I am Kobe ‘Guukboii’ Van Schepdael and I’m a Belgian Hearthstone player. A few months ago I wrote written an In-Depth Guide on Miracle Rogue which had a lot of success and I received tons of positive feedback from all of you guys. Some of you have asked me if I was going to update the guide after the expansion and since I promised I would, here is me delivering on that promise.
I am going to use my old Guide as a ‘shell’, so there might be some copy/pasting on things that didn’t really change much. For everyone who is tuning in just now I’ll do a short introduction of myself: I’ve been playing Hearthstone competitively for almost 2 years now.
During my early days I was a huge fan of miracle rogue. Even after the Leeroy Jenkins and Gadgetzan Auctioneer nerf I kept playing it. Although when the meta shifted and decks got too fast ‘Miracoli’ wasn’t really viable anymore. I never liked Sprint Oil Rogue so I tried a version with Coldlight Oracle, Loot Hoarder, Gnomish Inventor and Azure Drake. This deck got me qualified for the Viagame HouseCup #2. But I didn’t feel like the deck was strong enough to compete with the Tier 1 decks so I quit playing Rogue and focused on other classes for the time being.
After the introduction of Standard, Miracle Rogue got viable again, a lot of strong cards like Dr. Boom and Piloted Shredder rotated out and even though Blade Flurry was nerfed, Rogue could finally shine again. Now with the new ‘Mean Streets of Gadzetgan’ expansion Rogue feels even stronger. It might not seem like it but the Counterfeit Coin actually helps A LOT. I see the card as a smaller Innervate which has the advantage of being easily abused by Rogue as a class and Gadgetzan Auctioneer as a card. But not only our extra coin helps, Small-Time Buccaneer is basically a Flame Imp for Rogue, 90%+ of the time you’ll dagger up on turn 2 anyway and if you’ve played a Small-Time Buccaneer on turn 1 it’s extremely strong to keep up with the early game of some other decks, especially combined with cards like Backstab. But we will go over the decklist later in this guide.
A disadvantage of Rogue at the moment is that Pirate Warrior and Aggro Shaman are pretty unfavoured matchups. Although our 1-drops helpt a lot, Rogue has no access to heals or taunts so you might get raced down pretty quickly if you don’t have the right answers. But, playing correctly, Rogue has a REALLY GOOD matchup against Renolock, Jade Druid and Priest. (Dragon priest is worse than Reno priest for us but still good) Which makes up for it. I personally got legend with Miracle Rogue this season and I’ve seen lots of people getting into Top10 Legend with Rogue, Mr Yagut even hitting #1 Legend last week. So I think the favoured matchups definitely make up for the unfavoured ones.
Before we begin, I’d like to mention that in my opinion Miracle Rogue is one of the hardest deck, if not the hardest, to play PERFECT in the game. There are almost no turns that are completely obvious and every play you make is a decision that will affect the next turns. So some people may disagree with what i’m writing here, but like many things in Hearthstone, topics like these are always up for discussion.
Now let’s get started.
With the addition of Patches the Pirate you should always be looking for a pirate 1-drop, being Small-Time Buccaneer and Swashburglar. ALWAYS mulligan patches away, even though it’s a 1-drop it’s fairly obvious you never want this card in your hand.
I can probably talk an hour about how strong Patches the Pirateis but the main point is that you absolutely want to get him for free. If you do have a Small-Time Buccaneer already, throw away other 1-drops and look for cards like Backstab, SI:7 Agent and Tomb Pillager. Keeping Preparation is sometimes correct as well but we’ll go over the mulligan in specific matchups/situations below.
NOTE: You ALWAYS want either a Small-Time Buccaneer or a Swashburglar because Rogue doesn’t have anything to do on turn 1 and it is insanely good in combination with Patches the Pirate to contest the board early. This is absolute priority against every class, not only because having a 1-drop is always good but also because you get Patches the Pirate out of your deck, which is a card you don’t want to draw because it doesn’t have enough value in itself.
Early-on you want to keep their board as clean as possible. Use removals like Backstab (possibly with SI:7 Agent) and Eviscerate to slow them down. Turn 4 or 5 you should always try to play a minion while possibly removing something with Preparation (+ a spell) or Backstab. After turn 6 best case would be that you can play Gadgetzan Auctioneer on a near empty board and start cycling A LOT, with the coins you got from Tomb Pillagers, Preparation and other spells. After that, you want to find a good turn to push for lethal. This is something Rogue can do very easily. You just need some minions, Cold Blood them and Conceal the board. Then kill them the turn after with your board and the extra burst you can get from Eviscerate and Leeroy Jenkins.
