Hey everyone! Today I’m gonna be talking about one of my favorite decks to come out of GVG: Dog’s Miracle Rogue Deck! This is a variation on the old style Miracle Rogue, which used [card]Leeroy-Jenkins[/card] and [card]Shadowstep[/card] and [card]cold-blood[/card] as a lethal combo. In order to draw into this combo, miracle players would use [card]gadgetzan-auctioneer[/card] along with a slew of cheap spells such as [card]backstab[/card] and [card]conceal[/card] to draw a multitude of cards. The deck also used early game control cards such as [card]eviscerate[/card] and [card]fan-of-knives[/card] to prevent it from being overrun.
This deck was once an extremely dominate force in the Hearthstone metagame, but then Leeroy was nerfed and the deck disappeared. Recently though, the popular streamer Dog ran a new version of Miracle Rogue on the ladder with some great success. He also brought this deck to the Battle of the Best 2. I personally think this deck is really neat and a lot of fun to play. Let’s take a look at it!
The basis of Dog’s version of Miracle Rogue is to replace the old win-condition of Leeroy/Shadowstep with a slew of legendaries that allow for some interesting game-ending combos. In order to set up these combos, the same basic strategy is followed: use early-game removal to stay alive, then use [card]gadgetzan-auctioneer[/card] to draw into your game ending combos. The deck is very difficult and technical to play. One must consider how to best gain value out of the Gadgetzans, because without draw power, you are guaranteed to be unable to reach the end game lethal damage that you need. However, since it is such a difficult deck to play, winning with it gives a huge sense of satisfaction, and if you can play it right, the deck is not a common one, and this can give you the edge as you compete on the ladder.
This is a happy little card that helps against early game aggression and, more importantly, helps to trigger the combo mechanics on cards like [card]eviscerate[/card] and [card]si7-agent[/card]. It’s also a zero-cost card that can let you draw with your [card]gadgetzan-auctioneer[/card]. Just don’t accidentally damage a minion before you play it! You should almost always keep this in your opening hand. Even against control decks, you’ll need it to activate your draw cards, and against aggro decks, this card is a lifesaver.
Another important card for setting up your combos and Gadgetzan draws. It’s kind of judgement call as to whether or not you should keep it in your hand at the start, and I’ve seen Dog both keep it and toss it for his mulligan depending on his matchup and the other cards in his hand. Keep in mind, if you play it early game, that you lose the ability to combo it with Gadgetzan to draw cards, so only use it if you can get extreme value out of it.
Another amazing card that saves your early game, especially when comboed with [card]blade-flurry[/card], giving you a very strong AOE removal.
A very strong AOE spell that can and generally should be comboed with [card]deadly-poison[/card] in order to gain extra value from it. It can also be used to push for lethal. Deadly Poison-attack-Blade Flurry is six damage for 3-5 mana (depending on whether or not you used your hero power last turn), and Deadly Poison-Deadly Poison-attack-Blade Flurry is 10 damage for 4-6 mana!
Generally, this card should be used as removal instead of face damage, but it can be used as a finisher if need be. The card is especially powerful with [card]bloodmage-thalnos[/card] because of the number of minions with 5 health, such as [card]sludge-belcher[/card] and [card]ancient-of-lore[/card]. Another combo you can do is Thalnos-Eviscerate-Eviscerate, which provides 10 damage for 6-mana.
Early in the game, returning a minion to an opponent’s hand isn’t the most powerful utility since they can still easily play it the next turn, but this card is absolutely necessary to get taunted minions out-of-the-way when pushing for lethal. You can also use it on higher cost minions such as an opposing [card]ragnaros-the-firelord[/card] to disrupt your opponent’s end-game strategy.
A very nice early game card. You can use it to take out [card]leper-gnome[/card], [card]clockwork-gnome[/card] and more! And then you get another card! Yay! It’s also a cheap card to activate your combo-cards.
[cardinsert card=”bloodmage-thalnos” float=right]
A super important combo-enabler that also recycles himself. He makes your Eviscerates do 5 Damage, your [card]fan-of-knives[/card] do 2 damage AND it also works with Blade Flurry, since it technically is still spell damage.
The world’s greatest answer to [card]muster-for-battle[/card]. It’s also important to take out the slew of little things that hunters throw out at the beginning of the game; however, it can’t take out the beefier minions that a deck like zoo plays, so keep that in mind as you do your mulligan.
A bit more flexible of a legendary. You can use him toward the end game to set up for lethal, or you can combo him with cheap cards early game to produce a very scary early game menace. If you play him early game though, watch out for [card]ironbeak-owl[/card] as this card single-handedly cripples your scary rogue man. Be especially careful of the owls when playing against hunters, because many of them are running two copies nowadays.
