Reno Jackson Rotating Out: An Unpopular Opinion

Reno Jackson Rotating Out: An Unpopular Opinion

Reno Jackson was a revolutionary card from the moment it was revealed in BlizzCon 2015, one week before it’s release. The card simply turned games around against needlessly oppressive Face Hunters, forcing concedes right away.  The feeling of playing a topdecked Reno on Turn 6 which 3 health left was an inexorable high. Reno also was the first “Highlander” card in Hearthstone, creating a new take on deck building, which focused on less consistency and more variation.

Hearthstone Screenshot 11-15-15 10.18.18
Reno plays

If you roam Hearthstone Reddit now and then, you’ll see posts like the one below, which beg of Reno Jackson being excused from the Standard rotation.

reno-reddit

That hope was finally quashed today in the cyberhighway route known as Twitter:

brode reno.PNG

While this news was not unexpected, given the rules of Standard rotation, it nullifies any possible leniency for Reno, and possibly any other card rotating out. While Ben Brode mentions keeping the meta fresh as the motivation for not sparing Reno Jackson, I think this is great news for a completely different reason. I believe Reno Jackson completely undermines the skill of deckbuilding.

My Reno Rogue Story

I was pretty excited when Reno Jackson came out, as I was fairly tired of Face Hunter. I decided to build a Reno deck with my eternally bae class, Rogue. I’m not a person with good deckbuilding skills at all, so I just threw together a bunch of cards I had in my collection. I took various things like curve, and card advantage in consideration, but mostly focused on high-value greed.

renorgoue.png

This Reno Rogue deck became my go-to Ranked deck for a few months, and I was able to achieve a high of Rank 6 at the time.

renoroguestats.PNG

Overall, the stats with this particular version of the deck won over 57% of the games, which is higher than that of my current try-hard season with Miracle Rogue (56%). While Mage and Paladin were still bugaboos, the deck did fairly well against every other class and deck. The stats showed that I was above 50% against every class as well. I had achieved success with a deck I built with very little skill or thought. Further, I didn’t have to go through the process of relentless iterations and testing to revise the deck.

A World Without Reno

Reno Jackson was a very fun and useful card, and a lot of people are going to be upset of his rotating out. This news might even be devastating enough to make a bunch of people quit the game. Further, this seems like big news now, given competitive Hearthstone decks typically run the aggressive Pirate package or Reno. The entire Kabal (Warlock, Mage, Priest) heavily rely on Reno currently.

Aside from the cons of Reno dropping out of the Standard, I believe that decks should not be continually be rewarded by lazy deckbuilding. Also, all those other reasons about keeping the meta fresh and whatnot. At least we’ll always have this gif.

UM5MOIL - Imgur

 

Advertisements

Looking at the New Look Miracle Rogue: Cores, Techs, and More

Looking at the New Look Miracle Rogue: Cores, Techs, and More

Many complaints emerged prior to the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, about the state of Rogue. A combination of lackluster laddering ability against a hostile meta, and gimmicky expansion cards, and a host of other reasons led tot his “uprising.” It all hilariously culminated on Thanksgiving, when Gadgetzan Ferryman was revealed.

Flash forward to today, January 2017, and Rogue is the third most-played class in the meta. While it is easy to attribute the bounceback of Rogue to the introduction of new neutral pirate cards, other innovations have been made to the class that have it’s current success. Namely, the rather large core set of Rogue cards is seeing variation, allowing the building of various viable Miracle Rogues.

Entrenched Core Cards (20)

  • 2x Backstab
  • 2x Preparation
  • 2x Cold Blood
  • 2x Eviscerate
  • 1x Edwin VanCleef
  • 2x Fan of Knives
  • 2x Tomb Pillager
  • 1x Patches the Pirate
  • 2x Small-Time Buccaneer
  • 2x Swashburglar
  • 2x Gadgetzan Auctioneer
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-08-17 10.56.43.png
Early tempo VanCleef central to this deck.

