Reached Legend during Season 11 using this Deck !
Although the Deck is still perfectly viable in this state, here is an update that I'm running since BRM : Beast Master
Hello everyone ! I'm Spark, Top Ranks Legend player from EU, and today I'm so excited to share with you my new Hunter Deck !
With the Undertaker nerf, I made a lot of playtesting with various concepts and came to the conclusion that aggressive Decks are still fine running it but I still wanted to find my new go-to Deck for the ladder.
Don't hesitate to check my other Hunter Decks for more thoughts about it ;)
I began with trying something focused around Beasts running Call Pet (which you can see in my Post Nerf Hunter Talk) and it gave some pretty interesting results but the problem was that the card forced me to run some mediocre cards so I decided to change the strategy slightly in order to run some more solid synergies.
Finally, I've come up with this Deck, which is highly synergistic and I'm honestly very happy about this because that's what made me fall in love with Hunter back when I started the game !
The Deck is heavily focused on those synergies, that's why I categorized it as a "Combo" Deck but it's more of a Midrangy Tempo Deck overall ;)
It actually requires a brain to pilot it properly so please stay away from this if you are confusing Hunter with "Huntard" ... you are warned !
Back to the Beasts synergies : Breakdown & Tips
For the first time in my Hearthstone background, I didn't change a single card during my playtesting because I initially indentified perfectly which card should be consider as Core to the Deck and which ones should be played as a one of to bring some interesting Techs to the Deck !
The Token strategy :
Obviously Unleash the Hounds and Snake Trap come to mind when you want to power up Scavenging Hyena ! Then you instantly think about including Knife Juggler because it has strong synergy with those ;)
Mad Scientist and Eaglehorn Bow come to support the trap engine and generate a lot of tempo, I don't really see the point of not running those if you're going to play some traps as it's just an awesome set up !
So what those 1/1 bodies are going to do apart from throwing knives and powering up Scavenging Hyena ? Well, first of all it makes great use of Hunter's Mark which will give you an awesome Tempo edge while throwing down your Savannah Highmane or whatever threat you can think of ;)
Tech cards :
The downside with this card is that it generally implies card disavantage and as we are using a lot of tokens, Cult Master is the perfect tech card for the Deck ! Running 2 copies would weaken the consistency of the Deck as you don't always want to see it in your game because it's still somewhat situational.
Speaking of tech cards, here is the only GvG card in the Deck : King of Beasts. I guess it's pretty self explanatory as you'll be flooding the board with Beasts, this guy has a perfect spot in the Deck. Once again, I play it as a one of because your opponent will find opportunities to clear your board so you can't commit fully on this strategy ;)
Timber Wolf is an awesome tech for the Deck as it will power up all this swarm for a great damage potential. It can either be used to board clear efficiently or simply for the final push, you'll be surprised by how many times it happens so don't forget to always check for lethal !
Finally, Tundra Rhino has some interesting uses in the Deck and can pull off crazy damaging combos !
Obviously, playing it on turn 5 to follow it up with Savannah Highmane is purely awesome. If you can do this while having the edge in tempo, your opponent will have to answer the Rhino as soon as it hits the board. If he doesn't, enjoy the free damage on turn 6 ! If he does, well ... good luck dealing with Savannah Highmane because you just "wasted" a removal for a 2/5 body =)
The card can also be used the other way around : let's assume you play Savannah Highmane on turn 6 and your opponent can't deal with it and try to answer with a big guy. This scenario happens more often than you'd think. Throw down Tundra Rhino and Scavenging Hyena onto the battlefield, trade Savannah Highmane, trade the Hyena and wreck the opponent's face with Scavenging Hyena =D
There are many other things you can do with the card so I'll let you see that through the videos and with your own experience ;)
Core cards :
We are playing Hunter right ? So let's not forget our stapples cards !
Houndmaster is obviously great with all those Beasts, especially when used on Haunted Creeper. Sometimes you'll find yourself in sketchy situations where you have nothing left on the board and a Snake Trap ready to go, it's generally better to use it without benefiting from the battlecry than being greedy and waiting because you'll lose Tempo advantage if you chose to do that.
Let's not forget Kill Command because we all love seeing our opponent raging after topdecking the Skill Command ! Joke apart, it's also a great removal tool during the midgame that can help snowballing into your late game threats and push for the win ;)
I suggest to take a look at the videos to see how I approach mulligan phase with the Deck but here are some general rules.
Situational keep :
- Scavenging Hyena : with Webspinner going first or Haunted Creeper and The Coin against aggressive Decks.
- Unleash the Hounds : against heavy-swarm Decks if you're having no early drop.
- Hunter's Mark : only consider it against Priest if you have a decent hand already.
