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Hi everyone, my name is Daisyx and today I am here to introduce another deck: Deathlord Hunter. Deathlord Hunter is a variant of the standard Midrange Hunter that many people have played and altered. Going way back, Hunter has been popular ever since Sunshine Hunter and SenX popularized this type of deck again after the Buzzard/Unleash/Undertaker nerfs. The list that I will be covering today was made by Deathstarv3 and he used it to climb to the #1 spot on the NA ladder.
This deck is, at its core, still a form of Midrange Hunter. It is, however, unlike other midrange decks in that it doesn't aim to get ahead and then grind through the late game. This deck instead uses its Hero Power to chip away and set up a burst kill through spells. The playstyle is also similar to Tempo Mage in that this deck can burn you out once it loses control of the board.
The ace in this deck is the Savannah Highmane. Playing this card on six is as strong as playing Dr Boom on seven. In general, this deck is designed to be strong against aggro and weaker against control. Play this deck if the meta is very aggro oriented: as it is now.
The namesake Taunt minion is the innovation to the typical Midrange Hunter so allow me to justify his presence. The first reason is pretty simple: one of the worst matchups for Midrange Hunter is face Hunter and Deathlord is one of the best counters to Face Hunter. The reason he counters Face Hunters is two-fold. Firstly, playing a Taunt prevents Face Hunter from punching you and requires him to either silence Deathlord -- which negates the main drawback -- or waste eight damage killing it. This brings me to the second reason why Deathlord is amazing against Face Hunter. The overall quality of the Face Hunter's cards is extremely low. On average, most of his cards are worth two mana with the exception Savannah Highmane in Hybrid Hunter. Finally, Deathlord is good because at some point you want to stop trading and push face damage. Having such a big Taunt minion prevents the opponent from making trades and forces him to deal with the 2/8.
The obvious downside of Deathlord is that it can sometimes just straight-up lose you the game. In the grand scheme of things, this actually happens fairly rarely. As a precaution though, I advise you to play ten or so games with this deck before judging it. Give variance some time to level out because for every Tirion you pull out you could just as easily single out a Patron and cripple Warrior early.
The other big difference between this deck and more standard Midrange Hunters is the inclusion of Snake Trap. Snake Trap is here for three reasons: Deathlord forces your enemy to run his minions into yours; it causes confusion since Midrange Hunters run Freezing Trap and Face Hunters run Explosive; it adds extra targets for your Mad Scientists. Snake Trap is also fairly uncommon, which leads to people misplaying and attacking your minions before clearing a Knife Juggler with a spell if both are up.
Always keep in mind that you can bluff Freezing Trap against mid or high end minions. I have won quite a few games where the enemy had a single minion on the board and I played Snakes from hand. This caused him to not attack and play Unleash the next turn. One Snake Trap ended up costing him four damage and an Unleash.
Thisssssss secret can come as a surprise and pump out big damage with a Knife Juggler.
Notable Cards and Synergies
Quick Shot can also lead you to forego the full effect of other cards in order to get the draw.
Mad Scientists, this trap has a completely different role than Snake Trap. It can, therefore, come up when you don't want to see it.
Tracking is playable in this deck but can be cut since you're rarely looking for specific synergies.
Kill Command enabler.
Freezing Trap when the meta gravitates more towards aggro or there are Face Hunters around.
Matchups and Mulligans
- Haunted Creeper: Always Keep
- Mad Scientist: Always keep
- Animal Companion: Only keep if you are turn one and two play
- Tracking: Only keep if you play first or are second without double two-drops
- Eaglehorn bow: Only keep if you play first with a turn two play against an aggro deck
- Knife Juggler: Only keep if you don’t have another two-drop or you don’t have double two-drops going second
- Deathlord: Always keep against Hunter, keep against other classes if you have a turn two-drop
- Ironbeak Owl: Only keep against Hunters, Warlocks and Mages
- Traps: Never keep
- Mulligan everything else
Lightbomb Priest 70%: Dog DecklistThis is a fairly easy matchup since most of the time he won’t be able to gain board control before taking substantial damage. Be careful with having Creepers or Scientists on board come turn six to play around Cabal Shadow Priest. Similarly, don’t overextend too much into the Lightbomb since most of your minions are vulnerable to it. Make sure to play for board control a bit longer than usual since his Hero Power negates yours thus making it hard to finish him off once you have lost control of the board.
