Guide: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Be careful not to over extend into equality combos. Knife Juggler is insane vs them as they have no early removal before turn four.
Easy matchup, play threats and attack their face. They will stumble and die.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap, Unleash the Hounds, Eaglehorn Bow, Knife Juggler, Faerie Dragon, Imp Master, Animal Companion, Tracking
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.
Shaman(No heal), Druid(Mostly single stand alone minions that get Deadly Shot), Priest (Just easy….)
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)
Aggro warrior, Aggro hunter, Murlocs
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.