Here's a little discussion and some tips and tricks about the deck Spell Hunter and Zul'jin.
Before getting started I want to introduce myself properly. I started playing Herthstone before the release of TGT and immediately started tryharding it. I only bought a couple of preorders and a couple of adventures because after that I saw I could have a good collection just by playing the game every day. After the Old Gods I quit the game for one year because I went on Overwatch full time, not before getting to legend 3 times (the only times I really tried because really the grind was too much time consuming tbh). I picked up this game again during Un'Goro, I preordered Frozen Throne and then playing every day again so I could buy 100-120 packs each expansion. Since the new ladder resets patch I reach legend each and every month using usually only tier one decks, doesn't matter if aggro, combo or control.
So let's jump right on the topic. Spell Hunter was not a really good deck before RR: druids were a problem and sometimes also combo decks could give you trouble if you didn't drop spellstone on 5. I had played the deck already during Kobold's meta and then also after Even Paladin/Cubelock nerfs. Until now the deck has been overshadowed by Secret Hunter and Cube Hunter, the first one for being much more aggressive and closing games earlier while the latter for being a lategame powerhouse.
This until now. You probably know how good Zul'jin is. Well he is definetly good enough to be put in every hunter deck that runs secrets and the spellstone but where it really shines is in Spell Hunter. He goes from being really good to be absolutely outrageous. Right now I have played around 40 games with the deck and I only lost once after I played Zul'Jin (and it was arguably because I misplayed a couple of turns earlier). Rocking 69% WR on PC (I don't keep track of the games I play on mobile) on 26 games. This is the single best card this deck could ever asked for. I don't really know about other people's stats, I'm here waiting for the next Vicious Syndacate report but in my opinion this deck will be tier 1 or high tier 2 at worst up from bottom of tier 3 of the Boomsday meta.
What makes Zul'jin so much better in this deck other than the other hunter archetypes? 2 cards: To My Side! and Crushing Walls. You have no idea how big of a swing these cards generate when you play Zul'jin. Also they are actually cards you are happy to play on curve most of the times. These combined with spellstones, secrets, animal companions and most importantly deadly shot usually give you either lethal or a 2 turn lethal even trough a taunt druid board. The ability to push damage and clear the opponents board at the same time while also developing minions and getting a christmas tree is something no other deck can do. And you get to do that with one single card. It's great against any deck of any class at any point of the game.
Figure this out: I played a game against an Even Warlock who played a 7-7 Hooked Reaver and a giant on turn 8. Crushing walls and they are gone. The turn after he plays another Reaver and a Shroom Brewer. I double coin (one coin was from a Gilded Gargoyle from a Wandering Monster) and play Zul'jin: I kill them both, I summon 3 wolves, play 2 secrets and also get 2 more mana to hero power his face after. And this is just an exemple of the crazy thing you can do. If you played both Deadly Shots during the game you destroy 4 opponents minions upon playing Zul'jin wich 90% of the time means clearing the opponent's board. It wins you the game on the spot about 60% of the time.
Now a little discussion about some card choices of the deck.
- Baited Arrow: I played this card for about 3 games before cutting it completely. It's total garbage. If you need the full 3 damage this cards sucks big time. So if you manage to deal 2 and summon the 5-5 you usually either had to inefficiently trade with your weapon/wolves/companions to get the overkill trigger or you had to kill a low impact minion like a 1-1 or a totem. That doesn't win you the game even if on your eyes looks like tempo to you. Often times this card is sitting dead in your hand hoping you had litterally anything else in your deck instead of it. Not only that, this is probably the worst spell to get from the random ones from Zul'jin (tied with Kill Command): it usually end up killing something on your side (because you get a lot of summons when you play Zul'jin) and don't even get the 5-5. Flanking Strike is a pretty mediocre card to get from Zul'jin most of the times and Baited Arrow is much MUCH worse. People who think this deck doesn't have enough spells to summon minions, and that's the reason why you play Baited Arrow, clearly never played this deck before. Double Wandering Monster, double Animal Companion, double Flanking Strike, double Spellstone, double To My Side! are all you need. Also for the love of God, don't cut copies of Wandering Monster, more so to fit in this card, it's the best secret hunter has in standard. Don't listen to what streamers say and don't netdeck on HSReplay like sheep: use your brain and don't use this card.
- Crushing Walls: absolutely necessary. Only one copy is enough but the swing it gives you both when played and when replayed by Zul'jin wins you games. Many people don't even play around it and sometimes you can't play around it. It's Zul'jin's bread and butter. Don't play the deck without it.
- Secret choices: these are the only interchangeable cards of the deck. 2 Wandering, 1 Freezing and 1 Explosive are core, the rest really depends on the meta really.
- Rhok'delar: core to the deck. Don't listen to the people that say you don't need it. Trust me, you do.
- Candleshot: I only run one, mostly because I don't see many Odd Paladins right now. I don't run 2 because I should remove either a secret or a Secret Plan and also I find myself with too many weapons in hand between Bows with 5 charges and Rhok'delar
- Unleash The Hounds: to be honest it took me a while to realize I hadn't put it in my deck. And I have to say I totally didn't miss it. Sometimes takes up board slots when you play Zul'jin and in many matchups is not a good card. Off course, if you find many Odd Paladins you could consider adding one of these.
- Rexxar: still broken. Must have. Wins you games on his own. Also its really good as board clear vs aggro.
Now a couple of general tips for playing the deck:
- If you can hold on to your Kill Commands before using Zul'jin you should do it
- Don't be afraid of playing Rexxar before Zul'Jin: you can build many beasts and then when you see the best opportunity to create a swing that is gonna win you the game in 1-2 turns, you play the "Big Axe" and seal the game
- Tracking is replayed by Zul'jin so keep in mind fatigue and whether or not you should play tracking at all
- Always keep Sellstones (sometimes even both of them) in the mulligan. They win games lul
- In the mirror match, if you are not in danger of dying you should not play Zul'jin first. You are gonna have the bigger swing
- If you have to decide which spells to put into Zul'jin's pool, always chose To My Side! and Animal Companions before Spellstones so you can have Huffers and Leokks for a big swing turn
- Playing Rhok'delar on 7 is often a good play even if you are going to overdraw a card. Unless you really need Rexxar don't worry about it.
I recommend to try this deck, not only it is good but also fun to play. Also it will be gone once the rotation hits so you only have a couple of months to use it.
### Zul'jin Spell Hunter
# Class: Hunter
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Raven
# 1x (1) Candleshot
# 1x (1) Hunter's Mark
# 2x (1) Secret Plan
# 2x (1) Tracking
# 1x (2) Explosive Trap
# 1x (2) Freezing Trap
# 1x (2) Snipe
# 1x (2) Venomstrike Trap
# 2x (2) Wandering Monster
# 2x (3) Animal Companion
# 2x (3) Deadly Shot
# 2x (3) Eaglehorn Bow
# 2x (3) Kill Command
# 2x (4) Flanking Strike
# 2x (5) Lesser Emerald Spellstone
# 1x (6) Deathstalker Rexxar
# 2x (6) To My Side!
# 1x (7) Crushing Walls
# 1x (7) Rhok'delar
# 1x (10) Zul'jin
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Generated by HDT – https://hsdecktracker.net
© Post "Zul’jin and Spell Hunter" for game HearthStone.
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