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

Thief Rogue might finally have its time to shine in the Rise of Shadows expansion!

Our Thief Rogue Deck List Guide features the top deck list for the archetype in the Rise of Shadows expansion! We're taking a detailed look at the deck including mulligans, play strategy, card choices, and substitutions if you are missing some of the card in the deck.

Blizzard has been flirting with the idea of Thief Rogue for a while now, and they're doing it again in Rise of Shadows. There's a few pretty strong options that seek to reward you for gaining cards from another class, and there's still some good cards from previous expansions that will be sticking around after the rotation. If this deck has a chance of seeing some play, it might be in either this expansion or the next!

Thief Rogue Deck List

Thief Rogue is holding its own so far, but the variant that is more of a mixture between thief and tempo might be better. We'll be focusing on the standard Thief Rogue for the guide, since the other one is closer to Tempo Rogue which we already have a guide about.

Standard Thief Rogue

RogueNeutral
2x - Backstab1x - Captain Greenskin
2x - Preparation
2x - Deadly Poison
2x - Pilfer
1x - Pick Pocket
2x - Underbelly Fence
2x - Blink Fox
2x - Cutthroat Buccaneer
1x - Face Collector
1x - Fan of Knives
2x - SI:7 Agent
2x - Hench-Clan Burglar
2x - Raiding Party
2x - Spectral Cutlass
2x - Vendetta
1x - Walk the Plank
1x - Tess Greymane

Deck Code

AAECAaIHBsgDmwXr8ALv8wK39QLOjAMMtAHLA90Ihgnq8wLH+ALJ+wLVjAOQlwOomAP7mgP+mgMA

Hybrid Tempo/Thief Rogue

RogueNeutral
2x - Backstab1x - Acidic Swamp Ooze
2x - Preparation2x - Dread Corsair
2x - Shadowstep1x - Captain Greenskin
2x - Eviscerate1x - Leeroy Jenkins
2x - Underbelly Fence
2x - Blink Fox
2x - EVIL Miscreant
1x - Edwin VanCleef
2x - SI:7 Agent
2x - Hench-Clan Burglar
2x - Raiding Party
2x - Vendetta
2x - Waggle Pick

Deck Code

AAEBAaIHBLICyAOvBIoHDbQB7QLuBogH3QiGCcf4AtWMA4+XA5CXA/uaA/6aA4mbAwA=

Early Thief Rogue Gameplay

Brian Kibler took out an early version of Thief Rogue onto the ladder. It's not the exact list we're featuring, but watching the video will help familiarize yourself with this style of play.

Thief Rogue Mulligan Guide

We're mostly looking for Underbelly Fence and a way to trigger its buff very early on. Otherwise, we'd like to get a cheaper minion and maybe a spell we can play.

Always Keep

  • Pilfer - Good early game play and gets us a quick card from our opponent's class that we'll need to enable some of our other future cards.
  • Underbelly Fence - One of the best reasons to keep Pilfer is because of this card. This is insane if we can play it on curve, and Pilfer turn one and this turn two is going to be one of the better plays we can make in the early game.
  • Blink Fox - It's 3-mana, but it's worth keeping because we don't have a lot of other great early options and we want to have at least one card in our hand from outside of our deck.
  • Raiding Party - Great card that gets us some minions and the Spectral Cutlass which does great work in this deck.

Situational Keeps

  • Backstab - Pretty reliable removal that triggers combos for us. It's not always the greatest keep, it's much better with something else we can play. I would recommend only keeping it if we have something else to play early on.
  • Hench-Clan Burglar - Only keep if your mulligan supports it, do you have other cards that'll play on curve? Something like Pilfer & Underbelly Fence would be good enough to warrant a Burglar keep.

Thief Rogue Play Strategy

We have kind of a weak early game unless we directly hit Pilfer into Underbelly Fence, so largely we're hoping to keep the board manageable until we can get into the mid-game where most of our better cards can be found. We're Rogue, so we aren't too upset if we have to Dagger on turn two, but we'd rather be getting that sweet buffed Underbelly Fence because it's a pretty insane card on curve. A lot of what we're going to be able to do starts on turn three. We've got many 3-drops in the deck, so use what fits what's going on with the board the best. This can be the time when we can gain some tempo back if we have a card to combo with Si:7 Agent and we can get a removal with his damage. Preparation and Backstab will largely make up your combo triggers if you got them, so save them if your hand requires comboing.

We're really hoping to get a card from outside our deck as early as possible. We don't really even care how good the card is (although, it'd be nice if it was good) because we'll just need it in hand to power up our other cards. This is particularly the case with Vendetta because we can use that to remove a minion from our opponent's board for free. It also makes a great combo card, which we will need early in the game.

