Tempo Rogue is a Tempo-focused Aggro Rogue deck type. It heavily revolves around making efficient tempo plays using Rogue's wide variety of low-cost spells, efficient removal and burst damage to snowball a board advantage and quickly finish off the opponent. The deck's focal power changed wildly through the Standard cycle, but the core gameplay remains the same.
The first version of Tempo Rogue can be traced back to Goblins vs. Gnomes, utilizing weapon buffs like for a powerful 2-mana to deal double the face damage and clear the board in one turn and finishing off the opponent with Charge minions like powered up with . This version of Rogue was often referred to as Oil Rogue.
With the release of Knights of the Frozen Throne, Tempo Rogue decks used to single-handedly push the game heavily in their favor with cheap, buffed minions. This version of Tempo Rogue was widely used in the Year of the Mammoth. This version of Tempo Rogue was also known as Keleseth Rogue.
With Year of the Raven, most Tempo Rogue decks transitioned to using for , which was extremely effective early in the game. Despite the deck restrictions imposed, many of the staple tempo cards like and were usable. This variant was known as Odd Rogue.
Despite losing both Baku and Keleseth in the Year of the Dragon, Tempo Rogue still lives on, thanks to cards like and creating cheap and effective tempo swings and as an activator for 0-cost Dread Corsairs, which can all be pulled with . The deck makes liberal use of Return to hand effects as re-activators for , , , or . Some versions of Tempo Rogue use a Highlander version of the deck for following Saviors of Uldum. Descent of Dragons created Galakrond Rogue, using and its Invoke cards for copious Lackey generation and easy combo activators, and even enabled an OTK using , , and .
In the Year of the Phoenix, the new Rogue cards introduced in Ashes of Outland added more variety to Tempo Rogue decks. Secret Rogue uses and for tempo, for card draw, and as a mid-game backup plan to utterly confuse the opponent into a losing position. The Stealth Rogue package uses early-game Stealth minions and with as a potent burst damage or removal tool. Some decks combine both Stealth and Secrets into one deck.
The following cards are usually in the deck.
The following cards are played in most or all versions of the deck:
The following cards are played more than occasionally, but not always:
Wild cards that fit well into this deck type: