Our Midrange Hunter Deck Guide features the current top deck list for this archetype in the Rastakhan meta! We're taking a detailed dive into this deck with mulligan advice, card replacements, how-to counter it, and best ways to play this classic Hearthstone deck. We're also going to take a bit of a look at the history behind this archetype and what makes it so popular currently.
While this deck is sometimes referred to as Beast Hunter, it is always going to be Midrange Hunter in the hearts of us old school players. This deck was one of the first real powerhouse lists in the game when Constructed Seasons were first released. The deck was also known at the time as "Sunshine Hunter" which was dubbed by Lifecoach who named the deck after his daughter (hopefully I'm remembering this correctly). This version of the deck took advantage of some previously un-nerfed cards.was still a low cost card draw powerhouse, and was the card that fueled it. was still 0-cost, and only cost 4-mana. All these cards combined made for a potent deck that dominated the ladder.
While these cards would eventually be nerfed, the deck still had bouts of dominance throughout the years. The deck has also been a great list for beginning players who are on a budget. While the deck costs 3,100+ dust in its full meta form, that is mostly due to Deathstalker Rexxar being in the list. While you will want this card if you are looking to head for legend (I wouldn't bother), you can easily replace it with something else and end up with a very formidable deck that is under 2,000 arcane dust. Keep in mind that you might not even want to craft Deathstalker Rexxar as that card will be rotating out of the Standard format in April 2019.
Is Midrange Hunter Good?
Midrange Hunter is currently a very strong option for the ladder and is one of the most played decks currently. Hunter is the most powerful class at the moment, and it has multiple different top tier decks at its disposal. The other benefit to this deck is that it is one of the cheapest options. You can get away with a version with no Legendaries and still play it to a high rank!
Table of Contents
- Deck List
- Budget Deck List
- Mulligan Guide
- Deck Guide
- How-to Counter Midrange Hunter
- Best Matchups
- Card Choices
- Card Replacements
Midrange Hunter Deck List
There are not a lot of variants for Midrange Hunter on the ladder at the moment. If you are up against one, you are likely going to be going against this exact version of the deck. The guide is going to focus primarily on this version of the list, but we're including a budget version below.
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Budget Midrange Hunter Deck List
If you are just starting out in Hearthstone or you want to just try something cheaper before you make the plunge then this is a popular budget option for Midrange Hunter. This version has no Rares, Epics, or Legendaries! It will only set you back 960 dust and you will likely already have some of the cards you need. This list might fall a bit more into the Hybrid Hunter category and requires you to be more aggressive because you lack hand refill and the value generator Deathstalker Rexxar.
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Midrange Hunter Mulligan Guide
With Midrange Hunter you are always after a strong curve regardless of the matchup. Always be looking for a 1, 2, and 3-drop to play out your early turns. Dire Mole, Springpaw, and Crackling Razormaw are to always be kept. Those cards being in your hand will generally also determine the rest of your mulligan. If you don't have Dire Mole or Springpaw, then you likely wouldn't keep Scavenging Hyena. If you don't have a 1-drop or 2-drop then it's much harder to justify keeping Animal Companion.
- : This is just about always going to be your best turn one play. It is extremely hard to remove from the board in the early game, so you can almost always rely on it to survive to the next turn (especially if you go first). This means you are very likely going to be able to hit it with a Crackling Razormaw and get in damage or maybe even a free trade.
- : While this isn't as good as the previously used , it's still a great 1-drop and has good potential to remove some pesky minion from your opponent's early board. The Rush portion of this card makes it strong in the late game as well. You can use it to finish a trade, and even power-up your Scavenging Hyena to lethal damage if necessary. It also pairs well with Timber Wolf for getting in early trades so you can get quick board control.
- : You will just about always keep this no matter what. While it's best with a 1-drop, you can still play it on your second turn as a good body. You aren't always going to get the buff, but challenging and holding onto the board is crucial with this deck.
- : This is a great weapon and is good for removing small minions or finishing pinging down other ones. However, it is not a proactive play and is bad against slow decks. You'll only want to keep this against aggressive decks that are putting down minions every turn. This is especially good against token decks like Odd Paladin.
