The full Forged in the Barrens set has been revealed and it's time to look at all the new cards and, particularly, how Rogue will be doing this expansion. We'll be breaking each of the Rogue cards down, and giving our best guess for what the class will look like in the upcoming meta.
- You can see all the new cards in our Forged in the Barrens Expansion Guide.
- Our deckbuilder will let you theorycraft your own decks using the new cards before the expansion arrives.
- You can simulate pack openings in our Forged in the Barrens Pack Opening simulator.
- You can do your best Kazakus impression by trying out our Build-A-Golem Simulator.
Keep in mind that this is an early look at the class before we've been able to play with the new cards, so while we try to be as accurate as possible in our predictions of what is to come, no one can perfectly predict the Hearthstone meta.
Rogue Deck Themes in Forged in the Barrens
Good news for people who like Weapon Rogue, Blizzard has heard your pleas and has given the archetype plenty of new tools to ignore while Self-Sharpening Sword is still in Standard. Many of Rogue's new cards play around with the class's Poisons to buff Weapons and do various other weapon-related things.
The class also has new ways to discount Costs, cheat mana, and draw cards. You know, various Rogue shenanigans that can be used in a variety of ways and a plenitude of decks. There are also flexible damage cards to use as removal or end the game.
- Miracles: Scabbs Cutterbutter, Field Contact, Efficient Octo-bot
- Damage: Oil Rig Ambusher, Wicked Stab
There's also a smattering of Thief Rogue, although it's not exactly playing into what the archetype generally does.
- Thief: Yoink!
We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but things look pretty good for Rogue in the Year of the Gryphon.
If you're a teenager from Verona, STAY AWAY.
When the Core Set was first teased, I had hoped that Xaril, Poisoned Mind would be replacing Edwin VanCleef as Rogue's Legendary. Although that didn't happen, Forged in the Barrens did give us a Legendary minion that is very reminiscent of Xaril.
Helbrim's main selling point is that he pulls from a pool of spells that enable the sort of thing Rogue will want to be doing in the Year of the Gryphon: buffing their Weapons. He could be a solid tool for Weapon-focused decks that want more things to buff their Weapons. The Apothecary might carve out a niche for himself in Self-Sharpening Sword or Swinetusk Shank decks, but he probably won't ever be busted by himself.
"For the LAST time, it's called a 'knife,' NOT a 'buttercutter'!"
Scabbs, on the other hand, has the potential to be broken. Even with notorious minions like Edwin VanCleef and Questing Adventurer rotating, there are still a lot of ways for Rogue to manufacture nonsense and plenty of cards that could benefit from this sort of Cost discount. Our guess is that Cutterbutter sees play in a variety of Rogue decks, where he enables big Tempo swings, value plays, and staple Rogue shenanigans.
He'll play particularly well with card draw like Swindle and Cutting Class, or just as a reliable way to cheat more minions into play. He's also great for triggering combo effects. Tenwu of the Red Smoke is a particularly juicy enabler of Scabbs, giving you a 1-Cost Scabbs to immediately replay and get another pair of discounts. Scabbs Cutterbutter seems tailor-made to do some truly bonkers things.
If it were smaller, we'd call it Pigtooth Prick.
Immediately comparable to Self-Sharpening Sword, with the biggest difference being that the Shank requires other cards to truly get going, while the Sword can buff all by itself. That being said, a deck built to take advantage of Swinetusk Shank's love of poisons can make a weapon that lasts a very, very long time.
This card can fit well into any Weapon Rogue shell that would otherwise have run Self-Sharpening Sword. A lot of deck builders might start asking themselves, "Which one of these two weapons should I build my Weapon Rogue deck around?" when they should be asking, "Why not both?" Shank works perfectly well with weapon buffs as a sidenote to Self-Sharpening Sword's Plan A, and should fit snugly into any deck that's also running the Sword.
Why go to the trouble of stealing, if you're going to give it right back?
There's honestly not much to be said about this card. It costs 1 Mana to find another Hero Power, but you only get to keep that Hero Power for two uses before it switches back. Sure, the Hero Power costs 0, but what kind of power plays can you expect from a pseudo-random Hero Power you get to use exactly two times?
The best-case scenario is probably rolling Demon Hunter or Druid Hero Power when you have a weapon equipped. Warlock and Mage aren't terrible pickups, but it's not a permanent switch. Spending a card for such a weak (and difficult to predict) payoff just doesn't sound good.
Oil Rig Ambusher
If we're being honest, Oil Rigs really aren't that hard to ambush.
There's probably a way to finagle an OTK out of this card, but it sounds like such an OTK wouldn't be much more than a meme. And there's nothing wrong with that. It does have enough synergy with Shadowstep, Secret Passage and Rogue's ability to draw cards that it could be good enough to fit into most Rogue decks as removal/burn.
