Yo dawg I heard you like grinding. Now while you’re grinding the ladder you can grind the ladder.
This deck is not quick to legend material. Every now and then it draws dead and it can struggle hard against certain match-ups, but when it goes right it goes so right. Each match up is different and winning through fatigue is the best way to win.
The game plan is to make your opponent draw, preferably when they already have 10 cards in hands so they get burned. The end game is to make them fatigue, and you get there by playing Coldlight as many times as possible while making use of cheap Rogue removal to keep you alive. Some of the time you win disappointingly early when the opponent can’t keep up with your tempo and you hit their face a bunch.
Example of a typical board
IMPORTANT! Be sure to spam the pleasure is mine every time you burn a legendary, it’s vital to the success of the deck.
Card explanations and tips
Shadowstep The aim is to play Coldlight a bunch and Shadowstep helps make that happen. What’s more is your Coldlights now only costs 1 mana. Tempo, tempo, tempo.
You can, and frequently will, bounce a Deathlord for a full heal against a Hunter, or replay Loatheb to deny a Druid combo for the second turn in a row – this is encouraged. Try not to die; it’s easier to win that way.
Blade Flurry You’re going to be giving your opponent a lot of minions so you’re going to want mass removal. I run two; not only do you not want your only copy to be buried in the bottom 5 cards, but between spell power and Deadly Poison it can do serious work. It’s great vs Mech Mage, Hunter, and Paladin.
Gang Up Awww yiss. The biggest inconsistency with mill rogue used to be if you don’t draw the Coldlight you instantly lose – but you didn’t want to run card draw because you’d fatigue before you’re opponent.
Not only does Gang Up allow you to run 8 of one card it also means you’re instantly 6 cards behind on fatigue. Between Gang Up and other decks’ card draw they’ll always fatigue first even if they try not to. The extra draw means you’re more likely to draw the Coldlight or the answer you need when you need it.
What’s more it means you don’t have to be so protective over your Coldlight when you have 5 more in your deck and two in you hand.
Remember, ordering of Gang Up matters. If you’re planning on re-playing the Coldlight and leaving it on the board you might want to Gang Up before you replay it so you’re likely to draw a replacement, but if you’re looking for a much needed vanish do it after.
Sap Quick note – it’s a 2 mana assassinate when your opponent has 10 cards in hand.
Coldlight Oracle Like miracle decks of old you’ll be wanting to hear the same battle cry repeatedly. Rather than the obviously comical “Leeeeerrrooyy” it’s been replaced with the more serious and stoic “Mrgrlglglglglah”. You’re usually wanting to mulligan for it and protect it if it’s your only one (don’t leave it on the board!). Once you’ve gang banged it you can toss it away as long as you have another/a way to almost certainly draw into it.
Gnomish Inventor It’s instant draw, the only 4 drop, trades well with 3/2s, and is an all round good guy. Might be replaceable but I’m currently liking it a lot. Also tricks some people into thinking you’re a proper rogue so they don’t worry about drawing and then you slam your Coldlights. Azure Drake might be better.
Anti-kill bot Sometimes you’ll want to play this card 5/6 times and laugh at your opponent: Do it. Remember kids, bullying is OK when you’re against a Hunter (unless it’s Control Hunter at which point you should treasure it like the mystical unicorn that it is).
Loatheb Against some classes such as rogue (be it Oil, Malygod, or the mirror) Loatheb is sick. Playing Loatheb stops them lethal-ing you, makes their hand expensive when all they want to do is dump it, and forces them to play minions right into a vanish or flurry. Muahaha.
Sometimes, and almost always in the mirror, you’ll want to Gang Up Loatheb as we get rekt by it. There’s only so many times they can dagger up with 10 mana and pass before their will to resist crumbles. How’s that for an interactive experience Blizzard devs!
Vanish This card is nuts! Like sap, if your opponent has 10 cards in hand it kills their minions as they have nowhere to run to. Best used when returning your own minions such as Coldlight at the same time.
Frequently you’ll be doing something like playing Coldlight (3 mana), Shadowstep the Coldlight and replay it (1 mana), Prep Vanish (3 mana) and Coldlight again (3 mana). It’ll wipe their board and burn a bunch of their cards if they have a full-ish hand.
Sometimes you might want to vanish before playing Coldlight in order to fill their hands with 1/1s or totems so you burn their more useful cards. This misses out on getting the fish returned though.
Youthful Brewmasters I used to run them but sitting on Brewmasters without drawing Coldlight was rubbish (same is true of Gang Up now btw) and I have too many memories of going full innkeeper and playing brew, into brew, into brew, etc in frustration #BlizzardAI. Gang up basically does the same job but better as you’re going to draw most of your deck anyway.
Mukla/Cho I don’t have them so can’t tell you if they’re any good. I’d play Cho just for the troll value but I’m sceptical it’s any good though.
Doomsayer I’m thinking about replacing a Flurry for a Doomsayer. Mainly because you can use it to trigger a Mech Mage’s mirror entity for an instant clear before returning it to your hand and doing it again. Trolololol.
Dancing Swords Like Brews I used to run them before BRM to make sure my opponent fatigued before me, but nowadays Gang Up ensures that anyway. The 4/4 body isn’t good enough to justify them and they can feel kinda clunky. They do work wonders vs priest obviously but that match up is massively in our favour anyway.
Other possibilities include Assassins Blade, Voodoo Doctor, BGH, Kidnapper, etc.
Match-ups and Mulligans
In the mirror match a mill deck wins 100% of the time!
Part of the reason I’m so hooked on the deck is because it plays so differently depending on your opponent.
It’s at its best vs slow control match ups where your aim is to mill and fatigue. Against aggro you can switch and out-heal their damage or go all Great Wall of China with a billion Deathlords. Remember that you can win just by doing Rogue things and answer their threats cheaply while developing your own. Personally I find the worst match ups are against mid range decks with large burst damage from hand (looking at you Combo Druid, which is currently 50% of ladder).
Generally you’re mulliganing for Coldlight or early game. I don’t think I ever throw it away.
Sap is great vs Handlock, Backstab and Fan vs Paladin and Hunter, Deadly Poison vs Mech mage. SI:Agent is almost always decent especially if you have Backstab. Deathlord is nice to have early against aggro before they have the mana to deal with it.
Due to the added draw in the deck you’re fine keeping it over mulliganing it in search of Coldlight. Cycling a fan on turn 3 is the same as replacing it in the mulligan in the hope for Coldlight, while also clearing your opponents’ minions. That being said a lot of the time, for instance against warriors, if it’s not a fish I toss it back.
Never keep Gang Up in your opening hand even though it’s sparkly and new.
A bunch of streamers have been playing Mill rogue recently if you want to watch the deck in action. I saw Kripp playing it this morning/now and Freshca was (obviously) playing it. Everyone seems to have their own slight variation so try and find the one that works best for you.
Best of luck! Murglglglglglglglah!