KeleTess Tempo Rogue v13.1 (Season 51/Standard)

Class: Rogue - Format: Raven - Type: Tempo - Season: 51 - Style: Ladder

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Deck Import

Watch as I shoot for Legend with this. Wish me luck.

Based on HTD’s Tempo Rogue Deck List Guide, the core Prince Keleseth Tempo Rogue cards are:

Bringing us to 17 cards. Add to that the tempo-oriented compromise burgle package of:

And we are now at 22 cards. I’ll call this the “KeleTess Core 22” that every iteration of KeleTess v13 will have. The following 8 optional cards (also via HTD’s Guide) are what I’m going with for KeleTess v13.1:

And that brings us to our full 30. The following is my justification for the optional 8:

Cold Blood

  • Sometimes I feel that Cold Blood should be a Tempo Rogue staple, but I can see it getting cut out of more Midrange-oriented decklists.
  • Good for uptrades, and good for accelerating your side during a face race.
  • I probably shouldn’t encourage our 10-mana, 20-damage Cold Blooded Leeroy-Step combo, but it’s probably good to keep in mind if the game will come to that flashy of a close.

Sonya Shadowdancer

  • “Did someone say uptrades?” –Sonya Shadowdancer
  • Okay, she didn’t really say that, but she may as well have. Our Cult Master-esque value engine.
  • Contrast to Shadowstep we don’t give up tempo to recycle those Battlecries and Combos, since we work against our opponent’s tempo by running into their minions.
  • Also contrast that these mementos are a flat-cost of 1 (as opposed to the minus 2 discount from Shadowstep), implying many good things for the Rogue class in general.
  • If your opponent does not have a board to run your minions against, Shadowstepping after hitting face is really all you can do in terms of re-value shenanigans. Or is it?

Marsh Drake

  • Marsh Drake disagrees.
  • And though this Battlecry is not one we really want to repeat, that Drakeslayer is a good way to force a Sonya trigger versus an empty board.
  • Otherwise, we just dagger down the 2/1 and let Marsh Drake‘s 5/4 base stats do the talking. It may not be so easy though, if the opponent should have a Taunt minion to get in our way.

Glacial Shard

  • Which brings us to Glacial Shard.
  • Having stopped that Drakeslayer in his tracks for a turn, Marsh Drake can maybe take care of that Taunt minion as we proceed with our plot.
  • Aside from that interesting bit of synergy, the addition of Glacial Shard actually has quite a couple of implications with how this deck plays.
  • First off, with Fire Fly I often feel inclined to “fill out” any loose mana or over-extend for a huge Edwin VanCleef. Sadly, this usually leaves me without a convenient Combo-trigger. Glacial Shard encourages me to hold on, as the power (or rather, “anti-power”) of the card scales better with bigger minions that show up later in the game.
  • Secondly, choosing Prince Keleseth meant giving up the likes of Sap and Eviscerate. Glacial Shard is Sap-esque. Glacial Shard doesn’t provide as easy of an answer around Taunt minions that Sap does, but the Freeze along with a 2/1 is markedly more effective against Aggro.
  • This is much appreciated, especially having not opted for Fan of Knives.

The Lich King

Other notes and such


Discuss This Deck
  1. Foxlebt
    May 18, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Amazing deck guide, fun and easy to read ^.^
    Also an amazing deck to play, currently going 13-2 with this deck at Rank 7 <3

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 18, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks for the props on both the write-up and the deck! I agree since the Tempo Rogue core is solid. Also, in my recent experiences, Marsh Drake and Sonya have been so impactful that they feel unfair when I play them.

      Glad that the you’re having a good time with the deck. 🙂

  2. ZEeoN
    May 17, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Cool, gonna try this, I was experimenting with all kinds of rogues and had all of these cards in and out of my deck at some point. Never in this combination though, it looks like what I wanted back then. Finally a rogue worth playing again!

    PS: what I discovered that really disappointed me is that the faceless collector fetches any legendary it wants, which is at first not a problem and openly stated but I did not think about the neutral pool when I played my first Tess rogue, which is huge across all mana cost levels. And neutral not being a class you will get nothing from Tess.

    And just to mention it before anyone makes crafting mistakes, I happened to have Lilian Voss and tried her for a game but unlike the claims I had read before she doesn’t reshuffle the spells from your opponents class in case you get unusable crap but instead ONLY replaces your rogue spells which is really really bad.

    So keep that in mind and have fun! Thank you for the cool deck!

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 17, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks so much for the kudos!

      It’s refreshing to hear from someone who has been going through similar struggles. I’ve been doing some crazy things, but it really feels like Tess does better slapped onto a Tempo Rogue core more than anything else.

      True about Face Collector, the Neutral pool nets you nothing with Tess—which is crucial to mention. An important thing to note with Tempo Rogue, though, is that we are usually not looking for too much from Tess’s Battlecry. Most of our cards try to squeeze as much tempo as we can with the mana from our earlier turns, and setting up a huge Tess usually involves giving up too much of that tempo. Tess is a reach card for us in this deck to give us that last push to victory. As a rule-of-thumb, if it’s starting to get tough to remember if all those class cards you played throughout the match are enough to give you that reach, you might be building your Tess up too much.

