Big news came this week in the Hearthstone world, as one of the new decks to assert itself into the meta is actually an old deck, the Miracle Rogue. Hearthstone player Dog achieved one of the top ranks with his Miracle Deck, featuring the new card, Tomb Pillager. So how did Miracle Rogue come back, and what lies in store for new Miracle variants?
Miracle Rogue got it’s name from a concept in Magic the Gathering, where certain small minions would grow in power in a turn, and swing for huge damage. The first Miracle Rogue decks in Hearthstone featured cards Mana Addict and Questing Adventurer, both cards that could be stealthed, and swing for lethal, thanks to a series of cheap Rogue spells.
Soon, thanks to the advent of netdecking, one of the most popular Miracle decks emerged, from Reynad (I think). This was the deck which involved Leeroy Jenkins, Shadowstep, and Cold Blood. The burst potential of this deck made it one of the most dominant decks through 9 months in 2014.
The downfall of Miracle Rogue began with the nerf of Leeroy Jenkins in September 2014. With a new cost of 5 (instead of 4), Leeroy Jenkins could no longer be Shadowstepped twice in a single turn. Players (myself included) attempted to make the best of this situation by using Edwin Van Cleef instead, by getting 1600 dust from Leeroy. Then the death knell came in December 2014 with the arrival of GvG, when Gadgetzan Auctioneer was nerf to cost 6. Players tried to make Miracle decks after this point, but none were too successful. By early-mid 2015, Miracle was dead, and Rogues were forced to play Oil.
Tomb Pillager and the Return
The Tomb Pillager is a 5/4 for 4, with a Deathrattle for a free Coin. While this minion is not flashy, the free Coin allows the Rogue to “ramp” 1 mana up. It is also a free spell, which suits Miracle Rogue perfectly. Another reason why the minion is a good fit is because it has a fairly offensive-minded stat distribution of 5/4.
Dog’s Miracle Rogue has a win condition consisting of Southsea Deckhand, Faceless Manipulator, and Cold Blood.
While the deck has caught like wildfire, it is too early to say if it is dominating the Hearthstone meta. Going forward, the deck will have to adjust and optimize itself to the meta to be competitive. So what are the constants that will have to remain with Miracle Rogues?
- Card cycling
- Gadgetzan Auctioneer – The Miracle experience involves drawing a ton of cards with the Auctioneer. As a result, there are a lot of spells in this deck, and fewer minions.
- Fan of Knives/Shiv/Azure Drake/Bloodmage Thalnos – These cards provide active cycling of cards to help get to the Auctioneer phase.
- Cheap spells
- Preparation, Backstab, Conceal, Cold Blood, Deadly Poison, Shiv, Sap, Eviscerate, Blade Flurry – The only reason Miracle became a Rogue deck is because the class has the most cheap spells. These allow the Auctioneer card cycling engine to run.
- Conceal – This is the main form of protection for Miracle decks. With an aggro-meta, decks are less likely to run AOE spells.
- Loatheb – A useful card that allows you to stall your opponent from using spells to stop you.
- With enough cards in hand, you can set up a minion with Cold Blood to hit your opponent in the face. Dog is currently using the Southsea Deckhand and Faceless Manipulator combo. The most efficient burst will do 24 damage for 10 mana.
Miracle Rogue is weak against aggro decks, currently known to be very weak against the Aggro Shaman. Taunts are also effective against charge minions utilized. With future adjustments, what cards could make the cut?
- Argent Horserider – This guy costs 2 more than Southsea Deckhand, but does not require the dagger equip to charge. What I like about Argent Horserider is the shield. One could theoretically play Argent Horserider + Cold Blood + Cold Blood and use Conceal. The Shield + Stealth would essentially allow the Argent Horserider to survive whatever comes in terms of spells.
- Edwin Van Cleef – He is likely to emerge at some point in the Miracle Discussion, and provides great burst with Conceal.
- Arcane Golem – A Face deck staple, Arcane Golem hits for 4. Could be combined with Faceless Manipulator and Cold Blood to hit for 24 for 10.
- Bluegill Warrior – Pretty much the same as using Southsea Deckhand.
- Wolfrider – Same consideration, but at a higher cost and more damage.
- Dragonhawk Rider – Call me crazy, but I think this card has potential Miracle upside. Given it survives the next turn, it can be a OTK option, with help from from other minions, or a Faceless Manipulator.
- Scarlet Crusader – The shield provides survivability, and could be dangerous with stealth.
- Sinister Strike – This card fits the bill in a Miracle Deck, as a cheap spell that inches you closer to the burst.
- Betrayal – Unlikely, but could a card that could clear big threats or taunts.
Anything is possible for the future of Miracle Rogue with future alterations. Or it could possibly be eaten up by the meta again (or by Blizz). Though I will bet on it thriving some.