Legend: Sekrit Hunter
Made popular by Yong Hoo, an employee at Blizzard, with the purpose of handling the sea of Wurlock decks. Now slowly being refined to be competitive at higher rank games where the meta includes less Wurlock decks.
2x Arcane Shot
2x Explosive Trap
2x Freezing Trap
2x Animal Companion
1x Deadly Shot
2x Eaglehorn Bown
1x Kill Command
1x Kill Krush
2x Secret Keeper
1x Ironbeak Owl
2x Novice Engineer
1x Wild Pyromancer
1x Gadgetzan Auctioneer
1x Sylvanas Windrunner
2x Argent Commander
Tons of secrets and spells! This deck is fun because you get to make a lot of interesting decisions in anticipation of your opponent's move and it also create a lot of hilarious situations. :D To enjoy this deck you have to like a good chunk of RNG and biting your nails as crazy chain of events resolve. I love it!
Ideal hand would have you start with the Eaglehorn Bow / Secret Keeper and you control the early board with a combination of traps, arcane shot, deadly shot etc. If you are playing against rush Warlocks or Paladins, it is critical that you keep the population contained so you don't get overwhelmed. Freezing Trap on a Flame Imp is my favorite thing to do. Want to pay another 3 life to play it? Be my guest! Also it's really temping but don't get greedy with Explosive Trap. Defender of Argus, Blood Imps, Buffing Murlocs etc will punish you. 1 for 1 is fine. More is just bonus.
Wild Pyromancer (in conjunction with Hunter's Mark) and Abomination provides more board clear. As much as possible you want to get Steady Shot in as much as possible to keep the pressure going. This deck has only so much guaranteed damage output, so taking advantage of Steady Shot when you can is key. A large amount of your damage will come from hitting your opponent in the face with the Eaglehorn Bow (that keeps getting refreshed by secrets. do NOT use the last swing unless it is an emergency) and Steady Shot. If you are playing against a slower deck, Animal Companion could be dishing some more damage for you here as well. If your opponent has a beefy mid game minion and you have none, Misdirection is a great way to slow them down and also contribute to the damage pool. (It's also extremely hilarious to see someone get hit by their own minion ;) )
Sylvanas and Argent Commander provide great board control and damage opportunities. Hopefully you were able to get your opponent low between Eaglehorn Bow / Steady Shot / Misdirection shenanigan pumping out damage and your mid game minions getting some hits in. You'll have to make some difficult choices about if you want to go for your opponent's face or to use your minions to control the board. The last stretch is really a tight rope to walk. If the game goes very long, make sure to take advantage of Gadgetzan Auctioneer and the fact that over half your deck are spells. You can get significant card advantage that you'll need against long decks. Sometimes it can be hard to seal the deal and that's where King Krush can really deliver with an 8 damage charge.
Notes on traps: You have to remember that traps resolve in the order they are played. This is really important. For example, if you play Misdirection first and then Freezing Trap and a minion attacks you, it will switch target and then get put back into hand. Wasted Misdirection. Also, remember that Misdirection and Explosive Traps only work if they go for your face. Freezing Trap is the only one that can really protect your minions. So think really carefully when you play your traps. It can mean the difference between an amazing outcome and a dud.
Weakness against aggro Mage
Unfortunately this deck is very weak against the typical aggro Mage decks out there. Mana Wyrm and Mirror Image really messes you up as it makes things like Misdirection and Eaglehorn Bow far less effective. Mana Wyrm is also frustratingly out of range of Explosive Trap. You end up taking some hits as you go into the mid game, and because this deck is very light on minions, the Mage is able to save all the burn for your face. Ouch. If anyone can think of away to improve this situation without totally changing the deck, let me know! But I'm thinking this is an inherent weakness with this setup. Thankfully the druids that you prey on are abundant out there and are eating the Mages. :)
Notes on the Legendaries
One of the goals of the deck was to make one that is not terribly hard to put together. The original version of this deck had only commons and rares. The three Legendaries in the deck are very useful and I happen to pull them out of packs so I put them into my deck. But those three cards can be replaced with any cards that gives you mid/late game pressure and damage potential. Here are options I've tried that all work well:
Spiteful Smith: 4/6 for 5 mana helps it stick around for board presence. Also combos very nicely with your trusty Eaglehorn Bow.
Venture Co. Mercenary: This takes advantage of the fact that the deck is light on minions. 7/6 for 5 mana forces your opponent to deal with it in some way.
Reckless Rocketeer: A bit crazy, but this helps with the damage potential problem of the deck, coming out swinging. With Freezing Trap to back it up, it has much greater chance to survive another turn.
Savannah Highmane: Good cost to stat ratio and the death rattle means you keep some board presence even after a trade.
Sunwalker: If you fail to contain the early/mid game pressure, this card can really give you the reprieve you need.
The important thing is to try different things. Depending on the meta you are currently dealing with, you will want to kit it out differently. And above all, HAVE FUN!
Updated the card list based on some feedback on Twitter (@cataclyst78). Secret Keeper so far feels totally worth replacing Tracking. Traded a Gadgetzan Auctioneer for Abomination since the meta is still very fast with all the Warlocos Tacos decks out there. Added an Owl in place of a Pyromancer. Shifted the break down of game phases to reflect this as well.
Meta is evolving so I modified the deck a bit more. I brought the Tracking back in along with a Flare. It's critical to be able to get to the right cards to deal with the given situation with this deck and Tracking goes a long way to help with that. Flare is more or less requirement to have a shot at beating Mages due to Ice Block. Pretty much any game I win against a Mage it was thanks to Flare. These cantrips thins down the deck and concentrate what's important. To make room I removed The Black Knight and Hunter's Mark (Druid meta is calming down), one Abomination (Warlocos meta is pretty much died out now). I also exchanged a Deadly Shot with Kill Command mainly to deal with out of control Mana Wyrm (3 damage) but also to give that 5 damage to finish off the opponent (combo with owl or Animal Companion).