Our Face Hunter deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion features the top list for the archetype. This Face Hunter guide includes Mulligans, Card Choices, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Face Hunter
Face Hunter has a long history in Hearthstone. In the past, it was an absolute terror on the Ladder forcing a handful of impactful nerfs to cards such as Leper Gnome and Abusive Sergeant. Since those changes, Rexxar has had a hard time keeping pace with other aggressive decks in the Standard format. This pigeon-holed Hunter players into more midrange decks for the past few expansions.
Recently, however, we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of the Face Hunter builds. Slower decks becoming more common in the meta allow Hunter players to weave in more Steady Shots and inevitably wear down their opponents. Perhaps more importantly, faster aggro decks are somewhat less common giving Face Hunter a fighting chance.
As the name suggests, the deck relies heavily on sending minions in the direction of the opposing hero portrait. Because of its higher curve, though, the deck does require a bit more finesse than the Face Hunter of yore. As with other aggro decks, decisions about when to trade and when to push damage are critical to mastering the deck.
New to Kobolds and Catacombs
The new set has given Face Hunter some new tools that make it easier to be aggressive and more guaranteed to have chances to buff your beasts. Candleshot acts as a way to chip down minions, but also acts as a way to get an early charge out of Southsea Deckhand. Dire Mole is a sturdy and cheap minion that acts as nearly a guaranteed minion to receive a buff in the early game. Last but not least, is the terror of the meta Corridor Creeper. This card is absolutely bonkers in this deck due to your cheap minions and the beast tag. You will often get it for 0-mana which means you can slap a buff on it the same turn.
Update: Face Hunter (February 2018 – Post Nerf)
Face Hunter took a big blow from the nerfs, so don’t rush to craft this until the meta has settled!
The deck list above is up-to-date, but we will need some time to update the guide below.
Face Hunter Card Choices
As an aggressive deck, most of the cards in Face Hunter have one main purpose: deal damage to your opponent. However, nearly any minion in Hearthstone is capable of doing this, so this section will take you through the nuances of the individual card choices.
- Alleycat – Alleycat gives you two bodies on turn 1 that can be adapted by Crackling Razormaw. Plus, Tabbycat is adorable.
- Candleshot – Cheap weapon that you can chip down minions with while not taking damage, but also allows Southsea Deckhand to charge and get immediate damage.
- Crackling Razormaw – An aggressively statted body that can buff your early game minions.
- Animal Companion – Huffer is a good card to have in any Hunter deck, but especially aggressive variants. (You did roll Huffer, right?)
- Eaglehorn Bow – Bow is six damage to the face against slow decks or a means of protecting your minions.
- Kill Command – With several decks running Taunt minions, Kill Command can give you the reach necessary to finish the game.
- Houndmaster – Bonemare Lite for a deck that wants to protect valuable minions and get extra damage in each turn.
- Dire Mole – Another new addition to the deck, great for hitting with a beast buff as well as sturdy enough to trade.
- Patches the Pirate – Patches is still one of the best cards in the game when he comes shooting out of his cannon.
- Southsea Deckhand – Cheap way to get patches out of a cannon, and can deal early damage or trade with the usage of Candleshot.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf adds extra damage to your minions and, in the case of Patches and Deckhand, allows you to take advantage of Charge effects.
- Golakka Crawler – When there’s a lot of aggro floating around this card becomes particularly good especially for Hunter who can use the Beast tag.
- Southsea Captain – Another good way to get Patches out of your deck and buffs your other Pirates.
- Bittertide Hydra – Strong aggressive minion with a drawback that is largely irrelevant to a deck that seeks to end the game quickly. It also has the Beast tag!
- Leeroy Jenkins – Six damage for five mana cannot be underestimated. Leeroy is additional burst damage for a deck that wants to end the game fast.
- Corridor Creeper – Often a card you can get on the table for a very low cost which means it can pair with your beast buff cards. Super strong right now and a very safe craft if you don’t have it.
Face Hunter Mulligan Strategy & Guide
The mulligan section into two parts – against fast decks and against slow decks. Fast decks are generally the Aggro decks (e.g. Pirate Warrior) or high tempo Midrange decks (e.g. Midrange Hunter). Slow decks are slower Midrange and Control decks.
VS FAST DECKS
- Higher Priority (keep every time): Alleycat – Against any deck, you really want to have something in play on turn 1. Spreading your one drops into two bodies is especially helpful against aggressive decks.
- Dire Mole – Strong early minion that can fight for the board and survives to get buffed by Razormaw.
