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Barnes Midrange Hunter Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Nov 10, 2016 at 23:01 by Sottle 29 comments

Table of Contents

This Midrange Hunter build is an updated list for the Standard Meta. Hunters have had to adapt significantly to Standard format due to losing most of their preferred early game minions from the Curse of Naxxramas set. Thankfully, they were given some strong replacements such as Fiery Bat and also received one of the best late-game cards in the game in the form of Call of the Wild.

Hunter was given great tools in One Night in Karazhan with Kindly Grandmother being a very solid 2 Mana minion, and Hunter being very well positioned to get good value from Barnes.

After the nerfs in the October 3rd patch, the Abusive Sergeant has been removed from this deck.

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. Barnes Midrange Hunter Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 3,200 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. 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.

Fiery Bat is a strong starting point for the deck and is the only non-situational 1-drop that is played. 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.

Stranglethorn Tiger is a powerful Beast that can allow you to stick a minion to the board during a crucial period of the game. Unlike the other big threats in your deck, the stealth on Stranglethorn Tiger makes it resistant to removal effects like Sap and Execute, allowing you to attack on your own terms. This also means that it functions for an excellent target for Houndmaster or activator for Kill Command.

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.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

The mulligan strategy is reasonably simple. You always want to push aggressively for 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. 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 Fiery Bat 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.

4. ChangeLog

  • 10 Nov. 2016: -1 Call of the Wild, +1 Tracking
  • 05 Oct. 2016: -1 Abusive Sergeant, +1 King's Elekk
  • 19 Aug. 2016: Deck added.
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