NEWS: If you would like to ask any questions check out my stream athttp://www.twitch.tv/sigmasrb at 2 PM CEST almost every day! I will try to stream at this time in between 3-5 days a week where I will be playing all of my decks plus some Handlock, Oil Rogue, or Control Warrior.
Hey guys Sigma here, a Hearthstone player coming from Serbia and today I present to you one of the three decks that I used to reach Legend this season! (Other two being the 0 Legendary Zoo and the Old-School Handlock of mine) As I have reached 500 wins as a hunter not that long ago I wanted to pay attention to the true nature of hunter and that is a deck that has strong beast synergy and a dash of dragons included. After many tests and tries and inspiration from some other people, I have come up with a concoction which worked better than I have ever hoped it would so here it is. Enjoy.
If you are sick and tired of playing hunters which are either too boring, or too predictable, this deck is perfect for you!
The deck focuses primarily about strong Snake Trap + Scavenging Hyena combos and free Volcanic Drakes after the board has been cleared, which is usually the case as there are a lot of aggro decks around right now. The regular Knife Juggler + Unelash the Hounds is present here but also the Knife Juggler + Snake Trap. The card draw is handled here by our good man Cult Master.
I will write more about this in the guide so if this deck reaches over 30 upvotes I will try my best to write out a full guide on it including match-ups, mulligan, strategy and card replacements! As of 13.07. this deck has a guide! Check it out underneath!
Playthrough video of the deck + commentary done by KristopheSaurus:
Here is the Legend proof and some lovely people which were present on the stream at the time!
As for every deck, before I start explaining anything, the introduction is always the same. Please change the deck to the meta accordingly. In order to reach legend with a deck that isn’t just mindless face, you will have to tweak the deck a little bit or at least change the slot for the TECH CARD accordingly (See Card Replacement section).
The guide will be put in spoilers just so you guys don’t have to scroll for ages to get to a specific part of the guide.
There is no complicated Mulligan here I am afraid. You basically want to get those two drops, and they are crucial in achieving a strong early game that can be lead to midrange and late game where you will be absolutely demolishing your opponent. So minions like the Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Knife Juggler & River Crocolisk are of utmost importance!
You have Coin = Keep Animal Companion, No Coin + No 2 drop = No Animal Companion (mulligan that shit)!
So let’s say that these 4 2-mana drop bad boys I mentioned above are the General Mulligan for this deck (Gen.Mul. for future reference) and 4 cards which are exceptions which will then be divided into two categories, one being the slow decks and other being the fast ones.
Slow decks (Control Warrior, Midrange Paladin, Chinese/Control Priest, Midrange Shaman, Handlock, Malygos Warlock, Combo Druid, Freeze Mage, Midrange Zoo, Midrange Hunter, Oil Rogue, even Grim Patron):
WIthout Coin: Aggressive Gen.Mul. keeping a Snake Trap is totally OK.
Fast decks (Ebola Paladin, Face Hunter, Hybrid Hunter, Tempo Mage, Mech Shaman, Zoo Warlock, Mech mage, or anything mech):
Without Coin: Go for Gen.Mul, if you have a two drop, Deathlord crucial, Animal Companion is totally OK.
Snake Trap – Keeping this card is quite situational. I keep it based on instinct but if I am supposed to make a formula for it, let’s say that you should keep it if you didn’t get a Mad Scientist and ditch if you got one!
UTH (Unleash the Hounds)– I love to keep this card because it’s probably the most important combo card of this deck. Useless against control decks which don’t have that many minions on the board at once, like Control Warrior, Combo druid. A definite keep against Paladins, Warlocks and Mages.
Ironbeak Owl – The owl is a very useful card and the classes that I love keeping it for are Druids (taunts), Paladins (Tiron Fordring, Coghammered minions, even your minions which have had Aldor Peacekeeper used on them, buffed Divine Shield minions), Warlocks (Nerubian Eggs, Twilight Drakes, taunts), Mages (Flamewaker, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mad Scientists) and even Hunters (Mad Scientists, even Haunted Creepers sometimes). BE PATIENT WITH THE OWL.
Important Notice: If you got even one card from the General Mulligan, keeping the other cards mentioned in the mulligan above are fine to be kept, you need not fill up your hand with two mana drops, curve is always better than same cost cards.
