The best Hearthstone Demon Hunter decks, and how to counter them

best hearthstone demon hunter decks
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Following multiple balance patches, Hearthstone Demon Hunter decks are still frustratingly popular in Ranked. Demon Hunter is an undoubtedly strong class, with cards capable of lining several destructive decks. As Illidan maintains his dominance in Ranked, you'll be needing some counter decks as well as these four strategies to beat Hearthstone's Demon Hunter class to restore balance.

Before attempting to climb the competitive ladder, its worth knowing what you're up against. Whether you're hoping to establish dominance in Outland, or need a powerful answer to the flurry of Hearthstone Demon Hunter decks running rampant in Ranked, here are the best decks to add to your collection.

The best Hearthstone Demon Hunter decks 

It's always fun to smash your opponent before they even know what's hit them, but Demon Hunter offers a wider range of decks than you might think. Tempo decks keep the pressure on, Big decks have a chunky endgame, and Demon Hunter's OTK deck has the potential to deal a whopping 26 damage in a single turn. Illidan arrived late to the party, but his new class offers a strong selection of builds that appeal to different playstyles.

Tempo Demon Hunter deck

Deckcode: AAECAea5AwTMugPDvAPtvgPaxgMNh7oDi7oDyboD17sD4LwDusYDx8YD2cYD18gD98gD/MgD/sgD/8gDAA==

Cost to craft: 5680 dust

Altruis the Outcast

Hearthstone Demon Hunter Legendary Altruis the Outcast Minion

(Image credit: Blizzard)

While playing Ranked, there's a high chance of running into a Demon Hunter with a tempo deck. With their aggressive hero power, selection of attack buffs, and cheap minions, they can run you into the ground without breaking a sweat. This deck from HSReplay includes four Legendaries and two Epic cards, making it affordable to craft.

Twin Slice and Chaos Strike give your hero increased damage while cards like Crimson Sigil Runner use the new Outcast keyword to gain rewarding effects. In this case, you draw a card. Pair your selection of Outcast cards with legendary minion Altruis the Outcast to deal 1 damage to all enemies—including the opponent's face. These combos can clear humble boards while chipping away at your opponent's health. 

The most expensive card is Priestess of Fury, a frightening 7 mana 6/7 who kindly shares 6 damage with your enemies at the end of your turn. On a clear board, all that damage heads straight for their face. By this point in the match, you're likely close to winning, making the Priestess a helpful tool to get you a step closer to victory. Your opponent wants to remove her as quickly as possible, so she rarely sticks around for long, but any additional damage delivered is a neat bonus.

Highlander Demon Hunter deck

Deckcode: AAECAea5Ax7tBfyjA4KxA5GxA4e6A4u6A8m6A8y6A6O7A8O8A+C8A429A5m9A+S+A+2+A4TDA/fDA7rGA8fGA9nGA9rGA9TIA9XIA9fIA/fIA/nIA//IA5zJA9nTA/jWAwAA

Cost to craft: 13060 dust

Zephrys the Great

Hearthstone Zephrys the Great Legendary Elemental Battlecry Saviors of Uldum Card

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Supersenter's Highlander Demon Hunter may not be as popular on ladder as its tempo cousin, but it gets the job done without duplicate cards, making way for valuable inclusions such as Dragonqueen Alexstrasza and a Zephrys the Great that you can play much earlier in the game. Having 30 different cards makes way for more Demon Hunter class picks including Coilfang Warlord, a 9/5 minion with Rush and a Deathrattle that summons a 5/9 with Taunt. There's also room for an Imprisoned Antaen which goes Dormant for two turns and wakes to deal 10 damage that is dished out to enemies at random.

This deck contains more Taunts and Lifesteal cards to keep you healthy as the game is likely to last longer than super aggro variants. You're far from lacking damage, though. There's still debate over whether Maiev Shadowsong is a worthy inclusion since choosing a minion to go Dormant for two turns isn't always helpful. That said, she's handy for removing pesky enemy taunts to clear the way for you to deliver lethal damage, if you're not holding Kayn Sunfury.  

