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Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7 win-average arena player. I run where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.

If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viaable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.


This Standard deck is constructed with only Basic cards gained from reaching Level 10 with this class and cards from the One Night in Karazhan adventure set.

Deck Playstyle

Basic + Karazhan Rogue's premise is to generate tempo through weapons and inexpensive removal spells while simultaneously putting out cost-efficient minions to control the board.

Minions - 19

2x Swashburglar

  • 1 Mana for a 1/1 is underwhelming, but Swashburglar's battlecry allows us to sometimes cheat into higher quality cards from our opponent's class.

2x Acidic Swamp Ooze

  • 2 mana for a 3/2 body is great. When played on turn two, the Ooze has the capability of trading with most 3 mana minions.

  • A battlecry that destroys enemy weapons is outrageous. Playing this at the right time against a class with weapons can single-handedly swing games in your favor.

1x Kobold Geomancer

  • A tech card used to gain more value from Backstab and Fan of Knives. I’ve won many games against aggro from behind where I’ve played a Kobold Geomancer and Fan of Knives on turn five to clear their board.

2x Shattered Sun Cleric

  • 3 mana for 3/2 isn’t mana efficient, but the battlecry more than makes up for it. The downside is that if you don’t have a minion on the board, this card suffers.

  • The ideal scenario is to play this on the same turn a minion you control can trade with something equal in value and survive, or can trade up to kill something more expensive.

2x Violet Illusionist

  • Violet Illusionist provides great value for its cost and has the ancillary benefit of being able to shield our hero from damage when we use it to attack.

2x Chillwind Yeti

  • A plain 4 mana for a 4/5. Even without a battlecry, the Yeti is considered to be the best neutral Basic at 4 mana.

  • With 5 health, this minion will often force your opponent to trade two of his cards to get rid of him.

2x Gnomish Inventor

  • 4 mana for 2/4 isn’t great statswise, but a 2/4 isn’t awful.
  • Primarily we want to play her for her battlecry that draws a card later in the game when we’re low on cards. By playing her late, she gives you the potential to play her and whatever she draws on the same turn.

2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta

  • 4 mana for 3/5 is fair value, but it’s the taunt along with the 5 health that makes this minion key against aggro decks.

1x Prince Malchezaar

  • Prince Malchezaar is one of our primary win conditions in this deck. His value is similar to Boulderfist Ogre in terms of stats, but its the random Legendaries that he shuffles in our deck that can swing games in our favor against more expensive decks.

2x Boulderfist Ogre

  • The ogre is a plain 6 mana for 6/7, but that’s why we love him. He’s not suspect to silence and cards like The Black Knight or Big Game Hunter, and will kill other 6/6 minions without dying.

  • Avoid buffing him to 7 attack unless you absolutely need to. You want to keep him out of Big Game Hunter range.

1x Medivh, the Guardian

  • Medivh the Guardian is a large threat, while providing the added benefit of being able to supercharge our spells to bring tempo onto the board. You'll generally want to play him the turn before you can play a large cost spell.

Spells - 10

2x Backstab

  • Amazing tempo card. Can often kill a 2 mana minion by itself.

2x Deadly Poison

  • Either use this on your Assassin's Blade to deal 5 damage (which can finish games), or on your hero power to deal 3 damage to enemy minions.

1x Sap

  • Because this card is fairly situational, I only run one copy. Its cheap casting cost means you can play Sap and a few other minions on the same turn. I keep this card in my starting hand against Druid to bounce back big taunts.

2x Fan of Knives

  • Not much cheap removal in the basic rogue set. This card by itself isn’t too valuable, but chained with an Ogre Magi or Kobold Geomancer can be amazing. I usually try to save this card until I have one of those two cards to increase its spell power with.

2x Assassinate

  • Unconditional removal. Great against minions with divine shields and beefy late game finishers. Downside is that it doesn’t play around deathrattles, and 5 mana is really expensive. (Can often prevent you from playing another card on the same turn.) Nevertheless, Basic Rogue doesn’t have too many good removal options against big minions, so two of these are crucial.

1x Sprint

  • Because Backstabs and Deadly Poisons are cheap to play, you’ll find yourself running out of cards by mid/late game. This refills your hand. Because of its high casting cost, I only play one.

Weapons - 1

1x Assassin's Blade

  • A great card that will win you games by itself. Only play one copy because of its high durability. Having two in your hand at once isn’t an ideal situation.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.

When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.

When going second, your advantage is mainly The Coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.

  • When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.

  • When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This might be a minion like Eater of Secrets to counter classes with Secrets or a removal spell like Frostbolt.

  • When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.

  • While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.


  • 1 Mana: Swashburglar
  • 2 Mana: Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 3 Mana: Shattered Sun Cleric with a 1 mana or 2 mana minion, Violet Illusionist


  • 0 Mana: Backstab
  • 1 Mana: Deadly Poison
  • 2 Mana: Sap against Druid

Gameplay Video

Sheng's Basic + Karazhan Rogue

Deck Upgrades

To upgrade this deck, check out the Tempo Rogue section of!

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. Banner

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I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comment sections below.

Comments (1)

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FYI, as a new & very "basic" player - telling me to "check out the Tempo Rogue section" of the site for upgrades doesn't help much.

I see that past Sheng Basic guides had decent upgrade discussion baked in.
The current guide just leads to WAY more confusion than help.