The Hunters weren’t always Grimy Goons.
The newest expansion for Blizzard’s digital card game behemoth Hearthstone, December’s Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, introduced the idea of tri-class gangs. Three of the game’s nine classes belong in one of three gangs: the Kabal, the Grimy Goons, and the Jade Lotus.
Hunters ended up in the Grimy Goons, which players can use cards to buff others in their hands. But according to senior game designer Peter Whalen, Rexxar (and alternative skin Alleria Windrunner) weren’t always buddy-buddy with Paladins and Warriors. GamesBeat asked him how they put the game’s classes into their respective gangs.
The casters were pretty easy. We had them in the Cabal doing this mystical magic stuff. The other ones were more tricky. Paladin and Warrior made sense in the Goons up front, but the Goons were more the city guys. It was Paladin, Warrior, and Rogue. That made sense as, these are the guys who are very urban, doing the thuggish, brutish thing. Then the more wild, natural, mystical classes – the Hunters, the Druids, the Shamans – were in the Jade Lotus.
But as the Jade Lotus and the Grimy Goons evolved, it made more sense to bring the stealthy, sneaky — get a more assassin vibe for the Jade Lotus. It made sense to bring Rogues into that group. Putting Hunters into the Goons, we made them more about smuggling and weapons and manipulating your hand-buff stuff. Flavor-wise, that smuggling vibe made a lot of sense for hunters, so they moved into the Goons.
So, yes, at one point, there was a Jade Hunter deck. And considering how bad the class is right now in Standard, it was probably better than Hunter deck you could play right now.