I am C4mlann, a professional Hearthstone player and streamer for Team Acer. I have reached legend 31 times on three realmpools (NA, EU, Asia). My account was free to play until BRM and so I played aggro/midrange decks for quite some time ;)
After the release of TGT I wanted to make a new version of my older facehunter deck, because I was wondering if it is still good enough after all the newer decks and meta changes.
I’ve hit legend with it on NA+EU at the same day (09/14/15). I did play this deck in two tournaments as well (EU last call qualifier - road to Blizzcon 2015 and an invitational only tournament, that i won) and it performed very well.
The tracked stats were collected from rank 5 to legend (NA+EU) as well from the 2 tournaments with a total winrate of 66,4% (122 games)
Proof of legend NA+EU
Stats on legend NA #36
I was asked to play this deck on stream, so I did on Legend NA. First, I was going up and down, facing many druids. Then I got less druids and ended #36 on a win streak. As song requests hit me hard, I was going to bed then ;) The samplesize is kinda small, but I was playing many top100 legend players as well as many well know professional gamers. The stats are taken from my streaming session on 09/21-09/22:
I've just played a little bit offstream on EU and got to top50 as well. I didn't track stats (playing from my laptop at my girlfriend's home), but I was facing many Warriors, Druids, Hunters, Paladins and Mages. First time, that I had to face my own deck as well :D
Proof of #36 NA:
Proof of #35 EU:
Video guide (Coaching on Stream)
This deck - as well as every other facehunter - is pretty easy to play and effective above rank 5 due to the fast games and the straight forward win strategy (SMOrc). Between rank 5 and legend you have to play way better (most of the time). Often you will lose games because you missed 1 or 2 damage during the game. Your goal is to kill your enemy as fast as possible, always maximizing your damage. When should you trade? When trading will maximize your damage! Therefor most of the time your weapons should be used to protect the minions u played earlier in the game.
Another essential part is when and how often you want to use your heropower. The goal is to win with no cards in your hand, finishing with your last card. In this case you managed to transform your resource “hand cards” to “damage” the best possible way. Versus control decks, the game will last longer most of the time, so you will run out of cards, so you have to start using your heropower earlier (in most cases). Always count how expensive (mana) your hand is all together, then you should be able to calculate how many rounds you can fill with cards and see the average amount of mana of the cards (and how many) you will draw.
Without coin: Search for a one drop. Only keep Mad Scientist. If you found a one drop, look for good cards in your matchup as Ironbeak Owl / Unleash the Hounds etc. In most matchups it is fine to play Abusive Sergeant as a one drop.
With coin: Search for Mad Scientist, a good curve. Two one drops T1 is even better most of the time. 2-2-3 is also very good. Depending on how many cards you’ve already found, you can look for matchup cards.
I’ve met only one Rogue in 120 games and it was an easy game. The weakness of oilrogue is that it is vulnerable vs agro decks. Just maximize your damage and you will kill him faster. Eaglehorn Bow is a key card as rogues normally don’t run taunt and it answers the three drop creatures. Most of the time, one bow is 9-12 dmg for 3 mana in one card!
Every form of midrange and control shamy should be fine for you. If you getUnleash the Hounds you will win almost every game (overkill with Knife Juggler). Use Ironbeak Owl for taunts. Mech Shamy is a little bit different. You have to maximize your damage, but more important: Minimizing their damage. Kill Mechwarper, it is the card that snowballs the worst. Try to get the upper hand early game fighting for board. Mech Shamy is faster than you are, but almost none of them will know that and misplay by trading all the time (and therefore be slower than you). I won many games on ladder the past seasons just by pretending to be faster than they are. :D
Normally the faster hunter wins. As there is probably only one hunter deck that is faster (RomanP trap hunter), you should be fine. Pressure your opponent and force him to trade. Sometimes they will win by playing Loatheb the turn where you could kill them with Kill Command or Quick Shot. Keep Ironbeak Owl most of the time.
There are many different WL lists around nowadays, but you should be winning vs. all of them (maybe not vs. Malygos anti WL playing two heal bot and Sludge Belcher, but I haven’t met them lately). Versus Zoo it is very good if you can deny early game board control, taking good trades. Ironbeak Owl is a good card vs. all WLs. Handlock is tricky, you win by rushing them down and forcing them to aoe clear your board, heal up and taunt up at the same time (early game it’s enough to force them to do two of the three points). Get them in Kill Command Steady Shot Quick Shot range while having board :)
Most of my games I had against various forms of (most of the time secret) paladin. Unleash the Hounds is your MVP. Try to maximize the value of it. Sometimes you will lose vs T1 Secretkeeper + Noble Sacrifice + Avenge or stuff like this, but it is unlikely and even then, silence is still an option.
Mage is pretty tough sometimes.
I have played facehunter before TGT and I did really bad vs. mech mage and tempo mage until I changed my playstyle. You need to play versus them as you would vs an old school, fast WL zoo. Unleash the Hounds (+knife jugler) wins you many games. Traps on curve/with coin can be pretty solid (Bear Trap and Snake Trap). These decks are fast and pretty strong on the board. If you give them too many good trades they will just kill you faster then you can kill them. That is why you need to get good trades early on. Kill mechs if you can before Goblin Blastmage vs mech mage and play Ironbeack owl on Flamewaker vs tempo mage (most of the time, not always ofc). The key is about calculating their damage and your damage and become the beatdown (and play it like you are) as you would normally do in midrange mirror matchups (druid vs druid e.g.).
