kelv-maly-rogue

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Introduction


This is the Malygos Miracle Rogue deck that I used to get to top 23 legend in the April 2015 season. Rogue is a class that I am particularly fond of, as there are often many options to consider each turn. In particular, I loved playing Malygos

Miracle Rogue when the Gadgetzan Auctioneer
was still at 5 mana.

However, once the Auctioneer was increased to 6 mana after the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Malygos Rogue was simply too slow to compete against other decks. Consequently, it fell out of the meta, and Malygos itself was nowhere to be seen.

With the release of Blackrock Mountain, Emperor Thaurissan

has brought Malygos and Gadgetzan Auctioneer back to life due to its ability to reduce the mana cost of all the cards in your hand by 1. Hence, if you had Malygos, Eviscerate and Sinister Strike in hand, playing Emperor Thaurissan on turn 6 would set up for a possible Malygos lethal play on turn 9 through playing Malygos (8 mana), Sinister Strike (0 mana) and Eviscerate (1 mana) for a total of 17 damage. This is a ridiculous amount of damage, and does not require any prior board presence for this combo to trigger. It can also bypass Taunts which are still very prevalent in the meta.

General Strategy


The goal of this Rogue deck is to control the board early and mid game through your cheap spells and tempo plays before using Malygos as your finisher. For example, Backstab

and SI:7 Agent
on turn 3 would clear an opponent’s 4/4 minion while also playing a 3/3 minion. Another example would be strong Preparation
plays, such as Preparation, Fan of Knives
and Piloted Shredder
on turn 4 to clear a board of 1 hp minions while also playing a sticky 4/3 minion.

However, while the goal is to control the board early on, you should not mindless trade with your opponent’s minions. It is appropriate to hit face if:

  • Your opponent is going to trade with your minion regardless.
  • Your opponent has no reasonable way of punishing your board or trading up.
  • It is mid game, and you have a decent amount of damage on the board.
  • You have drawn Malygos, Eviscerate
    s, Sinister Strike
    or Deadly Poison
    with Blade Flurry
    and can setup lethal.
  • If the opponent’s board does not threaten you.

The key to winning with this deck is realising when to play Malygos. In general, Malygos is used as a finisher for this deck and thus, is not a card that you just play on turn 9 without extracting immediate value. Malygos is the key win condition in this deck, and maximum value must be attained from it.

However, against aggro decks, Malygos will usually not be needed to win, as the deck has enough mid to late game cards to beat aggro decks provided that you survive early game. However, in control match-ups, you must either use Malygos as a finisher, or as a set up for lethal on the following turn. You must also be frugal with your use of damage cards (e.g. Eviscerate, Sinister Strike and Blade Flurry) in control match-ups, as it is quite possible to run out of burst in this deck (particularly against Warrior).

Key Card Analysis


Preparation

: Preparation is a card that sacrifices your hand size for a tempo advantage. Typically, against Control decks, you save this card for Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Malygos or Sprint turns. However, against Aggro decks, you can use Preparation more liberally on tempo plays that remove your opponent’s board while developing your own.

Bloodmage Thalnos

: Bloodmage Thalnos is a deceptively good legendary card. On the face of it, it is just a Loot Hoarder with Spellpower, or a Kobold Geomancer with a card draw Deathrattle. However, it is essentially two cards worth of value, providing much needed Spellpower and card draw at the same time. Hence, try to maximise the value of Bloodmage Thalnos by making use of the Spellpower and card draw. However, when you don’t have a proper curve, it is okay to play this card just for the card draw.

Blade Flurry

: The general rule to succeed with Rogue is maximising the value of your Blade Flurry turns. Do not waste this card to kill a small minion on the board. Try to maximise the value of Blade Flurry by combining it with either Bloodmage Thalnos, Deadly Poison, Azure Drake, Goblin Auto-barber or Malygos to clear your opponent’s board.

Sap

: Sap is a card that provides tempo and can negate an opponent’s turn if used on a high mana minion. The general rule with Sap is that in aggro match-ups, it is okay to use Sap on lower mana creatures in order to build a strong board. Preparation + Sap your opponent’s minion + play your own minion is a very powerful play against Aggro.

For slower match-ups, you typically want to save this card for their high mana minions, such as Sylvanas Windrunner

, Sludge Belcher
and Savannah Highmane
. In these match-ups, you are essentially using 2 mana to remove a minion that costs 5+ mana from your opponent, which is a huge tempo swing.

