Un’Goro Midrange Beast Hunter Deck List Guide (May 2017, Standard) – Season 38

Our Midrange Beast Hunter deck list guide will teach you how to pilot the new version of one of the classic Hearthstone decks!

Check out a Budget Version of Midrange Beast Hunter.

Introduction

Midrange Hunter is one of the most popular archetypes in the history of Hearthstone. Rexxar was a very popular meta choice in the Whispers of the Old Gods and Karazhan sets, but he nearly disappeared from the ladder with the last expansion. It seems like 4 months is long enough break and the deck is back on the ladder, serving as one of the dominating forces in the meta. With all the new tools and a variety of different tech cards available, Midrange Hunter has carried multiple pro players to high Legend ranks already.

UPDATE – MIDRANGE BEAST HUNTER IN MAY 2017, SEASON 38

The list I’m updating to is the Crab tech-heavy list that player Janetzky hit top 100 Legend on EU with. While Hunter lists have already played Golakka Crawler, with the raise of the Murloc Paladin, Hungry Crab has also became a viable tech choice. If you don’t face enough Murloc decks, you should play something else instead, though.

Removed: 2x Trogg Beastrager, 1x Deadly Shot, 1x Infested Wolf, 2x Nesting Roc, 1x The Black Knight, 1x Swamp King Dred

Added: 2x Hungry Crab, 2x Scavenging Hyena, 1x Eaglehorn Bow, 1x Unleash the Hounds, 2x Tundra Rhino

Check out our List of the Best Standard Un'Goro Decks for Hearthstone Ladder

Midrange Beast Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide

I’ll divide the mulligan section into two – 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 – Best 1-drop against Aggro. It has two bodies, so you have more flexibility when it comes to trading. It also means that at least one of them should survive until turn 2, so you can Adapt it with Razormaw.
  • Jeweled Macaw – While weaker than Alleycat, you still want to open with a 1-drop against faster decks. You won’t likely run out of cards anyway, but the extra beast might come in handy – e.g. if you get a Taunt.
  • Crackling Razormaw – Really good 2-drop, especially if you open with a 1-drop. Even if you don’t, you should be able to stick some Beast eventually and buffing it or giving it Taunt can be solid. Worst case scenario, it’s a 3/2 for 2, which might be playable in some scenarios.
  • Kindly Grandmother – Might be the best 2-drop, especially if you have no 1-drop to play Razormaw on. The 1/1 can trade into a lot of the aggressive 1-drops and it’s sticky for the sake of Beast synergies.
  • Scavenging Hyena – Generally it’s worst of the 2-drops in fast matchups, because it’s very unlikely that you will get a lot of value out of it. Most of the time it’s just a 2/2, which is still better than passing a turn, but the other two are probably better.
  • Eaglehorn Bow – It’s a weapon, so you can get some early board control with it.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):

  • Crabs – Hungry Crab and Golakka Crawler – In the matchups which they’re meant to counter. Hungry Crab against decks running Murlocs and Crawler against decks running Pirates.
  • Animal Companion – Getting Misha is a dream, but Leokk should be able to trade with the 4 health and Huffer is okay-ish if your opponent has a minion you can trade into already. But you want to keep it only if you have a 1-drop or 2-drop already, because those are much more important.
  • Rat Pack – Rat Pack is really good, but slow. You keep it if you have a curve already, e.g. a 1-drop and 2-drop.
  • Houndmaster – On Coin, with a sticky Beast like Kindly Grandmother. T2 Grandmother into T3 Coin + Houndmaster is a really powerful tempo play.

