Hello Hearthpwn! I'm Lyme, a legend player from the US. I like to twist and create decks that are interesting to play, and then take them as high as I can on the ladder.
I created this Velens OTK deck when secret paladins were on the rise, and it's proven to be highly effective against most decks in the meta. Last season, I pushed it to top 100, and it's been my "go to" deck to push from rank 5 to legend for the last couple seasons. You'll do extremely well against midrange and aggro, with control warriors being the only real weakness (which aren't presently in the Meta)
The selling point, is that almost every spell in the deck can be used either defensively, offensively, or to assist in drawing cards. It's very versatile with many mulligan options.
Here's a video of me playing the deck to rank 5 this season with virtually no trouble at all, against mostly control decks. Please excuse the quiet mic, it bugged out during the recording. I'll post another of my climb to legend this season when I find time. Hopefully this helps with basic game play and mulligan choices.
-The starting phase is where this deck really shines. There are quite a few different combinations of cards you can keep to do well early on. Mulligan for early draw power and board presence.
I like to aim for Northshire Cleric, Zombie Chow, Wild Pyromancer, Deathlord, Acolyte of Pain, Loot Hoarder, and Velen's Chosen & Power Word: Shield if you have one of the above minions.
- Early game: You are simply trying to establish the board, and keep it clear while you draw as many cards as you can. Your buffs play a large role in helping you do this. Playing an early deathlord into velens is ALWAYS something you want to do. If you can't do that, buffing your Zombie Chow, Wild Pyromancer or Northshire Cleric is fine if they have a good chance of surviving at least one turn. using your spells to cycle more spells means you are playing the deck right, EG: Wild Pyromancer into (spell) into Circle of Healing with a cleric on the board, or Wild Pyromancer w/any spell and Acolyte of Pain up.
- Mid / End Game: If you can get at least three of the key cards in your hand (Prophet Velen, Mind Blast, Flash Heal, Smite, Auchenai Soulpriest, Light of the Naaru) it's time to Emperor Thaurissan. However, don't hold him if you have nothing to play on turn 6 and they have a threatening board. He is always a must clear, so he could buy you time to draw more pieces. If you are facing an aggro deck, saving cards for an OTK is not usually the way to win, but rather using everything you have to clear the board and hitting him with your minions / finish with a Mind Blast or two. Part of the reason this deck is great is the versatility, as you can use your healing spells as damage or to bring you back to full OR clear the board. Be aware of what you are fighting and if you'll need to save spells to survive.
- Tips: PLAY THE VALUE GAME. If your enemy has two minions on the board but you are not about to die, give him an extra turn before using a Lightbomb or pyro / smite combo to clear his board. The more minions you can take out with one spell, the better chance you'll have of taking control of the game.
- Circle of Healing: A very versatile card. Depending on the stage of the match you are in, it can be used to combo with northshire to draw cards, clear the board with Auchenai soulpriest or Wild Pyromancer, simply heal your minions to establish a stronger board. One seemed like plenty without gimping the deck.
- Wild Pyromancer Insane synergy with the rest of your deck. Can be used to draw more cards from acolyte, deal 3 damage to a minion and 1 to the board with Holy Smite, or combo with any other spell to deal massive board damage while buffing it up on turn 2-3.
- Flash Heal: 5 Damage (10 with Prophet Velen) to clear a big minion with soulpriest, or 5/10 healing on yourself. If you aren't fighting a warrior / priest where every bit of damage is crucial, this can be used to cycle cards with northshire if you get value healing from it as well.
- Light of the Naaru: Same purpose as flash heal, though if you can get a Lightwarden behind a Deathlord, they can wreak havoc. This and flash heal are good additions to the deck, though 1 each is more than enough without weighing the deck down.
- Zombie Chow: Can be used as early board presence, can also combo with soulpriest for 5 extra damage. A good minion to buff early if no Deathlord are in your hand.
- Mind Blast: With both, it's 20 damage with Prophet Velen. Only one has to be reduced to play them in the same turn @ 10. No one expects an OTK priest, play these only when you have to or for a kill. If against an aggro deck, using this with Wild Pyromancer is perfectly ok.
- Velen's Chosen: Crucial part of the deck. If you put this on a cleric, pyro, acolyte, or deathlord, they are going to have trouble or use at least 2-3 cards to clear it. Acolyte's become draw factories, deathlords become huge walls that can be healed and draw value.
- Auchenai Soulpriest: Getting one of these reduced in cost is great, but I typically will play it on turn 4 if I don't have a board, as they are decently strong and if they survive one turn they get you value. Using your healing spells to clear minions is perfectly fine, as you don't NEED to otk to win.
- Prophet Velen: Will either cause your spells to destroy your opponent, clear the entire board, or heal you to full depending on your match. Dropping him on turn 7 against an aggro deck that doesn't have an obvious way to clear can be good, especially if you have a way to heal yourself up, which can be game crushing.
- Bloodmage Thalnos: Can be added to any spell to give it a little extra strength, in addition to drawing an extra card. This can be replaced by Loot Hoarder, which is a bit better in the early game. Keep in mind, that Prophet Velen Doubles the spell damage as well, giving extra power to this card.
