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The New Standard: Mill Kingsbane Rogue

Another week, another awesome deck. I hope you guys had a great Christmas, and I hope you are all set on having a wonderful new year. 2018 is upon us, and I hope it works out well for all of you. We have several ways to kick off the new year, but we’re diving off […]

Joe Russo Jan 3, 2018 3:26 pm

Introduction

Another week, another awesome deck. I hope you guys had a great Christmas, and I hope you are all set on having a wonderful new year. 2018 is upon us, and I hope it works out well for all of you. We have several ways to kick off the new year, but we’re diving off the deep end right away with Mill Rogue. This is the deck Rogue that Dog used in combination with Cube Lock to get to number one legend, and man is it spicy. Mill Rogue has never been a deck I’ve been infatuated with. However, I loooove me some Kingsbane, which is really the centerpiece of this one. I have played a wide range of different builds of the legendary weapon, and this is one of the best. Yes, it does not quite pilot in the same way as you think a Kingsbane deck should, but that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get the legendary weapon, you buff it as much as you can, and then you beat your opponent’s face in.

Key Cards

Kingsbane

How can you talk about a Kingsbane deck without first discussing Kingsbane? The legendary weapon does not seem too scary at first glance, but it can do a lot of damage. Your buffs add up very quickly, and when you get a couple attack modifiers alongside a Leeching Poison there is not going to be a single deck in the game that can race you. The way I stagger the weapon is that I only use charges during the early turns of the game once I get a buff, and then I only use it to control the board. Damage may seem pressing, but you typically don’t want to start going in at your opponent’s face. That will come later when you can start hitting for five, seven, or nine a turn. It may not seem like it, but this is a deck that wants to take its time. Let your minions and recurrent value take over the game first, then start to shift into your later combo. Your weapon can hit for quite a bit, but it also does a great job of controlling the board.

A big part of using this card is structuring your plays in a way where you’re never going to lose it. Yes, it only gets three hits, but you have a lot of ways to get around that. Cavern Shinyfinder is the best option, and you should always try to use the two drop to make sure you can instantly bring the weapon back. Using the last charge, instantly playing the 3/1, and then re-equipping Kingsbane is one of the best plays in the game because it lets you get in damage, play a threat, and recharge your finisher all in one go. You never want to lose tempo in a deck like this one, and you also never want to find yourself without the legendary weapon. Be careful with your charges, and only takes routes that are going to give you a way to actually use your deck. It is easy to die when you have no weapon and a hand full of buffs.

Shadowstep

A card that has seen a ton of play over the past half-year or so, Shadowstep has an enormous amount of utility in this list. With the exception of Southsea Squidface, every single minion in your list is great with the zero mana spell. Being able to draw extra from Coldlight Oracle is fantastic, but drawing more minions from Elven Minstrel can also help you cement games you would not otherwise be able to win. I know I touch on this a lot, but there is no real dream scenario with this card. In terms of priority, you should always try your best to hit Coldlight Oracle. However, this deck is not so black and white. Loading up on a future Cavern Shinyfinder (which helps you enable combo) can be a great way to ensure you are going to be able to pull Kingsbane as the game progresses, and even doubling up on an Elven Minstrel is a strong mid-game play that can help you search for strong utility spells. You are almost always going to use this with a target right away. Waiting is not part of what this deck wants to do. If you have a strong card in mind, you need to pull the trigger right away. Never risk losing a strong play.

Doomerang

There are many cards that surprised me in this list, but none more so than Doomerang. The one mana card may not seem like much, but it does two extremely important things. First off, it removes minions without costing you any life. A big problem with decks like this is that, in order to control the board, you have to use your weapons. That then means you are going to take quite a bit of damage as the game goes on, especially against faster decks. Doomerang allows you to get around that, and it also works with Leeching Poison. That means if you throw a 7/1 dagger at a Doomguard you kill it and gain seven life. Those interactions are key and help you go long against aggro and midrange by protecting your face.

The other (much more important) part of this card is the fact that it allows you to reset your Kingsbane. If you have a one attack weapon out and you throw it with Doomerang, you will then put the weapon back in your hand. From there, you simply re-equip it and swing. That might not seem like the best play with regular weapons, but with Kinsgbane it is fantastic. Being able to toss out a 7/1, kill a minion, play the weapon again, and then hit face is the kind of tempo you need at the end of games. Just remember that, unless you absolutely need to kill something to prevent lethal, you should never use Doomerang unless your weapon has one durability. Every charge is extremely important and you want to milk them as much as you can.

