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Tempo Rogue deck list guide - Rise of Shadows - Hearthstone (July 2019)

The latest Tempo Rogue deck list for the new Rise of Shadows meta.

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Our Tempo Rogue deck list guide features the best Rise of Shadows deck list for Season 64 of Hearthstone (July 2019). Our Tempo Rogue guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Tempo Rogue is a Hearthstone deck archetype that we’ve seen in many forms over the years and once again returns to the top of the Hearthstone meta with the Rise of Shadows expansion. Considering how few tools it lost in the recent set rotation it makes sense that the deck remains powerful, while some new additions only emphasise its power further.

The aim of the deck is to field an aggressive collection of minions from the very start of the match and then continually go further ahead of your opponent as the game goes on with value-oriented minions or spells. That’s usually enough to leave your opponent in the dust, or you can often finish with a surprising chunk of burst damage too!

In this latest update to our Tempo Rogue deck guide, we've highlighted the best version of the deck that’s pushed the archetype to the top of the tier list in Rise of Shadows. You’ll also find a basic overview of the strategy involved in playing it, as well as some Mulligan advice to get you off to the best start in each match. Right at the bottom, we have all the important cards and combos in the deck that you’ll need to learn in order to get the most from Tempo Rogue.

UPDATE - JULY 2019 #1

Tempo Rogue has fallen down the rankings a fair bit since the last balance patch. If you want to give it a go though, here's the latest deck list. We'll update the guide fully if it proves more competitive in the future.

2 x Shadowstep2 x Novice Engineer
2 x Backstab2 x EVIL Cable Rat
1 x Sap1 x SN1P-SN4P
2 x Blink Fox2 x Lifedrinker
1 x Edwin VanCleef1 x Leeroy Jenkins
2 x EVIL Miscreant1 x Zilliax
2 x SI:7 Agent
2 x Spirit of the Shark
2 x Hench-Clan Burglar
2 x Waggle Pick
2 x Vendetta
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.


This article contains additional reporting by James Pickard.

Tempo Rogue deck list and strategy

This is the version of Tempo Rogue that has claimed a place in the top tier of decks for the Rise of Shadows expansion. As the list is refined further we'll continue updating our recommendation.

2 x Backstab2 x Southsea Deckhand
2 x Preparation2 x Faerie Dragon
2 x Deadly Poison2 x Dread Corsair
2 x Eviscerate2 x Lifedrinker
2 x Sap1 x Captain Greenskin
2 x EVIL Miscreant1 x Leeroy Jenkins
1 x Edwin VanCleef
2 x Raiding Party
2 x SI:7 Agent
2 x Waggle Pick
1 x Myra's Unstable Element

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


More great Rogue guides:

General strategy

While this version of Tempo Rogue certainly favours aggression, it would be wrong to call it a pure aggro deck. Instead, it favours clearing off enemy minions, establishing a strong board, and then finishing off your opponent with a chunk of burst damage. It’s basically a slow and steady increase in power that, if left unchecked, can storm into a lead and finish the game before an opponent even gets a strong enough foothold.

The deck also features a handful of useful utility cards that give you some flexibility in how you can find your win condition. Many of these take full advantage of effects unique to the Rogue class, including minion bouncing and Combo cards. Holding on to Raiding Party from the Rastakhan’s Rumble set plays a big part in the deck’s success, while some of the more value-oriented cards from Rise of Shadows ensure you maintain a big lead over your foe.

Early game:

You’ll want to establish a board presence with your early game cards and remove your opponent’s minions with sensible trades, Backstab and your hero power. Alternatively you can try to combo out a solid EVIL Miscreant play. If you can drop a big Edwin VanCleef on the board you should always consider that option too.

Mid game:

Maintain control of the board and start pushing for damage where you can. Aim to nick more cards from your opponent and use them if they’re helpful or hold them in hand to buff your other cards. You can draw some extra resources using Raiding Party and then make big tempo plays will your Pirates. If you equip Waggle Pick you can get Dread Corsair onto the board for free, for example. Follow that up with Captain Greenskin and your weapon can turn into a serious threat.

Late game:

If the game’s not already been won you’ll be hunting for your last burst of damage – most likely through Leeroy Jenkins. If you didn’t have an opportunity in the early game then now is the time to go for a large Edwin VanCleef as well. You’ll probably want to consider using Eviscerate as some finishing damage rather than minion removal now as it can offer some serious burst to win the game.

