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Anti-Aggro Midrange Hunter Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Oct 05, 2016 at 10:02 by Sottle 1 comment

Table of Contents

This build of Midrange Hunter is teched to include extra early-game minions in order to allow it to fight more effectively against other Aggro decks. If your ladder experience is running into Zoo, Aggro Shaman, and Hunter commonly, then this is the best Hunter build for you.

After the nerfs in the October 3rd patch, this deck was been updated to remove Abusive Sergeant from the deck and replace it with Dire Wolf Alpha. Call of the Wild remains intact however as this card is still extremely powerful.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Anti-Aggro Midrange Hunter Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 1,660 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Hunter Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This particular version of Hunter sacrifices some of the fast starting power of cards like Worgen Infiltrator, and the consistent damage of cards like Wolfrider and instead focuses on a strong midrange curve of minions to maintain pressure on the opponent throughout the mid-game. Despite this, it does include additional early-game considerations such as Argent Squire and Dire Wolf Alpha which can allow you to dominate the early-game proceedings against other board focused decks. Should the opponent be able to fight back and gain control of the board, cards like Unleash the Hounds, Kill Command, and the Hunter Hero Power can help you to seal the game.

The Argent Squire and Dire Wolf Alpha package is extremely important for allowing you to stay on the board early against other aggressive decks such as Zoo and Aggro Shaman, as well as other Hunters. Since Hunters early-game minions are fairly weak, you can often be dominated quickly by other Aggro decks which have more flexible options with buffs or removal to be able to win the opening exchanges. You should mulligan aggressively for these cards in your opening hand as well as Fiery Bat in Aggro matchups.

Fiery Bat is another strong starting point for the deck. Having 1 Mana beasts is very important in a deck such as this because even if you draw them later in the game, they can be used as a cheap activator for cards like Kill Command and Houndmaster and should usually be held for this purpose if you miss them on curve.

Quick Shot helps you both to fight for board dominance in the early turns, and to create additional burst damage in the late-game. It also serves an additional function in the late-game, since you will often be low on cards, and Quick Shot helps you to cycle through the weaker cards in your deck and get closer to your powerful draws like Savannah Highmane and Call of the Wild.

Huge Toad is an aggressive early minion that can be used to trade effectively due to the 1 extra damage from its Deathrattle effect. On top of this, its Beast tag can create powerful curves using The Coin into Houndmaster.

Kindly Grandmother is a sticky 2 Mana minion in a Standard format where most of these types of cards have been removed. It allows you to activate Houndmaster and Kill Command with great consistency and is a solid target for Barnes to pull from your deck.

Animal Companion is another fantastic value card. At 3 Mana it grants you a Beast which is always more powerful than a standard 3 Mana minion. Even though you cannot control which Companion you are given, there are plenty of situations where you do not mind which you receive, and the turns where you get the exact one you need can be devastating.

Eaglehorn Bow is an important card. It is used both for eliminating your opponent’s minions to enable your own minions to continue to push for damage, as well as for attacking your opponent’s life total directly. Since this deck plays no Secrets, you are free to use both charges of the weapon freely and not hold on to the second one for value as many Hunter decks tend to do.

Kill Command is one of your primary finishers in the deck. At 3 Mana for 5 damage it is an extremely efficient spell. However, do not be afraid to use it to clear a problematic minion if necessary.

Barnes is a huge value card that can easily be game-winning if it hits a high value target. Savannah Highmane, Infested Wolf, Kindly Grandmother, and even Fiery Bat or Huge Toad are all excellent outcomes for Barnes, but even if you end up with a vanilla 1/1 minion, it is still a reasonable outcome.

Houndmaster can be used to buff up a small Beast minion to a much more imposing threat. If Houndmaster is able to be played while activating its Battlecry, it represents incredible value for a 4 Mana card.

Infested Wolf is one of the few cards introduced to the game that can compete with Piloted Shredder in terms of potential stats. Since Piloted Shredder has rotated out of the format, Hunter gain a strong advantage by being the only class able to play a valid replacement. On top of this, unlike the departed Haunted Creeper, the Spider tokens summoned from Infested Wolf are Beasts, which creates incredible synergy with Kill Command and Houndmaster as you move up the curve.

Tundra Rhino is brought into this deck in place of the usual Stranglethorn Tiger since the immediate damage can be more effective against the Aggro decks that this build is targetted against. Outside of that it can also get great usage out of your Deathrattle Beasts. Any Kindly Grandmother or Infested Wolf that is on the board can have its Deathrattle spawns Charge on the same turn if you trade it with a Rhino on the board. Furthermore if you are ever able to have a Rhino stick to the board and Charge a Savannah Highmane or Call of the Wild, that alone will almost single-handedly be game winning.

Savannah Highmane is one of the most powerful cards in the game and a crucial inclusion to give you enough sustainability against heavier control decks. Due to the large body, and the Deathrattle effect, this card is almost impossible for most classes to deal with efficiently.

Call of the Wild is one of the most powerful late-game cards in the game. By combining all three Animal Companion effects in a single card for less Mana than playing Animal Companion 3 times it spikes well above the usual power curve of a card. The effect itself is also extremely flexible, providing you with immediate burst damage or removal, a Taunt, and an immediate board presence.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Houndmaster can be used in combination with your various Beasts to create powerful board states.

Argent Squire and Dire Wolf Alpha are included in the deck as a pair due to how well they work together.

Tundra Rhino synergises excellently with the Deathrattle Beasts in the deck to allow you to charge multiple minions in one turn.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

The mulligan strategy is reasonably simple. You always want to push aggressively for Argent Squire, Dire Wolf Alpha, Huge Toad, Fiery Bat, King's Elekk, and Kindly Grandmother in your opening hand. Pay attention to your Mana curve though, as this can be affected by whether or not you have The Coin. If you are going second, then Coining a 2-drop on Turn 1, followed by a second 2 drop on turn 2 is a very strong start. When going first, a more straightforward curve of Fiery Bat, Huge Toad, Animal Companion is preferred.

Against other decks that start quickly like Zoo, you can keep Eaglehorn Bow in your opening hand. Alongside this you need to push more aggressively for your 1-drop minions as starting your development on turn 2 will often be too slow. Playing as the Control deck for the first few turns and using your Bow to clear their minions is fine in these matchups, as you will usually dominate later with your superior mid- and late-game.

3.2.1. Vs Control Warrior

Do not be afraid to keep Savannah Highmane in your opening hand. Warrior will usually start the game slowly, so a fast start is not essential. However, having a Savannah Highmane available to drop on the board on Turn 6 is usually devastating to your opponent as it is an extremely difficult card for Warriors to remove. Without it, you may find that your deck runs out of damage against the Warrior’s removal and armor gain.

3.2.2. Vs Zoo

Mulligan extremely hard for Argent Squire, Fiery Bat, Dire Wolf Alpha, and Kindly Grandmother. The fight for early board control is extremely important in this matchup and others like it. If you are able to take control of the match that early against a Zoo deck, the way your Hero Power matches up against theirs will usually be enough for you to build your way to victory. Keeping Unleash the Hounds in your opening hand is also not a terrible idea, especially if you have The Coin.

3.3. Card Swaps

The 5 Mana slot is very flexible and any combination of Tundra Rhino, Ram Wrangler, Stranglethorn Tiger, and Stampeding Kodo can be used.

A second Eaglehorn Bow can be included in place of an Unleash the Hounds.

4. ChangeLog

  • 05 Oct. 2016: -2 Abusive Sergeant, +2 Dire Wolf Alpha
  • 21 Sep. 2016: Deck added.
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