Know your Class! – Rogue
So, after the recent publish of the awesome Malfurion Stormrage Know your Class article, today we’re going to talk about Valeera Sanguinar, known as the Rogue Class. Valeera may not have the awesome lore of Gul’dan, or Thrall, but she is a really interesting character, who rised to one of the most known ones, out of the worst situations possible.
Valeera Sanguinar is one of the most skilled and deadly Rogues on the world of Azeroth. She was a companion o
When Valeera was young, her family was killed by bandits. She survived both the bandits and the Scourge, seeking out a living by stealing what she needed; however, when trying to steal a shaman’s talisman, she was caught and jailed. Showing her fighting prowess by injuring several of the guards in the process, it’s possible that is how she attracted the attention of the Arena promoter.
Later on, she fought alongside with Varian, in an arena called Crimson Ring, and they emerged victorious. After that Valeera was sold as a gladiator. She escaped and teamed up with Varian again. After getting themselves into some trouble, they were saved by Aegwynn, the mother of Medivh, the Guardian, and one of the strongest mages of all time. At that time, it is revealed to Varian that he is the lost and rightful King of Stormwind. So, they decide to sail to Stormwind, but they were attacked by Nagas. And it was that fight that ignited Valeera’s addiction to magic. (Yes rogues can cast spells!)
In the near future, Valeera got cursed by a Warlock that tried to assassinate Varian. She began to lose control of herself from time to time, having horrible visions of her dead parents telling her that she was all alone in this world. It was that time when Aegwynn reminded her that she had people who really loved her, like Varian.
Valeera always stayed close to Varian, and it was her and Anduin Wrynn, his son, that convinced him to make peace with the Horde. She is known to have no allegiance with any faction (Alliance or Horde), as no one ever did anything for her.
“I am neither Horde nor Alliance. What has either faction ever done for me?”
“My loyalties are personal– To King Varian and to his son!”
Rogue Class – A brief description about the concept and its powers
For rogues, the only code is the contract, and their honor is purchased in gold. Free from the constraints of a conscience, these mercenaries rely on brutal and efficient tactics. Lethal assassins and masters of stealth, they will approach their marks from behind, piercing a vital organ and vanishing into the shadows before the victim hits the ground.
Rogues are melee damage dealers. They have access to a wide range of special attacks that depend upon combo synergies. Rogue can deal a tremendous amount of damage in an instant, if they use their tools in the right sequence.
The primary advantage rogues have is their ability to stealth. Unless the rogue is very close, no one is usually able to see them.
Rogues are individuals that specialize in achieving their goal, with the most discreet way there is (whether it is the elimination of someone, or the discovery of a hidden location). The main aspects of their combat style are:
- Subtlety: Focusing on the surprise element, and inflicting huge amounts of damage on their foes while being unnoticed.
- Outlaw: A deadly specialization that focuses on mastering the art of using a variety of weapons..
- Assassination: Complete elimination of their targets, using tricks like poisons and bleed effects.
Rogues’ Powers in Relation to Hearthstone Cards
The “Combo” mechanism: We mentioned above that a Rogue can use his abilities in a sequence that helps him deal more damage, at the end of his move set. This is the concept of the Combo mechanism. There are attacks that we could call “activators”(like Backstab, Preparation etc) and other attacks that we could call “finishers” (like Eviscerate, SI:7 Agent etc). Now, when it comes to a card game, the accumulation of resources into one big burst, would lead into instability and an incredibly easy snowball-y effect. So, instead of having 3-4 spell sequences that give the rogue a huge tempo boost, we have the Combo mechanism that gives some cards, a bonus effect that matches this concept, as it’s mentioned above. In my opinion, this is a pretty clever way to make a class unique. It makes it feel like the order in which you do things, in an abstract game such as Hearthstone, actually matters!
There is one exception to the snowball-y effect that I mentioned above and that is Edwin VanCleef. Edwin does not have a cap on how much he can “grow”, when you cast spells. We’ve seen games and on the spot, after a 10/10 Edwin, that your opponent can’t handle. So, I think it is pretty obvious why this card is one of the most powerful Legendaries in the game!
The best activator there is. Alongside with Preparation, it lets Rogue get a tempo boost that can almost compare to that of a Mage! The zero-cost cards are very difficult to design. It is as easy to make them useless, as it is to make them ridiculously powerful. So, from the design standpoint, I think this card is balanced and will always see play.
Based on lore, this card is a perfect example of how a Rogue can get value out of nothing, and then use that value in order to get something huge going (Eviscerate!).
Let me get to the point straight away. As I mentioned here, Mage has, in my opinion, the most ridiculously powerful spells in the game (Fireball!). This card is so good that it can be compared to Fireball straight up. The “Combo” condition is very easy to achieve and 2 mana for 4 damage is a dream for every class.
Lore-wise,it’s just a perfect example of a “Finisher” move for the Rogue class. While it lacks the huge amount of burst that we expected, it makes up by being a very cheap spell!
This aspect is a bit complicated on how it is implemented into Hearthstone. So I am going to use something more abstract that cards.
From a lore point of view, we can all understand that the dagger is the most popular weapon of a Rogue. It is easy to handle, very easy to hide, and extremely fast.
But game play-wise, this Hero Power makes me think that Rogue, as a class that specializes in melee combat, it is very logical to have a weapon out of nothing but pure mana cost! Assassin's Blade would be another example, but itself alone, cannot convince us that Rogues are weapons masters.
One of the most powerful Hero Powers in the game, and it is even better in the Arena.
If you are thinking that I am being unfair to Warrior, because he is also considered to be a weapon master. I have the answer right here for you. Fiery War Axe. Case closed.
This is a very accurate example of the Rogue expertise with weapons. He can deal a good amount of damage on all of his enemies, by destroying his resources.
Before this card was nerfed, it was a core card for many Rogue decks, because its powerful synergy with Deadly Poison. Now it is considered expensive for its worth, but it may see some play in a control-ish Rogue, someday.
I always thought this is an interesting card for the Rogue. And one of his few AOE removals. This card is far from overpowered, but with cards like Preparation, Bloodmage Thalnos, and the “draw a card” effect, it is a solid choice for every Rogue deck.
We can see here that the assassination aspect of the Rogue is implemented with something that resembles a control-y style of play. This is not bad, because killing minions in a card game, will probably be very efficient in eliminating the enemy Hero, at the end of the day.
Poisons are the most common way of assassination there is. With Rogue being a weapon master, poisons add even more power to this class’ killing potential. So, I think the connection here is pretty obvious, lore-wise.
This card will always be an option for the Rogue, in order to survive the early game. A perfect synergy with Dagger Mastery, and also an activator for combo spells! Not as good as a Fiery War Axe, but the activator’s factor here need to be considered.
Overall, Rogue is a very interesting class in Hearthstone, that will always find a way into the meta. Right now, he is in a bad spot on the ladder, but Kolento’s Miracle Rogue will always have a spot in the tournaments.
And I want to take a brief moment to discuss about this deck and why I consider it to be amazing.
This deck is a Combo deck. You goal is to survive until you play Gadgetzan Auctioneer and draw every combo piece that will give you the win, this round or the next one, while you Conceal your minions. So, practically, you accumulate resources for a huge burst. Exactly what the Rogue class is about, right from the start! Isn’t that amazing? I do not think that Kolento himself thought of this aspect, when he created that deck, but in any case, it describes the Rogue class so well. It is not about big fat minion, nor a tremendous amount of spell damage. Is about putting pieces together, just in the right order!
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