This is the guide for the Midrange Hunter deck I used for climbing to Legend this season (Season 20). It’s quite close to standard midrange hunter, but I added couple improvements of my own. I think this deck works great in the current meta.
Midrange Hunter Gameplay
With midrange hunter it is very important to control the board as much as possible until we are ready to make that big push for the opponent’s face. This push usually happens around turn 6 or 7, but it can vary. haunted-creeper, knife-juggler, eaglehorn-bow and even piloted-shredder are great for board control and then with sludge-belcher or loatheb we start changing the pace and finish the enemy once we get our savannah-highmane or even dr-boom on board. With hero power and kill-command together with attacks of our big minions it will usually be easy to finish the opponent even if their health was very high because we controlled the board most of the game.
Of course there are exceptions to this and sometimes it will just be more efficient to ignore the board control and just attack the face and let the opponent worry about your minions and controlling the board. However, this happens very rarely.
hunters-mark is the cheapest removal card Hunter has. For 0 mana you kill any minion the opponent has on board. You should use this card any time it gives you advantage on the board. Only time you should really save it for the right situation is against handlock (giants) and druid (big taunt minions). It also works great with knife-juggler. If you have him on board you should use Hunter’s Mark on any enemy minion you want killed and then you play your minions or even unleash-the-hounds to kill that minion with Juggler’s knife.
freezing-trap is the best board control tool we have in this deck. It has a very straight forward functionality: you use it to stop an enemy minion of your choice from attacking you (kind of). With this trap up you have to make sure that enemy doesn’t have small 1/1 minions on board that would make your trap a complete waste. While this trap is up you should do your best to keep either one or no minions at all on enemy’s board. The longer you are able to do this greater advantage in later turns you will have. I believe this is one of most powerful cards in game.
quick-shot can be either saved as a finisher or used as a removal, depending on the situation. However, the most important thing about this card is that you should completely ignore the “draw a card” part of its text until very late game. Sometimes you will have to use it when you only have that and one other card in hand. That is perfectly fine, don’t let the text limit you!
haunted-creeper is extremely powerful early board control minion. You should always put him in play as soon as possible. If you have knife-juggler in the hand then you should always play Creeper first. That way we make the most out of Creeper because it ensures that we have 2 extra damage from Juggler on Creeper’s death next turn.
ironbeak-owl should normally be used to Silence mad-scientist or doomsayer or sometimes even piloted-shredder. Usually you shouldn’t use it mid game just to get through a taunt. However, when you should use it on an enemy taunt minion is when you are sure you that move will make you able to finish the game either that or following turn. If you are not saving it as a finisher, make sure you get a lot of value of it when you play it, because Silence is very powerful in this game. Against Paladin it can be wise to keep it for tirion-fordring.
jeweled-scarab replaces Webspinner in standard midrange Hunter decks. I believe that it is way more valuable. First reason for this is that it is completely unnecessary to have only one 1-mana minion in your deck because the chance of getting it when you go first is very low, and when you go second it’s always much better to play Coin and then one of your 2-mana minions. Unless you have no other minions you usually shouldn’t play Scarab on turn 2. However, if you have no turn 3 and opponent doesn’t have anything scary on board you can play him. This card is much stronger in Hunter than in other decks because it’s a Beast and Hunter’s 3-drops are really strong.
kings-elekk is played in this deck to fill out the spot of early game 3-attack threat minion which this deck needs. Of course it’s even better when you get to draw a minion from it. Very straight forward card, there to either help with board control or damage to the opponent’s face.
knife-juggler has extremely powerful effect. He works great in combination with unleash-the-hounds or even hunters-mark. However, don’t be afraid to just play him on turn 2 if you don’t have anything else. His effect is great but you don’t have to always count on it because he is also a great 3-attack minion.
mad-scientist is probably the best 2-mana minion in the game. You should usually play him on turn 2 or turn 1 with Coin if possible. To ensure the consistency, in this deck we only have freezing-trap. This gives us a lot of flexibility in controlling the board. Keep in mind that if you already have Freezing Trap in play you can’t get the second one with your Scientist.
