Egg Cube Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide
High Priority (Keep every time)
- Fire Fly – The only 1-drop in your deck. Against fast decks, you want it for trades, and against slower deck it will start putting some pressure (those 1/2 bodies can get some nice damage over 3-4 turns).
- Prince Keleseth – Always the highest priority card in Keleseth decks. It gives your entire deck a massive boost.
- Devilsaur Egg – A great card to have. Even though it’s a low tempo play on T3, this deck has many ways to activate it and start gaining tempo.
- Animal Companion – Just a solid Turn 3 play, works pretty well against the current meta. Like always, Leokk is the worst roll, but it’s still great 66% of time.
Low Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Candleshot – Against Aggro decks, such as Zoo Warlock or Odd Paladin. You want that weapon for some early game board control. Not very good in slower matchups, at least in the early game.
- Play Dead & Terrorscale Stalker – Keep with an Egg. Play Dead is a 1 mana 5/5 if you drop those together, Terrorscale Stalker is a 3 mana 3/3 + 5/5, both are amazing tempo plays.
- Houndmaster Shaw – In slower matchups. 3/6 is a solid body, so you get something to smack face with. It’s also a high priority target, so it’s likely you will see a removal or Silence. But if it survives, you can get advantage of its effect.
- Kathrena Winterwisp – In slower matchups. Even though it will take a while to get to her, she’s a massive win condition – you get two big bodies, great target for your Deathrattle activators, great target for your Carnivorous Cube etc. It’s unlikely that your opponent will be able to Silence/transform Kathrena and then kill both.
Egg Cube Hunter Play Strategy
I’ll start with one thing – this deck isn’t made to counter fast decks. Frankly, it has weak matchup against pretty much every fast deck on the ladder. It’s built to play well against Control and Combo decks, which are much more popular right now, but it doesn’t mean that you will lose your every single Odd Paladin or Zoo Warlock matchup. You just need to understand that those matchups are not your main strength.
When playing against Aggro deck, most important thing to do is trying to maintain some kind of board control. If you don’t, if you fall behind by a huge margin, you most likely lose the game. Deathstalker Rexxar is basically your only single AoE card, and 2 is often not enough to clear your opponent’s minions. Witchwood Grizzly is also great in faster matchups, even if you drop it from your hand (as opposed to summoning it with Kathrena), but it’s usually not enough to come back. Your best bet is basically trying to keep up in the early game and then cheesing out the victory in mid game.
The most common way to “cheese” a win is by sticking a Devilsaur Egg and triggering it multiple times. If opponent doesn’t have Silence, it’s not likely that he will kill it himself (because then he wastes 3 damage and you get a 3 mana 5/5), unless he has an easy way to deal with the 5/5 too. Then, if you use Play Dead and/or Terrorscale Stalker, you can get a nice tempo swing in your favor. If you end up with a few 5/5’s on the board, you should generally try to rush your opponent down. You might be able to set him up on a 2 turns clock, and force HIM to do the trades. Don’t do it if you’re low on health or your opponent might drop some board swing, such as let’s say Level Up!.
Another way to win against Aggro is Witchwood Grizzly + Carnivorous Cube. Try to drop your Bear when your opponent has a very small board, small enough that it can’t be killed. Whether it’s left on the board while your opponent develops, or its Silenced, it makes for an amazing Cube target. Cube + Play Dead drops 2x 3/12 Taunt on the board, plus a 4/6 which Deathrattles into two more. Even if your opponent has Silence, it will most likely be used on the Cube, so you have 24 health worth of Taunts left. Now you should have enough time to develop more stuff. If the Cube remains alive, you can proc it with another Cube, Stalker or Play Dead.
