Deathrattle Hunter Deck List Guide – October 2017

Class: Hunter - Format: mammoth - Type: midrange - Style: meta-deck - Meta Deck: Deathrattle Hunter
Learn how to play this archetype with our Deathrattle Hunter Deck List Guide.

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Deck Import

Welcome to our Deathrattle Hunter deck list guide will guide you through mulligans, play strategy, and card substitutions!

Check out a Budget Version of Midrange Beast Hunter.

Introduction to Deathrattle Hunter

Deathrattle Hunter, starring Deathstalker Rexxar, the new Hunter Death Knight Hero evolves out of an Un’Goro iteration of one of the most classic Hearthstone archetypes– the Midrange Hunter.  The addition of the new Death Knight provides a punch that can mitigate one of Hunter’s typical weaknesses: late game.  Through his Build-a-Beast Hero Power, Deathstalker Rexxar can generate potentially huge amounts of value by allowing the player to consecutively Discover two Beast cards and, as Ben Brode so memorably described, “Stitch them together!” to form a single playable Zombeast with the combined abilities (and mana cost!) of the respective choices, and add it to your hand.

Reddit user Xadefinn has made a handy spreadsheet of all the available Build-a-Beast options that can be found here, if you’re interested.

Update – Deathrattle Hunter October 2017

This version is a bit slower than the more popular Hybrid Hunter that got very popular right after the balance patch was released. It’s a viable deck, but Hunter struggles against the top decks in the meta currently.

Deathrattle Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide

In general, with this deck mulligan is similar regardless of opponent.  You want early Beasts to develop on which you can land your conditional buffs, attempting to snowball Beast synergy on your opponent.

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Alleycat – This deck’s best 1 drop as it allows you to have a high likelihood of sticking at least one beast that you can Razormaw.
  • Crackling Razormaw – If you can get the buff, you begin your snowball here, playing an average of 4/3 stats for 2 mana early.
  • Kindly Grandmother – Keep if on Coin, consider keeping on the play.  This sticky minion is already 4/3 stats for 2, and it can be hard to remove, allowing you to have buff targets moving forward.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Animal Companion – This is a very powerful card, and high tempo.  You will want to play either this or Bow on Turn 3 every time.  You could even consider keeping it always, but definitely keep it if you have 1 or 2 drops already.
  • Eaglehorn Bow – One of the highest Winrate-if-Played cards in the deck, you often want this card to keep your opponent’s board clean so you can develop in peace.  Especially keep against Druid and Paladin and Warrior, anyone who also wants to fight hard for the early board.
  • Houndmaster – If you can play a perfect curve and have a Beast to land its effect on, Houndmaster’s 6/5 stats (plus Taunt!) for 4 is a killer.  Keep this card if you have a perfect hand already and are confident that you can curve into it on Turn 3 or 4.
  • Deadly Shot – If you are worried about an Innervated Bittertide Hydra, or huge early taunt, you could consider keeping this removal, but it’s questionable and reactive.  Mostly you’re going to want to develop.


Deathrattle Hunter Play Strategy

Our goal with Midrange Hunter decks most of the time is to develop a board early, capitalize on our Beast synergies to buff our boards, stick more minions through Deathrattles, and snowball the tempo.  We play aggressively, but not all out for The Face, hoping to maximize board pressure and accrue additional damage across future turns through efficient value trades and using Weapons and Spells to clear minions.

Death Knight Hunter adds to this straightforward strategy a new option for Hunter players, generating late game value.  A traditional problem for Midrange Hunter would be hitting turn 7-8 with the opponent being able to address our threats, clear our board, and then take control of the game.  But now, with the powerful army of Zombeasts, Deathstalker Rexxar can continue the fight deep into a Control matchup, effectively drawing 2 cards per turn, one of which is likely to be apt for whatever situation we find ourselves in.

And don’t forget that casting the Death Knight has two additional effects: adding 5 armor (usually unimportant in these matchups) and casting an on-demand Explosive Trap across our opponent’s board (which can be very important).  If you have it in hand, you can plan your trades accordingly and make solid use out of the Death Knight’s efficiently costed AOE, clearing things up to switch into the value game.

