Rexxar’s Not Dead: The Best Deals Anywhere!

So what Buzzard is now unplayable - there is still one more card that provides insane draw engine - the Gadgetzan Auctioneer!

Hey, everyone. This is Nihilus Nix Naught here, and I want to talk to you about gadgetzan-auctioneer. Everyone knows that the card is probably too strong, and yet the Duke of Deals only really sees heavy play in Miracle Rogue, which seems kind of… wrong to me. The card is way too busted to not see more play, which brings me to today’s deck.

Before I introduce it, I want to make it clear that, despite containing a leroy-jenkins anyway, this deck isn’t a Miracle deck. In my mind, Miracle is a combo-control deck that combos out for 20ish damage to win. This is more of a face or tempo deck that happens to have Auctioneers for extra reach. The most this deck can combo for is 10 plus the number of creatures your opponent controls, so I don’t consider it a Miracle deck by any traditional definition. Without further ado, I’m proud to introduce my personal pet deck: Macaroni Hunter.

To be fair, the name is pretty silly, but there are two good reasons for that. Firstly, anyone looking at the deck for the first time will likely assume it’s some sort of crappy Miracle port. Most new players who hear about Leroy for the first time will inevitably try to port it whatever their favorite class is without realizing that it just because you can do something a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to it. This isn’t one of those decks, but people looking at it for the first time will think it is, so the first part is a jab at them.

Secondly, all Miracle variants have silly names. Miracoli and Malygod are well known archetypes, and even though this isn’t actually a Miracle deck, I figured that it’s similar enough to continue the trend.

Why Should I Even Play This Trash?

Let me start by gushing. This deck is sweet. I played Miracle to rank three a couple of seasons in a row, and I’ve had more fun and success with this deck in a week than I ever had with Miracle. The idea of playing gadgetzan-auctioneer in Hunter first came about when I was searching for new draw engines in the absence of starvng-buzzard. Lot’s of people claim that the class is dead because it now has very little draw power, but I disagreed. The class has the best card selection in the form of tracking and far and away the best cantrip in the game, flare. Those don’t actually give you mass cards, but they are certainly a start. Tangent aside, I was looking for some neutral cards to fix the problem anyway, and I realized that, as a class, Rogue’s only card draw (not including cantrips) was the not-played sprint.

“If a class needs draw power to be successful,” I asked myself, “how does Miracle rogue remain such a powerful and popular deck?” The answer was clear. gadgetzan-auctioneer. At this point I checked. Hunter has hunters-mark at zero,flare, tracking, and the dubious arcane-shot on one, and traps on two. I could make this work. And work it did.

The deck works far better than I thought it would, and So I’m bringing you guys a deck tech and a video of me playing a few games with it today, and I hope you like it.

The deck plays the same way it looks: A combination between Face Hunter and Miracle, and it offers several advantages to either. You have more inevitably than face Hunter because of the insane draw power offered by Auctioneer, but in return you sacrifice some of your aggression. The tradeoffs are a bit more numerous when it comes to Miracle.

  • We sacrifice the ability to combo for 20 (Leroy+ shadowstep+ two cold-blood still works, and allows you to save the other shadowstep for value), but gain inevitably with our hero power and more proactivity/aggression in general.

  • We have an easier time finding Auctioneer thanks to tracking, but they have slightly better card draw afterward

  • sap is better vs. Taunts than freezing-trap is

  • arcane-shot and unleash-the-hounds have a lower floor than backstab and flurry-of-knives, but have a much higher ceiling and more versatility. Altogether this trade favors Macaroni I think

  • savannah-highmane and animal-companion are better than anything Miracle can do in a vacuum. It’s a lot easier to win on Highmane and misha beatdown than it is on si7-agent or earthen-ring-farseer Beatdown

  • Not to mention, animal-companion counts as a spell. How cool is that. As a matter of fact, our spells are generally able to perform a lot better without gadgetzan-auctioneer in play than their Miracle counterparts. The exceptions are listed above (Hounds and arcane-shot).

As you can see, there are quite a few trade-offs by switching from Miracle to Macaroni, but with Handlock on the rise, I think I would rather be playing Macaroni. Without further ado, let’s talk about some of the card choices.

Ok, What are we Working With Here?

  • 2 hunters-mark: This is the only free spell Hunter offers us, and though it isn’t great by itself, it combo’s well with arcane-shot, unleash-the-hounds, and explosive-trap. It isn’t the best spell in the deck, but it’s kind of a necessary evil. Use it to kill things with over three toughness. Never keep in your opening hand.

