(NOTE- All interactions in this guide will be assuming that the game is being played at tournament standard unless otherwise specified)
The Hunter is one of the most solid tank killers in the game for only 4 elixir, but also has other utilities outside of that. I will go over how to use him, and go over his counters and general stats.
Unlocked in Goblin Stadium
Elixir Cost- 4
Move Speed- Medium
Damage- 70 for each individual bullet. Damage caps out at 700 if all 10 hit
Damage Per Second- 31 for each individual bullet. Damage caps out at 310 if all 10 hit
Hit Speed- 2.2 Seconds
Attack Animation- The Hunter shoots 10 bullets from his gun. These bullets will spread out the farther they travel. After testing it in Training Camp for a while, there appears to be no consistency with how his bullets spread. The only consistency is at least one bullet in the far right or left of the spread missing the tower, and two bullets getting ?stuck? together, as the Hunter initially attacks, but move apart as the bullets spread out.
HOW TO USE
This section will be divided into three parts; Close Range Applications, Far Range Applications, and Synergies.
CLOSE RANGE APPLICATIONS
The most well known trait of the Hunter is his absurd damage when placed up close to enemy units. His close range damage is comparable of that of a PEKKA. With this damage, he is very good when taking on not only tanks, but mini tanks as well. The Knight and Valkyrie in particular are incredibly weak against him, as they walk straight into the line of fire, allowing the Hunter to maximize his damage against them. This will also work for units like PEKKA, but due to the Hunter not having the greatest health, he will die practically instantly her. So to effectively counter her, have something to distract these units, like Skeletons, Goblins, or Goblin Gang, so the Hunter can stay alive for much longer, to finish her off effectively.
In terms of placements for these types of units, you want to pull the PEKKA towards the middle. Put the Hunter about 2 or 3 tiles down from the middle of the river, and surround the PEKKA just before she gets in range of the Hunter so he can get as much damage as possible from his shotgun. (If you want to play it safe, you can place the Hunter 1 tile to the left or right next to the middle of the river, depending on what side the PEKKA is walking down).
As for Valk, Knight and Mini PEKKA, you can afford to place him right in front of the tower to defeat them.
Fireball-weak units stand no chance against him either. With the towers help, he practically one shots the Wizards, Musketeer, and Witch, as long as he doesn?t waste his shots hitting a few Skeletons. As for their long range interactions?. yeah we?ll go over that later in the guide.
I eluded to his domination against tanks earlier, but because most tanks are win conditions, I?ll just throw the two together. Win conditions like Balloon will not get any damage or death damage if played properly so he can hit the Balloon with all his bullets. Similarly, Battle Ram also struggles immensely against him. He practically one shots the Ram itself, and easily takes out the Barbs. He can decently counter Hog Rider, but throw down a Snowball if you really can?t afford one Hog hit on your tower.
Giant and Royal Giant and any other tank will get absolutely worked by the Hunter. But let?s be real here, NOBODY sends in tanks without any kind of support. So soak the damage with something tanky, an Ice Golem or maybe even a Knight being most ideal. Just place the mini tank in front so the supports target them and not the Hunter. If you need to gauge how likely it is that the tank will make it to your tower, just remember what his damage compares too. (To avoid redundancy, remember, PEKKA and him have similar damage if he hits all his bullets). With the Goblin Giant, if you want to keep your Hunter alive and not get chipped by the Spear Goblins, have something else that?s relatively tanky backing him up as well.
FAR RANGE APPLICATIONS
He has his uses at long range too. While 70 damage isn?t much, it?ll still take out all of the Bats and Skeletons, and greatly wound those Minions and Goblins. At far range, he will get more shots in on the hordes as opposed to playing him close to them.
Always pull the swarms towards the middle when countering them with the Hunter. This is because he doesn?t one shot some important swarms like Minions. If you play him so he pulls the Minions to the center (by doing a placement akin to the placement against PEKKA that I mentioned earlier) he will be able to distract them long enough for the Princess Tower to finish them off.
The Hunter?s best and most well known synergy is with the Fisherman. Play the Fisherman and Hunter six tiles up from the King Tower and four tiles to the right or left of the Princess Tower (three if you want to be safe), and this combo will shut down pretty much anything ground based, as the all of the Hunter?s bullets, Maurice?s fish, and both Princess Towers will all be attacking that Golem or Giant, annihilating it quickly.
HOW TO COUNTER
In my opinion, the Hunter is the textbook definition of ?can counter a lot of cards, but a lot of cards counter him?. This section will be divided up into two parts; Best Counters, and Mediocre/?Eh? Counters.