Goblin Auto-Barber

: Given that this deck does not run Tinker's Sharpsword Oil
, this card is used both as a minion drop, and also to add much needed weapon damage to either set up a Blade Flurry turn or clear a 2 hp minion. Note that while this card is 2 mana, it is played on turn 3, as you need to create a weapon in order to attain any value from its Battlecry.

Piloted Shredder

: Piloted Shredders provide a sticky 4 drop that aid in keeping board control.

Piloted Shredders are chosen over Violet Teachers (a staple in Oil Rogues), because Violet Teachers require card investment in order to maximise its value. Hence, playing Violet Teachers would result in situations where you commit most of your hand. In contrast, for this deck, it is optimal to have a decent hand size.

Furthermore, in order to get maximum value from Violet Teachers, you need to combine it with Preparation. However, in this deck, Preparation has better value with either Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint for the card draw, or Malygos for a potential lethal.

Emperor Thaurissan

: Emperor Thaurissan is a key card in this deck as it makes all the crazy combos possible. Just getting value from the Emperor Thaurissan on one turn is enough to swing the game entirely in your favour. If Emperor Thaurissan survives for 2 turns or more, the game is usually already over, provided that you have an adequate number of cards in your hand.

Here are some crazy combos that could happen with Emperor Thaurissan (assuming that Thaurissan reduces each of these cards by 1 mana):

Malygos + Sinister Strike + Eviscerate = 17 damage for 9 mana

Malygos + Blade Flurry = 6 damage board clear for 9 mana

Malygos + Sinister Strike + Eviscerate + Preparation + Eviscerate = 26 damage for 9 mana

Malygos + Eviscerate + Eviscerate + Sinister Strike = 26 damage for 10 mana

Malygos + Sinister Strike + Eviscerate + Preparation + Eviscerate + Blade Flurry = 32 damage for 10 mana

Gadgetzan Auctioneer

: Gadgetzan Auctioneer has returned in Blackrock Mountain in his original form thanks to the introduction of Emperor Thaurissan. This is used for card draws in the mid to late game and synergises well with Preparation. Combined with the mana reduction from Emperor Thaurissan, you can easily draw your whole deck in a few turns if the Gadgetzan Auctioneer stays alive.

Do not play Gadgetzan Auctioneer without drawing at least 2 cards from it, as it is a high priority target for your opponent to remove and you need to get value out of it right away.

Dr. Boom

: Dr. Boom (aka Dr. Balanced) provides a huge threat as it creates instant board presence regardless of whether you are behind or ahead on the board. However, unlike with other classes, you cannot just throw this out on turn 7 without thought, as Rogues have many removal spells that could be utilised to create an even better board position.

Even if Dr. Boom is BGH’d, the boom bots can still provide board presence, and can kill the BGH easily.

Tech Choices and Alternatives


The various tech choices you can make depending on the meta are outlined below.

  • If you are consistently playing against secrets, substitute a Piloted Shredder for a Kezan Mystic
    .
  • Assassin's Blade
    will improve the Warrior match-up but you must bait out Harrison Jones
    before playing it.

In terms of alternatives for the legendaries in this deck, Malygos is an essential part of the deck as it would not be a Malygos Miracle Rogue deck otherwise. However, for those that do not have Malygos, I suggest that you play Oil Rogue with two Tinker's Sharpsword Oil

.

Dr. Boom can be replaced by Loatheb

, which fills a different role but improves other match-ups like the mirror.

Bloodmage Thalnos is an awesome card, as it is a Kobold Geomancer

and Loot Hoarder
combined. I suggest that you craft it if you want to be successful with any Miracle Rogue deck. However, for those who are desperate to play Miracle Rogue and do not have this card, I suggest Kobold Geomancer (over Loot Hoarder) for the spellpower.

Considering the forthcoming cards from the Blackrock Mountain expansion, I predict that Hungry Dragon

may be a worthy inclusion in the deck, as it provides a huge 5/6 body at the cost of giving your opponent a 1 mana cost minion. This will replace the Piloted Shredders as the 4-drops in the deck. Providing your opponent with a 1 mana cost minion is not problematic for Rogue, due to the abundance of removal spells and weapons. However, this will need to be tested, as providing a 1 mana minion to your opponent may significantly decrease the win rate against aggro decks.

