The Comprehensive Whizbang’s Workshop Preview


Data Reaper Report - Hunter


A 2-mana spell that can potentially draw two cards in the right deck. For this card to be playable, we need to construct a deck that only runs Beasts as minions. A 2-mana Fetch that only draws one minion is not an acceptable constructed card in any normal Hearthstone deck.

How likely is it that Hunter manages to construct a competitive all Beast deck going into Whizbang’s Workshop? We have some doubts it has the right ingredients for it. It is obviously impossible in Reno Hunter. It is questionable in a Big Beast Hunter deck since Mystery Egg isn’t a Beast, and tutoring Beasts isn’t too beneficial for the archetype.

Another potential home for Fetch! is in a token Hunter deck, but even in this archetype, you’d have to give up Observer of Myths, Mantle Shaper and Aggramar. It’s arguably smarter just to run Barak Kodobane for the purpose of card draw.

The card’s best shot is in a Messenger Buzzard deck, as it helps us fill our hand with Beasts to benefit from Buzzard’s buff, alongside Master’s Call.

Fetch! is a good card we’re confident will find a home eventually, but its restriction means it may not have an immediate impact.

Score: 2

Remote Control

A 1/3 weapon that summons a 1/1 Beast token on every swing. This card is very comparable to Muster for Battle. It’s likely stronger because it costs 1 less mana, even if the tokens aren’t all summoned together. Hunter tends to appreciate early game pings, because it gives the class more flexibility in favorable trading.

In the context of the set, Hunter is getting support for a board flooding deck that’s focused on Beasts. Remote Control is a key component of the strategy, as it consistently produces bodies that the opponent needs to clean up.

But this is a great board control tool for any kind of Hunter deck, including slower ones, as it gives them the ability to contest early threats. Should have a relatively high play rate in the class.

Score: 3


The other direction that Hunter is getting support for is a big Beast direction. Unfortunately, Toyrannosaurus is a very disappointing target for mana cheating. A plain 7-mana 7/6 rush with a deathrattle that’s hard to control. Hollow Hound is a much better card if we want to respond to an opponent’s board, even in its nerfed form. Mister Mukla is also a superior rush minion.

We could technically run all of them, but Toyrannosaurus is just awful to play from hand. All we’re doing is diluting the quality of minions produced from Mystery Egg. We think this is a hard pass.

Score: 1

Jungle Gym

Jungle Gym is a location that deals damage split across random enemies based on the number of Beasts you control. A Jungle Gym alongside a full board of 6 Beasts will deal 7 damage per charge. That’s a lot of damage potentially stored in a 2-mana card.

Does Hunter have the tools to maximize this location’s potential? One excellent enabler is R.C Rampage, which guarantees a maximum damage charge. There are other small enablers that can help set up smaller charges on curve. Sneaky Snakes can be used as a turn 1 setup to a 3-damage Gym charge on turn 2. Ball of Spiders can give us a 4-damage Gym charge on turn 3.

The most important thing about Jungle Gym is that it’s a cheap location you can drop on the board and wait for the right opportunity to use. It reminds us of Vile Library. They are similar cards, but instead of stats through buffs, Jungle Gym is a source of burn damage. We think Vile Library is generally superior, but there’s no shame in being a bit worse than an overpowered card.

Score: 3

Painted Canvasaur

Canvasaur buffs all friendly Beasts on board with one of the keywords available to One-Amalgam Band. Every Beast gets its own random bonus effect roll; much like how Enhance-o-Mechano works.

This minion can offer a significant payoff to develop a wide board of Beasts. Some keywords are stronger than others on small tokens, but if you can connect 3+ beasts with Canvasaur, it’s likely worth the meager 2-mana cost on a 3/2.

The only issue we have is that Hunter may have better board buffs available to it than Canvasaur, and we’re not sure how many of these cards are needed in a Token Hunter deck. The most important ones are Observer of Myths and Saddle Up!. Observer is more likely to help us close out the game, while Saddle Up! makes our board more consistently stickier compared to Canvasaur.

Could make the cut as one of the final slots of a Token Hunter deck, but only goes into one type of deck and nothing else.

Score: 2

Patchwork Pals

Patchwork Pals adds all three Animal Companions to your hand and discounts them by 1-mana. There are two ways to think about this card.

