The Ultimate Guide To Hybrid Hunter

Yes guys, I am “That [email protected]*ng guy who plays Hunter”, sorry not sorry. I’m not here to discuss the semantics of cancerous or non-cancerous decks, I’m here to discuss winning decks. Ok, good, great? Now that that’s all said and done, lets move on to how I helped 3 people this season gain legend with […]

Introduction

Yes guys, I am “That [email protected]*ng guy who plays Hunter”, sorry not sorry. I’m not here to discuss the semantics of cancerous or non-cancerous decks, I’m here to discuss winning decks. Ok, good, great? Now that that’s all said and done, lets move on to how I helped 3 people this season gain legend with the exact same card for card list. First off, a HUGE shout out to Vlps for introducing me to the deck. He’s an amazing streamer, very entertaining with a lot of technical knowledge of the game. (And no he doesn’t really play Hunter on stream, mostly Control Warrior) Check out his stream here >>> http://www.twitch.tv/vlpshs

The reason I choose to ladder with Hunter is simple. It wins a lot and the games are fast. There is no denying the power behind Hybrid Hunter as I helped 3 of my friends obtain the rank of legend with relative ease in the matter of a week. Most of the ladder sessions started with us playing whatever deck they had chosen to ladder with that season, and after a few hours of back and fourths would sit around the same rank. After some convincing, they would finally que up the Hybrid Hunter and force their way to legend in a matter of no time. Do I feel ashamed? No, Hunter is a class in the game, I’m playing to win. If the entire meta was heals and taunts I wouldn’t play it, but it isn’t so I do.

Lets Talk About Cheap; 1400 Dust, Naxx, and the deck is yours. Now that’s building on a budget!!

The Decklist:

2 Abusive Sergeant – Good one drop that gets better later when trading. Will almost always deal 2 damage and add a body to the board.

2 Leper Gnome -Best aggro minion in the game.

1 Glaivezooka -Extra weapon that gets in for a minion of 5 damage. Helps you clear the board early and keep your minions alive.

2 Freezing Trap – Best secret by a mile. Huge tempo swing.

1 Quick Shot -Amazing removal at any point in the game and can allow end of game crazy burst.

2 Haunted Creeper -Perfect sticky minion that happens to be a beast.

1 Ironbeak Owl -Silence those pesky taunts vs control and tempo silence vs aggro decks.

2 Knife Juggler -Solid 2 drop that pushes extra damage. Has crazy combo synergy with Unleash the Hounds and Haunted Creeper.

2 Mad Scientist -Best 2 drop in the deck. Huge tempo swing.

2 Eaglehorn Bow -One of the best weapons in the game. Pushes 6 damage for 3 mana at the least, and allows you to clear the board to protect your minions.

2 Kill Command -Great removal for big taunts or burning 5 to the face.

2 Unleash the Hounds – Almost always pushes for 3 damage if you play it correctly while adding beasts to the board. The 2nd piece to Juggler Unleash combo.

2 Arcane Golem -SMOrc 4 damage to the face.(Not sure how much I like this card right now honestly)

2 Piloted Shredder -The best 4 drop in the game of Hearthstone. Great sticky minion that can be very difficult to deal with especially if your already ahead.

1 Loatheb -Once you pressure early Loatheb can easily shut the door for anyone trying to AOE back into the game.

2 Savannah Highmane -Possibly the best 6 drop in the game. Highmane is insanely hard to deal with and quickly closes out the game. Once Highmane hits face it’s all but over.

*update Believe I ended the season at rank 70

So why hybrid?

Glad you asked. Short answer, Patron Warrior. When Patron took over the meta Hunter had to change with it. Pure Face Hunter was too all in and could easily fall under all the armor Warrior could attain. So what about Midrange Hunter? Midrange Hunter while having the ability to push through all the armor was so slow. When playing midrange, I constantly found myself unable to apply a quick enough clock to close the game before the board was consumed by Grim Patrons. Hyrbid allows for a quick clock and a reliable late game, it really is the perfect mixture.

