Oil Rogue is a deck archetype that utilizes the Rogue hero power and strong buff cards to do massive amounts of burst damage. It is an extremely strong archetype and dominates the Priest match-up. It's biggest counter is the Control Warrior and Aggro Druid.

Deck Composition

The core cards in Oil Rogue are as follows:

2x Backstab
2x Preparation
2x Deadly Poison
2x Blade Flurry
2x Eviscerate
2x Sap
2x Fan of Knives
2x SI:7 Agent
2x Tinker's Sharpsword Oil
1x Sprint
1x Southsea Deckhand
1x Bloodmage Thalnos
2x Azure Drake
2x Earthen Ring Farseer
1x Violet Teacher
1x Loatheb
2x Piloted Shredder
1x Antique Healbot

These 30 cards make up the basic Oil Rogue deck but many people make adjustments by using only one copy of certain cards based on the current meta game or personal preference. The real core of the deck are the Tinker's Sharpsword Oil and the Blade Flurry. these cards cannot be replaced as they provide the finishing burst damage.

Variants will include combinations of cards such as:

Dr. Boom
Gadgetzan Auctioneer
Ragnaros the Firelord
Assassin's Blade
Edwin VanCleef
Goblin Auto-Barber
Trade Prince Gallywix


Playstyle, Tips, and Notes

The early game is often fairly slow with Oil Rogue and often you will spend the first few turns simply making a dagger and passing. The objective is to simply keep the opponents board as clear as possible to stall the game until you can do your big damage combos. Cards like Backstab, Deadly Poison and SI:7 Agent are the keys to keeping a board advantage during the first few turns.

In the mid-game you will want to be dropping strong threats such as Piloted Shredder and Azure Drake to put pressure on the opponent. Often you will be able to drop a minion and play a removal spell on the same turn due to the mana discount on spells you get with Preparation. This allows you to make big tempo swinging turns which allow you to start setting up the combos for the later turns.

The late game involves setting up the lethal combo by using cards like Sap to control the board cheaply and set up a fresh dagger. If the opponent is around 20 health then it should be easy to find lethal if you have drawn into Tinker's Sharpsword Oil and Blade Flurry. Since there are so many cards that draw in the deck you should have a decent card lead unless you have drawn extremely poorly.

Some variants of the deck run alternate finishing cards such as Dr. Boom or Ragnaros the Firelord to give a bit more reach. Even without these powerful cards the deck features quite of bit of damage potential so this is a personal choice but not required.



Against aggro you want to keep all of your cheap removal and early game creatures. You need to be able to deal with their early aggression and take the board with a Blade Flurry at some point. Keep Backstab, Deadly Poison and SI:7 Agent.

Against a slower deck you will need to win the long game so you can keep Preparation and Sprint if you have them both in hand. Also cards like Violet Teacher and Azure Drake are okay since you won't be under pressure early and they are so important to winning the match-up.

In the mirror match I recommend keeping Loatheb as it is so important to denying a big turn down the road.


Combos and Counters

There are lots of cards that play well with each other in Oil Rogue:

Backstab + SI:7 Agent
Preparation + Sprint
Preparation + Tinker's Sharpsword Oil
Southsea Deckhand + Tinker's Sharpsword Oil + Blade Flurry

Many of your cards utilize the Combo which means that sequencing is very important to set up efficient turns. Sometimes you will not be able to combo all of the cards you play in a turn and muct decide which combo is most valuable. Do not be afraid to play an SI:7 Agent as a simple 3/3 to activate a better combo like Tinker's Sharpsword Oil. With a fresh dagger the Tinker's Sharpsword Oil essentially gives you 9 damage compared to the SI:7 Agent's 2.


Control Warrior: probably the toughest match-up if they are able to build up a huge amount of armor. Getting your mid-game minions on the board is important as they will be forced to use weapons to clear them and you can burst them down in the late game.

Hunter: Face Hunter can be scary but if you draw into your healing and don't have to use your weapon to minions that have already attacked then you can usually win the race since your damage turns are so much bigger than theirs. Mid-range Hunter is slightly tougher but if you can Sap their Savannah Highmane then you will have a big tempo lead that can snowball to a win.

Paladin: Keep Fan of Knives for Muster for Battle and hold Sap for Tirion Fordring. You should be able to burst them down but be careful getting them low when you don't have lethal as Paladins do have some of the best healing in the game.

Druid: Mid-range Druid is a tough match-up since you will always be under the threat of death to their big combo but if you can match their creatures with your own then you have a big combo available as well so it's fairly even. Taunt heavy Druid is slightly easier since you can Sap their big expensive minions.

Warlock: Demon Lock can be a tricky match-up since they have sticky minions like Nerubian Egg and Voidcaller but they tend to tap a lot which can bring them into burst range so just hang tough and keep tabs on the damage you have in hand. Handlock will get low on purpose so I actually just don't attack them once they are under 20 and set up for one big burst turn. It's a fairly easy match-up when played that way.

Priest: This is an easy match-up and one that you should win about 80% of the time. Your threats are all 4-attack creatures and they play such a reactive game that you should be able to draw into your burst and just win from there.