- As a hunter, you need to win early game and/or make a comeback: focus on early game, comeback potential with Finja, the Flying Star
- Deathstalker Rexxar is not needed to win before turn 8 (which is when classic hunter decks have to win), but only in late-game
- Deathstalker Rexxar should guarantee enough value when it comes to the late-game
- You need to dig him up, so you have drawn him when you run out of steam: thin out the deck
Staying relevant and alive
This deck is based on the idea that Deathstalker Rexxar can get you through the late-game. So, if you have enough value to beat slow decks, you need to be fast enough to beat fast decks. That means we need to focus on staying alive and getting on the board ASAP. This is done with the usual 1-, 2- and 3-drops and by curving out, which is what Hunter should always try to do.
How to dig
The other aim is to dig up the body of the late Rexxar. Tracking and the Murloc package are great for this. There is not really a combo in this deck, and the synergy is quite forgiving. Therefore, most cards are very much expendable. This makes Tracking right at home. Finja, the Flying Star can help with thinning out the deck and regaining board control or finishing the game. It might, however, be too inconsistent. This needs to be tested.
The murloc package might prove to be too weak or inconsistent. Possible replacements are tech cards like Hungry Crab and Golakka Crawler or maybe Flare, but that completely depends on the meta. Otherwise, you should aim to add more taunts (i.e. Nesting Roc) in order to survive longer, because a possible problem might be opponents ignoring your minions and trying to finish you off before you can get going with your value game. This might problem might be somewhat solve with the addition of Saronite Chain Gang, though.
I will of course also test out Knuckles and Swamp King Dred, as they are awesome to play. Also, there might be an actual spot for them in this deck, as it aims to be comfortable in mid- to late-game. However, I think that the most important thing is to not lose board control before that. Hunter is terrible at playing reactively, so the early game has to be won.
I will definitely try out N'Zoth, the Corruptor. Probably you can't afford to run a card this expensive, but the possibilities are endless:
Every time you build-a-beast, you have a 32% chance to get a deathrattle. Then, you have 46% chance to get a taunt option, 33% to get stealth and 18% to get either windfury or charge. Of course, you will want to be reviving minions that immediately effect the board state. This means you are looking mostly for charge and taunt. There is around a 49% chance to get one of those, combined with the 32% chance to get deathrattle, that makes for about 1/6 zombeasts given you a great minion to revive with N'Zoth, the Corruptor.
Some people in the chat also had some good suggestions:
As suggested by GabrielS0, Prince Valanar could prove to be more useful than Houndmaster. This has to be tested, because Houndmaster might offer more flexibility in combination with the zombeasts. Valanar could offer some healing, though, which could be much needed in some matchups. It is also a better card to get back on the board. I expect that Saronite Chain Gang adds more consistency than just the one Valanar
Dieseledge pointed out that Harrison Jones can be a really good tech card if many weapons are involved in the meta. He can help with the card draw aspect. He might, however be too slow. If you play against weapon classes consistently and can keep up the pace, you should try this out.
Other new cards
I think most of the other new hunter cards are too clunky or too situational. Saronite Chain Gang might be a good addition, though:
- Play Dead is a horribly situational card and worthless in this deck.
- Toxic Arrow is plainly a bad card. To utilize the poisonous part, you need to trade away a ~3 mana minion or and adapted token (but you can just as easily adapt poisonous) and use this 2 mana card. And then it will still be a 2 for 1. Just terrible. For the damage part, it is strictly (way) worse than Arcane Shot, which is unplayable as is.
- Stitched Tracker is about value. The premise of the deck is that value is covered by Deathstalker Rexxar. However, I would like to highlight than this can be used to pull out an extra Finja, the Flying Star or Murloc Warleader to force a tempo swing or comeback maneuver.
- Bearshark might be worth a try. If you have board control, this card is great. If not, it will trade down and it is terrible. Probably the latter.
- Venomstrike Trap is probably too slow. Opponents can just play around it and you really need to get on the board with your 2-drops ASAP
- Saronite Chain Gang might really help us curve out and extend the game (see updates below)
- I think Exploding Bloatbat is too slow to work. If you play it, the opponent can just trade his small minions in before taking the damage. Play Dead is a good play on it, but it is incredibly situational and you won't often have enough cards in hand to pull it off.
- Corpse Widow is a deathrattle synergy card, which is not the focus of this deck. Its stats are okay, but the only way it would be helpful is if you can coin it out into Savannah Highmane or give a discount on Zombeasts. Not worth making our curve higher for.
- Abominable Bowman is way too slow.
- Professor Putricide is clearly not a good fit in this deck.
This deck aims to be consistent, by winning early game and having Deathstalker Rexxar to fall back on later on. Consistency is the key.
UPDATE: I took out Unleash the Hounds for a Stitched Tracker, to highlight the fact that it can be a very strong card if you pick Finja, the Flying Star or copy one of the other murlocs to fabricate a huge tempo swing. Example: turn 5 Finja, the Flying Star turn 6 Stitched Tracker + Murloc Warleader.
- It is a battlecry, affecting the board state immediately
- It is a taunt minion, so it can either protect our early game minions for another turn of damage, or protect our face while injuring minions that trade into it, making them more vulnerable to the 2 damage from [card]Deathstalker Rexxar[/card
- It is less situational than Nesting Roc and comes out one turn earlier
- It helps us curve out as we only had the situational 4-cost Houndmaster before, but this actually is useful on an empty board.
I'm curious to hear any suggestions, so please leave your comments. (and maybe a plus, if you like the idea behind the deck)