Dark Iron Skulker

is also an interesting card, as it is effectively a 5 mana area of effect (AoE) Backstab along with a 4/3 minion. This will potentially replace 1 Fan of Knives
in the deck. However, Dark Iron Skulker is a 5 mana card, which may be a bit too slow against aggro decks.

Match-ups


This was my run to legend in the April 2015 season from rank 4. I had a favourable match-up against all classes except against Hunter and Priest. Surprisingly, my win rate against Warrior was very high, as it is supposed to be a bad match-up for Malygos Rogue.

Due to the prevalence of Oil Rogue in the meta, most of your opponents will play around Tinker's Sharpsword Oil

by attempting to clear our board each turn. This play can be inefficient versus Malygos Rogue, as they may waste their premium removals on low mana minions, thus allowing you to play Malygos without fear of removal and silence.

Another benefit of the prevalence of Oil Rogue is that your opponents will rely on taunts to protect them from lethal. However, against Malygos Rogue, this strategy will backfire, as it is quite easy to deal 17 damage to your opponent over Taunted minions with Malygos (Malygos + Preparation + Eviscerate + Sinister Strike).

Here are some tips against the classes:

Shaman: This is a favourable match-up for Malygos Rogue due to the large number of AoEs in the deck. The general way of playing against Shaman is having answers to their totems and small minions on the board. These answers include Fan of Knives and Blade Flurry, used in conjunction with Spellpower and Deadly Poison.

Shamans gain value by trading their hero power totems into your higher value minions using Flametongue Totem

. Shamans will mulligan for early game creatures to develop a strong early board. Hence, the early game will involve you using your cheap removals and AoE spells to counter their Zombie Chow
s, Haunted Creeper
s and hero power totems, while also developing your board with Si:7 Agents and Piloted Shredders.

Provided that you have board control by the mid-game, you do not need Malygos to win. You just need to maintain board control and push damage to their face. However, if you do lose board control due to Lightning Storm

, Malygos allows you to either find that extra damage for lethal, or can be used in conjunction with Preparation and either Blade Flurry or Fan of Knives to clear the Shaman’s board.

As with most classes, do not play Malygos without extracting some value from it immediately because Shaman can easily use Hex or Earth Shock. However, if the Shaman has used all his removals and silences, feel free to play Malygos without combining with other spells.

For this season, I only played against Bloodlust

Shamans, which prioritise getting board control, filling their board with small minions and winnign with Bloodlust and
. To counter these decks, focus on keeping their board as clear as possible while developing your own. Do not over-commit to the board as these decks will run Lightning Storm
. Finally, try to limit the value of their Fire Elemental
turns by not leaving your high mana minions on 3 health.

Ideally, Preparation should be saved for either Malygos, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Warrior: Control Warrior is a tough match-up for Rogues in general. This is due to their hero power, Shield Block

s, Armorsmith
s and Shieldmaiden
s. Consequently, it is quite possible that you need to deal over 45 damage to finish a Warrior. However, for this season, my win ratio was quite high versus Warrior. This is due to two reasons:

  • Warriors are currently playing around Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil.
  • Warriors are adding Grim Patron
    along with Warsong Commander
    into their decks, which are easily dealt with by Rogues using Deadly Poison and Blade Flurry.

Typically, Control Warriors will mulligan for their weapons and Armorsmiths against Rogues. The Armorsmiths are particularly awkward for Rogues to remove, as they are just outside of Deadly Poison dagger and Backstab + Dagger combos. In general, you want to save your Eviscerates for lethal or removing high value targets. Try not to use your Eviscerates on Armorsmiths, unless it is a situation where the Armorsmith will generate heaps of armor.

In most cases, you will not be taking early board control, as playing a naked Si:7 Agent will usually be cleared by the Control Warrior’s Fiery War Axe. However, a Piloted Shredder at turn 4 will be very difficult for the Warrior to clear easily, and is usually where you can establish board control.

An early Sprint and Preparation is highly beneficial in this match-up, as Rogues need as many resources as possible to beat Warriors. This also synergises well with a turn 6 Emperor Thaurissan, as you can get more value from it with a larger hand size.

In this match-up, Malygos is required to win, as you will typically need to extract maximum value from it for lethal. However, if you manage to force the Warrior to waste all his Execute

s, Shield Slam
s and Brawl
, feel free to play Malygos without immediate follow-up, as they usually do not run a Silence.