Note, however, that when we go in to Death Knight mode, we lose a very important part of Hunter’s identity, with the disappearance of Steady Shot.  When Deathstalker comes into play, we need to significantly shift gameplans to a value-centric, fully board oriented strategy, as our burn potential has dropped to only Kill Commands.  This Death Knight, like Gul’Dan and unlike Jaina, is a drastic shift in Hero identity and requires an according shift in playstyle and gameplan.

Vs Aggro

Similarly to Murloc Paladin and Pirate Warrior –and in a different way Token Shaman or Druid– Midrange Hunter decks, including Death Knight decks, need to have a board in order to play efficiently, reliant as they are on minion Tribal synergy.  Consider the difference between a Houndmaster that lands on a Beast or does not.  A vanilla 4/3 for 4 mana?  Or 6/5 of stats plus Taunt for 4 mana?  The differences are incredible.

So, vs Aggro decks, we must must must stick Beasts, whether through spamming low cost development, or deploying Deathrattles that can’t be cleared on the next turn.  Eaglehorn Bow is a very key card in these sorts of situations, and should but won’t go without saying: should never hit a face (unless counting for immanent lethal).  Wipe up Southsea Captains and Murloc Warleaders and Vicious Fledglings, and protect your own board.  Even if you have to spend Kill Commands on minions for 3-health early: if doing so helps stick boards to buff do it!

If we still have a board by Turns 4 and 5 and can start Houndmaster-ing things and playing Corpse Widows into Highmanes, we will likely overwhelm other aggressive decks, and Deathstalker can just chill, saving his energy for the next Priest game.

Vs Control

Control matchups rely heavily on the balancing act between Pressure & Conservation.  As an aggressive-midrange-synergetic-tempo deck, we want to use our ability to curve out into efficient stats deployment on turns 1-6 to overwhelm BUT we want to beware of over-extension.  If we play an unnecessary number of cards into a Dragonfire Potion or Frost Nova/Doomsayer type situation, we can find ourselves with insufficient reload and let the game swing.  Against control, what we want to prevent are midgame swings.  If they’re going to clear our board, we want to be sure to preserve cards in hand to reload the board afterward and go right back to our pressure plan.  If they are clearing, they aren’t developing, and we just want to right back to pushing.

But sometimes this route cannot be sustained, and this is where our Death Knight can come to shine.  Now, instead of drying up and being unable to draw reload, the Hunter can drop a Deathstalker Rexxar, and get 2 cards per turn, 1 of which is a supercharged Beast-amalgam of active effects.  You want some charge?  Grab a Stonetusk Boar.  Need health?  Take a Bloodworm.  Taunt?  We got you, Stegodon.  Whatever the game state calls for, can (RNGesus be praised) be discovered and stitched together into an appropriate Zombeast.

Zombeast Creation

An art that itself could constitute and entire guide, but I will only be able to go into a few basic tips:

  • Pay attention to the combined cost of the Zombeast.  Do not allow yourself to be blinded by the overwhelming power of that Knuckles/Bloodworm, or Highmane/Fledgling.  Consider: When will I be able to play this card I am creating?  Oftentimes you will need to create and play your Zombeast on the same turn, and greed must often be sacrificed for tempo.  10 mana minions are hard to play, and a huge punish if efficiently removed.
  • To the best of your ability, consider your opponent’s deck’s strengths and weaknesses.  By the time you are stitching up Zombeasts, you are highly likely to know what you’re playing against in some detail.  Is my opponent flabbergasted by 4 attack minions?  Will they have a hard time removing one large threat?  Would it be better to go wide and make a small minion so I can play this other card I drew in addition?  Do they want to play their own big threat next turn and Poisonous will throw off their plans?  Think about what Zombeast would make the opponent’s next play as awkward as possible.
  • Ask yourself if you even want to make a Zombeast here, or if your mana would be better spent playing natural cards from hand.  Don’t get blinded by the highroll excitement of landing the perfect Beast, sometimes the simple play is the best play, and you can always take a shot at the dream next turn.  Consider the odds of rolling perfection against the effectiveness of the basic play.

Deathrattle Hunter Card Substitutions

One of the advantages of Hunter, especially for new or free to play players, is the relatively low barrier to entry on card cost.  This deck already contains only one Legendary card, Deathstalker Rexxar, which is by definition irreplaceable in a Death Knight Hunter deck, but there are many Midrange builds that don’t include him.  You really don’t want to play Hunter without the ever-broken Savannah Highmane, so let’s call that a must include as well.

