Top 10 Legend EU Huntertaker Guide

Spark recently took Hunter to Top 10 Legend EU, post Leeroy and Buzzard nerfs. Let's take a look at his build and how it stands against the meta.

Hello everyone I’m Spark, Legend player from Hearthstone and today I’m presenting you the Hunter Decks that I used this season to grind the ladder since the starving-buzzard nerf.

Now that we have no longer access to the crazy come back and card draw mechanism, the class is forced towards a more aggressive playstyle, resulting in faster games and quick climbing.

I managed to stay really high in those Legend Ranks with my Death Trap build, maintaining a strong winrate against the popular Control Warrior and in the mirror match up.

The Snake Bite build is another form of Hunter that you can use to grind quickly as it is even more aggressive.

Deck Breakdown

The Deck revolves around powering an early undertaker thanks to some valuable deathrattle minions :

  • leper-gnome gives you early pressure as well as it sneaks some damage to the opponent’s face.
  • webspinner enables Beasts synergies as well as it helps not running out of steam.
  • mad-scientist gives you strong card advantage by pulling out secret from your deck.
  • haunted-creeper is really sticky and enables Beasts synergies.
  • sludge-belcher is an awesome tempo tool during the mid game as it wastes your opponent’s time and resources.
  • savannah-highmane is an insanely valuable card as your opponent will have a hard time dealing with it.

The rest of the Deck is focused around Beasts and Traps synergies :

  • flare is mandatory to fight the dominance of Hunter and can help against Mage as well.
  • kill-command is used as a finisher that can bypass taunt most of the time but can also deal with a mid game creature if needed.
  • houndmaster generates a really strong value out of your Beasts.
  • eaglehorn-bow is used as an early reomval tool and will help closing out the game later on.
  • freezing-trap is an awesome tempo tool that helps you keeping the pressure on your opponent.
  • snake-trap is used to have more beasts one the board and makes good use of the taunts played in the Deck.
  • knife-juggler has some really good synergies with the Deck and will apply some more aggression early in the game.
  • loatheb is a strong mid game play that will help you protect your board or restrict your opponent’s possibilities.
  • ironbeak-owl and unleash-the-hounds are situational cards that will help you in sticky situations and can often reach lethal in combination with kill-command.

Match Ups

In this section, I’ll give you some mulligan advice and general tips for the 4 most common archetypes that you will face on the ladder. The other classes should be handled pretty similarly : Warrior and Priest tips will help you fight Druid and Shaman while Hunter and Zoo tips will help you against Mage or any aggressive match up.

As the Deck is pretty pressuring, you are looking to dominate the game with standard plays anyway but some slower match ups should be played carefully as the Deck no longer has access to card draw mechanism.

Here are my winrates since my last update, I’ve never had such a crazy rush and it proves that the Deck is insanely strong if piloted properly :

Hunter

Key cards to keep : undertaker, flare, haunted-creeper

Good cards to have : leper-gnome, webspinner, mad-scientist, knife-juggler, eaglehorn-bow

This match up can be decided easily by who is getting an Undertaker rolling first. Being first can help in that regard but being second can also help coining out a 1 drop with it or using eaglehorn-bow on turn 2 to deal with it. haunted-creeper is another really strong early tools to have as it can deal with many weak minions or be powered up by houndmaster later on.

flare is obviously a must have to get rid of secrets and you should generally control the timing of it to be mana efficient by killing the ennemy’s mad-scientist only when necessary. For example you can kill at the end of your turn to flare the secret at the beginning of your next turn, which can force your opponent into playing poorly or even adding another secret.

You’ll generally have a stronger late game than some other Hunter builds so take that into consideration as savannah-highmane can end the game very quickly.

Zoo

Key cards to keep : undertaker, leper-gnome, haunted-creeper, mad-scientist

Good cards to have : webspinnerironbeak-owl, knife-juggler, eaglehorn-bow, animal-companion

This match up is generally favorable because of how the hero powers match up each other. You are looking for a strong start as they can have similar opening but tends to be slower.

