Let me start out by saying this looks like a fairly gimmicky deck on the surface, but does actually have a lot planning and strategy required while you play that makes it fun to use. Plus it can stand against most of the good decks right now. It also accomplishes a few goals I had when creating this deck:

  1. Use Hunter (nobody else was, so I decided to try)
  2. Be competitive on the ladder (nobody really cares about a deck if it isn’t)
  3. (Bonus) No Legendary or Epic cards (As a free player, I don’t have the legendary cards that would help this deck or the dust to create them)

I’ve been playing the game for a few months now, but recently took several weeks off and am just now getting back into the game with the latest changes to Ranked mode which I was especially excited about. I played some of my old decks to get to rank 20, but decided to try something new. I decided to make an all out aggressive Hunter deck, which successfully carried me from Rank 20 down to Rank 9 in about 6-7 hours of play. I don’t have an exact win percentage, but I would estimate it around 65-75%. I got 4+ win streaks multiple times including one going into Rank 11. I haven’t hit a wall yet, so I’m optimistic this deck can break the top 5 ranks when I find more time to play it on the ladder. It certainly isn’t perfectly tweaked at this point, but I thought I’d let everyone see it and hopefully get some feedback.

Turn 7 Hunter Decklist:

  • x2 Arcane Shot
  • x2 Elven Archer
  • x2 Leper Gnome
  • x2 Explosive Trap
  • x2 Bluegill Warrior
  • x2 Loot Hoarder
  • x2 Novice Engineer
  • x2 Eaglehorn Bow
  • x2 Animal Companion
  • x1 Deadly Shot
  • x2 Kill Command
  • x2 Wolfrider
  • x1 Explosive Shot
  • x2 Abomination
  • x2 Argent Commander
  • x2 Reckless Rocketeer

How to play it:
Go for the face! As you can see from the decklist, Charge and Direct Damage are the name of the game. Against a deck without healing or taunt, it can win on Turn 7 with nearly any draw (assuming they can’t kill you before then, which is a fairly generous assumption). By utilizing every single mana crystal in the first 7 turns of the game to do damage to your opponent’s hero, you are able to cut right through his health while still keeping his minions in check.

  • Turn 0: Mulligan hard for 1 drops, but keep Explosive Trap in most cases (especially against aggressive opponents like Warlock and Paladin).
  • Turn 1 (going first): Leper Gnome is the best drop, but Elven Archer works well too. I usually avoid using Arcane Shot here because it has more utility later on if you need it.
  • Turn 1 (going second): If your opponent played a minion you can kill with Elven Archer, do it. Otherwise play Leper or Elven (direct to opponent). It is also viable to Coin into a 2 drop, especially if you have another 2 or 3 drop in hand.
  • Turn 2: Bluegill Warrior is the best, but Loot Hoarder or Novice Engineer work as well. Playing a minion is typically better than using Hero Power here to keep the opponent on the defensive.
  • Turn 3: If the opponent doesn’t have strong board presence, Hero Power and a 1 drop work best to stay mana and card efficient. Wolfrider and the Weapon are good as well. If you have minions on the board and your opponent only has 1, Deadly Shot is probably the best option. If your opponent owns the board, explosive trap should remove most or all of them.
  • Turn 4+: Just keep trying to maintain constantly pressure with direct damage and minions by using every single Mana Crystal. Don’t forget about the Hero Power! Abomination is great when your opponent has multiple minions on the board, don’t be too worried about it killing your own because you should have already gotten the value out of them. Explosive shot can save you in a pinch, but keep in mind it will likely extend the game an extra turn which begins to hurt this deck. Follow the ‘Things to Always be Thinking About’ below to stay efficient with your cards and increase your chances of winning.

Things to Always be Thinking About

  • When given an option between direct damage and a charge minion, (almost) always use the charge minion. Direct damage is able to completely ignore taunts, so they work the entire game. Charge minions may become less useful if the opponent has taunts/secrets up.
  • Always think 2 or more turns in advance. How much damage could you do to their hero this+next turn? How many more turns will it take you to win? Sometimes you have the damage to kill them in 2 turns, so even though the opponent has the minions to bring your life down to 5 or below, it’s usually the best play to ignore them and go for the face.
  • With 28 mana to use by the end of Turn 7, always think about how much damage you are doing per mana. You need slightly over 1 damage per mana to get a quick kill before your opponent can start dropping things you can’t deal with. The Hero Power breaks even at 1 damage/mana along with Elven Archer, Explosive Trap, Bluegill Warrior, the Bow, Kill Command, and Wolfrider (Even better in many cases where your opponent can’t remove them). Leper Gnome and Arcane shot both have 2 damage/mana, with the Gnome doing 4+ in the best cases)
  • Don’t leave any minions like Knife Juggler or Murlocs with buffs alive because they will outpace this deck, almost every card in this deck doubles as removal when necessary
  • Don’t forget that Explosive Trap will add another swing to the Bow when triggered, so sometimes it is better not to swing if the secret is active or in hand.

