Warning: this is NOT a specific deck-related article!
Hello Hearthpwn, today I decided to start a new, spread across multiple websites, sequence of articles, these will be about main deck-base, card choices and what all decks must have in common in order to have sucess in the constructed ranked ladder!
The main idea of these articles will be to talk about all the base-cards for different class decks, commenting the other options for the remaining slots and how you should choose these cards, acording to the meta game on whatever rank you are as well as personal preferences!
I had quite some trouble making priest to work, priest has been by far the worst class in the game, and the hardest to make an consistent deck. The reason for that is this word: "situational". A huge number of priest cards are situational, more than any other class has, and a lot more than any of us could take. Now, priest does have some pretty strong cards, such as Auchenai Soulpriest and Northshire Cleric, but these cards arent enough to justify playing the class itself, the only reason you should, currently, want to play priest is a personal taste for the class or its mechanics.
Before moving foward, keep in mind you will read the word "situational" a lot, the main problem with priest is that, most of the times, you will need 2 specific situational cards in order to have a desired outcome, few of the priest cards are good by themselves.
With that being said, and considering you are still reading, it means you either want to understand more about priests, or you are a cold-blood phychopath/masochist and actually want to play the class, doesnt matter what you are, lets start it with the Priest Control/Midrange deck base!
The Deck Base
2x Circle of Healing: an extremelly situational card, that barely does anything by itself. This card works wonders with some priest cards, most of them are also part of the basis of priest deck, the main reason one would play priest is the strong interaction that this card has with the other priest base cards.
2x Northshire Cleric: One of the few really good priest cards, the text for this guy is self-explanatory, sometimes you can combo this guy with Wild Pyromancer and Circle of healing to, after you casted ANOTHER spell, you CoH and draw a LOT of cards, but that only happens a few times, dont count on doing it all the time, this guy is one of the strongest 1-drop in the game regardless, due to the fact it synergizes with the priests hero power generating card advantage.
2x Power Word: Shield: A cycle card, the reason this is used is to try and have the least situational cards as possible by taking 2 slots off of the deck, the +2 Health helps sometimes giving you oportunity for good trades.
2x Injured Blademaster: Make no mistake, this IS a priest card. The fact it is neutral and can be used by other classes do not take away the huge sinergy this guy has with a lot of priest mechanics, you can heal this guy to make it stronger, it enters the battlefield injuried which means it can/should/will be healed, which can give you card advantage with northshire cleric without you even having to interact with your oponent. Keep in mind turn 2 (coin) or 3 Blademaster + CoH is a really strong play and generates a lot of tempo.
2x Auchenai Soulpriest: Another really good priest card, probably the last "good" priest card that isnt situational and doesnt depend on other cards to work. This card, combined with Circle of Healing can clear almost any weenie board, making the combo Soulpriest+CoH a feared one.
2x Holy Nova: A weak sweeper, as well as a good way to heal up your minions. sometimes this makes it so you draw some cards off of your Northshire Cleric, the reason I think this card is bad is because it costs a lot of mana when compared to other sweepers. Yet, since outside of Soulpriest+CoH there is not really other sweeper, so as priests we need to run this.
These are the must-have cards in priest decks, but these are only 12 cards, we are still 18 cards away from having a fully functional deck, let us take a look at the options, and let YOU decide how this priest deck would be best built.
Wild Pyromancer: Synergizes greatily with power word:shield, a very situational card and situational combo, nonetheless its a strong one because as said before priest desperately needs sweepers in order to get the game to last longer in match versus aggro decks. This also makes it so all minions in the board takes damage whenever you cast a spell, so if you manage to do that and have a northshire cleric in play, as well as a circle of healing in your hand, you can/should cast that circle in order to draw a huge amount of cards. usually this play define games.
Holy Smite: A less situational removal than shadow word pain, but it also helps you close the gap finishing off injuried oposing minions as well as can be used to deal damage to the oponent himself, finishing him off in some cases. This card has been getting more use than shadow word pain lately.
Crazed Alchemist: Shines when played against Shamans because it can kill unbuffed totems. This card is also used so you are able to hit removals such as shadow words, this can also make it so you are able to skillsteal damaged strong minions with your Cabal Shadow Priest:
Mind Blast: An extremelly situational card that sometimes is used to give priests reach in close games.
Shadow Word: Pain: a situational card, is stronger whenever aggro decks are popular.
Shadow Word: Death: situational card, stronger whenever control decks are popular, keep in mind that both shadow words will always be at MOST a 1 for 1, generating no card advantage thereafter. Still, great removals when presented the right situation.
