Savjz was playing a version of Yogg-Saron, Hope's End & Lock and Load recently which was doing pretty well on stream. So, I wasn’t super surprised to see this deck guide popup on the Competitive Hearthstone Reddit for a similar version of the deck. Brawl97 runs down card choices, mulligans, and matchups with this heavily spell based deck!
Thanks to Brawl97 for allowing us to rehost this deck guide!
Let’s get a few common questions out of the way.
Is Tracking any good?
The deck has very low draw power, King's Elekk and Yogg-Saron, Hope's End will draw cards sometimes but for the most part what you have in hand is all you have. With a deck full of spells some are going to be dead or near dead in certain matchups and the ability to make your deck 6 cards thinner is, without a doubt, what makes this deck consistent. You drop dead cards and take quality ones, leaving nothing but quality cards for you to top deck. Many opponents have salt-friended me to tell me how lucky my top-keks were but I was fortunate because I threw trash away with Tracking.
Is there nothing you could put in other than that clown Yogg-Saron, Hope's End you stupid lucker?
Repeat after me NOOOOOO! That is not a joke, Yogg is utterly irreplaceable. Full Stop. This deck has 24 spells in it before Lock and Load, you WILL have 10 spells or more cast by the time you hit 10 mana (my personal record is 19) and no card does what he does or anything close. Most of the time Yogg drops he will draw you 3-6 cards, wipe the board, give you 2 secrets and more often than you might think he will live and put things on your board, getting you massively ahead of your opponent and winning games you had no business winning. Ragnaros the Firelord, Sylvanas Windrunner, Cairne Bloodhoof, Deathwing are all much worse, I’ve tried. None of these cards are as good as Yogg is in this deck. Not even close.
Why Gladiator's Longbow?
It lets me continue controlling the board without having to blow my removal that I wanted to save for Lock and Load while not ruining my life total. Additionally, it can be a free 10 damage to the face if you really need to start pushing for lethal.
You want to have some combination of Quick Shot, King's Elekk, Eaglehorn Bow, Tracking, Animal Companion or Freezing Trap in your opening hand. If you have any combination of these and Hunter's Mark, Deadly Shot feel free to keep either of those.
You will be removing things for a long time, there will be games where you don’t play a minion until turn 6 and that’s ok just so long as you keep them off of your face, this deck has zero healing, keep the opponent off your face as much as possible without totally exhausting your hand. That doesn’t mean sit back all game though, this deck has great burst, Animal Companion, Unleash the Hounds, Call of the Wild followed by Kill Commands have caused some very quick lethals. Sometimes I don’t even get to Yogg’s mana cost.
Eventually you will get Lock and Load, the thing about lock is that its usefulness is making your mostly single target removal more efficient, it lets you clear the board while turning your spells into other spells or Hunter minions. This makes it so you can remove individual threats without totally emptying your hand. Sometimes you just need to cash it in for 1 or 2 cards but as a rule of thumb, don’t cash L&L in until you can cast 3 spells. when you’re on The Coin you want to save this until Lock and Load if you can afford it. If you can, hold your locks until Emperor Thaurissan and watch as you clear their board, shoot them in the face for 8 and still have a full hand afterwards.
Emperor is extremely powerful for this deck because he makes L&L so so SOOOO much more efficient than it normally is, and for this deck it is already pretty good but he also has the ability to speed out Call of the Wild, the most broken card Hunter has by a mile and their is probably nothing as devastating as turn-7 Call of Le Balance.
Yogg-Saron, I already went over but specifically, cast him when the enemy has more minions than you, don’t get greedy, if you feel you’ve cast a bunch of spells just throw him on the board. Optimally you want to cast Yogg when they have a stronger board and you have less than 4 cards, I guarantee you Yogg will Deathwing the board, draw cards and play secrets for you on average.
Counting from Rank 6 to legend I played 79 games with 53 wins (67% win rate).
