- Bradford Grant is on the show this week
- Topic: Deck Battle!
- Reasons to be happy this week
- News: League of Explorers impressions
What is a Deck Battle?
Once a month, a guest host brings their favorite deck onto the show to battle the current reigning champion deck for control of the Happy Hearthstone Deck Battle Throne!
If the challenger wins the best-of-3 series, their deck becomes the new Reigning Champion Deck and will fight off future challengers until it loses, or until it’s earned its place in the Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame!
Defending Deck: Andrew’s Warlock Demon Zoo deck has reigned supreme for 5 months, and has beaten 4 decks before this episode.
Challenger Deck: BradfordLee’s Mill Rogue deck looks to outlast and burn through the opponents’ deck, throwing away the key cards they need to beat you.
- 2x Antique Healbot
- 1x Big Game Hunter
- 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
- 1x Brann Bronzebeard
- 2x Coldlight Oracle
- 2x Deathlord
- 2x Earthen Ring Farseer
- 1x Novice Engineer
- 2x Sludge Belcher
In case you don’t have some of the ideal cards, here are some quality backups and alterations you can make that keep with the same theme and strengths of the deck.
- 2x Refreshment Vendor
- 1x Assassinate
- 1x SI:7 Agent
- 1x Fan of Knives
- 1x Loot Hoarder
- 1x King Mukla
- 2x Deadly Poison
- 2x Blade Flurry
NOTE: I accidentally had my mic muted during the entire livestream, because I have no idea how technology works. Sorry!
- Who won
- Obligatory bragging session
- Challenger Deck: How well did it perform?
- Defending Deck: How well did it perform?
- Best moments in the matches
- The Happy Hearthstone Champion Ceremony(tm)
- Question: Glitter Beards, yay or nay?
- iTunes Reviews
- No donations this week
The Dust Bowl
We open card packs donated by listeners, and pick our favorites and least favorites on the show!
Thanks to our supporters:
- Jake Crawford – 7 packs!
Card of the Week
- Contact BradfordLee on Twitch and on Twitter
- What you want to see in future episodes
- What hosts you want to visit the show
Looking for a new deck type to play? Mill Rogue is a terrificly fun, creative deck that tries to win by forcing the opponent to draw too many cards and leaving them with nothing but fatigue damage.
Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by BradfordLee. Thanks!
This is by far my favorite deck in Hearthstone. Its core strategy and route to victory comes from using Coldlight Oracle to force your opponent to draw too many cards. Eventually, the opponent will run out of cards and being taking fatigue damage. Alternatively, in some aggro match ups, victory is obtained by continually playing Antique Healbots until your aggro opponent runs out of resources.
I love Mill Rogue because every game feels like a puzzle. You have to use all of your resources just right to solve the puzzle and thus reach victory. The deck presents complex lines of play and incredible precision. If you happen to use a card too early or too late you will often find yourself unable to solve the complex puzzle presented in front of you.
Let’s get straight into the cards I used in my deck for the mighty showdown with Josh. You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. Here, I’ll provide additional commentary where I feel it’s helpful or necessary.
Antique Healbot is a win condition against face hunter decks and is a valuable late game life gain against slower or mid-range decks. Its ability to gain eight life is often enough to buy you the time you need to win.
I love running one Big Game Hunter in this deck. One of the biggest issues for the deck is Dr. Boom. Having a good way to hunt down a Dr. Boom is important since you don’t want to Vanish or Sap it back to your opponents hand. In the past, I ran one Assassinate in this spot but I find that I win more games with Big Game Hunter.
Bloodmage Thalnos makes cards like Shiv and Backstab more potent and it also has the most relevant text in the game “Draw a card”. This card is not very strong in the deck and thus can be easily replaced by Loot Hoarder, Novice Engineer, or Fan of Knives.
Brann Bonzebeard is the newest inclusion to this deck. Brann + Coldlight Oracle + Shadowstep can mill your opponent for 8 cards in just one turn. He really gives this deck a needed power boost and can win you games that you previously had no chance of winning. I would say, of the the legend in this deck, he is much more important to this deck then Bloodmage Thalnos
Coldlight Oracle is the glue that holds this deck together. It moves you closer to victory, facilitates card draw, and it helps you find the answers you need for any given situation. I will often mulligan to this card. The games where I have a Coldlight Oracle before turn 6 are the games that I feel I have the best chance to win. MRRRRGGGL!
Deathlord is an incredible card for its cost. In the aggro match ups it can stone wall your opponent and against decks like Ramp Druid, that have a combo finish, it keeps you alive when they are ready to combo you. Also, it helps you mill your opponent when it dies.
Earthen Ring Farseer is very important for this deck because it costs 3 mana. It allows you to play it on turn 3 as a body and it also allows you to play it on turn 6 alongside a Vanish + Preperation. Also, Earthen Ring Farseer can heal a Sludge Belcher or Deathlord that is damaged. While this utility is not commonly used it is very helpful in some circumstances.
I only run one Novice Engineer because Bloodmage Thalnos acts like the second Novice Engineer. In the past I ran Loot Hoarder in this spot but with the introduction of Brann Bronzebeard the 1x Novice Engineer gets the node over the 1x Loot Hoarder. This card is not great but in the early game it is very nice to have a two mana draw a card effect. Additionally, In the mid to late game the low cost on this card makes it easy to cast alongside other cards in the deck.
Belcher, like Deathlord, gives you protection from oncoming board pressure. It is a very powerful card and can often buy you an entire turn so that you can draw into the card that you were looking for.
