the Divine Shield. In the situation where you need to combo something else, you might use it for a 2 damage buff.
Deadly Poison – In the early game it serves as a removal. You DON’T want to push for face with Deadly Poison on the first turns – it’s better to develop board presence. A good cheap way to combo other things. Synergizes with Blade Flurry for 3 AoE damage.
Argent Squire – Very sticky 1-drop. Enemy either has to waste a lot of resources to deal with it or ignore it. Great against Aggro, can trade with enemy 1-drops and with help of your Hero Power kill their 2 health minions. The best target for your attack buffs – Cold Blood and buff part of the Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil.
Leper Gnome – Standard Aggro card. Used for early tempo, board presence and as a cheap way to deal damage to enemy. Sometimes Leper Gnome is gonna push for as much as 8 damage in total. Also a good way to combo your stuff.
Southsea Deckhand – Not really a 1-drop – you dont’ want to use him on t1 in a lot of matchups. It synergizes with your Hero Power – in the mid/late game it always has Charge. If you have weapon pre-equipped, it can serve as a great way to combo Sharpsword Oil – for 5 mana you get a 4/2 weapon and 5/1 minion with Charge.
Blade Flurry – This card serves two purposes. The first one is clearing enemy board – especially useful against Aggro. Even 1 damage Blade Flurry can swing the game around against board with a lot of 1 health minions. The second purpose it burst – you can instantly get the damage from both charges of your weapon after using Deadly Poison or Sharpsword Oil.
Eviscerate – In the early game – board control tool. You can easily combo it with either a Coin or some 2-drop to kill most of enemy 2 and 3-drops. You can use it as a 2 damage removal for a Knife Juggler if you have no other way to deal with it. Later in the game, it serves as a way to finish enemy off. You can combo it easily and 4 damage that goes through Taunts often wins you the game.
Sap – A big tempo play. Sap is great way to get rid of enemy slow minions and Taunts. Since your deck is pretty high on tempo, getting rid of enemy mid game play is really big. Using Sap on a minion like Sylvanas Windrunner or Savannah Highmane that have no instant board impact is very strong – if enemy wants to replay them, they need to spend another turn doing that again, at which point you just rush them down. You can use it to get rid of Taunts when you’re close to lethal – something like Sludge Belcher can completely ruin your game plan and Sap helps a lot.
Defias Ringleader – Great tempo play, excellent when you start with Coin. Getting out 2/2 and 2/1 on first turn is big. Good against both Aggro (more bodies to trade) and Control (enemy has more bodies to deal with). The only problem is that it’s weak if you have no way to Combo it – that’s why it’s only one-of. Later in the game it shouldn’t be hard – even on turn 3 a 1-drop + Defias Ringleader is a nice power play.
Goblin Auto-Barber – Good, aggressive 2-drop. While the effect is pretty nice (more damage is never bad and it synergizes with the Blade Flurry) you are often gonna drop him on turn 2 just for the stats. 3/2 are good vanilla stats for a 2-drop and you want some board presence. It may feel wrong to play him without getting any value, but that’s what you should do a lot of time.
Arcane Golem – This card is all about pushing for damage. You generally don’t want to use him on turn 3, because you ramp enemy into Sludge Belcher/Loatheb turn. But the 4 damage Charge is great at finishing the game. It also has synergy with Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, just like Southsea Deckhand you can drop it and instantly buff it when you’re at 7 mana. It’s gonna be one of your more common burst finishers.
Coldlight Oracle – The only card draw in the deck, but a really interesting one. The effect is mirrored, meaning it draws cards for both you and your enemy. The thing about Aggro Rogue, though, is that it can get rid of its hand really quickly. In the mid game you can dump your whole hand onto the board in no time – faster than most other decks. Cards are much more important for you than for slower decks you face – they’re gonna have card advantage on you anyway, so it’s only better for you if it’s for example 2 vs 6 instead of 0 vs 4. The card is high risk, high reward – while it’s a cheap source of cards AND a body on the board, you might help to draw opponent into answer or enemy Aggro deck into lethal. However, in most of the scenarios the card works well for you.
SI:7 Agent – Insane card if you get an opportunity to combo it. Ultimate turn 2 play with Coin. Great at taking out enemy small drops. You don’t want to use the Battlecry on enemy face in the early game unless you have no other good target. If not combo’d – a 3/3 for 3 is not that good, but not bad either. You don’t care about the combo if you have no way to activate it – if you have no other play, just drop it as a 3/3.
Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil – One of your finishers. It’s a mid / late game card that, with help of some board presence, allows you to push for a lot of damage. The card itself deals 9 damage in total for 4 mana if you manage to combo it. When you combine it with your Charge minions or you already have some board presence – you get a guaranteed hit with buffed minion. With Blade Flurry it does 4 damage AoE, including enemy face – really strong. If you really need to remove something or you need a bigger Blade Flurry and you can’t combo that, you might just play it for +3 weapon damage. The value gets lower, but it’s not that terrible.
Piloted Shredder – Probably the best neutral 4-drop in the game. Very aggressively statted, it can push for a lot of damage. The health is pretty low, but enemy often doesn’t actually want to kill it, because you might get something with almost as good stats (or in some very rare cases even the same / better). It means that it’s hard to deal with and it sticks to the board nicely. Since you want to have a board presence to push for damage in the mid game and always have a Sharpsword Oil or Cold Blood target – this one is pretty nice. The only problem with Shredder is that due to poor health it can’t efficiently trade down against a lot of 2-drops and 3-drops.
Loatheb – The biggest drop in your deck, used to set up your lethal turn, protect your board from removals or stall the game for one turn in case you’re close to dying. 5/5 for 5 is pretty good – it allows you to push for a lot of damage or get through the most popular Taunt (Sludge Belcher) more easily. You take out your opponent’s options and you can be pretty sure that most of your board survives if enemy doesn’t have minions to trade. Against decks heavy on spells, especially spell burn, it can give you one more turn to finish off your enemy. Generally you want to use the Loatheb to set up for your big combo burst turn, but just dropping him on 5 is almost never a bad play.
The deck has good matchup against other popular Aggro decks: Face Hunter, Aggro Paladin and Mech Shaman. In those matchups you need to play a board control game – sometimes you’re not gonna hit enemy Hero until turn 4 or 5! Argent Squire and Blade Flurry are great in those matchups. Squire gives you early board control – when it comes to popular 1-drops and 2-drops, it only really loses to Haunted Creeper. Turn 3-4 Deadly Poison + Blade Flurry can often seal the game. A lot of time even Blade Flurry on 1 damage weapon is enough to clear most of the enemy board. Also, try to not take too much face damage. While in the early game you can clear some 1 health minions with your weapon in order to protect your board – later you prefer to clear enemy minions with spells or trade off your own minions. Remember that Aggro matchups are really explosive and probably won’t last longer than 7 or 8 turns. Those are the turns when it’s easier for you to do your combos. That’s why surviving until then is really important. If you do survive – you can easily burst enemy down over 2 turns thanks to the Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil and Cold Blood.
Aggro Rogue also has a nice matchup against Midrange Hunter. The deck is slower so it should be easier to survive the early game and you’re gonna outburst it in the mid game. The tempo advantage that Sap gives you is also really important. If enemy spends his whole turn 6 on Savannah Highmane and you just Sap it – you’re in the great position to win the game. Even Sapping Piloted Shredder is usually fine if you can follow Sap with a 2-drop or you have some board presence and you’re pushing. Freezing Trap is also underwhelming against you – you run a lot of 1-drops which are good targets to get back into your hand. Especially the Southsea Deckhand – if you’re sure the trap is Freezing, you can just charge him into it for an easy activation. Since their mid game drops are pretty slow, the only way for Midrange Hunter to clear your board effectively is Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds combo. If they don’t have it, they’re gonna have hard time.
Another good matchups are slow Warlock decks. Whether it’s Demon Warlock or Handlock – you should be able to burst them easily. The trick is to surprise them with your mid game burst. You don’t want to get them too low so they won’t Taunt Up / Heal hard (when it comes to Handlock you don’t want to put him into Molten Giant range). You want to keep the combo cards in your hand to unleash it in one turn. For example – on turn 8 (with pre-equipped Hero Power weapon) you can do the Southsea Deckhand + Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil + Cold Blood + Blade Flurry for 17 burst damage. If you have some board presence, you can easily combo enemy for 20+ damage. And that’s what you aim for in those matchups. Sap is great in both of them – it’s a great way to get rid of big Taunts and gain the tempo. Loatheb is also great at setting up lethal turn – if you play him before the turn when you intend to burst enemy, you should have at least some board presence, which increases your total damage output.
