Rogue is one of the most notorious Hearthstone classes. While it has a diverse card pool that lends itself to many strategies, the class’ inherent lack of durability and damage prevention options makes it challenging for new players to overcome.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key strengths and strategical options when playing as a Rogue in Hearthstone.
Playing Rogue in Hearthstone
A combo-oriented strategy is one of the main Rogue playstyles that has stood the test of time (and multiple nerfs). The class is the only one who gets the aptly named Combo mechanic, improving some cards if they are not the first card played that turn. While some cards aren’t particularly great in regular play, several Combo cards were centerpieces of combo decks.
By far, the most popular Combo variant is the so-called Miracle Rogue. This strategy controls the board and deals very little damage early on, focusing on drawing cards and accumulating resources.
When the exact sequence of cards is available in the Rogue’s hand, they can play several low-cost cards to deal enough damage to the opposing hero to win the game. The deck’s explosiveness led to multiple cards nerfs to prevent one-turn kills and allow more meaningful counterplay options. Miracle Rogue remains a powerful tempo-oriented deck.
Some of the most common variants of Miracle Rogue include low-cost Combo-oriented cards like Backstab, Eviscerate, Edvin VanCleef. Preparation becomes a vital part of the build, allowing you to string Combo cards together for maximum value. Another powerful card for the archetype is Questing Adventurer, which gets a significant power boost when you play multiple inexpensive cards each turn.
Rogue can also use colossal attack boosters like Cold Blood on stealthed minions, who are protected against anything that doesn’t affect the entire board at once. This tactic requires a bit of setup and knowledge of the opponent’s vulnerabilities but can be incredibly satisfying when pulled off.
Additionally, Rogue synergizes exceptionally well with Battlecry and Deathrattle minions.
A deck can use minions with powerful Deathrattles like Nerubian Egg and Infiltrator Lilian to provide more board advantage. Cards like Counterfeit Blade allow you to get even more value from these minions dying, and the deck can be easily tuned towards Miracle-like game styles. You can combine Stealth, Combo, and Deathrattle minions (example list) to constantly have some pressure on the board and keep the opponent on their toes.
Playing Rogue in Hearthstone Arena
In Arena, most of the gameplay revolves around pushing slight board advantages until you overwhelm the opponent. Some Combo cards become mostly, if not completely useless, while others still maintain their value.
The class’ Hero Power is also deceptive.
While Rogues can chip away at low health minions easily due to their 2-durability Hero Power weapon, they don’t have much (if any) survivability or ways to mitigate damage. This point becomes extreme in the later stages when you encounter 5-or-more Attack minions. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to kill an X/1 minion with your Hero Power than let it stay for more turns attacking. Still, carefully consider the point of diminishing returns and when you reach critical Health zones against other classes.
Cards like Eviscerate, Assassinate, and Backstab are always staples to clear nasty minions from the opponent’s board. Eviscerate becomes extremely powerful as a two-mana removal spell if you can chain it after other cards.
Note that Combo doesn’t work if you only used your Hero Power in that turn, so prepare low-cost cards accordingly. In some cases, it’s better to just use your Hero Power on turn two and hold a two-mana minion in your hand to provide Combo synergy.
Burgle cards, which provide random cards, can range from near useless to game-breaking effects, putting a lot of your deck strategy into getting lucky. However, Hearthstone as a whole has a significant random component, so cards that Burgle and are otherwise fine stat-wise can be worthwhile investments if the other choices are lackluster. Most Burgle minions are relatively inexpensive, allowing you better Combo synergies and use up resources fully each turn.
Get Stabby in Hearthstone With Rogues
Rogue is one of the classes in Hearthstone with a higher skill floor but an enormously satisfying playstyle once you get the hang of it. While most popular decks rely on Combo mechanics and midrange-oriented gameplay, very few classes play out in a similar way.
What’s your favorite way to play Rogue in Hearthstone? Let us know in the comment section below.