Post TGT:

Well as you can see the list contains no TGT cards cause well, the deck didn’t get anything better than it already had. As many of you now know the meta has changed quite a bit since pre-TGT, so does the Hunter list need to change? From what I’ve seen so far, no. Sounds cocky, but honestly Hybrid hunter is having a huge success rate so why change? There are a lot of people testing new decks out there, Hunter so happens to take advantage of untested weakness and hits you right in the face before you could get off the ground. Furthermore, people have cut a lot of their “tech” cards like taunts, heals, Kezan Mystic, and weapon removal making them even more vulnerable to the Hunter menace.

The Matchups

Handlock– 70/30 A very favorable matchup for Hunter the goal is to apply a lot of early board pressure, curve into solid minion after minion, then burn them out.

  • Mulliganing- You want minions. Keep Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Knife Juggler, Ironbeak Owl, Haunted Creeper. You can keep Glaivezooka if you have a 1 drop or are going 2nd and already have a 2 drop. If you have a good curve already in hand you can keep Animal Companion or Piloted Shredder.
  • Summary- Maintain constant pressure and keep life total awareness. Do nod give them the option of playing multiple Giants with the ability to taunt, unless you have the burn in your hand to kill them. Never naked Freezing Trap without a way to kill Antique Healbot, the last thing you want is them replaying a Healbot. Remember, you can save unleash for quite a bit of value, Handlock has Ancient Watchers, Ironbeak Owl, Implosion, Dr. Boom, and so on. Don’t limit yourself to a few hounds when you can get quite a few more.

Zoo– 70/30 Another very favorable matchup because of the hero power clash. This matchup is going to be about keeping their board clear, while you try to quickly widdle down their life total.

  • Mulliganing- Same as Handlock because you don’t know which deck they’re going to be.
  • Summary- Hunter is going to be good at taking the early game, but it won’t last. You need to tempo them with your weapons and Freezing Traps. Weapons in this match are not intended for the face, you need to use them on their minions to keep your minions alive. After a few turns you will notice that the board is all but lost, and you can hit the YOLO button and start moving in for all face.

Secret Paladin– (Not enough data for a percent but I haven’t lost to one yet) Currently the most played deck on ladder as it is the new kid on the block, this is the list everyone is currently playing or gunning for. Well good news, Hybrid Hunter is insanely favored. (Note- The matchup is proving to be almost unwinnable for them as I play more and more)

  • Mulliganing- Keep the early minions. You want 1 drop and 2 drop minions except for Ironbeak Owl. If your hand already has a 1 drop and a 2 drop you can keep Unleash the Hounds and Animal Companion if not, pitch em. Feel free to keep Glaivezooka if you already have a 1 drop or are going 2nd and have another 2 drop.
  • Summary- The reason this matchup is so favored is it plays like the other Paladin matchups, except they lack heal and removal. Furthermore, the secrets are very weak against what Hybrid Hunter is trying to do and is easy to deal with. Even games that seemed unwinnable ended up in our favor because the deck lacks a solid clock and healing.

Control Warrior– 40/60 It’s not exactly the nightmare you might think it is. While they are favored, it isn’t by a huge margin by any means if you know what to look for.

  • Mulliganing- While you want the early game Hunter always wants, the mulligans here can be much more complex. Even if you don’t have the early game you’re still going to keep cards like Piloted Shredder and Animal Companion. The reason being is Control Warrior has an easy time dealing with early board pressure. The way you want to go into a Warrior game is by using the value minions. It is much more important to get Animal Companion and Piloted Shredder down than quick low value minions. Yes, keep the 1 and 2 drops if you get them, but don’t get rid of Shredder and Companion to find them.
  • Summary- You cannot play this game like a Face Hunter. Look for the value off Shredder and Eaglehorn Bow. Once you establish the board curve into Savannah Highmane and hit em hard. Trade off your small minions to play around Brawl and don’t waste burn before Alexstrasza if it isn’t lethal.

Patron Warrior– 60/40 The Pre-TGT most played ladder deck and the reason why we switched to the Hunter list you see before you today.

