Before the rotation, I built a budget Dragon Hunter deck without any adventure cards and it turned out to work surprisingly well. Now that Ashes of Outland expansion is here, I decided to look into the concept again to see if it still works.
The result is that, yeah, kind of. Dragon Hunter has hardly changed in the new expansion: people have experimented with Zixor, Pack Tactics, and Imprisoned Felmaw, but none of them have really made the deck any better. The full-cost version is still viable, even though new power spike from the expansion has knocked it down a notch.
I played the budget version on my budget climb from Platinum 10 to Platinum 7 with a 55% winrate. I can rock 80% on the same ranks with a cheaper Demon Hunter deck, so clearly Dragon Hunter without the adventure cards is not ideal, but it is a playable deck if you want to jam some Hunter with a minimal dust investment and a clear upgrade path.
The deck is actually really good against Demon Hunter, but the decks that try to control Demon Hunter typically have enough removal and healing to survive the assault from a Budget Dragon Hunter too: expensive cards would give the deck more reach to win those matchups better.
Budget Dragon Hunter decklist
Deck code: AAECAR8AD7UDyQThBJcI/gyKrQP5rgP7rwP8rwP+rwPnsAP/sAOFsQOHsQPZvgMA
The deck is actually a little cheaper than before the rotation because Lifedrinkers (rare) have been replaced with Burrowing Scorpids (common). Overall, this version of the deck costs 1280 dust.
The only other change I have made to my pre-rotation list is a change in the secret package from double Freezing Trap to double Explosive Trap. This is purely to counter Demon Hunter.
Budget Dragon Hunter mulligan
The meta is fast, so you mulligan for your early game.
Always keep Phase Stalker and Blazing Battlemage.
Against Demon Hunters and other aggressive decks, keep Dwarven Sharpshooter and Corrosive Breath.
Against Druids and other slower decks, keep Faerie Dragon.
Budget Dragon Hunter upgrade path
The deck is straightforward to upgrade and all upgrades can be made independently of each other.
Rotnest Drakes replace Evasive Wyrms.
Frenzied Felwings replace Animal Companions.
Stormhammers replace Eaglehorn Bows.
Dragonbane replaces a Burrowing Scorpid.
Budget Dragon Hunter tips and tricks
The deck is teched against Demon Hunters, you have tons of ways to deal two damage to their minions including Explosive Trap, Dwarven Sharpshooter, Scalerider, and Burrowing Scorpid.
Make the most out of your Explosive Traps against Demon Hunter: you often want to wait for a Satyr Overseer or multiple other minions to hit the board before you commit the Traps. Demon Hunter cannot buff their minions, so they will all die to the Trap.
Evasive minions cannot be targeted by spells and Hero Powers, but they can be targeted by Battlecry effects, so against any such minions make good use of your Scaleriders and Burrowing Scorpids. Burrowing Scorpid in Stealth can often connect for five damage on the following turn.
Use Tracking to dig for lethal, Phase Stalkers/Traps, or additional Dragons to activate your synergy effects. You will never reach the end of your deck, Tracking is great whenever you know what you want to look for.
Budget Dragon Hunter gameplay video
Finally, here is a video of my gameplay with the deck. I hope it further showcases the strengths of the deck and how to pilot it.