Deathrattle Hunter Deck List Guide (Rastakhan's Rumble January 2019)
This guide contains the basic strategies, mulligans, and deck-building decisions for Deathrattle Hunter decks. Not to be confused with Recruit Hunter, Deathrattle Hunter decks are built around Devilsaur Egg and Terrorscale Stalker, and do not play the card Seeping Oozeling.
Deathrattle Hunter is much leaner and quicker than Recruit Hunter, as it is capable of applying quick pressure through powerful Deathtrattle effects (Devilsaur Egg, Carnivorous Cube) and Hunter cards which trigger them (Play Dead, Terrorscale Stalker). Deathrattle Hunter does a much better job of playing around board wipes than other aggressive decks, as its numerous Deathrattle cards threaten to instantly rebuild any board which is cleared by the opponent.
Deathrattle Hunter has very few new options in the Rastakhan's Rumble meta, with the most notable addition being Da Undatakah. However, as one of the strongest decks before the expansion, it still remains a powerful deck in its current form.
1. Deathrattle Hunter Card List
This Deathrattle Hunter deck costs 14,340 and it is made up of the following cards.
|Hunter Cards||Neutral Cards|
2. Deathrattle Hunter Mana Curve
3. Aim of Deathrattle Hunter
Deathrattle Hunter looks to make devastating tempo plays in the midgame by playing Terrorscale Stalker or Play Dead on a minion with a powerful Deathrattle effect. Though it does not have as powerful of a late game plan as Recruit Hunter, it is still capable of setting up big and sticky boards in the later turns of the game thanks to Carnivorous Cube.
4. Deathrattle Hunter Mulligan
Prince Keleseth is the best cards to have in your opening hand in all of Hearthstone, but not in Deathrattle Hunter! Though you should still keep Prince Keleseth, the card with the highest win rate in the deck when kept is Devilsaur Egg, as it enables a number of devastating plays on turns 3-5 with Play Dead and Terrorscale Stalker. As such, always keep Devilsaur Egg in your mulligans and keep either a Terrorscale Stalker or a Play Dead (potentially both) if you already have a Devilsaur Egg.
Tracking and Houndmaster Shaw are fine cards to keep against non-aggressive decks. Tracking can be used to dig for a Devilsaur Egg or a Deathrattle enabler, while Houndmaster Shaw will frequently demand an immediate answer from your opponent or will threaten to take over the game on his own. Against decks such as Even Warlock which are likely to run Mountain Giants, Hunter's Mark is an excellent keep.
Against aggressive decks, mulligan away all of your slower cards for Flanking Strike, Spider Bomb, and Candleshot. Deathrattle Hunter leans heavily on these cards to control the board in the early game, and can get run over by aggressive minions without them.
Against decks that look to stall things out and play to the late game, keep as many "power" cards as you can find. Against control decks, keep Deathstalker Rexxar, Kathrena Winterwisp, Carnivorous Cube, and as many Play Deads and Terrorscale Stalkers as you can find.
5. Deathrattle Hunter Strategy
5.1. Deathrattle Hunter Early Turns
The first three or four turns of the game are quite easy for Deathrattle Hunter. The deck runs a fairly limited number of 1, 2, and 3-cost cards, and the ones it does run are most effective when played on curve. Your plan A is almost always to play a Devilsaur Egg on turn 3 to set up strong plays on turns 4 and 5. Use Tracking to dig for your first copy of Devilsaur Egg, or to grab a Play Dead or Terrorscale Stalker if you already have an egg.
5.2. Deathrattle Hunter Midgame
Your strategy in the midgame depends entirely on the kind of deck you are facing. Against faster decks, you should be looking to spend your resources as quickly as possible to fight for the board, while against slower decks, you should attempt to build towards your late-game plan (which we will discuss shortly).
The most important decisions in the midgame revolve around the usage of Play Dead, Terrorscale Stalker, and Carnivorous Cube. Some matchups demand that that these cards be used as quickly possible to fight for the board, while other matchups require you to save these cards for moments of maximal value. As a rule of thumb, if you are facing a deck which is light on board wipes, its is probably best to commit your resources to the board as quickly as possible. If you are facing a deck which is heavy on board wipes, then it is probably best to save your resources in the midgame so you can set up a board which can still threaten your opponent after a board wipe has been played (thanks to your Deathrattles).
