- According to Hunters, a ruthless offense of tooth and claw is better than any defense. These lone survivalists tap into their feral nature to take down their prey with hidden traps, tamed beasts, and volleys of baleful arrows.
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- Main article: Hunter
From an early age the call of the wild draws some adventurers from the comfort of their homes into the unforgiving primal world outside. Those who endure become hunters. As masters of their environment, hunters are able to slip like ghosts through the trees and lay traps in the paths of their enemies. These expert marksmen drop foes dead in their tracks with flawless shots from a bow, crossbow or rifle. With the ability to wield two weapons simultaneously, hunters can unleash a flurry of blows against anyone unfortunate enough to stumble into close combat with them.
The art of survival is central to the isolated life of a hunter. Hunters track beasts with ease and enhance their own abilities by attuning themselves to the feral aspects of various creatures. Hunters are known for the lifelong bonds they form with animals of the wild, training great hawks, cats, bears, and many other beasts to fight alongside them.
Steady Shot is the hunter's Hero Power, dealing 2 damage direct to the enemy hero. Steady Shot is a very direct and straightforward Hero Power - unlike many other Hero Powers, it does not offer special synergies or boast a range of possible uses, but what it lacks in strategic complexity it makes up for in sheer effectiveness. Without Health or Armor-granting effects, Steady Shot can single-handedly destroy the opponent and win the game in just 15 turns if used every turn. This allows the hunter to rely upon Steady Shot's damage to make steady progress toward victory, regardless of the state of the board. Steady Shot works well with an aggressive approach to build pressure on the opponent.
While it is very effective for bypassing enemy minions, note that the hunter cannot use Steady Shot on any other target, but can only deal damage to the enemy hero. However, some cards are able to expand Steady Shot's functionality, notably Steamwheedle Sniper and Dwarven Sharpshooter, granting it the ability to target any character and opening up a range of strategic possibilities.
Replacement Hero Powers
- Ballista Shot is the upgraded Hero Power.
- Dinomancy will replace the current Hero Power with Dinomancy.
- Deathstalker Rexxar will replace the current Hero Power with Build-a-Beast, as well as replacing the hero.
- Zul'jin will replace the current Hero Power with Berserker Throw, as well as replacing the hero.
- Unseal the Vault will replace the current Hero Power with Pharaoh's Warmask once the Quest is completed.
- A Hunter’s ability to tame beasts of all shapes, sizes, and dispositions means that they never truly hunt alone. Buff up your fearsome friends and head into battle with a myriad of companions at your side.
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- Tread lightly, heroes. A Hunter can lay deadly trap secrets that activate should their opponent make a misstep in their hunting grounds.
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- Hunters can charge their ranged weaponry with powerful effects to discharge debilitating and lethal shots.
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How to get cards
Raising Hunter up to level 10 awards 16 Core Hunter cards (31 copies), while winning up to 500 games in Ranked, Arena and Duels awards golden copies of existing cards. All Core cards are uncraftable and cannot be crafted or disenchanted.
- Starting cards
Hunter starts with the following cards:
- Levels 2-10
Up to level 10, reaching each level will award the player two copies (one at level 10) of a new Core Hunter card.
- Main article: Card pack
Hunter's expansion cards can be obtained mostly by obtaining corresponding card packs or Hunter class packs. The player can buy them in Shop with gold or real money, or get them through various sources. Some cards may be available through various promotions, like logging in to get them.
Mini-set cards, while can be obtained like expansion cards, can also be obtained by buying its bundle available in Shop for a limited-time. The player can buy the bundle with gold or real money.
Expansions cards are also craftable and can be obtained by crafting them with Arcane Dust.
- Main article: Adventure
Adventure cards can be obtained by completing their Adventure's encounters. They are uncraftable until the player completes the Adventure or their set rotates to Wild format. The player can buy the Adventure with gold for each individual part, or real money for the whole of it.
Breakdown of Hunter cards in both Standard and Wild formats can be seen in the following table.