Thoughtsteal: The oponents cards are usually better than yours, as well as less situational sometimes. Might as well use them! This card is really bad when playing against rogues, and usually weak when playing against aggro. But this does shines when played against Control and Midrange decks, because it becomes a stronger Arcane Intellect.
Earthen Ring Farseer: But nuba, why more healszzszs????? DDD: This guy also sinergizes well with Auchenai Soulpriest. I dont really like it, but some consider this to be a great option.
Shadow Madness: A very situational card. The reason people avoid this is because it is YET another situational card (tadaam) that relies on the oponent having 2 creatures that trade themselves, so you can steal one, attack the other and both die. This card is even more situational than previous priest cards, I dont like it but you can consider using it if you are having trouble with aggro.
Azure Drake and Bloodmage Thalnos: The +1 spellpower helps making your bad-holy-nova into a not-so-bad-holy-nova, the fact they cycle themselves is also a good reason as to why they should be picked. Most people like using Azure Drake because of its instant draw rather than a deathrattle, as well as the stronger body. Nonetheless Thalnos is still a good pick if you are also running smites! And as I like to say: why not both?
Chillwind Yeti and Sen'jin Shieldmasta: You have slots, dont fill them only with situational cards, these guys are always nice to be played, use some of those!
Defender of Argus and Sunfury Protector: These guys are sometimes used here because priests lack taunts. Given the fact you are low on minions I wouldnt use these, altho the flavor can change between players. Make no mistake, sometimes using at least one Sunfury is good enough because you'll have at least one way of having taunts in your deck, but I would rather just use a Shieldmastah.
Ancient Watcher: if you are using Argus and Sunfuries, you might as well use 2 of these guys, I would recommend also running Spellbreakers if you do so.
Spellbreaker: A silence! Nothing else priest has have the ability to silence oposing threats(outside of the horrible card: Silence), so this guy can be a good pick for your priest deck! its less situational than the owl because it has a stronger body.
Holy Fire: A good card, but with a very high cost. Yes, it works as a removal and also heals you, but the fact it costs too much means it will sometimes be the only play in your turn. Given the lack of decent removal and reach, most priests are forced to use 2 of these.
Cabal Shadow Priest: Another really good priest card, to complete the 3 guys I like about priest, the reason I put this here is because even tho this is a really strong card, possibly the strongest 6-drop in the game, it ALSO is a VERY situational card(just like The Black Knight), but whenever it works, it shines. Even when stealing a 2/3 wolf taunt it is a huge tempo swing. I love this card, but I can also see reasons not to use at least 1 of it.
Mind Control: ANOTHER Situational card, when it works it shines, but most of the times it is just a dead card in your hand. The slower the meta is, the bigger are the chances to use this card. Most people tend to avoid using this nowadays because once again: it is yet another situational card.
Strong Legends, such as Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas Windrunner, The Black Knight, Alexstrasza, Ysera, Ragnaros the Firelord, Deathwing and so on: The slower the meta gets, the higher are the chances you will be able to use these cards. You can add any of these, acording to personal taste, eventually if you feel the meta is slow enough and you want to play those.
Other Neutral Tech Cards: Techs are always good, try to figure which techs do you feel more confortable running, such as Faceless Manipulator, Sunwalker, and so on, use your imagination! The sky is the limit(as well as the limit of cards in the game, haha!)!
With an exception of Mass Dispel, that could become useful whenever Naxx hits, I would avoid every other priest card not cited here as they are even worse than the ones I took note right here. Remember techs are always welcome, but in priests case try to aim for neutral cards until we have better priest cards around!
Now, for what most of you have been waiting, this is the list that I can give you guys so you can try it out yourselves, the Abomination is a tech that I have not tested yet, but since it is the strongest 5-drop taunt, as well as forces aggro decks to make bad plays, I feel inclined to put it on the list!
The lack of Thoughsteal is justified by not only the meta, but the fact you have alternative card draw mechanics such as azure drake and thalnos.
Alexstrasza gives you a way to get your oponent down to low health if you were behind before, as well as works as emergency heals, I think its a good card for this deck as well as a good card in the meta.
I hope you all enjoyed my first free article since I got hired by hearthable, as said in the introduction these articles will be spread across multiple websites, I will be publishing links to these websites on the free versions of these articles as soon as they are launched! Follow me on hearthpwn so you know whenever theyre up!
PS: Remember if you liked me, and want to watch me playing, make sure to follow me on my twitch page: www.twitch.tv/budabudie