Heh Greetings, In my previous write-up I guided you through the process of beating the most annoying deck on the ladder right now i.e. Aggro Hunter as a Priest. Today I will be showing my control warrior deck called ‘Ctrl Alt Del’ which will help you beat hunters as a warrior this time. Control warrior was one of the first counters to the aggro hunters that emerged back in the 2-mana unleash-the-hounds meta. So if you don’t like priest or want a better matchup against other control decks while being favoured vs hunters, this is the deck you are looking for. So let’s dive right in!
Warrior as a counter deck
Requirements of a counter deck:
1. Hero Power advantage:
As a warrior you are able to neutralize the hunters hero power each turn, However they do the same thing as they can negate your 2 armor gain and stop you from stacking armor. But You have an advantage because the hunter is unable to lay down the extra damage that he needs to finish you off because you can just keep armoring each turn and thus they end up having a harder time killing you faster. Which is what you want, you want to get to the late game and destroy them with your beefy legendaries.
2. Counter Cards:
As a warrior you have excellent early game removal like fiery-war-axe, cleave, cruel-taskmaster, wild-pyromancer and deaths-bite. The hunter can have a really hard time developing his board which he relies on completely. And not only that your early game removal is capable of killing two minions for 1 card which will give you card advantage. Your armorsmiths are really good in this matchup, the hunter has no way of killing them without using a hunters-mark or a kill-command and if they do use these cards on your armorsmith you are more than happy. Your acolyte-of-pain are also really good because the hunter does not have any 3 attack minions in the early game.
The Anti-Hunter cards
fiery-war-axe – This weapon is going to help you get rid of an undertaker right away even if he is buffed with a coined out creature. It will always two for one the hunter and easily let you gain card advantage. It gives a huge advantage when you draw it early because the hunter won’t get to develop his board. It is also important to have a follow-up on turn 2 or 3 so that you can keep the tempo going. It will kill everything that the hunter will play in the early turns but leokk and misha.
cleave – Cleave is never dead vs hunters. They tend to have a lot of two health minions and cleave can help you clear them up efficiently. It also lets you kill the hyenas from savannah-highmane on an empty board. One of my favorite combos is wild-pyromancer + cleave, it clears the typical undertaker and the haunted-creeper that buffed it because the 1 damage aoe is dealt after the spell is cast meaning that it will deal three damage to the Undertaker and kill the spectral-spiders spawned after killing the haunted-creeper.
armorsmith – One of the most important anti-hunter cards that you have in your deck. You might ask why?? well it is pretty straight forward. She is going to help you trade into minions and give you health in the process. Also getting her behind a sludge-belcher can be a clutch play since it will definitely give you a minimum of 2 armor, and can give you a lot more if the hunter uses multiple minions to kill him which he most likely will have to. In the early game she can be cruel-taskmastered and made a 3/3 which are great stats for a 2 drop that is gonna heal you. Definitely one of the best cards against hunters.
cruel-taskmaster – Cruel taskmaster is a really important card in any warrior deck, the sheer amount of cards that he combos with and his flexibility to let you kill 1 health minions is really useful. Cruel taskmaster is an important keep in your mulligan especially when the hunter kept his whole hand because he is most likely going to have Leper Gnomes in said situation.
shield-block – This card is one of the only viable ways to us your shield-slams because it is really rare that you are gonna be able to stack armor when playing against a hunter just because of that hero power and the aggressive nature of their deck. It is your counter to kill-command but unlike the hunter’s kill-command it cycles itself. So overall it’s a pretty good card.
deaths-bite – This card is so good against hunters, it is like a free swipe when you use its last charge. And swipe really good against hunters. It can literally kill every minion that a hunter can play while dealing a one damage aoe which is extremely effective against hunters because they run a lot of low health minions like haunted-creepers and leper-gnomes. You need to time this card right however, save it till you can catch a maximum number of minions in its aoe effect as long as it is possible to hold the last charge. It is the most efficient way of killing savannah-highmane since you aren’t using any mana to kill it. And if you can kill a Highmane with the Death’s bite the hunter will be in a lot of trouble due to all the lost tempo.
wild-pyromancer – He is one of the old forgotten tech cards that were prevalent in the old warrior decks when aggro decks was really common on the ladder. I decided to add this guy because of his ability to negate the deathrattle from Haunted Creeper and his ability to damage everything which is really useful as a warrior. He combos extremely well with cleave as I mentioned in the cleave section.
spellbreaker – The meta has forced warriors to now add Spellbreakers to their decks. It is awesome to silence a savannah-highmane and lets you easily get rid of this guy which is one of the prime threats that the hunter has. He does not have great stats but silence is just that important. ironbeak-owl is a card that I don’t like because he dies to almost everything and sometimes due to your own self hurting aoe cards.
sludge-belcher – Currently the best taunt minion in the game and is great for slowing down any amount of aggression. he has a total stats of 4/7 for a 5 mana creature which is actually better than druid-of-the-claw‘s bear-form. He has great synergy with armorsmith and can let you easily gain armor and protect your important minions. He is always a great turn 5 play just try not to get him freezing-trapped.
harrison-jones – I was debating a lot on whether to use acidic-swamp-ooze or harrison-jones and I decided to use Harrison because the hunter has a really weak turn 5 (unless he coins out a savannah-highmane) and thus playing a low stat minion is affordable on turn 5. If I choose to play ooze then my turn becomes really weak compared to the hunters turn and he gains tempo over me although I destroyed his weapon. Also the ability to gain cards over the hunter is one of the ways of beating him. The most fun thing to do is to charge the opponents bow by triggering the trap and then playing harrison so that you get an extra card. The card draw really puts the hunter behind.
baron-geddon – He is the mid-game cleanup you will need to finally deal with the hunters leftover crap and start building your own board. It will kill the hyenas from savannah-highmane and even slimes from sludge-belchers. He is a substitute for ragnaros-the-firelord which doesn’t particularly do good vs hunters.