These troops either counter the Hunter for a positive elixir lead, will leave the troop hardly damaged if at all and set up for a counterattack for only a small negative trade, or are spells, which are always guaranteed to hit.
Lightning/Rocket- There honestly isn?t too much to discuss here. Both of these spells take out the Hunter completely unless they are severely underleveled. Like with any other troop, try and hit the Tower or other troops alongside with him, as he is 2 elixir less after all. Especially good if he?s blasting apart your tank.
Fireball/Poison+Any small Spell- Again, not much to talk about. But nonetheless, here?s the specifics
Poison- 75 damage per second, spell lasts 8 seconds, 75 x 8 = 600. Hunter HP- 696. Hunter will survive
Fireball- deals 572 area damage, Hunter survives
Alright, so now that your medium spell is casted on the Hunter. The Poison leaves him with 96 HP, and the Fireball leaves him with 124 health, so the Princess Tower should be able to finish it off, It does 90 damage, and combined with the Hunter?s slow hit speed, he shouldn?t be a worry right? Well that?s the thing. Because he?s still alive, your opponent could drop a tank in front of him and he could start getting free value from staying alive and blasting away at your defenders. But that?s where small spells come in. Any one of them will finish him off.
Zap/Snowball- 159 damage
Barbarian Barrel- 186 damage
The Log- 240 damage
Any of these spells are more then enough to finish off the Hunter before he can be supported by a tank or a win condition.
Barbarian Barrel- The other small spell. The Barbarian + the barrels damage is sufficient enough to take him out. Play it so the Barbarian pops out at a far enough range so the Hunter can?t insta-kill it with his bullets.
Guards/Bats/Skeletons/Minions- If you surround the Hunter just right, by placing them slightly to the left or the right of the tile where the Hunter is, he won?t be able to hit any more then one of the swarms, and he won?t be able to really take out anything else due to his slow attack. Just remember then general rule of thumb when countering with these units (excluding guards), and that?s to watch out for small spells.
Ice Spirit- Place him on the bridge where the middle of the river is, and he will swerve to the Hunter and freeze him, enabling the Tower to finish him off.
Ice Golem- He?s got enough health to soak up the Hunter?s damage, and his death slow is basically an added bonus to ensure he doesn?t connect at all.
Prince with charge- This one is also pretty straightforward. Let?s run through it
Prince charge- deals 651 damage, Princess Tower, deals 90 damage. 651+90= 741
His charge practically one shots the Hunter, and once the tower finishes him, you?ve got a nice start to a counterpush, even for a -1 elixir trade
These counters will take him out, but will take damage themsleves or get defeated altogether, even for a negative trade. I will also include units and spells that either require/allow him to still damage the tower.
Musketeer/Flying Machine/Wizard/Ice Wizard/Electro Wizard- Yep, the other Fireball-weak units. They?ll take him out, but even though the Hunter is weak at range, he?ll also damage them. If you want to keep them alive and have the intention of counterpushing, just throw down an Ice Spirit or Ice Golem so they can take him out before he can damage them. Just make sure to NEVER play them anywhere in close range. Always play them at their maximum range against him.
Mega Knight/PEKKA- They?ll take him out almost instantly, and start a counterpush, but now you?re down 3 elixir. I wouldn?t do this simply because there are so many better options that can counter him for much cheaper.
Fire Spirits- Let him get one hit, then drop him. Their damage all together is about the equivalent of a Fireball, so he won?t be able to get another shot off if you place them fast enough. The optimal placement is behind him so you can absolutely guarantee none of them will be taken out,
Mega Minion- Place him at range, and he and the Princess Tower will be able to beat the Hunter, but your Mega Minion will take some damage as well.
Bowler/Cannon Cart/Baby Dragon- All relatively tanky units, they will take down the Hunter, but will be damaged, and if you use the Cart or the Bowler, you?re gonna be down 1 elixir.
Log/Snowball/Zap- Surprisingly, small spells are really good against the Hunter. If he is by himself, these spells will prevent no more then one hit onto the Tower. And as a bonus, you can even use Snowball and Log?s knockback to your advantage by pushing the Hunter slightly away from your tank or win condition. This may not seem like a big deal, but remember, the Hunter doesn?t walk up to tanks and blast them, he lets them walk to him. He?ll continue attacking the tank, even though he isn?t right next of them anymore. This is what the Hunter player wants against swarms, not tanks. The wide area of bullets won?t matter if most of them don?t hit the big tank in front of them.
But, unless you REALLY can?t afford the damage, I would personally just take a lone Hunter?s damage. He?ll only do around 300-400 damage, so if your cycle isn?t good, I?d say it?s optimal to just eat the damage.