No Goblins Allowed

The hunter thread
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Author:  Cato [ Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:50 pm ]
Post subject:  The hunter thread

SMOrc is dead. Now we control board. Got to rank 4 with this baby.

2 Jeweled Macaw
2 Alley Cat

2 Kindly Grandmother
2 Scavenging Hyena
2 Crackling Razormaw
2 Golakka Crawler

2 Rat Pack
2 Animal Companion
2 Eaglehorn Bow
2 Kill Command
2 Deadly Shot
2 Unleash the Hounds

2 Houndmaster

2 Nesting Roc

2 Savannah Highmane

Original list I found had Tundra Rhinos instead of Rocs, but 4/7 taunts for 5 are amazing. Must-have against pirates and mirror if you took too much face damage early, and even against non-face decks, it's a really efficient body that protects the rest of your board so you can keep going face.

Important things that aren't immediately obvious:
1: If you suspect your opponent has a sweeper, trade off your non-deathrattle guys to protect your deathrattle guys so they can't trade into the deathrattles and sweep for a full clear.
2: If they have something you can kill with eaglehorn bow, eaglehorn bow is usually the best play. It's effectively 2 spells for 1 card and 1 spell worth of mana. Sort of like bloodbraid elf, except it costs 3. Don't be afraid to sit on the charge if they don't play another minion. Also, eaglehorn bow+hero power+pass is a good way to spend mana if you think they're going to sweep you.
3: Controlling the board is often the right choice with this deck. It lets you get favorable trades, and keeps your opponent from playing buffs on their own guys. If you snowball a board, you'll be able to end the game in a couple of turns anyways.

Matchup-specific stuff:
Warrior: If they don't play quest turn 1, assume they're pirates. Against pirates, do whatever you can to win the early board, because if they can't control board early, they won't be able to weapon you down through taunts late. Use coin as soon as possible. If you have crab and another play for turn 2, it's often worth it to sandbag crab for a 2 drop or 3 drop instead of eating patches. Cards to play around are upgrade effects and captain buffing their board. I haven't seen many taunt warriors, so I don't think I'm qualified to give advice there.
Paladin: There's 2 paladin lists I've seen: Elemental handbuff paladin, and midrange-control build that plays Tarim, Tirion, and Stonehill to find more Tarims and Tirions. They also run pyro/equality/consecration to clear the board. Also, expect any fatty you play to get Aldor Peacekeepered. They're both generally bad matchups, because they go a little bit bigger than you, but aren't slow enough that you can just rush them down. Play around equality clears by protecting your deathrattles, clear their little guys so they can't Tarim you, and if you buff a guy, trade with it instead of going face so you don't get wrecked by peacekeeper.
Hunter: Like pirates, this is a battle for early board control. If you can get ahead and stay ahead on board, you can get favorable trades, and you can blank their cards that depend on a board presence (razormaw, houndmaster, kill command, hyena). If you fall behind, they'll do the same to you. Use coin early, keep their board clear whenever you can, and watch out for unleash the hounds.
Shaman: I've seen 2 flavors of this, murlocs and elementals. Murlocs is another board control matchup, where they can really punish you with totems and buffs if you let them keep an early board. Cards to play around are murloc warleader, rockpool hunter, and flametongue totem. Elementals are relatively slow, and you can often rush them down while they durdle. Play around lightning storm, kalimos, maelstrom portal, and jade claws in this matchup if you can. Play around hex in both matchups by trading in your buffed guys ASAP like you do vs paladin.
Rogue: There's 2 rogue lists, the quest rogue, and the less frequently played miracle rogue. Against quest rogue, there's not really much you can do to slow them down, or much they can do to slow you down, so it's just about playing early stuff and goldfishing their face. You want to clear their 1/1s if they've finished their quest or are about to finish it. And remember, they can prep out their Crystal Core after they get it. Play around fan of knives, especially if they end a turn leaving multiple guys on 1 health, and trade in your 1/1s for their 1/1s so they don't get daggered. They often run a patches package too, so if you see a turn 1 quest, it's often worth sandbagging crab until your turn 2 to see if you can get 'em. Miracle is another goldfish matchup, but expect backstabs in this one.
Druid: They ramp and play big taunts. They also play swipe and primordial drake, so don't get rekt by those. They can't kill highmane. Kill Command and Deadly Shot are good against big taunts. Don't expect to be able to burn them out with hero power after you've lost board, they have earthen scales and feral rage. Just hope you can end before the big taunts get to be too much.
Priest: This isn't a good matchup. They have "fun" early plays like turn 2 Radiant Elemental into a free Power Word Shield. If they play a guy, you have to clear it that turn or they'll use Power Word: Shield or Kabal Talon Priest on it, attack into your guy, then heal it back up. They also have Dragonfire Potion and Holy Nova later, so play around those. The good news is that they can't answer Highmane now that entomb's gone.
Mage: There's 2 variants of this, secret freeze mage and quest mage. Either way, punch them in the face until they run out of ice blocks, and expect blizzards. I think they might run flamestrikes or doomsayers too. Your unleash the hounds sucks here, so be willing to blow it for only a few dogs.
Warlock: There's 2 versions, zoo and handlock. Zoo is another matchup where early board control is everything, especially killing Malchezaar's imps. It is possible to put yourself in an unwinnable position by turn 2, because if you fall behind on board, you won't be able to come back. Cards to play around are Dire Wolf Alpha, Soulfire, and Voidwalker, which can all have immediate and dramatic impacts on the board. Against handlock, it's a facedown. Play around their clears (hellfire, shadowflame, twisting nether) by protecting your deathrattles and keeping as many minions as possible above the relevant health threshold. Bear in mind that they can heal their face with earthen ring farseer, mistress of mixtures, and playing Jaraxxus if they're low enough. Remember that they also have taunts, in the forms of Defender of Argus, Sunfury Protector, and Faceless Shambler.