  • Rat Pack – If you like, you can drop your curve and increase further the likelihood of landing a 1 drop by inserting a Fiery Bat here, or preserve the curve with the interesting new Beast card Bearshark, the advantage of not being targetable by Spells and Hero Powers does not prevent Bearshark from being buffable by your other minions making it even more appealing, though less sticky than Rat Pack.
  • Corpse Widow – This card is powerfully synergetic with the deck’s many Deathrattle minions and allows for potentially devastating Tempo if it sticks, but can be replaced by other big Neutral Beast bodies, such as Nesting Roc or perhaps even Sated Threshadon (though Threshadon works even better in addition rather than as a replacement).
  • Other Beasts that have been tried in similar decks include: Dire Wolf Alpha, Golakka Crawler, Scavenging HyenaTundra Rhino, and even Stampeding Kodo.

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Discuss This Deck
  1. Sirberus
    November 9, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I really think N’Zoth would be a good pick for this deck.

  2. Petreino
    October 11, 2017 at 10:48 am

    As i don’t have rat pack or infested wolf i replaced them with lich king and stitched trackers. it is much less aggressive but getting multiple lich kings is nice on the value side

  3. Nick
    September 27, 2017 at 11:10 am

    This deck is NOT good. You get killed by every fast aggro decks using pirates and keleseth even though you don’t have any domination over control decks. If you want to win with the Hunter you should use more aggresive and fast cards like Fire fly, Dire Wolf Alpha, Bearshark, maybe Vicious Fledgling. Playing Rat Pack or Infested Wolf is like committing suicide.

    • Nick
      September 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      And do not let the high score of this deck fool you. This deck has published April of this year, The deck might be good then, but not now.

  4. laidback
    September 27, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Rat pack is really not good, neither is infested wolf.

  5. Jamnikoskyy
    September 27, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Can i play with n’zoth ?

  6. Johnnytails
    September 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

    It seems kinda crazy to me that this deck doesn’t run Scavenging Hyena. That card is often a win condition on its own. If you get Alleycat on one, and can trade both into a taunt on two with this as your play you have a 2 mana 6-4 that is almost impossible to remove on three. It snowballs easily from there. I’d drop the almost useless Infested Wolves.

    • JaviHS
      September 24, 2017 at 6:33 am

      That is not true because in the 90% of the matchs you face rogue and priest and they always has removals for that reason y complity better infested wolf.
      Bye and gl

  7. FrozenHearthstone
    August 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I play Lich King in that deck, Army of the Dead is such a good card in midrange hunter (probably the only deck where it’s good lol).

  8. Mazlok
    August 14, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Swaping one Savannah with the new frozen throne Rexxar legendary Hero worked well.

  9. BossOhtee
    August 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I played with Vicious Fledgeling over Infested Wolf and has worked well

  10. cmc
    August 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I recommend that if you don’t have the Kindly Grandmother, you use the ravasaur runt, as it not only is already a 2/2 beast for 2 but it also can work very well with ally cat and can give you an easy lead on your opponent

  11. jeff the lord
    July 24, 2017 at 5:08 am

    i think it is good but replace those grandmother to Hydra for those who dont have grandmother

  12. alimzhan
    July 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    thanks for the deck the only thing that is making it bad are my draws fuck hs

  13. Disketa
    July 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    What can i use instead of those 2 hungry crabs? I cannot craft them atm

    • Spirus
      July 16, 2017 at 4:38 am

      Any one mana beast will work adequately. You could look above at the substitutions section where it provides several examples.

  14. Uncle Scrooge
    July 12, 2017 at 3:35 am

    I have King Krush and King Dred. Can I add them in the deck ?

    • Spirus
      July 14, 2017 at 4:46 am

      King Krush is too slow, By the time you get to 9 mana either you’ll have already won or you’ll be nearly dead. It’s sometimes a finisher for games that are unwinnable, but that’s balanced by the games you draw it on turn one and it just sits there doing nothing while you really wish it was a three or four drop you could play immediately to help you win now.

      Swamp King Dread is just ok, not the worst, not the best. Again, ideally, you’d already have the game nearly wrapped up, but a single seven drop in midrange hunter isn’t terrible for a little late game and its pretty decent at getting rid of taunts and gaining board control to get the kill on the turn after you drop it. It’s not neccessary but it also won’t hamstring your deck.

