Odd Face Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Proactive 1-drops – Argent Squire, Fire Fly, Dire Mole, Glacial Shard – Those are the best Turn 1 plays you can make most of the time. You absolutely want to start with a 1 mana minion on Turn 1 (or even two of them if you have Coin) to start dealing early game damage.
- Animal Companion – Great Turn 3 play (or Turn 2 with Coin) – Huffer is amazing for obvious reasons, Misha can protect your board and Leokk is good if you already had something on the board and you can buff it.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Acherus Veteran – If you already have another 1-drop in your hand, especially with the Coin. It’s pretty bad by itself, but
- Glacial Shard – If you go second. Freezing your opponent’s face is generally pointless on Turn 1, so this is better as a reactive play, to freeze your opponent’s 1-drop and get some extra tempo.
- Candleshot – Against Aggro. It’s not great in slow matchups, but when you face a deck like Aggro Paladin or mirror match, it’s one of the most important cards.
- Important: If you don’t have any of the “proactive” 1-drops, you can keep one of those just to have a Turn 1 play!
- Unleash the Hounds – Against Paladin, especially Odd Paladin. They flood the board in the early/mid game, so Unleash will often summon four or five 1/1’s with Charge, and that’s great – not only you will deal a lot of face damage, but your opponent will have to trade with all of the Hounds too, buying you more time.
Odd Face Hunter Play Strategy
Odd Face Hunter is your all-in Aggro deck. It’s a bit like pre-nerf Pirate Warrior, but even more aggressive, to a point when “Face” deck is a better name than “Aggro”. Normal Aggro decks, like Aggro Paladin, aggressive builds of Zoo Warlock etc. still want to use their tools to control the board – that’s how they get ahead, that’s how they gain tempo etc. They often NEED their board to win the game. This deck is different, between the Hero Power, Charge minions, weapons and burn spells, board control is not that important. You can win the game even if not a single minion sticks.
That said, even a deck like that can’t completely ignore the board. You can do it most of the time in slower matchups, but you just can’t do that against other Aggro builds. You want to do trades, but not just any trades – smart trades. Clear only the highest priority minions. For example, when Paladin drops a Knife Juggler, you do want to get rid of it, otherwise he will get lots of value and clear your board for free. Similarly, if you can get a good trade, especially if it protects your board, you take it. Let’s say that you have a 1/2 and a 2/1 on the board and your opponent has a single 1/1. By trading your 1/2 into that 1/1 you lose 1 damage right now, but you will most likely get more in the long run, because you protect your 2/1 minion and your opponent either has to use extra resources to deal with it (when you develop other stuff), or he will take damage from it again and again.
However, even against Aggro decks, there is a point in which you can no longer control the board. Your mid game is absolutely terrible when it comes to that. Your minions are low health, they can’t trade efficiently etc. If you get to the mid game, you try to finish the game as quickly as possible – clear only the minions that threaten your life total very hard (e.g. if your opponent has a 5/3 minion on the board that would put you on a quick clock, running your Wolfrider into it is okay – buying extra turn means AT LEAST 3 extra damage from the Hero Power, and possibly even more from a card you draw) or have a potential to heal your opponent.
Silence is a very useful tool – generally you want to keep it for the big Taunts, e.g. Voidlord, but silencing a strong Deathrattle is also fine if that’s going to get you ahead. Silencing Doomsayer if you have some board is good too – you don’t give your opponent an opportunity to get ahead. Sometimes you even use Silence to clear the buffs (like Blessing of Kings), debuffs (like Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility, but that’s uncommon) or unfreeze your minions – if you face a Mage who plays a Frost Nova and freezes your Wolfrider, Ironbeak Owl can be used to unfreeze it and deal the 3 damage immediately. Depending on the situation, it might be the optimal play.
Talking about the slow matchups, those are usually much more straightforward than aggressive ones. First of all – you want to maximize your damage in the long run. After Turn 3-4, try to weave in your Hero Power every single turn. Generally, on Turn 2, 2x 1-drop is most likely better than Hero Powering – same goes for Turn 3 and a 3-drop (especially Animal Companion). After that, however, try to Hero Power every turn and then fill the rest of your mana with your cards.
