This is part 3 of the Mastering the Hybrid Hunter extensive deck guide series. It is split into 3 main guides:
- Beginner Guide
- Advanced Strategies, Alternate Cards and Tech Choices
- Matchups and Mulligans
This guide will cover matchups and mulligans.
[toc]Matchups & Mulligan[/toc]
In this section, we’re gonna show you how to play against other popular decks – whether you’re a favorite, what to mulligan for or what is the general strategy.
Cards you keep: Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Glaivezooka, Animal Companion
Cards you might keep: Freezing Trap, Piloted Shredder, Eaglehorn Bow (if you get Mad Scientist/Freezing Trap)
You’re a favorite in this matchup. Opponent might win if he gets a good ramp and answers for your every threat. You want to be an aggressor here.
- Dropping [card]leper-gnome[/card] on turn 1 is a great play, even though he takes it out with his Hero Power. You waste his turn 2 and deny his ability to [card]wild-growth[/card]. If he does Wild Growth, you might get a couple of free hits. On turn 2 you want your sticky minions – [card]haunted-creeper[/card] or [card]mad-scientist[/card].
- [card]knife-juggler[/card] is bad in this matchup, because both [card]wrath[/card] and [card]keeper-of-the-grove[/card] can easily kill him. Opponent’s first drops ([card]shade-of-naxxramas[/card] and [card]piloted-shredder[/card]) are really bad against your [card]freezing-trap[/card]. That’s why you want to get either Scientist or Trap early.
- The only Mid-Game cards you need to worry about are Taunts – [card]druid-of-the-claw[/card] and [card]sludge-belcher[/card]. If you draw [card]ironbeak-owl[/card], Silence and ignore them. If you don’t, use [card]glaivezooka[/card], [card]abusive-sergeant[/card] or even [card]kill-command[/card] to get rid of them.
- Push for damage. You don’t want the match to last too long. Kill only key minions you can’t ignore – like [card]emperor-thaurissan[/card].
- Try to not have too many 1 health minions on the board to not lose against [card]swipe[/card].
- If you don’t kill him fast enough, [card]savannah-highmane[/card] is gonna help you. Druid has no way to efficiently remove it, besides Silencing and trading with his own minions.
- If the game draws long enough – keep their [card]force-of-nature[/card] + [card]savage-roar[/card] combo in mind, but you should be pretty healthy if the match has gone in your favor. Don’t save weapon charges, because most of the lists run [card]harrison-jones[/card].
Cards you look for: Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Quick Shot, Knife Juggler, Ironbeak Owl, Glaivezooka, Animal Companion, Wolfrider
Cards you might keep: Piloted Shredder, Loatheb
A hard matchup. You need to win by early aggression, because if the game lasts too long, enemy is just gonna put a wall of taunts which you won’t get through. You need to put him low enough for your Hero Power and reach spells to finish him off.
- They run [card]zombie-chow[/card] – you’re gonna have to deal with it, preferably with Leper Gnome + Glaivezooka or Quick Shot. Knife Juggler is even worse in this matchup, but I still prefer keeping him.
- You need to push for much damage early, and if enemy has no answer, Juggler might push for a lot. On the other hand, you don’t really want cards like Haunted Creeper, because it’s just too slow, and it won’t trade with anything anyway. The only early purpose would be [card]kill-command[/card] activator.
- At turn 4, he might put a taunt every turn, starting with [card]senjin-shieldmasta[/card]. You want to kill those in the most efficient way – without sacrificing your minions.
- Freezing Trap is almost useless in this matchup, and often works in Druid’s favor. Bouncing back cards like [card]keeper-of-the-grove[/card] can give them another way to deal with your threats. Later in the game, getting back [card]ancient-of-lore[/card] means additional draw / heal (even for 9 mana it’s usually worth it).
- If you get too big board, he might [card]swipe[/card] it.
- Use your weapon charges, because most of the lists run either Harrison Jones or [card]acidic-swamp-ooze[/card].