OTK Demon Hunter deck

Deckcode: AAECAea5AwbtBfyjA666A8y6A8O8A9rGAwz7AZwCh7oD17sD4LwDusYDx8YD2cYD1MgD1cgD/MgD29MDAA==

Cost to craft: 6840 dust

Inner Demon

Hearthstone Demon Hunter Inner Demon Basic Spell Card

(Image credit: Blizzard)

This deck is currently rocking a 56.6% win rate, as recorded by HSReplay. Demon Hunters can cycle through their deck quickly. Thanks to their cheap Hero Power and alarming number of attack buffs, you can rack up obscene damage for a devastating one-turn kill. The only rule with this deck is not to use your OTK combo cards too early. 

Twin Slice gives your hero +1 attack this turn, adding a Second Slice to your hand. Both cards cost 0, so factoring them into your combo is easy. The 8 cost Inner Demon spell that gives your hero +8 attack this turn can then be paired with Kael'thas Sunstrider who changes the cost of every third spell you cast to 0. 

For the full OTK, time your Inner Demons to cast them for nothing and splice in your other spells to continue stacking damage. Skull of Gul'dan has already been nerfed, but drawing three cards and reducing their cost by three mana is still worth the increased cost. Cycle cards to obtain lethal damage and smash your opponent in the face for a victorious finish.

Big Demon Hunter deck

Deckcode: AAECAea5AwTDvAPJvAPtvgPUyAMNh7oDvbsDnLwDmb0D5r4D98MDx8YDg8cDhMcD18gD2NMD3dMD+NYDAA==

Cost to craft: 4800 dust

Hulking Overfiend

Hearthstone Demon Hunter Initiate Hulking Overfiend Rush Rare Card

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Quite the departure from the small minions Demon Hunter usually plays, this deck shared by HSReplay introduces us to some of the big, tough guys in Illidan's army. Those hefty threats are pricey, but thanks to Raging Felscreamer, the next Demon you play costs 2 mana less, to ensure you can begin playing them earlier. Pit Commander summons a Demon from your deck at the end of your turn, standing proud as a chunky 7/9 Taunt. The six mana Fel Summoner also plays a random Demon from your hand upon its death—it's called Big Demon Hunter, after all. 

You get used to crashing into enemies with your 4/3 Flamereaper weapon, which conveniently damages the minions either side of the minion you attack. This saves you taking unnecessary damage, and helps you retain control of the board. If things begin to get a little out of hand, spells such as Chaos Nova deal 4 damage to all minions. Hulking Overfiend can also continue rushing into enemy minions as long as it kills them, so plan its attacks to clear threats in order.

The best Hearthstone Demon Hunter counter decks

Looking to restore some balance to Hearthstone's Ranked mode? You've come to the right place. Blizzard's prompt server-side patch aims to subdue some of Illidan Stormrage's most powerful cards, but the class is still incredibly powerful. If Hearthstone's newest class is giving you some trouble on the Ranked ladder, here are a few decks that will put the former self-proclaimed Lord of Outland back in his place.

Egg Warrior deck

Deckcode: AAECAQcC3q0D1LoDDhYckAPUBNQIvaYD9agD3KkD3a0DpLYDq7YDu7kDwLkDnLsDAA==

Cost to craft: 6600 dust

Serpent Egg

Hearthstone Serpent Egg Deathrattle Card Common

(Image credit: Blizzard)

If you're looking for a deck to counter Demon Hunters this HSReplay deck has you covered. Egg Warrior's tempo build gives Illidan a taste of his own medicine, recruiting lots of small allies to pile onto the board and deliver consistent damage. Using Anchar, you're never short of cards to play. This deck is also balanced by the Risky Skipper and Armorsmith dynamic duo, who help you build obscene levels of Armor to keep you safe. 

Victories with Egg Warrior rely on a keen eye for finding lethal. Don't get bogged down by the complex nature of this deck, though. The Boom Bots you receive from a well-timed Bomb Wrangler keep enemies at bay. 

Of course, you need an egg for this deck to live up to its name, and Serpent Egg fits the nest. Plant it on your second turn and cast spells like Inner Rage and Rampage to keep you in the lead. Bloodsworn Mercenary is also ready to copy it, as long as it has been damaged.  

