Prince Keleseth was introduced in the Knights of Frozen Throne expansion and saw much play as a way to increase the stats of your future plays to give you the upper hand in fighting for the board. Keleseth Tempo Rogue was perhaps the most frequent class to use Prince Keleseth, and games were often decided by the player who had him on turn two or the player who had him with the option to use Prince Keleseth with Shadowstep for additional buffs.
In regards to the Wild format, Kingsbane Rogue came around in the expansion after Knights of the Frozen Throne, the Kobolds, and Catacombs. The Kingsbane Rogue took over as the predominant aggressive Rogue archetype, leaving Keleseth Rogue decks behind it. Since Keleseth hasn’t had much love in recent months, I wanted to bring him back to the Rogue archetype. The revival attempt features the old Prince Keleseth archetype, which once was the best deck in the meta. I was fortunate enough to pilot the deck to break into legend achieving a 60% Win rate going 42 Wins and 28 losses.
Core Cards for Prince Keleseth Tempo Rogue
With Prince Keleseth Tempo Rogue, you must have certain cards, no matter what. These must-have cards include Prince Keleseth, Backstab, Shadowstep, Hench-Clan Thug, Fal’dorei Strider, Loatheb, Patches, and Leeroy Jenkins.
Why you should play Tempo Rogue
One of the advantages of playing a more midrange-style deck such as Tempo Rogue compared to a hyper-aggressive deck such as Face Hunter or Kingsbane Rogue builds is the increased consistency. Where the hyper-aggressive decks may run out of solid options by turn 5, Tempo Rogue can keep going strong and win more often against decks with some initial removal tools.
Another is the relative simplicity of playing the deck. Unlike many archetypes in Hearthstone, a deck such as Tempo Rogue has a low entry barrier. While there are many key decisions to make to optimize your chances of winning, you can do pretty well right away. This makes it a great deck for new players to try their hand at.
Tempo decks’ final benefit in Hearthstone is that they can defeat any opponent they might match up against. No matter what happens, you never lose the game by simply queuing into the wrong opponent like many of Hearthstone’s current decks.
Example decklists for Tempo Rogue
LaboreSangre Keleseth Waxadred Tempo Rogue
Hyper-aggressive Tempo Rogue
Anti-Combo Tempo Rogue
Build options & tech cards
Waxadred is probably the most debatable card for the deck. However, it’s a card that was on my legend bucket-list for a long time, and I was happy to make it work. It’s honestly not bad, and worth a try if you already have him in your collection!
The deck is a nice medley of many types of cards. “Future Profit” cards, such as Prince Keleseth & Fal’dorei Strider make your deck better in the longer matches. Healing and removal tools such as Zilliax, Brainfreeze, and Si:7 Agent allow for a great matchup into many of the aggressive decks you might come across where other removal tools such as Vilespine Slayer assist you in defeating the more “big minion” decks, such as Big Shaman & Big Warrior.
The final class of cards you want to think about are our finisher tools, such as Leeroy Jenkins. Shadowstep is a great card to combine with this, allowing for an unexpected number of burst damage.
If you want to change the list, ascertain what Matchups are prevalent and what you seek to gain. In general, it’s better to make the deck quicker than clunk it up with more top-end cards.
A good inclusion is Southsea Captains to make the deck more aggressive and improve the early game. You can also add Boompistol Bully to shut down a Raza Priest opponents’ Reno Jackson, Kazakus, or Zephrys the Great. Elven Minstrel is another option to draw additional threats. However, if you consider a card such as Minstrel, it is likely better to play two copies of Secret Passage instead.
Mulligan for Tempo Keleseth Rogue
On the always keep list are:
- Pirates that aren’t Patches the Pirate.
- Prince Keleseth.
- Hench-Clan Thug if you have a one-drop Pirate
- Shadowstep, only alongside Prince Keleseth
- SI:7 Agent & Backstab if against an aggressive opponent going second. Or, keep if going first alongside a one-drop Pirate.
- Against Priest, Odd Warrior, and Jade Druid: Keep Fal’dorei Strider & Hench-Clan Thug, even without one-drops.
The general strategy of the deck
Put most simply, the deck’s general strategy is to survive while playing the best minions on the curve and building the best board it can until the opponent loses. I hate to say “play the green card on the curve,” but that’s a good foundation. Try to close out games by spiraling with Keleseth, Spider Cheat with Fal’dorei, Big Hench-Clan Thugs, Leeroy Jenkins – Shadowstep Combo’s and play the early pirate boards!
Matchups & Meta
Honestly, the Meta just recently changed since the Darkglare Nerf. Raza Priest is common, but Tempo Rogue does fine against it, consistently pressuring Priest, not saying the matchup is favored. By far, the hardest Matchup is Cube Warlock; it just seems impossible to beat Voidcaller or Skull of the Man’ari cheat as a deck that fights for the board for a long time.
However, Tempo Rogue can fight against decks such as Even Shaman and Big Shaman and Jade Druid, which attests its ability to fight for the board for long periods. Rogue can also compete with the more aggressive decks, too, with the earlier drops in the list and do fine in matchups against decks such as Kingsbane Rogue, Pirate Warrior, Odd Rogue, Secret Mage, Aggro Druid, and more.
Other Important Interactions:
The most important interaction to know is Fal’dorei Strider & Stowaway, which gives you three 4/4’s and draws you two other cards from your deck.
If you play Secret Passage and draw into the Fal’dorei Strider’s spells, it doesn’t summon spiders, but you can pay four mana to summon one casting the spell and removing it from your deck. If you draw, let’s say, two spider spells from Secret Passage but it also gives you a Stowaway that stowaway still pulls the remaining in Spider from your deck. The reason why, by my reasoning, is the Secret Passage says “Replace” and not draw. In other words, the Fal’dorei Strider spells work if you draw them, but not if Replaced.
By that logic, Aranasi Broodmother would not heal you if you Secret Passage into it. Flik Skyshiv is great against Turtle Mage in particular. Looking for it through Lorekeeper Polkelt or Secret Passage allows you to nearly always win the match.
People say Midrange decks don’t have a place in Wild, but Lorekeeper Polkelt looks to change that by making sure you curve out well by drawing your better, more effective cards later in the game rather than cheaper, less effective cards.
Tempo Keleseth Waxadred Rogue is a fun take on a midrange strategy utilizing Prince Keleseth, helpful Battlecries, and early minions to turn the tide of the battle in its favor. It’s a fun off meta-deck that brings back the once-powerful Kelesth that I proved can be piloted to legend with great fun along the way. Have fun!
Do you want to have your deck featured or work with AceGameGuides on creating strategic content? Email Arend@AceGameGuides.com, and we’ll talk! For more of AceGameGuides, be sure to join the new discord! If you still cannot get enough, be sure to take a look at LaboreSangre’s Rattlegore Warrior Guide!