vs. Miracle Rogue
vs. Aggro decks
Mage, Paladin, Token Druid, and Hunter
vs. Control decks
Control Warrior, Ramp Druid, Priest)
vs. Zoo and Midrange decks
Hello, I am Backspace. I started playing Hearthstone at the very end of preseason three and have finished third (preseason four), twelfth (season one), and second (season two) on the NA Legendary ladder. During preseason four and the first season post launch, I played a very wide range of decks to the top of the ladder. Last season, however, my experience was quite a bit different.
I barely played ladder all season and really didn’t decide to start trying to climb until the last couple days of the month. In fact, I was still rank three on 5/29 when I created this Rogue deck.
I had played other aggro Rogue decks, and while they were often explosive, I felt like they ran out of gas quickly. These decks were also often inconsistent or had very poor midgame options against control decks. The addition of Coldlight Oracle fixed many of the problems this deck once had. This deck is designed to beat the Miracle Rogue / aggro meta, and I only lost five games on the way to rank one while playing it. Those loses were twice to Zoo, Handlock, Control Warrior, and Watcher Druid.
In almost every matchup, you need to mulligan for early board presence. Key cards are Argent Squire, Leper Gnome, Loot Hoarder, and Mukla. When you have coin, you can look for Defias Ringleader and SI:7 Agents as well. Never mulligan Coldlight Oracle: unless of course you have two. Your primary concern in most games is their life total rather than the board state. You will almost always end games with explosive turns featuring Shadowstep and Arcane Golem / Leeroy -- or even Deckhand -- being buffed by Cold Blood. Pay attention to how much damage you have available in hand at all times.
Here's our hero
Here's our hero
This deck runs six one drops and they are very important to your early game. In terms of which you want in your opening hand, Argent Squire is the best followed by Leper Gnome and Southsea Deckhand. Squire is the best to see in your opening hand due to the fact that she is resilient and synergizes very well with a quick Cold Blood. Leper Gnome and Deckhand, while good, are less powerful in your opening hand. These two one drops also stay better in the late game compared to Argent Squire because they can provide some reach.
A note on Coldlight Oracle: The namesake card of this deck is naturally very important to your game plan. I've mentioned that you never want to mulligan your Coldlight Oracles, but it is equally important to know when to cast it. You have to keep it because of how important he is, but Coldlight Oracles is usually a later game play. You want to be able to save it for turns where you can draw and play some of those cards to not give your opponent the first turn with a refilled hand. That said, you can always cast it early against control decks if they are near max hand size.
This is likely your best matchup. You and your opponent will both try to end the game with explosive turns, but yours is faster and supported by more early pressure. Your engine of Coldlight Oracle and Shadowstep is just as effective, if not moreso, than their Auctioneers. Filling your hand in the midgame typically burns cards for them as they will have trouble emptying their hand that quickly.
These matchups tend to go well because their consistent sources of damage are outmatched by your burst and reach. You need to be aware of how much burst you have on later turns and be constantly thinking ahead with your early plays. You can sometimes use an early Cold Blood to get ahead in the race. This works on offence and defence as it forces them to deal with your threat while losing a sizeable chunk of their life total. In closer games, I often found that I was facing lethal on the final turn, but had a remarkably high number of outs to draw the final bit of damage I needed.
You have to save Coldlight Oracle for later turns or find turns in the midgame where you feel like you won’t immediately fall far behind for casting it. It’s ok if they have a lot of cards in hand as long as they can’t immediately deploy them - you should be able to create a bigger immediate impact than them after filling both hands. The secret to Coldlight Oracle working in our favour is our very low curve.
Miracle Rogue has a problem with Giants because they have to deal with many large creatures while they’re trying to set up an explosive late game. Our deck, however, matchups up perfectly against Handlock. We have early aggression that they can’t ignore and one Sap is often enough to clear the way for a lethal final turn. Even with slower draws, Coldlight Oracle and Shadowstep is incredible in this match up them: especially if you have an early Mukla. It feels like their best -- or only shot -- is to Taunt up two giants in one turn leaving you with few outs. Your game plan should be designed to prevent this from happening.
Coldlight Oracles really shine in these matchups. Your plan should be to set up huge card drawing turns where you’re burning many of their resources due to max hand size. You should be able to find more damage than they can deal with and not give them time to make a big late game play. If Druid has an Innervate draw with a big Taunt every turn, that can be an issue. In a normal game, however, they don’t get started until the midgame where you should have plenty of options.
These decks are your kryptonite. Zoo is a remarkably difficult matchup and Watcher Druid should be very tough as well. That said, many Midrange Druid decks now run Wild Growth and Argent Commander. Our matchup is much better against these lists than against older variants that focus more on early board control. I feel like there are changes that could be made to significantly help these matchups. Adding Backstabs would help the Zoo matchup immensely and am Assassinate could help with Druid. In the end, however, this would severely weaken your other matchups and the entire point of the deck is its strength against aggro and control matchups. If your meta switches to heavy midrange, I would consider other options rather than trying to force this archetype.
I don't feel like Faerie Dragon is particularly necessary. I included it when running into a high amount of Control Warrior. I originally ran Shiv in that slot but didn't like it either: it was to low impact. I also don't think the second Deckhand is necessary since you never want to draw two. SI:7 is one of your weakest cards in some matchups but stays in because it is crucial in others. Possible replacements --depending on what you're running into -- are Wolfrider, one Backstab, Blood Knight, and maybe Van Cleef.
I continue to feel like Coldlight Rogue is a very powerful choice for the current meta and an awesome tournament deck. I’ve played with the entire spectrum of decks and classes and I can honestly say that this deck is by far the most enjoyable deck I’ve gotten to play. Whether it’s giggling because Mukla / Coldlight Oracle / Shadowstep / Sap just burned six of their cards and their best minion or realizing you have 20 damage in hand on turn seven, this deck provides interesting games that can't be replicated by other decks. I hope this deck is as enjoyable and promising for you as it has been for me.
You can't have more fun than this.