With many pros instantly testing the deck when the buff patch went live, Pogo Rogue is the new fad. Though, it seems like it could evolve beyond just fad status. Pogo Rogue suffered in the past from just being simply too slow and not having hard enough swing turns. With the buff to Pogo Hopper along with other new cards, Pogo Rogue could be a new meta-defining deck.
The Important Buff
The buff itself reduced the cost of Pogo-Hopper from two down to one mana. Right off the bat, this makes Pogo-Hopper a more flexible play in any given situation. This allows you to start stacking your Pogos as soon as turn three with Hopper plus Lab Recruiter.
The even more important part about Pogo-Hopper only costing one mana is you can draw it out of the deck guaranteed. By using Witchwood Piper and having Pogo-Hopper as the only one mana minion in the deck, Piper will always draw a Hopper.
Sometimes you need to draw your first Pogo to start stacking the buff, or it can be to generate another large Pogo in the late game. At one mana, you can also play a lot more Pogo-Hoppers in a single turn. You can actually fill the entire board with Hoppers and play other cards, whereas before you could only get a maximum of five in a single turn.
Cards That Make the Deck Work
There are two important facets of Pogo Rogue that need to be present to abuse the Pogo-Hopper effect. The first thing needed is card draw to cycle the deck, and the second thing needed is bounce effects.
For card draw, a lot of people are running Novice Engineer to cycle a card. Witchwood Piper also cycles one of your Pogo-Hoppers to make sure you don’t naturally draw them. Both of these cards can be bounced with Daring Escape, Shadowstep, Barista Lynchen and Vanish.
Some people are running EVIL Miscreants, which means that additional draw can be discovered off the Ethereal Lackey. Some people have also opted to run the Spirit of the Shark so that the Novice Engineer and Witchwood Piper can draw two cards.
Myra’s Unstable Element can draw out a ton of Pogo-Hoppers in one go as well. Then the deck can be filled with both Pogo-Hoppers and Zilliax with Lab Recruiter and Togwaggle’s Scheme. Tak Nozwhisker is also ran to ensure you have all the copies to immediately play in hand.
Power Increase Beyond the Buff
There are a ton of Bounce effects in the deck which allows the Pogo-Hoppers to get ramped up almost immediately. The Rise of Shadows expansion added an extra three bounce effects to the deck or potentially even more with Ethereal Lackey being able to discover bounce spells.
Daring Escape is a one mana card that bounces all minions on your side back to your hand. That’s very cheap for an effect super beneficially to a deck full of Battlecry minions. Barista Lynchen makes copies of all the cards so you don’t have to sacrifice your board state to generate more value.
The only place where this deck may struggle is early game aggressive decks. Some players have tried to beat this weakness with EVIL Miscreants and SI:7 Agents. Both of these minions are also pretty decent bounce targets. Some lists even run a Sunfury Protector to try to get a couple of huge Pogo-Hoppers in the way of the opponent.
All of this wouldn’t be so great of a deck if it were not for the existence of Zilliax too. With how fast Pogo-Hoppers grow, Zilliax can heal you from a few to a full 30 health very often. The deck performs great against slow moving decks, but we will have to see how things play out against aggressive decks to have a decisive ruling on if Pogo Rogue could become the new meta.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.