Midrange (Hybrid) Hunter Deck List Guide – Witchwood – June 2018

Our Midrange/Hybrid Hunter deck list guide for the Witchwood expansion features the best deck list for the archetype. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Midrange (Hybrid) Hunter

Midrange Hunter is one of the oldest archetypes in Hearthstone, dating as far as early 2014 (LifeCoach’s “Sunshine Hunter”). It was present in nearly every meta in one form or the other, but always with a similar basic strategy and Beast synergies.

This archetype wasn’t doing very well in the last few months. While it was still a solid choice in the lower ranks, the faster meta made it obsolete if you wanted to climb higher. Situation didn’t look much better in The Witchwood at first, but the latest nerf patch has changed everything a bit. The meta got significantly slower, allowing Midrange Hunter to be viable again. Early in the June season, multiple players used this build to get to high Legend ranks very quickly.

Current version is often called Hybrid Hunter, because the build is something between the classic Aggro and Midrange versions. The biggest difference between Hybrid and Midrange builds is that the slower one uses Savannah Highmane, while the faster one does not.

Deck List

Deck Import

Midrange (Hybrid) Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide

The mulligan section into two parts – against fast decks and against slow decks. Fast decks are generally the Aggro decks or high tempo Midrange decks. Slow decks are slower Midrange and Control decks.

VS Fast Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time):

  • Dire Mole – Good way to take the early game board control + it pairs with Razormaw very well.
  • Crackling Razormaw – Landing a Razormaw Adapt on turn 2 can give you the lead you need in the early game. And even if you don’t have a 1-drop, you still get something to play on T2.
  • Wandering Monster – Best secret to land vs Aggro. It usually blocks an attack from a 1-drop/2-drops while killing it + it can leave a decent body behind. RNG card, but most of the outcomes are good for you.
  • Animal Companion – Dire Wolf is a great follow-up to either of the one drops in Midrange Hunter. The extra attack is frequently enough to allow your minions to trade up.

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

  • Explosive Trap – Against board flood decks, e.g. Odd Paladin. It’s your best source of AoE and it can come handy around T3-T4 if you didn’t get a great start.
  • Eaglehorn Bow – While it’s not ideal to take extra damage against Aggro decks, Bow can help you protect your board position and reduce the long-term damage output from your opponent. Keep it if you have T1/T2 play already.
  • Lesser Emerald Spellstone – With some Secrets. If you land a 3 or 4 wolves on curve, lots of Aggro decks won’t have a way to clear them efficiently.

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time):

  • Dire Mole – Good with Razormaw or can bait out a removal giving you more options for your follow up plays.
  • Crackling Razormaw – When facing slower decks, you want to pressure opponents in the early turns. Razormaw can help increase the aggression of your early minions both with the body and the Adapt.
  • Animal Companion or Bearshark – Your 3-drops. Both cards have their merits, but I think that Companion is stronger if you can pick between the two.
  • Lesser Emerald Spellstone – Pretty much your strongest win condition – if you land it on the curve and your opponent doesn’t have any AoE to deal with it, you almost always win. It’s also a great refill in case your

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

  • Freezing Trap or Deadly Shot – Vs Warlock. Even Warlock’s or Cube Warlock’s big mid game plays can be a nightmare to deal with without Freezing Trap/Deadly Shot. Both of them are great tempo moves.
  • Houndmaster – Keep with some early game. Houndmaster is an amazing T3 play, but it sucks if you have nothing to play between T1 and T3.

Midrange Hunter Play Strategy

Vs Aggro

When facing fast decks, even though this build is quite aggressive, you will still need to take the control role most of the time. Your early game tempo is relatively low, it’s hard to swing the tempo in your favor once you get behind. It means that you have to slowly, but surely control the board throughout the early game and look for your opportunity to strike.

First few turns are important. Getting the damage in is rarely important, it’s far more crucial to clear whatever minions your opponent might be playing. Try to go for the highest tempo moves each turn, if you don’t, you might fall behind. Ignore your Hero Power completely unless you just happen to have 2 free mana. You’re not a beatdown, it’s not important to weave it in every time you can.

