This archetype has tons of potential, and I notice it’s not really seeing any play, so I wanted to share. Face Hunter is top tier, and Highlander Hunter sees a bit of play, but all other hunter builds make up less than 2.5% of the meta. This version is also quite different from any other Dragon Hunter I’ve seen—all others run the secret package.
Standard Legend Proof: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/50510272112/in/dateposted-public/
Standard Legend Previous Season (same deck): https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/50510272212/in/dateposted-public
Legend climb was so easy last season (tougher this season due to more Soul DH and lots of Pally) that I was curious if I could climb the wild ladder with this deck. I got to D2. So close, especially considering I had never played Wild and am relatively new (1.5 years) to Hearthstone… side note: I witnessed a lot of shit over in that wild realm that I didn’t think was possible in Hearthstone. Scary shit… you wild folks are nuts.
Win Rate estimates only—been playing mostly on iPhone, which doesn’t synch with HSReplay.net.
Here’s the deck:
### Dragon Hunter SA
# Class: Hunter
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Phoenix
# 2x (1) Blazing Battlemage
# 2x (1) Demon Companion
# 2x (1) Dwarven Sharpshooter
# 2x (1) Wolpertinger
# 2x (2) Corrosive Breath
# 2x (2) Dragon Breeder
# 2x (2) Faerie Dragon
# 2x (2) Imprisoned Felmaw
# 2x (2) Scavenger’s Ingenuity
# 1x (3) Ace Hunter Kreen
# 2x (3) Primordial Explorer
# 2x (3) Stormhammer
# 1x (4) Dragonbane
# 2x (4) Evasive Feywing
# 2x (5) Big Ol’ Whelp
# 2x (5) Rotnest Drake
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
I took out the secret package, which sounds nuts. If you look at other Dragon Hunter builds, Phase Stalker is one of the best cards based on mulligan WR and played WR.
But it had to go to ensure that Wolpertinger was the only beast (that means no Zixor either). Pulling a Wolpertinger with Scavenger’s Ingenuity is a very strong turn three play (or two + coin).
The other great cards in this deck are Storm Hammer and Rotnest Drake. In most matchups, you’ll be re-drawing for those cards (while keeping a turn 1 play). Playing on turn one is essential for almost all aggro builds.
Card by Card:
# 2x (1) Blazing Battlemage: Strong early game choice. Can’t use Intrepid initiate in this deck instead since not enough spells to Spellburst.
Sometimes keep Battlemage if it’s your best possible turn one play. It’s a better turn one play than Demonic Companion and Wolpertinger (put back to maximize chance of drawing with Scavenger’s Ingenuity), but Dwarven Sharpshooter is generally the best turn one play. One exception to the play-your-best-one-drop strategy for turn one is that you may want to coin into Faerie Dragon against mages or rogues, and Improsoned Felmaw against druids or Demon Hunters.
# 2x (1) Demon Companion: Probably one of the weaker cards, but keep this if it’s your only turn 1 option. Also keep this over Wolpertinger. If you happen to have this and another 1-drop on hand on turn one, always play the other 1-drop first (so that the 1/2 that gives + 1 attack has something to buff).
# 2x (1) Dwarven Sharpshooter: Best possible one-drop against most classes. Almost always keep.
# 2x (1) Wolpertinger: Keep if it’s your only 1-drop and you’re going first. Otherwise, put it back—you want to draw these with Scavenger’s Ingenuity. One exception: keep in first position against Paladin. Tokens are good for bumping shields.
# 2x (2) Corrosive Breath: Good enough card. Never keep.
# 2x (2) Dragon Breeder: This was the only tweak I made this season, and it’s a good one. Last season I ran Sneaky Delinquent in this slot (Ace Hunter synergies). Because there are lots of other early game options, you’re rarely forced to play Breeder without getting the value (but also don’t get greedy—if facing aggro, playing a vanilla 2/3 is usually better than trying to hold it if you have no other play). Duplicating a Primodial Explorer on turn 5 means mega resource generation, and of course, duplicating the Rotnest Drakes can be extremely powerful. Never keep.
# 2x (2) Faerie Dragon: Plays extremely well against mage and rogue. Sometimes keep against those classes (if you are in second position or first position with a turn one play.) otherwise, don’t keep.
# 2x (2) Imprisoned Felmaw: This is a target for replacement if we get a good cheap dragon. More dragon could be good for the deck—inactive Rotnest Drakes, Corrosive Shots, and Dragon Breeders sometimes hurt.
Imprisoned Felmaw plays well against DH and Druid. Sometimes keep if you can coin into this on turn one, otherwise discard. Despite a stupidly awesome stat line, these are of course not great for the late game. Plays badly against Hunter (Freezing Trap) and Paladin (Goody Two-Shields).
# 2x (2) Scavenger’s Ingenuity: Always Keep. One of the strongest cards in the deck. Consistent 3 mana for 6/6 stats. You’ll usually want to coin into this or play on turn three. In order to achieve this consistency—which is so awesome, trust me—you only run two beats (Wolpertingers). This means you must track how many Wolpertingers are remaining in the deck. Scavenger’s Ingenuity can rarely be a dead card. But this is rarer than you’d think, and you can minimize this risk using mulligans and playing Scavenger’s Ingenuity early—don’t hold and risk more draws that could be your Wolpertingers.
# 1x (3) Ace Hunter Kreen: This card can help you run away with games when you’re winning early. It also is a must-remove card for your opponent, so even if you can’t get immediate value, it may soak up some resources. Never keep.
# 2x (3) Primordial Explorer: Incredibly strong resource generation. Rarely keep. Sometimes if you have a turn one play in first position and are facing a class where you can outlast them, you may keep it. Strong with Dragon Breeder.
