An Honest look at Unleash the Hounds

Posts: 484
I personally can't stand this card from a design aspect in any way. I have been playing TCG's for almost 2 decades now and I can honestly say there is no other card I can think of that angers me as much. That being said, I will show an honest look at this card.

Let us look at the niche that this card is supposed to fill.

Blizzard says that this card is supposed to be hunter's "AOE" ability. This seems odd to me considering how many cards the hunter has that can be considered AOE. This includes Explosive Trap, Explosive Shot, and Multi Shot. Each of these cards are GREAT cards. When we look at other class AOE, there are some that aren't so good, ie arcane explosion. While things like Blizzard DO freeze, to do 2 damage to everything it costs mana. As well as consecration costs 4 mana.

With all that being said, all those AOE spells do the same damage unless you have spell power buffs on the board. As we know, +spell power cards are either BAD or not cost effective when playing cards such as Blizzard and Consecration, they just cost too much by themselves. There is no costs effective synergy when it comes to the class AOE spells. Let us look at how EASY it is to combo with Unleash the Hounds for a low cost.

First off we have the most broken interaction: Starving Buzzard. We all know the problem, massive unfair card draw. Next I believe can be even worse than Buzzard combo: Timberwolf. One mana to make all of them more powerful. There is not one single 1 mana +Spell power card in hearthstone, yet this card is beyond powerful for synergy with Unleash the Hounds. On turn 5 you can play Buzzard + UTH and if your opponent makes the "mistake" of having 3 creatures on board, you get 3 1/1 charge creatures and draw three cards. Having 3 minions on the board by turn 5 should not be considered a mistake in the world of TCGs. Then they can play a Timberwolf on top of it. If they do this on turn 5 they have seen at least 11 out of 30 cards and the odds of them drawing into a Timberwolf if they didn't have it in the first place are quite high. Then there is of course Scavenging Hyena which can get huge very quickly. When we compare this card to every other classes "AOE" they outclass every single one of them by leaps and bounds. Flamestrike will get you board position, UTH can simply win you the game. That is when a card is no longer just for "AOE."

I have read tons of posts about how unfair this card is, and every argument for it is the same. "If you lose to it you must suck." "Just play around it." These are not reasons or arguments for this card not being nerfed. This card does something that should not happen in a creature driven TCG, it punishes people for having minions. After turn 2 having to sit there and worry about if your opponent is going to wreck your board for 2 mana or possible wombo combo you for 4-5 mana is a joke. No card should be so oppressive, and that's what this card is, oppressive.

There are even more combos with this card, Leeroy, Dire Wolf Alpha, but we have addressed the main ones. We need to fix the card without causing it to be dead. Here are my suggestions.

- They are no longer Beasts. Fixes the card draw. Fixes the Timberwolf interaction. Still allows them to have synergy with Dire Wolf Alpha or other buffs that effect any other minions
- Keep them as Beasts, but word the card so it doesn't cause the card draw.
- Make the card cost 4 mana. This makes being able to cast the card twice far more difficult.

If you can think of a reasonable reason why this card doesn't need to be nerfed please share it so it can be discussed.
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Posts: 1,952
So tired of people complaining about everything. They aren't nerfing it, Blizzard is happy with the game balance. Either deal with it or quit the game.

UTH is incredibly weak on its own, it only does anything of value if you combo it with not only the buzzard but also dire wolf.

Many classes have strong 3 card combos. To give an example of one, a rogue can cast Leeroy, shadow step Leeroy, and play Leeroy again and give him cold blood. That combo does 16 damage for 7 mana.
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Posts: 465
It's hunter's only card draw and it's not getting any sort of significant nerf. My rogue deck has 6 draws and I usually get 4 of them. I would be thrilled to get to draw 4 cards every game as a hunter.
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Posts: 416
Your point about Buzzard+Timberwolf+UtH being too powerful for 5 mana is somewhat true; However, the Hunter has to have all 3 cards, the opponent has to play multiple minions (and most smart players won’t do that anymore), and unless those multiple minions are low HP the dogs won’t be able to clear them all out anyway. So yes, it’s a strong play if all of those conditions are met. There are other AoE combos that are arguably more devastating (Equality+Pyromancer comes to mind). I suggest that you play Hunter and see how often you actually get to pull this off.

