Wild Quest Rogue Deck List Guide - Rise of Shadows April 2019
Wild Quest Rogue is a polarizing anti-control deck which has gone through many changes and iterations since its initial release in Journey to Un'Goro. Despite the nerf to Giggling Inventor, Wild Quest Rogue remains a viable option in the current meta. A very difficult deck to pilot, Wild Quest Rogue has overwhelmingly positive win rates against control and combo decks, and overwhelmingly negative win rates against fast aggro decks.
As one of the few Rogue archetypes not affected by the February balance patch, Quest Rogue has seen a significant increase in popularity at high ranks.
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Aim of Wild Quest Rogue
Wild Quest Rogue is a deck that refuses to go away, despite nerfs to both The Caverns Below and Crystal Core across multiple years. The Boomsday Project introduced Giggling Inventor to deck, which was easily abused by the numerous bounces effects in Wild Quest Rogue until the card's eventual nerf. Though Wild Quest Rogue is not quite as powerful without access to 5 Mana Giggling Inventors, a well-practiced Wild Quest Rogue pilot remains a force to be reckoned with.
Speed was the factor that initially drove Wild Quest Rogue's success, but that was before the quest completion requirement for The Caverns Below was raised from 4 minions to 5 and the effect on Crystal Core was reduced from 5/5 to 4/4. Now, the key factor for Wild Quest Rogue is inevitability. With Valeera the Hollow, Zola the Gorgon, and Lab Recruiter, Wild Quest Rogue can create endless waves of 4/4s to overwhelm the resources of nearly any control deck. Against aggro, Glacial Shard, Vanish, and Wax Elementals are used to stall out the game until the quest is complete, and Vicious Scalehide can be used to heal out of burst damage range.
A very wide range of cards are worth keeping in Wild Quest Rogue, from bounce effects like Shadowstep to defensive tools such as Glacial Shard. Though your matchup should be carefully considered before making any mulligan decisions, Sonya Shadowdancer, Mimic Pod, and Shadowstep are among the most efficient cards in the deck, and should be kept the vast majority of matchups.
Fast aggro decks are Wild Quest Rogue's greatest threat. When making mulligan decisions against aggro decks, try to consider what the primary win condition is for your opponent and mulligan aggressively for cards which are effective against it. Though Glacial Shard and Fan of Knives are good keeps against aggro for buying time until your quest is complete, you will often need both Preparation and Vanish in order to beat token-based aggro decks. Vicious Scalehide is a necessary piece of the puzzle for stabilizing against burst damage, but it is also one of the weaker cards in the deck to use as an activator for The Caverns Below and should only be kept against aggro decks that run pesky 1-Health minions.
The equation completely changes against slow decks which are unable to apply pressure in the early and mid game. In these matchups, look to keep card draw and bounce effects so you can complete the quest as quickly as possible.
The First 2 Turns
The vast majority of games will start with The Caverns Below on Turn 1 into dagger on 2. There are rare moments where it is correct to play a Turn 1 Glacial Shard, but these situations are the exception to the rule and come up quite infrequently.
Wild Quest Rogue is a very Mana-hungry deck which is frequently able to use all of its Mana each turn. Having a dagger to trade into your opponent's minions is incredibly valuable in the mid game, which makes Hero Power into no attacks the most commonly correct turn 2 play. It will sometimes be correct play a 2 drop and bounce it back to hand with Shadowstep (or set up a bounce on the following turn with Youthful Brewmaster), but it is uncommon that you will have enough information on turn 2 to be confident that your early minions are the best possible targets for your precious bounce effects.
Wild Quest Rogue Mid Game Against Fast Decks
The objective against minion-based aggro decks is to keep the board clear and your life total as high as possible. In these matchups, you will typically need to use your bounce resources on Glacial Shards to buy time until Vanish can be used to clear the board and march you closer to quest completion. Aggro can be very difficult for Wild Quest Rogue without a Vanish, as the card is often needed for board control and quest completion. Without a Vanish, Wild Quest Rogue players will need to come up with intricate, multi-turn plans on the fly. Do not be afraid to take your time when playing Wild Quest Rogue, especially against aggro decks.
Wild Quest Rogue Mid Game Against Slow Decks
Wild Quest Rogue is designed to prey on control decks. Consequently, games against control decks are much easier to navigate than games against aggro.
When playing slower decks, you will need to determine if it is better to go for quick kills or play for a slower game with Zola the Gorgon and Valeera the Hollow. Against decks with slow win conditions and minimal early game, such as Big Spells Mage and Control Priest, you are in absolutely no rush to complete the quest in a timely manner. In these matchups, you can afford to make safe and conservative decisions in the mid game to maximize the chances you survive until Zola and Valeera can be used to create never-ending boards.
