How to Beat Face Hunter

Tired of Face Hunters? Nuba picks apart this popular deck in his most recent CFWS article! No Face Hunter is safe!

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to another updated CFWS series. As many of you might have noticed, the Countering the Flavor of the Week series is undergoing a series of updates, in which not only the title will change (duuuhh) but also the whole article, in order to both update and make everything simpler for the reader to understand.

Tonight’s update: Countering The Face Hunter.

Explaining the Deck

Face Hunter is a deck that, as the name suggests, focuses on doing a lot of direct “face” damage, rushing down the opponent before he/she can respond.

This deck’s main strategy is to drop a couple of low-cost threats, do a lot of damage by curving into cheap minions with charge, and then finishing the opponent off with the burst/reach combination of the Hunter’s Hero Power and Hunter’s powerful Burn spells. Face Hunter is exceptionally good against decks that are not prepared to deal with massive damage early in the game.

This deck’s playstyle differs a lot from Midrange Hunter playstyle, it also means that the Hunter’s opponent(in this case, you) should play the game differently.

Learning how both lists work is a good way of knowing how to differ both decks, so try to always be up to date with currently most used decklists.

The Deck’s Strengths

I always say this, but I will repeat it once again: Knowing how a deck works is the best way to defeat it. This time it’s no different, Face Hunter has a lot of strengths, and knowing them allows you to have an edge in the match-up. The Face Hunter’s strengths are:

  1. Speed – This deck is quick. Some games are over by turn 4; however, it is worth noting that the longer the game goes the lower the odds are of Face Hunter winning. But, regardless of that, this deck has very fast games, which allows Face Hunters to play multiple games very quickly. It also allows the Hunter player to steal easy wins when his/her opponent starts off with a poor hand.
  2. Consistency – Oh, you thought this was not a thing? The fact that this deck utilizes only low drop cards means that you’re most likely to always have a good starting hand. Ultimately, the odds that the Hunter will have a good starting hand that curves well are high enough that we can say this deck is consistent.
  3. Has Reach – Regardless of the build, Hunters will always have reach. Reach is the name we give finishers that bypass Taunt, such as Burn spells. Face Hunter has several types of this sort of damage, such as Kill Command, Quick Shot and the Hunter’s Hero Power. The reach available to Hunters also adds to Hunter’s consistency, but it is important enough to deserve its own spot in Hunter’s strengths.
  4. Inevitability – Basically, the game will end. Hunter’s Hero Power guarantees it. The opposing player will be consistently taking at least 2 damage every turn, which means that either he/she wins quickly or he/she dies. The only exception is, of course, Priests and/or Warriors. Both of these classes have passive ways (Hero Power) to negate the Hunter’s inevitability.

The Deck’s Weakness

Here is where knowing which deck you are playing against really matters. Knowing that you are playing against a Face Hunter and not a Mid-Range Hunter makes it so that you don’t misplay, or over-commit. Knowing you’re playing against Face Hunter really makes all the difference. Here are Face Hunter’s greatest Weaknesses:

  1. Taunts – Outside of the pair of Ironbeak Owls, there is literally no way a Face Hunter is getting through Taunts. This means that the only way a Face Hunter can get rid of those pesky Taunts is by trading. This works out well for us, because Face Hunter’s minions are all very small and low on Health. Most Taunts usually cost the Face Hunter 2 to 3 of his own minions, giving you valuable time to win the game.
  2. Heals – Well, even when you establish board control, the Face Hunter still has ways of killing you, be it through it’s Hero Power or Kill Command. Healing yourself in this match-up vastly increases your chances of winning. Yes, I am talking about stuff like antique-healbot.
  3. TechsZombie Chow is a 1-mana card that 2-for-1s almost all Face Hunter cards. Zombie Chow even manages to 1-for-1 trade with Face Hunter’s key cards, such as arcane-golem and knife-juggler. The only way for a Face Hunter to deal with Zombie Chow is eaglehorn-bow, quick-shot or getting Misha from their Animal Companion. kezan-mystic is also devastating, because not only you are denying him 2 extra damage (and possibly a Bow charge), you are also cleaning his board in case he has one. And lets not forget antique-healbot.
  4. Priest and Warrior – Both classes have a tremendous amount of early-game defensive mechanics, as well as health boosting Hero Powers to counter the Hunter’s inevitability.

How to Fight Against it!

Well, now we know the weaknesses of the Face Hunter deck. You might now say, “But Nuba, how do we prepare for the Face Hunter match-up?”

Unlike some other decks, you can actually prepare your deck to fight against Face Hunter, while not hurting your match-ups against other classes. Several tech cards that can be added to almost any deck, and make your Face Hunter match-up a lot better are:

  • Zombie Chow
  • Kezan Mystic
  • Antique Healbot
  • Sludge Belcher

All of these cards are possible tech cards (meaning that they fit in most decks) and are also good in some additional match-ups beyond Face Hunter. For example, Kezan Mystic and Antique Healbot help you in the Mage match-up; Sludge Belcher helps in most any match-up; and Zombie Chow is strong against any kind of aggressive deck, while still doing a good job of keeping you ahead against Control Decks (kills Totems, removes armor, etc).

As for playstyle, as the opposing player you should focus on both dealing with his board as well as pushing in damage. You are still bound to die at some point due to Hunter’s inevitability, so you have to end the game before that point.

Conclusion

And this is it. I hope you guys are enjoying what we have been doing so far with the updated CFWS Series.

The main focus is to keep old articles updated so you guys can still have updated information whenever looking for ways to deal with older archetypes such as this one.

Love you guys,

Nuba