- Kobold Illusionist: This minion’s deathrattle allows you to summon a 1/1 copy of a random minion from your hand. It is the first step of the deck’s combo, but you want to make sure that Malygos is the only card in your hand when you pull the trigger.
- Necrium Vial: A new card from the Boomsday expansion, this 5-mana spell triggers a friendly minion’s deathrattle, not once, but twice! This means that you can summon two copies of Malygos on the board, giving you a total of +10 to spell damage! Try and discount the cost with Preparation, for maximum efficiency.
- Elven Minstrel: Since the deck includes very specific minions, this allows you to assemble one part of the combo pretty consistently.
- Sprint: While a case could be made for the inclusion of Gadgetzan Auctioneer, he could mess with your combo, so having a spell to draw cards instead seems like a better choice.
- Valeera the Hollow: Although it may barely make the cut, the Rogue Death Knight can provide you with a lot of breathing room against more aggressive decks, by allowing you to get more value out of your removal spells. The 5 armor that it provides can also prove extremely important in those matchups, as it can put you just out of range, often enough. But it can surely be replaced with earlier defensive options, if necessary.
- Malygos: The cornerpiece of your combo, the Dragon of Magic provides you with a huge amount of spell damage (5 for each copy on the board), which empowers your spells. If you pull of the combo as described below, you can deal +10 damage with each spell you cast! Against aggressive decks, do not be afraid to drop him on turn 9, if you are not in danger of getting killed on the next turn. His 12 health allows him to withstand multiple trades from small minions, and the opponent might have to do it anyway.
- Vanish: Your best AoE pseudo-removal, as it can slow down board-centric decks by a couple of turns, which is more than enough time to draw into your other answers. Against slower decks you should consider using one copy of it to potentially mill a card. Do not forget; if your opponent’s hand is full, any minions that can’t be returned to it will die instead.
- Bloodmage Thalnos: A classic choice for any deck that wants to clear the board and draw a lot of cards. Having the ability to buff the damage of cards like Fan of Knives and Backstab by one, while also drawing a card as a bonus is a pretty sweet deal for a 2-drop.
Main Goal and Malygos Combo
The goal of the deck is simple enough; assemble the combo (explained further down) and kill your opponent in one turn, while trying to stay alive until that happens.
The standard combo itself is pretty straightforward. You play Kobold Illusionist, then Preparation followed by Necrium Vial, while having Malygos be the only minion in your hand, then proceed to target your opponent with Eviscerate and Sinister Strikes. The lack of minions in the deck is very deliberate, as it can mess with the Illusionist’s deathrattle and make you waste an entire turn for nothing. That is the main reason that I prefer Sprint over Gadgetzan Auctioneer, despite the inclusion of the usual low-cost spells for Rogue. Elven Minstrel and Bloodmage Thalnos are the only minions, beside the ones necessary for the combo, as their effects are just too good to ignore. One thing you have to keep in mind, is that you essentially have two copies of every card for the combo. That means that the combo can be pulled off more consistently than before, and you can even use one instance of it to clear the board, if the situation calls for it (mainly in aggressive matchups).
Rogue’s tempo tools can be used here to stall the game out for a really long time. Between Fan of Knives and Vanish, if you survive the early game with enough health to stabilize, you can force the opponent to replay entire turns, while you draw cards and assemble the pieces. Valeera the Hollow can prove life-saving usually, allowing you to extract maximum value from your single-target or AoE removals, while giving you an extra five health to work with.
Malygos Rogue – Mulligan and Matchups Guide
Your best cards when facing aggressive decks are your early clears, such as Backstab and Fan of Knives with Bloodmage Thalnos to help you clear better and draw a card. Bloodmage Thalnos is a must-keep, as you are bound to find a good removal to play him with and he force a trade from your opponent, in fear of a Fan of Knives clear. Your main objective here is to stay alive, so using your combo to cast removal spells and clear the board is not only acceptable, it’s propably one of your best plays. If you are still alive on turn 9 with Malygos in hand, consider dropping him on the board, unless you are at risk of dying right away. That can put your opponent at an awkward spot, either forcing trades or letting you clear the board with a single Fan of Knives.
Against slow decks (control/combo)
The name of the game here is card draw. You keep whatever says “draw” on it, especially if it’s Sprint. Don’t worry about removing your opponent’s minions too much, unless they become too threatening. Time is your biggest enemy in these matchups, so draw cards as often as possible and pull the combo’s trigger as soon as you can kill your opponent with it (doesn’t have to be the full one). Vanish can sometimes be used to mill an opponent’s card, especially in the second half of the deck and the same goes for Sap.
- -1x Sprint + 1x Gadgetzan Auctioneer: With all the low-cost spells in the deck, it would make sense to include Rogue’s favorite card draw machine, but 2 copies might be too much. On the other hand, having one of them might be useful for a late game push, as you can discount Sprint with Preparation earlier on.
- – Valeera the Hollow and – Roll the Bones + 2x Shroom Brewer: I do not think there are many cards that can be cut from the deck for the inclusion of healing, but these two would be the prime candidates. Although losing the Death Knight and a cycle card does not weaken the combo, it can hurt against slower decks. Nevertheless, if you don’t face too many of those, the inclusion of healing might be of more value.