  • 2 flare: Just a bonkers card. The dream is destroying a secret while you also have Gadgetzan out. Talk about value. I even got to kill a shade-of-naxxramas with it once. It’s fine to use turn one if you don’t have an Auctioneer in hand and you aren’t playing against a secrets class. If I’m playing against a Druid, Paladin, or Priest, I’ll keep one if the rest of my hand is fine. Paldins sometimes have secrets, but not often enough to always keep one in hand, Druids sometimes run shade-of-naxxramas, and some Priests play thoughtsteal. Generally, I don’t even keep it against those classes, but if my hand is already strong enough to support it being just a cantrip if it isn’t needed, I keep it. Only ever keep one though.

  • 2 tracking: Lot’s of Hunters only run one, but I always thought that was incredibly silly for reasons I will discuss in another article. Nevertheless, we are running two here. It gives us incredible ability to search for Auctioneer or answers. Generally, you’ll want to take Auctioneer over Leroy if the situation comes up, unfortunate as it may be. Just try to muscle through your opponent with card advantage. Generally I’ll take an answer to an immediate threat over Auctioneer, but this case really depends on the situation. I always try to convince myself to take the Auctioneer. If I can’t convince myself that I can deal with the threat another way, I don’t feel too bad about throwing away gadgetzan-auctioneer. Another thing to keep in mind is that in normal Hunter decks, you don’t want to use this on turn one because you don’t know what you need If you don’t have an Auctioneer in hand turn one, don’t feel bad about using this, because you know you need an Auctioneer. Always keep one.

  • 1-2 arcane-shot: This card is kinda subpar, not because it isn’t efficient, but because the effect is pretty small. It still kills early undertakers and in combinations with hunters-mark kills anything. In the world of Auctioneer though, you start to play a whole new game where efficiency is king, and this card becomes more than worth it. I’m currently playing two, but playing one is perfectly reasonable, especially if we decide that we have enough beasts to support bestial-wrath. I generally keep one, but against classes like Paladin and Druid where it doesn’t kill anything I don’t.

  • 1 bloodmage-thalnos: We didn’t have a lot of two drops, and we are certainly in the business of thinning our deck out. The spell power is also nice between arcane-shot and explosive-trap. Keep him in your opener. If you don’t have one, loot-hoarder gets the nod over kobold-geomancer as the preferred replacement here, since the thinning is more important than the spell damage in this deck.

  • 2 mad-scientist: He isn’t the most efficient guy, but we lack two drops and he thins our deck out. Since we kind of want to run traps anyway since they count as spells, he earns his place. Keep one.

  • 2 explosive-trap: Basic AOE, it helps you come back from a slow start. Thankfully, it also does damae to your opponent. It’s especially good at protecting your Auctioneers. I sometimes keep one in my hand, especially against classes like Warlock.

  • 1-2 freezing-trap: Another trap, but I never keep this in my opener. With the nerf of Leroy, charging minions to burst like that will be on a decline, so I took one out for the time being to test a snipe. It might be correct to run both, though.

  • 0-1 snipe: I’m currently trying this over the second freezing-trap. It straight-up kills dark-cultist, but running it straight into a nerubian-egg is the worst. It might change to the second freezing-trap, or even a snake-trap if we move toward more beasts.

  • 2 unleash-the-hounds: The first one is a board clear to stabilize the board and make it safer for Auctioneer. The second one is burst damage to win, usually combined withleroy-jenkins or kill-command. Don’t keep it in your opener though, as it can’t really fulfill either purpose without other cards.

  • 2 kill-command: Just likeunleash-the-hounds, the first one is generally removal and the second one wins the game. I sometimes keep one in my opener though, since it serves as pretty good removal against efficient Minions like ancient-watcher and dark-cultist who can cause some issues. I generally don’t keep it because I have to look for Auctioneers, but if I’m playing a Priest or if I have an Auctioneer already, I’ll keep one.

  • 2 eaglehorn-bow: This goes to the face more often than I expected it to. I really try to kill opposing minions other ways or even just ignore them in favor of beating face since we can usually outrace them, but I never leave an auctioneer unprotected and I usually kill a minion rather than trade one of my guys. It’s hard to put into words the proper way to use the weapon in this deck since it depends on so many different things in every situation. It really just takes some experience to get all the nuances. If you switched from Midrange Hunter to this deck, you know how to work it. I always keep one. Always.