Against druid you will usually win when you gain control over the board, try to keep it that way, don’t be afraid to Sap something just to make them spend all their mana next turn again without reacting to your board.
Conceal is also very strong in this matchup, if you see an opportunity to just Smorc, Conceal and win next turn, even when they have a board, go for it. Although be aware of cards like Feral Rage that can interfere with that plan. Another win condition against Druid is Edwin VanCleef. Most Druids cut Mulch completely so they have no answer at all against him. If you see an opportunity to make him huge, do not hesitate. A 12/12 minion on the board is almost an instant win in this matchup.
Jade Shaman is probably the easiest matchup, their start is likely pretty slow but we don’t know that going into the game so prepare for an Aggro Shaman, which is unfavoured due to us having no answer to Doomhammer. Shaman will most likely be the agressor in this matchup, try to turn the tides and push as much facedamage as you can, once they have to play defensively you will have the upperhand. Try to be conservative with sap prior to turn 4 because their 7/7’s are a huge threat, we usually don’t want to trade our minions into it unless we have to.
Don’t be afraid to pass a turn if that means you can have a better turn with Gadgetzan Auctioneer.
Eg: Instead of Coin – Auctioneer – Prep – Conceal turn 5,
go with: Pass turn 5, then Auctioneer – coin – conceal – Prep – Sap/Evis/Shadowstrike turn 6.
Using Sap on a Savannah Highmane is insanely strong but don’t be too greedy with it, sapping an Infested Wolf when you already have board is perfectly fine! Try to keep track of your health and make sure they can’t just Smorc you. Make good trades if necessary but go face as much as possible with your minions. Same as you Hunter doesn’t have acces to heal or (instant) taunt, although be aware of Houndmaster.
Mulligan for Renolock since it’s the most popular warlock archetype at the moment.
Against Reno: Keep playing for board, don’t try to ignore their minions and push face because it might be punished by Reno Jackson. Try to burst them down from 20+ or make a huge board with Conceal and/or Edwin VanCleef before turn 8 (Twisting Nether) or after you’ve seen most boardclears. They only run 1 of every card so once you’ve seen a card you don’t have to play around it anymore, use this to your advantage.
Pirate Warrior is the most popular and most dangerous so definitely mulligan for this archetype.
I already said it above but the priority is to find Small-Time Buccaneer and Swashburglar in the mulligan, all the other cards are secondary options. In this matchup it’s especially necessary to have a 1-drop and Patches the Pirate, that comes with it, to contest the board.
This is probably the worst Matchup of all, if they have a Fiery War Axe, upgrades and Arcanite Reaper they might even win without ever playing a minion. Try to either make a huge Edwin VanCleef early or rush them down with Cold Bloods. In a lot of my matches I’ve lost to a pirate warrior when it came down to 1 turn. It’s definitely possible to beat them but they win the facerace most of the time. My most valuable tip is probably not to get triggered when you play against one, move on to the next game. (Speaking from experience)
Most of the time the problem is that you don’t know what kind of mage it is, I’d suggest mulliganing for Tempo Mage because against Reno/Freeze Mage you have a lot more time.
Against Tempo Mage: They don’t run any heals or taunts so push as much facedamage as you can , they don’t have many good Sap targets so sometimes it’s even justified to Sap an Azure Drake if he can’t reply it without ignoring your board. The best target is most likely: Water Elemental.
Anyfin Paladin : They can’t heal, taunt and deal with your board at the same time. Put as much pressure on them as possible but don’t overextend. Be aware of an Equality combo (with [Pyromancer] or Consecration). Either bait one of their combo’s out with your board and then go for an Gadgetzan Auctioneer Conceal play or go for an Gadgetzan Auctioneer Conceal play, draw lots of cards and develop a board afterwards. Keep Sap preferably for Tirion Fordring or [Ragnaros, The Lightlord] but don’t hesitate to use it on Murloc Warleader if this means you can slow him down a lot and create a lot of tempo at the same time.
Aggro Paladin: Same as with zoo, try to keep their board clean to play around buff-cards like Blessing of Kings. Don’t be too greedy on your own cards because if your handsize is too big Divine Favor might get a lot of value.
It is really important to be the aggressor with initiative in this matchup. If you’re behind you’ll most likely lose. Your health is extremely important. It happens very often that one of the rogues will do a 2-turn lethal setup and if you’re high enough on health that can be prevented.
Really good question and I’ve been asking myself that as well. The answer is fairly simple, Counterfeit Coin allows you to make tempo plays or do BrokeBack stuff with Edwin VanCleef and/or Questing Adventurer, but since I decided to cut Questing Adventurers I think 2 coins is just overkill. Everybody who has played Rogue in the past knows that you sometimes end up with a ‘Dead Hand’ like double Preparation, two Cold Bloods and a Conceal, without anything to play it with.