- Use your health as a resource, you don’t mind hitting 5 attack minions with your weapons. Enemy has no source of burst anyway, and you need to preserve your minions.
- If enemy doesn’t ramp up, Loatheb on turn 5 (or turn 4 with coin) is a good play, because it often denies [card]innervate[/card] + [card]ancient-of-war[/card] from Druid.
- [card]savannah-highmane[/card] is not that good in the matchup, because it’s easily blocked by the late game taunts. It still your best turn 6 play, though.
- Try to not Silence smaller taunts, unless you’re close to lethal. You absolutely need to keep Owls for Ancient of War. Running two of them is a great benefit against Ramp Druid.
- Ancient of Lore can be used to heal for 5, but at least it means no draw, so it’s limiting their other options. Some Ramp Druids tech in [card]healing-touch[/card] to be better against faster decks. If he taunts up and heals after, you lost the game.
Cards you look for: Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Glaivezooka, Quick Shot, Knife Juggler and Haunted Creeper
Cards you might keep: Ironbeak Owl, Unleash the Hounds
Probably your worst matchup. Face Hunter will often rush you down before you can do anything. You need a really fast start and good curve. If you drop early turn, you’re not gonna catch up. 1-drop is important, because it either trades for their 1-drop or answers their 2-drop.
- Haunted Creeper is great, because they run a lot of small minions.
- Knife Juggler can sometimes work wonders, but don’t throw it when they have a 1-drop on the board, because it will just die.
- Quick Shot or Glaivezooka are needed to deal with their early Juggler – if you don’t, he’s gonna do a lot of damage. Be careful of swinging your weapons at minions too much, though, because your health is really valuable.
- [card]mad-scientist[/card] is always good, but [card]freezing-trap[/card] is not the best here. He might freeze his 1-drop, which isn’t that bad. But he might also use [card]unleash-the-hounds[/card] to freeze one of his Hounds.
- His [card]explosive-trap[/card] also works fine against you. Don’t try to outrush him, because it won’t work. You need to stabilize early game and try to push with your mid-game drops. Don’t wait too long with pushing, because he’s just gonna draw more chargers.
- In this matchup, even though your Hero Powers do the same, his is much better. He will probably take you pretty low in the early and put you on the clock quickly. Loatheb might give you additional turn, so he won’t finish you with spells.
- Savannah Highmane is almost useless, because when you drop it, you’re probably close to dying. Playing 2 smaller minions (e.g. Juggler + Shredder) is usually better. Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds is what might save you if they develop strong board. If you want to boost your chances against Face Hunter, tech in [card]kezan-mystic[/card].
Cards you look for: All your 1-drops and 2-drops, Animal Companion, Eaglehorn Bow, Wolfrider
Cards you might keep: Ironbeak Owl
This matchup is much easier than Face Hunter. You are slight favorite, but the game can go either way. You are the faster deck, and that’s the reason you have small advantage.
- Mid-Range Hunters run [card]webspinner[/card]s, which aren’t a threat, but can mess with your 1-drops. Even if Webspinner can’t remove your minion, kill it, so enemy won’t buff it with [card]abusive-sergeant[/card] and trade.
- Keep the board control all the time. Turn 2 Scientist can slow you down because of Freezing Trap, so you might consider Silencing him. Your weapons should keep the board clear.
- Wolfrider is pretty good in the matchup, because enemy has no way to ping him. He either has to trade with his minions or weapon (which means he takes 6 damage).
- You want to be aggressive, but destroy his threats at the same time. Be sure to kill every Beast, you might even consider killing [card]haunted-creeper[/card], so enemy won’t be able to buff them with [card]houndmaster[/card].
- Many lists run one copy of [card]explosive-trap[/card], so don’t always assume that their trap is Freezing – be careful. [card]ironbeak-owl[/card] is great in the matchup.
- Mad Scientists, Shredders, Belchers, Highmanes – they are all high priority Silence targets. If they get answers for your early game and Taunt up, it would be hard to win.
- Your rush potential is better, so abuse that. Hunter has no way to heal, so every damage you deal to him is really precious. The matchup is usually decided in early turns, so try to be as aggressive as you can.
