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Quest Rogue: Not so eww…

So the meta has fixed itself, more people have good plays against Quest Rogue that it no longer seems as cheesy as it had been a couple of days ago. This is good. Good enough for me to write more on it and post a deck up.

Before we go on further, let’s see why Quest Rogue is no longer a big threat now (well, it still is, but not as it was before):

The board is cleared up early. No longer targeting the face, every effort is spent targeting the weenie minions on the board instead to render the Crystal Core useless even if it hits the table.

Aggro face like no tomorrow. Rogues in general are very poor in the defense department. Even more so in Quest Rogue.

Dirty Rat is back. Sure, it sucks against Jade when it was prevalent, but against Quest Rogues it wrecks the game plan more often than not.

People are packing fatties. This is to trade for the weenie minions that plague the Rogue’s table prior to completing the quest.

Now let’s see the deck’s main problems:

It’s too draw dependant. Seriously, an opening hand without 1 of your key cards and you can literally see the writing on the wall.

The deck relies heavily on completing the quest to win. Quite often, there are no secondary win conditions.

The second problem is the biggest flaw in current Quest Rogue decks so far. Without the Crystal Core, your Violet Teacher and Imp Master aren’t scaring anyone if they’re only spewing 1/1 at best. Quite often the fancy win cards are locked until the Crystal Core comes online. So until the quest is completed, the deck is pretty much vulnerable to anything.

It hit me after losing a lot successively that the deck was too transparent. So, like the class implies, winning with the quest now requires more guile and concealment of your motives than every before. I came across 2 play styles that work surprisingly well of late:

  1. Don’t play The Caverns Below on your first turn. This will ensure you Igneous Elemental won’t be top targets of Silence, turned into toads and sheeps the moment they hit the table. Drop it when you’re about to score it.
  2. Don’t make a deck relying on the Crystal Core to win. Treat the Crystal Core as a secondary win condition while concentrating on winning by another mean. You don’t need to complete the quest to win, though it’d be nice if it did. This should be your mentality as your opponent gets confused on why you used Shadowstep on another minion and not on the one you just cast.
  3. Play like classic Rogue. The old doctrine of controlling the board and dropping your own threats should still be maintained and not be thrown to the wind for the sake of dropping your 4 same name minions ASAP.

Here’s the deck I’m playing right now. It could use more work, but it’s making me feel fun playing a quest deck for once:

questrogue

There is no straight way on how to play this deck, but you can vary your approach depending on which class you’re facing.

 

 

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Stealth Rogue

I was watching an old video from Kripparian (if a few months is considered old) when he tackles Stealth Rogue by featuring the Shadow Rager. Now I don’t have the exact cards he does but the concept is interesting, plus it makes thematic sense compared to… oh… Jade Golems.

Here’s my take on it:

stealthrogue.png

The biggest change from Krip’s deck is that I wanted my 1 drops to be beefy. I’m not too perturbed about healing my opponent with Mistress of Mixtures, at least I’m not giving my opponent a more threatening edge, like cards. The rest are control elements and the stealth dudes as the heavy hitters.

But they only hit heavy after a visit from Shadow Sensei teaching them about Cold Blood. Hit the minion with Master of Disguise afterwards, that big stealth minion is ready for round 2. Keep the Sap for that big taunter that will show up after you pull off this stealthy trick.

Good substitutes to consider:

Patient Assassin. This is infinitely better than Emperor Cobra. Though the latter is fat, it’s really vulnerable the moment it hits the table unless you follow if up with Master of Disguise.

Shaku, the Collector. The poster boy of stealth play. Card draw is always awesome.

 

New Rogue 500

More cheap experimentations. This time I’m cutting down the Rare down to 1 and bumping up the common count up to 10. What this does is that it gives me more room to explore and out in cooler stuff at such a small Dust budget.

What I came up was a deck that was surprisingly able to climb up the Rank ladder by quite a bit (since I’ve been on 20 forever for the last 2 seasons, getting to 17 after playing this deck for 20 minutes is a bit of a fresh air).

Also, my favourite deck builder, tempostorm.com is back up. Yay!

newrogue500

I had a bit of a headache trying to determine what single Rare I should put in. After much deliberation, I decided on the fake Coin because it fires up my combos for free AND it boosts my tempo by one mana. This is quite significant because lots of stuff can come out one whole turn earlier.

