Cheat Death is a 2 Mana Cost Common Rogue Spell card from the Core Set 2023 set!
Secret: When a friendly minion dies, return it to your hand. It costs (2) less.
Cheat Death Additional Information
This is the first time we are seeing Rogue Secrets in Hearthstone. Kobolds and Catacombs will feature three of them, however, in the next set there are new future plans to add more.
Rogue Secret Trigger Art
Each class has unique art when a secret is triggered, this is how Rogue’s will look:
Cheat Death Card Review
And suddenly – Rogue secrets! That has it’s own implications for what it could mean about where the game is headed and how Team 5 has gotten a bit more open to breaking some of their ground rules, but we are here to talk about Cheat Death specifically. So, obviously, looking at the effect itself, we immediately draw the parallel with Shadowstep, which is an excellent card in today’s meta, one of the MVPs of the infamous Keleseth Rogue deck. Now, despite how good it is currently, just because there are plenty of good targets to bounce, we have to keep in mind that historically, Shadowstep has not seen too much play in Rogue since Leeroy Jenkins got nerfed and Rogue decks didn’t rely as much on Shadowstepping him as a primary win condition. In fact, ever since the early days of the game the card has been slightly out of favour, from Oil to Jade and the new builds of Miracle Rogue. That said, it is a staple of the class and for good reason, since Rogue love their 0-cost spells, especially when that can buyback a powerful Battlecry effect.
Enter Cheat Death and the context around the effect changes completely. Although it negates the downside of Shadowstep, as in you can play it preemptively without your target having to already be on the battlefield, you are paying a lot more mana for essentially the same effect. However, I would argue that it is worth it. Not in tempo-centric decks, of course, which can’t afford to play a card that is essentially anti-tempo, but it might make it’s way into the classic Miracle Rogue as a safety net for your valuable minions, only to power up even more later in the game when they have the discount. Whether or not that’s something those decks will be looking to do is a different thing, but the ability to set up plays for the future and have reliable consistency is very valuable.
One critical fact to take into consideration is that there are only going to be three Rogue secrets this expansion and more are unlikely to come. This means that unlike other classes, they won’t actually be… secret. Now, of course, in Constructed formats, most often secrets are already fairly well known, because only a few are better than the rest and decklists tend to be common knowledge, especially if you go higher up the ladder. In Rogue this exact effect will be exacerbated even further, so the real question to ask is this: Is the effect something you need at a price point you are willing to pay, given that the opponent is very likely to know exactly what your secret is? I think the answer in the case of Cheat Death is a Yes, given that you want this effect.
Card Review by Chimbarozo