Vs Slow Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time):

  • In slower matchups, curving out is most important. Having 1-2-3-4 curve often wins you the game by itself.
  • Alleycat Or Jeweled Macaw – Most important thing in the slower matchups is a great curve. If you play something every turn from 1 to 6, you win 90% of the games. So opening with a 1-drop is solid. I think that in slower matchups it doesn’t really matter which one, Alleycat is probably better on turn 1, because it puts on a bit more pressure. You prefer Jeweled Macaw a bit later when you’re running out of steam.
  • Crackling Razormaw or Kindly Grandmother or Scavenging Hyena – Razormaw and Hyena are better if you have 1-drop already, especially if you’re also going first. Kindly Grandmother is a safer choice, which is a bit slow, but still a great 2-drop.
  • Animal Companion or Rat Pack – Keeping 3-drops is also good in slower matchups. Animal Companion is better in a vacuum, but Rat Pack should be stronger if you have Houndmaster in your hand already.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):

  • Crabs – Hungry Crab and Golakka Crawler – In the matchups which they’re meant to counter. Hungry Crab against decks running Murlocs and Crawler against decks running Pirates.
  • Houndmaster or Infested Wolf – If you already have a solid curve. E.g. I’d keep it if I had 2 -> 3 already, I think that solid turn 4 is more important than opening with a 1-drop. Houndmaster gets a higher priority if you have Kindly Grandmother or Rat Pack – one of them will surely stick for turn 4. Wolf is better if you have a more vulnerable hand, e.g. Razormaw into Animal Companion.

Midrange Beast Hunter Play Strategy

Midrange Beast Hunter is a very proactive, quite aggressive Midrange deck. While there is some decision making involved, the game plan should be pretty straightforward. You want to play on the curve, put as much pressure on the opponent as possible, play around AoEs to never get completely cleared and just push your opponent hard enough that you kill him. The deck has multiple Beast synergies (well, that’s where the “Beast” in the name comes from) and at the same time it’s really heavy on the Beasts (you run only a single minion that’s not a Beast itself – Houndmaster).

Unlike the more aggressive decks, Midrange Hunter is very board-centric deck. You can’t do much without the board and you have very limited ways of coming back. It means that curving out and keeping the board control is really important, probably the most important thing when playing this deck.

Vs Aggro

Surprisingly, this deck works quite well against Aggro. Not only does it have a pretty strong early game, it has a few ways of stabilizing. Also, if you go wide in the early/mid game and counter their early drops, you might actually engage in a race and win it. It doesn’t happen often, keep that in mind. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but curving out is really important. It basically means that if you don’t have your 1-drops or 2-drops, you want to throw away everything else. If you pass turn 1 and turn 2, winning the game will suddenly become really hard.

Golakka Crawler is an amazing tech in Aggro matchups. Most of the Aggro decks play Pirates, and eating a Pirate with this is nuts. In most of the matchups you can’t be greedy – you eat a 1/1 and hope that they don’t play something bigger. The only matchup that I would wait is Pirate Warrior. Against Warrior, there are TONS of good, bigger targets. Naga Corsair, Southsea Captain and Bloodsail Cultist are the best ones and you will see at least one every game. But the thing is, you can’t be too greedy. For example, if you don’t have any other 2-drop, it’s better to eat a 1/1 than skip turn 2. It’s still a 2 mana 3/4 that killed a 1/1, it’s a better Totem Golem. Stabilizing the board is most important. But if you have other 2-drop, keep Golakka for something bigger and pretty much insta-win the game by eating let’s say a 5/4.

Similarly, Hungry Crab is great vs the decks that run Murlocs. It can turn the whole game around. It’s even a bigger swing than Crawler, because it’s a 1 mana 3/4 if you eat something. Even eating a Murloc 1-drop is amazing, because not only you’ve got rid of that, but you also played a 1 mana 3/4 – insane tempo.

Try to trade into every minion they play. If you make the trades, you can choose the ones that fit you best. You also have no way to heal up, so if you take too much damage early they can kill you with burn. At the same time, try to play the fastest minion every turn. Making tempo plays means that you can get ahead and when you get ahead, you just stabilize with Taunts and win the game. 