  • Mulliganing- Same as Control Warrior as you don’t know which version they are.
  • Summary- Just like Control Warrior this deck has a problem dealing with value minions such as; Shredder, Highmane, and Companion. Because they can stop early pressure you’re going to rely on your value to pull you through. Once Patron combos the board is lost but the game isn’t. Because this is a Hybrid list it contains a lot of burst and can still punch through a ton of damage without controlling the board. Just try to get in damage early and make it so their combo isn’t good enough and you have time to finish them off.

Tempo Mage/Mech Mage– 65/35 Favorable matchup for the Hunter as long as they don’t get one of those patented snowball hands.

  • Mulliganing- Without Coin- Keep Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper. (Glaivezooka if you already have a 1 drop.) You can keep Animal Companion or Eaglehorn Bow if you already have a 1 or 2 drop. With Coin- Keep Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Eaglehorn Bow, and Knife Juggler if your hand has a Haunted Creeper.
  • Summary- This matchup can be very close so you need to play it very close to the chest. Do not waste Knife Juggler as so many people do, you need to get some value off him to win. Try to clear the board as effectivley as possible with as many value trades as you can make. If you make value trades the Mage will be forced to use mana to remove your minion rather than develop their board. If they’re a Mech Mage make sure to clear mechs as much as possible to play around Goblin Blastmage, as bad RNG off him can easily end your game. Mages like this have quick clocks do don’t give up board control so easily.

Combo Druid-55/45 While I still believe this is a favorable matchup it got a little worse with the release of TGT and Darnassus Aspirant.

  • Mulliganing- Without Coin- Keep Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Glaivezooka with a 1 drop. If you already have a 2 drop you can keep Animal Companion and Eaglehorn Bow. If you have a play on 2 and 3 feel free to keep Piloted Shredder. With Coin- Keep Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Knife Juggler, Haunted Creeper, Eaglehorn Bow, Animal Companion, Glaivezooka. Feel free to keep Piloted Shredder if your hand is already good.
  • Summary- Just like the Warrior decks you want to look for value like Eaglehorn Bow and Piloted Shredder. However, early game pressure isn’t as punished as it is by Warrior as Druid doesn’t have anywhere near the same healing capabilities. This matchup is going to be very close and will be heavily reliant on how and when they draw Wild Growth, Innervate, and Darnassus Aspirant. Try to maintain the board while getting in hits where you can until you can drop a Savannah Highmane. Once Highmane connects finish them off with burn.

Aggro Paladin– 55/45 The cancer of the Pre-TGT meta hasn’t seemed to transition over to well but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this monster.

  • Mulliganing- Keep the early minions. You want 1 drop and 2 drop minions except for Ironbeak Owl. If your hand already has a 1 drop and a 2 drop you can keep Unleash the Hounds and Animal Companion if not, pitch em. Feel free to keep Glaivezooka if you already have a 1 drop or are going 2nd and have another 2 drop.
  • Summary- This matchup is going to be a slugfest, whoever can get on the board first is going to decide the tempo of the game. However, Hunter has a backup in Unleash the Hounds and if you fall behind can easily bring you back. Remember to play around Consecrate as to not let them back in the game. Trade when you can and either be faster than them or get em with a Savannah Highmane.

Dragon Priest– (Not enough data again)Now on paper this matchup looks completely and utterly unwinnable but somehow we managed a slightly positive win rate.

  • Mulliganing- Without Coin- Keep Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Glaivezooka, Knife Juggler, Haunted Creeper, Animal Companion, and Eaglehorn Bow. With Coin is the exact same but if your hand is already good feel free to keep Piloted Shredder.
  • Summary- This matchup can be an absolute nightmare when they curve, so your going to need to use your weapons to the fullest at clearing their minions. The matchup isn’t as bad as people think because the deck contains no healing besides the Hero Power and Holy Nova. They are also going to spend most the time using their minions to clear your board making their clock pretty slow. Make sure to hold Unleash the Hounds until the last possible moment for maximum damage. Priest has to keep playing minions to speed up their clock making them very vulnerable to Unleash.

