Miracle Rogue Overview
leeroy v. malygos
argent squire alternatives
chillwind yeti alternatives
After a several month break from Hearthstone I came back, started practicing with monk, and got Legend. I was immediately drawn to Miracle Rogue: I tried several builds and gained a good understanding of how to play it and the deck's weaknesses. Then I made my own version and used it for the majority of games to Legend.
I want to share my Semi-Miracle Rogue deck.
Miracle Rogue stalls in the early game by killing enemy minions with cards like
Backstab, SI:7 Agent, Deadly Poison, Shiv, and Eviscerate. It can sometimes apply mild pressure early with minions such as Loot Hoarder or Edwin VanCleef. Your best turn five play is Azure Drake. On turn 5-8, Miracle Rogue wants to use Gadgetzan Auctioneer to draw a ton of cards: your go to cards are Preparation, Coin, or Conceal. With huge card advantage, you can usually find Sap, Blade Flurry, or Fan of Knives to deal with whatever minions your opponent has left. Your game ender is of course Leeroy Jenkins and Shadowstep.
What problems does Miracle Rogue face?
- Situation cards; you can find yourself with a hand full of spells that aren't very useful right now.
- It is possible to run out of damage or cards, especially versus Control Warrior.
- Your opponent can overwhelm you early.
- You rely on drawing Auctioneer.
- Most of your deck isn't very good in the first four turns and you can get weak starting hands.
- You're sometimes forced to play a reactive style and wait for the right cards and targets.
- Your combo starters are limited in the early game.
What advantages does Miracle Rogue have compared with other decks?
- Auctioneer is very powerful; especially with Preparation, Coin, and Conceal.
- Loads of removal.
- Huge burst damage with Leeroy/Shadowstep or Malygos.
- Out grinds most decks in the late game due to card draw.
Miracle Rogue runs too many situational cards, relies too much on Auctioneer, is too passive, and can get results that are too random by either winning or losing big. Despite all this, it's one of the best decks! What if we could fix these problems?
I removed four situational cards for solid minions. This makes it easier to get early board control, harder to get bad hands, and less necessary to cast a bunch of spells with Auctioneer out for the deck to work. You can also now use Auctioneer earlier on with fewer spells, because there are fewer spells still left in your deck that need him. Drawing several cards with Auctioneer is often good enough to win: a full blown miracle can be overkill.
I added two Argent Squires and two Chillwind Yetis were the minions to make the cut. These replace one each of Sap, Conceal, Fan of Knives and Shadowstep. All the cards I removed are powerful, sometimes, but aren't what you need at other times. These changes make the deck more consistent. While you can no long abuse your opponent with a million spells, you still have enough to win games off Auctioneer without having to design your plays to maximize him as much.
Who needs the Auctioneer?
Argent Squire gives you a one drop which wasn't in the deck before. It also makes it much easier to combo Vancleef in the early game without Coin. Although not the most powerful card in the game, Miracle Rogue is such a powerful deck it can afford to run Squires. They can help you with early game tempo -- one of the old deck's weaknesses -- without an amazing opening hand. They can do a bit of damage and they often end up saving you some Health: Squire can finish a minion off instead of using your Dagger, or your opponent may attack your Squire, and a turn one Squire is amazing when paired with your Dagger to kill most early game minions.
The Squire here eats an entire weapon charge by herself and lives.
Chillwind Yeti gives access to a solid four drop. Yeti will bait enemy removal well leaving your Azure Drake, Auctioneer, and Agents safe. If it attacks much, you usually win. At four mana, it's not too late to help against aggressive decks. Yeti also sets you up well against slower decks with powerful five and six mana cards, because they won't be able to kill Yeti and play their good cards at the same time.
Leeroy v. Malygos
I think Leeroy/Shadowstep is better than Malygos/Sinister Strike because Leeroy less mana and less dependent on other cards to be effective. Malygos can't be played until turn nine and he doesn't do much on turn nine unless you save Preparation which means not using them with Auctioneer. Malygos will usually die immediately because it's your only big minion. Your opponent will usually still have strong removal spells like Hex, Execute, or Hunter's Mark for it since your other minions don't bait them out very well. Additionally, Shadowstep can be used with various other cards besides Leeroy, while Sinister Strike is only good with Malygos or Auctioneer.
