Demon Hunter Theorycrafting – Potential Decks and Strategies for the New Class

With Demon Hunter coming to Hearthstone on April 7th, just about everyone is going to be interested to play the new class (myself included). The class looks to contain many elements that are most closely related to Rogue, complete with a hero power that does damage at the same rate of mana, while also containing elements of Warlock themes, including Demons, sacrificing for power, and board-clearing abilities. 

This is the first time something this big has hit Hearthstone, so predicting how good the class will be, what its major decks will look like, and how it will fit into the post-rotation meta will be nearly impossible. But that’s the beauty of it: we have a whole new world to discover and, for that purpose, I will try to be your Aladdin for getting those gears turning. 

Here you will find five different potential Demon Hunter decks, building around what seem to be the major themes of the class. Some look more promising than others, and all will no doubt require excessive amounts of polishing before they reach a finalized list. However, before you can refine decks, you need to figure out where the strongest sources of power reside. Hopefully these can serve as a useful guide for thinking about what you want to build your decks around.

(Editor’s note: We’re aware that deck headers display Hunter and not Demon Hunter, we’ll be working on a fix soon)

Deck Import

This list highlights some of the burst potential of Demon Hunter. The general purpose of the deck is to use the Token generators (Umberwing, Coordinated Strike, and Command the Illidari) to combo off with Feast of Souls and Wrathscale Naga for huge swings turns full of burst damage, board clears, and card draw.

What combos well with burst? More burst. Imprisoned Antaen can be a nightmare to deal with after it wakes up after a big combo turn and burns down the opponent’s face or board again. Follow this up with a Priestess of Fury and/or Metamorphosis for the burst you need to finish the game and you have a deck that can explode into a kill out of almost nowhere.

Deck Import

The bread-and-butter of Hearthstone: playing minions on curve that can gain control of the board and then hit your opponent in the face. This is a fairly-balanced plan between early-, mid-, and late-game. There’s an element of burst, board control, sustain, tempo, and value here. It doesn’t excel at any of these plans, but it can have game against just about any opposing strategy. 

Escaped Manasaber is a flex spot, included under the assumption that putting out an early Priestess of Fury or Coilfang Warlord can win games. Altruis the Outcast is certainly a flex spot as well, which can be replaced with other options as the need arises. 

Deck Import

This is a rather experimental idea for Demon Hunter focusing around the amount of card draw the class can put out while sustaining life and tempo. The deck’s general game plan is to control the board in the early game through a combination of minions, burn spells, weapons, and Lifesteal options, start heavily cycling their deck in the mid-game while controlling the board with cheap and efficient board clears, and then move into dropping late-game bombs like Coilfang Warlord, now-active Highlander cards like Zephrys the Great and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, and finish with Chef Nomi in the event the game has hit fatigue. 

The deck could be pushed to contain even more card draw with Feast of Souls, Coordinated Strike, Command the Illidari, and Wrathscale Naga combos at the expense of cards like Battlefiend, Sightless Watcher, Spectral Sight, Ashtongue Battlelord, Kayn Sunfury, and Nomi. How to adjust the deck will depend on how aggressive opponents tend to be (whether outlasting aggro will be more important), how much card draw is too much, and how burst focused you want the deck to be. More AoE is available in Altruis the Outcast and Immolation Aura if needed. 

Deck Import

If you enjoy large numbers and huge demons, there’s an option for a Big Demon archetype. While the early game of this deck is relatively weak – simply hoping to control the board with efficient weapons, lifesteal, and AoE removal – it can ramp up quickly, cheating mana with Skull of Gul'dan and Raging Felscreamer to slam down huge minions early. Unfortunately the deck cannot play early-game demons, as we don’t want to risk those getting pulled out by a Pit Commander when the time comes to start playing your big things.  

I can’t say I have a lot of faith in this archetype, as the ability to cheat mana is relatively limited and it can lose a lot of tempo to having large demons removed by spells. It’s easy to get under the deck or create board swings it will find hard to deal with. However, if you manage to survive past Turn 6, the deck gains a lot of power.

Deck Import

If you enjoy smaller numbers and swarms of aggressive minions that can close games out quickly, there’s an option for a much quicker, zoo-style deck. Get on board early, reliably, and fast.

The curve is kept intentionally very low. This is not only because you want to put your power onto the board so it can get at your opponent’s life, but it also allows you to reliably take advantage of powerful Outcast draw options, like Spectral Sight and Skull of Gul'dan. While there is a little bit of a high end in the deck, it’s there to deliver as much burn as possible for as few cards as possible. We want to keep the limited high end efficient so we aren’t just gassing out and losing to a small number of defensive options. 

JalexanderHS

Hearthstone's resident Rogue expert. Stop by Twitter or Twitch for the authentic Jay Roguein' Experience Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/j_alexander_hs Twitter: https://twitter.com/J_Alexander_HS

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4 Comments

  1. JoyDivision
    March 29, 2020 at 10:16 am

    I think the decks are (unintentionaly?) sorted from best to worst – with the exception of all in aggro because, well, aggro sometimes just wins more than it should.

    The first deck really looks great. Very high power level.

    If Pit Commander pulls Antaen, it’s ‘just’ a 10/6, right? It doesn’t enter the battlefield dormant, it has to be played from hand to go dormant!?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 30, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Those minions will enter the board Dormant when summoned. It’s a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation. On one hand, it’s less immediate tempo (and sometimes you really need it). On the other, it will still get to triggers its effect, which is very, very powerful.

  2. Phobetor
    March 27, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Nice theorycrafts! I really like the Highlander Heavy Cycle Demon Hunter – looks so cool! I’m going to try a similar one with demon package.

  3. Raymoney
    March 27, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Thanks! It will be very interesting to see the decks evolve…