Midrange Paladin– 60/40 This matchup got slightly better with the release of TGT so while it is favored for us Hunters it can be close. Most list cut a lot of their “hate” cards and have cut down on heal, taunt, and weapon removal.

  • Mulliganing- Keep the early minions. You want 1 drop and 2 drop minions except for Ironbeak Owl. If your hand already has a 1 drop and a 2 drop you can keep Unleash the Hounds and Animal Companion if not, pitch em. Feel free to keep Glaivezooka if you already have a 1 drop or are going 2nd and have another 2 drop.
  • Summary- This is the one matchup where your “Value” minions are probably not going to get a lot of value. Cards like Truesilver Champion and Aldor Peecekeeper put a wrench in the plans of the late game. You want to tempo the opponent with a strong curve, once the board looks lost pull the trigger on a Juggler Unleash to cripple them and then finish them off with some burn. Also, winning the Joust from Tuskarr Jouster doesn’t hurt.

Midrange Hunter– 70/30 Their deck is kind of like our deck, but slower.

  • Mulliganing- If your going first you really want a 1 drop but don’t mulligan Mad Scientist or Haunted Creeper for them. Ship everything else. Going second you get to mulligan much better; Keep Leper Gnome, , [card]Haunted Creeper, Glaivezooka with another 2 drop, Animal Companion if your hand is already good, and Ironbeak Owl.
  • Summary- Time to hit em hard and hit em fast. Hunters don’t play healing so any life you take away is gone forever. The slower Midrange Hunter isn’t going to be able to keep up with the pressure you put on and should quickly fall behind unable to catch up.

Face Hunter– 40/60 Their deck is like our deck, but faster. Oh [email protected]

  • Mulliganing- If your going first you really want a 1 drop but don’t mulligan Mad Scientist or Haunted Creeper for them. Ship everything else. Going second you get to mulligan much better; Keep Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Glaivezooka[card] with another 2 drop, [card]Animal Companion if your hand is already good, and Ironbeak Owl.
  • Summary- This is going to be a slug fest and whoever goes first is probably favored. However, our deck has the very big, bulky, and slow Savannah Highmane which can end up stuck in your hand while you get smashed in the face.

Mech Shaman– 80/20 Did someone say free win?

  • Mulliganing- Without Coin- Keep Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome[/card, [/card, card]Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Glaivezooka. If you already have a 2 drop feel free to keep, Animal Companion and Eaglehorn Bow. With Coin- Keep Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Glaivezooka, Eaglehorn Bow, and Animal Companion.
  • Summary- The only way to lose to Mech Shaman as a Hybrid Hunter is the crazy double Mechwarper draws, anything short of that and they’re toast. They rely heavily on their minion to push damage before finishing you off with burn. However, hunter is better at controlling the board and they will fall very short of getting you within┬áburst range. Unleash the Hounds is also a reckoning against them.

Totem Shaman– (Unknown) Ummmmmm havn’t really seen a real list do well so I’ll update this when something with the deck actually happens.

  • Mulliganing- Without Coin- Keep Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Glaivezooka. If you already have a 2 drop feel free to keep, Animal Companion and Eaglehorn Bow. With Coin- Keep Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Glaivezooka, Eaglehorn Bow, and Animal Companion.

Tech Options:

  • Some people want a 3rd Secret and that’s fine. Honestly in this meta you can very easily get away with playing an Explosive Trap, Snake Trap, or even give Bear Trap a try. None of them are going to be that bad.
  • Why no Dr. Boom? The deck doesn’t need the late game, it can be a huge tempo loss if your opponent has Big Game Hunter. Hybrid already wants to hero power every turn and if you lose too many hero powers to playing big minions you can easily lose the game.
  • With all the Secret Paladin should you play Flare? No, that deck is such a good matchup you would be wasting a spot.
  • Gormok the Impaler -This card might be really good or it could just be a 4/4 for 4(which isn’t that bad). Not sure how consistently you’ll have 4 minions in play.
  • What should we cut for these “Tech” cards? Honestly, Arcane Golem has always felt a little weak to me.

