I'm looking to try streaming. Check me out at twitch.tv/superkingdra
Hi, this is the main deck that I used to climb from rank 7 to legend with in the June 2015 season! I'll be explaining the reasoning and uses behind most of the cards in the deck and I'll detail tech options and possible replacements and finally go through match-ups.
Oil rogue is well-poised in the meta and has good match-ups against everything except for Face Hunter, Control Warrior and Freeze Mage, with Freeze Mage being uncommon.
The deck is also relatively cheap, running only 3 legendaries (there are decent replacements for Bloodmage Thalnos and Edwin VanCleef) including Loatheb. Just keep in mind that playing this deck effectively takes mental calculation, in-game planning and practice.
I named the deck Big Slick as a reference to the TInker's Oil and the Poker hand, Ace + King. Like the poker hand, it is a top-tier deck, but can go horribly wrong if misplayed. In order to win, you have to push for all-ins. (It's called Big Slick because you can easily let a big chunk of your chips slip away if you misplay it).
People think this deck is inconsistent, but there are so many resources that if you play the turns out correctly, you have one of the most powerful and consistent decks in the game.
https://www.reddit.com/r/competitiveHS for many great resources
http://www.twitch.tv/purpledrank_hs watching VODs of him playing really helped
and EpicTacoHS teaching me the ropes and discussing deck ideas with me
Decklist and Proof of legend
The Deck - Explanation of cards and their uses
2x Backstab - Combo starter and big tempo swing. If you have SI agent in hand, consider holding the backstab until turn 3 to allow a 4 damage combo. Don't get too greedy with holding this card for combos though, against aggro match-ups you might have to use it as soon as you can to reduce damage.
2x Preparation - the deck might be named after tinker's oil, but Prep really glues the deck together. Prep allows you to develop a minion and clear their board on the same turn as well as enabling combos. You can think of prep as a stronger innervate for spells.
2x Deadly Poison - Combo starter, efficient removal and blade flurry activator. It's possible to combo with SI agent on turn 4 for an efficient clear. If you can efficiently remove a minion and it allows you to stay on curve better, it's okay to use poison on a 1 charge dagger, but try to plan out your charges to get max value.
1x Southsea Deckhand - Good trigger for hunter and mage secrets and a strong combo starter with Tinker's Oil. It is possible to drop this pirate if you're not facing hunter or mages and if you find you're able to keep a minion on board for oil. More details in replacements section.
2x Blade Flurry - One of the main sources of burst coupled with board clear. Try not to use it too liberally as it's pretty important for closing out the game. Big blade flurries often set-up the win. Imagine doing 8 damage to the face with Oil + hit face + flurry for 8 damage to the face with a flamestrike effect.
2x Eviscerate - Efficient removal and strong finisher. Sometimes you have to use this to clear scary 2 hp minions or use it without combo with SI:7 agent :(
2x Sap- A big part of how this deck wins is by establishing an uncontested board through tempo cards like Prep, Backstab and Sap. 1x Sap is possible, but having 2 allows you to use the first one more liberally and sapping a big minion like Sylvanas, Tirion or Belchers often straight up wins you the game. Think pay 2 mana, skip your opponents turn. Don't be too stingy with sap. If you can play sap with a minion on the same turn, it's usually a good idea even if you're sapping a bad target. If you sap a card like Ancient of Lore, you can build up a board threatening enough that makes replaying Lore too slow.
1x Bloodmage Thalnos - This deck has a lot of combo and uses a lot of spells so Thalnos fits in perfectly. It allows you to cycle through your deck, getting all your combo pieces together and it makes removing tough minions easier. E.g., Thalnos + Eviscerate kills Emperor Thaurissan. Thalnos is one of only 3 legendaries.
