Greetings traveler, Hunter is one of the strongest and most consistent deck in the meta right now and I hit legend this season with a Midrange Hunter Deck without traps, I played the deck from rank 5 to legend and I faced a lot of other hunters, some ran traps most didn’t, the fact that this Matchup is a 50/50 is true but you can get the odds in your favor by making some important plays, So here is a cheat sheet that can help you win the mirror match.
You may have seen a Reddit post similar to this (also written by me), but this is a more in-depth and extended version specifically for Hearthstone Players Premium members! Let’s get started!Before trying to hit legend with a deck you need to learn the deck, and you should:
- Know every card in your deck
- Know all the combos in your deck
- Know the synergy between cards – eg. leeroy-jenkins does 7 damage if there is a leokk on the field, as leokk grants him +1 attack.
Deck Stats on ladder ranks 5-1
- Handlock 3-0
- Midrange Hunter 15-2
- Zoo 3-2
- Priest 4-1
- Ramp Druid 3-0
- Token Druid 2-0
This deck is designed to win the game in the mid game with high value minions and using your hero power to quickly burst down your opponent before the game reaches the later stages. The most powerful burst combo of the deck is leeroy-jenkins + timber-wolf + unleash-the-hounds. With this combo you can deal a minimum of 10 damage to a maximum of 16 damage depending on the number of minions on the opponents field.
Hunters-mark is a really strong removal card and is auto-include due to the current state of meta.
flare is 1 mana deck thinner with an additional effect, sign me up!
Tracking is a broken card, it let’s you fetch cards from your deck as well as thins the deck thus letting you get to the cards you need faster. The discard effect is more of an advantage rather than a drawback.
stonetusk-boar has great synergy with hunters-mark and it acts as a third flare against hunters running secrets.
timber-wolf is a combo enabler lets you draw cards with buzzard for 1 mana and lets you clear boards with unleash-the-hounds
webspinner is a turn 1 minion that draws you a card and is a beast, this card just screams value.
haunted-creeper is the source of hunters early game pressure the fact that this guy can be houndmaster’d makes it even scarier and forces your opponent to kill it even if they don’t want to do so.
ironbeak-owl has a silence effect and is a beast fits nicely in the deck. silence is a strong effect but running two owl’s isn’t great so there is only one in the deck.
scavenging-hyena – This card more often than not baits out premium removal from opponent and if not dealt with immediately it can deal massive amounts of damage it also makes using AOE awkward for your opponent.
starving-buzzard – Your main source of card draw.
animal-companion – literally every animal summoned through this card is over-budgeted at 3 mana and it is a great early game pressure card.
deadly-shot – your answer to single huge minons.
kill-command – great card to deal massive burst damage as well as remove pesky taunts and scary minons.
unleash-the-hounds – your bread and butter for massive combos.
houndmaster – if you houndmaster a beast on turn 4 the tempo swing is insane the immense value provided by this card makes it auto include in every midrange hunter deck.
leeroy-jenkins – the natural synergy with unleash makes this card a great inclusion in any hunter deck.
Loatheb – When timed right this card can win you games, use it defensively to prevent incoming lethal combos and use it offensively to secure board control and prevent efficient AOE.
savannah-highmane This card is 10/9 stats for 6 mana, it is better than the legendary card Cairne-bloodhoof and you can have to of these. One if the most important cards in any control matchup and can single-handedly win you games. auto include in every midrange hunter deck.
- Midrange hunter with traps
- Control Warrior
- Tempo Rogue
- Control Paladin
- Secrets Mage
- Miracle rogue to some extent
- Backspace/Aggro Rogue
- Aggro Warlock
In every matchup mulligan for a good curve
The following early game cards are desirable:
Webspinner -> Haunted creeper -> Animal companion -> Houndmaster.
Against Specific Matchups
Handlock: Keep hunters-mark and Deadly shot
Hunter: Keep Flare and savannah-highmane if you have a good curve.
Warrior: Always Keep atleast one savannah-highmane
Zoo: Mulligan everything for unleash-the-hounds if you have unleash the hounds keep starving-buzzard and timber-wolf.
For all other matchups follow the ‘General Strategy’ above.
Mirror match analysis
Early game Pressure
The usual early game plays are going to be webspinner and haunted-creeper by both sides sometimes followed up by Houndmaster and animal-companion.
Many times I faced this situation if I am going first and I play Webspinner my opponent will coin out a haunted-creeper which is the perfect counter for the Webspinner. Later on, the same haunted-creeper ends up killing 3 of my creatures thus effectively giving my opponent card advantage. In order to deny this control to the opponent, I started keeping scavenging-hyena or an ironbeak-owl in my starting hand if my opponent keeps more than 2 cards to counter the haunted-creeper, it sounds crazy to silence a haunted creeper but believe me it’s a clutch play.
