Top 5 EU Miracle Rogue Guide (In depth)
“The Pleasure is mine”
My name is Guukboii ( https://twitter.com/ONE_Guukboii ), a competitive player for team Sector One (http://sectorone.eu/) . I play Hearthstone on a high level and have been doing so for over 2 years, furthermore I’m also one those guys that just loves playing rogue all the time
Table of Content:
3. General Strategy
4. General Mulligan
5. Class specific Mulligan + Tips
6. Rogue Questions Answered
7. Tips & Tricks
8. Possible Replacements
I am Kobe 'Guukboii' Van Schepdael and I'm a Belgian Hearthstone player. I've been playing Hearthstone competitively for almost 2 years now. During my early days I was a huge fan of miracle rogue. Even after the Leeroy Jenkins and Gadgetzan Auctioneer nerf I kept playing it. Although when the meta shifted and decks got too fast 'Miracoli' wasn't really viable anymore. I never liked Sprint Oil Rogue so I tried a version with Coldlight Oracle, Loot Hoarder, Gnomish Inventor and Azure Drake. This deck got me qualified for the Viagame HouseCup #2. But I didn't feel like the deck was strong enough to compete with the Tier 1 decks so I quit playing Rogue and focused on other classes for the time being.
BUT now with the new expansion and the introduction of Standard: Miracle Rogue is back!
I've been playing tons of Rogue on ladder and in tournaments and it's been doing very well for me. A lot of people have been asking how I garnered so much succes with Rogue and they don't understand why it doesn't work for them so I’ve decided to write an in-depth guide. Before we start I'd like to mention that in my opinion Miracle Rogue is one of the hardest deck, if not the hardest, to play PERFECT in the game. There are almost no turns that are completely obvious and every play you make is a decision that will affect the next turns. So some people may disagree with what i'm writing here, but that’s like many things in Hearthstone always up to discussion. Now let's get started.
3. General Strategy
Early-on you want to keep their board as clean as possible. Use removals like Backstab (possibly with SI:7 Agent) and Eviscerate to slow them down. Turn 4 or 5 you should always try to play a minion while possibly removing something with Preparation (+ a spell) or Backstab. After turn 6 best case would be that you can play Gadgetzan Auctioneer on a near empty board and start cycling A LOT, with the coins you got from Tomb Pillager, Preparation and other spells. After that, you want to find a good turn to push for lethal. This is something Rogue can do very easily. You just need some minions, Cold Blood them and Conceal the board. Then kill them the turn after with your board and the extra burst you can get from Eviscerate and Leeroy Jenkins.
4. General Mulligan
There are only 2 cards that you should always look for and always keep against every single class: SI:7 Agent and Tomb Pillager. Yes you heard me right, contrary to popular believe, you do NOT always keep Backstab.
Exception: Do not keep Tomb Pillager WITHOUT the coin against really fast decks like: Zoo, Face Shaman and Pirate Warrior.
5. Class specific Mulligan + Tips
Backstab: Only when you already have a minion in hand. Minions are extremely important against a druid.
Preparation: For the same reason as above, playing a minion + removing their board is superstrong against druid. Although should not be kept when not on coin without a minion.
Tip: Against druid you will usually win when you gain control over the board, try to keep it that way, don’t be afraid to sap something just to make them spend all their mana next turn again without reacting to your board.
If you have none of the above cards it is justified to keep Shadowstrike to deal with a Totem Golem.
Tip: Shaman will most likely be the agressor in this matchup, try to turn the tides and push as much facedamage as you can, once they have to play defensively you will have the upperhand.
Preparation: With a minion.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to pass a turn if that means you can have a better turn with Auctioneer. Eg: Instead of Coin - Auctioneer - Prep - Conceal turn 5, go with: Pass turn 5, then Auctioneer - coin - conceal - Prep - Sap/Evis/Shadowstrike turn 6.
Tip: Using Sap on a Highmane is insanely strong but don’t be too greedy on it, sapping an infested wolf when you already have board is perfectly fine! You need to try to kill them before Call of the Wild happens.
Against Zoo: Keep Preparation too. Try to keep the board as clean as possible, once they have nothing and you have minions the game should be won. Be aware of your health too, some decks run Leeroy Jenkins and Soulfire.
Against Reno: Keep playing for board, don’t try to ignore their minions and push face because it might be punished by Reno Jackson. Try to burst them down from 20+ if your hand allows it.
