Hunter and Beasts go well together like gin and tonic ever since the Classic days. Hunter was the original Beast synergy class and in every single expansion it got either some new Beasts or Beast-related cards. We had a lot of incentives to build a Beast Hunter deck before, and while maybe not explicitly called that way, Midrange Hunters were always packed with that tribe.
Which means that Rastakhan’s Rumble won’t necessarily be new in that matter, but it still added a lot of specific Beast synergy. It might also be the first time we have an incentive to run a full Beast deck, with no other tribes, something that never really happened before.
You’ll be able to find all of our pro and streamer lists on our Midrange Hunter Archetype Page!
More New Rastakhan Archetypes
- Pirate Rogue
- Evolve Token Shaman
- Rush Warrior
- Odd Mage
- Dragon Warrior
- Elemental Mage
- Rush Warrior
- Big Beast Druid
Midrange Beast Hunter in the Past
Midrange Hunter is one of the oldest archetypes in Hearthstone. Depending on the meta, the deck was running more or less Beast synergies, but cards like Kill Command and Houndmaster were timeless staples. The closest we had to a full Beast Hunter deck was during the early Journey to Un’Goro meta, over 1.5 years ago.
This is an example deck from that period. Most notably, it was the time when Crackling Razormaw, one of the most powerful cards Hunter got to the date, was released. It incentivised players to run a lot of Beasts, especially Beast 1-drops you could follow up with the insane 2-drop Razormaw is. 18 out of 22 minions in the deck were Beasts, and it used two more spells that summoned Beasts, making it really clear that it was the focus.
Decks of the period also notably used Scavenging Hyena as one of the win conditions. The cards combos really well with Unleash the Hounds and other token generators. Coincidentally, Rastakhan’s Rumble introduced a few more ways to generate tokens and make Hyenas big, meaning that the card might be back in favor.
Midrange Beast Hunter Card Choices in Rastakhan’s Rumble
There’s quite a few cards to pick from when building the new Beast-based Hunter deck! Here are the ones worth noting:
Halazzi, the Lynx – Starting with the new Hunter Legendary (Loa). Halazzi is an interesting case. On the one hand, it’s a Beast itself and it fills your hand with Beasts, giving you some really solid synergies with cards like Scavenging Hyena. On the other hand, it’s a low tempo card, and Hunters don’t have a great way to regain tempo, so you need a way to catch up once you play it. It will definitely be a deck building challenge to put him somewhere, and he might not end up making a cut in the final lists. But the card has quite a lot of potential.
Oondasta – Oondasta is an interesting case. It is a big Beast, that pulls another Beast from your hand. However, it might fit more into a “Big Hunter” archetype that runs Kathrena Winterwisp and such and not into a Midrange Beast Hunter, which has quite a lot of small Beasts too. Because let’s be honest – pulling a 3/2 from your hand with this kind of effect is not the best thing ever, right?
The Beast Within – While it’s technically a Beast synergy… it’s a little bit weird. Such an effect makes more sense in let’s say MTG, where you can’t directly choose which minion you’re attacking. But in Hearthstone, the beast use for it seems to be being able to perform your regular attack and then still making a trade (or trading into something the turn you play a certain Beast).
Master's Call – If you commit and build a deck with ONLY Beasts, this is a huge pay-off. Drawing 3 Beasts for 3 mana is a really great effect, especially in a Hunter class, which was notoriously lacking tools to refill the hand (other than DK Rexxar). The main problem is that you can’t run Beast synergy cards that aren’t beast themselves – just putting a single Houndmaster means that you have a significant chance to flop and turn it into a 3 mana Tracking.
Untamed Beastmaster – A really cool Neutral option that should find its home in Midrange Beast Hunter like in no other deck. Just triggering this effect once is enough for the card to get its value. And now imagine playing it together with Master's Call and drawing 3 Beasts. It comes with an inherent risk of it showing up instead of a Beast and ruining your draw, but the pay-off potential is high. However, even without Master’s Call, the card is still a solid pick in such an archetype.
Spirit of the Lynx – Hunter’s Spirit card is also Beast-related. Buffing every Beast that you Summon (Summon is a key word here – it means that it also buffs minions you get from e.g. Unleash the Hounds or Animal Companion, not only the ones you play from your hand) is a pretty strong effect, but once again, you need to find a best way to use it, because initially it’s a quite high tempo loss, something that Hunter doesn’t like very much.
Revenge of the Wild – Another huge incentive to build a Beast-based deck. For just 2 mana, you can resummon all of the Beasts that died this turn. You don’t need much to get the value – just repeating your Unleash the Hounds or resummoning that Animal Companion‘s Huffer you had to trade into something is enough. And think about the possibilities – getting back a big board full of Beasts can be potentially a game-winning swing.
