Thanks to everyone who gave feedback, positive and constructive negative. It really means a lot to me. Also: Really warmed my heart to see that many Mech Priests on ladder this week. Have fun and a good start in the new year!
!Not a native speaker so beware!
**Happy Feast of Winterveil!**
MazeMangler here! Maybe you remember me from my last post legend with dreadsteed – dreadfull control. Deckbuilding is my joy :) . Additionally, laddering/grinding can be a pain sometimes so i try to create new decks to make ladder a more fun experience. At first i thought i'd just troll some people but it ended with me reaching legend with my Mechpriest deck in EU this weekend. So lets start with the first question people ask me when i mention this archetype:
Mechpriest – You wot m8?
Mechs have a a ,,bad‘‘ reputation. They are only seen in aggrostyle of decks, primarily in shaman and mage. They are usually not very sticky and swarm the board through mechwarper and try to win through tempo and mass.
But the deck you’re looking at is obviously not based on aggro, i’d label it as tempoheavy midrange deck with a strong curve.
When i started building the deck, i looked at mage as the primary mechclass and wondered why her deck even worked. My conclusion is it wins because it has
1. A 2 mana classmech that fights better than annoy-o-tron
2. Goblinblastmage snowballs the board completely if you mange to stick a minion to the board
3. Has frostbolt to control the earlygame
4. Has fireballs as finishers and flexible removals (especially for taunts)
5. Has Antonidas
When i searched for equals in the priestclass i discovered:
1. Shadow boxer
2. Velens Chosen. Snowballs your side of the field, usually kills a minion through a trade and leaves the threat of healing the damaged minions out of removal-range
3. Shadow Word: Pain. Cant go face AND can’t be used to add damage to defeat a large creature like frostbolt could. Upsides: Deals with minibot, deathlord some 4 drops and belcher. Tool to keep your tempo/counteract your opponent’s
4. Spawn of Shadows. Surpriseburst through taunts, inferior to fireball but leaves a body.
5. No Antonidas but hey- is this a 2nd class specific mech?
As you can see, we cant work with the burst from hand with frostbolts, fireballs and antonidas. That’s why we have to win with the board, so a slower approach is necessary. Our heropower would only be in the way of an aggrodeck anyway.
You are mech. You try to claim the board early with the goal to never lose it. You curve out and hope that your earlygame minions, survive the first turns (with mostly 3 health chances are good), so they can get fortified and activate mechsynergy. Through buff giving cards like Dark Cultist, Powerword : S, Velens Chosen and Upgraded Repairbot your minions become huge on the hp side. But their attack value doesnt grow by much, so you have to trade often to gain value from them. That means the game will be dragged into mid- lategame.
While holding a boardstate is the strength of this deck, it’s weaknesses are a) getting denied of creating said board b) actually end games.
Fortunately, this deck contains a lot of sustain. Northshire Cleric, Museum Curator and Gorillabot A-3 to help you keep up the pressure. So the road to victory goes over either an unchecked mechwarper but more often over a slow deathgrip. (more like paladin and less than druid)
In today’s meta it’s usually best if you dont have to use your heropower at all and just curve out.
In this deck, the heropower is a central part of your play. I think the priest heropower is one of the best if you are guaranteed to have some form of boardpresence.
Not only do you have considerable synergy (northshires, shadow boxer), your high health minions can reach disgustingly high value if you can keep them alive. While other decks curve and play minon per minion on the board, you deal with those by recycling your current ones. Tread your army well and they will pay you back!
Another obvious use of the heropower is self healing. That gives us more room to put more qualitiycards into the deck and not rely on neutral cards like healbot or earthern ring farseer.
Priests iconic 1 drop. This card is the reason why this deck doesnt run out of steam immediatly. Should be played on turn 1 to let you curve. But note that the card draw in the earlygame isnt as important as developing your board if you have the choice. A good holy nova+ Cleric turn basically wins the game then and there. Flexibility is the keyword here, because northshire cleric is a good turn 1, 3 (+heal) and lategame play.
I dont like Clockwork Gnomes, mainly because they cant be healed. They are in the deck to provide 1 drops that protect the more important 2 drops and activate repairbot and gorillabot. Additionally, Clockwork Gnome with a Power word shield provides a pseudo 2 drop.
