Update Dec5: This mid-range version is working well for me, just gone 6-1 at rank 8 so it's looking promising. Sadly Untamed Beastmaster just isn't worth it for me, but Halazzi, the Lynx has been great!
v3.0 The Lynx Effect
Thankyou for 1000 upvotes! Note: HearthPwn currently not allowing image additions/edits so unable to update visual guide.
Most important additions:
+1 Halazzi, the Lynx
- Near 1-card quest completion, can be found with Stitched Tracker out of mulligan
- The new workhorse of the deck thanks to Lynx
+2 Untamed Beastmaster
- Originally I was torn between this and Spirit of the Lynx, but this is a bit better on curve on turn 3 as a 3/4 body. I'd say that is more valuable then 2 turns of buff's. It's main reason for inclusion is the power post-quest completion.
+2 Cult Master
- Not a new Raztakhan card, but an old Quest favorite, and worth highlighting how much draw potential there is with Springpaw & Halazzi, the Lynx's generated Lynx beasts
NB: There are too many single cards in the current version of the decklist, this is just for experimentation. I'll try to refine the list after play-testing.
Omitted Rastakhan Cards:
- Because it's hard enough completing the Quest once ...
Revenge of the Wild
- Better kept for a midrange/beast deck, we're racing to quest
- Will fail too often in this deck
Spirit of the Lynx
- Cut for Untamed Beastmaster. Spirit of the Lynx is a guaranteed two turns of +1+1 effect, whereas Untamed Beastmaster is just one but a bit better on curve if you need to throw it down earlier.
- Good tech if aggro is prevelant
- Not sticky enough
- Might be good tech to slow down combo decks
- Better in a beast deck, not sticky enough
- Good tech if aggro is prevelant
- Great on turn 2 after quest but can't be played with Prince Keleseth
Q: Is 2x Dire Frenzy too greedy?
Also keen to try a late control/spellstone version of the deck that runs little to no 1-drops. Relying solely on Halazzi, reinforced with Stitched Trackers & Masters Call (even if it fails). This would allow for crazy late game shenanigans with cards like Zul’jin allowing for replaying Spellstone, Quest, Hounds, Dire Frenzy etc.
CANDLESHOT2, HUNTER’S MARK1, SECRET PLAN2, SPRINGPAW2, THE MARSH QUEEN1, EXPLOSIVE TRAP2, FREEZING TRAP1, WANDERING MONSTER2, ANIMAL COMPANION2, KILL COMMAND1, MASTER’S CALL1, STITCHED TRACKER2, DIRE FRENZY2, FLANKING STRIKE2, HALAZZI, THE LYNX1, LESSER EMERALD SPELLSTONE2, TUNDRA RHINO1, DEATHSTALKER REXXAR1, ZUL’JIN1, SUBJECT 91
Well, we didn't break the meta but we had fun doing it right? With v12.0 Hearthstone has now introduced a flurry of changes to the 'copy' mechanics of cards like Dire Frenzy. Now you can buff your 1/1 Stonetusk Boar's with Prince Keleseth or alternatively buff him up with Dire Frenzy and 'discover' them with the buff intact via Stitched Tracker as now Deck > Board retains buffs ... game-changer!
Also the star of the show; Augmented Elekk which shuffles additional copies into your deck. With Elekk on board you now get 6 copies of a buffed minion from Dire Frenzy and 30 raptors from Queen Carnassa!
Anyway, have fun if you attempt version 2.0, and try out my other Boomsday decks; AAECAR8IjQGiApcImMMC3dIChtMCnOICgPMCC4gFuwXbCZfBAuvCAorDAtPNAsXsAsn4AoL9AvWAAwA=
17 APR: Oh, how I was wrong about Stitched Tracker! Having experimented with changing the draw mechanics around, I'm finding it to be a lot more consistent than Cult Master since it guarantee's draw. It even competes with Ravencaller if you can bag a Fire Fly. Elsewhere in the deck I've just done some general balancing, sacrificing a few tools for an additional Toxmonger & Elven Archer as the combo is so strong. Additionally 2x Glacial Shard are getting me to quest completion quicker while holding off bigger threats. Currently playtesting -1 Tol'vir Warden, -1 Tracking, +1 Ironbeak Owl, +1 Harrison Jones if you want to try it out. AAECAYoWCo0BuwWXCJvCApjDAobTApziAtzuAuDvAoDzAgqFA4gF2wmXwQLrwgKKwwLTzQLF7AKY8QLJ+AIA
15 APR: After plenty of play-testing I've refined the deck, introducing more wide board tools like Unleash the Hounds to combat Face Hunters & Even/Odd Paladins. I've dropped the two Dire Mole in favour of Swamp Leech as it gives you a great stabilisation tool in longer games when Dire Frenzy'd. Two Tar Creeper's also help against aggro & allow you to build up some nice combo's (especially Cult Master draw) behind the safety of taunt.
v1.0 from KiwiinBacon, tech changes from Thijs & Kibler
The Theorycraft (v1.0)
04 APR: The hunter quest is notoriously sluggish compared to the rest of the current meta but the deck archetype is in a better position with Witchwood's early trading tools and mid-game control combos. It's further bolstered with a few more 1-drop generation cards to warrant dropping 1-mana minions in favour of stronger cards like Ravencaller and Dire Frenzy. AAECAYoWCo0BogK1A5jDAobTApziAuHjAtzuApjxAoDzAgqFA4gFuwWrBpcI68ICisMCi+UCxewCyfgCAA==
EARLY BOARD CONTROL WITH FRENZIED 1-DROPS:
Dire Frenzy'ing to get a 1-mana 4/4 Charging Stonetusk Boar (or 1-mana 4/6 Dire Mole) along with 3 added to your deck suddenly becomes a great step toward controlling early board presence and reaching your quest completion alongside the usual quest tools like Tol'vir Warden. Less 1-drops allows for stronger Dire Frenzy targets & more optimised deck pulls.