Deathstalker Rexxar also works surprisingly well in faster matchups. The initial 2 damage AoE can be devastating for the opponent if timed well – from my experience, Aggro decks usually don’t play around it that much, since it’s 1-of, and other Hunter AoEs are either telegraphed (Explosive Trap) or might be not very effective against 2 health minions, especially if hidden behind a higher health Taunt (Unleash the Hounds). After transforming into Rexxar, don’t be greedy with your Beasts. It’s better to drop some Midrange beast every turn than to hoard a few 8-10 cost ones and not be able to play them, or lose to a single Silence because of a massive tempo loss. It’s best to pick cards with immediate effects (Rush, Charge, Battlecry) or Lifesteal. Additionally, if you have a way to proc a Deathrattle, picking a solid Deathrattle Beast might do the trick. For example, Exploding Bloatbat is amazing with Deathrattle triggers. If you can give it Poisonous (e.g. Stubborn Gastropod, it’s a massive board clear. If you give it Lifesteal (e.g. Swamp Leech, it heals for all of the AoE damage dealt, which is often 10+ healing.
If you got to the late game and you’re at a reasonable health total, you might go for a control plan. There is no way that an Aggro deck will outvalue you in the long run, which makes clearing everything they play a solid game plan, especially if you’ve played a Death Knight Hero card already. Since they will surely be running out of resources at that point, you should get an overwhelming board lead. Zoo Warlock might be able to keep up thanks to the Life Taps, but then it’s very likely that they will be very low on health – possibly even in range of a few Hero Powers (if you’re not Rexxar yet), or maybe some Charge minion (e.g. King Krush).
Remember what I’ve said about Aggro decks? This build is not made to counter them. No, it’s made to counter slow, greedy decks that you can set up your combos against much more easily. It works much, much better against Shudderwock Shaman, Big Spell Mage or all kinds of slow Druid builds.
Against slower decks, the early game is much less important. Of course, having a 1-2-3-4 curve is perfect – you will be the beatdown, so dealing as much early damage as possible is appreciated. Not to mention that getting Prince Keleseth increases your chance to win significantly – +1/+1 buff on multiple minions you will drop throughout the game gives you better trades, AoE resistance and more damage. But it’s mainly your mid-late game combos that will win you the game anyway.
Devilsaur Egg is your first opportunity to start doing your combos. The fastest combo is the one with Play Dead, which you can do as soon as Turn 4. And if you have those two cards together, I would not recommend dropping Egg on T3. It can be countered with Silence and such, while dropping those two together on T4 guarantees at least a single trigger. Your opponent will also have to choose between dealing with an Egg and a 5/5, and an unanswered 5/5 so early into the game can do a lot of work. Ideally, if Egg sticks, you can activate it more times or even Carnivorous Cube it. The more Eggs you have on the board, the better. Remember that Eggs serve another important role – they counter AoE cards. For example, if your opponent has a juicy Hellfire, but you have an Egg on the board, it’s now much worse, since you will start with a 5/5 with a pseudo-Charge (you will be able to attack with it immediately, since it was summoned on your opponent’s turn).
But the best kind of shenanigans are the ones you can do with Carnivorous Cube and bigger Beasts. For example, sticking a Witchwood Grizzly on Turn 5, then playing Cube + Play Dead. You end up with 2x 3/12 Taunt and a 4/6 Cube with two more stacked inside. The best Cube target are obviously King Krush, but since you can’t play both on the same turn, it will rarely matter. You can, however, combo Kathrena Winterwisp with the Cube, with a help of Corpse Widow. Kathrena + Cube + Play Dead is 10 mana in total. You can either Cube Kathrena, or one of the Beasts that pops out. If it’s King Krush, that’s 24 immediate damage!
Talking about Kathrena, she’s one of the best cards in your deck against slow decks. Dropping her usually makes your next turn very, very powerful. In order to fully deal with the board of Kathrena + a Beast she summons, your opponent needs three single target removals, Silence + two single target removals or Transform effect + Single Target removal. It’s pretty rare to see a clear board a turn after Kathrena. This basically means that you have a great Cube play next turn most of the time. If you don’t have a Cube or don’t want to risk a board clear anyway, you can wait until T9 and use Play Dead on your Kathrena. This summons an extra big Beast, making the board even harder to remove. Just remember that the number of Beasts in your deck is limited – you run 5 in total, meaning that your Kathrena often runs out of targets to pull. That said, not only your opponent might now know that and play carefully around her, the 6/6 body still makes her a great Cube target – often better than let’s say a 4/6 Corpse Widow.
