Content of the article: "Refining Highlander Hunter"
So I think I've chosen highlander hunter to be my deck to take me from diamond 5 to legend this month. I'm currently 9-7 with this version of the deck in diamond 5-diamond 3. However, since this is one of the first highlander decks that I've seriously played, I'm pretty sure my list isn't optimal. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on card choices, and then see what everyone else thought on how to build the deck.
To start with, here's what I'm running now:
# 1x (1) Adorable Infestation
# 1x (1) Blazing Battlemage
# 1x (1) Demon Companion
# 1x (1) Dwarven Sharpshooter
# 1x (1) Guardian Augmerchant
# 1x (1) Intrepid Initiate
# 1x (1) Mystery Winner
# 1x (1) Tour Guide
# 1x (1) Toxic Reinforcements
# 1x (1) Tracking
# 1x (1) Wolpertinger
# 1x (2) Bonechewer Brawler
# 1x (2) Freezing Trap
# 1x (2) Imprisoned Felmaw
# 1x (2) Open the Cages
# 1x (2) Pack Tactics
# 1x (2) Phase Stalker
# 1x (2) Scavenger's Ingenuity
# 1x (2) Snake Trap
# 1x (2) Voracious Reader
# 1x (2) Wriggling Horror
# 1x (2) Zephrys the Great
# 1x (3) Animal Companion
# 1x (3) Eaglehorn Bow
# 1x (3) Inconspicuous Rider
# 1x (3) Kill Command
# 1x (3) Petting Zoo
# 1x (4) Dragonbane
# 1x (4) Lorekeeper Polkelt
# 1x (7) Dinotamer Brann
Cards that feel the strongest:
Dwarven Sharpshooter – Fair stats, gives you access to early removal, and it synergizes with all of the other hero power cards.
Tour Guide – At its base it's a 1 mana 1/1 deal 2 to the enemy hero, but if you can drop it to activate a hero power synergy one turn early, it becomes very strong.
Phase Stalker – Efficient stats while playing secrets for free.
Scavenger's Ingenuity – Whether this hits wolpertinger or phase stalker, it's just great value. It surprisingly can make up for the fact that it's 2 mana do nothing
Zephrys the Great – Kinda obvious that the highlander payoff card would be strong
Lorekeeper Polkelt – tutoring Brann (and dragonbane) on demand is as strong as it seems
Dinotamer Brann – Great tempo, great value, can sometimes end the game
Also, I just wanted to throw out there that I would run Rinling's rifle if I had it. It seems like it would be pretty strong in this deck. If this deck proves to be good, that might be my next legendary craft.
Cards that feel the weakest:
Guardian Augmerchant – I saw this in a lot of other HL hunter lists, so I included it, but it takes up a 1 mana slot and can't be played on turn 1
Toxic Reinforcements – In 18 games I think I've finished the quest twice and it didn't matter either time.
Bonechewer Brawler – Again, I saw this in a lot of other HL hunter lists so I included it, but it is often just a 2/3. However, it is a 2 drop that can be played on 2, so I'm hesitant to take it out.
Imprisoned Felmaw – This card seemed strong in the last format, but giving opposing decks two more turns to stabilize seems so bad right now.
All the secrets – Generally drawing any of the secrets feels pretty bad. You would rather cheat them out from the deck.
Open the Cages – This gets it's own line because of how dead it feels. It seems like such a win more card. If it doesn't go off the turn you play it, you wasted enough tempo playing it that it will probably never go off.
Petting Zoo – This card is fine, but certainly not as strong as I had hoped. Maybe in a non highlander list you could more consistently have several secrets up. But this is generally just a 3 mana summon 2 3/3s
How the deck wins:
From my notes, most of my wins come when I hit a perfect curve of playable cards on turns 1-3 and my opponent doesn't have a nuts start. If my opponent doesn't strongly contest the board before turn 3, and my hand doesn't brick, it's generally a win.
How the deck loses:
If my opponent does something really unfair in the first few turns (I'm looking at you Aldor attendant into hand of Adal) and I can't respond, this deck loses. This deck has almost no comeback potential.
Alternatively, if I don't draw cards that are playable in the first few turns, I lose even if my opponent isn't contesting the board. If I draw Toxic reinforcements, Voracious reader, Wriggling Horror, any secrets, dragonbane, etc.
So to finish up, how would you guys build the HL hunter list? What other cards would you include? Do you think if built right it will be a strong deck in the meta?
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