The power creeped Worgen Inflitrator, this 1-drop is crazy good and will likely be played in every Rogue deck no matter what kind of synergy it looks for. Whether you’re an aggressive deck or a deck that’s focused on survival, having access to 3 unavoidable damage in the early game for 1 mana is just strong. It allows you to either take initiative and pressure from the get-go or set up a strong value trade into a higher cost minion. Rogue loves quality 1-drops and utilizes them better than any other class in the game, so it will absolutely love this one.
The re-introduction of secrets into Rogue’s toolkit should be an interesting change of pace, and Dirty Tricks is a high value secret. Its trigger is difficult to avoid, and the payoff is nice. Drawing 2 cards for 2 mana is a good deal. If Rogue embraces a secret package, it will look to Dirty Tricks to give it some gas.
Even though this minion is a massive upgrade on Ravenholdt Assassin, it doesn’t make it playable in constructed. It’s just way too slow and clunky. If you’re paying 7 mana in Rogue for a single card, you better get an Arcanite Reaper, draw 4 cards and reduce their cost to 0. Or something like that.
Woof. This card can get you interested in playing secrets. It’s a 1 mana 1/2 that casts a Freezing Trap on a minion when a secret is active. Essentially, the sapped minion is almost never being replayed (unless you’re super far behind or they have nothing better to do), so the effect is equivalent to silencing and destroying a minion. We did the math. It’s a good deal.
This is a very strong secret that puts a lot of pressure on the opponent, especially when the they play one thing at a time. It basically nullifies what they do because you’re guaranteed to kill the summoned minion. This pushes you further ahead when you have the initiative. Not as good if you’re playing against a deck that floods the board, though summoning an Emperor Cobra for 2 mana is always good.
This is another very strong stealth synergy minion, though unlike Spymistress, you are required to run a sizeable stealth package to make it work. Ashtongue Slayer is an Abusive Sergeant on crack. This minion can enable a crippling value trade, or just push a lot of face damage through stealth. It has particularly great synergy with Shadowstep, turning the 0-mana spell into pure 3 damage.
The final Rogue secret, Bamboozle does not disappoint or fall off from the first two. In fact, it might be the strongest secret of them all. It makes opponents wary of any enticing value trade they can do, since Bamboozle can completely turn the tide of such a trade. It has great synergy with stealth minions, since they lose some of their value after they break stealth. When the opponent tries to clean them up, they suddenly turn into a much bigger minion, which is particularly painful for weapon classes. This secret should bamboozle a lot of players.
If the stealth package in Rogue ends up being successful, it will be because of this card. It’s just way too good when it goes off and tempts us to throw in a stealth package into every Rogue deck. Arcane Intellect is a playable constructed card at 3 mana. This is a 3/3 that casts Arcane Intellect for 3 mana. It also turns into a draw engine with Shadowstep as early as turn 4. The clear limitation of this card is the need to run a decent number of stealth minions in order to ensure it is consistent enough, but it could well be worth it.
As Sage tempts us with a stealth package, Hanar urges us to try a secret package. This 2-drop has a very big body, and it is near unkillable if it’s just dropped on 2 with 5 health. Later in the game, it can become a value engine that decorates our portrait with multiple shiny secrets, since it feeds off itself much like Underbelly Angler. Definitely a card with a lot of upside.
Akama has a pretty impactful body. A 3/4 stealth can do some very efficient trades in the early game, so we’re not upset at playing it on turn 3. Its prime version is intriguing, since it has permanent stealth. This means we can repeatedly hit our opponent’s face with a narrow range of counterplay, and it works very well with both Sage and Slayer. It is very difficult to remove a 5-health minion with stealth, as most AOE effects are not enough to kill it. Akama’s issue is that it mostly shines in slower matchups and doesn’t impact the board upon entrance. However, with Leeroy gone, Rogue could use an aggressive card like this one.
Year of the Dragon Rank: 1st
Ashes of Outland Set Rank: 3rd
Overall Power Ranking: 1st
Rogue started the Year of the Dragon in a dominant position, and it is ending the Year of the Dragon in a dominant position. The class was blessed with strong sets throughout the year which culminated in Galakrond Rogue, a powerful archetype that proved to carry the best late game strategy in the format in the aftermath of the balance changes following Descent of Dragons.
The good news for Rogue players is that Galakrond Rogue is losing almost nothing in rotation except for a few neutral legendary minions that everyone and their dogs were playing anyway (Zilliax, SN1P, Leeroy). It can easily replace them and get right down to business. But Rogue also received new cards, and these cards show promise. They are very clearly divided into a secret package and a stealth package.
The new secrets look good and well worth the cost, and the secret payoff cards look powerful too. However, there is always the lingering doubt with secrets that is based on concrete history. Secret decks fail if they don’t have a way to reliably draw their secrets or cheat them out. Rogue doesn’t have these tools, so for a “Secret Rogue” to succeed, they will have to overcome what no secret deck has done before. Should the secret package fail this expansion, and Blizzard provides Rogues with what they’re missing in a future expansion, we think that this package will become bonkers.
The other cards to discuss form the Stealth package, and here we can find stronger standalone cards like Spymistress, which is a completely nutty 1-drop all Rogue decks will adore. Greyheart Sage is another standout card that greatly encourages building a deck around. The only question that arises from the Stealth package is whether there are enough strong stealth minions to support it, such as Akama.
We can see Rogue experimenting in different directions. Galakrond Rogue may try to incorporate one of these packages into its build. We’re leaning towards the stealth package since it provides Galakrond Rogue with better card draw, something it doesn’t have other than from its late game bombs (it’s got insane card generation which compensates for that fact).
We see the potential of aggressive Rogue decks to make their return. Both the Stealth package and the Secret package are aggressive in nature, so forming a hybrid deck that incorporates the two is certainly possible. A pure Stealth Rogue could also exist, running a weapon/pirate package alongside it, not too different from the dominant Rogue deck that emerged into the scene at the beginning of Rise of Shadows.
Overall, Rogue is in a great spot. We’ll be shocked if it isn’t a top 3 class in this expansion, since it has so much going for it, even in the worst-case scenario in which its Ashes of Outland set doesn’t pan out. We give Rogue the edge over Hunter because of its flexibility. Rogue is just so adaptable to any given meta, with many tools that are kept on the shelf for when the time is right.
Valeera and her lackeys are looking to start the Year of the Phoenix where she feels at home. At the top of the meta.