Other class’ AoE has basically no pre-conditions and typically require just a single card. Think of it this way- if I’m a hunter and want to do AoE to my opponents board I can do 1 damage to each minion for 2 mana (UtH) or 2 damage to each for 3 mana (UtH+Timberwolf). My 2 damage option costs 1 less mana than, say, Consecration but it also uses up 2 cards (using 2 cards hurts card advantage and makes it less likely that you can even do the combo in the first place).

Last, your suggestions are just awful and show that you’ve never played Hunter seriously in ranked. Your suggestions would make UtH a dead card and would hurt so many viable but not overpowered Hunter builds. I’d rather see Buzzard’s mana cost increase to 3 but be made into a 1 / 4 so that the UtH combo is more difficult but Buzzard is no longer an instantly removed card with 1 hp. Or maybe make UtH 3 mana (by the way, UtH use to be 4 mana a few patches ago and Blizzard changed it to 2 mana because no one used it at 4 mana).

Seriously, rather than taking the time to write up your post, go and actually play Hunter in ranked and see for yourself how OP they are. There’s a reason Hunters do horribly in professional tournaments and there’s a reason that very few Hunter decks other than the rush deck have made legendary.
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Posts: 235
I can't agree more with the OP.

I only play unranked so I can't vouch for high level play where many say rush decks are weak, but atm I pretty much auto-concede against hunters, saves time and frustration.

If only multi-shot wasn't that effective, maybe the problem would be different, but atm it's a gamble playing more than 1 critter and suicide to play more than 2.
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Posts: 212
I mainly play priest and for me hunters are basically auto win for me. The card isn't dumb exactly because it is overpowered, it is dumb because it is really poor card design. If I played hunter anything but occasionally I would want to get rid of this 1 trick pony crap and have better cards.
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Posts: 484
1. I have played hunter. BUDGET hunter. After 3 wins in a row i quit playing it because I was bored and it took ZERO skill. (this was in rank 13)
2. Having all 3 cards or even 2 is NOT difficult. Deadly shot, explosive trap, multi shot, misdirection, infinite eaglehorn bow because of secrets, explosive shot, arcane shot. The entire time firing steady shot for free damage.
3. Other class AOE has ZERO potential for WINNING a game or letting you have minions on the board after playing it.
4. The fact that hunters don't see high end play doesnt mean it isn't ruining the game for the MAJORITY of players.
5. The fact that high end play doesnt see hunters is because they rely on UTH instead of skill. I could feel myself getting worse playing a hunter.
6. The fact that someone here is calling UTH a DRAW spell shows that its not being played for AOE and we all know it, its a "Get out of jail free." card.
6. I play warrior and i have 2 spells that draw ONE card, slam and shield block. I use acolyte of pain and well thought out whirlwind plays for my major draw engine. And cruel taskmaster, love that card.
Edited by TheDukeOfTBC on 3/13/2014 1:25 PM PDT
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Posts: 212
It is just that they are so terrible and uth is really holding them back from being decent.
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Posts: 271
Well Rush-hunters seldom use either deadly shot, explosive shot or even deadly shot ...

so rush-hunters only viable AoE is UtH .. even though they preferably use it as a Face-smasher.

most rush-decks don't even have hyena or buzz .. since those card are to slow for a rush

and if u don't play rush ... u really need UtH and it's combos to even havea chance to win some games.

To all cryers .. play 200 games with a hunter ... and u see UtH ain't as good as every cryer assume.
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Posts: 416
03/13/2014 01:23 PMPosted by TheDukeOfTBC
1. I have played hunter. BUDGET hunter. After 3 wins in a row i quit playing it because I was bored and it took ZERO skill. (this was in rank 13)
2. Having all 3 cards or even 2 is NOT difficult. Deadly shot, explosive trap, multi shot, misdirection, infinite eaglehorn bow because of secrets, explosive shot, arcane shot. The entire time firing steady shot for free damage.
3. Other class AOE has ZERO potential for WINNING a game or letting you have minions on the board after playing it.
4. The fact that hunters don't see high end play doesnt mean it isn't ruining the game for the MAJORITY of players.
5. The fact that high end play doesnt see hunters is because they rely on UTH instead of skill. I could feel myself getting worse playing a hunter.
6. The fact that someone here is calling UTH a DRAW spell shows that its not being played for AOE and we all know it, its a "Get out of jail free." card.
6. I play warrior and i have 2 spells that draw ONE card, slam and shield block. I use acolyte of pain and well thought out whirlwind plays for my major draw engine. And cruel taskmaster, love that card.


