Hearthstone at its core is a game that people should have fun with, but that can get bogged down in the pursuit of competitive meta strategies. Thus, I humbly present Memes and Dreams, a series on Out of Cards looking to bring some good ol' memey fun into people's Hearthstone experiences. Each week we will do a deep dive on a different 'for fun' deck, discussing the basic ideas of the deck, what makes it tick, and roughly how to pilot it. This week we dive into a very specialized iteration of Shuffle Rogue.
Do the Togwaggle Shuffle
Ever since Academic Espionage was released, I've had an interest in utilizing Rogues shuffle mechanic, although it technically debuted with Gang Up in Blackrock. While Gang Up helped enable Fatigue Rogue, a deck I was never especially fond of, Espionage provided a strong meme foundation that inspired me to explore what depths of depravity a Shuffle Rogue could reach. Enter Togwaggle's Scheme, a card worth literally infinite value (technically the maximum number of turns is a soft cap, but it is still a lot). The tricky part was always finding something worth filling your deck with. Heistbaron Togwaggle himself was a good choice, but having only one good option felt bad and there wasn't always enough Lackey generation to support it. Since Rise of Shadows' release, several powerful shuffle contenders have entered the game and enable some serious shenaniganry. This deck focuses on a specific three, Togwaggle, Kronx Dragonhoof, and the meme-master himself, Yogg-Saron Hope's EndBADCARDNAME. Each has a very powerful battlecry that can swing the game after you play it once, so imagine how many swings can occur if you play it 10 times.
The Meme - Do classic Galakrond Rogue things, get value, play Lackeys, draw 1-cost Backstab, go "Brrrrr".
The Dream - Stall into the late game and shuffle at least 7 copies of one of three fantastic value cards into your deck to play every turn for the rest of the game. This will be some of the biggest "Brrrrr" you can ever go.
Scheme is what enables this niche of Shuffle Rogue to exist. Without it, we would only be playing one copy of Heistbaron or Kronx or Yogg, and that isn't nearly as fun as playing half a dozen copies! Playing this on any of the big three will likely lock you into playing a card or two for the next couple of turns since they are all so expensive, but that's where the other two key cards come in.
Togwaggle has always been a fantastic enabler of value in Rogue, but this where he really shines. Since he came out with Scheme, people have used the two in tandem already, using Wondrous Wand to draw 0-cost copies of whatever it is they shuffled in. This became much easier with the addition of the third key card, which allows for more consistent Togwaggle procs.
Galakrond serves many purposes in this deck, supplying Lackeys for general value and Togwaggle, enabling Kronx to be run in this deck for his amazing battlecry options, and drawing + reducing the cost of the shuffled cards. Galakrond does stifle some build options since we are forced to build around him more than most other cards, but the payoff is way too good to pass up.
Yes, Kronx is a member of this deck's 'Holy Trinity' and is a big part of why Galakrond is also good, but he isn't as enabling as the other Key Cards. This deck could theoretically run without Kronx and instead use some other large threat while the others are the gears that keep his meme machine running.
This handy-dandy Galakrond devotee helps get any of the big three out earlier and helps play Scheme on the turns you do play them. Her Coins also provide a whopping three spells for Yogg-Saron's battlecry, making it much easier to play him if you need a big swing earlier in the game.
Budget / Alternate Options
The first expensive card to go should be Jandice Barov. Jandice doesn't inherently help the deck in any way and is put in because she is a generically good card that can get some serious mileage out of Shadowstep. Some cheap removal spells like Sap, Eviscerate, or even Brain Freeze work well as replacements since we are mainly trying to survive into the late game. Devoted Maniac also works well as something roughly in the same mana range and helps more reliably procs Umbral Skulker.
Kronx is a card that I highly suggest not cutting, but know that it can't be helped since he wasn't given out for free along with Galakrond. For replacements, we want to look for something with a large board impact when played. Siamat, while not any cheaper dust-wise, provides a similarly versatile set of options with his battlecry. Carnival Clown isn't much cheaper and needs to be corrupted first, but can make for some serious shenanigans if you can play wave after wave of 4/4 taunts. For really cheap options there's Twin Tyrant and Burly Shovelfist, both of which provide some level of board clear and threatening bodies. Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate can be replaced in a similar fashion, focusing on immediate defensive effects so that your slow game plan won't hurt as much.
