Welcome to the guide for playing Miracle Rogue! Miracle Rogue has been considered as a deck that can be mastered by only a few and that if you are a new player, you can forget about playing Miracle Rogue. Part of that is true. Yes, it’s a difficult deck to play compared to other decks and even more difficult to master, but anyone can learn how to play it. With the help of this guide you should have most of the basics if not some advanced concepts covered that can get you on your way to that golden portrait and all of the ladder fame.
A golden Rogue is always astonishing to see in ladder. Not as astonishing as it is to see a golden Hunter, but it’s a feat that was probably accomplished with a perfect combination of effort, brains and agility. It’s impressive to see people like MrYagut just slicing their way through ladder like knife through butter and at the same time seductive for someone to try to take the shades and play Miracle Rogue. A lot of people will find themselves absolutely lost when they start playing Miracle as there are simply so many cheap cards (especially with the new Counterfeit Coin) that can be played at any time but are supposed to be saved for some sick miracle combos. For those that are brand new or never cared much before, Miracle Rogue is a combo deck that uses all kinds of early game combos to fend off early aggression like Backstab, Eviscerate and the new Pirate Pack, Swashburglars, Small-Time Buccaneers and of course, Patches the Pirate. The deck is concentrated on survival until the mid game, where Tomb Pillagers and Azure Drakes take over which then lead to the Miracle turns with Gadgetzan Auctioneer and an avalanche of cheap spells, in order to either draw out your salvation or deal the final blow. Without further ado, let’s get into the guide!
Mulligan for this deck is based on what type of the deck you face. There will be Druid & Paladin as the slower decks nowadays, Priest and Hunter as midrange and Shaman, Warrior & Rogue as the fast classes (or the classes that run Pirates). Please note that this was written for the meta in Season 34 (January 2017) and it is open to change at some point, so it might not be as accurate in 4 or 5 seasons unless updated. Moreover, the Mulligan whilst having the coin compared to not having it varies a bit as the Coin can help you get a stronger Edwin at any point of the game.
Before we get into the strategy, it is strongly recommended that anyone who is planning on starting with Miracle Rogue get some kind of a deck tracker (like https://hsdecktracker.net/) because you will need it to track what you have left in your deck from spells. More on that later though. Let’s move onto the strategy!
Not that long ago, Miracle Rogue’s early game consisted of only Backstab and Hero Power Weapon with hopes that one can coin out SI:7 on turn 2. All of that changed when the pirate squad came along. Right now, as it can be seen from the mulligans, you should try to aim for the pirates against everyone, hard mulliganing for them against decks which also run the early pirate combo like Pirate Warrior, Aggro Shaman and any Rogues. Your early game should mainly consist of having Patches pulled out of your deck on the board either to trade or to go face and a Small-time Buccaneer preferably who would get buffed from your hero power. If you get to be unfortunate enough to have Patches in your hand, try to save him as a ping for finishing off enemy minions or use him as a combo triggerer. Compared to other classes running pirates, Rogue has the most consistent way of triggering Small-Time Buccaneer’s effect, so make sure you make use of it. Backstab is also one of the biggest tempo twisters for early game, just make sure that you use it on a minion BEFORE you attack it.
The dream starts are:
With Coin: T1 Small-Time Buccaneer T2 Hero Power T3 Coin + Tomb Pillager T4 Counterfeit Coin + Azure Drake
Backstab is great on any turn as per need. Keep in mind it deals 3 damage if you play it with Azure Drake.
Without Coin: T1 Small-Time Buccaneer T2 Hero Power T3 Small-Time Buccaneer + Hero Power OR Questing Adventurer + Preparation + Conceal against slower decks T4 Tomb Pillager T5 Azure Drake
The mid game is where it gets really interesting (or confusing). As you get close to the miracle turn (T6 with Auctioneer) you should look forward to having some minions on the board while keeping the opponent’s minions in check. Turns that have strong combos like Tomb Pillager or Azure Drake + Backstab or Preparation + Eviscerate are some of the defining reasons of why Miracle Rogue is so potent as a deck. When it comes to Combos, do NOT be afraid to use them if you see that your opponent is overwhelming the board (especially if you don’t have a Gadgetzan Auctioneer in your hand to wait for). Also, don’t think that you have to have a spell to play with Azure Drake, the drake itself is a great body (especially against priest) and it cycles through your deck.
Now, as the Miracle Turn starring our protagonist Gadgetzan Auctioneer is coming around (turn 6), a couple of things are really important to keep in mind:
First, pay close attention to your hearthstone tracker and see what spells you have left. Being remotely aware of the chances of a spell coming next after you cycle with Auctioneer can help you a lot in deciding if you will use Preparation or not for example.