 

Core Cards of Debatable Usage

  • Counterfeit Coin – Most Miracle Rogue decks have one Coin, but other builds run two Coins, which could lead to a bigger Edwin VanCleef in the early the game to contend with. Obviously, the problem with this is that adding two Coins adds more dead cards to the deck.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos – Thalnos has had a firm spot as a Rogue legendary since the beginning of time, until now. He just doesn’t do enough against a Pirate Warrior, serving as a 1/1 on Turn 2. While the spellpower is nice, doing 3 damage on a Backstab, or 2 damage AoE on Fan of Knives could be too late against a Warrior.
  • Sap – Still an entrenched core card, but decks are starting to use only one Sap instead of two. Sap is still very good against any slower decks, and Shaman overloads, but does next to nothing against Pirate Warrior.
  • SI:7 Agent – Definitely a former core card that usually is played with two copies or none. Most decks will either use SI:7 in lieu of Questing Adventurer or vice versa. Can also be used in conjunction with Questing Adventurer in decks without Leeroy.
  • Questing Adventurer – Certainly the most fluid card in Miracle Rogue, where he can serve as the primary win condition, be an intermediate threat, or be cut altogether. While I have seen/used decks with Questing and Leeroy, I think they are cards that basically do the same thing, and don’t synergize well together. Questings are meant to stick around on the board and do the snowball damage over a few turns, while Leeroy is just the end-game burst.
  • Azure Drake – Still an entrenched core card that is often run two of. I have tried running just one copy in Questing-dedicated decks, to offer a lower mana curve. I’ve also had experiences against other Pirate decks, where the Azure Drake just doesn’t get you out of a tough spot.
  • Leeroy Jenkins – Mostly still a core card in Miracle Rogue, except for in dedicated Questing Adventurer decks. He is being cut, as the one time burst mechanic doesn’t do much against heavy aggro Pirate Warriors, and doesn’t fight for the board.
hearthstone-screenshot-01-07-17-20-23-12
New card!

Flex/Techs

  • Conceal – Many decks, especially Questing decks, still run one Conceal. With the usage of Counterfeit Coin, decks are trying to reduce the amount of dead cards. This has lead to some decks cutting the card altogether, in favor of more coins.
  • Shadow Strike – Typically Shadow Strike is the replacement for the second Sap in decks. While it is better against cards like Thing from Below and Kor’kron Elite, I can still see Sap being better run as a double, against most other cards.
  • Shaku, the Collector – A new tech choice of a card that was ballyhooed (by people like me) when it was revealed. The reasoning for Shaku is that he provides a “sticky” 3-drop, while being super effective in getting cards against classes like Shaman and Mage. I have to say that he has been solid so far, and will see further innovation in future decks.
  • Beneath the Grounds – Purely a tech choice against any Kazakus or Reno shenanigans. Not a horrible idea, given that Priests, Warlocks, and Mages comprise about 1/3 of the meta. Also solid against the mirror, but pretty bad against Warrior.
  • Burgly Bully – KremePuff (@KremePuffHS) runs a Burgly Bully, presumably to serve as a sturdy 4/6 body, and to generate coins. I can’t speak as to hell well this card does overall against other classes, but I assume it is working.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-07-17 13.21.08.png
Reno decks countered with Beneath the Grounds.

 

The Future of Miracle Rogue

  • From my experience, and according to data, the current Miracle Rogue struggles a lot against Pirate Warrior. I have tried Earthen Ring Farseer, but it doesn’t seem to do much against this powerful deck.
  • The cards being played now are all based on the dominance of Pirate packages in Warrior, Shaman, and Rogue. Rogue typically dominates versus Control matches, but the inclusion of more Midrange decks could force changes.
  • This is the last stand for Tomb Pillager. The card, along with any other card from League of Explorers, is rotating out in the next expansion release in a few months.
  • The potential replacement for Tomb Pillager is anyone’s guess, but Xaril immediately comes to mind. I can also see Ethereal Peddler fitting in as the big body drop of Miracle Rogue, though the Coin being a card/spell is big.
  • There is also new speculation that Azure Drake will get cut from the Standard Set. This speculation comes from the popularity of Azure Drake, and Ben Brode’s comments on potential changes (https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/5mqebr/ben_brode_has_spoken_about_changes_in_classic_set/).
  • I tried using Undercity Valiant (while I can), and I lost all the games with this deck. You can’t just put any card in and expect to win after all.

