Face Hunter isn't exactly the most complicated deck archetype to pilot in Hearthstone. What it lacks in strategic depth, however, it more than makes up for in terms of speed and consistency - particularly useful qualities when it comes to making a quick climb up the ladder at the very start of each season. It's slipped in popularity quite a bit since its dominant days of the League of Explorers, but we suspect the new Gadgetzan card set is going to give it a new lease of life.
The new expansion brings cards like Alleycat, Rat Pack and Dispatch Kodo to the table. These all provide new sources of power to play with, but otherwise the deck remains broadly the same as it's always been. This is good news for those players who just want to ease their way into the new metagame from a position of relevant comfort.
In our radically overhauled Face Hunter guide, we'll outline what we believe is the most powerful deck list to play with right now, and give you a good grounding in how to actually play it. After that we've outlined some of the Mulligan considerations you need to think about before the match starts, before we wrap things up with a look at how all of the cards in this deck interact with one another. With all that under your belt, you should be in fine shape to commence your climb up the ladder!
Editor's note - December update: We're going with Noxious' creation for our first take on Face Hunter in the Gadgetzan metagame. As with all of our deck lists this month, there are going to be a lot of changes and refinements in the coming weeks. Expect a more settled take on this archetype when the January season rolls around - until then, don't be afraid to experiment!
(For the Wild version of this deck, make sure you take a look at our Wild Face Hunter deck list and guide)
BREAKING NEWS! - Don't miss our essential guide to the best Gadgetzan decks that are dominating the new metagame right now.
On this page:
1. Face Hunter: Deck list and general strategy
Face Hunter (Standard) deck list and strategy - December 2016
Here's the version of Face Hunter we think you should be playing at this stage of the metagame, and it was created by Noxious. Let us know in the comments if you come across any other powerful versions, and we'll take a look ourselves!
|2 x Alleycat||2 x Huge Toad|
|2 x Fiery Bat||1 x Argent Horserider|
|2 x On the Hunt|
|2 x Explosive Trap|
|2 x Kindly Grandmother|
|2 x Quick Shot|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|2 x Eaglehorn Bow|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Rat Pack|
|1 x Unleash the Hounds|
|2 x Dispatch Kodo|
|2 x Houndmaster|
|2 x Infested Wolf|
More great Hunter guides:
The rules might have changed but the game very much remains the same with this Gadgetzan version of Face Hunter. As before, the purpose of playing this deck is to slam damage repeatedly into your opponent's face, and wear them down completely before they can catch up with you. It's not a complex strategy - and it's not even a particularly fun one to play once you've gorged yourself on it - but we can all agree that it's at least an effective approach if you've got the stomach for repetition.
The Mulligan and combo sections of this guide contain all the strategy advice you need to know, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, even with this simplest of decks. First of all, make sure you pop your Hero Power whenever you can, while still fielding something onto the board. You will burn through the cards in your hand extremely quickly when playing Face Hunter, and it's often better to hold one guy back and fire two points of damage off instead if you can - particularly if you have reason to fear an imminent board wipe.
You should also use your weapon damage to clear down the board, rather than hitting your opponent's face, unless doing so sets you up for lethal shortly afterwards. Focusing on your enemy's threats will allow your own minions to charge in and deliver damage over a number of extra turns. Don't avoid trading altogether though - if sending one minion into an opposite number will help another soldier live another turn, it's often well worth doing!
That's about as complex as things ever get when it comes to playing Face Hunter, but these minor points can make a massive difference to your overall win-rate - and that's crucial with a rapid-fire deck like this. Don't let the naysayers wear you down here either - there is an element of skill to this deck archetype, it's just that the skill ceiling is markedly easier to reach than many others.