1. So you played 3 games at rank 13 and decided you know how to balance Hunters. Cool!
2. You've basically named every Hunter card at this point. Are they all OP- is that really what you think? The more you post the more it becomes apparent you have no idea what you're talking about.
3. Really? Wild Pyro + Equality leaves the Wild Pyro on the board and kills EVERYTHING else, regardless of how much HP your opponent's minions have. Even a Handlock's double molten giant with Argus taunt dies to that. And usually all that is left on the Hunter's board after an UtH play is stuff with 1 hp that gets cleared by basically anything.
4. Hey a valid point! That's true- it's perfectly possible that lower skill levels have more trouble with UtH because the players at that level aren't good about adapting their decks or understanding how to beat it (which I'm guessing is exactly your problem). At what ranking Blizz decides to balance the game is a good question. So far it seems the balance is for high level play (see Tink and Pagle nerfs).
5. So UtH is crazy OP, but it makes players worse so they can't make it to high rankings? Really sound logic.
6. Heaven forbid people use a card in a synergistic combo. Do you really think Blizz didn't recognize that UtH could be used with Buzzard for card draw? Or is it more likely that Blizz balanced Hunters around that fact because Hunters have very few options for card draw other than that?
6. (this should be 7 of course, but OP's post is erratic so why not make the response erratic?). Let me get this straight- playing an Acolyte and using WW to tickle him for card draw is a brilliant play while being a Hunter who has to weigh the price of giving up board control in order to use UtH combos to regain board control and get enough benefit to overcome the previous disadvantage is mindless? I'm not saying either is particularly brilliant, but I think you have an over-inflated impression of your own skillz, bro.
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Posts: 58
I love the fact that UTH has so much synergy with the Hunter cards. I feel like the beast theme is really good for hunter. What I am not OK with is all of the other Hunter cards. Explosive Trap: A consecration you can do nothing about for 2 mana. Sure you can trigger it before you hit something, but it also hits the face. That's very valuable, because it can make it so you can't attack the face rush deck. Multi-shot: Playing only two creatures is a dangerous game. Deadly shot: Playing one big threat is useless. Explosive trap: Playing many creatures is just value. UTH: Please play more minions.

The problem with Hunter is that playing ANY NUMBER of creatures against it is unfun. How do you beat a combo rush deck? Rush faster. Explosive trap destroys this. How else can you beat them? Play a big taunt creature. Deadly shot. Try again. Play a few valuable creatures that trade well. Multi-shot ruins your day. Play too many minions and UTH doesn't just kill your minions, it kills YOU. Playing creatures against Hunters just feels BAD. In a game Blizzard says is all about playing on the board, this is terrible design. Not even mentioning misdirection. Sometimes I have to just not attack, because hitting myself with my own 8/8 is not a good idea. If I try to play other creatures, they can just kill it and continue using hero power, giving them an ice block for every turn against 1 big creature.

I am completely fine with UTH, as long as that is all they have going for them. Add the other cards that make you reconsider how many creatures to play in, and you have a really unfun experience. Add in the hero power that you can do nothing about, you just want to not play against them. Play a to the face rush deck with any other class, and charges won't win you the game. Play it in Hunter where they can guarantee two damage for two mana every turn, as well as have a weapon that fuels off of secrets, while having such a great combo, and your day is just ruined.
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Posts: 484
03/13/2014 02:11 PMPosted by Greedily
I love the fact that UTH has so much synergy with the Hunter cards. I feel like the beast theme is really good for hunter. What I am not OK with is all of the other Hunter cards. Explosive Trap: A consecration you can do nothing about for 2 mana. Sure you can trigger it before you hit something, but it also hits the face. That's very valuable, because it can make it so you can't attack the face rush deck. Multi-shot: Playing only two creatures is a dangerous game. Deadly shot: Playing one big threat is useless. Explosive trap: Playing many creatures is just value. UTH: Please play more minions.

