Of all the classes in Hearthstone, Rogue might just be the least straightforward to build a deck for, at least at first glance. Depending on the format, Rogues will often have a solid aggro deck, but beyond that, it can be tricky to pin down the best way to play the class – which is actually somewhat appropriate flavor-wise, come to think of it.
So, what is the best standard Rogue deck in Hearthstone? As is usually the case, there are multiple viable decks for each class, but the Rogue deck we are going to look at today is currently one of the most popular decks in Hearthstone, and that is the Concoction Rogue deck.
Concoction Rogue Deck Strategy
There are a couple of variants of this Rogue deck, but the basic strategy behind each one is largely the same. We will be looking at the non-miracle variant for this guide. Simply put, we are running a form of control Rogue that generates lots of cards for extra value. This deck specifically makes use of the new Concoction mechanic to great effect to stay one step ahead of our opponent.
What Are Concoctions?
In the expansion March of the Lich King, many Rogue cards were introduced that create Concoctions. Concoctions are a set of five special 3-cost Rogue spells that can only be generated by card effects and not run in the deck proper. Here are the Concoctions:
- Bubbling Concoction – Deal three damage.
- Dreadful Concoction – Destroy a random enemy minion.
- Gleaming Concoction – Draw two cards.
- Hazy Concoction – Add a card to your hand from another class that costs (3) or less.
- Slimy Concoction – Summon a random 3-cost minion
These Concoctions are alright on their own, but the cool thing is that if you add a second Concoction to your hand, it will combine with the first, giving you both effects on one card for only three mana. Now you can see how much value these Concoctions can generate, and we are going to be making a lot of Concoctions with this deck.
Concoction Rogue Deck List
Despite its overall low mana cost, this deck will be a bit more expensive to craft than some of the decks I have mentioned in previous articles. This deck runs a total of seven legendary cards, two epics, ten rares, and the rest are commons. However, control decks are often a bit pricier on higher rarity cards; that’s just the nature of the beast.
In this deck, most of the cards are well worth including, high price tag or not. I’ll give you a decklist and go over each card by rarity (from legendary on down) and why it’s in the deck. Here’s the list:
- Preparation x2
- Shadow of Demise x1
- Blackwater Cutlass x2
- Concoctor x2
- Jackpot! x2
- Potion Belt x2
- Reconnaissance x2
- Serrated Bone Spike x2
- Tooth of Nefarian x1
- Astalor Bloodswarn x1
- Potionmaster Putricide x1
- Swiftscale Trickster x2
- E.T.C. Band Manager x1
- Contraband Stash x2
- Queen Azshara x1
- Tess Graymane x1
- Shadowcrafter Scabbs x1
Potionmaster Putricide (Minion)
Let’s start with the Frankenstein of the hour himself, Potionmaster Putricide. There is no question that he is an auto-include in this deck. A 1/4 for two that gives us a Concoction every time a minion dies? Yes, please.
And don’t forget, this triggers on any minion dying, ours, or more importantly, our opponents’. So, if you use a Concoction to kill a random enemy minion, we get a Concoction right back for free. This is probably our best value engine in the deck.
Astalor Bloodsworn (Minion)
Astalor Bloodsworn is really good in just about every deck in Hearthstone, but especially in a deck like this. Astalor is actually one of our big finishers. This deck has little in the way of big bursts of damage, instead relying on smaller damage over time paired with good tempo plays.
That being the case, being able to deal 14 damage on a Battlecry is invaluable for when we need that final push. The 8/8 body doesn’t hurt either (well not us anyway). But a 2/2 that deals 2 damage and a 5/5 that gives us five armor are also great.
E.T.C. Band Manager (Minion)
E.T.C. Band Manager is an interesting pick that is probably good in most decks, but is not one I consider a necessity for this deck. When you put E.T.C. Band Manager in your deck, you choose three other cards to be members of the band. Once you play E.T.C. Band Manager, it triggers its Battlecry, and you discover one of those three cards.
This allows you to run niche cards that aren’t worth taking up a spot in your main deck but could come in handy in specific situations. It is up to you to decide if you think E.T.C. Band Manager is worth running. But he is a free legend, so you won’t have to craft him.
Queen Azshara (Minion)
Queen Azshara is not free, but she is a solid pick for any spell-heavy deck (like this one). If Queen Azshara has been in your hand and “seen” you cast three spells, then on Battlecry, you get to add one of four ancient relics to your hand.
- Ring of Tides becomes a copy of the last spell you cast, but costs 1 mana.
- Xal’atath is a 0/5 weapon for two that deals 2 damage to the enemy hero and loses 1 durability each time you cast a spell.
- Horn of the Ancients costs three mana and adds a colossal minion to your hand and sets its cost to one mana.
- Tidestone of Golganneth puts five random spells into your deck, sets their cost to one each, and draws you two cards.
All of these options are really good in our deck, making Queen Azshara a top pick for our strategy of value and control.
