I Am Not Prepared: The Diary of My Race to 1000 Demon Hunter Wins (Introduction)

Vengeance! Betrayal! Loyalty! Sacrifice! These are the words I kept saying as I stared into the mirror, trying to make my voice as gravelly as possible. You see, I had to familiarize myself with what it’s like to be a Demon Hunter, for I committed myself to a long and arduous task. It may not be ten thousand years in prison but grinding out one thousand Demon Hunter wins as quickly as possible may very well feel the same to me by the time Illidan and I are done with each other – and I hereby invite all of you along for the ride, however long it may take to reach the destination.

Climb log

How Has It Come to This?

Hearthstone has a special place in my personal gaming pantheon. With all of the original 1k win portraits in my back pocket and a few brushes with greatness (high Legend finishes, deep runs in HCT qualifiers), I consider myself a fairly decent player, too, and one who can’t help but feel a kinship with Illidan Stormrage.

The parallels make so much sense, at least in Hearthstone terms. Zoo and Healadin were my Tyrande and the word ‘random’ on competitively viable cards were my Malfurion. To this day, I want to exact vengeance on those who mismanaged Arena and chose to develop Tavern Brawl over a proper tournament mode.

Warlock was the first class I hit 500 wins with, and I basically played Zoo non-stop for months as I was figuring out the basics of the game. It’s still one of my favorite archetypes, and its aggro-control playstyle (get on the board early, make efficient trades, then push face damage with the surviving minions while removing all threats in the mid-game) remains my preferred strategy to this day.

Since Control decks nowadays are all about winning cards which didn’t even start in their decks, I’m not as much a fan of slow archetypes as I used to be. Healadin, much like all other Control decks which wanted to match their 30 cards against yours with the goal of coming out ahead by just a single one, went the way of the dodo. As such, efficient trades and a steady stream of face-hitting are all I’ve got to work with, and those are the sort of decks I’ve achieved my best results with over the years.

This is why I’m so excited about Demon Hunter. The addition of a new class doesn’t really interest me by itself – it’s not like it will make balancing any easier, nor do I expect it to increase the number of competitively viable decks at any given time. However, it has the tools to go fast under any circumstances. Illidan’s army of 1-drops lack the staying power of what Gul’dan’s has to offer, but he can hit much harder, and that has to count for something. Quick games, important mulligan and trade decisions, snatching victories before the cavalry (and the late-game RNG bullcrap) arrives? That actually sounds like a lot of fun.

Whether it’ll still sound like fun 1500 games in remains to be seen.

Though I still plan on experimenting with other classes (what would you do without my amazing deck guides and analysis articles?), I’m basically committed to maining Demon Hunter for the foreseeable future. My soft goal is to reach the 1k mark by the time the second expansion of 2020 rolls around. The math sort of works out: say five minutes per game and a 50% winrate (got to be cautious here), that’d be 10 000 minutes, or circa 166 hours. In other words, a bit more than an hour and a half of daily gameplay if we simplify things and assume a 100-day gap between the sets. So, you know, a light gamer diet.

My Opening Gambit

Our aim with this series is to highlight how the role of Demon Hunter develops in the meta on a weekly basis based on my personal experience, with a commitment to explore every viable archetype which develops over time. Yes, this will include Wild and Arena as well (since luckily those count towards the 1k wins goal too)! Though this is an endurance test with a focus on the winrate and good decks, it’s still expansion launch day and I’d like to have some fun. As such, I will dedicate my launch day gameplay to a bunch of homebrew decks

I have high hopes for my Highlander Demon Hunter deck. I don’t think the class has enough strong 1-drops to enable an aggressive build without duplicates (something which I had a lot of success with Warlock during SoU), so I went for a more value-oriented approach instead. This is what the deck looks like right now:

Deck Import

However, when it comes to quick wins and a fast grind, the holy trinity of S, M and Orc will be what guides me to the light, and I plan on spending most of the session with some variation of a face deck like this:

Deck Import

You mody likely want to incorporate at least a few neutrals in the optimal version of this deck, but avoiding starting with a pure Demon Hunter seems criminally anti-fun. If the face plays Taunt, me still go face. From meme to reality. As it should be.

Predictions

To make things more interesting – and to ensure I look like an idiot on a weekly basis – I will make various predictions for the next week’s meta developments and a rough guess of how many wins I’ll clock in by the time the next edition rolls out. I invite you to play along in the comments (or to suggest some insane deck ideas on Twitter)!

I expect Demon Hunter to be the strongest tempo deck in the early days of the meta simply off the back of their card quality. By the same token, I don’t have much faith in the “Big Demon” archetype, unless you can find a viable Highlander build. I’m eagerly awaiting the complete domination of Libram Paladin, but I’m probably just biased on that one. As for the number of wins, I’d be sad it I didn’t hit over 100 off the back of the initial high and excitement of the first week of Ashes of Outland.

Again, we’d love to hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments about this series as it develops and I can’t wait to see you outdo me at the prediction game. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to the mirror to practice a few more Demon Hunter voicelines.

Yellorambo

Luci Kelemen is an avid strategy gamer and writer who has been following Hearthstone ever since its inception. His content has previously appeared on HearthstonePlayers and Tempo/Storm's site.

Check out Yellorambo on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

10 Comments

  1. GlosuuLang
    April 8, 2020 at 4:42 am

    I play Wild. Odd Rogue has been my go-to aggro deck. Every time I’ve faced a Demon Hunter I have lost. In Wild. I don’t need to say how this is wrong in so many levels. Not playing Hearthstone in a while now, thanks Blizzard.

  2. Plaidiator
    April 7, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Haha oh my. I finally got the 500 wins Druid award last fall as my first one. I have been playing since the second month of the game release. Its like 10 wins for druid per month or something. I cant imagine playing video games that much.

  3. MJT3ll3r
    April 6, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    I’ll join you. Got all 1000 wins as well, even about a year before they actually were rewarded and was now on my way to 2000 wins on every hero. So DH will have some catching up to do.
    I do fear that we’re not the only one and that for the next few months hearthstone will be a demon hunter stone that will make shamanstone look pale in comparison.

  4. Beerdserkr
    April 6, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    I have no 1000 hero portraits, but I’ll be playing ranked Demon Hunter exclusively until I do, and since I am an extrmley average player it should take me about 3 years :p

  5. Deadpoolrising
    April 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Love all your articles, love the attitude, gl and hf! Will you be streaming any of this per chance?

  6. DemianHS
    April 6, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Do it Yellorambo!! Do it!! Seek face and destroy. \o-o/ <3