Rogues have always been an interesting class. They always have a mechanic that either makes them extremely powerful or extremely meme-y. In the newest set, it feels like the two might have blended together to make something very refreshing.
Rogues have always had the reputation for taking things, and now it seems they are taking victories. As Rise of Shadows begins to settle in, more and more decks are beginning to come up – three of which are very unique and very powerful in their own right.
Academic Espionage and Tess Greymane has been a combo before Rise of Shadows. The cheap cards from your opponent’s class mixed with the ability to recast all of the cards you’ve played for only eight mana makes for a very powerful effect. The only problem with this was to find a consistent way to draw the new cards and to play them, and that’s if the cards you received were any good.
Now we see even more possibilities for this combo. With Tak Nozwhisker and Archmage Vargoth, this deck has gotten even stronger. Tak putting the reduced cost cards directly into your hand, allowing you to play them the next turn as well as showing you what cards were put into the deck. With Archmage Vargoth, you essentially get extra Academic Espionage as well as any other spells you cast.
With Heistbaron Togwaggle, the value of your plays goes through the roof. The option to choose one of the treasures is so important, allowing the player to have more flexibility. Summoning two legendary minions, filling your hand, drawing three cards that cost zero mana or turning your hand into random legendary
minions are all spectacular cards. Doing this multiple times with Shadowstep makes it even stronger. There is a near infinite ways to make this ability activate multiple times with Daring Escape, Shadowstep, Lab Recruiter and Togwaggle’s Scheme. This deck is very value-oriented, making it very hard to counter once it gets the ball rolling.
Finally, there is Tempo Rogue. Being able to clear the board and build your own side of the board is one the strongest moves in the game, especially when you can do it multiple times. With Rise of Shadows, Rogue was given cards that allow mirror matches to be a little more interesting, adding cards that take spells and minions from any other class other than rogue. This allows for reliable ways to activate Vendetta and Underbelly Fence.
This archetype is extremely powerful and can sometimes finish out games as early as turn five. One the strongest combos is Preparation into Raiding Party into Backstab into Edwin VanCleef. Doing this on turn three turns him into a giant essentially. With multiple removal, bounce back, and the ability to take your opponents class cards and using them against them, this is among the most versatile decks there are.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.