Tundra-Rhino-GoldenMidrange Hunter is back! Fans of the archetype have been waiting for months on end for their love to return back from the lower tiers of the meta. Many, of course, were perfectly fine with not seeing so much Face Hunter among the ranks. But for those of us who prefer a bit more control were left with a bunch of sub-optimal cards, as the archetype seemingly fell away like sand between our fingers. But the winds have shifted! And with both Whispers of the Old Gods (read: Call of the Wild) and Standard, Midrange Hunter has returned to the ranks of the more competitive archetypes at the moment.

But a Midrange Hunter deck is only as good as you make it. About 80% of the deck is core, meaning it remains practically unchanged from version to version, the rest of it however, can vary widely. Unlike most others, this particular archetype is highly susceptible to the meta you're encountering. As such, understanding how you should tech those built in flex spots in the deck will make or break your efforts.

It's fitting then that our first ever Tech Cards, a series which aims to help you understand why certain situational cards are included and when you should utilize them, on a card that has become crucial to many Hunter players: Tundra Rhino.

What It Does

Tundra Rhino is a five mana 2/5 that has an aura which gives all of your Beasts Charge. It's worth noting that it is a Beast itself and therefore it immediately grants itself the same effect. Most of the time it is a significant threat due to the implications it poses as you're primarily playing it the turn before you plan on playing said Beasts. But it also functions as a guaranteed board presence that can trade with a few cards before being killed. We've used it countless times to take down that Darkshire Councilman before it gets too out of control.

Why Is It Relevant Now?

Prior to Standard, the metagame was much, much faster. That's not a very friendly environment for Tundra Rhino, and that's before we even take into account having access to better removal tools. There have always been dreams of playing this on Turn 5 just before a Savannah Highmane, but most of the time those were just pipe dreams. While that was a pretty scary situation to fathom, it was typically easy to prevent. However, this is no longer the case and your opponent may be unable to remove it right away.

Not only has the meta been slowing down overall, but Old Gods brought Call of the Wild along with it. If that spell wasn't powerful enough by itself - generating 10/10 in stats (excluding the Leokk buff) - it also gives you five damage to immediately assign through Huffer. Now imagine giving all of those Charge as well, that's a massive 13 damage from hand! More than ever people want to immediately remove the Rhino, but that's not always possible and the number of cards with which you can follow it up with has increased drastically with Whispers of the Old Gods.

When Should I Be Using It?

Basically any time you're encountering Midrange or Control decks. It's particularly strong against Tempo Warrior where they won't want to waste any hard removal on it - instead opting to save that for Highmane or Call of the Wild - and that can leave you with a chance to truly capitalize on the moment.

Synergies

It does well in combination with the following cards:
  • Call of the Wild - On an empty board with Rhino in play this is a whopping 13 damage!
  • Savannah Highmane - It's a better Huffer! Plus if it manages to die, the two Hyenas also get Charge.
  • Infested Wolf - Same perks as Highmane but on a smaller scale.
  • Huge Toad - Has the added benefit of potentially trading with a 4 Health minion or eliminating another 1 Health minion.
  • Every other Beast ever.

When Should I Not Be Using It?

If you find yourself frequently losing to more aggressive decks, it may be wise to remove Tundra Rhino in favor of more early game cards like Doomsayer. "Doomsayer in a Midrange Hunter deck?" you ask. Well yes, Zoolock really heavily relies on Tempo to fork over control of the board and keep it while they continue to draw cards with their hero power. Doomsayer can throw a very large wrench into their plans and keep them from curving out.

Example Decks

Here are a few sample decklists to get you started! Hope this article helped you understand more about why people run Tundra Rhino!