Our Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue deck list guide for The Witchwood expansion will teach you how to play this aggressive Rogue list. This Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue
Once the king of the meta, Tempo Rogue fell out of favor at the end of the Year of the Mammoth. This was, in part, thanks to the nerf to Patches the Pirate. The Year of the Raven, however, ushered in some substantial new cards and, early on, the set rotation gave Tempo Rogue the opening it need regain its footing.
This budget option does sacrifice a few powerful Legendary cards but is still strong enough to take you up the Standard ladder.
Tempo Rogue gained a lot of exciting new tools at lower rarity rarities this expansion. While Blink Fox is the lone class card included in this list, Valeera can make good of several Neutral minions from the set. In particular, Hench-Clan Thug and Marsh Drake allow Tempo Rogue to get great value out of a turn two dagger. In doing so, the deck is able to get ahead on turn three and maintain that lead into the mid-game turns.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue Mulligan Guide
High Priority Keeps
- Fire Fly – Fire Fly is hands down your best opener. Better still, the extra Elemental token fills out your curve in later turns and help enable Combo cards.
- Glacial Shard – Glacial Shard can help set up value trade or minion kills with your dagger in early turns. If nothing else, keeping this card makes sure you have something to do on turn one.
- Southsea Deckhand – Deckhand isn’t the strongest play on the opening turn, but having a one-drop minion is still critical to Tempo Rogue’s gameplan.
Low Priority Keeps
- Backstab – Backstab can help you gain an early advantage, but against decks that aren’t reliant on minions, it can be a bit of a dead draw.
- Hench-Clan Thug – In most cases, Hench-Clan Thug is your best turn three play.
- Marsh Drake – This dragon follows Hench-Clan closely in terms of a turn three power play. While it doesn’t snowball quite as well, it provides more immediate stats on board.
- SI:7 Agent – With the Coin, especially, SI:7 Agent is still a reasonable keep. Often, this Rogue staple trades two-for-one with his Combo enabled.
- Tar Creeper – While it doesn’t have the snowball potential of other three drops, Tar Creeper can still frustrated other aggressive decks, giving you the time to set up your own game plan.
- Blink Fox – A three-mana 3/3 isn’t great, but skipping your third turn is unacceptable. Keep this card only against slower decks when your first turn is already taken care of.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue Play Strategy
Aggro/Tempo Rogue plays a board-centric tempo game in the early turns. Here, you want to keep your opponent from developing much of a minion presence, taking advantage of Combo mechanics, Backstab, and your Hero Power.
Speaking of the Hero Power, this list is really centered around the premise that you’ll be daggering up on turn two. This won’t always be the case but, frequently, it is necessary to do so in order to set up a Hench-Clan Thug or Marsh Drake on the following turn.
From there, Fungalmancer can lock in your position on the board and Elven Minstrel can refill your hand with extra gas. If, after you’ve cemented your board advantage, any Taunts end up in your way to the opponent’s face, Sap can make short work of them. Similarly, Eviscerate gives you late-game reach to close out the game.
Unfortunately, this deck doesn’t have much in the way of comeback mechanics, so your success really hinges on the ability to get ahead in the early game and maintain a lead.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue Future Card Replacements
- 2x Fungalmancer > 2x Vilespine Slayer – The tempo gain from landing a Fungalmancer is great, but it doesn’t quite match that of Vilespine. Even with double Sap, Vilespine is a great card in many matchups.
- 1x Tar Creeper > 1x The Lich King – The Lich King provides a big body paired with a late-game value that can help you close out games that go a bit long.
- 1x Tar Creeper > 1x Tess Greymane – Who didn’t love Yogg-Saron, Hope's End? Well, Tess provides a bit more reliable swing turn for a lower mana cost.
- 1x Glacial Shard > 1x Edwin VanCleef – A large enough Edwin in the early game can often be enough to win the game himself.
- 2x Marsh Drake > 2x Hallucination – With Tess Greymane in your deck, Hallucination is a great way to get a bit of extra value from your opponent’s class cards.
- 1x Southsea Deckhand > 1x Leeroy Jenkins – The extra burst from Leeroy can come in handy in a lot of games. With Shadowstep in hand and now taunts in the way, you can Charge in for ten damage to close out the game.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue General Replacements
Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to have them or are missing anything in the decklist.
- Mad Hatter – Aggro/Tempo Rogue excels at maintaining a board advantage. As such, it can take full advantage of the buffs from Mad Hatter a turn earlier than Fungalmancer is available.
- Defias Ringleader – A long-time inclusion in Aggro Rogue lists, Defias Ringleader doesn’t quite make the cut in this iteration due to the need to dagger on early turns.
- Cold Blood – Cold Blood can give you the extra bit of reach needed to win the game, but Eviscerate typically does a better job in this list.
- Plague Scientist – This three-drop minion provides a decent substitute for Vilespine Slayer, but this build is already pretty heavy at that mana slot.