1x Fan of Knives - Cycle and synergy with Thalnos, efficient clear against weak 1/1s such as imps from Imp-losion and Muster. Possible to run 2x if there's a lot of aggro. Works as a replacement for Van Cleef. Against control match-ups fan is less useful so you can just cycle it when you have 3 free mana. Against aggro you want to hold it until you see cards like Muster for Battle, Imp-losion and haunted creeper.
1x Earthen Ring Farseer - Solid 3 drop, helps deal with aggro
1x Edwin VanCleef - This card isn't strictly necessary, but can win you the game if your opponent doesn't have an answer. Edwin gives you chances to go for a big all-in that can turn a losing game around or allow you to develop a big minion after using cheap spells to clear board. He's often a 6/6 or 4/4 for only 3 mana. Make sure to consider playing around Big Game Hunter when thinking of how big to make him. If you think about it, most deck's uses owl for silence, which easily dies to your dagger, and if they don't have it Edwin does work! You can replace Edwin with another Fan or Farseer.
2x SI:7 Agent - One of the best 3 drops in the game; it's effect is insane when it goes off. However, it's important to realize when the 3/3 body itself is stronger than holding the battlecry. If you have no other play on turn 3, it's often a good idea to just play a naked SI:7, especially if you can curve out into a 4 drop. Imagine your hand is SI:7, shredder and azure drake. It'd usually be correct to just play the SI agent. The main thing to think about when deciding whether or not to play SI:7 is asking yourself if there's going to be a good time to play it later. If your subsequent turns are better spent doing other plays, play the SI agent and be content with a 3 mana 3/3.
2x Tinker's Sharpsword Oil - This card is what makes this deck work. Be careful with using it too liberally against control match-ups as it is a big part of the deck's damage. Against aggro, you may have to use it to clear with blade flurry. Combining oil with a 2 charge dagger and blade flurry does 8 damage to the face and clears board.
2x Piloted Shredder - Strongest 4-drop in the game. Incredibly hard to remove efficiently, which gives it synergy with Oil. Shredder is good in almost every match-up.
1x Violet Teacher - Teacher can be hard to play with the meta so full of patrons, but it's a powerhouse in every other match-up. Turn 4 Prep + Sap or Prep + Eviscerate can win the game. Make sure to remember that if you play Oil with a teacher on board, it can hit the newly summoned recruit. You can replace teacher with a fan if it's really not working for you.
1x Antique Healbot - You take a lot of damage hitting things with your dagger, Healbot negates that. A big card to help stabilize against aggro match-ups and get out of combo range vs. druid.
2x Azure Drake - See Thalnos. Is also a decently strong body as a 4/4.
1x Loatheb- On top of being a solid 5/5 minion for 5 mana, Loatheb has an incredibly powerful effect. Loatheb often ensures you have a minion sticking on board for Oil and often sets-up lethal on the next turn. Loatheb fits into the strategy of developing a board with tempo. If you play Loatheb on an empty board, your opponent has to answer with minions, which can be easily removed. Loatheb also helps to stabilize by blocking out damage spells; it stops druid combo dead in its tracks.
2x Sprint- Main draw engine of the deck. A lot of the cards in this deck lose card advantage, but gain tempo by getting 1 for 0ed or 1 for 2ed. Imagine backstab + eviscerating a 5 hp minion (2 cards for 1) or sapping (1 for 0). After exhausting your resources, Sprint refuels your hand so you can finish the game. Prep + Sprint is a strong play vs. Control match-ups.
Deck Replacements and Techs
I mentioned a few possible replacements in the previous section, but here are the replacements in more detail.
Southsea Deckhand - Deckhand always seemed to me like a card that you run because you have to. If you're not getting run over by hunters and tempo mages, then it's fine to play without it. Replace with a fan.
Bloodmage Thalnos - Thalnos works really well in this deck, but if you need to replace it, it's probably best NOT to use loot hoarder nor kobold geomancer. Thalnos is good because it is useful for when you need to cycle through your deck and when you need spell damage, if you run one of the 2 above mentioned, you'll have a dead card half the time. It's better to just forgo the draw and spell power completely and put in a Goblin Auto-Barber. Also if you're cutting thalnos, make sure to only run 1 Fan if any because Fan goes way down in value without the spell power.
