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June 4, 2014

Hunter Midrange (JAB)

GYMLEADERLANCE recently interviewed Jab, creator of the Midrange Hunter, to share tips and strategies on this new kind of deck that’s creeping into the meta.

Decklist & Strategy

Three time legend rank player JAB tunes in to tell us a little bit about his current hunter list.



Ever since the rework of Unleash the Hounds a lot of people have hopped on the bandwagon of Hunter. With Unleash the Hounds allowing the player to easily pump out two to three hounds as well as the hero ability to deal at least two damage to your opponent each turn makes Hunter a great choice for the budget aggro player. 

Fasthippy made a post on the Battle.net hearthstone section with a more mid-range approach to the hunter class.

Mid-range does is very similar to aggro and most of the time confused as the same thing, but mid-range is more focused around board control and tempo of the game then rushing your opponent for a turn five or six finish every game which make no mistake with a good enough start a lot of mid-range decks can end as fast as aggro.



JAB saw this post and like most top tier players have made changes to fit his play style. He has had a lot of success with this version on the North American ladder recently, but do not be fooled. A lot of people have tried picking this deck up and have tanked almost every game, but we are here with JAB to talk about his card choices as well as match-ups and mulligan strategies.



General Playstyle

Keep the Board Clear

Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds is great at clearing the board vs aggro as well as able to actually race them with powerful plays like Houndmaster on Stampeding Kodo to give yourself a huge wall as well a decent damage. Freezing Trap and Deadly Shot are key cards vs control decks, especially Druid if they’re trying to make big plays with Innervate. Kodo and Deadly shot lets you clear a big taunt creature for example, if they drop Defender of Argus or Sunfury Protector their guy you can drop Stampeding Kodo to clear the 2/3 Taunt, allowing you to Deadly Shot the big creature they gave taunt to.



Draw

Starving Buzzard then trading away your Savannah Highmane to draw two cards. Using Tinkmaster Overspark on one of your imps while Starving Buzzard is on the board allows you to draw a card as the Squirrel or Devilsaur are both beasts, or if the enemy Tinkmaster your Savannah Highmane or another big threat while Starving Buzzard is out allows you draw a card.



Punish Your Opponent

If they leave a big creature out such as Ancient of War or Ragnaros the Firelord, a three mana Deadly Shot takes care of it. Imp Master allows you to trade up with your opponent early as well as possibly baiting out a turn four Swipe on just the Imp master and Imps which then gives you priority and tempo advantage. Opponents get greedy and want to make you do the trading which you make them pay for by dropping Houndmaster on your Stranglethorn Tiger and killing things like Ancient of Lore and Fire Elemental for free.

Mulligan

Druid

Freezing Trap and Deadly shot help you win this matchup. You are usually happy when they Innervate out something big early. Keep the pressure up and try to force them to have an answer to your plays.

Hunter

This matchup is generally a race, look for Eaglehorn Bow or Animal Companion. Houndmaster is generally how you win in the mirror. This matchup can be tough.

Mage

Freezing Trap and Eaglehorn Bow are key cards so you don’t die to an early Mana Wyrm. Control Mage should have trouble keeping up with you.

Paladin

Be careful not to over extend into equality combos. Knife Juggler is insane vs them as they have no early removal before turn four.

Priest

Easy matchup, play threats and attack their face. They will stumble and die.

Rogue

If I know they’re playing Miracle Rogue, I will make strange keeps like Leeroy Jenkins in my opener. I just want to burst them before they burst me. Freezing Trap works wonders here as well.

Shaman

Easy matchup they have no healing, only problem card is Feral Spirits but they can still be dealt with. Unleash the Hounds is great against them but try not to let them take too much board control.



Warlock

Assume they are aggressive, keep Unleash the Hounds, any of your secret and two to three mana cost creatures so you can keep up with them.

Warrior

Aggressive warrior is a hard matchup, not much we can do to stop them from smashing our face in. Control warrior is a lot easier, they have trouble dealing with Highmane without Tinkmaster. Keep your early threats.

Vs. Control

Freezing Trap, Deadly Shot, Animal Companion, Imp Master, Tracking, Faerie Dragon, Knife Juggler and Eaglehorn Bow

Vs. Aggro

Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap, Unleash the Hounds, Eaglehorn Bow, Knife Juggler, Faerie Dragon, Imp Master, Animal Companion, Tracking

Notes

Sometimes I will keep Starving Buzzard + Unleash if I have both of those pieces of the combo in my opener for a turn four combo that should give two to three card advantage and clear most if not the whole board.