5.3. Deathrattle Hunter Lategame
Deathrattle Hunter has a wide variety of viable late game strategies, including:
- Setting up a board where Play Dead or Terrorscale Stalker can be used to activate a Carnivorous Cube which contains a Zilliax or Witchwood Grizzly.
- Leaning on Deathstalker Rexxar's Hero Power to outvalue your opponent with beasts.
- Using Carnivorous Cube on a Devilsaur Egg to create a board which is resilient to board wipes, or to set up a devastating Void Ripper.
- Setting up lethal damage with a charging King Krush or Charged Devilsaur off a Kathrena Winterwisp into Play Dead.
There will be very few matchups where your opponent is unable to pressure you at all, providing you with the time to build towards the optimal game plan for the matchup at hand (such as plan #3 against Control Mage). In the majority of matchups, you will be forced to commit to one of these plans simply because it is the only one available to you, and not because it is the optimal plan for the matchup. For example, you will not always be able to find a Witchwood Grizzly to Carnivorous Cube against aggressive decks, or an aggressive minion to Cube against slower decks. Fortunately, Deathrattle Hunter's sub-optimal game plans are still quite strong, and will often be enough to win you the game.
Generally speaking, if you are able to pressure your opponent in the midgame and have control of the board as your move into the late game, then you can afford to not over-commit to the board and should wait to set up your optimal game plan for the matchup. However, if you had a weak midgame and are approaching the late game at parity with your opponent or are behind on board, then you will probably not have the luxury of being able to wait for the perfect Carnivorous Cube combo, and should make whichever play is available to you.
6. Deathrattle Hunter Single Card Strategies
6.1. Devilsaur Egg and Carnivorous Cube
Devilsaur Egg and Carnivorous Cube are the most important cards in the deck. Getting these cards silenced is a big deal, so you should try to avoid playing them straight into Spellbreakers unless you are able to immediately trigger these cards with a Play Dead. Since you are more likely to see silence effects out of aggressive decks than control decks, it is probably best to play your Spider Bombs and Flanking Strikes before playing your Eggs and Cubes against aggro. You must also be wary of playing these powerful Deathrattle cards into a Polymorph out of Control Mage or a Hex out of Shudderwock Shaman.
Tracking is one of the most difficult cards to use correctly in the entire deck. It gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on, but it must frequently be used in the early game to dig for key cards. If you are missing a specific card (such as a Devilsaur Egg for the Terrorscale Stalker in your hand, or a Hunter's Mark for a Mountain Giant), then it is probably best to use your Tracking immediately to dig for your missing piece. However, if you are 2 or more cards away from making a powerful play, it is probably best to wait on playing Tracking until after you have drawn one of the cards you need, allowing you to dig for the missing piece.
7. Deathrattle Hunter Key Cards and Swaps
Prince Keleseth is not necessary for the deck to function. Many builds play 2 copies of Loot Hoarder and 1 or 2 copies of Fireworks Tech in its place in a more Mech-centered build of the deck called Mechrattle Hunter, which I describe below in the "variants" section.
Both Deathstalker Rexxar and Kathrena Winterwisp substantially increase the power level of the deck, but are not fundamentally necessary for the deck to function. For budget reasons, you could consider swapping either of these cards out for a Stitched Tracker.
Houndmaster Shaw plays excellently with Deathrattle cards, and is considered a core card in the deck. It is not recommended that you play this deck without him.
Zilliax is a very strong card in the current metagame, and one of the safer crafts in the game as a powerful Neutral legendary. It has the additional upside in Deathrattle Hunter of being a Magnetic minion for your Spider Bombs, which can set up large bursts of life gain. If you do not own a Zilliax, you can easily replace it with a Stitched Tracker.
For reasons previously discussed, Carnivorous Cube is not replaceable in this deck. Mossy Horror is a tech card, which means it is strong in the current metagame but is not necessary for the deck to work. You can replace Mossy Horror with another tech card (such as Spellbreaker), or a Fire Fly to give you a stronger early game against aggro. Charged Devilsaur does a decent job at pretending to be a second copy of King Krush, but can be swapped for a Savannah Highmane to provide you with a more resilient midgame.
7.3. Flex Slots
Deathrattle Hunter is a deck with plenty of flex slots and room for innovation in The Boomsday Project:
- You can shave Tracking to make room for additional cards.
- If you are not running into weapons on the ladder, you can swap the Gluttonous Ooze for a Stitched Tracker.