    • Ragnoros Waterlord
      July 31, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      yes but i wouldnt reccomend king dred. they are big cards that are going to be really annoying early game.

  15. Nate
    July 6, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Hi, I think I’m missing something? It says “This specific list runs 2 Legendaries, but neither of them is necessary.” But I can’t see any legendaries in the deck list? Confusion :D. Thanks for this, by the way!

  16. thien thien
    June 21, 2017 at 2:22 am

    what card can i swap with ratpack?

  17. Fletz
    June 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I got to rank 7 in the first week of June and stopped playing ’cause I got busy. Just went from 7 to 5 without losing with a similar list (-1 Infested Wolf, +1 Vicious Fledgling).

    Crawlers and Crabs are the MVPs for sure though, never replace those with anything.

  18. Veltar
    June 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I took rat pack out and put in fledglings.

  19. Mac
    June 16, 2017 at 2:35 am

    What are your thoughts on swapping out one or both of the eaglehorns for dinomancy(‘s)? With so many beasts even kindly gma becomes a 2 mana 3/3 that spawns a 3/2, and with both d-mancies in hand, turn 6 you can double hero power buff a minion for +4/4 or 2 minions for +2/2 each. Also, it’s usable throughout the whole game as opposed to 4 turns (2 for each bow). What do the people think?

    • Kokofnuff
      October 16, 2017 at 5:36 am

      too slow, not even rly better than the normal heropower, win more card and dk is simply better

  20. Gek33
    May 17, 2017 at 1:57 am

    This deck took me 10 for the first time. I suggest you the Terrorscale

  21. Alpaysal
    May 16, 2017 at 8:12 am

    you are just bad

  22. Radiogaga
    May 5, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    What about “dinomancy”?

    • Striker
      May 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

      IKR, dinomancy is one of the best hunter cards right now and goes so well with the alley cat combo/rat pack fuel….i don’t see why its not used in this deck its pretty awesome to have and makes the deck way better

      • Borbarad
        May 9, 2017 at 4:39 am

        My guess is that Dinomancy does not fit to this deck type. Midrange Beast Hunter aims to build up some beasts and then ruin the opponent in turn 6-8. In this case Steady Shot is a great tool to give the opponent some extra damage to win the game quicker. Dinomancy on the other hand requires 2 mana to be played and loses the ability to wear down your opponent. As it needs more time to be played and only gets useful if you used it at least three turns (if you used it once, it is 4 mana for a 2/2 increase, which is bad, and if you used it twice it is still only mediocre), it would unneccessarily slow down this deck a lot. Dinomancy might work in a Control Hunter deck, but this is Midrange.

  23. tony
    May 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    When i play against priests, im extremely wary about dropping down grandmother in case of madness potion… the tempo swing is enormous and caused me to lose games right away.

  24. Bert
    April 30, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Why the removal of king dread and do you think it can still fit in the deck?

  25. KingOfFamine
    April 27, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Any good replacements for kindly grandmother? I’m a free2play and I have all other cards in the deck

    • MickyOr
      April 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Grind the 1400 gold. It took me a while and it seems like it’s not worth it but you get a really good card + adventures are fun.

    • Xaley
      May 4, 2017 at 7:52 am

      Try Trogg Beastrager (Trump’s suggestion, i’m running it now it’s working so far)

  26. diodio
    April 27, 2017 at 6:46 am

    so I crafted Swamp King Dred for nothing?

    • Tsprinkles
      April 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Well I mean you chose too, it’s obviously not a very good card and doesn’t fit in the Hunter theme at all soooo….

  27. Squirrel
    April 27, 2017 at 4:25 am

    This made me think of something totally different:

    “The raise of murlocks…”

    What is thier current rate? Do they get a 6% bump and a 401k match? Management humor…

  28. Zodiac
    April 26, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    for a long time hunter main, I think this version is the best midrange hunter so far. I got legend with the exact decklist.

    hungry crab is the MVP for sure.

  29. Why
    April 26, 2017 at 10:24 am

    This deck takes zero skill.

    • CD001
      June 2, 2017 at 4:37 am

      Which makes it vastly different from many other decks on the ladder how?

