In last week’s Hearthstone Fireside Duel we saw legendary Druid Malfurion Stormrage square off against the Rogue Valeera Sanguinar in a fight that truly came down to the wire. Some entertaining last second antics served to leave Malfurion as the victor, despite Valeera maintaining the edge through most of the contest. We mentioned in that article that the Rogue deck was an interesting one and featured the potential to be successful through the use of more indirect tactics. In this article, we’ll take a look at one of the most interesting cards in the Rogue set, Shadowstep, and just how to make the best possible use of it.
This zero energy Rogue spell allows the player to summon a minion from play back to his or her hand. Considering some of the unique and powerful Battlecry powers available on select minions, Shadowstep can accomplish a lot of different things depending on your hand. What’s more, a lot of the best options are fairly organic and would fit well in almost any deck. Here’s some we recommend.
Big Game Hunter
We talked last week about just how useful Big Game Hunter can be as both a decently sized minion and a tool to clear the board of other, larger minions. Shadowstep can effectively double the usefulness of this card. If your opponent is sitting on two minions with more than seven attack power, play Big Game Hunter, Shadowstep for zero energy to put it back in your hand, play Big Game Hunter again and wave goodbye to two oversized annoyances. Expect to see Big Game Hunter in any solid Rogue deck that features Shadowstep given just how useful the card is in general.
Nightblade is a solid, albeit somewhat expensive minion that features four attack power and four durability. It also has a Battlecry ability that deals three damage to the enemy hero upon coming into play. Having Shadowstep in your hand allows you some options when using this five energy minion. If you want to attack targets for four damage, fine, do so. However, if a circumstance presents itself where you cannot get through a minion with taunt, Nightblade loses the ability to attack, or where three damage will finish the match, Shadowstep allows you access to a five energy, three damage nuke on the opposing hero. You’ll have to make sure that Nightblade fits into your deck, but if it does, Shadowstep will make it twice as good.
Shadowstep and Combo Cards
The Rogue’s unique mechanic, Combo, functions in a similar fashion to Battlecry, but with the caveat that a card must be played beforehand in order to gain the Combo benefits. This can be incredibly powerful assuming you have the energy to play multiple cards. Shadowstep shines in this situation because of its zero energy cost. If you want to execute a more lethal chain, utilizing cards such as SI-7 Agent, Kidnapper, Defias Ringleader or even legendary minion Edwind VanCleef (VanCleef gains +2/+2 for each card played on your turn) in conjunction with Shadowstep can ensure cheap costs for large returns, assuming you have the minions available to make use of the spell.
Shadowstep is far from the only ability in the Rogue’s arsenal, but it’s one that will require a lot of thought to make the best use out of. It shines because of its versatility, but not unlike a lot of other Rogue cards, it requires the proper preparation and is not always useful. It does not deal guaranteed damage, nor does it outright remove a minion. It can do those things, but it needs the assistance of other cards in order to accomplish those ends.
Be sure to check back with BlizzPro as we continue to discuss Hearthstone and prepare you to build the perfect deck to crush your foes with.