- Some lists opt to run 2 copies of Defender of Argus to make Devilsaur Egg even stronger.
- King Krush loses some value when the meta slows down, and can be easily swapped out for a copy of Savannah Highmane.
- Saronite Chain Gang has become synonymous with Prince Keleseth, and is played as a 1 or 2-of in many lists.
- Void Ripper can be used to combo-kill with Witchwood Grizzly, or break your Devilsaur Eggs after they have been Carnivorous Cubed.
- Spiritsinger Umbra makes your Carnivorous Cubes even stronger, and like Houndmaster Shaw will typically demand a removal spell out of your opponent immediately.
8. Mechrattle Hunter Variant
Fireworks Tech provides a strong incentive to move away from Prince Keleseth towards a build of Deathrattle Hunter that features Mechs. Mechanical Whelp joins Spider Bomb as a second powerful target for Fireworks Tech, and is another powerful target for Play Dead and Terrorscale Stalker. Though the additional Mech synergies add power to the deck, they also decrease the deck's overall consistency. Stitched Tracker is added to help bring the consistency back up, but the subtraction of the Witchwood Grizzly/Kathrena Winterwisp package from the deck makes it weaker to aggro. If you wish to expand on the Mech theme, you could also run 2 copies of Venomizer.
|Hunter Cards||Neutral Cards|
9. Budget Deathrattle Hunter Deck
Deathrattle Hunter can run up to 5 or 6 Legendary minions, but not all of them are necessary for the deck to function. Houndmaster Shaw is the strongest Legendary in the deck and playing Deathrattle Hunter is not recommended without him, while Carnivorous Cube is fundamentally irreplaceable.
|Hunter Cards||Neutral Cards|
Without Deathstalker Rexxar or Kathrena Winterwisp, Deathrattle Hunter becomes entirely reliant on Carnivorous Cube and Devilsaur Egg to make powerful plays. For this reason, 2 copies of Stitched Tracker were added to help dig for additional copies of these key cards. Without Prince Keleseth, Loot Hoarder into Terrorscale Stalker becomes an excellent way to play to the board in the early game while generating value.
10. Wild Deathrattle Hunter Deck
|Hunter Cards||Neutral Cards|
This version of the deck was popularized by Control, who used this list to hit rank #2 Legend. It runs even more minions with powerful Deathrattle effects, in addition to Feign Death and Baron Rivendare to collect even more value from them. Though the Wild version of Deathrattle Hunter uses wildly different cards than the Standard version, the basic strategy is still same. Play minions with powerful Deathrattle effects, use activators to gain value from the Deathrattle triggers, and set up devastating end-game board states with Carnivorous Cube.
11. Quick Tips and Tricks
- Be careful of Skulking Geist, who can rip your Play Deads out of your hand. Try to use your Play Deads before turn 6 against decks which are likely to run Skulking Geist.
- Silence effects and Polymorph effects are very strong against Deathrattle Hunter. Play around these cards by playing your Deathrattle minions and your Deathrattle activators in the same turn.
- Your Hero Power is not as important in Deathrattle Hunter as it is in other Hunter decks. It is more important to play to the board early, especially against aggro decks.
12. Similar Hearthstone Decks
- 01 Jan. 2019: Deck has been updated for the January play season. Removed 1x Da Undatakah for 1x Oondasta.
- 04 Dec. 2018: Deck has been updated for the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion. Removed 1x Mind Control Tech for 1x Da Undertakah.
- 26 Oct. 2018: Added 2x Mind Control Tech, 1x Zilliax, 1x Gluttonous Ooze, and Charged Devilsaur in place of 2x Giggling Inventors, 1x Tracking, 1x Stitched Tracker, and 1x Savannah Highmane.
- Added 1x Zilliax in place of 1x Giggling Inventor to the Mechrattle variant.
- 02 Sep. 2018: Updated for September. Swapped Gluttonous Ooze for a Stitched Tracker.
- 15 Aug. 2018: Added 2x Spider Bomb, 2x Giggling Inventor, 1x Mossy Horror, 1x Gluttonous Ooze in place of 2x Fire Fly, 2x Tar Creeper, 1x Void Ripper, 1x Defender of Argus, and added a variant for "Mechrattle Hunter".
- 07 Aug. 2018: Updated for The Boomsday Project. Removed 1x Savannah Highmane for 1x King Krush.
- 24 Jul. 2018: Deck Added
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