Hearthstone Budget Hunter Deck List Guide (2019) – Rise of Shadows

We're taking a look at the powerful Midrange Hunter for budget players in Hearthstone!

Our Hearthstone Budget Hunter Deck List Guide will walk you through everything you need to know about this powerful deck that can be used on the cheap. Midrange Hunter has always been one of the best budget options in Hearthstone, and it looks likely to stay that way in the Rise of Shadows expansion. We're taking a look at the best budget deck list, mulligans, strategy, and card replacements that should lead you to the meta version of the deck!

Midrange Hunter is one of the classic decks in Hearthstone, and has been a common recommendation when it comes to playing on a budget. The deck largely does not need any Epics or Legendaries. That's still the case in the Rise of Shadows expansion, you are only one Legendary and two Epics away from having a very powerful deck. The Legendary is not even required and is more of a nice to have at the end of the day. Take a look at our featured list below, as well as some strategies on how best to pilot it!

Budget Hunter Deck List

This deck list below is actually not too far from the meta list that's pretty popular right now. You are only really missing Master's Call, which is a very powerful card. Consider crafting that if you can, because it makes the deck play a lot better.

HunterNeutral
2x - Shimmerfly2x - Dire Wolf Alpha
2x - Springpaw2x - Hench-Clan Hogsteed
2x - Timber Wolf2x - Stranglethorn Tiger
1x - Tracking
2x - Headhunter's Hatchet
2x - Scavenging Hyena
2x - Animal Companion
2x - Kill Command
2x - Unleash the Hounds
2x - Houndmaster
2x - Marked Shot
1x - Tundra Rhino
2x - Savannah Highmane

Deck Code

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Budget Hunter Mulligan Guide

Midrange Hunter is all about playing on curve, so look for a 1, 2, and 3-drop if possible. If you have The Coin, you can keep a 1-drop and a couple 3-drops because it will even out the curve for you.

Always Keep

  • Shimmerfly - Solid 1-drop that replaces itself when it dies with a spell. Nothing super special, just a decent early game drop. We'll particularly need extra cards because we aren't currently running Master's Call.
  • Springpaw - One of the best early drops in the game, you can get a quick trade and you'll be able to follow it up again with another Beast with Rush.
  • Headhunter's Hatchet - Not the best overall keep, but it's still really solid. It's particularly good when you have a Beast on board, so keeping this with a 1-drop is the best option available.
  • Hench-Clan Hogsteed - Solid for trading down early minions, and leaving us with something on the board that we can hopefully use next turn.
  • Animal Companion - One of the best Hunter cards, and something you can keep regardless of if you have another early drop. It's just really good, and the meta is slow enough where keeping a 3-drop isn't likely just going to lose you the game.

Budget Hunter Strategy Guide

We're looking to play something proactive on curve just about every single turn. What that means is that we want to be playing a minion each turn, and keeping the board reasonably clear as much as possible. While getting a weapon in play is nice, we'd much rather just be able to play a minion that takes up all of our mana. We want to make good trades, but simultaneously start chipping away at our opponent's health.

You will want to make trades as much as possible in the early game. We can't let our opponent get initiative on us, or we'll have a tough time coming back into the game. We do have a Headhunter's Hatchet and Unleash the Hounds as ways to kind of get ahead of our opponent, but that's not always enough. Early on, make good trades and try to use up all of your mana as much as possible.

If you get a Huffer from Animal Companion then you'll generally want to go to the face with that. It's too much damage to pass up, and only trade if you really have to or there's a juicy exchange available.

Your hero power is very important, and you will want to find ways you can give yourself enough mana to use it periodically. It's still generally going to be better to play a minion that eats up all of your mana, but if you can maneuver it, you should try to get a hero power in as much as possible. This is particularly the case against classes who can't really heal themselves very well.

While holding onto Kill Command is a good way to give yourself a potential lethal in the late game, it's usually best to use it on a minion rather than trade away one of our own. Minions represent repetitive damage, and a spell is only a one time use. We'll need to get as much out of our minions as possible if we're going to do enough damage to finish them in the late game.

Don't be super greedy with Houndmaster. If we can play it on curve and get the buff on even a 1/1 we're pretty happy about that. Most players know that Houndmaster is a thing, and will really try to keep you from holding onto a Beast long enough to get the buff. You can also just play Houndmaster on curve, it has 4/3 stats so it presents a threat. This is usually best if the board is empty.

In the mid-game is where we have more of our power turns, and this is generally when we really want to start getting our damage in on the opponent. We reach a point where we kind of have to stop trading and start heading to the face. Savannah Highmane is a good example of this, we don't want to trade with this as much as possible. We want to go to the face, and force our opponent to trade into it and give us the Deathrattle. If that happens, then we can usually get some use out of the Hyenas that come out of him. If you do have to trade with him, keep in mind you can get instant use out of those Hyenas if you play Tundra Rhino on the same turn!

Budget Hunter Card Replacements

We are actually not that far from a true meta deck, and we're only really missing one key card. At your earliest convenience, you should craft 2x Master's Call for this deck. It is such a good card in Hunter, and this deck can have trouble without it.

  • Master's Call - Great card and should absolutely be in this deck. It's unfortunate that they are Epic, because they help this deck greatly. If you do end up crafting these or have them, then be sure to cut Houndmaster because we only want Beasts in the deck. If you really like this archetype, then this should be an absolute priority for crafting.
  • Dire Frenzy - Fits in the deck, but works way better with Master's Call. Games don't last super long with this style of deck, so actually drawing one of the Beasts you buffed is going to be rare. If you have Master's Call, you have a much bigger chance to do so. This also works well with Tracking.
  • Unleash the Beast - It's a good card, but it's better if you have Zul'jin in the deck. It's also a bit on the slow side, and it's not as sticky as Savannah Highmane.
  • Zul'jin - Solid card, but I don't think the deck absolutely requires it. This is especially the case for the budget version, which isn't running a lot of the spells that really benefit from Zul'jin being played.

About the Author

Evident is a lifelong gamer and creator of websites. He mostly focuses on shooters, but has been known to dabble in the occasional card game as well. You can find him binge watching TV shows in his downtime.

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Comments

  1. I have opted to swap 2x Houndmaster for 2x Master’s Call, I want to include Dire Frenzy as well (per your advice), but which card should I swap it with?

    1. I’d cut Hench-Clan Hogsteed or Stranglethorn Tiger. I’d probably do one of each, if you’re just cutting one then I’d got a single Tiger.

      1. Thanks! I go with 2, because I have some problems with midrange decks that play 5/5 taunts and stuff. I’ll cut one of each then!