When it comes to bad matchups, anything that’s suited to destroy Aggro is hard to win against. Good examples are Control Warrior and Control Priest. Both decks are very hard to beat, because you can’t really rush them down in the early game – they have a lot of answers for your early threats. You can’t burst them because they have the ways to keep their life total high. The best way to play against those decks is try to put as much pressure as you can early, while keeping your combo cards. Often you’re gonna need two turns of combo to kill them. The games will last way longer than the games against fast decks, which is generally bad for you, but gives you an opportunity to draw into more combo pieces and operate with higher amounts of mana to make your combos better. Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil and Cold Blood are one of the better cards in this matchup – if you combo them, they let you push for a lot of damage. Two turns of 15+ damage combos can be enough. Keep Saps for the later turns – sapping a Sludge Belcher on turn 5 usually won’t help you unless you already put a lot of pressure and can rush enemy down. If enemy plays a hyper-anti-Aggro version (like Control Warrior with Deathlords or Sunwalkers – I’ve actually met a few), then you pretty much have no way to win the game unless they draw really poorly and you get great draws.
Another bad matchup is Zoo Warlock. It’s one of the decks that can out-tempo you with the proper cards. Turn 1 Voidwalker contest your 1-drops and you’re often forced to Hero Power on turn 2. Haunted Creeper and Imp Gang Boss are really annoying because of the 1/1’s they spawn. Defender of Argus can stop your push easily. Blade Flurry is either awesome or useless. If enemy has a lot of Deathrattle minions on the board, most notably Nerubian Egg or Voidcaller, the Blade Flurry can actually work against you. You have no easy way to deal with their big Demons – doomguard and Mal’ganis – you can only Sap them once they come out of Voidcaller and that’s not really a tempo gain since they got them for free in the first place. It’s really hard to take the board control back from the Zoo Warlock. Most often your biggest chance to win is to cheese it with a mid game burst after they damage themselves by tapping few times or playing Flame Imp. Try to squeeze some damage in the early game and finish everything with the mid game burst. Something like Deckhand + Oil followed by Blade Flurry + Eviscerate might be the best way for you to win. If the game lasts too long – you have no chance, Zoo has much better late game, he can draw 2 cards per turn, Taunt up or even play Mal’ganis to just seal the game if you have no Sap.
Most of the other popular matchups aren’t that lopsided. Decks like Midrange Druid, Patron Warrior, Midrange Paladin, Tempo Mage etc. are between 45% and 55%. I haven’t got enough experience to talk about less popular matchups like Midrange Shaman or Echo Mage because I’ve played only few of those. If you have a question about certain matchup, feel free to ask about it in the comments and I’ll try to help you!
Mulligan with this deck is pretty easy, just like with any other Aggro deck. Most of the time you take only two variables into the account – speed of enemy deck and starting order (whether you go first or second). While it’s less important for most of the decks, starting second is really big for Rogue in general, because of the Combo mechanic. Even though this deck is not as heavy on combos as Oil Rogue, starting with the Coin still benefits you because you run no Backstab to activate the combo for free.
Against fast decks, you want to gain the early tempo. You absolutely want to mulligan for your 1-drops – Argent Squire is the best one against Aggro, but Leper Gnome and Southsea Deckhand are also fine. Goblin Auto-Barber is your only 2-drop so you want it most of the time. While it’s not that good as a turn 2 play against Aggro, it’s better than playing nothing. When it comes to the spells, you can keep the Deadly Poison – especially against decks that run 2-drops you HAVE to kill just Knife Juggler or Mechwarper. Blade Flurry is good keep if you also have Deadly Poison – you can combo those two on turn 3 for a board clear. Against Aggro Paladin – you should keep it even without the Poison. It’s your only clear way to deal with the Muster for Battle, which can devastate you on turn 3.
If you’re starting with the Coin, you want to keep Defias Ringleader or SI:7 Agent. Generally you don’t want to keep both of those, because you have no way to reliably combo one and another. In most of matchups, you prefer to keep the SI:7 Agent – it often allows you to kill their 1-drop/2-drop for free, giving you a huge tempo swing. Keep both of those only if you also have two 1-drops in your opening hand. This way you can play 1-drop on turn 1, Coin + SI:7 Agent on turn 2 and then 1-drop + Defias Ringleader on turn 3. It’s one of the best starts you can get.
