15 November 2017 - 17:25

The New Standard: Miracle Rogue Breakdown

Dot Esports

Introduction

While Tempo Rogue is the current king of Hearthstone, I wanted to go to the other side and see what happened to Miracle Rogue. The deck was everywhere for quite a while and then it promptly died off right around the nerfs. I am not sure if those two things are related, but there was a definite drop in popularity. Today we're going to fight against that decline and look at a Miracle list that can bring some pain to the current ladder. What I love about a deck like this one is that every single card matters. There are a lot of important choices, and they all come together quite nicely to form a cohesive whole. There are definitely many directions you can take Miracle in, but the one we're looking at today is the one I believe has the most potential in the current metagame. And really, that's what matters.

Key Cards

Golakka Crawler

Golakka Crawler

We begin with what could be one of the most necessary introductions into the list. Golakka Crawleris quite possibly, barring the original BGH, the best tech card of all time. It not only has decent stats, but it preys on just about every single deck in the game. Here's a quick list of the decks that run pirates: all of them. In addition, most of those decks run pirates specifically to get ahead on the early board. Rogue, Zoo, and even things like Hunter and Aggro Druid are packing Southsea Captainor Prince Kelesethto make Patches the Piratethat much stronger. While you're running pirates as well, being able to eat them is much more important. You are a deck that wants to get to turn six. That isn't super easy in today's efficient world. However, eating an early pirate with crawler almost always gives you the extra time and removal you need to push to your win condition.

It is hard to discuss Golakka Crawlerwithout also talking about what else it could be. The two slot in Miracle Rogue is highly contested, and there are a lot of choices. You could run Sap, or you could go with the more traditional choice in Razorpetal Lasher. However, neither of those have the wide blowout potential that crawler does. Lasher is strong for triggering Vilespine Slayerand Sherazin, Corpse Flower, but the 2/2 body doesn't do all that much at the end of the day. This deck runs one Sap (mainly as a tech card to Bonemare, but you could probably fit a second if you want. I would only recommend that if you're seeing a lot of Midrange Paladin of Hunter. In addition, the Sap could also become a second crawler depending on how much you're scared of pirates.

Shadowblade

SI:7 Agent/Shadowblade

I am putting both of these cards in the same section because they each work towards the same purpose: staying alive. In order to adapt to the new meta, Miracle Rogue needs new ways to contest the board. This has always been the deck's weakness, and it is something that comes up once again with this build. The current meta is all about running people over, and you need a lot of different ways to contest early pushes. Cards like Backstaband Golakka Crawlerare great for that, but you want as many options as you can afford. We have discussed the power of a 3/2 weapon for three, and getting one that also protects your health is amazing. However, Shadowblade, though powerful, does not afford you any board presence, which can be a problem at times.

I am truly split on these two cards. You could easily run two agents and no blades, or you could run two blades and no agents. Honestly, you could probably get away with just running a 2/1 split as well. SI:7 Agenthas gotten less and less popular over time. I am not sure why that is, but it is likely due to the fact that people who are playing Miracle just want to more spells in their deck. Unfortunately, spells don't do as much as they once did. The three spot is hotly contested right now and splitting these two feels right. Sometimes you get the early board to beat back decks like Zoo, and other times you get a nice spot removal card to help pick out midrange threats. If you want to go harder here, you can by shaving out some of the fringe tech cards in the deck. Also, the classic Earthen Ring Farseercould work as well.

Sherazin, Corpse Flower

Sherazin, Corpse Flower

Sherazin, Corpse Flowerhas always been a strong card. However, it is now exceptional. You may have heard me mention (once, or twice, or a thousand times) that the meta is chock-full of decks that all care about one thing: the board. That means you need to be able to meet them on that level. Yes, you are largely a combo deck, but you still need to pace the first three or four turns. Sherazin is perhaps the best way to do this because the 5/3 is going to come back a lot in this build. A consistent threat that can power down five attack is great against control, but it is also quite strong when fighting midrange builds. Using Sherazin to take down something like a Savannah Highmaneor Cobalt Scalebaneand then immediately bringing it back is so much free value that many decks are going to have a hard time keeping up. For that reason, while there are other cards that could take this spot, I believe the 5/3 is the best one right now.