Try to play around Brawl, as Warriors typically run one Brawl in their decks. If possible, do not waste resources on reducing the Warrior’s life total past 15 as most Warrior decks run Alexstrasza

.

Ideally, one Preparation should be saved for the Malygos turn. The other Preparation can be used for Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Druid: Druid is an even match-up, even though this is not reflected in my statistics. The key to winning against Druid is early board presence and pressure. You want to be the ‘beat-down’ in this match-up. Hence, in your mulligans, you should aim for early game creatures. This is because when you are dictating terms, the Druid will be using their turns to remove your minions rather than dropping their own.

Sap is an important card in this match-up, as it negates a big Innervate + high mana minion turn. Imagine that your opponent double Innervates his Druid of the Claw

on turn 1. By playing Sap on it, you effectively have cleared his board and wasted two of his cards. Sap is also very useful in situations against Druid’s high mana minions in general, particularly against Ramp Druids as using a Sap on an Ancient of War
equates to spending 2 mana to remove 7 mana from your opponent.

The other important part of this match-up is playing around the Force of Nature

and Savage Roar
combo. This combo has become even more potent with the introduction of Emperor Thaurissan, as it reduces the mana cost of the combo. This allows for crazy combos such as double Savage Roar for just 9 mana with Emperor Thaurissan’s effect triggering once. It is also important to note that even Ramp Druids are running combo, so you cannot make the assumption that they do not have combo just because you see an Ancient of War.

To combat the combo, you need to keep the Druid board as clear as possible. Even if you have over 20+ life, you should be counting whether they have lethal on you after turn 9 with the combo (or earlier if they have played an Emperor Thaurissan).

Note that you should only play around Force of Nature and Savage Roar combo when you are in a stalemate or winning position. If you are in a losing position, you should not play around this combo, as you are effectively stalling the inevitable (I discuss this concept in The Mindset of a Legend Player).

Ideally, Preparation should be saved for either Malygos, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Rogue: Almost all Rogues are playing Oil variants, which have an obscene amount of burst in their deck. In theory, Oil Rogues should be a bad match-up against Malygos Rogue as they are slightly faster, though this has not been the case in my experience. To beat Oil Rogues, you must prioritise keeping the board clear to prevent a Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil and Blade Flurry combo.

The key to outplaying other Rogues is to extract maximum value from each card, while keeping your life total at a healthy amount. For example, if you can clear an Azure Drake

with Bloodmage Thalnos + Backstab + weapon hit, you are effectively using 3 mana to clear a 5 mana minion. In particular, maximise the value of your Blade Flurries, as this has the potential to swing the game in your favour. For example, Blade Flurry used in conjunction with Malygos is equivalent to a 6 damage Flamestrike with the added benefit of hitting face as well.

Furthermore, other Rogues will assume that we are playing Oil Rogue and will try to keep our board clear. This is beneficial for us, as it can lead to inefficient plays.

Note that most Rogues will be running Loatheb, which is a great card in the mirror due to the prevalence of spells in the deck. Unfortunately, it is not possible to play around Loatheb, other than cycling your cards effectively so that you have minions to play every turn. Ideally, the perfect response to a turn 5 Loatheb is a turn 5 Azure Drake, or turn 6 Emperor Thaurissan.

A big swing turn for Oil Rogues is when they put down a turn 4 Violet Teacher. If the Violet Teacher is not removed, it will gain huge value through its multiple tokens. Hence, plan your turns so that you have some method to remove a potential turn 4 Violet Teacher.

Ideally, Preparation should be saved for either Malygos, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Hunter: I will discuss the strategy separately for Face Hunter and Midrange Hunter.

Face Hunter

This match-up is a race, and favours the Face Hunter, as we do not run any Taunts. A Face Hunter will look to establish early board presence with

,
and Mad Scientist
s (with Explosive and sometimes Snake Traps) before piling on the damage each turn with Wolfrider
s, Arcane Golem
s, Eaglehorn Bow
and the dreaded Hunter hero power. Face Hunters will look to finish with Kill Command
s, Quick Shot
s and Leeroy Jenkins
.

To beat a Face Hunter, you need to outrace them. This is done by setting up strong tempo plays that remove their board while setting up your own board through the use of Preparation. For example, with 3 mana, a board of three 1 hp minions can be removed easily using Fan of Knives. However, if you also had Preparation, you can Fan of Knives and play a minion at the same time, which allows you to get board control and start damaging their face. Antique Healbot is the arch-nemesis of Face Hunters, and will hopefully buy you enough time to outrace them.