Edwin VanCleef - Although Edwin helps in many match-ups sometimes it can be can be clunky and bait you into dumping your hand. If you're looking for more consistency or just don't have the dust, consider putting in a 2nd farseer or fan.
Violet Teacher - if teacher is really not working for you, you can put in an extra 3-drop (fan, farseer, edwin or even scarlet crusader). It's also possible to put in Sen'jin if patron and aggro is that much of an issue. I think Teacher is definitely worth running unless the meta is completely geared against it.
Dr. Boom - If you're facing mostly control, Dr. 7 could work well. Cut deckhand maybe.
Big Game Hunter - Rogue has a hard time dealing with Dr.Boom and Rag (sap isn't great), BGH solves the problem. Cut Edwin or Farseer.
Goblin Auto-Barber + Assassin's Blade - This can work very well if decks aren't running Harrison nor Ooze. If you do run into one of those with a buffed up Assasin's blade, you probably lose though. Cut 1 tinker and VanCleef or Violet Teacher for the pair.
Sabotage- Pretty much guarantees wins vs Handlock and can help vs. weapon classes. I haven't tried it myself, but I think it's unnecessary most of the times. I'm not sure what you'd cut for this, maybe pirate or teacher.
Emperor Thaurissan - Wow mana reduction in a combo deck! It sounds amazing on paper, but it usually doesn't pan out that well. Usually if you have a big enough hand size for Thaurissan to matter, you're going to win anyways. Thaurissan doesn't actually allow you to do any combos you wouldn't be able to otherwise, and it's redundant with Prep. Essentially Thaurissan doesn't help you recover when you're behind and you'd win anyways when Thaurissan does actually work.
Shade of Naxxramas - This card takes time to get value, which doesn't go with the game plan of running away with tempo.
Match-ups and Playstyle
I'll start off this section by making an important distinction.
Tempo vs. Value
It can be helpful to think of "value" as the fight for card advantage and "tempo" as the fight for mana or time advantage. For example if you backstab + eviscerate a 4/6 twilight drake you are losing in value (you trade 2 cards for his 1), but gaining in tempo (you used 2 mana to deal with his 4 mana minion). With the extra 2 mana, you might be able to squeeze in a minion on the same turn and gain initiative on the board.
Oil rogue is a TEMPO deck with a combo finisher. You want to get ahead in tempo and make them react to you. One of the biggest problems people have with this deck is playing too slowly by playing for value instead of for tempo. If there's ever a time when you're not sure whether to go for value or tempo, tempo is usually the correct choice. It is a common feeling to use a big portion of your hand just to get tempo, and then be relying on the cards you top deck to sustain your pressure. The playstyle is a large reason for why its seen as inconsistent; sometimes you don't draw the right cards and lose, but more often than not you do get the right cards (there are a lot of right cards for most situations), and your opponent never has a chance.
1. Establish a board through tempo cards. E.g., Prep, backstab, sap, SI:7 agent. It's usually correct to use multiple cards in order to gain tempo. For example turn 4 you play shredder and prep sap their shredder.
2. Convert tempo into face damage, it's important not to slow down here. This means attack face instead of trading with your minions if you can. Clear your opponents board with spells, notably blade flurry. It doesn't matter if your opponent builds up a big but damaged board after trading into your minions because you can wipe the entire board with a big flurry.
3. Look to draw into finishers, often with sprint. With this deck you have to trust in your draws. Always think about what cards you can draw to win and always play to win; playing not to lose (e.g., using eviscerates to live an extra turn) doesn't get you any closer to winning and usually leads to a drawn out loss. In other words play to your outs and win condition, you won't end up winning by just surviving (this is true for all decks by the way, except for decks whose win condition is surviving e.g., control warrior).