- : This is really good with Springpaw. Getting to trade those two small beasts and getting a buffed up and hard to remove Scavenging Hyena can sometimes just win games. It is not a good naked 2-drop, so you won't want to always keep it unless you have either of the 1-drop beasts.
- : Great card and you really want to keep it in most cases when possible. While you can occasionally roll a Leokk in unfortunate spots, most of the time you are going to be happy with the results you get from it. This is best kept when you have a 1 and 2-drop, but you can also keep it if you are going second and have the coin with a 1-drop.
- : This is best kept against slower decks because you'll likely need the extra cards if you eat potential AOE or your opponent has answers for your early game. You do not want to keep this against aggressive decks because it's too slow and you can't afford to skip a turn.
- : It seems odd to want to keep a 6-drop, but this can be kept against slower decks that are just looking to survive for combo or fatigue you. Rexxar provides infinite value, so you will never run out of resources once you play it.
Midrange Hunter Deck Guide & Gameplay Strategy
The gameplay strategy of Midrange Hunter largely depends on what kind of deck you are playing against. The very definition of a midrange deck is that you control aggro and beat up control. This is very important when it comes to best piloting this list. The other very important factor to understand in Midrange Hunter is when to flip the switch. There will generally come a point in many matches that you need to start being super aggressive. This is particularly important if you aren't running Deathstalker Rexxar because you lack late game tools to keep going. Flipping the switch means you are going straight to the face and looking to burn out your opponent. Hero Power becomes a mandatory thing every turn. This phase of play usually comes right around when you play Savannah Highmane. You don't want to trade with this, you want to force your opponent to deal with it so you can use the Hyenas on your turn.
Check out this deck in action with some Midrange Hunter gameplay:
Against Aggressive Decks
This is your weaker matchup, and you will need to play control in the early game to establish a board. Take the easy trades and useto manage the board as much as possible. Your damage spells like will need to be used to remove minions. This is great for taking down who you will see in aggressive decks at times. Keep your minions as much as possible and make value trades as much as possible. Aggro decks generally don't run AOE or have the ability to clear a wide board. Dire Mole is one of the most important pieces of the early game due to the high health and ability to make trades while surviving. You are hoping to land Crackling Razormaw on curve which can help it survive for multiple turns.
If you fall behind (this is likely), you do have some options that can help you wrestle control back.can be a potent board clear in the mid-game against a soft board. You can also combine this with and take down larger minions. If you are really lucky, you'll be able to combine this with and end up with a clear board and a large minion.
Believe it or not,is going to be an effective card against aggressive decks in the mid-game. You've got the AOE that can hopefully clear or soften up the board. You'll also get the option to create potentially cheap and high health taunts that can stymie aggressive minions. In the best case scenario, you play this with 8-mana and get off a hero power the same turn you play it (unlikely against aggressive decks). It's important to note that you shouldn't be going for extremely high cost beast combinations. You want to get a minion that does something valuable that can be played and allow you to play something else and/or use your hero power. What you choose should be largely dependent on the board-state and your hand composition. If you are very low on cards, you can go for higher cost minions because you might only be playing the Zombeast. If you've got stuff in your hand you are going to want to play, then you'll want to make sure you combine lower cost beasts together.
The Build-a-Beast hero power can provide you with surprising abilities.is one of the prime targets now, it allows your minion to have Rush and also gives you Lifesteal that can help you survive. The simple can turn your newly created beast into a bundle of stats that protects your face for low cost. There are a ton of great options at your disposal and be ready to look for powerful creations that might not be obvious.
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Against Slower Decks
This is your bread and butter matchup, and where you get to prey upon these more control and combo heavy options. You become the fast deck in this situation, so you are looking for that aggressive pairing of early game minions with. Your minions become very important, and you will largely be trying to use them to get damage into your opponent's face each turn. This is also where it is important to weave in a hero power as much as possible. You will want to use your spells to remove any taunts and as much as possible keep your board alive.
