Monster Hunt Houndmaster Shaw Guide
This guide is designed to aid you in your Monster Hunts in The Witchwood. It goes into great detail about Treasure rewards and Card Buckets to help you make the most optimal choices when forging a deck throughout a Monster Hunt.
The Houndmaster is a Beast-oriented class that uses a mix of Hunter and Druid cards, and uses the Dog Whistle Hero Power. You will begin your Monster Hunt with a deck that consists of the following 10 cards:
|Hunter Cards||Neutral Cards|
After defeating the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th boss in a Monster Hunt run, you will get to choose 1 of 3 random powerful Treasure cards that you can add to your deck. The Treasures after the 1st and 5th boss will offer passive effects and the Treasures offered after the 3rd and 7th bosses will be powerful playable cards that you can add to your deck.
The tables below contain a list of all the possible Treasures and Passive effects available and give them a general rating as to how good they are for the Houndmaster class. The comments give further details as to how and why the Treasures are good in addition to some of the Card Buckets that they have good synergies with.
2.1. Treasure Cards
|Bestiary||Excellent||Bestiary provides a great boost in late-game tempo. As the cards summoned are from opponent's decks, it is also a great tool for disrupting boss strategies that can be hard to overcome.|
|Princess||Excellent||Nearly all Houndmaster decks contain multiple powerful Deathrattle effects such as Sylvanas Windrunner, Savannah Highmane, and Violet Wurm that are easy for Princess to take advantage of.|
|Bandage||Good||The potential for Bandage is huge on large boards due to the temporary Windfury effect it provides. The Houndmaster is able to consistently develop wide boards to capitalise on this Treasure.|
|Bubba||Good||Bubba provides yet another way for Houndmaster Shaw to flood the board. If combined with the Companionship Treasure, the results can be devastating.|
|Cartographer||Good||Cartographer is a very reasonable choice. The Discover effect allows you to pick a Treasure based on the state of the game, which is often more beneficial than a static choice.|
|Enchanting Tune||Good||Enchanting Tune is a good tool to have in your deck. It can easily clean up any opposing board without the risk of triggering Deathrattle effects.|
|Gentleman's Top Hat||Good||Gentleman's Top Hat is a situational buff that can provide immense value when used on full boards, which can easily be achieved using cards like Unleash the Hounds and Hunting Mastiff.|
|Gilnean Vigilante||Good||Gilnean Vigilante is a great card that provides a strong mix of removal and tempo. If played early in the game, the Battlecry effect can often provide enough of a boost to win games outright.|
|Holy Book||Good||Holy Book is a great removal tool that serves a similar role to Safe Harbor.|
|Pristine Compass||Good||Pristine Compass is a great tool for providing both a boost in tempo and resources. It offers slightly less value for Houndmaster Shaw as most cards used are cheaper on average compared to other Monster Hunters.|
|Sack of Gnomes||Good||Sack of Gnomes is a good card that can cheaply flood the board and that is easy to capitalise on, especially using Pack Mentality card buckets.|
|Safe Harbor||Good||Safe Harbor is a powerful removal tool that can be used to create big swings in tempo and disrupt opponent's strategies by removing key minions from the board.|
|Shaw's Shank||Good||Shaw's Shank is a good weapon and a solid Treasure. The high durability of the weapon allows huge amounts of damage to be extracted from wide boards.|
|Sic 'Em||Good||Most Houndmaster decks run at least a small number of large minions that can bye used in combination with Sic 'Em for huge tempo boosts.|
|Amalgamate||Average||Amalgamate is a very strong board clear that leaves you with a strong minion in its wake. However, at 8 Mana the card is very clunky and your resulting minion is very vulnerable to hard removal.|
|Beastly Beauty||Average||Beastly Beauty is a decent card that effectively adds a giant to the board if you are able to make a reasonable trade with the Rush effect. However, it is simply overshadowed by some of the more powerful treasures.|
|Brass Lantern||Average||Brass Lantern is a good way to generate resources without drawing through your deck. It can offer good value if you can Discover a copy of the other Treasure card in your deck; however, it lacks the boost in tempo when compared to a Treasure like Pristine Compass.|
|Creepy Curio||Average||Creepy Curio is a great card if you know you are going to draw through your deck to get additional value from Haunted Curio and Cursed Curio. However, most games will be too short for this to be the case.|
|Gilnean Tracker||Average||Gilnean Tracker is a risky card that can offer huge benefits, transforming into Transforming Tracker after 1 turn and Worgen Tracker after 2.|
|Grave Mistake||Average||Grave Mistake is a very situational card that can potentially be strong, but it must be played in combination with powerful Deathrattle minions.|
|Hallowed Water||Average||Hallowed Water should primarily be considered for its card draw effect that can be used to generate additional fuel for more aggressive decks.|
