Cube Deathrattle Rogue Overview
At its core, this deck is a Tempo Rogue, but it packs a nice mid game punch thanks to the Deathrattle cards and the synergies. First of all, let me explain why I’ve decided to go with Prince Keleseth. First reason is that the deck doesn’t have a specific 2 mana card it absolutely wants to play anyway. Cavern Shinyfinder could be okay to find the weapon, but it’s not necessary at all. Of course, the Rogue spells such as Sap and Eviscerate are always a nice addition, but I believe that Keleseth is a better choice. Not only you want to Hero Power on Turn 2 most of the time anyway (so even if you don’t draw Keleseth, it’s not a big deal), but an early Keleseth will make you dominate the mid game boards much more easily. Lots of the plays you can do are initially a tempo loss, and you only get ahead once you pop the Deathrattles, draw the Spiders, get advantage of the minions you drew with Minstrel etc. Keleseth can off-set that tempo-loss a bit by simply making your minions bigger. It’s especially useful with Devilsaur Egg – it being a 1/4 means that even if you don’t have an activator, it won’t be a dead card on your board.
The deck packs the usual Tempo Rogue core – Fire Fly, Hench-Clan Thug, Elven Minstrel, Fal'dorei Strider and Vilespine Slayer. Those are all good cards, but the second part of the deck is more interesting – Deathrattles and synergies. Devilsaur Egg will definitely be the most impactful one throughout the early and mid game. Even though you can’t activate it as easily as Hunter, there are still a few ways to do so. Necrium Blade is the simplest one. You play it on Turn 3 (or even Coin it on T2), hit once, then drop the Egg next turn and hit again – you still have an intact Egg on the board, as well as an extra 5/5 minion. If you use the weapon for board control, you should now be ahead. Another easy way to activate it is Necrium Vial. Ideally, for the maximum tempo gain, you want to use Preparation – 2x 5/5 for 2 mana is insane and if your opponent can’t answer them immediately, you’re in a great position. But even if you end up having to play the full mana, it’s still not that bad. Cold Blood is yet another activator, probably the highest tempo one. If you Combo it, you put your Egg up to 4/3, trade into something and get a 5/5, making it a really nice swing. And of course, you can also Carnivorous Cube your Egg if you need, but getting more Eggs from the Cube is not always optimal, as you might run out of ways to crack them.
There’s also Myra Rotspring. I have to say that I’m not sure about the card in this deck, but I will definitely want to test her out. She has a massive potential, but on the other hand, low-rolls are also possible. However, given that it is a discover, getting three bad cards is very unlikely. Yes, you might have to choose between Ticking Abomination, Rattling Rascal and Hoarding Dragon. But then again, you will also get high-rolls like Violet Wurm, Deranged Doctor and Mechanical Whelp. Realistically, most of the time you will be able to pick at least a decent card, and there are lots of decent Deathrattles – if you get things like Rotten Applebaum, Bone Drake, Bloodmage Thalnos, Sherazin, Corpse Flower, Weaponized Pinata etc. you definitely won’t be thrilled, but they won’t lose you the game. All in all, depending on how good she turns out to be in practice, she might get replaced with something. I thought about, for example, Fungalmancer for more tempo plays and Egg activations. But we’ll see.
Another interesting Deathrattle card that I haven’t thought much about during its initial reveal is Blightnozzle Crawler. While the card seems pretty bad by itself (2/4 body is not good, and the 1/1 with Poisonous and Rush can be easily cleared by the opponent on his turn), it’s much better if you can trigger the Deathrattle yourself. For example, you can curve with your weapon into this, then use the second hit of weapon to clear one minion, and a 1/1 with Poisonous and Rush to clear another. Then you still have a 2/4 body on the board, as well as the Deathrattle, which is much better if you’re the one with board control. Later in the game, if your opponent drops some bigger minions on the board, you can combo him with Necrium Vial (6 mana with Prep, 9 without) to clear 2 minions immediately (as long as they aren’t hidden behind Taunts or don’t have Divine Shields). I went with one copy, because without the Deathrattle triggers, Vilespine Slayer is still a better option – but it might be nice to have another removal, since the deck doesn’t run Sap or Eviscerate.
However, the deck’s main win condition is the Leeroy Jenkins + Carnivorous Cube combo. If you have the weapon prepared, on Turn 10 you can play Leeroy, attack, Cube it, and hit with the weapon to get two more Leeroys. The combo not only deals 21 damage (which is often enough to kill the opponent), but puts 3x 6/2 on the board, as well as the 4/6 Cube with two more Leeroys inside. If your opponent is somehow alive and he doesn’t destroy the Cube, you can also Necrium Vial it to get 24 more damage (and 4x 6/2 minion). Of course, this is not the only way to win the game. Leeroy alone is a nice burst tool, and you can combine him with Cold Blood. On the other hand, Cube is also amazing if you can trigger it, even if you don’t eat anything huge. For example, eating a 5/5 Devilsaur, or a 4/4 Spider and then playing Necrium Vial can also create an unanswerable board state – a bunch of 5/5’s or 4/4’s and Cube in case of AoE. You can also Cube the Hench-Clan Thugs if you want a massive, snowballing board. Sometimes Cubing whatever you will get from Myra might be another win condition – if you get a big guy and stick him to the board, getting more of them is great.
While it’s most likely not a final version of the deck list yet, I can already discuss some of the cards I’ve decided to not include for various reasons. Some of them I don’t think belong in the deck, some are too greedy, some might be tech cards and others I just didn’t have space for. By no means I’m saying that this is the best build – we won’t know which is the best one until we get to play around with the new cards after expansion’s launch. The build will most likely change, so some of the cards listed below might get into the final version.
- All the 2 mana cards, like Cavern Shinyfinder, Sap, Eviscerate etc. – I’ve decided to go for the Prince Keleseth route, but it might turn out that non-Keleseth deck is better. Hard to say at this point, because both have their merits. I believe in Keleseth, though.
- Edwin VanCleef – It might feel weird to not play Edwin, but it might be a bit hard to make him work. You don’t have that many cheap minions/spells to make him big. You prefer keeping Preps for either Sprint or Necrium Vial instead of using them early just to buff Edwin. And in the mid game, when you could really build a big one, you will probably be trying to push your Deathrattle synergies and won’t have time to drop it. But he might get into the final list, depending on how it ends up playing.
- Sherazin, Corpse Flower – Might seem like a good fit into a Deathrattle deck, but you won’t be playing 4 cards per turn too often.
- Spiritsinger Umbra – Great if it works, but tends to be clunky at times. You can’t combo her with Cube until Turn 9, and that’s a bit too slow for this deck. Would be better in Control or Combo versions.
- Weaponized Pinata – This is mostly a value card, and I don’t feel like this deck needs more “value” – getting random Legendaries isn’t the best deal in a Tempo deck anyway, as most of them tend to be slow and clunky. Plus, the deck has no Mech synergies whatsoever.
- Lesser Onyx Spellstone – I mean, maybe if you go for a Deathrattle-heavy list. But with 6 Deathrattles in total, Spellstone would be hard to activate even once, let alone twice. And it’s pretty bad at the base level. Could be good in a more Control-oriented Deathrattle build.
- Valeera the Hollow – I put her in the combo version, but removed from the Tempo one. While Valeera can activate some really powerful combos and pump the value/tempo you get from your cards to the limit, she just comes down too late. By the time you play her, this deck has already finished the game or is setting up the Leeroy combo on Turn 10. Valeera just won’t get enough value.