The Comprehensive Whizbang’s Workshop Preview


Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Thistle Tea Set

A 2-mana discover a spell from another class that adds a second copy of the spell to your hand. Nothing stellar about this card. A 1-mana spell that discovers a spell would be mediocre, so Thistle Tea Set doubles the cost for double the value, which makes it stronger in the late game but less flexible early.

This is a card that’s going to be strictly used to further “Thief” synergies and nothing else. It doesn’t contest board, so we have better ways to activate Velarok through minions. There needs to be something that requires more support to justify the Thistle Tea Set.

Score: 2

Toy Boat

Toy Boat might be the most important card in the Rogue set, at least in terms of making sure the Pirate-centered set the class is receiving pans out. This is a 2-mana 2/3 that draws a card after you summon a Pirate. You don’t even need to play the Pirate, just need to summon it.

This card is crazy good and only allowed to exist because of its tribal requirement. Field Contact was a 3-mana 3/2 that also worked with a “closed” card pool, and it was one of the best draw engines the game has ever seen. Toy Boat has potential to be a 2-mana Auctioneer.

It’ll be interesting to see how Rogue tries to make Toy Boat work. We don’t think that the class necessarily needs to play an aggressive style with the Pirate tribe in this expansion, though it certainly can. It’s possible that a package of Pirates is included in a Miracle style deck that looks to swing the game through its drawing power. The only question is whether Rogue can strike a good balance between the Toy Boat package and whatever win condition it tries to set up.

When you’re capable of drawing through your whole deck at a very fast pace, a lot of possibilities become unlocked. Win conditions come online as increased consistency leads to increased effectiveness. Toy Boat is a card that can make things happen.

Score: 4

Bargain Bin Buccaneer

Buccaneer is a 3-mana 3/2 rusher Pirate that summons a copy of itself under the combo requirement. A couple of 3/2 rushers are serviceable, so you have potential to swing the early game in your favor by removing a couple of threats with a single card.

Buccaneer also has a couple of nice synergies with the rest of the set. We draw two cards if we play it alongside Toy Boat. It’s a solid turn 5 play with Sandbox Scoundrel, making up for Scoundrel’s undersized body.

It’s a decent card to run in a Pirate Rogue deck or a Toy Boat-focused deck, but very reliant on Boat to be a constructed-level card.

Score: 2

Dig for Treasure

Dig for Treasure is a minion tutor that gives you a coin if you’ve drawn a Pirate, which makes it cost a net zero. Arguably, spending 1 mana to get a coin can be better than not spending mana at all, since we can use the coin to accelerate into a future swing turn.

The one irritating issue about Dig for Treasure is that Toy Boat is not a Pirate. We might not mind drawing Toy Boat with Dig for Treasure, since Boat will be the best card in the deck. But if we plan on running other non-pirates in the deck that aren’t top performing cards, then Dig becomes significantly worse.

We’re a bit torn on this card. Dig for Treasure is normally not a card we want to run in a deck that doesn’t have a high percentage of pirates as its minions. Drawing a single card for 1 mana is usually not good enough for constructed play, unless there’s a very good reason for it. Rogue has seen plenty of these spells and they’ve been very reliant on synergies to be competitive.

However, Rogue in the upcoming format is going to be so heavily focused on rapid drawing that a 1-mana minion tutor that occasionally gives you a coin might become surprisingly important.

Score: 3

The Crystal Cove

A callback to Un’Goro’s Quest Rogue, The Crystal Cove is a 3-charge location that sets the stats of the next minion you play to a 4/4.

We look at this card. We look at Forge of Wills. These locations couldn’t be more different in terms of power.

Our issue with Crystal Cove is that it does not set up a real swing turn for the mana cost we’re initially investing. We’re paying 3 mana to do nothing on turn 3, so what’s the best outcome on turn 4? We play a 1/1 and give it a 3/3 buff? Let’s go crazy and buff a Southsea Deckhand. Is investing 4 mana on a 4/4 charger even that strong of a play?

Compare it to Forge of Wills, which can instantly translate into a massive rush minion on turn 4. Crystal Cove’s three charges are worth a maximum of 9/9 stats realistically, while not providing any keywords to the table. You need to build a deck with scaling keywords and small tokens just to be able to leverage the location to its full potential.

