Budget Tempo Rogue Deck List Guide (Rise of Shadows)

Class: Rogue - Format: dragon - Type: tempo - Style: budget - Meta Deck: Tempo Rogue

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Deck Import

Our Budget Tempo Rogue deck list guide for the Rise of Shadows expansion will teach you how to play this explosive Rogue list. This Budget Tempo Rogue guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Budget Tempo Rogue

Tempo Rogue is a deck that has run over opponents since the early days of Hearthstone. The deck makes great use of Valeera’s Hero Power, as well as potent Tempo cards available to Rogues like Backstab and SI:7 Agent to maintain an early lead long just enough to kill the opponent. The Tempo Rogue shell has seen many iterations in Hearthstone history but never seems to disappear from the meta completely.

This Budget Tempo Rogue does have to sacrifice a few Legendary and Epic cards that strengthen the deck’s ability to overwhelm opponents, but still has the tools to beat down opponents. With incremental additions to the deck over time, it can slowly grow into a force on the Standard ladder.

Rise of Shadows

With the release of Rise of Shadows and the new Standard rotation, Tempo Rogue quickly rose to the top of many tier lists. While some of the new cards are higher rarity than are found in this budget list, Rogue can make good use of the Lackeys introduced in this expansion, finding a spot for EVIL Miscreant and, occasionally, EVIL Cable Rat. Additionally, Underbelly Fence offers a stable turn two body with some upside later in the game. This new two-mana minion pairs well with both Blink Fox and newcomer Hench-Clan Burglar.

Budget Tempo Rogue Mulligan Guide

High Priority Keeps

  • Argent Squire – With several powerful, budget-friendly one-drop minions rotated to Wild, Argent Squire returns as one of the premium turn one plays for aggressive decks.
  • Southsea Deckhand – Likewise, Southsea Deckhand remains a reasonable turn one play or easy Combo enabler and is worth holding onto in most situations.
  • Underbelly Fence – Even though the effect is hard to take advantage on turn two, Underbelly Fence is worth keeping in the mulligan. At worst it provides a fair turn two play with some potential upside later in the game.
  • Hench-Clan Thug – Rogue has the highest Tempo Hero Power in Hearthstone, making it a reasonable play on turn two. Because of that, Hech-Clan Thug is a perfectly acceptable keep in the mulligan to fully take advantage of a dagger.

Low Priority Keeps

  • Backstab – Against aggressive decks, Backstab is a premium card to keep in the mulligan to avoid getting behind on board.
  • Defias Ringleader – With the Coin, Defias Ringleader offers one of the strongest openers for this deck.
  • EVIL Miscreant – If you can easily activate the Combo effect (or have the Coin) EVIL Miscreant can be a strong keep with a lasting impact on your hand and, consequently, the game.

Budget Tempo Rogue Play Strategy

Tempo Rogue typically 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, you’ll often be daggering up on turn two. This won’t always be the case but, frequently, it is necessary to set a dagger and hold in order to prepare for a Hench-Clan Thug on the following turn. A 4/4 on turn three is difficult for opponents to deal with and can give you a big lead going into the mid-game.

In the mid game, Lackeys and Burgle effects can help keep you from running out of steam from the early tempo plays. EVIL Miscreant, Blink Fox, and Hench-Clan Burglar do sacrifice a bit of Tempo but activate Underbelly Fence for strong board swings and keep your hand well-stocked for strong follow-ups.

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. If you happen to lose the board, you’ll likely need to make efficient use of weapon attacks, burst damage, and a buffed Underbelly Fence to regain a minion presence. If that fails, look to close out the game quickly with damage from hand.

Budget Tempo Rogue Future Card Replacements

  • 2x Argent Squire > 2x Preparation – Preparation enables the inclusion of so many powerful spells and generates huge amounts of Tempo in the process.
  • 1x Defias Ringleader > 1x Shadowstep – Shadowstep works well with all of your Battlecry and Combo minions.
  • 2x Southsea Deckhand > 2x Waggle Pick – It’s a powerful weapon that lets you deal lots of damage and get a free Shadowstep after you break it, works very well with Raiding Party and Dread Corsair.
  • 2x Sap > 2x Raiding Party – With Preparation and Waggle Pick, the value of Raiding Party increases dramatically, allowing you to draw three specific cards at a low cost.
  • 2x Sharkfin Fan > 2x Dread Corsair – Again, with some of the above changes (specifically Raiding Party and Waggle Pick), Dread Corsair becomes a much more valuable Pirate and warrants a slot in the deck.
  • 1x Hench-Clan Thug > 1x Edwin VanCleef –  Few cards can win the game outright quite like Edwin VanCleef. With a few additional early game tempo plays, most notably those involving Prep, Edwin can hard carry in certain matchups.
  • 1x Hench-Clan Thug > 1x Heistbaron Togwaggle – Lackeys have proven to be worthwhile inclusions early in Rise of Shadows and Heistbaron Togwaggle help you capitalize on the lowly one-mana minions.
  • 1x EVIL Cable Rat > 1x Captain Greenskin – With Waggle Pick the inclusion of Captain Greenskin becomes more reasonable giving you a bit of extra reach on your weapon swings.
  • 1x EVIL Cable Rat > 1x Leeroy Jenkins – Speaking of reach, there are few better ways for Rogue to close out the game than a charging Leeroy Jenkins to close.

Budget 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.

  • Acidic Swamp Ooze – Weapon hate finds its way in and out of the metagame frequently in Hearthstone. During those periods in which it is valuable, consider including Acidic Swamp Ooze in this list.
  • Deadly Poison – Deadly Poison can turn your lowly dagger into a legitimate threat while activating your Combo cards.
  • Necrium Blade – If you’re only short the Waggle Pick, Necrium Blade can provide a decent temporary solution if you have some of the other weapon synergies available.
  • Sprint – While Tempo Rogue can suffer from running out of steam, Sprint is a bit hard to justify without Preparation. If you have Prep and some of the other support cards, Sprint can help with hand reload.


A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception.

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Discuss This Deck
  1. Crooked.Nose
    July 11, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Hey, I crafted two Preparations and replaced both Argent Squires, therefore I would like to add one or two copies of Sprint. How many copies would you recommend I include and what card(s) should I cut?

  2. 4ndR3F
    May 24, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Prep and Evil Miscreant still viable after the nerf or you suggest replacements?

    • Crooked.Nose
      July 6, 2019 at 8:31 am

      I’m also wondering the same thing! In my opinion, Miscreant is still ridiculously powerful – I mean at this point, Lackeys ARE the meta – and even the full-cost Tempo Rogues still run it.

      On the subject of Preparation, however, I wouldn’t really know if it’s still viable or not, as I’m mostly a casual player myself. Despite the Prep + Raiding Party combo not being as potent as it once was, I believe Preparation is still usable as a tempo card, but I could be waayy off in my understanding.

  3. DJCook55
    May 9, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Ok questions. Say you can only afford 1 legendary, which one would you recommend. I’ve added all the other future replacements except a legendary.