Our Spell Hunter deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 59 of Hearthstone (February 2019). 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 Legendary Weapon Rhok'delar. When you equip this weapon, the bow 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. With the additional cards added back in Boomsday, plus the recently released Rastakhan’s Rumble set, Spell Hunter has become much more popular and looks like it could do well in the current meta.
In this version of our guide, we're highlighting what we believe to be the best Spell Hunter deck list for Rastakhan’s Rumble. 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 - FEBRUARY #1
As it's only been a week or since since we last updated this article, it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn there are no changes in store for Spell Hunter at the start of February. If the deck list is improved over time, we'll make sure those changes are worked into our guide.
Spell Hunter deck list and strategy
We’ll be overhauling our deck guides comprehensively over time, but we wanted to bring you an update for Spell Hunter that you can start playing with in the new year.
|2 x Candleshot|
|2 x Hunter's Mark|
|2 x Secret Plan|
|2 x Tracking|
|2 x Explosive Trap|
|1 x Freezing Trap|
|2 x Wandering Monster|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|2 x Deadly Shot|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Flanking Strike|
|2 x Baited Arrow|
|2 x Lesser Emerald Spellstone|
|1 x Deathstalker Rexxar|
|2 x To My Side|
|1 x Rhok'delar|
|1 x Zul'jin|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAR8EhwTp0gKG0wKbhQMNjQGoArUDyQSXCMUI3dIC39IC49IC4eMC6uMCh/sCoooDAA==
Spell Hunter remains one of the game’s most unique decks as it runs no minions at all. What’s the benefit to doing something that seems like such an obvious mistake? Well, it’s all to do with the weapon Rhok’delar, which fills your entire hand with Hunter spells if your deck has no minions in it. It’s a bit of a gamble, but it can usually give you enough resources to finish the game. What’s more, with the new Zul’Jin hero card, all of those spells you’ve played throughout a game will be cast once more when he enters the battlefield.
Spell Hunter does actually feature some creatures, but to stick to the rules it relies on summoning them through spells or other card effects. You can also stitch them together in the late game with the Build-a-Beast hero power from Deathstalker Rexxar to help close out a match. It’s one of Hearthstone’s most interesting decks and worth a play if you’d like to try something a little different that's also very competitive.
Early game: Secrets play a large part of the deck’s early game as a response to your opponent’s opening plays. Wandering Monster and Freezing Trap can deal with single minions, whereas a clever Explosive Trap can clear the board if they decide to go wide. It may not seem like the most exciting and reliable strategy, but if you’re powering up Lesser Emerald Spellstone at the same time then you’re generating a lot of value for future turns.
Candleshot is very useful for finishing off any low health stragglers in the early game, while any excess Mana can be used to weave in a hero power wherever possible to start whittling away their life total.
Mid game: Continue with the control approach by removing enemy threats from the board using your Secrets, spells and weapons. By now you should be looking to turn the corner and more proactively generate your own board to push through damage with cards like Animal Companion and Flanking Strike. Lesser Emerald Spellstone is also good at this stage if you’ve upgraded it at least once so you can summon three wolves – only play it at its base level if you’re in sheer desperation mode. Baited Arrow is a new removal option worth experimenting with if you can trigger the Overkill effect to get a 5 / 5 Devilsaur on the board.
Late game: There are four cards that can have a massive impact in the late game and set you up for the win. The first, To My Side, can put you on the immediate path to victory if you’re lucky enough to get double Huffer. It’s even more powerful if you can weave in a Revenge of the Wild to bring them back again immediately too. Getting Leokk or Misha can work if the board is set up in a certain way, but they’re not as immediately impactful.
Secondly, Deathstalker Rexxar can wipe your opponent out of the game completely with its two-damage Battlecry effect. You can then start creating your own army of stitched together minions with the Build-A-Beast hero power. Whether you need big taunts or the last bit of damage it’ll offer near-infinite late game value.