The problem with Hunter is that playing ANY NUMBER of creatures against it is unfun. How do you beat a combo rush deck? Rush faster. Explosive trap destroys this. How else can you beat them? Play a big taunt creature. Deadly shot. Try again. Play a few valuable creatures that trade well. Multi-shot ruins your day. Play too many minions and UTH doesn't just kill your minions, it kills YOU. Playing creatures against Hunters just feels BAD. In a game Blizzard says is all about playing on the board, this is terrible design. Not even mentioning misdirection. Sometimes I have to just not attack, because hitting myself with my own 8/8 is not a good idea. If I try to play other creatures, they can just kill it and continue using hero power, giving them an ice block for every turn against 1 big creature.

I am completely fine with UTH, as long as that is all they have going for them. Add the other cards that make you reconsider how many creatures to play in, and you have a really unfun experience. Add in the hero power that you can do nothing about, you just want to not play against them. Play a to the face rush deck with any other class, and charges won't win you the game. Play it in Hunter where they can guarantee two damage for two mana every turn, as well as have a weapon that fuels off of secrets, while having such a great combo, and your day is just ruined.


QFT
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Posts: 271
/sarcasm on
And as usual those that cry here, must truly belive that hunters have all cards from deck-builder in their hand from turn 1 and unlimitid mana to spend every turn.

Since every deck has 2*UtH, 2*Hyena, 2*buzz, 2*TW, 2*eaglehorn, 2*explosive trap, 2*miss trap, 2*snipe, 2*snake trap, 2*freeze trap, 2*multi-shot, 2*explosive shot, 2*deadly shot, 2*kill command, 2*arcane shot 2*OwL and alot of Neutral charge minions AND several Beasts too.

Oh forgot about Leeroy and King Krush .. they are in the deck too.

And the best is, as i mentioned before, .. hunters can choose from EVERY card EVERY turn.

/sarcasm off

To all cryers PLZ try out hunter for 200games or so .. and u will surely realize .. hunters are a rather mediocre class to play
Edited by Luffe on 3/13/2014 3:00 PM PDT
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Posts: 6
If hunters are so good as many of you here claim, then why aren't there more winning the tournaments? It's because skilled players have learned to counter hunters, and it is quite easy if you have been playing long enough.

The truth of the matter is, hunter is just a noob friendly class that is good and easy to play at the beginner level, but lags behind in higher levels of play. That is why so many beginners play hunter, and the other beginners who aren't playing hunter are complaining about how broken they are.
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Posts: 1,692
For the last time: to the people saying that hunters shouldn't be nerfed because they can be countered in bleeding-edge high level play, that's not how games work. The vast, vast majority of the playerbase will never see that level of play, much less have the money to afford the several legendaries required. Hunters are fundamentally screwed.

UTH is fine on its own. Hell, it's fine with Timber Wolves. The problem arises when combined with Starving Buzzard.
In a game where a single card has such a huge impact, suddenly facing off against a hunter who just went from 4 cards to nearly a full hand on turn 4 combined with a likely board wipe is absolutely catastrophic. It's a cheap win for the hunter and it makes them overly reliant and dependent on one combo that completely ruins the game and gives them no room other than being a one-trick pony.

Hunters will never be able to play anything other than their basic, brainless rush decks until UTH draw is nerfed. That is exactly why I think it should be nerfed. I don't think hunters are horribly OP but I'd like to see the class not entirely reliant on some mouth-breather strategy involving a two card combo that stomps games. Every other class can effectively play in all sorts of deck styles except the one-trick pony that can't be buffed because of this obscenely over-buffed card.
Edited by Aak on 3/13/2014 4:55 PM PDT
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Posts: 6
I'm saying high level of play not as in "pay to play"
High level of play just means people who have played the game long enough to know the game. There are plenty ways to play against hunters, many of which do not require legendaries or money
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Posts: 484
This has nothing to do with high level play or "playing around UTH." I just played a game where i kept 2 minions on the board the entire time. That's it. And i STILL got blasted by the combo TWICE. Misdirection, explosive trap, eaglehorn bow and light removal made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to push damage through. He sat there and tracking'd until he had the combo in hand TWICE. It is TOO powerful of a draw engine. Sitting there and outplaying your opponent and entire game and then to be punished for having 2 minions? its a joke. Consecration costs FOUR, explosive trap costs 2 AND feeds eaglehorn bow. misdirection costs TWO, that is a joke, having to guess over and over if you are allowed to attack with 1 creature on board is a joke, god forbid you have a big creature. These cards are OPPRESSIVE in their design. If you honestly think UTH doesnt need a nerf you are a bad hunter who cant win without it. For FUN I played 20 games with a hunter deck woth ZERO timberwolf, buzzard, UTH and STILL won 14 because the other person was playing in fear of UTH combo.
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Posts: 89
03/13/2014 05:15 PMPosted by Clown
I'm saying high level of play not as in "pay to play"
High level of play just means people who have played the game long enough to know the game. There are plenty ways to play against hunters, many of which do not require legendaries or money


He does have a point, though. It`s an incredibly toxic deck at the low skill levels as people with no idea how to trade efficiently can get to a pretty decent rank, a luxury Hunter is more or less alone at having.