As this is firstly a combo deck, then a midrange one, combos are most important when it comes to strategy and key to winning. So in this part of the guide I will explain all the possible combos that this deck can have and what should definitely be kept an eye out ranging from above being the most lethal ones to lowest being the “small thorn in the opponent’s eye”.
- Turn 2 Snake Trap/Mad Scientist, Turn 3 Deathlord/Misha, Turn 4 Scavenging Hyena iSt + cheap Volcanic Drake
- Turn 5 Knife Juggler (+ Hunter’s Mark for >4 HP minion/taunt) + Unleash the Hounds (ALWAYS PLAY MARK FIRST THEN UTH) + cheap Volcanic Drake
- Turn 1 Coin + Snake Trap/Mad Scientist, Turn 2 Knife Juggler
- Turn 2 Snake Trap/Mad Scientist, Turn 3 Deathlord/Misha, Turn 4 Cult Master iSt = PROFIT
- Turn 5 Scavenging Hyena + Unleash the Hounds
- Beast + Kill Command (Lethal or remove big threats)
- Turn 2 Coin + Animal Companion Leokk, Turn 3 Unleash the Hounds + cheap Volcanic Drake
- Turn 1 Coin + Haunted Creeper, Turn 2 Knife Juggler, remove with Creeper = 2 fdfJ
- Cult Master + any minions remove
- Beasts on turn 2 or 3, Turn 4 Houndmaster
- Turn 6 (5 with Coin) Savannah Highmane, Turn 7 (or 6) Knife Juggler, remove with Highmane = 2 fdfJ
- Snake Trap/Mad Scientist before any of the taunts (Houndmaster, Sludge Belcher, Deathlord, Misha)
- Knife Juggler + turn 7 Dr.Boom = 3 fdfJ
iSt = if Snakes triggered
fdfJ = free damage from Juggler
UTH = Unleash the Hounds
Picture 1.1 Example of mutiple combos just about to be executed simultaneously.
I think most of these speak for themselves. We love dying minions! The whole decks works around the minions that die on your turn. Beast death works superb with the Scavenging Hyena, any death works for the Cult Master, he just wants to sacrifice! We want to get the Snake Traps to trigger with some of our combo finishers in the hand like the Hyena, Cult Master, Volcanic Drake.
Picture 1.2 The game doesn't look too well for our guy after boosting two Hyenas and throwing out a 2 mana Volcanic Drake on a pretty much empty board.
Knife Juggler has been a constant part of a hunter for a very long time, and there is a good reason for it. Unleash the Hounds works just so well with it. Here we take the usage of the Knife Juggler to the next level with the Snakes triggered by the Snake Trap. Use Knife Jugglers with caution, they are very vital to this deck! Try not to play them on turn 2 if you don’t have to.
Picture 1.3 All aboard the VALUE TRAIN!
The strategy will be divided into two part, one covering the chronological aspect being the Early, Mid and Late game, and other one covering the dynamic strategy aspects of the game, in this case being the Mana Curve Depletion, Count the Bodies, and Patience & Execution.
If you have experience with the everyday midrange hunter deck the Early game will be very familiar, while if you never played midrange hunter it basically consists of you getting your 2 mana minions on the board while thinking 2 or minimum 1 turn upfront and see how will the game go. If you get a Haunted Creeper instantly have Combo 8 in mind. With the Mad Scientist the combos 1, 3, or 4 become just a couple of cards away. The Croc is here to remove. Turn 3 Deathlord works wonders against faster decks while Animal Companion works better against slower decks as it’s RNG. If you have a Haunted Creeper for example on turn 3 and you are thinking if you should play Steady Shot or Creeper, go for board presence always. Maximizing your Hero Power will be explained in the Mana Curve Depletion part of the guide.
While getting into the mid game slowly, you would optimally want 3 Snakes on the board, with a good taunt next to them to protect them or a combo 9 that will make them into a taunt! From that point on the whole world is your playground. You can play the Volcanic Drake after killing the Snakes off into your opponent’s minions or even clearing the entire board best case or getting the Cult Master out for easy 3 card draw, or a Hyena for a badass 8/5 minion who is hopefully going to be safe behind the taunt. For insta concedes, get both Hyena/Cult Master and the Volcanic Drake. For insta game delete and ultimate super sayian RQ, get two Volcanic Drakes out. Just because you are so badass. Clearing the entire board with Combo 5 also shows off your “cojones” big time.