Another super important early game card. He gives you board presence and can also remove a low health creature. Remember that he can be activated with [card]the-coin[/card] on turn 2!
[cardinsert card=”sabotage” float=right]
A tech card that Dog ran. It requires a bit more thinking to play than [card]assassinate[/card], but it is very strong and is the only form of hard removal in the deck. Try to remove weaker minions with cheap spells in order to guarantee you take out the minion you want with this card.
This card is one of the few ways that this deck can have board presence early in the game. Playing this card and removing something with a [card]preparation[/card]-[card]eviscerate[/card] combo can save you in the midgame, allowing you to clear the board and have two tokens and a 3/5 out on the board.
Yay! Healing! This card is a new staple in any control deck, and Dog’s Miracle Rogue is no different. He only includes one as a tech, however.
So you’ve survived your opponent’s early rush, but now you don’t have many cards in your hand. This is where Azure Drake comes in. It places a minion on the field that your opponent has to deal with and also gives you an extra card to work with. It can also bait out removal that an opponent would otherwise use on a Gadgetzan or legendary.
[cardinsert card=”gadgetzan-auctioneer” float=right]
This is the card that makes Miracle Rogue a deck. Without it, you would never be able to set up any combos, and your hand would be dead every single game. Sadly, his effectiveness has been reduced now that he costs 6-mana, and this is all the more of a reason to be careful when you play him. Pay attention to what removals and silences your opponent has played before dropping him, and MAKE SURE to have spells you can play, so you can make use of his draw mechanic. If you misplay this guy, you’ll almost definitely lose.
The first of your game-ending legendaries. Dr. Boom is a very scary man and has become a staple in almost every control deck since GVG came out. He’s effectively a 9-drop in a 7-drop’s body since you also get the little [card]boom-bot[/card] dudes with him. Also, since his cost is spread over 3 bodies, he becomes extremely difficult to remove. If you have [card]ragnaros-the-firelord[/card] or [card]alexstrasza[/card] in your hand, it can also be a reasonable strategy to play Dr. Boom in order to bait out your opponent’s removal before playing one of the other two.
Everyone who has played Hearthstone knows how scary this guy is. He’s also, along with [card]alexstrasza[/card], your primary win-condition. Try to bait out your opponent’s removal before playing him since he’s such a necessary part of your late game.
This card is how you end the game. Setting an opponent to 15 health puts them in range of a lot of game-ending blows, such as:
1. Double Ragnaros Shot
2. Ragnaros Shot+Alexstrasza attack
3. Ragnaros Shot/Alexstrasza attack+Dr. Boom attack
4. Double Eviscerate+Ragnaros Shot/Alexstrasza attack/Dr. Boom attack.
5. Double Deadly Poison+Attack,+Blade Flurry+Alexstrasza Attack
All of which are made easier to accomplish through [card]sap[/card], which opens your opponent to direct damage. Alex can also save you from being killed in the late game by an aggro deck.
[cardinsert card=”deadly-poison” float=right]
Doing a proper mulligan is probably the hardest part of playing this deck, because so many of your cards are reliant on other cards to enable them. Also your focus is vastly different depending on the deck you’re facing. Here are some general tips that can help you out:
1. Keep [card]Backstab[/card] and [card]Deadly Poison[/card]:
Both of these are invaluable cards in all matchups. They’re both cheap combo-enablers and provide you with ever-important early game removal.
2. Generally keep [card]si7-agent[/card] and [card]eviscerate[/card]
Though these cards are very helpful for most matchups, you may want other things in their place against certain decks. For example, [card]si7-agent[/card] does next to nothing in a handlock matchup, because their minions have so much health, and Handlock players have a lot of cards that can out-trade the 3/3 body.
3. Keep [card]preparation[/card], [card]bloodmage-thalnos[/card] and [card]edwin-vancleef[/card] if you have amazing combos for them.
Coin-Backstab-Preparation-Eviscerate-Edwin on turn 2 will probably win you the game, but it’s very unlikely that this will ever happen, and it’s definitely not something you can count on. Same with Thalnos and Preparation combos.
4. Toss your end-game legendaries.
As awesome as these cards are, they aren’t gonna help you until the very end of the game, so toss them for your late game stuff.
