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Deathrattle Rogue deck list guide - Descent of Dragons - Hearthstone (December 2019)

Our massively updated guide to playing Deathrattle Rogue in the new Descent of Dragons meta.

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Our Deathrattle Rogue deck list guide features the best Descent of Dragons deck list for Season 69 of Hearthstone (December 2019). Our Deathrattle Rogue guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Deathrattle Rogue is a Hearthstone deck that's been lacking over the last year. However, Necrium Apothecary has brought it back to the attention of Hearthstone's playerbase, and we're seeing a lot more people trying it out.

It may be slightly overshadowed by its Galakrond version, but if you fancy branching away from the norm, this is a good deck to try.

The latest version of our Deathrattle Rogue guide also includes an overview of the general strategy behind the deck, as well as a breakdown of the combos it contains. We've also added in some Mulligan advice, which should help you get off to the best start in your games.

Deathrattle Rogue deck list and strategy

2 x Backstab2 x Wisp
2 x Shadowstep2 x Faceless Corruptor
2 x Bloodsail Flybooter1 x Leeroy Jenkins
2 x Pharaoh Cat1 x Zilliax
2 x Eviscerate1 x Cairne Bloodhoof
2 x Sap2 x Mechanical Whelp
1 x Edwin VanCleef
2 x EVIL Miscreant
2 x Necrium Blade
2 x Necrium Apothecary
1 x Flik Skyshiv
1 x Heistbaron Togwaggle

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAaIHBrICpAOvBKCAA5KXA8GuAwyzAbQB7QLNA4gHtPYC3voCj5cD9acDu64Dv64DgrEDAA==

More great Rogue guides:

General strategy

The general strategy behind Deathrattle Rogue hasn’t changed much over time. The deck looks to exploit the effect from Necrium Blade to trigger Deathrattle effects early (and repeatedly) in order to gain increased value over your opponent. The most common strategies involve taking full advantage of minions such as Mechanical Whelp – whose power lies in their Deathrattles – to generate a large board of creatures.

Most of the cards in this deck have similarly powerful Deathrattle effects that you’ll look to trigger as much as possible to continue building a large board. No new cards from the Rise of Shadows set promote this play style, but instead, they fit into the list as solid additions that comfortably round out the deck.

Early game: The early game for Deathrattle Rogue is a major setup phase. Here, you’ll want to start establishing all the pieces you need to make those big tempo swings as you approach the mid-game. Necrium Blade and Backstab can keep the opponent’s board under control, while you’ll be able to find some extra value from EVIL Miscreant. If you need to find your weapon, though, be sure to set up a combo with Raiding Party.

Mid game: Now you can start to trigger all those Deathrattle minions you’ve been playing in the early game. The durability of Necrium Blade should be about to expire, so ensure there’s a good Deathrattle creature on the board for it to hit. With the loss of Carnivorous Cube these plays won’t be as impactful as they used to be, but you can still do something worthwhile with Blightnozzle Crawler and Replicating Menace on their own.

Late game: You’ll be looking for a way to finish off your opponent as you head into the late game, so see if you can pull off some big damage plays with your final Deathrattle synergies. A large component of this involves exploiting the more powerful Deathrattle effects on Cairne Bloodhoof and Mechanical Whelp to impose too much pressure on your opponent.

Aggro opponents

Keep these tips in mind if you come up against aggro decks on the ranked ladder:

  • 1. Mulligan especially hard for early game removal options. If you lose control of the board you have very few comeback mechanics.
  • 2. Necrium Blade is good for trading with minions, but be careful you don’t take too much direct damage and leave yourself open to a premature death.
  • 3. EVIL Miscreant can be very useful against aggro as the bonus Lackeys you can from it can contest their early drops and offer some useful bonus effects.
  • 4. Don’t fret too much if you fall behind as Zilliax can be an excellent way to catch up.

Control opponents

Here’s what you should consider when facing control decks:

  • 1. Expect them to have ways to deal with most of your early threats, so don’t over-commit into a play with too many resources from the off.
  • 2. You have some decent removal options, including the Faceless Corruptor's Transform effect.
  • 3. Try to save Eviscerate for some surprise burst damage to finish off your opponent.

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Deathrattle Rogue Mulligan guide

These are the early game cards you’ll want to look for, so as to get your game plan underway as early as possible.

  • 1. Backstab: Strong early game removal spell that can also be used to start off a Combo for free.
  • 2. EVIL Miscreant: A decent minion to drop early to contest the board, while the Lackey tokens it adds to your had can also offer some useful bonus effects.
  • 3. Necrium Blade: Deals enough damage to clear early game drops and should also break by the time you have a Deathrattle minion or two on the board.
  • 4. Edwin VanCleef: If you Combo enough cheap cards together in the early game you can drop a very large Edwin VanCleef that your opponent could struggle to remove.

Deathrattle Rogue tips, combos and synergies

For some insight into how this deck works, we've highlighted all of the most important combos that exist within it.

- When you cast Preparation the Mana cost of your next spell is reduced by three.

- Necrium Blade has a Deathrattle effect that triggers the Deathrattle of a friendly minion, chosen at random.

- Try to use as many cards as possible before dropping Edwin VanCleef onto the board as this legendary will gain +2 / +2 in stats for each one you’ve played in the same turn.