|Murloc Holmes||Average||Murloc Holmes is a good early-game card with strong stats and the ability to generate a small card advantage, but in general it does not a powerful game-changing effect that you would expect from a Treasure card.|
|Nalaa the Redeemer||Average||Nalaa the Redeemer is quite a strong Treasure overall, but is not very fitting for the more aggressive nature of Houndmaster Shaw.|
|Old Militia Horn||Average||Old Militia Horn is quite a slow card that is unlikely to reach its full potential. However, even the non upgraded version can be used in combination with cards like Unleash the Hounds for reasonable value.|
|Plague of Murlocs||Average||Plague of Murlocs is heavily dependent on having a wide board, which can frequently be achieved with most Houndmaster strategies.|
|Royal Gift||Average||Royal Gift is an expensive Treasure that requires a full board to offer good value, which is easier to achieve with Houndmaster than other Monster Hunters.|
|Scythe||Average||Scythe is a fairly average Treasure that has the potential to gain huge value over time. However, once it is equipped it will render any other weapons you have in the deck useless.|
|Surly Mob||Average||Surly Mob has the potential to provide good value in long games. However, most of the time games, will not go long enough for you to draw into Angry Mob and Crazed Mob.|
|Blood Moon||Bad||Blood Moon is a very poor Treasure that is heavily reliant on having a wide board. It is a worse choice than Old Militia Horn for buffing and Hallowed Water for healing.|
|Butch||Bad||Butch is far too slow to achieve consistent value and will often be a dead card in your hand if drawn too early, which is unacceptable for a Treasure card.|
|Chuck||Bad||It is common to have a relatively empty hand, or a hand full or small minions when playing as Houndmaster, both of which offer very little value for Chuck.|
|Coin Pouch||Bad||Coin Pouch takes a long time to offer any real value and is never worth choosing.|
|Gattling Gunner||Bad||The effect of Gattling Gunner can be strong. However, the stats of the minion itself are far too weak and it is very unlikely to survive long enough for it ever to be a good Treasure choice.|
|Ricochet Shot||Bad||Ricochet Shot offers a huge amount of damage in a single card. However, the randomness of the effect means it will often do as much harm as good. It should only be picked as a fun choice, if you are indifferent about successfully completing a run.|
|Shallow Graves||Bad||Due to the Dog Whistle Hero Power, Shallow Graves will mostly resurrect cheap minions and is not worth the 9 Mana investment for a Treasure.|
|Sneak Attack||Bad||Sneak Attack is a very situational Treasure that can offer great value if you can manipulate your hand to only contain powerful minions. However, most of your minions will be quite weak unless you have favoured the Stomp Stomp STOMP card bucket.|
|Spyglass||Bad||While the Spyglass Treasure does offer a little bit of value, it is very poor compared to other Treasures that are available.|
2.2. Passive Treasures
|Crystal Gem||Excellent||Crystal Gem provides a strong boost in early-game tempo, allowing you to explode onto the board faster, which is great for any deck.|
|Lunar Signet||Excellent||Deathrattle minions are used in almost every Houndmaster deck to some extent, allowing Lunar Signet to provide a slow boost in tempo to stay ahead throughout the game.|
|Companionship||Good||Companionship greatly improves the Dog Whistle Hero Power to make it a solid removal tool. It also has excellent synergy with the Battlecry of Bubba, allowing it to decimate opponent's boards.|
|Entrenchment||Good||Entrenchment is a good all-round Treasure. The boost in Health makes it significantly easier for any of your minions to stick to the board and makes it much easier to control.|
|Expedite||Good||Expedite provides a good boost in tempo, but as it only affects minion it is generally weaker than Crystal Gem.|
|Small Backpacks||Good||Small Backpacks provides you with a boost in card advantage from the beginning of the game. The additional cards can help you play any deck more effectively due to the additional options available.|
|Glyph of Warding||Average||Glyph of Warding is very mediocre in general and causes a minor slow for bosses. However, it can be very powerful if you happen to encounter a boss that uses Echo effects.|
|Caltrops||Bad||Caltrops is a deceptive Treasure that may seem good, but it offers very little value against the later bosses that consistently play big minions.|
|First Aid Kit||Bad||First Aid Kit may seem reasonable, but it struggles to offer consistent value and it pales in comparison to other Treasures.|
|Potion of Vitality||Bad||Potion of Vitality is a poor Treasure that offers no value. If you find yourself needing this Treasure to survive bosses, it is generally indicative of other weaknesses within your deck.|
|Scepter of Summoning||Bad||No big minions are used in Houndmaster decks outside of the Stomp Stomp STOMP card bucket, which is almost never used.|
3. Card Buckets
After you defeat each boss, you will be offered a choice of 3 different card buckets that you can add to your deck. Each bucket contains 3 cards that fit a certain theme and will help shape your deck in different ways.
