2020 Beast Hunter

Last updated 1 year, 12 months ago by
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Introduction

While Saviors of Uldum hadn't been very nice to Midrange Beast Hunter, they have received quite a bit of love in the recent Descent of Dragons expansion and now the Galakrond's Awakening adventure. Descent of Dragons released more rush synergy for Hunter, with the great Clear the Way sidequest and Diving Gryphon draw mechanic. This also gives us a reason to play Desert Spear over Headhunter's Hatchet. Now, Galakrond's Awakening gives us the amazing beast-buffing Fresh Scent, breathing new life into this great archetype from Rise of Shadows.

Card Choices

The deck consists of several packages which overlap with each other, giving a lot of synergy. The main packages are the Beast package, the Rush package, the Spell package and the Combo Package.

Beast Package

The meat of the deck, every single card in this deck either is a beast, spawns a beast or buffs a beast. So you could say that every single card in this deck belongs to the beast package. The only card that does not belong to another card is Escaped Manasaber, which is a powerful drop on curve that can enable some very high-tempo plays because of the free coin every turn it's in play.

Rush Package

Giving you a lot of initiative and board control, the following cards are or synergise with the rush mechanic:

Clear the Way - 1 mana 4/4, amazing value. Probably the best card in the deck after Master's Call.
Springpaw - Early game board control, cheap beast synergy activation, 2/3rd sidequest activation in 1 card
Vicious Scalehide - Much-needed healing against aggro decks, great with Fresh Scent and Dire Frenzy
Desert Spear - Very flexible, with buffable tokens and splittable damage
Diving Gryphon - Removal and card draw that has synergy with your beast buffing cards? Yes please!
Unleash the Beast - Double Clear the Way activator

Spell package

The different spells in the deck all synergise with the Beast tribal, and many give amazing juice to Zul'jin.

Clear the Way - Zul'jin allows you to get a third copy of this, and will probably spawn it immediately.
Shimmerfly - 1 drop to buff with Fresh Scent on turn 2, that also gives you some potential good spells.
Fresh Scent - A more flexible Blessing of Kings, this card is amazing and really breathes new life into this archetype. Also great synergy with Zul'jin, giving you another copy in hand and almost never buffing your opponent's stuff (since it can only buff beasts)
Animal Companion - Staple card since beta, enough said. Best strategy is to make it spawn Huffer and go face.
Kill Command - Can be used as either removal or as burn. Not great with Zul'jin since you risk hurting your own stuff.
Master's Call - Amazing card that makes this deck viable, 3 mana draw 3 is just nuts. Makes Zul'jin refill your hand.
Unleash the Hounds - Good for removal or burst. May clog up your board when played by Zul'jin.
Dire Frenzy - While the buff isn't huge, it gives you a lot of power later in the game and synergises great with Master's Call. Also allows the combo.
Unleash the Beast - Not great on its own, but amazing with Zul'jin. Endless 5/5 rushers!
Zul'jin - The fact that he's mentioned so much above is defence enough. Play him on turn 10 and win the game.

Combo Package

This small package of 4 cards allows you to do amazing burst damage, crushing extremely slow decks like Control Warrior.

Timber Wolf
Dire Frenzy
Tundra Rhino

For the combo to work, you need to Dire Frenzy your Timber Wolf either once or twice, and then play the buffed Timber Wolf copies with Tundra Rhino. The full combo with 1x Tundra Rhino and 5x buffed Timber Wolf costs 10 mana and does 47 damage. However, you can play smaller versions of it, or add in different Beasts, for less damage.

While the combo can do a devastating amount of damage, it really only works against very slow control decks, which are not very prevalent in the current meta, and most control decks run too many taunts. But if you're against a very slow deck without too many taunts like Highlander Warrior or Shirvallah Paladin, you might want to keep the combo in mind.

Mulligan Guide

Always keep: Clear the Way, Master's Call, Shimmerfly, Springpaw.

Keep with 1-drop: Fresh Scent.

Keep with 1- and 2-drop, or with 1-drop on coin: Animal Companion, Desert Spear, Diving Gryphon.

Keep against aggro: Vicious Scalehide.

Card substitutions

Luckily, the deck is extremely cheap, with only 2 epics in Master's Call and 1 legendary in Zul'jin. However, these are irreplaceable.

Some of the more flexible card slots are Escaped Manasaber, Shimmerfly and Unleash the Hounds. You can replace these with Scavenging Hyena, a second copy of Timber Wolf, a second copy of Unleash the HoundsLifedrinker, Hippogryph, Deadly Shot or a single copy of The Beast Within or Revenge of the Wild, whatever you feel works best.

I have also thought about fitting in a secret package, which would probably look something like this:

2x Phase Stalker
1x Rat Trap
1x Snake Trap
1x Freezing Trap
2x Hyena Alpha

This would also have great synergy with Zul'jin. However, I have not been able to fit it into the deck. I invite you to try, and share your experiences in the comments below.

