Note: This guide is rehosted with permission from Mana Crystals / Hearthstone Players. Full link and credits to the original writer - Spark.
Hello everyone I'm Spark, Legend player from Hearthstone and today I'm continuing the Beginner Deck Tech series proposed by Sheng. If you already know me, you won't be surprised to see that this guide is about Hunter Hearthstone Deck.
I think that this class is really great for a Beginner Deck as the Basic Cards have some strong synergies focused around Beasts and improving the deck doesn't requires that much dust for it to be competitive. Without further ado, let's get to the deck breakdown !
2x Stonetusk Boar
- A small Beast with charge that will benefit immensly from the synergies of the deck and provide you a cheap draw with Starving Buzzard.
- You generally don’t want to play it on turn 1 but rather save it for an Hunter's Mark or Houndmaster play.
2x Timber Wolf
- A utility Beast that will help increasing your overall damage on board to take board control or pressure the opponent’s life.
- You also don’t want to play it on turn 1 but rather make use of its great effect and generally get a cheap draw from your Starving Buzzard as well.
2x Bloodfen Raptor
- A standard vanilla 3/2 body that will apply some pressure early on and benefits from Beasts synergies.
2x River Crocolisk
- A standard vanilla 2/3 body that will help with board control early on and benefits from Beasts synergies.
2x Razorfen Hunter
- A standard 3 drop that will help you getting some board presence and provide you a small Beast to play with.
- This card can be replaced with Ironfur Grizzly if you’re not really satisfied with the 2/3 body and summon effect.
2x Oasis Snapjaw
- A really resilient body that will allow you to keep a Beast on the board to make use of the synergies of the deck.
- Its stats will allow you to trade with minor threats and using it with Houndmaster will definitely give a hard time to your opponent as a 4/9 taunt is a really strong tool to prevent aggression.
- This card has an insane value with its really nice buff and the decent 4/3 body that comes with it.
- The card itself is not a beast but is probably one of the main reasons to play a Beasts focused Hunter.
2x Starving Buzzard
- A utility Beast that will allow you to refill your hand while getting some board presence.
- You must save it for a turn when you’re going to play some cheap Beasts to draw as many cards as you can. Never play it alone on turn 5 as your opponent will instantly deal with it and you will desperately need it later in the game for the draw mechanic.
2x Tundra Rhino
- Another utility Beast with an effect that can allow for some winning plays. Remember that it has charge itself so you can generally deal with a weaker minion the turn you play it.
- It comes with the downside of having weaker stats for its cost but it is resilient enough to be played and can also benefits greatly from Houndmaster
2x Hunter's Mark
- A really strong removal to get rid of big threats or resilient taunt minions.
- You generally want to use it in conjuction with Stonetusk Boar to kill the target with a 1/1 body.
2x Arcane Shot
- A standard cheap removal to get rid of early aggression such as Knife Juggler or help reaching the damage needed on a later threat.
- As you can target your opponent directly, it can also help to find lethal in the late game.
- A really strong draw spell that allows you to cycle through your deck.
- You generally want to dig for a specific card with it to answer a given situation, so use it as late as possible. Using it on turn 1 or as a mana filler can be decent if you already know what you are facing and have a plan in mind.
2x Animal Companion
- This spell will always summon a valuable Beast, a strong turn 3 play overall.
- Huffer can apply some serious pressure or remove a stronger minion, Leokk is best when you have some minions on the board and Misha creates amazing tempo as a 4/4 taunt for 3 mana is really hard to answer.
2x Kill Command
- A really strong spell generally used as a removal during the mid game and as a finisher later on.
- You’ll generally have no problem empowering it with a Beast on the board.
- A multi-removal spell that can help you recovering if you are behind on board.
- It’s not the best tempo play as you’ll often spend your turn for that but it’s really great against specific board states, generally against Aggro decks.
In general, you want to mulligan for a set of cards that will allow you to play on curve and gain board control as soon as possible. The 2 mana Beasts are really important to set up your early plays and allow you to keep going on turn 3.
Good cards to keep :
- 1 mana : Arcane Shot, Tracking and Stonetusk Boar situationally
- 2 mana : River Crocolisk, Bloodfen Raptor
- 3 mana : Animal Companion, Razorfen Hunter
How to Play
This is a Mid Range deck so its overall goal is to maintain board control throughout the game. You generally want to always have a Beast on the board to make use of the great synergies of the deck and your spells will be used to support those Beasts by removing the opponent’s threats without having to trade your minions.
Houndmaster is generally a huge tempo swing during the mid game to take back board control and Hunter's Mark is your emergency button to answer huge threats. As the card has no mana cost you’ll be able to apply some new pressure at the same time and it is generally the perfect opportunity to throw down Starving Buzzard followed by Stonetusk Boar to kill your target and some other Beasts to refill both your hand and the board at the same time.
Early to Mid Game :
Beast + Kill Command : Apply some pressure with your cheap Beast while killing the opponent’s stronger minion.
The Coin into Oasis Snapjaw (T3) + Houndmaster (T4) : Your opponent generally won’t be able to answer the 2/7 body immediately so you’ll have an easy time keeping your favorite target alive for Houndmaster.
Mid to Late Game :
Starving Buzzard + Beasts : Your main source of draw power so use it wisely, generally in the mid to late game and with the following combo. It is also an amazing play if you already have a Tundra Rhino on board as all those Beasts will be used immediatly.
Stonetusk Boar + Hunter's Mark : Get rid of any threat, make sure to benefit from this cheap combo to apply some new pressure at the same time.
Stonetusk Boar + Houndmaster : A strong turn 5 play on an empty board as your opponent will have a hard time dealing with it.
Tundra Rhino + Beasts : Refill the board and instantly make use of it, this move can provides lethal very easily when paired with Kill Command.
I understand that not everyone (collectors especially) wants to disenchant their cards to build up a competitive ladder deck. Thus, I’ve put together a list of cards that you can plugin for the Basic cards in this deck that will improve its play.
Note that the cards to be replaced are more or less listed accordingly to their removing consideration’s priority and you shouldn’t necessarly replace all of those. Also don’t be afraid to replace cards with different mana costs as your final deck shouldn’t necessarly respect the initial curve of the deck.
I also added a Trap engine section in the replacements cards to bring your attention to a specific set of cards that work together.
1 Mana : Arcane Shot, Tracking, Timber Wolf, Stonetusk Boar
- Rare : Flare
2 Mana : Bloodfen Raptor, River Crocolisk
- Common : Ironbeak Owl, Scavenging Hyena, Dire Wolf Alpha
- Trap engine : Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap, Snake Trap
3 Mana : Razorfen Hunter
- Common : Unleash the Hounds, Deadly Shot
- Trap engine : Eaglehorn Bow
4 Mana : Multi-Shot, Oasis Snapjaw
5 Mana : Starving Buzzard, Tundra Rhino
- Common : Stranglethorn Tiger
- Rare : Stampeding Kodo, Explosive Shot
- Legendary : Leeroy Jenkins
6 Mana or higher :
- Rare : Savannah Highmane
- Epic : Gladiator's Longbow
- Legendary : King Krush, The Black Knight
I hope this insight into the Hunter class will help you understand the Beasts mechanics and increase your overall level of play. I really think that this class is one of the best for a Beginner as it is relatively cheap compared to its degree of efficiency and the interesting mechanics behind the class are really great to discover and learn how the game works.
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