Wild Rogue Class Snapshot #1
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Team Wildhearths is a group of top Legend players in the Wild format who have decided to create their own meta snapshot. Specifically, they want to showcase tier lists for specific classes, bring a fresh new take on meta snapshots, and highlight a number of interesting and powerful off-meta decks for the format!
You can check past snapshots here:
Welcome to the Wildhearths Class-Based Meta Snapshot!
We’re the Wildhearths team, a group of top Legend players in the Wild format who have decided to create our own meta snapshot. Specifically, we want to showcase tier lists for specific classes, bring a fresh new take on meta snapshots, and highlight a number of interesting and powerful off-meta decks for the format!
Thank you in advance for your interest in our work and snapshot. Feel free to contact us with any feedback and suggestions using the email wildhearths@gmail, by commenting on Reddit, or reaching out to us via Twitter.
For today, we’re featuring Rogue, a class in a good spot with multiple viable archetypes. This is our first report for the class.
A lot has happened since Kingsbane Rogue was at its peak and Valeera was one of the most played and feared heroes on ladder. After the Rise of Shadows nerfs, hitting Preparation and Raiding Party, Odd Rogue has taken over as the strongest Rogue deck. For a short moment at the end of the expansion cycle, Odd Rogue was one of the most common decks on ladder, and represented the class very well, with numerous high ladder placements. Other archetypes were basically non-existent, with its slower decks (Burgle Rogue, Mill Rogue, Big Rogue) all suffering against a hyper-aggressive meta wherein Odd Paladin, Mech Hunter, Pirate Warrior, and Odd Rogue were prominent.
After the release of Saviors of Uldum, the meta has slowed significantly, reshuffling the cards for Valeera. While Odd Rogue still retains its solitary Tier 1 spot, Burgle Rogue and Kingsbane, both stronger against slower opposition, are solid ladder choices and have accordingly moved up to Tier 2 for the class. Burgle Rogue might actually have room to grow in terms of its popularity because of its ability to fence off Secret Mages thanks to Spectral Cutlass’ lifesteal, as well as threaten slower decks with a huge weapon in old-fashioned Kingsbane style.
In Tier 3 we find Tempo Rogue, Mill Rogue, and Big Rogue. These decks have well-defined strengths but also notable weaknesses, which make them fringe choices in certain pocket metas, but not reliable enough for consistent results on ladder.
Lastly, in Tier 4 we have Miracle Rogue, a nearly forgotten archetype that was however recently revamped in Standard by Rogue specialist J_Alexander. His version, redubbed “Myracle” for a word play on Miracle and Myra’s Unstable Element, has never taken off in Wild, and thus rests at the bottom of the class’ options.
Our Wildhearths Rogue Tier List:
This list has been created by taking what we considered the best variants of the decks below. Please bear in mind that the tiers are within each class, therefore a Tier 1 deck for Shaman may not be as powerful as a Tier 1 deck for Hunter.
This list is not exhaustive. It might not include something you’ve seen on ladder once or twice. But it includes the most common builds seen with at least some frequency. Please do keep in mind that the tier list is decided by comparing each deck if piloted in the hands of a player who plays them optimally and minimizes misplays.
What each tier means:
- Tier 0: A god-tier deck that is far and away the best choice to climb the ladder with.
- Tier 1: Incredibly strong for the class at the moment. If you want to win games, these decks are a great choice.
- Tier 2: Powerful decks, but either not as consistent as Tier 1 decks or with significant bad matchups against specific decks in the meta.
- Tier 3: Decks that are still able to win games, but usually perform best in specific pocket metas where certain decks are not present, or with an exceptionally skilled pilot.
- Tier 4: These are decks that are either badly-placed in the meta or have an overall lower power level. These decks require a pilot who knows the deck inside and out.