Mulligan against slow decks is much more tricky. Depending on the enemy you face and your approach – you can take it faster and mulligan hard for the 1-drops and 2-drops or you can take it slower and even keep the Piloted Shredder.
You absolutely want your 1-drops. Against slower decks that can’t easily ping, Leper Gnome is probably the best one. Against those that can ping – Argent Squire is better. You want Southsea Deckhand only if it can’t get pinged – if you play against let’s say Mage or Druid – you probably want to play him later with Charge. In Control matchups, early board presence is important – you want minions. Keep the Goblin Auto-Barber and SI:7 Agent just for the minion presence. If you can get their effects on the later turns – it’s nice, but don’t keep them just because you get no Battlecry / Combo value. When it comes to the spells, you don’t really want any. The only exception is Cold Blood when you have Argent Squire. The 5/1 minion with Divine Shield in the early game is really hard to deal with – unless enemy has Silence, he’s gonna take a lot of damage or waste a lot of resources. You might keep Deadly Poison / Eviscerate depending on the deck you face. If you play against slow deck with early anti-Aggro minions like Zombie Chow those cards can come handy to protect your small drops. Minions have much higher priority over spells, though – if you don’t have a good minion curve, don’t keep the spells.
When you start with the Coin – this time you usually prefer to use it on Defias Ringleader instead of SI:7 Agent (it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to keep both). The 2 damage doesn’t matter that much in the slow matchup – you often don’t even have any target for it on turn 2 anyway. And getting 2/2 + 2/1 on turn 1 is a big tempo play and can push for a lot of damage, waste some removals (e.g. both Fiery War Axe charges) etc. You might also keep the Piloted Shredder if you get a 1-drop and 2-drop. Coining Shredder out on turn 3 is a big power play and allows you to push hard. Since you already have 1-drop and 2-drop on the board (if not removed), adding the Shredder to the mix means enemy is gonna have hard time clearing all of them.
If you’re sure that you play against spell-heavy deck like Oil Rogue of Freeze Mage, you might keep the Loatheb in your starting hand. While it’s really slow, it might completely screw their whole turn and protect your board. Especially good against Freeze Mage – giving you one turn in the mid / late game with some board presence usually means you can burst enemy down and pop his Ice Block, making things awkward for him.
Tips & Tricks
- Tempo is much more important than value when you play this deck. I know it often hurts to play minions with Battlecry / Combo without getting a full value, but that’s how the deck works. You need early minion presence, so dropping Goblin Auto-Barber on turn 2 or SI:7 Agent on turn 3 without benefiting from their effects is the right play if you have nothing better to do.
- Even though you’re the Aggro deck – don’t mindlessly attack enemy face with your weapon. Keep in mind that a lot of your damage comes from weapon buffs – Deadly Poison and Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil. If you have those cards in your hand and plan to use them soon, keeping the weapon at 2 charges is important. Attack enemy face with your Dagger only when you can re-equip it on the same turn, when you’re sure you’ll be able to do so before the combo turn or when you’re pushing for last points of damage.
- Coin is a really great tool in Rogue, so don’t just throw it away for almost no value. It gives you an easy way to activate combos. While most of the cards are relatively easy to combo with your 1-drops, Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil is more tricky. You often don’t want to combo it using Leper Gnome or Argent Squire if you have more minions on the board, because if you drop the attack buff on them you get no instant value (and they can get Silenced/removed). Coin allows you to drop Oil on the board first and then follow with other minions.
- If you have the free mana, use your Cold Blood to push for damage. You aren’t likely gonna deal more than 4 damage with it, so unless you need the surprise burst, you can just push the enemy harder. The best Cold Blood target is Argent Squire because of Divine Shield. Against slower decks, you generally you prefer to use it on 1 or 2 attack minions, because using it on 3+ attack minion puts him into Big Game Hunter range. 2/2 minions are probably your best bet besides Argent Squire – they can’t get pinged and end up with “only” 6 attack.
