Our Spell Hunter Hearthstone deck guide features the best deck list for the new Kobolds and Catacombs meta, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.
Spell Hunter is a new kind of Hearthstone deck that deliberately strips out every minion card you might want to make use of in order to empower the hero's new Legendary Weapon Rhok'delar. Once played, this blade refreshes your hand with a cornucopia of random Hunter spells, which you hope will represent enough fuel to finish off the match.
Does it smell like a meme deck right now? Hell yes, but if this is the Legendary Weapon you happen to get for free at launch, this is about as good as things are going to get for you. We'll be refining the actual deck list continually as the launch plays out, so consider this guide to be very much a work in progress. More refined versions of this deck are just around the corner.
For now though, we've highlighted a Spell Hunter deck list that should represent a solid starting point, added a bit of strategy advice, and then finished up with a look at all the combos. That should be enough to get you started for now at least, and until we next update this article.
Update - 13th December 2017
Kibler's Spell Hunter still appears to be the dominant version of Spell Hunter as we approach the end of the first week of Kobolds and Catacombs. We're going to check in on this one daily from here on out, because it's a new archetype and so is most susceptible to rapid change.
Spell Hunter deck list and strategy
This version of Spell Hunter was concocted by Brian Kibler and should represent a big improvement over the one we theorycrafted ahead of release!
We're going to be refining this list all the way up to launch and beyond, and we'll make sure any changes we make are reflected in the rest of this guide. It will take some time to optimise this one, so let us know your own thoughts on how it's shaping up in the comments.
|1 x Candleshot|
|1 x Hunter's Mark|
|1 x On the Hunt|
|2 x Tracking|
|2 x Cat Trick|
|1 x Explosive Trap|
|1 x Flare|
|2 x Freezing Trap|
|2 x Wandering Monster|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|2 x Deadly Shot|
|2 x Eaglehorn Bow|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Flanking Strike|
|2 x Lesser Emerald Spellstone|
|1 x Deathstalker Rexxar|
|2 x To My Side!|
|1 x Rhok'delar|
|1 x Call of the Wild|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAR8IjQHJBIAH6asCx64C6dIChtMC4eMCC6gCtQOHBJcIxQj+DPixAt3SAt/SAuPSAurjAgA=
The idea behind playing this deck is that you want to control and frustrate the opponent's early to mid-game using the absolutely disgusting feast of Secret spells that populate this deck list. Although a fair bit of the strategy will be out of your control (due to luck of the draw and your opponent's potential savviness at playing around Secrets), you have lots of tools to play with.
Eaglehorn Bow is an important part of that control equation, and its important you gain as much value as you can out of its Secret-related Durability mechanic. While you're playing those Secrets, you're also fattening up your Lesser Emerald Spellstone cards, which can provide you with a fat board presence surprisingly quickly.
Rhok'delar is the Hunter's Legendary weapon, and once you play it your hand will be stuffed to bursting with a random selection of Hunter spells. You'll have to delicately weave these together to close down the match from here, but if you gain a card like Call of the Wild in particular, you can start pushing out some real damage.
It's a deck with a lot of randomness, a lot of uncertainty, and a definite “meme” feel to it at this stage of the Kobolds meta, but stranger things have happened in Hearthstone...
Here are a few post-launch tips about handling both aggro and control opponents at this stage of the meta:
- Keeping the board clear is absolutely vital against aggressive opponents, otherwise you'll struggle to stay alive long enough to reach your more powerful end-game.
- Manage your Eaglehorn Bow particularly carefully here as you really need to keep extra charges of Durability ticking off your Secrets.
- Don't get too greedy about fully charging up your Lesser Emerald Spellstone cards in these match-ups. Even a couple of Wolves can be enough to help you maintain control of the board - and you may well live to regret holding onto the card for just a little more power later on.
- In control match-ups the same advice applies to all Hunters. Take a more aggressive stance, and get as much damage in as you can - using Eaglehorn Bow - to finish the match up faster. You have a reasonable end-game, but nothing that can stand up to a very slow control opponent.
