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[GUIDE] Maly'Shaarj Rogue

  • Last updated Jun 21, 2016 (Old Gods)
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  • 15 Minions
  • 15 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Malygos Rogue
  • Crafting Cost: 9460
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 4/1/2016 (Explorers)
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  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Why These Cards?
  • 3. Why Not These Cards?
  • 4. Mulligans
  • 5. Changes

1. Introduction
On March 31st, a sudden flash of thought struck me as I was dozing off to sleep. With the announcement of Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound, I knew there was definitely potential for a strong combo deck to arise. "But what?" I thought, until that faithful moment that I knew. Rogue is the combo master. With strong decks like Oil Rogue, Miracle Rogue, and Malygos Rogue, for which this deck is primarily influenced by, I knew that a Y'Shaarj Rogue had to be tested. I rushed to check the decklists, and to my shock, not a single Rogue deck included Y'Shaarj. As the first, I hope to open the conversation, and make this deck a potential archetype. If only my timing was better, this wouldn't seem like an April Fools joke.

2. Why These Cards?
I designed this deck with a pretty clear mindset; how can Malygos Rogue be built so that it can win if disaster breaks and things just don't go right? Though it's a strong deck, if Malygos dies with minimal damage to face, and many options exhausted, it can fall through pretty quickly. Though it's a very strong deck in the right hands, I thought it should be made more broader, taking influences from decks like Miracle Rogue, and use new cards to really break the mold and push the meta in a positive way. To make this as simple as I can, I'll be splitting this up not from most to least vital to the deck, but instead by early game to late game.


Deadly Poison - I know what you're thinking: why put this card first? I'd like to make it clear that Deadly Poison is both a tool and an asset in this type of deck. With a fair amount of the combo damage coming from Blade Flurry, dealing 3 damage to face with the poisoned knife and an additional 8+ with the spell damage boost, this card is fantastic for dealing burst damage to finish off a game. That said, please keep that in mind when playing, because the largest a weapon can get in this deck is 5-attack with both poison. Be cautious when considering playing this particular card, because an extra few damage in combo can mean the difference between winning and leaving your opponent with a flesh wound. Regardless of all that, if the opportunity requires to use it to remove a minion that just must go, don't hesitate too long.

Edwin VanCleef - This is the first big problem for your opponent to deal with, if things go right. The biggest practical turn-3 Edwin I can imagine in this deck is a 10/10, if you play Backstab twice, Deadly Poison on your dagger to remove something (don't let it go wasted), and The Coin for your extra mana. With Big Game Hunter potentially being nerfed, this can be an incredibly powerful game starter, as it can kill many threats like Doomsayer before they can do anything.

Tomb Pillager - This is a very strong turn-4 play, enough so that you should keep it that way. In regards to coining him out, just because you get a coin when he dies, doesn't mean you should use a coin to play him. Extra mana in a deck like this can go an extremely long way, especially in the late game. Still, his effect does mean you can push for a board presence when needed, but with that said, don't just coin him out to coin him out.

Xaril, Poisoned Mind - Though some consider this a weak card, I consider it a Muster for Battle or Ethereal Conjurer. It's a weak presence on its own for its cost, but its card generation is extremely powerful, especially when combo'd with cards that we'll get to in a second. Though 3 of the Toxins, Bloodthistle Toxin, Briarthorn Toxin, and Kingsblood Toxin, are all playable when the opportunity is best, two of them are particularly good when used with other things, which I'll cover later down as well.

Conceal - This card has three targets, and just about three targets only. This also goes for Fadeleaf Toxin. Its sole use in this deck, unless otherwise absolutely required, is to protect three minions: Malygos, Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound, and Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Conceal and Fadeleaf both allow for you to get far more potential use out of these cards, each making a pretty important role, each being covered in their respective parts below. Simply put, resist the temptations of playing this card prematurely on something that doesn't need to be concealed.

Earthen Ring Farseer - Fairly standard in certain Rogue decks, this is a pretty quality statline minion that heals you, or a vital minion, for 3 (which goes far more than it may seem). That's about it for this one. Uh. Yep. It should be noted that this card will potentially see replacement if a better alternative comes around.

Shiv - This is primarily meant for super early removal, but more so the card draw. However, it's effected by Malygos, meaning it's a Fireball that draws you a card all for half the mana cost.

Sap - Often you'll only need to use this on minions that threaten your board, ie. things that can kill core minions like Malygos, but it can also be used to remove a Taunt minion from the board to push for lethal. It is certainly not a card to be used on any minion that you can't deal with any other way, unless it's vital that you do in order to win the game.

Bloodmage Thalnos - I put this at the end of the early game list because it seeps into the other stages, just as Sap does. Thalnos is great in a number of ways depending on the matchup, as it helps kill things with spell damage (Backstab would deal three damage, for instance), and the card draw is great as well. His cheap cost also is great as a combo enabler, meaning you can use him with Eviscerate to deal 5 damage on turn 4. For one card, this guy certainly does a lot, so those not experienced with him, do give him a chance.


Violet Teacher - This card has become pretty common in a number of Rogue decks primarily due to Rogue's many low-cost spells, allowing this card to generate plenty of tokens to help trade, and when optimal, push for some extra face damage. Players against Malygos Rogue can often be in a dangerous zone when under 20 health, so pushing your opponent to that from one minion and a couple spells (when it's best to play them) can really go a long way. It can't hurt to note that when trading minions, it's best to use the Violet Apprentices that are generated rather than the teacher herself.