Deck Spotlight: DeceptiLock

Deck Spotlight: DeceptiLock

Deckbuilding in Hearthstone is not a strong suite of mine. First of all, I play a lot of arena, which limits the amount of thought I put into constructed thinking. There is a different mindset that goes into that, and I seem to lack the motor for the constructed mindset. Second, I play mainly Rogue in Hearthstone, which limits my ability to build decks that are not Rogue decks. Third, I don’t like losing a whole ton, so just freewheeling it into ranked with some made-up deck is likely going to be soul-crushing.

That is why it is such a surprise that I am already Rank 10 in the first week of October 2016, with some deck I just made up. I had a backlog of Warlock quests, and the arena wasn’t giving me Gul’dan. I just made up a deck, a Reno deck since I don’t enjoy ZooLock at all, and started winning games. And the deception of the deck itself is probably the strongest attribute.

About the Deck

RenoLock decks came out of the demise of HandLock decks, following the nerf of Molten Giant. They are typically slow control decks that run a lot of removal, heals, and taunts. Given that RenoLock decks are typically highlander decks (30 1-ofs), there is a lot of room for creativity and innovation.

Given I had no experience building RenoLock, I honestly did not think of intermediate heals at all. Didn’t think of Earthen Ring Farseer, Refreshment Vendor, or Cult Apothecary. Also given my lack of experience playing really slow decks, I didn’t want a really slow deck that was resigned to Life Tapping every game. I did believe that RenoLock should have a lot of high value cards, in good legendary minions. I also believed that highlander decks are the easiest to add tech cards to, to better adapt to the meta flavor at the moment. With these thoughts in mind, I built the deck.

Decklist

tricks.PNG

Cards in Deck

Core Cards

  • Reno Jackson – For all I was concerned, Reno Jackson is the only core card in a RenoLock deck. He is the win condition, and the card to build around.

Removal

  • Power Overwhelming – While this card provides burst, it also has plenty utility for providing a cheap trade on a bigger threat. With PO, I immediately thought of Shadowflame.
  • Shadowflame – The first AoE card that came to mind, which works really well for a full clear with Power Overwhelming.
  • Demonwrath – Shaman seems pretty strong, and the appeal of a 2-dmg early AoE seemed good on totems.
  • Hellfire – My last choice for AoE. While I’m not completely a fan of the slowness of the card, the face damage provides extra utility.
  • Mortal Coil – This card is close to a core card, but I felt it was a Warlock core card. I don’t recall seeing a Warlock deck without it.
  • Shadow Bolt – This card was not a regular inclusion for old HandLock, but seems to be a decent card in RenoLock. The early-mid removal option for minions.
  • Siphon Soul – I think Siphon Soul is an easy pick for RenoLock decks. As an arena player, I put lots of value in having a hard removal, and this is that.
  • Twisting Nether – Given this deck is meant to drag things on for a while, having a full board clear to exhaust my opponent seemed appealing.

Value

  • Dark Peddler – A great pick for any Warlock deck, and the 1-cost card just has tons of utility, forcing one to pick the best given the board state.
  • Imp Gang Boss – Just coming from arena, the most valuable Warlock card. I also think it has a place in virtually any Warlock deck for ranked.
  • Dread Infernal – Not a conventional pick, but I think the extra 1-dmg AoE would be good against aggressive boards.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner  – The value in Sylvanas does not necessarily come in what you’re stealing, but mostly forcing bad trades on the opponent. Sometimes, she’s a full board clear, because your opponent doesn’t want things stolen.
  • The Curator – Not a conventional choice for Warlock, but the idea of having a taunt and drawing 2 cards seemed too good to not take advantage of in a highlander deck.
  • Ragnaros the Firelord – Dealing 8 damage every turn? Value Town Inc.
  • Lord Jaraxxus – I saw Jaraxxus as my second heal in this deck. Plus, the hero power is great in a long game. The weapon provided removal and reach in the late game.

Techs

  • Mind Control Tech – Not the most conventional ranked tech, but I play arena, so this is my idea of a tech! Also given the Shaman’s ability to flood the board, and overall tempo meta, I thought he is a fine inclusion. Plus, 3/3 for 3 isn’t horrible.
  • Eater of Secrets – There is a prediction that Hunters would contend with Shamans for the top spot of the meta. While that still has yet to happen, the Eater of Secrets is meant to shut down Hunter decks with secrets, which seem to be most. I also believed Freeze Mage would be back given the Yogg nerf, so this could negate Ice Blocks. Also useful for rare pesky Paladins running around.
  • Harrison Jones – Going on with the last thought of a Hunter meta, destroying an Eaglehorn Bow is usually better than getting rid of secrets. Warriors and Shamans often have weapons as well. Paladins and Rogues also affected.
  • Stampeding Kodo – This was a consequence of having The Curator in the deck, and being the best Beast available. Also, this is a great arena card, which I thought could have an impact in ranked.
Hearthstone Screenshot 10-05-16 22.40.11.png
Hunter plays 3 secrets. Me as Floating Watcher, “YES, YES!”