Doomsayer

You are largely a combo deck that does not inherently care about the board. As such, like every other build that fits that description, you want to run Doomsayer. The two drop almost always goes off early in this meta (giving you gigantic amounts of both value and tempo against aggressive decks) and it is also very hard for most decks to answer from an empty board. As such, your goal should always be to get this down ahead of your opponent. Most of your minions are going to be things that don’t impact the board. You run them out for value, your opponent kills them, and you move on. However, you need to be careful with sayer. Being able to get the 0/7 down into a safe position is key. In fact, sometimes it can be right to play and Shadowstep the two drop just to be able to put it down after a turn six Vanish. That is an odd situation, but that shows how important this card is in keeping you ahead.

Though it may not seem like it, one extra turn is extremely powerful in this deck. This is something that I cannot state enough, and it something a lot of people miss when playing a build like this one. Simply running out Doomsayer to blank your opponent’s turn and give yourself an extra draw is going to be the main use of this card. You want to get it down early and often against fast decks, but when the game is going slower, this card simply reads “take minimal damage next turn, prevent your opponent from playing minions.” Pretty good. You are a combo list, and you need to draw a solid portion of your deck to win games. Do not worry about actually killing minions with the 0/7. Keeping your opponent off the board is much more important, especially before something like a Bloodreaver Gul’dan turn.

Coldlight Oracle

We finish up our discussion with the card that makes this whole deck come together. Coldlight Oracle is the mill card king, and this entire list would not work without it. Yes, you are not mill in the sense that you want to kill your opponent in fatigue, but I have won more than a few games that way. However, where this card really shines is by being able to net you cards while burning your opponents. There are quite a few decks in the current meta that need cards to operate. Getting rid of things like Doomguard, Bloodreaver Gul’dan, Val’anyr, Raza the Chained or Shadowreaper Anduin can give giant swings, and you should always try to burn your opponent when you can. Note that, in case your opponent has chargers on the board, this card also works well with Vanish. If you can fill up your opponent’s hand, the six mana spell becomes hard removal.

Some of you may be squeamish about the 2/2 (why would you want to give your opponent cards?), but this deck simply does not have enough gas without it. Remember this, and only try to run out Coldlight Oracle when you can immediately put it back into your hand with Vanish or Shadowstep. That is not going to be the rule every single game (sometimes you just need to smooth out your hand) but you want to save the murloc if you can. Another big part of understanding this card is knowing when not to play it. Yes, the fish gives you a lot of value and helps your deck run, but it also can instantly put you into a hole you cannot climb out of. Cards like Coldlight are inherently dangerous, but they do come with a high-risk, high-reward type of style that can work out in your favor if you know how to control it.

Deck Code

AAECAYO6AgabBagIqc0C gNMC0OMCu+8CDIoBtAHEAe0CywPNA/gHhgm prwKxzgLl0QLb4wIA

Matchups

The four decks I see the most while playing the ladder.

Razakus Priest

Priest is all over the ladder, and it is the reason you want to play a Kingsbane deck. There is no doubt that Anduin packs a lot of power, but they have no way to interact with your combo. This is a game where you want to spend the entire time focusing on your weapon and letting your opponent deal with your threats. Equip Kingsbane as soon as you can, and then hold onto it and buff it as much as possible. Once you get to five or seven you can start going in. You want to put pressure on Priest, and you need to race their combo. Turn eight is going to come up quickly, and you typically want them on a clock by then. Yes, it may seem worrying to let them get cards from Coldlight Oracle, but your combo is much faster than your opponent’s. This is a game where Shadowstepping a Cavern Shinyfinder to ensure you always have a weapon up is usually the right play.

Burn cards. Coldlight Oracle (and this will come up again below) is amazing in slower matchups because most of the time your opponent is not going to expect you to have it. You have a few cards, they have close to a full grip, and you then bounce their board before forcing them to draw. This is not always going to get you to take out their combo, but it often is going to ruin a lot of their key cards. Razakus Priest only has one-ofs, and once you get rid of something, it is gone forever. This is a game where it is ok to wait a few turns on coldlight to make sure you can really go in. Once your opponent is at eight cards or more cards and you can play Coldlight a few times, you absolutely should take the opportunity to do so.