You have three different “AoE” cards, but each one of them has a serious downside. Explosive Trap is 2 AoE damage for 2 mana, which is amazing, but you don’t get to pick when it’s triggered. For example, your opponent might trade on the board first before popping it, or he might play e.g. Fungalmancer to get the most important cards out of range and keep pushing damage. Unleash the Hounds technically only deals 1 AoE damage for 3 mana and can get stopped by Taunts. Deathstalker Rexxar is the only “sure” AoE, but then again, it’s also overpriced at 6 mana for 2 damage (of course, the card as a whole isn’t overpriced, but the AoE part is if we only look at that). So basically, your best bet would be to not fall behind and use those only when you have to.

Houndmaster is a great card if you’re ahead or even on the board. Not only you put up a Taunt and make the trades awkward for your opponent, but the buff part is immediate, so you can use it to trade up. For example, if you already have a Dire Mole on the board, you can turn it into a 3/5 minion and immediately clear some 3/3, while also putting up a 4/3 body on the board. And now if your opponent has another 3/3 minion, he might need to trade into a 3/2 Taunt instead of a 4/3 Houndmaster, even though the latter would be more efficient.

But probably the best way to swing the game in your favor is mid game Lesser Emerald Spellstone. Even after a single upgrade, 3x 3/3 for 5 mana is already good. If you manage to upgrade it up to 4, most of the Aggro decks won’t have a way to clear them. Then, depending on your health total, board state etc. you have to ways to play it out. If you’re behind, you want to use those wolves to trade. Your opponent have most likely ignored it, which means that you can capitalize on some synergies, such as Houndmaster, Kill Command or maybe even a Leokk roll from Animal Companion.

Alternatively, Deathstalker Rexxar can be your win condition in faster matchups. While you mostly use it for the initial AoE and Armor, the Build-a-Beast Hero Power can come handy if you get the right option. After the Beast pool was updated, the card got much stronger in faster matchups. There is a significant chance to get a Lifesteal, Rush, Taunt or Charge minion – basically something either defensive or with immediate effect. For example, combining Vicious Scalehide with pretty much any Beast is amazing vs faster decks. You can even go for some combos – such as combining it with Bittertide Hydra. Not only you get a massive 9/11 Rush minion, which heals for 9 each time it attacks, but you also don’t lose any health from the Hydra’s effect, because damage dealt from the card’s effect also triggers Lifesteal.

Vs Control

Against Control decks, you’re almost always the Beatdown. Here, you want to prioritize an aggressive start before your opponent is able to gather removal. 1-2-3 mana opening is a great way to start each slow deck, but unlike vs Aggro, here you don’t need minions to control the board – you need them to deal damage. The more minion damage you deal, the easier it will be to close out the game. Not only you might put your opponent in the range of your burn, but when he’s low, he will be forced to make many sub-optimal plays. For example, a Warrior using Shield Slam on your 3/2 minion in the late game, because he’s afraid to take any extra damage.

When you face a slow decks, the meta knowledge is very important. You need to be able to identify the deck you’re facing. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it takes multiple turns to do it – e.g. it’s sometimes hard to tell for the first few turns whether you face Malygos or Taunt Druid, and the telling them apart is incredibly important, as Taunt version does not run Spreading Plague. That’s basically the point – if you can tell what deck you face, you know what cards you need to play around. Generally, don’t play too many minions into the AoE clears. And if you really want to develop – try playing minions that will be out of range or buffing some stuff out of range. Let’s say that you play against Warlock – Hellfire is played by every slower build. So, for example, playing another 3 health minion if you already have a decent board might not be the best idea. But you might play Houndmaster to buff one of your minions out of range. You develop more, and you make your board a bit more resilient vs Hellfire, so even if that happens, you still have initiative.

Lesser Emerald Spellstone is probably the best card in your deck in slow matchups. You want to use it as a board refill. The plan is to develop through the early game and have some board presence, like 3 minions. That should be enough to bait an AoE clear, and if it doesn’t, that’s great, you just hit your opponent with all of the minions + Hero Power and put him on a very fast clock. And if he clears – you play Spellstone to refill. It’s much less likely that your opponent will be able to answer it now, since they’ve already dropped an AoE previous turn. 3 or 4 wolves sticking is usually enough to win the game, since that’s 9-12 damage every turn.

