Cold Blood x2
Deadly Poison x2
Argent Squire x2
Blade Flurry x1
Defias Ringleader x1
Nerubian Egg x2
Coldlight Oracle x1
Edwin VanCleef x1
Harvest Golem x2
SI:7 Agent x2
Anub’ar Ambusher x2
Dark Iron Dwarf x1
Defender of Argus x2
Leeroy Jenkins x1
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This is a guide on how to play a custom rogue deck that I have created due to the high level of zoo decks in the meta of the first week of Naxxramas. This deck focuses on playing out minions that will gain and maintain board control and then helping you keep the advantage.
This deck functions somewhat similar to the backspace rogue in that it is fairly heavy on the aggression front, but unlike the backspace rogue, it relies on value minions instead of chargers that will then be traded off by the other player.
When playing against control decks the early game, I usually play out as many deathrattle minions as possible. Doing that limets that amount of damage AOE can do. Harvest Golems and Nerbian Eggs are your best friend in this match up. During mid game, bringing them down low enough to play the Leeroy combo is the main goal. Being able to keep minions on the board during this time helps immensely. It allows you to switch from making good trades to bursting for lethal when you draw Leeroy and Shadowstep.
When playing against agro, more specifically zoo, is where I have found the most luck with this deck. What this deck lacks for in AOE it makes up for in spades with single target removal. Backstab and SI:7 will destroy the early board that zoo can build up. During this matchup daggers should be used aggressively to remove minions and keep your side of the board healthy. Deadly poison and Blade Flurry are icing on the cake. The ideal had for this match up is Argent Squire, Backstab SI:7, and Deadly Poison. I find going second is much preferred, as is with most rogue decks. With the right draws and aggressive use of the daggers, the board should swing in your favor moving to midgame. Because zoo deck relies so much on board presence, if you control the deck by midgame, you have most likely won by this point, as the burst potential of this deck is quite high, and with life tap helping you it becomes a quick clean up.
Another thing to note in both match ups is that this deck has almost no two drops, Only 3 creatures that could be played turn two. This means that daggers or a spell is going to be your best bet when going first. When you have the coin though, playing back to back three drops is almost always a good play. The cards
In this section I will be talking about the cards in more detail and in what places they are used best.
Backstab is one of the best cards you can have in your opening hand when playing against agro decks. It removes flame imp and knife juggler, pops shields, can be used in combo with the daggers to remove just about anything you will face early game and can be combed with SI:7 to remove a four health minion. Backstab is more important when going first as you don’t have the luxury of the coin to combo with.
Going with the theme of zero mana cards we have Shadowstep. Now this card, while mostly used for the Leeroy combo, has saved me more than once versus zoo decks, as it allows you to combo a SI:7 Agent, or replay a Defender of Argus for the extra defense or attack. This is a safe card to mulligan back as you are looking for Argent Squire, Backstab, Nerubian Egg, Deadly Poison, or any of the three drops apart from the Coldlight.
Cold Blood. While traditionally this card was saved for Leeroy to deal large amounts of damage, I have found that most of the time that I play this card it is to buff up the Nerbian Egg that I played the pervious turn. Not only does four damage get through instantly, the Egg now is a threat to deal with that, when killed leaves behind a nice 4/4 body. Cold Blood Still works just fine with Leeroy for a finishing blow or can lead to beneficial trades with tougher minions. This card works great with many of the other cards also be used to make a Edwin even bigger due to the low mana cost.
Deadly Poison, makes you have a fiery war axe. Also it can explode for a nice AOE. It is solid card that helps you maintain board control, or can be used to rush down a weakened Gul’dan. Deadly Poison is another card that can be used to combo with, though not as good as Backstab, as it require a dagger to be equipped and to get full value out of the Deadly Poisons combo potential will require you to not swing or spend more mana to equip new daggers.
Argent Squire — this card is great, as it usually sticks around for a turn or two making it the perfect target for a early Cold Blood or a Defender. Being one of the best cards you can have on turn one makes it a staple in any deck that relies on board presence, and this deck is no exception.