The spareparts they give are only okayish, unless you get the reverse switch, which can create huge burstdamage. The Timerewinder is also usefull if you happen to have a discover minion to use it on. Freezing is also usefull, but again, the sparepart synergy is limited.
Should be obvious by now that this card is preeetty good. I’ll try to explain why:
The museum curator can be dropped at every point of the game. Even if played on turn 2 it challenges aggressive 1 drops and pops the divine shield of minibot just as well as a 3/2 would. Cant be pinged and is quite often ignored, creating a target for velens chosen in the following turn. Also lets you cycle your power word: Shields if you are searching for better cards. Activates Mirror entity.
What i want to say is: 1/2 body is usable even if horribly understatted for its cost.
Deathrattle minions are nothing to scoff at, that’s why the curator most of the time doesnt ,,draw dead‘‘. Playing curator improves the value of your deck, adjusted to the matchup. Not only do you get the value from the card you discovered, but you also choose when to put this card into your curve. Heropower pass is not an option in this game most of the time and i cant tell you often enough that the flexibility to get a e.g. 5 mana card when you want a 5 mana card is worth A LOT. Adding 2 curators to your list gives you 2 POTENTIAL mid- lategame- threats if you need them and smaller stuff in faster matchups. Thats why you can lower your curve overall, because of those hidden threats in your deck.
! dont tread museum curator as a 2 drop when building this deck!
Ah good that they didnt nerf it. You will feel the difference in your games when you manage to make one actually stick. INSANE synergy with velens chosen and power word shield. A bit better lategame in priest because it activates upgraded repairbot and gorillabot with a target and discount. Making your Mechwarper stick should have high priority. Might be the strongest card in the deck.
A 2/3 mech for 2 mana. Compare this card to snow chugger. I’d say the powerlevel of the effects is similar, sometimes better, sometimes worse. Synergizes well with holy nova. Note that healing face also triggers this poor man’s juggler. Cant be replaced, it’s important to have low cost mechs to overwhelm your opponents early (costs 1 with mechwarper!) and activate midgame mechs. The statline lets you comfortably coin him, because he fights other 2/3 or 2/2 superwell, backed up by your heropower.
But please dont get me wrong: Noone should play Shadow Boxer outside of dedicated Mechdecks.
This card is simply op in a midrangelist and i think almost every class would play it in a similar archetype. Not only is 3 attack THE att. value atm (because of shaman), 4 health is something that’s worth to heal. Through the nasty effect, dark cultist becomes a high priority target for your opponents and forces awkward plays if they dont want to deal with 3 (!) extra health on one of your minions. It’s quite clearly superior to the alternative other mechdecks have to run, tinkertown techinician.
While certainly the weakest part of the deck, I had the feeling i needed more than the other ,,spidertanks‘‘ to reliably lay down on turn 3 in case i couldnt stick any minions on the board until then. Can receive the important buff from upgraded repairbot and activates gorillabot.
And outside of that… it’s just a vanilla 3/4… it’s Spidertank!
Hm what to play for 4 mana… I know! I think mechanical yetis are strong in priest through their high healthvalue. The ironic part about this is that i noticed that shredder usually survives more turns on average because people realize that they cant reduce it’s att. points to 0 like a fireballed yeti’s would be.
Be carefull when you buff Shredder, 1. You want the minion it drops so increasing the health and healing it seems a bit wasted and 2. You make usage of an owl too rewarding.
Gorillabot is a superslow card. You can create the necessary tempo to outweight this, but it might be gone then. You really want to play this card with a mechwarperdiscount.
Classcards show up 4x more so you have a high chance to get one of the priests, especially Upgraded Repairbot is a good catch. If you look at [this](http://www.hearthpwn.com/cards?display=3&filter-class=65&filter-premium=1&filter-race=17&filter-type=4) list you’ll see that there are surprisingly many high cost mechs. Those can swing the game in your favor, but like all discover cards, Gorillabots strength lies in it’s matchup-versatility.
Given the special requirement to activate the effect and already 2 curators in the deck i cut the 2nd one.