It’s important to understand your opponent’s key turns and what can they do. For example, you should realize that Priest can most likely drop a Duskbreaker on Turn 4 (or 3 with Coin), so instead of playing more into it, you can take it slow and e.g. play a Hero Power + weapon or something if you have a board already. Similarly, you need to know how much your opponent can heal or Taunt up, and when. For example, if you face a Taunt Druid, you absolutely don’t want to Hero Power on Turn 2 or Turn 3 – you want to put as much minion pressure as possible. From Turn 4 onwards, he might drop a Taunt every single turn, so you want to capitalize on minion damage as early as possible.
Another example is Alexstrasza. Let’s say that you play against Mind Blast Priest – the deck runs Alexstrasza. With a mix of Hero Power, Divine Hymn and such, he might be able to survive that long. You need to understand that Alexstrasza can come down on Turn 9, healing him up to 15. So instead of using your Burn damage or weapons right before Alexstrasza turn, you try to set up lethal with some minions (it doesn’t have to be much, like Wolfrider + a 1-drop is usually enough if you got him so low already). Now, if he decides to clear the board, you kill him with that weapon/burn damage/Leeroy Jenkins etc. And if he does drop Alexstrasza, you still have that board and burn cards to work with, which means that you can most likely kill him. Every deck is different, so you’ll need to adjust your play style accordingly.
Just another tip regarding the decks you face – I’ve seen a lot of players keeping Leeroy Jenkins until you can finish your opponent, and that’s often a mistake. Just smacking him on Turn 5 when you still can is often the right play. If you know that your opponent plays Taunts, it might be a dead card later, so it’s better to capitalize on that damage as soon as you can. You can keep him as a finisher only if you know that your opponent won’t drop charge. In a similar way, you want to play your Charge minions and weapons FIRST, before cards like Arcane Shot and Kill Command. Of course, if you have 1 mana leftover with no 1-drop to play, Arcane Shot into your opponent’s face is okay, but if you can choose between equipping Candleshot and going face and using Arcane Shot, go for the Candleshot. In case your opponent drops a Taunt, you will no longer be able to get your weapon or minion damage that easily (unless you Silence it) – but your spells will always get through.
Odd Face Hunter Card Substitutions
Odd Face Hunter is one of the cheapest decks in the current meta. Baku the Mooneater is basically the only Legendary you need. Leeroy Jenkins is helpful, but not necessary, you can sub him with other cards. Below, you will find a list of potential card substitutes and tech options – those are the cards you can consider adding to your deck depending on the meta you face etc.
- Emerald Reaver – Another 1-drop. It’s a 2/1, so has aggressive stats, it deals 1 damage immediately (to both Heroes, but you don’t really mind that) and it’s a Beast, so you can use it to activate Kill Command later in the game.
- Southsea Deckhand – With 4 weapons in your deck, this card will often be a 1 mana 2/1 with Charge, which is really good. The problem is that if you don’t have a weapon equipped, a vanilla 2/1 for 1 is not great.
- Jungle Panther – Since it has Stealth, it will survive long enough to attack most of the time. It’s a bit like a delayed Huffer from Animal Companion. Good on Turn 3, but much worse late in the game, where Control decks already get to their AoE turns – they can snipe it while it’s still in stealth.
- Blackwald Pixie – It’s a solid card in this deck because of its flexibility. You can drop it on Turn 3 as a 3/4 – not great, but can either get some damage or some good trades. Then, on Turn 7, you can use it to double your Hero Power, dealing 3 extra damage. I’m not a big fan of this card (because most of the games are already decided before Turn 7), but I’ve seen it in some builds. DO NOT run a Clockwork Automaton, though – it’s just way too slow for this deck.
- Hench-Clan Thug – Some builds run it, because it has insane synergy with Candleshot. You can drop it as a 3 mana 4/4 and then snowball it if it doesn’t get answered. The problem is that it’s pretty bad without Candleshot (Eaglehorn Bow is often too clunky to combo with the Thug).