A big part of Sherazin, Corpse Floweris understanding the value of bringing it back to life. Sometimes you want to work very hard and go out of your way to play four cards, but other times it simply isn't going to be worth it. The best way to judge those decisions is by asking yourself the very important question: how important is a 5/3 right now? When trying to push damage or pressure your opponent you are almost always going to want the flower back. It is also key when you need to contest your opponent's next minions. However, if you are comfortable or the game is going long, you shouldn't stretch yourself too thin. Simply keep the flower tucked inside its first form and wait until you go off with Gadgetzan Auctioneer(which you eventually will).

Vanish

Vanish

Vanishis an interesting card because it is extremely powerful on two different levels. The reason the card is in this deck is for Valeera the Hollow. You play the Death Knight, which keeps you alive, and then you Vanish the next turn. That then gives you an empty board, a hand of useful cards, and an unreal hero power. That ability is so strong that it is more than worth playing a six mana bounce spell. In fact, when you are thinking of playing Vanish before you switch into your DK you should always see if there are other options at your disposal. This deck has numerous ways to answer big threats, and you should go through them all before making the decision to use your only option at getting rid of a big board or perfectly setting up your end game finisher.

Now, that does not mean Vanishneeds to be only used at the end of the game. Being able to put an entire board back into your opponent's hand is an extremely powerful that can save you in a lot of different games. It blanks Zoo (nice Doomguard, bro), shuts down Hunter, blows out a Doppelgangster/Evolveturn and crushes a lot of decks that aren't expecting it. Not only that, but you can also use it to double dip. I have played plenty of games where I've gone Preparation/Edwin VanCleefinto Vanish/Edwin again many times. The spell can also work with things like Swashburglar, Vilespine Slayerand even Leeroy Jenkins. If you know you're going to need to play the spell, do your best to get extra value out of it. Shutting down buffs (or Living Mana) is always strong, but when you can get more you should.

Note: You could probably get away with running two Vanish. However, the reason I don't like that because it just clutters your deck too much.

Valeera the Hollow

Valeera the Hollow

Valeera the Hollowis an insanely powerful card, and the biggest reason to play this deck. Going back to my discussion on Frost Lich Jainaa few weeks ago, it is extremely hard to lose once the DK Valeera comes down. While she does not have the staying power that the Frost Lich does, the ability to get an extra card is much more powerful that you would imagine. Being able to play two of the same card in one turn gives you endless possibilities and helps you adapt to whatever situation you need. I have won countless games playing three Eviscerates in one turn, but double Leeroy Jenkinsalso does the job as well. You can also make a ton of Arcane Giants (which is one of your main finishers) hit the board with multiple Vilespine Slayers, and get a ton of value from things like Swashburglar. Valeera is best with Vanish, and that is how you want to set her up. However, as her ability guarantees that you are going to live through your next turn, there is quite literally no risk to playing her. Your dagger is only going to be truly powerful in the early turns. Later on, you need to  Just, whatever you do, do not attack with your dagger on the turn you play her. This can be tempting, but doing damage will instantly take you out of stealth.

Deck Code

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Matchups

The four decks I see the most while playing the ladder.

Southsea Captain

Tempo Rogue

Strap in your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Even with your shiny new tools, Tempo Rogue is going to be a rough battle. This matchup is one of the most difficult to figure out and, unlike most decks, this game is going to be much more about damage than it is about getting the board. Of course, making sure your opponent doesn't run you over in the first three turns is important, but your focus moving into the middle turns of the game should be about finding ways to kill your opponent before they manage to kill you. Tempo Rogue is a deck that, like most midrange builds, wants to pace the game in their own way and then use that presence to build to bigger and bigger minions. However, they are going to fear your damage. If you bring pressure or get hold of the board it is going to force Rogue to play defensively. From there, you can steadily chip them down and bring them towards lethal. Do not be afraid to use your damage to swing a game.

Do your best to play around Vilespine Slayer. This is not always easy to do, but the 3/4 can be a big problem when trying to set up your large pushes (especially things like Arcane Giantand Edwin VanCleef). You should do your best to get your opponent to use the flower defensively. If they are on the back foot when using it, it means they aren't pressing for damage. That's really the best you can hope for.  Also note that Vanishis one of your best cards in this matchup. Yes, Rogue does have a lot of different minions with strong battlecry abilities, but they also need board presence to win the game. If you can use Preparationto cheat out the six mana spell and then put down a large board you should be able to run away with this one. That goes double if you are already Valeera the Hollow.

Kazakus

Kazakus Priest

Priest is still at strong as ever, and yes, they are going to kill you with enough time. Now that is out of the way, this is a game you should actually be favored in. Rogue's less-than-interactive nature has always been strong against Priest, and that stays the same now. Your goal in this one is, you guessed it, to get in damage. The game needs to be close to over by turn eight, and the way you do that is with strong, hard-to-kill minions. Gadgetzan Auctioneeris almost always going to bait out a Dragonfire Potion, while Sherazin, Corpse Floweris going to give your opponent absolute fits. Plays like that are how your force Priest back and get them to use multiple cards. Take down their hand in any way you can. Also, you should always create a 4/4 Edwin VanCleefwhen possible.

To be able to win this game, you need to be able to play around Shadowreaper Anduin. You are typically going to beat your opponent with a string of big threats (namely Arcane Giants) and if you let your opponent instantly destroy your on-board threats wit the eight drop, you will quickly become outclassed. Be smart here, and always try to play around what your opponent has. For example, it is often better to bait out a Shadow Word: Deathon Edwin VanCleefthan an Arcane Giant, because Edwin can also be answered with a Silence. Giant cannot. Priest is strong, but they do not have a lot of good minions. Your goal is to get Gadgetzan Auctioneeronto an empty board. Priest is going to have no answer.

Malchezaar's Imp

Zoo

Still going strong, Zoo is a deck you need to be ready for in today's ladder. As you can imagine, this is going to be your hardest matchup. The aggressive Warlock is built on early tempo, and almost all of their minions are insanely hard to kill (and that's before Prince Keleseth). You want to get out ahead of your opponent, but that does not mean you need to be foolish. As long as you have a lot of health you should be able to keep up. Trade as much as possible and do whatever you can to take your opponent off their curve. Turn seven is extremely important to stop Bonemare, but just about every single minion is always going to be a threat. Use your removal liberally, and always try to use Sapon a Doomguardif you can.

As touched upon earlier, Vanishis your big blow out play in this one. Miracle has been out of favor, and you can use that to your advantage. Nobody, even when they realize what you are, is going to play around Vanish. The card is great against wide boards, but you typically want to use it when your opponent has a Doomguardon the board. That both cripples Bloodreaver Gul'danand makes it so they have to discard two more cards. It is not always going to be that simple, but a well-timed spell can really hit your opponent where it hurts. Beyond that, you simply need to focus your removal on the board and never let anything stick. Keep pressing spells until you can get out an Arcane Giantor two and then finish things off with Leeroy Jenkins.

Malfurion the Pestilent

Jade Druid

Sliding into the last spot, Jade Druid has seen a massive resurgence over the past week or two. While this matchup has classically fallen in Rogue's favor, that does not mean it is going to be easy. Jade Druid has access to a ton of tools, and Ultimate Infestationis still an unbelievably overpowered strong curve-topper. That is the card you're going to be racing, and that means your goal should be to try to have control of the game by turn ten. Your best way to win this game is going to be with a massive Arcane Giantpush. Hold the 8/8's until you get Valeera the Hollow, and do everything in your power to play around Spreading Plague. The six mana spell is extremely popular right now, and it can be the one way Druid keeps you on the ropes. Never create too big a board once your opponent has six or more mana. Two 1/5 taunts should be fine. Four or more is going to be a big problem.  If you can't quite get there by ten, you want to play Valeera the Hollow to out-value your opponent. Also, do your best to save Vanishjust in case your opponent decides to get jade crazy. The spell hits the golems extremely hard.

Mulligan Guide

As you need to get out fast, your mulligan is going to be all about removal and minions. Anything you can play during the early turns is going to be something you want to hold onto. Backstab, Hallucination, Swashburglarand Golakka Crawlerare your must keeps. From there, Eviscerateis good against any swarm or early board deck, Bloodmage Thalnosshould be kept with any cheap spells, and both SI:7 Agentand Shadowbladeare great with the coin or a good curve. Counterfeit Coinshould only be kept to power out an early Edwin VanCleef, and you should always keep Edwin with the coin. Finally, Fan of Knivesis good against any aggro deck, while you should always keep Gadgetzan Auctioneeragainst Priest, and Sherazin, Corpse Flowerif you can curve into him.

Conclusion

It's a...Miracle! It has been a while since we've sat down with Valeera and her plethora of spell cards, but I definitely think there's something here. Even beyond the fact that people will not be ready to fight Miracle, the deck just has a lot of extremely powerful options like it always has. Board is the key, and while that has been this deck's weakness in the past, there are a lot of tools at Rogue's disposal to fill that gap. This may not be quite a high as past lists, but it really does against most of the meta. Until next time, may you always coin Edwin.

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