- Coldlight Oracle is a really interesting case. First, you don’t want to use him until you run out of other plays. Play him only if he’s your only good option or when you’re desperately looking for something. You usually don’t want to drop it on 3 – it’s slow in terms of tempo and you give enemy more early/mid game options. Remember that if you’re close to death, playing Coldlight is often not worth it because of how risky it is – you can for example help Hunter and draw Kill Command for him. The fun thing about this card is that you can use it to mill enemy. There are some decks which often stay around 8-9 cards, like Handlock, Freeze Mage or Patron Warrior. While it often doesn’t matter, burning cards from a combo deck might be really big. For example, if you burn Alexstrasza against Freeze Mage, it might win you the game. Even burning the Ice Block, Ice Barrier or some AoE can be pretty big. Sometimes I even let Freeze Mage draw a lot by hitting his Acolyte of Pain with small minions and Dagger and then following with Coldlight to burn 3-4 cards.
- Sap has a lot of good uses. The first and most obvious is getting rid of enemy Taunt when you’re pushing for damage. But that’s not all. You generally want to Sap to gain the tempo. For example, if enemy plays Piloted Shredder and you already have some board presence on turn 4, you can Sap enemy Shredder, play a 2-drop and push your tempo advantage. Even though you don’t gain a lot of value – in the tempo matchups Sapping something slow is as good as killing it. Enemy usually can’t just replay the Shredder or you’re gonna push for a lot of damage. The bigger and slower minions you Sap is – the better. But you can also use Sap on the minions that you don’t want to kill because of their Deathrattle. For example, you can Sap Mad Scientist if you can’t let enemy get the Trap or Sap Leper Gnome to prevent 2 damage you’d take by killing it. The last function of Sap is stalling the game – when you already have the combo in your hand but you need a turn or two to set it up, you can Sap opponent’s big minion in order to slow the game down and gain some time.
- Plan ahead. Unlike most Aggro decks, this one is based on combos and combos usually need some set-up and preparation. Don’t think only about what you’re gonna do this turn – think of the next turn and turn after that. In the mid game you want to switch the gears, stop playing board control game and start going hard for the face. Think about the best moment to do that. Try to not float the mana – mana is tempo, the more you use it, the bigger advantage you get. Sometimes making a little worse play that’s on the curve might be better if it’s gonna set up for a bigger, better play next turn. When it comes to mana floating, it’s especially important in the early turns. One mana on turn 3 is 1/3 of your turn – that’s really big and you don’t want to waste that. Let’s say it’s turn 2 and you have two 1-drops (Leper Gnome, Southsea Deckhand) and 2-drop (Goblin Auto-Barber) in your hand. You have no 3-drop. Using both 1-drops would be a better play in terms of tempo – you’d gain more damage and it’s harder to remove 2 minions in the early game. But on the other hand, your turn 3 would be really weak – using just Auto-Barber unless you top-deck something. Dropping Auto-Barber on turn 2 and then following with Hero Power + Southsea Deckhand is usually a better play. Not only the Southsea gains Charge, but you also set up the weapon for either a buff or just pinging something. You also still have the Leper Gnome to fill out your curve or activate combos in case you need it.
Alternate & Tech Cards
The deck has couple of flexible spots. Depending on what matchups you face, you might want to remove/add some of the cards. Your general game plan won’t likely change – you might just want to improve certain matchups by couple of percent. When it comes to the flexible cards, here is the list of those you can remove (somtimes you want to remove only one, sometimes you can get rid of both copies):
- Cold Blood – This card is pure damage, it doesn’t really do anything else. It means that you can get rid of it and replace it with some other ways to deal damage.
- Argent Squire – It’s great against Aggro, but sucks against classes like Warrior or Priest.
- Blade Flurry – Another card that’s strong in fast matchups, but pretty weak in slow ones. If you draw both of them against slow deck early, they’re dead cards.
- Defias Ringleader – A pretty good minion IF you combo it. The problem is that if you don’t start with the Coin, you often can’t drop him on the early turns and have to wait until t4-t5 to actually use him.
- Goblin Auto-Barber – Once again, if you get the effect, it’s really good minion. But if you don’t, it’s just a plain 3/2 for 2 and there are some better choices for a 2-drop in that case.
- Arcane Golem – 4/2 Charge is really strong, but the negative effect is crippling in the early game. You want to use him as a finisher, not as a 3-drop, so if you run 2 of those there is a chance you draw into both early.
