Tempo Rogue Deck List Guide – Rise of Shadows (RoS)

We're taking a look at how Tempo Rogue is shaping up in the Rise of Shadows meta!

Our Hearthstone Tempo Rogue Deck List Guide takes a look at this new iteration of this archetype for the Rise of Shadows expansion! We'll walk you through mulligans, play strategy, card choices, and potential substitutions if you're lacking some of the cards to create this deck.

Tempo Rogue is a longstanding deck that has come and go in the Hearthstone meta over the years. It had a long bout of success when Prince Keleseth was around, and eventually required some nerfs. It kind of floated around the meta after that and hasn't had a real resurgence. Rise of Shadows has dropped the power level of the game significantly, and that means Rogue can excel due to some of its powerful tempo cards. Is this the beginning of another run for this archetype? Well, early on it's looking good, but we'll have to wait a bit longer to see if it's here to stay.

Tempo Rogue Rise of Shadows Deck List

This is an early look at the currently most popular version of Tempo Rogue for the Rise of Shadows meta. This deck is likely to be improved in the coming days, so don't go all in creating it just yet!

RogueNeutral
2x - Backstab2x - Southsea Deckhand
2x - Preparation2x - Hench-Clan Thug
2x - Eviscerate2x - Dread Corsair
2x - Sap1x - Captain Greenskin
2x - Blink Fox1x - Leeroy Jenkins
1x - Edwin VanCleef1x - Zilliax
2x - Raiding Party1x - Chef Nomi
2x - Hench-Clan Burglar
2x - Vendetta
2x - Waggle Pick
1x - Myra's Unstable Element

Deck Code

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Tempo Rogue Gameplay

Tempo Rogue Mulligan Guide

We're looking for cheap spells to deal with our opponent's board, as well as some of our early drops to start chipping in some damage onto our opponent.

Always Keep

  • Backstab - Great tempo card that can remove a minion and allow us to play something of our own. We don't always get that luxury, but when we do it's pretty big for us. We can also use this to trigger combos if we need all of our mana for something else.
  • Blink Fox - While keeping 3-drops is generally just okay, we're a Rogue and already have a pretty strong turn 2 play with our weapon. We're not too upset about just daggering up and passing, so Blink Fox should be kept the majority of the time.
  • Hench-Clan Thug - This is another reason why we're not too sad about keeping 3-drops, and that's because this card is crazy good. We get our weapon, and we're almost guaranteed we're going to be attacking on turn 3 to buff this up. If you're opponent can't deal with this right away, you can start the snowball by continuing to buff it on the following turn.
  • Raiding Party - Strong card, particularly when comboed to get us the new Waggle Pick into our hand. This is best kept with Preparation, because then we can play it in the early game for 0-mana and do whatever else needs to be done that turn.

Situational Keeps

  • Preparation - Best kept when you have something to pair with it, and that's usually going to be Raiding Party. You can also keep it if you've got some crazy shenanigans in your hand that lead to a big Edwin.
  • Edwin VanCleef - Should only be kept if you get a good combo hand of something like The Coin, Preparation, and Raiding Party in your mulligan. There are times where you can just win the game on turn 2 or 3 because you've got the right cards in your hand and can land a big VanCleef on the board.

Tempo Rogue Play Strategy

The general strategy of Tempo Rogue is that we're hoping to use some of our spells to take down our enemy's minons while developing our own. We can also maintain the board with our dagger, and in later turns we can use Waggle Pick to remove bigger minions. Once we get to the end game, we can start attacking to the face and if we run out of gas we'll be able to use Myra's Unstable Element to draw out our deck. Doing this also enables the new addition to the game in Chef Nomi!

Our early game goals are to keep our opponent from overrunning the board with too many minions. We accomplish this by using cards like Backstab, Eviscerate, and Vendetta to keep them at bay. Vendetta in particular is great for this, because a lot of time we'll be able to grab a card from our opponent's deck from Blink Fox and Hench-Clan Burglar. We should very regularly have this card available at 0-mana, and that means we can take out many of the popular 3 and 4 mana drops.

These early cheap spells can also potentially get us a good sized Edwin VanCleef in the early game. Pair enough of them together and throw in a Preparation, and we have a minion that most decks won't be able to remove for a turn or two.

