The rogue class in Hearthstone is one that is both very direct, but also very sneaky. It is direct in that it wants to deal damage to you quickly and straight ahead. It is sneaky in that it wasn't to use combo effects to maximize its power. Combo effects are currently only available to the Rogue class and are cards that do extra things if you use them after you have already used another card that turn.
Once such example is the Defias Ringleader, which is a 2/2 minion for 2 mana. However his combo ability (meaning if you use another card during the same turn before summoning him) you also get a 2/1 Defias Bandit minion for free. There are many other combos available for the Rogue class that add an interesting element to the class.
As a Rogue in Hearthstone you will be represented by Valeera Sanguinar whom is neither Alliance nor Horde. She serves as a broker of peace in Stormwind but is not loyal to any faction, only her friends Varian and Anduin.
As a rogue your hero power is a direct and repeatable form of damage, the ability to summon a 1 damage, 2 durability dagger for the cost of 2 mana.
While not super exciting as it is only able to cause 1 damage at a time, this little dagger lets you pick off enemies that are weak or dieing. Since the Rogue class also has ways to boost weapon damage, it can get better than it starts out.
When you first start a Rogue deck you will be granted many of the basic cards. In addition as you level up your rogue deck you will gain the remainder of the basic class cards by the time you reach level 10.
|Basic Rogue Spells|
|Assassinate||5||Destroy an enemy minion.|
|Backstab||0||Deal 2 damage to an undamaged minion.|
|Deadly Poison||1||Give your weapon +2 attack.|
|Sap||2||Return an enemy minion to your opponent's hand.|
|Sinister Strike||1||Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero.|
|Fan of Knives||3||Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. Draw a card. [This card is gained at level 4]|
|Shiv||2||Deal 1 damage. Draw a card. [This card is gained at level 6]|
|Vanish||6||Return all minions to their owner's hand. [This card is gained at level 8]|
|Sprint||7||Draw 4 cards. [This card is gained at level 10]|
|Basic Rogue Equipment|
[This card is gained at level 2]
There are many additional Rogue cards than those listed above in the basic card section. The se are the Expert cards and can be gained through the purchase or winning of expert card packs. Many of these cards are key to how the class plays and will be required to do well as a Rogue.
|Expert Rogue Spells|
|Betrayal||Common||2||An enemy minion deals its damage to the minions next to it.|
|Blade Flurry||Rare||2||Destroy your weapon and deal its damage to all enemies.|
|Conceal||Common||1||Give your minions Stealth until your next turn.|
|Eviscerate||Common||2||Deal 2 damage. Combo: Deal 4 damage instead.|
|Headcrack||Rare||3||Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Combo:Return this to your hand next turn.|
|Shadowstep||Common||0||Return a friendly minion to your hand. It costs 2 less.|
|Expert Rogue Minions|
|Defias Ringleader||Common||2||2||2||Combo: Summon a 2/1 Defias Bandit.|
|Edwin VanCleef||Legendary||3||2||2||Combo: Gain +2/+2 for each card played earlier this turn.|
|Kidnapper||Epic||6||5||3||Combo: Return a minion to its owner's hand.|
|Master of Disguise||Rare||4||4||4||Battlecry: Give a friendly minion stealth.|
|Patient Assassin||Epic||2||1||1||strong>Stealth. Destroy any minion damaged by this minion.|
|SI:7 Agent||Rare||3||3||3||Combo: Deal 2 damage.|
|Sorcerer's Apprentice||Common||2||2||2||Your spells cost (1) less.|
|Expert Rogue Equipment|
|Perdition's Blade||Rare||3||2||2||Battlecry: Deal 1 damage. Combo: Deal 2 damage instead.|
Combos are what can win most card games, and for the Rogue class that is even more true since one of their mechanics is called combo and allows them to get more out of their cards when used together. Here are just a few great tips and combos to keep in mind while using basic and advanced Rogue cards.
- Probably the greatest Rogue opening combo, and one that sets you up for an extremely great early game is a Ring (for 1 extra mana) into a Defias Ringleader on your first turn. Follow this up with a Shadowstep and playing the Defias Ringleader again and you have a great opening. You will have three 2 attack minions up for your second turn, which is almost impossible for your opponent to deal with all at once.
- Being only 1 mana, Deadly Poison is a great card early on in the game since it allows you to do 3 damage twice with your basic dagger. However it can become far better in the late game when applied to an Assassin's Blade, making it a 5/4 weapon that can really put the hurt on your opponent.
- Any time you are in the process of summoning several minions at once, holding back a Conceal to cast right after them is a great combo. It keeps all of those minions safe until they get to attack.
- Betrayal on an enemy minion to kill off its neighbors and then using Eviscerate for 4 damage to it is a great way to remove 3 minions while only using 2 cards.
- Saving a lot of low cost (or free) cards to use just before you summon Edwin VanCleef is a great game ending combo, just be on the lookout for a silence, and he will be a prime target for one.