- Piloted Shredder – Great against slow decks, sucks against Aggro most of time. He’s really aggressively statted – 4/3 means that it can’t really trade down efficiently. Most of the time will be Silenced or just ignored.
And don’t get me wrong – all of the above cards are good and they work! They just can be weak in certain situations or matchups. You can try to switch them and see how it works out for you. When it comes to the list of cards you can include in the deck, here it is:
Backstab is a great choice against fast decks. It serves as the early removal without any tempo loss. Killing their 2-drop with Backstab while playing your own means that you’re 2 mana ahead of your enemy. It can be used as a cheap way to activate your combos – especially the one of SI:7 Agent, which is hard to combo in the early game without Coin. Even when going first, you’re able to Backstab one minion and SI:7 another on turn 3. Really strong.
The problem with Backstab is that it’s pretty weak against slow decks. In the early game you don’t really need to Backstab anything most of the time and later in the game, 2 damage doesn’t do much. It might help you with activating the Oil, but that’s it.
Worgen Infiltrator is an interesting case. It’s a good 1-drop because you’re usually guaranteed to get at least one hit. It can serve as the early removal – playing him on turn 1 means you can attack whatever 2-drop your enemy plays. Opponents often even skip turn 2 because they don’t want their e.g. Knife Juggler to die. You can set him up before Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil turn to have some minion to drop the buff on.
Good all-around 1-drop. Early removal against Aggro and guaranteed damage against Control.
This guy is pretty interesting. Against Aggro, Annoy-o-Tron is really great. Not only enemy has to hit it two times – he also can’t ignore it. The Taunt and Divine Shield are great combination – it gets rid of all enemy 1-drops. Later in the game it protects you against Charge minions or can let you pick the trades you want. The only problem is Silence – after Silence it becomes 1/2 for 2 mana, which is really bad. At least it trades 1 for 1 with the Owl.
Because of the Divine Shield – great target for Cold Blood. 5/2 Taunt with Divine Shield is very strong even against slower decks. The same goes for the Oil buff. Talking about slower decks – he is a great way to protect your board against enemy minions and weapons. If enemy has only big guys on the board, in some extreme scenarios Annoy-o-Tron might tank about 10 damage. Against slower decks you don’t want to drop him on turn 2 – he’s too slow. Drop him once you have some board presence that is being threatened by enemy minions.
Haunted Creeper serves the same purpose as the Argent Squire. It’s really sticky and great against Aggro decks. The 1 Attack is not meant to push for a lot of damage, but can easily trade with enemy small minions and be annoying. Thanks to Haunted Creeper, you pretty much always have some board presence for your attack buffs. If you combine the 1 Attack with your Hero Power, you can ping a lot of enemy minions. Really solid 2-drop choice, especially against faster decks.
In slower matchup it usually doesn’t hit hard enough. But it’s still a nuisance for your enemy.
Additional points if you also add the Knife Juggler to your deck. Those two have a nice synergy.
Knife Juggler is one of the strongest aggressive 2-drops in the game. The only problem is that Rogue doesn’t have anything that greatly synergizes with it. Hunter has Unleash the Hounds, Warlock has Imp-losion, Paladin has Muster for Battle… But still, you run a lot of small drops so getting Knife Juggler value won’t be that hard. If you just drop it on turn 2 it should get more value than Goblin Auto-Barber.
If you include Knife Juggler, you should probably also throw the Haunted Creeper in, like I’ve mentioned above. When you trade it with something while having Knife Juggler on the board, that’s 2 knives for free. With enough of the good RNG, it might kill another minion or at least finish the one you’ve attacked (if it had 2 health).
Generally a nice little minion to have. Loot Hoarder doesn’t really do much – 2/1 for 2 is really meh, but the great thing is that it cycles itself. You have a lot of 1 health minions so enemy can’t ping them all – thus the 1 health often doesn’t matter that much. If you’re gonna trade it into something – suddenly you’re getting nice value. And cycling is the important part. Sometimes you end up not drawing your Oil and it’s hard to combo the enemy without it. More cycle, more card draws means that you draw into your damage combo pieces more consistently. Also you’re less likely to completely run out of cards. Between Loot Hoarder and Coldlight Oracle, you shouldn’t have any problems with card draw.