Cards you look for: Early drops, Ironbeak Owl
Cards you might keep: Loatheb
Playing against Freeze Mage is relatively simple. Winning or losing usually doesn’t depend on the plays you make, but on whether they draw enough Freezes to stall the game.
- Play aggressively. You want to do as much damage as you can before turn 4-5 when he starts dropping freezes. Keep Ironbeak Owl for [card]doomsayer[/card], if you draw two of them you might use one if he drops a card draw minion.
- You want to deny him as many card draws as you can. For example, if he drops an Acolyte and you can kill him in one swing, do it. You don’t want Freeze Mage to draw, because the more he does, the bigger are the chances he has an answers to your board and his key cards.
- You are a favorite in this matchup, because your minions are sticky. Haunted Creeper, Piloted Shredder, Savannah Highmane – they all leave something on board even after being removed. On the other hand, some of your cards are bad.
- Freezing Trap is almost useless besides the first turns, because Mage might as well not attack with most of his minions. Unleash the Hounds is another nearly useless cards. Enemy often has no minions on the board, and if he drops something, it’s 1 or 2 at best.
- Your chargers are pretty good, same goes for your weapons – even if enemy freezes your board, you still might attack with them. Some reach is also fine.
- Loatheb is your best card against Freeze Mage, it almost gives you a free turn. You can use him in two ways. First, if you have good board and you want to make a push, but you don’t want to get frozen. Second – after you pop the [card]ice-block[/card]. Enemy has to choose between just using another for 8 mana, or freezing your board. He can’t do both. If he plays another block – you pop him again next turn. If he freezes, finish him off with your reach / Hero Power. Remember that when you pop the block, if you can, leave the mage on 1 or 2 health. It means that you can just pop it again with Hero Power.
- Also, remember that [card]ice-barrier[/card] procs only from minion / weapon damage. It doesn’t proc from your Hero Power or spells. If Mage is low and uses a secret, if you can, try to pop it with your spells and Hero Power first. If you attack with minions, it gives him +8 armor which might deny your win that turn.
- If you tech in [card]kezan-mystic[/card] into your deck, the matchup gets even better, probably around 75/25. If you draw Kezan, you’re almost guaranteed to win.
Cards you look for: Abusive Sergeant, Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Weapons, Quick Shot, Animal Companion
Cards you might keep: Ironbeak Owl, Loatheb
This match greatly depends on whether Mage draws into [card]flamewaker[/card], and then on whether you can answer him. This card is ridiculous, especially in this matchup. With addition of cheap mage removals, it easily clears everything you might play up until turn 5.
- Leper Gnome isn’t really good against [card]mana-wyrm[/card]. If he doesn’t get Wyrm, he’s just getting pinged, which isn’t that bad for you.
- Tempo Mage runs a lot of early removals, so Knife Juggler is too risky to keep. You want smooth curve of sticky minions and answers for his early plays. Most of things you drop early are gonna get removed, but don’t worry. Your weapons can kill his early drops, so keep them.
- If you have something good to pop [card]mirror-entity[/card] (e.g. Abusive Sergeant), that’s fine. Otherwise, if he drops Scientist, Silence him. Animal Companion works pretty well against Mirror Entity, because it’s a spell, so enemy won’t get a copy.
- [card]wolfrider[/card] is also fine against Mirror, because it might just trade with itself.
- Be sure to keep some answer for Flamewaker, you don’t want him to survive.
- Both of you have similar late game strength, but Mage has more burn, and a potential to get even more. You want to kill him fast, because if he gets [card]archmage-antonidas[/card] on the board, and you have no answer, you lose in 2 turns at best. [card]dr-boom[/card] is also threatening.
- [card]unleash-the-hounds[/card] is pretty good in matchup, because enemy often has a lot of things on the board – couple of small drops and [card]mirror-image[/card]. If you combo Juggler with Unleash, it might work wonders.
- [card]unstable-portal[/card] RNG also plays a big role against Tempo Mage. If he gets something really strong, he might get immense tempo value on later turns.
