Face Hunter Deck List Guide (Post Nerf) – Kobolds – February 2018

Class: Hunter - Format: Mammoth - Type: Aggro - Style: Meta Deck - Meta Deck: Face Hunter

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Deck Import

Our Face Hunter deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion features the top list for the archetype. This Face Hunter guide includes Mulligans, Card Choices, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Face Hunter

Face Hunter has a long history in Hearthstone. In the past, it was an absolute terror on the Ladder forcing a handful of impactful nerfs to cards such as Leper Gnome and Abusive Sergeant. Since those changes, Rexxar has had a hard time keeping pace with other aggressive decks in the Standard format. This pigeon-holed Hunter players into more midrange decks for the past few expansions.

Recently, however, we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of the Face Hunter builds. Slower decks becoming more common in the meta allow Hunter players to weave in more Steady Shots and inevitably wear down their opponents. Perhaps more importantly, faster aggro decks are somewhat less common giving Face Hunter a fighting chance.

As the name suggests, the deck relies heavily on sending minions in the direction of the opposing hero portrait. Because of its higher curve, though, the deck does require a bit more finesse than the Face Hunter of yore. As with other aggro decks, decisions about when to trade and when to push damage are critical to mastering the deck.

New to Kobolds and Catacombs

The new set has given Face Hunter some new tools that make it easier to be aggressive and more guaranteed to have chances to buff your beasts. Candleshot acts as a way to chip down minions, but also acts as a way to get an early charge out of Southsea DeckhandDire Mole is a sturdy and cheap minion that acts as nearly a guaranteed minion to receive a buff in the early game. Last but not least, is the terror of the meta Corridor Creeper. This card is absolutely bonkers in this deck due to your cheap minions and the beast tag. You will often get it for 0-mana which means you can slap a buff on it the same turn.

Update: Face Hunter (February 2018 – Post Nerf)

Face Hunter took a big blow from the nerfs, so don’t rush to craft this until the meta has settled!

The deck list above is up-to-date, but we will need some time to update the guide below.

Face Hunter Card Choices

As an aggressive deck, most of the cards in Face Hunter have one main purpose: deal damage to your opponent. However, nearly any minion in Hearthstone is capable of doing this, so this section will take you through the nuances of the individual card choices.

Class Cards

  • Alleycat – Alleycat gives you two bodies on turn 1 that can be adapted by Crackling Razormaw. Plus, Tabbycat is adorable.
  • Candleshot – Cheap weapon that you can chip down minions with while not taking damage, but also allows Southsea Deckhand to charge and get immediate damage.
  • Crackling Razormaw – An aggressively statted body that can buff your early game minions.
  • Animal Companion – Huffer is a good card to have in any Hunter deck, but especially aggressive variants. (You did roll Huffer, right?)
  • Eaglehorn Bow – Bow is six damage to the face against slow decks or a means of protecting your minions.
  • Kill Command – With several decks running Taunt minions, Kill Command can give you the reach necessary to finish the game.
  • HoundmasterBonemare Lite for a deck that wants to protect valuable minions and get extra damage in each turn.

Neutral Cards

  • Dire Mole – Another new addition to the deck, great for hitting with a beast buff as well as sturdy enough to trade.
  • Patches the Pirate – Patches is still one of the best cards in the game when he comes shooting out of his cannon.
  • Southsea Deckhand – Cheap way to get patches out of a cannon, and can deal early damage or trade with the usage of Candleshot.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf adds extra damage to your minions and, in the case of Patches and Deckhand, allows you to take advantage of Charge effects.
  • Golakka Crawler – When there’s a lot of aggro floating around this card becomes particularly good especially for Hunter who can use the Beast tag.
  • Southsea Captain – Another good way to get Patches out of your deck and buffs your other Pirates.
  • Bittertide Hydra – Strong aggressive minion with a drawback that is largely irrelevant to a deck that seeks to end the game quickly. It also has the Beast tag!
  • Leeroy Jenkins – Six damage for five mana cannot be underestimated. Leeroy is additional burst damage for a deck that wants to end the game fast.
  • Corridor Creeper – Often a card you can get on the table for a very low cost which means it can pair with your beast buff cards. Super strong right now and a very safe craft if you don’t have it.

Face Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide

The mulligan section into two parts – against fast decks and against slow decks. Fast decks are generally the Aggro decks (e.g. Pirate Warrior) or high tempo Midrange decks (e.g. Midrange Hunter). Slow decks are slower Midrange and Control decks.