Once you get into more advanced play and combos, you can look at some general cards rather than just sticking with rogue only cards. Here are just a few examples of some really good cards to pair up with a rogue deck:
- Minions that allow you to draw cards help greatly since so many of the Rogue cards are cheap and feature combo effects. Having a way to draw additional cards really helps out. Loot Hoarder and Novice Engineer are solid additions to a Rogue deck.
- Any minion with spell damage can become useful in a Rogue deck that uses Fan of Knives since it will boost the damage. Tie this spell damage boost to a card draw as above and you get even better benefit from a minion. This means looking at the amazing Azure Drake minion, which for 5 mana provides a solid 4/4 minion plus 1 spell damage as well as a card! Also if you have one the Bloodmage Thalnos is a great addition since he provides a 1/1 minion for 2 mana with both spell damage and card draw.
- Having no class minions with taunt, you may want to look for a few to hold back the enemies minions from your health pool. If you chose not to, make sure you have enough minions with buff or damage effects to remove your opponents minions quickly.
As a rogue you should attempt to make use of your strengths. This means looking to keep the board clear and hitting the enemy fast and hard.
This deck is one that has been played online a lot and was used by Railedlol to become the #1 ranked constructed player in November. It in turn was based on Kithros's deck, and has been used in many slight variation by many players. Once addition I like is adding in Hogger for a little mid-game control from the free taunt minions he creates, but there are several other variations out there to choose from.
- Minions (23)
- 2x Argent Commander
- 2x Azure Drake
- 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
- 2x Dark Iron Dwarf
- 2x Defender of Argus
- 2x Defias Ringleader
- 2x Gnomish Inventor
- 2x Harvest Golem
- 2x Loot Hoarder
- 2x Novice Engineer
- 2x Shattered Sun Cleric
- 2x Si:7 Agent
- Spells (7)
- 2x Backstab
- 2x Deadly Poison
- 2x Eviscerate
- 1x Fan of Knives
Rogues can do OK in the Arena format as long as they remember what the class is all about, damage. Rogue decks, especially in the Arena work best if they are all about rushing to do as much damage to you opponent as quickly as possible. When drafting cards it is important to keep that in mind and go for agressive, fast, direct cards. Don't get caught up in a control or mid-game style of play, as you more than likely lose.
To ensure that you are able to finish off your opponent with this direct damage style of rush deck, you will not want to trade minions with your opponent. Every chance you get you should be hitting your opponent directly and ignoring his minions as much as you can with yours. For dealing with enemy minions you should ensure you have some of the Rogue removal or delaying cards such as SI:7 Agent, Backstab, Eviscerate, and more. In addition, minions with silence are a strong option as well, as they let you remove that pesky taunt ability from your opponents minions, so that you can slide by and hit them directly. Even your class ability is a good early game removal method, although at only 1 damage, later in the game it is best used to inflict more damage on your opponent directly.
Since many of the Rogue cards are cheap, it can be important to grab a few generic cards that offer some card draw to help you keep pace in the game. Since you are looking at dealing direct damage, you never want to fall behind in card drawing ability.
While the actual game play remains the same between constructed format play and arena play, the actual value and strength of specific cards can change drastically. This is due to the limited pool of cards that each player will have available to them. It is therefore important to understand which cards are of the most value in the Arena when drafting.
When playing in the Arena and drafting your deck, some of the best cards to draft for the Rogue class are as outlined below along with some reasoning. They are listed in alphabetical order.
- Eviscerate - 4 damage for 2 mana as long as you have done something else earlier in the turn is a strong Arena card.
- Perdition's Blade - A weapon and damage to an enemy when you cast it all for only 3 mana, is a strong move on turn 2 or 3 in an Arena game.
- Assassin's Blade - A 3 damage, 4 durability weapon that lets you keep applying pressure over several turns.
- SI:7 Agent - A minion and 2 damage that you can direct to clear an enemy minion for 3 mana, as long as you have used another card earlier in the turn. This is a very strong minion early in the game.
- Backstab - Lets you clear early game enemy minions for free, thereby allowing you to still get your minions in place.
- Assassinate- Clear any enemy minion that you need gone, best saved for huge late game enemy minions.
- Defias Ringleader - One of the best opening minions in the game, especially when you have the Coin. You can get 2 attack power 2 minions out on turn 1, setting up a very early game lead.
- Betrayal - A great clearing card that turns your enemies minions on themselves. The only issue is timing and positioning of minions.
You can also find a listing of the general non-class specific cards that are the best to draft in the arena format in these two guides:
Comments on Rogues in Hearthstone
As with any of the classes in Hearthstone there are many different winning strategies. The ideas and decks above are just the start. If you have alternate ideas on decks or methods to use the basic or expert cards for the Rogues class in Hearthstone, please feel free to share them in our comment section below.
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