Side-note: Pirate Warrior is the worst matchup in the game, the only way to win against them is to have a huge Edwin VanCleef early or rely on them having a really bad draw. You should try to mulligan for Control/Tempo warrior.
Mage is quite hard to mulligan against because the 2 popular archtypes are completely different. If you have no idea what kind of mage it is, I'd suggest mulliganning for Tempo Mage because against Freeze Mage you have a lot more time. (and it is a really bad matchup already)
Against Tempo Mage: They don’t run any heals or taunts so push as much facedamage as you can and burst them down.
Tip: They can’t heal, taunt and deal with your board at the same time. Put as much pressure on them as possible but don’t overextend. Be aware of an Equality combo (with pyromancer of consecration). Either bait one of their combo’s out with your board and then go for an Auctioneer conceal play or go for an Auctioneer Conceal play, draw lots of cards and make a board after. Keep Sap preferably for Sylvanas Windrunner , Cairne Bloodhoof and Tirion Fordring but don’t hesitate to Sap Ragnaros, the light lord when you already have a good board.
It is really important to be the aggressor with initiative in this matchup. If you're behind you'll most likely lose. Your health is extremely important. It happens very often that one of the rogues will do a 2-turn lethal setup and if you're high enough on health that can be prevented.
Backstab: Only when you have minions already.
Tip: Rogue can’t do anything against a concealed board, try to find the right moment to push with your minions and conceal them. The rogue with the highest health during the midgame usually wins.
6. Rogue Questions Answered
- Why cut 1 Deadly Poison?
Deadly Poison is a card that has lost a lot of value since the nerf of Blade furry. Which is also why I decided to cut 1. I feel like Deadly Poison is almost only worth it when you either can kill a 3hp minion on turn 3 and have a tempogain into the next turn, when you can use it to buff Edwin VanCleef or when you can cycle it with a Gadgetzan.
A lot of decks also play Harrison Jones which makes it so that you can't keep your weapon up too long, especially not a buffed one.
- When to keep Gadgetzan Auctioneer?
Gadgetzan Auctioneer is the engine of this deck, the only reason Miracle Rogue exists is because of this card. This card in combination with Preparation, The Coin and Tomb Pillager (giving you more coins) draws you so many cards that you can fatigue even before you hit turn 10. It also makes it possible to gain tempo without worrying about card advantage. Not to mention drawing all the answers you need or finding your combo pieces in time. With this being said it is still not justified to keep the card in your opening hand. It is a 6 mana card (which is already far past the early game) but you usally don’t play it turn 6 because you want to play spells with it too. I feel like it’s only correct to keep Auctioneer when you already have a Tomb Pillager in hand and when you play against really slow control decks. Or maybe when you have the absolute perfect hand: Coin, Backstab, SI:7 Agent, Tomb Pillager and Preparation. Then and then only would I consider keeping it against faster decks.
- When to hit face with Dagger?
99% of the rogue games you will hero power turn 2. And most people pass their turn with both charges of the dagger (or 'wicked knife') up. This is never completely incorrect BUT it might result in missing some damage. And for whoever watched Forsen when he was streaming Miracle Rogue: Remember that he was always 1 damage off lethal?
So when is it good to have only 1 charge of your dagger left at the end of your turn?
~ You having nothing to play the next turn and will most likely just dagger up again.
~ Against classes/decks were dagger will go face most of the time anyway. (eg. Control Paladin, Control Warrior, Priest, Renolock, etc)
~ When you expect a Harrison Jones to be played. Sometimes I even redagger and THEN hit instead of hitting and then redaggering, just to play around the museum.
~ When you absolutely need that 1 damage for a 2-turn Lethal Setup.
- When to drop Bloodmage Thalnos (turn 2)?
Bloodmage Thalnos is one of the strongest cards in Rogue, the reason being that Rogue greatly abuses BOTH Spellpower and Carddraw. Often you want to keep Thalnos in hand to combo it with Eviscerate or Fan of Knives for very efficient boardclears. But sometimes he can be played turn 2 to force your opponent in an awkward turn or when your hand is so bad that you really need extra cards.
For example: Druids usually want to play wild growth turn 2 or innervate something out but if Thalnos gets played they either have the tendancy to hero power it down or put their Innervate play on hold. If they still go through with their initial play you might punish them hard with a 3 damage Backstab into a possible SI:7 Agentplay.