Other games have had the same problem: 6-pool in early SC days, several champions in LoL, a lot of combos in Street Fighter etc etc. There has to be a relatively early point in the skill ladder where "cheap" tactics stop working. At the moment I think there are a lot of extremely bad players above rank 10 who are only there because their class is extremely forgiving.

This problem more or less goes away as you reach the legendary, since both the Hunters and opposition are relatively skilled, so both players could be given a Miracle deck (just to take an example of a "hard" deck to play" and still do pretty well. Hunter is actually a pretty interesting deck at that skill level, but I don`t understand how anyone can defend the rampage it`s doing in the lower ranks. It`s extremely non-interactinve and thus not really that fun to play against. Just imagine the outcry if Miracle Rogue was a noobstomper, the deck would not have lasted long.
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Posts: 416
03/14/2014 03:04 AMPosted by TheDukeOfTBC
This has nothing to do with high level play or "playing around UTH." I just played a game where i kept 2 minions on the board the entire time. That's it. And i STILL got blasted by the combo TWICE. Misdirection, explosive trap, eaglehorn bow and light removal made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to push damage through. He sat there and tracking'd until he had the combo in hand TWICE. It is TOO powerful of a draw engine. Sitting there and outplaying your opponent and entire game and then to be punished for having 2 minions? its a joke. Consecration costs FOUR, explosive trap costs 2 AND feeds eaglehorn bow. misdirection costs TWO, that is a joke, having to guess over and over if you are allowed to attack with 1 creature on board is a joke, god forbid you have a big creature. These cards are OPPRESSIVE in their design. If you honestly think UTH doesnt need a nerf you are a bad hunter who cant win without it. For FUN I played 20 games with a hunter deck woth ZERO timberwolf, buzzard, UTH and STILL won 14 because the other person was playing in fear of UTH combo.


Post the deck you use in ranked. You probably have such a low chance of winning against Hunter rush because your deck is terrible against it so it really doesn't matter what you do. Part of this game is knowing how to build a good deck to counter the kinds of other decks you see at your ranking. If you fail at that step then it's not likely you'll succeed no matter how "skilled" you are when it comes to actually playing the game.

Also- you went 14-6 in ranked on your Hunter that wasn't using timberwolf/buzzard/UtH at rank ~13? Or you played casual and beat a bunch of people that were trying to complete their daily quest using a class they don't know how to play?
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Posts: 416
03/14/2014 05:51 AMPosted by Toget
I'm saying high level of play not as in "pay to play"
High level of play just means people who have played the game long enough to know the game. There are plenty ways to play against hunters, many of which do not require legendaries or money


He does have a point, though. It`s an incredibly toxic deck at the low skill levels as people with no idea how to trade efficiently can get to a pretty decent rank, a luxury Hunter is more or less alone at having.

Other games have had the same problem: 6-pool in early SC days, several champions in LoL, a lot of combos in Street Fighter etc etc. There has to be a relatively early point in the skill ladder where "cheap" tactics stop working. At the moment I think there are a lot of extremely bad players above rank 10 who are only there because their class is extremely forgiving.

This problem more or less goes away as you reach the legendary, since both the Hunters and opposition are relatively skilled, so both players could be given a Miracle deck (just to take an example of a "hard" deck to play" and still do pretty well. Hunter is actually a pretty interesting deck at that skill level, but I don`t understand how anyone can defend the rampage it`s doing in the lower ranks. It`s extremely non-interactinve and thus not really that fun to play against. Just imagine the outcry if Miracle Rogue was a noobstomper, the deck would not have lasted long.


Very good point. It's certainly possible that Hunter rush decks are toxic at low levels of play. However, the sooner players learn that part of this game is countering their rank's meta the better. If all you see are Hunter decks at your ranking then build a deck to hard counter it and ride the wave out of that ranking.
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