Warning It appears that you may be blocking the ads, and we are fine with it (read more here). That said, it would really be awesome if you decided to whitelist our website or make a donation :) You can also send us Bitcoins (1DEkropiHPWBmfJxogFaXQscfzhmdpTti4)!

Tempo Rogue Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Sep 02, 2016 at 21:42 by Sottle 51 comments

Table of Contents

This deck is a Tempo focused Rogue build that focuses on dominating the board with aggressive minions and efficient removal options. It offers great winrates against common decks in the meta like Zoo, Shaman and Dragon Warrior and is therefore very well placed as a ladder climbing deck.

This deck was originally brough to light by Team Celestial member Breeze prior to One Night In Karazhan, but the addition of Swashburglar from that Adventure has played right in to the deck's strategy.

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. Tempo Rogue Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 1,760 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Rogue Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Tempo Rogue is a style of deck that was popular in the early days of Hearthstone but has more recently been supplanted by Miracle Rogue and Oil Rogue in subsequent expansions. It is a deck that simply tries to play for maximum board presence at all times and leverage the fact that the Rogue Hero Power and cards such as Backstab, Eviscerate, and SI:7 Agent are way more efficient in terms of effect per Mana than things that other classes have available to them.

Despite the presence of Cold Blood and Charge minions in the deck this should not be played as an all-out Face Aggro deck. Primarily you will be looking to trade favourably and remove your opponents minions on each turn. This is the strength of Rogue as a class as their Hero Power is naturally a more efficient removal tool than any other class. When combining this with cards like Backstab and SI:7 Agent, your ability to dominate the board with your efficiency is where the power of this deck lies. Dominating the board through correct trading is vital as much of the power of your deck lies in being able to activate Dark Iron Dwarf and Defender of Argus in later turns.

You will want to build the best possible platform in the early game turns. Argent Squire and Swashburglar should be mulliganed for in every matchup as the 1-drop minions in the deck are crucial for starting to build a platform for you. Having a minion on turn 1 opens up numerous options for you on the following turns. It can allow you to trade effectively into your opponent's opening minions using your Dagger on turn 2, support your follow up minions like Undercity Huckster, or simply enable you to activate an early Cold Blood on a sticky minion and create a huge amount of early aggression.

Defias Ringleader is your other way to create a big advantage for yourself early on. In games where you have The Coin, Coin into Defias Ringleader on turn 1 is a great opener. Furthermore it can combine perfectly with an early Argent Squire and Cold Blood to create an enormously aggressive early board that has its power distributed in a very awkward way for the opponent to deal with.

One of the key minions in the deck is Silithid Swarmer. This card represents a huge amount of stats for its Mana cost, but requires you to have an active Dagger charge on every turn in order to allow it to attack. This means you need to pay special attention to when you attack with your dagger to make sure you can maximise the usage of your Swarmers. For example, the curve of playing both Swarmers back to back on turns 2 and 3 using the The Coin will not usually work out too well since you will have no turn beforehand to develop a Hero Power and allow them to attack freely. The deck does however play a large number of 2 Mana cards, so this will allow you to play a Swarmer on 3 and then follow up with a 2-drop plus Hero Power on turn 4 in order to allow it to attack. It should be noted that Swarmer does not gain Charge on the turn you play it if you attack with your Dagger straight away.

Cold Blood is one of the most aggressive cards in the deck. Although it can be used to create a favourable trade, particularly with Argent Squire, it will usually be used to push aggressive damage once you have control of the board. When using Cold Blood try to spread the damage evenly on your board. If you already have a Silithid Swarmer in play for example, it is usually better to put Cold Blood on a smaller minion like a Undercity Huckster in order to force your opponent to deal with both threats instead of 1. The exception to this is when you expect your opponent to be able to answer your small minions, but not your large threats, in which case feel free to go all-in on the single big target.

Aside from this, most of the other cards in the deck are simply engineered to keep you high on resources at all times. All of the card draw effects in the deck, although slightly inefficient minions in themselves make sure that you always have resources in hand in order to make powerful plays on each turn. The goal of the deck is to rely on the card draw minions to keep your hand relatively full, which will then allow you to string together combinations of Rogue's cheap cards on each turn to gain yourself an advantage. Swashburglar being added to the deck amplifies this strategy as it creates even more "engine" type cards in the deck that can be proactive and keep your hand high on resources.

In the late-game turns, you need to be aware of whether it is correct to maintain the fight for control of the board, or whether you should switch to all out face damage. This decision usually relies on whether you feel like you can maintain board advantage for the entire game. If you start to feel the board slipping away from you, it may be correct to start to switch to an all out race for damage and try and push through as much damage as you can. This decision will have a huge impact on how you use your Argent Commanders, as the board focused style of play will see you use them to pick up great trades into minions like Azure Drake or Frothing Berserker, while the aggressive play will lead you to sending them directly at the opposing Hero, or even holding on them in the hope of drawing Cold Blood in particularly desperate situations.

If you have lost the board and are simply trying to race for damage, it is important to manage your outs efficiently. Take a moment to recap which remaining damage cards are left in your deck and how you are going to be able to win the game using them if they are drawn, this will allow you to calculate how much damage you need to do in order to at least give yourself a small chance of winning and allow you to play accordingly.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Argent Squire is a great target for Cold Blood in the early- or mid-game since it is so difficult to remove cleanly.

The various cheap cards in your deck will allow you to reliably activate Combo effects like Eviscerate and SI:7 Agent reliably.

Azure Drake can increase the power of your cheap removal spells like Backstab and Eviscerate.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Argent Squire is your go-to card in every matchup and should be mulliganed for appropriately. On top of this Swashburglar and your 2-drop minions like Loot Hoarder and Undercity Huckster are also fantastic. When you have The Coin, Defias Ringleader is an excellent keep, but if you are going first you should throw it away unless you already have Backstab or Argent Squire.

Against other decks that are looking to fight for early board presence like Zoo Warlock and aggressive Shamans then you should give higher priority to cards like SI:7 Agent and Backstab especially if you have The Coin. Argent Squire and Undercity Huckster are still good in these matchups but Loot Hoarder is often not good enough.

Against Control decks like slower Warriors then holding onto Silithid Swarmer is ok. Control decks will often have the tools to pick apart your early minions but will rarely be able to deal with a 3/5 on turn 3. Argent Squire is still a great minion however as it is resistant to most forms of removal.

3.3. Card Swaps

Silithid Swarmer can be substituted for Unearthed Raptor.

Argent Horserider can be removed from the deck in favour of Sap.

4. ChangeLog

  • 02 Sep. 2016: Deck added.
Force desktop version
Force mobile version