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Face Secrets Hunter Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Oct 06, 2016 at 13:23 by Sottle 11 comments

Table of Contents

This guide outlines how to play Aggro Secret Hunter, a new build of an aggressive Hunter deck that is built around the power of Cloaked Huntress and all-out aggression. It aims to push for damage as quickly as possible and use the presence of Secrets to distract and delay your opponent.

This build of the deck was used by C4mlann and Xzirez to reach top 10 Legend on two different servers.

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. Face Secrets Hunter Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 2,840 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Hunter Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This particular build of Hunter is a return to a strategy that has not been seen in Hunter decks for quite some time, that of all-out aggression. It plays an extremely low curve and aims to push damage to the opponent as quickly as possible while stalling their development and removal with Secrets.

Fiery Bat is chosen because of its Beast synergy in later turns and the ability to create favourable trades on the board using its Deathrattle effects. On top of this, Secretkeeper is also included in the deck as an additional opening threat due to the huge number of Secrets in the deck. Since the deck plays no natural 2-drop minions, your opening will often involve playing a Secret on turn 2, which makes Secretkeeper the perfect choice for an opening minions. Finally Argent Squire is included in the 1-drop slot which although can seem a little weak without buffs in the deck, can still create a sticky board presence in the early-game.

You can often take the initiative with these minions and prioritise damage to the opposing hero if the trades on the board are even from both sides. Since your opponent without knowledge of your deck will be forced to respect the threat of a Houndmaster coming down on curve, they will be obligated to make the trades themselves most of the time. Do however, consider the threat of removal options from hand like Frostbolt or Fiery War Axe that will leave your opponent with a minion in play against an empty board if you choose to attack in this way.

Cloaked Huntress is also included in the deck and is the reason for the huge number of Secrets that are played. It is one of the power cards in the deck and is capable of creating a huge amount of tempo for you in the right situation. It is important to recognise however that even though you can play a Secret for 0 Mana, it is not always right to do so. Freezing Trap in particular might be more valuable in your hand to try and freeze a large minion later than it is on the board when your opponent has small targets in play. Because of this dilemma, the other Secrets chosen for the deck are the ones that are the most universally strong and the least situational: Snake Trap and Cat Trick.

Moving forward since you lack the Houndmaster mentioned earlier your mid-game plays all rely on more aggression with additional cards added to the deck like Argent Horserider to allow to you react to the board more directly or to push additional damage. Eaglehorn Bow is another huge card in the deck and can represent an enormous amount of damage due to the amount of additional charges you can gain from Secret activations.

As you progress past turn 4 or 5 with this deck, you will need to start to assess how much damage you need to push through to win the game. Stop and take a moment at this point to count how much damage total you have in your hand that can be relied upon such as Quick Shot and Kill Command. Then make a reasonable estimate of how much extra minion or weapon damage you expect to be able to push through, plus how much additional damage you are likely to draw. After comparing this total number to your opponent's current life total you will start to get a grasp on how many turns you need to win the game, and how many times you have to press your Hero Power in order to make up the needed damage.

With this in mind, in the mid-game turns it is not always correct to spend all of your Mana on minion development. In fact in many scenarios, it is usually better to spend 5 Mana on an Argent Horserider and a Hero Power rather than developing another 2 Mana minion. Using the calculation in the above paragraph you can pick the correct point in the game to switch to this strategy and move away from a Tempo based style where you develop minions on each turn.

One of the huge advantages of this deck is that your opponent will often give you credit for having huge threats like Savannah Highmane and Call of the Wild in your hand, and therefore hold back on using premium removal on your smaller minions. You can play into this fear by holding onto cards like Kill Command and Hunter's Mark in your hand for as long as possible as an opponent that is paying attention might think those cards are high cost threats that you have been unable to play.

To end the game you will look to use combinations of Quick Shot, Kill Command, and Leeroy Jenkins. You can use Tracking to dig for these cards more reliably in order to push damage in the late stages and should also bear in mind that Unleash the Hounds holds additional synergy with Leeroy since two additional minions are spawned on the opponent's side of the board.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Cloaked Huntress can be used to play the numerous Secrets in the deck for 0 Mana.

The various Beasts in the deck can be used to activate Kill Command for 5 damage.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies.

The general Mulligan strategy with this deck is to look aggressively for Fiery Bat, Argent Squire, and Secretkeeper. Secrets can be kept in the opening hand but you should generally look for Snake Trap and Cat Trick over Freezing Trap. Eaglehorn Bow and Argent Horserider can be kept if you have The Coin and Cloaked Huntress is an automatic keep.

Against Zoo specifically you can keep Unleash the Hounds in your opening hand, especially if you have The Coin. Quick Shot is another card you can hold onto if you are playing against an aggressive deck, but generally only if you are going second since you will want to push your initiative if you are going first by securing a 1-drop of your own.

Cat Trick is a great keep against Druid specifically, since they will often want to Wild Growth on the turn you play it and reward you with the 4/2 minion immediately.

3.3. Card Swaps

Animal Companion can be included in the deck in place of Argent Horserider or Hunter's Mark.

Dire Wolf Alpha is another card to consider in one of these spots.

4. ChangeLog

  • 06 Oct. 2016: Deck added.
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