Also bumped up the minion removal for a semblance of early board control. A single Assassinate is in there but that odd 17 health taunter that pops up from time to time (naturally, only Priests could come up with that).

I have not idea what’s the ideal mulligan rule honestly, but follow your gut. Sometimes, leaving a 5 cost card in your starting hand might not be such a bad thing in the long run, as you no longer have to fish it out.

Shooty Jade

shootjade

I guess you can say that this deck was born out of frustration of not having the right answers all the time. It then occurred to me that most answers to almost everything is shooting them in the face.

This is a classic tempo control deck. Clear your opponent’s board while filling up your own. While you can go for the face with this deck, it wouldn’t fare so well. This deck is not fast and you have to exercise restrain to get the most out of it since card draw is almost non-existent in this deck.

This deck is fun to play and you’d get a kick out of it.

Back to Basics: Rogue 101

I decided to take the chill pill and revisit some fundamentals. Came up with this deck on a theory that the best kill cards does not have to come from your deck. The premise is simple: Keep the board clear of threats and build up your own. Pummel and repeat.

basicrogue

As you can see, there’s nothing startling or stellar about the line up. But it performed better than my Jade Rogue deck. Journey Below and Undercity Huckster really have to pull their weight here to provide the deck with finishers. The rest is crowd control. Don’t expect any minion you plug Cold Blood on to survive, so putting it on a 1/1 is perfectly fine (though you’d like the Divine Shielded one if you have the opportunity).

As you can see, the curve is heavily skewed to the 1 drops, this is because they have the most bang for buck when trying to pull off combo abilities.

While this might not be the best performing deck, for a new Rogue player this will make a good starting point to tinker around to make your own deck. It has the best tools Rogue has to offer that’s still legal in the Season of the Mammoth.

Like my other budget decks, the main key to play this deck is to play what you need, not what you can. Expect your board to be wiped at any time and hold on to the cards you need to re-take the board after your opponent has populated it.

Tempo Jade Rogue v2: Faster and Beefier

While the previous Jade Rogue deck that I made was very specific, it was dead slow and prone to being swarmed if the right cards weren’t out to soak early damage. So I took the base tempo concept and reworked it into the deck. Not only is the deck faster, but it stopped being reliant on the Jade Spirit bounce mechanic and have more ways to win.

jaderoguev2

Initially Argent Horserider took the slot of C’thun’s Chosen. But due to the fact that it’s phasing out soon, I had to look for other similar alternatives to take its slot. The Chosen has the right amount of beef that made it more than ideal for the slot. Although I lost a bit of speed, but for 1 mana more I got twice the amount of attack/health. Putting a combo’ed Cold Blood on a shielded Chosen is scary.

I suppose We can make this work at a flat 1000 Dust by putting in Chillwind Yeti instead, but I’ll lose the ability to take on larger creatures but a 4/5 is nothing to sneeze at either.

And this deck can swarm the board early, though a single Consencrate can likely wipe everything. So it’s important to keep the minimum number or minions on the board that poses a threat to draw out those AoE’s.

Jade Rogue on a Reasonable Budget

I’ve been trying to crack Jade Rogue for a while now and couldn’t really get a bead on it. The usual N’Zoth Jade Rogue decks are expensive, my aim is to at least hit a 1500 Dust budget. It took me a while, but the best solution is often the simplest:

jaderogue

jaderoguecurve

Don’t let the curve fool you, this is not a quick deck. In fact it’s pretty mid-range to slow. How the deck runs is pretty simple:

Put down the Jade Spirit over and over again. That’s it.

With the Brewmasters and Shadowstep, you should be able to put up a decent sized golem that will wreck face. Don’t be afraid to bounce back your Sunfury Protector or Coldlight Oracle if you need to however.

While the concept of the deck is simple, playing it is another matter. It’s a pretty nuanced game play that can get you in trouble if you mess up your mana calculation and timing.

The opening hand should contain one of your Jade thingies, regardless of the cost. Chuck out anything else until you have them. You don’t really care what happens to your golems, but your Jade Spirit has to be kept alive at all cost. Lose that, you won’t have a sustainable way to put down more golems.

