Legends of Reddit: Abar’s Y’Shaarj Combo

This week’s LEGEND OF REDDIT is reddit user: AbarHS. A few days ago AbarHS put up a post talking about his “Fun and Interactive” hunter deck which abuses a combo he had come up with and took him from 1300 Legend to Top 50 Legend with a ~70% win rate. It combines the insane ability of with the […]

This week’s LEGEND OF REDDIT is reddit user: AbarHS. A few days ago AbarHS put up a post talking about his “Fun and Interactive” hunter deck which abuses a combo he had come up with and took him from 1300 Legend to Top 50 Legend with a ~70% win rate. It combines the insane ability of Barnes with the idea that if you only have one minion in your deck to fetch with him, he will get that minion every time. The best minion he could come up with was Y’shaarj, rage unbound since it’s the only minion that has the ability to be bigger than a 1/1 by summoning itself out of the deck. If you make sure Y’shaarj, rage unbound is not in your hand on Turn 3 or Turn 4 when you cast Barnes, you effectively spend 4 mana to get a 3/4, a 1/1, and a 10/10. That’s a 14/15 for 4 mana! This combo is causing all sorts of my opponents to flip tables and I have never heard more “Wow” emotes in my entire Hearthstone existence. So without further ado, let’s check out today’s LEGEND OF REDDIT!

Original Decklist: AbarHS

If you have gotten familiar with Yogg’n’Load Hunter, then this decklist might look familiar. This is because Hunter is one of the few decks that can run 28 spells but still have enough minions to keep up with aggressive boards such as Aggro Shaman and Zoolock. Things like Animal Companion, On The Hunt, Unleash the Hounds and Call of the Wild allows Hunter to sharpen the deck down to just Barnes/Y’Shaarj, rage unbound for the combo to work with laser precision.

Let’s group the spells up and take a look at each piece of this fantastic deck.

The Combo:

Barnes/Y’shaarj, rage unbound: Pretty self explanatory. The goal is to get Barnes out as fast as possible with Y’shaarj, rage unbound in your deck. The worst case scenario is drawing Y’shaarj, rage unbound because it kills your whole combo and he’s awful to even cast with 10 mana. At the same time Barnes becomes a 4 mana 3/4 which I have rarely cast alone. If you get Barnes in your opening hand or on your mulligan, be careful about using Tracking. Any cards you draw before you can cast Barnes is an increased chance of drawing Y’shaarj, rage unbound and ruining everything. Save your Tracking cards for the turns after Barnes and use them as control spells that find answers, or just finds Call of the Wild.

The Combo Finder:

Tracking: This card is so useful for trying to find your combo pieces before Turn 3/Turn 4. One of the major things you need to realize with Tracking though is that it discards the other two cards you don’t choose. This means if you ever see Y’shaarj, rage unbound in a Tracking selection, the combo is screwed. It also means that if you see Barnes next to Call of the Wild or Eaglehorn Bow then you’re now down one extra copy. So if you cast it early and see a Call of the Wild in the picks next to something like Arcane Shot, even though the Arcane Shot might be useful right now it means that you’re losing one of your Call of the Wilds for later. Sometimes this means you have to take it even though it’s not useful right then.

The Minion Spells:

On The Hunt: This card is mostly used to finish something off that you attacked or used another spell on. I also like to use it against Possessed Villager and Argent Squire. I also like to every once in awhile shoot it at an opponent’s face, mostly Mages, just to see how they answer the 1/1 token. I like to use it Turn 3 or Turn 4 against Mages to try and make them waste a turn by using their hero power. on the hunt also activates Kill Command if you want to deal damage directly to your opponent.

Animal Companion: One of the best minion creation cards. This is a card you want to play early and try to deal some damage before your opponent has time to answer. All you can do is cast it, roll the dice, and hope for Huffer. Try to go directly to the face as much as possible and only trade when you really need to.

Unleash the Hounds: This is the answer vs Zoo and other multiple small minion decks like Token Druid. Wait for your opponent to cast 3-4+ minions and use your hounds to clear the pesky ones. Combo this together with Animal Companion‘s Leokk for better trades. Unleash the hounds and Explosive Trap are the only board wipe spells you have so make sure you try to keep them handy if you’re facing something like Zoo.