Tess Graymane (Minion)
Tess Greymane’s Battlecry replays every card we’ve played from another class, and we play a lot of cards from other classes. She can potentially win us the game on the spot but is great value either way, making her well worth running.
Shadowcrafter Scabbs (Hero)
Next, we have Shadowcrafter Scabbs. When played, this hero card returns all minions to their owners’ hand and gives you two 2/4s with stealth. Your new hero power costs 0 and reduces the cost of the next card you play by 2.
Scabbs may cost eight mana, but he is such a good control/tempo play, and the new hero power is so much better than our old one. You definitely want Scabbs in a deck like this.
Shadow of Demise (Spell)
Shadow of Demise might seem like an odd card at first, but it is incredibly good in our deck. It has a lot of flexibility, but most notably, it lets us copy our Concoctions, more specifically, our combined Concoctions. This can be a huge value.
That being said, while incredibly useful in our deck, it is a legendary card and not strictly speaking central to our deck. While I highly recommend it, if you don’t have the dust, just run another Tooth of Nafarian instead, and you’ll probably be alright.
Bloodmage Thalnos (Minion)
And while not in the deck list proper, I would recommend Bloodmage Thalnos as a potential legendary to swap into the deck. Spell damage plus card draw is nice and very on-theme for us, but that is more of a personal preference.
The only epics in this deck are two copies of Preparation. You definitely want to run this card. Reducing the cost of your next spell by three can lead to some devastating early plays or simply allow you to cast your next Concoction when you are out of mana. Either way, you want this in the deck.
Ghoulish Alchemist (Minion)
Ghoulish Alchemist is the first rare on our list. A 3/2 for two mana that makes our next Concoction cost 0 may not seem super strong at first. However, this deck relies on making strong tempo plays and efficiently using our mana to stay ahead of our opponents.
Not only does Ghoulish Alchemist mean we can essentially get a free 3/2 body when we play a Concoction, but since our Concoctions cost three and Ghoulish Alchemist costs two, we net mana on the play. It is well worth it in our deck.
Potion Belt (Spell)
Potion Belt is obviously an auto-include in the deck. For two mana, we get two random Concoctions. This either automatically gives us a combined Concoction, or a combined Concoction and a normal one if we already have one in hand. Either way, it provides great value for two mana.
Serrated Bone Spike (Spell)
Serrated Bone Spike is just solid control. For two mana, you deal three damage to a minion. If it dies, your next card costs two less this turn. Again, this plays right into Rogue’s efficient use of mana and slots in very nicely into our deck.
Swiftscale Trickster (Minion)
On the same theme as Serrated Bone Spike, we have Swiftscale Trickster. For four mana, we get a 2/2 that makes our next spell free. This is alright on its own but is in this deck specifically so we can free-cast Contraband Stash or the spell we get off of Jackpot! For the sake of those synergies, you should definitely run Swiftscale Trickster.
Contraband Stash (Spell)
Contraband Stash costs five mana but replays five cards we played from other classes, so it gives us tremendous value, especially when combined with Swiftscale Trickster as mentioned above. Definitely well worth running.
Jackpot! is one of our big headliners here. For just two mana, we get two random spells from other classes that cost five or more. Since Rogue is light on big plays, this can give us some awesome late-game potential, and it combos well with other cards in our deck.
Reconnaissance works on a similar theme. For two mana, we get a random Deathrattle from another class with a cost reduction of two. In the worst-case scenario, the card replaces itself, but in the best-case scenario, we get a giant minion for a cheaper cost that will really help us down the line. This card is definitely worth running.
Tooth of Nefarian (Spell)
Tooth of Nefarian is very versatile, allowing us to hit anything we want for three damage for only two mana. However, if we honorably kill the target (i.e., do its exact health in damage), then we discover a spell from another class. Frankly, I’d like to find a way to get two copies of this into our deck instead of just one.
Concocter is another no-brainer to add to our deck. A 1/2 for one mana that Battlecries to give us a random Concoction is great.
Shadow Step (Spell)
Shadow Step is good in almost any Rogue deck. For zero mana, we can return a minion to our hand and reduce its cost by two mana. This combos well with cards like the above Concocter or Ghoulish Alchemist.
Blackwater Cutlass (Weapon)
Finally, we have Blackwater Cutlass, the unsung hero of our deck. I call it that because this is a card we definitely want two copies of in our deck but will almost never play.
It may sound weird, but Blackwater Cutlass is a 2/2 weapon for one mana. That’s not great for us. However, it has the Tradeable keyword. This means we can pay one mana to return it to our deck and draw a card. And every time we do, we reduce the cost of a spell in our hand by one mana.
This can generate a surprising amount of value over the course of the game. It’s great early on or whenever we have a pesky extra mana at the end of our turn. Definitely don’t underestimate the play potential of this card.
Join the High Ground!
And there you have the best Rogue deck for the Standard format in Hearthstone. Let us know in the comments how the deck works for you and whether you would swap out any cards in our list. We’re always keen on updating our guides with better strategies!
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