Legend Beast Synergy Hunter: Spark’s Snake Bite

Eat snakes! Spark covers his own unique variant of Midrange Hunter that got him to legend in Season 11.

Introduction

Hello everyone!

I’m Spark, a Legend player from France. Today we’ll dive deeper into my most recent Hunter deck focused around Beast synergy!

Since the Undertaker nerf, I decided to take a look at my beloved class and explore a lot of different options. These are summed up in my recent article: Next Evolutions of Hunting.

In the last section, I presented my new precious Hunter deck: Snake Bite. This is the deck that I chose this season to hit Legend with despite my reduced playtime.

As I have always loved Beasts synergy, I’m having tons of fun with the deck. As a bonus, it’s actually pretty efficient when piloted properly. I managed to stay around 75% win-rate with it during my climb.

This article will cover the card choices, possible substitutions, the general strategy of the deck, some gameplay videos and an in-depth match-ups section.

Deck Breakdown

Board Presence:

Webspinner — This card is the perfect 1-drop for the deck as it allows you to spend your mana efficiently with a cheap Beast. The Deathrattle effect is also very useful to keep the tempo going, as you can often draw something very useful like Ironbeak Owl up to King Krush.

Haunted Creeper — This little spider is very useful for trading early on and allows you to keep some 1/1 bodies on the board to make use of Hunter’s Mark later on. It combos pretty well with Knife Juggler, Cult Master and Houndmaster.

Mad Scientist — Your favorite Undertaker friend is still here because of its awesome value. Its cheap body allows you to acquire some board presence early on, and its Deathrattle effect generates a lot of value from Hunter’s efficient secrets.

Snake Trap — This trap makes a lot of sense in this deck’s design – beast synergy. It combos insanely well with Knife Juggler and can power up Scavenging Hyena incredibly fast to pressure your opponent heavily.

Knife Juggler — Despite not being a Beast, this card works extremely well in this deck because of all the token producers like Haunted Creeper, Unleash the Hounds and Snake Trap.

It is one of your most important early-to-mid-game threats because of its amazing synergy potential with the deck. Protecting it should be one of your priorities.

Scavenging Hyena — This card is a Beast … literally! It can soak up hard removal for only 2 mana thanks to all the cheap Beasts you can sacrifice to power it up. If your opponent can’t deal with it, well … you’re simply going to win the game!

You can play it as a 4/3 for 2 mana to fight for board presence early on or use it to pull off amazing combos later on. Its only downside is that you don’t really want to play it as a 2/2 for 2, but you have some good 2-drops already so it’s really fine.

Animal Companion — I can’t imagine a Beast-focused Hunter deck without this card. All 3 of the possibilities offer too much value.

Huffer can either be a great removal or a solid pressuring tool, Misha is a really strong taunt for its mana cost and Leokk finds its own in this deck because of all the cheap tokens you can produce.

Savannah Highmane — One of the best legendary in the game… oh wait, you can actually play 2 copies of it! This card provides so much value and your opponent will rarely be able to answer it. This big Lion King will generally be your signal to start pressuring face heavily and look for lethal. However, you’re also allowed to use it for trading as the Hyenas will also do great work with your other tools since they are perfectly in line with the strategy of building a Beast army to push for the win.

Control / Damage Tools:

Hunter’s Mark — With so many 1/1 bodies in the Deck such as Spectral Spider and Snake, this card makes too much sense to be ignored. It will give you great tempo because of its 0 mana cost and hopefully snowball you to victory. It can deal with any late game threat or solid taunt and will also be useful in more aggressive match-ups to deal with a mid-game threat while throwing down your own minions like Scavenging Hyena or Savannah Highmane.

Explosive Trap — I decided to include one copy of this trap to punish people for playing around Snake Trap; it’s worked perfectly. As the meta is pretty aggressive, it fits a very good spot in the deck and will set up awesome board states for some Unleash the Hounds plays against swarmy decks.

