Welcome to the Messiah's weekly series of articles that examines many interesting, popular, powerful, or just plain different deck builds that are out there for the Hearthstone Constructed Deck format.
ROGUE – MIRACLE DECK
This weeks deck is a new look on an old classic. The Miracle Rogue deck has been around right from the start. It is a deck that aims to deal a little bit of constant damage and to stall until right at the end where it hits so hard that it kills the opponent from mid-health in one turn.
In the past Miracle decks focused on using Leeroy Jenkins to huge effect and hitting with him twice in a turn with the use of Shadowstep. However, since Leeroy was nerfed, the deck type needed to change. There are two ways that I have seen the deck go on the ladders. The first is go even more aggressive with other quick minions, however I haven’t had a lot of success that route. The second way, and the one I prefer is to use Violet Teacher in combination with Gadgetzan Auctioneer to fill the board with minions and then attack for the win the next turn.
Here is a base version of a Miracle Rogue deck that I use. It is similar to several others out there, but tweaked to fit the way I play. Suggestions for alternative cards can be found later on in the guide.
- Rogue Cards:
- 2x Backstab
- 2x Preparation
- 2x Cold Blood
- 2x Conceal
- 1x Blade Flurry
- 2x Eviscerate
- 1x Fan of Knives
- 2x Sap
- 2x Shiv
- 1x Edwin VanCleef
- 2x SI:7 Agent
- Neutral Cards
- 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
- 2x Shade of Naxxramas
- 1x Earthen Ring Farseer
- 2x Violet Teacher
- 2x Gadgetzan Auctioneer
- 1x Loatheb
This deck has many different cards that add up to be more important that they would be by themselves. However there are some cards that are critical in the deck and those are the ones talked about below.
Gadgetzan Auctioneer – This is probably the single most important card in the deck. This card allows you to draw through your deck incredibly fast. The thing to ensure with it though is to make sure you will get benefit from it. Do not summon the auctioneer as soon as you can, instead wait until you will at least get 2 draws from him, that way if your opponent kills him off on their turn you will still have gotten card advantage.
Violet Teacher – Next up in importance is your Violet Teacher which is a strong minion all on its own at 3/5 for 4 mana, but her ability is also exceptionally strong. Every time you cast a spell you gain a 1/1 minion for free. Teamed up with the auctioneer and all the decks spells you can have a huge number of minions quickly.
Edwin VanCleef – A card that can win the game for you if you are able to cycle through a ton of spells with your Gadgetzan Auctioneer and then summon Edwin. Make sure to keep at least one mana though so that you can Conceal him once you summon him.
Shade of Naxxramas – This is a huge card early on. Since it gains power and health every turn it is on the board it is best to get it out early in the game. If you can get it on the board on turn two or three though it can almost single handedly win you the game. The trick is to leave it concealed for several turns to allow its power to grow before revealing it from it’s concealed state and pounding your opponent. While a critical card, if you do not have these minions out by about turn 5, they tend to not do much since they take a while to ramp up in strength.
Loatheb – A solid card in almost any deck. He allows you to slow down the pace and almost completely deny your opponent their turn since any spells will be extremely expensive. Better yet he is a strong minion all by himself.
IDEAL OPENING HAND CARDS
This deck has many different cards that are strong from right from the start. These are just a few of the great starting hand cards: Backstab, Deadly Poison, Sap, Shiv, Blade Flurry, Eviscerate, Fan of Knives, SI:7 Agent, and Shade of Naxxramas.
Which cards you should actually keep and which you should mulligan away depends on the class you are playing against. If you are playing against a rush deck like Shockadin, Hunter, Zoo Warlock then you need to pocus on some quick AOE like Blade Flurry and Fan of Knives. If you are playing a class that can summon large minions quickly like the Druid class then getting an Eviscerate or Sap is critical.
With this deck though even though there are so many good starting cards, there is a card that is not good to play early, but is so important that you almost have to keep it. That card is the Gadgetzan Auctioneer. The rest of the deck relies to much on it to win that game that even though it costs 5 mana and will not be cast in the early game, if you have one, do not mulligan it away.
