Midrange Hunter is one of the strongest decks in the current meta. It has an extremely strong curve, powerful minions, and some of the most reliable finishing options in the game. As such, you have to know how to beat the beast-centric deck anytime you take to the ladder. In this guide we will look at how C’thun Druid achieves that goal by controlling the board better than Rexxar can.
C’thun Druid is a very strong list that has a very set core. In fact you cannot run the deck without playing all of the necessary C’thun pieces you need to keep the turns flowing. However, the way you build the rest of the list is entirely up to you. You can run more late game threats to fight control, more early game options to beat aggro or more ramp to race to your win condition. The choice is up to you. To help you with this decision and to help you understand the deck, two lists and a guide have been linked below.
When mulliganing you want to primarily look for early removal and early ramp, but you can also keep some of your three and four drop threats. Most of the fight with Hunter is going to occur during the middle of the game, so you can keep some later threats as long as you have a good opening or ramp.
Cards to KeepInnervate Wild Growth Beckoner of Evil Wild Growth Wrath Disciple of C’thun Twilight Elder
C’thun’s Chosen and Klaxxi Amber-Weaver should both be kept with the coin and a good curve.
Swipe is a good keep with a strong curve or when facing down aggro.
How to Win
The way to beat Hunter is to always stay one step ahead of them. The midrange deck makes a living off of being able to use their aggressive minions to build a board and, once you start to stabilize, kill you with their various end game burst. To overcome this you need to do what you can to get a minion onto an empty board before they do. That will offset their gameplan and keep you in control of trades.
It is also very important to plan in this matchup. Though Hunter may have a wrench here and there, they all play a set amount of beasts set up with support cards like Houndmaster and Kill Command. While that is what makes them strong, it also means you can usually predict their turns or how they are going to react to a certain play. That really helps you build a gameplan and enables you to know what you should put down. Always think one turn ahead.
Early Game Strategy
The opening turns of this game are going to be very straightforward. Hunter is going to run out 2/1’s and 3/2’s, and you need to answer them through removal and minions. Pacing in this way can really help you build an early presence and really hammer Hunter hard if they have a dead turn, which they sometimes do.
Disciple of C’thun is going to crush Hunter’s early turns. The 2/1 hits all of their one and two drops, which instantly gives you priority. As a result, you need to run out the two damage whenever possible. Never hesitate to use this to kill anything, no matter how big or small.
If your opponent is running Carrion Grub you should not be afraid to damage it, even if you can’t kill it. You can do that with either removal or minions, but minions work better since so many can shrug off two damage and stick around. This will threaten the 2/5 and keep it low on health if it gets Houndmastered. A 2/5 may not be scary, but a 4/7 will ruin your day.
Your two best early threats are Twlight Elder and Klaxxi Amber-Weaver. Each of these cards has no immediate impact on their own, but they both go way over Hunter’s threats and laugh off their removal. They should almost always take priority because they will help you create a strong board for the center of the game.
Note: Do not forget if your opponent draws off of King’s Elekk. It is very easy to let that slide to the back of your mind, but it is key information that’s going to come important during the middle turns of the game.
The middle turns are where you and your opponent really start to grow in power. Both you and Hunter have a wide slew of very strong minions that can take over the game on their own. Once one person loses their presence they are going to fall way behind. Know that and focus your energy on clearing over damage.
Your primary goal here is to advance your board while also making sure your opponent doesn’t get value from Houndmaster. The 4/3 is a real problem for your deck, so you need to do your best to clear any beasts (no matter how small) that could be laying around.
If you can get an edge you should try to set up as many big taunts as possible. This will really hurt Hunter because it freezes out their charge minions and keeps them from putting pressure on your life total. Even a single Druid of the Claw can prevent a good amount of damage, which then buys you some time to play to your finisher or build into stronger threats.
Turn six is the most important turn in the game because it is where Savannah Highmane comes down. The lion is notoriously hard to deal with, especially because you have no silence. It is very hard to handle with that much power, but there are two ways you can. The first is by having a strong board and pushing hard for damage. This will often force your opponent to play defensively on turn six rather than putting down a giant minion without taunt. The other way is making sure you have five damage or power on the board. This will break the shell and do a good job of nullifying the threat. However, sometimes two 2/2’s is better than a single 6/5. Always think about if it’s better to kill the lion or keep it alive.
Note: Always try to keep two minions on the board if possible to limit how much value Deadly Shot can get.
Late Game Strategy
You absolutely need to have the board during these turns of you will lose. There are two reasons for this. One, to mitigate the damage that you take and to offset any burst your opponent might have, and two, to make sure you do not get crushed by Call of the Wild. Hunter runs a good amount of damage and they will be pointing almost all of it at your face during the final turns. You really need to get taunts down and use your hero power whenever possible. Hunter is hitting you for two a turn, so you need to know when gaining a life is better than adding a minion.
In terms of Call of the Wild, you cannot win if Hunter ever plays the spell while they have the board. That is too much power to handle, especially for a deck that has no AOE. You need to make them play Call into your board (preferably into a taunt) so you can easily answer it the next turn. However, also remember Call gives Leokk’s buff to any existing minion so you should clear before turn eight to limit how much damage potential your opponent’s have.
As the game goes, Hunter is going to take a lot of hits. For that reason, C’thun is most often going to win the game when he comes down. You just need to try to do everything within your power to get the Old God down. Even if he is not buffed very high, you want to play him once he’s past 10. That is because he will most often clear the board and force your opponent to have a kill spell of some sort.
If you make it to this part of the game, you should be in control. Hunter runs no real finishers, and you can play some gigantic threats. As a result, if you have taunts up or priority, you want to push for damage. This will not only force your opponent to focus on the board, but it will also allow you a better chance of ending the game before they can draw that finishing damage.
Play around Unleash the Hounds. This is an old tip, but still something people forget about time and time again. The hounds can clear, but they are most often going to be damage. If that gets paired with an Animal Companion like Huffer or Leokk, the game can end on the spot. If you are ever ahead on board or low on life, try to only keep a few minions around if you can.