This weapon is nuts! Surprisingly, I think it has no place in pre-existing Tempo Rogue. However, it it will fit right in with any deck that can make use of a weapon with early anti-aggro utility and late game sustain from permanent Leeching Poison. Goes very well with the new minion that draws weapons from your deck, Cavern Shinyfinder. Blade Flurry died for this.
Sonya Shadowdancer: 3/5
When you see Sonya, the first thing you think, besides ‘She squats’, is probably ‘Shadowcaster’. It’s a very similar effect, both giving you a 1/1 copy of a minion, and both being situational in that they require you to have a minion in play already to get value from their effect, and are incredibly weak when played on curve. However, simply due to the 2 mana difference between the 2, Sonya is definitely the better of the two, and could find a home in pretty much any Rogue deck which would conceivably have run Shadowcaster. Jade/Deathrattle builds are certain fits for the card, and the effect might just be strong enough to find a home in Tempo Rogue, likely edging out the other situational 3 drop of Shaku, the Collector. Hell, if we were to ever see Quest Rogue again, Sonya would be fantastic in that deck. While these are several distinct archetypes which all make use of the card, I do not really think we can really expect to see any of these archetypes make any dents in the meta besides the obvious exception of Tempo Rogue. Unfortunately for Sonya, this is the only one where she is not a staple. 3 / 5.
What Ice block should have always been. This helps a slower Rogue gameplan, without being super broken like Ice block is. Still a Secret though, so minus points for being predictable.
Fal'dorei Strider: 5/5
This is, quite simply, an exceptional tempo card; best case scenario, it is a 4 mana 16/16, with the absolute worst-case scenario being it is a 4 mana 4/4 which you are happy to play on curve. Considering this is within a class which has really never settled on anything to fill the 4-mana slot, bouncing between Sherazin, Corpse Flower, Saronite Chain Gang (which I feel will become significantly less common once Duskbreaker arrives), Naga Corsair, Xaril, Poisoned Mind, or even Prince Valanar, across both Tempo and Miracle Rogue archetypes, I feel quite confident in saying this card will become the staple 4-drop in both of those. Naturally, it is a more suitable fit for Miracle Rogue, a deck which has insane draw power, and can comfortably arrive at a situation of drawing all 3 Ambushes from within its own deck, and might even be enough of a helping hand for Miracle Rogue to consistently see play. However, even when considering Tempo Rogue, the card still easily makes the cut, especially considering the dearth of alternatives at the mana cost. The deck consistently reaches turns 9/10 of a game, hence the common inclusion of cards such as the Lich King; if this card is played on turn 4, by turn 10 you will have drawn 6/23 of your deck. A solid body, on curve, with a >25% chance to be a 4 mana 8/8, seems incredibly powerful and perfectly aligns with the decks gameplan, and will only shore up Tempo Rogue’s sheer dominance of the meta going forward. As such, I believe this card deserves a 5 / 5 rating. All hail our Roguey overlords.
Lesser Onyx Spellstone: 4/5
Ok, so Deathrattle Rogue shouldn't be very good without this. It hasn't been competitive yet, but with Jades in the list it has been borderline. With this insane control tool pushing the archetype, we should be seeing the rise of Deathrattle Rogue. I for one will definitely be trying Deathrattle Rogue out!
Elven Minstrel: 5/5
Some genius decided Rogue wasn’t good enough, and gave them consistent, tutored card draw. Oh dear. The fact that you explicitly draw minions is incredibly significant; Rogue decks of any archetype rarely run minions which are not essential to their gameplan, whether it be Gadgetzan Auctioneers and Arcane Giants in Miracle Rogue, SI:7 Agents and Bonemares in Tempo Rogue, or even Jade cards in Jade Rogue and bounce effects in Quest Rogue. The average cost of card draw throughout Hearthstone has been 1 mana for 1 card drawn and 3 mana for 2 cards drawn: based on this, you get a 3/2 body for the cost of 1 mana and a combo activator, in a class which has never struggled for combo activators, what with all those 0 mana spells. Additionally, there is some very nice synergy with Fal’Dorei Strider, further thinning your deck and allowing you a greater likelihood of drawing your Ambushes. I would be unsurprised to see this as at least a singleton in any successful Rogue decks going forward, what remains to be seen is how many of those make the cut. 5 / 5.
Cavern Shinyfinder: 3/5
This card is pretty damn good, but its purpose in life is clearly for yoinking Kingsbane out of your deck. Expect to see this bad boy pulling out Kingsbanes a lot this set. Nothing much else to be said here. Dies to pings.
Cheat Death: 1/5
This card is both really, really slow, and antithetical to the way Rogue generally plays, which generally relies on taking the initiative on trades to gain tempo. Could be viable in some kind of Deathrattle Rogue deck, but that is quite unlikely to see any play. 1 / 5.
Sudden Betrayal: 1/5
Terrible secret. Betrayal doesn't see play, neither will this. The scenario from its reveal is the Best Case Scenario. Outside of having that exact situation happen, expect to be repeatedly disappointed by this Secret. On the plus side, less predictable because it's so bad they won't expect it.
Kobold Illusionist: 1/5
First things first, really cool concept, with the idea being to cheat out some clever combo shenanigans. Were this card at 2 Health and vulnerable to a Backstab, this card would be INSANE. However, instead it requires an additional Spell Damage in order for you to activate the effect on your turn, which is in all likelihood probably too much to ask. Too easy for your opponent to deal with, unfortunately, this is a 1 / 5 card.
The THL blog is curated and edited by THL's Content Managers. All THL members are welcomed and encouraged to pitch ideas for articles they would like to see on the site. If you have an idea, please reach out to LotusKnight on Discord or via the THL Help email address: email@example.com