If your opponent got all the necessary clears, then gained a bunch of health and you can’t win through the pressure, don’t worry, you still have a chance. Deathstalker Rexxar can actually turn your deck into a value powerhouse. Getting an early Rexxar might even make you outvalue some slower deck in the long run.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that you DON’T always want to play Rexxar on the curve. If you’re still on the “push for damage” phase of your game plan, when your opponent is quite low etc. then playing DK Hero will often lose you the game. Not only you waste an entire turn doing basically nothing, but you also sacrifice the 2 damage Hero Power, which is great when pushing for damage. Trust me, your opponent would thank you for turning into Rexxar when you’re pushing him against the wall. You just give him a few turns to come back. Use Rexxar as soon as possible only if a) your early game was quite weak and you basically have no chance to kill your opponent in time and b) if you’re already running out of steam.

Once you turn into Rexxar, another common mistake is going being greedy and picking the biggest minions possible. First of all, you generally shouldn’t create a minion with a higher total cost than 8. Making a 9 or 10 mana Zombeast means that you can’t use Hero Power on the same turn, and you’re losing value. Make one only if the options are really amazing – e.g. Stranglethorn TigerBittertide Hydra to set up lethal. However, even 8 mana ones usually get clunky. Remember that on top of the cards you get from Hero Power, you also draw something from your deck each turn. If you pick only high cost Beasts, your hand will eventually get clunky. If your hand is nearly empty, it’s good to start with some more expensive options, but as you draw more cards, you might opt for the lower mana options instead, so you can e.g. play a Freezing TrapHoundmaster and such on the same turn.

Midrange Hunter Card Substitutions

With roughly 3,000 Arcane Dust cost, the deck is very inexpensive and can be easily played by the budget players. It runs only a single more expensive card – Deathstalker Rexxar. Sadly, I’d say that this one is irreplaceable. Of course, you can try using something different, but there is no card that fits this slot that well. Deathstalker Rexxar’s main advantage is flexibility – it’s a defensive option vs Aggro and a way to stay in the slower games despite running out of steam.

You can try adding Savannah Highmane instead. It’s a great on-curve play vs slow decks and can give you the little final push you need to close out the game. At the same time, it’s often a dead card vs Aggro, because it’s pretty slow.

Alternatively, you can try to build an Aggro version of the deck instead. However, in case of Aggro (Face) Hunter, another card is necessary – Baku the Mooneater. Odd builds are the most powerful Face Hunter builds, and they aren’t doing that great right now anyway.

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over four years of playing and three years of writing about the game, he has achieved infinite Arena and multiple top 100 Legend climbs.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

45 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. SGPringles
    June 13, 2018 at 12:01 am

    What do people think about dire frenzy?

    Reply
    • ShadowHunter
      June 13, 2018 at 3:07 am

      I added it, works great. use it on already buffed low mana cost bests

      Reply
    • Asperkraken
      June 17, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      It’s not a bad card, it’s just that Hunter’s lack of a dependable draw engine doesn’t net the buffed minions fast enough. Stitched Tracker also doesn’t pull the buffs.

      Reply
  2. Supa
    June 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Dropping wandering monster and bear sharks for snake traps and scavenging hyenas… any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Mitsuaki
      June 9, 2018 at 5:32 am

      Nah wandering monster is the best hunter secret available rn, would be a bad idea to cut it off. Scavenging hyenas ae good in aggro/face hunter because you play more beast than on the midrange version. I wouldn’t put them it that version either because there isn’t enough beasts to really make value out the passive.

      Reply
  3. Jonesy978
    June 4, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    What is the goal with tracking? Is it just situational – try to pick the best card in the next turn or two, or is it designed to ensure you pull a certain card very early?

    Reply
    • Stonekeep - Author
      June 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      It’s situational, basically. You can look at it that way – you can draw a certain card that might be very useful in the situation you’re in, but you have to pay 1 more mana for it (and discard the other two, but that’s usually irrelevant).

      If you need reach – pick Bow or Kill Command. If you need AoE, pick Explosive Trap or Unleash. If you need DK Hero to outvalue your opponent.. well, pick Deathstalker Rexxar.

      But I’d say that Lesser Emerald Spellstone is overall the best pick on average, especially if you’re holding some Secrets in your hand. That card is just nuts.

      Reply
      • Jack Henry
        June 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm

        Honestly I’m tired of spellstone. I love hunter but it’s in every single deck now. I miss the old midrange.

