Featured image by CrazyJN via Deviant Art.
It’s no secret that the Priest class has been struggling quite a bit over the last few months. Since Standard was launched, they lost a lot of key cards. Although they’ve started to see some popularity again recently, they were considered the worst class for a long time. In fact, for almost six months it was a joke that there were only eight Hearthstone classes, because Priest didn’t count. Now, however, Priest is poised to be one of the strongest classes after the new expansion. They are being given a lot of very strong cards that fill the gaps they had. This leaves a nice little gap in the worst class department. One that is being filled nicely by Rogue, from all accounts.
What’s the problem with Rogue?
It should be clarified that Rogue does have some strong decks at the moment. The problem is that the decks are extremely difficult to pilot. Currently Rogue is the opposite of Shaman. Shaman is very low skill high reward, with a very good win rate. Rogue mirrors it perfectly, being high skill, low win rate.
The other huge issue is where Blizzard seems to be pushing Rogue. The new Rogue cards from the past few sets have almost all been around stealing cards. Very similar to Priest, but worse in all cases. Rather than steal cards from your opponent’s deck, like Thoughtsteal, Rogue steals cards from the class. This means you aren’t guaranteed to get a playable card, and often don’t.
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Rogue in the past
Years ago, Rogue used to be the top tier class. This was back when Miracle Rogue was the best deck, by a large margin. They nerfed it by raising both Leeroy Jenkin’s and Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s mana cost by one. This put Rogue in a bad place until Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil came out. This created a new form of Rogue built around the card. And then that set rotated out.
In Standard, Rogue suddenly looked like it would be the best class again. Every other class got much worse, but Miracle Rogue could be strong again. Until they nerfed Blade Flurry. Rogue’s only good finisher at the time was nerfed into the ground and was made completely unplayable.
Rogue moving forward
Since Rogue lost some cards they needed, and others were nerfed, we look to the newer sets for new cards. Which is where the real problem is. Blade Flurry was nerfed because it was too strong with Tinker’s. But Tinker’s rotated out, and since then Rogues haven’t gotten a single good weapon or weapon buff. The class that makes a weapon for their hero power is no longer the weapon class.
In the last three sets, Rogues have gotten four cards that relate to weapons. Poisoned Blade is probably the worst card in Hearthstone. Buccaneer and Southsea Captain are only strong in arena. And Deadly Fork is just too slow for mediocre stats and a mediocre weapon.
Which leaves us with the upcoming set, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Surely there must be some good Rogue cards in there, right? Well, there is one. Counterfeit Coin will be a great card for Miracle Rogue. But other than that, every card is utilizing the stealing mechanic, or is simply unplayable. Rogue is in a very precarious position right now, and I hope they get some good cards soon. There are still two Rogue cards to be revealed, let’s see some weapon buffs!