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N'Zoth Thief Rogue Standard Deck

Last updated on Sep 21, 2016 at 16:11 by Sottle 1 comment

Table of Contents

This deck is an extremely fun and yet powerful build of Rogue that melds the N'Zoth Rogue strategy with the new Thief style cards that were added in One Night in Karazhan to create a hybrid Tempo strategy that can be powerful in a variety of different matchups.

The addition of N'Zoth, the Corruptor to this deck alongside the Thief package means that you have an additional push in the late-game that can allow you to compete with Control decks more effectively.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. N'Zoth Thief Rogue Standard Deck

Our deck costs 8,120 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Rogue Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This build of Rogue aims to combine the strategy of a N'Zoth Rogue deck with powerful Tempo plays and resource generation that come from the addition of cards from the Karazhan adventure like Swashburglar and Ethereal Peddler.

Swashburglar is the first new addition to the deck that provides Rogue with a much needed turn 1 play. Commonly, unless the Rogue was playing a very aggressive strategy, most high level decks would not include any potential cards to play on turn 1. Swashburglar, although an innocuous 1/1 body, immediately replaces itself in your hand with a card from the opponent's class and can also be combined with a Hero Power on turn 2 to allow you to efficiently take care of 3/2 minions from your opponent.

Managing the Rogue Hero Power is also hugely important in the early turns. A very common turn 2 play for this deck is simply to use Dagger Mastery and equip a Wicked Knife. It is important not to waste charges of this weapon by attacking your opponent's face, as having a dagger available on as many turns as possible is much more important than doing 1 damage to your opponent. The exception to this rule is when you expect to have spare Mana the following turn to be able to use Dagger Mastery again. In this case, attacking your opponent is fine if there is no better target available.

Also key to the early turns are your early Minions such as SI:7 Agent. SI:7 Agent will be key to removing your opponent's minions early and starting to take control of the board. If you have an SI:7 Agent in hand, pay close attention to cards such as Backstab as these cheap spells are important to activate the SI:7 Combo effect. Avoid using a Backstab if you feel you will need it in a later turn to Combo with your SI:7. This is another excellent usage for Swashburglar. Using it as a combo activator can prevent it from losing value later in the game.

During the mid-game, you will look to make a push for Tempo on the board. Since this deck does not play Gadgetzan Auctioneer you are not so obligated to hold on to your Preparations to activate huge combo turns. Quite often it is better to use a Preparation to use a clunky removal spell like Shadow Strike or Fan of Knives while dropping a minion on the same turn. This can be particularly powerful if the minion in question is Edwin VanCleef. You should refrain from doing things such as spending an entire turn casting Burgle as tempting as it may be since this will cause you to fall too far behind on the board.

Another way to generate Tempo in the mid-game is through the excellent Ethereal Peddler. As the game progresses, you will amass several cards from your opponent's class in your hand through Swashburglar, Undercity Huckster, and Burgle. These cards can then be discounted through Ethereal Peddler which in itself is a perfectly acceptable minion for 5 Mana. This can help you to gain huge amounts of Tempo in the following turns.

It is important with this deck to fight for the board aggressively wherever you can, since the deck does not have too many powerful ways to catch back up if you fall behind. There are some tools that can allow you to clear your opponent's board, but they rely on specific combinations such as a Spell Damage minion alongside Fan of Knives or lining up a perfect Dark Iron Skulker which cannot always be relied upon. This again, makes it very important to use your resources aggressively to maintain initiative and not hoard spells for an Auctioneer turn, or make low-Tempo plays such as turn 3 Burgle.

With that said, there is still a potential catch-up mechanism in the late-game in the form of Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. Due to the enormous amount of spells in the deck and the potential to gain additional spells from Burgle, Swashburglar, and Tomb Pillager, you have the potential to load up an incredibly destructive Yogg. Because of this, Yogg-Saron is included in the deck as a last-gasp that can be used as a last gasp board clear, or as a final attempt to generate some value for you if you have run out of resources.

Against Control decks specifically, the addition of N'Zoth, the Corruptor to the deck allows you to make a much needed final push to get you over the line when needed. Although the deck does not play any of the most powerful Deathrattle minions in the game that are usually included with N'Zoth, all of the Deathrattle minions you can revive are resource tools. This means that even if the Control deck is able to clear your board after your N'Zoth turn, it will still provide you with a lot of resources to be able to continue pressuring them in the late-game.

The timing of Yogg-Saron is crucial, ideally you want to play Yogg-Saron on a board where only your opponent has minions in play to maximise the chances of removal spells going to favourable targets. Despite this, if you hold on too long, then even Yogg-Saron will often be unable to catch you up unless your are lucky enough to cast Twisting Nether or DOOM!. If you are playing Yogg-Saron on a board with friendly minions it is usually correct to make the attacks with them first. However, this decision is dictated by the goal of your turn. If you are simply trying to clear the board then attacking with your minions first is usually correct, but if you are trying to kill your opponent as a last resort then having a minion in play that can be buffed for extra damage can mean that waiting to try and attack afterwards is correct.

When waiting for a Yogg-Saron turn to resolve, you can often gain some clues about what spells have been cast by looking at the UI. This is important since Yogg will often take the length of the entire turn to resolve all of its Spell casting, this means you will need to commit to certain further actions in order to get them through before the turns ends. As soon as you play Yogg-Saron any minions that have a green border are still alive and able to attack. The same applies for your Hero and will indicate if a spell such as Bite or Heroic Strike has been cast. On top of this any Spells in your hand that turn green are castable and will indicate that Preparation has been cast. Finally you can target any available attacks at enemy minions on the board to see if they are still alive and targettable, or will die by the end of the turn. Use all this information to plan your remaining actions accordingly.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Ethereal Peddler can be used to discount the cards that you gain from Burgle, Undercity Huckster, and Swashburglar.

Azure Drake and Bloodmage Thalnos can be used to increase the power of removal spells such as Fan of Knives.

The multitude of cheap cards in the deck makes activating combo effects such as SI:7 Agent, Eviscerate, and Edwin VanCleef very straightforward.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In every matchup you should look for Swashburglar in your opening hand. Since you have no other potential plays for turn 1, this card is your primary target. The other cards you will look for depend heavily on matchups.

Against aggressive decks you will want to look for Backstab, SI:7 Agent, and Eviscerate in your opening hand to allow you to maintain control of their early threats. A strong Edwin VanCleef hand that contains Backstab, Preparation, or The Coin can also be incredibly powerful against Aggro since most Aggro decks are not well equipped to deal with a huge minion early in the game.

Against Control decks you will want to look for cards that allow you to play as the aggressor such as Undercity Huckster, Tomb Pillager and SI:7 Agent. Your goal against these decks is to curve out as aggressively as possible and keep pressure on your opponent using your powerful mid-game minions.

3.3. Card Swaps

Journey Below can be included in the deck in place of Dark Iron Skulker to increase your winrate against Control decks by being able to pick up another high value Deathrattle minion.

4. ChangeLog

  • 21 Sep. 2016: Deck added.
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