Tempo Warrior is one of the strongest midrange decks in the current meta. As a result, when taking it to ladder you need to know how to take down the other top tier decks in the game. One of those is Miracle Rogue, the best combo deck in the format. While Miracle has an inherent advantage in most matchups, Tempo Warrior can match up against it quite well. In this guide we will look at Tempo Warrior’s aggressive shell and explore exactly why it is so good against Valeera.
When playing Tempo Warrior there are many directions you can go. While the core of the deck is always going to be the same, strong minions based around damage and resiliency, the fringe cards are completely subjective. One of the best things about Tempo Warrior is how you can always tweak it to fit your style or to combat the decks you see the most on the ladder. You can pack in more removal, run a number of late-game threats or go with a more aggressive build. Each versions is competitive, and each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. You want to play the version that is best against the decks you see the most at your rank. To help you with this, two guides have been linked below.
When mulliganing against Rogue you need to be as aggressive possible. Even a semi-slow hand can cause you to lose the game against one of their smooth draws. All of your low cost minions and weapons are key in this game, and you want all of your three drops with a curve and the coin. This is a matchup where you need to curve out quickly, so you only want to keep a good hand. Fringe cards won’t cut it here.
Cards to KeepArmorsmith Slam Fiery War Axe Ravaging Ghoul Acolyte of Pain
Execute can be a good keep with a strong opening to deal with an early Edwin Vancleef.
Fierce Monkey and Frothing Berserker should always be kept with the coin or on curve.
Kor’kron Elite is a good keep with a fast opening.
Bloodhoof Brave should be kept if it slots in your curve.
How to Win
As noted, the way to win is through aggression. While in many matchups you will try to stick to tempo, you need to try your hardest to put pressure on Rogue. Miracle is a deck that will almost always win if they can set up their early turns. The way they lose is if they burn too many card too early and don’t have enough of a mid-game punch. If you can start applying pressure from turn one or two Rogue is going to be playing on their back foot the entire game, which will allow you to control the pace.
The other half of this battle is being very careful with your health. Rogue is the most explosive deck in the game, but they no longer run the Leeroy burst package they once did. They depend on Conceal and Cold Blood to carry games, making all of their minions a threat. You want to always take the time to clear their minions, no matter how big or small. The only exception to that is when you are pushing for lethal and far out of damage range.
Early Game Strategy
The opening turns of this game are going to be spent with you playing minions and your opponent trying to remove them. You are going to be on priority here, meaning you just run out what you can and see if Rogue has the appropriate answers. They have a good amount of early removal, but the more cards you can force them to use the better chance you are going to have in the middle of the game.
Two great cards to play early on are Acolyte of Pain and Armorsmith. The reason being that Rogue is going to kill each of these minions as efficiently as they can, but they are both low impact. You do not care if your opponent has ways to deal with the cards. Even if they die in one hit they are still going to net you armor or a card. If they aren’t killed they will become sources of reoccurring value.
Both Frothing Berserker and Fierce Monkey are great tools as well. Each of these cards need to be immediately answered, forcing Rogue to often use some of their premium removal, such as Eviscerate. Each of these cards are great ways to run your opponent low on cards early on. Sometimes they can even get a Preparation.
As always, Fiery War Axe is very strong here. You want to equip it on turn two, even if you don’t have a target yet. Rogue runs no weapon removal and having the weapon out gives you a way to clear minions as they come down while also adding to your board.
The middle of the turns of the game are often going to decide the match. That does not mean the game is going to always end here, but most of the time this is going to decide if Rogue will stabilize or succumb to your pressure. The rule here is the same as the opening turns, run out questions and see if your opponent has the answers. You have even stronger minions here, and you need to keep them coming to make sure your opponent never has an open turn. Remember, if they are spending removal they are not usually adding to the board.
You need to watch out for Tomb Pillager. Killing this card may help out their combo, but you cannot allow it to live either. Five damage is a significant chunk of health, so much so that you typically want to clear without using a weapon if you can. Trading into the pillager is a fine play, as is using an Execute (Rogue runs very few large minions).
Rogue’s other beefy minion is Azure Drake, which may be ever scarier than Tomb Pillager because of its spell power. Having four damage, on board or in hand, on turn five is essential.
The biggest turns in this game are going to be turn six or seven, depending on when your opponent has a Gadgetzan Auctioneer. While the crafty goblin usually ends the game on the spot you can overcome it if you press hard enough or if they don’t have Conceal. The best way to counter auctioneer is to make sure you have so much pressure they cannot afford to go all-in on the goblin for risk of dying. This card is why you need to constantly apply damage.
Your best card here is going to be Bloodhoof Brave. Six health is very hard for Rogue to get to (especially if they used removal on your early game cards) and this can be an amazing roadblock that forces some very awkward turns. Bloodhoof is incredibly strong on curve, but it can also be a good way to protect some of your other minions or get a up a taunt later on.
Kor’kron Elite is also very strong. There are two modes to play this card, and you can play to each depending on the situation at hand. You can use it as a last resort removal spell when you are running low on action, or you can run it out and hit your opponent in the face to get in extra damage. While adding other minions is preferable, if you have no other four turn play do not be afraid to use this as burn.
Late Game Strategy
The end game is going to be a race that looks differently from each side. That is to say, you are going to be pushing with minions to reach lethal and your opponent is going to set up a huge turn of burst. Rogue is a deck that just wants one minion to stick and that means most of the time they are going to let you know they have lethal by Concealing a minion. Once that happens the game is usually over, so you need to be fast.
Damage is the most important part of this stage, and you need to be aware of all the ways you can push. While you have both charge minions and weapons, your main three ways of doing massive damage are Ragnaros the Firelord, Malkorok and Grommash Hellscream. If you have any of them you need to run them out as soon as possible.
Note: Ragnaros is also great at killing a Concealed minion. While a 50/50 is never fun, sometimes you have to take it to win the game.
Watch out for Sap at all stages of the game. You only run two or three charge minions, which means the two mana spell is going to annihilate some of your stronger midgame threats. The best way to play around it is to try and bait it out early. If you haven’t seen one, you should always try to play proactive minions instead of something like Cairne Bloodhoof.