When the combos don’t come the safety net minions are here who are supposed to give you a bit more of an edge and give your minions more time to find their way into your hand so that you can utilize them in whichever lovely way you want! Them being the Loatheb, Sludge Belcher, Stranglethorn Tiger or Savannah Highmane. If you are facing big problems with catching up, even using the UTH or the Kill Command to remove is totally OK.
The Late game is where you have either destroyed your opponent with your sick combo plays or you are trying to find a Savannah Highmane or Dr.Boom (Combo 13) and seal the deal while spamming your hero power. This is where Combo 6 comes into play and where you really want to reach out to that lethal if you haven’t had one already but missed it. Donutdragon will find you in that case, fear the donut.
STRATEGY ASPECT 1: MANA CURVE DEPLETION
A key to a good hunter, nonetheless of the approach to the deck, is based on knowing when to use your Hero Power and keeping constant aggro on your opponent with it. The experience of when to use it comes with experience, but I hope the tips I will share with you know will assist you. Using the Steady Shot on turn two is in most cases better than playing the Knife Juggler or especially the Scavenging Hyena if we get one of those or both in the starting hand. For example, playing a Haunted Creeper + Steady shot is in most cases better than just putting a Houndmaster on the board. This deck is not face. We think with our heads. We play chess here. Kids’ sandbox is over there, chum.
Always keep in mind that if your opponent isn’t facing you down like a blizzard, it’s always better to fix something good enough in the curve and use hero power then to get out something with less impact on the board and skipping that sweet 2 damage to his face.
STRATEGY ASPECT 2: COUNT THE BODIES
Picture 2.1 We don't need no Hunter Hounds. - Pink Floyd
Math. DO YOU SPEAK IT? Count people, count how many minions can you kill in one turn because it is crucial for a cheap Volcanic Drake. In the example above you can already smell a good Volcanic Drake cooking. After the Snake Trap is triggered, you will have quite a bit of minions of yours to crush into whatever he puts out on the board.
Even suiciding your minions while having a taunt up just in order to get out a cheap Volcanic Drake is amazing. At any point be aware how many minions will die after you play your cards. Something that is really important while playing your triggered Snake Trap or the Unleash the Hounds. The moment you get a Volcanic Drake in your hand STOP AND THINK, COUNT!
STRATEGY ASPECT 3: PATIENCE & EXECUTION
Be patient. This is not a face deck. Don’t use an Owl that you don’t really need to use. We all know what are the usual cards for a combo druid for example. Be on the lookout for their Ancient of Wars, those motherfuckers need to be shut down ASAP and if you spend it, let’s say on a Piloted Shredder, that will be an awful misplay. I wish I could count on my fingers how many last shots I had with the Ironbeak Owl + Kill Command combo at the end of the game. Be patient. Try to think in this direction: If he got something impressive for turn 4, he has something good incoming. Careful with priests. That Ysera needs to be shut down. Same thing with any strong taunts that someone might have and always have on your mind that a Handlock can make any one of his minion a taunt, so be careful with that.
I do believe that the Animal Companions, Kill Commands, Unleash the Hounds, Savannah Highmanes, Haunted Creepers, Mad Scientists, Knife Jugglers,Loatheb, Dr.Boom are more or less self-explanatory so I will not explain them, I will rather pay attention to the “unorthodox” cards in this deck which might confuse some.
Hunter’s Mark – One of them can be a game turner when used with the Combo 2 or even used to remove a big threat with whatever you have. Two I believe is way too much.
Snake Trap – The real joker card of the deck. Nobody expects it. Maybe now the card is raising a bit on popularity, but the meta has been swarmed with explosive Traps and Freezing Traps that even experienced players don’t pay attention sometimes and just instantly think it’s one of the two I mentioned. Gives you good board control, gives you beasts for that KC combo. Awesome card.
Scavenging Hyena – The forgotten titan of the Rexxar. A lot of people aren’t even closely aware how good this card is. It synergizes with all of the beasts that Rexxar can put out on the board and in this deck we have quite a lot of them and even two of the beasts that are quite rare in hunter’s decks today, being the Tiger and the Croc. Works perfectly with so many things in this deck, a definite addition.
