February 16, 2018
Table of Contents
Deck Guide: Kingsbane Mill Rogue
What’s up everybody! Enjoying the new meta without Patches the Pirate and Raza the Chained and Corridor Creeper? I sure am! This past week has almost felt like a new expansion with the fresh decks running around. Right now I’m switching between two decks, straight Face Hunter if I’m trying to grind some ranks and then what I like to consider my “fun” yet still competitive deck, Kingsbane Rogue.
This is one of the few decks that survived the nerfs since it wasn’t running any of the cards that got hit, except maybe Patches the Pirate in some versions and Corridor Creeper in other versions but my version was more control-based and less of the minion-focused build which uses things like Elven Minstrel and Bonemare to get minions with good control capability. I prefer the version that has more spells and more ways to abuse Coldlight Oracle so your opponent is forced to mill their best cards.
The nerfs did hurt this deck though, since Raza Priest was one of its best matchups. It could consistently mill one of the major victory pieces like Shadowreaper Anduin or Raza the Chained and pretty much guarantee you the victory. The deck does the same right now against Cubelock, being able to mill things like Bloodreaver Gul'dan. Also, since the current meta seems to be Aggro Murloc Paladin and Big Spell Mage, the deck hasn’t done as good as it has in the past. In order to keep up with the aggro our deck needs to draw cards but whenever it draws cards it’s also giving your opponent more fuel. When it comes to beefed up Murlocs or tons of spells to the face, there isn’t much this deck can do except get the perfect draw into Kingsbane + Leeching Poison and try to survive. This deck is a lot of fun to play around with and has potential but be warned, the current meta post-nerfs is rough on this deck.
For those that aren’t familiar with Mill Rogue, the basics of the deck are to use Coldlight Oracle combined with Shadowstep, Vanish or Sonya Shadowdancer to get multiple Battlecry effects and force your opponent to draw tons of cards. Your hand size is limited to 10 cards so if you draw more than 10, the card is burned and is basically destroyed. For Cubelock, this means it can’t be resurrected by Bloodreaver Gul'dan if it was a Voidlord which is a huge blow to that deck. You can control the field using your other spells like Sap to make sure your opponent’s hand stays big and quickly draw through their deck before they can have a chance to build up an army. There are a couple of variations to this build but with the nerfs hitting most of the minion-based build, we’re just going to look at my version that I’ve had some mild success with. I have about a 50% win rate with this deck and I only blame that on the current meta of Murloc Paladin and DPS Mage.
Let’s take a look at what I’ve thrown into the deck and I’ll explain some of the key combo pieces that you’ll need to keep in mind in order to make your opponent mill.
Decklist: Fuskee’s Kingsbane
These are your main Kingsbane focused cards that will make it a control weapon like no other.
Kingsbane: For only 1 mana this Legendary is insane! The ability to keep buffs is just crazy and with lifesteal there are games where my opponents just give up because I can constantly attack and gain 10+ life a turn which just negates any deck that wins from damage. I don’t like to play this early on Turn 1 unless you’re against aggro and need to immediately start removing minions, because you can always hero power and do the same amount of damage until you start applying Deadly Poisons. Conserve your durability because there are only two ways to refresh it without having to try and draw into it, Cavern Shinyfinder and Doomerang.
Deadly Poison: Easily the most important part for the package because it increases the damage by a lot which helps you get rid of early game minions and also get into that insane lifesteal range. My general rule is that I try to only use one of these before I play Valeera the Hollow, if you can drop a double Deadly Poison using your new hero power’s Shadow card, that extra +2 damage does a lot when you’re in survival mode and gaining tons of life.
Leeching Poison: Having two in the deck is rough since the second one is always a dead card (except to sometimes fuel Edwin VanCleef) it’s still too risky to take out the 2nd copy because it’s so important to draw and activate. Having that lifesteal with enough damage can really put you in a situation where most decks just can’t do anything while you continue to draw out their deck.
Naga Corsair/Southsea Squidface: Most decks run the Deathrattle minion because of the extra damage but I really like using the Naga Corsair because you can do some crazy shenanigans with Shadowstep/Vanish and also with the Valeera the Hollow‘s Shadow card. The buff you get is immediate so you can use it to surprise your opponent and gain that bit of extra damage to kill a minion or gain more life. With Patches the Pirate nerfed, a lot of decks are taking out Golakka Crawler so there isn’t even much of that to stop your big 5/4 from being a threat.
Cavern Shinyfinder: This is your best friend when you’re at the start of the game and you really want to get your Kingsbane going. It also helps to have one later on so you can attack without worrying about durability and pull it back to your hand when you’re done using it to keep the early game in control. They die EXTREMELY easily so don’t think they’ll do much to attack but just being able to get the weapon from your deck is all you need from them.
These are the cards you’ll use to overdraw your opponent and keep their hand full so you can manipulate their deck and try to burn away their important pieces.
Coldlight Oracle: The MAIN man, I love having one of these in my opening hand because it means I’ll get to have fun trying to overdraw my opponent. The two cards for yourself is amazing as is but also being able to play with your opponent’s cards is a fun bonus. I try not to play one of these until Turn 4 when I can try to follow up with a Shadowstep into another battlecry so I can force 4 cards to draw which is usually within the overfill range. It’s also nice to try and hide them from your opponent so they don’t know for sure if you’re running them and they might accidentally use a few turns to draw cards which only helps you out.
