Midrange Hunter is a deck that's been popular in Hearthstone since time immemorial. It has the power to take a controlling position against more aggressive opponents, yet can quickly switch to a more aggressive stance of its own when you need to finish a game against slower opponents who threaten to starve you of cards. Suffice to say, a broad understanding of the state of the current metagame will go a long way when it comes to winning more games with this archetype.
The Gadgetzan expansion has given Midrange Hunter more than a few new tricks to play with in the form of Alleycat, Smuggler's Crate, Trogg Beastrager and Dispatch Kodo. While Midrange Hunter is not a top tier deck at the time of writing, these cards and others do help the archetype pack a somewhat meaner punch in the current metagame.
In the next of our Gadgetzan deck guides, we'll walk you through the basics of playing the very latest version of Midrange Hunter, give you some pointers on how to Mulligan correctly in an uncertain metagame, and then finally run through all of the most important card combos that exist in this particular deck. We expect this deck to continue going through quite a few changes in the weeks and months ahead of us, but feel this is a pretty solid starting point for this stage of the Gadgetzan metagame.
Editor's note - February Update: We're sticking with Spark's creation for our recommended Midrange Hunter deck list this month. It's undergone quite a bit of change since we last covered the deck, so make sure you update your deck list and also refamiliarise yourselve with all of the core combos involved.
(For the Wild version of this deck, make sure you take a look at our Wild Midrange Hunter deck list and guide)
BREAKING NEWS! - Don't miss our Journey to Un'Goro guide, which contains everything we know about the next expansion for Hearthstone!
Midrange Hunter (Standard) deck list and strategy - February 2017
We've long been fans of Sparks' deck lists for Midrange Hunter, and so once again we turn to their version for our recommended take on the archetype for this month.
|2 x Alleycat||2 x Dire Wolf Alpha|
|1 x Hunter's Mark|
|1 x Smuggler's Crate|
|1 x Timber Wolf|
|1 x Tracking|
|2 x Kindly Grandmother|
|2 x Quick Shot|
|2 x Scavenging Hyena|
|2 x Trogg Beastrager|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Rat Pack|
|2 x Unleash the Hounds|
|2 x Dispatch Kodo|
|2 x Houndmaster|
|2 x Tundra Rhino|
|2 x Savannah Highmane|
The fundamentals of playing Midrange Hunter haven't really changed with Gadgetzan. The aim is still very much to frustrate opponents who are playing very aggressively, while moving a little faster against slower opponents.
You've got plenty of early-game options to ensure you start building a board from the very start of a match, and you should try to get your Hero Power off whenever possible once the mid-game comes around. It's a great way of increasing pressure, while at the same time conserving cards.
This archetype's been shaken up quite a bit since the early days of Gadgetzan, so you'd be wise to refamiliarise yourself with all of the combos outlined below. It's from these that you'll gain a greater understanding of the strategy involved with playing the Midrange Hunter right now.
More great Hunter guides:
Midrange Hunter (Standard) Mulligan guide - February 2017
You shouldn't struggle to build a decent starting hand with this Midrange Hunter. Prime cards to look for in just about every match-up are Alleycat and Kindly Grandmother, although you of course need to keep one eye out for Trogg Beastrager synergy potential as well.
If you can build a solid curve of minion drops for Turns 1-3 with this sort of deck, then you're in good shape to take charge of the match and dominate all the way to the finish. The hope is that your follow-up draws will allow you to bolster your early fighting force even further.
Midrange Hunter (Standard) combos and synergies - February 2017
With an influx of new cards comes a whole load of new synergies to think about. Midrange Hunter may be a bit of an old dog at this point, but it's certainly picked up a few new tricks with the latest expansion.
Here's a quick look at some of the most crucial combos - old and new - that you need to keep in mind as you play through every game.
- Timber Wolf increases the damage of Beast-class minions only by one point of Attack.
- Every Beast class of card will empower Kill Command and have it dish out more damage.
- Hunter's Mark will reduce the Health value of any enemy minion to one, and it's worth noting that this allows even your feeble Unleash the Hounds doggies to pick off the threat.
- The more powerful Rat Pack is, the more bodies spawn from its corpse. Cards like Houndmaster, Smuggler's Crate and Trogg Beastrager can be used to empower this minion further. See also Dispatch Kodo.
- As long as Tundra Rhino remains out on the board, any Beast cards will be able to attack on the same turn they're played.
- If Scavenging Hyena is on the board, it'll gain extra stats for each Beast minion that dies.
- Be careful with your positioning of Dire Wolf Alpha, as you may need to “cycle” through weak minions as you trade - you want as many of them to get the benefit of this boost as you can.
- Houndmaster can be used to boost any Beast card and give it the Taunt feature as well.
Trump's rebooted series of video guides to the latest decks in Hearthstone provides a fantastic way of getting up to speed with the latest developments in Hearthstone. We've been highlighting some of the most popular decks that he's covered in recent weeks, and next under the spotlight is that old favourite of ours, Midrange Hunter.
Before you watch the video itself, here's a breakdown of some of the key points that are mentioned. As Trump himself says, Midrange Hunter is a deck that has a playstyle that's much more easily grasped by watching and playing live matches, so make sure to watch the video in its entirety. Across the collection of games, we think you'll pick up some vital tips about getting more out of this archetype.
Trump's deck list will almost certainly differ from the latest version of Midrange Hunter that's featured on Metabomb, but the playing principles remain the same.
Midrange Hunter key points:
- Every match is different. It's not a face deck, it's not a control deck, but it's a sort of tempo deck. The one constant is that you should play as efficiently as possible in any given match.
- Look to play on curve from your very earliest turns, and think a turn or two ahead to consider your likely draws.
- As with all Hunter decks it's vital that you check and re-check your hand to see if you can deliver lethal damage within the next two turns. If you can, then set the play up.