TLDR: This guide is split into five main sections. Please feel free to skip to any section of interest. Your feedback and discussion for further refinement is encouraged and appreciated!
As mentioned on Vicious Syndicate’s latest podcast, Soul Demon Hunter is the deck to beat. For this current expansion (Darkmoon Faire) I have tried two other decks (Secret Mage and Revolve Shaman) and hovered between Diamond 5 and Diamond 1 but was able to easily reach Legend with Soul Demon Hunter.
In the current meta, this deck is:
- Favoured to win against Aggro Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Secret Mage, and Control Warlock.
- Evenly favoured to win against Revolve Shaman, Highlander Hunter, and Resurrect Priest.
- Unfavoured to win against Pure Paladin, Clown Druid, and Control Warrior.
The winning strategy with Soul Demon Hunter is the same for all matchups: prioritizing face damage unless there are opportunities for efficient minion trades, the opponent has a high-impact minion in play, or there is a taunt minion in the way.
The following list are the websites that I used to gain useful information and top deck lists:
Unfortunately, I do not have HSReplay Premium, so I found the other data sources to be more relevant during my push to Legend.
My Deck List
Format: Standard (Year of the Phoenix)
Class: Demon Hunter (Illidan Stormrage)
Total Dust: 5360
Deck Code: AAECAea5AwLaxgPQ3QMOh7oD17sD4LwD1MgD/MgD0c0D+84DzNIDzdID1NID99UDxd0DzN0Dz90DAA==
Mulligan and Card Explanations
At the beginning of the match, these are the cards that I keep in hand.
- Spirit Jailer
- Chaos Strike
- Manafeeder Panthara
- Consume Magic (situational; see below)
- Blade Dance (situational; see below)
- Shardshatter Mystic (situational; see below)
- Aldrachi Warblades (situational; see below)
I will now briefly discuss each card in the deck list and explain why it was included.
Consume Magic: A situational card to keep in hand when going against Pure Paladin. Save this for hugely buffed minions or taunted divine shielded minions. Rarely a dead draw since Outcast allows for a card draw and has allowed me to win many unfavourable matchups.
Spirit Jailer: A great card to play on the first turn. Usually not prioritized to be killed by the opponent so it consistently deals 1 damage per turn until it eventually gets wiped out. Synergizes nicely with Shardshatter Mystic and Soulshard Lapidary.
Twin Slice: Used to dramatically increase hero attack for low mana cost when hitting face. Prioritize these for face damage. Synergizes nicely with Blade Dance, Bladed Lady, and Aldrachi Warblades.
Blade Dance: A situational card to keep in hand when going against Aggro Demon Hunter, Face Hunter or Revolve Shamans. Synergizes nicely with Twin Slice, Chaos Strike, Relentless Pursuit, and Soulshard Lapidary.
Chaos Strike: A great card to play on the second turn. Can kill most 2-mana minions or generate additional face damage and gives a card draw.
Manafeeder Panthera: A great card to play on the third turn. Solid for fending off Aggro decks and gives a card draw.
Soul Shear: Can be used at any time during the match to generate soul fragments while potentially finishing off an opponent’s minion. Synergizes nicely with Shardshatter Mystic and Soulshard Lapidary.
Aldrachi Warblades: A situational card to keep in hand when going against Aggro Demon Hunter or Face Hunter. Do not attack with these unless your hero attack is high; in other words, you should be stealing as much life as you can. Use these wisely as you can only lifesteal a maximum of 4 times in the entire match so do not be afraid to equip these and save for future turns. In the current meta, no one seems to play Acidic Swamp Ooze and very few play Bloodsail Corsair. Synergizes nicely with Twin Slice, Relentless Pursuit, Soulshard Lapidary and Stiltstepper.
Relentless Pursuit: A slightly less mana efficient version of Twin Slice when hitting face or killing an opponent’s high-impact minion. Synergizes nicely with Blade Dance, Bladed Lady, and Aldrachi Warblades.
Shardshatter Mystic: A situational card to keep in hand when going against Aggro Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, or Revolve Shaman. Best wide board clear that we have in this deck. When it is safe (you have high health or are not in lethal range), try to allow the opponent to over commit their board before using for a huge temp swing. Depending on the board, it can be lifesaving to play this card (usually on turn 4) before a Revolve Shaman can use their Boggspine Knuckles.
Stiltstepper: An extremely high-roll card that can generate more hero attack damage while giving card draw. Do not play this card before turn 6. Worst case scenario, it draws a soul fragment, and you do not get the attack buff even if you play the card drawn after the soul fragment. However, I am usually able to play the card drawn and maintain tempo (even without the attack buff). Best case scenario, this card synergizes nicely with Blade Dance, Aldrachi Warblades, and Bladed Lady.
Il’Gynoth: Used to set up a high double damage combo play or finish off low health opponents. Synergizes nicely with Aldrachi Warblades.
Kayn Sunfury: Used to bypass all taunt minions. Save this for when you have lethal to catch the opponent off-guard. Very useful against heavy divine shielded minions from Pure Paladin or a large wall of clowns from Clown Druid.
Marrow Slicer: A card used for high face damage and to generate soul fragments. Synergizes well with Blade Dance and Bladed Lady.
Soulshard Lapidary: A card used for high face damage and to have a strong minion on the board. Synergizes nicely with Blade Dance, Aldrachi Warblades, and Bladed Lady.
Bladed Lady: Huge tempo play if you can play her at 1 mana cost. If your weapon only has 1 durability left, make sure to play her first before choosing to attack with your hero.
Q: Why are you using Stiltstepper?
A: Please refer to the explanation of the card in the previous section.
Q: Why are you using Consume Magic?
A: Please refer to the explanation of the card in the previous section.
Q: Why are you not using Skull of Gul’dan?
A: I find that it is too slow in the current meta that are full of Aggro Demon Hunters, Face Hunters, and Revolve Shamans to utilize the Outcast effect. This deck list already has great card draw with Chaos Strike, Manafeeder Panthera, and Stiltstepper. I never find myself starving of cards and I am usually holding on average 6-7 cards in hand.
Q: Why are you not using Spectral Sight?
A: See above for a similar answer. Spectral Sight was more impactful (able to use Outcast) more often than Skull of Gul’dan and felt much faster but was eventually replaced with Stiltstepper. Perhaps, this can replace Stiltstepper to make the deck list more consistent.
Q: Why are you not using Wandmaker?
A: Wandmaker can give 6 different 1-mana spell options: Consume Magic, Twin Slice, Mana Burn, Double Jump, Felosophy, and Felscream Blast. Twin Slice is obviously the best card, Mana Burn is (usually) only impactful during the early game, Consume Magic is situational and we already have this in the deck list, and both Double Jump and Felosophy are not great in this deck list. The odds of getting what I wanted (Twin Slice at any time and Mana Burn early game) were quite low and I frequently ended up with the other spell cards sitting idle in hand.
Q: Why are you not using Soulciologist Malicia?
A: This could perhaps be a great addition to the deck since there should be a high amount of soul fragments in the deck due to multiple generation sources such as Spirit Jailer, Soul Shear, and Marrow Slicer. However, I am not able to test this card since I do not want to craft this card as I fear that this card might be too slow in the current meta.
Please feel free to provide any feedback or criticism as my goal is to continue to climb the ranks in Legend with this deck list. I will try my best to answer any questions or feedback you might have. I hope that this guide was helpful to those who were looking for an up-to-date Soul Demon Hunter guide. If it was, please let me know! If it wasn’t, please let me know why and how I can make it better. Thank you all for reading and do not forget to have fun playing Hearthstone no matter which deck you choose!