4. Blow them off the board!
Against slower match-ups keep Teacher, shredder, drake and 3 drops. Drop edwin if you don't have coin or prep.
Against faster match-ups hard mulligan for backstab, SI and prep. It's okay to keep farseer.
In general SI:7, backstab and prep are keeps, you can be greedier and keep slower value cards in the slower match-ups and mulligan more aggressively against fast matchups.
Rogue is favoured against every type of Warlock. Less favoured vs zoo/midrange demon. Rogue does very well against both Handlock and Malylock.
Look for early drops, keep 3 and 4 drops. One of the difficult things about this match-up is not being able to tell immediately whether it's Handlock or a Malylock. If you've narrowed it down to Handlock or malylock, play as if it's handlock until your proven wrong. Play thalnos on turn 2 to draw into 3/4 drops if you don't have any. Thalnos + backstab + evis clears a giant. Don't be afraid to sap giants and drakes for tempo. Play this match-up aggressively, but try to avoid putting him to double molten range unless you have a big weapon with blade flurry. if you can make a big weapon and get him low at the same time (e.g., poison + tinkers) and you have ways to draw into blade flurry, push for the damage. Usually try to get the handlock to around 15 hp and be constantly threatening lethal. Once you build-up damage and answers to moltens with blade flurry, sap or eviscerate then go all-in. In short, before you draw your finishers, try to hover the warlock at around 15/16 hp. Try to build up a strong board that's not too weak to hellfire. Once you draw cards like eviscerate, oil, and flurry, you can go all in and put him low.
Mull for backstab, SI and Prep. Keep dagger for board control, try to keep fan for imp-losion. If you can grab board control without getting too low, then you usually win because rogue is amazing at maintaining its board advantage through spell support, also zoo gets himself pretty low through tapping. Don't be afraid of sapping a 2-drop if you have no better play, but you might want to save saps for voidcaller drops.
One of the problems of playing against Malylock effectively is not being able to tell right off the bat whether it's Handlock or Maly. Play as if it's handlock until you see cards characteristic of Maly e.g., zombie chow, blackwing corrupter, blackwing technician, etc. The way you play this deck after you figure out what it is, is distinctly different from handlock. Since you don't have to worry about molten giants, you can press for damage as soon as you have it, but watch out for their 2x healbot. Try to keep the malylock under constant pressure by getting him low and setting up a minion on board. Be careful of burst damage if he plays Emperor Thaurissan. You can surprise kill them with pirate and oil.
Sometimes druids get an insane start and you can't win, but more often than not, you'll have them on the back foot. Mull for 3/4 drops and preparation, e.g., farseer, shredder, si:7, teacher. It's sometimes okay to keep drake and loatheb. Keep edwin if you have coin. One thing you can do vs. druid is play thalnos turn 2 to deny their turn 3 shade; if they play it anyways, they risk it dying to fan. Be careful around turn 9 when you're getting close to 14 hp for FoN + savage roar combo. If you manage to get 2 healthy minions on a clear board vs druid then start looking to set up lethal. Don't be afraid to sap Ancient of Lore if you can develop a minion with it. The druid match-up revolves around tempo, sapping an innervated minion can win you the game.
Face is a bad matchup for oil rogue. Mull for backstab, Si, prep and farseer. Deckhand is also okay, and you can keep fan if you have coin or prep, or if you have 3 drops already. You can keep Edwin if you have coin. Look to play as fast as possible and hope you draw into healbot. It's important to return damage and try to put the hunter on a clock. Sometimes if you have nothing better to do, you have to all-in with a huge Edwin.
Midrange is much easier for this deck. Sap is MVP vs highmane. Mull for backstab, SI, prep, farseer. Shredder and Edwin are okay if you have coin. Deckhand can be used to pop freezing trap.
