Greetings, thanks for taking a look at my new Control Priest deck! A lot has changed in the past week with the Undertaker nerf and I have been working hard trying to optimize a list for Control Priest as we lost the classic Deathrattle Priest that I enjoyed playing so I wanted to work on something that was just as fun while still being good in this new forming meta.
Season 12: So here it is the new season and many others are probably wondering what new deck to play and so on but if your wanting to play Priest look no further because nothing has changed with this class making this deck still just fine, no big deck innovations have been made for our class and I still think Control Priest gives us our best shot at the meta. That being said my list is what I think is one of the stronger versions of Control Priest and with the tech cards available to us we can still face what ever meta we need to go up against. Currently though I think Loatheb is almost mandatory right now so I will have in in the main deck list but don't be afraid to swap him out if you don't like him. Keep in mind though when choosing to play Priest that it may be hard if you plays lots of Rogue because they are a tough match up for any Priest deck so if you do find yourself in that spot swap to something else until the coast seems a little more clear.
This list features some good old classics that I wont bother explaining, some cards that are new and I also exclude a few cards that are seen as staple but I will get to all of that in this explanation.
* The replacements section can help to replace legendaries that you may be missing
Lets start with some cards that I feel give this deck a little spice. First off I want to mention why I run 2 Holy Smite and why I think they are great, after the nerf to Undertaker this card takes out the Undertaker for free even if buffed for 1 mana which is great. It also combos really well with Wild pyro for some great board clears and Vol'Jin for a 6 mana destroy a minion and get a 6/x minion these combined with being able to finish off targets that are out of reach of your minions makes it a good spell to run 2 copies of.
Next up is Light Bomb this card has saved me in many games, it is really surprising to many opponents and takes out many more minions then you would think especially because damaged minions tend to stay on the board making them easy targets. Sometimes in situations where it is needed to possibly win you the game it can be used to clear a big minion like Ragnaros which also gives it a little versatility when you don't have Vol'jin or SW:D.
Lots of people are too scared of BGH, my deck runs 2 targets Dr. Boom and Ragnaros the Firelord now my theory is behind this is that maybe 50-60% of decks run BGH meaning not every opponent has it, on top of that they usually only run 1 and that means getting it in their hand out of the 1 in 30 so they also don't always have it handy even if they run it. Now the reason why I run 2 targets is this, if they do have it then usually I don't mind Boom getting it because the 2 boom bots still give so much value, also when they use it on boom it means your Rag is free to unleash on them. I would make sure to try not to use Rag before Boom unless it is going to benefit you enough to risk having him hit with BGH or just straight up win you the game.
Last card I want to talk about is Sneed's Old Shredder , this card is a little on the RNG side but it can easily win you the game if you get anything that is 6+ out of it just because trading it for a minion or two then getting say an 8/8 out of it is just too much and that alone could be a win if your opponent runs out of tools to get rid of big stuff. You could replace this card with Ysera but the RNG factor could end up winning you games you might have lost while Ysera might not be as good without the right Dream cards.
Now on to some cards I cut and my general reasoning to excluding them. In this deck I don't run Light of the Naruu and Shrinkmeister and there is a general reason why I choose to keep these card although strong out of my deck. The reason I don't run these is for the fact that Control Priest already has so many cards that need to fit a certain criteria to be used effectively and I find the more cards you have that you can just play and feel confident about the better because you cant always be waiting on what your opponent is playing to use a card you need to lead with a few power cards of your own. While light of the Naruu is a pretty popular card I don't like it too much, I find it sits in your hand waiting for the right time to get the heal off and when you do get it the Light warden never really gets that out of control, also in terms of fighting aggro the card heals you for hardly anything when dealing with all that damage they dish out its not worth it.
With this being a deck meant to counter the meta I think tech cards are very important and we have access to a lot of them to go against anything that comes up. I think part of what makes a deck good is the ability to be able to change cards to counter what you need it to. In my deck I think Shadow Madness is the most flexible card, in a way it is an anti aggro tech because it gets rid of 2 of their minions pretty well. A list of tech cards that I think could be needed in the deck: Mind Control, Harrison Jones, The Black Knight, Loatheb I will give a little description on when these could be used.