eaglehorn-bow is extremely powerful weapon. You should use it for early game board control, and later for either board control or face damage, depending on what you need. Keep in mind that when your trap gets activated you get additional charge on the bow, but make sure you don’t over-commit to it. Sometimes it’s better to just use the bow instead of waiting even if your trap would activate on the following turn. Recognizing these situations requires some experience.
animal-companion should be looked at as a 3-mana minion rather than a spell. There is usually no bad time to play this card because it’s quite strong for a 3-mana card. It’s great turn 3 play, and very straight forward.
kill-command should usually be used as a finisher. However, there will be situations where we have to use it as board control tool. Unlike other removal cards in the deck, I suggest that you keep this in your hand as long as possible and keep it as a finisher unless removing a minion with it will bring you big advantage.
unleash-the-hounds is a card that is extremely flexible. We can use it for minion removal, finisher, mid-game face damage, kill-command activator. However, the best use is in combination with knife-juggler against a large number of enemy minions, and if you have hunters-mark this is even stronger. But as I say with all the other cards, don’t focus too much on waiting for the combo. Just use it whenever you think it will help you.
big-game-hunter is in my opinion a card that has to be included in every mid-range deck. It is extremely important to be able to deal with big creatures such as dr-boom efficiently. Most of the time you will save it for the strong minion enemy has, but sometimes you will have to use it without his Battlecry just to improve your board control, depending on the situation. However, you will usually keep it in your hand for a while.
houndmaster is very straight forward. It improves your board presence. Only advice I have for him is that you don’t over-commit to waiting for his Battlecry and if you don’t have a Beast in play but you have 4 extra mana you should always play him anyway. 4/3 is always good to have on board.
piloted-shredder is the most powerful 4-mana minion in the game. Whenever possible you should play him on turn 4, or as early as you can. He will always give you quite some advantage.
loatheb can be used to stop enemy spell combo if you expect it or simply as a big minion that probably won’t get removed by spells next turn due to his Battlecry.
sludge-belcher is very useful in this deck. Double taunt helps a lot with board control. However, always keep in mind that enemy can Silence him. Just like other more mana-costly minions in this deck, there is not much more to say. It is just a very strong card.
savannah-highmane is a card that you should always play on either turn 6 or turn 5 with Coin. This is the most powerful hunter minion and it will always give you huge advantage when you play him. Most decks have big trouble dealing with him. He is your best win condition.
dr-boom is extremely powerful and very straight forward. Just like Highmane, you should play him as soon as possible, preferably on turn 7.
Explanations for not having following cards:
webspinner – he is staple for most midrange hunter decks, but I think that jeweled-scarab is simply much better.
flare – I think this card is way too situational and simply bad. Having it in the hand means we won’t have some other card in the hand. If we are against deck that have no secrets we end up with the dead card. Sure we can draw a card for 2-mana but midrange hunter can’t afford the luxury of wasting mana like that.
snake-trap – I prefer my mad-scientist being more reliable and always giving me the trap that I want. In this case it’s freezing-trap. Also, having additional secret would mean higher chance of having a bad starting hand, and we definitely don’t want that.
Important Hunter Tips
Never use kill-command or quick-shot to damage the face (unless it’s a finisher) if you haven’t used your hero power already that turn. The reason for this is that you end up missing damage and you pretty much just waste those cards. For example you have 3 mana available and you use Kill Command for 5 damage to the face, that way you won’t be able to do that 5 damage next turn and you will miss out on 2 damage from hero power that turn. Instead of 9 damage over 2 turns you will do only 7 damage. The same goes for Quick Shot and Eaglehorn Bow as well.
You can only have one same trap active at the time. If you have mad-scientist in play he won’t give you the same trap from Deathrattle. In this deck we have to be extra careful because we only play 1 type of trap.
You can only have 7 minions on board so when you use unleash-the-hounds make sure you don’t lose out on the value in case you don’t have enough board space for all the dogs.
When using freezing-trap be aware of cards such as antique-healbot, reno-jackson or defender-of-argus because your opponent can actually benefit from your trap in those situations.
I hope that this helped someone at least. For any questions you can either comment here or just add me on Battlenet NA server. My Battletag is Senbonzakura#2265. Dealing with specific matchups as midrange hunter will be in my next article. If I put it in this one it would be way too long!