Pogo-Hopper Rogue Theorycraft Deck List – Rise of Shadows – April 2019

Pogo-Hopper Rogue Theorycraft Deck List – Rise of Shadows – April 2019

It has been almost a year since the first dream. The dream of bouncing giant mechanical rabbits taking over the Hearthstone meta. With Rise of Shadows, the dream is closer to reality than ever before, and the echoing chants of “Iä! Iä! Pogo Rogue fhtang!” are lurking right at the edge of the conscious mind of future prey. Soon, the rabbits shall rise from their underground realm and rule with an iron paw.

This is the Pogo-Hopper Rogue theorycraft for Rise of Shadows!

I have to admit, there is something really fascinating about Pogo-Hopper. Finding new ways to bounce and copy the little fellow is art in its purest form, and the immense hulk it can grow to is a sight to behold. Unfortunately, Pogo Rogue has been a disastrously bad deck so far. In Rastakhan’s Rumble, the archetype struggled to breach 40% winrate at rank 20.

The only actual use for the card came late in Rastakhan meta, when Blizzard introduced the Specialist format for tournament play, and some Rogue players opted to include Pogo-Hoppers and Lab Recruiters in their sideboard to defeat opponents who brought control decks.

Rise of Shadows promises to change this, or at least it promises many hours of sweat and tears for players who will try to make Pogo-Hopper great for the first time.

The new set comes with an unprecedented number of cards to bounce and copy the little rabbit:

With all these new tools, I have opted to cut Lab Recruiter from this theorycraft build. By doing so, Witchwood Piper becomes a 100% reliable tutor for Pogo-Hopper. This means more reliable access to the central card of the deck in the early game, and also in the late game when multiple copies of it have already been shuffled into the deck.

The new cards make Pogo-Hopper a faster threat, as you can often generate copies of it to your hand instead of merely shuffling copies into your deck, and therefore more Pogo-Hoppers can be played on the board faster than before. This mitigates any draw issues, leaving survival as the main problem.

How do you survive long enough for your Pogo-Hoppers to grow up? The toolkit is limited, and I have chosen a combination of BackstabFan of KnivesEviscerate, and Walk the Plank for removal, as well as Sap and Vanish for tempo disruption.

When Pogo-Hoppers have grown enough, Bronze Gatekeeper and Zilliax can use their Magnetic ability to fuse with them to provide Taunt and Lifesteal in a move that should end the game against many aggressive decks.

This type of deck can only truly be built for a specific meta. You need to have just enough answers to survive until Pogo-Hoppers can take over the game, and the exact quantity and type of removal needed cannot be known until there is a stable meta. Do you need to fight against tokens? Or against individual big minions? The meta greatly affects the card choices here.

Furthermore, it is not obvious which path of creating additional Pogo-Hoppers is the best, until he deck can be tested. Would Lab Recruiter be useful in the end? Is Tak Nozwhisker fast enough, or will it just be a useless card in your hand most of the time? How useful is Daring Escape, as it only bounces your side of the board? Previously, the options were limited and you used everything you had, but now there are so many options to choose from that some may end up being cut.

Finally, the exact amount of card draw needed is a matter of testing. This build includes both Myra's Unstable Element and Sprint, but are both needed? Which one is better?

While there are many questions, and the deck will need to go through multiple iterations before it is optimal, the overall toolkit of Pogo Rogue is now wider than ever before, and in a post-rotation meta that is a great position to be in – becoming stronger when most of your competition becomes weaker. Alas, the starting point of Pogo Rogue is about as low as it can get, so it really needs some help to rise up.

Old Guardian

Ville "Old Guardian" Kilkku is a writer and video creator focused on analytic, educational Hearthstone, and building innovative Standard format decks.

Check out Old Guardian on Twitter or on their Website!

Leave a Reply

15 Comments

  1. Superband
    April 6, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    nice deck but could struggle against fast decks. i would find a way to put in novice engineers or hoarders to help with draw. i dont know what else to improve the deck. and yes, once meta is settled, we would know what the deck needs to find its way out there lol. it feels nostalgic its like jades

  2. UnkarsThug
    April 6, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Just wondering, why Bronze Gatekeeper over Defender of Argus? With the size of Pogos, I would think you would want more taunts, over the stats, and It’s a lot better when bounced.

