I have built several Budget Dragon Hunter lists after the release of Galakrond’s Awakening. Most of the time, a Dragon Hunter without Rotnest Drakes and Stormhammers has still been doing fine, but in the current meta – after the second balance patch of Ashes of Outland – I found myself struggling with the archetype.
Eventually, I was able to build a list that wins roughly half of the time, but it is still not a great deck for climbing. I figured I’d post about it anyway, because it is playable, and one key innovation in the list ended up working in another budget Hunter deck I built afterwards, which I will showcase in the coming days.
That key innovation is combining Scavenger’s Ingenuity not with Stonetusk Boar, but with Burrowing Scorpid. There are very few decks in the meta that can handle an 8/5 Stealth minion – ironically, the full-cost Dragon Hunter with Rotnest Drakes is one of those decks though.
What would be interesting, and yet untested, is whether Burrowing Scorpid could also improve the full-cost Dragon Hunter deck.
Budget Dragon Hunter decklist
Deck code: AAECAR8AD6gCyQThBJcI/gyKrQP5rgP7rwP8rwPnsAP/sAOFsQOHsQP/ugPZvgMA
This is where I ultimately ended up. Scaleriders are back to ping away early-game minions, and Scavenger’s Ingenuity now tutors for either Phase Stalker or Burrowing Scorpid.
You may also notice that I have cut Primordial Explorer. After reviewing my games and stats, I noticed that Primordial Explorer was underperforming without Stormhammer: with the hammer, it provides you with a sweet stream of Dragons to keep hitting, but without the hammer, it is such a low tempo play that it hinders the deck more than it helps it.
Budget Dragon Hunter mulligan
Mulligan is the same as before: Dwarven Sharpshooter, Blazing Battlemage, Scavenger’s Ingenuity, and Phase Stalker.
Faerie Dragon can work against Rogue or slow decks.
Budget Dragon Hunter upgrade path
The deck is now somewhat different from the main meta version.
The straightforward upgrades are still there: Stormhammer to replace Eaglehorn Bow and Rotnest Drake to replace Evasive Wyrm. Now you’d probably also want to reintroduce Primordial Explorer to the deck instead of Big Ol’ Whelp, when you add the Stormhammer.
Scaleriders are typically replaced with Imprisoned Felmaws (or one Felmaw and a Dragonbane) and Burrowing Scorpids with Stonetusk Boars, although I’m not sure whether the latter is an improvement.
Budget Dragon Hunter gameplay
Finally, here is a gameplay video of the deck that showcases how to draw and play some 8/5 Stealth minions for four mana.