- Once Deathstalker Rexxar has been put into play, try to rattle off a new Beast every single turn and think very carefully about the combined stats and Mana cost. You can use this ability to fill in any gaps and ensure you have a solid play to make on the next turn if no other options are present.
In our next update we'll have advice for handling specific opponents in the emerging Kobolds and Catacombs meta.
Spell Hunter Mulligan guide
Candleshot is a great keep as it'll help you buy time against aggro opponents in particular, as you chip their minions off the board one by one.
Cat Trick and Wandering Monster are probably your most powerful and flexible Secrets to keep against a host of currently unknown opponents.
On the subject of these spells, you really want your Eaglehorn Bow to benefit from the extra Durability, so hold onto that if you get it. That weapon also becomes a lot more valuable when you're playing against particularly slow opponents.
A few quick notes on Mulliganing against specific opponents in the early stages of the Kobolds meta:
Hunter - Flare can get you a surprising amount of value because Secrets are everywhere right now, and in all kinds of hunter decks - not just Spell Hunter.
Mages- Again, Flare will serve you well right now because Secret Mage is enjoying a lot of play early on.
Once the meta has taken some kind of shape we'll be expanding on this section of our guide with a lot more information about what to keep against specific opponents. Until we know what those opponents look like, it's very hard to give more detail!
More great Hunter guides:
- 1. Spell Hunter - Spell Hunter deck list guide
- 2. Big Hunter - Big Hunter deck list guide
- 3. Face Hunter - Face Hunter deck list guide
- 4. Midrange Hunter - Midrange Hunter deck list guide
- 5. Deathrattle Hunter - Deathrattle Hunter deck list guide
- 6. Kobolds and Catacombs decks - Best Kobolds and Catacombs decks
Spell Hunter tips, combos and synergies
We've never seen a deck quite like this (for good or ill) in the Hearthstone meta, so we've produced a list of all the combos that power this particular version of Spell Hunter. Make sure you go into your first match with a firm understanding of the following combos:
- Hunter's Mark will put even the most stubborn of enemy minions into the range of your smallest clearing methods. Think of cards like On the Hunt, Explosive Trap, Wandering Monster or even Flanking Strike in this context.
- Try to plan your Secrets out in the order you would like them to ideally be triggered in. You might prefer that a minor aggro minion gets chomped by Wandering Monster rather than cast out by Freezing Trap, for example. The creature you get from Wandering Monster may well survive to do more work later on.
- Plan the use of your Eaglehorn Bow extremely carefully. Every time one of your many Secrets is triggered by the opponent, your weapon will gain an extra point of Durability. It's important that you keep that weapon damage rolling for control. Just watch out for weapon removal in the form of Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones in the new meta.
- Kill Command only does three points of damage in its vanilla form. If you can get any kind of Beast presence out in play, however, the damage output of this spell increases to five points - this can be a real game-changer, whether for controlling the board or finishing the fight off fast.
- Lesser Emerald Spellstone grows in a very particular way. When it's in your hand, playing a Secret will increase the number of Wolves it summons to three. Play a second Secret and the card maxes out at four Wolves. See our Spellstone guide for more details on the mechanic, as well as extra deck ideas.
- Flanking Strike not only removes an enemy minion with three or more Health, it also provides a 3 / 3 Wolf minion for your side of the board.
- There are no minions in this deck, and so To My Side! is guaranteed to pull two of the Animal Companion creatures onto the board. One's a 4 / 2 with Charge, the other's a 4 / 4 Taunt, while the third option is a 2 / 4 that buffs the Attack value of your other Beasts.
- Deathstalker Rexxar grants you five points of Armor when played, and also does two damage to all enemy minions. You also get the Build-A-Beast Hero Power which lets you combine vanilla Beast cards into new and revolting creations that have their Mana cost and stats combined.
- Rhok'delar is the real reason you pack not a single minion card into this deck. When you play it, your entire hand will be filled with a random selection of Hunter spells. The more you can thin your hand out first, of course, the more of these free spells you'll receive.