      Back to how this relates to Face Collector: even just one class Legendary is huge (but I understand we might not even get that some games). In general, we’re not really looking to beat the Control decks at the long game, not with random cards, not in this meta. As Tempo, our window is clearly before that point and we’re looking to abuse our efficiency to close out the game within that window (and using Tess and Lich King should we fall a bit short). We are not trying to outdo the likes of Shudderwock and Bloodreaver Gul’dan (but occasionally we can, especially with some choice burgles).

      Sorry for the wall ^, somehow I feel I wrote that more as a reminder to myself than as an answer to your question…

      Anyhoos, I’ve actually played with a Lilian Voss in several of my earliest versions, and I must tell you that it does indeed reshuffle. It is just that sometimes it gets reshuffled to the same exact card, which might make it seem like nothing happened. lol One thing to keep in mind is that you still need to play the card, even if you reshuffle to something useful. So hopefully you didn’t need that spell on that very turn, as Lilian already takes up 4 mana for herself.

      Thanks for all that opportunity to talk about those specific points! Happy laddering~

      • ZEeoN
        May 18, 2018 at 3:21 am

        Hey, thanks for the reply! Not even a wall to me, I love discussing this game very much so I appreciate the thoughts, I tend to write really long texts myself to be honest! What you said about Lilian is really insane to me, though – I played her in a few games consecutively to try her and in every single one she reshuffled the unusable cards to the very same cards for me. Now that’s bad RNG if you ask me, LOL!

        In those games I got super unlucky in general: Faceless Collector gave me 2 Nat Pagles in one Echo turn and then blink fox gave me Arsenal… Next game it gave me Milhouse Manastorm + some not so great choices and Blink Fox gave me Glacial Mysteries! 😀 That was really something. Especially playing a Milhouse against mage, what could possibly go wrong?

        But yes, good points about Tess. She’s actually great value with only one card being replayed already. Building up her ability is really not that much of a good strategy for the same reason.

        Just a quick addition: What is quite cool about her is that if you manage to fetch a DeathKnight from another class and play it, she will replay all your rogue cards as that is now the “other class”. That means she will respawn all your rogue minions in addition to casting all the spells again, which can be HUGE. But again, it’s very Yogg-y, so not a strategy to rely on after all. Just something to keep in mind when there’s seemingly no way out anymore.

        Happy laddering to you, too!

        • 2xDouble30 - Author
          May 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

          That’s quite the luck with Lilian… so much that I was doubting what I knew, and had to test it out.

          It looks like it still holds true, though: Lilian Voss will reshuffle your opponent’s class spells into other spells. (I chose spells from Hallucination, and had 3 Hunter spells in my hand before I dropped Lilian Voss, which she converted into different Hunter spells).

          Here’s me wishing you good RNG sir.

          • ZEeoN
            May 18, 2018 at 5:57 pm

            Haha, thanks, it worked already – literally a few minutes ago I opened a golden Shadowreaper Anduin! Now here’s me wishing you the same 😉 Thanks for trying once more! Btw, on a more serious note, your deck is really consistent for me so far. Not enough games for a reasonable sample size yet as I am currently leveling warrior but those games I played felt really good and the usual „one turn off“ if I did lose. How far did you actually get on the ladder with it so far? (I am mostly playing unranked atm, especially considering I am not that experienced with warrior yet)

  3. burki
    May 17, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Is Leeroy crucial or can i just play with Reckless rocketeer?

    What do you think about Witch’s Cauldron to get more Cards for Tess?

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 17, 2018 at 2:05 am

      Reckless Rocketeer works, albeit costing more, and has the added benefit of not having to worry about the 1/1s you summon for the opponent (Leeroy’s drawback). You could also opt for a faster option in Southsea Deckhand, which is still a good surprise burst outlet for your Cold Bloods and Shadowsteps. Southsea Deckhand also gives you the option to “machine-gun” enemy minions with a Sonya Shadowdancer loop, with how low-cost he is.

      As for Witch’s Cauldron… dang. I’ve pondered on the idea once, when I saw an Odd Pally play it, but was turned off to the prospect because of the 0 attack. I didn’t think it would help with tempo much, but looking at it now I can see it being a “conversion tool.” Meaning if you can’t end the game quickly enough, you can trade your minions into your opponent’s (board reset?) and be left with a handful of spells (which probably includes lots of control/direct-damage spells), which Tess could repeat.

      Though it may slow the deck down depending on what you replace, and you might suffer if you can’t get a good amount of minions on the board (though Fire Fly and Glacial Shard should help you out), Witch’s Cauldron could be quite nice.

      • burki
        May 25, 2018 at 8:21 am

        I played some 20-30 games with it and it is really fun to play. (They way you posted it, just no Leeroy)

        Only the Marsh Dragon doesn’t work for me, maybe I’m using him wrong. What alternative would you add as a replacement?