- Don’t let him keep both [card]sorcerers-apprentice[/card] and [card]flamewaker[/card] on the board. Even one copy of each. Those have really great synergy.
- Loatheb is good, Tempo Mage relies mostly on spells to clear the board, so dropping Loatheb can turn the game around. Especially before turn 7, as some of the builds run [card]flamestrike[/card].
- Highmane is also great, because enemy has no easy way to deal with it. Teching in [card]kezan-mystic[/card] gives you a great answer to Mirror Entity and a lot of tempo.
Cards you look for: Leper Gnome, 2-drops (especially Haunted Creeper), Glaivezooka, Unleash the Hounds
Cards you might keep: Eaglehorn Bow (if you already have something to drop on turn 2)
This matchups is hard from you because of how fast it is and how it’s hard to keep the board control. Aggro Paladin has a lot of 1-drops and 2-drops, you’re gonna be busy early game, trying to remove them all.
- Haunted Creeper is your best bet, because it can kill the 1-drops, the 1/1 dudes, pop the Divine Shields, and you still have some presence after it gets killed.
- [card]shielded-minibot[/card] is one of the hardest 2-drops for you to deal with. You have no way to ping the Divine Shield, so it will eat the weapon hit or a minion, and get 2 for 1 most of time.
- [card]muster-for-battle[/card] is next thing that’s really hard to deal with. The 1/4 weapon is relatively good against you, and three 1/1’s will be nightmare to kill, unless you have Unleash the Hounds.
- Unleash is your best card in this matchup. Remember, however, to not use it on 2-3 minions unless you really have to. It’s gonna get much more value, with at least 4-5 hounds.
- Wolfrider and Animal Companion are both pretty bad. Wolfrider dies to 1/1’s and the 1 attack weapon. Animal Companion is weak against [card]truesilver-champion[/card]. Misha might work out and sometimes get 2 for 1, but Leokk and Huffer are bad.
- Freezing Trap is not that good in the matchup, because of Paladin’s Hero Power. If you get it from Mad Scientist though, it’s not bad, because you get some free tempo. [card]blessing-of-might[/card], [card]abusive-sergeant[/card] and [card]quartermaster[/card] are the reasons you should try to kill every Silver Hand Recruit opponent spawns.
- Mid-Game is also in Paladin’s favor, because of cards like [card]consecration[/card] and Truesilver Champion. Try to play around those if you can afford to. Your biggest drop is also bad, because Paladin has many answers – [card]aldor-peacekeeper[/card], [card]equality[/card] and [card]ironbeak-owl[/card].
- You absolutely have to keep Ironbeak Owl for [card]tirion-fordring[/card], unanswered Tirion means you lost the game. Your biggest bet to win is a good Knife Juggler + Unleash combo. Paladin runs a lot of small minions, and Divine Shields, which are nice targets for knives and Hounds. It’s often a full board clear, and your only way to come back into the game.
- Teching in [card]explosive-trap[/card], your taunt givers (especially [card]defender-of-argus[/card]) and [card]harrison-jones[/card] are gonna boost your winrate and make it about 50/50.
Cards you look for: Early drops, weapons
Cards you might keep: Unleash the Hounds (if you get turn 1 and 2 plays), Ironbeak Owl
Unlike Aggro Paladin, Mid-Range Paladin is much slower deck. Thanks to that, you might often rush him in the Mid-Game, before he has the opportunity to stabilize. The deck tends to run at least one [card]zombie-chow[/card], which in conjunction with [card]shielded-minibot[/card] may slow your early game too much.
- Paladin needs to play on mana curve to be successful. If he misses a 1-drop and a 2-drop, you’re probably gonna win the game. If you put some pressure on him, he’s gonna start playing defensively and that is your chance to strike.
- Don’t overextend on the board, play around [card]consecration[/card]. The only catch-up mechanic against 3+ health minions Mid-Range Paladin has is [card]equality[/card] + Consecration. It still usually leaves the board initiative by your side.