Handlock Vestiges

  • Mountain Giant – Drawing to Reno is an objective for this deck, and this only helps make Mountain Giant a great tempo play in the midgame.
  • Twilight Drake – Another card that benefits greatly with drawing cards. This is a card I felt was core to the slow Warlock, and helped bring in The Curator.
  • Sunfury Protector – While most RenoLocks run Defender of Argus, I think Sunfury Protector is better for the the deck. I believe having a 2-drop to play is more valuable than the +1/+1 boosts. Also, the deck is expensive and doesn’t run cost reduction, making a 4-drop clunkier with other big stuff.

Smoothing the Deck

  • Bane of Doom – Being a moderate-risk high-reward card, Bane of Doom was never a strong ladder card because of the inconsistency. But the highlander build allows Bane of Doom to exist as this hybrid removal-summon. It is a real wildcard though, and the consequences will win or lose games.
  • Soulfire – This is not a normal card to run in RenoLock. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I didn’t know any better when making this deck, and felt the extra removal was needed for my survival. Having Soulfire made me realize this deck has burst potential.
  • Leeroy Jenkins – Originally a Doomguard, I felt a charge to the face could provide a pocket burst option. With Power Overwhelming already in tow, with Soulfire and Hellfire, we could make for some good plays that don’t allow the opponent to interact with the board.
  • Azure Drake – I already had The Curator and Twilight Drake down pat. Being a Rogue player, Azure Drake was always in my deck and never really disappointed me. I felt this deck could use a card like Azure Drake.
  • Voidwalker – I lacked early game and felt that Voidwalker doesn’t disappoint in trading with small stuff. This helped build the Zoo look of the deck.
  • Flame Imp – I lacked early game and felt that Flame Imp doesn’t disappoint in early game aggro, or forcing removal. This helped build the Zoo look of the deck.
  • Huge Toad – Pick 30. I still felt I was lacking early game and combed through all available 2-drops. I felt Huge Toad was tied with Flame Juggler, but had value being a Beast, and searchable with The Curator. Also good for confusing experienced players who read meta reports.

How to Play

  • Through the happenstance of deck building ineptitude, I built a RenoLock deck that combines elements of ZooLock and DragonLock. The real strength of this deck is tricking your opponent into playing around some other archetype.
  • From my limited experience so far, this deck has a very low skill floor. It is not very skillful, and it can forgive many mistakes in the gameplay.
  • The real skill of this deck is knowing your opponent’s deck and win condition. Know when it is time to get Reno and play Reno. Know when it is time to play Jaraxxus. Play faster than your opponent if they are a straight up Control deck. Play reactive when you are a slower deck, but know you have pocket reach cards as well.
Hearthstone Screenshot 10-06-16 23.30.35.png
Lord of Fatigue