In this matchup you want your King's Elekk, Quick Shot, Eaglehorn Bow and Freezing Trap. Freezing Totem Golem or a Flamewreathed Faceless with be devastating, you can win if you get over these hurdles without losing too much health. When you get a board, start holding your burn for lethal damage, Unleash the Hounds into Kill Command is often how this game ends. If you get to Yogg you also probably win because the minions he had on board were probably all he had and you get a bunch of cards on top of that.
Zoo is the same as the Shaman matchup but even harder to take the board, you want to hold Powershot/Unleash the Hounds if you have the usual suspects in hand and you want to get as much damage to the face in as possible so that when the Zoo takes the board back you can burst him before he kills you.
I won vs a single Handlock by bursting him by putting on a ton of early pressure and then skill commanding him. I don’t have enough games to comment on how well this matchup goes but it feels like I had enough to kill him through Reno Jackson.
Another day casually massacring Warrior. This deck runs 4 hard kills (Deadly Shot/Hunter's Mark) as well as Gladiator's Longbow to kill their Sylvanas Windrunner so their big dudes die horribly, our hero power cancels out their survivability and Call of the Wild/Animal Companion tear into health totals like a machine. Shoutout to L&L here because the amount of minions, even if their low quality, will burn out the Warriors removals very quickly. Even in the long game Yogg sweeps their board, fills my hand. These matchups are very easy, just don’t let them face you too much or draw heavily from Acolyte of Pain and you’ll be fine.
With Rogues you want your bows, kill their 3/3’s and pressure their life totals. They have very little healing and so every point you deal to their life totals is gonna stick, make them blow direct damage on something that isn’t your head. For reasons I can’t comment on, seeing as I hate playing the class, Rogues have been cutting Conceal so you can just throw the Deadly Shot at anything, they don’t play many minions so those should reliably kill what you want them to. Call of the Balance is hell on earth for Rogue since it’s a large number of targets that are relatively durable. If you have time to cast it Gladiator's Longbow in this matchup should either be killing Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Tomb Pillager, Edwin VanCleef or going face.
Against Druids you should try to dig hard for Freezing Trap, Hunter's Mark and Deadly Shot. Druids play a few, very large minions and we can punish them heavily for it. Druid is very hard up for tempo nowadays and the moment Call of the Wild lands they have to blow 2 cards plus hero power just to keep up most of the time. That moment when they coin Innervate something and you Deadly Shot it is the most free win moment in any of your matchups.
A large amount of your damage either has charge or Leokk buffs so the dis-empowerment mechanics like Aldor Peacekeeper or Keeper of Uldaman that Paladin relies on doesn’t work that well and our hero power puts them under considerable pressure naturally. Pallies have been adding Justicar Trueheart to their decks recently and though it makes the board control game harder it makes the burst plan easier due to massive unleashes followed by direct damage.
Like Warrior only even easier because you don’t have to play around Grommash Hellscream burst or overextending into a Brawl or worrying about Kor'kron Elite eating the Freezing Trap for someone important. You have all the time in the world to set up kills, Your hard kill mechanics make them cry as you Hunter's Mark into On the Hunt their precious Injured Blademaster/Auchenai Soulpriest, Cabal Shadow Priest never gets played because they don’t have time to steal Leokk from you with all the damage coming their way, their hero power is countered by yours, Yogg counters even the most resilient N'Zoth, The Corruptor boards seeing as they give you time to cast 2/3rds of your deck, Auchenai Soulpriest is notoriously bad vs Hunter because they effectively turn off their meager health sustain AND the large amount of burst damage in this deck is insurmountable with all other factors in toe. Easily my best matchup.
Such a sad state my favorite class is in really 🙁
This matchup is Zoo but better vs Tempo Mage, don’t let the Flamewaker blow you up and you will probably win but I attribute a large number of my losses to Freeze Mage’s sudden reappearance. In those matchups you want your bows and your Animal Companion and you want to throw away Unleash the Hounds/Powershot in favor of burn damage to pop their blocks. Unfortunately Tempo Mage feels (to me anyway) to be the more common matchup, where you want to have more removal followed by your threats and since your gameplan is so much different depending on the matchup I would say Mage unfavorable until one deck or the other becomes dominant. Once it has it will probably be something like a 60/40 matchup