I think two Azure Drakes is better than one Azure Drake and one Assassin's Blade. With four durability, Assassin's Blade can be extremely powerful with Deadly Poison; however, the blade makes you more vulnerable to Acidic Swamp Ooze, Harrison Jones, and bad hands in the early game. Assassin's Blade unfortunately encourages you to avoid using Deadly Poison early. On the other hand, Azure helps you dig through your deck to find the cards you need, gets a threat out, and works great with Backstab.
Yeti is versatile and can pack more of a punch.
Argent Squire Alternatives
Southsea Deckhand and even Leper Gnomes would be more aggressive choices you could try. They aren't vulnerable to Blood Knight and they're better at dealing damage. They are, however, much worse for the purpose of board control because they die easily. Also, I prefer Divine Shield to Charge because of the synergy with Cold Blood.
Two other alternatives would be Acidic Swamp Ooze or Defias Ringleader. Ooze would be a good choice if you see weapons often. I don't use Ringleader because it really wants to be Coined out on turn two, but I really need my coin for VanCleef, Agent, or Auctioneer. Squire helps me start combos for other cards, while Ringleader needs help which can be tough. Ringleader is actually often worse than Squire in the late game because it doesn't survive board clears.
You could also use Mana Addict for a chance at big damage. Sunfury Protector is another option: early on it helps pressure, later on the Taunts could save you from an opposing Leeroy. Novice Engineer you can draw another card but doesn't do much else. The Squire's one mana price tag is the big advantage it has over these options.
Chillwind Yeti Alternatives
Twilight Drake is a decent choice. This deck usually can get it out with five or more Health but not always. This build usually doesn't build up as large a hand as regular Miracle Rogue so don't expect to ever get a nine or ten Health Drake. Drake is a risk against Silences like Earth Shock and Keeper of the Grove.
Violet Teacher seems appealing because we have a lot of spells. That said, we usually want to make sure to cast out spells with Auctioneer, not Teacher. Additionally, Violet Teacher can lose games against Unleash the Hounds.
Sen'jin Shieldmasta would probably be better than Yeti in the mirror: especially if drawn later in the game. Losing damage in all your other matchups, however, is a big downside.
Anub'ar Ambusher will be a great option to try once Curse of Naxxramas comes out. It deals more damage than Yeti, and the downside may not turn out to be that big of a problem for Miracle Rogue.
The deck can surprise people who think you're playing Tempo Rogue until you drop Auctioneer. People will usually mulligan expecting you're playing Miracle Rogue and not keep cards for dealing with Squire and Yeti.
I found with regular Miracle Rogue, even with 28 potential damage from Leeroy/two Shadowsteps/two Eviscerates, it was usually hard to win games without attacking with any non-charge minions. You certainly can win that way, but it's not reliable. Your minions in this build frequently get to attack and that helps. If you're going to try to play minions and attack with them anyway, adding Squires and Yetis helps a lot with get more damage through.
I feel Miracle Rogue wins by large margins sometimes which is unnecessary. If Auctioneer goes off, you can usually win even with four fewer spells in the deck. Meanwhile, Squire and Yeti help when you don't draw Auctioneer: thus covering one of Miracle's weaknesses. They help you live to use Auctioneer later when you have more mana, or the buy you time to draw it.
This deck still packs a punch if you draw the spells.
With regular Miracle Rogue, players Shadowstep their Auctioneer reasonably often to protect it. Auctioneer is that important to those decks. It's nice to be able to leave it out since you don't mind as much if it dies. That ups your tempo game quite a bit and gets you some easy wins when they don't have removal in hand.
I think Squire/Yeti help you get off to a better start, which helps a lot of matchups, while still leaving the deck powerful enough to beat most opponents later on with Auctioneer/Preparation/etc. Regular Miracle Rogue frequently ends games with cards left in hand and unspent mana, indicating there is room for a bit more early game.
You could also consider cutting a Squire to get a spell back: adjustments are possible. Getting two Squires can be weak in some matchups, and getting two Yetis in addition to Azure and Auctioneer can sometimes be too much mana. So depending on the metagame, if you feel you need some of the spells back, go ahead. I want people to consider the benefits of cutting a few spells for minions in Miracle. You can get a fair amount of the benefits of Tempo Rogue while keeping the power of Miracle Rogue!