Senbonzakura’s Tempo Hunter Guide

Senbonzakura's legend tempo hunter guide.

This is my guide for Tempo Hunter deck. It is one of the few decks that I use for getting to legend quickly in WOTOG expansion. I also have a lot of success with it in the tournaments. This list has been the most successful Hunter list for me by far.

Tempo Hunter Gameplay

As the name suggests tempo is very important in this deck. What tempo means is pretty much that you have to keep the board presence and control while also being the one who is on the offensive. This decklist is built in the way to achieve that goal.

With this deck what you should do is first stick some early minions on the board and use your spells and weapon to support them and to keep the opponent’s board empty. You have to keep doing this until you completely overwhelm the opponent at which point a simple full face push will win you the game in a turn or two.

Card Explanations

on-the-hunt is disliked by many players. However in this deck it usually reachers its full potential. It happens quite often that opponent plays against the hunter in a way that they think their minions are safe at one health and the only way of destroying them is by “overkilling” them with a card that can be used on something that has more than one health. Just like Warlocks have mortal-coil Hunters have on-the-hunt for a cheap removal that fits the curve easily and also summons a beast, which has a great synergy with kill-command and can be used as a part of the finisher combo.

fiery-bat is a necessary cheap minion that is great for establishing early tempo and for making us be the ones who are on the offensive.

huge-toad, kings-elekk, flame-juggler are what I like to call “core minions”. They are the ones we are looking for to play early game to establish the board dominance. I like to protect these minions with spells and weapons if possible. They are quite important for our tempo play.

acidic-swamp-ooze just like the minions mentioned above against most opponents this will be a core minion that we play early to establish dominance. However, against Shaman and Warrior it is wise to save it to destroy their weapons. Keep in mind that if you have no other minion to play on turn 2 you have to play the ooze because in the long run it will bring you more value than saving it for a potential weapon play.

freezing-trap is an amazing card. It practically removes a minion that attacks first. However, even if you have the trap deployed, you should still try to clear enemy minions with spells so the trap can win you the game when the opponent thinks they are about to make a comeback.

quick-shot, kill-command are both quite straight forward cards, use them either to destroy minions to protect your board, or to finish off your opponent. Keep in mind that most of the games quick-shot secondary effect (drawing a card) is irrelevant unless your hand is already empty. Goal of this deck is to keep the board safe and to destroy the opponent, not to draw cards.

deadly-shot should be used whenever it looks like it will secure your board further, whether it’s on turn 3 or any other turn. Don’t be afraid to use it on the weak minion, it doesn’t always have to be used on the huge high mana card. Just because a card has potential to destroy a 10/10 minion it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be used on a 3/4 or any other minion.

eaglehorn-bow is mostly used for killing other minions. Keep in mind that if you have freezing-trap deployed you shouldn’t get greedy with the bow charges. If you see a minion you can kill just do it, don’t worry about the extra charge. It is not necessary.

animal-companion is very simple card that you will usually play on turn 3 or whenever you can. You play it, you see what minion you get and you go from there. As I said, very simple.

infested-wolf is a very passive card that doesn’t provide us with any tempo the turn we play it. However, it is a card that sacrifices the tempo for one turn just to gain it back the next turn. This is obviously a great target for houndmaster taunt effect. Most people hate playing against this card because there is often no way of dealing with it efficiently.

houndmaster is very straight forward. You use him to taunt up a beast and give yourself big tempo boost. He can make unfavourable trade a very favourable one which can end up being a game winning play. However, sometimes it will happen that on turn 4 you have no beast and your choice is to either use your hero power or to play Houndmaster. If that is the case you should always play the Houndmaster even though 4/3 stats are not that great, they are not that bad either.

tundra-rhino is only turn 5 minion in this deck and that is probably the turn when you will play him. It has charge so usually it will make a favourable minion trade. Also keep in mind it has great synergy with infested-wolf and savannah-highmane Deathrattle effects. As with any other card in this deck, do not be greedy and wait for a charge combo. Just play it whenever you can.

savannah-highmane is heavily improved version of infested-wolf. Always try to play him on turn 6. It does a lot of damage and is difficult to remove which makes him one of the best 6 mana minions in the game.

call-of-the-wild is our board refiller and a finisher all in one. This is the card that you should always play as soon as possible no matter what. The value it brings to the board is huge. However, keep in mind that if you are against a control warrior and you already have a medium sized board, it might be better to save it for the turn after the warrior finds a way to clear your board.

