Midrange Hunter Deck List Guide – Kobolds and Catacombs (KAC) – December 2017

Our Midrange/Hybrid Hunter deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion will teach you how to play this midrange Hunter list. This Midrange Hunter guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Midrange Hunter

Midrange Hunter has been around since the beginning of constructed Hearthstone. The archetype has had its ups-and-downs, but continues to be one of Hunter’s best options for the ladder.

In general, Midrange Hunter looks to get off to an aggressive start with early minion pressure. Typically, this strategy is weak to board clears, but the high end of the curve is enough for Midrange Hunter to continue pumping out damage.

Update: Kobolds and Catacombs – Midrange Hunter (December 2017)

Midrange Hunter actually got some pretty nice tools in the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion. Candleshot is a nice way to remove early minions without the expensive of losing health. It also pairs really well with Hunter's MarkDire Mole is also a nice addition due to it being hard to remove initially and making it a prime target for Crackling Razormaw. Flanking Strike is a very solid tempo tool that can remove a minion while developing a board, and everyone’s new favorite card Corridor Creeper is also great in this deck.

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!

Midrange Hunter Card Choices

Midrange Hunter runs a full stable of powerful Beasts, synergistic minions, and a few key utility spells. While there are several successful lists floating around, the one referenced in this guide seems to be the most refined.

Class Cards

  • Alleycat – Alleycat gives you two bodies on turn one that can be adapted by Crackling Razormaw. Plus, Tabbycat is adorable.
  • Tracking – Frequently, Hunters can close out games if they’re able to find one critical card. Tracking helps you find that Kill Command to finish off an opponent or early-game minion to fill out your curve.
  • Crackling Razormaw – While the Alleycat into Razormaw curve is the dream, dropping a timely Adapt in the late game can help find additional damage or some efficient removal.
  • Kindly Grandmother – Sticking minions (Beasts, especially) on board is crucial for Midrange Hunter’s game plan. As such, a card like Grandmother that provides two bodies in one is extremely valuable.
  • Scavenging Hyena – With so many beasts in the deck, Hyena can quickly get out of hand. Even following Alleycat on curve, the card can become a turn two 6/4.
  • Animal Companion – When ahead on the board, there aren’t many better plays for Hunter than an Animal Companion. With a wide board, Leokk can push immense damage. Huffer is pretty EZ four damage and Misha can protect other minions. You really can’t lose.
  • Bearshark – More than just a meme, Bearshark is a nightmare for removal-heavy control decks.
  • Deadly Shot – Hunter has always had problems clearing off opposing minions. Trading an entire board into a large taunt or threatening minion is rarely a winning play. In many situations, Deadly Shot instead answers these cards one-for-one.
  • Eaglehorn Bow – For a deck that relies on snowballing a board presence, being able to protect minions is critical. Bow offers opportunities for massive tempo gains, allowing you to continue piling on the aggression.
  • Kill Command – After hurling a barrage of minions at your opponent’s face, it’s always helpful to have some reach damage to end games before (or after) losing the board. Kill Command also offers an effective removal option for high priority targets.
  • Unleash the Hounds – Hunter struggles when the opponent is able to gain control of the board. Unleash provides a means of swinging the board back in your favor or punishing token decks when paired with Scavenging Hyena.
  • Houndmaster – Landing the buff from Houndmaster can solidify an already favorable minion presence or swing the board back in your favor. Midrange Hunter runs more than enough beasts to justify the four drop.
  • Savannah Highmane – An old adage in Hearthstone is that if Highmane hits the face, the Hunter wins. While not always the case, it is still often true.

Neutral Cards

  • Fire Fly – While Alleycat is always the preferred turn one play, Fire Fly gives the deck another option in the early game.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf can make for some massive swing turns when paired with Unleash the Hounds. The card also offers another decent followup to an Alleycat opening.
  • Golakka Crawler – Despite the nerf to Fiery War Axe and the supposed death of Pirate Warrior, Crawler can find a lot of targets to chow down on. At worst, it’s a reasonable turn two play.
  • Bittertide Hydra – It’s a bit startling that it took so long for Hydra to find its way into Rexxar’s stable of beasts. Bittertide gives Midrange Hunter another fatty minion for a mere five mana.

Midrange Hunter Tech Card Considerations

Despite being a fairly tight list, there are a few flex spot in the deck that can be rotated out to adjust to shifts in the meta. More than any other class, Hunter can justify the inclusion of crabs thanks to the Beast tag.

Midrange 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 to line up value trades.
  • Fire Fly – Fire Fly often isn’t quite as strong on turn one as Alleycat, but is still worth holding onto in just about every match up.
  • 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.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – 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.
  • Golakka Crawler – Golakka is an obvious keep against Warrior, but enough aggressive decks run the Pirate package to justify keeping the crab in your opening hand.