You should start stabilizing around turn 4-5. Houndmaster is amazing tool to close out the game in faster matchups. Once you’ve gained the board control, just play it on the biggest Beast on the board. Now you can easily go face with everything on the board and set up 2 turns lethal, while not being worried about dying, because you have a Taunt on the board.

The game should generally be decided around turn 5-6. Your biggest drop – Savannah Highmane – is rarely relevant against the fast decks. You have to spend 6 mana to play it, so it rarely attacks before turn 7. However, if you manage to play a Tundra Rhino on turn 5 and it survives, you can follow-up with a Charged Highmane next turn, which is fast enough to play even in the Aggro matchups.

Sometimes the best tactic is to set up a reverse clock and start racing the opponent. If you have no defensive plays like Taunts, you’ll be forced to try to deal as much damage as possible. If you’re on the face rush plan, put as much attack on the board as possible, trade only if you’re under a serious threat of dying etc. The dream is to put so much pressure to force your opponent to trade. From my experience, taking risks is generally good if your hand is very aggressive. You will win more games by just going face than by trading every 1/1 they drop.

Vs Control

Games vs Control are longer, but also pretty straightforward. Curving out is still important, but you don’t necessarily have to play the highest tempo move every turn. For example, having a 1-drop is nice, but skipping it won’t likely lose you the game. I’d say that when it comes to the Control matchups, turns 4-6 are most important. They should be able to deal with your early game quite easily with early removal, not to mention that 3 or 4 damage per turn doesn’t put on too much pressure. Your most powerful turns start with 4 – both Infested Wolf and Houndmaster are very hard to deal with. Houndmaster buffing a Beast basically puts a 6/5 stats for 4 mana, 2/2 of which has immediate impact + it’s spread among 2 bodies, so 1 removal is usually not enough. Infested Wolf is slower, but it’s also solid, because it will likely survive – killing it doesn’t really accomplish much, it spawns two more 1/1’s. Then turn 5 is either a Tundra Rhino (which is a very high priority target for your opponent) or let’s say a 3-drop + 2-drop or 1-drop + 4-drop. But your most powerful card comes on turn 6 – Savannah Highmane. There are only a few removals that can deal with it completely right away – HexPolymorph… Most of the normal removals can deal with the first body, but still leave 2x 2/2. It’s insane how often Savannah Highmane remains unanswered, because it’s simply not worth to answer it, as it takes a big part of the turn and it doesn’t remove that much power from the board anyway.

4-6 is your peak in power, so you should abuse that as much as you can. Try to push for face damage, don’t make trades into small minions. Your deck will start getting weaker and weaker past turn 8-9 (since you don’t run stuff like Call of the Wild) so try to put as much pressure as possible on those turns. If you can’t close up the game instantly, at least try to deal as much damage as you can. If you get your opponent is low enough, he will be forced to play very defensively. Normally he could drop a big minion or something in the late game, but he might be forced to play card draw to look for removal or defensive options. Or he might need to play a Taunt off-curve. Each one of these is a small victory. In the late game, try to use your Hero Power every turn. If you play against classes other than Warrior or Priest, you put them on a clock and force them to have heal in their deck. And if you play against those two, you force them to Hero Power every turn and limit their options (since you have much less cards than they have, your Hero Powers are more efficient).

Try to not play too much into the AoE. Something like a Brawl or Dragonfire Potion can wreck your board. At the same time, you don’t want to have only 1-2 minions on the board at the same time. So the best way to play around AoEs are minions that spawn something on death. If you’re going all-in on the board, try to have at least two of them so you will have some initiative going back to your turn: Kindly GrandmotherRat PackInfested Wolf or Savannah Highmane. Also, before playing another minion into the board ask yourself: do you really need it? Will it change your clock? E.g. playing an extra minion to set up lethal might be valuable, you put your opponent on having a way to deal with your board, but if you’re not setting up lethal anyway and already have 4 minions with 10+ attack on the board, you can just stop at this point.