- Unleash the Hounds is a good card in the matchup, but you may use it more liberally here. It’s a good way to keep their Silver Hand Recruits number in check.
- Ironbeak Owl is gonna get many good targets. But remember, just like in Aggro, if you don’t rush him down fast, keep one Owl for [card]tirion-fordring[/card]. If you have two, you might also consider keeping one for [card]sludge-belcher[/card].
- Use your weapons aggressively and don’t keep the charges, because of [card]harrison-jones[/card]. Most of the Mid-Range Paladin decks run 2 heals – [card]antique-healbot[/card] and [card]lay-on-hands[/card]. Both are pretty slow, though. If they just use it before clearing your board, it’s not a big problem for you. Your worst nightmare is him stabilizing, Taunting up and then healing.
- Loatheb is a good way to ensure that your board is safe until next turn (and that he can’t heal with Lay on Hands), use it for Mid-Game pushes.
- Savannah Highmane again sucks, because of [card]aldor-peacekeeper[/card]. Remember that you can Silence your own Highmane to get rid of the effect. If the 5 additional damage is more important than the Deathrattle, consider it.
- Teching in [card]harrison-jones[/card] is a good thing, because it gets rid of Truesilver and gives you another Mid Game creature. Using [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card] also helps to rush him a little faster.
Cards you look for: Leper Gnome, sticky minions (like Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist, Piloted Shredder), Wolfrider, Animal Companion, Weapons
Cards you might keep: Loatheb
Rogue is a slight favorite here because of how many ways to clear your board he has. [card]backstab[/card], [card]si7-agent[/card], [card]deadly poison[/card], [card]eviscerate[/card] – they all deal with your early drops.
- In this matchup, you don’t want to play the board control or value game – you need to rush enemy down. Controling the board is pointless, because has much better tools to do so.
- If you have Eaglehorn Bow equipped and he drops a 3/3, kill it, but try to not trade your minions – let the opponent do it.
- Trying to out tempo them is also a bad idea, cards like [card]preparation[/card] and [card]sap[/card] give them too much tempo. Leper Gnome is great, because enemy’s gonna either use the Backstab to kill it, or take 4 damage when killing it.
- Rogue often has to use weapons in order to kill your minions, and takes a lot of damage early. Mad Scientist is pretty good, because Freezing Trap gets good value in the first turns. Later in the game, he might just Freeze either 1/1 token from [card]violet-teacher[/card] or [card]southsea-deckhand[/card].
- Wolfrider and Huffer from Animal Companion are the best things you can get on turn 3 – not only you deal instant damage, but they also have to deal with them.
- Use your Hero Power as often as you can – unlike minions, it’s guaranteed damage. Your Quick Shot and Kill Commands are also good to get by turn 6-7, because it’s the damage they can’t stop with removals. I
- f he gets couple of tokens with [card]violet-teacher[/card] you want to use your Unleash the Hounds. But if he’s pretty low already, go for the face with all of them. They’re probably gonna get cleared by [card]fan-of-knives[/card], but you’ve pushed 5+ damage for 3 mana. With the limited number of Taunts and Heals, they have really hard time stabilizing.
- Most of Oil Rogues run at least one [card]antique-healbot[/card] and sometimes one [card]sludge-belcher[/card], so take that into account.
- Try to play as if you were a Face Hunter, because Oil Rogue can’t usually deal with crazy aggression. Loatheb is really great, it blocks most of their plays. If you drop it on empty board on turn 5, it’s guaranteed to do at least 5 damage.
- [card]savannah-highmane[/card] is too slow, and should be used if you have no other good player. If enemy [card]sap[/card]s it, tempo loss is too high. If enemy has used at least one Sap already, and didn’t draw too many cards, you can go for it. Dropping a bunch of small minions also can backfire because of [card]blade-flurry[/card].
- You want to Hero Power on almost every turn, and try to push for as much damage as you can.
- Teching in [card]harrison-jones[/card] and running [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card] would be a good changes if you face a lot of Oil Rogues.
