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Poison Rogue deck list guide - Forged in the Barrens - Hearthstone (April 2021)

Apothecary Helbrim is a toxic guy.

Poison Rogue is built around the delightfully devilish Swinetusk Shank, a three-cost weapon which gets extra Durability whenever you play a Poison card. This includes (but is not limited to) the classic Deadly Poison, but also the excellent Paralytic Poison and Silverleaf Poison, which all combine brilliantly to make your weapon an unstoppable powerhouse of card draw and damage.

There are even some extra gameplans to go for if you don’t manage to draw your shank, like your Self-Sharpening Sword which always presents a scary threat to your enemies’ face. Here’s how to do Poison Rogue like the best of them.

Poison Rogue deck list and strategy

Here is the best version of Poison Rogue available to play in Hearthstone right now.

2 x Preparation2 x Wandmaker
2 x Deadly Poison1 x Coerce
2 x Paralytic Poison2 x Cutting Class
2 x Sinister Strike
2 x Prize Plunderer
2 x Secret Passage
2 x Silverleaf Poison
2 x Wicked Stab (Rank 1)
2 x Swindle
2 x Swinetusk Shank
2 x Cloak of Shadows
2 x Self-Sharpening Sword
1 x Apothecary Helbrim

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAaIHAorQA6/rAw6qywP+0QPV1AP31APi3QPn3QPz3QOp6wOq6wOs6wOt6wOSnwSUnwT3nwQA

General strategy

Your Poison Rogue deck focuses heavily on beefing up your weapon and taking your enemy out with huge attacks to face, whilst keeping your weapon’s Durability high. Of course, it goes without saying that Acidic Swamp Ooze hard-counters this deck, so if it gets more popular in the meta you may see more and more players adding oozes as tech options. Regardless though, it’s one of our favourite decks to play. It offers satisfying screen-shake, turns where you absolutely pop off, and even a bit of Stealth along the way.

Early game: Early on, it should be obvious. Equip a weapon as quickly as possible. Ideally, you’ll have a Swinetusk Shank, but a Self-Sharpening Sword works just fine too. If you can get some card drawing done with Swindle and some attacks using Silverleaf Poison, make sure you do so as well.

Your health is a resource in this deck, so you should make sure you use it wisely. You might need to start trading your weapon swings into enemy minions who start to look a little threatening. Don’t worry - you’ll still have enough damage to go face later if you survive long enough.

Mid game: When your weapon’s Attack is high enough, now is the time to start dealing damage. If you have five or more, you’ll be able to play Cutting Class for no mana, and Wandmaker, as well as Apothecary Helbrim, can generate you extra Poisons to further boost your Swinetusk Shank’s power. It’s just as valid to buff your Self-Sharpening Sword if you drew that first, just remember there’s a much more limited number of times you can swing it before it breaks. Silverleaf Poison is a fun one to use though, and you can draw multiple cards per attack by chucking them on there.

You’ll have a hard time dealing with minion threats and would much rather that damage go face, to be honest. That’s why Prize Plunderer is perfect for after a turn of drawing cards and buffing your weapon, as it’ll be able to get pretty hefty minions out of the way for just one mana. Keep track of the number of cards you play each turn to make sure you’re getting it right though.

Late game: Hopefully, your opponent is on their last legs by this point. It’s difficult to finish them off if they keep putting Taunts in front of you, but continue to draw out your deck (with an emergency Secret Passage if need be) and you’ll hopefully have enough to get there. Remember too that Cloak of Shadows can delay your enemy’s victory by one turn per play - it’s been the clincher more than once.

More great Rogue guides:

Poison Rogue Mulligan guide

These are the cards you’re looking for in Poison Rogue’s mulligan:

  • 1. Swinetusk Shank is the card this deck is built around. It’s a fantastic keep and should always be used when possible.
  • 2. Deadly Poison is the perfect initial buff to your Swinetusk Shank, increasing not only its Attack, but also its Durability.
  • 3. Wandmaker chucks a one-cost Rogue spell into your hand. This could be yet another Poison like Deadly Poison or Paralytic Poison, or it could be a face damaging spell like Sinister Strike. Either way, it contests the board and adds value.
  • 4. Apothecary Helbrim is one of your pricier cards at four mana, but the value is immense, and can help you run away with the game thanks to the extra Poisons generated.

Poison Rogue tips, card combos and synergies

Here are some of the important combos to Poison Rogue:

- Silverleaf Poison stacks with itself. If you have two played on the same weapon, attacking with it will draw you two cards.

- Keep in mind your turn’s plays when you plan on using Cutting Class. You can sometimes get it to cost zero mana with Deadly Poisons and other buffs.

- If you draw Swindle or Cutting Class with Secret Passage and cast them, the cards drawn through these effects won’t be shuffled back into your deck.

- Wicked Stab can go face, and buffs up to four and then six damage when it ranks up. Keep this in mind and be patient when seeking lethal.

- Don’t attack after using Cloak of Shadows! Your Stealth will immediately disappear and you’ll have wasted three mana. Use the spell at the end of your turn.

- This deck has no way to regain Health, so be extremely careful when trading your face into enemies. Paralytic Poison helps massively if you reckon it’ll be a heavy-trading match.

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James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.