Kyle’s Deck of the Week: Adventurer Rogue

Adventurer Rogue
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Kyle “EndBoss” Smith

Why Questing Adventurer?
Play & Mulligan Advice
Potential Substitutions
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Adventurer Rogue Deck List
Sometimes trying to break the metagame with an off-the-radar concoction requires coming up with a totally unique concept. Sometimes you can break the metagame, or at least gain a significant advantage on the metagame, with a couple of small adjustments that change how an entire archetype functions. This week’s concoction falls into the latter group.

Love it or hate it, we are all familiar with Miracle Rogue. Generally, I fall into the “hate it” category, as it always seems to be a terrible matchup for the sort of greedy, off-the-wall midrange or control concoctions I come up with.

One card that had always really interested me in Miracle Rogue was Edwin VanCleef, who struck me as a really fun combo’ish build-around card. The issue that I always ran across with Edwin is that you can’t draw him every game, and you need some redundant effects to make it viable to build around him. Auctioneer kind of fills that role, but plays in a very different way.

Auctioneer really wants to be in a deck where you combo-off on turn 6 or 7, whereas Edwin would love to be in a deck that could consistently combo-off with him on turn 3 or 4. Miracle Rogue is really an Auctioneer deck that occasionally gets an Edwin draw, but I wanted to build a real Edwin deck.

Luckily, Chessdude123 found the solution to my dilemma, and made rank 5 Legend with this beautiful concoction.

Why Questing Adventurer?
The addition of Questing Adventurer really changes the way this deck plays. This really is an Edwin/Adventurer deck that occasionally gets an Auctioneer draw, as opposed to the other way around. You now have three very effective creatures that will grow to ridiculous sizes if you can chain together multiple spells.

While Edwin requires one turn of quick burst, Questing Adventurer is a bit more of a sustained threat. It doesn’t grow as fast as Edwin, but it does keep growing. This allows him to control a board in a manner that Edwin cannot. Adventurer can run into opposing minions and not lose size, because he can regain any size lost, and then some, by having you simply play more cards. This comes in very handy against decks like Zoolock, Hunter or Mage, all three of which rely on damage based effects to kill minions (aside from the occasional Deadly Shot from Hunter).

Questing Adventurer simply adds a huge additional threat to a deck that was relatively threat-light previously.

By the way, following up an Adventurer with an Auctioneer turn is just all kinds of fun!

At the end of the day, the addition of Adventurer does not require taking much away from the original Miracle Rogue lists. You are probably only losing an Earthen Ring Farseer and a Violet Teacher from the standard Miracle Rogue list in order to find the slots for them. While Farseer and Teacher are nice role players, neither one of those cards has the potential impact that Adventurer does. Teacher’s ability to pump out tokens might provide a little extra value in some matchups, but Adventurer compensates by having the ability to end a game very quickly if you can Conceal it for a turn (or drop it when your opponent has used his premium removal).

Play & Mulligan Advice
I ran 50 games to get an idea of the feel of matchups with this deck. Testing was done between ranks 5 and 3. My overall record with the deck was 29-21.

My best results were against the midrange matchups which have minimal non-damage based removal, such as Druid (4-1) and Hunter (5-2). In both of these matchups you want to keep Conceal, Edwin, Backstab, SI:7 Agent, Preparation and Questing Adventurer. I keep Tomb Pillager pretty much all the time against Druid, but it is a contextual keep against Hunter. You will sometimes send Pillager back against Hunter if you have nothing to deal with an early Huge Toad or King Elekk. You do not want to let Hunter get too far ahead on tempo in the early game, so if you are keeping Pillager, then you want to have something like Backstab to remove their 2-drop.

Against both Hunter and Druid, keep in mind what removal your opponent could have. Against Hunter, Quick Shot and Kill Command are their main ones, so if you can get an early Adventurer to 4/4, without any beasts on the table, then it usually safe. Against Druid, the situation is similar, although the key card you are considering is Swipe, so you often need to get your Adventurer to 5/5 for it to survive. If your opponent is forced to spend multiple cards of value and tempo getting rid of your Adventurer, then it has usually done its job. Also, the tempo loss they experience playing into an Adventurer, on an otherwise empty board, is pretty huge. They usually have to drop a minion, as passing with no play is rarely an option. This lets you either run the creature over, and power your Adventurer back up, or remove the creature, and power the Adventurer for an attack to the face. As such, if you can engineer an early empty table for Adventurer or Edwin to dominate (or if you can Conceal an early Adventurer), then it is usually the right play in these matchups.

Similar to previous iterations of Miracle Rogue, N’Zoth Paladin and Tempo Mage are strong matchups. Five of my games against Paladin were against N’Zoth Paladin (4-1 record), while I had one additional game against Paladin, which was a loss against an odd aggressive Murloc concoction. I was 3-0 against Mage, with two matches against Tempo Mage, while the third was against Reno Mage.

Against Mage, you want to assume that it is Tempo Mage (there aren’t many Freeze Mages on ladder right now, and Reno Mage is also quite rare), and mulligan to Backstab, Deadly Poison, SI:7 Agent, Eviscerate, Preparation, Tomb Pillager, Conceal, and Edwin. Questing Adventurer is a contextual keep here. I will usually keep Adventurer if I also have Conceal. Tempo Mage rarely plays Polymorph, so they rely on damage based removal. That having been said, Fireball is a lot more damage than Swipe is, so you often can’t play an early Adventurer and get it out of range (although you can do so with an early Edwin). As such, you sometimes want to be a bit more patient in this matchup, control their dudes with early removal, bait some removal with Pillager or even a smaller Adventurer, and then save up for a more old-school Auctioneer burst.
Against N’Zoth Paladin, you are favoured, but make sure not to get wrecked by a big Equality/Pyromancer board clear. They only have two of those, and you have far more big threat cards than that. As long as you avoid dropping Adventurer as a 2/2, their Kodos and Consecrations have minimal value. Their removal simply doesn’t line up all that well against your important threats.