After you have established board control, you should be wary of flooding the board due to Unleash the Hounds. Each turn, you should be planning how to maximise your damage to face over the next few turns while minimising the amount of damage taken.

Malygos is not needed in this match-up, as the game will usually be over by turn 9. Hence, Preparations can be used more liberally to gain tempo advantage, rather than saved for Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Malygos or Sprint.

Midrange Hunter

Midrange Hunter is a favourable match-up for Malygos Rogue. This is because Sap hard counters Savannah Highmane, which is one of Midrange Hunter’s win conditions.

A Midrange Hunter will look to establish early board control with Webspinners, Mad Scientists and Animal Companions. In most games, you should have the answers to these minions while also developing your board.

Midrange Hunters typically run only Freezing Traps, though some will also use Snake Trap. Freezing Traps do not have as much of an impact on Malygos Rogue as it does against other decks. This is because the minions in the deck are mainly low cost, whereas Freezing Trap delivers the most value against high cost minions. Furthermore, many of the minions in the Malygos deck have useful Battlecries, where it is beneficial if the minion returns to our hand (e.g. Antique Healbot, Si:7 Agent).

Malygos is considered a bonus in this match-up, as it is usually not a win condition against Midrange Hunter. Preparations can be used more liberally to gain tempo advantage, rather than saved for Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Malygos or Sprint.

Mage: I encountered three types of Mages on my run to legend this season: Mech Mage, Tempo Mage and Freeze Mage.

Mech Mage

Mech Mage is a favourable match-up for Malygos Rogue. Mech Mage’s primary objective is to control the board while getting value from their Mechs through Tinkertown Technician

and Goblin Blastmage
. Usually Mech Mages will also use Mad Scientists combined with Mirror Entity
to help ensure that they have board control. If the game drags out longer, Mech Mages win by using Dr. Boom and Archmage Antonidas
combined with spare parts.

To beat Mech Mages, prioritise board control, particularly killing Mechs to prevent them from getting value from Tinkertown Technician

and Goblin Blastmage
. A key minion to remove is Snowchugger
, as it shuts down your hero power and prevents you from clearing their board. Maximise your Blade Flurry and Deadly Poison value, as Mech Mages will flood the board with minions.

Mirror Entity is easily dealt with as there are many low mana minions in the deck. Furthermore, it is particularly effective to deal with Mirror Entity by playing a minion in conjunction with Blade Flurry. For example, playing an Azure Drake and a Blade Flurry with a Deadly Poisoned dagger would clear the enemy Azure Drake and any other 4 hp minions.

Malygos is considered a bonus in this match-up, as it is usually not required to beat Mech Mage. Hence, Preparations can be used more liberally to gain tempo advantage, rather than saved for Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Malygos or Sprint. That said, sometimes Malygos can provide some value in this match-up, as the Mech Mage may have drawn into Archmage Antonidas and Finicky Cloakfield

, which forces us to race for lethal.

Tempo Mage

Tempo Mage is a favourable match-up for Malygos Rogue. A Tempo Mage’s objective is to control the board early game using Mana Wyrm

s, Sorcerer's Apprentice
s, Mad Scientists and Unstable Portal
s. In addition, Tempo Mages also play secrets that either add to their board (i.e. Mirror Entity), prevent removal (i.e. Counterspell
) or give them card advantage (i.e. Duplicate
). Their goal is to keep control early game and damage your face enough to set up for lethal if they lose board control.

To beat Tempo Mages, prioritise board control and play around Secrets efficiently by testing for Mirror Entity with lower mana minions and proccing Counterspell optimally. The Coin is the best method of removing Counterspell, although some opponents will wisely not play Counterspell until the Coin has been used.

Tempo Mages have the potential for explosive starts through Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Unstable Portals. However, Rogues can usually deal with these starts with Blade Flurry and Deadly Poison.

Malygos is considered a bonus in this match-up, as it is usually not required to beat Tempo Mage. Hence, Preparations can be used more liberally to gain tempo advantage, rather than saved for Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Malygos or Sprint.