I have half a mind to try out N’Zoth’s Tentacles in place of Betrayal/Bladed Cultist for that sweet board wipe.

 

 

 

 

Rogue 500 v3

I was in the middle of building a Secret Paladin 500 deck when I revisited this deck by accident. I noticed that my Defender of Argus was quickly becoming an under utilized card because of how rare two of my minions survived by the time I have enough crystals to cast DoA.

And although the Raid Leader was supposed to bump up the tempo by buffing anyone, the situation where more than 1 minion is buffed up is rare due to the efficient removal play from anyone playing in Ranked.

Yes, this deck is becoming quite a handful in Ranked play as well, performing better than my other 2 decks.

rogue500v3

DoA worked in the original deck posted here because of the minion count created by Defias Ringleader. So enter the Murloc Tidehunters. Why not the Razorfen Hunter? They have better stats at 2/3. Sadly the 3 cost versus 2 cost contributes to the argument. I’ll be able to set up 2 quick chump blockers one turn earlier. Turn 6 is where things get ugly and I’d like to weather the beats or protect my squishy beaters that already have Cold Blood on them.

With this I can substitute one of the Hucksters for DoA. The Huckster is nice when it gives you juicy options to play with, but it lacks the punch or the ability for the deck to weather big minions for a turn or two.

The Shieldmastas are good blockers for 4 cost. Decent damage and a healthy backside, they do the job better than DoA especially when there’s no other minions on the table. They also give the deck added resilience, which is lacking.

The curve is a bit tighter (though not by much):

r500v3curve

Although it’s a blitzy curve, the deck can really play a long game if you manage to handle threats from your opponent efficiently. It packs quite a punch. Want a killing blow? Bluegill with a couple of Cold Blood in turn 4 can make your opponent sweat a lot. Shadowstepping Reckless Rocketeer is still an awesome finishing move. Or just Geomancer and both Eviscerates. These are all 10 damage combos that serve as reliable finishers.

Give it a try.

Rogue 500 Upgraded

tempo2

Tempo is a turn slower if you start first, but the 2 drop range is more solid. The Huckster is a beast in this deck and it can pull some crazy cards when it dies, even if the cards pulled are random. Simplest way to make sure he dies every time is to put Cold Blood on him.

The curve is also a bit more blitzy:

tempo2curve

Yet this is the first time I’ve built a deck where all cost ranges are represented. I suppose you could run Boulderfist Ogres instead in the 6 cost slot, but the lack of charge really hurts this deck a bit. Getting those Bluegill Warriors in there was the best thing I did.

Perhaps the only mismatch in the deck is the Elven Archer, but they have proved to be useful in assisting minion kill or occasionally player kill. Have a bunch of 2/2’s and the opponent have a couple of 5/10 Taunts with 1 life as opposed to your 8? Elven Archer to the rescue! This actually happened to me 3 times since I’ve played this deck.

But it still sucks in Ranked. However no problems in getting Gold the hard way.

Rogue 500 Casual

I got bored of the meta in Ranked Play and decided to play Casual the whole day today. Now taking my ranked deck into Casual was like bringing a bazooka to a pistol shootout, so I made a new deck to have fun with.

It totally tanks in Ranked, but in Casual I managed to get 100 Gold the hard way of winning 30 times with about 10 or so losses, so 75% win rate. Not bad for a farming deck.

500rogue

It’s a standard tempo deck, distilled to its purest form and given unholy life. To have fun with it, I set myself a budget of 500 Dust so any newbie that has played for a week can craft it and have fun with it.

There’s 5 commons and 3 rares in there, bringing the total up to an even 500. This exercise lets you know what’s the REAL core of the class and what makes it tick. In this case, the core for a tempo Rogue deck is simply:

2x Eviscerate
2x Cold Blood

That’s it. The others are pure gravy. I suppose the Argent Commander and 1 Defender of Argus can be subbed out for a couple of Undercity Hucksters for more variety. But Argent Commander with Cold Blood is just nasty. But the real MVP of the deck is really Shadowstep. Shadowstepping your fat chargers and even Defender of Argus will bring a smile to your face every time.