Conclusion

The tight synergies between the different cards and packages make for a very fun, strong midrange deck. This is our last time to play with Zul'jin and Master's Call in standard, so I invite you to play it before the expansion is over. Please share any thoughts you have on the deck, ways it can be improved, or experiences with the deck in the comments below.

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Comments

  • dapperdog's Avatar
    Dragon Scholar 1510 3393 Posts Joined 07/29/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Great guide for an off meta deck. I played beast hunter myself when Fresh Scent came out, so its nice to see someone not only posting the deck but offering a nicely written guide.

    I'd personally make a few changes, in view of the meta;

    - remove Escaped Manasaber for Deadly Shot - Embiggen druid metas. Beast druid don't play the long game and the cards are cheap enough that I never think it necessary. If Zul'jin at 10 doesn't win it you usually just don't win.

    - I've tried and often find 4 buff cards too clunky in beast hunter. Most of the time, all that's needed is one buff card in hand. I would personally remove 1x Dire Frenzy for either Unleash the Hounds or even Hench-Clan Hogsteed.

    I would also caution against saving up cards for the Timber Wolf combo. Its not worth it. Its nice to have, but I've never been able to execute this combo and win. Best way to use Dire Frenzy is still on 1 drops, and on Diving Gryphon and scalehide.

    1
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

      Thanks for your feedback! In response to your points listed:

      - It depends very much on the meta you're encountering. Personally I play at legend, where Embiggen Druid is pretty much nonexistant. Instead, it's filled with tempo-heavy decks like Galakrond Warrior and Dragon Hunter, where the added tempo of a free coin every turn can really make a difference. If you encounter a lot of Embiggen Druid it's definitely a good switch though, Escaped Manasaber is indeed the flex spot.

      - Personally I really like double Dire Frenzy, because it's such a powerful card when coupled with Master's Call and Diving Gryphon that can pull the buffed minions back out of your deck. I would advise against cutting it, but if you do I'd add Unleash the Hounds before I'd add Hench-Clan Hogsteed.

      - True, the combo is pretty much never needed in this meta. The most prevalent control decks have too many taunts to make it work reliably (Resurrect Priest, Highlander Mage), but there are some Highlander Warriors running around against which it might work (although I have not encountered them yet while playing this deck). However, all of the combo cards are worth running by themselves, and I figured I might as well add the combo possibility in this guide. I will expand the guide to say that it's usually not worth it tho.

      0
  • og0's Avatar
    Red Riding Hood 1570 1062 Posts Joined 03/31/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Great guide!

    1
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

      Thank you! Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see added.

      1
  • Thanatos's Avatar
    80 7 Posts Joined 01/15/2020
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Unfortunatly this deck does not work...

    It can't beat Rogues and Druids (both embiggen and quest)...

    And it's not that good against warlocks or mages...

    so there's no way to play beasts in this meta...

    0
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

      With the meta having shifted to more agressive decks, with Dragon Hunter and Galakrond Warrior being the most prevalent, I advise you to try this deck again. Vicious Scalehide makes agressive decks cry, and you have a lot more resources than them because of Master's Call.

      1
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

      I've been doing pretty well against Druids. Embiggen druid's big weakness is their early game and going either very wide or very tall. This deck can do all those things, provided you draw well. You can consider subbing in Deadly Shot to be better able to deal with their huge taunts. Another thing to not forget is that Embiggen druid usually only runs one healing card, Zilliax. Because of this, once Zilliax is out of the way, your hero power puts them on a clock.

      1
  • Zelgadis's Avatar
    Wizard 850 610 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Regarding a possible secret package, in my experience if you run Phase Stalker and Master's Call, you will pull and draw your secrets pretty quickly, so to make Subject 9 worth it you'd have to run at least 6 secrets. I've used a 4-secret package without Subject 9 in my Master's Call quest deck:

    Have you tried Hunting Mastiff? That card did surprisingly well for me in the quest deck. Obviously summoning multiple minions isn't as important for your deck as it is with the quest or when running Scavenging Hyena, but the Mastiff is flexible removal and it can complete the sidequest by itself on later turns.

     

    0
  • CableKnight's Avatar
    Rexxar 395 187 Posts Joined 03/14/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Great guide, looking forward to playing this when I have the time.

    2
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

      Thank you for the kind words!

      1
  • KANSAS's Avatar
    Old God Fanatic 1745 2904 Posts Joined 03/25/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Wait I am confused, this isn't a druid deck, right?

    2
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago
      Quote From KANSAS

      Wait I am confused, this isn't a druid deck, right?

      ...and this is why we don't upload decks when we're tired haha. Thanks, fixed it!

      1
  • iamnumberbrian's Avatar
    85 7 Posts Joined 07/22/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    nice deck

    1
    • Erodos's Avatar
      Crossroads Historian 915 1010 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
      Posted 1 year, 11 months ago
      Quote From iamnumberbrian

      nice deck

      Thank you! I have added a guide, please let me know how the deck works for you.

      0

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