Blade Flurry is one card that can sometimes be dead in your hand but other times is the one card that can save you. It works best when combed with Deadly poison to give a nice three damage AOE and put a bit of hurt on the enemy hero. Why only one? Playing Blade Flurry is a move that slows down what minions you can play and does not help add to your board.
Eviscerate is a card that will be seen in just about every rogue deck as it is a great way to remove a bigger threat and good as a finisher, the combo is a bit of a down side, but usually at the point when you need to play Eviscerate it is not too difficult to do so.
Sap removes that 5/10 taunt and lets you swing for lethal, or it sends back a flame imp to buy you some more time from a bad starting hand. When this card is played vs a control deck you should try and hang on to it as long as possible, ideal the turn you have lethal to remove a taunt. Just remember all this card does is buy you time, and sometimes that is all you need.
Shiv, now Shiv is a card that is mainly used to cycle through this deck and is one of the few sources of card draw. I have played around with the idea of removing the Coldlight and replacing it with a second shiv but usually the 2/2 that comes with the two cards makes running one worth it. Shiv will help remove many of the one drops that zoo plays and its ability to do so, even when they have a taunt up makes shiv worth running.
Defias Ringleader is another card that I have debated, it requires a combo to gain full value out of, but what this card does is give you targets for a Defender, removes most two drops that they can play, and helps you gain momentum. A solid card for the two slot.
Nerubian Egg, the buff target. This also makes this card a big target for silence, thankfully, zoo tends to only run one Ironbeak Owl. and that is only some zoo decks some of them don’t know a lot of them don’t. This card has many ways it can activate in this deck. The best options for it are usually the ones where you don’t kill it. Coining it out on turn one and backstabbing it does give you a 4/4 on turn one but that was three cards. or 2 ½, depending on how you count the coin. Also, you really want to be saving that coin as a combo started. If you can wait for turn three and play it with a combo Cold Blood that gives you a 4/2 deathrattle 4/4, a stronger play in my book. This is a great card for denying AOE vs. many of the classes and helps you keep a strong board.
Coldlight Oracle, this card can be an interesting one to play. Versus control it fairs much better as you are not giving the zoo player more one drops to use. That said it still leaves behind a 2/2 and gains you cards. As this deck has little card draw this card helps to keep the pressure on.
Edwin VanCleef in this deck is almost always a 4/4. I mean it, going greedy with him is a sure fire way to end up at a card disadvantage. With that in mind a 4/4 for only three mana is value and should not be underestimated.
Harvest Golem should be the mascot for this deck, a strong card that is hard to remove. There is not much to say about this guy. He is used in so many decks for a reason, and well deserves his spot in this deck.
SI:7 Agent, best friends with the coin. The best three drop you can have, makes zoo feel like nothing. Even without the battle cry, a 3/3 for three is not the worst stat line you can get, but his ability to remove a two drop and still stick around for another fight is what makes him king of this deck.
Anub’ar Ambusher is at the top end of this mana curve, but his strong stats is what net him the spot in this deck. While sometimes his deathrattle can be a setback, as it hurts your board presence, often times it is desirable. Getting a chance to play a SI:7 or a Defender again can swing the game in your favor.
Dark Iron Dwarf is one of the better ways to make favorable trades with this deck. He can buff up an Egg to kill a minion and summon a 4/4. Being a 4/4 himself gets him out of the range of most two drop minions, and gives him the ability to chip away at your opponent.
Defender of Argus, when playing this card you should always be looking for two targets, even better if they are Nerubian Eggs but any two minions is always a great value play. One of the stronger plays you can make versus zoo is dropping him down to make a doomgaurd run into a 2/2 with divine shield or an egg. This is a strong buffing card that helps you stay alive with the taunt and lets you decide what you want to trade away.
Leeroy Jenkins best used as a finisher and with shadow step. The main source of burst in this deck comes from him and the only minion with charge making him extremely valuable but not always necessary for the win.
After thoughts: This deck has made laddering quite easy and I have ranked up from 15 to 9 in with only about 3 losses, I am not the best player in the world but I am sure you can tweak it to your likeness. TL:DR Minions good, kill zoo. (Edit format)