Cards you look for: All your early drops (especially Mad Scientist and Abusive Sergeant), Quick Shot, Weapons
Cards you might keep: Ironbeak Owl, Freezing Trap
Relatively easy matchup. You just need a fast start, some answers for their early threats and you’re gonna win. Mech Shaman relies on getting early aggression and finishing the game off with either spell burn or [card]fel-reaver[/card]. Your deck can easily deal with Mech Shaman in early turns.
- Their biggest early game threats are [card]mechwarper[/card] and [card]whirling-zap-o-matic[/card]. Those are really high priority targets, so don’t spare removals on them. Quick Shot kills both of them, your weapons also deal with them nicely (especially the Eaglehorn Bow), you can also trade for them with your 1 and 2-drops.
- Mad Scientist is great, because Mech Shamans have no easy way to proc the Freezing Trap if you keep clearing their totems. If you get it on turn 3, they’re most likely gonna freeze their 3+ drop and you gain a lot of tempo. You might even keep the Freezing in your starting hand if you have some other answers for their early drops.
- Freezing Trap gets the best value against Fel Reaver. If they attack with him, their biggest threat gets frozen. If they don’t, you clear other things they put on the board and burn their cards.
- Once Mech Shaman runs out of cards, he has no way to refill his hand and relies on top decking. If you get the board control, he’ll be forced to use his burn cards on your minions instead. Ironbeak Owl might be a good way to deal with [card]flametongue-totem[/card], [card]annoy-o-tron[/card] and [card]piloted-shredder[/card]. If you have no other answers, you might also consider Silencing Mechwarper and Whirling Zap-O-Matic, so they won’t get too much value.
- They don’t run more than 1 Hex (usually zero), that means your Savannah Highmane is gonna get great value.
- Remember to kill all the totems, thanks to [card]flametongue-totem[/card] they might be used to clear your board or proc Freezing Trap. If you get a hold of the game during the early game, Mech Shaman has limited chances to come back – he has no AoE removals, big Taunts or heals. [card]harrison-jones[/card] is a good tech, because it deals with both [card]powermace[/card] and [card]doomhammer[/card].
Cards you look for: Early drops, Ironbeak Owl, Piloted Shredder
Cards you might keep: Freezing Trap
You are a huge favorite in this matchup. Handlock has a hard time dealing with your aggression and Hero Power, because of how slow it is. Some decks lists run [card]zombie-chow[/card], which boosts their winrate a little.
- The other thing that might go their way in early game is an [card]ancient-watcher[/card] + activator (either [card]ironbeak-owl[/card] or [card]sunfury-protector[/card]).
- The real threats start coming on turn 4, so for the first few turns you’re usually free to do anything you want.
- Crucial minions like Knife Juggler might eat [card]darkbomb[/card], and if you overextend before turn 4, your board might get [card]hellfire[/card]d, so try to not drop more than 2-3 minions at a time.
- Turn 4 [card]mountain-giant[/card] doesn’t happen often, because it’s too slow (he needs to have at least 8 cards on turn 4 for this to happen).
- [card]twilight-drake[/card] is the minion you’re gonna see often. The most easy way to deal with it is Silence, so keeping the Owl might be a good idea.
- Freezing Trap works great in this matchup, but don’t let him freeze [card]sunfury-protector[/card] or [card]antique-healbot[/card], because those will let him put more Taunts / heal again.
- When you’re pushing for damage, you want to put Handlock low, but not too low. Generally, you don’t want him to cast a [card]molten-giant[/card] + taunt giver on the same turn. So for example, if it’s turn 5, to do so, he would need a 3 mana Molten + 2 mana for Sunfury Protector. It means that you shouldn’t get him lower than 14 health.
- You absolutely shouldn’t put him down to 10 health if you don’t have enough reach in your hand. Double Molten + taunt giver is the reason you’re gonna lose most of the games. Drop him to the point where he’s not safe anymore, but he can’t use Moltens yet. Then, next turn, try to push for lethal. Preferably, you want to do it before turn 7. The reason is that if you leave him at really low health, in the worst case scenario he might use double Molten Giant, Sunfury Protector and Antique Healbot. If it’s turn 6, he has to choose between taunting up and healing.
