Hunter loves getting ahead and staying ahead, and Adorable Infestation is the perfect card to do the latter during the early game. If you want to play 1-drops, you will usually want to put this buff on them turn 2. It helps you make good trades that could tilt aggressive mirrors in your favor, while adding more bodies to the board. Hard to say no to that.
To reiterate what we’ve said about Nature Studies, we’re not too concerned with what this spell discovers as much as what we’re able to play at a discount the next turn. Hunter does have some valuable deathrattles that it might be interested playing a turn earlier (especially at 3 mana), but this prospect is certainly not as enticing as it is for Nature Studies. It’s just okay.
This 1-drop is stronger than Alley Cat, which was played in almost every Hunter deck that could play it. Wolpertinger benefits from buffs much like Saronite Chain Gang, so it scales with a card like Scavenger’s Ingenuity. Hunter decks of different kinds will be very interested in this one. The best Hunter card of this set.
This card looks as bad in Hunter as it does in Demon Hunter. The only archetype that could be remotely interested in this is Quest Hunter, but you’d probably spend just a few seconds on the decision to include it before passing. Too terrible of a draw off the top, too reliant on having a board to leverage, too conditional of a payoff.
Another solid 1-drop for Hunter? This is a possible inclusion in every Hunter deck that currently plays Blazing Battlemage. If a 2/2 for 1 is good enough, then this could also be good enough, though it’s important to note that Demon Companion is not as strong on turn 1 than Battlemage on average. Highlander Hunter will welcome it.
Hunter sure likes to have multiple bodies on the board, but if it’s ever in this position, it usually just wins and doesn’t need a removal that doesn’t go face to do it. Once again, we can only think of a Quest Hunter deck that can make use of Overwhelm in a truly powerful manner. Unlike Blood Herald though, this card is okay at its baseline, so could be usable at a pinch.
This card will attempt to succeed where Augmented Porcupine failed, which is help introduce a deathrattle-driven Hunter deck. The good news is that Bloated Python is very comparable to Devilsaur Egg, but is even easier to use, so it’s a very powerful card in a vacuum. The only question is whether an archetype that utilizes it alongside cards such as Teron Gorefiend, Houndmaster and Mok’Nathal Lion can succeed.
This card was basically designed to go into Guardian Animals decks, but while we see the potential of this synergy in Druid, we don’t see the same in a class that doesn’t have ramp and often decides games before it ever gets to this point. A Deathrattle Hunter deck could use it as just a sticky body, but it probably doesn’t feel great to pull from Scavenger’s Ingenuity on turn 2.
Turning our minions into removal sounds like a terrific idea if we’re usually playing decks that have strong minions but weaker removal. Crescent allows Hunter to come back to the board if it ever falls behind, or push face damage while making favorable trades, which is just amazing. Furthermore, just having a way to deal 1 damage in the early game is valuable. This weapon is going to be worth more than the 1 mana paid for it.
This card would be ridiculous in another class, but Hunter is probably the last class that can make use of it effectively. Considering the power of Scavenger’s Ingenuity in finding other valuable beasts, we’ll be surprised if Hunter decks opt for this one. It will have to be an entirely different Hunter deck that we struggle to envision with the current set.
Overgrowth is not a Hunter card. Twilight Runner is not a Hunter card. Guardian Animals is not a Hunter card. Hunter cannot afford to build a deck with such a significant restriction, and such a significant waiting period for a somewhat mediocre payoff.
Ace Hunter Kreen
We think this card is as strong in Hunter as it is in Demon Hunter, if not better. It’s simply too much of a threat for 3 mana to ignore and can help snowball into a victory very quickly. Just a single free trade in the early game can put Hunter so far ahead that it becomes smooth sailing from there, since the opponent has to spend resources clearing Kreen or it has no chance of ever retaking the board. Kreen also has synergy with Trueaim Crescent, which we expect to be more prominent in Hunter.
Occasionally, we get a new card that makes us want to play Rapid Fire. Then we realize that we must put Rapid Fire in our decks, and the idea is immediately shot down. Professor Slate would be an unbelievably broken card in another class, which is why it’s a Hunter card. The class just doesn’t have the plethora of spells that can abuse it.
We could see Wildclaw acting in the Keleseth role of a Beast-focused deck, though we have some doubts regarding the potential viability of this archetype. As a copy effect, only Dinotamer Brann comes to mind and a turn 10 combo is a little optimistic to count on. It just may not find a home in top tier Hunter decks.
Scholomance Academy Set Rank: 10th
Overall Power Ranking: 5th
Scholomance Academy is an expansion of a high-power level, so while Hunter did receive some very good cards, its set is the worst in comparison with what other classes have received, and that could knock it down a peg or two.
Where we’re less concerned with is Hunter’s competitive viability. Highlander Hunter has finished Ashes of Outland as the strongest deck in the game. It’s an extremely well-rounded deck that doesn’t need huge upgrades to establish a consistent and successful game plan, but it is certainly getting big upgrades in its early game.
Adorable Infestation, Demon Companion and Wolpertinger make Hunter’s early game so much stronger and effective at contesting other aggressive decks. Ace Hunter Kreen is another great fit for the deck since it relishes having the initiative.
We’re less enthusiastic about the prospect of new Hunter archetypes that are not Highlander, Dragon or Face Hunter. We feel that Deathrattle Hunter decks are still flawed concepts that may suffer from inconsistency. Furthermore, we expect aggressive decks to hit hard and fast in Scholomance Academy, and a Deathrattle Hunter deck is expected to line up very poorly against them.
So, Hunter looks okay. It still has a decent chance of ending up in the top tier of the meta, but it’s unlikely to do it with something new. What Rexxar hopes for the most is that we don’t see a repeat of Illidan’s antics through Ashes of Outland.
Just agreeing with a lot of the comments already posted. Lots of time and effort into analyzing each and every card. Great work.
The more I read/hear from Vicious Syndicate, the deeper my respect. 10/10.
Paladin have a zero cost spell. Time is money friend!
The gold standard of HS articles
most important hearthstone content second to the game itself! love vS
Great job! Thanks Guys!
Fantastic work, super helpful! Thanks
Awesome review guys! I can’t believe how much effort went into this. Keep up the great work!