VS FAST DECKS

  • Higher Priority (keep every time): Alleycat – Against any deck, you really want to have something in play on turn 1. Spreading your one drops into two bodies is especially helpful against aggressive decks.
  • Dire Mole – Strong early minion that can fight for the board and survives to get buffed by Razormaw.
  • Crackling Razormaw – Landing a Razormaw Adapt on turn 2 can give you the lead you need in the early game or swing things back into your favor.
  • Golakka Crawler – Most fast decks are running a Pirate package which makes this a solid keep.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf pairs extremely well with both Pirates and Alleycat to apply early pressure or stave off aggression.
  • Corridor Creeper – Seems like a weird keep, but if you already have Alleycat and make a few trades then the cost comes down immediately.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Candleshot – Only keep if you have a good curve or Southsea Deckhand already. You want to be proactive in the early game.
  • Southsea Deckhand – Not bad as long as you have another 1-drop, but don’t keep it by itself.
  • Eaglehorn Bow – While it’s not ideal to take extra damage against Aggro decks, Bow can help you stabilize your board position and lead to a win.
  • Animal Companion – While Companion on turn 3 is usually very good, you really want to have plays on turns 1 and 2 so only keep this card when that is the case.
  • Southsea Captain – Good keep if you have a 1 and 2-drop so you can pull Patches out as a 2/2.

VS SLOW DECKS

Higher Priority (keep every time)

  • Alleycat – Cats are almost always your best turn 1 play, regardless of the opponent.
  • Dire Mole – Good target for your beast buffs or forces an early removal spell.
  • Crackling Razormaw – Against slower decks, you want to pressure opponents in the early turns. Razormaw can help increase the aggression of your early minions.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – Most of your one drops are about spreading wide on the board. Dire Wolf increases their attack and can help you deal more damage or get through annoying Taunt minions.
  • Corridor Creeper – Even control decks run cheap minions to fight for the board, best to only keep this if you already have a 1-drop.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Golakka Crawler – Golakka is less likely to eat an opposing Pirate against slower decks, but is still a reasonable turn 2 play and can gobble up your own Pirate to get out of removal range.
  • Animal Companion – Animal Companion is even better in slower match ups, but you still really want a play on turns 1 and 2.
  • Southsea Captain – Pulls out Patches as a 2/2, but is best only kept with another early drop.

Face Hunter Play Strategy

Vs Aggro

Against aggressive decks, gaining control of the board is critical. Despite being a Face Hunter, you are likely to be the slower deck. The good news is that you can often out-value decks that go all-in on damage. Make value trades when appropriate, but try to slow the early turns from your opponent and swing the board back in your favor.

Houndmaster on turn 4 can lock down the board and give you the advantage you need to win the game.

With enough burst in hand, you may need to concede the board and just turn the remainder of a game into a race.

Vs Control

Control match ups are really where Face Hunter shines. Slower decks give you the chance to gain the board and begin weaving in hero powers turn after turn.

Get as much minion damage in as you can in the early turns. Typically, you can get enough chip damage enough to make your hero power threatening and/or finish the game with burst from Kill Command or Leeroy Jenkins.

In these match ups, Houndmaster is useful in buffing your minions out of range of trades or removal. The immediate two damage is often useful as well.

Be aware of the AoE spells your opponent’s class is likely to have access to and play around them accordingly. Do not, for example, extend wide on the board going into Blizzard turns against Mage or Holy Nova/Dragonfire Potion against Priest. Spreading Plague is fairly common in slower Druid builds, so always be aware of that possibility before dropping minions into play.

Face Hunter General Tips

Below are some General Tips for piloting this deck.

  • Always count the damage you have available. This deck relies heavily on minion damage, so know how much damage you’ll have available on upcoming turns.
  • Hero Powers are a valuable source of damage against slower decks. Include Steady Shot in your damage calculations when trying to math out how many turns are required to score a kill.
  • Avoid the value traps in the deck, such as Crackling Razormaw and Golakka Crawler. All of these minions offer reasonable vanilla stats and passing early turns can be crippling to your game plan.

Face Hunter Card Substitutions

Face Hunter isn’t too expensive, but the Legendaries are very important in this deck and I wouldn’t want to play this deck without Corridor Creeper.

  • Patches the Pirate – This deck gets a whole lot weaker if you don’t have Patches and I wouldn’t play it without him. He fuels your Corridor Creeper and just generally makes everything easier.
  • Southsea Captain – You could maybe get away with playing Flanking Strike or even going with a really low curve and run Fire Fly.
  • Bittertide Hydra – Some versions of this deck run Cobalt Scalebane instead, but you aren’t always going to have a minion on the board to receive the buff.
  • Leeroy Jenkins – Leeroy is pretty important in this deck because you’ll usually be down to your last cards scraping to finish off your opponent. If you’re desperate you could run Reckless Rocketeer as a replacement.

About the Author

A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.net.

Parts of this deck guide were updated by Evident.

Roffle

A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception.