        • 2xDouble30 - Author
          May 26, 2018 at 12:07 am

          Thanks for the feedback, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the deck! 🙂

          Marsh Dragon replacements… Spellbreakers could be really nice, if you’re getting shut out by Taunts. SI:7 if they’re trading into you with low-cost high-attack minions, so you can just ping those. I would not recommend Tar Creeper, mostly because we’re trying to maintain our speed, despite Tar Creeper being such a great defensive card. Since we have Saronite Chain Gangs, you could also mess around with Cobalt Scalebane, which would make you more stompy.

          So in order: (1) Spellbreaker, (2) SI:7 Agent, and/or (3) Cobalt Scalebane. Try those out, and you could also do 1-ofs for the situational picks. I would maybe go -2 Marsh Drake, +1 Spellbreaker, +1 Cobalt Scalebane.

          Good luck! I hope that ends up working out.

          • burki
            May 27, 2018 at 5:33 am

            Ty for your reply!

            Fungalmancer works pretty nice for me in addition to Sonya.

  4. PoopPhorPrez
    May 16, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    How do you feel about The Faceless One? Seems good with Tess, but might be a bit too cute.

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 16, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Seems really good, actually. I assume you meant Face Collector? (I’m judging based on the burgle option from HTD’s Tempo Rogue guide.)

      The card gives us lots of value, especially with Tess. We also have the tools to slow the game down a bit. Versus control, Face Collector also give us an overwhelm option and some 2/2 bodies to chip at them or for them to waste their resources on. The card seems like a lot of fun, too.

      I wouldn’t yet know what to replace though, as I don’t want to hurt any of the deck’s speed. Perhaps a Vilespine or a Shadowstep to mitigate some light anti-synergies.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 16, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      Though, the second copy of Vilespine Slayer was really important for some games, so maybe just replace a Shadowstep for the Face Collector.

  5. Matt
    May 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Marsh drake is just a 4 mana 5/4 with a big downside of becoming unplayable if they stick a taunt.

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Even better (and faster), sir:

      Marsh Drake is a 3 mana 5/4. But yea, the downside is rather large if you can’t get to the 2/1 Poisonous Drakeslayer because of a Taunt.

      Backstab is an easy answer, if you have it. Glacial Shard can Freeze the Drakeslayer for a turn, and once your Marsh Drake can attack, depending on how big the Taunt is, you can use him to take out the Taunt, and then use your weapon or some sacrificeable minion to get rid of the Drakeslayer.

      Also, keep an eye out for anything that can help with this problem when you cast Hallucination or summon Blink Fox.

      • Matt
        May 19, 2018 at 10:12 pm

        Ideally you can hit it with your dagger and then it costs you half your dagger (1 mana) plus 3 more mana for a 4 mana 5/4. That’s the upside.

        • 2xDouble30 - Author
          May 19, 2018 at 11:00 pm

          Oh true, point taken. Thanks, never thought about it like that, but it’s an undeniable cost.

  6. ATinyHorse
    May 15, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Looks a bit top heavy, but to be fair that’s what Tempo Rogue needed especially since it’s only finisher was Lich King.

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 16, 2018 at 12:38 am

      Yea, especially Tempo Rogue running Keleseth. Not having Sap/Eviscerate almost forfeits our right to super quick wins, so it definitely tends to feel more Midrange/Beatdown, and Tess can be some good extra reach in that case.

  7. fossil
    May 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Great deck. any thought on adding a copy of sprint? Maybe instead of a firefly.

    • 2xDouble30 - Author
      May 15, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Thank you!

      Sprint is definitely tough to add, and Fire Fly is just so useful. But if I were to try to make it work, I would go:

      -1 Fire Fly, -2 Hench-Clan Thug, -1 Vilespine Slayer
      +2 Sprint, +2 Preparation

      Getting rid of the Hench-Clan Thug pair makes it so that we don’t really have a reason to use our Hero Power, so we can instead use that mana to regain the tempo we temporarily gave up by playing all the cards we draw.

      Getting rid of 1 Vilespine Slayer reduces our dependency on having a cheap Combo trigger. Sprint gives us material advantage, we’re more likely to draw our lone copy, and we can probably just run them over with our extra cards, possibly making an extra Vilespine Slayer redundant.

      If you choose to go this route, be sure to look into adding Fal’dorei Striders to add power to your later-game tempo spikes. Preparation makes Fan of Knives and Vanish options, too. Vanish might be trickier though because of all the good Battlecries running around.

      • fossil
        May 15, 2018 at 8:56 am

        Thanks for the quick reply. Im thinking about taking a elven minstrel out instead of oen of the hench clan thug. Since this deck is mostly minions, i would be probably drawing those 2 minions anyways and can keep one of the hench.

        Trying the deck right now, wish me luck.

        • 2xDouble30 - Author
          May 15, 2018 at 8:59 am

          I see. My actual knee-jerk was to remove one of the Minstrels, but I instead tried to keep in as much card draw as possible.

          Good luck!


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