The ideal strategy with this deck is to start off by keeping the board as clear as you can. Make use of your damage abilities and even just your class ability to summon a 1/2 weapon. The deck has a huge number of ways to deal with enemy minions, one of the best ways being the SI:7 Agent due to it’s ability to deal damage and kill off a minion when summoned and then giving you the 3/3 minion to be aggressive with. Another strong opening play, which is even stronger if you go second and have the coin, is to not worry about what your opponent is doing and get a Shade of Naxxramas onto the board.
Even though the deck has so many different spells and abilities to remove enemy minions, you should try to save as many as possible until you reach at least turn 5 or 6. You want at least a Violet Teacher on the board, and ideally a Gadgetzan Auctioneer before you start using a large number of spells, otherwise when you do get one of those minions on the board you will have fewer spells to trigger their abilities.
Once the game lasts past turn 6 the deck really starts to shine and this is where you will aim to win games. As stated above, here is where you either cycle cards quickly with the auctioneer or gain minions with the Violet Teacher. You also start to look to get Edwin VanCleef into action right after casting multiple spells in a turn. If you are able to get any large number of minions onto the board or to get a large VanCleef out then you should also make sure you have a Conceal available to ensure they stick around to mess up your opponent the following turn.
No matter the phase of the game or your overall plan to win, you should always keep in mind your opponent and what they are doing. Meaning that in a game on turn 8 if you could summon a huge VanCleef but it would leave several large minions in play for your opponent, you should instead deal with those minions and delay your plans until it is safe to put them into action. This is especially true against Rush, Tempo, or Zoo decks. Against these decks you need to focus more on controlling your opponent than setting up your own win.
There are many other cards available that you can substitute into the deck if you either don't have all of the cards required or if you feel like making a change in the decks play style.
Azure Drake – Always a strong card in any deck due to the fact that it provides a 4/4 minion for 5 mana, while granting a card and a boost to spell damage. The only reason it is not in the deck to start with is that Gadgetzan Auctioneer can provide more card draw than you really need. If you prefer larger minions though you can put the Azure Drake in instead of Violet Teachers. It will significantly change the way the deck works though.
Shadowstep – While not nearly as good in a Miracle deck now that Leeroy is not viable, it can still be used if you add a second Earthen Ring Farseer. If there are 2 farseers, 2 SI:7 Agents, as well as Loatheb, then it is still a very viable card for the added benefits it can provide.
Assassinate – This card can help out immensely when you face off against decks with large minions, like a Druid deck. For 5 mana you can kill off any minion out there.
Ragnaros – While Ragnaros does not interact with the rest of the deck in any meaningful way, he can be useful. Firstly he is a huge surprise to your opponent showing up in a Rogue deck. Secondly, he can help deal with large enemy minions as well as dealing damage to your opponent.
HOW TO PLAY AGAINST IT
Playing against any Miracle style deck can be incredibly frustrating as it can go south so quickly. Some games you will feel like you are beating the deck and then boom, it’s all over. Other games you feel that no matter what you do the deck has a counter for it. However, the deck can be beaten and is especially susceptible to rush or tempo decks, which is how you should play against it, apply constant pressure.
The deck only has 1 healing card available to it and no minions with taunt. This means that if you can get minions on the board and start causing damage to the player themselves, they will be forced to deal with your minions rather than killing you. Of course keeping minions out there is not always easy, but if you keep the pressure on you can win, especially if you can get a strong opening hand.
While rush and tempo decks are the strongest against this deck, control and large minion decks can do well as long as you setup a strong defense. While the Rogue has ways to deal with multiple small minions, and even a few large minions, it will run out of methods to deal with large minions quickly. Druids are especially good at this since they can have 6+ large minions with taunt in a deck and this Miracle deck can only easily delay 2, and may need to use 2-3 cards to remove each of the others.
This deck can be a lot of fun to play and is very competitive, however it can be frustrating as well. Sometime you just miss getting anything you need and there is nothing that can be done to win. Luckily the same goes for you opponent, sometimes you get everything you need and they will be frustrated that there is nothing they can do other than lose.
If you have comments on the Miracle Rogue Deck shown here, or how you would change it, make your thoughts known in the comment section below.