Note! This list is from Season 26, it is outdated and was made to fit that meta and it was before Karazhan launched, I advise you to search further for current viable lists, either Mid/Tempo Hunter with Grandmothers and all or Full Secret Hunters that are arguably even better. So again, this is outdated list!
This is the deck that I took Legend with, it's my own list that worked for me very well with total of 71% (75-31) win rate from Rank 16 all the way to the Legend, playtime in total was a bit under 12 hours with average game of only 6.7 minutes which I found faster to Legend than any other deck that I used months before to get to Rank 5. It is also pretty easy to play and very cheap, it doesn't contain a single Legendary card and has only two epics.
I don't have a slightest clue why many people rate Hunter as one of the worst classes in Standard. I think it's pretty OP and it has the best 6 drop in game (Savannah Highmane) now it has the best 8 drop in game as well (Call of the Wild) with one of the best 2 cost spell removals also (Quick Shot), it has very good removals such as Freezing Trap, that without Mad Scientist can be used at will when needed. To me Hunter is really strong and I had much better win rate than with any other class/deck I've tried since Standard came out. The only problem is lack of AOE, which I personally didn't even feel the need for.
This is basically a Tempo deck rather than normal Midrange, it relies on establishing as early as possible tempo from turn 1-2 all the way to the finishing cards like Call of the Wild. It's a bit more aggressive midrange than other midrange decks out there like Warrior or Druid, it goes for face a bit more often which fits Hunter's hero power perfectly, which you should try to utilize whenever you can since card draw might be a problem sometimes. So even if you can play 3 drop for example on turn 4 you should opt for 2 drop + hero power to use up all 4 mana crystals.
Druid (C'Thun) - Not possible to lose, at all. They are just way too slow and you win easily. Also I have only faced 4 Druids which is actually bad since it's so easy matchup. Nothing to say here, you just pressure them from the start naturally and they have nothing to do but to defend themselves until they lose.
Hunter (Mirror) - I saw a lot of Hunters between Rank 5 and Legend and all of them had Doomsayers, Stompeding Kodos and Thundra Rhinos, 8-4 vs them. I just think they chose the wrong 5 drops and those Doomsayers, while they can be decent vs certain decks, they can also be completely useless in other matchups in my opinion. You just play like them and try to remove all their beasts even if sometimes it isn't the "good" trade, it can backfire and you can lose cos of it since they keep Houndmaster, some keep Ram Wrangler like me, Kill Command and similar. Also note that Freezing Trap is the most played one, so try to attack with the cheapest and the least important minion while they have it rather than trying to play around Explosive trap.
Mage (Tempo) - Pretty much similar deck like yours "just" a Mage version of it. This matchup depends a lot on draw and who establishes stronger tempo is usually the winner. Note that you should remove his Flamewakers and Sorcerer's Apprentices whenever you can. Also try to play around Flamestrike so don't overflood the board if you don't have to, since pretty much all Mages in Standard keep at least one Flamestrike and some even keep two of them. Try to use Call of the Wild only as lethal because of that Flamestrike (I learned that the hard way). I saw only one Freeze Mage and it was an easy game, just pressure him ASAP, Freezing Trap on his draw and that's it.
Paladin (N'Zoth Control) - Easy matchup 3-0 without any problem, maybe I was lucky but I doubt it since I had like 20-30 hp left each matchup, all of them ended quickly. Just pressure him but don't overdo your board cos of his AOEs and that should be it, just like with Mage try to use Call of the Wild only for lethal cos of those same AOEs (Equality + Wild Pyro/Consecrate).
Priest (Control, Dragon) - 6-0 vs them. Just didn't have any problem at all, without Lightbomb they are pretty much helpless, but remember that they keep 1-2 Excavated Evils instead of those Lightbombs, which I forgot about and got my board cleared, luckily Call of the Wild was there to save the day. Also remember that they have Auchenai + Circle so just like with Mage and Paladin - don't overdo your board!
Rogue (Miracle) - 8-4 vs them, Miracle can destroy you but versus them you basically act like a Face deck, so trade only if needed (for example kill Bloodmage Thalnos so he doesn't use Fan of Knives and destroy you turn after) but generally face is the place. So just play as aggressive as you can and think about their Sap, if they used it already and all that, cos Sap on Savannah Highmane is the thing that will lose you the game vs Miracle.
Shaman (Aggro, Totem/Midrange) - 16-8 vs them. Versus Aggro Shaman you just try to control the board and play a bit more defensive. Freezing Trap and smart trading are the key here. Return his 7/7 with Freezing and you won the match. Versus Totem it's a bit harder since they flood the board and you lack AOE, but Unleash the Hounds is there to punish them. Again, this is the "harder" matchup of the two but it's manageable and you should have fairly positive win rate vs them.
Warlock (Reno, Zoo) - If you start strong vs Zoo and build tempo you just won easily, however if you lose the tempo there is no coming back and you lost, your only savior is some sick combo like Unleash the Hounds + Leokk from Animal Companion or something. I personally didn't play too aggressively vs them but rather controlled the board until I had the advantage and finished with Call of the Wild. However there was 0 loses vs Renolock (only 3 matches I think tho) and those were very easy, they just don't have the speed to defend, just push with tempo and try to kill them ASAP. Watch out for AOE also and keep Hunter's Mark for his Drake with million hp or taunt (they keep Mountain Giant + Argus/Sunfury).