Aggro Opponents

Here are some useful tips for dealing with aggro opponents on the ladder:

  • 1. Play like a control deck for the opening few turns, using removal and your hero power to keep their board under control.
  • 2. Try to stake your claim for the board early too, and grabing those Lackeys from EVIL Miscreant can also be good here.
  • 3. Setting up a huge Edwin VanCleef can often be too much for an aggro deck to handle, or they’ll be forced to waste too many resources clearing it off.
  • 4. Racing is a viable strategy against some aggro decks, especially if they rely more on damage from hand instead of building a strong board.

Control opponents

Here’s what to keep in mind when facing a control deck:

  • 1. Become the aggressor: you’ll be looking to eliminate them before they can start to take control of the game.
  • 2. Be careful of pushing too hard and over-extending into a board clear, though.
  • 3. You do have multiple resources to refill your hand if you’re struggling to hold onto a board presence, including card thieving options and Raiding Party.
  • 4. You might struggle against larger minions, but with weapon buffs and removal spells you should be able to handle one or two if needed.

More great Rogue guides:

Tempo Rogue Mulligan guide

These are the cards you’ll want to search for in your opening hand with Tempo Rogue.

  • 1. EVIL Miscreant: Provides the potential for incredible value if you can play it with the combo (which you really, really should!)
  • 2. Faerie Dragon: A very solid early-game card for contesting the board or getting a little extra face damage in.
  • 3. Raiding Party: Invaluable card draw in the deck that can give you most of your Pirate package in a single play.
  • 4. Backstab: Can outright kill or weaken early game minions for zero mana. That’s value.

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Tempo Rogue tips, combos and synergies

A Rogue deck like this is only as strong as the synergies contained within it. Here are the most important card combos you need to commit to memory when playing the Tempo Rogue:

- Preparation reduces the cost of the next spell you play by three mana so you can use this to Combo with Raiding Party immediately or cast Eviscerate for free. Further synergy exists with Myra's Unstable Element later on in the match.

- Certain cards such as Eviscerate and SI:7 Agent become more powerful if another card is play earlier on in the same turn. Always look for the extra value afforded by these plays.

- Deadly Poison pops another two points of damage on your weapon, whether that's Waggle Pick or your basic hero power dagger. Try to get this on as many charges of durability as you can, of course.

- Remember that Southsea Deckhand can only attack right away if you've got a blade in your hand. Plan carefully before making use of that final play!

- Dread Corsair costs one Mana less for each point of damage on your blade. He's free to play with Waggle Pick, or a dagger boosted up with Deadly Poison.

- 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

- When you cast Raiding Party you’ll always draw a copy of Waggle Pick from your deck alongside two Pirates – some of which can synergise very well with the weapon. For example, Dread Corsair will cost nothing to play when Waggle Pick is equipped as it’s cost is reduced by the damage on the weapon!

- In order to make the largest Edwin VanCleef possible, see how you can combine you zero cost spells with other minions and bounce effects to build up your pool of played cards.

Tempo Rogue card choices and substitutions

These are the most important cards in Tempo Rogue, as well as some ideas for substitutes should you be missing any from your collection:

  • Backstab: A free answer to the majority of early game minions and an excellent combo activator.
  • Preparation: Powerful discount card for some of your more expensive spells that essentially allows you to cast them for free to gain a huge tempo advantage.
  • Underbelly Fence: With all the cards you can steal from outside your class you should always be able to activate the powerful bonus effect on this minion.
  • Blink Fox: One of the minions that enables you to steal cards from outside your deck. It has decent stats for the cost, too!
  • Edwin VanCleef: As you can play so many cards in a single turn this can end up as quite a hefty minion that your opponent may struggle to remove. Hench-Clan Thug is a reasonable replacement if needed.
  • Raiding Party: Some excellent card draw as it specifically targets Waggle Pick and some strong Pirates in the deck.
  • Dread Corsair: As Waggle Pick will always have a minimum of four Attack, this minion will always cost nothing when it is equipped allowing for a solid tempo play.
  • Vendetta: A free four damage if you’re holding a card from another class, which represents some incredible value considering how often you’ll meet the requirement. You can also run Sap for a more consistent - if slightly less permanent - option.
  • Waggle Pick: This weapon already offers decent damage but you can make full use of the bounce effect on some key cards such as Leeroy Jenkins to use their burst damage once again.
  • Captain Greenskin: A robust minion that also offers a handsome weapon buff. Can be bounced back to your hand to apply it again.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Play it for the burst finish potential. You can run Reckless Rocketeer if you need a cheaper alternative.

Comment on this article

  • BillyJayThorne #1 A month ago
    Why is Unstable element in this build? there's no cards which benefit from drawing your whole deck?
    Sign in to reply
  • kwasylyk #2 A year ago
    I’m getting trounced with this deck against every priest, to the point I just auto concede at turn 1. Throw me a bone here!
    Sign in to reply