- You can instantly draw Necrium Blade into your hand thanks to Raiding Party. Just make sure you play another card first in order to activate the Combo Effect.

- EVIL Miscreant will add two random Lackey minions to your hand when played. These can include:

  • Ethereal Lackey - Discover a Spell
  • Faceless Lackey - Summon a random 2-cost minion
  • Goblin Lackey - Give a friendly minion +1 Attack and Rush
  • Kobold Lackey - Deal 2 damage
  • Witchy Lackey - Transform a friendly minion into one that costs (1) more
  • Titanic Lackey - Give a minion +2 Health and Taunt
  • Draconic Lackey - Discover a Dragon

- Necrium Apothecary requires a Combo to activate, meaning you'll need to play a card beforehand on the same turn in order for it to trigger.

- Use Captain Greenskin to buff your Necrium Blade even further so you can unleash more powerful Attacks for longer.

Card choices and substitutes

Here’s some more detail on specific card choices for Deathrattle Rogue, as well as some options for replacements where they’re possible to make.

  • Backstab: Excellent early game removal tool, especially against aggro. If you find you’re running into a lot of control decks you can swap one out for Necrium Vial instead.
  • Preparation: Can give you a tempo advantage by slashing the cost of one of your spells. A good target for this is Raiding Party to guarantee drawing your Necrium Blade.
  • Edwin VanCleef: With all the low-cost cards in this deck you can make a large version of this minion that will potentially overwhelm your opponent.
  • Necrium Blade: Strong removal option and a bonus Deathrattle trigger once it has expired make this is a necessary inclusion.
  • Necrium Apothecary: The game-swinging potential to summon a few 7/7s through drawing Mechanical Whelp cannot be overstated.
  • Zilliax: Just a solid inclusion in many deck types thanks to all the keywords on the card.
  • Cairne Bloodhoof: Still offers up one of the better Deathrattle effects in the entire game. If you trigger it with Necrium Blade you can see even more value from it.
  • Mechanical Whelp: Another of your key Necrium Blade targets. A 7/7 Mechanical Dragon is way more imposing than the Whelp form, so you’ll want to generate as many of them as possible.

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  • cjsutton28 #1 2 years ago
    This version is far superior to the one you have posted for Descent of Dragons as of 18DEC2019:

    ### Rattle Me Bones
    # Class: Rogue
    # Format: Standard
    # Year of the Dragon
    # 2x (0) Backstab
    # 2x (0) Wisp
    # 2x (1) Bloodsail Flybooter
    # 2x (1) Southsea Deckhand
    # 2x (1) Stonetusk Boar
    # 2x (2) Novice Engineer
    # 2x (2) Vicious Scalehide
    # 2x (3) Acolyte of Pain
    # 2x (3) Necrium Blade
    # 2x (4) Necrium Apothecary
    # 1x (5) Anka, the Buried
    # 2x (5) Faceless Corruptor
    # 1x (5) Leeroy Jenkins
    # 2x (5) Necrium Vial
    # 1x (5) Zilliax
    # 1x (6) Flik Skyshiv
    # 2x (9) Anubisath Warbringer
    # To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
  • kadimo #2 5 years ago
    what card can you replace the edwin with?
  • NinjaFred #3 6 years ago
    Why no sylvanas?
  • jekface #4 6 years ago
    Nice guide. Any suggestions for replacements for Cleef, Xaril, and Tomb Pillager? I don't have them yet.
  • light8 #5 6 years ago
    @Blazev yes, that would function as a replacement. It serves a different purpose than sylvanas, but if you don't have her that's definitely playable. I'd say in the majority of my raptor rogue games I don't even get a sylvanas out, so it's not as if that's your only win condition
  • Blazev #6 6 years ago
    suggestion: i miss sylvanas...would cairne bloodhoof be a good substitution for sylvanas? since i presume the deathrattle is pretty good...
  • minddrifter #7 6 years ago
    @TTelion I agree with hammer. One suggestion would be sludge belcher, but sylvanus is still a lot better.
  • HammehHS #8 6 years ago
    @TTelion Sylvannas effect is hard to replace, but switch something else with a strong deathrattle or a strong 6 drop :)

    I wouldn't craft too much - if you want to play standard, a lot of this deck rotates out soon when Standard Mode is introduced. Fine in "Wild" mode though :)

    Bit of play with it here -
  • TTelion #9 6 years ago
    What would be a good exchange for Sylvanas (both Legendary and Non-legendary) ?
  • JFidds #10 6 years ago
    This deck archetype is amazing, and with a few refinements, has the potential to be on the competitive scene.

    I think the deck posted here has too low of a mana curve, and if you don't end the game quick you'll find yourself running out of gas (but that's probably attributed to my play style). Instead, I've had more success with running cards like Stalag and Feugen, getting rid of cold blood, leper gnome, and even Lotheb. Utility cards like bgh and SI:7 agent provide immensely strong tempo, and Azure Drake for card draw. I've even tried cultmaster which synergizes amazingly well with this deck.

    Sincerely my humble opinion. (Still pretty far from legend XD)
  • milesatchison98 #11 6 years ago
    I dont see a deck list here lol.