Edwin VanCleef is good in tempo-based Rogue decks. You can easily get him to 4/4 or even 6/6 for 3 mana. If not Silenced, he can push for a lot of damage. Coin + VanCleef is a pretty strong turn 2 play – getting 4/4 out can punish a lot of minions. Later in the game it’s easy to combo him with your small drops and spells – you should however aim to get a 6/6 most of time – it’s out of the Big Game Hunter range and Silence changes it into 2/2 anyway. Yeah, there are two real problems with Edwin. The first is Silence – it’s pretty popular in the current meta. And turning your 3-drop into 2/2 is pretty bad. Not game-losing bad, but still. The second problem is that if you don’t start with Coin, you don’t have a way to combo him before turn 4. And on turn 4 you can just drop the Piloted Shredder. It’s good either if you start with the Coin or in the mid game – turn 5-6 is where you can really start comboing him.
Overall a pretty strong choice, especially against slower decks – it can push for a lot of damage and if it baits Silence, enemy at least won’t have it for your attack buffs.
King Mukla is a pretty interesting case. You don’t play the value game with this deck – you play the tempo game. King Mukla is great at the tempo. The 5/5 for 3 is really great. Giving opponent 2 Bananas might seem really bad, but in reality it often doesn’t matter. Only certain decks can really benefit from them. For example – you don’t want to give the Bananas to Tempo Mage. But you can give them to every slower deck – they probably won’t have a good opportunity to use them anyway, because they want to play on the curve. Dropping Mukla on empty board on turn 3 usually means that he’s gonna survive and be pretty hard to kill. Can push for a lot of damage. A more gimmicky thing is that you can combine Mukla with Coldlight Oracle on turn 6 if enemy is high on cards. It lets you draw while enemy doesn’t – you’ve filled his hand with Bananas first.
Defender of Argus
Defender of Argus is a pretty strong drop, especially against Aggro decks. The thing is that you usually win in the long run against things like Face Hunter or Aggro Paladin, but sometimes they’re just gonna rush you down. Defender of Argus kinda helps against that. Putting a Taunt on the board means that enemy is forced to do the trades. Taunting up Argent Squire makes a better version of Annoy-o-Tron. Taunting up 1 health minions put them out of range of pings and Whirlwind effects. The +1/+1 buff allows you to make more efficient trades or to push for more damage. Playing Defender of Argus is a good way to switch between defense and offense. With two Taunts on the board you can suddenly start pushing and rush enemy pretty quickly.
It’s good in both Aggro and Control matchup. The only problem with Argus is that it requires some board presence. To get the real value you NEED to use him on two minions. And if you have an empty board – playing 2/3 for 4 is one of the worst things ever.
Azure Drake might be great if you want to make your deck a little slower. It’s definitely not good against Aggro, but if you face a lot of slow matchup, Azure Drake might be a great way to do some stuff. First, it refills your hand – it’s a great thing to drop. By turn 5 enemy usually knows that you’re the Aggro deck and will often throw removals on your smaller minions. Azure Drake can really surprise him. The +1 Spell Damage can come handy – you can combo it with Eviscerate and Blade Flurry bigger removal or more face damage. And the 4/4 body is not that bad after all – it’s out of range of the most common AoEs and often requires enemy actually hitting it with weapon, thus taking damage.
Against Aggro decks Azure Drake is too slow. You rarely need to draw the cards in the mid game since the game doesn’t last too long anyway. Playing 4/4 for 5 is a tempo loss – playing for example 1 drop + Piloted Shredder or Loatheb is SO MUCH better when it comes to the tempo. The first play puts more attack into play and is harder to remove, the second one denies their options (and is also harder to remove). But in some cases Azure Drake might turn out to be just good enough.
Aggro Rogue is surely a deck worth giving a try! It definitely works in the current meta. Nostam proved it by hitting high Legend ranks last season and grinding really fast Legend this season too. I’ve also had a lot of the success with the deck this season, getting around 66% win rate over ~50 games. It was also one of my favorite decks in the Miracle Rogue times (besides the Miracle itself, obviously)! Since the TGT is coming really close – it’s hard to say how it’s gonna work soon. Maybe it’s gonna be much stronger and maybe useless. I’ll try to update the decklist with new cards and test it once it comes out.
So that’s it. I hope you guys enjoyed the guide. If you have any thoughts, questions or ideas – leave your comments in the section below!