- Odd Rogue
- Kingsbane Rogue
- Burgle Rogue
- Tempo Rogue
- Aggro Rogue
- Mill Rogue
- Big Rogue
- Miracle Rogue
— [T1] Odd Rogue —
At the end of last season, Odd Rogue was arguably the best deck in the Wild format. EVIL Miscreant was enough to turn its difficult matchup versus Odd Paladin on its head, and created an archetype that was able to withhold pressure as well as pushing it. The latest builds had added SN1P-SN4P and Zilliax for greater board control, stabilization, and healing. Odd Rogue was a difficult adversary for any deck, but rose to the top of the ladder for its strength against Quest Mage, the other top deck at the time.
However, the meta since Saviors of Uldum’s release has shifted significantly: a paradigm shift occurred whereby Baku/Genn builds are not the undisputed best decks anymore; instead, highlander decks ascended thanks to the incredible Zephrys the Great. Furthermore, what was once a good matchup for Odd Rogue, Quest Mage, has disappeared with the rise of Secret Mage and Reno Mage as the premiere archetypes for the Mage class.
This means that, while Odd Rogue is still a formidable deck and the best Valeera has to offer, its position in the meta has slid slightly. While its consistency is one of its main strengths in a meta of singleton decks, its challenge is that it doesn’t have the overwhelming high rolls of its competition. A perfect curve of Zephrys, Kazakus, and Reno Jackson, for example, can completely shut Odd Rogue down. Its matchup versus Secret Mage is decent, however, and skilled pilots can definitely take the deck to high legend in the current meta. That said, Reno decks seem to be the most frequent in the higher ranks, while people still stick to more aggressive strategies in Ranks 5 to 1, where Odd Rogue definitely is allowed to shine.
In terms of builds, we think that the deck’s core consists of only 20 cards which include the pirate package, solid three drops such as Hench-Clan Thug, single-target removal like Vilespine Slayer, as well as “AoE-on-a-stick” Dark Iron Skulker. For this reason there is plenty of space to adjust the deck to the meta. Players have been experimenting with a range of cards such as King Mukla, Tar Creeper, Zilliax, Magic Carpet, Myra’s Unstable Element, Corridor Creeper, Shadowcaster, and even Brann Bronzebeard.
Saviors of Uldum has arguably added another core card into deck: Pharaoh Cat, which, combined with the well known Swashburglar, not only helps build an early board and activate combo mechanics, but most importantly helps mitigate Odd Rogue’s refueling difficulties. Because of Pharaoh Cat, Magic Carpet also becomes more interesting, and it definitely deserves a slot in the deck.
The lists we are featuring in this report are all quite similar. However, an unusual card can be seen in Spirituus’ #3 Legend list: History Buff. This new 3/4 three drop gives +1/+1 to a minion in hand any time you play a minion, and with a deck filled with one drops, it offers great value, while resisting cards like Flame Ward and Medivh’s Valet.
— [T2] Kingsbane Rogue —
You know the strategy here: an aggressive pirate package plus a perma-buffed weapon hitting your opponent in the face. Unfortunately, Kingsbane Rogue has lost its standing as a top-tier Rogue deck after the nerfs to Preparation and Raiding Party. Don’t lose heart, however: the archetype is still strong against midrange, control and other decks with late game win condition. Furthermore it even has options to beat other aggro decks.
When you face aggressive decks, you should mulligan for Ship’s Cannon with low-cost pirates and try to keep EVIL Miscreants that will give Lackeys. Kingsbane is good but not a high priority, because the first goal is winning the board.
When facing a control deck, try to find Kingsbane as soon as possible by using Cavern Shinyfinders or Raiding Party, or getting the weapon in the mulligan. Two copies of Sap will help control the board against big taunt/heal minions that will try to spoil your game plan. Some versions of Kingsbane Rogue are also running Doomerang and Vanish as an additional removal options for such unpleasant targets.
One of the most important cards in the deck is Myra’s Unstable Element. If you are running low on resources, your aim is to find this card on curve to refill your hand. Kingsbane’s deathrattle effect will help you avoid fatigue, so there are no worries there. Please also note that Loatheb or Eater of Secrets are highly recommended as solid tech cards in the current meta, but not obligatory.