Galakrond Warlock deck

Deckcode: AAECAfqUAwjFBPyjA9OvA5GxA+O0A9a+A+m+A/G/AwujAcQInakD5awD6KwD6qwD66wD7KwD/q4Dqq8D5r4DAA==

Cost to craft: 11120 dust 

Galakrond, the Wretched

Hearthstone Legendary Galakrond the Wretched Warlock Hero Dragon Descent of Dragons

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Nothing stifles aggro decks quite like a good control deck; PavelingBook's Galakrond Warlock saw them rise to rank 4 Legend using this one. It also counters many other classes including the majority of Priest, Paladin, Rogue, and Mage builds. The beauty of playing the Warlock class also means you can run two Sacrificial Pacts. These precious Basic cards are best used in the event that your opponent plays large threats such as Priestess of Fury or Imprisoned Antaen, but can be used to remove earlier minions at a push.

Zephrys the Great and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza join the fray, despite the fact that this deck features many duplicates. As you burn through your deck so quickly, it's worth adding Zephrys to reap the benefits of his perfect card towards the end of the game. He may just have lethal waiting for you. Who can argue with Alex's gifts, either? It's a win-win.   

This deck employs the full Galakrond package, with the frightful dragon's dedicated invoke followers bulking out the build. While it's solidified itself as a forceful Demon Hunter defeater in the Ashes of Outland meta so far, this deck doesn't feature any cards from the new expansion, so you may already own most of them.

Resurrect Priest deck

Deckcode: AAECAZ/HAgbWmQOTmwPRpQPdqwPOvgOm1QMMyQbTCoKUA5mbA6GhA6+lA/KlA5mpA9msA/KsA/2wA5O6AwA=

Cost to craft: 8960 dust

Mass Resurrection

Hearthstone Mass Resurrection Priest Resurrect Rare Spell Card

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Resurrect Priest is a weathered favourite at this point, but Thijs' variant makes use of some Ashes of Outland cards. Get through the early game by removing minions and healing with Penance. Renew is a new card that restores 3 health and lets you discover a spell. The main challenge you face against Demon Hunter is keeping up in the first few rounds so keep your strategy flexible. 

Taunts are a pain for Demon Hunter (unless they're lucky enough to draw Kayn Sunfury)—particularly the super aggro variants—and by the time you begin planting Bone Wraith, Convincing Infiltrator, and Khartut Defender you should feel confident in your board presence. Reliquary of Souls also shuffles a 6/8 Taunt with Lifesteal into your deck to continue to         

This deck has plenty of AoE board clears ranging from Breath of the Infinite for small threats, to Shadow Word: Ruin later on. Once you begin resurrecting minions you can relax. Skeletal Dragon gives you a Dragon at the end of your turn, opening up room for additional large threats to add to your resurrection pool and maintain board control. Demon Hunters have the tools to deal disgusting bursts of damage in a single turn, but as a Priest you're well-equipped to heal back up.

Big Druid deck

Deckcode: AAECAaa4AwLFBIiwAw5A/gHEBuKfA5etA7CtA/2tA4yuA96vA/+1A+i6A+y6A+66A/O7AwA=

Cost to craft: 4760 dust

Winged Guardian

Hearthstone Winged Guardian Druid Minion Taunt Reborn Descent of Dragons Card

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Big Druid decks appear to be pulling ahead with the highest win rates in their class at the moment. Feno's Big Druid build calls upon a few large dragons to do the heavy lifting and the ever-so-sticky Winged Guardian. As you'd expect, Taunts are the main focus here, and newcomer Scrapyard Colossus rounds off the wall of your chunky minions. There are a few cards that aren't Taunts, but the recently added Ironbark spell can give any minion this ability, along with +1/+3 to make them feel at home with your larger threats. Demon Hunter's Kayn Sunfury may be able to ignore Taunts, but he won't be around for every turn. 

Mulligan to ensure you have a dragon in your opening hand so that you can ramp up and draw with Breath of Dreams. The inclusion of two Overgrowths allow you to gain two empty Mana Crystals each, which sees you playing your high cost cards quickly. Draw Frizz Kindleroost early and you are rewarded with slightly cheaper fiery-breathing buddies. There's not much Demon Hunters can do against persistent towering foes so keep piling on the pressure and watch your opponent buckle.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.