- Houndmaster : against slower Decks with Haunted Creeper and The Coin.
- Savannah Highmane : only against Warrior !
I generally recommend being conservative with The Coin to pull off combos or big threats earlier, unless you really need to use it in order to fight for board control ;)
Strengths and Weaknesses
First of all, the Deck is extremely fun and pretty efficient. It can basically win any Match Up given you're going with the right hand and draws !
My primary concern with the Deck is that if will probably lose efficiency as it rises in popularity because Snake Trap is easy to indentify and smart players will generally find their way around it. Basically, I probably shouldn't share this guide with you guys xD
I generally had issues Warrior because they have too much Whirlwind effects to deal with Snake Trap when they need. Druid and Paladin can be painful when they find the perfect timing to trigger it and board clear with Swipe or Consecration but it's harder for them pull this off as those are their only AoE spells ;)
Obviously, your opponent won't always have the perfect answer and if he chooses to wait for it, all his move will lose efficiency because he will refuse to trade into your minions so keep that in mind !
I played games where I had double Knife Juggler on the board throwing millions knives to the opponent's face and minions and then came the Unleash the Hounds play which pretty much wrecked everything and punished their choice of ignoring Snake Trap !
That's generally why people hate playing against Hunter, Traps are a pain in the ass because if you try to play around it you are pretty much giving the Tempo advantage to the Hunter player and well ... you know, Steady Shot, Huffer, Kill Command, Unleash the Hounds, Savannah Highmane and shits like that are pretty bursty xD
Finally, I pretty much crushed every Aggro or Midrange Decks because they generally rely on value trading to get the edge so Snake Trap is awesome against them and then comes Unleash the Hounds to punish them for overextending ;)
Budget Issues : Snake Trap
Obviously, Snake Trap is pretty core the Deck, but as the question comes quite often I'm adding this section for playing lacking either 1 or 2 of those.
If you only have one Snake Trap, I think you can get away with playing it along with an Explosive Trap as those 2 traps work well together because your opponent will be mindfuck when checking for traps and it also helps setting up good Unleash the Hounds plays.
If you lack both copies, you're obviously going to weaken the Deck a little bit because having at least one of those empowers the Deck's potential so much !
You could probably do fine by running a mix of Explosive Trap and Freezing Trap, although it's slightly sub-optimal I think it's still the better choice ;)
Another consideration could be to replace the whole trap engine to include different early game options like Ironbeak Owl, Dire Wolf Alpha, Glaivezooka or River Crocolisk. However, I'm still not a big fan of this solution as Mad Scientist and Eaglehorn Bow are both awesome early plays that help you getting the tempo edge !
I've uploaded a Deck Gameplay Series spotlighting the Deck in action.
I definitely recommend checking out the entire playlist to see how to play the Deck and how awesome those Beasts synergies can be !
The playlist contains the following Match Ups : Druid, Paladin, Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Rogue, Handlock and some other laddering sessions or game highlights.
I'll keep posting some of those highlights or grinding sessions every week-end during my climb ;)
I've also uploaded some laddering sessions with the Deck (starting from #9) !
I faced many Mages while recording so I definitely recommend to check these out if you are having a hard time against them ;)
Revision History 1 :
As I already discussed with a lot of you in the comment section, I decided to include an Explosive Trap in the Deck to mindfuck people expecting Snake Trap and also because it helps against the common Mech Mage Match Up ;)
Cutting off one Houndmaster felt the more appropriate for that as playing 2 copies lead me to waste the battlecry occasionally.
I've also switched King of Beasts for Loatheb to protect my board from AoE spells during the mid game, set up lethal later on or simply prevent my opponents from unleashing their own combos ;)
Note that this is still subject to change depending on how people react to the Deck and what I feel needed to fight my environant metagame !
Laddering Sessions starting from #11 and Highlights starting from #16 are spotlighting the updated list ;)
I'm really happy to bring back Beasts synergies to the table as it was pretty much what made me fall in love with Hunter back when I started the game. Once again, Blizzard failed to take me away from my beloved class and I really hope they'll dive deeper into the Beasts synergies in future expansions instead of orienting the class towards a pure Face / Rush playstlyle !
The Deck is insanely fun to play and actually pretty efficient, although it can feel slightly gimmicky in some situations.
The Deck was spotlighted by Gamepedia as the flavor of the month and I definitely recommend to check out the video below as it's a pretty good summary of how it works !
Here are my winrates with the Deck in Ranked play (Legend S11)
That's it for the guide guys, I hope you'll enjoy the Deck as much as I do !
Don't forget to show your support by upvoting the Deck if you liked and don't hesitate to discuss about it or ask any question in the comment section below ;)
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