One of the most common problems faced while playing this deck is being unable to find Kingsbane. If you feel that you can push the damage, don’t just wait for the weapon. Play for board. Play for tempo. And start buffing your standard dagger with Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, Deadly Poison, Captain Greenskin, Naga Corsairs, and Goblin Auto-Barbers. Sometimes, you can also discover additional buffs from Ethereal Lackeys created by EVIL Miscreants.
This report’s deck is from Kohai, who took it to high legend in EU at the end of last month. We think this deck could be especially well-positioned in the current Legend meta, as it has the potential of quickly dispatching principle opponents Secret Mage and Sn1p-Sn4p Warlock, but time will tell.
— [T2] Burgle Rogue —
Burgle Rogue is an archetype based on stealing cards from other classes. The game plan is based around finding Spectral Cutlass as soon as possible (we have two copies in the deck and two Cavern Shinyfinders to find them), upgrading its attack by using Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil and Deadly Poison, and upgrading its durability by playing cards from other classes. If all those come together, your opponent will be facing a massive, game-winning lifesteal weapon.
In terms of burgle options, Hearthstone has a variety of spells and minions that may help you find resources for your weapon: Swashburglar, Hallucination, Burgle, Clever Disguise, Blink Fox, Bazaar Mugger are all viable.
The difficult part of each game is finding the right balance by playing cards on curve for tempo and trying to keep your weapon “alive”. One big advantage of Bugle Rogue is that you can easily trade large minions with your upgraded weapon with almost no risk, which is why the archetype is a solid choice against Secret Mages — you heal yourself while doing damage each turn until they run out of resources. Teching in Eater of Secrets makes this matchup even more consistent. On the other side of the ladder, if highlander builds are proving difficult, Beneath the Grounds is a solid tech choice to turn off cards like Zephrys, Kazakus, and Reno Jackson.
On the whole, Burgle Rogue occupies a space between Tempo Rogue and Kingsbane Rogue, adding on a huge heal advantage. Cards like Vendetta, Underbelly Fence, Sap, and Vanish will help you remove early, mid and even late-game targets while maintaining board control. Then comes the Rogue Death Knight: Valeera the Hollow. Her passive hero power is an extremely powerful tool in this deck, which can be used to turbocharge buffs to Spectral Cutlass’ attack and durability. Don’t sleep on the card’s battlecry, either: getting stealth for one turn could be critically important against Secret Mages or other aggressive decks.
One of the most common problems faced while playing this deck, like Kingsbane, is being unable to find the weapon. Another problem is difficult collecting enough spells from other classes, which is especially true when facing another Rogue. In that case, start playing as a Tempo Rogue, trying to control the board and pushing face damage.
The deck is not that easy to play; each game is unique and you should try to think on the spot and keep the weapon’s balance and yourself alive. This report’s featured lists come from m3s and Iskari, who took the deck to legend in EU.
— [T3] Tempo Rogue —
Tempo rogue is a good, old-school aggro deck, aiming to out-tempo the opponent with strong on-curve plays. It fell out of favor when Baku the Mooneater joined the show and took over with the very strong tempo play of always having an on-curve two-mana 2/2 weapon.
The game plan? Fairly simple: face is the place. Value trade if needed and pull the trigger hard when you can. Out-tempo your opponent by clearing expensive minions with cheap spells or battlecry effects.
The deck featured in this report is a pet project of Rogue enthusiast Kohai. It aims to gain tempo by abusing double battlecries and combo effects with Spirit of the Shark and Brann Bronzebeard. It also recycles key battlecry pieces for maximum value with Shadowstep and Shadowcaster, giving the deck potentially huge swing turns. Even in today’s meta, a turn one double Shadowstepped Prince Keleseth or a turn five double Fungalmancer are extremely powerful plays. The deck also has Elven Minstrel for draw, to make sure it doesn’t run out of steam.
— [T3] Aggro Rogue —
Aggro Rogue is a deck inspired by the Standard deck named Tempo Rogue. It plays very similarly to Kingsbane Rogue as they share a large number of cards. Both decks use Pirates to put the opponent under pressure in the early game. Ship’s Cannon is a very important card in the deck, enabling you to control the board against aggro, or deal large amounts of damage against Control.
