Face Hunter is an old favorite that can easily overrun unsuspecting opponents. Be sure to read this guide before SMOcing your way up the Standard Ladder!
Face Hunter Overview
Face Hunter has a long history in Hearthstone. In the past, it was an absolute terror on the Ladder forcing a handful of impactful nerfs to cards such as Leper Gnome and Abusive Sergeant. Since those changes, Rexxar has had a hard time keeping pace with other aggressive decks in the Standard format. This pigeon-holed Hunter players into more midrange decks for the past few expansions.
Recently, however, we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of the Face Hunter builds. Slower decks becoming more common in the meta allow Hunter players to weave in more Steady Shots and inevitably wear down their opponents. Perhaps more importantly, faster Aggro decks are somewhat less common giving Face Hunter a fighting chance.
As the name suggests, the deck relies heavily on sending minions in the direction of the opposing hero portrait. Because of its higher curve, though, the deck does require a bit more finesse than the Face Hunter of yore. As with other Aggro decks, decisions about when to trade and when to push damage are critical to mastering the deck.
With the Knights of the Frozen Throne release, Stitched Tracker finds a bit of an unexpected home in Face Hunter. One of the biggest weaknesses of the deck is running out of steam. Stitched Tracker provides the opportunity not only to refill your hand but to do so with a minion of your choice.
More important than new cards being made available to Face Hunter is the shift in the meta that came along with the release of Knights of the Frozen Throne. Games, on average, are lasting longer giving Face Hunter the chance to get ahead early and finish kills with hero powers.
Face Hunter Deck List & Code
Face Hunter Card Choices
As an aggressive deck, most of the cards in Face Hunter have one main purpose: deal damage to your opponent. However, nearly any minion in Hearthstone is capable of doing this, so this section will take you through the nuances of the individual card choices.
- Alleycat – Alleycat gives you two bodies on turn 1 that can be adapted by Crackling Razormaw. Plus, Tabbycat is adorable.
- Crackling Razormaw – An aggressively statted body that can buff your early game minions.
- Kindly Grandmother – The Deathrattle makes this minion resilient, but also keeps the pressure up following a board clear.
- Scavenging Hyena – When paired with a Taunted beast or Unleash the Hounds, Hyenas can get out of hand quickly.
- Animal Companion – Huffer is a good card to have in any Hunter deck, but especially aggressive variants. (You did roll Huffer, right?)
- Eaglehorn Bow – Bow is six damage to the face against slow decks or a means of protecting your minions.
- Kill Command – With several decks running Taunt minions, Kill Command can give you the reach necessary to finish the game.
- Stitched Tracker – The lone Frozen Throne card in the deck, Tracker allows you to select a card into hand. Not a great turn 3 play, but a high-performing card in the deck.
- Unleash the Hounds – Token decks are still fairly common and Hounds can counter-pressure a wide board.
- Houndmaster – Bonemare Lite for a deck that wants to protect valuable minions and get extra damage in each turn.
- Bloodsail Corsair – Corsair pulls Patches from your deck for additional pressure and has the potential to kill off a weapon.
- Hungry Crab – Hunter is one of the few classes that can get away with running both crabs. If you kill a Murloc, great. If not, you still get a body for Razormaw.
- Patches the Pirate – Patches is still one of the best cards in the game when he comes shooting out of his cannon.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf adds extra damage to your minions and, in the case of Patches and Hounds, allows you to take advantage of Charge effects.
- Golakka Crawler – A reasonable body with the potential to slow more aggressive decks with and swing the board into your favor.
- Spellbreaker – If Taunt is cheat, Spellbreaker is your way of punishing cheaters.
- Leeroy Jenkins – Six damage for five mana cannot be underestimated. Leeroy is additional burst damage for a deck that wants to end the game fast.
Face Hunter Play Style
Against aggressive decks, gaining control of the board is critical. Despite being a Face Hunter, you are likely to be the slower deck. The good news is that you can often out-value decks that go all-in on damage. Make value trades when appropriate, but try to slow the early turns from your opponent and swing the board back in your favor.
A Houndmaster on turn 4 can lock down the board and give you the advantage you need to win the game.
Unleash the Hounds is this deck’s lone comeback mechanic, so use it wisely. When paired with Dire Wolf Alpha or Leokk, Hounds can provide a direct answer to Living Mana or provide enough counter pressure to win the game.
With enough burst in hand, you may need to concede the board and just turn the remainder of a game into a race.
Control match ups are really where Face Hunter shines. Slower decks give you the chance to gain the board and begin weaving in hero powers turn after turn.
Get as much minion damage in as you can in the early turns. Typically, you can get enough chip damage enough to make your hero power threatening and/or finish the game with burst from Kill Command or Leeroy Jenkins.
In these match ups, Houndmaster is useful in buffing your minions out of range of trades or removal. The immediate two damage is often useful as well.
Be aware of the AoE spells your opponent’s class is likely to have access to and play around them accordingly. Do not, for example, extend wide on the board going into Blizzard turns against Mage or [Holy Nova”] / Dragonfire Potion against Priest. Spreading Plague is fairly common in slower Druid builds, so always be aware of that possibility before dropping minions into play. (Something I’m particularly bad at.)
Face Hunter Mulligan Stats
Opening Hand Winrate
Winrate When Drawn
Avg Turn Played On
Avg Turns In Hand
Winrate When Played
|Dire Wolf Alpha||53.92%||51.6%||50.26%||4.52||1.25||50.81%|
|Unleash the Hounds||10.68%||47.68%||50.33%||6.58||2.1||43.75%|
|Patches the Pirate||1.19%||37.84%||42.24%||3.87||0.86||40.83%|
Mulligan statistics courtesy of HSReplay.net
Face Hunter Full Guide
Face Hunter can be more challenging to play than most players assume. My full Face Hunter Guide is found on Hearthstone Top Decks. The guide is complete with Mulligan Strategies, General Tips, Card Substitutions, and more!
If you have any questions, feedback, or observations about the deck, please leave a comment below!