[Deck Guide] Highlander Hunter
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Hey guys, I’ve been playing a lot of highlander hunter at legend ranks lately and would like to share some knowledge.
About Me: Student who enjoys Hearthstone. You’ll see me around this sub often. I enjoy playing both standard and wild, and hunter is my favorite class. This is my second guide so it won’t be perfect. (My first deck guide can be found here)
Why Play Highlander Hunter: With 30 unique cards in your deck, no game ever feels the same. Your games won’t be linear or boring, and you have a chance against any match-up. Zephrys is really fun and 7-mana King Krush feels really powerful. This is a midrange-style deck, meaning that you play aggressively against slower decks and try to control the game against faster decks (and then push damage later).
Statistics: Most if not all of my games are on mobile, so I have not tracked my exact win-rates. However, I have hand-tracked some games and have a good general estimate. I played this deck at Rank 2, in the Brawlesium, and at Legend ranks. My current estimated win-rate is 58% (22-16) which lines up pretty closely with HSreplay.
Notable Card Choices:
Why no Siamat?
I’m a bit short on dust at the moment, but I’m not running Sandbinder either.
He’s a bit slow in aggressive match-ups, and if you draw him early he won’t be able to save you.
I would replace Wild Bloodstinger or Savannah Highmane if you wish to include him.
Why no Tracking?
Anti-synergy with Zul’jin, it sucks to mill through useful cards in your deck.
It could be useful to dig for cards if you are in a bad position.
Why no Mech Package (Mecharoo, Ursatron, Mechanical Whelp, Nine Lives, Necromechanic)?
I don’t want to be fitting too many different packages and synergies into one deck.
It’s pretty slow in aggressive matchups.
This card is a threat on it’s own, and if it sticks even for one turn it will allow you to take control of the board as all your minions will have rush.
Besides Subject 9, there really isn’t any card draw in the deck. This is a nice resource generation card that usually will give at least one useful card.
Against those aggro matchups the life-gain is very useful as hunter has barely any healing options.
It’s still a very solid beast in other scenarios, and can provide some reach especially when copied by Wildtamer.
You only have one copy of everything in your deck, and not many beasts in your hand at a time. It’s nice to copy any beast in this deck expect Subject 9, the best target being Hyena Alpha.
This is a nice mid-late game card to remove one of the minions in your opponent’s hand from the game. Occasionally you will get punished if they have a big minion, but you can deal 6 damage to it and kill it with your other cards to prevent follow-up plays from your opponent. Dyn-o-matic, Omega Devestator, King Phaoris, etc. all get eaten for breakfast by this card.
Possible Card Inclusions (Suggested by the Community):
- Baited Arrow
- Removal + 5/5 body
- Hunting Mastiff
- Flexible removal or board fill late game
- Ironbeak Owl
- Cheap silence + beast synergy
- Tutor for Snip-Snap or Ziliax
- Youthful Brewmaster
- Double up on Brann or Zephrys
Highlander/ Big Spell Mage (Favored): Mage usually has a slow start, so you should be able to push damage early and take control of the game. In the mid to late game you should be looking to burst them down (Zephrys and Brann can help in this regard).
Control Warrior (Slightly Favored): Control warrior does indeed have a lot of removal, but there will be turns where they can’t answer something you play if you keep presenting threats. You must capitalize on this said turn and you can usually swing the game in your favor. Don’t go all in unless you are absolutely sure they can’t deal with your plays the next turn. Zephrys can help find lethal for you at the end.