Eaglehorn Bow — This weapon comes to complete your trap engine. It is an extremely efficient board control tool early on and will also allow you to push for lethal later on thanks to its awesome survivability. This is simply one of the best cards in the deck!

Unleash the Hounds — This card is one of your combo pieces and works extremely well in the current meta because of all the aggressive decks around. You will generally look to use it in combination with something else like Knife Juggler, Scavenging Hyena, Timber Wolf and Cult Master. It’s also a great finisher in some situations when combined with Hunter’s Mark and/or Kill Command to bypass taunts and end the game.

Kill Command — Who doesn’t like to top deck Skill Command for the win? The simple existence of this card puts so much pressure onto your opponent because he will always have to think about your lethal potential. Besides that, it is a very powerful removal against mid-sized threats, which allows you to keep your board presence up and pressure your opponent’s life total.

Tech Cards:

I’m playing only one copy of these cards because they are still somewhat situational.

Timber Wolf — This little guy works great with loads of cards in the deck! It allows you to power up Hounds, Snakes, Hyenas and other Beasts to either increase your damage potential or find efficient trades. I can’t count how many times it helped me find lethal damage and it can even be great early on with a simple Webspinner or Haunted Creeper to trade into a 3/2 body.

Houndmaster — With so many Beasts in the deck, the Battlecry effect from this card makes a lot of sense. Coining this out on turn 3 to buff a Haunted Creeper will generally be a powerful tempo play and using it later on can also save you from tough situations or increase your momentum.

Cult Master — If you pilot the deck properly, you will generally not be in need of card draw. However, having this possibility is still really great, especially considering the amount of tokens you are producing with the deck. It’s also here to compensate for the card disadvantage generated by Hunter’s Mark. Making plays with this card often leads you to very comfortable situations where you simply have to control your opponent’s board while keeping pressure on his life total to close the game out.

Loatheb — I decided to include this card because the deck is somewhat weak to AoE. Loatheb allows you to lock the board down for your next turn – a potentially game deciding play. It’s also a good way to acquire guaranteed board presence on turn 5 and can prevent your opponent from finishing you with some brainless combos or bursty spells.

Tundra Rhino — This card has many uses in the deck but is especially threatening with Savannah Highmane and Scavenging Hyena. It can often bait hard removal from your opponent, therefore paving the way for your real threats. If your opponent doesn’t deal with it, it opens a huge amount of possibilities for your next turn. Sometimes you can also use it along with Webspinner and Hunter’s Mark to deal with a big threat or pull off some other shenanigans with your Beasts to bring your opponent closer to lethal.

Alternatives

If you are running on a budget or simply looking to tweak the deck to your personal preferences, here are some cards that you should consider :

Ironbeak Owl — A silence option is always good to have, especially when it comes with a Beast body. However, Hunter’s Mark is strictly better in this deck because you’d rather deal with a threat entirely rather than simply silencing it. As this is not a rush-down deck, you’ll still have to deal with the remaining body and your 2/1 Beast will simply lose to it, resulting in card disadvantage. If you’re including it specifically for taunt, you are probably playing the deck wrong. Pick the Owl for the silence effect.

Freezing Trap — Another great trap to consider as it increases your tempo advantage. However I find it less valuable in the current aggressive meta because you generally want to return a bigger target into your opponent’s hand. If you’re lacking Snake Trap, a combination of Explosive Trap and Freezing Trap should do the job.

King of Beasts — I was initially running it, and I must admit that it has some great potential. It is a solid consideration but Loatheb is generally more consistent because it doesn’t rely on a specific board state to be useful.

Leeroy Jenkins — This card still works well with Unleash the Hounds and can increase your finishing potential if you’re looking for this specific strength. Once again, Loatheb feels like a safer choice overall.

Piloted Shredder / Sludge Belcher / Dr. Boom — This is pretty much the trinity of sticky cards that you can include in any deck. I’ve seen some variants of my deck reaching top legend with these cards but remember that you’ll have to give up on some Beast interactions and cool synergies to make room for them. I’d say that including them makes the deck a little more consistent, but it loses its authenticity and surprise factor as a result.