        Reply
  4. hero
    June 4, 2018 at 9:21 am

    hey look, it’s secret hunter without cloaked huntress

    Reply
  5. UNKN0WN5
    March 25, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    How about Cobalt Scalebane or Fungalmancer instead of corridor?

    Reply
  6. Navydivea
    December 18, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    “I’ve updated the deck list above to the most popular version, but there will be inconsistencies in the deck guide while we are updating them across the site!”

    Why does no one ever read this.

    Reply
  7. Flamewaker3053
    December 12, 2017 at 6:48 am

    I would play 2x corridor creeper with unlesash the hounds! 0 mana 5/5 beast with tundra rhino!!

    Reply
  8. Daniel Jong
    December 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Hi I really loved the deck guide!! My only problem is the Pirates Package. Are there any substitutions for it?

    Reply
    • John Benedict Felipe
      December 10, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      i dont think the pirates package is worth it, alley cat synergises more with corridor creeper and your other beasts. Just replace the southsea deckhands with alleycat and patches with a deadly shot or unleash the hounds.

      Reply
  9. Koviz
    November 23, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Thank you so much!! I’m F2P player. This deck is cheap and effective. I love it 🙂

    Reply
  10. Cwojtek
    November 14, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Can i put DK rexxar to this deck to replace hydra?

    Reply
    • nope
      December 11, 2017 at 2:12 am

      The main problem with Rex Baby is that you lose your 2 dmg to face hero power

      Reply
      • pwn4muffins
        January 21, 2018 at 11:03 am

        I have it there as a insurance… i won a few control games with rexxar alone.. the value is insane…

        Reply
  11. Phoenix4217
    November 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I’m not sure why you would run x2 Highmane in a hybrid hunter when you could cut one for a tundra rhino. It feels like the possibility for say Rhino+Hydra, or Rhino+bearsheark+razormaw, or even Rhino+animal companion+alleycats is a lot of burst to give up (10, 9+ and 8+ respectively) in favor of a second 6 drop in a very aggressive deck. I’ve always felt like my hunter decks lack burst, not high cost cards.
    Also does anyone feel like this deck increased in effectiveness after Marin came out? Is it just me, or the sheer number of people playing meme decks?

    Reply
  12. KLGamet
    October 15, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Does anyone know some good replacements for Bittertide Hydra? I don’t want to craft cause I still need some other essential cards to craft.

    Reply
    • Roffle
      October 15, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      The article has a card replacement section at the end. Tundra Rhino is a good option in place of Bittertide Hydra. I’ve been running Cobalt Scalebane in that spot with reasonable success this season as well.

      Reply
      • KLGamet
        October 16, 2017 at 3:33 am

        Thanks for the Reply!

        I think I overlooked the replacment section x)

        Reply
  13. Herofreddy
    October 9, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Change both Dire Wolves for Timber Wolves .

    Reply
    • Roffle
      October 9, 2017 at 8:24 am

      This list only runs a single Dire Wolf Alpha, but Timber Wolves are worth considering. I’m not entirely sold on either, to be honest.

      Reply
      • Herofreddy
        October 9, 2017 at 8:28 am

        well 1 less mana and it affects all of minions in deck (since whole deck is filled with beasts) not just adjacent ones . I can’t see why ppl prefer dire wolf to timber ones !

        Reply
        • Roffle
          October 9, 2017 at 8:48 am

          FWIW, Statistics suggest DIre Wolf performs better when included in decks and significantly better when played (though both have a <50% WR when played). Fire Fly on 1 into Dire Wolf is a reasonable play and can provide early board control that a Timber Wolf can't. Alpha also feels a lot less bad to play on an empty board.

          Reply
          • Herofreddy
            October 9, 2017 at 8:52 am

            Problem is that a hunter deck should not include non-beast cards ( or the ones that affect beasts like houndmaster ) Dire wolf is used more than timber wolf only cuz timber wolf is a hunter card so other decks replace it with dire ones . Remove fire flies from here as an elemental never fits into beast synergy and u can’t buff it with ur beast restricted cards .

          • Herofreddy
            October 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

            EDIT : AND the ones that that affect beasts

          • Herofreddy
            October 9, 2017 at 8:55 am

            a two fire fly + one dire wolf will cost 4 mana while the one timber wolf + one alleycat costs 2 and can be followed by a 2 cost hyena . Which do u prefer !?