Strategy and gameplay
Many hunter decks revolve around the use of Beast minions while maintaining board control. Many hunter-only cards benefit from having other Beasts in play or in your hand or deck, such as Timber Wolf, Tundra Rhino, Houndmaster or Master's Call. Certain cards with strong Beast synergy tend to become high priority targets for your enemies; Starving Buzzard for example lets you draw a card every time another Beast is summoned, while Scavenging Hyena gains +2/+1 for every friendly beast that dies while it is in play.
Hunters are strong at aggression, being able to utilize early game minions like Springpaw and Alleycat and follow it up strongly with cards like Headhunter's Hatchet or Crackling Razormaw. They have access to low-cost direct damage spells like Kill Command and Quick Shot for burst damage, while their Hero Power, Steady Shot outputs consistent damage directly at the enemy hero. A deck on the extreme side of aggression is the "Face Hunter", using nothing but cheap, direct damage minions like Leper Gnome and Wolfrider to inflict as much damage as quickly as possible. Face Hunter sacrifices longevity for immediate damage, aiming to defeat the opponent before they are able to mount a defence.
Hunter decks can also be strong midrange, tempo decks which involve strong board control while playing and buffing Beasts, with cards like Savannah Highmane, Freezing Trap, and Houndmaster Shaw. Many hunter decks revolve around Secrets, of which hunters have a strong range. Hunter Secrets especially tend to affect the board, with cards like Explosive Trap, Snake Trap and Misdirection giving any opponent reason to hesitate before sending a minion to attack. Eaglehorn Bow is a staple hunter card for use with Secrets.
While Hunters are best known for their minion quality, they are no slouch when it comes to spells. Cards like Deadly Shot and Marked Shot are formidable forms of removal, Unleash the Beast and Lesser Emerald Spellstone summon hefty token minions, and some spells like Flanking Strike and Baited Arrow even do both. Cards like Vereesa Windrunner and Zul'jin reward spell-heavy decks by upping their value tremendously. They can even run a deck with no minions, using Rhok'delar and To My Side! for extreme value generation.
Hunters are very synergistic in that they require Beasts on the board to make full use of their cards such as Kill Command and Houndmaster, so maintaining board control and killing Beasts as soon as possible will cripple a hunter. Early removal of Scavenging Hyena especially is essential, but ideally make sure never to leave a Beast on the hunter's board. Hunters can have surprising burst damage with Unleash the Hounds, King Krush, or hidden Kill Command cards in their hand so try to keep your Health high or keep strong Taunt minions on the board for as long as possible.
Hunters have moderately strong Secrets that can wreak havoc if not properly accounted for. Proper counter-strategy requires knowledge of the popular Secrets in the current meta, and ideally your opponent's deck, but when in doubt, the following precautions can help avoid the worst of their effects.
- Attack the hero directly with a low cost or unimportant minion, or a minion played primarily for its Battlecry, in case of Freezing Trap.
- Attack the hero directly before summoning any more minions to avoid unnecessary damage from Explosive Trap. Buffing your minions to increase their Health to 3 or above can also be useful to prevent their deaths.
- Make sure to use removal on cards that have synergy with beasts such as Starving Buzzard before attacking a minion in case of Snake Trap. Removal of the snakes with Area of Effect spells may become a priority if the hunter has synergistic cards in their hand like Scavenging Hyena.
- Play a weak minion or a minion where taking 4 damage is acceptable in case of Snipe.
- Attack with a weak minion first to minimize damage done by Misdirection. Buff the Health of the minion that you are not attacking with beforehand if it will prevent its death if the weak minion attacks it.
- Hemet Nesingwary was the original hunter hero in the game's pre-alpha. Rexxar was eventually chosen for the role in part due to his strong connection with Beasts, which the developers wanted to focus on.
- Hunter was the game's original starting class. This was changed to mage because the developers wanted to use a non-weapon class, presumably to reduce complexity.
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Hero card prior to Patch 22.214.171.124613
- Patch 126.96.36.199613 (2020-07-30): Modified hunter's card frame colour to better distinguish them from Demon Hunter cards.