Our Spell Hunter deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 52 of The Witchwood (July 2018). Our Spell Hunter guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Spell Hunter was 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 Witchwood expansion, it quickly became something of a Tier 2 deck. Following the recent round of nerfs, however, it looks like Spell Hunter's time to shine could finally be upon us.
In the current version of this article we're highlighting what we believe to be the best Spell Hunter deck list for the current meta. We've also got advanced strategy advice, suggestions for Mulliganing the deck correctly, and then a round-up of all the combos you can utilise. That should be more than enough to get you started with Spell Hunter!
UPDATE - JULY 2018 #1
No changes for Spell Hunter as we enter Season 52 of competitive play in Hearthstone, but keep in mind that this archetype currently sits some way down the table of competitive decks. Still, if Spell Hunter's your thing then we're highlighting the best version of the deck that's in play right now.
Spell Hunter - The Witchwood Deck List
|2 x Arcane Shot|
|2 x Candleshot|
|2 x Hunter's Mark|
|2 x Tracking|
|2 x Explosive Trap|
|2 x Freezing Trap|
|2 x Wandering Monster|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|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|
|2 x To My Side!|
|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: AAECAR8C6dIChtMCDo0BqAK1A4cEyQTtBpcI2wn+DN3SAt/SAuPSAuHjAurjAgA=
Spell Hunter is a unique deck as it runs no minions at all. Why would you choose to do something so crazy? Well, the weapon Rhok’delar fills your entire hand with Hunter spells if your deck has no minions in it, which can usually give you enough resources to finish the game.
That said, the deck isn’t completely devoid of creatures. In fact, it relies on generating a board from other card effects, and can also close out the late-game with minions stitched together using the alternate hero power provided by Deathstalker Rexxar. This deck is definitely one to try if you enjoy something a little different from the norm.
Early game: You’ll be relying on your Secrets in the early game to respond to a lot of your opponent’s opening moves. Wandering Monster and Freezing Trap can deal with singular minions, while an Explosive Trap can clear the board if they go wide. It may not seem like an efficient strategy, but if you’re also powering up Lesser Emerald Spellstone and Eaglehorn Bow at the same time you’re generating a lot of value for the future.
Candleshot and Unleash the Hounds are both also effective at finishing off any stragglers, while Tracking can scout through your deck if you’re desperate for a card to play. Use any excess mana to weave in a hero power wherever possible.
Mid game: Continue to play like a control deck and remove enemy minions from the board using your Secrets, spells and weapons. By now you should also be starting to establish a bit of a board and push through some damage with Animal Companion and Flanking Strike. Consider playing Lesser Emerald Spellstone if you’ve upgraded it at least once to summon three wolves – only play it at its base level if you’re in sheer desperation mode.
Late game: Here come your three big impact cards that should put you on the path to victory. To My Side can be an instant game winner if it’s kind enough to give you double Huffer, although both Leokk or Misha can work here, depending on the board state.
Deathstalker Rexxar can give you one last shot at making up ground if you’re still behind on the board with its two damage AOE Battlecry. The Build-A-Beast hero power will be your late game minion engine too, and is useful because you can create creatures to respond to your needs – whether that’s creating taunts or giant monstrosities your opponent will be unable to handle. Make sure you empty them from your hand before you play Rhok’delar though, or you won’t trigger the effect to get a whole bunch of Hunter spells.
Here are five or so tips for dealing with aggro opponents on the ladder.
- Always keep Explosive Trap in your opening hand and if you’re feeling brave try to encourage your opponent to fill the board out further before you play it.
- Similarly, you’ll want save Unleash the Hounds for when there are 3+ minions on the other side of the board to get the most value.
- If you have more charges on your Eaglehorn Bow than you know what to do with, it’s worth going directly for an opponent’s life total.
- The Battlecry from Deathstalker Rexxar can usually see off most aggro decks for good.
Here’s how to hand slower, control-focused opponents as Spell Hunter:
- Kill Command can offer a surprising amount of burst damage to finish off a control deck when they least expect it.
- Hunter’s Mark is your answer to their high health minions so save it for when you need to eliminate something powerful or deal with a pesky taunt.
- Freezing Trap can also get rid of big minions from the board, but is far easier to play around if their sensible.
- You have some reach with Build-A-Beast, but you’ll struggle to compete with the more consistent late game of most control decks so you’ll want to play aggressively.
- You don’t have many opportunities to go wide on the board so be cautious of playing straight into a board clear.
Spell Hunter Mulligan guide
You’ll want to prioritise these cards when looking for a starting hand with Spell Hunter:
- 1. Wandering Monster: If played on curve it will likely trade for the minion that’s attacking you, or could even survive to fight another day.
- 2. Candleshot: Good for helping you chip away at early game minions and stops you taking some damage too.
- 3. Lesser Emerald Spellstone: Seems expensive to hold at five mana but the quicker you can get this powered up with more wolves the better.
- 4. Animal Companion: With zero minions in the deck this is one of your best early game options to get on the board with.
- 5. Explosive Trap: A vital card to clear away your opponent’s early game minions but by no means the highest priority pick.
More great Hunter 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Spell Hunter card choices and substitutions
Here are some of the most important cards in Spell Hunter, as well as some lower dust cost substitutes where it’s possible to do so:
- Candleshot: Excellent early game removal tool with the added bonus of making you immune when attacking.
- Wandering Monster: Your earliest opportunity to get a minion on the board and it even has a good chance of surviving if played on curve.
- Animal Companion: Misha and Huffer are generally good to get depending on the match-up. Leokk only offers value if you’re already established on the board.
- Eaglehorn Bow: With all the Secrets in this deck you can quite easily generate bonus charges for this blade, and use them for killing minions or going to the other player’s face.
- Kill Command: Excellent burst damage that’s best saved to finish off your opponent, although it can be used on minions if it’s vital that the target is removed.
- Lesser Emerald Spellstone: Your biggest single card minion generator in the deck. At max power for four wolves the value is undeniable, while three is OK and two is just disappointing.
- Deathstalker Rexxar: Offers a powerful Battlecry effect and a hero power that’ll give you reach in the late game. Without it you’ll have a less consistent late game, but you can use Savannah Highmane as a cheap replacement.
- To My Side: Has the potential to be a strong finisher depending on how lucky you get with Animal Companion spawns. Again, Savannah Highmane can be a replacement option.
- Rhok’delar: The four attack is decent, but the reason you’re playing it is for the hand of Hunter spells. An essential part of the deck as without it there’d be no reason for Spell Hunter to exist!