This might be the Rogue deck you’re looking for that’s not a Backspace nor Miracle. It’s a Rogue that plays very differently!
Rogue is a tricky class. They have access to the highest amount of burst damage currently and their class mechanic, Combo, needs to be considered well ahead of the current turn.
The more popular Rogue decks are Miracle and Backspace. One is a combo deck, which infuriates a lot of opponents. Miracle Rogue relies on drawing into the specific set of cards the player needs in order to play them all in one turn and bring the opponent down to zero. Usually, all the turns before the payoff see minimal board interaction from Rogue, which is why a lot of people don’t like it.
Backspace, on the other hand, is an aggro deck that throws everything else back and just focuses on rushing the opponent down. Again, this promotes a negative play experience (NPE) since this kind of deck also has minimal interaction with the board since it is all about going for the face.
DarkFrost‘s Tempo Rogue, however, is a different kind of deck. It actually interacts with the board, thanks to strong tempo cards that do more than one thing. Usually, tempo cards remove threats, give you board presence, and get you closer to victory.
Check out the decklist:
If you look at the deck closely, you’ll realize that it keeps the mana curve on the low side of the spectrum. That way, you can usually maximize your mana at any given turn while doing the most damage to the board and your opponent.
The key to the deck is tempo, and Rogue’s set of removals provide an excellent suite to help you in that department. Backstab is a no-brainer since it’s free two damage, and Deadly Poison + Fan of Knives helps manage the board for cheap, which can swing the odds in your favor mid-to-late game. Sap is there to get rid of big (and expensive) threats like Savannah Highmane or Sunwalker.
Undertaker is the early game threat, especially when you Coin into Zombie Chow. The Chow is a tricky card in itself, since it does seem to work against what the deck wants to happen (bring the opponent down to zero), however, played early, Chow lets you trade efficiently with your opponent’s minions. The life isn’t much of an issue within the first three turns anyway, since most of the time you’ll be fighting for board control.
Speaking of board control, the minions of this deck tend to be either sticky, or provide you with some advantage, or both. Haunted Creeper falls into the first category, while cards like Bloodmage Thalnos, and Loot Hoarder fall into the second. Your higher cost minions like Dark Iron Dwarf, Azure Drake, Gnomish Inventor, Defender of Argus, and Sludge Belcher fall into the third category—giving you a sticky minion while also providing some sort of advantage.
For finishers, you have the last three minions and Shade of Naxxramas. Stormwind Champion (the tech of the deck) doubles his value against Hunter because of his blanket (and always active) +1 Health ability. Unless the Hunter has Timber Wolf, the Hounds from Unleash the Hounds won’t be able to one-shot your big minions (like an snowballed Undertaker for example). Argent Commander helps you push that last few points of damage, or helps get rid of your opponent’s taunt minion so your other minions can go in for the kill. Kel’Thuzad provides a huge advantage thanks to his ability and stats, all of which contribute to edge you closer to victory.
Shade of Naxxramas is yet another tricky card to play, but can be a great boon if played early. It’s a great bait for Deadly Shot and other non-specific removal spell your opponent may have, and it matches well against control decks because they really can’t waste a lot of cards just to get rid of it. Just like the Ravenholdt Assassin/Stanglethorn Tiger plays of old, Shade can bring a huge potential upset to the board.
The deck plays a lot like Zoo in which you use low cost minions and spells early to establish board control. By midgame, replenish your hand via card draw and deal damage via your finishers. More often than not (in my experience at least), it’s the little guys that will close the game out for you.
The deck provides a great counter to many different decks that are popular in the meta right now, most especially Hunter, thanks to Stormwind Champion and Shade of Naxxramas. The deck is fairly light on crafted legends, and Bloodmage Thalnos can be taken out for a second Loot Hoarder to keep crafting costs low.
For more info on the deck, check it out here.