Call of the Wild: This card should be legendary. It’s so overwhelmingly powerful and has won me games I didn’t think I would win. If it’s turn 8 the only reason you shouldn’t play this card is if you need to kill something important, otherwise this should be your top priority always. It gives you lots of board control with a free 5 damage that can either take out a big annoying minion or deal 5 to your opponent while also leaving you with a nice taunt. Also remember that it will give your minions in play +1/+0 so calculate that if you’re trying to determine lethal damage.

The Control Spells:

Arcane Shot: Quick 2 damage. Use it early against cards like Flame Imp or Knife Juggler and worst case scenario if you don’t have anything to kill with it, throw it at their face. Don’t feel like you need to always save your damage spells, this deck is less about control and more about dealing lethal as quick as possible.

Quick Shot: Same as Arcane Shot. Use this early against minions that will race you and win, such as Tunnel Trogg or Mana Wymr but don’t hesitate to use it around turn 5 and 6 to deal damage directly to them. Always hero power first but if you have spare mana and they’re getting low on hp, go ahead and throw it out there and hope you draw into a Call of the Wild, or have one in hand, or find one with Tracking.

Kill Command: Bigger version of Arcane Shot and Quick Shot. I rarely use it on minions unless it’s something like Ragnaros the lightlord that needs to be killed and I have no other choice. Most of the time I use it to go directly to the opponent’s face. Combo it using On the hunt or Cat Trick‘s stealthed minion to deal maximum damage.

Deadly Shot: This is your “oh shit” button. Hunter’s spells are great at controlling the board the first 5 turns and making sure it doesn’t get too big. Kill off the small stuff and use Deadly Shot to finish anything huge. Occasionally you’re going to have to gamble, like if a Bloodhoof Brave is in the way and you can’t attack the other minions to guarantee it gets hit.

The Traps:

Eaglehorn Bow: This is your main face damage. Don’t hesitate to attack them often since you have 8+ secrets to give you more durability. There are only a few weapon removal cards so you won’t have to worry about this getting destroyed often. I use it to control the field early and then start going face once the durability stacks up with secrets.

Cat Trick: This secret made Eaglehorn Bow great again. Hunter now has multiple ways to activate secrets and players are starting to find it difficult to predict which one is which. Play Cat Trick early and don’t be afraid to swing with the 4/2 cat, it’s basically as good as a Huffer. However, against mages and zoo decks, be wary of Arcane Missiles, Flamewaker and knife juggler. A good amount of them have learned to hold back their spells and be ready for Cat Trick so use other traps to confuse them and then cast it later on in the game when they don’t have those cards.

Explosive Trap: Use this against small minion heavy decks like Zoo or Aggro Shaman. It’s great for killing off totems and also does a good job dealing just a little bit of face damage to push you closer to the win. Don’t try to use it too early, save it to charge up your Eaglehorn bow or wait for your opponent to get a large board so you can wipe a lot of minions at once.

Freezing Trap: This card is great to disrupt aggro and annoy your opponent. Play it early to keep your opponent’s board clean or use it when you get your eaglehorn bow in play since it triggers off of ANY opponent minion attack and will give you quick and easy durability charges.

Snipe: AbarHS uses two of these and even though I dropped mine down to one to put in a bear trap this card is amazing. It’s best used against Mages to take out their flamewaker before they can drop it and get multiple triggers off. Use it early to guarantee a minion kill but even late in the game it gives you easy Eaglehorn bow triggers.

How to Tweak: Make Your Version

I am a firm believer in adjusting decks to your own playstyle and here are some things to keep in mind as well as a few suggestions on things you can change in the decklist.

#1, No Minions: Don’t try to add any more minions. I know it’s tempting to try and add Savannah Highmane or other things that Barnes can grab from your deck but it ruins the combo and completely changes the theme and feel of the deck. If you want to add more minions try and find an actual Barnes deck and go off of that decklist instead.

#2, Trap Toolbox: Traps are what makes this deck really fun and also really hard to play against. The main traps, Cat Trick, Explosive Trap and Freezing Trap shouldn’t be messed with at all as they are all amazing but Snipe can be adjusted. The only change I made between AbarHS‘s version and my own was that I took out a Snipe and added a Bear Trap. This adds an extra minion to your deck and is also amazing against Druid/Rogue decks who use their hero power on Turn 2 and attack. I’ve also thought about possibly taking out Unleash the Hounds for more traps but every other card in the deck is so good that I just haven’t tried it yet. Misdirection is another fun card that can help you deal a lot of damage quickly since it can turn one of their big creatures against them and force it to attack their face.