[cardinsert card=”tinkers-sharpsword-oil” float=right]
Lots of players use other cards in their miracle builds. For example, one card that is commonly seen is [card]tinkers-sharpsword-oil[/card], because it has the potential to place a lot of damage on the field at once and can create scary combos with [card]blade-flurry[/card]. You can also run [card]assassins-blade[/card] because it has more durability than the hero power knives. If you do this though, be careful of [card]harrison jones[/card]! He’s popping up a lot as of late. Other builds use [card]shade-of-naxxramas[/card] since it can stay hidden until the end of the game to be comboed with a Tinker’s or other finishing play. You could also include a [card]conceal[/card] if you want to protect a Ragnaros or Edwin or Gadgetzan. If you feel like you need the spell-power, a lot of players have been playing both [card]bloodmage-thalnos[/card] and [card]kobold-geomancer[/card]. Doing this would help with aggro matchups by increasing the power of your early-game AOE removal cards.
If you want to be budget and replace the legendaries, you’re better off playing a weapon-based version of Miracle Rogue. For example, check out Hosty’s build here http://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/decks/hostys-deck-wars-season-3-weapon-rogue/However, this is an entirely different deck and doesn’t play the same way as Dog’s (Nor is it nearly as much fun imo). Dog’s version though is very much reliant on these cards to set up for the endgame. Thalnos could theoretically be replaced by a [card]kobold-geomancer[/card], but the cantrip effect of Thalnos is extremely important, because this deck is heavily reliant on playing lots of cards, which means you need to have a way to replenish your hand as the game progresses.
This is a fun but difficult matchup. Make sure to keep track of their armor and try to provide enough pressure to keep them from getting a value [card]shield-slam[/card]. Keep track of what removal they have left and try to bait out as much as you can before dropping your late game legendaries.
Two. This is the number of [card]hex[/card] that are contained in a Shaman deck. If you are alive when they’re gone, you’ll probably win. Shaman is also very weak to your AOE, so try to set that up as best you can. Also, don’t forget that they can make your Gadgetzan’s useless with [card]earth-shock[/card].
There are so many variations of Rogue running around that it’s really hard to say what they’ll be packing. Expect at least one [card]sabotage[/card] and make sure to play around it when planning to drop the legendaries, and try to keep your health up so you don’t get bursted down in one turn.
[card]Fan-of-knives[/card] > [card]muster-for-battle[/card]. But if they play a [card]quartermaster[/card] your silly little knives will be useless! But you have many ways to remove their little men prior to a Quartermaster being played, so you’re probably safe. Also, save your Sabotage for the mighty [card]tirion-fordring[/card] even though it won’t destroy the [card]ashbringer[/card] since it comes into play after the effect of Sabotage.
Another deck that [card]fan-of-knives[/card] really helps in. You can clear most of their early game minions with ease using this card. Be careful not to overuse your weapons as removal, though, or you’ll die to [card]steady-shot[/card]
So. Many. Taunts. I watched Reckful auto-concede versus a shaman today while he was playing a Rogue-variant, to give you an idea of how difficult the matchup is. Sap is your best friend here as it can return a card that the Druid played early with [card]innervate[/card]. Otherwise just do your best to remove all the taunts that you can, and make sure to calculate for the [card]force-of-nature[/card]+[card]savage-roar[/card] combo.
This is along the same lines as Druid where the sheer number of taunts will get to you, but the fact that Handlock players damage themselves makes it easier for you to set up for lethal. Remember that they can use [card]shadowflame[/card] on a giant to clear any threat you have on the board, and remember that most varients play two [card]siphon-soul[/card] and one [card]big-game-hunter[/card].
Keep all of your early game removal and pray that it is enough. If it is, you will win. Also, be extremely efficient about playing this removal. If you are slightly inefficient, the Zoo player will overrun you. But you will win in the late-game.
Do not forget [card]ice-block[/card]. Most Giants Mages run two copies of this card, and it sees play in other Freeze Mage varients as well. Also, though it isn’t very common anymore, you can use your cheap spells to proc [card]counterspell[/card] before playing something more important.
Priest is easier to deal with than it was in the past. This is because most common Priest builds are seeking to take out aggro decks and do not put up an excessive amount of board presence in the early game, which means you can save more cards to play with your Gadgetzan. Most Priests play one [card]shadow-word-death[/card], and are likely to have one [card]mind-control[/card], so make sure to play around these when you are trying to end the game.
Dog’s Miracle Rogue is a very fun deck to play. I had a lot of fun watching youtube videos of him playing it, and have enjoyed playing around with it as I prepared to write this article. The sheer number of options you have with your cards makes the games very technical in nature, and a huge joy to win, and a lot of people are unprepared for the deck, making it even more satisfying when you win. Thank you all for reading my article! As always, my email is email@example.com and my Battle.net ID is Chinchillord#1811. Have a great day!