With the advent of The Grand Tournament, Rogue got a fair few new toys to play with (Nine to be exact) and one of those cards stands above the rest in regards to immediate playability, is Burgle.
Burgle pure terms reads “At the cost of three mana; Draw two cards”. This puts it in the realms of Arcane Intellect which has been a mainstay staple for the Mage class for longer than any of us care to remember. If the card were to read “Draw two cards” this would be a pretty open and closed case, as that ability in Rogue would make it an outstanding card, and an instant staple in most Rogue builds.
Arguments could be made that Burgle is closer comparatively to Thoughtsteal, as the card is limited to creating a short-framed two-turn mirror-match. Whilst Thoughtsteal “Steals” cards that the opponent would actively choose to play in a deck (Thus cutting the deadwood options to steal) Burgle takes two random class cards. These could range from a 1 mana Mirror Image to a 10 mana Pyroblast. The aim here is to decipher what the real “Dream” cards are, and the ones you, the player, are looking to avoid.
The ideal scenario here would be to find the Druid wombo-combo of Force of Nature and Savage Roar. Whilst playing rogue, the window of opportunity to deal 14 damage is huge, whilst chipping away over the earlier turns with an aim to set up lethal through a big Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil and Blade Flurry combo whilst a turn three Burgle could allow you to play the Oil combo looser than you usually would. On top of this is the opportunity to play the Force/Savage combo even earlier through use of Preparation. Whilst the combo would be Ideal, there are other options in Innervate and Wild Growth to push on with the Oil combo.
Nightmare wise, Druid has an inordinate amount of sub-par cards that Burgle can throw at you. Moonfire, Healing Touch and Astral Communion are all cards you wouldn’t want to see. As bad cards go, Astral Communion would be an entirely dead card, as Rogue strives to hold resources and put out big damage in one turn through a flurry of four or five cards, and whilst an instant 10 mana sounds like a dream, with nothing bulky to play, Rogue have little to no way to use the mana outside of Sprint, Trade Prince Gallywix and Anub’Arak.
Whilst options are fairly limited in regards to hunter, the chance of Burgle providing you with any weapon is relatively high whilst also offering you the chance to hit another TGT card in Lock and Load. Upon finding a Lock and Load through Burgle, the game can quickly spiral out of control through use of a flurry of spells recharging the Rogue player’s hand with such possibilities as Savannah Highmane and even more opportunity to grab a sturdy weapon.
Whilst these options seem appealing, there’s always the chance to find cards such as Bestial Wrath, Steamweedle Sniper and Stablemaster. In taking this into consideration, Hunter is possibly the worst class to play Burgle against, as even the afore mentioned Healing Touch and Moonfire can be utilised in the Rogue Match-up, whereas Bestial Wrath is a fundamentally dead card, effectively limiting you to a 9 card hand and mitigating the potential impact of a Preparation into Sprint play.
Mage is another class based around the use of spells, as a result there are several targets for our blue-clad protagonist to burgle! The immediate favourites for Burgle would be Flamewaker, Mana Wyrm and Archmage Antonidas. The amount of spells that can be cast by mage immediately favours both minions that trigger upon the activation of spells in conjunction with Preparation. Alongside these picks are the low-cost damage outputs in Frostbolt, Fireball and to a lesser extent Flamecannon. Flamecannon can clear a sticky minion that would otherwise survive an Oil-Flurry combo whilst also serving as the combo enabler.
As for nightmares, Mage decks are usually packed with secrets. This is reinforced by minions such as Ethereal Archanist and Kirin Tor Mage. With a huge lack of secrets in the Rogue’s arsenal, these cards are less than ideal, although they are 3/3 and 4/3 bodies respectively. As a result of this miniscule positive, this puts burgle at a premium against Mage over Hunter.
Paladin as a class offers a few cards that you may want to Burgle. Outside of the usual train of thought, one mana secrets would be fairly effective when found from a Burgle. The low mana cost opens doors for combo plays. Alongside this there are the usual weapons you’re endeavouring to find in Truesilver Champion and Coghammer. The more infrequently played Paladin weapons are relatively strong for Rogue when found through Burgle. Light’s Justice and Sword Of Justice are huge due to the durability being high and Deadly Poison being frequently played in Rogue.
On the flipside of these positives, there are also several potential dead nets that the Burgle can generate. Those being Quartermaster, Cobalt Guardian and Warhorse Trainer. Each of these interact with Silverhand Recruits and Mechs, which doesn’t regularly tie-in with the rogue strategy. That, and there is the infamous Mysterious Challenger which spawns secrets, again not something in the Rogue’s playbook. Whilst solid on stats we are looking for synergetic dreams, not clunky 6 drops that inhibit your ability to combo.