Where this deck differs is obviously it doesn’t run Kingsbane. Instead, it opts to use Waggle Pick to bounce minions while dealing damage, namely Leeroy. This gives the deck huge amounts of burst, but removes the recurring damage that Kingsbane offers.
There was a lot of excitement when it was taken to #1 Legend by Corbett, but ever since then, it has seen very little experimentation and play. This is likely because it is quite simply outclassed by Kingsbane.
— [T3] Mill Rogue —
Mill Rogue relies on making the opponent draw so many cards that they start taking damage from fatigue. The archetype has existed since close to the start of Hearthstone, and is one of the most hated decks for control players to meet on ladder. Mill Rogue can be built in two different ways. The first one is a deathrattle version which runs N’Zoth, the Corruptor along with various deathrattle taunts and healing minions. The other version relies on Doomsayer, Mistress of Mixtures and spells like Evasion to delay death until the mill plan can be realized. The issue with the latter build is that it is much weaker against aggro.
The deck aims to stall against aggro using all the heal effects, taunts and sap/vanish, running them out of resources. N’Zoth can also be Shadowstepped, or even shuffled back into the deck if it survives a turn. Against control, you want to dig for Coldlight Oracle and bounce effects, aiming to mill the maximum amount of their cards as possible.
One of the reasons that this deck is in Tier 3 is due to its bad matchup against Secret Mage. The amount of heals that this deck runs is insufficient against them, and they can quickly burn out the Mill Rogue player. The only real win condition other than somehow surviving to make a large N’zoth board is to wait until they are in fatigue due to Aluneth. You can then play multiple Coldlight Oracles to deal large amounts of fatigue damage to them. Saying that, it is very difficult to survive until that point, hence why the power of Mill Rogue is linked inversely with the prevalence of Aluneth Mage.
The list that we are featuring is Team Rankstar’s Valanar Mill Rogue. It is a list built around N’Zoth, making use of the Saviors of Uldum card Khartut Defender, which is incredibly powerful. Not only does it restore six health across two taunt minions, but also for each copy that is played, you are able to resummon two with N’Zoth. The inclusion of Prince Valanar takes advantage of the fact there are no 4 costs that are worth including in the list, giving you another powerful lifesteal taunt.
— [T3] Big Rogue —
We are pleased to announce that this section on Big Rogue was written by a guest writer this week called A0Viljo!
Big Rogue is a momentum-based deck that revolves around strong deathrattle synergies to create massive boards that are difficult to remove. Its early game is typically weak, however, and players will have to manage at least until turns four or five to actually start generating minions.
The deck’s early game focusing on relying on Rogue’s hero power and playing minions like Mad Scientist or some secrets along with Necrium Blade to delay and prepare for Kobold Illusionist, which, when played, card puts your opponent in a dire dilemma: having to trade and possibly summon another sticky deathrattle (or a value engine like the Lich King), or let it live, which could snowball thanks to cards like Necrium Blade, Spiritsinger Umbra, Sonya Shadowdancer, or Necrium Vial.
Umbra is one the most powerful card in the deck, as it can allow you to create a monstrous chain of summoned deathrattles triggering instantly. When the deck goes off, it’s not uncommon for it to make your opponent concede by turn five because of an unremovable board summoned by the synergies. However, this still requires you to have the right cards at the right time, and there is a high amount of RNG involved with the minions pulled out of the deathrattles, which hardly makes it a consistent deck.
Like all decks relying on large minions to win, Big Rogue struggles against aggressive decks, and playing Rogue only makes it worse as it lacks class-based healing, instead relying on the Lich King and Deranged Doctor for late-game survival. With how aggressive the Wild meta can be, Big Rogue will definitely be a struggle to ladder with, yet it remains one of the most fun decks to play in the format due to the sheer amount of degeneracies it can accomplish. Against control decks, for example, you’ll find much more success and it will be hard for an opponent to deal with a steady onslaught of sticky threats.