How to Mulligan: Combo Focus

The key to the mulligan for this deck is focusing on the combo. Between the mulligan and Tracking I was able to find Barnes in about 1/3 of my matches. Mulligan aggressively. Getting the combo is a huge part of this deck and a lot of the time when you are able to pull it off your opponent has nothing they can do about it.

Importance #1: Barnes. Pretty obvious, but let’s go over a few notes. If you have Barnes before you mulligan make sure you’re not throwing too many cards back. If you mulligan or draw into Y’shaarj, rage unbound you’ve basically screwed up the combo and your match is going to be very painful. My rule of thumb is, if you have Barnes only mulligan Call of the Wild and Y’shaarj, rage unbound. Everything else is very mana efficient and useful and it’s not worth risking the combo just to get a trap or something else useful to play early.

Importance #2: Tracking. If you don’t have Barnes then Tracking is your best bet to try and get your combo. Use it on Turn 1 and try to get your Barnes but if you draw him before you Tracking DON’T use Tracking. There is a good chance you’ll hit Y’Shaarj, rage unbound and since Tracking forces you to discard the two choices you don’t pick you’ll mess up the combo.

Importance #3: Quick Shot and Eaglehorn Bow. These two cards are situational. Quick Shot is good if you want to get rid of an early Tunnel Trogg or Flame imp and take control of the early game. If you have a Quick Shot in your hand before you mulligan only keep it if you’re worried about aggro. Eaglehorn Bow is good if you want to start up your aggro early. There are a LOT of traps in this deck so an early Eaglehorn Bow with a well placed Cat Trick, Freezing Trap or Snipe can really get the ball going and set you up for an aggro win without the combo. I hardly ever keep Eaglehorn Bow but if I see a Cat Trick in the same hand I might keep it and just ignore getting the combo off.

Conclusion: Personal Experience/Results

In just 2 days I played 50 matches, went 34-16 with a 68% win rate and went from Rank 11 to Rank 5 within 2 hours right before the monthly rewards came out.

50% of the time if you are able to cast Barnes on Turn 3/Turn 4, the opponent will instantly concede. I’m not sure if this is because they didn’t have a way of dealing with a 10/10 that early or if it’s because they think that I got lucky and happened to get “both” my Y’Shaarj, rage unbound in play but LITERALLY half of the time when you combo out, your opponent will just concede. 25% of the time when you cast it, they will have an answer but it will still waste their entire turn like with Mulch or Hex and you still have Barnes in play so it’s still good tempo. 25% of the time they won’t have an answer and as soon as you hit them for 10 damage even once, you’ve basically won. It’s too hard to come back from 10 damage on Turn 4/5 and with Hunter it’s so easy to finish them off just using spells like Kill Command and your hero power.

This deck is really good at getting this combo off. I would say about…. 1/3 of my games the combo goes off, and very rarely does it happen late in the game it’s usually on time. However, another 1/3 of my games you get Y’shaarj, rage unbound in your hand or worse, both of them in your hand, and they’re dead cards. That doesn’t mean I always lost though! I have actually won games with both combo cards in my hand, just by abusing Eaglehorn Bow or casting Call of the Wild. And the last 1/3 of the games the combo doesn’t happen but the deck is still really powerful without it.

In the end, the deck is a TON of fun and it’s kind of amusing to see how much people react to the combo. The deck is really fast and helped me grind up to my Rank 5 chest in the last minute for August so I would highly recommend it to people that need to grind the ladder ranks and want a fun way to do it.

I will be trying to stream this deck in the upcoming weeks to try and grind Legend and you can follow me at Twitch.tv/MrSlightly or keep up with my Hearthstone antics and my schedule on Twitter at @HS_Fireflyer.

Leave me some comments below, tell me what you think about the deck, tell me if it works out for you and what minor changes you might make with your own version. And if you do decide to try this deck out take a little bit of advice from AbarHS and don’t accept friend requests. 😉