      The same accusation could be levelled at: Aggro Pirate Warrior, Taunt Quest Warrior, Aggro Token Druid, Quest Rogue, Burn Mage … playing on the ladder isn’t about fun or complex tactics, silly.

      • Boz
        August 22, 2017 at 9:46 pm

        That’s one thing that has always bothered me.

        The decks that are best for ladder basically play on auto-pilot, while decks of the same power level that require complex decision making have everyone complaining that they are too OP and getting cards nerfed.

        Perfect example of the latter was Patron Warrior. It only had a win rate in the low-mid 50’s percent wise, but enough complaints resulted in the nerf we got. Meanwhile druid still runs rampant on the ladder ATM with a higher winrate than that, but is left alone because it is a simple deck with few decisions to be made.

        Pirate Warrior is even worse for lack of complexity; I let my 8yo Nephew play on ladder at Rank 9-7, and he had a 65%WR in that time.

  30. Mjpackard
    April 26, 2017 at 4:34 am

    I haven’t bothered testing with Golakka Crawler, as even without it I have somewhere around an 80% win rate against Pirate Warrior, which is of course the main deck you would run the card for – it’s just not worth it. I haven’t gotten round to testing with it, but in it’s place a good option might be Dinomancy, as a powerful card for beating Quest Warrior, which is the deck’s worst matchup.

  31. Kaiser
    April 25, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Try this, i’m rank 2 with this deck from rank 6

  32. Swamp Kind Dred
    April 24, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I would like to know whether the following are feasible substitutes: –

    Replacing Golakka Crawler with Hungry Crab.
    – because cheaper mana cost.
    – because Hungry Crab is also a beast.
    – because of the current uprising of Murloc Paladins.

    Replacing Rat Pack with Infested Wolf. (Why do you not recommend this in your card substitute section?)
    – because crafting cost of Epic vs Rare

    Will these replacements affect my win rate?

    • Swamp King Dred
      April 25, 2017 at 12:10 am

      Please ignore comment on replacing Rat Pack with Infested Wolf. Just noticed that is is already in the deck.

      • Sabretooth
        May 2, 2017 at 5:23 am

        I highly recommend Vicious Fledgling as a replacement for Rat Pack

  33. brig
    April 22, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I am having terrible luck with this deck.
    Like 0 – 3
    I use dragon priest and I start winning again lol

    • Sandrock
      April 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      That just shows you how play style also affects your gaming. Aggro druid is a crazy deck. I’ve lost to it so many times. I try it and I lose 3 of my 4 matches. It wasn’t fitting my play style.

  34. Simon Robeyns
    April 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Trying huhuran instead of black knight to get some solid stats+deathrattle minions to pop early
    might replace one crab with a hyena, looks a solid replacement if u dont face too many pirates

  35. Blazeman
    April 21, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I wnated to know whick deck counter the midrange hunter like this one

    • Evident
      April 21, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Control/Midrange Paladin, Miracle Rogue, and Elemental Shaman.

  36. Dwasserd
    April 21, 2017 at 2:32 am

    I replaced Swamp King Red with Knuckles and it really worked for me ^^
    It has great synergy with hound master (5/9 with taunt) and it is able to trade into minions and still go SMORC!

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 22, 2017 at 6:09 am

      It’s an interesting choice. I’d like to test it, but I don’t have Knuckles and crafting it just to play few games might not be worth it 🙁

  37. dustedrebel
    April 20, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Why no Tundra Rhyno at all?

    • deerlorrd
      April 22, 2017 at 2:59 am

      It is too slow, I bet

  38. lollo
    April 20, 2017 at 1:03 am

    sorry , is rat pack Worth in this deck? whit wich card i can switch it?

    • ratz
      April 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

      yes, i think the rat pack is worth

      • Lollo
        April 20, 2017 at 11:38 pm

        But i haven’t so how i can go with?

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          April 22, 2017 at 6:08 am

          Check out the card substitutions section at the bottom of the guide.

  39. Bob
    April 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Exact copy of Orange’s deck made on day 1 of the expansion. Outdated, doesn’t work anymore. I piloted the deck to legend and then had to adjust several things like the beastragers and swamp king dred because they’re too slow.

  40. Jgrhymes
    April 17, 2017 at 6:48 am

    You may want to look at (completely) revamping this list. It only takes a few days right now, but it’s severely out-dated and sub-optimal.