    • Old Guardian - Author
      April 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      Defender of Argus may turn out to be better in the end, yes. Bronze Gatekeeper’s upsides are the cheaper cost and extra health, which make it possible to play it earlier on a single Pogo. I don’t know how fast the meta will turn out to be yet, so it’s hard to evaluate them.

  3. Pindead
    April 6, 2019 at 6:30 am

    This deck doesn’t work you need a shit ton of draw to make this deck work.

    Shuffling coldlight works because the more coldlight ms you have in your deck the more draw potential your deck have.

    If you shuffle pogos in your deck you’ll draw them one by one. And that’s not what you wanna do

    • Old Guardian - Author
      April 6, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      That’s the difference between then and now: now you create much more copies instead of merely shuffling.

  4. OldManSanns
    April 5, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I’ve played a lot of Pogo in Year of the Raven, and my experience is that it really needs early tools to keep the board reasonably managed until you get your 3rd Pogo out. I use Hench Clan Thug, SI:7, and Eviscerate to this end, and the result is playable but still nowhere near meta-worthy.

    I’ll be interested to see if Year of the Dragon is just that much slower that just rushing Pogos is now viable.

  5. Xopods
    April 5, 2019 at 5:19 am

    My experience with Pogo-Hopper Rogue has been that it fails when it’s your only win condition, but does better as part of a larger Shadowstep/Battlecry concept. For instance, Novice Engineer, Edwin VanCleef, Spirit of the Shark and Gurubashi Hypemon all work well in conjunction with Pogo-Hopper in a deck where the focus is on playing tons of Battlecries and the Pogo-Hoppers are just one of win conditions.

    My experiments with it weren’t *great* mind you, but they were considerably better than 40% win rate at Rank 20.

    • Old Guardian - Author
      April 5, 2019 at 5:59 am

      Adding Pogo-Hoppers as an alternative win condition is basically what has sometimes been done in Specialist tournaments as well. For such a tech package to be worth it, you have to be facing an extremely slow meta, otherwise you’re usually just better off using other cards and no Pogo-Hoppers at all.

      However, with all the new tools Pogo Rogue gets, the question I set out to answer is whether you could now build a Pogo Rogue deck, where Pogo-Hopper is the central win condition, and succeed. While the answer is still unclear, the chances look better now than before.

  6. Skoopy
    April 5, 2019 at 5:15 am

    If i silence a minion wich is already magnetized to something, wich minion will stay on the board?
    Iam not sure right now. But if the Hopper stays on board if it gets magnetized and silenced after, than i like it.

    • Xopods
      April 5, 2019 at 5:20 am

      A vanilla copy of the Magnetic minion is what’s left behind. So, not the Pogo-Hopper.

      • Taz004
        April 5, 2019 at 5:28 am

        I am quite shure the Pogo stays. It is like the Pogo got a buff from the magnetic card.

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        April 5, 2019 at 5:32 am

        Magnetic is basically a buff. Once you Magnetize into something, Magnetic minion no longer exists.

        If you play Pogo-Hopper and Magnetize something onto it, then Silence the whole package, you will be left with a 1/1 (Silenced) version of Pogo-Hopper.

        I would kindly ask to not spread false information. If you aren’t absolutely sure about something, check it first or at least don’t state it as a fact.

        • Xopods
          April 5, 2019 at 6:06 am

          Sorry, that was a brain fart. My bad.

        • Skoopy
          April 5, 2019 at 6:13 am

          oh ok! Than i think this deck makes sense. Than you can bounce the silenced Pogo back in your hand if you like. Rogue got the tools for that. So if he leaves the silenced Pogo on board, you still can make your benefits from this. I like it,

          • OldManSanns
            April 5, 2019 at 8:56 am

            Yup.

            As a counterpoint: if you are playing AGAINST a Pogo deck and you do get a silence off, you want to try to take the opportunity to kill the resultant 1/1 so that your opponent can’t bounce or shuffle it.