Tempo and Value. Vol’jin embodies the soul of this deck (does he even have one as a 6/x? …well, i tried). That’s the way you deal with lategamethreats â la Ysera, Ancient of War, or those annoying twilight drakes. Even if you only drain a belcher, you deal 3 damage to it while creating a 6/5 in the process. (just wabt to mention that juicy premium attack value here).Thats exactly what Fire Elemental does and that card is considered very strong, just not in the right class. And that all for 1 mana less!
A major disadvantage of Vol’jin is his inability to actually kill things by himself. Making a Loatheb a 5/2 wont save your 6/5 Vol jin next turn. Controlpriest sometimes uses holy smite to offset this weakness, gladly you should have enough board to immediatly kill the vodoo-doomed minion. That makes Vol jin even stronger than in usual controllists.
5 Attack. Check. 5 Health. Wonderfull, fights almost everything at the 5/6 mana slot. Does not only synergize with mechs but is also one himself. Upgraded Repairbot creates 2 difficult to remove minions. The effect is massive, a comparrison to the neutral clockwork knight (5/5 gives +1 +1 to a mech, sees play in mechmage) shows that we get more statpoints (+4 health). Enables favourable trades from the moment it’s played. Your soft finisher in regards to boardprescence. And again, tempo and value.
Spawn of Shadows
Provides reach in priest, where burstdamage is usually underestimated usefull fort he surprisefactor. Shouldnt be played on turn 4 unless you absolutely have no other choice. If your opponent has exhausted his recources and this guy sticks, you can get at least 8 facedamage out of him.
Be carefull when you drop him in aggromatchups. Your ,,heal face for 2‘‘ heropower becomes ,,deal 2 damage to yourself‘‘ from the moment this guy drops on the battlefield.
Tread this guy as a 6 drop.
Not called Dr. Balanced for no reason. This card is so obscene that i just want to mention that he is actually weaker here than in some other decks, because he is your only BGH-target (Unless you get a target from curator, gorillabot or entomb).
Power Word Shield:
A 2-of in controlpriest, much stronger in a boardcentric priestdeck. This card can be used to dominate a trade or simply as a manasink. Important card, helps you keep up with other freestats from other classes (manacheating through scientist, druidstuff, etc.). Only 1 mana, but definitely one of the most powerfull cards in the deck.
Velen’s chosen is your Blastmage in this deck. If curved into turn 3 the buffed minion will kill almost any other minion at that manacost rank. Buffcards have the weakness that they often only trade 1 for 1 with your opponent‘s cards, Velen’s early appearance and the favourable statline which enables excessive healing can result in more value. Being 3 mana, it’s not that big of an issue if your minion gets handled, your opponent usually has to pay an even or smaller amount of mana to get rid oft he buffed minion and cant curve in that turn.
Has the very minor upside of bringing your 2 att. minions out of reach of shadow words.
Super risky to hold velens in your startinghand, i recommend to only do this if you’re absolutely sure that you will have a minion on board turn 3 (for example you got the coin and two 2 mana mechs in hand).
The hidden MVP of this deck. Would be impossible without it. I replaced this card with excavated evils in my controlpriest list, because i usually dont have much board until i start winning, but the card fits in well in this deck.
Most importantly, while you can create huge sturdy minions, you might struggle against swarming classes like zoolock or paladin. Through the AOE healing, you can make pretty disgusting turns happen that completely turn the board into your hands. Major synergy with northshire cleric and makes your shadowboxer go insane.
I used shadow word: death for the tempogain before. You are forced to run removal like that because your deck doesnt kill your opponent early enough, so he’ll draw and play his lategamethreats. A big weakness of this deck are enemy fatties. Your board is for example a 2/5 mech, a 3/4 tank and another 5/7 mech.
Opponent plays Dr. Boom. Your mechs could all have 1 health and it wouldnt make much of a difference when fighting a wargolem.
The 2nd effect of entomb, the steal, isnt really supported in this deck. Until you reach a high probability of drawing the entombed card, the game should be already snowballed into one or the other direction. So why even play it?
I value the silence on the card superhigh. Common threats which ruin your day, for example tirion and sylvanas (Your deck has no answer for Sylvanas. You cant even trade your stuff into her because your minion’s health is too high. And believe me, a 3/8 spidertank is only funny as long as you are the controller). Honorable mentions go to Savannah Highmane, Stalagg/Feugen, and Ancient of War. The card can close out games when you are slightly ahead on the board already. But through its high cost it’s not good when playing from behind.
