- Quest Hunter
Unseal the Vault, along with all of the Uldum quests, were released during my extended break from Hearthstone. As a result, I have come around to these cards and archetypes long after they have fallen out of whatever favor they used to have with players. In addition, the game has changed and sped up to the point where these quests are usually deemed too slow or not viable for modern-day Hearthstone. I never really thought much about this quest until I started messing around with The Marsh Queen recently and came across Defias Blastfisher, a card I had completely forgotten about from the Deadmines mini-set. After some brainstorming and collaboration, I crafted Unseal the Vault and began working on this deck. While I do not claim that this is some kind of hidden meta breaker deck that will get you to Legend ez, it is certainly fun and full of decisions and interesting lines of play that I enjoy greatly. I realized as I am also getting back into Magic: The Gathering that this deck reminds me of some green decks I used to enjoy as you focus on building out a board, using your minions as resources and making a final huge swing with a buffed swarm of smaller tokens…in this case, usually rats.
As always though, I play mostly for fun and am very open to suggestions! Many thanks once again to Swizard for the inspiration to try out the old Hunter quests and for being a constant springboard to bounce deck building ideas off of.
This deck is built around the quest and the subsequent reward:
This hero power turns any board that sticks into a strong, snowballing threat that demands instant answers from the opponent. Most of the time you don’t need more than one turn of attacks to seal a game using this hero power, as a board of 1/1 tokens goes from 7 face damage to 21 in an instant. If the board isn’t clear for a face attack, the hero power allows your tokens and small beasts to punch well above their weight and clear the way for a subsequent lethal push. Tundra Rhino also assists with your end goal by allowing you to leverage your leftover small tokens as immediate face damage alongside a hero power buff. Finally, the aforementioned Defias Blastfisher acts as a source of surprise burst that opponents often don’t expect…because they have forgotten that the card exists as well. Note that this damage is randomly assigned, so it can hit behind a taunt wall as well when you need that last bit of damage to finish games. This has already come into play a few times against decks such as Big or Reno Priest and Even
Lock and has won games that were one turn away from being a lost cause. I love this fisherwoman and her guns.
Seeing as we are built around completing the quest as quickly as possible, there is a lot of token support here. Some new cards which stand out are Rodent Nest and Devouring Swarm. The nest provides a board and six quest ticks by itself as well as some “protection” against board clears by immediately giving you a second board to work with on your turn if the opponent lets it live. This also pairs well with Starving Buzzard for intense amounts of card draw, Leatherworking Kit for less intense card draw with slight buffs, Scavenging Hyena to create a big threat that demands removal of its own, or my favorite: Defias Blastfisher for burst damage to the opponent’s board or face. Always remember when playing this deck: 6 beasts on board means Blastfisher will deal 14 random damage to opponents. It’s always more than I expect, and can provide stability or early damage that can swing a game in your favor well in advance of the quest being completed.
Devouring Swarm has proven to be an incredible card. Not only does it provide removal, but it allows you to double dip with your minions and speed up quest completion greatly if used correctly. I always aim to use this in conjunction with Wolpertinger, Alleycat or Springpaw for as much value as possible. Bouncing even one of these back can be a huge boost to quest completion or further draw when combined with Leatherworking Kit or Starving Buzzard. Even without these ideal scenarios, Swarm still provides much-needed removal and proactivity when you don’t have your rushers available to take out a big minion or deny the opponent some kind of minion effect they may think is safe to leave out on the board.
In a similar vein, Revenge of the Wild also gives you a great deal of flexibility. It gives you the freedom to trade and better control the board even without rushers, while giving you a huge boost to quest completion and the synergies mentioned above.
Rats of Extraordinary Size is most likely not an optimal card for the Wild format…I acknowledge that. I still find it very fun and I have a golden copy so it makes the cut for now. There is some flexibility in its use: one has to choose whether it is better to create a wide board for quest completion or to land more rats in your hand for a charging follow-up turn with rhino later on. It’s not consistent enough to be the main win condition, but a wave of 5/5 rats charging on their own can win games by themselves. Buffing with the quest reward is just icing on the cheesy cake.
These cards fix a typical problem of Hunter: card draw. This is the kind of deck that can run out of resources and go into top deck mode very easily which is basically a death sentence. These cards provide refill or in the case of Gryphon, tutoring that the deck otherwise lacks. Diving Gryphon will grab you either of your Springpaw for rushing and potential synergies with other cards, or The Rat King for your most potent rusher/removal tool. Starving Buzzard combos with almost every minion in the deck to refill your hand, and obviously shines with the one-cost minions that create duplicates or tokens. Leatherworking Kit, while clashing with Desert Spear sometimes, provides further draw and small buffs to get your tokens to be a little bit more potent.
These cards fill a variety of roles in the deck:
Adorable Infestation is just a solid buff and combo card to go with Buzzard, Hyena, Quest, and Leatherworking Kit. More bodies in a board-based deck is never a bad thing, and if you can pull of the synergies more times because of the extra bodies then all the better!
Scavenging Hyena is a late, if obvious addition to the deck. These can snowball very quickly (especially with our rushers and Swarm turns) and win games on their own. I only have one in the deck at the moment but an optimal version probably runs two…and subs out Rats of Extraordinary Size to do so. I just can’t bring myself to do it yet.
Unleash the Hounds is a flexible card that serves many purposes in this deck. It can complete quest ticks for you, remove minions from the opponent’s board, go face for chip damage early, sacrifice themselves to juice up a Leatherworking Kit or Scavenging Hyena, provide draw when coupled with a Buzzard, or get buffed by the quest reward to burst the opponent down.
The Rat King provides quest progress multiple times if it resurrects, as well as rush removal given his 5/5 stat line. Of course, you can also get cute and pair him with Swarm to create multiple copies of him, but this deck isn’t based on duplicating the king. There may be a time where this is the best play but I have yet to experience a game where that was necessary.
Tundra Rhino is primarily a finisher in the deck, meant to couple with a wide, buffed board or overstated rats from hand in the mid/late game. That being said, there are times where you may need to give up the Rhino and some chargers to stabilize during games so that a board can survive to be buffed later on. Rhino is not your only way to win, so do not be afraid to use him along the way. Once your hero power transforms you are looking for a board to stick first and foremost, rather than relying on the surprise charge damage.
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- 0 Devouring Swarm x 2
- 1 Adorable Infestation x 2
- 1 Alleycat x 2
- 1 Leatherworking Kit x 2
- 1 Springpaw x 2
- 1 Unseal the Vault x 1
- 1 Wolpertinger x 2
- 2 Revenge of the Wild x 1
- 2 Scavenging Hyena x 1
- 2 Starving Buzzard x 2
- 3 Diving Gryphon x 2
- 3 Rat Pack x 2
- 3 Unleash the Hounds x 2
- 4 Rodent Nest x 2
- 5 Defias Blastfisher x 2
- 5 The Rat King x 1
- 5 Tundra Rhino x 1
- 6 Swarm of Locusts x 1