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Top 30 Legend [NA] Priest

  • Last updated Aug 20, 2016 (Karazhan)
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  • 9 Minions
  • 21 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Control Priest
  • Crafting Cost: 3600
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 8/20/2016 (Karazhan)
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Hey guys,

a few of you might remember me from the last deck I posted a while ago (http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/269880-rank-1-legend-eu-control-demon-lock).  I usually play exclusively on EU but lately, I've started playing on NA as well. Today, I'd like to post a list that I've had decent success with after the release of the 2nd Karazhan wing.

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/QJXbI

Typical board state (slightly above average draw): http://imgur.com/a/JlM2s

While this is by no means is by no means a tier 1 list, I thought it was still worth posting considering how poorly Priest has been performing in the last couple of months; maybe there's a little light at the end of the tunnel?

A few words about the card choices:

The deck is basically build around resurrecting high-quality minions, most notably Blademaster. For this reason, it doesn't include Priest classics such as Northshire Cleric and Wild Pyromancer.

With the inclusion of double Shadow Word: Pain and one copy of Embrace the Shadows (consistent Circle clears), the deck does fairly well against aggressive openers.

In this meta, Excavated Evil is clearly superior to Holy Nova since being able to deal 3 points of damage is clutch (mostly against Tempo Mages, Zoolocks, Warriors of any kind and Shamans).

Forbidden Shaping helps smooth out the curve and it can provide additional great resurrect targets after using it in the late game (t8 shaping provides the most value on average).

Double Entomb helps in control match ups against cards like Sylvanas that Priest naturally struggles to deal with.

Thoughtsteal basically serves as a filler for the lack of card draw from cutting Clerics. And let's be honest, the cards of your opponent are probably of higher quality than yours.

Flash Heals are incredibly versatile. They either function as 1 mana 5 damage removal spells, Blademaster heals (t3 with coin or t4) and as a last resort against face decks (1 mana +8 hp with Priest of the Feast).

No Cabals? - You don't need additional removal for low-cost creatures and you don't want to lower the average quality of your resurrect targets by stealing your opponent's creatures.


Match ups and Mulligans

You basically always want to mulligan for Circle clear combo pieces (I wouldn't recommend keeping Embrace unless you're already holding Circle), Blademaster, SW:P, and if you're already holding Blademaster either Flash Heal or Resurrect. If you already have both Blademaster and removal, keeping Bishop on the coin is fine.

From 1 (free win - this is Priest we're talking about, there's no such thing as a free lunch) to 10 (banging your head against a wall):

Combo token Druid (with Wisps & Soul) 8/10: super difficult if the Druid knows what he's doing. You simply don't have enough board clears to  keep clearing all his minions and Savage Roar constantly threatens lethal even if the board is heavily contested. Try applying pressure in the early/mid game and force your opponent to play from behind.

Token Druid with Ancients of War 5/10: Even match up; double Entomb helps tremendously and this list can't flood the board often enough to make you waste board clears.

Aggro/midrange Shaman 4/10: Favored; the circle combo is key, you'll dominate the mid/late game if you survive. Holding Shadow Word: Death for the 7/7 isn't worth it imo.

Midrange Hunter 5/10: Another even match up. Freezing trap is your biggest foe in this match up but not everyone is running traps after the Huntress hype has died down a little bit and Barnes made a splash.

Dragon Warrior 4/10: Favored; Fiery War Axe isn't nearly as efficient vs this list as it is against almost everything else and they only run 2 Executes. SW:Pain is extremely powerful against both Frothing and Twilight Guardian. Resurrecting Blade Masters early is key but you'll also win the late game with double Death & Entomb.

Control Warrior 5/10: Haven't played against many ctrl warriors lately but the match up should be fairly even. Don't overcommit into Brawl and save an Entomb for Sylvanas.

Rogue 7/10: Valeera has traditionally been Anduin's arch enemy but this list does a bit better against Rogues; as a matter of fact, I have a positive win rate but I'm pretty sure this wouldn't uphold in the long run.

Tempo Mage: 4/10; slightly favored. Mages struggle dealing with 7 hp minions before t6 (Fireball + Ping). If you can clear he board early on and play Bishop + Blade on an empty board in the mid game, it'll be rather difficult for the Mage to come back...unless Yogg screws you over ofc.

Zoo 3/10: Favored; You run too many board clears for them to keep up now that sticky deathrattle minions are a rarity. Try to bait them into your board clears and don't waste them on 2-3 minions. Play around 14 dmg from hand (Leeroy + double PO) if you can afford it.

 Anyfin Pally/OTK Warrior 10/10: Anyone who has played these match ups in the past will know how one-sided they are. Entombing Warleaders is basically the only shot you got only to have Tirion screw you over. Combo Warriors can simply cycle through their deck since you won't be able to pressure them enough and then finish you off since there's no taunt to protect you from Worgens/Giants - t9 Shaping into Soggoth?...right.

Since many of you guys are understandably attached to your Pyros, I'll elaborate on my reasoning for excluding them: Pyros have been great in Priest but unless you're playing vs aggro, they are really shitty resurrect targets. The 1 point of aoe damage is rarely relevant when you can't control it. Often times it will just damage whatever you have on board and summon a 3/1 which needless to say is pretty damn bad. One of the reasons Pyro is great in traditional lists is because drawing 3-6 cards with Pyro/Cleric/Circle can serve as a win condition but without cleric its purpose is limited to removal which the deck runs plenty of. The bottom line is: While Pyro it's fine, the additional tad of removal and early game doesn't warrant deluting the deck's main win condition which is resurrecting great midrange creatures.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'd also love to hear about your ideas for amendments to the deck list since it obviously isn't polished yet.