MD1 - Hunter Long 1
In our first edition of Magic Decks in this new website, we will be covering a unique Mid-Range Hunter Deck!

This Hunter Deck is played by Cysian, who goes by the BattleTag Atreyu#1885.

He played this very interesting non-aggro Beast deck to legend in Test Season 4. If you thought Tropeout’s deck was revolutionary, you will be absolutely shocked when you examine the list below:

Hunter (22):

  • Bestial Wrath x2
  • Timber Wolf x2
  • Snake Trap x1
  • Unleash the Hounds x2
  • Scavenging Hyena x2
  • Starving Buzzard x2
  • Animal Companion x2
  • Deadly Shot x1
  • Kill Command x2
  • Houndmaster x2
  • Tundra Rhino x2
  • Savannah Highmane x2

Neutral (8):

  • Young Dragonhawk x2
  • Ironbeak Owl x1
  • Jungle Panther x2
  • King Mukla
  • Stranglethorn Tiger x2

MD1 - Hunter Long 2

Gameplay

Unlike most Mid-Range Hunter decks, this particular Beast Hunter is missing staples like Hunter’s Mark, Freezing Trap, and Eaglehorn Bow. In fact, it only runs a single secret: Snake Trap.

The deck aims to make favourable trades by ‘picking’ your fights via Stealthed creatures. The Jungle Panthers and Stranglethorn Tigers let you trade efficiently because they cannot be removed the turn you play them. Jungle Panther has added synergy because you can play the Houndmaster’s Battlecry on him almost 100% of the time.

Very few Area-of-Effect (AoE) effects can clear out Jungle Panther on turn 3 outside of Mages and Shamans with Wild Pyromancer; good thing Mages aren’t popular! Bestial Wrath allows you to remove dangerous creatures without losing a minion, further preserving your board efficiency.

The deck has a relatively weak two mana turn. The mana curve of this deck peaks at three, meaning your first two turns will mostly be spent passing or playing Snake Trap/Hero Power. This gives it a rather rough start compared to other faster paced decks such as Zoo.

However, Zoo is naturally weak to Hunter due to Unleash the Hounds, who still has a place in this deck. In fact, this deck has even more ways to combo into Unleash the Hounds, as it packs Scavenging Hyenas as well as Starving Buzzards. It can sometimes be impossible for Zoo to deal with a super-buffed up Scavenging Hyena as early as turn four.

Tundra Rhino is one of the key cards in the deck; being able to give your Beasts the Charge ability makes them much deadlier than normal. We featured the power of Savannah Highmane + Tundra Rhino combo in our previous website; Savannah Highmane’s 2/2 tokens get charge if the Deathrattle activates the turn he is played. That particular combo is present in this deck, but there are also extra synergies in the form of the rarely seen Young Dragonhawk.

While mostly a forgotten card, Young Dragonhawk can get a surprising amount of damage when buffed by Timber Wolves, Bestial Wraths or Houndmasters. In particular, a Bestial Wrath + Young Dragonhawk can trade with two minions without dying! Young Dragonhawk is also a very strong turn one play against classes who don’t have a ping, as they might be forced to use valuable removal on a measly 1/1.

When looking at the individual cards in this particular deck, it is hard to imagine that it will be strong enough to reach legend. However, on closer scrutiny, there is way more synergy than it meets the eye.

MD1 - Hunter Long 3

Pros

  • Very Efficient Trading via Stealth
  • Better Mid Game than Aggro Hunter
  • Surprise Value! (Though at this rate, Mid-Range hunter is going to become the norm…)

Cons

  • Weak to AoE/random damage effects. Wild Pyromancer/Knife Juggler/Mad Bomber might have some crazy value against Jungle Panther.
  • Very little removal in the deck, mostly relying on minions to establish board control – might be overreliant on Unleash the Hounds or Tundra Rhino to come back from behind.

The recent rise of the Mid-Range Hunter in ladder and tournaments is astounding; while being slightly slower than Aggro Hunter, they boast much higher win-rates against Control Warrior, Priest and Druid compared to their Aggro counterparts.

Will we see a re-imagining of the Hunter Class?

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- xNVx

xNVx is a legend player in Hearthstone, and always think of ways to keep Hearthstone fresh by breaking the meta.

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