Always go for the efficient trades like leper-gnome into flame-imp and try to remove their early powerhouse like knife-juggler and dire-wolf-alpha with eaglehorn-bow or mad-scientist. You will generally ignore haunted-creeper as they have no Beasts synergies themselves and go for the silence on nerubian-egg if you can.

snake-trap and unleash-the-hounds are really good in this match up. sludge-belcher and freezing-trap will be very useful during the mid game if you managed to control their board and kill-command will generally finish the game but it can also help dealing with a stronger body.

Warrior

Key cards to keep : mad-scientist, animal-companion, eaglehorn-bow, savannah-highmane

Good cards to have : undertaker, leper-gnome, webspinner, haunted-creeper, knife-juggler

Yes, you should keep a savannah-highmane in your starting hand in this match up as it is your most powerful card to fight Warrior. People tends to think that Warrior is good against Hunter but it’s probably because people are playing this poorly by trying to rushdown the Warrior. Keep it slow and you’ll see that your tools completely crushes the Warrior attempts to gain control of the game.

freezing-trap is really strong in that match up so you should try to control the opponent board with eaglehorn-bow to make his mid game threats inexistant. Don’t hesitate to kill armorsmith with huffer or Misha and acolyte-of-pain with eaglehorn-bow to make a free way for your weaker minions.

The undertaker start is not mandatory as Warrior will often answer it quickly but you should go for it if your hand tells you to. Be careful about Alexstrasza heal by not wasting kill-command if it doesn’t finish the game instantly.

Priest

Key cards to keep : undertaker, mad-scientist, animal-companion, eaglehorn-bow

Good cards to have : webspinner, leper-gnome, knife-juggler, haunted-creeper combined with houndmaster

This match up is probably the hardest. You are looking to pressure him as fast as you can so any Undertaker start is recommanded. mad-scientist will be very helpful to pull out free traps from your deck and eaglehorn-bow should kill northshire-cleric smoothly.

sludge-belcher and savannah-highmane will be your best friends during the mid game and you should be really careful about auchenai-soulpriest into circle-of-healing combo as well as the cabal-shadow-priest ability.

You’ll probably need to surprise them with double kill-command or a strong board control in order to win and unleash-the-hounds can help you closing out the game if it’s a deathrattle Priest.

Aggressive variant

This Deck is a much more aggressive build that I used around Rank 5 to fight the load of Zoo and Shaman that I faced at this time. I personnaly don’t run it anymore since I’m only facing Warrior and Hunter, crushing them pretty easily with the build I presented previously.

The Deck revolves around producing 1/1 tokens to throw an insane amount of knives at your opponent with knife-juggler and use them as a drawing mechanism with cult master.

As it revolves heavily on these synergies, I only run snake-trap as a secret to make sure mad-scientist will pull it off, resulting in the choice of playing one copy of eaglehorn-bow.

It uses the same core as the previous one but give up on mid to late game sludge-belcher and savannah-highmane to be more focused around aggression, spawning tokens and using them with hunters-mark, dire-wolf-alpha, defender-of-argus or for the synergies listed above.

This is a very fun build to play with and completely destroy Zoo and Shaman, generally thanks to knife-juggler into unleash-the-hounds, while maintaining a good winrate against other classes.

Closing

I’m really happy to prove once again that Hunter is not dead, even though I’m a little bit sad that Blizzard forced us to take it on a more aggressive stance to make it work.

Those Decks can climb the ladder pretty quickly and the Mid Range one is especially strong in those higher Legend Ranks as I managed to remain in the Top 10 EU for both Season 7 and 8.

I hope you guys will enjoy it as much as I do and that it can help you climb to Legend. Don’t hesitate to discuss about it in the comment section below, be sure to check out more of my work on Hearthpwn or here on HSP and follow me on Twitter to keep track of my updates 😉