Card Breakdown: Hunter’s Gambit

Sorry for the lack of new content lately. Haven’t had many ideas on what to write about and was also distracted with real life matters too. Without further ado:

Hunter’s Gambit
Hunter Ability – Attachment
Attach to target opposing ally. That ally has -1 health. When Hunter’s Gambit is destroyed, draw 2 cards.

Hunter’s Gambit was (And possibly still is) one of the most debated cards, and in my opinion, game changing from the Shattered Fates expansion. This card provides the Hunter class with something they did not have back in Call of the Crystals and Dark Prophecies, a solid draw card.

There was Wrath of the Forest and Pride of the Mountain to act as a draw engine, but they were conditional and also bound to armors, so they could be smashed by pure aggression before one might even get a chance to get a lot of mileage out of it, depending on your matchup. There is also Survivalist, but that was even more situational than the previous two and only seen in occasional Trap based Victor Decks to get a draw per Trap activated. Hunter’s Gambit does not suffer either of these types of drawback, and plays very well with some of the other Hunter cards, The Perfect Shot in particular.

From a Zero Hero to Tier Zero Hero

One of the biggest impacts this card made was it shifted Victor Heartstriker from a bottom tier Hero all the way up to the top of the food chain. Victor’s ability allowed him to use this card to effectively kill any ally, while drawing 2 additional cards. Combined with properly managing your Hunter cards, he is able to recycle and use this card many times in succession, allowing him to not only keep the board under control, but also maintain a huge lead in card advantage. This interaction was the main reason for much of the debate on this card, alongside its partners in crime, Deepwood Bobcat and Zailen Crusader.

(For those of you who do not know of the play: Turn 3 was to Summon Zailen Crusader. Turn 4 was to Summon Deepwood Bobcat, use Victor’s ability on an ally, then play Gambit for free thanks to Crusader on the ally hit by Victor. This will result in 1 ally dead, 2 more cards in hand, and your Bobcat gaining Haste and Ambush, allowing you to also take down another ally, with Crusader’s help if need be.)

Aside from Victor, this card also gave an extra kick to Banebow as well. Banebow, despite his great ability to
control most rush and the early game, he suffered from the flaw of having mediocore draw power, as he was bound to Wrath of the Forest and Sacrificial Lamb as his main source. Pride of the Mountain didn’t quite work as most of his kills come from abilities, rather than combat. While Bad Santa can work, it was better to not give away that much advantage to the opponent. Not only is the -1 health an invaluable tool to help weaken allies into more manageable levels for Banebow, the extra draw will allow him to keep on pace or ahead of the opponent more easily.

As for the other two Hunters from the Call of the Crystals/Dark Prophecies era, I believe this did not make an impact and improve them as much as it did to Banebow and Victor, in my opinion. Baduruu did get a boost from Shattered Fates, but it was more on the side of having more tools like Emore’s Crossbow, Wulven Tactician, and new Traps like Ricochet Trap, rather than the addition of Gambit (The latter two being a boost on the resource destruction archetype). Aside from the new Traps, Gwen received only Snowland Spotter as a new toy, but aside from that, she received no new tricks that are worthwhile and changed her significantly (Aside from that brief time where Thoughtripper’s Cutlass was usable by the Hunter class).  Gambit did improve her draw, but her tricks and Deck itself remain pretty much the same as it did in Dark Prophecies.

As for Shervox and Ythan, I have not played with them or against them much to make a good judgment call on either of them (Especially Ythan which I almost never see) and how well they play with this card.

Some final notes on this card. Just remember that this card will be completely dead against Solo heroes, who would have a draw engine of their own and can outpace you. So it would always be wise to have at least some supplemental draw cards (which you should be running anyway) for cases like that.

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One Comment

  1. Nice write-up. There are other little tricks with Gambit in a Victor deck. If you can use it without Victor’s ability on T4 to kill an ally (with the help of an ally), you can then use Victor’s ability to get it back and kill a second ally, getting you 4 cards and 2 kills. It absolutely has made Victor a tier 1 hero.

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