A card that gets an extra effect when it comes to hand is really cool design that's been done on fan-created cards, so it's nice to see it come to Hearthstone proper. Oil Rig Ambusher is a card that's entirely breakable, but in the end, is probably just a decent minion.
"Day 31: The Barrens continue to echo with the cry that haunts my nightmares: 'Hey, loser!'"
In our opinion, this is the best card for Rogue from Forged in the Barrens. A little bit Gadgetzan Auctioneer, a little bit Whirlkick Master, and the best parts of both. Rogue will get a lot of mileage out of him, using this minion to refill their hands with whatever cards are lying around.
While most of Rogue's set from Forged in the Barrens plays with Weapons, this minion seems more suited to a typical Miracle Rogue set-up, using Combo cards and Battlecry minions to churn through the deck while playing bodies onto the board. Like we've mentioned, there's no longer Questing Adventurer or Edwin to bring out a huge minion as part of such a turn, but there's no doubt for us that Rogue will figure out what it wants to do with this minion, and that whatever it is will be powerful.
"No, I said it wouldn't hurt ME."
The main thing that stands out about this spell is how little it works with the current vibe of Weapon Rogue in Standard. Weapon Rogue right now is very aggressive and last time we checked, you don't usually take damage from attacking your opponent's face. The extra 1 Attack doesn't do enough on its own if the Immune part of the card is usually irrelevant.
Instead, if you want to go for a more controlling style of Weapon Rogue, this could work really well as a way to control the board while preserving your Health. It also can work well with Swinetusk Shank as another Poison that adds Durability to your weapon. Otherwise, it doesn't seem like the kind of card that makes the cut (pun intended).
Those who have grown up in the Barrens know which plants are safe to wipe with.
A very scary card to pair with Swinetusk Shank, giving the weapon extra Durability and inherent card draw. It pairs well with any weapon with enough Durability to do a lot of swinging. If you thought Weapon Rogue drew a lot of cards before, just wait until they get going with this.
The only real threat to this card, now that Kobold Stickyfinger and Harrison Jones are gone, is Acidic Swamp Ooze. Ooze isn't even that big of a punishment, considering that swinging once with a Silverleafed Weapon will replace the Silverleaf Poison that you cast, so Ooze won't even get a 2-for-1. Super powerful, and here we were thinking that Weapon Rogue might get weaker in the new year.
"I'd like to be/Coined on Turn 3/from an octopus's discount/when it trades."
This card looks like its best use is as a pseudo-Emperor Thaurissan to discount a bunch of cards for use in an OTK or other sort of combo. It does have enough Health to be a safe turn 2 play with a good chance of triggering its Frenzy, but will you have enough cards in hand that you would want to make use of this discount so early?
It's going to be quite the experiment to try to find the combo that works the best with Efficient Octo-bot discounts, but the card allows for so much freedom that it's easy to conceive that someone will find a way to abuse it.
No one mourns the Wicked!
This card wins the award for Best Card Name to Say in a Boston Accent. "Ya, that's a wickahd stahb ya got right there." Five stars. Best card in the set. Don't even need to read what it does.
But if we do have to judge the card by what it does, it's actually pretty reasonable. It's good damage for the mana, especially once you get later in the game. Most importantly, it goes face. But anyone who thinks that name ain't the best is a chowdahhead.
Theorycrafting Rogue in Forged in the Barrens
The theorycrafted deck we've put together spotlights Field Contact, a card that we think could be the heart and soul of some very powerful decks. This list uses Field Contact to draw lots of cards with the help of everyone's favorite persistent Battlecry minion, Pen Flinger, as well as a host of other cheap Battlecry minions and Combo cards.
If our plan to chip down our opponent with minion pressure, Pen Flinger, and Wicked Stab falls short, then cards like Jandice Barov and Scabbs Cutterbutter can provide powerful tempo plays in the mid-game, while later we can take advantage of our powerful card draw and Shadowstep to abuse finishers like Mankrik and Kazakus, Golem Shaper.
Final Thoughts on Rogue in Forged in the Barrens
Rogue got a lot of interesting tools from the upcoming expansion, either to buff already powerful archetypes or to inform new strategies. Most of the cards synergize with each other and with the rest of Rogue's kit, allowing a lot of freedom of choice for deck builders. Players who are already used to the kinds of decks that Rogue gravitates towards should be pleased with what they got to play with from Forged in the Barrens. Our guess is that the class will be one of the powerhouses of the new meta, with many good archetypes for players to choose from and cards that can be used across a multitude of strategies.
What are your opinions on Rogue's cards from this expansion? What sort of Rogue decks are you looking forward to playing? Share your thoughts in the comments!
More Forged in the Barrens Reviews
Click on any of the banners below to be taking to our other class card reviews for Forged in the Barrens.