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.
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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.