- Magic Giant Token Rogue
- Unknown Rogue
(Updated for Descent of Dragons thanks to the addition of Bloodsail Flybooter!)
Do you like the fast-paced and unique decision making of decks like Cyclone Mage? Do you like controlling the board by slamming rush minions into enemy minions' faces? Do you like smashing the enemy hero with giants like Edwin VanCleef, Mountain Giant, and Sea Giant that shake the entire screen? How about slurping away your opponent's health with juicy Lifedrinkers? Then this off-meta deck utilizing uncommon cards might be for you!
The general idea of this deck is to control the board with Magic Carpet+tokens and removal spells while setting up for Mountain Giants, Sea Giants, Edwin VanCleef, and Zarog's Crown (if necessary) to overwhelm your opponent. Usually, the giants are enough to overwhelm your opponent, but, against control, a big Edwin VanCleef and/or Zarog's Crown (or two!) might be necessary to pull out the victory.
Look for your removal spells and Bloodmage Thalnos, especially if wide boards are common:
Bloodsail Flybooter is a great one drop for us, and it has synergy with Magic Carpet. Look for our token generators to support Magic Carpet, and you can often swing the board completely in your favor by turn 4 or 5 with the help of Lackeys. Sea Giant can devastate aggro decks that go wide against us:
Mountain Giant is your primary focus against control as it draws out removal and puts on a lot of pressure early. Token generators or card draw is also helpful for early game in case you don't get a Mountain Giant initially:
- Obviously, Magic Carpet has synergy with all of the 1-drops and Lackeys we generate in this deck, and there will be plenty of tokens for Magic Carpet to work with in this decklist.
- Sea Giant can be reduced to 1-mana, so it gains the +1 attack and rush from Magic Carpet!
- Any of our 3-drops can be Shadowstep'd and turned into 1-drops that benefit from Magic Carpet's effect (anyone want a 11/10 Edwin VanCleef with rush?).
- All of our token generators (Bloodsail Flybooter, Ravencaller, EVIL Miscreant, EVIL Cable Rat) are battlecries, doubling their value generation.
- Spirit of the Shark makes it easier to build our hand to play a Mountain Giant by cycling through our deck with Novice Engineer or by simply generating a lot of tokens.
- Lifedrinker can provide much-needed sustain when combined with Spirit of the Shark, or it can be used as lethal burn damage, especially when combined with Shadowstep.
- Edwin VanCleef can easily come out as a 16/16 on turn 5 when a Spirit of the Shark is on board.
- Lackeys get even stronger when a Spirit of the Shark is on board, not to mention that Heistbaron Togwaggle can generate us two treasures to help close out games.
- When combined with all of our tokens rushing into enemy minions from Magic Carpet, Witch's Cauldron can fill up our hand with more than enough spells to handle any situation in front of us. This combo can allow us to clear a board while sustaining hand size for a low cost Mountain Giant.
- Bloodlust, Lava Burst, Windfury, etc. are all cards that have synergy with our deck or can provide lethal otherwise missing from this decklist.
- Many control spells are available to Shaman that can help us late game to remove a problematic minion or gain board control (e.g. Hex, Lightning Storm, etc.).
This deck requires a lot of on-the-fly decision making based on the current game state--it's a lot like Cyclone Mage in that regard--knowing how and when to use your resources is what makes this deck fun, challenging, and powerful.
The most important thing to keep in mind is how much your giants will cost at any point in the game. Getting out a turn 4 Mountain Giant can steamroll the rest of the game for you, so managing your hand size to play a turn 4 Mountain Giant is imperative; I recommend playing conservatively against control decks to ensure you can play Mountain Giant early even though it can be tempting to throw out your tokens against an empty board. Similarly, Sea Giant can get on board early with this deck (thanks to Magic Carpet+1-drops), but knowing when to play and trade minions to manipulate Sea Giant's cost can be the difference between a win and a loss. For example, there can often be board states that put Sea Giant close to 1-mana; if you have a Magic Carpet on board, your Sea Giant can provide a 1-mana 9/8 with rush. Personally, I have used Shadowstep with 1-mana Sea Giants while a Magic Carpet is on board to clear my opponent's board and maintain mine.
The last thing to keep in mind is how to use your Lifedrinkers best. I usually try to be very greedy with them because of their versatility. On turn 10, Spirit of the Shark+Lifedrinker+Shadowstep+Lifedrinker can be 12 burn damage and 12 health restore. If you already have a Spirit of the Shark in play, you can bump it up to 18 burn damage and 18 health restore. However, you won't always get this kind of luxury each game, but knowing that combo exists can be critical to win in certain match-ups.
