Our budget Face Hunter deck list & guide for the Darkmoon Faire expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Face Hunter
At this point you’re probably seeing a pattern, but yeah, sadly budget decks are usually aggressive – most of the slower builds require at least a few Epics / Legendaries to work, while it’s much easier to build a faster deck without them. And frankly, Face Hunter has always been the go-to F2P-friendly build, both because it’s strong and because it’s easy to play, which is very helpful for new players.
Last expansion I’ve decided to go for a more Secret-heavy build and this time I could do it too (since Secret Hunter actually got some nice support), but there’s frankly no point. The regular, all-in Face build without any extra synergies is just the best. In fact, it’s so good that it doesn’t even run any new cards from Darkmoon Faire and it’s still one of the strongest budget builds. Like I’ve mentioned, if you want something a bit different, you could go for the new Secret synergies (e.g. Petting Zoo, Inconspicuous Rider) and if you’re interested I’ll link such a build on the bottom, but from my experience so far those builds are pefrorming slightly worse.
Budget Face Hunter Mulligan Guide
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- 1-drops – As an aggressive deck, you always want to open with a 1-drop. This build runs four different ones. Tour Guide is the best one you can get because of the potential synergy with Phase Stalker. Dwarven Sharpshooter and Intrepid Initiate are second-best depending on the exact matchup – Initiate is better vs slower decks, because it’s more aggressive, while Sharpshooter has good statline vs Aggro and the effect can actually come handy in those matchups. Demon Companion is also okay if you have none of the above, but rolling 1/2 on Turn 1 is pretty bad. And finally Wolpertinger is probably the weakest, but it’s not bad by any means – 2x 1/1 on T1 is just solid. Keep the better ones as a higher priority, but if you don’t have anything else, Wolpertinger will also do.
- Phase Stalker – The bread and butter of this deck, the main reason to put Secrets in your deck. Secrets aren’t that great if you draw them, but they’re amazing if you pull them from your deck for free – which Phase Stalker does while also having a solid 2/3 body for 2 mana.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Adorable Infestation – The card is great, but it’s not a 1-drop. Keep it only if you already have another 1-drop in hand, so you have a minion to buff.
- Imprisoned Felmaw – Keep if you already have a 1-drop – the card is really great, but if you skip T1 and then drop it on T2, it’s way too slow in this deck.
- DO NOT keep any Secrets or Voracious Reader!
Budget Face Hunter Play Strategy
Face Hunter builds have seen a huge comeback in Scholomance Academy. While the deck was already pretty popular for the previous couple of expansions, it was one of the best decks last time around. The main reason is Tour Guide, a card that seemed to be underrated by many players, even though it can prove really useful in certain builds, such as this one. At the very base level, it’s similar to Leper Gnome. The upside is that you get the damage upfront and it can’t be Silenced etc. to negate it. The downside is that when you play Leper Gnome you can still HP on the same turn, which is 2 extra damage in the longer run. But that’s not really the point here – one of its biggest upsides is that you don’t need to Hero Power immediately. You can drop it on Turn 1, then play Phase Stalker on Turn 2 and THEN Hero Power. It activates Stalker’s effect on the same turn, pulling a Secret from your deck for free. It’s an amazing opener which lets you get value out of your Stalker immediately without waiting until Turn 4.
Another great addition which sees play in lots of aggressive builds is Voracious Reader. The card servers as a refill. As a Face Hunter, you quickly run out of steam and enter topdeck mode, heavily relying on your Hero Power to finish the game, and that doesn’t always work. With low curve and Voracious Reader, you can cycle through your deck much faster, finding the right cards to keep putting pressure or even straight up kill your opponent. With Reader in your hand, you want to dump your hand as quickly as possible to take the most advantage of its effect. Drawing 3 cards for 2 mana AND putting a 1/3 body on the board is crazy powerful, but frankly even drawing 2 is great, and 1 can be good at times. It’s not always worth it to be greedy – if you have 2 mana left, nothing else to do and it would draw you 1 card – go for it. One thing that’s not commonly considered is that it gives your opponent a very tough decision whether they should kill it or not.
Your main game plan is to play on curve and try to maximize the damage you deal to your opponent. While Face Hunter is a rather straightforward deck, playing it optimally isn’t the easiest thing ever. Every time you do something, you want to think about how much damage will it net you in the coming turns. For example, always going face is not a good game plan, because trading into something might save your other minions, which will then give you more damage in the long run. Similarly, you often want to clear off minions with Kill Command or Eaglehorn Bow – those are your premium damage options, but if they protect your minions, that should also net you more damage in the long run.
You also need to weight the risk. If you’re ahead, then you can afford to play around stuff, you can afford to hold your minions back in case of AoE removal and so on. But if the situation doesn’t look good for you, you’re losing on the board, maybe you aren’t dealing enough damage – sometimes you need to go all in and hope for the best. Just stop worrying about board control, don’t play around anything and hit face. Most of the time it won’t work, but with the right topdecks you might be able to close out the game before you lose.
As you can see, there are some things you need to think about, but if you’re a new player, don’t worry about them too much – the “beauty” of this deck is that you can win a lot of games just by going face all the time. If that’s your jam, then by all means, go ahead and do it.
Future Card Replacements for Face Hunter
This Face Hunter build is very close to the full meta deck. There’s just a single card missing that you really, really want – Dragonbane. It has great synergy with your Hero Power and lets you push a lot extra damage. It’s also another card with amazing Tour Guide synergy – you can set up a free Hero Power on Turn 3 and then drop Dragonbane + HP on Turn 4, which is a very powerful play.
Another commonly played Legendary is Lorekeeper Polkelt – while it’s not great by itself (4 mana 4/5), sorting your deck from the highest to lowest means that you can draw your burn damage / finishers such as Dragonbane, Kill Command or Eaglehorn Bow.
You can also consider adding Toxic Reinforcements if you own the card, although it’s no longer necessary like it was in the past.
You most likely want to cut 2x Animal Companion – while rolling Huffer is great, the card is often too slow in this deck and Demon Companion is, in general, better for Face build. Alternatively, you can cut Imprisoned Felmaw or one of the Secrets.
There’s also a consideration of Secrets you play. While most of the builds play 4 Secrets (like this one), the combination is different. People run Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap, Pack Tactics and Pressure Plate in many different variations – which ones you pick heavily depends on the meta
And finally, here’s the alternative build I was talking about in the introduction. If you want to go for a Secret Face Hunter build, something like this is the deck you should be aiming for. It’s still cheap, but notably you need one extra Legendary – Rinling's Rifle. It’s also slightly weaker, but still pretty solid, and a good alternative in case you find the regular Face Hunter boring.