If you have some coins in your hand, make sure that you play them first after playing the Auctioneer so that you have no chance of making a mistake and playing one after a Preparation as the effect of the Preparation will be entirely wasted this way.
If you do have a Backstab in your hand, make sure that you use it before any other damage dealing spells like Fan of Knives.
If you have a Conceal that you are planning on stealthing your Auctioneer at the end of the turn with, make sure that you attacked with all minions before playing it. A lot of people get carried away with the burst of amazing cards and make this mistake.
Be on the lookout that if you manage to play three coins after playing the Auctioneer, you will have exactly enough mana to get Edwin out. Make sure that you don’t get too carried away and miss out on a strong Edwin only so that you could cycle once or twice more.
A successful turn 6/7 is usually with a cleared enemy board and a concealed Auctioneer. After you get yourself to that point, it’s calm seas all the way. One of the best finishers is obviously the combination of Leeroy Jenkins + Cold Blood which can deal instant 10 damage to the opponent’s face on top of which you can play another Cold Blood or/and Eviscerate.
Strategy Aspect: The Combo Brothers
Even though there will be a whole chapter below dealing with frequently asked questions by the community, a question which is usually most commonly asked is about when to play the Questing Adventurer or Edwin VanCleef. This chapter will hopefully clear this up.
When it comes to Questing Adventurer, it’s definitely a card much slower than a SI:7. SI:7 can easily be played on turn 3 without the combo just as a tempo card and it still gives a decent amount of value whereas a Questing Adventurer played without anything after it doesn’t make any sense in 95% of cases. There are two ways to play the adventurer. The first way is to play him on turn 4 or 5 with a couple of spells if you don’t have any Tomb Pillagers or Azure Drakes as it provides you with a solid body on the board and more importantly it creates a big threat for your opponent that a lot of people will overextend for. Another way to play the Adventurer would be like you would play Edwin, in late game and with a lot of spells included. There are pros and cons to each way. If you get him out early, you are trying to bait out or pressure your opponent, and if you play him late, it’s usually against slower decks that you can go against with big minions and not be afraid of them getting removed easily.
With both of them, try to be aware of how fast the opponent’s deck is and how can they respond to your big Adventurer or Edwin. Are they a Priest/Shaman/Mage/Druid/Warlock? What are the chances that they have a Shadow Word:Death/Hex/Polymorph/Mulch/Blastcrystal Potion? If the answer to that is “pretty high” then not going for massive combos and getting out a 4/4 adventurer or a 6/6 edwin is absolutely fine.
If they don’t have an easy way to deal with your brothers and they are being slow at the same time, being patient with playing them and waiting for one more turn just to get a super buffed Edwin or an Adventurer might be worth it. Obviously, having a Conceal for either of them is amazing and should be saved if you can see that you have either of them in your hand and the chances are pretty high that you will play either very soon.
When to backstab and when to trade?
Using backstab is great in the early game and you should value your minions more than anything with this deck. The only reason to trade is if you don’t have enough damage to kill a minion with your backstab.
Be aware of how many outs (damage dealing spells) you have left in your deck by using a deck tracker. If you see that you are running low on outs, going face with minions a bit more might not be a bad idea.
When is enough of face tanking (removing minions with your face)?
Obviously, don’t face tank too much against aggressive decks like Pirate Warrior and Aggro Shaman, with this you are just helping them. Try to stop taking any unnecessary face damage around 25 HP against them. Against other classes, think if they have a high damage dealing combo, like Renolock or another Miracle Rogue. Try to track their cards (especially against rogues) and think of how much maximum damage they can deal with 10 mana.
Warlock, for example, can deal 20 instant damage with Leeroy + Power Overwhelming + Faceless Manipulator. 12 without the Power Overwhelming. Rogues, on the other hand, can deal over 20 damage as well if they haven’t used any Cold Bloods or Eviscerates. This is where keeping track of their outs is very important.
When to go face with hero power?
Don't go face unless you know that you will have enough mana next turn to refresh your weapon.
In case you run a different list than the one I use and run a Deadly Poison in it, it’s one more of a reason to not just blindly attack face as you can always get 3 more damage from an extra weapon charge.
On the other hand, going face can be a good idea if you are aware that you might need that 1 extra damage in order to finish off your opponent next turn.
Should I coin out Auctioneer if I have/don’t have a spell to follow it up with immediately?