- Your reach is really important – you often have to finish him off through big taunts, so Kill Commands and Quick Shots come handy. Don’t let the game last too long, because on turn 9 he gets another way to heal himself – [card]lord-jaraxxus[/card].
Cards you look for: Early drops (especially Mad Scientist and Abusive Sergeant), Weapons, Quick Shot, Animal Companion, Ironbeak Owl
Cards you might keep: Piloted Shredder (if the rest of your hand is fast enough)
One of the most tricky matchups, and one of the hardest to play well. On the one hand, his early minions give him either good value or tempo, and he can refill his hand with Hero Power. On the other hand, Life Tapping and dropping [card]flame-imp[/card] costs him life, which makes you kill him faster.
- First turns are often the most important ones. You have to keep the board control against Zoo Warlock even more than against other decks. He has a lot of ways to make his small minions trade up – [card]abusive-sergeant[/card], [card]power-overwhelming[/card], [card]defender-of-argus[/card].
- You often have to play risky. For example, dropping a Knife Juggler into their [card]voidwalker[/card] might give you great value, because you kill it for free. On the other hand, he might buff it with Abusive Sergeant or [card]dire-wolf-alpha[/card], and you lost one of your most valuable minions.
- [card]nerubian-egg[/card] is a hard card to deal with, unless you have a Silence. Enemy has a lot of ways to activate it. If he kills your 2-drop with the Egg and spawns a 4/4, its almost impossible for you to deal with it on turn 3. Ironbeak Owl is one of the best cards in the matchup – Zoo Warlock runs many great Silence targets. [card]imp-gang-boss[/card] is another great card. It kills all of your early drops and spawns 1/1’s for your enemy. Luckily for you, it not the best against both Misha from Animal Companion and Piloted Shredder.
- You might also buff your 1 or 2-drops with Abusive Sergeant in order to deal with it. [card]voidcaller[/card] is yet another card that can lead to incredible tempo gain. If enemy gets a [card]doomguard[/card] or [card]malganis[/card] on turn 5, you have no good ways to deal with those in your deck. That makes Voidcaller another high priority Silence target, but Freezing Trap also works nicely against him.
- [card]imp-losion[/card] is good for Warlock, because he kills your creature and gains a board presence. On the other hand, a lot of 1/1’s is bad against Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds. Those are the most important cards in this matchup, so if you have both parts of the combo in your hand, you might not want to use them separately.
- Zoo Warlock has a hard time dealing with [card]savannah-highmane[/card], and 6 damage is also something he often can’t handle. Remember that on turn 9, he might drop Mal’Ganis to stop your damage push, so be sure to account for that and either keep a Silence or something like Kill Command. 7 health is not that hard to deal with on turn 9, but it still stops a lot of damage.
Cards you look for: Leper Gnome, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper, Animal Companion, Piloted Shredder
Cards you might keep: Savannah Highmane (starting with coin, if the rest of your hand is fast enough)
Games against Control Warrior will be the longest you’re gonna have. They can go either way, mostly depending on whether he gets a good answers for your early threats and on how much Armor he can gain.
- You want to play your sticky minions, as they’re much harder to remove.
- Leper Gnome on turn 1 is fine, but it loses to [card]cruel-taskmaster[/card] and [card]armorsmith[/card] (if you don’t have Abusive Sergeant).
- Knife Juggler can be easily removed with either [card]fiery-war-axe[/card] or Armor Up + [card]shield-slam[/card], so you prefer to play Haunted Creeper or Mad Scientist on two.
- On turn 3, Warrior usually drops [card]acolyte-of-pain[/card]. Optimally, you don’t want him to draw 2 cards from it, so if you have a clear way to deal 3 damage (like Eaglehorn Bow or Abusive Sergeant on your early drops), do it. If you got two Owls early, you might use one to Silence him and deny draws – Control Warrior has limited number of ways to draw cards, so dealing with one of them is good.