Secret Passage was almost a 2-of in this deck, but was ultimately cut down to 1 in favor of some slightly more proactive early-mid-game cards. It's nice for some reliability but is by no means necessary to the deck's success. The deck has quite a few cheap cards and the coins generated by Umbral Skulker lend themselves well to cards like Prize Plunderer, Edwin VanCleef, or maybe even Shadow Sculptor if you want some more refill. These cards won't work as well here than they would in a dedicated deck like Whirlkick Rogue, but they can function well enough. As for replacing Skulker, devoted Maniac remains a good option as high tier Galakronds means more cheap draws after you use Togwaggle's Scheme. Otherwise, some generic defensive card like Bone Wraith or any of the aforementioned removal spells work well as replacements.
Most of the Darkmoon Races cards don't help the deck, butKeywarden Ivory is very strong can provide access to some very strong removal tools, such as Devolving Missiles or Hysteria. She's a tad slower than Jandice, but still a great option. The deck is a bit tight since many of the cards help the deck's plan, but you could replace some cards with Rogue's stealth package to draw more consistently while strengthening the early game. Tenwu of the Red Smoke is another decent consideration, but I did not do any testing with him and cannot vouch for his viability in the deck.
Definitely a difficult matchup since this deck doesn't have the powerhouse early-mid-game that other Rogue decks have. Instead, we have to rely on Pharoh CatBADCARDNAME, Backstab, and Wand Thief to have some semblance of early game presence and control. Umbral Skulker will ideally be ready by turn 4 where you can use her coins to out-tempo them with Lackeys from invoking. Ideally, a Taunt from Jandice or Shield of Galakrond will be enough to stabilize and get ready for the late-game, but this has not way to heal outside of Galakrond or a generated Khartut Defender. Heistbaron Togwaggle should be used for Zarog's Crown, but Rogue Legendaries have pretty shite statlines and are typically battlecry oriented. Thus Golden Kobold might need to be the treasure of choice since it's at least a well-statted Taunt and might give other defensive cards.
This is where all our greed pays off. Against aggro, you likely won't be able to Scheme any of the big three, but here you can want until the last minute to shuffle your big card of choice into your deck. It still might be tricky against Warrior in particular since there isn't any real way to deal with Rattlegore, but maybe one of the many Yoggs will mind control it. Also tricky, but this deck can really put some despair into Tickatus Warlocks. If you're able to hold onto a Scheme and one of the big three, you can completely crush their hopes of milling you out by filling your deck with powerful cards that you can then play every turn! The tough part comes in dealing with the large minions that they throw at you. Removal is somewhat limited, so you'll have to pick your targets wisely. Don't hesitate to throw out Galakrond a bit early too since you'll want his infinite value engine and Kronx online as soon as possible so he's a valid shuffle target.
This is where you gotta let those Schemes rip. Even if its only built up to 4-5 shuffles you need to be able to put as much pressure out on the board as soon as possible. Yogg is likely too expensive to play enough times, so leaving Togwaggle and Kronx. Kronx is better than Togwaggle since you should be able to play Galakrond and then begin your steady stream of Kronx's devastations, but Togwaggle is better if you feel the need to put pressure on faster. Zarog's Crown might not always give the best value, but you still might get a body that is too large for them to deal with. Even better, you might be able to get out two Nozdormu and time them out before they can play their combo. Until the late-game, try your best to play like an aggressive Tempo Rogue and put pressure on the opponent. You might be able to kill them before either of you can pop off, which is bittersweet, but you could also just try to get them low enough to weigh Rod of Roasting in your favor.
Shuffling is something Rogue does better than any other class, and I think that's super neat. Shuffling en masse is practically a Rogue exclusive mechanic and it's super fun to try to figure out how to maximize it. Some of the most fun I get out of meme decks is pushing a class' identity and capabilities to the absolute limit. Honing in on a niche goal is typically how I create many of my meme decks. That way the deck can achieve something that literally no other deck can. Sure Tempo Rogue is unique to other Tempo decks due to different class tools, but literally, no other class can achieve what this deck wants other than Rogue thanks to their heavy emphasis on shuffling, card draw, and big discounts. The Dream of playing several Kronxs, Tgowaggles, or Yoggs can certainly be tricky as several things have to align, but the satisfaction of spamming their powerful effects is absolutely worth the effort.
What is your meme deck of choice? Do you try different ones for each expansion or do you try to evolve old ones with new cards? Do you have any meme dream stories? Tell us in the comments below!