If you don’t have a spell to follow it up with, obviously not. But if you can follow it up with a Preparation + Conceal, it might be a good idea just to simply cycle through your deck and get more options for upcoming turns. It’s a move liked by some Rogue experts and hated by some. There are many more good things that can come out of it than bad ones.
I have three minions on the board, does it matter whom I use Cold Blood on?
Absolutely. First thing to ask yourself is “which one of my minions is the highest threat to the opponent?” A good example is Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Anyone would break a leg trying to reach out to it and remove it so using your Cold Blood on another minion is always a great idea.
Another thing to pay attention to against priests is the range of which Shadow Word will you be putting your minion in. Has the opponent already used all Shadow Word:Deaths? Go bananas. If not, using a Cold Blood on Patches even might not be a too terrible of an idea. Using Cold Blood on Patches is also a great move if you have to get rid of an Azure Drake for example.
When should I use Leeroy to trade?
Use him on either taunts that you can’t really reach out to with your damaging spells (outs) like Twilight Guardian (3/6 dragon with taunt) or on Jade Behemoth (3/6 druid taunt) or on minions that have a high level of threat like Fandral Staghelm or the enemy’s Gadgetzan Auctioneer.
It also helps a lot to remove one of the whelps the enemy gets from Leeroy with your hero power or Backstab if you want to keep your other minions currently on the board alive.
Should I play the Preparation on Miracle Turn even when I have no more spells in my hand to go with it?
This is where the deck tracker plays a big role. See what the chances are that the next card you draw will be a spell. If the chance is more than 30%, then it pays off as cycling is usually not a bad thing. Additionally, if you don’t have any spells left nor Edwin or Questing Adventurers, you won’t ever use the effect of that Preparation so you may as well get an extra cycle out of it.
Would you ever use Backstab on your own Gadgetzan Auctioneer just for the sake of cycle?
It’s a pretty bad practice, and strongly advised against, but if you are really desperate for another card draw and you know that your opponent can’t deal with your 4/2 Gadgetzan in any way, then it might be ok.
It is important to say that backstabbing another minion on the board that you don’t really care too much about (like a used Patches or Tomb Pillager) during your Miracle turn is also a pretty legit play as you trade a pretty useless minion for a card draw.
And one of the most commonly asked questions, what is your tip on improving with Miracle Rogue?
Miracle Rogue is a pretty difficult deck to get a hang of and it might sound like a cliche, but you gotta play your heart out with it if you truly want to get good. Some great advice would be to take screenshots whenever you are unsure of a move and check it out after the game and see what were your possibilities. The chances are pretty high you will find yourself in the exact same situation and if you are already prepared for it, you outrule the possibility to misplay. Also, if you see that you need a lot of time to figure out a turn, screenshot it and check it out later.
If you haven’t already downloaded a deck tracker while you were reading this guide, then go do it now! It’s a crucial tool to have if you are getting into Miracle Rogue if you haven’t been using it yet. Here’s the link https://hsdecktracker.net/.
Another great piece of advice on playing Miracle Rogue (just as with any other deck) is to find a video of a streamer/pro playing the deck and pause the video during some moves that seem complicated. Try to figure out the move on your own before resuming and see what the pro plays. Great Rogue players that I would recommend are Xzirez, Ryzen, Casie and MrYagut.
Please note that the given evaluation is solely based on personal games and those of close friends. The difficulty of a match-up as the expected win percentage will be presented in the following form: Very bad – 20%-29%, Bad 30%-39%, Average – 40%-59%, Good 60%-79%, Very Good 80%-100%.
The key cards versus every match-up will also be presented as the cards that you should be PATIENT with and which should be dropped at just the right moment as they can turn the game in your favour easily. The decks from the first two tiers will be covered as the win rates for lower tiers are very hard to determine. The matchups will also be sorted by class, not the victory rate percentage:
Aggro - Average Matchup - 40% - The key to winning the Aggro Shaman matchup is getting the Small-Time Buccaneer early on (with having Patches in the deck hopefully). The early game revolves around the good use of removals on solid targets like Totem Golem and Tunnel Trogg. Having a Sap for the Flamewreathed Faceless usually seals the deal.
Key cards: Small-Time Buccaneer, Backstab, Sap
Midrange Jade - Average Matchup - 50% - The midrange shaman with the new jade pack is a bit of an easier matchup than the aggro shaman as it gives you more space to develop your board as they usually spam totems for the first couple of turns. You should take the role of the aggressor in this matchup while keeping a close eye on how easy is it for him to remove your entire board with a Lightning Storm. Tomb Pillagers and Azure Drakes win games as they can easily bait out a Hex which leaves your Edwin safe. Conceal is very useful as well as it prevents the Shaman from using the Jade Lightning or any other targetting spells, so don’t try to save conceal for Gadge all the time.