Example game: I was on mobile and I really regret not recording the game as it is a perfect example. I’ll go through the main plays, however. The warrior first plays his Eternium Rover and proceeds to Snip-Snap. I use Zephrys to Shadow Word: Pain it the next turn. I play some medium sized threats the next few turns, which he removes with his mummies. He coins Dr. Boom on turn 7. I play Subject 9 to fill up my hand, and then larger threats like Hyena Alpha, Unleash the Beast, Savannah Highmane, Brann, triple Snip-Snap (Only play one threat per turn). He clears everything, but there is one turn where he plays his Warpath into my Rat Trap and I get a good amount of damage in, removing his armor and keeping my big minions. I proceed to play as many secrets and spells as I can as I equip Eaglehorn Bow. I play Zul’jin when I draw my last card, and he brawls it, but I already have been swinging with the bow every turn before then, weaving in hero powers. He’s low on cards and health at this point, having used all of his taunts and removals. I kill him two turns into fatigue with the bow + burn spells.
Basically, you shouldn’t give up even if the warrior gets really good draws.
Quest Paladin (Slightly Favored): Quest paladin is looking to complete his quest and duplicate his minions for value. It’s going to be hard to get through once he starts duplicating sticky taunts, so you need to get an early start and look to burst him down as soon as you can.
Highlander Hunter (Mirror): This is an interesting matchup that is somewhat reliant on draws/ rng. Try to take control of the board or get nice tempo swings, while keeping your own minions safe. Keep an eye on their secrets.
Combo Priest (About even): The priest is looking to get a minion to stick so he can buff it up and hit you for a ton. Keep his board as clear as possible and use secrets to scare him (freezing trap + pressure plate are the ones he should be worried about). Without minions on the board, the buff spells in his hand won’t be very useful and you should be able to take him down.
Face Rogue (Slightly Unfavored): Rogues are very fast and aggressive. You need to control the board and stabilize as best you can before pushing face as they can outrace you. Set up your side of the board and hit them as much as you can as you can’t deny their weapon swings. Rat trap and Zuljin can swing games in your favor.
Murloc Paladin (Unfavored): Murloc Paladin usually wins by highrolling their prismatic lens on turn 4 and then summoning a full board of murloc the next turn. Try to push as much damage as you can before turn 5 so you can finish them off the next turn. If you can’t, use Zephrys to discover some sort of board clear (lightning storm) or use unleash the hounds.
Zoo Warlock (Unfavored): This matchup focuses only on the board. Control it as best as you can by trading and using spells. They will be mostly minion-based so you do have an small advantage with zephrys, secrets, and unleash the hounds. However, they have continuous reload and it will be very hard to keep up if you don’t draw well.
If you guys want any more match-up info, comment them below and I’ll add it to the guide.
With 30 unique cards, the mulligan phase becomes more interesting and important. The first step is to identify you and your opponent’s roles (aggro, control, combo, etc.) It’s hard to go through all the card combinations in this deck, so it’s important to use your own judgement. For example, keeping one harder to trigger secret (Rat Trap, Pressure Plate, Snake Trap) can set some of your secret synergy cards up.
Against any deck: Secretkeeper + secret, Hyena alpha, Zephrys, Animal Companion
Against faster decks: One-drops, Snake trap, Houndmaster Shaw
Against slower decks: Ramkahen Wildtamer, Subject 9
Here are the main ways I’ve been using Zephrys (from most to least common). He’s one of the reasons for this deck’s success.
Finding lethal: This deck has a lot of burst potential, with Zephrys being one of them. Try to think of a classic/basic card that you would need the most and get your mana down to that card’s cost. The more obvious you make the scenario for Zephrys, the more likely he will give you the right card!
Tempo swing: If your opponents has control of the board with some annoying minions, Zephrys can help swing the board back in your favor.
Saving my life: This is usually against aggro, and Zephrys might be able to give you the removal or board clear that you need to survive the next turn.
No better early game: If my hand is clogged, he’s not a bad early play as he’ll give you a useful card for the next turn too.
One of the most unique parts about highlander decks is that they can have slightly different card inclusions. This build is just what I prefer to play, you may like a different version which is completely fine. One thing we can all agree on is that this is a fun deck with interesting game-play.
With that being said, I will be updating this guide throughout the season.
If you would like some help or coaching, feel free to pm and I’ll respond asap.