I want to avoid this situation as much as possible and that’s why I decided to cut a coin, I think 1 is enough since it already allows us to play an Edwin VanCleef on turn 1 when we are going second and/or to coin out an Azure Drake or Tomb Pillager a turn earlier than we’re supposed to. But I don’t think i’ve done enough games to get a statistically correct answer on whether one or two Counterfeit Coins is more correct. I believe for now it’s just preference.
I’ll come back to this in the ‘Replacement’ Section.
Deadly Poison is a card that has lost a lot of value since the nerf of Blade Flurry. Which is also why I decided to cut it completely. I feel like Deadly Poison is almost only worth it when you either can kill a 3hp minion on turn 3 and have a tempogain into the next turn but decks don’t have a solid turn 3 anymore, it’s either multiple small minions, playing Jade Blossom or simply Life Tap so deadly poison isn’t worth it at the moment. A lot of decks also play Acidic Swamp Ooze against the Pirate Warriors, which makes it so that you can’t keep your weapon up too long, especially not a buffed one.
Gadgetzan Auctioneer is the engine of this deck, the only reason Miracle Rogue exists is because of this card. This card in combination with Preparation, The Coin and Tomb Pillager (giving you more coins) draws you so many cards that you can fatigue even before you hit turn 10. It also makes it possible to gain tempo without worrying about card advantage.
Not to mention drawing all the answers you need or finding your combo pieces in time. With this being said it is still not justified to keep the card in your opening hand. It is a 6 mana card (which is already far past the early game) but you usally don’t play it turn 6 because you want to play spells with it too. I feel like it’s only correct to keep Gadgetzan Auctioneer when you already have a Tomb Pillager in hand and when you play against really slow control decks.
The problem is that these decks are practically non-existent in the current meta due to Jade Druid being a thing. Really slow decks just get dragged into fatigue and it’s almost impossible to win. That’s why most decks are faster, midrange decks. For this reason I believe that in the current meta you never keep Gadgetzan Auctioneer in your opening hand.
99% of the rogue games you will hero power turn 2. And most people pass their turn with both charges of the dagger (or Wicked Knife) up. This is never completely incorrect BUT it might result in missing some damage. And for whoever watched Forsen when he was streaming Miracle Rogue: Remember that he was always 1 damage off lethal?
So when is it good to have only 1 charge of your dagger left at the end of your turn?
Bloodmage Thalnos is one of the strongest cards in Rogue arsenal, the reason being that Rogue greatly abuses BOTH Spellpower and Carddraw. Often you want to keep Thalnos in hand to combo it with Eviscerate or Fan of Knives for very efficient boardclears. But sometimes he can be played turn 2 to force your opponent in an awkward turn or when your hand is so bad that you really need extra cards.
For example: Druids usually want to play Wild Growth turn 2 or Innervate something out but if Thalnos gets played they either have the tendancy to hero power it down or put their ramp play on hold. If they still go through with their initial play you might punish them hard with a 3 damage Backstab into a possible SI:7 Agent play.
I feel like there is a lot of controversy about this between Rogue players. Some people say it’s bad because it doesn’t do anything on it’s own and you prefer other cards and topdeck into Preparation in the later stage of the game. Other people say that it’s absolutely necessary because without it your Gadgetzan Auctioneer won’t start rolling and/or you might completely lose the board before you even get to turn 6.
I’ll give you my opinion on the matter.
I’d like to compare Preparation with Innervate. Innervate is without doubt a stronger card because you can get a big minion on the board very early into the game. But it kinda still does the same. You play multiple cards and ‘cheat their mana’ to gain a quick tempoadvantage over the board. Rogue is a huge tempodeck, especially since losing Blade Flurry there are few to no comeback possibilities. Which means that Rogue has to be dealing with everything starting from turn 1. This is why I think Preparation is an absolute necessity. Even if you have the perfect curve, SI:7 Agent into Tomb Pillager into Azure Drake you might still lose the game if you can’t deal with their minions at the same time. And if you deal with their minions without playing some yourself they will keep refilling until you run out of removals. Remember: Minions are slow, spells are instant. You should always try to play your slower cards first and follow them up with faster cards.
So my answer is: Yes, you should absolutely keep Preparation in a Tempo matchup where you know they will play minions in the first few turns. As I said before, you can not afford to lose the board because there is no way to gain it back if you fall behind too much.
Against slower decks like Priest, Renolock, Control Warrior I would only keep it when I already have some minions in hand.