Thirdly, there’s Rhok’delar, which will give you an entire hand of Hunter spells. There's also Zul’jin, who will cast a copy of every spell you’ve used during the game again. This can do wonders for refilling your side of the board and setting up a tree of Secrets again.
Here are five or so tips for dealing with aggro opponents on the ladder.
- 1. It’s always worth keeping Explosive Trap in your opening hand and, depending on how brave you’re feeling, try to encourage your opponent to fill the board out further before you play it.
- 2. The Battlecry from Deathstalker Rexxar can usually see off most aggro decks for good.
- 3. With many of the lower health minions in aggro decks it should be easier for you to trigger the Overkill effect on Baited Arrow. That 5 / 5 Devilsaur can present a huge problem for aggro.
Here’s how to handle slower, control-focused opponents as Spell Hunter:
- 1. Kill Command offers a surprising amount of burst damage to finish off a control deck when they least expect it.
- 2. 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 that’s blocking the final few points of damage.
- 3. Freezing Trap is also very useful for getting rid of big minions from the board, but is far easier to play around if your opponent is sensible.
- 4. You have some late game reach with Build-A-Beast and Zul’jin, but you’ll struggle to stick it out with the more consistent late game in most control decks, so try to play more aggressively in general.
- 5. You only have a few opportunities to go wide on the board, so be careful you don’t play 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. Lesser Emerald Spellstone: An expensive card to hold at five Mana, but the quicker you can get this powered up with more wolves the better.
- 2. Wandering Monster: When played on curve there’s a good chance it will trade for the minion that’s attacking you, or it could even survive to fight another day.
- 3. Secret Plan: Allows you to prep a Secret to suit the opponent in question, nice and early on.
- 4. Candleshot: Ideal for chipping away at weaker minions in the early game without threatening your life total.
- 5. Animal Companion: One of the few options to get you on the board in the early game in a deck that’s free of minions.
Spell Hunter tips, combos and synergies
To help you get to grips with Spell Hunter, we've produced a list of all the combos that power this particular version of the deck. 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 a Candleshot whack, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Similarly, Baited Arrow can deal three damage to a minion but you’ll want to try and hit something on two health or less so you activate the Overkill effect and spawn a 5 / 5 Devilsaur on 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.
- Once you’ve played all those bonus spells, you can then cast them all again by playing Zul’jin. This reckless hero card will repeat each one – with randomly chosen targets where necessary – so you can get some huge value off it with more copies of To My Side! or Revenge of the Wild.
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 that also makes you immune when attacking to preserve your health.
- Wandering Monster: Your earliest opportunity to get a minion on the board and it even has a good chance of surviving when played on curve.
- Revenge of the Wild: Will resurrect any Beast minions that have died during your turn, so you won’t worry too much if you have to trade your side of the board in when you know it’s coming straight back out again!
- Animal Companion: Misha and Huffer are the two you generally want to see from this depending on the matchup. Leokk only offers some value if you’re already established on the board.
- Eaglehorn Bow: With all the Secrets in this deck you can easily generate a lot of bonus charges 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. You can use it on minions if it’s vital that the target is removed.
- Lesser Emerald Spellstone: This is the biggest single card minion generator in the deck if you get it to max power. At four wolves the value is undeniable, while three is OK and two is just disappointing.
- Baited Arrow: Doesn’t deal much damage for the mana cost but it’s so expensive because you’re able to summon a 5 / 5 Devilsaur if you use it to Overkill a minion. Make sure this is the only time you play it unless you’re falling far behind.
- Deathstalker Rexxar: Comes in with a powerful Battlecry effect and also grants a hero power that’ll give you some life 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 is a reasonable replacement option.
- Rhok’delar: At four attack it can do some decent damage, but you’re running it to get a hand of Hunter spells. It’s an essential part of the deck as without it there’d be no reason for Spell Hunter to exist!
- Zul’jin: The new Rastakhan’s Rumble hero card fits perfectly into Spell Hunter as a way to give you more options in the late game. It’s a bit of a chaotic and uncontrollable effect, but nonetheless should work in your favour the majority of the time considering the spells in the deck.