Shadow Madness : If you face lots of aggro decks or midrange decks this card does work so its probably worth the spot.
Mind Control : If you find control to be popular this is the ultimate card to counter them, while it is hard to get really good use against aggro decks this card can win games by stealing the right card against slower decks.
Harrison Jones : If weapon classes are strong in the meta this card deserves a spot, it can really help against Rogues or Paladin if you get the right weapon and is also is nice against Warrior.
Loatheb : If you find yourself losing to decks that rely on some key spells pop this guy in to help that a little. Works really well against Mages/Rogues and can also help stop strong spells from Paladin,Druid or Hunter which may be enough to squeeze out the win.
The Black Knight : This card is a little less needed but it may be really good if say Ramp Druid becomes popular, other then that it probably isn't worth the spot but if you find yourself losing to Druids with AoW/Belchers then tech it in.
These are the Techs I think could be swapped out regularly depending on what your facing but if you have any other cards you would like to tech leave a comment and ill give my opinion on them.
So I have had a few questions about adding KT to the deck and he seems like a good fit so I tried him out for a while and I have formed my opinion on him. In the deck he works fairly well but I don't think he works as good as the cards I have right now. That said if you like KT then use him, I just find him a little slow and he is not very good in top decking situations but cards like Dark cultist,Blade masters,Belchers, Sylvanas, Boom bots and Sneeds all work really well with him and can win games. When I was using KT I found taking out the Shadow madness for him worked the best because both Rag and Sneeds work really well with him so I didn't want to get rid of either of them. Though I am not using him at the moment I will keep testing and seeing if I may want him in the deck, I might even try to make a different type of deck using KT and more minions as a similar play style to the old Deathrattle Priest so if I like the idea enough I will definitely share it on here.
Update: Currently im back to using Loatheb instead of shadow madness to counter what I see the most which is lots of Rogue,Mage and Hunter which all rely on some big spells to finish games making Loatheb sometimes game winning.
Mulligan: With this deck the common keeps are Northshire Cleric,Dark Cultist and Injured Blademasters. Against aggro/midrange decks look for Holy smite and Wild Pyro, looking for Auchenai/Circle of healing is good also and PW:S is a good keep as well. Against Control decks Thoughtsteal and one copy of SW:D is fine to keep so is a Belcher, on top of those look for your standard cards like Northshire,Cultists and Blademasters PW:S can also be kept if you have an early minion to play it on.
Druid is pretty much 50/50, they usually play Ramp and some run combo but it usually comes down to who had the better draws, if they draw Wild Growth into a great curve it will be really hard to compete with them but if not we have some good early game pressure, Vol jin is really good and both SW:D will come in handy as well as Sylvanas.Also if you suspect they are running combo make sure to heal up as often as possible to keep from some random burst combo.
Hunter is in an odd position right now after the nerf and that means you might be against face hunter,mech hunter or some type of beast midrange but one thing with all of these is that if you manage to board clear and bring it out to late game the win should be yours. With the beast midrange Hunter keep in mind they could burst with kill commands and tundra rhino easily so be more careful after stabilizing against this type of Hunter.
Right now Mech Mage is probably 85% of what you will run into as far as Mages go so ill go over how that plays out. Any kind of board clear is key in this matchup, if you can make them run out of steam before getting too low then you can easily turn the game around. Try to keep a SW:D handy if you can when you bring it out later to get rid of Archmage asap and once you stabilize make sure to heal up well out of range of spell burst. Usually hard removal is not ran by them so don't be to worried about dropping a big legendary down.
Usually Paladin will be running midrange with the knife jugglers,muster and quartermaster. Lucky for us Wild Pyro wrecks muster so keep on to it for the right time, if you can keep them from getting an overwhelming board then you should be in the clear. Keep in mind of Tirion with a SW:D or Sylvanas handy or if you play the version with MC then save that. Also against any type of Paladin don't overextend the board too much because Equality/Consecrate will ruin your day.