Freeze mage is normally ok, your plan is it to spamm the board and get enough damage/creatures until T5. Sometimes a good draw of the mage will just destroy you (Ice Barrier, healbot, Alexstrasza on curve). Ironbeak Owl is for an early Doomsayer most of the time. Silencing Mad Scientist can be fine as well.
The main problem is to know vs what kind of mage you play, because especially tempo mage and freeze mage will often look the same in the first 3-4 turns. Unleash the Hounds and traps are good vs tempo and mech mage but not good vs. freeze mage.
Vs mage you have to play it VERY good, small mistakes will cost you the game most of the time.
Before TGT this was by far the worst matchup with about 25-35% winrate, whereas patron was a little bit worse than control warrior. I was kinda surprised that this deck performed so well versus warrior (60%+). Bear Trap and especially Argent Horserider are performing very well, making the deck a little bit less affected by all those Whirlwind effects. Always search for an answer (Ironbeak Owl, Abusive Sergeant) to Armorsmith orUnstable Ghoul. Get rid of it as fast as possible. You might need to start using Steady Shot at T4-T6, depending how expensive your hand is. Versus control, don’t use your spells before Alexstrasza can be dropped if you can’t kill the warrior.
Versus patron warrior keep [card]Abusive Sergeant[/card] and try to get more charges out of Eaglehorn Bow + traps, because the most likely run no Harrison Jones (although some might be). Finsih them with a huge Unleash the Hounds. This is possible because they normally won't go for an One Turn Kill (OTK) because they have to kill your minions all the time. You do have a problem when they get too much valuse out of Whirlwind or play T3 Frothing Berserker in addition to [card]Unstable Ghoul[/card] or[card]Armorsmith[/card] on curve. Most of the times you have to kill the berserk then, because they will just be way faster than you if you don't. Just try to play creatures on curve and answer their early threads ;)
Almost all my matches were versus dragon priest and damn, that is a tough matchup. They will start playing for board from T1 on and later they will taunt up and that’s it. Try to answer a T4 drake. Sometimes they will snowball faster than you do and you will lose. Versus most priests, it is ok to let Northshire Cleric unanswered, because he won’t be able to heal himself and the minion.
Before TGT this matchup was in your favour, but Darnassus Aspirant and Living Roots are such good cards versus your deck, that you will lose many games, because they will prefent early game damage from creatures, ramp up and spamm the board with big minions.
Card choices / replacements
Leeroy Jenkins: This card isn’t necessary, but nice to have. My NA version didn’t run one, replace it with a 2nd Arcane Golem if you don’t have him. It is strong, because it is the only card that can deal 6dmg/card beside an amazing Unleash the hounds.
Argent Horserider: I replaced Wolfrider with it, because if the horserider can attack twice, he will deal one more dmg (25%), which happens almost all the time. Additionally your board isn’t affected by area effects that much, leaving you a minion for the Abusive Sergeant and Leokk buff. Versus other fast decks it is very usefull, because it will generate more board. This card is also the reason why you don’t have to play Haunted Creeper any more (a horrible card in slower matchups).
Traps: The most comfortable setup has been one Explosive Trap and one Snake Trap for me in the past. It was also possible to play two Explo traps or one Explo and one Freezing Trap. Most of the time, 3 traps seemed to be a little bit worse. With TGT I wanted to give bear trap a try and added it. This has both up- and downsides. BUT: the most fun part playing Hunter is to play traps and see ur opponent struggling and misplaying it, or falling for your bluffs. And this is why traps are better than the card effect itself if you manage to get those situations. The more people will play around the wrong trap/play into your trap, the better it is. Three secrets will provide more situations like that. Bear Trap also works fine with Snake Trap, whereas it doesn’t synergize well with Explosive Trap, as explo trap will always trigger first. If the attacking minion gets killed by it, Bear Trap won’t trigger. Bear Trap is very good versus fast matchups and often it is a 3/3 beast for 2 mana (activating Kill Command). Sometimes your opponent will waste a weapon charge, activating the trap because he thinks it is an explo trap.
You can change the combination of traps that fits the meta best!
Worgen Infiltrator: I always liked this card in this deck, because in many matchups it is T1 even better than Leper Gnome. Sometimes I keep it in hide until I play another one life creature, so a mage or druid can’t hero power clear both of them at once. This will provide additional 2dmg. PerhapsBrave Archer is better in this spot, depending on the meta (at least top decking it lategame is better :D )
Haunted Creeper: Why not running it? It is simple: this is a really bad card in matchups vs control decks. This card isn't best dmg/mana and dmg/card wize as well. It is a good card for getting board control, but that is not the ressource we're aiming at. It is a good card vs decks like WL zoo, Paladin and other aggro decks. But as u can see from the stats, that are good matchups anyhow. Argent Horserider fills that spot in terms of board control. Bear Trap + Snake Trap as an addition is enough to triggerKill Command. So, basically the TGT cards fill the spot better than creeper and therefor u are no longer forced to play it.
Flare: Why not running flare? In Hearthstone you can't sideboard cards like in e.g. Magic the Gathering. That's why you have to implement them in your deck. So basically, these cards - such as Flare will be good versus some decks and bad vs all the other decks. Normally you want to higher the winrate versus bad matchups. Flare just doesn't do this, when you look at the winrates versus other hunters, paladins and mages. So, it will buff your good matchups and make your bad matchups even worse. This would be like running healbots in control warrior (which is a common choice at rank 12-13 and rank 4-5). This would be good if you don't face your bad matchups at all or only very rare, but then you should be scyrocketing anyhow.
I hope that you like the guide and have fun playing the deck! Would be awesome if u leave me a like, it was more work than I expected :D
Also see my older SMOrc guide, many things are unchanged and not included here C4mlann's C4ncer