Azure Drake - A slightly bigger Thalnos, this minion can be seen in a number of decks for a similar reason. It's strong, it's effective, and it's immediate. The battlecry allows you to dig for an answer to problems, or look for that piece of combo that you need. Finding certain cards early, which we'll get to just below, is very important in this deck.

Emperor Thaurissan - This card makes all of this possible, alongside Preparation. Without the hard mana cost reduction, just about every combo this deck has cannot be pulled off quite as elegantly. That said, here's a brief explanation of what to Thaurissan when you can.

 - Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound / Malygos and Gang Up - As we'll get to in a bit, Gang Up is super important towards this deck's effectiveness, for a few reasons. When used on Y'Shaarj on turn ten ((10 - 1) + (2 - 1) = 10), it immediately allows you to potentially dig another Y'Shaarj from the original, giving you two 10/10's in one turn, with the potential of spawning more the following turn. Though this is the primary target for Gang Up, and why it's such a huge card for this deck, it's also effectively used on Malygos as it gives you slightly more room for combo, which we'll get to when we cover Malygos himself.
 - Malygos, Sinister Strike, Eviscerate, Blade Flurry + Deadly Poison, Firebloom Toxin, Shiv - Those familiar with Malygos Rogue know that you can often pull off some insane combos with some of these cards, dealing ridiculous amounts of damage. With the introduction of Xaril, Poisoned Mind, the Firebloom Toxin allows for ridiculous additional damage, but isn't a necessary requirement for this deck to pull off wins. Though the amount of cards can make it clunky at times, it's never wrong to use pieces of the combo (Eviscerate, Firebloom Toxin, and Shiv, primarily) with Bloodmage Thalnos or Azure Drake when needed if you fear you might burn cards with a full hand. Always check the amount of cards in your hand!!

Gadgetzan Auctioneer - Primarily known for its use in Miracle Rogue, this card has great potential to dig for needed cards via the low-cost spells Rogue and this deck have, both in the deck itself and through Xaril, Poisoned Mind's generated Toxins. Again, be wary when using this, because milling yourself is a nightmare for this deck.

Sprint - Similar to Gadgetzan Auctioneer, but specifically used when you're totally out of steam, this card is meant to dig for an answer, and as always, goes great with Preparation. However, it's fairly certain this deck is one to have many cards in a hand at any given time, so it's possible this will be replaced when testing becomes available.


Gang Up - As touched on before, this card's use is very specific in this deck. It would very much be wasted on any minions other than the two below, as when Y'Shaarj is in play, you don't want to be pulling extra Bloodmage Thalnoses or extra SI:7 Agents. Just hold it like it's a 10-drop!

Malygos - It's pretty much been stated fully already, this card is one of two pretty vital cards in this deck. Its spell damage is fantastic, turning a couple of spells used for removal or extra damage to reach lethal into tons of damage that make Malygos Rogue what Malygos Rogue is. It's a massive target for Conceal and Gang Up, depending on the matchup, just as Y'Shaarj is.

Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound - Without sounding too much like a broken record, this is very similar in importance to Malygos in a number of ways. However, what differentiates it from importance is, as mentioned, matchups. Y'Shaarj is more important to Gang Up and Conceal than Malygos in matchups where you have to flood your opponent with big, or bigger, minions. It's potentially very strong against control decks with minimal late game removal, like Warriors with no more Executes or Priests with no more Shadow Word: Deaths. Though a potential gamble against Handlock, this card when used with Gang Up can become simply too overwhelming, especially against a Renolock variant after it uses its Siphon Soul(s), Twisting Nether(s), and even DOOM!(s). In other instances, Malygos is often the go to Gang Up target, when a quicker win is required. Keep in mind, Malygos is still effective against control decks like Priest or Warlock, but less so against an extremely armored and tanked up Warrior.

3. Why Not These Cards?
I'm going to be covering these as they're requested, because I'd more so like to answer questions than shoot in the dark and hope I answer questions before they're asked.

4. Mulligans
Though I'll make a more detailed list at some point, here's a rough idea of what to keep.

Aggro: SI:7 Agent, Backstab, Fan of Knives
Control: Xaril, Poisoned Mind, Tomb Pillager, Azure Drake
Other/Unsure: Deadly Poison and a combination of the cards above can almost never do you wrong (...theoretically.)

5. Changes
April 8th - Finally fixed some confusing and misleading typos.
April 14th - Replaced a Sprint with a Shadowcaster. This is due to the fact that the deck has plenty of good draw already, and Sprint may not work out. It was an easy choice to make for this reason, and Shadowcaster was the reason for that. Shadowcaster allows you to preserve Malygos and his effect by either creating a secondary one to use alongside the original Malygos or later on. It's also versatile with many of the other cards included, allowing more flexibility where this deck was previously pretty tight. I'll be attempting to work in a second one at some point, but one should be enough for the deck to operate.
April 20th - Replaced Blade Flurry with a second Sinister Strike. At the point of writing this, BF was nerfed to a point that it only acts as a board clear, and though this deck may need more board clears in the future, I just removed it for now. Previously, when this deck was first created, BF costed 2-mana and did damage to all enemy characters, both minions and the hero, which makes for an insane combo burst, as the damage was effected by Malygos. Since Malygos is still a considerable part of the deck, the replacement with a second Sinister Strike was only natural as it allows for more burst. Keep in mind this deck's Malygos portion plays like Freeze Mage, and you're meant to hold as much spell-damage effected spells as you can until Malygos can be played. When he is, a single SS deals 8 damage for 1 mana, and two deal 16 for 2. These can both be reduced by Emperor Thaurissan to cost 0 total. Keep in mind, the deck is now pretty low on board clears, so after the remaining WOG cards are released, I'll reassess this deck's board control.