Warrior (Control,Tempo,Patron) - Control is just too slow for you and you have just too much damage, with Warrior King's Elekk is good so you can know early what deck your opponent plays. If you see Frothing Berserker it's not Control for example. I had 16-8 just like with Shaman and I had more problem with Tempo than with Control. Watch out for Tempo Warrior cos he has 2x Ravaging Ghouls and Whirlwinds so he can easily clear your low hp board. Also remove Frothing at all costs or he will punish you badly. Again, nothing special vs Warriors, try to out tempo them and you should be fine.
- Fiery Bat - keep always
- Quick Shot - keep vs Mage, Shaman, Hunter
- King's Elekk - keep always
- Huge Toad - keep always unless you already have Elekk
- Freezing Trap - keep only vs Shaman if you have Bat
- Fiery Bat - keep always
- King's Elekk - keep always
- Huge Toad - keep always
- Quick Shot - keep always vs Mage, Hunter and Shaman
- Freezing Trap - keep vs Shaman
- Animal Companion - keep only if you already have 1 or/and 2 drops
- Eaglehorn Bow - keep vs Shaman, Mage always and vs rest if you have 1 and 2 drops
- Carrion Grub - keep only vs Warlock if you have 1 and/or 2 drops already
- Unleash the Hounds - keep only vs Warlock if you have 1 and/or 2 drops
In my opinion this deck is for now perfect for this meta, so if you have all cards I wouldn't replace anything! The deck is pretty cheap and it's certainly worth crafting if you ask me. Now if you do miss some cards there are some ideas what you can replace:
- Call of the Wild - King Krush/Ragnaros the Firelord if you miss it, but note that Call of the Wild is the 2nd best card in WotOG by my opinion and it is really far better than those replacements.
- Quick Shot - If you miss it my advice would be to save 700 gold, it's the 1st wing of BRM (class challenge, so you can't see it in rewards of the wing, but it's there), if not then temporarily replacement could be Arcane Shot/Explosive Trap, but Quick Shot is really strong and you should get at least that 1st wing of BRM.
- Huge Toad - If you miss LoE you can place Flame Jugglers instead, but then you have to replace at least one if not both Ram Wranglers as well cos it would lose value due to less beasts in the deck.
- Ram Wrangler -
The first thing you should consider is placing Harrison Jones instead of one if you have it, I'd probably do it myself if I had it, so I won't update the deck until I test it personally but it should be great in this metanot exactly atm, tested it but didn't find too much value! Another replacement would be Stranglethorn Tiger as more consistent (so it would be my choice for tournaments, Ram has huge variance). However I saw that most Midrange Hunter players keep Stampeding Kodo, so I guess you could test that too, but I'd rather go for the options above.Kodo is actually pretty OK at the moment vs Zoo, Shaman and Warriors. Tundra Rhino or Leeroy Jenkins could be also options but I just don't see them fitting in here next to all the others. Small edit here: if you seek to tech in versus Zoo I'd recommend Kodo instead of one Ram, it should be better vs Zoo.
- EDIT: You can also consider placing Azure Drake instead of any 5 drop here, I never even thought about it until someone in comments suggested, but it might be actually a decent option since the deck doesn't have real card draw,
Videos of the deck in action
Two fellow HS players and youtubers made a video of the deck which is pretty sweet! They both had success with it and played multiple matches on high ranks so check out those videos and their channels, they are filled with good decks! Thanks guys for making them!
Thanks to kiwiinbacon:
Thanks to Khristophesaurus:
Why not N'Zoth? Could it fit in this deck? Nope! Average game lasts for 9.2 turns and N'Zoth would be almost always just a dead card in your hand, which would be huge problem for a tempo deck like this, especially cos it lacks a real card draw.
Why Ram Wrangler? Aren't other 5 drops better? No, average beast by my calculations are 3.69 / 3.49 (might be wrong but not by much) which makes Ram ~6.7/6.5 in two bodies which is superior to other 5 drops except for Harrison vs weapon classes. Ram has huge variance so I wouldn't use it for tournaments (would use Stranglethorn Tiger + Harrison Jones instead), but after say 100, 200, 500 games on ladder it's a great card and in my opinion better than others, and not by a small margin.
Why two Freezing Trap? Can I fit 1 Explsoive? MVP vs Shamans, return his overload minion and you regained the tempo and won. Sure, you can go for one Explosive Trap and probably should if you face a lot of Zoo. If you look at my tracker I haven't seen much Zoo, especially not on higher ranks cos Zoo just isn't in the best spot at the moment so I used double Freezing.
The deck doesn't work! What should I do? Meta shifts non-stop and all we can do is to try to adapt to it or swap the deck. See a lot of weapon classes? Place Harrison Jones/Acidic Swamp Ooze, see a lot of Zoo? Tech in Explosive Trap. If the deck doesn't work at the moment just swap to something else for the time being. However you should also practice a bit in Casual mode until you get familiar with the deck, it might be a matter of skill and experience often even tho we don't like to admit it and blame the deck.
I have also modified this deck to fit in Grim Patron and it's mostly for fun in Casual mode, it actually works fairly well there and it's not that hard to make multiple patrons, and you almost always get emotes such as "Well played" or "Wow" when you go "Heeey everyone get in here!" in Hunter deck. :) Check it out: [Standard] Patron Hunter
Let me know in the comments how it works out for you! And remember to always test the deck in Casual mode before trying it on Ranked so you get familiar with it so you don't slow down your climbing :)
Good luck and hunt them down!