As usual, the aggro matchups are tough for Rogue, as you have minimal defence. You have to rely on your removal spells to help you avoid falling too far behind on board. Against Shaman, you want Eviscerate, Deadly Poison, Backstab, Preparation, SI:7 Agent, Conceal, Questing Adventurer and Edwin. Bloodmage Thalnos is a contextual keep, and can be very attractive next to a Backstab in order to take out a Tunnel Trogg on turn 2 without having to use your weapon (and, therefore, your face) to do so. Backstab for Tunnel Trogg (along with a weapon attack) and Eviscerate for Totem Golem are probably the two most important cards that you want in your opener. It is important to pay close attention to the type of Shaman deck you are playing against, specifically whether they are likely to be playing Hex. If you don’t have Conceal, you need to make sure that you are not committing too much into an Adventurer or Edwin, just to have it Hex’ed. That having been said, sometimes you also need to risk the Hex because building a beefy minion is the only realistic way that you are going to win. Usually, Argent Horserider, Lava Burst, Abusive Sergeant and Argent Squire are the cards that you are most likely to see in a list that does not run Hex, but keep in mind that even the aggro lists vary fairly widely, and some will have Hex anyways. As a random play note, if you do get hit with a Hex don’t forget that Cold Blood can sometimes be a pretty nice removal spell. Trading your taunting frog for a Totem Golem is often a play worth making.

Zoolock is similar to Shaman as far as mulligans go, except that Bloodmage Thalnos and Fan of Knives are also keeps (ideally together). This matchup is rough, but an aggressive Adventurer or Edwin that can hold the board for a couple of turns can turn the matchup around. Remember, that it is often difficult or impossible for a Zoolock player to remove a creature without having their own creature to trade. Sure, they will sometimes have Argent Horserider plus Sergeant, or a Soulfire that they are willing to throw away early, but usually a 3 or 4 toughness creature on the board is safe if their board is empty. As such, you often want to use a big early Adventurer to take out minions for a couple turns, instead of going to the face and opening Adventurer up to getting killed by Power Overwhelming. My winrate against Zoolock was only 3-6, but many of the games were incredibly close. I don’t think the matchup is positive, but it feels much closer to a 40-45% matchup than a 33% one.

Lastly, my 4-7 record against Warrior was made-up of several different Warrior archetypes. The deck is terrible against Pirate Warrior, who were two of my losses. I also went 0-2 against OTK Warrior, which feels like a tough matchup. Those two Warrior archetypes skew the numbers a little, as the deck is generally pretty strong against other Warrior Archetypes. Aside from one brutal loss against C’Thun Warrior, involving a very fortunate Brawl for my opponent, I won my other two matchups against controlling Warrior archetypes pretty handily (2-1 overall). Tempo Warrior feels like a pretty even matchup (2-2 record in testing). You want to mulligan for the Tempo Warrior matchup, keeping SI:7 Agent, Preparation, Backstab, Tomb Pillager, Eviscerate, Questing Adventurer, Conceal and Edwin. Against Control archetypes who Armor Up on early turns, you want to bide your time and work towards a big turn. Tomb Pillager and Azure Drake are nice drops that help give the Warrior targets for his removal and help give you additional resources, while you build up to a big Auctioneer turn. Make sure not to set yourself up to get wrecked by Brawl. Against Tempo Warrior, you are forced to get on the table faster to deal with their aggression, as hanging back and just using removal spells will often cause you to run yourself out of ammo before you can set up a big burst turn. Conceal is a very important card here, either with Auctioneer or Adventurer/Edwin.

Potential Substitutions
Luckily, the deck is relatively cheap to build. You do need to have Preparations and Edwin, which cannot be substituted out, but otherwise, the deck is mostly rares and commons. Bloodmage Thalnos is nice, but not essential. I would probably substitute Deadly Poison or Journey Below for it. Neither one has the same effect, but they are cheap cards that help build big Adventurers or Edwins. Deadly Poison is also nice because it helps control the board in aggressive matchups, where Bloodmage Thalnos is also at his best (ideally combined with Fan of Knives). You could also consider a second Shadow Strike in this slot, as the deck isn’t the greatest at dealing with big creatures, other than on a temporary basis with Sap.

One additional card you can consider is Xaril. I was surprised not to see it in the original list, but it is normally a staple in Miracle Rogue. I am not going to argue with Chessdude, as he is clearly better with the deck than I am, but Xaril does provide a lot of value for big Auctioneer, Adventurer or Edwin turns, and any time you get the Conceal effect out of him, it is a very nice bonus.

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As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to join the discussion on reddit here.

Next week, I am going to switch things up a little bit and take a look at the upcoming Adventure: One Night in Karazhan. Preview cards are coming steadily, so I will be doing a set review as well as doing some theorycrafting for new lists that the set will enable.

In the meantime, this coming Sunday, August 7th, EndBoss Inc. will be running our first Online Hearthstone Open Tournament! This tournament is 100% free, open to anyone who signs up, and features a $100 prize pool!
Location: Online, NA Server
Date: Sunday, August 7th, 2016
Start Time: Noon EST (9am Pacific Time)
Format: Single Elimination, Last Hero Standing. Three class picks, no bans.
Best of 3 matches with Best of 5 matches in top 4
Featured matches each round will be live streamed on our Twitch stream, featuring commentary from myself, Kyle “EndBoss” Smith, as well as Ben “Overseer” Wastle. This will be the inaugural broadcast, and hopefully the first of many, for the Twitch stream.

Full Rules and Signup Details can be found here!