Our Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate Rogue deck list guide for the Rastakhan’s Rumble 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 Pirate Rogue
Aggro/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 Aggro/Tempo Rogue shell has seen many iterations but never seems to disappear from the meta completely.
This Budget Aggro/Tempo Rogue sacrifices a few Legendary and Epic cards that strengthen the deck’s ability to overwhelm opponents, but still has the tools to beat down opponents. In The Witchwood, Hench-Clan Thug gave Rogues of all flavors one of the best available turn three plays when paired with an equipped dagger. This Common card fits nicely with many of the low-rarity Tempo tools available to Rogue in the Classic and Basic sets, making this budget deck a good option for players who don’t want to spend a significant amount of dust.
In Rastakhan’s Rumble, Rogue gained access to new Pirates that fit perfectly into what Aggro/Tempo Rogue is looking to accomplish. In addition to old favorites Bloodsail Raider and Southsea Deckhand, the latest expansion brought Sharkfin Fan and Bloodsail Howler to round out the Pirate synergies. This deck certainly misses Southsea Captain and Vilespine Slayer, but can make due without these Epics.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate 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 can help enable Combo cards.
- Serrated Tooth – Valeera’s Hero Power provides Rogue with the highest Tempo Hero Power in Hearthstone. Getting a weapon early with an extra durability offers a similar Tempo advantage and rolls nicely into Sharkfin Fan or Bloodsail Raider.
- Bloodsail Raider – Bloodsail Raider is a reasonable turn 2 play and a very good option with a Serrated Tooth equipped on the prior turn.
- Southsea Deckhand – Missing turn 1 for a Tempo deck such as this can be devastating, so don’t pitch away Deckhand unless you have a Fire Fly or Serrated Tooth already in hand.
- Hench-Clan Thug – In most cases, Hench-Clan Thug is your best turn three play. So strong, in fact, that this card is worth keeping in your opener.
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.
- 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.
- Bloodsail Howler – Without other Pirates to buff this new Pirate, his stats become rather lackluster. Following a Sharkfin Fan, Southsea Deckhand, or Bloodsail Raider, however, it can be enough to provide an early board lean.
- Sharkfin Fan – Like Hench-Clan Thug, Sharkfin Fan can snowball out of control early. However, a 2-mana 2/2 is a bit fragile on curve without a weapon equipped.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate 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, 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.
Serrated Tooth helps reduce the necessity of a turn 2 Hero Power a bit, and sets up many 2-mana Pirates just as well as a turn 3 Thug.
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. If you happen to lose the board, you’ll likely need to make efficient use of weapon attacks, burst damage, and Bloodsail Howler to regain a minion presence or close out the game with damage from hand.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate Rogue Meta Deck
For a while now, Odd Rogue has been the Valeera’s strongest option for the Standard ladder. The deck plays very similarly to this Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate Rogue but relies heavily on the upgrade Hero Power from this all-Odd deck. Because of the restrictive nature of Baku the Mooneater, this deck does not have a direct budget counterpart, but it’s something to build towards as your collection grows.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate Rogue Future Card Replacements
- 2x Sap > 2x Vilespine Slayer – For a Tempo deck, it doesn’t get much better than killing a minion and developing one of your own.
- 2x Fungalmancer > 2x Southsea Captain – With so many Pirates already included in this deck, Southsea Captain would be a welcome addition to this deck.
- 1x Elven Minstrel > 1x Edwin VanCleef – A single large Edwin can single-handedly win the game against opponents lacking the tools to remove him.
- 1x Elven Minstrel > 1x Leeroy Jenkins – Extra burst for an aggressive deck is always welcome. Leeroy Jenkins offers a highly efficient six damage for five mana.
- 1x Shadowstep > 1x Myra's Unstable Element – Drawing your whole deck may feel like a terrifying endeavor, but the fatigue damage becomes irrelevant when you find the cards to score a kill.
Budget Aggro/Tempo Pirate 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.
- 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.
- Deadly Poison – With such a heavy reliance on weapons, it makes sense to consider Deadly Poison in this deck to provide extra burst damage.
- Tar Creeper – This obnoxious Elemental can put an immediate halt to counter aggression give you enough time to dictate trades into a favorable board state.
- Plague Scientist – This three-drop minion provides a decent substitute for Vilespine Slayer, but this build is already pretty heavy at that mana slot.