As we head into the mid-game, we're looking to hopefully start setting up our Spectral Cutlass. While most Rogue decks can't really heal themselves, this card makes it so we can potentially gain some health back that we lost in the early game. We're less upset about using our weapons against more aggressive decks because we should have this in our back pocket. We also run quite a few weapon buffs, and if we're commonly getting more cards from outside our deck then we can keep adding durability to it. One problem that might arise soon is that decks are going to start running weapon hate. You'll need to be careful about going too all-in on your weapon, and playing it as a tempo play without getting any use out of it might be a mistake. You can afford to be a bit more aggressive with your weapon if you have a Raiding Party in your hand since you can just grab the other copy of it if your current one is destroyed.

If things are firing on all cylinders as we head into the late game it means we've got a Cutlass with some buffs on it and we're making trades and playing decks from outside our deck. Walk the Plank could come into play here as solid removal, and Captain Greenskin gives our weapon an even bigger boost. If worse comes to worse and we're running out of gas, that's when Tess Greymane comes into play. This isn't a reliable win condition, but if we've played enough cards from other classes we might just be able to get ourselves back into the game or finish it off.

Another card that can give us some gas in the late game is Face Collector. It's not necessarily a reliable option, but there's some good Legendaries out there and we can get a few cards to work with if we can hold onto it into the late game. These cards might just be enough to get us over the top if we're in a top deck battle.

Thief Rogue Card Choices

We're very likely leaning towards a Pirate synergy deck with a lot of cards that can grab cards from other classes.

  • Backstab - Pretty much one of Rogue's best cards, great for removing or damaging a minion and setting off a combo. Also, a great tempo play if you can follow it up with a minion.
  • Preparation - Another of Rogue's best cards and will speed up some of our other cards. This might not make the cut because we are likely not running too many higher cost spells, but it depends on our build.
  • Deadly Poison - Great low cost weapon buff card, and works particularly well with Spectral Cutlass.
  • Pilfer - One of the major pieces to the puzzle when it comes to getting an early card from our opponent's class. This potentially powers up our Underbelly Fence or an early Vendetta.
  • Pick Pocket - Solid card for generating some resources in the late game. You might just need to play it early to buff one of your cards that requires you having a card from outside your deck. This can also get you some fuel for giving your Cutlass durability.
  • Underbelly Fence - This card is great if you can get a card into your hand from another class on turn one! A 3/4 with Rush for 2-mana is ridiculous, so this would be very strong if that's a consistent thing your deck can do. While this might not always be the case, it's still not a bad card for the mid-game.
  • Blink Fox - Solid stats and gets us a card, exactly what we're looking to accomplish.
  • Cutthroat Buccaneer - Good way to buff up your Cutlass or Dagger.
  • Face Collector - Good for giving you some outside of deck cards, and also potentially some resources for the late game if you have run out of gas and need to race your opponent. Probably not required for this deck, but a nice option.
  • Raiding Party - If we're rolling Pirates this is a good inclusion, it can also get us the Spectral Cutlass which is a pretty powerful weapon in this deck.
  • SI:7 Agent - Great early game card when paired with something like Backstab or another cheap spell. If we can remove a minion with this, we're always happy with that.
  • Hench-Clan Burglar - Not great stats, but a pretty good effect. The Pirate tag is nice, because this deck will likely always have some Pirate synergy going on in it.
  • Spectral Cutlass - Pretty strong weapon that we can potentially keep equipped indefinitely given the right hand. This also keeps us in the game against aggressive decks because of the Lifesteal if we aren't too far gone.
  • Vendetta - I really like this card, and a lot of the time you'll be able to play it for 0-mana. This is one of the cards that really makes this deck worth playing, because a 0-mana 4 damage card to a minion is pretty insane.
  • Walk the Plank - Possible addition to the deck, works well with Preparation and can take care of some annoying minions.
  • Captain Greenskin - A good buff for our Spectral Cutlass, and a Pirate with pretty good stats.
  • Tess Greymane - This is like Yogg-Saron, Hope's End but limited to Rogue. We can get a lot of value off of this if we've played enough class cards!

Thief Rogue Card Substitutions

  • Sap - Good for stalling out your opponent or giving you a chance to get some direct damage in. If the meta starts running a lot of slower cards this might need to be rotated in.
  • Dread Corsair - Strong Pirate card, especially when paired with Spectral Cutlass.
  • Academic Espionage - If you are building a more wacky version of this deck then you can throw this in for the memes. This probably doesn't work in a more serious version of the deck.
  • Myra's Unstable Element - If we're at the end of the game and we're tapped out on resources, this can get us back into it.
  • Sprint - Gets us some extra cards if we're lacking, and works well with Preparation. Can be an absolutely dead card at times because of the cost.
  • Tak Nozwhisker - If we can pair this with Academic Espionage as a late game combo then we're in business. Probably a bit too on the wacky side to be realistic, but we'll see how things continue to shape up.

About the Author

Evident is a lifelong gamer and creator of websites. He mostly focuses on shooters, but has been known to dabble in the occasional card game as well. You can find him binge watching TV shows in his downtime.

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