The full set of cards dropping into the game with United in Stormwind has been revealed! As we always do here, it is time to review these new cards, this article focusing on how Rogue is likely to perform in the new meta.
- You can see all the new cards in our United in Stormwind expansion guide.
- Our deckbuilder will let you theorycraft your own decks using new cards before the expansion arrives.
- You can simulate pack openings in our United in Stormwind Pack Opening 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 United in Stormwind
Rogue has several identities to play with in Stormwind, a new one (a tribal payoff for SI:7 cards) and two old favorites: Deathrattle and shuffle shenanigans. Rogue also got a neat new legendary that doesn't play into any specific archetype but is a really cool concept nonetheless.
SI:7: Find the Imposter, SI:7 Assassin, SI:7 Extortion, SI:7 Informant, SI:7 Operative
Deathrattle: Counterfeit Blade, Sketchy Information, Loan Shark
Whatever Maestra is About: Maestra of the Masquerade
Find the Imposter
My advice? Look for someone wearing big, goofy glasses.
This is a Questline with a lot of moving pieces. First, it's built around the tribe-not-really-a-tribe of the SI:7, a set of cards that until United in Stormwind had a grand total of two minions. Echo's excellent breakdown of the Rogue Questline gives us some idea of the number of SI:7 cards we need to run in a Find the Imposter deck to complete the Questline in a timely manner, which is great because unless you've gone crazy for Gizmos we think you'd only ever want to run the very best SI:7 cards in a deck.
The Spy Gizmos are pretty fantastic rewards, every one of them a 1-Cost card that does way more than a 1-Cost card has any right to. You get a random one for completing each of the first two steps of the Questline, but the real bonanza comes when you've done the whole thing and Spymaster Scabbs gives you all five at once. Some of the Gizmos look more universally good than others, but all have powerful effects and can easily be part of a winning strategy.
The power of this Questline relies heavily on the power level of the SI:7, needing at least three of the new SI:7 cards to be good. Four would be ideal, because otherwise you're depending too much on SI:7 Agent, a fine card that has been increasingly outshined by new Rogue minions. Our opinion is that there should be just enough quality SI:7 cards that, thanks to Rogue's longtime best friend Shadowstep, Find the Imposter will find a place in the meta.
Maestra of the Masquerade
Why be yourself when you can be someone else?
This card is really just a flavor win, as the minion itself doesn't do much when played. So we're not going to talk about what is essentially a vanilla 3/2 for 2, because that's not what this card is about.
Unfortunately for people who want to watch the world burn, Maestra of the Masquerade has been preemptively banned in competitive Hearthstone. This means that we won't get to see Grandmasters rage as they realize they mulliganed for the wrong class, or watch Maestra's awesome reveal animation unfold at a key moment in an important match. Oh, well.
Where Maestra of the Masquerade gets truly interesting is how she interacts with Hero Powers and card generation. Before you drop the pretense, you get to use the Hero Power of the disguised class and discover cards from their pool instead of Rogue's, which means things could get pretty strange. So while we won't be seeing Maestra of the Masquerade make a mockery of Grandmasters, at least we can still play her on ladder, where we obviously want to put her in a deck with 29 Neutral cards and as much Discover as possible.
It's easy to spot a fake if you've played knifey-spoony before.
This is a really cool weapon. Clearly it wants to go in a Deathrattle deck, which means one of two things: you either pack in a lot of decent Deathrattles for Counterfeit Blade to copy, or you put in one very good Deathrattle for Counterfeit Blade to copy.
Ticket Master, Nerubian Egg, and Loan Shark immediately come to mind as cheap Deathrattle minions whose Deathrattle you can trigger before curving into Counterfeit Blade. And notice that the wording is "Deathrattle that was triggered" because that matters for a card that we will get to shortly. But the possibilities are truly endless: pick any Deathrattle in Standard and it works well with Counterfeit Blade (except Darkspear Berserker). Baron Rivendare? Don't mind if I do!
Or, as I like to call it, Xtreme Limbo!
Garrote is, very simply, a slightly better Headcrack in any deck that draws lots of cards; which is good for a class like Rogue that is known for drawing lots of cards. This might be the centerpiece of an aggressively draw-heavy Rogue that likes to see extra damage float out of the deck for free. Things could get even spicier if you include Spell Damage minions to make your opponent truly Bleed.
The SI:7 are known throughout Stormwind for doing completely legal, non-violent things.
SO we come to the first SI:7 card in this review. In our opinion, this one of the better SI:7 cards you can run, although its true strength (like Find the Imposter) lies in other SI:7 cards also being good. The more SI:7 you play, the cheaper SI:7 Assassin gets and the cheaper it gets the more powerful its tempo becomes. Play just two SI:7 cards in the early game, and this is already a better Vilespine Slayer (which was a very good card, in our opinion). It should not take much for this card to be a staple in Rogue decks, whether they're an SI:7 deck running the Questline, or just like the idea of a minion with "better Vilespine Slayer" upside.
"According to this, we're looking for...a stick figure with two curly lines on its head."
Sketchy Information looks like a lot of fun, and will form a one-two punch with Counterfeit Blade by triggering the Deathrattles of cheap minions before they hit the board. Like the Blade, this pairs well with Ticket Master, Nerubian Egg, and Loan Shark (to name a few) and extremely poorly with Darkspear Berserker. We like what the card offers to Deathrattle lists and are excited to see what it can do.