Sea Giant — This is a solid threat as you can often play it for free. However, I don’t feel it’s worth it to run Big Game Hunter targets in the current meta. It’s for this reason that I decided to leave Dr. Boom on the bench as well.

Strategy & Combos

First of all, this is a mid-rangy tempo deck, so if you’re going to play it with the aggro mindset, you’ll end up with bad results.

The strategy of the deck revolves around acquiring early board presence with Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist and Animal Companion.

From there, you’ll generally spend your mid-game fighting for board control by pulling off some combos including Knife Juggler, Unleash the Hounds and Hunter’s Mark to set up a favorable board state for Savannah Highmane. Eaglehorn Bow and traps pulled out of your deck from Mad Scientist will also be very helpful in that regard as it tends to generate a lot of tempo.

At this point, you should start planning your lethal. This deck is far from being “no-brain” and actually requires a lot of insight to be piloted properly, you’ll generally have to think 1 to 3 turns ahead in order to pull off the play that will turn the game around or win it for you.

You can find the most common combos of the deck below. You can obviously combine them for greater effects according to the situation and they are many other small synergies within the deck.

Knife Juggler + Snake Trap — This is one of the most standard combos of the deck. However, you shouldn’t necessarily focus on pulling this off to get yourself ahead as those 2 cards already work well on their own. A classic scenario is that you get a free Snake Trap from Mad Scientist and then take the opportunity to throw down the Knife Juggler while trading a Haunted Creeper or playing some cheap minions to get some value out of its effect before relying on Snake Trap for more knives. The fact that your opponent will often tries to play around Snake Trap shouldn’t be an issue for you as it will force him into inefficient plays and if he doesn’t have a spell to deal with Knife Juggler, he’s in a pretty rough spot. Also note that the addition of Explosive Trap is a great way to fool people as it will punish them for going face instead of trading. In the end, you should consider this interaction as a free bonus that will force your opponent to make tough choices.

Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds — This combo is your aggro-killer move. It will punish your opponents heavily for overextending and you shouldn’t hesitate to add Hunter’s Mark into the mix for a very efficient board clear!

Scavenging Hyena / Cult Master + Unleash the Hounds / Snake Trap  After getting some tokens on the board, these 2 cards help you get value out of them by either building up a huge threat or refilling your hand to snowball to victory.

Tundra Rhino + Savannah Highmane / Scavenging Hyena — The best thing about Tundra Rhino is that you can play it on turn 5 to follow it up with Savannah Highmane on turn 6. This move will either bait some hard removal or wrecks your opponent if he can’t deal with it. It also works the other way around as having a Savannah Highmane on the board allows you to trade it into a big minion and get some 2/2 Hyenas with Charge thanks to the Tundra Rhino. Using this strategy with a Scavenging Hyena will generally chunk your opponent for a lot of damage because of all the Beasts you can kamikaze right away.

Gameplay Videos & Results

I’ve uploaded a Deck Gameplay Series spotlighting the deck in action. I definitely recommend checking out the entire playlist to see how to play the Deck and how awesome those Beasts synergies can be!

The playlist contains the following match-ups: Druid, Paladin, Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Rogue, Handlock and many other laddering sessions and game highlights.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL25ooc9f6z3-1N-Iuw3n6N2tTyurQaTPI

Here are my results during Season 11 from Rank 16 to Legend:

Match Ups & Mulligan

As you can see by my win-rates, the deck has no real counter and can basically beat anything if piloted properly. I highly recommend you watch some of my videos to have a better understanding of how to approach the various match-ups.

For those that can’t watch the video, here’s the match-ups guide in written form.

Mech Mage:

Key cards to have: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Unleash the Hounds

Good cards to keep: Knife Juggler, Animal Companion, Eaglehorn Bow, Hunter’s Mark

This match-up may seem hard at first glance because of the aggressive nature of Mech Mage but when you start understanding how to approach it properly, it’s honestly a favorable match-up which is sometimes decided by draws.