Freeze Mage

Though I have not lost to a Freeze Mage this season, this is an unfavourable match-up. It is effectively a race, as a Freeze Mage’s goal is to stall the game until they draw all their burst damage and Alexstrasza. Furthermore, Freeze Mage has been given a major upgrade with the release of Emperor Thaurissan, which increases the burst potential of the deck by allowing for combos that would otherwise require over 10 mana to use.

The key to beating a Freeze Mage is to maximise your damage to their face and either deliver lethal before they can use an Ice Block

, or to trigger their Ice Blocks quickly.

Freeze Mages have a variety of options to neutralise your board such as Frost Nova

and Doomsayer
combo, Blizzard
, Flamestrike and Cone of Cold
. Unfortunately, you cannot play around AoE too much, as you must pressure their life total. However, prioritise playing sticky minions to keep board control after an AoE spell (i.e. playing Piloted Shredder over Azure Drake in anticipation of a Flamestrike). Furthermore, avoid flooding the board if you can afford to, such as when you are significantly ahead of your opponent -both in terms of board control and life total.

Another tip is to save Antique Healbot for when they use Alexstrasza, as it could potentially put you out of lethal range, while also providing you time to find lethal.

In this match-up, Malygos is required to win, as you will typically need the damage it provides for a surprise lethal, or to trigger their Ice Block.

Ideally, Preparation should be saved for either Malygos, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Warlock: I will discuss the strategy against the two types of Warlock that I encountered on my run to legend: Zoolock and Handlock.

Zoolock

The release of Imp Gang Boss has resulted in the reemergence of Zoolocks, which have flooded the ladder in the past week.

Zoo is a favourable match-up for Malygos Rogue. Zoo relies on establishing and maintaining board control to win the game, which is difficult against Rogue. Clearing the Zoo’s board is usually a sign that the game is won, as Zoo decks do not have many mechanisms to come back from an empty board.

To beat Zoo, focus on clearing their minions through your single target removals and AoEs.  Zoo decks generate value from having minions on the board. Once they do not have any minions, cards like Abusive Sergeant

, Dark Iron Dwarf
, Defender of Argus
and Power Overwhelming
do not generate additional value.

However, clearing a Zoo’s board has been made more difficult due to the introduction of Imp Gang Boss. With this card, Zoo locks have a greater chance of keeping a minion alive on their board, as Imp Gang Boss’s card mechanics operate after an AoE spell. For example, a Deadly Poison + Bloodmage Thalnos + Blade Flurry would kill the Imp Gang Boss and all other minions with 4 health, but would leave behind a 1/1 minion that is triggered from the Imp Gang Boss. One way to play around this mechanic is to remove the Imp Gang Boss first before using AOE to clear.

It is also important to note that, with the exception of Doomguard

and Bane of Doom
(which is becoming more common), Zoo decks cannot damage your face if they do not have board control. Therefore, it is quite possible to beat a Zoo player on low health. For example, I managed to win a game against a Zoolock despite being on 7 health for 4 turns.

In most cases, Sap should not be used on Doomguard, as it is a charge minion that benefits from being played again. Instead, Sap should ideally be used on sticky minions that are difficult to remove, such as Piloted Shredders or Harvest Golem

.

Malygos is considered a bonus in this match-up, as it is usually not required to beat Zoolock.

Handlock

Handlock is a slightly unfavourable match-up for Malygos Rogue. This is due to the difficulty of clearing their high health minions (i.e. Twilight Drake

, Mountain Giant
and Molten Giant
).

In this match-up, the focus is less on board control and more on pressuring their face. The strategy to beating Handlocks is to hit face as much as possible until around 15 hp (to prevent them throwing down taunted Molten Giants), then bursting them down in one turn.

Sap should be saved for Mountain Giants and Molten Giants, as these minions threaten our survival and are difficult to remove. Furthermore, Eviscerates are very important in this match-up and should be saved as finishers rather than using them to clear minions. Do not use Eviscerates for ‘near’ lethal turns, as they can restore their health to 15 through Jaraxxus.

In this match-up, Malygos can be used to deliver a surprise lethal to your opponent. Handlocks will assume that you are an Oil Rogue, which will cause them to rely on their Taunted minions for safety. However, with Malygos, it is quite easy to hit for 17 damage over a taunt for 10 mana (Malygos + Preparation + Eviscerate + Sinister Strike). Malygos is even more potent if Emperor Thaurissan was played previously, as it is possible to deliver 26 damage for 10 mana without the need for Preparation (Malygos + 2x Eviscerate + Sinister Strike).

