HearthStone

Even Dragon Rogue: A Quick Guide

hearthstone 10 - Even Dragon Rogue: A Quick Guide
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Hey all, J_Alexander_HS back again today to talk about a version of Even Rogue I've been playing lately that I have really been enjoying. The original shell was suggested by Butterkase, and after a few quick modifications, I ended up in a place I really like.

To be clear upfront for the sake of context, we're talking about a 56% win rate across roughly 75 games with it in high legend over the last few days. The deck feels like it's been performing well enough against anything that's not Warrior (which I'm 0-7 against, largely due to the Odd Warrior match being as close to unwinnable as possible). This could just be positive variance, as I've played other version of Even Rogue before without feeling like the deck was doing enough that was powerful and this is a small sample size. Nevertheless, this number looks about in line with what limited data we have from HSReplay about the Even Rogue archetype, so maybe it's an acceptable list.

I wanted to say that so I don't give you the impression this deck is certainly tier 1/2 and you should run out and craft it. In fact, this version of deck is the worst performing version of it on HSReplay, though the reasons for that could be many.

With that aside, let's look at the list and run though a general mulligan/play guide.

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General Guidance: Like most successful Rogue lists, this is a Tempo Archetype. Your goal is to use your efficient hero power, minions, and removal to get the board, keep the board, hit your opponent in the face, and perhaps kill them with a little bit of burst if it's available. It doesn't have much in the way of big swing turns, powerful combos, or anything uniquely broken. It's about as Bread-and-Butter Hearthstone as you can get.

As this deck is based around curving out and grabbing the board efficiently, your two-drop minions are your most important resource. If you miss developing on turns 2, 3, and/or 4 you may well fall behind and lose the game quickly. Focus on ensuring you have those resources available before you even think about keeping anything else in the mulligan.

Competitively, I don't know if this version is superior to the lists of Even Rogue that run Corpsetaker/Hooktusk packages. It's a hard question to assess with limited data available to us and the large portion of variance present in the latter type. Drawing Hooktusk can win games, while drawing the bad pirates/Corpsetaker minions can lose it. The Dragon version of the deck feels more emotionally-satisfying to me, however, as I inherently dislike playing decks where you actively want to avoid many of the cards in them.

The Mulligan Guide

  • 2x Backstab: Backstab is a great card for maintaining early-game board control when paired with your dagger and is a card you can regularly think about keeping against many decks. Against Hunter and Zoo, for instance, the Backstab will do a lot for you. However, you need to bear in mind that your deck needs to curve out to function, and keeping Backstab may interfere with that if you don't already have a 2 drop. Further, against certain matches – those where few minions are played in the early game or where few minions are played at all – the card will do nothing. It's a usually keep against early-game tempo/aggressive matches, but focus on minions first, especially when going first.

  • 2x (2) Bloodsail Raider: This is an always keep. With your dagger, it's a 2 mana 3/3, which is only of the most efficient things the deck can do. Curving is important, stats matter, and this rocks for both.

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  • 2x (2) Cold Blood: Never keep. This can sometimes help killing when ahead, but doesn't help you get there. Cold Blood itself is a decent-feeling card in the deck, offering a surprising amount of burst. It's just bad for the first several turns of the game.

  • 2x (2) Eviscerate: Rarely keep. Unless you have something very specific you're looking to kill with this (like a Hench Clan) and all the rest of your cards are good, I would always throw this back. Like Cold Blood, it's hard to combo it early in the game and is unlikely to get to you to a state you want to be in.

  • 2x (2) Faerie Dragon: Always keep. Two drops are good, and this is a two drop. It's also pretty annoying for some decks to answer when they cannot Holy Smite, Spellstone, Wrath, Backstab, Ping, or anything else it. This means it's usually getting in a hit or two. As a bonus, it's also one of your Dragons, which can activate your two dragon-synergy cards.

  • 2x (2) Firetree Witchdoctor: Usually keep. As you need to remember, your two drops are your best cards and this is a two drop. As a bonus, if you have a dragon in hand, you get the nice bonus of getting a free spell. Downsides are that if you don't have a dragon this feels embarrassing and, sadly, many Rogue spells are bad. It was part of the inspiration for the deck in the first place, but it usually doesn't blow me way. It's fine, but I can't help and wonder whether it would be better served as a more consistently-powerful 2 drop. Cards that come to mind are Knife Juggler or Plated Beetle, though many options exist. This is still experimental.

  • 2x (2) Sharkfin Fan: Always keep. This is usually a 3/3 for 2 mana, like Bloodsail Raider. It can get better than that if left unmolested and can close a game against a deck like Odd Paladin if protected. It also walks you into Spreading Plague and Defile, so be careful there.

  • 2x (4) Grave Shambler: Usually keep. This is the best four-drop in your deck, If you have a 2, I would always keep this. If you don't have a 2, I'd still think about keeping it, but more so depending on the match (is it one that you want more punchy minions?) and whether we're going second (where you have a better chance to find the missing 2). (Secret Tip: if you have a one-health dagger, don't be afraid to re-dagger before attacking if your Shambler is on board. This can allow you to use you mana efficiently the next turn while still buffing the Shambler's stats)

  • 2x (4) Saronite Chain Gang: Sometimes keep. Follow the above logic for Grave Shambler, but apply it instead to games where you want the defensive bodies, like Hunter, Paladin, or Zoo.

  • 2x (4) Scaleworm: Usually mulligan. If you already have the dragon synergy and a two-drop, I'd probably keep this. It's a fairly solid mid-game threat, but it is reactive in nature. It's a fine card many times, but also potentially awkward.

  • 2x (4) Twilight Drake: Sometimes keep. If you have a two-drop, you can keep it. It activates synergies and is not an embarrassing minion on its own.

  • 2x (4) Walk the Plank: Sometimes keep. Against "big-idiot" decks – like Evenlock or Resurrect Priest – you'll probably need this tool to not lose the game. I'd recommend keeping it there and tossing it everywhere else. It's something you want to use when ahead; not to help you get ahead.

  • 2x (6) Argent Commander: Never keep. It costs too much

  • 2x (6) Bone Drake: Usually mulligan. If you have a Firetree Witch Doctor or a 2-drop and Scaleworm you can keep it. Otherwise toss it.

  • 1x (6) Genn Greymane: Always mulligan.

  • 1x (8) The Lich King: Always mulligan

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