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[Legend] Dragon Hunter 68% WR In-Depth Guide

  • Last updated May 14, 2020 (Second DH Nerfs)
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Standard

  • 18 Minions
  • 10 Spells
  • 2 Weapons
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Dragon Hunter
  • Crafting Cost: 3480
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 5/12/2020 (Second DH Nerfs)
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  • Battle Tag:

    #2451

  • Region:

    EU

  • Total Deck Rating

    33

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Hey, I'm Jez - I climbed to Legend this season on Day 4 playing only Dragon Hunter. I've played a fair few of games with it (over 200 in the past couple weeks). I have a good feel for the deck's play style and an idea of what works well so I wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

 

Intro

It is an incredibly aggressive deck, but it's not a straight up face hunter - it's crucial that you play for board early to gain control, then snowball your way to victory. Don't be afraid to take damage to your face when trading early with the Stormhammer (arguably the strongest weapon, unlimited hits for 3 mana is insane), you need to be the aggressor in every match-up. Sometimes the strongest defence is offence - it's cliché but very true. Most of my games were closed out and finished by turn 7/8 (except Priest which is a complete coin flip for this deck and one of the worst match-ups. Warrior is also a very tough game.)

 

Stats & Proof

You'll be happy to hear that it was crushing Demon Hunters all over the ladder, as you'll see in my proof below.

Stats + Legend Proof - https://imgur.com/a/EKHoBBV

(I took as much info/data I had saved, plus found some games saved on HSReplay from my streams so added them on too)

 

What Do I Mulligan?

Generally, you want to make sure that you have a smooth curve, it is very important to have a 1 and 2 drop when going first as we don't want to pass on turn 1 or just hero power on turn 2 as we would with a face hunter - we need control of the board and the only way to get that is with board presence. Going second tends to be worse for our deck as we are the aggressor, but the coin can become valuable if the opponent does have a 1 drop for us to easily contest the board - coining out the Faerie Dragon on turn 1 is the optimal play, it's awkward to remove and you normally get at least 6 damage from it whether it being removed via a weapon or it helps control the board. But using Corrosive Breath to remove early minions is strong, especially with a dragon in hand to keep the damage on the opposition's face.

 

If Going First:

We are desperately searching for a 1 drop, preferably a Blazing Battlemage for a strong early body to contest, but Dwarven Sharpshooter is also fine to play as it allows us to hero power next turn to kill whatever 1 drop the opponent plays on the board. We don't want to EVER keep Stonetusk Boar, this is our Kill Command activator later in the game to push for lethal, plus we want to draw into it using Scavenger's Ingenuity to get a 1 mana 4/4 with charge. Also, never keep Tracking. We need it to draw into our crucial cards later, playing Tracking on turn 1 should try to be avoided as there's a possibility we may be forced to discard a strong card to make sure our curve is smooth. (I've been offered both Rotnest Drakes and a Stormhammer or Dragonbane many times, which ruins our later turns 5/6+). But if Tracking is the only 1 drop we have in our hand with no strong turn 2 drop like Phase Stalker or Faerie Dragon, then I would consider playing it - it is harder to get back into the game if we are behind as Explosive Trap is our only wide board removal. The only time I would keep Explosive Trap in my opening hand is if I am Vs a Demon Hunter and I don't have a Phase Stalker. Explosive Trap is the bane of DH, they run so many 2hp minions that we can get immense value if we hold off and drop Explosive Trap after they play their Satyr Overseer on turn 3. Imprisoned Felmaw is a great keep, 5/4 for 2 mana is insane value, allowing us to contest the board and have a large body to force the opponent to use removal or trade his board. Imprisoned Felmaw is our contesting card against Shield of Galakrond, only costing us 2 mana to negate the opponents turn 5. I try to keep Stormhammer in my opening hand, if you play Faerie Dragon on turn 2, there's a high chance it lives allowing us to get a minimum of 3 swings for 3 mana from the Stormhammer.

To Sum Up Going First:

Always Keep - Blazing Battlemage, Dwarven Sharpshooter, Phase Stalker, Imprisoned Felmaw (better for slower matchups), Faerie Dragon (great vs mage + priest), Corrosive Breath Vs Demon Hunter and Stormhammer.

 

If Going Second:

When going second, a lot of the theory from going first remains the same, however we will be playing the Dwarven Sharpshooter differently, instead of playing it on turn 1 we want to hold it in hand, to coin out on turn 2 with a hero power to kill the opponent's 1/2 drop. It is still fine to play Blazing Battlemage Against DH this is incredibly strong, it can take out their Battlefiends and Satyr Overseers. Additionally, you always want to keep hold of your Faerie Dragon as coining this out on turn 1 is also very strong, providing you have a 2 drop for turn 2. On the coin, we always want to keep the Stormhammer as we will need it for the early removal to protect our board and build it up. Stormhammer + Faerie Dragon is yet again one of the best synergies in the deck. Unless the opponent is running Acidic Swamp Ooze, you can capitalise a lot from it. If I have a dragon in hand already, I like to keep Corrosive Breath for early removal as we have more flexibility with the coin. Another option is to coin out Scavengers's Ingenuity on turn 1 to play our buffed beast on turn 2 - as I run Stonetusk Boars in the deck this can also give us a 4/4 to be played on turn 2, but this often leaves us with 1 excess mana unless we have a Sharpshooter or Battlemage in hand. Alternatively, a 5/6 Phase Stalker on turn 2 is also a very strong turn (exept vs priest who seems to always have Shadow Word: Death in hand). Against classes like mages + priests its a good idea to hold Imprisoned Felmaw as it will always hit for 5 damage, they can't remove it until after it has attacked which puts a lot of pressure on the board. While it is dormant we can continue to play minions which forces them to use removal in attempt to gain control.