Sorry for making the matchupsection ridiculously slim,but i think i already wrote enough. Ii’ll try to answer questions regarding specific matchups.
Favoured: Controlwarrior, Controlpriest, Zoo, Midrange Druid
Even: Aggro Shaman, Midrange Paladin, Oilrogue, Tempomage, Facehunter, Aggro druid
Unfavoured: Secretpaladin, Renolock, Freezemage
Freezemage matchup: Unfavoured
Every deck that wins through boardcontrol is weak against freezemage. Mechpriest is one of the stronger ones againstfreeze because it has a minor heal and more importantly can deal with freezemagestuff pretty well (unlike, say, paladin). You A) have shadow word pain and entomb against doomsayers and B) entomb against antonidas and alexstrasza to not be forced to lose your board while killing them.
There will come the point in the match when your mechs will have very high health values (see turn 5 and 7 in the video). That makes it impossible to actually clear your board for the freezemage without doomsayers as long as you can keep most of it on 4 health+. If you survive the doomsayers with a shadow word pain, entomb, or voljin+ nova, you create a bleeding your opponent cant stop and ultimately win with it.
After the freezemage started his first attack (here with antonidas, usually with alex), panic-heal as much as you can. He deemed the moment as correct to kill you, a sign that you should heal the hell out of your heropower and novas.
, Midrange hunter, Malylock
Cards to consider adding:
Mechanical yeti, Circle of Healing, Auchenai Soulpriest, Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2ndGorillabot, 2nd spawn of Shadows, Light of the naaru, Confessor Paletress, Ysera
As a last tip i recommend you reading [this](https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/3spmew/hearthstone_korean_comic_fully_translated_eng/) hearthstone comic.
It's priest, it's mech but that aside it's just pure awesomeness!
Well then, wish you luck, show the world that mech doesnt necessarily has to be aggro!
Questions from the commentsection and reddit discussion (I'll update this frequently)
Q (?): LIAR! This deck is so bad you couldn't possibly reach legend with this! Get your pitchforks boys!
Well i can see where you come from. The so called proof is a client of a legend player with a highlighted deck called ,,Mechpriest''.
Now i want you to look at this: https://imgur.com/a/9XHoG. This is the proof that i used the deck to climb.
Ofc i could just be someone who doesnt have an interest to reach legend and deliberately troll people on rank 1, you never know. But sometimes you have to trust people.
Q: When did you start using this deck on ladder?
I played mechpriest and many variants of controlpriest as well as dreadsteed to rank 5. Then i focussed on my Mechpriestdeck and climbed very quickly to rank 2. I stagnated there for a while but then i suddenly went up again. Sorry for not including this.
Q: I love Junkbot! Is there a place for him?
I think junkbot clearly deserves its name. It's junk.
You see, to make junkbot worthwhile, at least 2 of your mechs have to die, because with only 1 dead, it's a 3/7 for 5 mana which is not good. That means for junkbot to be worth, you'd have to consistently have 2 mechs already on the board. Maybe i am too harsh and 1 dead mech makes it OK already because of the potential threat of a 2nd one dieing. But OK wont win you the game against things like innervate, scientist and challenger.
In this deck, you have a good chance to have said sacrifices for junkbot ready when it enters the battlefield. But you also want to keep your mechs alive (it would also be difficult to kill them from time to time) so there would be a considerable anti - synergy.
In my entire hearthstone time i played junkbot once. That was two days earlier against a friend playing renolock. I had to discover it with gorillabot, there werent any other high value options. Long story short, junkbot became immediatly 5 9 and won the game.
The point is, i chose junkbot because it was good in this situation. But deliberately playing a high mana card thats as inconsistent as junkbot - i cant recommend that. But hey, if everyone would listen to people who feel entitled to know what works and what doesnt, the game would stagnate.
SO MAKE. YOUR DREAMS. COME TRUE. JUST DO IT!
Q: Any Replacement for Vol'jin?
Sorry, there isn't a direct replacement for Vol'jin. If he hits a large minion it's basically like your opponent skipped his entire turn. He also targets minions that dodge shadow words, like Twilight drakes and Druid of the claw.
But i played the deck without vol jin too, i think a shadow word death gives plenty of tempo, too or a second entomb if you want to somehow circumvent the value loss. You can also include a lategamefinisher like paletress or ysera, but they come so much later than vol'jin.