In the mirror matchup it usually comes down to who has better draws. Lightbomb may be hard to get off against an enemy Priest and if they run MC and you play the version without it be very careful when playing a big legendary not to screw yourself, make sure you have removal before playing anything that could lose you the game if stolen and if you do run MC then wait to counter their MC with yours for an almost guaranteed win. Try to keep some pressure on the board and card advantage is very good so try not to run out of cards too fast.
You will probably be up against Oil Rogue which is kind of annoying for us. Make sure to keep the board clear so no minions can be buffed with oil/cold blood and also try not to get too low because they can pull some pretty crazy burst off. I haven't played this matchup to much but it is a little hard because we cant rush them down fast enough sometimes but try to keep some pressure on and stay at a good life total.
Most Shamans play some type of Mech Midrange, but it is a fairly easy matchup for us. Keep their board down and wreck them with cabal and Shadow Madness. Be careful when playing legendarys for Hex and silence will make Sylvanas and Sneeds useless so try to use them after you have baited those out.
It will either be Handlock or Zoo, usually assume Zoo and keep some board clear. Against Zoo keep the board down and you probably win the game, play aggressive to keep from falling to far behind them and once you bring it out wreck them with taunts and big legendarys. This deck does well against handlock with 2 SW:D and Light bomb, make sure to use your removals and lightbomb at the right time and you could come out with the win.
It will pretty much always be control Warrior but it is a 50/50 matchup. Try to pressure them early a little with your minions to keep them from having tons of armor and save your removals for the big boys. Light bomb can be pretty good in this matchup and same goes for MC if you run that version. Don't play too many minions to keep from getting wrecked by Brawl and keep the pressure on them with your minions.
I'm going to make a replacements section to help out people that are missing a card or two. I wont get everything here so feel free to ask in the comments still and ill reply as soon as I can, here we go.
Vol'jin : You can replace Voljin with either Holy Fire or Loatheb. It depends on how many spell reliant classes you face and if you already swapped a card for Loatheb because that is a possibility also. Right now I would go Loatheb for a direct replacement but Holy fire is a strong card also.
Sylvanas Windrunner : This is probably the hardest card to replace but if you don't own her go for either Kel'Thuzad or Cairne Bloodhoof , Piloted Sky Golem also comes to mind as a suitable replacement. Mind Control could be an option but the other cards help to get board control which I find is more of Sylvanas role then straight up stealing a minion.
Dr.Boom : In replacing Dr.boom you want a card that helps to get board control so Kel'Thuzad or Cairne Bloodhoof , Piloted Sky Golem are all viable replacements with Troggzor the Earthinator and Foe Reaper 4000 also being able to take the spot. I haven't tested Troggzor much and I don't own Foe Reaper so those will have to be tested to see how they do but im sure they would do fine.
Ragnaros the Firelord and Sneed's Old Shredder : Replacing either of these is pretty similar, Kel'Thuzad works best and Mind Control is also good in one of their spots. Loatheb is a more situational card but he can also fill the spot if needed for your meta. Also Ysera could replace Sneeds fairly well if you don't like KT that much.
A member of the community has made a deck spotlight featuring this deck, in the video there are clips of game play and a card explanation giving a little idea of the over all deck. If you want to listen to some card explanations or see the deck in action feel free to watch it!
Another person has made a video showing some game play for those interested:
This is it for now, thanks to those who read some stuff hope you enjoy the deck! leave any comments you have below, We got the deck to the front page and made it to the most popular decks of the week list! , I want to help people play some good old Priest because I find they don't get enough love and now I know im at least helping some. New update for the new season! the deck still works pretty well the same right now so if your looking to play Priest give this a shot!
*When I add new stuff to the guide I will leave it in bold for easy viewing of the new content instead of reading and guessing what was added in.