Miracle Rogue (MR) in Standard, though not played as much as other decks on the ladder outside of high ranks, is a very good deck in general and an excellent tournament deck. Most Rogue specialists claim that they are favored against any deck. It is strong indeed, but tends to run out of steam or damage is the enemy is able to heal repeatedly. Nevertheless, the potential of huge burst is an always present threat when playing against Miracle Rogue which enables it to snatch some surprising wins.
This article is no guide on how to play. It is rather an overview on the different iterations and a card by card explanation and providing a side by side comparison in an infographic.
The core of the deck has not changed a lot. It actually consists of 22 cards whereas few variations cut 1 or 2 in favor of other synergies, e.g. Cold Blood is cut in Malygos Miracle Rogue in favor of Sinister Strike. There were a few core components added with Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Before MSG, the first few turns for this deck were mostly dead, moreso if they were not in possession of The Coin. Nowadays, with Small-Time Buccaneer and Patches the Pirate, this changed significantly. Now, the decks have more early aggression and potential to react to other fast decks like Pirate Warrior or Aggro Shaman. The next new addition is Counterfeit Coin. Though mostly added as a ‘one-of’, it helps to fuel the Gadgetzan Auctioneer engine.
The rest of the core is what we already know for ages. Damage in the form of Backstab, Eviscerate and Fan of Knives. The latter serves also as a cycle card as do Bloodmage Thalnos and Azure Drake. These minions also have the upside of giving Spell Damage +1. Edwin VanCleef is still there because he can be pumped up huge or dropped easily early on as a 4/4 or 6/6 to fend off early- to mid-game minions. Tomb Pillager is a staple due to its good stats the deathrattle which provides another copy of The Coin and Finally Preparation helps to weave in a spell if needed or to enable Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s to draw cards, even on turn 6.
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Rogue Class Cards
Counterfeit Coin: One copy is a staple and some deck variations prefer to run both which is more a thing of personal preference. It bears the risk, though to get stuck on multiple Coins and Preparations not being able to do anything when having Auctioneer in hand.
Swashburglar: This pirate is regularly added as either one or two copies into the deck to enable snatching Patches for free consistently. It also provides card generation to fuel the deck until the important miracle turn.
Sinister Strike: This face damage card is only played in Malygos Rogue at the moment enabling a huge burst finisher after Emperor ticks.
Shiv: Outside of Malygos Rogue, it is sprinkled in here and there mostly as a cycle card to dig faster through the deck. The damage is mostly irrelevant.
Sap / Shadow Strike: You can make the argument that Sap a core cards because it is almost omnipresent. Nevertheless, a few players cut one copy in favor of a Shadow Strike. Sometimes both cards are included as two Sap one Shadow Strike or vice versa. There is only one list that runs none of the two: Feno’s Red Many Wyrm MR. Sap’s purpose is to get rid of big taunts or other expensive minions to delay the opponent’s gameplan and buy time to get the miracle going. Shadow Strike is a premium removal for mid-game minions killing almost anything up to 5-drops.
SI:7 Agent: For the longest time SI:7 Agent was a staple. Equally to Sap, he is also mostly omnipresent and can also be considered a core card, but here and there one copy is cut from the list. Casie and rayC even opted to drop both Agents in favor of Questing Adveturers.
Questing Adventurer: Here is the plan: drop Questing Adventurer and Conceal him immediately to pump him up the next turn and get some serious damage running.
Barnes: This Artist is played to copy minions with effects bound to them. From the core cards these are Bloodmage Thalnos, Azure Drake, Tomb Pillager and of course Gadgetzan Auctioneer. In Malygos Rogue, Malygos himself or Emperor Thaurissan are the big catches of the day for Barnes.
Violet Teacher: In the aggro heavy that we see right now, Violet Teacher helps to develop a board and prevents being overwhelmed. If dropped without spells to cast on turn four, it is still a decent body and the potential of developing an ever increasing board is mostly enough to bait out removal giving this mage a pseudo-taunt.
Red Mana Wyrm: This Dragon descended serves as an Alternative to Questing Adventurer with the same gameplan in mind.
Leeroy Jenkins: Leeeeeeeeeroooooooooooyyyyyy is played as a finisher in conjunction with one or two Cold Bloods. You do not want to use him in any other way if you can do otherwise.
Malygos / Emperor Thaurissan: As already mentioned in the explanations above, this duo will enable huge burst turns late game in conjunction with the Eviscerate and the teched-in damage spells (Sinister Strike, Shiv).