The first way is to consider it a pre-loaded Call of the Wild. For 8-mana, you get to play all Animal Companions, but you get to control when and how to play them. This makes the card much better than Call of the Wild or To My Side! due to its flexibility. Rather than being a late game bomb that requires you to get to a specific turn, you can use the Animal Companions to efficiently spend mana through the game and best leverage each of their abilities.

The other way is to consider it a form of card generation. For 2-mana, you get to generate three high quality minions. A 2-mana Misha, Leokk or Huffer are all very strong. All these minions can then be buffed in hand by a Messenger Buzzard. You can use Leokk to buff a wide board of tokens. You can use Huffer alongside board buffs such as Bunch of Bananas or Camouflage Mount to deal charge damage to the opponent.

Patchwork Pals is just a very flexible card that can fit multiple strategies. We like it a lot for any kind of Hunter deck.

Score: 3

R.C. Rampage

R.C. Rampage develops the board in a unique way. You summon six Hounds to the board, and for every one that can’t fit to the board, your other Hounds get buffed by +1/+1. So, let’s say you have two minions in play. R.C. Rampage will summon 5 2/2’s, because it’s missing a space for one Hound. Three minions in play lead to Rampage summoning 4 3/3’s. Note that R.C.Rampage does not buff the other minions on the board or other Hounds. It only affects the Hounds it summons.

When looking at the stats output of R.C.Rampage, it’s clear that it’s much stronger if you have at least two occupied board slots. Summoning 6 1/1’s is a slightly better version of Stand Against Darkness. Summoning 5 2/2’s or 4 3/3’s represents a ton of stats for a 4-mana card.

Clearly, R.C.Rampage is meant to be played in a board flooding deck that utilizes Jungle Gym, as it’s the best way for us to fill the board and get a maximum damage charge from the location. It is also a very good landing spot for Painted Canvasaur.

If Token Hunter pans out, then it’ll be thanks to Jungle Gym and R.C. Rampage.

Score: 3

Mystery Egg

With much of the “Big Beast” support in the format rotating, a new card is coming in to try to forge a new path for the archetype. Mystery Egg is a 5-mana 0/3 minion with Miniaturize and a Deathrattle that adds a copy of a Beast from your deck to your hand. The Beast then costs 5 less mana.

The idea is that the mana invested on the Mystery Egg is made up by the discount on the Beast plus interest, since the 1/1 Egg Mini is a much more powerful tool to cheat mana. Note that the discounted Beast added to your hand is a copy, so you can keep finding the same Beast from your deck multiple times.

The main difficulty in using Mystery Egg is how to kill the main egg. One way is to run Bestial Madness, which gives the Egg an attack value so we can run it into something. Another way is to buff it on board, though that could lead to the egg surviving too long. Ravenous Kraken and Messenger Buzzard are not good options, since they’re both Beasts that clash with Mystery Egg’s deathrattle. Yelling Yodeler is the ideal enabler for both the main Mystery Egg and the Egg Mini.

The archetype loses a lot, so we’re not sure this is enough to bring it back, especially when we have no way to consistently draw Mystery Egg, but we do like the potential threat density it can help create and subsequent synergy with Stranglethorn Heart.

Score: 2

Hemet, Foam Marksman

Hemet is a 5-mana 3/6 that grants you a legendary Beast from the past whenever a friendly Beast dies. This legendary Beast also has its mana cost discounted by 2.

This card requires you to have Beasts in play, play it and then run those Beasts into enemies to kill them. A card that relies on this type of plan in a board flooding deck almost always flops. The only exceptions occur when the value engine is very cheap, like an Acolyte of Death. Hemet is very expensive for an aggressive deck and does nothing on his own.

The other issue is simpler. If we have a board that the opponent could not respond to, why are we trading? Why are we not just buffing our board and killing our opponent with Observer of Myths, Saddle Up!, or Painted Canvasaur?

The use case of Hemet is very limited in the deck it’s intended to be included in because either the opponent keeps clearing the board, or we win the game through board pressure. There is little space for random value through Hemet to have an impact. The other issue is that legendary Beasts from the past are not even that good. For every Hydralodon, there’s some Princess Huhuran ready to disappoint you. The 2-mana discount does help, but Hemet should be winning the game for us, not helping us extend it through some grind.

