We return to Deadly Decks with Kufdon this time as he takes a look into the Miracle Rogue deck.
The objective of the deck is to remove your opponents early threats as efficiently as possibly, then cycle through your deck with Gadgetzan Auctioneer, and eventually close out the game with a big Questing Adventurer or Van Cleef. That's the simple version. Often times, it is not quite so simple. A common scenario with the deck is being presented with a hand capable of making a big Questing or Van Cleef or a Questing early on. More often than not this will require using many of the same cards that you could combine with Auctioneer for additional card draw in the late game. In some matchups “All Inning” on a Questing or Van Cleef may be correct but in most cases there is a delicate balance between using cards to increase the size of your minions and maintaining a hand capable of cycling later on. This is what separates the good rogue players from the bad, and is the reason Miracle Rogue has long been considered one of the hardest decks to pilot in the game.
2. Are there any particular weaknesses to the build, a certain class or card combo?
The main weakness of the deck is the lack of healing cards in Rogue. Because of this aggressive decks can perform incredibly well vs the deck. While you are often able to remove a Pirate Warrior’s minions rather well in the early game, you still often end up taking damage in the process. Finally, when you would be ready to develop your own minions they have already built up, or just simply equip, a big weapon and start swinging at your face. Most of the time you lose this race. The matchup vs Aggro Shaman is similar, although more manageable, as they lack the massive weapon damage that Warriors have. Finally, another weakness of the deck is the deck itself. As it relies on combinations of small spells with a few key minions sometimes you will just draw a hand literally incapable of winning. This is relatively rare, but always painful when it happens.
3. If you don’t have a good counter to the deck and meet it in queue, how do you deal with it?
Usually no matter what class you are playing with your game plan should be to try pressure the rogue whenever possible, this will force them to use their resources inefficiently, and make cycling through their deck harder. With slower decks, this is not always realistic however. When you fall behind early, the most important thing becomes saving your removals for the correct targets, and being mindful of the burst potential with cards like Leeroy Jenkins, Cold Blood, and Eviscerate.
4. How does the deck stack up against the main builds (Reno lock etc)
As said earlier, Rogue often struggles versus aggressive decks, although the perfect rogue hand can certainly win against anything. When you start to get more time to build up the right combos for the right times, however, the true power of the deck starts to show. Versus Midrange / Control decks Rogue performs very well, even without a Beneath The Grounds tech to ruin your opponent’s Reno.
Rogue mulligans are some of the hardest ones in the game to do properly. There is a large amount of dispute about what the correct mulligans are, even among pro players. With that said, however, I will offer my admittedly flawed insight into how you should mulligan with the deck. One of the basic things that almost everyone agrees on is that Small-Time Buccaneer and Tomb Pillager are solid keeps, against almost anything. Versus aggro you also want cards like Backstab to deal with their early threats, versus control you want to prioritise minions like Azure Drake to provide value. I personally even like keeping Gadgetzan Auctioneer vs Renomage. Where things get complicated is the card Preparation. If you already have a Van Cleef or an Adventurer, and are offered a preparation early on, it is often worth considering. Usually I would only keep it if I already also had a good spell to use with it for the matchup, such as an eviscerate vs Shaman. But opinions on this differ. I suggest trying out different mulligans until you get a feeling for what works for you.