I created a new v4 version of this deck which is an alternative to this variant with a slightly higher winrate.
Nevertheless this version of the deck and guide are still valid and working.
maybe you remember my older versions of this deck:
Since closed beta I mainly played control hunter and reached legend quite often with it. With the new Rise of Shadows additons I was able to build a new strong version of this deck and quickly hit legend again. I got a lot of requests for a new updated standard decklist, so here it is.
The first thing you will notice is that this is not a full beast deck, not a full mech deck, and not really a full spell hunter deck either. It contains the best of these approaches and uses a lot of removal tools to buy time and survive to strike back with a variety of big combos.
The main problem of a controlly approach at hunter is the card draw. Thats why you need high value cards and a lot of ways to draw/save cards. You play this deck passively. In general you mulligan for low cost defensive cards and control the board until your opponent runs out of steam then you fight back with your big 3 combo threats:
- Unleash the Beast with Zul'jin
- Mechanical Whelp with Nine Lives
- Vereesa Windrunner with Rapid Fire and Bomb Toss
The strength of this deck is flexibility. You don't need to wait for only one specific card to win because all combos from different archtypes synergize with each other and you actually have the time to use them all due to great survivability. With Nine Lives it is possible to react dynamically to all kinds of decks and draw and recycle needed cards for combos or get more removal/heal to survive dangerous situations.
To allow maximal versatility a lot of cards are only once in the deck so you always have the most options and less likely find yourself in a situation in which you got the same useless card two times in hand.
I guess most people are used to play more aggro or midrange hunter decks and it could take some time to adapt to this passive playstyle because you are always defending/clearing the board and don't push for face damage early.
Really good as an early removal tool and also useful in lategame to finish the game. Combos really good with Wild Pyromancer for a 2-Card 4-Mana board clear. If you can survive early without using it, save it to finish with Vereesa Windrunner and/or Bloodmage Thalnos. With Zul'jin or Archmage Vargoth you can play it for free and get a copy back due to twinspell.
This card offers a lot of options for the deck. Keep it on your starting hand every game if you draw it. Use it to get the right traps against aggressive decks (Explosive Trap, Misdirection) and control decks (Rat Trap, Freezing Trap). If there is no useful trap to choose from in a specific situation avoid a duplicate trap so it additionally gets in play later with Zul'jin. Also keep in mind that you get 2 spells out of 1 card to feed Wild Pyromancer for 2 board damage.
The best spelldamage card. Raises damage for Bomb Toss, Rapid Fire and in rare cases for Explosive Trap. Use it early to draw or late game to finish in combination with Vereesa Windrunner. If you need additional draw or spelldmg use Nine Lives to get it back.
Really good as an early removal tool and also useful in lategame to finish the game. Also grants the 0/2 Goblin Bomb, which can be used as a target for Spider Bomb and Zilliax. This cards works also great in this deck because of Zul'jin and Nine Lives. Don't underestimate the additional damage and minions you get from this card. Sometimes it is even meaningful to trigger it with Nine Lives to do additional 2-4 damage.
Hunters strongest trap. 2 board- and facedamage for 2 mana. Very useful against any kind of aggro deck. Lets you survive the early turns until you can stabilize the board. Also an additional spell for Zul'jin and feeds Eaglehorn Bow.
A must have trap against control but also against aggressive decks especially if you go first. I keep it on my starting most of the times and try to play it early in round 2. Sometimes it wins games by itself if the enemy uses the coin to play 2 cards early and does not expect Rat Trap.
Here are two examples of this happening:
Very versatile and underestimated card which fits great in this deck with many low cost spells. Aside from beeing a really cheap 2-Damage board clear it combos with Acolyte of Pain to draw additional cards or can be used like 'spelldamage' to do extra damage to clear something big.
My favorite hearthstone card. Lets you draw at least one card and combos great with Wild Pyromancer and Rapid Fire to draw 2-3 cards. Often you can also attack a 1-2 attack minion early to draw an additional card and stop low health minion aggro decks.
Good control removal. Very strong against other control decks and ok against aggro. The amount of board damage in this deck helps to clear small minions so this card can target the big ones without relying on luck. Also good to have it played early to have a guaranteed kill later with Zul'jin. It is the only spell which exclusively targets the enemy board.
Second weapon in the deck. Weapons are always good for control. Especially if you got Rotten Applebaum and Zilliax in hand. You can trade into 2-3 minions and just get the health back later. For 3 Mana it is a great starting tool and damage bonus if you try to run the enemy down. If your enemy does not remove it, it can get a lot of charges and damage by the three Traps, Secret Plan and Zul'jin.