To sum up going second (Similar to going first):

Always Keep - Blazing Battlemage, Dwarven Sharpshooter, Phase Stalker, Imprisoned Felmaw (better for slower matchups), Faerie Dragon (great vs mage + priest), Corrosive Breath Vs Demon Hunter and keep Stormhammer every game.

In slower match ups, I feel okay with holding Rotnest Drake in hand, but when playing against any aggro you tend to not want to hold a 5 drop from the start of the game, coin or no coin. We need a nice low curve to build our board and remove the opponent's.

Good Synergies + Combo Plays

I'm going to talk about a few plays that I try to make each game when I have the cards available.

  • Scavenger's Ingenuity --> Stonetusk Boar + Kill Command

    • This combo costs 6 mana (4 if you already drew the boar) and deals 9 damage.

    • Can also add in a hero power on later turns for an extra 2 to bump it to 11 damage.

    • Make sure you keep track of what beasts are left in the deck when using Scavenger's Ingenuity to judge what card you're most likely to draw. We aim to use the Phase Stalkers in the early game so we can at least get 1 Stonetusk Boar from our Scavenger's.

  • Dragonbane + Hero Power on Turn 6

    • This combo costs 6 mana and deals 7 damage to the face on an empty board.

    • I tend to do this combo on turn 6 after the opponent plays Shield of Galakrond in attempt to clear his board for a 50/50 (assuming you've been clearing his minions with your Stormhammer), dependant on his current total HP. If he is reasonably low <15 then I would commit to the combo, however as its luck dependant, check to see if you have a better/safer play in your hand for a more consistent turn. As Shield of Galakrond can easily be traded into Dragonbane.

    • When the combo hits correct it generally swings the game heavily in your direction, forcing him to take out Dragonbane before he takes another 7 damage.

  • Faerie Dragon + Stormhammer on Curve (turn 2 + 3)

    • By playing out your Faerie Dragon on turn 2 with Stormhammer in hand, you set yourself up for a very strong turn 3 to gain a free swing.

    • Plus having Evasive Feywing in hand to play on turn 4 is amazing in case your Faerie Dragon gets hit by a weapon or traded on board. The Feywing allows you to keep using your weapon and not lose any durability. I can't stress enough how strong this can be!

  • Phase Stalker + Hero Power on Turn 4

    • This is one of the best plays you can make when playing against a Demon Hunter, I only run x2 Explosive Trap as sometimes Freezing Trap can backfire. We want damage to their board and keep applying high pressure.

 

Things You Probably Shouldn't Do

Doing these things won't put you in a better spot in game 99% of the time, try to avoid doing them.

  • Playing Dragonbane alone on turn 4 - We don't want to run a Sen'jin Shieldmasta, it will almost die every time unless on the lucky occasion the opponent has 0 removal. The card effect is so strong that people will go to extreme lengths to kill it - trust me they do.

  • Playing Rotnest Drake on an opponent's empty board - the effect of this card is incredibly strong being able to destroy a minion while generating a 6/5 body all for 5 mana. Even if it is the only card you can play on curve, don't drop it down. Wait until the opponent plays a nice 5 or 6 drop you can immediately clear with it.

  • Playing Dwarven Sharpshooter on turn 1 when you have the coin. This feels like a very weak play as its an easy card to clear with only 1 attack, a 3/2 trades nicely into it. It is better to play nothing turn 1 then play it on turn 2 + coin hero power to kill an opponent's minion. You want to get value from it's effect, especially if you have no other removal in hand.

  • Playing a Phase Stalker on turn 2 alone when vs aggro classes like DH. If you don't have an Explosive Trap in hand, you are heavily reliant on getting it on the board from using your hero power with Phase Stalker. It's quite easy to remove a 2/3 for most classes whether it be a weapon, Frostbolt, Twin Slice, Chaos Strike, Eyebeam, Holy Smite, Wrath etc.. the list goes on.

  • Playing all cheaper dragons from your hand when you still have a Rotnest in hand and no other removal. I know it can be tempting to drop a Faerie Dragon + Evasive Feywing together as its so hard to remove for some, but you need to try to always keep a dragon activator in your hand. In-case you top deck Corrosive Breath you want the damage to also hit their face to get them lower for your Boar + KC. Plus any mass removal that clears the board will mean that you get less swings out of your Stormhammer for having no dragon alive.

 

I have explained in other sections about various match-ups, the mulligan rules that I wrote above stay very similar with each match-up as our aim of each game is the same. But if you would like I can write another post going more in-depth of each match-up in this meta and more info on game plan for each one.

Feel free to ask me any questions about the deck or a specific card/match-up and I'll try my best to answer. Or any changes you think that could be viable and work to improve the deck?

I stream in the evenings throughout the week starting from roughly 19:00 GMT+1 at: https://www.twitch.tv/jez24 

You can ask me any questions you'd like over here and I'll answer them for you while I play. If you miss me offline, check back the next evening or give me a follow and you'll be notified of when I'm live!

I also saved the point of a game (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/615834498?t=14m50s) vs Mage where it shows what the deck can do, I always talk through all my plays as best as I can when playing so you can understand what I think of and why I do it :).

Huge thank you to everybody who read my guide, I hope you found it helpful. If not, then all constructive criticism will be taken on board (it's the first guide I've ever written!).

Go get some wins with the deck!

- Jez