+2 Faceless Corruptor, -2 of Witch's Cauldron/Edwin VanCleef/Heistbaron Togwaggle
With the release of Descent of Dragons came some really powerful cards. In particular, Faceless Corruptor is a card that was so powerful it was nerfed within 10 days of the release. Even after the nerf, Faceless Corruptor is still very strong. Personally, I have found that sometimes Witch's Cauldron, Edwin VanCleef, and Heistbaron Togwaggle never find good opportunities to be played. As such, Faceless Corruptor is a great substitution to create immediate board impact while taking advantage of all the small minions we generate in this deck. If you also feel like any cards aren't working out for you, Faceless Corruptor is a great card to try out instead.
Good luck, and have fun! If you would like to read how I came up with this deck idea, keep reading below.
How This Deck Came to Life
This deck is an idea I came up with after desperately trying to make Pogo-Hopper Rogue work after the Pogo-Hopper mana cost buff from Rise of Mechs. I started with a standard Pogo Rogue decklist (from pros like Dog) and tried to find a way to make it more consistent and powerful. The first addition I made was Magic Carpet because it seemed like a way to make up for the underwhelming impact Pogo-Hopper has on board the turn it is played. The addition of Magic Carpet felt really good when I could get a bunch of Pogo-Hoppers in my hand, but having a bunch of Pogo-Hoppers in hand wasn't common until late-game, so it ended up being more of a win-more card than anything.
I really wanted to keep the Pogo-Hopper-Magic Carpet synergy, so I thought of ways to increase Magic Carpet's value. The obvious way to increase its value is by adding more 1-drops to the deck; however, adding more 1-drops to the deck creates anti-synergy with Witchwood Piper as a tutor for Pogo-Hopper. Thus, I looked for other ways to get 1-drops into this deck.
Welcome Ravencaller! I love decks that utilize interesting, off-meta cards, so I was immediately drawn to the idea of having a card like Ravencaller in the deck. Ravencaller allowed me to get more 1-drops into the deck without ruining the Witchwood Piper synergy. Ravencaller also has synergy with Spirit of the Shark (which is basically an auto-include in Pogo-Hopper decks). The addition of Ravencaller got me thinking: How can I generate more 1-drops for the deck?
It just so happens that Rogue has access to a really good 1-drop generator, EVIL Miscreant. The floodgates had been opened, and I realized that Magic Carpet had so much potential with Lackeys. Not only do Lackey generators free up the deck for more cards by limiting the number of 1-drops necessary for a Magic Carpet deck, but they also have synergy with Spirit of the Shark and no anti-synergy with Witchwood Piper.
After play testing the new and improved Pogo Rogue, I began to realize something: Pogo-Hopper and its synergy cards (Witchwood Piper, Lab Recruiter, Daring Escape, and Togwaggle's Scheme) were kind of holding the deck back. Additionally, I noticed that I was having hand size issues due to the constant generation of 1-drops into my hand while also having an easy time creating a wide board in the mid- to late-game (these notes were critical to the creation of the current decklist). This information got me thinking: why don't I just make token-generating Rogue deck?! Because there is no finishing power, that's why. Back to the drawing board I went. How could I give this deck finishing power?
Say hello to my giant friends! After removing the Pogo-Hopper synergy cards, I had a lot of room to work with to improve the deck. Since I had noticed that I was having hand size issues and I was still able to create wide boards throughout the game, I tried something a little radical: adding not just one giant, but two (Mountain Giant & Sea Giant)! But surely a rogue deck can't run four giants?! Well, guess again!
Mountain Giant has awesome synergy with all the card generation from Ravencaller and EVIL Miscreant, plus Rogue removal+draw cards (e.g. Fan of Knives), so I can often play a Mountain Giant by turn 4 or 5 while getting minions on board, removing enemy minions, and/or cycling through the deck. Mountain GaintBADCARDNAME gives the deck mid-game threat and finishing potential.
As for Sea Giant, this card works as anti-aggro, snowballing big boards, and even has Magic Carpet synergy! Furthermore, having two Sea Giants gives two more 8/8s that the enemy has to remove.
Since I still had room in the deck for other cards, I added Edwin VanCleef (due to his synergy with Shadowstep and playing tons of 1-drops in a turn), Heistbaron Togwaggle (because of the plentiful Lackeys and his strong battlecry that can has synergy with Spirit of the Shark and can generate two more big minions from Zarog's Crown), and With's CouldronBADCARDNAME (due to its synergy with Mountain Giant and Magic Carpet+1-drops dying).
At the end of the year of the dragon, Descent of Dragons was announced which included the rogue minion Bloodsail Flybooter. Icing on the cake! This card is exactly what this deck needed--a 1-drop that increases our hand size while also adding more 1-drops to our hand to play with Magic Carpet (something that earlier versions of the deck were missing when Pharaoh Cat was our main early game minion). This addition also means that the deck has some promise even after the rotation when Ravencaller is forced out of standard.
If you read this far, you're awesome! I have had this deck on my mind since I created it back during Rise of Mechs. I really love the deck because it pushes a unique archetype that I have yet to see any class mimic, and I hope you enjoy it too!
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