Priest offers a plethora of low-cost stat buffs which tie into the combo philosophy. Cards like Power Word: Shield, Divine Spirit and Inner Fire are all good picks for Burgle. There is also the possibility to pick up Thoughtsteal through Burgle. Thoughtsteal would generate further card advantage in the form of another inherent +1 and gives you another shot at those all important low-cost buffs.
The only real negative finds against priest would be cards like Wyrmrest Agent which triggers with a dragon (not something rogue plays too often, unless your name is Savjz) and Shadowform, a card that transforms your Hero Power and disables your ability to spawn weapons which usually is a huge negative, unless you play Assassin’s Blade as a replacement for your hero power.
Shaman offers cards like Earth Shock, Frost Shock and Rockbiter Weapon, all synergising with the combo philosophy of Rogue. There are also the usual weapons, but finding Doomhammer could be game-breaking for the Rogue as an Oiled Doomhammer is a deadly way to get the best out of your Oil as you pair windfury with an 8 durability weapon.
Shaman also has many cards that are a straight up detriment to the aims of a rogue player. Any card with overload can limit the options of the Rogue player by shutting down the available resources for any potential combo. Cards like Earth Elemental, Neptulon and Elemental Destruction wouldn’t be the end of the world, but the overload strain severely inhibits the tempo plays that Rogue can make. Alongside this, there are plenty of Totem buff mechanics in the Shaman arsenal. This again is something the Rogue doesn’t generally do very well, if at all, so cards like Totemic Might are instantly dead-draws outside of being a zero-mana combo enabler.
Warlock offers us small damage in the form of Darkbomb. It doesn’t sound amazing, but in practice it’s just within the realms of an acceptable return on your mana cost to trigger a combo turn five. Darkbomb into SI7 Agent should clear any usually played 5 drop, and even a coined six drop, for example Emperor Thaurissan. Alongside this, we see the usual low-cost buff in the form of Power Overwhelming, triggering combos at 1 mana, and also Imp-losion. This offers the player several minions with which a combo triggered oil could follow next turn with remnants having the ability to tidy up any problems, fitting nicely into our curve with Burgle at 3 and Imp-losion at 4. There are also several 1 mana minions to find to enable the combos through Voidwalker, Flame Imp and Blood Imp.
There are several Demon-oriented cards in the Warlock class that are absolutely terrible to find through Burgle. Cards like Demonfuse and Wilfred Fizzlebang are flat-out useless when found. There are also cards that force discards, such as Succubus and Doomguard. Whilst Doomguard can be held for burst damage to see a game out, there is also the chance to find other redundant picks in Felguard and Sacrificial Pact.
What you would want to find in the mirror through burgle is entirely based on the archetype of Rogue you yourself are playing. There are a few transferrable cards that you may want to find no matter what, such as Preparation, Sprint and SI7 Agent, and if you’re playing Oil Rogue, you may be looking for Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil and Blade Flurry. Outside of these standout picks, you may also pick up another Burgle, netting you a further +1 in regards to card advantage giving you greater options to set up that game winning charge.
Finally, as with all classes, rogue has cards in it’s library that inhibit Rogue players. Heavily costed minions such as Trade Prince Gallywix and Anub’arak are great in decks built around them, but if you’re looking to play your combos out efficiently, spending an entire turn setting up a big body isn’t the most effective way to do so. There are also cards you wouldn’t want to find such as “The worst card in TGT” Poisoned Blade, Kidnapper, One Eyed Cheat and Anub’ar Ambusher which when built around, can be playable. However, in the competitive scene, there is no room in the meta for cards like these.
Burgle is a lottery. You pay your 3 mana and spin the wheel. There is no correct way to play the card and guarantee the desired outcome, I can only guide you on when to feel pleased with the result and when to just hold onto the card and not play it through fear of playing it against a sub-optimal class who’s burgles will only bring misery.
In itself, Burgle is a sub-par Thoughtsteal. Thoughtsteal cuts out the chance to find sub-optimal class cards by taking cards from the opponent’s deck, cards they’re willing to play. This mitigates the chance of finding cards such as Stablemaster and Sense Demons but alas, rogue doesn’t have the opportunity to wield Thoughtsteal. Burgle in it’s own right is light relief from the grind, shining light on the game with many variables that can either make your sides split with laughter or tear you hair out in despair.