This is the new updated version of a deck i got legend with few months ago. That's why it has that many upvotes and the guide is outdated. I was trying to update the deck with the new cards but in the current meta there is no space for Midrange Hunter that's why i gave up on the deck. However I'm ready to update the deck/guide as soon as the deck fits the meta better.
i built this deck last season and started from rank 6. I didn‘t lose until rank 3 and with a bit of a struggle got legend within a total of 2 days (I got legend only once besides this time where I used a netdeck). I won 51 and lost 25 games which means i had a winrate of 67%.
I am known as Burr0 and i have been playing Hearthstone for over two years now. This is my first Deck Built which I upload on Hearthpwn and try to explain. I decided to upload it first since i built it all myself and really suddenly got lot of success with it. After I realized positive feedback I eventually decided to explain a bit of my strategy, trying to help those who actually try the deck. I am also considering to start streaming or upload videos at YouTube for some gameplay examples.
Why did I build the deck and why is it so strong?
When I first saw N’Zoth, I knew he would be good in Hunter but I thought he could only be viable in Wild. I was mistaken. So when Whispers oft he Old Gods released I for sure wanted to play Midrange-Hunter because I really liked Infested Wolf and Call of the Wild. So I added N’Zoth and some value Deathrattle cards. Midrange Decks have always been my favorite ones since they somehow function as Hybrid decks with both strong early- and late-game. And that’s exactly this deck’s strength: If you face for Example Aggro-Shaman, you can challenge them with early value Minions like Fiery Bat, Huge Toad or King’s Elekk or even with early removal like Quickshot. On the other Hand if you face any Type of Control/Lategame deck you can just race them in the early-game and finish them with value-late-game. That’s at least my opinion but you should easily expierence this because it’s the main-characteristic of Midrange-Decks in general and especially in this deck.
I can’t really differentiate between each class thus the Mulligan is pretty general for this deck:
Always keep : Fiery Bat, Huge Toad, King's Elekk, Quick Shot;
those are your turn one and two Minions and thus they can be game-deciding. Fiery Bat can always trade with one and two health Minions like Knife Juggler and with a 50% chance it can kill three health Minions like Tunnel Trogg. Oftentimes it’s difficult if you should take the risk. It’s almost the same witch Huge Toad. It can perfectly trade with Tunnel Trogg If you coin it out and with a 50% chance do a value trade with Totem Golem or Twilight Elder. King’s Elekk is similar to Huge Toad with obvious difefrences. It’s often not easy to decide between Huge Toad and King’s Elekk on turn one (with coin) or turn two. The thing is: If your Oponent plays Warlock, Shaman, Paladin or Hunter they will probably play several Minions and you should play Huge Toad. Also If you know they play C’thun- decks you should play Huge Toad because of Twilight Elder and C’thun’s Chosen. Else If you face Control Decks like Priest or Warrior you wanna play the Elekk for more card-options. King’s Elekk should for sure be played if you don’t have a 4-drop since the chances of getting a 4-drop are most likely and turn 4 is very important for you. Another strategy I often used is to play King’s Elekk to see what deck your oponent is playing, when you’re facing for example Warrior or Warlock you want to know if cards like Dreadscale are important in your matchup. Quick Shot is a key card in this deck. You should keep at least one in hand in every matchup. In the current Meta with Shamans and Warlocks there will be early value drops like Tunnel Trogg or Knife Juggler and you should always remove them immediately. Versus Shaman, Warlock and Hunter you should keep two Quick Shots, in the other matchups one is enough. When facing Tunnel Trogg it’s always worth coining out a Quick Shot if you have a 2-drop, or if you go first and have both 2-drop and Quick Shot you should remove the Trogg first.
Almost always keep : Animal Companion, Infested Wolf, Dreadscale, Powershot, Unleash the Hounds;
Animal Companion is very important in this deck because it’s your only turn 3 Tempo play and it is very diverse with 3 possible Companions. As a Tempo play you probably want Misha, as removal you need Huffer especially against 3/4s and 4/4s or versus 1/3s. Leokk on turn 3 is only useful when you have a 1 or 2 drop on board already. Infested Wolf is a very good turn 4 play especially versus Feral Spirit. Wether you keep it or not is dependent on the other cards you get offered. If you have any 2-drop you should keep it but if you only have expensive cards you mulligan it for early cards. Dreadscale, Unleash the Hounds and Powershot are efficient, early board clears so you should for sure keep them against Warlock since it could be Zoo. You should also keep them versus Hunter, Paladin and Shaman but again if you don’t have any 1- or 2-drops you should rather mulligan them.
Sometimes keep : Hunter's Mark, Kill Command, Infested Tauren, Houndmaster;
Keep Infested Tauren and Houndmaster only if you have at least 2x 1- or 2-drops as valuable/Tempo Midgame plays. Else they can be very useless in your starting hand. In the early game Hunter’s Mark and Kill Command are (compared to Quick Shot) rather insuffecient removals but if you face strong Aggro decks like Shaman or Warlock you can keep them but only in combination with any cheap Beasts (Kill Command) or Dreadscale, Unleash the Hounds, Powershot (Hunter’s Mark).