The biggest thing you'll need to watch out for is spells that damage your board. It helps to really have intimate knowledge of what each deck is running in the current meta. Does the deck have 2 or 3 damage AOE? How much does their AOE cost? Do they have The Coin and can play their AOE earlier? Understanding whether or not your opponent can clear the board on any given turn is instrumental in your success with this deck. This also determines how wide you can go with your board. If you suspect they have AOE, you'll want to hold back certain cards or play minions that you don't mind losing to bait it out. You will need to tip toe the line of playing just enough to force your opponent to play their AOE without losing all of your resources. If you have, you can play more aggressive because you know you can reload your hand if you lose your board. This has not been the case in previous iterations of Midrange Hunter.
Now, while Deathstalker Rexxar is a great card against slower decks, you should wait to play it in these matchups unless absolutely necessary. Your Hero Power is great at chipping away at your opponent's health. Classes like Warlock are particularly susceptible to being burned down due to the nature of the class. Classes that are regaining health (Warrior), however, are going to be the ones you'll need to out-value and require more help from Rexxar.
Just like against aggro decks, you will not want to be creating max cost zombeasts with the new Hero Power. Create lower cost options that allow you to do multiple things in a turn. You might need to cast a spell to remove a minion from the board, and you'll want to be using the Hero Power again to gain another beast.
How-to Counter Midrange Hunter
If you are looking to beat Midrange Hunter in the current meta then your best bet will be with aggressive decks. Odd Paladin and Odd Rogue have really strong matchups against it and are usually too fast and can remove the early threats that Midrange Hunter has to offer.
However, if you are looking to really stomp this deck then you will want to use Hunter's other options. Both Spell Hunter and Secret Hunter have extremely good matchups against this deck. The winrates are very lopsided with the other Hunter decks.is a killer against Midrange Hunter who can't deal with it at all unless they have Deathstalker Rexxar for the AOE, but even that doesn't finish the wolves off completely. These decks can also completely reload their board with which basically makes it impossible to come back. Hunter's secrets are also really strong against this deck, if you lose a minion to and are down on tempo you might just lose. also makes it hard for your early minions to get in that crucial chip damage you need for the end game push.
Midrange Hunter's Best Matchups
Midrange Hunter generally beats up on slower decks that don't have an answer for its early game push and late game threats. Stuff like Clone Priest, Deathrattle Hunter, Mecha'thun Warlock, Even & Control Warlock, and Cubelock. One of the advantages right now for this deck is that there are so many Hunter versions on the ladder that people have no idea what to mulligan against you. Basically, if you see a Warlock you are pretty happy because you beat just about every archetype from the class. You even beat Zoolock even though it is currently rarely played in the meta.
Midrange Hunter Card Choices
The majority of this deck is pretty much set in stone, so let's take a look at why each card is in the deck.
- : Great for taking down early game minions or softening up taunts to be removed. This weapon is good for pinging down cards that will need to be taken down over a couple of turns without damaging your face. It also pairs very well with Hunter's Mark.
- : While it's mostly just a bundle of stats, it's an important bundle of stats. The high health makes it very hard to remove early in the game, and the Beast tag means it synergizes with the majority of your deck.
- : As mentioned above, this pairs really well with Candleshot. Inevitably you are going to run into taunt minions or just big creatures that need to be removed. This is really your only option to get the job done.
- : While it's a lesser version of , it's still a very reliable early game card that helps buff your Scavenging Hyena and it or the token that is brought to your hand is a good target for Crackling Razormaw.
- : Very weak on its own, but powers up your Springpaw and makes Unleash the Hounds a very solid board clear or finisher. Midrange Hunter is mostly about getting every little bit of damage in to finish off your opponent, and Timber Wolf can be a savior in the right situation.
- : Some people might wonder why this card is in the deck. Yes, you do lose two cards when you use this but Midrange Hunter is very rarely if ever going to be a deck that draws out its entire deck. Just think of the cards you lost as being at the bottom of your deck and it really makes no difference that you lost them. This card gives you the ability to get a card you need right now, and can lead to the last bit of damage you need for lethal.
- : An extremely powerful Hunter card that can lead to snowballing your opponent based on the options you are given with the Adapt. Your 1/3 Dire Mole is just an annoying minion at first, but with the right buff from Razormaw it becomes a card that demands to be removed.
- : One of the most powerful and longstanding Basic cards in the game. It is either protecting your smaller minions with a taunt, buffing them for extra damage, or allowing you to go for the face early with a Huffer roll. This card can break open games with a timely roll.
