The League of Explorers is back to save Uldum and bring back Thief Rogue for the ride! Although the archtype has been tinkered with in the past, the new expansion gives us a new Quest card for Rogue, that might be what the archtype needs to break into the meta, altough probably not with a splash. Bazaar Burglary is the card I’m talking about, that requires you to add 4 cards from other classes to your hand and, in exchange, it will upgrade your hero power to Ancient Blades, a really powerful tool to fight for tempo on the board. Although building a deck focused on the “stealing Rogue” theme can be pretty unrealiable, the tools that take advantage of the mechanic have already proven to be powerful enough to be in a top tier deck in recent metas.
The list I have above is similar to the Battlecry Rogue lists that we saw during the last expansion, that largely shaped the meta during the first half ot it. This particular list is shifted more towards taking advantage of Underbelly Fence and Vendetta to gain a lot of tempo during the early game, while using the “Thief” theme as a pseudo-draw effect to gain card advantage, without getting close to fatigue, while also relying on the element of surprise from the generated cards.
Something that may catch your eye, while looking at the list, is the complete absence of late-game and neutral cards. Although the second one has more to do with the synergies that the class cards have with each other, the first one is no accident. With all the card generation effects, you’re bound to find at least a couple off good options for late game, but with the deck focusing on early-to-mid game tempo and aggression, you can use your Mirage Blade from the Quest to establish dominance on the board, or even push damage to the enemy hero! The absence of neutral minions can be attributed to how well the core of the deck works together, but there’s no doubt that there will be room to tinker with the list, once the expansion goes live.
One really big inclusion to the deck is an old, Rogue favorite, in Blade Flurry, that can be used in conjuction with the upgraded Hero Power to clear the enemy board. There is a case to be made for including a second copy of it and cutting either Fan of Knives or a “stealing” card, since you only need, at most, 4 to complete Bazaar Burglary. Even EVIL Miscreant and/or Spirit of the Shark could be excluded for the list, probably to be replace with something along the lines of SI:7 Agent and other, similar tempo cards, going a little more aggressive with the deck and relying on “stolen cards” after the mid-game point.
Some of the new cards that help you progress the Quest are really cheap, allowing you to play them during the first couple of turns. It should be noted that playing Clever Disguise gives you a 2/4 progress, since you need to add 4 cards total from other classes, and not 4 times. Another thing that should be noted is that Pharaoh Cat can often help you with the Quest as well, if it gives you a Reborn minion from one of the 8 other classes and not a Rogue or a Neutral one. Pilfer is another great way to generate cards from another class, especially after it was changed to add cards from a random class and not the opponent’s class (so it became useful even in Rogue mirrors).
If there was ever a good time to experiment with the Thief Rogue theme, Bazaar Burglary gives us probably the best opportunity to date. An aggressive list with the Quest will, most likely, be the best candidate to take full advantage of Ancient Blades, protecting the board without sacrificing your hero’s health, or pushing damage to the face, putting the enemy on the clock.