Springpaw – This card is pretty interesting. It’s a bit like Hunter’s version of Fire Fly. While both bodies have weaker stats (1/1 instead of 1/2), they both come with Rush and a Beast tag, making the card generally superior in Hunter. I suspect that it will be a 1-drop of choice in many Hunter decks to come over the next year.
Headhunter's Hatchet – 2/2 weapon for 2 mana is pretty underwhelming. 2/3, however, sounds much better. And if you run a deck full of Beasts it shouldn’t be that difficult to trigger this Battlecry.
Midrange Beast Hunter in Rastakhan’s Rumble
This time around, I’ve prepared two different decks. One is a 100% Beast Hunter, running no other minions whatsoever. The other one runs two Beastmasters, while still using Master's Call. You see, even though there is a chance to low-roll it, I think it’s worth taking the risk, especially since the potential pay-off is massive.
And this is the full Beast deck I came up with. It’s a Midrange Hunter deck at the base, but every single minion you play is a Beast. Because of that, the consistency of any Beast synergy is very high. Let’s start with the most obvious reason to build this deck – Master's Call. If you play only Beasts, it has a 100% chance to draw 3 cards. Hunter was always struggling with card draw (until it turns into Deathstalker Rexxar, that is), and this card is going to fix the problem quite nicely. Normally drawing loses tempo, but getting 3 cards for 3 mana is a high tempo play when you compare it to other similar effects, considering that drawing 3 usually costs around 5.
But Master’s Call is just one of the incentives to run this kind of deck. All of the Beasts means that Scavenging Hyena‘s effect will trigger consistently – no matter what other minion dies, you get the buff. It will also be very easy to find a target for Crackling Razormaw, Kill Command will be nearly always active at 5 damage, and Headhunter's Hatchet will consistently be a 2/3 weapon.
I’ve decided to go for a slightly more aggressive route here, playing Bittertide Hydra in a 5-drops slot. While it doesn’t synergize as well with let’s say Hyena, if it sticks, it can be a really powerful Crackling Razormaw target.
4-drop slot is pretty problematic. You want to run Beasts, so Houndmaster is sadly out of question. But most of the 4-drop Beasts currently in Standard are honestly pretty weak. Lifedrinker might not be the best option, but it’s still a body, and it should be quite useful if you’re playing the aggressive role. After all, dealing 3 immediate damage is not something to ignore.
The deck curves out with Savannah Highmane and Deathstalker Rexxar. Highmane is just a solid 6-drop and it’s also a Beast – it’s great in slower matchups, since opponents often can’t deal with it that easily. Even if they clear the first body, 2x 2/2 still leave some board presence and put pressure. And of course, Deathstalker Rexxar is just too good to pass up, this card alone can win you some slower games by giving you insane value over multiple turns.
And this is a second build – the one running Untamed Beastmasters. Here, the dream is to play Beastmaster and then draw a bunch of Beasts. You can just drop him on T3 and try to protect him, or alternatively play him on T6 alongside Master's Call. Ideally, you will draw 3 Beasts, all of which will get +2/+2 buff. 1 mana 3/5 or 3 mana 6/5 that can’t be targeted by spells can really carry the game tempo-wise.
I’ve tried, I’ve really tried adding Houndmaster to the deck, but it would decrease the consistency of Untamed Beastmaster + Master's Call significantly. It already has a solid chance to fail (depending on your draws, but I’d say that it’s around 30% to fail), and it’s just so insane that decreasing its chance even further is not the best idea. I think that there’s a point in building a more classic Midrange Hunter, with more non-Beast minions and no Master’s Call, although in this theorycraft I wanted to focus on the Beast variants, that’s why I didn’t include it.
Compared to the first build, I’ve also switched Bittertide Hydra for Stranglethorn Tiger and cut Savannah Highmane. A big part of this deck’s appeal is drawing Beasts when having Untamed Beastmaster on the board. +2/+2 buff is significant on smaller bodies, but let’s say that if you get it on Hydra, it doesn’t really matter. 8/8 Hydra sticking to the board is winning you the game, buffing it to 10/10 doesn’t matter that much. However, the difference between a 5/5 Tiger and a 7/7 Tiger is more significant. Similarly, Highmane is not the best buff target. When you’re drawing Beasts, you’d rather draw something smaller, so the +2/+2 buff would make a bigger tempo impact. I thought about cutting Lifedrinker instead of Highmane to fit the Beastmaster, but that would leave Flanking Strike as the only Turn 4 play. Maybe it’s the best course of action, but we’ll need to test it out.
That’s all folks, thanks for reading. What do you think about those theorycraftings? Did you also think about this archetype? Will you What would you add or remove from those deck lists?
Be sure to check out our other theorycraftings, and hopefully we’ll see you in game when Rastakhan’s Rumble launches on Tuesday. Good luck on the ladder and until next time!