- Both Animal Companion and Piloted Shredder are good, because most of times they’ll push some damage before getting removed. Control Warrior starts dropping his bigger minions from turn 5 onwards. Ironbeak Owl is good against [card]sludge-belcher[/card].
- Unleash the Hounds is usually a dead card, you will rarely get more than 2-3 Hounds. If enemy gets a bigger board, you want to take the opportunity and get it out of your hand. Don’t overextend on the board, keep 2-3 minions at one time, if you put too many, Warrior can [card]brawl[/card].
- Freezing Trap is great in this matchup, it works against most of their big drops.
- Savannah Highmane is your best bet to defeat Control Warrior. Sometimes you even want to keep it in your starting hand. Warrior has no way to deal with Highmane without taking a lot of damage or using 2-3 cards.
- Loatheb is great if you want to make a final push and protect your board against Brawl, dropping it on turn 5 if you have no other play is also fine. Control Warrior has a lot of ways to gain Armor. [card]shield-block[/card], [card]shieldmaiden[/card] and [card]armorsmith[/card], they will all make most of the games last long. Take those into account when making a push, because Warrior might get 10+ armor in one turn.
- Remember that your chances to win go down in a long game. You run out of steam much faster than Warrior, and you can’t put him on a clock with Hero Power. Teching in [card]harrison-jones[/card] makes the matchup much better. Remember that Control Warrior also runs one, so don’t save your weapons.
Cards you look for: Early drops, weapons, Animal Companion, Piloted Shredder, Ironbeak Owl
Cards you might keep: Loatheb
Rather good matchup. Unlike Control Warrior, Patron Warrior’s ways to gain Armor are limited. Patron Warrior is usually better against early aggression, with the cards like [card]whirlwind[/card] and [card]inner-rage[/card]. Once you get a board control, Patron Warrior has a hard way clearing it.
- Remember that he runs many whirlwind effects, so don’t leave a lot of minions at 1 health. Sometimes you want to take a worse trade and don’t leave your whole board susceptible to 1 AoE damage. Patron Warrior mostly relies on combos that start around turn 6.
- You have no good way to deal with [card]grim-patron[/card]s if he gets a lot of them. That’s why you need to have some board presence when going into his Patron turn, so you can kill them off before things get bad. Leaving 1 health Patrons is fine, because he can’t clone them further.
- Most scary combos start on turn 8. Then he can combo Grim Patron with [card]warsong-commander[/card]. Clearing your board gets much easier then. On the other hand, the combo loses to [card]freezing-trap[/card]. If you freeze the charged Patron, enemy wasted his whole turn just to play a 2/3 minion.
- Savannah Highmane is great, because it pushes a lot of damage. You can’t let the game last too long, because you’re gonna run out of steam much sooner than Patron Warrior. He has a lot of card draw in his deck, and you can’t stop every combo with Freezing Trap which means you want to finish the game before turn 10.
- [card]emperor-thaurissan[/card] allows the Warrior to do crazy stuff. If he had Emperor on the board, even for one turn, be aware of the OTK possibility. If you have couple of minions on the board, Warrior can kill you with charged [card]frothing-berserker[/card] and a lot of whirlwind effects.
- Try to get rid of [card]armorsmith[/card] as fast as possible. If he drops two on the board and starts AoE’ing, he might even gain ~20 Armor in a single turn. Loatheb stops most of his combos, because he needs spells to make them work.
- Your Hero Power here is better than against a Control Warrior, because even though his counters yours, if you force him to Armor Up every turn, his combos have much less potential.
- [card]harrison-jones[/card] is a great tech card again. Patron Warrior often prepares a [card]deaths-bite[/card] to combo it with his other cards on the next turn. Getting rid of it is a huge swing in your favor.
Hybrid Hunter is a really cool deck that combines different play styles and tactics to make it work against most of the deck you face on ladder. Our Advanced Guide should give you a good insight of how to play the deck. If you still have any questions, ideas or you just like the guide, we encourage you to write in the Comment section below!