Aggro Paladin

Some games are definitely better than others. While this deck preys on a lot of the meta, going head-to-head with Aggro Paladin as a Rogue is never going to be an easy thing to do. In fact, I think if you’re seeing a lot of Aggro Palys, you should switch out one Doomerang for a second Fan of Knives. An early Doomsayer is the best play you have in this one, but even if you manage to set your opponent back they can still easily refill the board with things like Drygulch Jailor and Call to Arms. Know this, and know that tempo is much more important than anything else. It is going to be hard (or almost impossible) to get ahead on the board in this one, but it can be done. If you set up with Doomsayer or a big Vanish, you can have something down against your opponent’s nothing. Just try your best to offset early damage. Even if you don’t let them draw, Paladin is going to hit you with a big Divine Favor at some point. Though most of their cards don’t matter, they do run quite a bit of charge, and you need to be careful about that. Clear as aggressively as possible during the first four turns to prevent buffs, and then do what you can to heal during the middle to late stages of the game.

Control Warlock

The other big reason to play this deck, Control Warlock continues to hold its own in the current meta. The deck comes in two flavors, Classic and Cube, and both should be relatively easy wins. The idea behind this one is to draw, buff your weapon as fast as you can, and then use both Sap and Vanish to keep your opponent’s high-cost minions off the board as you repeatedly beat them in the face. When facing Cube Warlock, hitting a cube with Sap is going to be game-winning, but you want to be careful because a lot of the time they drop the 4/6 alongside Dark Pact. Being proactive is better than waiting for them to go off. Also note that you want to bounce as many Voidlords as you can. The 1/3’s the nine drop creates can be annoying against your dagger, so it helps to only fill up your opponent’s hand after you send them back against the board. If you send the 3/9 back to a full hand it will just trigger the deathrattle.

As with Priest, Coldlight Oracle is extremely important in this matchup. In fact, it’s even better. Priest draws some cards, but Warlock lives off of them. As you have limited removal targets, Gul’dan is almost always going to have a hand near ten. Hoard Shadowstep and Vanish in this one and go off with coldlight as soon as your opponent gets near a full grip. Playing the fish two or three times in one turn can often remove a lot of problematic plays, especially when facing the cube combo. The only minion you need to pay special attention to is Doomguard. The 5/7 is incredibly annoying because, regardless of what you do, it is going to get in damage. Even if you manage to Sap a Carnivorous Cube, your opponent can still get the 5/7 back with Bloodreaver Gul’dan. Be careful about the card, and try to put it back into the hand if you have a lot of life (to force your opponent to discard). However, if you’re under pressure and you don’t want your opponent to hit you for five on the following turn, you need to try to kill it and hope you burn the DK.

Tempo Mage

The final matchup is another tricky game where you need to race to Leeching Poison. Mage is a deck that you cannot interact with. Yes, you can kill their minions (and you should as soon as you can) but for the most part they are a burn deck. The longer this games goes, the more damage they can do. You have to heal as much as possible, which means finding the buff, equipping it, enchanting your weapon and then using it to go at your opponent’s face as hard as you can. Draw a lot here. It can be easy to shy away from giving Tempo Mage cards, but the truth of the matter is they are eventually going to play Aluneth regardless of what you do. Don’t wait around or stall your own draw and then get blown out by the weapon.

The most important card to play around in this matchup is Explosive Runes. Not only does the card hit for a lot of damage (which is always concerning) but it also stops your Vanishes and Shadowsteps. You need to be careful about what you run into the secret. Doomsayer is the best way to play around it because you don’t care about the two drop in this game and it soaks up damage. If you don’t have that option, Southsea Squidface with Kingsbane equipped is also nice because you get the immediate three and only take two. Always try to avoid running out a key minion into the spell if you can, and make sure whatever you play has a good amount of health.

Mulligan Guide

Mulliganing with this deck is odd because you are largely a combo deck that wants to find its weapon at all costs. Backstab,Kingsbane, Doomsayer, Cavern Shinyfinder and Coldlight Oracle are the cards you want to look for in every matchup. From there, Deadly Poison should always be kept with Kingsbane, and Doomerang is great if you have both of those cards.

Preparation can be kept with Vanish if you have a strong opening against fast decks, Shadowstep is good with Coldlight against slow builds, and you always want both Leeching Poison and Fan of Knives against aggro. Keep Sap against Warlock, and keep Elven Minstrel or Southsea Squidface if you can curve into them.

Conclusion

I never thought I’d be covering a list like this one. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of glass cannon mill builds, but this one is a lot of fun to play. I really enjoy Kingsbane, and think it is one of the coolest cards from Kobolds. It may seem gimmicky at your first glance, but it really packs a punch and devours the top decks on the ladder. There is nothing more fun that digging through your entire deck, and that is what you’re doing here. I hope you had a great 2017, and I hope you’re excited for 2018. Until next time, may you have a wonderful year.


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