As the dust of The Grand Tournament crashing into the pub starts to settle, people branch out from the top 5 decks that were first found to be strong, such as Dragon Priest, Secret Paladin, and so on. Creative, fun, and most importantly, successful new decks begin to emerge as people try to break the newly established meta. From the rubble, a top 40 Legend Pirate Rogue deck has emerged, thanks to the dedicated mind of coreyrj for wanting to make a Rogue deck work, from the idea he received from Red!
What we have before us is a very flexible deck that is very good at playing the fast game and slow game. As opposed to previous Pirate decks that were dedicated to beating your face in harder than Leper Gnome and Glaivezooka, hoping on keeping an immovable amount of Pirates on board for a strong turn when you drop Southsea Captain, this deck forgoes the Pirate synergies and plays on the Pirates that are good on their own. This is a tempo based deck (surprise, surprise for a Rogue deck), so with only 8 Pirates (along with Ship's Cannon), you need to squeeze the most value out of your minions as possible. Against most decks today, board control is going to be the name of the game since they are going to be faster than you in the long run. However, if you find yourself against a much slower deck, you are very much capable of being greedy and trying to end the game ASAP. And if things around your rank are drastically leaned toward one side or the other, it is very easy to make quick adjustments to the deck to accommodate. If you’re finding that you’re being bludgeoned to death, Sap and Fan of Knives are very easy to increase numbers of, pulling out things such as Sprint and Bloodsail Raider. On the other end of the spectrum, you can bolster your longevity by increasing your card draw potential, such as with Bloodmage Thalnos.
Your early game is going to be more powerful than most Rogue decks of the past, as Buccaneer is quite a strong enough opening in its own right, being a 2/1, but its ability really pushes it over the curve, performing the job that we all were hoping Goblin Auto-Barber would have done. Having the ability to have a 2 Attack Hero Power on turn 2 positions you extremely well to deal with anything using your mighty cutlass of a Hero Power, rather than a butter knife. This will allow for very nice curves into the Cannon, Dread Corsair, and Bloodsail Raider once you start dropping Assassin's Blade, Deadly Poison, and everyone’s favorite Oil . With the inclusion of Azure Drake and Sprint, you will not easily run out of steam if the game begins to drag on. Buccaneer has the quality of life of still being useful if you draw it later in the game, effectively being “Summon a 2/1 Pirate and a 2 Power minion with Charrrrrge” (please forgive me) for 3 mana. If the board starts to get out of control, you have ridiculous board clears with Blade Flurry, again, thanking Buccaneer for adding even more fantastic synergy, not just to Pirates, but to Rogue in general.
Enough raving about the strengths (of Buccaneer) and let’s get into the arguably more important part: your bad match-ups. Being Rogue, you are going to make frequent use of attacking with your hero to deal with things, so decks that can prey on this will bring you great trouble. Face Hunter is going to be extremely difficult, due to always having to make the proper choice on how to trade, and when to use your face to do it. Druids running Force of Nature and Savage Roar may also be a problem if you suddenly find your health at 14, as there is no healing within this deck. Finally, any deck that can efficiently reduce the value or even flat out deny your ability to keep board control will be a struggle, as you are always looking to kill a minion with whatever you throw out at it. Dragon Priest will be difficult due to the inflated health values, myriad of taunts, and Anduin’s Hero Power completely negating yours if you are unable make give your dagger more than 2 Power.
All in all, this is still a great deck that gives a very fresh breath to what is currently being played. You will find advantages in your opponent not being completely confident in what to mulligan for, due to the very rare presence of Rogue. With this deck also not being an expensive investment, you can very quickly build it for yourself and see how it goes. Don’t be afraid to play with this deck and finding your own successful solutions that will help you climb the ranks.