The table below contains a list of all the possible Houndmaster card buckets and gives a general rating as to how good each card bucket is on average. The comments section contains further details of each bucket and when to choose them.
|Divide and Conquer||Excellent||Divide and Conquer contains powerful Deathrattle and token minions such as Savannah Highmane, Rat Pack, and Haunted Creeper. It is excellent under almost any circumstances and synergises especially well with the Pack Mentality and Unwavering card buckets.|
|Pack Mentality||Excellent||Pack mentality contains a range of synergies for Beasts and big boards, such as Scavenging Hyena. The options offered are nearly always great and it is a solid card bucket for any deck.|
|Unload||Good||Unload contains a mix of Druid and Hunter spells such as Flanking Strike, Deadly Shot, Wild Growth, and Nourish. This bucket provides most of the utility cards needed for Houndmaster decks and it is wise to pick it up once or twice per Monster Hunt run.|
|Unwavering||Good||Unwavering contains a range of powerful Deathrattle minions such as Savannah Highmane, Sylvanas Windrunner, Cairne Bloodhoof, and Sludge Belcher. The options offered are almost always good and there is exceptional synergy with the Lunar Signet Treasure.|
|Companions||Average||Companions contains various Beast synergies from the Hunter and Druid classes. Though the bucket can offer good cards like Animal Companion and Call of the Wild, it is also very inconsistent and will regularly offer poor cards such as Knight of the Wild.|
|Exotic Beasts||Average||Exotic Beasts contains all Beasts minions from Classes outside of Hunter and Druid. Although the choices will often be quite poor, it does have some gems to offer such as King Mosh.|
|Go for the Throat||Average||Go for the Throat offers a range of Charge and Rush minions to take an aggressive stance against opponents. Although the card buckets offer can sometimes be reasonable, it is not advisable to commit too hard into the bucket.|
|On the Hunt||Average||On the Hunt provides utility cards such as Stitched Tracker and Tracking. This bucket can be useful if you want to try and generate additional copies of powerful cards such as Bubba or Princess.|
|Thick Hide||Average||Thick Hide contains all of the Taunt minions and defensive tools available. Look out for strong options such as Sludge Belcher and Grizzled Guardian that synergise with the Pack Mentality and Unwavering card buckets.|
|Stalking||Bad||The Stalking card bucket houses all of the beasts with niche effects such as Poison or Stealth. The cards offered by this bucket are almost never correct to choose.|
|Stomp Stomp STOMP||Bad||This card bucket has a range of big Beasts in addition to the Jungle Giants Quest. Unfortunately, the Quest is almost offered in the first card bucket, forcing you to commit to it. The only time you should ever consider committing to this card bucket is if you have managed to pick up the Scepter of Summoning Treasure as well.|
- 09 May 2018: Scythe Treasure added.
- 29 Apr. 2018: Final Treasures added.
- 28 Apr. 2018: Additional Treasures added.
- 27 Apr. 2018: Guide added.
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