NOTE: Your first priority is still to have a Small-Time Buccaneer or Swashburglar on turn 1! Do throw away Preparation if you don’t have them yet.
Personally, I don’t like doing this. If there is an alternative I think it is better to just play an Azure Drake turn 5, for example. Preparation is more powerful the more mana you can ‘cheat’. So using it for a 1 mana spell can result in a tempoloss later into the game because you still have to use a Fan of Knives or a Shadow Strike for the full mana cost.
It IS very good though when you are absolutely certain that your opponent has no way to answer it and when you have a hand full of spells that you can cycle the turn after. Or when there is just no alternative play possible.
My rule for Cold Blood is simple: Whenever you have mana leftover, a minion on the board and there is even the smallest chance that the minion will survive you should use Cold Blood. This is almost never wrong. People think you run Cold Blood to burst your opponent down with Leeroy Jenkins, but this is incorrect. Leeroy Jenkins is in the deck BECAUSE you run Cold Blood. Cold Blood is a very efficient card (1 mana 4 damage face + a permanent buff) that can make you finish games really really fast with the use of Conceal. There are a lot of games that I won when I was behind just by playing double Cold Blood on a minion, go face and then Conceal. If they don’t have the resources to kill you that turn you usually win.
I’ll try my very best to write an answer to this question but it’s not easy because it usually depends on the situation.
Generally a turn 2 Edwin VanCleef with The Coin is okay, not strong but decent. A 4/4 body for 3 mana is good. But I’d almost never do this unless your curve after it is really good; for example: Backstab, SI:7 Agent, Tomb Pillager, Azure Drake.
What you want to do with Edwin VanCleef is make him a huge threat that has to be dealt with immediately without giving up too much of your hand/resources.
Against Zoo or Pirate Warrior (or any deck that has no way to answer a huge VanCleef): if you have the choice to either coin SI:7 Agent a Knife Juggler or instead The Coin, Preparation, Eviscerate, Edwin VanCleef, then just go for the Van Cleef and do Backstab + SI:7 Agent next turn on the minion he plays.
With the addition of Counterfeit Coin Edwin can even be played on turn 1, which is really insane. Don’t hesitate to instantly win the game this way.
Against decks that do have answers it’s harder to time it right. For example Priest who can easily just Shadow Word: Death, you should probably hold on to VanCleef until you can make it big AND Conceal it at the same time.
Or sometimes when you don’t feel like you can win the game you can decide to gamble and play all your cards, hoping he doesn’t have an answer for ‘a Big One’. But when you do this, don’t forget to play ‘Epic Sax guy’ at the same time!
Really looking forward to read it after work today. I’ve been playing Miracle Rogue thanks to your previous guide and I wanted to see what you think of this new meta.
First of all thanks for this well written guide; i really enjoyed reading it.
i do have 2 questions:
1) is having one of the pirates the priority number one at all times? let’s say i have a decent hand do i still hard mulligan for the pirates? i do think you said it ike this but i jsut wanted to make sure that throwing a backstab in aggro matchups is the correct play
2) since a huge edwin is one of your win conditions vs aggro would you say that keeping him on the coin is ok IF you already have one of your pirates? or maybe even without the coin but with prep, for example: bucaneer + edwin + prep
i really do love playing rogue and i will try and implement everything you mentioned above.
thanks again and if you ever figure out how to make jade rogue viable let me know 😉
1) No, if your hand is good already but you don’t have a pirate then you should keep it. I know I said it like that in the guide because the general idea is to hardmulligan for Pirates, especially against faster decks like Aggro Shaman and Pirate warrior. But against a Druid for example you can simply keep a Tomb Pillager even without a pirate.
2) You always keep Edwin on the coin, no matter what. And yes when you have a pirate, keeping Edwin with a prep is definitely a good idea in matchups where you need him.
Hey, I’m a really big fan of miracle rogue and could you write a guide explaining your moves in some tough situations?I’m stuck between a decision that might have changed the game differently if i played quite often so i was wondering if you could explain your moves. Thanks
i know patches is esential in this deck but, until i craft it… any replacement?
I find southsea deckhand seems to work quite well.
Hey man really nice guide i have question. I have the exact same deck but i don’t have Swashburglar is there anyway i can replace him? Is it okay if i put other one drop pirates for replacement?
Great deck! Been using it for a while, climbed from rank 13 to 8. Very well explained guide. Do you have any tips for playing against control warrior? I have seen them more and more.
Typically do you coin/ counterfeit coin out tomb pillager or azure drake with no other minions to play? In the mirror I’ve been doing that and in the case of tomb pillager going face in an effort to get them to trade their tomb pillager into mine while getting in some face damage and having tempo with the resulting coin.
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