General Mulligan and Gameplay

  • Coin Games – Twilight Drake, Mountain Giant
  • Shaman (Midrange/Aggro) – Demonwrath, Early Game Minions, Reno – Shaman will always be the aggressor against this deck. Some early 1-2 drops will help disguise this deck as ZooLock. Fish for your AoE, and doesn’t hurt to have Reno right away either. MCT isn’t bad against Shaman. You can tap more than before, given the Shaman nerfs.
  • Hunter (Midrange Beast/Secret) – Hellfire/Shadowflame, Early Game Minions, Eater of Secrets, Harrison Jones, Reno – All Hunters will have a Bow, so Harrison Jones is a good pick. Eater of Secrets will have a big impact when the secrets come down. AoE is not as essential than the Shaman matchup, but could work on their early game. Reno Jackson not bad to have, but not essential. Keep hard removals for seemingly Turn 8 Ragnaros, and expect Turn 9 Call of the Wild.
  • Warrior – Early Game Minions – Warrior is the hardest to predict. Against Control Warrior, just keep taping and play your minions as you get them. While you will get removed, there are enough valuable minions in this deck to get by. Jarraxus is the win condition there. Dragon Warrior is a tougher match, but just count on your removals. Overall, playing your early game minions to disguise a Zoolock is the best strategy vs Warriors.
  • Druid – Twilight Drake, AoE, Early Game Minions – Druids still play Yogg now, meaning they use a ton of spells. This will allow you to tap a good amount, and lay down some hefty minions. Violet Teacher and Saplings could force you to pick some AoE in the beginning.
  • Mage – Early Game Minions, Shadowflame, Demonwrath, Reno – Tempo Mages seem more aggressive than ever after cutting Yogg. Have your early game to contest the board, and your AoE removals. Not a bad idea to have Yogg in games as well. Against “Fast Mage,” you’ll need Reno right away, and be ready to use him right away. You’ll need to protect your life from getting bursted down. Against Freeze Mage, tap often and get your Eater of Secrets.
  • Warlock – Early Game Minions, AoE, Reno, Kodo, MCT – Demonwrath is less reliable here, as your opponent could very well be running demons. But AoE would shut them down. Having Reno is not bad, as they are trying to race you. Having your early game doesn’t hurt in contesting the board. Your tech stuff doesn’t hurt either, given swarmy Zoo decks.
  • Rogue – Shadowflame, Early Game Minions, Twilight Drake, Mountain Giant – Shadowflame is your only defense against a bunch of cloaked targets. Twisting Nether not bad to have against them as well, but not worth the mulligan. Mountain Giant is really good against Rogue, given Sap just makes it cheaper the next turn. Use your early game to bait out removal, and progress to your value minions to win.
  • Paladin – Early Game Minions, Harrison Jones – Anyfin Paladin seems to be the rage, and it is a fairly slow, final burst deck. In this matchup, you can be the aggressor with your early game and big midgame. The Leeroy/Soulfire/Power Overwhelming burst is pretty good here.
  • Priest – Do whatever you want. They’ll exhaust their Excavated Evils on your early game and Entombs on your minions. You’ll have enough valuable minions to outlast them. Dragon Priest is a little more tricky, and you’ll need to fish for your removals.

Moving Forward

I’m going to ride this deck out on Ranked for the rest of the season, until I hit a wall. I’m surprised a gimmicky deck like this has done well so far. I’ll see what adjustments I will have to make to it as the meta gets tougher on this deck.

 

Fixing a Hole: Brainstorming Standard Play Adjustments

Fixing a Hole: Brainstorming Standard Play Adjustments

The Hearthstone-playing community has no idea when the game will face it’s biggest shift ever, when Standard Play and Wild become established. There is an upcoming Hearthstone announcement in about 2 weeks, so perhaps the end is nigh for our current state of the game. While there are going to be changes to basic/classic cards, and a whole new expansion, let’s take a look at a deck in particular, and look for ways to fix the hole afforded by the exclusion of Naxx and GvG cards.

Reliquary Zoolock

Currently this is one of two decks I ladder with in February 2016, and I am currently Rank 9. Fairly standard Reliquary/Flood Warlock deck. It plays a little heavier by excluding a 1-drop for having both Enhance-o-Mechano and Gormok. Brann has revitalized the deck, allowing doubled battlecries that work great with Reliquary Seeker, Dark Peddler, Gormok, and most of the other cards. This deck is fast and has limited removals.

Cut list

  • 2x Nerubian Egg
  • 1x Loatheb
  • 1x Echoing Ooze
  • 2x Haunted Creeper
  • 1x Enhance-o-Mechano
  • 1x Dr. Boom
  • 2x Imp-losion

1/3 of the deck is restricted for Standard Play, so a fairly big loss!