I Can’t Win With Hunter What Am I Doing Wrong?

I get this question all the time and honestly I didn’t understand what the problem was until I started coaching people. Everyone needs to understand, while Hunter does like to hit people in the face there are going to be times you need to trade to protect better minions. Stop letting your opponent value trade you out of the game.

  • Your weapons need to clear minions not hit face. The reason why weapons are so important is because they get multiple turns to clear opponents minions while you build up the board. I constantly see people playing a weapon just to hit face in the early game, STAHP!!!!!!
  • You play to fast- I understand that Hunter is a fast deck but slow it down. Just think through your decisions, find the best way to maintain board and maximize your damage.
  • Kill Command over Hero Power- For some reason people think they have to Kill Command when they have a beast in play to get max value. Sure if your hand is flooded with cards and your closing in on lethal go for it. But if every point of damage matters and your running low on cards just wait. For some reason I see a lot of turn 7 I have 4 mana and 2 cards in hand what do I do, Kill Command the face cause I have a beast in play. Hero Power + Non beast Kill Command is still 5 damage, you might draw another beast, slow your roll.
  • Let’s just trade all the time- Trading is nice, I do it a lot when I play Hunter. However, eventually you need to find lethal. Look at your hand, look at the board, try to remember whats in your deck and see if you can spot a 2 turn lethal. Once you do that its time to stop trading and go for the face.
  • You decided to be greedy and value trade and played right into their removal- You don’t need a ton of minions on the board to win, constant pressure by 1 or 2 minions will usually be enough. Stop trying to value trade right into your opponents Swipe, Holy Nova, Blade Flurry, or Brawl.
  • My opponent played cards BabyRage- Stop getting so worked up that your opponent is trying to stop you from killing them. Hybrid Hunter is amazingly powerful and can push through quite a bit of hate. I constantly see people getting upset and tilting themselves out of a very winnable game because the opponent healed or taunted.
  • Knife Juggler– This is one of the most underrated and under valued minions in aggro/hybrid decks. I constantly see people just playing Knife Juggler for no reason other than they wanted another minion on the board. STAHP!!!!! Knife Juggler is a huge tempo swing in midrange minion matches and does a huge job securing the board. This is no Razorfin Raptor!!!

How Should You Play The Deck?

  • The most general tip of advice I can give when playing Hybrid Hunter is, control the board. Play the deck like you would that of the old Warlock Zoo decks for the first 4, 5, or 6 turns, depending on your curve. After you sense the board is lost pull the trigger and go face. Zoo had to control the board the entire game to finish off the opponent, Hybrid Hunter doesn’t have that problem as we have a lot more burst and direct damage. If you choose not to trade or play around removal correctly the damage you need from board pressure will be lost forever and the game will quickly follow.

Why Should You Play The Deck?

  • Very fast ladder deck.
  • Currently farms the most played deck on ladder. (Secrets Paladin)
  • Has a lot of very favorable matchups and not a lot of unfavorable ones.
  • It’s a very cheap deck.
  • It’s one of the easiest decks to learn.
  • Can easily get you to legend, and very quickly.
  • Teaches you the value of board control and what removal to play around.
  • Will cause random laughter as you crush opponents who never should’ve signed on that day.

Closing

Hybrid Hunter is a great deck for every stage of the game. Perfect for climbing to legend, excellent for new players to learn when to trade and when to go face, cheap enough for new players to have a competitive deck they can win with outside of the casual room. I hoped you all enjoyed this look into the world of Hybrid Hunter and hopefully you got something out of it. Best of luck to everyone on ladder and may the RNG gods be with you.

Until next time,

-RamPage

P.S. I will be giving away a couple of coaching sessions for those looking to obtain the rank of legend this season. If your stuck at rank 5 or under, feel free to follow me on twitter send me a private message asking to enter the giveaway. I will most likely be giving away 5 coaching sessions to be streamed on my twitch channel.