1x Houndmaster – Why not two? I have put one Belcher just so that we have that extra taunt stickiness that we need, two of them can actually sometimes be a dead card, which I really hate when happens. Throwing one out on turn 4 without using the battlecry is just like using a Kezan against a Warrior. You just feel empty and like you disappointed the poor Kezan. :’(
1x Ironbeak Owl – I do believe that one of them is enough. If you face a LOT of taunts and “silencable” (idk if that’s even a word) minions aka decks then even putting out something like the croc for another one might be an option.
River Crocolisk – One of the mini-heroes of this deck. Besides the fact that it’s a beast which synergizes perfectly with the Scavenging Hyena, it also is quite hard to remove. It serves as a bit more expensive Zombie Chow without the Deathrattle. Quite hard to remove and can be crucial to win the early game, especially when facing a lot of Paladins or Hunters.
Deathlord– A lot of people might not be that comfortable with this card as the RNG can really really turn one into a salt mine. I’ve been there, trust me. But I like the gamble, because behind this taunt you can really build a board and it lures out all of the removals the enemy has in his hand, guaranteed. Can be replaced with an Annoy-o-tron though.
Cult Master – The one and only card draw card in this deck. Works out quite well with most of our combos, the Snake Trap and the Unleash the Hounds are the main stars that work quite well with this card. Be careful, don't waste it stupidly.
Stranglethorn Tiger – A 5 5 stealth that has finished off quite a lot of games for me. As long as you keep being aggressive against your opponent, it will usually mean a definite 5 damage hit to your opponents face or even a taunt and matched with a Kill Command can be a deadly thing which I love. Can be paired with the Houndmaster but be cautious as with that you put it in the Big Game Hunter range!
Volcanic Drake – Perfect for this kind of combo deck which works on the death count mechanics. Try to make them as cheaper as possible and playing them on an empty board usually means GG for your opponent. Playing two just makes them shit their pants and throw their PC out of their window, guaranteed.
Why no Webspinners? Besides the fact that it’s a pretty good way to start a game, usually I just got minions that I haven’t even played for the whole game. Kind of got really disappointed in this card so I decided to skip the turn 1 and focus on turn 2 more. You can throw them in if you want, removing the River Crocolisk and the Stranglethorn Tiger.
Why no Stranglethorn Bow? There aren’t that many secrets in this deck and the ones that we have will usually not trigger your weapon and get you one more stack when you need it anyway. Besides that, a lot of people are targeting weapon wielders now and teching hard against them with Oozes and Harrison Jones’, so I would rather not save my weapon while trying to stack it and then just get taken it away from me.
Why no Freezing/Explosive? Too obvious nowadays, not giving the same effect as before.
Why no Tracking? Actually if I had 31 slots in my deck I would put one in because hunting for that missing piece of a combo can be really good and valuable and even crucial to the game. You can change the Croc for it.
I will not name any non-adventure rare cards and lower, the rest I will try to cover, even though you have to be aware that you really shouldn’t expect the same results as I had if you change a lot of the cards from the original setup.
You can replace any card with one Tracking.
Also, make sure that you change the deck to the meta accordingly. If you are facing a lot of burst you might want to make the Deathlord change or if you are facing a lot of aggro you might even want to get one more Deathlord in instead of the Croc for example.
That's about it for the guide guys! It took quite a bit of time to write so I hope you guys like it!!! :) I do it all for you guys but if you feel generous to give something back you can tip me here: https://streamtip.com/t/sigmasrb ! Thank you so much!
As of 30.06. this deck is, along my 0 Legendary Legend Zoo deck on the Overall Hot page of Hearthstone for this week! Thank you so much for all of your upvotes and trust!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Before taking this baby out for a spin on the ladder, make sure you make yourself comfortable with the deck in casual and to check and see if it suits your playstyle as it's not for everyone! I am to not be held responsible for any losses you might experience when taking the deck straight to ladder.
Go get them Legends while they are hot guys!
If you have any comments or constructive criticism, I am more than happy to hear them!
You can check out my other decks at http://www.hearthpwn.com/members/sigmasrb/decks!