Current replacement options (in some order of relevance)

  1. Imp-losion – Seems like the biggest blow to this deck. You are losing a token generator and the only spell removal of the deck.
    • Bane of Doom – A small spot removal, with the potential to make a bigger demon on your side. While not great in this deck, the removal + minion effect directly gives what Imp-losion did. The minion will be stickier than the imps you get, but that will depend on RNG.
  2. Haunted Creeper – Just a great value card, where you get 3/4 worth for 2 mana. The staggered effect of spiders also works very well.
    • Knife Juggler – A lot of people run Knife Juggler in the current Reliquary format, given some synergy with cheap minions. To make it work, the deck will have to get smaller, with more 1-drops. Loss of Imp-losion also works against it.
    • Flame Juggler – A sturdier 2/3, with a battlecry that could trigger twice with Brann. Another 2-drop consideration.
    • Sunfury Protector – A 2-drop that can let you taunt up big guys or Imp Gang Boss.
  3. Nerubian Egg – Another big loss, as this was the prime target for buffs in this deck, to make a 4/4 minion.
    • Dragon Egg – This egg is inferior, but can fill the same role as the Nerubian. You’re getting a 0/2 for 1 mana, so a Power Overwhelming will give the same 4 attack egg beater, and summons a 2/1. A Defender of Argus will make a 1/3, which has potential to spawn 2 2/1’s. Really the only benefit of Dragon Egg is that it costs 1 and has the potential to make 2 Black Dragons.
    • Ancient Watcher – Only has utility to be taunted up, or if you want to waste your Owl to let it attack.
  4. Loatheb – He served as the protection play to save the board, close out a victory, or just be a 5/5 for tempo.
    • Lorewalker Cho – Right now, Cho serves as the immediate “protection” from spells. This protection is more a mental stressor on the opponent, as nothing is preventing them from taking action to play the spells. Against a flood deck, playing a Blizzard, Flamestrike, or Consecration is likely well worth it getting copied by Cho. In other cases, you will get a spot removal spell, when they kill Cho. Cho also only costs 2, which is good for this deck. Also, this deck runs almost no spells.
    • Frostwolf Warlord – Can fill the 5-drop tempo hole, and has the potential to be fairly big minion (10/10) in a flood deck. The best case scenario has Brann out as well, so can become a 16/16. There are enough beaters in it though with the Reliquary Seekers and Sea Giants.
  5. Dr. Boom – Token generator and great value that fit very well in this deck.
    • Onyxia – A subpar legendary replacement, but the flood of Whelps could have a use for setting up the rest of the deck.
  6. Echoing Ooze – Just a token generator, not the hugest loss for the deck.
    • Murloc Tidehunter – A clearly inferior option, as the 2/1 and 1/1 Murlocs can be readily killed by hero power, while the Oozes were 1/2 minions.
    • Razorfen Hunter – Gives you a 2/3 and 1/1 for 3 mana, which something to think about.
    • Imp Master – Provides a steady stream of Imps, but is a little slow at 3 mana.
    • Silver Hand Regent – An infinite token generator that is a bit slow to set up for this deck.
  7. Enhance-o-Mechano – Just an RNG-dependent upside card, one that could provide a big swing with the windfury, or some protection.
    • Blood Imp – Theoretically Enhance-o-Mechano was always the budget Gormok, so he can be replaced by the “Zombie Chow” that was always in the deck. But no Zombie Chows in Standard Play. The 1-drop Blood Imp will remain on the board if you’re not facing Mage, and gives buffs to keep your small things alive.
    • Gadgetzan Jouster – While providing use with early surveillance on your opponent’s deck, the only way she wins a joust if you reveal your own Sea Giant.
    • Argent Squire – Sticky 1-drop. Very good!
    • Leper Gnome – More aggressive and likely not to make the deck.
    • Flame Imp – Another 1-drop for consideration

 Standard Version

Reliquary Zoolock

Of course this exercise is moot given the new expansion, but this is a good starting point of thinking about the effect of Standard Play on a deck like this.

Miraculous Revival -What’s Next for Miracle Rogue?

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?

History

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.

Miracle Core

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?

  1. Card cycling
    1. 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.
    2. Fan of Knives/Shiv/Azure Drake/Bloodmage Thalnos – These cards provide active cycling of cards to help get to the Auctioneer phase.
  2. Cheap spells
    1. 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.
  3. Protection
    1. Conceal – This is the main form of protection for Miracle decks. With an aggro-meta, decks are less likely to run AOE spells.
    2. Loatheb – A useful card that allows you to stall your opponent from using spells to stop you.
  4. Burst
    1. 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.

Theorycrafting

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.

 

Hearthstone Screenshot 12-12-15 00.16.24
Signature Miracle Rogue thinned deck.