Deathstalker Rexxar is your alternative win condition. If your Deathrattle shenanigans fail, you can always go for an “infinite value” option. Sadly, most of the current slow decks have some kind of combo finisher that makes your “infinite value” a bit pointless, but even then, it still gives you much more resources to work with. If you constantly drop big threats, your opponent might be forced to answer them instead of pushing their own game plan. Rexxar is also great, because it gives you a steady flow of Beasts you can perform your combos on. Most notably, there are two Beasts with Deathrattle that work really well with your cards that trigger Deathrattles. One of them is Exploding Bloatbat – while 2 AoE damage is already okay by itself in some scenarios, if you can pick Poisonous card as the second Beast, then it becomes a full board clear on demand. And there are quite a few Poisonous Beasts to choose from – Stubborn Gastropod, Emperor Cobra, Giant Wasp,Stoneskin Basilisk and finally Vilebrood Skitterer – you don’t even need a trigger card for the last one if you can run it into a bigger minion, although it costs 9 mana, so you can’t use it on the same turn. The other Deathrattle card is Arfus, which can get quite a lot of value if you start triggering it, copying it etc. While some of the DK cards are quite useless, Death Coil, Death and Decay, Anti-Magic Shell and Frostmourne can all be very strong.
Egg Cube Hunter Card Substitutions
Egg Cube Hunter is a rather expensive deck. It runs multiple Legendary and some Epic cards, putting the archetype’s cost between 8k and 11k, depending on the build. While some of the expensive cards can be replaced, most of them are – sadly – core to the deck and necessary to play it. Below, I’ll list all of the cards, say whether they can be replaced or not and – if they can – offer some potential card substitutions.
- Prince Keleseth – The problem with replacing Prince Keleseth is that there aren’t many good 2-drops that this deck would want to run. Keleseth also plays an extra role of activating your Eggs even if you have no other way to do so. Even if you replace it, you can’t just put in a single 2-drop – it won’t be enough. If you don’t have him and still want to play the deck, you need to make some other cuts (e.g. Animal Companion, Saronite Chain Gang etc.) and put at least three or four 2-drops. Loot Hoarder, Sunfury Protector and Crackling Razormaw are some of the options. Alternatively, you can go for a Secret package instead (Explosive Trap, Wandering Monster, Freezing Trap), and also add two copies of Lesser Emerald Spellstone. It’s a viable option, but you need to completely remake your deck then.
- Houndmaster Shaw – Houndmaster Shaw is an all-around good card to have in decks like this one, but it’s not necessary, as he does not play a vital role in the deck. You can replace him with basically anything you want – e.g. Defender of Argus to activate Eggs, Void Ripper or Spellbreaker techs, or even an extra Beast in a form of Savannah Highmane.
- Deathstalker Rexxar – Deathstalker Rexxar can’t be replaced. It’s the only source of AoE against Aggro, and a great way to not run out of resources in slower matchups. You will win lots of games thanks to the Rexxar, and there is no card to replace him with. If you really want to play the deck without Rexxar, you can try any of the replacements I’ve listed above, but keep in mind that the deck will work significantly worse.
- Kathrena Winterwisp – Irreplaceable, it’s one of the most vital cards in the entire deck.
- King Krush – It’s the best “big Beast” to run – it’s amazing when you summon it from Kathrena, and it’s also okay if you play it from your hand as a finisher. If you don’t have it, you can still replace it with Charged Devilsaur, though. Will be nearly as good when played from Kathrena, but generally worse from the hand. If you don’t have Devilsaur, you can go for another big Beast, such as Savannah Highmane.
- Carnivorous Cube – Impossible to replace, it’s another vital card in the deck. It’s your main mid-late game combo tool, eating a big minion and then immediately triggering Cube with Play Dead or Terrorscale Stalker is your best win condition in most of the matchups.