Matchups



Great Matchups

Shaman(No heal), Druid(Mostly single stand alone minions that get Deadly Shot), Priest (Just easy….)

Good Matchups

Rogue(Tempo match-up), Paladin(can race aggro), Aggro lock(Dream opener sucks still), Mage(Exposive Trap and Freezing Trap do work here), Control lock(Be careful of their life total), Control warrior(Try not to let them get too much value out of their Armorsmith and Acolyte of Pain)

Rough Matchups

Aggro warrior, Aggro hunter, Murlocs

Closing

Even though some matchups are rough, they are not unwinnable and I have still won a good amount of games vs those matchups.

I truly believe every matchup is winnable and I don’t have a negative winrate vs anything.

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14 Comments

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  1. Rave says:

    With the release of the new patch, Tinkmaster got nerfed. Is it worth him still having? Also, if you dont have a TM, what’s a good substitute?

    • Jimmy Wang says:

      No, I wouldn’t advice using Tinkmaster at the moment. People have been running Ironbeak Owl and Spellbreakers as substitutes.

  2. Hacka says:

    Yes, a vidoe would be nice, cause I can’t for the world see how this deck could be any good. I’ve tried it and can’t get it to work at all. How do you actually establish early control? When I play, no matter what traps or other stuff I play out, I’m always around 12 health when I finally can drop ONE tiger out. He is then sitting with 3 or four buffed minions that I couldn’t remove. What does he care if I have both a tiger and a Highmane out? He doesn’t have to cause he can eat 11 damage while he kills me off. How do you survive that? To me this deck seemsfar to slow to work. Even watched Razor, a top player using this deck and he had the exact same problem as I described. Even with a perfect hand, letting him Buzzard + UtH to draw three cards, he was now match for his opponent. Everything Razor played was quickly removed and at turn 6, Razor was town to 13 health. He played his Highmane but his opponent didn’t even bother with it. He just went for his face and ate the Higmane’s damage cause he was so far ahead in health.

  3. GYMLEADERLANCE says:

    @Brumsberry all decks have hard match-ups. Like in the article I stated Aggressive warrior is a hard match up because of the weapons. You just have to play your normal strategy and houndmaster should help a lot if you buff a tiger or highmane.

  4. GYMLEADERLANCE says:

    @mortimus it is not just against charge minions you are twisting/misconstruing what I am saying, It can handle charge minions and it is used for that in curtain match-ups, but it is also really good against control decks that run sylvanas, cairne etc making their turn six or above almost useless because they now cannot attack with it and it now cost two mana more.

    @NextLevel it is possible, but it is a two card combo to deal with one threat as well as hunters mark doesnt have many uses in this mid-range build other then that combo.

    @Victor if more people show interest in this deck then I will get JAB to do a short video showing some games with this deck no problem. Tinkmaster is very important as well as I stated in the article this deck takes a bit of skill. Not saying you are not skilled mind you, but you also might just need more games with the deck to improve on its individual playstyle.

    @:D Kill command can be put into the deck as a psudo fireball-ish card, but the beast requirement for the extra damage doesnt work well in higher rankings for a control/board-control varient like this.

    • Brumsberry says:

      Thanks for the guide! Really enjoying this deck. Gone from rank 7 to 4 after getting used to in. Frost trap mvp in my opinion. I can’t beat a aggro warrior to save my life though. Any suggestions?

  5. :D says:

    Any thought about kill command??

  6. Victor says:

    Good afternoon, good, I tried testing this deck, but do not have the tinkermaster, single letter that I do not have, however, seen a lot of difficulty in winning several classes and decks. Could make a video with him playing in ranked or something more exemplified kind? thank you

    Brazil 25/02/2014

  7. NextLevel says:

    Is the combo hunter mark + wild pyromancer a possibility in this deck?

  8. GYMLEADERLANCE says:

    Misdirection is better in an aggressive style deck, possibly doing 2-4 extra damage to them while also avoiding the damage yourself. Freezing trap, however works in this deck by allowing you to stop “charge” minions and keep a handle on high cost minions.

  9. :D says:

    May you compare between misdirection and freezing trap?

  10. Vanish says:

    “Rough Matchups: Aggro warrior, Aggro hunter, Murlocs”

    lol you don’t say >.> those 3 decks are the bane of deckbuilding/creativity. Sometimes I think I’d like to see Druids toned down, but then I remember they’re probably the only class stopping budget facerush decks from being at the top :P

    I enjoyed the article, midrange/control Hunter is one of the more fascinating styles out there IMO.