Control is oil rogue's worst matchup, the problem is oil runs limited damage, and warrior can gain a lot of armor. You have to draw well and hope warrior doesn't have the perfect answers. Mulligan for shredder, teacher and 3 drops, if you have a sprint, keep it. Every point of damage in this matchup is precious. Try to find ways to make deaths bite inefficient. One thing you can do to increase damage is to hold your 3 drops until turn 6 and then drop both of them. Hopefully he can only weapon one down and you get to attack with the other 3 drop. Getting damage in with Shredder and minimalizing the damage done by death's bite is key here. It's hard to tell apart Patron and control in the early stages, but assume its control until you're shown otherwise.
Oil does significantly better against patron. Mull for 3 drops, SHREDDER, teacher. Save a weapon buff and a flurry for the patron turn. Keep the warrior under the pressure with minions and watch out after Thaurissan. When playing teacher in later stages, it's often better to play spells first and not summon the tokens. Play around death's bite as well as you can. E.g., playing loatheb into a 2 charge death bite. You play vs. patron similarly to how you play vs control warrior in the early game, partly because you can't tell them apart, but also because it's the most effective way to win in both cases. The difference is if you can survive the warsong combo, you can wipe the board with a blade flurry. If you suspect it's patron warrior, don't attack his face on turn 2 with your dagger to play around battle rage. Also try to clear damaged minions as soon as you can for the same reason.
Mulligan for fan. Try to save a sap for Tirion and Sylvanas. Watch out for big Quartermasters. This is one of the most favourable match-ups for this deck, if you can avoid and huge disasters, you can just out-tempo the paly with your efficient board wipes and collect all your combo pieces for the finish.
Easy matchup. Mull for 3 drops, prep, 4 drops, you can keep drake. In this matchup you want to gain board control, slowly get in some face damage and then draw into your combo pieces.
The mirror is determined a lot by who draws better and who can grab initiative. Loatheb can lock out an entire turn, try to save it for later in the game so you can, for example, deny 8 mana instead of 3. Mull for 4 drops and 5 drops esp. LOATHEB. It's okay to keep 3 drops and prep + sprint. Be careful of big blade flurry turns.
Mech shaman is pretty bad for you, but they are almost no shamans. Play like you would vs a face hunter. Keep backstab + SI and prep.
Bladeflurry and fan can wipe all his totems. look for 3 drops, 4 drops and prep.
You have to build up board presence and go all in. Try to save healbot and farseer for after alex. Try to pop the block as fast as possible and save sap for doomsayers.
Deckhand can really swing the game by nullifying a mirror entity. Mull for backstab, SI, farseer and deckhand. Deadly poison is a good keep and flurry can swing the game. Be careful for counter spell and don't tilt if you get fireball frost bolted or double fireballed; it's part of the game so don't take it too hard.
General Tips and Final Words
1. If you don't need the dagger to fight for board control, and/or you have mana to re-dagger in the next 2 turns, you can hit face with your dagger for a bit of extra damage. If you might need the dagger, it's better to just hold on to it.
2. It's important to plan out your mana usage and see 1-2 turns in advance, especially when setting up for lethal. Think about what your opponent might play (e.g., Shredder on turn 4, Belcher on turn 5, Dr. Boom on turn 7, etc.) and see if you can play around it. But if you can't play around a specific card efficiently, it's better just to risk it and go for it. By going all-in you force your opponent to have the answer, and if he doesn't you win. If you don't go for it, you'll just be behind to any normal reply. Note: It's especially important to manage your dagger charges when you're looking to finish.
3. If you're on tilt, take a break. It's important to think clearly and plan out your moves with this deck.
4. Always play to win; if you're behind, don't waste your time trying to drag out the game and then lose the long game anyways. Think of your possible outs, cards you can draw that can turn the game around, and play as if you're going to draw them. If you don't you lose anyways, but if you do draw well, then you could potentially win.
If you have any points to discuss, constructive criticisms or suggestions feel free to post them in the comments.