My favorite card of this expansion. It replaces the function of tracking and gets additional value besides the draw. With the 5 deathrattle minions in this Deck (Spider Bomb, Mechanical Whelp, Rotten Applebaum, Bloodmage Thalnos, Bomb Toss) you have very strong options to react to any situation and deck you are facing. Against control play it e.g. in round 9 after a Mechanical Whelp died to get an instant 7/7 and another Mechanical Whelp on the board. Or use it as an additional Deadly Shot in combination with Spider Bomb. Against aggro play it to get up to 5x 4 Heal and taunt with Rotten Applebaum or to finish with Bloodmage Thalnos to get a lot of draw and spelldamage. Also gives additional cards and effects back with Zul'jin.
Mainly to be used for Nine Lives to get additional removal ('Deadly Shot') to survive. It is also very useful that it as a magnetic minion. You can combine it with Bomb Toss bomb or your other mechs to gaing extra damage or run it into a big minion and trigger the deathrattle effect instant.
A great 4 mana minion with 6 health. Can be used to trade early minions and has insane value in combination with Animal Companion, Unleash the Beast and also Secret Plan. If you go second you can often coin him out in round 3 and most of the times play Animal Companion in the next turn.
Mainly to be used for Nine Lives to get additional heal and taunt. This combo shuts down every deck which does a lot damage from spells or weapons (rogue/mage). Besides this combo it is a solid 5 Mana taunt minion to play in round 5, especially if you used your Eaglehorn Bow to trade minions.
Very versatile card which can be used early in turn 5 to trade and heal a small amount of health or can later after you get your Mechanical Whelp to build a devastating 10/9 lifeleech, rush, divine shield minion and heal instanty for 10 health. Can also eat any remaining Bomb Toss bombs to get additional 2 health and trigger them.
One of the key combo cards. I keep it in hand in midrange and control matchups to play it as early as I can. Even if it gets silienced it counts as a dead deathrattle minion for Nine Lives. After playing both Nine Lives you can easily get 5 7/7 minions on board which most decks can not handle in 2-3 turns. I often kill him in the same round I play him with Bomb Toss, Rapid Fire or the Zul'jin hero ability. Also combos greath with Houndmaster Shaw in round 10 to trigger the deathrattle instant and trade a minion with the 7/7 rush minion in the same turn.
Control Hunter basically works because of this card. Insane value in all situations because of the twinspell mechanic. If you play versus another control deck you play both cards before Zul'jin and get 2 back so you can play up to 6 5/5 rush minons with 2 cards used. Against offensive decks it is a great aggro stopper, especially if you coin it out in round 5 and play it two times in a row. Also combos really good with Archmage Vargoth if you still have him in round 10.
Another great value card and finisher. Even without the use of spelldamage it is a solid minion that gives a 2/3 weapon for up to 6 damage. But if you also have some leftover Rapid Fires or Bomb Tosses that you didnt need to survive up to this point you can finish the enemy or do some high value board kills. Most of the time I keep the last charge of the weapon, wait for Rapid Fire/Bomb Toss/Bloodmage Thalnos (Nine Lives) or Zul'jin to get spells back and do 10-20 damage which is more than enough most of time.
With 16 good spells in this deck you win the game almost always when you play him. In a typical game you gain armor/life, fill your board with 5/5 minions, animal companions and bombs, clear the enemy board, get your hand completely filled with value cards and 3-5 traps on the field. So don't be too greedy and wait too long to play him.
Often it is enough to have a Unleash the Beast, some traps and maybe an Animal Companion or Nine Lives played to get insane value. If you are in a long control game the best order to play him would be after your Mechanical Whelp combo (to profit from Nine Lives) and before the Vereesa Windrunner combo (to get at least 2 Rapid Fire back to finish the game).
Good in any matchup
- Good (+50% Winrate): Bomb Warrior, Token Druid, Murloc Shaman, Mech Hunter, Midrange Hunter, Control Warrior, Zoo Warlock, Big Shaman, Dragon Warrior, Spell Hunter
- Decent (~50% Winrate): Mech Paladin, Tempo Rogue, Ressurect Priest, Secret Paladin
- Bad (-50% Winrate): Khadgar Dragon Mage, Silence Priest
Budget options & Variants
If you are missing legendary/epic cards from this deck you can consider these cards as a replacement.
Midrange Beast - https://hsreplay.net/replay/NYvZSaGkSAZ5DSqrhQ4XC5
Khadgar Dragon - https://hsreplay.net/replay/ESw8yLAALpEJpnnJhJsrL6
Shudderwock - https://hsreplay.net/replay/SdR8egKyKKtCjGhYpGAgXT
Tutorials / Videos
Played by kiwiinbacon
Played by Jeleniowatyy
Played by me to show some games vs a Control Warrior deck because there was high demand for this matchup.
These videos are for the first versions of this deck but even if the older versions use many other cards the general passive playstyle is the same. I will update this list if someone wants to do a new tutorial/playtest video.
Played by Xatanael Hearthstone in legend
Played by Furo at Rank 9
Spotlight tutorial by RegisKillbin
Guide by FailCraft
If there is high demand, I will stream to show some live gameplay of this deck.