Waggle Pick is the new weapon Rogue got in the Rise of Shadows expansion. It can be very strong if you are able to use it correctly, because we can get double value out of a minion. This might not always work in our favor at times, but when it does it can be spectacular. Remember your good friend Leeroy Jenkins? Have this weapon out, play Leeroy on an empty board for 6 damage to the face, attack with the weapon for 4 damage and bring back Leeroy, play Leeroy again but this time for 3-mana and hit again for 6! That's a 16 damage combo, and you might still have some more mana to cast an Eviscerate!

Once we get into the late game we might be lacking cards, so this is where we're hoping to have Myra's Unstable Element. We can draw the rest of our deck, and we will hopefully either already have Chef Nomi in our hand or draw it from the deck. Now that our deck is empty, we can play Chef Nomi and get a board full of 6/6 Elementals that are going to be real tough for your opponent to deal with.

Tempo Rogue Card Choices

An image displaying the key cards in Tempo Rogue.

  • Backstab - Great tempo card that can hopefully take out an early minion and allow us to either combo a card or play a minion of our own.
  • Preparation - One of Rogue's best cards, triggers combos, buffs Edwin, and allows for powerful spells to be played earlier.
  • Southsea Deckhand - We should usually have a weapon equipped, so this card is great for getting in damage or taking out an enemy minion for cheap. It's also a good combo activator.
  • Eviscerate - Good damage card that can take out a minion or be used to burn down our opponent.
  • Sap - If our opponent is playing one minion a turn, then Sap can mean they basically skipped their turn if you send the card back to their hand. Also great for getting rid of a taunt temporarily so we can get in some more damage or get to a more important minion.
  • Blink Fox - Decent stats and a good effect. We'll need the card for reducing Vendetta's cost.
  • Edwin VanCleef - Can win the game on the spot in the early game if you get a crazy spell based hand. Is also just powerful in general, and is cheap enough to be played in the late game with a bunch of other cards.
  • Hench-Clan Thug - Just an absolutely great card to follow up your turn two dagger play. A 3-mana 4/4 is strong on its own, it can also get even better if your opponent can't deal with it.
  • Raiding Party - Great card for getting us some more gas after we've depleted our hand a bit in the early game. Being able to grab a weapon as well is pretty insane, especially since we've got a pretty good one now with Waggle Pick.
  • Dread Corsair - This is normally going to be a 3-mana card since we should just about always have a dagger equipped. It also turns into a 0-mana card that makes a great follow up to Waggle Pick.
  • Hench-Clan Burglar - Solid card that gets us a spell from another class. Getting it based on Discover is particularly great, because at least we have more of a chance to get something useful.
  • Vendetta - One of the more standout cards to me in the Rise of Shadows set. We're usually going to have a card from another class, so getting this to be 0-mana will be pretty easy.
  • Waggle Pick - Strong weapon with a surprisingly good bonus that pairs extremely well with Leeroy Jenkins.
  • Captain Greenskin - Not a required card, but buffing our dagger or Waggle Pick just means a lot more damage going to our opponent's face.
  • Leeroy Jenkins - One of the best finishers in the game, and can be used with Waggle Pick for some big damage combos.
  • Myra's Unstable Element - Great card in a more aggressive deck that might need more gas to finish the game. It's even better now that Chef Nomi exists and can take advantage of the empty deck.
  • Zilliax - You just about can't build a deck these days without Zilliax, it's just too good of a card right now.
  • Chef Nomi - Pairs extremely well with Myra's Unstable Element, and gives us another problematic board that our opponent will have to deal with.

Tempo Rogue Card Substitutions

  • Shadowstep - Can work well with Leeroy, but also could pair well with any card that generates another card or Lackeys if we head more into that direction.
  • Deadly Poison - Great weapon buff card, might be worth slotting it in just so we can push more damage and get some trades.
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze - If Warrior and Rogue are going to be popular options in the meta then we'll have to have a way to deal with weapons.
  • EVIL Cable Rat - Tempo Rogue can be skewed towards Lackeys if you think that flavor is better. This would be one of the cards you add instead of something else.
  • EVIL Miscreant - Another Lackey card, probably the more important of the two since you get two of them into your hand.
  • Heistbaron Togwaggle - If we're going Lackey then this card will take heavy advantage of that. It's not completely clear which version of Tempo Rogue will win out, so don't go crafting too much just yet!

About the Author

Lifelong gamer and builder of websites, Evident is the site admin for Pro Game Guides.

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