Shadowstep: One of the best tricks in the deck since there are so many Battlecry effects to abuse. Coldlight Oracle is obviously the best bet but you’ll even find yourself using it on Naga Corsair sometimes to kill a minion, buff your Kingsbane and then get a fully healed minion back in play. Also helpful with Cavern Shinyfinder if you’re attacking with your weapon a lot and need to keep grabbing it. The dream is having this in your hand with Coldlight Oracle and then go off on Turn 4 into all the answers you need from your deck.
Sap: I put this with the Mill cards because this will actually help you Mill your opponent. By using your first few turns to set up, you can use this to keep your opponent’s hand full. It’s also helpful late in the game when you draw into Coldlight Oracle and want to go off. You can start off by bouncing an unimportant minion into your opponent’s hand and then start making them draw cards so they’ll overdraw faster. If your opponent’s hand is full, Sap actually becomes a kill spell as well. If your opponent plays something crazy like Spiteful Summoner and they get Deathwing, you can make them draw cards with Coldlight Oracle and then Sap the Deathwing to just flat out destroy it.
Vanish: While this has all the capabilities that Sap does, the best part about this card is that it can bring your own minions back to your hand like Shadowstep and give you more Battlecry abuse. You can also combine this with Preparation to play Coldlight Oracle and then bounce the entire field back to the players hands. This gives you another Coldlight Oracle battlecry while also defending yourself from your opponent’s minions, even killing some if your opponent’s hand is full. Sometimes instead of going Coldlight Oracle into Vanish to get it back, you can also Vanish first to make your opponent’s hand fill up and then Coldlight Oracle after to try and get rid of their good cards.
Sonya Shadowdancer: This is a new addition to this deck and I’ve been loving the interaction with it so far! If you’re lucky enough to keep one of your battlecry minions in play like Coldlight Oracle or Naga Corsair you can get extra copies by attacking into your opponent’s minions for more battlecry effects! But my favorite trick, is using Backstab or even Doomerang on my own Coldlight Oracle to put a free 1/1 copy into my hand so I can either use it immediately and try to kill it again, or keep it in my hand so I can do a Coldlight Oracle + Vanish combo. If you don’t own this card, it’s not necessary in the deck as much as Kingsbane and Valeera the Hollow so don’t worry about crafting it if you don’t own it.
These are the basic Rogue cards that you can use to control your opponent’s minions. Sap and Vanish are also part of this package since they help keep your opponent busy while you set up your Kingsbane and force them to overdraw cards.
Backstab: Just your basic early game aggro killer but also combos really well with Coldlight Oracle + Sonya Shadowdancer. You can get a free 1/1 copy in your hand to play for 1 mana and then use another Backstab to get ANOTHER copy and keep going, resulting in some crazy overdraw turns for your opponent.
Preparation: I like to only use this with Vanish in order to play minions and get them back, or with Fan of Knives if I’m desperate and need to draw cards or to activate Edwin VanCleef more. Every once in awhile I’ll use it on Leeching Poison to get the effect if I need to use it right away, but I almost always try to use it with maximum mana efficiency. Vanish or for Edwin VanCleef is my advice.
Doomerang: This card is super important because it does 2 major things, first is the obvious, it brings your weapon back to your hand so you have more durability, but the second and most important part, is that it uses your weapons attributes so Leeching Poison works and will give you life when you use this to hit a minion. That means if you’re at 2 HP against a mage, but you have a 6 damage Kingsbane, you can attack them for 6 life and then Doomerang one of their minions or even your own to gain another 6 life and try to survive longer. I’ve actually had a LOT of games where this card has saved me and brought me back from the brink of death. Cannot be replaced.
Doomsayer: This card is just important right now because of the current meta. Aggro is always around because people will always be trying to grind ranks so you need to be ready for the Murloc Paladins and Aggro Druids. This card helps secure your early turns but also does one extra trick, it forces your opponent to usually do nothing except attack your face which means there are more cards being kept in their hands. I’ll even play this early like on Turn 2 or Turn 3 with an empty field just so my opponent does nothing and keeps more cards in hand.
Fan of Knives: A decent area spell when combined with Preparation but is mostly used to filter through your deck and get what you need. It helps in the current aggro meta but for the most part it’s best used to just draw cards and combo with Preparation to make a big Edwin VanCleef. I’ve tinkered with taking it out and trying other things but it seems to work for now.
These are the legendaries that help pack an extra punch in the deck. I wouldn’t say they are necessary, only Kingsbane is NEEDED, but Valeera the Hollow is a very close second because this deck tends to stall and make games long and she will help you in the long run.
Edwin VanCleef: Basically just in this deck because it has Preparation and lots of early game spells which means you can drop a HUGE Edwin VanCleef on like Turn 3/4 and sometimes that’s good enough to win. Like I said above, it’s only in the deck because it helps pack an extra punch. Oh! He also works really well with Valeera the Hollow when you get your Shadow card because you can play lots of leftover spells like Leeching Poison or a Backstab and then drop Edwin VanCleef and a Shadow copy that will be +2/+2 bigger. I had an opponent Temporus me and lose to a giant 14/14 + 16/16 Edwin VanCleef twin set.
