The Hunter class in Hearthstone is a class that focuses on two main elements. Those elements are the use of beasts as their minion of choice, and the use of various traps as a method of controlling the pace of the battle.
In addition to the beast minions themselves, many of the spells in the Hunter deck focus on helping out those beasts through buffs to their stats. Also, beyond traps as a method of control, Hunters also have access to various direct damage cards that help thin out the enemy minions. This direct damage comes in the way of various shot attacks and weapons.
As a hunter in Hearthstone you will be represented by Rexxar, the great Horde hunter.
As a Hunter your hero power is Steady Shot. This ability costs 2 mana and deals 2 damage.
While 2 mana for 2 damage is an amazing ability, and it would be completely over powered if there wasn’t a pretty big restriction on its use. It can only be used against the enemy hero, it is impossible to use it against their minions.
Even with the restriction however, it is still a very good ability and allows you to chip away at the enemies health whenever you have extra mana. Make sure that you use it often to get the most benifit but don't use it to the exclusion of summoning minons as they can attack each turn until killed so generally do more damage per mana than your hero power.
When you first start a Hunter deck you will be granted many of the basic cards. In addition as you level up your Hunter deck you will gain the remainder of the basic Hunter cards by the time you reach level 10.
|Basic Hunter Spells|
|Animal Companion||3||Summon a random Beast companion. [This card is gained at level 2]|
|Arcane Shot||1||Deal 2 damage.|
|Hunter's Mark||0||Change a minion's Health to 1 this turn. [This card is gained at level 6]|
|Kill Command||3||Deal 3 damage. If you have a Beast, deal 5 damage instead. [This card is gained at level 10]|
|Multi-Shot||4||Deal 3 damage to two random enemy minions.|
|Tracking||1||Look at the top three cards of your deck. Draw one and discard the others.|
|Basic Hunter Minions|
|Hound master||4||4||3||Battlecry: Give a friendly Beast +2/+2 and Taunt.|
|Starving Buzzard||2||2||1||(Beast) When ever you summon a Beast, draw a card. [This card is gained at level 4]|
|Timber Wolf||1||1||1||(Beast) Your other Beasts have +1 attack.|
|Tundra Rhino||5||2||5||(Beast) Your Beasts have Charge. [This card is gained at level 8]|
There are many more hunter spells and minions than those listed above in the Basic Hunter Card section. These are the Expert cards and can be gained through the purchase or winning of expert card packs. Many of these cards are key to how the class plays and will be required to do well as a Hunter.
|Expert Hunter Spells|
|Beastial Wrath||Epic||1||Give a Beast +2 attack and Immune this turn.|
|Deadly Shot||Common||3||Destroy a random enemy minion|
|Explosive Trap||Common||2||Secret: When your hero is attacked, deal 2 damage to all enemies.|
|Explosive Shot||Rare||5||Deal 5 damage to a minion and 2 damage to adjacent ones.|
|Flare||Rare||1||All minions lose Stealth. Destroy all enemy Secrets. Draw a card.|
|Freezing Trap||Common||2||Secret:When an enemy minion attacks, return it to its owner's hand and it costs (2) more.|
|Misdirection||Rare||2||Secret: When a character attacks your hero, it instead attacks another random character.|
|Snake Trap||Epic||2||Secret: When one of your minions is attacked, summon three 1/1 Snakes (Beast).|
|Snipe||Common||2||Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, deal 4 damage to it.|
|Unleash the Hounds||Common||3||For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Hound with charge.|
|Basic Hunter Minions|
|Scavenging Hyena||Common||2||2||2||(Beast) Whenever a Beast dies, gain +2/+1.|
|Savanna Highmane||Rare||6||6||5||(Beast) Deathrattle: Summon two 2/2 Hyenas.|
|King Krush||Legendary||9||8||8||(Beast) Charge|
|Expert Hunter Equipment|
|Eaglehorn Bow||Rare||3||3||2||Whenever a Secret is revealed, gain +1 Durability.|
|Gladiator's Longbow||Legendary||7||5||2||Your hero is Immune while attacking.|
As with almost any card based game, there are combos available that when used provide more benefit than play the cards by themselves. This is true in Hearthstone as well, and there are several great combinations of cards available to Hunters that can really help push the fight in your favour.
Let's start with a few simple and hopefully obvious tips on combos that are just based on the Hunter basic and expert cards.
- Ensure you delay casting Starving Buzzards until you have enough mana to also cast another beast on the same turn so that you are ensured of getting a card out of it.
- Ensure you cast Scavenging Hyena before attacking in a turn so that any beasts you use to defeat enemy minions that die will power up your Hyena.
- Save your Snipe for at least turn 3 and preferably turn 4 so that you catch larger minions with them, use your freezing traps and explosive traps first.