Really difficult to find a replacement for a class legendary.
Q: Foe Reaper 4000! It's big, it's mech, it's fabulous!
I really have my doubts regarding foe reaper. I think it's true that the card doesn't get enough attention because if not handled the turn it drops, thats a win then and there. Also, priest can heal it.
But i dont think the card is good enough for 8 mana. It's as slow as possible (Does nothing when it dies next turn) and blocks your hand while you could add something that supports your mechs to win the fight for the board or add another stronger-on-average-lategamethreat like paletress or ysera.
In fact i tested both and especially paletress was a blast because of the higher att. value on average than ysera and active boardprescence the turn after it gets played.
Then they released gorillabot and museum curator. Now i get my midrange and lategame threats from discover which is in my opinion a smoother solution.
On another note:
Foe Reaper doesnt have that much synergy with the mechtribe. You cant count on having a mechwarper alive in turn 7, gorillabot and repairbot can only be played the turn after. And if Foe Reaper survived until then, you might have won anyway!
Anyway, i didnt test Foe Reaper. My impression is that he's just good- but not good enough.
Q: You dont seem to be satisfied with Spawn of Shadows. Isnt confuse a smoother solution?
OK, i had enough time to test confuse now. First of all, the Repairbot buff expires (wtf is this?!). Thats annoying. About the actual useability:
Obviously confuse needs a board to work. You dont have any chargers like druid with savage roar. Additionally you need minions with HP buffs. The buffs give 2-4 damage each but jokes on you, repairbot thinks different about this. Without buffs, confuse gives around 1 damage per minion.
Tradewise this card is a disaster. If you want to use this to finish an enemy minion you otherwise couldnt, you have to have at least 2 minions on the board.
That's a win more card if i've ever seen one. You should activate this when you are close to dealing lethal because your minions become squishy when the spell triggers, opening them for boardwipe that couldnt target them before. If you've read the section above, you'll see that you wont get that many att.points, i guess 5 on average. And only if you have a fitting board already.
The value the card offers doesnt justify a cardslot imo. I even think it isnt better than spawn of shadows, because in situatioms in which confuse works, spawn deals 4 damage for sure and then present a threat that has to get handled so it enables more facedamage from the rest of your board.
The card was more often than not a dead draw. I am disappointed.
Q: Eydis Darkbane? EYDIS DARKBANE?
I admit it was foolish to not think about her. Cutting the spidertank or cultist for a better spidertank is a good idea. She has 6 activators in this deck, thats huge. Wow, really wow. Cultist is a superstrong minion and the tank is a mech.... But this seems like the deck that Eydis was made for. Ofc one should try her, there seems to be nothing that speaks against her. Maybe i even cut the spawn for her? I have to think this through.
Q: Annoy - o - trons? Why not just play them? Dont they block aggro efficiently?
I dont see that much aggro today. There is shaman, but facehunter and mechmage became a rare occurence.
About the annoy-o-tron:
Annoy-o-tron is not an optimal turn 2 play. If you read the comic (:D) you'd see that it loses a fight against almost every other 2 drop. This card is played to protect your other minions like zap-o-matic, mechwarper or cogmaster to allow them to push for more damage.
The deck you see here can protect it's mechs already through the healthbuffs. Also, a buffed annoy-o-tron has only 1 attack, so it synergizes less with those see (mogush'an warden). Unless it keeps it's divine shield and gets velensed to make use of the free 3 attack. But that's only an edge case.
Ofc i tried to make them work. But because of the reasons above i am quite sure that they dont perform well.
That said - There is a critical mass on earlydrops. It may very well be that i havent reached that yet. I can't claim that the card cant possibly have a place in the deck, including annoy-o-tron ADDITIONALLY to the current earlyminions might not be a bad idea.
Q: Did you try Gazlowe?
No i never did. Gazlowe is such a waste of tempo. Not only am i not allowed to play my 1 mana cards until turn 7 or 8, one has to use at least 2 1 mana spells the turn he drops to get more value than a gorillabot would provide (and it's not discovery).
Gazlowe has just not enough stats in my opinion, so one loses too much tempo.