You should never keep any card that costs 5 or more. Even if you face Control decks in which you for sure need Savannah Highmane, Call oft he Wild and N’zoth. But you cannot afford to miss on your early game and therefore you should always Mulligan for at least one 2- and one 4-drop. Those are your important plays early game.
Strategy / Playstyle:
As mentioned the main-characteristic of this deck is the mix of Tempo and Control. You will always prefer to play a Control style but if you’re opponent plays a slow deck you can pressure them in Early- and Midgame and when advanced to late-game you make your value plays. It always depends on your matchup.
The early game is obviously dependent on your mulligan. In any matchup you should start with Fiery Bat, King’s Elekk or/and Huge Toad. When necessary use Quick Shot as early removal. On turn 3 there is only one Tempo play with Animal Companion but a 2-drop such as Huge Toad is always still a value play considering it’s a very competitive body. A very good turn 3 play is also when you played a Beast on turn 1 or 2 and your opponent played a 4 or 5 health Minion such as Darkshire Councilman or Twilight Elder to Kill Command those so you can slow your opponent down before you play your value 4-drop.
As mentioned turn 4 (or turn 3 with coin) is very important since you have 6x potential 4-drops and even a 2-drop with hero power is pretty strong. Measuring the right play on turn 4 is not always easy and therefore situational. Hound Master is obviously the most value play when you have a beast on board but you will barely ever have one so you should hold on with Hound Master for turn 5 or 6. On an empty board you wanna play Infested Wolf because it’s a really sticky body and most of the time trades at least 2 Minions. Especially when you’re playing against Shaman it can trade with basically every of their early Minions. Infested Tauren Is only good when you’re under pressure as an Anti-Aggro play. When you’re facing Zoo it can have good value versus cards like Knife Juggler and Dark Peddler. Your turn 5 however can be your weakest one. One oft he best plays is Animal Companion with Hero Power or a 2-drop. Stampeding Kodo is an obvious play when there’s a 2 or less attack Minion but even without it’s still very valuable as a 5 health Beast into potential turn 6 Houndmaster. Most of the time however you will end up playing a 4-drop on turn 5 which is a good play when you’re ahead or even but when you’re facing Aggro this is probably the point when you lose and once again your early game is game-deciding. Your turn 6, again, is very strong and obvious with Savannah Highmane or Sylvanas or even a 4-drop plus Hero Power. Whether you play Sylvanas or Highmane depends on your oponent’s board so if he has a rather strong board you’re playing Sylvanas as an indirect boardclear. Worth mentioning that against Rogues you sometimes should consider a 4-drop over a 6-drop on turn 6 because when they play Sap you’re pretty much wasting a turn.
The late game is extraordinary in this deck and with N’Zoth and Call of the Wild the most fun part in my opinion. With turn 7 being a weak turn, your turn 8 should be most of the time the turning point. Call oft he Wild is just so good and i could talk very much about it but i guess i don’t have to explain why it is so good. But the strategy is that when your planning to play it on turn 8 you should have some Minions on the board already so with the Leokk buff you can either Push for lethal or you do a value trade. A very important strategy is also that when you have the coin you can hold it for a turn 7 play. This is especially good when you have two copies of Call of the Wild in hand so you can even kill your opponent on turn 8. Turn 8 can also be very good when you combine 2x 4-drops for example Infested Wolf with Hound Master or of course also Ragnaros which can sometimes even be better than Call oft he Wild. The only value turn that’s left with this deck is the popular turn ten (or turn 9 when you held the coin ‘til then) with our favorite Old God N’Zoth. The only advice I can give is to play it as soon as you can and not to try to get the full value. When you play N’Zoth on average 3-4 Minions died which is already enough to threaten lethal next turn even if those Minions are only 2/3 Attack Minons. The strength of N’Zoth Hunter is that most of the Deathrattle Minions summon other Minions and therefore your board can’t get fully cleared with Equality, Brawl or Twisting Nether so you can still have lethal with Call oft he Wild next turn. I am aware that this deck does not run card draw except for King’s Elekk but especially those high mana / high value late game cards should win the late game single handed over 1-4 turns. And even if you can only push your opponent to low health you can finish your opponent with your Hero Power or fish for Quick Shot and Kill Command.
I personally don’t like the concept of replacing cards your missing with cards that are most similar. Also this version is probably not the best one already so i keep testing other cards and i would love your suggestions and experiences so please give them to me :p. I can say that the weakest cards in this deck are Houndmaster, Hunter's Mark, Powershot and Stampeding Kodo so you can replace those if you wanna try other cards such as Princess Huhuran. So if you’re missing a lot of the cards you can decide what gameplan you have.
The easiest replacements are to add a second copy of the single cards like Savannah Highmane or Stampeding Kodo. If you’re missing only few cards i think Carrion Grub, Stranglethorn Tiger, Ram Wrangler, Princess Huhuran and Savannah Highmane are the best replacements overall.