Our Spell Hunter deck list guide features the best post-nerf deck list for Season 48 (March 2018). Our Spell Hunter guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Spell Hunter is a new Hearthstone deck to arrive with the Kobolds expansion and it's a pretty interesting concept. For a start, it quite deliberately strips out every minion card you might typically want to use with the hero in order to play into the power of the Hunter's new Legendary Weapon Rhok'delar. When you equip this weapon, the blade will refresh your hand with a random collection of class spells, which should hopefully provide you with the extra power you need to beat your opponent.
Although it saw quite a lot of play at the start of the Kobolds expansion, it's currently something of a Tier 2 deck. It's still viable for climbing the ladder though, and a lot of fun to play - do give it a spin if you either received the Legendary Weapon for free at the start of the expansion, or have drawn it from a Kobolds card pack since.
In the current version of this article we're highlighting what we believe to be the best Spell Hunter deck list in use right now. We've also got some strategy advice, suggestions for Mulliganing the deck correctly, and then a round-up of all the combos you can utilise. That should be enough to get you started with the archetype.
UPDATE - 2nd MARCH 2018
Spell Hunter has been reworked a little since our last update a fortnight or so ago. It's unlikely to see many further changes during the final month or so of the Kobolds and Catacombs meta, but we'll keep checking in on things to make sure we're recommending the best version.
BREAKING NEWS! - A new expansion is coming! Our massive Hearthstone: The Witchwood guide contains details of the new cards, mechanics and single player content coming to the game.
Spell Hunter deck list and strategy
Here's the most up to date version of Spell Hunter that we think you should be playing on the Standard ladder right now:
|2 x Candleshot||1 x Barnes|
|2 x Hunter's Mark||1 x Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound|
|2 x Tracking|
|2 x Cat Trick|
|2 x Explosive Trap|
|1 x Flare|
|2 x Wandering Monster|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|1 x Deadly Shot|
|2 x Eaglehorn Bow|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Unleash the Hounds|
|2 x Flanking Strike|
|2 x Lesser Emerald Spellstone|
|1 x Deathstalker Rexxar|
|1 x Rhok'delar|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAR8GgAfFCKirAoW4AunSAobTAgyNAagCtQPJBJcI2wn+DPixAt3SAt/SAuPSAuHjAgA=
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 those Secrets), you have lots of tools to play with.
Eaglehorn Bow is an important part of that control equation, and it's vital that you gain as much value as you can from its Secret-related Durability mechanic. While you're playing those Secrets, you're also fattening up your Lesser Emerald Spellstone cards as well, which can provide you with a fat board presence surprisingly quickly.
Rhok'delar is the Hunter's Legendary weapon, and once you equip 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 there, but if you gain a card like Call of the Wild in particular you can start pushing out some real damage.
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.
Spell Hunter Mulligan guide
Your most important card to get in the Mulligan phase by far is Barnes. If you can get him on the board on Turn 4 (or Turn 3 with The Coin), you'll pull a 1 / 1 Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound, which will then summon it's full 10 / 10 incarnation. It's a huge power swing in any match-up.
That's your priority card, then, but other useful keeps alongside him include Wandering Monster, Candleshot, Cat Trick and Lesser Emerald Spellstone.
More great guides:
Spell Hunter tips, combos and synergies
We've never seen a deck quite like this in the Hearthstone meta before, 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 can be used to bring even the toughest enemy minion down into range of an Unleash the Hounds puppy or the AOE effect of Explosive Trap.
- We've already outlined this combo a couple of times, but for the sake of a thorough combo section, Barnes pulls a 1 / 1 Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound who then immediately summons a 10 / 10 Y'Shaarj.
- 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 obliterated by Explosive Trap, for example. The creature you get from Wandering Monster may well survive to do more work after the trade.
- Cat Trick is triggered after the spell in question has been played out. This means that if your opponent makes an AOE play, the minion you receive will be unaffected by the damage.
- Flare is a particularly powerful card against other Hunters and Mages too. Any Secrets the opponent has out in play will be destroyed and you'll also draw an extra card for your hand.
- 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.
- 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 more quickly.
- 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.
- 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.