POISONOUS SUPPORT COMBOS:
Elven Archer & Stonetusk Boar now get instant assassination kills from turn 5 thanks to Toxmonger granting them Poisonous (this effect has been confirmed to work with Elven Archer's Battlecry by Hearthstone's Principal Game Designer, Mike Donais)
FATIGUE HUNTER IN 2018:
What could be greedier than SEVEN 11/11 Carnassa's and 105 Raptors? Of course, realistically in nearly all situations it will be best to Dire Frenzy early one drop's on curve to help retain board control (or alternatively 1-mana 6/5 Raptors late game) but this might be a viable option against fatigue decks (I'm looking at you Skulking Geist).
AFTER QUEST COMPLETION:
Rushing raptors thanks to the new Houndmaster Shaw help with mid-game board control (this archetype can notoriously get overwhelmed against aggro) and Tundra Rhino for more aggressive/lethal face damage.
RAVENCALLER TO COMPENSATE FOR POOR HUNTER DRAW:
Igneous Elemental may be a more stable alternate but Ravencaller keeps a little more tempo allowing the 1-drops to be played same turn, potentially rushed alongside the likes of Houndmaster Shaw. Do your best to bag a Chameleos.
WITH EITHER A MULLIGAN OR LATE GAME KELESETH:
Prince Keleseth is good for bolstering your deck in the mulligan to control board or later on for your post-Carnassa raptors. Late game Keleseth's also give you the option to Dire Frenzy minions first in order to further bolster them once they're in your deck leading to some crazy 1-mana statlines (Just remember the reverse; 'Kelseth into Dire Frenzy' will reset a minons statline due to the 'copy' mechanic).
v1.0 DECK OVERVIEW & TECH CHOICES
Dire Quest Package:
Rush & Charge:
Control, Discover & Tech Choices:
This is the recommended card pool outside of the 'core' packages of the deck. Pick NINE (and/or double up) from the below, current card choices highlighted. I've opted for more early-game control over 1-drop's or midrange cards to fight the uphill battle against aggro and keep our Dire Frenzy target's strong.
If cube & control Warlock's are still dominating the meta it would make sense to tech in an Ironbeak Owl beast for it's Voidlord silencing. Spellbreaker is an obvious alternate here but I'm siding with beast synergy.
I must say I controversially have a soft spot for Ravencaller, as I think it might have some great tempo alongside Houndmaster Shaw so I'll be keen to try using two during playtesting as it will be a nice curve on 3-mana.
I’m also really tempted by Bestial Wrath as a 2-mana IMMUNE 3/1 Stonetusk Boar on turn 2 might be great for clearing Northshire Clerics and building up to a Dire Frenzy turn.
You could tech in a Tar Creeper from the tech pool of options if you struggled with defence, which would itself lend to some nice Cult Master draw combo's behind the safety of a taunt. But you'd be missing out on the opportunity to play things like Ravencaller on turn 3 to advance the quest, or Animal Companion for more beast synergy.
Zola the Gorgon gives you some powerful combos (an extra Queen Carnassa bounce to hand) but I feel like it's an early dead draw that loses tempo and acts as much more of a 'win-more' condition. Again, bare in mind this is just an un-buffed raw 'copy'.
There's plenty of scope to try a non-Keleseth variant of the deck with the ability to add more curve-friendly 2-drop tools like Crackling Razormaw or Scavenging Hyena. I'm prioritising this version to keep the focus on 1-drop play and generation, otherwise it's just another midrange control hunter that's probably wasting turn-1 on the quest.
Card's that didn't make the cut and why
Stitched Tracker DOES NOT work with buffed Dire Frenzy or Prince Keleseth minions in your deck like many people are suggesting, it only discovers a 'copy' of the raw minon. If you wanted to pull a Dire Frenzy buffed target you would need to run somthing like the new Witchwood Piper. On that note Witchwood Piper will be a great addition to a Hunter Dire Frenzy combo deck but can't find a home in ours since we muddy it's pool of potential targets with regular un-buffed 1-drops - too often it would miss it's target and just draw a stray Firefly or Dire Mole in the bottom of the deck. If you're wanting Stitched Tracker or Witchwood Piper for their 1-mana minion generation you'd be better off with a Ravencaller or Igneous Elemental, which both generate two 1-mana minions at a more efficient cost to mana. Similarly Baleful Banker is just an un-buffed 'copy' of a card, so if this is somthing you're considering then re-think for Zola the Gorgon; it has a lot more tempo since it's straight to hand.
Azalina Soulthief could be a novel Divine Favor style hand refill mechanic but I think there's too much RNG involved in this for it to work so I've prioritised more natural draw mechanics. Also at 7-mana, it will really stall your tempo. If you want a hand refill of another classes cards, go for the cheaper Witch's Cauldron.
Elsewhere; Emeriss is a bit of a meme, but if the deck becomes more of a control and late game Keleseth deck it could warrant a thought. I havn't included Hemet, Jungle Hunter due to the risk of culling your own buffed 1-drops. Voodoo Doll loses favour due to more mana-efficient assassination methods like Hunter's Mark. By the time we will consider playing somthing like Mossy Horror I'd hope we have a raptor-combo going or at least some big Rexxar tools in play to warrant omitting it.
Thanks for reading!
I'll do my best to play-test this when Witchwood drops and update the guide accordingly, and appreciate all the comments, feedback & suggestions along the way!