Watch your back! How to get started with Hearthstone's sneaky assassin.
It’s very tough to recommend the Rogue to those just starting out in Hearthstone. Many of this Hero’s most powerful strategies involve a delicate blend of cards played in combination with one another, and it’s a steep learning curve to climb if you’ve little experience of the character’s strengths, not to mention the other Heroes’ weaknesses.
If you can get to grips with this shadow figure, however, you’ll find yourself in a command of a character that’s more than capable of controlling the flow of a match, before pulling off game-ending combos with devastating flair. Just make sure you spend even more time than usual examining the cards in this character’s collection, and thinking about the combo possibilities.
The Rogue’s Hero Power is a simple but effective one. For the cost of two Mana, you can grant your Hero a dagger with one attack power and two points of durability. Like the Mage’s special power, this allows Rogue players to finish off problematic minions, or simply stall the early game to their advantage. Unlike the Mage, the Rogue can bolster this primitive power with a handful of spells, or destroy the weapon in order to inflict mass removal damage against the enemy’s army of minions.
Significant Rogue cards
As always, we recommend familiarising yourself with as many of Hearthstone’s signature class cards as you can. With that said, these are some of the most important Rogue cards you’ll want to be aware of – whichever side of the table you happen to find yourself on.
If you find yourself going second in a match, the Defias Ringleader is a superb early-game card to have in your hand. Pop The Coin, then follow it up with this two Mana minion and you’ll have a total of two creatures to bother your opponent with.
If you’re playing on the other side of the board, assume your opponent is packing this popular card, that it’s in their hand right now, and that you need a way of removing or mitigating the threat(s) immediately on your next turn.
Another combo card that can break the heart of the player on the receiving end of it is the SI:7 Agent. That two damage might not look like much, but when played in combination with other damage spells and minions, the SI:7 can wreck even the most stable of boards.
As always when you’re fighting against the Rogue, try not to keep all your eggs in one basket, and assume that not even your toughest minions are safe from an ultimate combo play.
Assassinate is the Rogue’s straight-up removal card, capable of taking out even the mightiest of minions in play – and that really is where the skill lies when it comes to using the spell. You might be tempted to use it to remove a mid-game taunt, but always look to see if you have a more efficient solution in your hand or on the board. There’s no point wasting this spell on a mediocre threat, when your opponent may have something much more frightening just around the corner. You should of course put this card into play whenever you risk losing the game entirely on the next turn.
This popular card allows the Rogue to wield a three attack, two durability weapon on turn three when used in conjunction with the Hero Power. That’s not to be sniffed at when you consider the importance of early-game board control, even if using the weapon means taking a chunk of damage from your own health pool.
An even better strategy is to keep this card as an ace up your sleeve whenever possible, and use it to either finish off a mighty minion, or finish the opponent entirely.
Backstab / Eviscerate / Shiv
We’ve got three cards in one for our next pick of the Rogue’s most popular class-specific cards: Backstab, Eviscerate and Shiv. These are all capable of inflicting varying amounts of damage to an opponent’s minions or face, and they can turn a match around completely when played efficiently. They don’t cost too much either, so they make great tools for triggering other, even more powerful combos in your hand.
Every Hearthstone player, Rogue or otherwise, needs to be aware of the powerful synergies these cards represent, so spend some time in the My Collections section of the game to familiarise yourself with these deadly abilities.