Unleash the Hounds
Unleash the Hounds is one of the core cards of Hunter, one of its only and most effective ways for a board clear.
In constructed play, a turn 5 Knife Juggler/Unleash the Hounds is one of the only ways to come back into the game against another aggressive deck. Against slower control decks, Charging Hounds in combination with a Hunter's Mark can allow for huge swings on the board.
Unleash the Hounds doesn't always have to involve a board clear play. Instead, a more aggressive approach can be used and all the Hounds can go for face, which is common when playing Face Hunter.
As a core card, Unleash the Hounds is usually run as a two-of in Hunter decks. It is used in all types of competitive Hunter including Face Hunter, Hybrid Hunter, and Midrange Hunter. In very rare circumstances, such as when the ladder or tournament metagame becomes slower and less aggressive, individual copies of the card may be cut.
|Hunter's Mark||Free||Hunter||Spell||General||0||Change a minion's Health to 1.|
|Timber Wolf||Free||Hunter||Minion||Beast||1||1||1||Your other Beasts have +1 Attack.|
|Knife Juggler||Rare||Neutral||Minion||General||2||3||2||After you summon a minion, deal 1 damage to a random enemy.|
|Scavenging Hyena||Common||Hunter||Minion||Beast||2||2||2||Whenever a friendly Beast dies, gain +2/+1.|
|Cult Master||Common||Neutral||Minion||General||4||4||2||Whenever one of your other minions dies, draw a card.|
|King of Beasts||Rare||Hunter||Minion||Beast||5||2||6||Taunt. Battlecry: Gain +1 Attack for each other beast you have.|
|Leeroy Jenkins||Legendary||Neutral||Minion||General||5||6||2||Charge. Battlecry: Summon two 1/1 Whelps for your opponent.|
|Starving Buzzard||Free||Hunter||Minion||Beast||5||3||2||Whenever you Summon a Beast, draw a card.|
|Starving Buzzard||Free||Hunter||Minion||Beast||5||3||2||Whenever you summon a Beast, draw a card.|
|Acidmaw||Legendary||Hunter||Minion||Beast||7||4||2||Whenever another minion takes damage, destroy it.|
Prior to Patch 22.214.171.12417, Unleash the Hounds had a completely different effect. Instead, it granted all friendly Beasts +1 Attack and the Charge ability. This led to Hunter's most popular and common deck being an one-turn kill deck involving cards like Timber Wolf and Young Dragonhawk. This interaction was deemed "unfun" so Blizzard changed the card completely to the effect it is now.
However, the card was initially set at 4 mana, which was deemed too much by the majority of the community. Hunter remained one of the weakest classes until Unleash the Hounds was changed again in Patch 126.96.36.19958. At this point, the mana cost of Unleash the Hounds was changed from 4 mana to 2 mana. Although, this change initially gave birth to the Face Hunter deck, players eventually learned that combos with Unleash the Hounds and care like Starving Buzzard, Hunter's Mark, Timber Wolf, and Scavenging Hyena allowed for the creation of an even stronger Midrange Hunter deck.
Again, in Patch 188.8.131.5214, Unleash the Hounds was deemed overpowered and "unfun", so it was changed to 3 mana. This slightly weakened the Midrange Hunter deck, but it still remained one of the most dominant decks. Later on in Patch 184.108.40.20685, the other key piece of the infamous Starving Buzzard/Unleash the Hounds combo was nerfed, which completely changed the face of the Hunter class.