As this is a control match-up, Preparation should be saved for either Malygos, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Paladin: Paladin is a favourable match-up for Rogue. This is because Fan of Knives and Blade Flurry counter their early minions and cards (i.e. Shielded Minibot

, Muster for Battle
) while Sap counters Tirion Fordring
. When deciding what to play in the early turns, assume that they will play Shielded Minibot on turn 2 and Muster for Battle on turn 3, as they will mulligan for these cards.

Another aspect of playing against Paladin is deny them Consecration

value. Play around Consecration by not leaving a board full of 2 health minions if possible. This usually means trading in your one health minions so that your higher value minions can survive. In addition, avoid flooding the board after turn 6 due to Equality
and Consecration combo.

Fan of Knives and Blade Flurry will counter Muster for Battle. However, remember that Paladin tokens are only dangerous once they have 5 mana. Hence, it might be optimal to save your AoE spells if you have a better play on the turn.

Since the introduction of Dragon Consort

last week, Paladin’s have been incorporating Dragons into their decks. Dragon’s Consort allows for high mana Dragons to be played earlier, such as Ysera
on turn 7. These decks are still a favourable match-up for Malygos Rogue, but their minions are harder to remove. Fortunately, these decks require Dragons to be hand in order for the cards to gain value (i.e. Blackwing Technician, Rend Blackhand) and at this stage, the number of decent Dragons are limited. Sap has best value against Ysera and Tirion Fordring.

I expect that Dragon Paladins will become more of a threat once all the cards from Blackrock Mountain are released.

Priest: Priest is traditionally an easy match-up for Rogue, which is not reflected in my statistics this season due to the low sample size (2 games). Typically, the Priest’s early game minions will be easily cleared or negated, while playing your own minions at the same time.

The only difficulty in this match-up is when the Priest has a strong start while we do not draw into any removals. For instance, an early turn 3 Injured Blademaster and Circle of Healing combo is a nightmare to deal with without Sap.

Azure Drake and Piloted Shredder provide a lot of value in this match-up due to their 4 attack power, which is the sweet spot against Priest as they do not have any early game spells that can remove it. However, be wary that after turn 8, priests can potentially steal 4 attack minions (i.e. Malygos, Azure Drake) using Shrinkmeister

and Cabal Shadow Priest
.

Avoid flooding the board against Priest due to the prevalence of Lightbomb

.

Similar to the Warrior match-up, it is possible to run out of damage against Priest due to their hero power and healing spells. Thus, you must be frugal with your use of damage cards.

Ideally, Preparation should be saved for either Malygos, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Sprint turns.

Mulligan Strategy


The general mulligan strategy is to mulligan for removals against aggro decks and a strong mid game against Control decks. Never keep Malygos, as you want to draw into it later in the game.

Before Gadgetzan Auctioneer was increased to 6 mana, it was a strong keep in most match-ups. However, it is simply too slow to keep at 6 mana, and should be considered a late game card draw mechanism.

The specific mulligan strategy for each class is addressed below.

Shaman

Blade Flurry, Fan of Knives, Backstab, Si:7 Agent, Goblin Auto-Barber and Deadly Poison.

Warrior

Piloted Shredder, Preparation and Sprint combo, Deadly Poison, Si:7 Agent and Azure Drake.

Rogue

Deadly Poison, Backstab, Si:7 Agent, Preparation and Sprint combo and Piloted Shredder.

Druid

Si:7 Agent, Goblin Auto-barber, Piloted Shredder and Sap.

Hunter

Backstab, Si:7 Agent, Fan of Knives, Shiv and Preparation.

Mage

Deadly Poison, Blade Flurry, Backstab, Si:7 Agent, Preparation, Bloodmage Thalnos and Goblin Auto-barber.

Warlock

Backstab, Si:7 Agent, Deadly Poison, Fan of Knives and Goblin Auto-barber.

Paladin

Fan of Knives, Si:7 Agent, Backstab, Piloted Shredder and Deadly Poison.

Priest

Piloted Shredder, Azure Drake, Backstab, Si:7 Agent, Deadly Poison and Sap.

Closing Remarks


Thanks for reading this guide. I hope that it will help you reach legend this season. If you enjoyed the article, please give me a thumbs up! Feel free to leave comments below or message me at my twitch channel (stream forthcoming): www.twitch.tv/k3lvhs

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