Far more difficult to ‘activate’. Far more difficult to swing the game. Far more difficult to pressure the opponent. We don’t think this is it.

Score: 1

Sandbox Scoundrel

Scoundrel is a 5-mana 4/3 that discounts the next card you play by 3 mana. If we make full use of the discount, this is a 2-mana 4/3 in the mid-game, which isn’t terrible but requires a strong enough target card to be worth playing.

Miniaturize is what pushes the card into serious playability, because a 1-mana 1/1 Scoundrel is very strong since it provides us with a clear mana advantage. It’s worth noting that both Scoundrel and its Mini form are Pirates. Mini-Scoundrel is particularly strong with Toy Boat because it helps us extend a bigger draw turn with it. For example, we can play Toy Boat/Scoundrel Mini/Buccaneer for just 3 mana and draw 3 cards in the process.

Another way of looking at Scoundrel is by comparing it to Scabbs Cutterbutter, the 4-mana combo Rogue legendary from Forged in the Barrens. Scabbs discounted your next two cards on a turn by 3 mana. It was cheaper and quicker, but less flexible. Scoundrel accomplishes the same at a 6-mana cost but can be more flexible across two turns.

Scabbs didn’t end up being very good, so it’s hard to believe that Scoundrel will be amazing, but its flexibility and synergy with Toy Boat can easily push it over the edge. We can see this card being played in non-Pirate decks too.

Score: 3


A 4-mana 3/3 weapon that summons a 1/1 Pirate on every swing, which attacks a random enemy. Clearly, Watercannon is meant to be a weapon-based damage source for an aggressive Pirate deck that also carries synergy with Toy Boat. If you play Toy Boat and swing with your equipped Watercannon, you get to draw a card for free because of the summoning trigger on Boat.

This is a fine weapon. The three durability charges make it a good target for weapon buffs, which might become relevant in this expansion because of Sonya. It’s a reasonable replacement for Swordfish, but not likely to be seen in other decks beyond the aggressive Pirate shell.

Score: 2

Everything Must Go!

A summoning spell that has its cost discounted by the number of cards you’ve drawn. Summoning a 4-drop is roughly “worth” 3 mana, so on paper, reducing this card to 6-mana should be a reasonable play. However, the later the game goes, the weaker stats get, so it’s not an acceptable play on turn 6 if we want to win Hearthstone games.

Our ambitions are far higher than that. Rogue is a class destined to draw well, and Toy Boat is a major piece that can help us churn through our deck at a rapid pace. Remember that we always draw a card at the start of the turn, so this spell’s baseline cost is 7 mana.

We argue that it’s quite realistic for Rogue to be able to draw 7 cards in a single turn and reduce this spell’s cost to 0. This can happen as early as turn 6 with Toy Boat and doesn’t even require a particularly incredible draw. There are also other cards available to the class that could help achieve a great volume of draws. Gear Shift draws us 3 cards for just 1 mana. Fal’dorei Strider is returning to Standard through the core set and can help us with its Spider Ambush cast when drawn cards. Preparation is always there if we’re just missing 2 mana.

Whether it’s Toy Boat or another draw engine in the future, it’s likely that Everything Must Go becomes a real payoff to a Miracle style deck, much like Scribbling Stenographer.

Score: 3

Sonya Waterdancer

Sonya is returning with an exciting effect that is likely to make Rogue players’ mouths water. She’s a 4-mana 3/3 that produces a 0-cost copy of any 1-mana card you play. This makes her a potential value amplifier for different kinds of strategies and highly encourages the class to tap into its 1-mana resources far more aggressively, since they “double” up for free in the presence of Sonya.

One of the interactions that turns Sonya into a genuine win condition with ferocious lethality is her synergy with Gift of Valeera. If you play Sonya with a single Gift, you can generate 4 Deadly Poisons for 2 extra mana and buff your weapon by 8 attack. Two Gifts and 4 extra mana are worth 16 attack power on a weapon.