Valeera the Hollow: This is pretty much the only deck that works well with the Rogue Deathknight. The new hero power you get gives you a card that allows you to basically have a copy of any card in your hand, only if you play them back to back. The crazy part about this is that you can do things like double Coldlight Oracle to massively draw your opponent out, or Naga Corsair to get two big 5/4s and also increase your Kingsbane by another 2 attack. Even things like double Deadly Poison can get out of control and I’ve had games where my Kingsbane was up to 15+ damage with lifesteal. This card isn’t necessary for the main concept of the deck but it helps out SO much that I highly recommend crafting it if you have the dust to test it out.
The key thing to remember is that against most decks, you don’t need to immediately get out your Kingsbane because you’ll just end up wasting the durability on it. Unless you know you’re playing against aggro, like Murloc Paladin, I like to focus on using my first 2-3 turns to feign that I might be aggro/tempo and then surprise them with the card draws. This works especially good on Cubelock because they will usually spend their Turn 1 dropping Kobold Librarian into Turn 2 Hero Power which only helps us in the long run. I almost always use my Hero Power on Turn 2 and then at the earliest, drop Cavern Shinyfinder on Turn 3 in order to get my Kingsbane going, if I even need it.
Priority 1: Draw
Coldlight Oracle, Shadowstep: The deck only has 2 sources of card draw and one doesn’t even give you that many cards, so it’s pretty important to get to your Coldlight Oracles. I never mulligan these away if I get one in my opening hand, they are probably the best thing you can see since they will help draw you into everything else you need like your Kingsbane package and your anti-aggro spells. Having the Shadowstep is also really key but isn’t always necessary since you can draw into it with your Coldlight Oracle. The main thing is to try and at least have one Oracle so you can start drawing into the rest of your deck.
Priority 2: Anti-Aggro
Backstab, Sap, Doomsayer: Early game aggro is your biggest weakness so having the answers to the early game is very important. If you know you’re up against a deck that will be heavy in minions like Murloc Paladin or Hunter or Shaman, try to make sure you mulligan for one of these so you have at least some sort of defense against them. I almost always hold on to a single Doomsayer because even against control it’s still nice to be able to play it down and force your opponent to hold cards in their hand for a turn, so you can set up for a big mill the turn after.
Priority 3: Kingsbane
Kingsbane, Cavern Shinyfinder: It’s always nice to have just one of these in your hand so you’re guaranteed your Kingsbane so you can start buffing it early if possible. I don’t mulligan FOR these cards but if I see one of them in my opening hand before the mulligan, I usually hold on to just one, prioritizing Kingsbane over the minion because the minion dies very easily and doesn’t really do much besides fetch the weapon. Leeching Poison is another card you can try to mulligan for if you’re up against Mage since you will NEED the life gain to survive against them. It’s useless without Kingsbane though so don’t keep it in your hand unless you can go find your Kingsbane.
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Conclusion: Addicted to Mill
Pre-nerfs this deck was a BLAST to play against Raza Priest. Seeing those huge legendary pieces getting milled away was so satisfying. In the current meta you still get a good mill on a Cubelock every once in awhile, heck I even milled both of a Jade Druid’s Jade Idol but the milling just isn’t as important as it was a few weeks ago. Milling Raza Priest was what really got me into the Mill part of this Rogue deck and kept me playing it for a long time. It’s still fun but it just doesn’t have that HUGE gamechanging mill that you’re really needing in order to win multiple games in a row. You’ll get big mills here and there but it’s pretty rough inbetween. Hopefully Blizzard will continue their “Reno” style cards because the more Highlander decks that are around, the stronger Mill Rogue becomes. When someone relies on just a single copy of a card in their deck it becomes a lot more fun to play Mill Rogue, seeing if you can line up everything perfectly and force them to mill just what you need. Just the other day I was able to force my opponent to draw just enough cards to hit 10 and mill one on his turn and the Quest Mage burned his Archmage Antonidas.
This deck style is very unique and hard to get a handle on but once you’ve got it, it’s very addicting. Every game becomes your own mini-game of “What can I mill” and it’s always fun seeing what you can take away from your opponent. I played another Quest Mage that I was able to mill a LOT of and I ended up taking 2x Cabalist's Tome and 1x Babbling Book which actually made it impossible for him to complete his quest, lol. This deck is really one of a kind and if you’ve got the pieces to throw it together I highly recommend giving it a try!
As always you can follow me on Twitter at @whoisfuskee and VERY SOON you will see me back on Twitch, streaming at twitch.tv/whoisfuskee. I am ending my current employment here in the next 2 weeks and I’m taking a month off to just focus on streaming and seeing where it takes me. I bought a fresh new Blue Yeti microphone and I’m going to try and work on some actual content for Youtube when I start back up! Please drop on by and hang out sometime, I promise I’m nice and chill to talk to. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you come by my channel soon!