Hey guys, Sempok here. Back with another Legend guide. This time, I will be talking about a N’Zoth Hunter list that I created myself and piloted to Legend. I hit Legend after hitting rank 5 in a surprisingly quick time period, going 44-19. I used this deck primarily because it is extremely strong against Warrior and Shaman, two classes that have flooded the meta. Since many guides for how to play Midrange Hunter have already been published and are easily accessible on the internet, I will be outlining the key differences between this deck the regular Midrange Hunter and its consequential merits and demerits and be talking about the card choices. Farming on Shaman and Warriors has never been easier!
Here are the winrates of the final iteration of the deck.
The Deck – Introduction and Basics
The deck, like most Midrange Hunter builds, relies on getting a strong curve consistently and then trying to end the game quickly by chipping in face damage whenever possible. The deck plays quite a lot like Dragon Warrior, only trading when it has to. If we ever manage to run out of steam (something that is surprisingly quite a common occurrence with most Midrange Hunter builds) we have N’Zoth as a back-up finisher to close out games easily. It is due to this extreme value late game card that we dedicate almost all other card slots to strengthening our early-game so as to not get overrun by decks such as Aggro Shaman or Zoo Warlock.
In a vacuum, I am absolutely certain that this deck is better overall than both Hybrid and Midrange Hunter. This is definitely the most consistent Hunter build that I have found till date. That being said, let’s take a closer look and examine it a bit more deeply.
I found myself often running out of steam against decks like C’Thun Warrior as a Midrange Hunter when I got a bad draw that didn’t curve out relatively strong. This is why I decided to add a N’Zoth to my list. Ragnaros the Firelord was also on my mind initially, but due to the sheer quality of the Deathrattle cards that Hunter has, I feel that it is almost always better. It also does not contest for the 8-drop slot, which is nice. Since the build is only a tad bit different from Midrange Hunter, the playstyle remains the same while having an extremely strong parachute in the form of N’Zoth.
Where the deck lacks, however, is in the absence of Stranglethorn Tigers. Stranglethorn Tiger is simply the best 5-drop for Hunters. It promotes the strategy of closing out games quickly, is resilient on the board, and can help in getting favorable trades. Not having these greatly reduces our winrate against Rogues as Tiger is definitely a game-winning minion in that Matchup. However, since Rogue is not as popular on ladder right now, this is not that big of a concern.
The list itself is something that I have been toying around with for a while now and I finally found the right balance between the two key concepts of this deck – Tempo and Value. The problem with many of the N’Zoth Hunter lists out there try too much to cram value into their decks and that ends up hurting the gameplan of the Hunter class itself, which is to play strong minions consistently and end with a bang.
Cairne Bloodhoof: This was one of my biggest qualms early in the deck development stage. However, the more I played the deck, the more certain I became that it was not a good fit. Cairne, though fat and sticky (qualities not preferred in humans for some reason), takes away more from the deck than it adds to it. It makes the curve of the deck higher, something that we do not need as we already have a ton of value jammed inside thanks to Call of the Wild and N’Zoth, and contests for the 6-drop slot. In my eyes, Cairne is simply a weaker Savannah Highmane and extremely redundant.
Stranglethorn Tiger: Tiger is primarily played in Midrange lists to close out games earlier than would be possible without. Think of it like a 5 mana spell: Summon a 5/5 beast with Charge on your next turn. However, since our deck already has a lot of late game, going into the later stages of the match is never a problem. Furthermore, we already have enough midgame that was don’t really need a vanilla 5/5 beast.
Princess Huhuran: I wanted to make this work. I really did. But alas, it did not. The problem with Huhuran is that on its own, it isn’t that good. Huhuran is only really good when it manages to proc on Highmane or Sylvanas which doesn’t happen often. Why? Because you usually want to play a 5-drop on turn 5 and a 6-drop on turn 6. If Huhuran was a 7-mana cost card, it would see definitely play due to the lack of any good 7-drops in Hunter and both Highmane and Sylvanas costing six. However, that is not the case. On Infested Wolf, Huge Toad, and Fiery Bat, the insect princess simply doesn’t provide enough value. In fact, it can sometimes even be disadvantageous, such as against Brawl.
Forlorn Stalker: Again, a similar problem arises. Forlorn only gives a lot of value when played on smaller cards such as Fiery Bat and Huge Toad. On Infested Wolf, Highmane, and Sylvanas, it isn’t good enough to make the cut. Moreover, there aren’t enough Deathrattle minions in the deck for its sub-par stats to be justifiable.
Unleash the Hounds and Deadly Shot: While most Midrange Hunter lists have been running each of these cards as 1-ofs, I feel that both of these cards are severely underrated. I always feel that when trying to make decks, you always try to make your weak matches stronger rather than the already strong matchups even more so. Unleash the Hounds can straight up win you games against so many of the Aggro decks such as Zoo or Midrange Shaman and Deadly Shot the only viable big removal that Hunter has. I think both of these cards are extremely strong.
And that is it! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the deck in the comments below. If you have any suggestions or criticism regarding either my writing or the deck, please do let me know! Thanks and have fun!