Check out Roffle on Twitter or on their Website!

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47 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. Ab00000
    March 17, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Plz update

    Reply
    • P_Ang
      April 10, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Yep, 1.) Bittertide sucks hard. It’s not worth the insane damage you take to get it out early, especially when your opponent is ALSO going face and rocking a ton of small, cheap cards. 2.) Tracking is also severely overrated on HTD. I’m not sure what algorithm you folks are using but I’d rather pay more mana to not THROW AWAY two cards in a carefully constructed deck. I like acolyte myself, but in a hunter deck with all the DR boosts and buffs I’d find a way to fit in a couple of Loot Hoarders, or you can throw in a couple Tol’vir Wardens to replace BTH and add a Macaw as another one-drop. 3.) EHB? Why? There aren’t any secrets. I know it’s superior to Fiery Waraxe now after the nerf, but only if there are secrets in the deck.

      Reply
  2. Naemless
    February 12, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    So, all I play is hunter, I took that budget standard face hunter deck from 19 to 10, it took 86 games. I played 100 total now with a 58% win rate. It’s ok. I do suggest new players build this deck just to hit 15-10 and save for Leeroy Jenkins. But 58%… It’s ok….. My spell hunter at 439 games played now has a 64% win rate.

    Reply
    • ValuInvestor
      February 13, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Did you accomplish this post nerf?
      After Corridor Creeper was nerfed?

      Reply
      • Naemless
        February 13, 2018 at 6:41 am

        Yes, post Nerf, I did it in one day (Feb 12) hahaha and sence day one I knew creeper would get a Nerf so I never built it. Plus I despise face decks. That’s why I play spell hunter mainly or mid-range deathrattle hunter. They bring me to rank 5 every month casually playing too.

        Reply
  3. DestinyXXX
    February 8, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Jeweled Macaw is better than Tracking in Face Hunter; without Patches it will be stronger than ever.

    There’s no reason to play 2x Rhino over 1x Leeroy without 0 mana 5/5 Corridor Creeper.

    I prefer Vicious Fledgling over Bearshark as a 3-mana drop.

    Murloc paladin seems to be the top tier 1 deck; i’d play for sure 2x Hungry Crab.

    I will try the choice not to play Candleshot. It seems pretty bad without 2x Ss Deckhand.

    Reply
    • BrknSoul
      February 24, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      -2 Tracking, +2 Jewel Macaw

      -1 Tundra Rhino, +1 Leeroy

      -2 Bearshark, +2 Fledgling

      -2 Dire Mole, +2 Hungry Crab

      Reply
  4. Dante
    January 21, 2018 at 12:14 am

    If I still wanted to play this Deck in standard after Patches was phased out what would I use to replace him? Also how much worse is the deck now without Patches?

    Reply
  5. Courage
    January 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    What card can replace Bittertide Hydra?

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      January 7, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Cobalt Scalebane.

      Reply
      • Latrodectus
        February 9, 2018 at 11:08 am

        how? tundra rhino is significantly worse without hydra

        Reply
  6. Tardo
    December 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Is it still worth to craft Patches and the pirate package?

    Reply
    • EpicNinja
      January 1, 2018 at 4:23 am

      Yes. A lot of decks are running Patches.
      You can’t go wrong with that.

      Reply
      • Insanityandme
        January 8, 2018 at 12:34 pm

        Well, in 3-4 months it’ll be phased out of Standard, of course it has value but for me at least I wanna think about a deck that can last after the new expansion. A lot of Jade is going away too right?

        Not sure what deck to craft for long term use, do locks loose anything important? Hmm

        Reply
  7. jarjarbink
    December 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    What card can replace leroy ?

    Reply
  8. Fattaren
    December 18, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Can beat almost everyting. Claimed my 500 win with Hunter and beat my own personal record in ranked (7 pushing for 6 at the moment) with this.
    Its a real beast as it is and the mulligan is more or less always good or better. Love it!

    Reply
  9. Judger
    December 18, 2017 at 7:10 am

    So tried this deck. Lost 22 games back to back.

    DK Priest, Druid Aggro, Warrior Aggro, Dragon Priest, Token Shaman, and DK Mage.

    This deck is absolute garbage!

    Reply
    • Css09
      December 18, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      If you lose 22 games in a row with ANY deck, you may want to look internally for the issue before blaming a deck.

      Reply
      • Judger
        December 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

        I blame the deck because in reality face hunter isn’t that good as the game gets older so I do blame this deck because its a click bait article.

        A single Taunt or the low mana cost AoE spells recks this deck. This is a one trick pony deck, you either draw a perfect hand or not because around Turn 5 if you don’t deal enough damage, your opponent is going to have answers by then if not now as it is. It has no Deadly Shots, no Silences, no freeze trap, its basically a mirror deck of Pirate Warrior except with Warriors their minions buff their weapons and they have decent weapons to begin with to make up lack minions.