        • Holywhitetrash
          December 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

          dire wolf doesn’t die to every aoe card in the game, and mage , druid, and rogue hero powers. also buffs bonemares, houndmasters and stitched trackers

          Reply
  14. Slami
    October 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I tried varieties of this deck many times, since it’s a very cheap deck and i’m a free 2 player. Sadly, in the current meta this deck has no chance against whatsoever that has just a few mass removals. And every runs with them. I tried to compensate for that in replacing one galakka, firefly and bittertide hydra for 2 Cat Tricks and Mister Putricide (because of synergy with those secrets and improving synergy with eaglehorn bow) in order to recover better from mass removals. But this was useless…

    Reply
    • Phoenix4217
      November 8, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      @Slami
      Hi! So the issue you are running into is pretty much the only major thought and decision you need to put into playing this deck: when to develop the board, and when to use things like your hero power so you can play those minions after a major board clear. You could also play a death rattle minion like Highmane or Grandmother so something is left over- keep in mind this uses resources. For example of how it helps:
      You’re playing against a priest, you know they probably have a dragon fire. You have 3-4 minions on board. Because of that, instead of playing a razormaw onto the board, you instead hold it in your hand (going into their turn 6) to play after the dragon fire. This gives you the mana to hero power, damage you would have eternally missed for razormawing anyway.
      The next turn (you have 7 mana), they dragon fire then pass. You draw bittertide hydra, play that and land stealth on it from the razormaw. This combo lets you close out the game fairly quickly. Since you saved your razor maw, not only do you get an extra minion after the dragon fire is over, you also saved your hydra from the enemies’ death, allowing you to get the damage you need to close out the game. This is just one example of how it can help.

      Reply
  15. Please Answer
    October 7, 2017 at 7:58 am

    How can i replace grandmother in this deck?

    Reply
    • Roffle
      October 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Replacements are at the end of the guide. I recommend a second Dire Wolf Alpha and Fire Fly.

      Reply
  16. Nihann
    October 3, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Can i replace 1 dire with dinomancy ?

    Reply
    • Shadowreaper
      October 8, 2017 at 12:30 am

      No. This is a face damage deck so dinomancy over dire wolf alpha gives a lot less tempo. 2 immediate damage is a lot more crucial than getting 2 damage later from your minions.

      Reply
      • Roffle
        October 9, 2017 at 8:25 am

        Precisely this. Dinomancy is too slow for what this deck is looking to accomplish.

        Reply
  17. BGLG
    October 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    This deck is really good, I was having trouble with it at first, but then I replaced a bearshark, kindly grandmother, and unleash the hounds for the double southsea deckhand and Patches, and I started to do better. If you wanted to keep one of the replaced copies you could take out a tracking instead, but I found that I have more use for the tracking. If you wanted, you could even replace a bittertide hydra with the death knight, but as was already explained in a previous comment you may need the original hero power, and I’ve found through playing that when I play the deathknight I have more than likely already lost, but the deathknight just gives you a better chance of winning, and keeping up in the late game

    Reply
  18. hugo
    September 29, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    this deck get destroyed every time by any faster deck like aggro rogue… cant get more then 45% winrate after about 25 games with this deck

    Reply
  19. Thempo
    September 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    This deck is absolutly amazing i have got rank legend for the first time today, i changed 1 hydra for 1 bonemare pretty good in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Roffle
      September 29, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Congrats on Legend! Bonemare seems like a pretty reasonable inclusion, as well.

      Reply
  20. John
    September 24, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Can i put in deathstalker Rexxar instead of, let’s say 1 hydra?

    Reply
    • JaviHS
      September 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

      It isnt bad but maybe you can try the “MidRange Hunter” instead is pretty solid and fun to play

      Reply
      • Roffle
        September 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm

        Being a faster deck, Hybrid Hunter really wants to make good use of Steady Shot hero powers to close games. I would agree, however, that Deathstalker fits well in a proper Midrange build (the one on this site is a good place to start).

        Reply
        • IvanBalance
          September 29, 2017 at 4:45 am

          The idea of DS Rex is that when you run out of cards or the game drags on you can turn the face game into a value game and still win. So many times in the past I get to turn 10 and auto lose, because I draw 1 and 2 drops when my opponent has armor or is playing super defensively.

          Reply

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