Backstab is incredibly important to any Rogue deck. Backstab offers tempo when you are behind and helps you stay ahead when you are ahead. It’s also great with your hero power to answer minions with three defense. Lastly, in this deck, it gives you the ability to not over draw. That is to say, when you are casting multiple Coldlight Oracle’s in one turn you will sometimes have too many cards in hand (i.e. 10) and will thus need to cast your Backstab just so that you have space in your hand to draw cards that are more relevant to the current state of the game.
Eviscerate is simply the best piece of removal that is available for this deck. It answers most early to mid-game threats and in the mid to late game it can keep the board clear to buy you one more turn. This is especially relevant in games where you have yet to find a Coldlight Oracle.
2x Gang Up
This is the worst card in this deck but it is a key card it gives you extra copies of Coldlight Oracle and it prevents you from drawing too many cards.
Preparation helps you cast all of your spells for cheaper. In this deck it almost always is only used in conjunction with the spell Vanish. For instance, on turn 6 you are able to cast Coldlight Oracle for three mana then cast Preparation + Vanish for your other three mana. The play of Coldlight Oracle + Preparation + Vanish is one of the key plays in this deck. It allows you to over fill your opponent’s hand, replay your Coldlight Oracle, and Empty the board of any troublesome threats. If I could play more copies of Preparation I certainly would.
Normally Sap’s strength is its ability to gain tempo by returning 5+ cost minions to your opponent’s hand. However, when your opponent’s hand is full (i.e. 10 cards) you have the added luxury of it just destroying the minion that you cast Sap on. This gives Sap flexibility in this deck. In my opinion, this is the best Sap deck in the game!
Shadowstep serves three roles in this deck. Role one: Against most match ups Shadowstep gives you more Coldlight Oracle battlecry abilities and thus continues you toward milling your opponent out. Role two: In some aggro match ups, namely face hunter, this bounces back an Antique Healbot and helps you gain so much life that your opponent is unable to win the game. Role three: In some circumstances shadow step allows you to return a damaged Deathlord to your hand in the early game. Generally this play is only advisable when you are currently unable to deal with a big threat entering the battlefield off of the Deathlord’s deathrattle ability.
Shiv is not a great card. Its impact on the game is very minimal but it warrants a spot in this deck because it has the most relevant text in the game on it “Draw a card”. Being able to dig through your deck faster creates redundancy and thus helps you draw into your Coldlight Oracles faster. This card could be replaced by Novice Engineer, Loot Hoarder, or Fan of Knives
Without vanish this deck would not be able to function. Vanish gives you the ability to bounce back your own Coldlight Oracles, Earthen Ring Farseers, and Antique Healbots. More importantly, Vanish clears the entire board. Outside of minions with charge a Vanish can buy you a lot of time. They should not be used frivolously as you only have two of them. If I could play 6 copies of this spell I would easily play 6 copies of it. It is also worth noting that if your opponents hand is full you can use this to destroy minions.
Mill Rogue deck lists are trying to do something very specific. For that reason many of the cards in the deck are specifically tailored to the deck and thus are not worth cutting for other cards. That being said, there are a few flex spots in the deck and the following are some good alternatives in case you are missing some of the cards for this deck.
Refreshment Vendor is a nice card for this deck because it has a solid body while also gaining you four life. It is worth noting that since this card costs four mana it is harder to use this card in combination with Vanish + Preparation. Also, unlike Earthen Ring Farseer, you cannot heal your minions.
Assassinate is good in this list since you often need a nice piece of removal to deal with troublesome threats like Dr. Boom. This card could be played in place of Big Game Hunter.
1x Si7 Agent
Another great card to substitute for Big Game Hunter is Si7 Agent. Basically this card is just another piece of removal that happens to have a 3/3 body attached to it. So, this serves a similar role as Big Game Hunter.
Too many X/1’s on the ladder? Then Fan of Knives is the card for you. It slices, it dices, and it draws you cards. What more could you ask for? This card can be yours for the low low price of cutting 1x Shiv from your list.
1x Loot Hoarder
In the past I have run 2x Loot Hoarder and 1x Bloodmage Thalnos. If you don’t have a Bloodmage Thalnos this is a great substitution. This card could also take the place of 1x Shiv if you don’t have access to the card Shiv.
1x King Mukla
THE KING! Let’s be real… this card is Bananas. It fills your opponents hand up and that allows you to over fill your opponents hand to make your Coldlight Oracles super effective. However, I don’t run The King because it tends to be good in the match ups you are already good against and bad in the match ups that you are bad against. If The King was good against the match ups this deck struggles with, like Zoo, then I would consider running this card. Never the less, if you own a King Mukla it’s a lot of fun to play with.
2x Deadly Poison
Deadly Poison is certainly good in this deck. When you play it you generally want to play it as a 2 of in the deck to go along side Blade Flurry. Since this build doesn’t contain that package of 4 cards I wouldn’t play it. However, Blade Flurry and Deadly Poison shine in some of your bad aggro match ups. That being said, and due to the nature of this deck, I believe it is better to make your good and/or average match ups better by focusing those 4 slots in the deck on other cards. I would certainly not discount anyone for playing Deadly Poison and I still think it is an incredible card that is fun to try out in this deck.
2x Blade Flurry
I personally am not a fan of Blade Flurry + Deadly Poison in Mill Rogue. There are certainly people that play both of these cards in their decks. I don’t like it because I don’t think it is necessary and neither of these cards have the words “Draw a Card” written on them. Shiv, Loot Hoarder, Fan of Knives, and Bloodmage Thalnos offer consistency for the deck and I have found that having these cards instead gives you a better chance of winning a game even though the power level of your deck is lower. That being said, These two cards are certainly fun, powerful, and good
If you like solving complex puzzles and enjoy the thrill of fatiguing your opponent to death, then Mill Rogue is the deck for you. It’s engaging and exciting every step of the way and with a little bit of practice you might even start having a winning record with the deck.