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Hearthstone Hero guide: Hunter - Hearthstone

Our guide to getting started with this Hero, and crafting the best cards.

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About John Bedford

John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.

Like the Warlock, the Hunter's an extremely popular Hero with both casual and hardcore players alike. For the former, this grizzly character offers a path to playing a competitive deck for a comparatively small investment of time and Gold. The latter can make efficient, expert use of the class's many aggressive decks in order to rise quickly up the ranks each month, and then focus on other decks to finish off the final part of the climb.

A key part of the Hunter's sheer aggression lies in the character's special Hero Power, which allows you to deliver two points of damage directly to your opponent's health pool for the cost of two Mana. In the mid to late-game, it's by no means unusual to see a Hunter holding back a minion each turn in order to make use of this ability, and so put the opponent under ever-increasing pressure.

Too many people blindly play the Hunter with no consideration to anything other than aggressive play, however. The very best players know when to trade minions efficiently, and when to apply greater pressure to the opponent – and force them to do the trading off in order to stay alive.

The best Hunter cards to craft

Whether you get lucky and draw them from packs, or find yourself turning to Hearthstone's crafting system, there are certain cards that appear in just about every single Hunter deck. This list is by no means extensive, but if you make sure you have all of the following cards in your arsenal, you'll be in great shape when it comes to building a formidable variety of decks.

Unleash the Hounds

Unleash the Hounds is one of the most popular cards across all of the Hunter's most successful decks, and with good reason. This powerful spell allows you to get right back into even the most disastrous matches, thanks to the one-for-one summoning effect.

Combined with the Hunter's Mark card found in the Basic set, this spell grants the Hunter the ability to remove even the most stubborn of enemy minions. You can also play your dogs in combination with booster cards like Timber Wolf, but position your new minion carefully to ensure your dogs get the maximum benefit as you cycle through them.

Eaglehorn Bow

The Eaglehorn Bow grants the Hunter Hero its deadliest weapon. Not only can it be used to mop up an opponent's weaker minions in the early game, its durability is refreshed completely whenever the enemy triggers any of the Secrets you have in play.

Think very carefully before spending charges of the bow. If your opponent has nothing on the board to eliminate, think carefully before “wasting” three points of damage on your enemy's health pool. Don't throw away that final charge if you think there's a good chance of a Secret you have in play being triggered either.

Savannah Highmane

This intimidating beast is a must-have for the Hunter who's serious about going all the way to Legendary rank. Not only is it a powerful minion to get out on the board in its own right, the Deathrattle effect ensures the opponent will still have a mess to clean up, even if they can deal with the initial threat.

Note, however, that it's weak against hard removal spells like Hex and Polymorph and – to a lesser degree – any card that can launch a silencing effect when played onto the board.

Explosive Trap / Freezing Trap

We're going to combine two cards into one for this final crafting recommendation. Explosive Trap is a card unlikely to ever go out of fashion in Hunter circles, as it not only offers incredible damage potential, it also forces you opponent to play inefficiently in order to uncover the Secret at hand.

In doing so, many players will neglect to test the waters using their weakest minion, and so send one of their premium minions straight back into their hand thanks to your Freezing Trap. This can lead to a devastating loss of tempo for the opponent, and leave you in prime position to drive your game through to victory.

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  • Bedders #1 7 years ago
    @Jac Yep, you'll take damage using the Eaglehorn Bow, but it's such an efficient early-game clearer that it's well worth packing, particularly if you can refresh it with Secrets.

    I don't know exactly how new you are to Hearthstone (so apologies if this sounds a little obvious), but you should always think of your health pool as just another resource to spend in the bigger picture. The only health status that matters is zero - within reason - and you should spend it like you would Mana, card draw, spells, whatever.

    A trap many new players fall into is thinking that Hearthstone is a game about getting your opponent to zero as quickly as possible, while preserving the maximum amount of your own health. It's not. It's a dance between many contributing factors: the cards played and the cards still to be played both by you and your opponent, slowly ramping up your odds of true success (ie the opponent hits zero) etc.

    The fast games happen with every deck, but they're typically the outliers, and even the most aggressive decks need to trade minions sometimes.
  • Jac #2 7 years ago
    I'm fairly new to hearthstone but have decided to focus on hunter and there's a card, scavenging hyena(I think) that is devastating when your opponent has loads out on the board And combined with unleash the hounds.

    The card grants 2 attack / 1 Health when a beast dies. Just played a game where my opponent had 4 minions on the board and I had two hounds that I suicided to get + 16/8 to this card. Was just too amazing. Also the legendary bow = 5 damage + immunity when attacking has saved many a game for me. Don't have the weapon in the article but assume you take damage when attacking minions?