Eaglehorn Bow is very useful to deal with Mechwarper or Snowchugger and your early minions will fight decently with their cheap and aggressive creatures like Clockwork Gnome and Cogmaster.

Always try to play around Mirror Entity as soon as you see a Mad Scientist on the board by either giving them a weaker threat or a Knife Juggler if you’re going to combo it with Unleash the Hounds right away.

You shouldn’t hesitate to use Hunter’s Mark or Kill Command on mid-sized threats like Spider Tank or Mechanical Yeti especially if it helps you remove all Mechs from their board because of the threatening Goblin Blastmage.

Unleash the Hounds is a key card to regain board control during the mid-game and Loatheb will help you set up lethal or deny it from your opponent. 😉

Face Hunter:

Key cards to have: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Unleash the Hounds

Good cards to keep: Knife Juggler, Animal Companion, Eaglehorn Bow

This match-up is slightly harder because of the bursty nature of Hunter but you should do fine as long as you don’t lose tempo too early.

You’ll generally have an easy time trading into their minions because they are all very vulnerable by nature. The key to succeed in this match-up is recognizing when you should start racing them.

Generally, they will be playing a more aggressive rush-down strategy. Getting a Knife Juggler out and keeping it alive will be a very good start, especially considering the fact that a single knife can kill most of their minions.

Besides that, Animal Companion, Loatheb and Houndmaster will provide you a solid board presence to race with. Explosive Trap and Unleash the Hounds will be very strong allies to punish them if they manage to get the edge.

Fast Druid:

Key cards to have: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Animal Companion

Good cards to keep: Knife Juggler, Eaglehorn Bow, Hunter’s Mark

This match-up is honestly pretty favorable as long as your opponent doesn’t draw into the perfect cards throughout the game.

Your main concerns are Innervate plays, which can be answered with Hunter’s Mark if necessary, and Swipe because it can answer your board state perfectly a lot of the time. The good thing is that they won’t always find the perfect timing for Swipe and you can also bait it earlier at times.

Loatheb can be very useful to prevent them from finishing you with the classic Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo and Savannah Highmane will also be a very powerful ally in the late game because Druid can’t deal with it easily.

Hunter’s Mark is a perfect answer to Druid of the Claw and Kill Command will help you push for lethal or deal with late game threats.

Midrange Paladin :

Key cards to have : Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Eaglehorn Bow

Good cards to keep : Knife Juggler, Scavenging Hyena, Animal Companion, Unleash the Hounds

This match-up is generally very close because both decks have a very similar playstyle but with different strengths and weaknesses.

The most important thing in this the match-up is Consecration timing. If they can use it at the perfect time (killing some 1/1 bodies and Hyenas from Savannah Highmane), it will generally be very hard to recover. However, if the card comes one turn late, the tempo edge you acquired will generally be enough to guarantee the win.

Aldor Peacekeeper will obviously annoy you from time to time, but Houndmaster can answer it. Note that this is one of the rare match-ups where Scavenging Hyena can get some good use early on because they won’t have an immediate answer for it.

You should always be wary of Muster for Battle because of the potential Quartermaster follow-up. Unleash the Hounds is one of the most important cards in this match-up. Keep it.

Oil Rogue:

Key cards to have: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Eaglehorn Bow

Good cards to keep: Knife Juggler, Animal Companion, Loatheb

This match-up is favorable, even though Rogue’s burst can surprise you from time to time.

The fact that your opponent will generally be reactive gives you the edge in the long run because they won’t always have the perfect answer to your heavy pressure.

Eaglehorn Bow is important to deal with SI:7 Agent because the card already generates good tempo thanks to its Battlecry. Azure Drake should be answered right away with Hunter’s Mark or Kill Command. The rest of the time, they will be trying to deal with your board presence while you’ll keep pressuring them.

You should prioritize playing smaller threats instead of Savannah Highmane because Sap can really set you back. Loatheb is really awesome in this match up, as it prevents them from pulling off some game-changing combos, and Unleash the Hounds will find some use against Violet Teacher variants.

