We now move on to updating the Midrange Hunter Countering the Flavor of the Week.
The series are undergoing a series of changes in order to make them easier to read, update them as well as give extra tips that haven’t been given before!
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[toc]Explaining the Deck[/toc]
Due to Hunter’s Hero Power the class will always be a very aggressive one. But this doesn’t mean that every Hunter deck should be “Face Hunter”, The Mid-game power of some cards can make sure Hunter can stay competitive up until turns 10 or so. That happens because the class is able to keep pushing in for damage while Controlling the board with strong Midrange minions, fully utilizing its mana resources.
Midrange Hunter is a “good stuff” type of deck, filled with Minions that are good by themselves and generate great value when trading in order to Control the board, combined with an arsenal of Damaging and Controlling spells in order to maintain that said control for enough time to kill the opponent with spare damage as well as reach and Hero Power.
Versatility is the main reason people look for Midrange Hunter over Face Hunter, because the deck has even chances of winning against most decks.
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[toc]The Deck’s Strengths[/toc]
Well, we now understand how the deck is built. But what about the deck’s strengths? This deck has quite a lot of strengths and I personally recommend you take a deeper look at these next two sections of the article since they describe how the deck functions. If you’ve been reading my CFWS, you’ll know that understanding how a deck functions is crucial to figuring out how to beat it.
- Inevitability – Hunter’s hero power means that they will eventually be able to deal you 30 damage. Therefore, this staying power forces opponents not playing Warrior or Priest to have ways of slowing them down to metaphorically stop the bleeding. If the opponent is unable to do this, they will lose.
- Mid-game Power – Not all decks are focused on this department. Most decks are either built to fight aggro or control but not both. By having inherent midrange abilities, the deck gets a slight boost in matchup percentages regardless of meta-game.
- Strong Curve – With any deck, the better it curves out during the game, the higher are its chances of winning. Right on cue, this deck has a very strong and smooth curve when compared to others. Moreover, is early game cards even scale decently into the mid-game.
- Reach – This deck has multiple ways of dealing direct damage to finish you off. In addition to its Hero Power, Kill Command also has the potential of dealing lethal damage straight to the face. In addition, Kill Command also be used as a decent removal spell when needed.
- Sticky Minions – Another reason why this deck is so powerful is due its strong and sticky minions. Most of the minions in this deck have the Deathrattle ability, meaning they’ll often leave another minion or effect behind after they die. This stickiness characteristic is best exemplified by [card]savannah-highmane[/card] despite being the deck’s primary late-game minion. Some classes just don’t have an efficient way of dealing with it or [card]dr. boom[/card].
Note: Generally a lot of people are accustomed to playing against Face Hunter. However, not everyone is used to playing against Midrange Hunter regardless of how long the deck has been around. Therefore, many players play against Midrange Hunter as if they were playing against its smaller brother. This means giving up value for tempo early in the game and ultimately losing in the mid-game due to depletion of resources.
[cardinsert card=”aldor-peacekeeper” float=”right”]
[toc]The Deck’s Weaknesses[/toc]
Knowing a deck’s strengths allows us to predict how the opposing pilot will play. But recognizing an opposing pattern is only useful if know how to exploit the deck’s weaknesses! Once we realize how to do this, we should be able to breeze through our matches!
- Lack of Card Draw – Outside of some random [card]cult-master[/card] turns, this deck has no way of drawing cards. Therefore, it runs out of gas eventually. However, the problem still lies in the fact that it has strong mid-game plays that often trades favorably. However, when a deck is built to fight that midrange style, the Midrange Hunter eventually runs out of steam and folds.
- Lack of Overall Defensive Mechanisms – Another thing that is weak about Hunter decks in general is its lack of defenses. Overall, this deck is built to play with the lead, having only a few outs against aggro decks. Instead, Midrange Hunter is good against other midrange decks (like Druid) but doesn’t have many ways of dealing with a bunch of early game minions outside of lucky (and unreliable since it’s a 2-card combo) [card]knife-juggler[/card] + [card]unleash-the-hounds[/card] turns. As you may have predicted, this means the deck is weak against its younger brother, the Face Hunter.