We’ll be surprised if Hemet sees serious play. Token Hunter has better ways to leverage its board into victory.

Score: 1

King Plush

Goodbye King Krush. Say hello to King Plush. Our Plushy fellow here has the same cost as the Classic Hunter legendary, but sees its stats reduced to a 6/6. Terrible! Thankfully, this is made up by a crazy Battlecry. Any minion with less attack than King Plush is shuffled back to its owner’s deck!

King Plush is basically a King Krush with an attached Psychic Scream type of board clear. No deathrattles are triggered here; the minions just get yoinked back to their decks.

A charge minion that completely resets the board is an unbelievable tool for the Hunter class, especially in a class  that tends to struggle if it falls behind to an enemy board. It now gets a board clear that Priest would be proud of. The only caveat is that Plush only clears smaller minions, but that can be improved if we buff King Plush in hand with cards such as Bestial Madness or Messenger Buzzard.

King Plush is expected to be a highly ubiquitous card. It’s a no brainer for Reno Hunter. It’s fantastic for a handbuff deck. It’s an amazing pull from Mystery Egg. The idea of getting multiple copies of King Plush throughout the course of the game thanks to some Mystery Egg plus Yelling Yodeler abuse is intriguing.

Probably the best Hunter card in the set. And the cutest one too.

Score: 4

Final Thoughts

Whizbang’s Workshop Set Rank: 6th

Overall Power Ranking:  7th

Hunter’s dominance in the final week of Badlands, once the mass nerf reversions occurred, should be a reminder of what the class will be losing in rotation. The good news is that there’s a lot to like in Hunter’s Whizbang set.

One of the main directions that Hunter is seeing support for is a Token Hunter deck, with Jungle Gym and R.C. Rampage looking like great incentives. We’re fans of Jungle Gym because it provides off-board damage to a very board-centric deck. It adds a new dimension that we hope will make it more compelling to play and more difficult to play around.

Much of the Big-Beast support is rotating out, but Team 5 have been quick to offer an alternative with Mystery Egg. While seeming very slow at first glance, its Miniature form looks delicious with Yelling Yodeler. A massive factor going in its favor is King Plush. This cornerstone piece might be one of the strongest comeback cards in the history of the class. The opportunity to cheat out multiple copies of Plush during a game has not gone unnoticed.

We expect Reno Hunter to become faster and more aggressive, as it’s losing much of its late game power. Despite rotation, we think its card pool is still very deep, since the class has a lot of strong standalone cards that aren’t too reliant on synergies. A new example is Patchwork Pals, which should become a ubiquitous choice across different archetypes.

Our main concern with Hunter is that its most promising direction isn’t blessed with reload, while being somewhat reliant on burning down the opponent. Some of the stronger classes going into rotation may possess a lot of life gain. Paladin could become a major obstacle due to its lifesteal synergies and ability to develop massive boards, which are very effective at soaking Jungle Gym’s damage.

It’s possible that Hunter’s solution will be to follow in Paladin and Death Knight’s footsteps, running a Handbuff build centered on Messenger Buzzard. The Beast tribe could take central focus, as both Master’s Call and Fetch solve the lack of card draw that can be noticed in other archetypes, but it’ll be difficult to give up some non-Beast minions for that purpose.

What we ask more than anything else is that Hunter decks in Whizbang’s Workshop are fun and interesting. Rather than raw power, Hunter has been missing an attractive design that compelled players to queue the class onto ladder. If it finds it, then all will be well.


1 Comment

  1. Good read overall, but the write up on Timewinder Zarimi is a bit over the top. It just screams, “Blizz, if you’re reading our article nerf this card now!”, and I think it’s way too early to jump to that conclusion. Time Warp effects are strong, but it’s no more strong than OTK card strategies; one could argue it’s actually weaker cause you need two turns in a row to win when other decks can OTK.

    A weakness with Timewinder Zarimi that shouldn’t be ignored is its reliance on dragon tribe. Can’t just put in any deck, must devote enough other cards to get to 5 dragons.

    TLDR – Let’s try not to put a target on cards to nerf before they’re actually a problem.

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