        As I said this deck is a click bait deck, I wouldn’t call this deck good and Pros that recommend this deck are basically lying to you and just want you to think that its good. I would never suggest such a shit copy and paste deck to craft at all when there are other classes that can provide better answers.

        So do me a favor hun… get that stick out of your bum and re-think carefully how bad this deck really is.

        Reply
        • Roffle - Author
          December 20, 2017 at 9:30 am

          At time of writing, this exact deck list has a 58.1%. Face Hunter, as an archetype, has the third best Raw Win Rate and third best Effective Win Rate in the meta right now. The deck has a few unfavorable match ups, but it is far from bad.

          Reply
        • mdasko
          December 24, 2017 at 5:22 pm

          i went r20-r7, so far. using this deck. You are playing it wrong i think. Especially if 1 taunt or fx lifesteal on 4 minions is a gamebreaker. It can reach into 10+ turns with this version of face, vs control. If you face a lot of druids and cubelocks it really is annoying though

          Reply
          • mdasko
            December 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

            i have cut both bittertides for hounds and a spellbreaker though. But those are techs for the meta of the ladder at rank 20-5

    • Master b8r
      December 25, 2017 at 12:02 am

      It’s not the deck. You just suck

      Have 76% win rate with this deck out of 48 games played

      Reply
  10. Lord
    December 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Any place for some silence, for the taunt is cheat problem?

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      December 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      You could cut a Bittertide for a Spellbreaker.

      Reply
  11. Alex
    December 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    What a deck. I climb from 10 to 5 in a row!!
    Is this the comeback of hunter to the competitive game??

    Reply
  12. gabrielux
    December 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Why not Bearshark instead of Cobalt Scalebane?
    Bearshark with Houndmaster and Razormaw is insane and only a 3 mana compared with 5 for Cobalt.

    Reply
    • Alex
      December 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      I replaced the corridor Creeper for the bearshark and works really good. The cobalto its very strong, i don’t suggest remove him.

      Reply
  13. Ivan vargas
    December 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    No Bonemare?

    Reply
  14. Hunter
    December 12, 2017 at 8:51 am

    *vietnam flashbacks*

    Reply
  15. ElwoodP
    September 28, 2017 at 12:49 am

    No BearShark? Bearshark into Houndmaster can be game over against a lot of decks.

    Reply
  16. Go face never minions
    September 5, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Why no inclusion of the ever broken Savannah highmane?

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      September 6, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Highmane is a great card and is an auto-include in Midrange Hunter, but doesn’t quite fit the goal of this deck. By turn six, you want to be finishing your opponents with Hero Powers/reach rather than investing six mana in a single minion.

      Reply
  17. Deaazh
    August 31, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Face is the place.

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      August 31, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      And Taunt is cheat.

      Reply
  18. ImpetuousImp
    August 31, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Tried this deck out starting at rank 18 had I 100% winrate/winstreak all the way to rank 12. Sweet deck!

    Reply
    • ImpetuousImp
      August 31, 2017 at 8:57 am

      and I had a* lol don’t know what happened there

      Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      August 31, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Congrats on the success! I did pretty well with it myself when testing.

      Reply
  19. Oliver Howard
    August 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    You couldn’t pay me to play a deck like that -_-

    Reply
    • Perry
      August 31, 2017 at 12:38 am

      This. A horrible way to play that game. Someone who have fun of this… cant have friends..

      Reply
      • Sasuke
        August 31, 2017 at 5:44 am

        Not really a horrible way to play the game… Face hunter is just an aggressive variant of midrange hunter and like all aggro decks it depends on killing the opponent quickly. Also many think that aggro decks are brainless to play but knowing when to trade and go face is really important as sometimes the enemy lives with 1hp (and u die the next turn or they heal/armour up) or they control the board by performing value trades. Aggro decks are definitely easier than some control decks but they add a different and more fast paced side to the game. Also if aggro decks weren’t a thing matches would be a lot longer in general as they tend win or lose relatively quickly.

        Reply
        • Pikasalt
          December 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm

          Dont tell me, you have to think if you playing aggro thats just…

          Reply
  20. infamouzzzz
    August 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    No wolfrider? That’s not real face hunter…

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      August 31, 2017 at 8:51 am

      I was considering subbing Stitched Tracker for Wolfrider, but Tracker performed surprisingly well so Wolfrider never quite made the cut.

      Reply
  21. RapierUranus
    August 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    its been like a year and a half , its been a long time seeing “face hunter”

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      August 31, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Yeah, I thought the same thing. Personally, I’m happy to see an old archetype find its way back into the meta.

      Reply

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