Tempo Rogue Deck

Last updated on Apr 26, 2018 at 12:50 by Kat 26 comments

The following guide outlines how to play Tempo Rogue effectively. Tempo Rogue is a very strong meta-counter deck when you are facing a lot of decks that try to race you down, such as Pirate Warrior. Despite this, it is also effective at rushing down slow Control decks, as it can kill them before any of their powerful cards become available.

1. Tempo Rogue Card List

This deck costs 8,440 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Rogue Cards Neutral Cards
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2. Tempo Rogue Mana Curve


3. Tempo Rogue Strategy

Tempo Rogue is one of the most relentlessly aggressive decks that you can play in the entire game. It is not only well equipped to win early-game board battles against other aggressive decks, but can also output so much damage so quickly that Control decks will not have a chance to gain a foothold in the game.

3.1. Key Skills

3.1.1. Trade or Face?

The style of the deck is very aggressive and as such your first priority should be damage to the opponent's hero. Having said that, that does not give you complete freedom to simply attack directly on every turn. The right mentality to get into is to consider how your opponent punishes you for attacking them in the face. They might be able to pick up a more favourable trade, they may be able to sweep your board with an AoE spell and keep a minion in play themselves, they may be able to buff their existing minion, and so on. Once you have established these potential punishes in your mind, you need to evaluate how often you win the game in the scenario where they have the cards you considered and weigh that against how likely they are to have them. In the scenarios where you cannot think of a strong punish, or in the scenarios where you think you still win the game if they have it, then you are free to push damage as you see fit. This is a skill that will develop with time, and you will find yourself encountering punishes you had not thought of for the first few games, but over time you will gain a feel for how aggressive to be with this deck.

Since this deck is so aggressive, the mentality is tipped heavily in favour of pushing damage where you can. You can use tools like Backstab and your Wicked Knife to control the board and allow repetitive damage from your minions, but for the most part you should establish yourself as the aggressor. Trading is more beneficial if you are looking to set up a power turn like Cold Blood as a follow up. In this case, trading effectively can you allow you to more reliably stick a target to the board.

3.1.2. Evaluating Your Outs and Setting Up Lethal

Very commonly with this deck, you will find yourself in the situation where you are relying on the right draws from your deck to be able to finish the game. In this situation it is important to accurately evaluate the play that gives you the highest percentage chance of finishing the game. For example, small 1-drop minions like Fire Fly are often better held in your hand if your hand is otherwise empty. This means you can immediately activate a card like SI:7 Agent for direct damage. Even a card like Southsea Deckhand, which represents immediate damage, might be better held in hand if it can be combined with Cold Blood to finish the game. It is also important to sequence your finishing damage correctly. For example, if you have Charge minions in hand, you should play these first to be able to get the damage through before a Taunt comes down, and then follow up with damage like SI:7 Agent that can ignore Taunt.

3.1.3. Weapon Management

Managing your Dagger is also very important. Since you have so many cards that are effective when you have a weapon equipped, the Hero Power is a crucial part of your curve. Essentially, every time you choose to attack with your dagger, you are spending one additional Mana over the course of the game, since it is likely you will want to re-Dagger again in the near future to activate synergy. This creates a real dilemma in the deck since you do not want to be missing damage by failing to swing enough, but swinging too much will interrupt your curve and slow down your development. Always consider your Dagger usage when planning out the curve as laid out in the above paragraph.

4. Tempo Rogue Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

You should primarily be looking for Prince Keleseth in your opening hand due to the huge strength in adds to the deck, especially against slower opponents.

Against more aggressive opponents, it is more important to have a solid curve of cards and you should keep a 1 Mana play such as Southsea Deckhand or Fire Fly to contest the early-game board.

If you already have Prince Keleseth you can additionally look for Shadowstep to combine with it to provide an even stronger boost to your minion.

5. Tempo Rogue Card Swaps

Most of the minions in the deck are fairly flexible, with the exception of Prince Keleseth. An additional late-game threat such as The Lich King can be added to provide more late-game strength against Control decks or a second Tar Creeper can be added to provide an an additional defensive tool against Aggro.

6. Changelog

  • 26 Apr. 2018: Removed 2x Swashburglar for 2x Blink Fox.
  • 13 Apr. 2018: Deck updated for the Witchwood expansion.
  • 07 Feb. 2018: Deck updated for the 10.2 Balance Patch. Removed 2x Corridor Creeper, 1x Tar Creeper, 1x Shaku, the Collector for 2x Cold Blood, 2 Saronite Chain Gang.
  • 09 Dec. 2017: Deck updated for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion. Removed 2x Loot Hoarder, 2x Defender of Argus, 2x Dread Corsair, 2x Shadow Rager, 2x Deadly Poison, 2x Cold Blood, 2x Argent Squire for 2x Southsea Captain, 2x Corridor Creeper, 2x Cobalt Scalebane, 2x Firefly, 2x Tar Creeper, 2x Shadowstep, 1x Vilespine Slayer, 1x Prince Keleseth, 1x Sonya Shadowdancer.
  • 10 Jun. 2017: Guide updated to reflect new Icy Veins archetype format.
  • 06 Apr. 2017: Deck updated for the Journey to Un'Goro expansion. Removed 2x Buccaneer, 2x Small-Time Buccaneer, 2x Argent Horserider, 1x Lotus Assasin for 2x Swashburglar 1x Backstab, 1x Naga Corsair, 1x Edwin Vancleef, 1x Shaku, the Collector, 1x Vilespine Slayer.
  • 03 Dec. 2016: Deck added.
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