Once you get into more advanced play and combos, you need to look at some general cards rather than just sticking with Hunter only cards. Here are just a few examples:
- Since many of your minions are cheap and die easily, minions that grant benefits from your other minions death are a great thing to look for. These include cards like the Flesheating Ghoul (Gets +1 attack when a minion dies), or the Cult Master (which allows you to draw a card whenever one of your other minions dies).
- There are also many other great beast cards in the normal card set that you can pick from to further enhance your army of beasts. These include great cards like the Ironbeak Owl (which can silence a minion), the Ironfur Grizzly (a great 3/3 beast with taunt), and the great late-game Core Hound (a monstrous 9/5 beast).
For Hunters there are a few good deck types but most are based on either beast aggro decks or a control based deck with beasts in it.
Hunter Deck - Unleash the Hounds
This is a great deck to start with as you can get most of the cards required by getting your hunter to level 10. While there are a few other harder to get cards in it, you can easily substitute them with less powerful cards and replace them with the correct ones later on.
- Minions (12)
- 2x Ironbeak Owl
- 2x Scavenging Hyena
- 2x Starving Buzzard
- 2x Stonetusk Boar
- 2x Timber Wolf
- 2x Young Dragonhawk
- Spells (18)
- 2x Animal Companion
- 2x Deadly Shot
- 2x Explosive Trap
- 2x Kill Command
- 2x Flare
- 2x Misdirection
- 2x Multi-Shot
- 2x Snipe
- 2x Tracking
- 2x Unleash the Hounds
The idea with this deck is fairly simple. Stall until your enemy has a bunch of minions out and then make sure you use your starving buzzard, scavenging hyena, and unleash the hounds all in a turn. This summons several beasts, grants several cards, and massivly powers up your Hyena.
While not as powerful as the earlier beta version of this deck, it still provides a great burst of damage as well as drawing a whole ton of cards back. Make sure that you use your traps and spells to get rid of as many of the enemy minions as you can while you hold out for the late game to be able to pull this combo off. Once you do, you will be able to likely clear the board and then have a huge card advantage as well as one very large and angry Hyena.
The Arena system is not always favorable for Hunters since the class relies so heavily on beasts and combinations of cards. Since there is no guarantee that you will get enough beasts in a draft, anytime a beast card shows up, you should strongly consider grabbing it. If you pass on too many for other "numerically better cards" you may end up without enough beasts to make the Hunter deck work. Remember, the more beasts a Hunter has in their deck, in general, the better chance they have to win.
When drafting for Arena's as a Hunter, in addition to grabbing beasts, you should make sure you consider the play style required for them to win in an Arena match. This means grabbing fast effective creatures and dealing with your opponent early. This is really important against classes with board clearing ability, especially Mages with a turn 7 Flamestrike. You want to setup your deck to be extremely aggressive and to try and win before the late game, ideally by turn 7-9. If you end up in a 12-15 turn battle, you are almost assuredly going to lose due to multiple board wipes. While late game Hunter decks are possible in constructed play, in the Arena they currently don't do well.
When playing in the Arenas as a Hunter it is important to keep pressure on your opponent. By this I mean, clearing the board is nice, but dealing significant damage to them is better. Remember if you can make them trade during your turn, while getting them low enough to finish them of with your class ability, you win. This is true of any aggro style deck, but especially true of Hunters, since you can do 2 damage a turn with your class ability.
While the actual game play remains the same between constructed format play and arena play, the actual value and strength of specific cards can change drastically. This is due to the limited pool of cards that each player will have available to them. It is therefore important to understand which cards are of the most value in the Arena when drafting.
When playing in the Arena and drafting your deck, some of the best cards to draft for the Hunter class are as outlined below along with some reasoning. They are listed in alphabetical order.
- Animal Companion - This card is good in normal play but in the arena where you can potentially get more than 2 it becomes even better, all of the minions it provides are extremely good value for the mana.
- Deadly Shot - A really good removal card since it can take any minion out of play for 3 mana.
- Gladiator's Bow - Probably the best weapon in the game since you can attack and be immune while doing so.
- Multi-shot - A great clearing card to get rid of 2 minions for cheap.
- Savannah Highmane - A strong minion to start with, but provides 2 extra minions when it dies, making it a great trading card. This is a very hard card for opponents to deal with, as even a silence leaves a big minion around, making it at least a 2 card trade.
- Scavenging Hyena - As long as you get more beasts this is a strong card.
- Starving Buzzard - A strong card if you are able to get additional beasts in your deck.
- Unleash the Hounds - This card can come in extremely handy in clearing mass minion rush decks, especially if you get luck and get other cards that buff beasts or provide other benifits to or from beasts.
You can also find a listing of the general non-class specific cards that are the best to draft in the arena format in these two guides:
Comments on Hunters in Hearthstone
As with almost any game there are multiple paths to victory. If you have alternate ideas on decks or methods to use the basic or expert cards for the Hunter class in Hearthstone, please feel free to share them in our comment section below.