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

  • Kindly Grandmother – The initial body typically isn’t aggressive enough to line up well against fast decks, but, especially with The Coin or Dire Wolf Alpha, Grandmother can give you the tools to out-value your opponent’s early game.
  • 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.
  • Animal Companion – Animal Companion on turn 3 is usually very good, you really want to have plays on turns 1 and 2. Only keep this card when that is the case.
  • Bearshark – Likewise, Bearshark is your strongest turn three play in a lot of matchups. When facing an aggro deck, however, passing on your first two turns can be game over.

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time):

  • Alleycat – Cats are almost always your best turn one play, regardless of the opponent. Keeping both copies is even reasonable in many matchups.
  • Fire Fly – Even against slower decks, having a turn one play can give you the start you need to get ahead. Fire Fly also gives you the mana flexibility to fill out awkward curves in later turns.
  • 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.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – All 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 early Taunt minions.
  • Kindly Grandmother – Slower decks give you more time to build up your board, which is what the Deathrattle mechanic needs. Control and slower midrange builds are more likely to clear your board, which Grandmother protects against.

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

  • Bearshark – Not being able to target a minion is frustrating for decks running direct removal spells. Against these decks, Bearshark is your best turn three play, but you want to have a one and two as well.
  • Golakka Crawler – Golakka is less likely to eat an opposing Pirate against slower decks, but is still a reasonable turn 2 play if you don’t have better options already in hand.
  • Animal Companion – Animal Companion is better in slower matchups, but you still really want cards to play in the turns before you summon Huffer.
  • Scavenging Hyena – Like Dire Wolf and Razormaw, Hyena synergizes with a turn one Alleycat, but is a weak tempo play if you can’t confidently kill off any Beasts.

Midrange Hunter Play Strategy

Due to the hybrid nature of this deck, it is incumbent upon the player to correctly identify whether or not he/she is the Beatdown or the Control. The accuracy of this determination can often be the difference between victory and defeat.

Vs Aggro

When facing other aggressive deck, the line between Beatdown and Control is often blurred. In many cases, it depends heavily on the contents of your hand, whether or not you are on the play and the current board state. Frequently, roles changes throughout the match, so be willing to adjust to the game state.

Fortunately, the combination of aggressive minions and a high-value top end makes it possible for Midrange Hunter to fill either role. Trade efficiently when appropriate, but look for openings to start getting damage in. In the mid-game, Houndmasters can facilitate value trades to solidify your board state.

If you do, eventually, lose control of the board, some combination of Kill Command, Unleash the Hounds, and Steady Shot may be able to eek out a win.

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. While an aggressive start is crucial, do not risk overextending. In these matchups, be aware of the potential AoE spells available to the class you’re facing.

Sustaining pressure is equally important to an explosive opener. Bittertide Hydra and Savannah Highmane are included specifically for these types of matchups. Landing them on curve can line up enough damage to burn through your opponent’s life total. Weaving in Hero Powers can build up enough damage over time to keep the enemy in range of burst.

Midrange Hunter General Tips

Below are some General Tips for piloting Midrange Hunter.

  • Always count the damage you have available. This deck relies heavily on minion attack damage, so know how much 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. Both minions offer reasonable vanilla stats and sacrificing tempo for the sake of value in the early turns can be crippling to this deck’s goal.
  • When playing Dire Wolf Alpha and Unleash the Hounds together, each Hound represents two damage. Remember that the Hounds spawn on the far right, so place the Dire Wolf accordingly.
  • Make sure that you have enough space on board to maximize value from Unleash the Hounds.
  • Always play Kindly Grandmother on the far left of your board. With Dire Wolf Alpha and Unleash the Hounds, you often have the need to propagate minion buffs and minion placement is an important consideration.

Midrange Hunter Card Substitutions

Coming in at a mere 2000 Arcane Dust, Midrange Hunter is an impressively inexpensive deck to craft. That said, there are some budget options for players who are the remaining Adventure and lone Epic card in the list.

  • Kindly Grandmother – Since One Night in Karazhan is behind a paywall, players without the Adventure can substitute Grandmother for a second copy of both Dire Wolf Alpha and Fire Fly.
  • Bittertide Hydra – Hydra is an important card in many aggressive lists and Midrange Hunter is no different. However, a player lacking the three-headed Beast can slide in Tundra Rhino instead. Followed by a Savannah Highmane on turn six, Rhino enables the eight damage you would have gotten from Bittertide.

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.

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34 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. Draco46
    December 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    You say in the deck guide to keep the Alleycat at all costs, however it has been removed from the deck build list?

    Reply
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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 - Author
      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
  8. Herofreddy
    October 9, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Change both Dire Wolves for Timber Wolves .

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      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 - Author
          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
  9. 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
  10. Please Answer
    October 7, 2017 at 7:58 am

    How can i replace grandmother in this deck?

    Reply
    • Roffle - Author
      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
  11. 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 - Author
        October 9, 2017 at 8:25 am

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

        Reply
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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 - Author
      September 29, 2017 at 1:08 pm

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

      Reply
  15. 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 - Author
        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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