Explanations for not having the following cards:

hunters-mark is not necessary because it always requires one other card in order to successfuly destroy a minion, and 2 for 1 trades are not what we are interested in with this deck.

unleash-the-hounds is a card that I did a lot of testing with and I figured out that having it is simply bad in most of the cases. Goal of this deck is to have control of the board from the start to the end of the game. Unleash the Hounds assumes that our goal is the opposite, that the opponent will have minions, therefore the card just does not fit in the deck. Also, on-the-hunt is a cheaper, more versatile version of this card and I believe that it is way more useful in this deck.

carrion-grub is simply not necessary in this deck. It is a card that doesn’t give any tempo the turn it is played, and also is easier to remove than the other 2 minions that provide no immediate tempo (infested-wolf and savannah-highmane). It does not fit the style of the deck.

stampeding-kodo is a card that I dislike simply because it is too situational in the deck where we don’t want to have any situational cards. We want to be able to play any card on any turn, and if the turn 5 comes and we have no target for the kodo then it sets us back a lot. This is why I prefer tundra-rhino over kodo.

stranglethorn-tiger is a great card but in this deck the limit of slow cards is already reached and there is simply no space for the tiger.

Most Common Matchups and Mulligans

Mulligan – always keep 1x fiery-bat and kings-elekk and huge-toad in your opening hand. More specific cards depends on the matchups that you should read below. Also, sometimes you might want to keep eaglehorn-bow or even [ card]animal-companion[/ card] in the starting hand if it feels that the curve is right. However to be able to detect that you just have to play a lot and get a feel of it on your own.

Warrior – I usually assume it is some version of a control warrior and I keep savannah-highmane and infested-wolf in my starting hand. If I don’t have either of those I keep call-of-the-wild in my starting hand. Our goal is to keep constant pressure on the warrior and play the minions that are hard for them to remove.

Priest – Same as Warrior except that the matchup feels easier because they are not as heavy on the removal. Never play around entomb because if they use it they lose their whole turn because of the 6-mana cost and that just gives us the advantage. So always play that savannah-highmane as soon as possible.

Warlock – Most of Warlocks will play zoo deck. If you are not experienced with this deck this is very tough matchup, but more you play the easier it will get. Always keep on-the-huntagainst zoo in your opening hand because it will help you a lot. Try to keep the full control of the board but keep an eye on the opponent’s health to find the right time to strike and set up a 2-turn kill which is usually how you win against zoo.

Shaman – This is another tough matchup, and tactic is same as you play against zoo except this time you don’t keep on-the-hunt in your opening hand.

Druid – Against Druid you should always keep deadly-shot in your opening hand in order to be able to efficiently kill one of the tough minions they will put on board. This is quite easy matchup against any kind of Druid. Also, don’t be afraid to take a lot of damage from hitting the minions with your eaglehorn-bow. In this matchup your health is irrelevant.

Mage – This is another very easy matchup regardless of what type of Mage it is. Freeze Mage is probably the easiest followed by a Tempo mage. It’s simple: control the board and win the game. Your priority minion to kill is sorcerers-apprentice followed by flamewaker. If you neutralise those two fast enough then nothing can stop you.

Rogue – Against Rogue there is only one card you have to keep in mind. That is sap. With this card they can get a huge tempo swing on us and that is exactly what we want to avoid. However, if you think you are ahead enough then don’t be afraid to drop that savannah-highmane on board. They have only 2 Saps after all.

Paladin – If you are against slow version of paladin all you have to do is mostly ignore the minions and just keep hitting their face. You will finish them before they can get to late game. This is by far the easiest matchup for Hunter.

If it is fast Paladin deck then you have to control the board in early game until you find a swing turn where you can change your gameplan to hitting the face.

Hunter – Just think of what plays would hurt you personally and do them against the Hunter. You should always know the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the deck you play. Use that in your advantage in every Hunter X Hunter Game.

Personal Advice:

When you choose a deck to play. Try to play it a lot until you feel like you mastered it. Take a note of your wins and losses in a long run rather than caring too much about what happened in the last couple games you played. Also, keep in mind that sometimes the only way to win is to make very risky plays. And last thing is that you always have to play to win instead of playing to stay alive. Those are couple things that help me get the Legend rank every month. I hope they will help you too.

If you have any more questions you can either ask here in the comments or add me on Battlenet NA server (Senbonzakura#2265). I will always accept if my friend list is currently not full, and I will answer any questions you may have.