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Hunter Hybrid Wild Deck

Last updated on Jun 27, 2016 at 17:32 by Sottle 60 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide outlines a new Hunter build that combines the ruthless aggression of Face Hunter with the staying power and board dominance of more Midrange focused Hunter builds. It has been extremely dominant on ladder in recent times, with numerous players holding top 10 Legend Rank spots earned by playing the deck.

The Wild build of this deck does not suffer from wholesale changes, simply replacing the nerfed Leper Gnome with Fiery Bat.

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. Hunter Hybrid Wild Deck

Our deck costs 1,460 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Hunter Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Hybrid Hunter is a deck that take the shell of the ever popular Face Hunter build and adds in more late-game stability with cards like Savannah Highmane and Piloted Shredder. The goal is still to be aggressive and pressure your opponent at all times, but it plays a more board oriented style than the classic Face Hunter deck.

In the early turns, you should use a combination of your early-game cards to fight for the board and give you an advantage. Using Haunted Creeper in combination with buff cards like Abusive Sergeant and Glaivezooka, you can usually out-trade most other decks, even including usually dominant early-game decks like Zoo. The goal here is to build a platform to enable to transition into your aggression in the mid-game, and bait removal from your opponent's hand to protect your higher impact minions.

Entering the mid-game, you will start to consolidate your board position with cards like Animal Companion and Piloted Shredder. If you have successfully gained the board in the early turns with successful trading, then both of these cards are extremely strong to create pressure alongside other small existing minions.

Freezing Trap is a key card in the deck. Instead of the Explosive Traps usually featured in Face Hunter, this deck instead favours using Freezing Trap and Snake Trap as they are so strong in helping you to establish board dominance in the early game. If you are able to get a Freezing Trap summoned from a Mad Scientist, then you will usually find yourself in a very strong position. Scientist will often trade evenly with one of their early-game cards, then the Freezing Trap will come into play to essentially remove their next minion from play. Always look out for situations where your opponent's minion is locked out from attacking, and feel free to ignore it and generate the free Tempo that comes with it. Try to resist the temptation to keep clearing and wait for a high value target to Freeze, as it is usually significant for any of their minions to be Frozen, such is the aggression of the deck, and how quickly you are able to seize on the slow play your opponent is forced to make.

During the mid-game phase, the key skill is recognising when the time for trading has come to an end, and it is time to aggressively race your opponent for damage. This can depend on a number of factors, and differs hugely in different matchups. There are some key situations to look out for however. Firstly, the above mentioned scenario with Freezing Trap is always a strong jumping off point for your aggression, as the loss of Tempo your opponent will suffer will open the door for you. Secondly, if you have built up a lot of damage in your hand through Kill Commands, Quick Shot, Argent Horserider, and other cards, this can also be an indicator that it is time to race for damage. If you can realistically kill your opponent in two turns with the cards in your hand, even with every minion being removed immediately, you should go for it. Lastly, if you have a strong board and strong followup minions in your hand, particularly Savannah Highmane, then you probably have the tools to deal with any problems your opponent presents you.

It is important when making the push for damage that you are able to weave in your Hero Power on every turn it is feasible. Every turn you do not Hero Power is simply damage missed. In Face Hunter, typically, strong players will start to Hero Power each turn as early as Turn 4, but in this deck, you can afford to play with the cards in your hand to fight for the board for a little longer, but come turn 5 or 6, you should be making the effort to use your Hero Power as much as you can, unless you have cards like Loatheb or Savannah Highmane in your hand.

For example, imagine on Turn 5 your hand is Knife Juggler, Haunted Creeper, and Argent Horserider. You may be tempted to simply play the Knife Juggler and the Horserider as it seems like the most powerful play. However, simply playing Horserider plus Hero Power on turn 5, then playing the other two 2-drop minions plus your Hero Power on turn 6 actually nets you more damage over the course of the two turns. There are exceptions to this rule where burning through your hand quicker will allow you to kill your opponent a turn earlier, but generally, when working out the most efficient way to kill your opponent in the least number of turns possible, using your Hero Power on each turn is a key component.

Playing an Aggro deck such as this one requires experience, and improvement will come over times, especially with a Hybrid deck that requires different mentalities in different phases of the game, and the ability to recognise when to switch between them. In time though, you will start to get a feel for the different phases of the game and start to make more informed decisions on when it is correct to switch away from trading, and instead go in for the kill.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Haunted Creeper works wonderfully with Glaivezooka. Getting a Glaivezooka buff onto a Haunted Creeper is usually extremely powerful, since Haunted Creeper is so awkward to remove that people's tendency is to ignore it in the early-game. By buffing its power, you will make it unignorable, essentially causing your opponent to trade inefficiently into it.

Knife Juggler plus Unleash the Hounds is a powerful board clearing tool if you do find yourself behind on the board after the early exchanges against decks like Zoo or other Hunters.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Your mulligans should consist of looking for your early game minions such as Fiery Bat, Abusive Sergeant, Haunted Creeper, and Mad Scientist, with Glaivezooka being a high priority. Without The Coin you should push as hard as you can for a 1-drop minion, with The Coin however, playing a 2 Mana card on each of the first two turns is often more powerful. Against classes that cannot deal 1 damage with their Hero Power, it is usually correct to keep Abusive Sergeant with the intention of playing it on turn 1, purely to maintain consistency.

Against other Aggro decks that will have fast openings, Glaivezooka is an even higher priority than normal. If you can get it in combination with Haunted Creeper in your opening hand, then you can usually leverage that combination to get yourself ahead in the early turns. Knife Juggler is another strong keep in these matchups alongside Haunted Creeper, as the Knives summoned from the Spectral Spider tokens being spawned can usually help you to clear the board in the early game.

Against heavy Control decks like Priest or Warrior, you can keep one stable card in your hand such as Piloted Shredder or even Savannah Highmane if you have The Coin. The reason for this is that an explosive start is not essential against such decks, since they are likely to be slow themselves. What is important however, is to carry enough power into the late-game to be able to continue to pressure them once they have begun to stabilise.

Against decks that are heavily focused on Spells such as Rogue or Freeze Mage, keeping Loatheb in your opening hand is reasonable if you have an otherwise strong curve. Loatheb is so vital to shut down the gameplan of these decks that being able to rely on having it when you need it is very powerful.

3.3. Card Swaps

Argent Horserider can be replaced with either Wolfrider or Arcane Golem. These cards will tilt your deck further towards the all-out aggression of Face Hunter, while Argent Horserider provides the best balance overall.

Various tech cards like Kezan Mystic, Houndmaster, or Defender of Argus can be included in place of Loatheb or a Piloted Shredder.

Some players prefer to use 2 Eaglehorn Bows and 1 Glaivezooka, although the author does not personally recommend this.

4. ChangeLog

  • 27 Jun. 2016: This deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for the current Wild meta.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Update for Wild Meta and to reflect card nerfs.
  • 15 Mar. 2016: Deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for Season 24.
  • 18 Feb. 2016: Removed 1 x Wolfrider, 1 x Arcane Golem, 1 x Freezing Trap for 2 x Argent Horserider, 1 x Snake Trap.
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