- Lack of Healing – Again, just like the previous weakness, this makes the deck highly vulnerable to aggro decks. Remember whenever you become the “beat-down”, you force the Hunter player into making bad trades in order to survive. Since the Hunter player will opt to trade most of the time against aggro, the aggro player (beat-down) should push really hard for damage since we’ve already established that Midrange Hunter have poor defenses.
- Hero Power – The Hunter hero power is just too good whenever the Hunter player is ahead, pushing them further in the direction of inevitability. However, the Hunter’s hero power is just terrible when they’re behind since it doesn’t help deal with the current board position and doesn’t defend their health either.
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[toc]How to Fight Against It![/toc]
We just figured out two ways of fighting against Midrange Hunter: Play a control deck focused on fighting mid-game threats (i.e. Shaman, Priest, and/or Paladin) or play a very aggressive deck focused on pushing damage to force the Hunter into worrying about the board over your life total.
Listed below are some useful tips to be mindful of when fighting against Hunters.
- Proc their traps when [card]Eaglehorn Bow[/card] isn’t present – If there is a way of “proc-ing” the Hunter’s traps without losing much tempo, do so. This is because the traps gain additional value when the Hunter has an Eaglehorn Bow out to benefit from them. Usually strong bow snowballing is what allows the deck to win games against Priests and Warriors. By pushing in more damage than Priest/Warrior plays can heal, Midrange Hunter occasionally can steal these otherwise un-winnable games.
- As Priest – Always prioritize [card]mad-scientist[/card] whenever you play your [card]cabal-shadow-priest[/card]. Not only will you be stealing his minion, you are also denying him a trap.
- As Shaman – Go for board control and don’t worry about your life total too much to the extent that your plays are crippled by it. Run [card]antique-healbot[/card]. Be the beat-down. Your match-up against Midrange Hunter is actually pretty good, so be calm and think. Don’t screw it up by making bad plays. [card]hex[/card]ing their Savannah Highmane is devastating.
- As Paladin – [card]aldor-peacekeeper[/card] on their Savannah Highmane is also devastating. Take control of the board and once again run [card]antique-healbot[/card]. If you can get a good [card]muster-for-battle[/card] into [card]quartermaster[/card] play, instantly transition to being the beat-down. This forces the Hunter player into a game of trading, which heavily favors you.
- As Warrior – Your health should be used as a resource during the early phases of the game. Therefore, equipping weapons and using charges on opposing minions should be fine. All you need to do is to keep their board clear so you’re able to drop your big finishers.
Overall, the game against Midrange Hunter is pretty simple – it is just an RNG-fest. Whoever draws better wins. However, knowing how their deck works gives you an edge that the majority of players don’t have. Playing against both Hunter versions is like night and day. Therefore, quickly recognizing which one you are playing against is very important.
With regards to individual card choices, here are some nice suggestions:
- [card]antique-healbot[/card] – Slows down the deck’s inevitability (not needed in case you are playing Priest or Warrior)
- [card]loatheb[/card] – Forces the Hunter into bad plays. Outside of Savannah Highmane and Dr. Boom, Loatheb will usually 2-for-1 the Hunter’s minions in trades.
- [card]kezan-mystic[/card] is a devastating tempo gain. In case of a Hunter/Mage dominated metagame, running a copy of Kezan Mystic can literally steal you games against these classes.
- [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] – Nice way of protecting your own minions. If you’re playing Mech or Tempo Mage, sometimes running one Belcher instead of an [card]azure-drake[/card] can be a decent idea depending on metagame.
Because of how the deck has even odds against most decks, the Matchup against Midrange Hunter is more Tech-oriented than matchup oriented. The deck is slightly weaker against decks that Face Hunter is good, but much better against decks that Face Hunter is bad.
Midrange Hunter is another of those decks that are always present in the metagame due to its versatility and ability to adapt, so learning how to counter it and play against it is very important in order to always have an edge in the ladder.
I hope updating this guide helped you guys understand more about today’s midrange Hunter and how to play against it!
Love you guys,