This report’s featured list was made by A0Viljo and it is fairly balanced. Many tech choices are available, also, whether you’re facing more aggressive or more control-heavy meta pockets. Experiment and see what works for you!
— [T4] Miracle Rogue —
Miracle Rogue is one of the oldest archetypes which has seen a lot of play in the past. Even though Miracle Rogue can still win games through the consistent pressure it can provide in the late game, it just gets obliterated by anything remotely aggressive or capable of out-healing its damage.
The game plan is to make use of cheap spells and Gadgetzan Auctioneer in order to quickly cycle through the deck and draw threats. With the number of spells that can be cast in a turn, including old favorites like Edwin Van Cleef still make sense. Myra’s Unstable Element is also usually included to provide a final refill as necessary.
Over the last few years, however, Miracle Rogue has been on the bad end of multiple nerfs that hit Rogue in general. Most notably are the nerfs to Preparation and Cold Blood, two of the strongest cards to use while cycling and finishing out a game. This all resulted in Miracle Rogue seeing declining play, as the game plan of this deck is performed better by a hefty amount of other decks and classes. The deck still has a few good matchups, but even these aren’t nearly as winnable as in prior seasons.
Despite this downturn, Saviors of Uldum Miracle Rogue has added a few new options. The core to the deck stays the same with the traditional cards like Preparation, Sap, Eviscerate, Backstab, and Counterfeit Coin. However, the additions of Vendetta, new, cheap burgle cards, as well as Zephrys the Great to close out games as the deck runs low. All in all, the power level of this deck remains lower than other Rogue archetypes, but it can be a lot of fun to play and snatch some wins away.
Another option is Kohai’s Deathrattle Miracle rogue that he took to Legend. The deck utilises Anka, the Buried to make your cubes cost 0. You then use your cubes and Necrium Blade to create lots of Leeroys. The deck uses a Miracle package to draw lots of cards, enabling you to combo earlier in the game.
— Off-Meta Decks —
Below are several off-meta Rogue decks. These are great for casual games, if you’re chilling on the rank floor, or want to surprise an opponent with an unusual deck, but don’t fall into specific tiers because they’re almost never seen on ladder.
Carpet Hobgoblin Tempo Rogue
At first this will look like a regular Tempo Rogue for your opponent, but because there are so many one mana and one attack cards, the deck centers on synergies with Magic Carpet and Hobgoblin. Is your opponent also fighting for board? Throw down 3/6 EVIL Miscreant. Surprise!
N’zoth Value Rogue
This is a deathrattle taunt burgle kitchen sink. Zephrys! N’Zoth! Tess Graymane! Burgle cards! Value, value, value! Just try to run out of gas.
Tempo Battlecry Reno Rogue
There are kitchen sinks, and then there are Swiss Army Knives. Reno Rogue is exactly that: a full suite of tech cards to disrupt any and everything. It’s not nearly as good as more typical Reno builds, but that’s not why you’re playing this deck, is it?
Reno Quest Thief Rogue
Is Odd Rogue intimidating you with their two mana 2/2 weapon? Why not one-up them with a 3/2 weapon! With the many random burgle effects, this wacky deck allows for quick quest completion. Control the board! Out-value your opponents! Impress your friends and co-workers! If you’re in real need of them, make sure you get as many Zephrys using bounce effects as you might need (as long as he is active). The irony, however, is that in a Rogue on Rogue match, it’s significantly harder to complete the quest. Be warned.
If you wish to see more off meta decks, see snapshots from additional classes, or learn more about our team, check out the latest at Wildhearths.com
Thank you to the following players for helping us with the report:
- Magma004 – Co-ordinator, Website Manager, Writer
- Romulus – Co-ordinator, Writer
- Mørbeck – Lead Co-ordinator
- Iskari – Editor
- TheRottedZombie – Writer, Editor
- HiddenPants – Writer
- Knoepklapper – Writer
- TheGreatGoku – Writer
- m3s – Writer
- Pure – Writer
- Spirituus – Expert
- Gankplang – Expert
- IanLeBruce – Expert
- A0Viljo – Guest Writer