Freeze Mage 70%: Firebat DecklistAnother good matchup since your Hero Power can push damage through Freezes. With all of your burst spells you can even avoid Ice Barrier if their Health is low enough. If he then uses Alexstrasza to heal you have basically won unless you can’t deal with Antonidas. If Mage plays early Scientists -- and you don’t have an on-curve play -- it can be worth silencing to prevent the secrets rather than for a possible Doomsayer. Since you have a lot of minions with Deathrattles, even letting a Doomsayer go off isn't that bad.
Tempo/Aggro/Mech Mage 60%: Daisyx DecklistThis matchups is all about the early game. If the Mage wins it, he can often translate that into huge value on his Apprentices and Flamewakers. If you take the early game, you can just methodically remove everything and run him out of cards or push to race.
Demonzoo 50%: Savjz DecklistThis matchup can go either way depending on who gets the better early game. Demonzoo generally has a better midgame than you so be sure to start racing sooner rather than later. Flame Imps and Life Taps hurt more than they help in this matchup so be sure to punish greed.
Handlock 60%: Lifecoach DecklistThis matchup can go either way depending on his draws: Moltens, Taunts, and heals will kill you but an absence of them is a free win. Disregard his life total as much as possible and just go for the face. The goal is to push enough damage that you can burn him out with spells once the Taunt wall is established.
Oil Rogue 70%: Firebat DecklistThis is a pretty good matchup since your Hero Power is a strong clock. You mostly want to go for his face as much as possible though try to remove his Spell Power and utility minions. While normally the turn six Highmane is amazing it is less so in this matchup because of Sap. Only play Highmane if you have no other solid alternatives or you've already seen a Sap.
Midrange/Ramp Druid 50%: Sjow DecklistThis matchup is all about the Druid's draws. If he draws plays for the first few turns he will pretty much default win the game. If not, you actually have a pretty decent shot. Always keep in mind that you can die to combo by turn nine and outside of that the best way to go here is just to play as aggressive as possible.
Mech Shaman 40%: Archon DecklistSince you are missing some hard removal in this deck, a hidden Mechwarper or Whirling Zap-o-matic can easily spiral out of control. Outside of that, if you just keep clearing his board you should be able to just run him out of cards.
Face/Hybrid Hunter 40%: Kolento DecklistThis is originally our worst matchup but Deathlord improves it pretty dramatically. That said, if you don’t draw Deathlord you're still going to lose. Even if you do draw a Deathlord Hunter's Mark clear it for free. In general, try to keep his board clear while building up yours and then making a quick push for lethal.
How to beat Face Hunter.
Midrange Hunter 55%: Era DecklistThe mirror is all about who gets to go face first. If you draw your Deathlords you can usually steal the initiative. Try to save your Unleash the Hounds for his Freezing Traps and try to be as aggressive as possible while calculating his burst and acting accordingly.
Control Warrior 40%: Fibonacci DecklistThis is a pretty hard matchup due to his Hero Power and massive amount of armor. Try to keep his board clear while simultaneously pressuring face. The Armorsmiths are the top priority to clear. Keep his armor down as much as possible to avoid Shield Slams. Overextending isn’t that big of a problem since you have a lot of Deathrattles which make Brawl not very effective. Just like against Priest, keep in mind that his Hero Power negates yours, so if you go all-in to early and fail you will have a very difficult time finishing him off.
Grim Patron Warrior 50%: Neirea DecklistThere are people who say that this is a pretty poor matchup. In my experience, however, you can often win this without too many difficulties unless he gets his god-combo. Try to remove his Armorsmiths while otherwise mainly ignoring the rest of his board.
- Always keep in mind what kind of removal your enemies have and how to play around it.
- Always calculate how much damage you would need for lethal next turn and how probable it is that you will find it when deciding between face and trading.
- You have plenty of Deathrattles that summon minions, remember that those can trigger your Juggler.
- The original creator of this decks streams his plays regularly on Twitch.tv, for any questions or just to see the deck in action go check that out.
Thanks again to Deathstar for reviewing this guide