Weasel Priest: Against All Odds
Weasel Priest does the improbable: it uses an objectively bad card to beat decks full of good cards. Its win condition — dilute the opponent’s deck with the aforementioned bad card until they fatigue or concede — is both hilarious to watch unfold and altogether new. And to achieve all this it uses many more cards that have in the past been deemed objectively bad. How in C’Thun’s name did this happen?
For months, queueing into a Priest would lead players to a safe assumption: this is probably Raza Priest, or, to a lesser extent, the tempo-oriented Spiteful Summoner Priest. Now — thanks to a brilliant creation by Abar, iterated on by Savjz and further popularized by Thijs — a turn-one Awaken the Makers is a fringe possibility that will signal the start of a long, crazy game in which weasels run wild.
Abar, Associate Producer for the Hearthstone Championship Tour, dubbed his creation “Turbo Weasel” for its innovative use of Weasel Tunneler, that fedora-wearing, lazy-eyed weasel with a crooked smile and ominous deathrattle that's been around since the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan era, but never quite like this. In Abar's words, you shuffle “weasels and garbage into [the opponent’s] deck with Psychic Scream, Archbishop Benedictus their deck, [and] now both players are playing with the same deck except you have a pile of card draw and are way ahead in fatigue.” Nice.
Play to Your
Win Weasel Condition
Savjz took the idea and ran with it, iterating with cards that out-value the opponent in the late game, rather than going the fatigue route. It’s hard to lose a game, of course, if you can deny your opponent tempo as they top-deck Weasel Tunneler.
That’s the cool thing: it doesn’t have a win condition, per se. Rather, it interacts against the opponent’s win condition, diluting the deck with weasels and often forcing a concession in lieu of an outright win. On his Twitch stream, Asmodai was asked how you play to the deck's win condition. His response: "you make your opponent lose faith in humanity." When it works, it’s a blast to play with and excruciating to play against. The two, I'd wager, go hand-in-hand.
That said, the deck is not consistent or even competitive. But it works sometimes, thanks in large part to a meta slowed down by Voidlord and various late-game combo decks. We absolutely do not recommend you expend resources to build the deck yourself, especially considering that, again, it's full of bad, expensive cards. Instead, we suggest you kick back and enjoy the highlight reels from the safety of YouTube and Twitch. Do what you will, but know that we warned you.
We’re going to look at Savjz’s list. The gameplan isn’t exactly straightforward, but I like to think of it in three distinct stages: first, complete the quest, then generate weasels, and finally out-value your opponent into submission.
You always keep Awaken the Makers and mulligan for two early deathrattle minions to maximize the odds of getting Twilight’s Call value, not to mention a quick quest completion. With Amara, Warden of Hope in hand you’re then safe to focus on sending as many Weasel Tunneler into your opponent’s deck as possible. Extra weasels can be generated in myriad ways: with Carnivorous Cube, Mirage Caller (which can copy a Carnivorous Cube’s deathrattle, by the way), Twilight’s Call, Herald Volazj, or even by pulling weasels from the opponent’s deck with Crystalline Oracle. Once you deem that your opponent's deck is thoroughly diluted (counting the number of Weasel Tunneler that die will help you make this read), you’re safe to start out-valuing the opponent — healing with Amara, Warden of Hope, applying pressure with N’Zoth the Corrupter and Shadowreaper Anduin, and gaining resources with Elise the Trailblazer. The bounce effects of Youthful Brewmaster and Zola the Gorgon let you multiply the value and further demoralize your opponent.
Wild, Wild Weasels
The deck has proven a favorite among streamers, whose viewers appreciate the novelty of its gameplan, its penchant for wacky interactions, and the fact that it’s built around a card deemed horrible by all traditional metrics of judgment. Weasel Priest simply breeds highlight videos. Kripp’s encountered it first in the Wild format, and the resulting game was one of unreal odds. Just one example: he used Mulch on the opponent’s N’Zoth the Corrupter and — out of the hundreds of minions in the card pool — his opponent got...another N’Zoth.
And out of Savjz’s many highlights, I particularly enjoyed two games against Control Warlock opponents. In one, he nearly concedes, hovering over the button after his opponent plays N’Zoth. In another below, he steals THREE copies of The Darkness from his opponent with Crystalline Oracle.
Note that playing this deck leads to a graphics bug that can leave you unexpectedly in fatigue. The weasels that go back and forth from each deck make the decks on the right of the screen appear full, even as they thin or deplete. Keep an eye out for this to avoid untimely fatigue damage, like Thijs did while trying to weasel a win against a Quest Mage.
A deck built on the back of a 1-mana 1/1 with a quirky deathrattle — who would have thought? Weasel Priest, or Turbo Weasel Priest if you prefer Abar’s coining, is a thrill to play and watch. Again, this is absolutely not a deck we recommend you use resources creating — it’s actually quite inconsistent — but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had spectating Hearthstone precisely because of those odds. Weasel Priest is the underdog archetype, one I hope the meta allows me to cheer on far into the future.