Hello and welcome to episode four of Deck Dissection! From feral Crocodiles to wild Boars, we are coming straight from the top of ranked play to bring you the latest iteration of Hunter! The class with perhaps the most controversy around it has proven itself resilient time and time again and has finally made it to rank 1 in both North America and Europe! We will be breaking down everything there is to know about this new Hunter deck, equipping you with the proper mindset to be successful with this particular deck in ladder play. Understanding why the changes that were implemented in this deck are for the better in this current meta-game is crucial to understand deck construction as a whole, so don’t miss out on this week’s deck dissection! In addition this week we have a special guest writer, liquidhearth's very own monk! As always be sure to leave comments and feedback, I love learning how to improve my weekly show for you guys and always want to know what to cover next! Thanks!
P.S- I will be going away on vacation in Costa Rica (horray!) starting Tuesday 4/29 for two weeks and as a result will not be able to produce episodes in that time, but be sure to stay tuned to see what additional content I have lined up while I'm gone!
Below are the lists for the three decks mentioned in the video. Notice how similar they are to one other. Also notice how just a few strategic changes to a deck can greatly alter a particular matchup in your favor. When you understand how to properly play against a specific class you can easily create something to break up its game plan and beat it!
|Anti-Control Changes||Anti-Aggro Changes|
Note: Also try and explore Leeroy Jenkins and Tundra Rhino!
First some general advice. In most matchups (except vs Warlock), try to fit your hand to a curve in your first three turns. That is, try to have a turn 2 and turn 3 play. If you're player one, River Croc + Animal Companion often constitutes an excellent hand. If you're player 2 and have the coin, keeping two Animal Companions also fits your curve.
The exception is when you play against Warlock Zoo and the new aggressive Mage decks that are coming around. Against these decks that attempt to flood the board with minions, Buzzard + Unleash is your key to survival and victory. Note that against Warlock especially, there are two schools of thought on how to mulligan. The first, which Kolento adheres to is to aim for a two drop and the Buzzard/Unleash combo. However, I know some players also mulligan in a slightly different way: throw everything back except Buzzard/Unleash. The choice is yours, but without further ado:
Kolento Hunter Mulligan Guide
Hunter's Mark: Consider keeping against Druid and Priest if you have the Stonetusk Boar as well.
Flare: Keep one against Hunter. Throw away against Warlock. Keep against all other classes if you don't have a turn 1 play. Keep Flare over Tracking if you have both in your opening hand in this situation.
Tracking: Keep if you don't have a turn 1 play (Flare, coin River Crocolisk). Always keep against Warlock to dig for Buzzard/Unleash
Stonetusk Boar: Consider keeping if you're against Hunter if you're in a metagame with a lot of Aggro Hunters. It's not as good against Mid-range Hunters who can drop River Crocalisk on the board. Keep if you also draw Hunter's Mark in your opponent hand against Priest/Druid in case of Innervate plays or Injured Blademaster/Circle of Healing.
Timber Wolf: Same with Stonetusk Board, consider keeping if you're against Hunter if you're in a metagame with a lot of Aggro Hunters. It's not as good against Mid-range Hunters who can drop River Crocalisk on the board.
Unleash the Hounds: Only keep against Warlocks and Mages.
Dire Wolf Alpha: Almost always keep. Consider throwing away against Warlock against Zoo especially if you have a 2 drop.
Ironbeak Owl: Never keep unless you KNOW your opponent is running Handlock
River Crocolisk: Always keep except against Warlock if you adhere to the yolo Buzzard/Unleash philosophy of mulliganing against Warlock.
Scavenging Hyena: Keep unless you're flooded with better 2 drops, mostly River Crocalisk.
Starving Buzzard: Only keep against Warlocks and Mages.
Animal Companion: Always keep except against Warlock or if you have two Animal Companions as Player 1.
Deadly Shot: Keep vs Druid, Priest, and Rogues, if you suspect your opponent could be playing Miracle Rogue. Kills Innervated Minions, Injured Blademasters/Circle, and Concealed Gadgetzan Auctioneers.
Kill Command: Never keep.
Houndmaster: Never keep unless your hand is somehow amazing and has every early drop you could possibly want. Even then, it's a risk.
Stampeding Kodo: Never keep.
Savannah Highmane: Consider keeping if you're against Warrior, especially if the rest of your hand is amazing, as it's the hardest card for them to deal with. The same can be said when playing against Druid except it's slightly worse there. There's a risk to this play however, especially if you draw into a second Savannah Highmane in your early turns. Against all other classes, it's not worth it in this particular version of this deck that aims to curve out really well.