Cards that were not included
faceless-manipulator – Too situational against hunters, except for a sludge-belcher or savannah-highmane there is nothing that you would want to faceless. He might just be stuck in your hand and there are better cards that you can have.
cairne-bloodhoof – He is too slow, he doesn’t have a huge impact on the board as soon as you play him and loses to savannah-highmane which the hunter will play on turn 6. Also if he gets freezing trapped you are going to lose.
alexstrasza – I am pretty sure most of you would be wondering why did I choose to put in Ysera over alexstrasza which is way better against hunters, right? Well the reason why I did that is because if I add alexstrasza this deck does really badly against other control decks. The heal is great against hunters but I feel that I’d rather increase the chances of being able to beat other decks as well alongside hunters. But if you want to have alexstrasza then feel free to do so.
ragnaros-the-firelord – He is amazing against traps because he can deal damage without trigger them but the huge downside is that he costs 8 mana and might just stick in your hand. Also the hunter does not run many high health minions and rather a bunch of small minions so rag isn’t as effective.
You want to mulligan for:
If opponent keeps all his cards:
If you have the-coin you can consider keeping deaths-bite.
cruel-taskmaster + execute
slam + execute
shield-block + shield-slam
armorsmith + cruel-taskmaster
acolyte-of-pain + cruel-taskmaster
sludge-belcher + armorsmith
sylvanas-windrunner + shield-slam when you have 5 or more than 5 armor, to steal a minion.
sylvanas-windrunner + brawl the turn after if Sylvanas stays alive.
wild-pyromancer + Spells
AOE from deaths-bite + armorsmith + acolyte-of-pain
cruel-taskmaster + grommash-hellscream
deaths-bite + grommash-hellscream
Knowing your enemy
“To defeat your Enemy, You must become your Enemy.” – Sun Tzu
To defeat the Huntard you need to think like one. Go ahead and net deck a hunter deck, play with it for a while. Learn the cards used in these decks. And analyze the way you make your plays, this is the first step of countering a deck. Doing this will let you know what a hunter can do at each mana. You need to always predict your opponents moves, and the more you know your opponent the better you will get at out-smarting them.
Hunters rely on pressuring the opponent throughout the early game and snowballing the game to victory. They have no lategame potential except for kill-command and savannah-highmane. They try to zerg you down with the cheap and high damage minions early on and try to keep the pressure going with undertaker that is buffed by almost every card in the deck.
Undertaker: The primary threat that a hunter posses which can lead to an instant loss if the hunter has a great follow-up. The reason that makes Undertaker so strong in the hunter deck is the existence of a lot of cheap deathrattle minions like webspinner and leper-gnome which act as 1 mana shattered-sun-clerics. With the coin the snowball effect can be devastating if no answers exist in your possession. However you have a lot of cards that just straight up kill the undertaker without breaking a sweat like fiery-war-axe or slam and sometimes even cleave. It is important that you make killing the undertaker the first priority.
Mad-Scientist -> Freezing-Trap: This combo can be devastating to any control deck because of all the high-cost minions you run. The ideal targets to proc the freezing trap would be your armorsmith or cruel-taskmaster as you can easily replay them. Getting a minion off the board lets the hunter protect his minions and his own face while constantly dealing damage to you.
Kill-Command: The card that makes hunter so powerful, It is the hunters fireball that can kill you out of nowhere. You need to try to keep your health above the combo range of hunters (12 damage) with 2xkill-command + steady-shot. You need to force out this card so that your opponent has to use it to deal with a minion that you have on the board. Pressure the hunter.
savannah-highmane: The only midgame card that the hunter possesses and it is the best one in the game. Carrying a total of 10/9 stats it is even better than the legendary cairne-bloodhoof. As a warrior you might have a hard time dealing with a savannah-highmane but if you can shield-slam it or silence it or even cleave it you don’t have to worry. Try not to take 6 damage from the savannah-highmane because it is one of the ways that a hunter wins.
Lack of efficient card draw: With the Starving Buzzard nerfed the hunter no longer has an insane card draw engine that would let him draw a number of cards for a very small amount of mana. If you can starve them of cards by 2 for 1-ing them. It will be difficult for them to make a comeback.
Somewhat weak mid game: Other than the savannah-highmane the hunter has no mid-game. If you can deal with the highmane easily. You can overpower the hunters mid game easily with your own. Cards like sludge-belcher[card] and [card]sylvanas-windrunner are incredibly powerful against the aggro hunters. Also a well-timed baron-geddon can easily ruin their day.
No late game: The hunter has no late-game, if you can make it to the late-game (which usually doesn’t happen) your cards will overpower the hunters’ on the contrary you have a great lategame potential with cards like ysera, grommash-hellscream.
No catchup mechanisms: Just like zoo, if the hunter loses the board he loses the game. hunter decks don’t have any form of strong AOE to clear whole boards. So if you can develop a board the hunter will be in a tough spot. Also as a warrior if you manage to overpower the hunters board he will not be able to deal any damage to you because your hero power will simply neutralize theirs.
That concludes the guide for my Anti hunter control warrior deck. I hope you enjoyed reading it and I wish you all the best for owning some hunters today. If you have any feedback or suggestions please feel free to post it in the comments and I will try my best to respond to all of them. additionally if you want any help you can also add me in-game DarkFrost#1999 NA. Good Luck Laddering 🙂