Our Budget Midrange Hunter deck list guide for the Rise of Shadows expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Midrange Hunter
Midrange Hunter is one of the oldest archetypes in Hearthstone. It has been a top tier meta deck and is one of the best options for budget players because it requires no Legendaries to play at a high level.
This version of Midrange Hunter uses Beast synergy to fight for board and pressure the opponent’s life total. While strong in its budget form, it is also relatively cheap to upgrade, requiring only Master's Call to transition to a meta deck.
Rise of Shadows Update
Budget Midrange Hunter Mulligan Guide
This deck wants to get on board early, so keeping 1-drops is important, especially against other aggro decks. Hench-clan Hogsteed trades well against other aggro decks and is a sticky minion against slower decks, so it’s worth keeping most of the time.
If you have a card to play on turn 1, you can keep a 2-mana card to play on the turn following. It’s also safe to keep 2-mana cards if you have The Coin. Headhunter’s Hatchet especially is worth keeping if you have a 1-drop, as 2 mana for a 2/3 weapon is pretty great. Animal Companion is great to keep if you have cards to play before it, or if you have The Coin, as it’s the only card in the deck you really want to be playing on turn three (until you upgrade the deck with Master's Call). Unleash the Hounds is good to keep if you’re confidant your opponent is playing a deck that goes wide with minions (like Warlock Zoo or Token Druid).
Budget Midrange Hunter Play Strategy
The endgame plan of this deck is to make it to the stage of the game where your Hero Power is pressuring your opponent. For the first half of the game you want to make efficient trades and just whittle the opponent down when you can do so without losing the board. Once firmly ahead you can start attacking your opponent’s face aggressively to put them in range of your Hero Power and Kill Command.
Try to hold Scavenging Hyena back until you already have some board presence, it’s much better to play it on a turn where you can make trades. Scavenging Hyena gets more health whenever one of your Beasts dies, so the more you trade the stickier the Hyena is. Similarly, the tokens produced by Unleash the Hounds are Beasts, so you can punish your opponent for wide boards hard by playing them in conjunction.
Headhunter's Hatchet is in the deck to remove opposing minions and should only be used to pressure your opponent’s life total in the latest stage of the game. It’s okay to take damage by attacking opponent’s minions while you have the health to spare. You’re more likely to lose by falling behind on board than you are from taking a bunch of early face damage to control it.
Dire Frenzy can be ridiculous depending on what beast you target with it. Huffer and tokens from Unleash the Hounds are good options that will add instant damage cards to your deck. Springpaw and Hench-Clan Hogsteed are also good options against aggressive decks, providing more outs to remove enemy minions.
While Kill Command is a great finishing card, it is also a good option for eliminating higher health minions when you would otherwise fall behind on board. You would almost always rather use a spell to remove a minion than use one of your minions. A minion represents multiple turns of damage, whereas a spell is only used once.
Tundra Rhino is very strong on an empty board, so if you’re presented with an opportunity to trade in a way that makes this happen it is almost always right to do so. It is especially good if you have a Savannah Highmane to follow it up with. If you want to get fancy, you can trade your Savannah Highmane with this on the board, and then attack with the two 2/2 Hyenas afterwards. This is a bit of a fringe scenario, but is useful to know.
Future Card Replacements for Budget Midrange Hunter
This deck is designed to upgrade into the meta version with Master's Call. To do so, you must simply craft two Master’s Call and cut the two Houndmaster to add them in. Beyond that, anything you do is based on preference. Below are some options:
- Zul'jin – It’s no Deathstalker Rexxar, but you can still get some pretty good value out of Zul’jin. In this deck that means some extra gas from Tracking and Master’s Call, and a bunch of board pressence from Unleash the Beast and Animal Companion. It will also expand the utility of your Hero Power by allowing it to target minions. If you feel like the deck doesn’t have enough end game, this is a good place to start.
- Subject 9 – With the loss of Lesser Emerald Spellstone Hunter secrets aren’t quite as useful as they have been recently, but with Subject 9 you can still get some pretty good value out of them. You should only go this route if you already have Zul’jin, as playing Zul’jin will play all the secrets you’ve played previously again. This will be a dramatic change to the deck, as you will have to cut a large portion of your Beasts to make room for enough Secrets (including Epics like Rat Trap and Snake Trap) to make Subject 9 worthwhile, and with that many Secrets you’ll want to craft Eaglehorn Bow and play that too. One big advantage of going this route is that Explosive Trap gives you another weapon against Token Druid, which is very popular right now.
- Halazzi, the Lynx – If you have Halazzi you can try it out, but it probably isn’t strong enough to deliberately craft. It does add a ton of extra cards to your hand, but the immediate tempo loss is hard for a deck like this one. A 3/2 do-nothing card is pretty bad on turn 5. The upside is it does give you extra cheap rush minions to buff your Scavenging Hyena.
- Hungry Crab – If you’re facing a lot of Murlocs this is a really good option. Hunter is definitely looking for an excuse to add better 1-mana minions, so if you will regularly make use of it then it’s a good option.
- Deadly Shot – If you’re facing a lot of decks with big minions then Deadly Shot can be great to remove them.
There isn’t too much more you can do with this deck because you’re limited on what minions you can play due to Master's Call (if you include non-Beasts you risk only getting one card). There are other playable versions of Hunter decks, centered around Mech synergy, but they will use almost none of the cards in this list, and require several Legendary cards.