Cards possibly on the chopping block are deadly shot and unleash the hounds. The deck has a lot of 3s, and both of them are situational cards that end up underperforming in a lot of games, although when they're good, they're good. Cards I'd consider adding are Grievous Bite, Infested Wolf, Bittertide Hydra, re-adding a Tundra Rhino or 2, or maybe even crafting a Swamp King Dred.

EDIT: Fixed a broken bold tag.

Author:  Maraxas [ Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Have you played around with tol'vir warden yet? That was the card from un'goro that made me interested in this deck again.

Author:  Cato [ Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

I don't think tol'vir warden is very good. The body is super understatted in a game where stats are everything.

Author:  iLands [ Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Congrats on hunting them down!

I'm surprised Roc is playable - but I've heard from a both you and others it is solid. Seems understatted, but there aren't a huge amount of great stats that you can be playing and aren't. It's playability could be a symptom of Hunter having bad taunts to protect its board and ease of proc'ing it. It also bridges into Highmane so I can see it being a glue-guy/role player.

I do think Dred is excellent, but I can't recommend crafting it yet as a f2pbtw player. It does place an extreme amount of pressure on spot removal in those matchups and also holds a board well in other matchups too. Call of the Wild is another possibility if the game slows down a little and you find yourself wanting more reach and value, but it does seem kind of comical against large taunts and it is more understatted than it was before. It's possible Patches/Corsair is where you'd want to exist if Pirates fall off enough for Crab to be bad. Definitely seems like the best deck for dust to results at the moment and your experiences seem to mirror that assumption.

I've heard Hunter's Mark is also getting better again due to taunt warrior and other large taunts.

Is Barnes a consideration, or is he too high rolley for you? Looking at what is available, he's probably the best available four. It's unbelievable how bare the cupboard is for Hunter.

Wild: Considerations would be Web Spinner, Haunted Creeper, and Shredder.

Author:  Cato [ Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Where is this understatted meme coming from? It's bigger than druid of the claw.

I haven't seen Dred in action on the other side of the board yet, so I have no idea how good he is.

Hunter's mark is a maybe. It sort of fills the same role that deadly shot does.

Barnes is a potential include. There are only 4 hits (ratpack, hyena, grandmother, highmane) and 6 misses (everything else), but you aren't really heartbroken if you get yeti stats. If I wanted something else in the 4 department, I'd run infested wolf.

I think I might need more testing before I can build this deck optimally.

Author:  Dudibus [ Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

I have a crazy deck I've been working on. It's gimmicky as hell, but every time I pulled off the combo I won.