- Harrison Jones: I really like Harrison, as he can solidify wins against paladins with tirion, hunters and help with your hardest matchup, warriors. If you Dont' feel like you are facing these decks, Playing another excavated evil, or azure drake could work well, depending on the Meta. I noted below that single target removal isn't the best for this deck, as you are going for extreme value clears so you can reserve more slots for combo pieces and ways to draw cards. Drawing is the key to success.
If you want to replace Harrison, I'd suggest replacing him withAzure Drake for the draw / extra spell damage. Single target removal spells (entomb, shadow word, bgh) aren't the best for this deck in terms of value. Drawing crazy amounts of cards early allow you to deal with the big threats, and is the key win condition to this deck.
- Alextrasza: A key card in beating midrange or control decks, as you likely won't maintain board control long enough to push much damage, Alex can give you the extra push against priests, warriors, druids and Reno locks. I've seen people use malygos instead, which is great if you can get him to survive one turn. If you can't, then it's almost never the better option.
- NOT INCLUDED
Malygos: Maly doesn't provide the versatility Prophet Velen does, as he doesn't work with heals, or your hero power, and costs 2 mana more, which is a big deal when trying to combo your opponent down.
Justicar Trueheart: Justicar is used in control decks, as to get value he requires that you hero power multiple times after his use. Past turn 6, there isn't much value in using two mana to heal in this deck, and you won't be doing it often. To get any real damage from this, you'd have to have both velen AND soulpriest survive two turns, (very unlikely). You also have to keep in mind that playing a 6-3 for 6 mana if you aren't getting the value from it will more than likely put you behind. It's much better to play a card that provides instant value, card draw, or damage with this type of deck.
- Freeze mage: It's so very difficult to lose this matchup, which is surprising for a priest deck. Get some card draw going by buffing any of your minions and hold velen / alex / naaru / flash to heal yourself back up.
- Secret / midrange Paladin: Deathlord (velens helps) is a hard card for secret paladin to deal with if played early. It's able to clear all his little minions, and protect your clerics. Save your wild pyro till he gets a lot of little minions on the board. Save lightbombs for bigger boards or until AFTER you pop his avenge. Even acolyte of pain is frustrating for paladins if played early, as their minions don't typically do 3 damage. Against midrange, just draw draw draw until you have your combos. You have enough to keep the board clear until you do.
- Aggro Shaman: Same basic strategy as paladin, with more emphasis on using your spells to keep yourself alive and clearing everything he has immediately if possible.
- Reno Lock: You play like a freeze mage, but you have better board presence. You just have to play this smart. Try and force him down so low that he has to healbot, save your tharrisan for as long as possible, as he shouldn't apply too much pressure and you can take him down before he can even reno. Use alex to force a reno, before you use any kind of combo and with a board presence so you can do some damage immediately after.
- Aggro Druid: Pretty easy, if you are seeing a lot of these I suggest swapping harrison out for a BGH or a shadow word death. A fun way to win this match is by using all of your spells after a giant is played to mill the hell out of him, which happens more often than you'd think. Otherwise pyro, deathlord and buffs are your friend.
- Priests: Against priest, an early buffed minion is pretty important, as they aren't great at clearing things with 4 damage, deathlord is the preferred target. Draw more cards than him and you win, just be careful not to set up a situation where he can overdraw you with heals. Save tharrisan for a big hand, ALEX is a win condition here, as they typically won't be able to heal above 20 HP in one turn, you can usually alex into a double mind blast velens for the win, or any other combination of spells.
- Face Hunter: Again, pyro, deathlords, and using your heals / alex / velen defensivly. A velen + heal can really just stop him from doing anything and make him uninstall the game. Harrison is great here, especially if they have a weapon + secret and you pop it before playing him to get some extra draw. Mind blasts can be great here to finish them off, but minions do most of the damage so don't worry about reducing costs for a combo.
- Midrange Hunter: Can be frustrating if they develop a board and you can't find anything to clear. However, if you can keep their damage per turn to a minimum, you can usually play big enough minions and hoard enough cards to really hurt them. This matchup is about finding a good balance between saving cards and using them, as if you are behind, you don't want to sit and wait for combo pieces before playing tharrisan or velen.
- Combo Druid: I honestly thought this deck would do a lot worse against combo druid, but it holds it's own assuming you can get a board presence. Ancient of lores are really frustrating, and sometimes it comes down to simply drawing alex + dealing a bit of damage before using any kind of combo. Try and pressure him as much as you possibly can.
- Rogue: Can be annoying if you let them get tempo. Definitely winnable, and Harrison is an MVP here and gives you a slight edge over the match. you may need to use your heals as heals rather than damage if you can't maintain an early board. Try and force early saps, as they don't give as much of an advantage if used early. Playing minions just for the sake of playing them in this and the combo druid matchup (EG playing soulpriest on turn 4) can really help you stop their tempo.
- Control Warrior: I haven't seen much of them lately, but it's extremely hard to win IF they discover what you are. However, you it's not like a freeze mage matchup, because you Do have a chance. I'd say I win 40% of these, and more against patron. Keeping harrison and tharrisan is ok in this matchup, as it plays much more slowly. To have a chance of winning, you have to ignore the fact that he can execute your velens buffed deathlord and go all in, and keep pounding at his face. Soulpriests play a big part in this matchup, especially if you can get him to survive a turn or two. The extra 5 damage per turn really can turn it in your favor.