The SI:7 needs money for their disparate ventures, which everyone knows are totally legitimate.
Everyone remembers Seal Fate, the best early removal spell for Galakrond Rogue. SI:7 Extortion is essentially that, except its costs 2 less in exchange for not giving you a Lackey. While Miracle lists that don't care about the SI:7 "tribe" will still probably opt to run only Brain Freeze and Prize Plunderer as their cheap removal of choice, this spell will make heavy SI:7 decks a lot stronger in the early game. And remember that earlier comparison to Seal Fate? Well, advancing Find the Imposter is very nearly like getting a Lackey. SI:7 Extortion is efficient removal that can be shipped back into the deck if you don't need it. Flexible, efficient, cheap. The makings of a very good card.
The SI:7 can often be found in taverns, gathering information on illegal activities that they definitely had nothing to do with.
Speaking of flexible, efficient, and cheap, SI:7 Informant is none of those things. It really wants you to think that it's the new version of Edwin VanCleef, but it's much more like Pogo-Hopper. It's pretty costly for being a minion that only gets a handful of extra stats if you played a bunch of specific cards earlier in the game. Unless you can expect this to be a 6/6 or better by turn 4 or 5 (which means you've been curving out exclusively with SI:7 cards), this minion will be on the outside looking in of all but the most dedicated SI:7 decks.
Paying him back costs an arm and a leg.
This is an interesting minion who looks like he gets along nicely with the Deathrattle recursion cards that we already reviewed. Extra Coins can be very useful if you're in the right deck, and there could be some decks that need those Coins to cheat tempo or trigger Combos.
But what if there was a deck that didn't want to use those Coins right away? Allow us to introduce you to our close personal friend Hand Rogue. We're not in love with the name, either. Hand Rogue (it does not get better, does it?) likes having Coins in hand because it enables minions like Goldshire Gnoll and Package Runner, minions previously only considered for Warlock. Is Hand Rogue an obvious pipe dream with a terrible name? We'll let you decide, but the answer is "yes."
Did you know that the SI:7 has operatives throughout Stormwind executing their orders in ways that are undoubtedly legal? It's true.
SI:7 Operative is a solid minion, and a good option for SI:7 decks. Nothing about this minion is spectacular, but it can get the job done in the early game while advancing Find the Imposter and making SI:7 Assassin cheaper. Not a bad card, but it likely will not find a home outside of Questline decks.
Five Neutral Cards for Rogue
We're taking a closer look at some of the Neutral minions that could make waves in Rogue, synergizing with new and existing archetypes.
It isn't hard to imagine SI:7 Skulker as a Rogue card, mainly because it has "SI:7" in its name. The Skulker is a cheap minion that enables Rogue staples Field Contact and Swindle by reducing the Cost of a drawn card, while also being a cheap way to advance Find the Imposter. Potentially an everyday player for Rogue.
Stockades Prisoner has upside in Rogue, a class known for stringing together early turns playing multiple cheap cards. A Dormant 5/4 for 2 that asks only that you play three cards to wake him up can be a real threat for the class. While he may not have immediate impact of Imprisoned Felmaw, Rogue (which cheap minions and Shadowstep) should still be able to use him as a menacing early game threat.
Stubborn Suspect is worth looking at for including in Deathrattle Rogue lists looking for sticky minions. The obvious comp to make is "better Piloted Shredder."
Auctioneer Jaxon is powerful in decks with a lot of Tradeable stuff, turning routine card draw into card selection. Rogue has one of the better class-specific Tradeable cards, and could be willing to pack in a few more if the deck wants to find specific spells (more on that in a second). Guild Trader is an example of the many potential Tradeable minions that could fit into such a deck, with the additional benefit of giving Spell Damage +2 to any spells that get cast.
Theorycrafting Rogue in United in Stormwind
The deck we've theorycrafted for Rogue is built to take advantage of Garrote and Bleed, hoping to chip in early damage, then use Auctioneer Jaxon and Tradeable cards to Discover free face damage from the deck, ideally doing all this with Guild Trader on board for the extra Spell Damage.
Field Contact, Swindle, and Secret Passage are, to no one's surprise, our main draw engines. We also have Mankrik, whose other half can also be something we look for with Auctioneer Jaxon. Stockades Prisoner is also here because we shouldn't find it too hard to wake him up early thanks to our abundance of cheap cards. Shadowstep and Tenwu of the Red Smoke can recur the powerful Battlecries Mankrik and Jandice Barov, or protect a key minion like Field Contact and Auctioneer Jaxon.
Closing Thoughts on Rogue and Stormwind
Rogue got some interesting tools from United in Stormwind that interact with Valeera's current bag of tricks in fun ways. The class specifically got a new "tribe" in the SI:7 that could pay dividends thanks to Find the Imposter.
We think Miracle Rogue will continue to have a place in the meta, but that the true powerhouse of Rogue decks will be built around Find the Imposter to take advantage of the truly bonkers powerful Spy Gizmos and Spymaster Scabbs. There's also a decent chance that Deathrattle Rogue finds a home on the fringes of the meta as a chance of pace deck built around Counterfeit Blade and Sketchy Information.
Did we get it right? Did we get it wrong? Share your thoughts on Rogue in the comments!
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