# 2x (3) Stormhammer: Insane card. You’ll win games just from getting crazy value out of this. Always keep. If you draw 2, put one back.
# 1x (4) Dragonbane: Great card. Never keep. I usually only play this on turn 6 when I can get immediate value… unless I can’t delay.
# 2x (4) Evasive Feywing: Strong against Mage and rogue. Never keep.
# 2x (5) Big Ol’ Whelp: Resource generation. Pretty good target for Dragon Breeder if you’re out of resources (though Primidial Explorer is better). Never Keep.
# 2x (5) Rotnest Drake: Awesome card. Always keep unless you’re in first position and don’t have a turn one play. Playing on turn one is usually too important to get greedy. Best Dragon Breeder target.
Cyclone/ Small Spell Mage: Extremely winning matchup—probably 65%+ and one of the reasons this deck can climb. Evasive minions really help. Generally just play as aggressive as possible. No real other key to success here—just have to hope they don’t have one of their insane pop-off turns with Sorcerer’s Apprentice + cheap spells. Cyclone mage has no healing, so you can often finish them with Corrosive Shots, weapon to face, and hero power even if they take the board on a crazy swing turn.
Highlander Mage: Winning match up. Just play as aggressively as possible. One exception would be to usually pump the brakes on putting out minions to instead equip Storm Hammer ASAP since a board of small minions alone is vulnerable to Flameward.
Face Hunter: Winning match up. You can generally out aggro a Face Hunter. You also often out last them—they run out of resources first. Again, just play as aggressively as possible, nothing really special here. The only consideration is that Imprisoned Felmaws play quite badly. Also, don’t get greedy with the Rotnest Drakes here—there won’t often be anything big to kill with the drake. Killing a Phase Stalker or Initiate is more than enough value, but if it has to be a token, it is what it is. That’s not to say this is an easy match up… Face Hunter can sometimes go face really, really hard and kill you first.
Highlander Hunter: Extremely Winning match up. Just can’t handle the Dragon Hunter aggro. When you lose, it’ll usually be due to a rock star Zephyr.
Soul DH: Losing match up, but quite close. Again, there’s no real magic here—just go as aggressively as possible. The issue is that there are really effective clears between Blade Dance and Shattershard Mystics that can stop you from building the board you need to finish them. Also strong healing. I do try to save the Rotnests to take out Glaivebound Adepts or the Soulshard Lapidaries, but sometimes if you’re ahead enough, it makes sense to play earlier and try to finish the game.
Stealth Rogue: Winning match up, but close. Again, as always, play as aggressively as possible. Rogues struggle agains wide boards, so Wolpertingers do play well—sometimes it can make sense to keep them.
Secret Rogue: Pretty even match up. Very few spells in your deck, so you can usually play around Dirty Tricks. You do sometimes lose to (the incredibly infuriating) runaway Hanar or Blackjack Stunners that get solid value. Generally just play as aggressively as possible for a wide board. Evasive minions are strong here.
Guardian Druid: Very favourable match up. You often do tons of damage to them before they pop off, especially since the nerfs (though this was a winning match up before the Guardian Animals nerf).
Quest Druid: Very favourable match up. You’re super aggressive—aggressive enough to smash their face up a lot before they complete the quest, then usually finish the job right after they complete.
Libram Pally: Losing match up. Libram Pally is just such a strong deck. It has some freak win conditions that you just can’t do anything about (Liadrin duplicating many Libram of Wisdoms or High Abbess Alura fasting Libram of Hope). But it’s also just so strong without those. Goody Two-shields is a great anti-aggro play. It’s just the strongest deck in the meta for a reason, and that’s with tons of people teching against it right now. This Dragon Hunter has nothing that plays against it—no Devolves or Freezing Traps, or other Silence mechanics you can use to get rid of Librams of Wisdom. No anti-weapon tech. The one key to winning games here is getting value out of that Rotnest Drake. I often try to delay playing them. Games where I can take out a monster—a Libram of Hope or something that just got hit with Blessing of Authority—are the games that feel winnable. Holding them until they can be copied with a Dragon Breeder May particularly make sense against Pally. Other than saving Rotnest Drakes, play as aggressively as possible.
Broom Pally: Also a losing matchup, though slightly more favourable than Pure Paladin. Really you just want to play aggressive, and still save Rotnest Drakes. This deck has less buff mechanics so the Libram of Hopes are by far the best targets for drakes. Also, against both Paladin builds, it’s really key to try to prevent Goody Two Shields from getting max value. Remove it before Spellburst if you can.
Totem Shaman: Extremely favourable match up. Dragon Hunter is so aggressive that they can’t stick their totems to buff them. Just go as aggro as possible… as almost always.
Bomb Warrior: Losing match up, but close. This is one match up where you sometimes don’t want to be as aggressive as possible—instead, you need to try to play around removal tools. Weapon + 2 minions may be tougher for them to counter than 3 minions, especially if all those minions have the same health and can get owned by Bladestorm. So in This match up, it’s sort of a weird balancing act of being as aggressive as possible while trying to stagger minion health and equip a weapon instead of playing a minion when possible.
Priests: Winning match up against Galla, Res, and Tempo priest. Tempo priest can’t snowball against the aggro. The other two just struggle with the face potential between hero power, Corrosive, and Storm Hammer. Just aggro as possible against all of them. Scavengers Ingenuity is particularly strong since board clears do 2 damage for Priest and therefore don’t remove the Wolpertingers.
Warlocks: Pain Warlocks can our aggro you if they get going. This is a coin flip match up. Just gotta be aggressive as possible and claw for the early board control, which generally snow balls.
That’s it! Hope people have fun with this one. It’s a pretty easy-to-play aggressive deck.