Refining Aggressive Combo Rogue

Content of the article: "Refining Aggressive Combo Rogue"


First, about myself : I'm a long time hearthstone player (been playing since classic), usually playing in legend rank 100 to 1000 depending on strength of the current Rogue deck and how much I want to play meme decks for the session. I have a little more than 10,000 wins as a Rogue as it's the class I like the most to play.

I've recently been playing a homebrew deck which is FUN, but I feel could probably be refined – I'm currently hovering at around 500-600 legend EU.

Deck List :

  • 0 Backstab x2
  • 0 Shadowstep x2
  • 1 Interepid Initiate x2
  • 1 Pharaoh Cat x2
  • 1 Secret Passage x2
  • 1 Wand Thief x2
  • 2 Defias Ringleader x2
  • 2 Eviscerage x2
  • 2 Foxy Fraud x2
  • 2 Sap x1
  • 2 Swindle x2
  • 2 Whirlkick Master x2
  • 2 Wriggling Horror x2
  • 3 EVIL Miscreant x2
  • 3 SI:7 Agent x2
  • 4 Infiltrator Lilian x1


Deck strategy & play pattern :

This is an aggro / tempo deck. The curve is low for a good reason, your objective is to seize the board early, put your opponent in defensive mode and create sizable board each turn until you are able wear down your opponent.

There are two distincts play pattern depending on your opponent gameplan and the current step of the game.

Against aggressive opponents (Hunter, Rogue, Warlock, Shaman), tempo is the name of the game. Burn all ressources to seize control of the board – you *need* to be ahead. You need to have the initiatives of the trades. Once you're ahead, you can always get some reloads afterwards through a secret passage or a Whirlkick master.

Against control or combo opponents (Priest, Warrior, Druid), early on, you play as aggressive as possible. Deal damage. force them to make akward usage of their removals & ressouces when they don't have a lot of options available due to their limited mana pool. Then, if you were not able to close the game by turn 7-8, this is where the fun starts and you can actually go into value mode, trying to always reload a new board after if was AoE'd down or find lethal through spells thanks to secret passages & Whirlkick Master / Shadowsteps shenanigans.

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A specific section about Demon Hunter :

This is a very difficult matchup due to the amount of face damage they can deal out of nowhere & available board clears. Play to your outs. Build sizeable boards they need to answer by AoE early. Without over-committing, then, after AoE goes down and their weapon is destroyed, you can build a board again and hope they don't draw in further AoEs. Keep in mind they are able to deal 10+ damage from hand after turn 6 while also deploying a 6/6 rush.

Card choice & reasoning

  • Backstab – Bread & butter of rogue tempo decks.
  • Shadowstep – Included as a way to trigger more combos. Don't greed it out, unless you're playing against control in late game- stepping a SI-7 to initiate a combo and deal 2 damage or discover a mage spell is fine.
  • Interepid Initiate – Most aggressive neutral 1 drop.
  • Pharaox Cat – This could have been Spy Mistress (see below)
  • Secret Passage – No brainer.
  • Wand Thief – Best low mana combo card, opening a lot of options – No brainer
  • Defias Ringleader – Disgusting with Foxy fraud on turn 1/2. Your opponent will be staring at 7/5 worth of stats over 3 bodies, which will usually lead to a swift victory. Good later on when you reload your board after an AoE with a Whirlkick Master combo chain.
  • Eviscerate – Great tempo / combo card.
  • Foxy Fraud – Enables most of the disgusting tempo plays of the deck.
  • Sap – Only run as a one-off, as there are already too many situational spells (Backstab, ShadowSteps, Secret Passage)
  • Swindle – Draw 2 for 2, allows you to dig for reload & answers.
  • Whirlkick Master – I initially dispised the card before playing with it again. There are now *many* low cost combo cards which means you can generate a lot of tempo through a Combo chain, getting back the board while also deploying yours.
  • Wriggling Horror – Awesome when ahead, awful when behind => Play as soon as you have a board.
  • 3 EVIL Miscreant – One of the best combo cards. Resilient 3 drop, generates value AND tempo.
  • 3 SI:7 Agent – Good combo / tempo card
  • 4 Infiltrator Lilian – Great aggressive card.
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Cards that I considered but ended cutting :

  • Edwin – This I'm really not sure. The main problem is that if you are not on the coin or don't have Foxy Fraud in hand, it's an awful card until turn 5+ . You need reliable cards on turn 1-2-3, and Edwin seems too conditional to me.
  • Spy Mistress : Best aggressive 1 drop in the game currently, but I find the additional value of Pharaoh cat relevant for shadowsteps while allowing you to get some mid game sticky minions which are awkward to deal with.
  • Prize Plunderer : Well, 2/1 for 1 with upside is good… but due to the sheer amount of Demon Hunters, 2 life is required for your early minions
  • Other Combo cards : Usually not worth including in the deck – either too low tempo or not impactful enough.
  • Jaundice Barov : Good with shadowsteps. Big tempo. Should probably cut something for her at the top of the curve.

Other considerations:

  • The curve is already pretty low, with the top ending at 4 mana, but I feel like the deck might lack another 1 drop (Blazing Battlemage, Safety Inspector .. ?)

Source: reddit.com

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