Hybrid Hunter is a Hearthstone deck which represents something of a halfway-house between the all-or-nothing beatdown approach of the Face Hunter, and the more thoughtful Midrange flavour of the Hero. On the one hand you have a very familiar and aggressive early-game, but later on in the match you gain access to weightier minions like Savannah Highmane and Call of the Wild. It's in this sense that the deck archetype straddles both the aggressive and controlling playstyles of the Hunter.
The Hybrid deck was an extremely familiar sight during the early days of The Grand Tournament expansion, but it faded fairly quickly. Things have picked up for the archetype in the latter stages of the Old Gods metagame, however, and things are looking even rosier for Karazhan. As a result, it's worth reacquainting yourself with the ins and outs of this particular deck. We're certainly finding it a blast to play, and the uncertainty factor means you can really catch your opponents off-guard.
There are a couple of new Karazhan cards that add extra flavour to the Hybrid Hunter. First up is Kindly Grandmother who provides a wonderful early-game problem for your opponent to deal with. Secondly there's Barnes, who'll hopefully deliver either that first card, Savannah Highmane or Infested Wolf onto the board.
In our next guide, we've got a tried and tested Hybrid Hunter deck list for you to mess around with, along with an overview of the fundamental strategy behind playing it. After that we've got some Mulligan advice to help you get a strong start in each match, and we wrap things up with a breakdown of the most important combos you have to play with.
Editor's note - September 2016: It's going to take a little while for things to settle down for Hybrid Hunter, but we feel as though the deck list we've highlighted here is a pretty dependable one. As with all of our Karazhan deck guides, we'll be revising them in the near future once we have some more metagame experience behind us.
On this page:
1. Hybrid Hunter (Standard): Deck list and general strategy
Hybrid Hunter (Standard) deck list and strategy - September 2016
This is a pretty typical Hybrid Hunter deck list that you should find very sturdy when climbing the ladder.
|2 x Fiery Bat||2 x Abusive Sergeant|
|1 x Freezing Trap||2 x Argent Squire|
|2 x Quick Shot||2 x Huge Toad|
|2 x Kindly Grandmother||1 x Argent Horserider|
|2 x Eaglehorn Bow||1 x Barnes|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Unleash the Hounds|
|1 x Houndmaster|
|2 x Infested Wolf|
|2 x Savannah Highmane|
|2 x Call of the Wild|
More great Hunter guides:
- The best Standard decks in Hearthstone - January 2017
- The best Wild decks in Hearthstone - December 2016
- Hearthstone: Deck Tier List - January 2017
- Hearthstone: Hunter decks
- Face Hunter (Standard) deck list and guide
- Midrange Hunter (Standard) deck list and guide
- Secret Hunter (Standard) deck list and guide
During the early stages of the game you want to use your low-Mana minions to make an immediate impact on the game. The likes of Argent Squire, Fiery Bat, Kindly Grandmother and Huge Toad will allow you to do a fair bit of work very early on. The Kindly Grandmother in particulary can be very frustrating for your opponent to deal with.
With the early turns taken care of, it's time to look to cards like Animal Companion, Infested Wolf and Barnes. These will help you make the transition from controlling the board to pushing damage into the opponent's health pool - a crucial moment to spot, and one that depends very much on the shape of your hand, and how many turns you need in order to reach a position of lethal damage.
As a general rule of thumb, the more immediately impactful the damage you have in your hand, the more important it is to start whittling down the opponent's health total. If you lack that final burst to get over the finishing line, however, then you should maintain a controlling position. Regardless, try to work that Hero Power into your play every turn as well, in order to intensify the pressure as you approach the late-game.
The Old Gods set gave this deck a really powerful extra bit of late-game power in the form of Call of the Wild. Whether used as surprise burst in its own right, or as a way of empowering what's left on the board, this new spell cab be a game-winner by itself. If you happen to have a Savannah Highmane left on the board when this spell is played, you may still be able to balance aggression with control as the situation demands.