- Is keeping Preparation correct?
I feel like there is a lot of controversy about this between Rogue players. Some people say it's bad because it doesn't do anything on it's own and you prefer other cards and topdeck into preparation in the later stage of the game. Other people say that it's absolutely nessecary because without it your Gadgetzan Auctioneer won't start rolling and/or you might completely lose the board before you even get to turn 6.
I'll give you my opinion on the matter.
I'd like to compare Preparation with Innervate. Innervate is without doubt a stronger card because you can get a big minion on the board very early into the game. But it kinda still does the same. You play multiple cards and 'cheat their mana' to gain a quick tempoadvantage over the board. Rogue is a huge tempodeck, especially since losing Blade Furry there are few to no comeback possibilities. Which means that Rogue has to be dealing with everything starting from turn 1. This is why I think Preparation is an absolute necessity. Even if you have the perfect curve, SI:7 Agent into Tomb Pillager into Azure Drake you might still lose the game if you can't deal with their minions at the same time. And if you deal with their minions without playing some yourself they will keep refilling until you run out of removals. Remember: Minions are slow, spells are instant. You should always try to play your slower cards first and follow them up with faster cards.
So my answer is: Yes, you should absolutely keep Preparation in a Tempo matchup where you know they will play minions in the first few turns. As I said before, you can not afford to lose the board because there is no way to gain it back if you fall behind too much.
Against slower decks like Priest, Renolock, Warrior I would only keep it when I already have some minions in hand.
- When do you do Coin --> Auctioneer --> Prep --> Conceal?
Personally, I don't like doing this. If there is an alternative I think it is better to just play an Azure Drake turn 5, for example. Preparation is more powerful the more mana you can 'cheat'. So using it for a 1 mana spell can result in a tempoloss later into the game because you still have to use a Fan of Knives or a Shadow Strike for the full mana cost.
It IS very good though when you are absolutely certain that your opponent has no way to answer it and when you have a hand full of spells that you can cycle the turn after. Or when there is just no alternative play possible.
- When to use Cold Blood?
My rule for Cold Blood is simple: Whenever you have mana leftover, a minion on the board and there is even the smallest chance that the minion will survive you should use coldblood. This is almost never wrong. People think you run cold blood to burst your opponent down with Leeroy Jenkins, but this is incorrect. Leeroy Jenkins is in the deck BECAUSE you run cold blood. Cold Blood is a very efficient card (1 mana 4 damage face + a permanent buff) that can make you finish games really really fast with the use of conceal. There are a lot of games that I won when I was behind just by playing double cold blood on a minion, go face and then conceal. If they don't have the resources to kill you that turn you usually win.
7. Tips & Tricks
- Don't be afraid to conceal your minions without an Gadgetzan Auctioneer if this guarantees you boardcontrol next turn or when it can make you push for lethal over 2 turns.
- DO NOT USE your spells when it is not absolutely nessecary, don't just use Preparation and Eviscerate face (with a concealed auctioneer on board) when there is absolutely no way he can remove it. You may aswell do that the turn after and make a big VanCleef at the same time.
- When you’re close to lethal and you have some mana leftover you can consider backstabbing your own Bloodmage Thalnos or other minions if you have a gadgetzan on the board.
8. Possible Replacements
- Journey Below: I don’t have that much testing with the card but when you’re playing against slower decks you can easily take some greedy minions that might be useful in the matchup. It is also an easy combo activator!
- Violet Teacher: When you face a lot of aggro decks, violet teacher might be better than Xaril, Poisoned Mind. Violet + Prep + A spell can sometimes singlehandedly win you the game against a board control heavy deck.
- Dark Iron Skulker: REALLY good card against Zoo and Shaman, it is basically the same as Azure Drake + Prep + Fan of Knives all in ONE CARD.
- Yogg-Saron: Might not be as viable but the Fun-Value is incredible with the amount of spells you will have played by turn 10!
My Team: Sector One (http://sectorone.eu/)
My Twitter: @ONE_Guukboii (https://twitter.com/ONE_Guukboii)
Update 26/05: - Xaril, Poisoned Mind + Violet Teacher
- Deadly Poison - Shiv - Farseer - Violet Teacher
+ Swashburglar x2 + Questioning Adventurer x2
Stronger against the current meta.
Update 12/12: Working on the reworked version after the expansion, will be released in the next few days!