EDIT 2 hours later: Swapped out the Boars for Hunter's Mark.

Abusive Sergeant x2
Alleycat x2
Argent Squire x2
Elven Archer x2
Fiery Bat x2
Fire Fly x2
Glacial Shard x2
Hunters Mark x2
Jeweled Macaw x2
The Marsh Queen x1 (Quest)
Timber Wolf x2
Tracking x2 (Take Hemet every time)
Coldlight Oracle x2 (Have to get Hemet)
Novice Engineer x2 (Hemet, Hemet, Hemet...)
Tundra Rhino x2
Hemet, Jungle Hunter x1

Always mulligan every card other than the Quest for Hemet. Sometimes Hemet is in the last 10 cards of your deck and you lose.
Complete your quest, play Hemet to kill everything in your library except 1 or 2 Tundra Rhinos, play the Queen and fill it back up with 15 Raptors. Go face. WIN!
Sometimes, with the right draw and opponent, they are dead by T5 anyways.

Author:  LilyStorm [ Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Thats pretty cool.

Author:  Dudibus [ Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Can't tell you how many times I probably would have won if I had just played the Queen instead of holding out for Hemet.

Author:  Cato [ Wed May 03, 2017 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Update: you don't see many control druids or taunt warriors on ladder anymore, so I've cut the deadly shots. I've also been underwhelmed with unleash, and cut one of them. New cards are 1 barnes, 1 cult master, and 1 infested wolf. Yeah, Barnes misses half the time, but his low roll is still yeti stats. Need more testing.

Author:  Cato [ Wed May 10, 2017 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

I've gone to a 1/1 unleash/deadly shot split because of all the druids and quest warriors I've seen on ladder, might even got 0/2. The combos with hyena and cult master are cute, but very often you'll have either already won or fallen too far behind to come back before you get to 7, or even 5, mana.

The meta is becoming less hunter friendly. People are learning to build questrogue in a way that makes it not free stars. Glacial Shard, Vanish, and Bilefin Tidehunter are in basically every list. Lots of priest and paladin on ladder too.

Author:  Maraxas [ Sun May 21, 2017 9:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

I was thinking about trying out a tar creeper over an unleash in this sort of deck the other day. It sounds a little weird, but you play it on-curve more often then unleash, and aggro druid has shown that tar creeper works out even in aggro as tech for the mirror and such.

Author:  Cato [ Mon May 22, 2017 1:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

I've thought a lot about creeper, but it's just so god awful against enemy taunts, and the fact that it can't trade proactively means it's awful against decks that punish you for letting them untap with stuff (murlocs, for example).

Author:  Modulo [ Tue May 23, 2017 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Having played Midrange Hunter this season myself, I'd love to discuss the deck a bit further.

First off, your wins against almost all of your matchups stem from you being the Aggressor. You want the deck to be very streamlined and should Not devote too many spaces to tech cards. (My currently split for those is 1 Bow, 1 Deadly, 0 Unleash)

I found Infested Wolf to be a solid 2-of. The deck needs a few 4-drops, and because of its Beast-ness it beats out Barnes IMO.

Fiery Bat is a Card this deck 100% has to consider. Having a 1-drop to either Push damage or control the Board is invaluable, and while Alleycat is the best one, you need some more.

My list thus far has been running one Black Knight, but seeing the number of Taunt Warriors decrease I've cut him. Currently trying Princess Huhuran, could see cutting her for Hungry Crab if she disappoints.

Author:  Cato [ Tue May 23, 2017 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The hunter thread

Bow isn't what I'd call a "tech card". Weapons are very powerful in this game because they're so incredibly efficient, either as 2 removal spells for 1 card and relatively little mana, or undercosted burn for the face.

Barnes vs wolf is a difficult question. Barnes is weaker than wolf most of the time, but when he's stronger than wolf, he's a lot stronger. Wolf is just never really impressive.

Fiery bat is a consideration, and I ran it in my pre-rotation hunter builds, but now that jewelled macaw is in print, you should have enough 1 drops without needing to run a mediocre card like that.

The problem with Huehueran is that the deck already has so many strong options for the 5 slot. Roc, Rhino, or singleton tol'vir all compete for the limited number of 5 drops that you want to put in a deck like this.

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