Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

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

Our starter guide for playing Thief Rogue in Rise of Shadows

Thief Rogue is a Hearthstone deck that many players have tried to make work across the entire history of Blizzard’s immensely popular card game. With some of the new cards being added in Rise of Shadows, though, it's finally seeing some degree of competitive play.

As you’ve probably worked out already, this deck type revolves around stealing cards from your opponent's class - and others - in order to put them to use for your own devious game plan. There are many ways to nick cards from outside your class, while a number of cards also gain hugely beneficial effects while you’re holding these burgled cards - or after you’ve played them!

In our guide to playing Thief Rogue, we've got the best deck list in the current meta, an overview of the strategy advice, and plenty of Mulligan and combo tips. We'll keep updating this one over time, and for as long as the archetype remains competitive.

This article contains additional reporting by James Pickard.

Thief Rogue deck list and strategy

This is the strongest Thief Rogue deck list being used on the ladder right now. We'll have another update for you later on in the month.

2 x Preparation1 x Zilliax
2 x Shadowstep
2 x Backstab
1 x Togwaggle's Scheme
2 x Eviscerate
2 x Underbelly Fence
2 x Blink Fox
2 x Fan of Knives
2 x EVIL Miscreant
1 x Edwin VanCleef
2 x Hench-Clan Burglar
2 x Academic Espionage
2 x Vendetta
1 x Walk the Plank
1 x Heistbaron Togwaggle
2 x Sprint
1 x Tess Greymane

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAaIHBrIC6/ACoIADzowDr5EDkpcDDLQB7QL2BJsFiAeGCaj3Asf4Ao+XA5CXA/uaA/6aAwA=

General strategy

The aim for Thief Rogue is to grab as many cards as possible from outside of its own class and use the extra resources to gain value over their opponents, or boost the effects of existing cards in their deck.

While in the past the deck may have struggled due to the randomness of the cards it was awarded for its pilfering ways, there are now cards such as Underbelly Fence and Vendetta than can take advantage of stolen cards to more consistently enhance the power of the deck.

Thief Rogue also has some frightening resource generation potential thanks to Academic Espionage. Further value can be extracted from Heistbaron Togwaggle, empowered by a Lackey generated by EVIL Miscreant.

Early game:

Open the game by looking to keep your opponent’s board in check with low-cost minions and your hero power. Backstab is also extremely useful for picking off a target, but keep in mind you might want this free spell to empower a combo later on. Begin using steal effects to get some of your opponent’s or other class cards into your hand. That way you can take full advantage of the bonus effect from Underbelly Fence in order to out-value your opponent.

Mid game:

Continue stealing more cards for your own uses. If you’ve established control of the board you’ll want to start pushing for damage where you can, as Rogue has a tendency to run out of Health extremely quickly due to how much the class uses it as a resource to clear opposing minions with weapon attacks.

Elsewhere, Vendetta and Zilliax can be helpful ways to catch up should you have found yourself falling behind on the board, with the former is especially good for a tempo play at zero mana alongside other cards to give you the initiative.

Late game:

Some potentially huge plays are on hand here in the late game should you need them. The main one comes from stuffing your deck with Academic Espionage or generating a big effect with Heistbaron Togwaggle.

Tess Greymane is a great play at this point in the game too: all of the cards you’ve played from outside your class get an encore showing when she enters the battlefield, which can usually represent enough value to gain a huge edge over your opponent and seal the victory.

Aggro opponents

Here are a few tips to deal with any aggro decks you may face on ladder:

  • 1. As this deck lacks board clears try not to fall too far behind against aggro. Use weapon attacks and cheap minions to stay on pace in the early game.
  • 2. As a follow up to the first tip: watch your Health at all times. Trading it away to destroy minions is good but aggro decks can race you down quickly if you spend too much too fast.
  • 3. If you can starve your opponent of resources then you can take more control the longer the game goes on. You have the card generation to keep going, whereas your opponent will be left empty handed.
  • 4. In desperate times, a Preparation can help you get to one of your spells early that may keep you in the game.

Control opponents

These are some key words of advice for when you come up against any control opponents:

  • 1. As you won’t be under too much pressure right from the off, take some time to freely steal extra cards while you’re not under threat.
  • 2. Take opportunities to deal damage where you can, though, as if you give a Control deck too much room they will steadily run away with the game.
  • 3. You shouldn’t feel too threatened by a fatigue game as you can generate many additional cards through the likes of Academic Espionage.
  • 4. Though you aren’t playing too heavy of a minion game you’ll want to keep board clears in mind in case you do overextend and lose far too much to a single card.

Thief Rogue Mulligan guide

These are the cards you want to see in your opening hand to get off to the best start:

  • 1. Blink Fox: A little expensive as a priority keep but great value and board presence.
  • 2. EVIL Miscreant: Always get the combo off this one as you'll want the Lackey to empower Heistbaron Togwaggle later on in the match.
  • 3. Backstab: Super clean removal that will always provide value.

Thief Rogue tips, combos and synergies

Let’s take a closer look at many of the key combos and synergies available in this version of Thief Rogue:

- Preparation can be used to reduce the cost of all spells in this deck by three Mana.

- Underbelly Fence has the potential to be one of the best minions in the deck. With all the cards you can steal from outside your class, this creature should generally have the stat buff and Rush keyword added to it, representing some significant value at just two mana.

- There’s a good chance you’ll have a stolen card in your hand at nearly every moment in the match, so Vendetta should be a free burst of four damage to minion when you need it. A wonderful removal tool!

- Shadowstep can be used to bring powerful cards such as Tess Greymane or Heistbaron Togwaggle back in your hand for even more value. It can even be used to empower Edwin VanCleef further.

- Remember to hold back a Lackey to empower Heistbaron Togwaggle's bonus effect!

- With all the cards you’ve stolen through a match, Tess Greymane can be a ridiculous play to finish out the match with, as she will replay all cards from outside your class once more in a single, big value play.

Read this next