- : Synergizes well with all of the beasts in the list, but also is great for removing pesky taunts or going for that final bit of damage you need for lethal.
- : Hunter has generally been starved for card draw, and with a deck that is nothing but beasts means you will always be getting the three card draw. This card gives you a chance in the mid-game if you lost your board or had an awkward draw.
- : Has great synergy against wide boards and gives you a way to really buff up your Scavenging Hyena in the right scenario. It can also be paired with Timber Wolf for extra damage to clear the board or go for lethal.
- : This card is pretty situational and can be dead in certain situations, but it also can help push your advantage over the edge and potentially give you some strong draws in the mid-to-late game. This card is also pretty good with Tracking if you land it on a minion you want to get in your hand.
- : In the best case scenario, you are removing a minion and gaining one of your own which is extremely powerful. While this will not always happen on curve, it still helps you chip away at a minion and develops your board. This card can be dead in certain scenarios.
- : This card can be insane if your opponent can't remove it. It is really good if you can land it on an empty board on turn five and then follow it up with a Savannah Highmane. Keep in mind that if you need to trade your Highmane for whatever reason, your Hyenas will also have charge once they spawn. You can also use this card as just general removal in the right circumstance.
- : Rexxar ended up being one of the best Death Knights after a shaky start. Infinite value is nothing to turn your nose up at, especially when the value can be so powerful with the right combination of Beast.
- : This card has been jokingly referred to as a Hunter Legendary card due to how good it can be. Great stats for the cost, and the Deathrattle is extremely useful. Your opponent will need to have the right removal in hand to deal with it, and is such a powerful turn six option on an empty board.
Midrange Hunter Card Replacements
You can find a lot of cards that you can potentially add to the deck instead with the budget version listed above. However, I will list a bunch of the potential options and what they can accomplish below. When you are replacing cards in a deck, you are either trying to emulate what the replaced card does or contribute to the decks overall strategy. Do note that if you are lacking cards like Master's Call and Deathstalker Rexxar that you will be on a more aggressive gameplan.
- : Can be a decent replacement for Master's Call in particular. It gives you a synergistic Beast minion but also gives you something to play for later. It's obviously much weaker because the Beast pool is large and you might get something pretty bad from it. Getting cards from your deck is generally much better.
- : Solid weapon that can be a good turn two play to gain that extra durability. You'll probably not want to play this and Candleshot in the same deck.
- : A more expensive and more durable version of Timber Wolf. While it only works on adjacent minions, it's rare to have more than a couple minions on the board anyway in most cases.
- : An aggressive minion that requires either a minion or AOE to remove it. The "shroud" ability makes it a great play on an empty board and forces your opponent to have an awkward answer for it. While it can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers, it can still be targeted by battlecries.
- : A great card against decks that put down taunt minions or just a single big minion each turn. The problem with this card, however, is that it's extremely weak against aggro and decks that spread out the board.
- : While your deck likely doesn't run secrets, it's still a solid weapon without them. Good for pushing damage and clearing minions. It has been a long time part of Midrange Hunter in the past.
- : Aggressive stats with Stealth that makes it hard to remove. It can be very weak against most AOE spells.
- : A bit of a risky card to have in an aggressive meta because Hunter doesn't generally run healing. This card does have a lot of stats for the cost, and it pairs really well in a deck that takes advantage of the following card...
- : While the full cost Midrange Hunter version doesn't run this, it has been a long time part of the archetype. Just a great overall card if you can play it on curve on a minion and can be used to push damage or protect your weaker minions while producing a decent body.
- : Deals damage to the hero that can get by taunt, and has a rare healing ability that can sometimes be helpful for a class that can't heal itself.
- : Overkill was the new mechanic introduced in Rastakhan's Rumble. This card costs quite a bit, so you will generally not want to run two of them. In just about all cases, you will really need to get the Overkill value out of it or it's a pretty bad card. It does standout a bit from Flanking Shot in that it can be used to damage the enemy hero.
- : If you are lacking Savannah Highmane this can be a good temporary replacement. This card is nearly guaranteed to stick to the board and makes it able to receive buffs or guarantee some damage.