There are a subset of slow decks which do not play to the board in the early game, but are still capable of ending the game in a single turn with combos. Against decks like Malygos Druid, you will not always have inevitability on your side against some of their faster draws. Try to punish these decks for their lack of mid-game presence by completing the quest as quickly as possible and using your board of 4/4s to kill them before their combos can ever be assembled.
Decks with minimal early game board presence are much easier to combo off against, as they allow you to use your bounce spells on Novice Engineer and Elven Minstrel to quickly churn through your deck for missing combo pieces. When facing down little or no early game pressure, play your Mimic Pod and Elven Minstrels early to quickly fill your hand cards before choosing the perfect minion to complete your quest with.
Wild Quest Rogue Late Game
As previously mentioned, the late game plan of Zola the Gorgon, Lab Recruiter, and Valeera the Hollow is too much for the vast majority of decks to handle. The most common play pattern in the late game is to play a Rush or Charge minion, copy it with Zola, then use the Shadow Reflection of Zola to copy the Zola that is already in play. This presents 3 or 4 4/4s to your opponent without consuming any actual cards from your hand. For this reason, you should avoid using Zola as a quest completion tool against slower decks unless you can immediately Vanish it back to your hand.
Lab Recruiter is a recent addition to Wild Quest Rogue since the Giggling Inventor nerf, as the deck no longer has the same consistency it once did at closing out games after the quest is completed. A single copy of Lab Recruiter can be used with Shadow Reflection or Zola the Gorgon to provide the deck with a powerful late game plan against grindy decks, create a never-ending wave of threats while preventing fatigue. Against faster decks, it can be deployed in the early or midgame to add additional copies of key minions to our deck.
Single Card Strategies
Preparation is one of the strongest cards in Wild Quest Rogue, as it enables a number of tempo plays with Vanish and Crystal Core. Though it may be tempting to use Preparation on Mimic Pod to gain information in the early game, Preparation must often be used on Vanish or Crystal Core in order to stay alive against aggressive decks. It is typically not wise to use Preparation on a Mimic Pod unless you find yourself in a desperate situation, or if you already have both copies of Preparation in hand.
Sonya Shadowdancer enables a number of easy quest completions in combination with Wild Quest Rogue's Rush and Charge minions. With 8 Mana, Sonya, and one Charge minion, the quest can be completed in a single turn by repeatedly trading the Charge minion into your opponent's board. With Sonya and a Charge minion in your opening hand, you do not need to waste any of your bounce effects on completing the quest, as you can afford to save these cards for value plays instead.
Key Cards and Swaps
Legendaries and Epics
Unfortunately, Wild Quest Rogue is not a budget-friendly deck. All four of the Legendary cards in Wild Quest Rogue are necessary for it function at a high level. The only 2 Epic cards in the deck are Preparations, but these too are necessary for the deck to be played at a competitive level.
Wild Quest Rogue is a very tight with minimal flex slots. Though I would not recommend playing Wild Quest Rogue on the ladder if the meta is leaning heavily towards aggro, Sap or Backstab can be played in place of card draw to slow down your opponent's game plan.
Quick Tips and Tricks
- Hand size can sometimes be an issue for Wild Quest Rogue. Crystal Core can potentially be overdrawn if the minion used to complete the quest adds a card to hand with its Battlecry. Always make sure you have room in your hand for Crystal Core if you are going off with Novice Engineer!
- It is much better to take face damage with your dagger early than it is to completely lose control of the board in the mid game. Though it may be tempting to draw cards and work towards completing your quest in first few turns, it is typically much better clear away your opponent's early minions with your hero power instead.
- Playing The Coin into Elven Minstrel on turn 3 is better against aggro than Mimic Pod is, while the opposite is typically true against control.
Similar Hearthstone Decks
If you enjoyed playing this deck, you may also enjoy other combo decks for Rogue. Malygos Rogue is a fun and reliable OTK deck which abuses the Deathrattle trigger on Kobold Illusionist to create multiple copies of Malygos in a single turn.
- 08 Apr. 2019: Deck has been moved to Wild for the year of the Dragon.
- 03 Mar. 2019: Deck has been updated for the March play season. Removed 1x Mimic Pod for 1x Zilliax.
- 08 Feb. 2019: Deck has been reviewed for the February balance patch.
- 01 Jan. 2019: Deck has been reviewed for the January play season.
- 04 Dec. 2018: Deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
- 26 Oct. 2018: Removed 2x Giggling Inventor and 1x Stonetusk Boar for 2x Fan of Knives and 1x Lab Recruiter.
- 15 Aug. 2018: Removed the Spark package for Giggling Inventor and Wax Elemental. Updated the Wild version to include Giggling Inventor.
- 08 Aug. 2018: Deck added.
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