However if you have an unleash-the-hounds combo the correct play would be to kill the haunted-creeper on Turn 4 and unleash-the-hounds on Turn 5. If you can stabilize in the early game then you always win Midgame.
Plays that snowball the game in your favor:
- Playing the savannah-highmane first: The player who can get a savannah-highmane on the board first usually wins the game 80% of the time.
- Getting opponent below 18 health: You can just burst them down from this point.
- Maintaing board control with 2 or less minions when it is turn 5: This is important as Turn 6 is the savannah-highmane turn and if you have board control you just win however playing around Starving-buzzard+unleash-the-hounds combo is very important because if you get behind on cards your only option would be to burst down which wont be as effective if you are low on cards.
- Playing around leeroy-jenkins + timber-wolf + unleash-the-hounds combo: You play around this if opponent has been holding onto a few cards for a long time (you need to try hard if you wanna get to legend so try to track the cards) or if you are super winning, as sometimes you can just die to huge burst.
- Saving flare and using it at the right time to destroy a secret , this card can turn the tides of a game by giving you a huge tempo boost if it destroys a secret. However sometimes it is correct to use it even if you are not destroying secrets such a situation being when you are behind on board or cards and need to topdeck a specific card to win.
A) Turn 1 tracking
Do not play tracking on turn 1 when you already have a playable card on turns 2 and 3.
When to cast tracking:
- On turn 5 to get savannah-highmane
- To fish for lethal.
- To get something to play when you have a horrible curve.
- To fish for removal.
B) Suiciding the deathrattle creatures
Do not kill the webspinner without getting a trade just to get the free beast and do not kill the haunted-creeper to get the two 1/1’s (most of the time)
Note: The 1/1’s from haunted creeper aren’t beasts.
C) Always keeping unleash-the-hounds in the starting handWhen to keep unleash-the-hounds
unleash-the-hounds is a great catchup card if you are behind on board or cards. however it is not always correct to keep unleash-the-hounds in your hand.
You keep unleash-the-hounds if:-
- You are going second and have a starving-buzzard, webspinner and haunted creeper (aka the perfect hand).
- You are facing zoo.
- You have a timber-wolf and opponent kept more than 2 cards.
- Your hand sucks and you think you might not be able to draw into better one.
Tips for popular matchups
- Control Warrior: In this matchup if you can get your savannah-highmane out on turn 6 you will win, you mulligan for savannah-highmane and if you don’t get him then you track for savannah-highmane, savannah-highmane is the single most important card in this matchup. Also do not try to trade with the control warrior’s legendary minions as it will be inefficient. play around deaths-bite aoe effect. silence unstable-ghoul and always kill their armorsmith.
- Druid: Play on curve save hunters-mark and keep deadly-shot in starting hand to deal with innervated minions and and huge threats mid to late game.
- Priest: Never use houndmaster on webspinner and haunted-creeper as it will get shadow-madnessed. Play around cabal-shadow-priest, savannah-highmanes win you this game. This matchup isn’t favored but it’s not bad either you should just try to get maximum value out of every minion and play around ‘stealerino’ cards.
- Shaman: unleash-the-hounds is the best card in this matchup, use your hero power as much as possible and you should not play savannah-highmane on turn 6 if you suspect a hex, this matchup should be easy.
- Zoo: Find the unleash-the-hounds + timber-wolf at any cost, try to get both of your haunted-creepers out as early as possible. If you can stabilize by turn 5 you win.
- Handlock: Save kill-commands for face, keep their health high enough so that they cannot play molten-giant + taunt giver unless you have double kill-command in your hand.. You can play starving-buzzard on turn 3 to disrupt their turn 4 mountain-giant keep hunters-mark and deadly-shot, this is a fairly easy matchup I haven’t lost a single game against a handlock with this deck.
This is a great deck to get to legend this season where the hunter meta prevails as this deck counters the current meta and the guide should help you win the mirror match, the deck has a 70% winrate on the ladder. and can get you from rank 5 to legend in a matter of hours. So when you face a hunter on ladder playing this deck then fear not as you know the tricks to win the mirror match which your opponent might not.
Hope you guys enjoyed this extended article about Hunter mirror matches. It definitely is one of the strongest and consistent deck in the meta at the moment so one must be prepared to face a lot of mirror matches! Please leave any feed back or suggestions in the comments below, I’d greatly appreciate it!