Sonya is not just good with spells, she copies minions too, so if you’re playing a bunch of 1-mana pirates in a Toy Boat deck, she can help extend a Boat turn quite substantially by adding free Pirates to a draw chain. Note that Sonya doesn’t just work on 1-cost cards. It also works on cards that get discounted to 1-mana.

Sonya is so deck warping that any 1-mana card in the present and future needs to be viewed through her lenses. A late game powerhouse with incredible versatility and a likely staple in every Rogue deck going forward.

Score: 4

Shoplifter Goldbeard

Goldbeard is a 6-mana 5/5 that triggers after you summon a Pirate, much like Toy Boat. Goldbeard summons a copy of the Pirate, which attacks a random enemy before dying. Basically, Goldbeard translates the attack value of any summoned Pirate into damage hitting a random enemy. The damage can go face.

When considering the cost and opportunity, Goldbeard seems very difficult to use. It’s a 6-mana card, so there’s not much of a window to utilize Goldbeard before the very late stages of the game. Even then, cost reduction effects are likely needed to enable any serious chain of damage.

We just don’t think that Goldbeard is the powerful thing that Pirate Rogue, or a Boat Rogue deck, wants to do late in the game. There are better ways to leverage the incredible drawing power of Toy Boat into a consistent victory path. We think the expensive cost of Goldbeard will make him redundant in the face of more effective finishers and swing cards available to the class.

Score: 1

Final Thoughts

Whizbang’s Workshop Set Rank: 3rd

Overall Power Ranking:  6th

Rogue needed a lot of help with the upcoming Whizbang set, as its Festival set was a major disappointment, while its Titans set was very limited. This left the class in a precarious position to rely on its Excavate shell in Badlands, when it loses Scourge Illusionist, the strongest enabler of Drilly the Kid.

Thankfully, this upcoming set is building up to Rogue returning to its roots, which is drawing cards in maniacal fashion. Toy Boat is the centerpiece addition of the expansion, complemented by a Pirate package to fuel it.

There are things to like and dislike about Toy Boat. It is a 2 mana 2/3 that draws on an easy trigger, making it compare favorably to Field Contact. It has massive potential to churn through the deck, allowing Rogue to fit whatever win condition makes the most sense for the supportive shell. While an aggressive Pirate Rogue deck is possible, the Pirates in this set are not strictly aggressive in nature. They can be splashed into a late game strategy that utilizes Toy Boat as a draw engine. We do like that Whizbang’s Pirates are more versatile than Titan’s mechs.

The concern we do have is that some of the Pirates that are needed to fuel Toy Boat, especially the cheap ones, are not great standalone cards. If Toy Boat requires a significant package of Pirates to churn through the deck consistently, there is a danger that Rogue may not seem functional without drawing Toy Boat. Field Contact’s draw triggers were useful standalone cards, while a Treasure Distributor or a Southsea Deckhand don’t do anything by themselves. There is a fail rate we can’t ignore.

While Toy Boat takes up most thoughts related to Rogue, the class doesn’t necessarily require it to work to be competitive. It’s entirely possible that a Prep/Triple Seven angle allows the class to activate its draw related payoffs. Note that ‘Everything Must Go!’ costs 0 after casting Triple Seven. Add Fal’dorei Strider and Playhouse Giant to the equation and a “Draw Rogue” archetype is feasible without Boat.

Of course, we can’t forget Sonya, which is a win condition by herself across all Rogue archetypes. Her synergy with Valeera’s Gift could elevate weapon-based win conditions to the forefront of the class.

Rogue is clouded by some uncertainty about its build paths, as it is likely difficult to optimize, but exhibits tons of potential. It’s hard to bet against it.

1 Comment

  1. Good read overall, but the write up on Timewinder Zarimi is a bit over the top. It just screams, “Blizz, if you’re reading our article nerf this card now!”, and I think it’s way too early to jump to that conclusion. Time Warp effects are strong, but it’s no more strong than OTK card strategies; one could argue it’s actually weaker cause you need two turns in a row to win when other decks can OTK.

    A weakness with Timewinder Zarimi that shouldn’t be ignored is its reliance on dragon tribe. Can’t just put in any deck, must devote enough other cards to get to 5 dragons.

    TLDR – Let’s try not to put a target on cards to nerf before they’re actually a problem.

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