Q: Justicar Trueheart
Justicar Trueheart most likely wont fit in here. As a curve reliant deck, you want value immediatly instead of value in the future. Your value is unlike controlpriest on the board and not in your hand for future purposes.
I never had the problem that the heropowerheal wasnt strong enough. It's more a bad opening than lack of healing that loses a match vs aggro.
Q: Circle of Healing: Draw and Healing- What more can we want?
About the card draw:
Dont worry. It's very difficult to run dry in this deck through discover and clerics. You sometimes lose because you cant vomit your hand fast enough. I didnt test circles. The draw they provide isnt necessarily needed and the tempo they give comes only in scenarios in which you already maintain a board, a situation in which you should already be winning. Without Auchenai or Pyromancer it will be difficult to get value from it. Is an interesting idea tho. But seems inconsistent.
Q: Did you try out Resurrect? how did it do?
I really did :). But that was a much earlier version before loe. Now with Clockwork gnomes and more importantly Museum Curators in the deck this seems too much of a risk. And i wouldnt want to drop the curators for anything. This card is superinsane even if it doesnt have to do anything with mechs.
Q: Help! Loe wings missing :(
The deck follows another route without the cards from loe. I play them to curve out more efficiently over the curse of the game and sustain to not run out of steam.
The obvious replacement for entomb is shadow word: death.
For gorillabot and curator- Either you include a lategame threat like paletress or ysera (i did that) or you try to make the deck faster. Without curator your curve will suffer so you might add another spiedertank or Eydis Darkbane to curve agressively. If you look at the suggested cards, swamp Ooze and auchenai with light of the naarus could work. Someone in the commentsection had success with annoy o trons.
Q: Trades ----> Shrinkmeister ------> Cabal Shadow Priest
Well, i am quite surprised that this matter didnt come up yet. (Please forgive me, should i've just not read your comment). Shrinkmeisters are stronger than in other priestdecks here because dropped on curve, they provide high value in trades. Adding Cabals to profit further from them seemslike a good idea. I test a version with 2x shrink and 1x Cabal atm and i am pleased. Have to test this more extensively.
This deck loses vs Renolock and Secretpaladin! Why even bother creating stuff like that?
Those decks arent tier 1 for no reason. Lets take a look at how those decks work:
Many Boardwipes to defend against aggro and midrange. Doesnt run out of steam because of warlockheropower, so has an inherent advantage against midrange and light control decks. Control also struggles against the cardadvantage from warlockheropower, but unlike zoo, this deck contains a much higher value overall (higher curve). Heavy controldecks, which can drag the game into fatigue and negate the advantage of the carddraw struggle to beat Jaraxxus, so they lose, too. Freezemage and Aggro struggle because of Reno.
To beat this deck you need constant pressure, and a special momentum which transforms this advantage into a win. Secretpaladin can do this, as well as midrange paladin. Druid also does this.
While Mechpriest puts high pressure on Renolock, it doesnt have a bomb that ends the game (Challenger/Druidcombo). That's why the matchup is unfavoured because you let the warlock actually use the cardadvantage he gets/got from heropower.
How to win:
Curve. Play your cards efficiently like you always would (just dont sacrifice a card for no reason). ! Keep them out of removalrange with heals and buffs! There are demonwrath, hellfire and shadowflame. Play around each of them, go out of your way to kill a minion if you have the feeling that a shadowflame would be too devestating in this situation.
Discover high cost minions to keep up the pressure. Use Entomb on Sylvanas, Boom or Stalagg/Feugen when one of them already died. Use Vol'jin on 5 health+ creatures (like you always would...). He HAS to get some value in this matchup. And ofc, just go face when you see that his cardadvantage got too high.
I'll add secretpaladin soon.
Q: Mechs = Toshley?
Well, Mech = Spareparts but Spareparts /=/ Mech. Toshley is strong because he (a fights minions well and b) because of the spareparts. I claim that b) isnt very important in this deck because of lesser synergy, so a Sylvanas for example would be more efficient in minioncombat. Or a Cabal Shadow priest. Or even a lightbomb to improve matchups.
In my opinion, the deck offers the category of cards toshley belongs to (Slow valuecards) through discover already. Making the curve higher without this trick... i always shiver when i think about that. That aside, Toshley is strong, not question. But the Synergy isnt there in my eyes.