How I Think the Deck Can Be Improved

Legendaries

  • Leeroy Jenkins would be a better card in most situations instead of Argent Commander or Reckless Rocketeer, especially for finishing.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos is a definite better pick than Loot Hoarder. The spell power will boost Arcane Shot and Kill Command and every point of damage counts in this deck.
  • King Krush would be a great finisher, because a lot of games make it to Turn 9. Also, once he’s in hand you can play slightly more conservative and go for the Turn 9 win if you think your opponent is becoming a threat.

Other
I’ve been thinking about replacing Explosive Shot and/or Argent Commanders with Stonetusk Boar. This would allow more early options and increase the damage of Kill Command in certain situations which would significantly increase it’s value for the 1 mana cost. But Explosive Shot and Argent Commander are extremely useful in games that get extended to Turn 9 and beyond by keeping the opponent in check while you tick away the remaining health. Needs more experimentation to find the best balance.

Thanks for reading, hopefully most of that made sense, it is getting rather late as I type this… Let me know what you think

EDIT: Added King Krush and fixed a couple spots where I had Explosive Shot instead of Explosive Trap

Within the last week, I went from Rank 20 all the way to Legend, primarily with this Turn 7 Hunter deck. It’s also worth noting that I made it to Round 5 (round of 8) in the most recent Managrind tournament with this deck. See my journey to Legend, the decklist, and some gameplay videos below. I’d be happy to answer any questions about the deck.

Timeline:

  • Create deck
  • Play from Rank 20ish down to Rank 9ish with original version (see older post above)
  • Get stuck around Rank 7-8, mostly losing to Warlocks
  • Gave in and started playing standard aggro Warlock (decklist)
  • Went 26 – 9 (74% win rate) with Warlock down to Rank 3
  • Got stuck between Rank 3-4 playing against a bunch of anti-warlock control decks
  • Made a few modifications to the Turn 7 Hunter deck (see below for decklist)
  • Went 37 – 20 (65% win rate) all the way to Legend!
  • Then proceeded to win another 7 games in a row (streak of 11)! all the way down to being ranked 13th in NA
  • Then I lost a game, dropped to 19th, and took a temporary break from Ranked to enjoy being Legend

Proof

(See gameplay videos below for further proof if you desire)

The Deck: (picture form)

  • x2 Arcane Shot
  • x1 Abusive Sergeant
  • x2 Elven Archer
  • x2 Leper Gnome
  • x2 Explosive Trap
  • x1 Misdirection
  • x2 Bluegill Warrior
  • x2 Loot Hoarder
  • x1 Novice Engineer
  • x2 Eaglehorn Bow
  • x2 Animal Companion
  • x1 Deadly Shot
  • x2 Kill Command
  • x2 Wolfrider
  • x1 Leeroy Jenkins
  • x2 Abomination
  • x2 Argent Commander
  • x1 Reckless Rocketeer

See my old post (link) for how to play the deck and the strategy behind it.

Stats from Rank 4 to Legend at 19th in NA:

Against:

  • Druid: 5-7 (42% win rate) (worst matchup for this deck, hope you get a kill shot and/or misdirection for his first big taunt)
  • Hunter: 1-0 (Nobody seems to play Hunter but me)
  • Mage: 5-4 (56% win rate) (if they draw ice block, it becomes very hard to win)
  • Paladin: 4-4 (50% win rate) (This is usually a close match, coming down to his heals vs. your zerg)
  • Priest: 1-1 (Not many priests these days)
  • Rogue: 4-1 (Play a little more defensively against Rogues and it’s easy)
  • Shaman: 1-1 (Stopped seeing Shamans when I stopped playing Warlock weirdly enough)
  • Warlock: 17-2 (89% win rate!!!) (Most popular opponent in the current meta. I play almost full defensive against Locks using most of my cards as removal instead of damage. They will kill themselves given enough time as you apply pressure between killing his minions)
  • Warrior: 4-1 (Only a well timed Molten Giant charge attack has been able to stop this deck so far)

Overall: 41-21 (66% win rate)

Gameplay Videos:

I recorded my final push to Legend and into the 11 game win streak right afterwards:
Part 1
Search youtube or check my channel for the other 7 parts, it’s about 2 hours long total. Sorry I didn’t edit it down, but there’s not too much dead time between games.

Check out my channel for more Ranked play with this deck and my games in the most recent Managrind tournament:
http://www.twitch.tv/arkcruiser

Notes:

  • I’m a free player (I’m not counting the 2 packs I bought to get Goldin Gelbin), so there’s hope out there for those who think it’s pay to win.
  • If you don’t have a card in the deck but want to try it, add another Misdirection, then Reckless Rocketeer, then Abusive Sergeant, then Novice Engineer. Pick one around the same mana as the one you don’t have.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos is the one card I wish I had to add to the deck. I would replace a Loot Hoarder with it.
  • I no longer think King Krush would be a great addition to this deck because most games don’t even make it to 9 mana. That being said, I haven’t tested it so it may work if you play slightly more defensively than I do.

Additional Guide Tips Welcomed!