Content of the article: "Climb to legend with Token DH"
I started playing this deck heavily just before the DH nerfs hit, I have a significant amount of games at low legend, and used this deck exclusively to climb to legend this season with a 10-star bonus. I play mobile so I do not have stats, but the climb to legend was the quickest, and smoothest I’ve ever had. I never dropped a rank during the climb, and hit legend 5 days earlier than normal. It was a very smooth and consistent climb, as this deck has a chance to win against almost everything. With that said few matchups are easy, but all feel winnable.
This deck has four ways it can win:
1) Early game tempo. Some games are won by turn 6/7 if you can get parade leader to stick. If he sticks on turn 2, and you play coordinated strike on turn 3, its an easy win against any board focused deck, as you can deal with anything they pull out. If you know your opponent won’t be able to clear him, then buffing him with costumed entertainer (turn 1 with coin) is a good option.
2) Outlast them. This deck is extremely efficient at clearing big boards, if your opponent goes all in, you are often able to clear their board, and then they’ve lost steam, and you kill them as they inefficiently top deck.
3) Chip damage + combo. Do chip damage to get your opponent at or below 18 damage. Then buff a naga (either beaming or costumed entertainer). Clear your opponents board, and fills yours with tokens (should be easy between skull discounts, and 0 cost fel guardians), then play immolation to kill all your tokens and have the naga throw 6 axes at your opponents face for 18 damage.
4) OTK. Similar to the combo above, but this relies on getting a skull discount on expendable performers, immolation, or naga. Then play buffed naga, play expendable, and immolation for 36 damage. If your opponent has any board presence, make sure you remove that with the tokens before playing immolation.
A note on the OTK, this isn’t your only win condition and other win condtions need to be pursued. However it was far more common/reliable than what I expected. Assuming you draw both skulls before fatigue (very likely with double jump) you have a 73% chance to get a skull discount on immolation, naga, or expendable performers, which makes it a reliable tool against control decks. You have other win conditions against other decks, and even against control you can often get them down to 18 health without too many problems. Or do the combo twice with command the illidari, or buff two nagas, and have 5 minions on the board (again, easy with fel guardians), with immolation. There are many combos available, in addition to just winning with tempo.
Due to the variety of win conditions, its important to be flexible, and play the game differently depending on the cards, and your opponent. Relying only on OTK will cause you to lose, and make this more of a unreliable meme deck, as opposed to one that can get you to legend.
Card draw: The individual cards in this deck are fairly weak on curve, and are much stronger when combined with other cards. For this reason skull is extremely important to get some great skull discounts, and have some huge swing turns. For this reason there are 2 double jumps, and all other outcast cards have been removed, as these are specifically meant to tutor skulls, (either turn 1, to get the skull to the left, or turn 7+ so you can immediately follow up with skull while its in outcast). Earlier iterations had more card draw, and outcast cards. The improvement in performance was significant when I eventually made this change.
There is one copy of feast of souls, this is meant to be played later in the game, when you can get a lot of value out of this. I often use it after playing or both skulls, at turn 10 plus, and I’m starting to run out of fuel. You can use it to draw as many cards as you need, I often use it to draw 5-8 cards.
Ooze: This deck is weak to decks that don’t use minions to kill you, such as weapon decks like bomb warrior, and soul DH. This also helps against shaman, although I found that matchup favored even before including this, but this certainly helps.
Mage hunter: Nice against miracle rogue, and Paladin. In other matchups this still has synergy with parade leader, statue, and naga, and is a decent card due to these synergies.
Frozen weaver: Helps against weapon based heroes by preventing them from swinging at you, as well as against big minions, while providing tempo. Nice but lacks synergy with rest of deck and value depends on the meta.
Umberwing: the two tokens it generates fits nicely with the deck, but in general I found this to be fairly underwhelming, but an adequate turn 2 play. You also don’t want to be using your hero too much to clear minions. You have limited health, and there will be a couple turns where you are just going to allow the enemy to hit you while you play a skull, keeping your health high during the early game is nice.
Felsteel executioner: This is excluded to significant weapon tech in the meta. If this changes, costumed entertainer will make this a 6/5 weapon when corrupted, and give you another win condition.
Never keep: expendable performers, naga, fel guardians, feast of souls. Beyond that in general you are looking for a good curve for turns 2-4, and either one skull, or one double jump.
Against aggro and midrange you are wanting to put enough pressure that you have enough health to play skull on 6/7 and survive and turn the game around. Given the right hand and opponent you may even have a chance to win the game early with the right curve. Against aggro having good early game curve, or immolation is more important than skull, you need to survive. Keep skull/tutor if you have a decent early game cards against aggro, otherwise you drop it.
Against control: You are more aggressively looking for double jump, or skull, and keeping two can even be the right answer. With that said doing some chip damage early, or getting them to use some of their removal early is great, so you still want a nice curve for the early game if possible. Just be careful to not over commit. Never keep immolation.