 

Tundra Rhino can be an insane tempo play when you have enough mana to work with. It can turn minions that are normally pretty slow into a fast nukes. Kindly Grandmother is a great example – it’s a bad minion to topdeck in the late game, because it’s only 1/1 at first. With Tundra Rhino you can play it, run the 1/1 into something and immediately have a 3/2 with Charge which you can also trade or just go face depending on your needs. You can play a small drop, Crackling Razormaw it and instantly attack with both – the Adaptations like Poisonous or +3 Attack are way better if the minions has Charge.

Scavenging Hyena is one of the ways to snowball the game. If you have 2-3 Beast on the board and you need to trade them, play the Hyena first and make it a let’s say 8/5. Now, 2 mana 8/5 is insane already, but it also needs to be killed right away or it will grow even further. If your opponent doesn’t have an answer at the hand, the card can really grow out of control very fast. It combos very well with Alleycat (+4/+2), small tokens from Rat Pack or Infested Wolf and, especially, Unleash the Hounds. Turn 10 Tundra Rhino + Scavenging Hyena + either Unleash or something like Alleycat + Kindly Grandmother can swing the game heavily. Getting a 2/5 + 10/6, both with Charge, while also clearing some part of the board at the same time is insane.

General Tips

  • Number of 1/1’s spawned by Rat Pack scales with the minion’s attack. So Houndmaster adds 2 and Crackling Razormaw can add 3 with the +3 Attack Adapt. That’s one of the best case scenarios, you can trade up and flood the board with 1/1’s.
  • Crabs are pretty bad if you don’t have a target for them. If you play in the matchup that plays Murlocs/Pirates, just wait for a target to hit. If you’re 100% sure that they don’t play, just threat them like vanilla 1/2 and 2/3. Definitely not good, but since they have a Beast tag, they might not be worst targets as the Kill Command activators, targets for Houndmaster, small Chargers with Rhino etc.
  • If you want to play Animal Companion on a certain turn, do it first. Depending on the Companion you roll, you might make the rest of your decisions. E.g. getting Leokk might improve your trades.
  • If you’re in a desperate situation where Taunt is your only out, you can always try playing Crackling Razormaw. There is around 1/3 chance to get the Adapt option you need, which is better than nothing.

Midrange Beast Hunter Card Substitutions

This specific list runs 2 Legendaries, but neither of them is necessary. There are also two other tech cards – Golakka Crawler – which are great in a Pirate meta, but pretty useless if you don’t face any Pirates, so feel free to change them depending on your matchups.

  • Crabs – Both Golakka Crawler and Hungry Crab are “hate cards”, a tech cards that you play just to target one thing. If you don’t face enough Pirates or Murlocs to justify playing them, you probably want to take them out and play something else instead. Hungry Crab can be subbed with Fiery Bat. When it comes to the Golakka Crawler, probably either Knife Juggler or Dire Wolf Alpha.
  • Kindly Grandmother – It’s not a high rarity card, but it’s an adventure one. So if you don’t have Karazhan, you don’t necessarily have to go and buy it to play this deck. You want to run the same replacements as in case of the Crawler – Juggler or Dire Wolf.
  • Rat Pack – Since many people have asked about Rat Pack (well, it’s an Epic, so some might not have it) – it’s a really good card and it you want to play this deck will a full strength, you should craft it. BUT if you want to test it out, you really need another 3-drop in this slot. You can try Shaky Zipgunner or Terrorscale Stalker, although both would have a nice synergy with Rat Pack too. Another idea is to just run Unleash the Hounds, which should make the deck better at reacting in the mid game, but it’s rarely a good curve play. You might also consider a second copy of Eaglehorn Bow, as it’s a solid 3-drop – you can equip the weapon even if you have no good target to attack and save it for later.

Closing

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. If you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.

Good luck on the ladder and until next time!

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