  • 2 animal-companion: I have a love affair with huffer. He always comes through when I really need him, but he’s usually more trouble than he’s worth. The perfect pet. In all seriousness, leokk is probably the worst of the three in this deck since we are pretty creature light, but he is still pretty great with Hounds. All three of them are certainly worth paying three mana for, and hey even count as spells for gadgetzan-auctioneer. In deck with so few minions, any sort of board presence we can achieve is really nice. I always keep one in my opener.

  • 1 deadly-shot: Big minions are kind of a problem for this deck if we can’t find a Hunter’s Mark. Deadly Shot deals with anyone we can’t. This is honestly the card that has exceeded my expectations the most. It might even be correct to run a second, but I don’t really see the room for it, so for now it stays at one copy. It goes to show how good of a class Hunter is when decent cards like this never saw play in the old Hunter lists pre-nerf. Anyway, I never keep this in my opener, because it isn’t really good until the late game.

  • 2 gadgetzan-auctioneer: This is the centerpiece card of the deck. Without him, we become just a bad Face Hunter deck. He gives us card advantage and inevitability, allowing us to keep up our aggression and never run out of steam. If you mulligan this, you should probably uninstall Hearthstone.

  • 1 leeroy-jenkins: Even at five mana, he gives us a huge burst turn and mini-combos really well with unleash-the-hounds. He’s basically our finisher, because he will usually die to his own whelps if you play him and don’t win. Never keep him in your opener because he can only really be played on the last turn of the game.

  • 1 loatheb: We get so much value out of this guy. Generally you play him and win the next turn. Not only does he pass the vanilla test, but he also makes it hard for our opponents to wipe our board or even answer him for a turn. He also has a huge target on his head because of his large attack, so our opponents board is likely to be empty next turn. Never keep him in your opener because he is most useful the turn before you win.

  • 2 savannah-highmane: This guy is the best 6 drop in the game, bar none. He is incredibly hard to answer, and provides us with a huge board presence. Even if they kill him, he leaves four damage on the board next turn. We usually kill minions with him instead of going to the face, since we want to use other cards on that. He also qualifies as a beast for kill-command, which is really nice since we are a bit low on beasts. Don’t keep him in your opening hand though, since he is really expensive.

There were also a few cards I was thinking about running, but either didn’t have the slots or didn’t have the support. I might even end up running some of them.

  • 1-2 bestial-wrath: I wish I could run this card. Unfortunately, I don’t really have enough beasts to support it. It’s only one mana, and probably a little better than Arcane Shot. If I had an Ironbeak owl and a couple more beasts, I would probably find room for one. Let me know if you guys have any ideas.

  • 1 ironbeak-owl: To silence sludge-belcher. This would be his only goal. I keep going back and forth between him and the second arcane-shot. Right now I’m on the arcane-shot plan since it’s a spell and I haven’t really had trouble with taunts lately, but it could easily go the other way.

  • 1 snake-trap: If I was going to play bestial-wrath, I would probably play this. Basically a 3/3 for two, I have a lot of High priority targets that will usually get attacked and give me this. The problem is it doesn’t really accomplish anything else. I’m going to be testing this, but I don’t really have high expectations. It would replace the snipe is anything.

  • 1 loot-hoarder: If it turns out that we really need some extra early presence, I’ll add one of these instead of something. I don’t think our early game is that lacking though.

  •  1 multi-shot: It’s an effect we kind of want since explosive-trap isn’t really a great AOE clear, but it’s pretty expensive and we are pretty tight on slots. It does lay on an empty slot on the curve, however, which is a plus. I really want to find room for this, but I’m not sure where I could make it. Again, I would appreciate ideas.
  • 1 explosive-shot: Same as above, but this time it’s five mana for a slightly bigger effect. It also costs five, which is a pretty tight spot on our curve. multi-shot would probably get the nod over this if I were to run one, but I would certainly test them both if I could find the room.

Tell me why this Deck is Terrible!

So that’s the deck. I had a video to share with you guys today as well, but I had some problems with the editing software and will have to post the video in the next few days. I apologize for any inconvenience that might cause. I’ll also post matchups with the video, because I don’t think i have quite enough data gathered to give precise matchup analysis yet. At the moment all I could say are generalizations about how each matchup feels, and I don’t feel like that is high enough quality to post yet.

Anyway, I really hope you guys try the deck out and had as much success as I have with it. I’m currently rank five up from nine playing this deck exclusively in the last couple days. Anyway, let me know what you think about the deck (don’t just bash before testing) and what you think about some of my exclusive choices, and don’t forget to call me out on how terrible my writing is and how bad this deck is as soon as you try the deck first. Thanks guys.