DH: All varieties are a tough, but the nerfs helped both in reducing frequency, and strength. Against soul try to bait out mystic so you can safely have fel guardians, as defence, or force them to use their weapons on your minions instead of your face. Against aggro, similarily try to force them to trade, or use immolation to clear their minions. Costumed entertainer on turn 2 can be good to buff another minion if you have it. A turn 3 2/7 statue that buffs your tokens is quite strong. Lifesteal DH can heal against your chip damage, so often it’s a race to the OTK. Try to put on pressure so that they have to use their spells to clear the board, or heal, instead of on their combo.
Hunter: Against highlander it’s roughly equal matchup. You can control the board, and make it unlikely for dragonebane to hit your face. You want to get some of your token taunts set up against dinotamer, while controlling the board. Zephyr can ruin your day, but they often play him early which you can generally recover from. Face hunter: the newer toxic build is painful and heavily unfavored against. They just go face and controlling the board doesn’t help. Your deck has no healing, and unless you can close the game early enough, you lose.
Shaman: Favored against. You want to pressure them early. Generally once they start having their big swing turns you can counter with your own. Expendable performers, or command the illidari are powerful board removals when combined with parade leader, juggler, statue, or naga. They sometimes highroll, and your tokens can help them get their sea giants and mogus out early, so you can lose but you usually have enough removal to deal with all the waves of minions they send out. It's nice if you can actually bait out a mogu, or sea giant early, as dealing with just one of these at a time is nice, but if they have multiple too early you will lose. This matchup will be even easier after the recent nerfs.
Rogue: Aggro rogues is difficult but winnable. Stealth makes defence a bit more difficult, but immolation is quite useful if you can draw it. You can often stabilize against them, and then win as long as you prevent them from hitting your face too much. Miracle rogue is pretty easy to win against as long as they don’t get a big Edwin or questing early. You can deal with all of their random generation easy enough, and later on dealing with big edwins and questings is easy.
Paladin: Easiest matchup. You can easily deal with their boards. If you mulligan poorly, they can kill you early, but as long as you can put out a couple minions early you can recover. If they don’t play a minion turn 1, then you can play parade leader on 2, and they won’t be able to deal with it and you can win early. Juggler is a strong turn 2 as well.
Druid: You can win the early game fairly easily, and if you get a skull early enough you can usually deal with anything they throw at you. Sometimes they highroll and ramp very quickly, but this is generally favored.
Warlock: Against galakrond warlock you are very favored. You generally want to either OTK them, or do chip damage and combo. Sometimes tickitus burns a lot of good cards, but they don’t mulligan for him, and you can often put enough pressure on them to prevent them from playing him. Avoid overcommitting as they have lots of removal, and avoid letting a demon stick on the board to prevent mosher from healing them. If you can get them to use their removal early sometimes you can just kill them with tempo, but combo/otk is often the finisher. The zoo matchup was favored or even. I saw far less zoo then galakrond, so I mulliganed for galakrond warlock which makes the zoo match-ups more difficult.
Mage: Unfavored. Highlander mage is winnable but unfavored, secret/burn mage is heavily unfavored. Burn damage from spells hurts. Counterspell can prevent your OTK when you have the pieces. Flame ward clears your board, and is much worse than explosive trap, as you have lot of 3 health minions, and buffing naga only gets him to 3 health, preventing you from using this to you’re the secret to your advantage. You can’t get parade leader, juggler, or naga to last on the board for more than a turn. I got a few wins with an early highroll OTK, but this matchup is bad. Highlander has less of these problems, but enough of them to make for a very difficult game.
Priest: Easy to win with combo and chip damage, or OTK. Just don’t over extend yourself.
Warrior: I ended up winning a good chunk of these, many off the OTK, but I think overall the matchup should be unfavored. Risky skipper, armor smith combos are really bad to play against, the deck has only so much damage it can do, and armor is difficult to deal with. Your deck does a lot of draw which makes bomb warriors a bad matchup. Rattlegores are easy to deal with. Sometimes you can kill a warrior with just expendable performers and naga, if you highroll with the axes.
Before the DH nerfs the deck had a lot more taunts to help survive the early game and looked more like this: https://hearthstone-decks.net/otk-demon-hunter-97-legend-syoutotolo/. Given that the deck could be modified to work in both the DH meta, and the rogue/shaman meta leads me to believe that this deck is flexible enough to work in a variety of metas.
Here is the final version of the deck that I used to climb to legend this season. Most of last season was spent iterating to get to this deck:
### Token OTK
# Class: Demon Hunter
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Phoenix
# 1x (1) Beaming Sidekick
# 2x (1) Double Jump
# 1x (2) Acidic Swamp Ooze
# 2x (2) Costumed Entertainer
# 1x (2) Feast of Souls
# 2x (2) Immolation Aura
# 2x (2) Knife Juggler
# 2x (2) Parade Leader
# 1x (2) Umberwing
# 2x (3) Coordinated Strike
# 1x (3) Darkmoon Statue
# 1x (3) Frozen Shadoweaver
# 1x (3) Magehunter
# 2x (3) Wrathscale Naga
# 1x (4) Renowned Performer
# 2x (5) Command the Illidari
# 2x (6) Skull of Gul'dan
# 2x (7) Expendable Performers
# 2x (7) Fel Guardians
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
- Wolf’s Combo Felsteel Demon Hunter – The 11/10 weapon deck
- Miracle Rogue w/ Chef Nomi to legend
- New Player Lifesteal Demon Hunter
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