- Crackling Razormaw – Landing a Razormaw Adapt on turn 2 can give you the lead you need in the early game or swing things back into your favor.
- Golakka Crawler – Most fast decks are running a Pirate package which makes this a solid keep.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf pairs extremely well with both Pirates and Alleycat to apply early pressure or stave off aggression.
- Corridor Creeper – Seems like a weird keep, but if you already have Alleycat and make a few trades then the cost comes down immediately.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Candleshot – Only keep if you have a good curve or Southsea Deckhand already. You want to be proactive in the early game.
- Southsea Deckhand – Not bad as long as you have another 1-drop, but don’t keep it by itself.
- Eaglehorn Bow – While it’s not ideal to take extra damage against Aggro decks, Bow can help you stabilize your board position and lead to a win.
- Animal Companion – While Companion on turn 3 is usually very good, you really want to have plays on turns 1 and 2 so only keep this card when that is the case.
- Southsea Captain – Good keep if you have a 1 and 2-drop so you can pull Patches out as a 2/2.
VS SLOW DECKS
Higher Priority (keep every time)
- Alleycat – Cats are almost always your best turn 1 play, regardless of the opponent.
- Dire Mole – Good target for your beast buffs or forces an early removal spell.
- Crackling Razormaw – Against slower decks, you want to pressure opponents in the early turns. Razormaw can help increase the aggression of your early minions.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – Most of your one drops are about spreading wide on the board. Dire Wolf increases their attack and can help you deal more damage or get through annoying Taunt minions.
- Corridor Creeper – Even control decks run cheap minions to fight for the board, best to only keep this if you already have a 1-drop.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Golakka Crawler – Golakka is less likely to eat an opposing Pirate against slower decks, but is still a reasonable turn 2 play and can gobble up your own Pirate to get out of removal range.
- Animal Companion – Animal Companion is even better in slower match ups, but you still really want a play on turns 1 and 2.
- Southsea Captain – Pulls out Patches as a 2/2, but is best only kept with another early drop.
Face Hunter Play Strategy
Against aggressive decks, gaining control of the board is critical. Despite being a Face Hunter, you are likely to be the slower deck. The good news is that you can often out-value decks that go all-in on damage. Make value trades when appropriate, but try to slow the early turns from your opponent and swing the board back in your favor.
A Houndmaster on turn 4 can lock down the board and give you the advantage you need to win the game.
With enough burst in hand, you may need to concede the board and just turn the remainder of a game into a race.
Control match ups are really where Face Hunter shines. Slower decks give you the chance to gain the board and begin weaving in hero powers turn after turn.
Get as much minion damage in as you can in the early turns. Typically, you can get enough chip damage enough to make your hero power threatening and/or finish the game with burst from Kill Command or Leeroy Jenkins.
In these match ups, Houndmaster is useful in buffing your minions out of range of trades or removal. The immediate two damage is often useful as well.
Be aware of the AoE spells your opponent’s class is likely to have access to and play around them accordingly. Do not, for example, extend wide on the board going into Blizzard turns against Mage or Holy Nova/Dragonfire Potion against Priest. Spreading Plague is fairly common in slower Druid builds, so always be aware of that possibility before dropping minions into play.
Face Hunter General Tips
Below are some General Tips for piloting this deck.
- Always count the damage you have available. This deck relies heavily on minion damage, so know how much damage you’ll have available on upcoming turns.
- Hero Powers are a valuable source of damage against slower decks. Include Steady Shot in your damage calculations when trying to math out how many turns are required to score a kill.
- Avoid the value traps in the deck, such as Crackling Razormaw and Golakka Crawler. All of these minions offer reasonable vanilla stats and passing early turns can be crippling to your game plan.
Face Hunter Card Substitutions
Face Hunter isn’t too expensive, but the Legendaries are very important in this deck and I wouldn’t want to play this deck without Corridor Creeper.
- Patches the Pirate – This deck gets a whole lot weaker if you don’t have Patches and I wouldn’t play it without him. He fuels your Corridor Creeper and just generally makes everything easier.
- Southsea Captain – You could maybe get away with playing Flanking Strike or even going with a really low curve and run Fire Fly.
- Bittertide Hydra – Some versions of this deck run Cobalt Scalebane instead, but you aren’t always going to have a minion on the board to receive the buff.
- Leeroy Jenkins – Leeroy is pretty important in this deck because you’ll usually be down to your last cards scraping to finish off your opponent. If you’re desperate you could run Reckless Rocketeer as a replacement.
About the Author
A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.net.
Parts of this deck guide were updated by Evident.