Control Priest:

Key cards to have: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Eaglehorn Bow

Good cards to keep: Knife Juggler, Animal Companion, Houndmaster, Hunter’s Mark

This match-up is favorable as long as you can close the game out before running out of steam.

Priest is a very reactive class. You should work on gaining board presence as much as you can because it will force them to either find their answers or lose. Sometimes, out of desperation, the Priest will play Injured Blademaster on turn 3 without healing it – a juicy target for Eaglehorn Bow.

Dealing with Northshire Cleric shouldn’t be too hard but it’s very important because of the potential card advantage it can generate. Dealing with Dark Cultist if it’s alone on the board is generally a good idea too because it negates its Deathreattle effect.

Coining out Houndmaster onto Haunted Creeper is a really strong play. Just be wary of a potential Shadow Madness. You should also try to play around Holy Nova but it’s less relevant than some cheap Wild Pyromancer plays, which can sometimes lose you the early game.

Besides that, Savannah Highmane is still an amazing mid to late game threat because the Priest can’t deal with it easily.Kill Command will generally be needed to either get rid of a Sludge Belcher or push for lethal.

Control Warrior:

Key cards to have: Mad Scientist, Eaglehorn Bow, Animal Companion

Good cards to keep: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Knife Juggler, Savannah Highmane

This match-up is the hardest because of the Whirlwind effects inherent to Warrior. Fortunately, this archetype isn’t seeing too much play in the current meta.

This match-up is difficult but not un-winnable. If you manage to have one unanswered turn in the game, it will generally snowball you to victory as the Warrior won’t be able to keep up with your subsequent aggression.

Armorsmith should be answered with either Eaglehorn Bow or Animal Companion. I generally prefer saving Hunter’s Mark to deal with late game threats but if you have no other alternatives, you should probably go for it.

Besides that, you should try to focus on not feeding them resources for free (like playing a Snake Trap when they have Death’s Bite at one durability). Try to play on curve as best you can though.

Unleash the Hounds won’t be very useful in this match-up but can help you find lethal or give you a small minion to kill a Hunter’s Marked target. Savannah Highmane is your best chance of winning the game as it will often chunk Warrior for some serious damage.

Midrange Shaman:

Key cards to have: Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Eaglehorn Bow

Good cards to keep: Knife Juggler, Animal Companion

This match-up is pretty favorable because Shaman has no innate sustain power and will generally flood the board because of its hero power.

Gaining early board presence is really important to fight the totem spam. Eaglehorn Bow will help in dealing with their first plays – some 2-drop Mech or Feral Spirit.

Unleash the Hounds will be your key to victory in this match-up and Kill Command should generally be used as a finisher because Shaman lacks healing potential. Remember that Savannah Highmane is not particularly useful because of the threat of Hex. Try to bait it by playing some smaller minions.

Warlock :

Key cards to have : Webspinner, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Unleash the Hounds

Good cards to keep : Knife Juggler, Animal Companion, Eaglehorn Bow

Zoolock and Handlock are both favorable because of your burst potential but you should always mulligan for Zoolock as it’s harder to handle without the right cards. Both of these archetypes aren’t seeing too much play nowadays though because of the Undertaker nerf and Big Game Hunter prominence.

Unleash the Hounds is your way to victory against Zoolock so you should always focus on timing it well to ensure you can snowball from there. Your early threats can go toe to toe with theirs and your later threats will generally be stronger than theirs.

Against Handlock, you should play your early to mid-game in a pretty standard way and try to not waste too many resources on Twilight Drake and Sludge Belcher. After bringing your opponent to 10-15 life points, you should plan your lethal with either Kill Command and/or Unleash the Hounds combined with Hunter’s Mark to bypass their Giants for the final push.

Closing

That’s it for the guide guys, I hope you enjoy the deck as much as I do! Don’t forget to rate the article if you liked it and don’t hesitate to discuss or ask questions in the comment section below. 😉

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