The cheapest way to play Hunter has not changed much over the years: the face is the place when it comes to playing on a budget. Face Hunter has been a top tier deck occasionally, but often the deck has also been too weak to even reach Legend. At the moment, Face Hunter is a Legend-capable deck, especially if you include a pair of Epic cards in it, as Toxic Reinforcements is such a central piece of the puzzle right now.
Face Hunter may seem simple, but there are several decisions involved. Aggro decks often win the game with just a one-turn margin, so you need to carefully consider how you maximize the damage you can deal and how you avoid giving the opponent ways to kill you before you kill them. Any trades you make should be justified by either allowing your current board to deal more damage thanks to the trade or by giving you an additional turn to Hero Power or topdeck your way to the win.
Semi-Budget Face Hunter decklist
Deck code: AAECAR8CogLeBA6oArUDyQSSBe0GsQjbCf4M7/EC86cD+a4D+68D/K8DhbADAA==
I consider Toxic Reinforcements an essential part of a Legend-capable Face Hunter deck. It might be possible to grind all the way without it, but it is simply phenomenal in the archetype.
Other than that, it is face-hunting business as usual with almost every card ready to deal some immediate damage.
Semi-Budget Face Hunter mulligan
Mulligan with Face Hunter is easy. You want four cards: Toxic Reinforcements, Phase Stalker, Dwarven Sharpshooter, and Blazing Battlemage. Getting some of those sets you up for a good game.
I would not keep a Leper Gnome in the mulligan, even though it costs only one mana: aim high, don’t be happy with a mediocre one-drop when you can have it all.
Semi-Budget Face Hunter tips and tricks
Unleash the Hounds is one of the best cards in the deck when board battles are involved. Together with Knife Juggler or Timber Wolf, the Hounds can dish out impressive amounts of damage. Look for opportunities to bait your opponent into building a wide board that you can punish with the Hounds, as long as you keep track of their reach and know how many turns they need to win the game.
If the game goes long, you need to be ready for the opponent’s healing and board clears. In particular, watch out for Alexstrasza against slow decks: it can either help them find a surprise lethal or to stabilize. Always consider the chance that your opponent can heal up to 15 before committing your burst power in the late-game. Other cards to keep in mind are The Amazing Reno when facing a Mage and Plague of Death when facing a Priest: they can silence all of your Deathrattles and prevent Leper Gnomes from dealing damage.
If you have a Kill Command, think ahead on how to use it. There are not that many Beasts in the deck, so you may run out of them and not gain the additional damage bonus. Plan accordingly to get the most damage output.
Arcane Shot to the face is two damage. Arcane Shot that kills a Zilliax prevents three healing. As long as you are not using all of your mana, it can be worthwhile to hold onto Arcane Shot for potential use against minions.
Semi-Budget Face Hunter upgrade path
There is not that much to upgrade with Face Hunter. Leeroy Jenkins is a Classic Legendary minion that always improves the archetype and can replace a Knife Juggler.
Other than that, I want to highlight an opportunity to sidegrade the deck to make it cheaper without losing too much power: Wolfrider can replace some of the rare cards, mostly Knife Juggler and also possibly Lifedrinker, with only a minor performance loss. You can also consider Tracking as a replacement for them.
You will need Toxic Reinforcements, Phase Stalker, and Eaglehorn Bow for good performance.
Semi-Budget Face Hunter gameplay video
Finally, here’s a video showcasing the deck in Legend. I hope it helps you make the most of it.