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Elemental Rogue deck list guide - November 2017

Our starter guide to playing the Elemental Rogue deck on the ladder this month.

Elemental Rogue is one of the more unusual Hearthstone decks to make itself known in the Frozen Throne meta. This very tempo-focused deck looks to the Elemental category of cards in the game to weave together some high-value Battlecry and combo plays.

Some of the secret sauce at play here includes Prince Keleseth. Given the absence of two-Mana cards in this deck list - unusual for the Rogue - this ensures that all of your subsequently played minions have an extra +1 / +1 of stats. Get that card in your starting hand and it's safe to say your odds of winning go up a considerable amount!

In this second edition of our guide to playing Elemental Rogue, we've outlined a pretty typical deck list for the archetype, then provided an overview of the strategy behind it. After that we've got some Mulligan advice, before we finish up with a look at all of the card combos this deck list contains.

If this deck continues to prove popular in the Hearthstone metagame, we'll be back with further updates on how you can get more out of it on the ladder!

UPDATE 02/11/2017

Elemental Rogue has now stabilised about as much as it's likely to in the Frozen Throne meta, and so we consider the deck list we've highlighted today to be the definitive version. A new expansion is on the horizon, however, and if this deck takes off in the new meta we'll be sure to update this guide quickly.

Elemental Rogue deck list and strategy

Here's a pretty typical deck list for the Elemental Rogue. This is very much a mid-tier deck in the roster of competitive archetype, but this version is about as good as it gets:

2 x Backstab2 x Fire Fly
1 x Shadowstep1 x Patches the Pirate
2 x Swashburglar1 x Southsea Deckhand
1 x Edwin VanCleef1 x Prince Keleseth
2 x Plague Scientist2 x Tar Creeper
2 x SI:7 Agent2 x Fire Plume Phoenix
2 x Shadowcaster2 x Tol'vir Stoneshaper
2 x Vilespine Slayer2 x Blazecaller
2 x Bonemare
1 x The Lich King

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


As with all Tempo-orientated decks, the main thing is to look for advantage over your opponent at all stages, and look for high value plays that reduce their threat while enhancing your own. If you can remove targets while preserving or even empowering your own minions, you're probably on the right path.

Against aggressive opponents, getting any kind of taunt out on the board is crucial so you can't be overwhelmed. In the early to mid-game you have the likes of Tar Creeper and Tol'vir Stoneshaper to help you achieve this, while later on you have Bonemare and The Lich King. Don't forget the importance of board control via the extra effects of SI:7 Agent and Fire Plume Phoenix either.

When playing against control decks, it's more important to race towards the finishing line and snowball a solid threat on the board. Let them do the trading wherever it makes sense to do so, and just keep pushing damage into their health pool whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself - do be aware of potential board clears though, and thin their numbers down if a wipe-out looks likely on the opponent's next turn.

More great Rogue guides:

Elemental Rogue Mulligan guide

In every match-up going your most important card is going to be Prince Keleseth because the sooner you draw him, the more benefit you're going to gain from his unique effect.

Swashburglar is another fine keep, because it'll also bring your Patches the Pirate into play for free on the same turn. Likewise, Tar Creeper has value in all kinds of match-ups, so is worth hanging onto, especially if you have The Coin and can drop it on Turn 2.

In aggro match-ups, cards like Fire Fly has obvious value (and also provides a handy trigger for Tol'vir Stoneshaper), while Backstab will help you remove something small, nice and quickly. It's also got great combo potential as well, regardless of your opponent.

A special note on Edwin VanCleef. As powerful as he can be in the early game, he's only really worth keeping if you can beef him up quickly through the likes of The Coin or Backstab. Be very careful about cheap, hard removal your opponent might have access to at the time you make this play as well.

Elemental Rogue tips, combos and synergies

Here's a breakdown of every combo available in this particular version of Elemental Rogue:

- SI:7 Agent can dish out two points of targeted damage when played, but only if you played another card on the same turn first. Look to the likes of The Coin and Backstab for free ways of enabling this play very early on in the match.

- Likewise, Vilespine Slayer can destroy an enemy target when played, but only if you played another card earlier on in the same turn. Under the same circumstances, you can give a minor minion the Poisonous affect through the use of Plague Scientist.

- Fire Fly produces a bonus Elemental, which can be very useful for triggering the bonus effect of Tol'vir Stoneshaper, Servant of Kalimos and Blazecaller. Consider holding this back for a more powerful play later on.

- Other Elemental cards that empower those three minions are Tar Creeper and Fire Plume Phoenix. Plan your turns carefully, so that you can trigger the bonus effect on a subsequent turn.

- If Patches the Pirate is still tucked away in your deck, he'll be pulled onto the board for free when you play Southsea Deckhand. If Patches is in your hand though, the effect won't be triggered.

- Southsea Deckhand can actually attack on the same turn that he's put into play, but only if you have a weapon of any kind in your hand. Think carefully before spending the last charge of your Hero Power dagger.

- Once Prince Keleseth has been put into play, every other minion that remains in your deck pile gains an extra +1 / +1 of stats. Note that the minion cards in your hand are not affected by this play.

- Tar Creeper only gains two extra points of Attack during the opponent's turn. Try to do some clever trading on your own turn to give the opponent very unpleasant trades on theirs.

- Bonemare not only grants a friendly minion +4 / +4 of stats, it also grants them taunt.

- As long as The Lich King is out in play, you'll receive a randomly chosen card from his sepll collection at the end of each of your turns. Here's the pool of cards he has:

2Death CoilDeal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.
2Death GripSteal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
2ObliterateDestroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
3Death and DecayDeal 3 damage to all enemies.
4Anti-Magic ShellGive your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”
5Doom PactDestroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.
6Army of the DeadRemove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.
7FrostmourneDeathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.
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John Bedford avatar

John Bedford


John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief and looks after the day to day running of the site when he's not writing about Hearthstone.

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