Pure Pirate - Average Matchup - 40% - This is one of the matchups that can really get out of hand if the opponent gets a sick start. Try to clear all of his pirates at all cost to prevent from getting his weapon buffed by a Bloodsail Cultist. Try to save Eviscerates for Frothing Berserkers or Bloodsail Cultists if you have the opportunity to. Don’t hesitate to Prep a spell out as you might not even get to the Miracle Turn.
Dragon Pirate - Average Matchup - 50% - Dragon Pirate should be approached in a similar manner as to the pure pirate decks, just think twice before you use a prep. Is it going to give you good value and a strong tempo swing? Use it. If not, then maybe save it for the Miracle turn, as the chances are much higher you will reach it. Try to save the Sap for big minions like Drakonid Crusher and Ragnaros the Firelord if you can.
Miracle - Average Matchup - 50% - The mirror matchup will most likely come down to who gets the Tomb Pillager on the board first and who manages to get the best Prep+Eviscerate turn. Conceal is also powerful as the Rogue has no way to deal with it.
Midrange - Good Matchup - 60% - There aren’t that many hunters going around right now but those that are are mostly playing some kind of a midrange version which means juicy Savannah Highmane Saps. Make sure to not go face too much and to remove every beast they throw at you as you never know if they run Houndmasters or not. Fan of Knives is great to clear up spiders after the Infested Wolf.
Dragon - Average Matchup - 55% - Playing against dragon priest usually depends on how good of a curve they can pull off and if they can actually pressure you down a lot. Games can go both ways and unfortunately the win depends heavily on it. You have to race them as miracle rogue and lead the game with early pirates and strong mid game with Tomb Pillager and Azure Drake.
Key cards: Backstab, Tomb Pillager, Azure Drake
Reno Dragon - Good Matchup - 60% - Reno Priest is a slightly better matchup as there are a lot more empty turns and the deck has a pretty difficult time of taking the role of a tempo deck unlike the dragon priest. Midrange cards are worth a lot more and there isn’t that much fear of dropping a big Edwin/Questing Adventurer as they run only one Shadow Word:Death.
Jade - Good Matchup - 60% - Jade is generally not a problem as you have a lot of cards to deal with the threats they put out. It can get pretty overwhelming if they manage to get out strong Jade Golems early on as Rogue doesn’t have that many board clears. Against Druids try to keep the removals they have in mind and build a strong Questing Adventurer/Edwin.
Anyfin - Good Matchup - 60% - Anyfin is an incredibly slow deck, so be patient and preserve your spells for a perfect Miracle Turn. Minions are key, especially Tomb Pillagers who give you a Coin to use on the Miracle Turn.
Reno - Good Matchup - 60% - Against Renolocks, just make sure you are not losing the board too much as they have good means of reinforcing it. Try to bait out their hard removals like Blastcrystal Potion and Siphon Soul. After that, let the Combo Brothers loose. They also have no means of dealing more than 3 damage to the entire board at once (unless having a board clear Kazakus potion or Demonwrath on the same turn, which is very rare) so Conceal wins a lot of games.
Reno - Average Matchup - 55% - In comparison to Renolocks, mages have a bigger amount of strong single-target removal spells, and more board damage with spells like Flamestrike. Renomage is a bit more awkward to play against as you can’t kill him in a single turn if you have enough damage because of the Ice Block. And they can even manage to copy Reno and re-use him again, which can sometimes be a bit too much for many decks. Even though Miracle has really a lot of outs compared to other decks, they are still limited, so two renos are usually too much for miracle to handle. Sapping their Doomsayers is very useful.
If you feel like your deck is too slow and you are behind on every early game, try replacing Questing Adventurers with SI:7 Agents. If you are feeling how Swashburglars aren’t bringing you that much value or their 1 attack is not enough for your early trades, try out Southsea Deckhands. Also, if you are needing a change against faster decks, try two Deadly Poisons instead of one Counterfeit Coin and one Conceal.
Author: David “Sigma” Bakic
Sigma is a Hearthstone and Overwatch content creator for Good Gaming. If you like to take a look at a fresh perspective on a wide range of topics while being hit with a marvelous burst of in-depth information, try giving one of his articles a read. You won’t regret it. He also streams very occasionally where he gives away a bunch of rewards all the time!