Hey again everyone. I’m back again with a deck that I’ve had incredible success with since its creation. This Priest deck is designed to abuse the deathrattle mechanic in a way that feels almost broken.
All of the games that I tested this deck in were above rank 5 on the ladder. If you are below rank 5, chances are you will see a much greater variety of decks that this deathrattle priest is not tuned to deal with, but overall I would be surprised if you didn’t average a >50% win rate. In the games I played, I averaged an astounding 88% win rate according to my Hearthstone tracker app, which is why I am so excited to bring you this deck.
Before I jump into the guide itself, I would just like to say thanks to all of you reading this. I started making competitive Hearthstone guides back in April and have had nothing but support and kind words from all of the readers I have interacted with. It is a pleasure to do this for all of you, so thank you.
Circle is a very interesting card in this deck, as it is the first priest deck that I have specifically not included injured-blademaster in. As I do not have this minion, in playtesting I found running 2 Circles was often a bad strategy as I could end up with 2 dead cards in my hand. I reduced the count down to 1 and I’m having much more success with it. You want to use Circle of Healing in combination with either northshire-cleric to draw multiple cards, auchenai-soulpriest to deal 4 damage AoE or to make a trade go in your favour by just healing your minions.power-word-shield
As this deck relies on creating and maintaining a board presence, Power Word: Shield is a superb card to keep your minions alive as they trade with your opponents. I use this spell as soon as I have 1 mana spare on whatever my highest priority minion is. My personal favourite minions to buff with PW:S are Loot Hoarder and Auchenai-Soulpriest. Getting Loot Hoarder out of the range of hero powers allows you to trade with it and buffing the health of Auchenai Soulpriest is helpful as you cannot heal this minion due to its effect. The card draw is just the icing on the cake and helps you keep your hand full of options.northshire-cleric
This minion is first and foremost your main draw mechanic. As a result, I often will play other minions instead of this one until an opportunity arises to benefit from the draw effect. If you have no other minion to play on turn 1, do not feel bad that you must play the Northshire Cleric. It is still a strong turn 1 minion and you can still usually get a draw off of it unless your opponent plays a 3/2 minion or fiery-war-axe. circle-of-healing, lesser-heal and holy-nova are the only ways to activate this card in your deck, so keep that in mind if you decide to use the spells for board clear instead of drawing, as there are only 1 of each of those spells in the deck.undertaker
This minion is absurd. It is simply ridiculous the amount of value this deck can squeeze from a 1 cost minion. The ideal scenario when playing this deck is to play Undertaker on turn 1 and follow it up with more and more deathrattle minions as the game progresses. If your opponent cannot deal with the minion, it can often spiral into an easy victory as you dominate the board. On the other hand, I have had enemies use hex, shadow-word-death and silences to disable this minion, which I am perfectly happy with. Any removal spell that hits Undertaker cannot also be used on your late game threats.
Sorry but Kel’Thuzad can’t revive the buffed Undertaker, only the base stat minion. Instead, every time Kel’Thuzad resummons a deathrattle minion, Undertaker gets another +1/+1 buff. Fair?zombie-chow
A 2/3 minion for 1 mana is fantastic. This guy gives you an early game board presence that also buffs your undertaker. The 3 health also makes him a good target for heals and even draws when combined with northshire-cleric. His downside is that when he dies, it will heal your opponent for 5. This isn’t really a big deal as this isn’t a rush deck (even though it has the potential with good draws) and if you have an auchenai-soulpriest on the board, it will actually deal 5 damage to your opponent! Overall an amazing minion that I love in the deck.
Try to avoid healing your opponent by 10 when you have Kel’Thuzad out. Auchenai Soulpriest can turn that into 10 face damage!haunted-creeper
In a previous iteration of the deck, this spot was taken by deathlord. After getting hit with some turn 3 ragnaros and savannah-highmane, I decided to swap to the Creeper. Having 4 2 cost minions has made the deck a lot more consistent, but sometimes I do miss the ability to hide an undertaker behind a giant wall as I buff it. Whichever minion you decide to use in the slot, you will have a good time. Haunted Creeper does provide a good target for the defender-of-argus buff.
Beware Buzzard Unleash if you kill the Creeper with Kel’Thuzad on the board. Otherwise, enjoy all the little spiders.loot-hoarder
To increase the amount of draw in the deck, there are 2 Loot Hoarders. Loot Hoarders job is to slow down your opponent whist still having synergy with a turn 1 undertaker. If your opponent spends 2 mana on his hero power and just kills it, you still get your card draw and potentially also the +1/+1 buff. It’s a useful minion and occasionally you get to trade with it which is very nice.
Why not draw 2 cards? Isn’t Kel’Thuzad generous.shadow-word-death
Shadow Word: Death is needed in this deck. It is the best way to deal with large late game threats found in all 3 of the main matchups right now. Obviously you just use this spell to kill a big enemy minion. There is an added benefit to this spell that I adore. You can use Shadow Word: Death on your own sylvanas-windrunner as a pseudo-mind-control without clogging up your hand with a 10 mana spell. I personally have found shadow-word-pain to be unnecessary in this deck, but if Mage (water-elemental) becomes more popular I will reconsider.thoughtsteal
This is one of my favourite cards in all of Hearthstone. When you have 3 mana left over in your turn, which happens often in the late game, you can increase the size of your deck by 2 and copy some cards. As nobody in constructed tries to put bad cards in their decks, you will often get 2 pretty decent cards. Nothing beats the feeling of playing 2 sylvanas-windrunner in the same game and just winning outright. Thoughsteal is a pretty bad card to keep in your opening hand, but as a top deck around turn 7+ it’s pretty fantastic.dark-cultist
The best 3 cost minion in the game. The best base stats possible on a minion with a POSITIVE effect makes this card is a pretty obvious buff to priest. I think he is auto-include and pretty self-explanatory to use. Play him on turn 3 and watch your opponent struggle to deal with him in a way that doesn’t set off the deathrattle. Just put him in your deck and ditch the harvest-golem. There’s a new king in the 3 slot.
Dark Cultist died? Well here’s 3 heath and another Dark Cultist to make you feel better. Thanks Kel’Thuzad.auchenai-soulpriest
This minion has reasonable stats for a 4 drop and makes your hero power incredible. Being able to remove an enemy minion from play without spending a card of your own is amazing. I love this minion. I love its synergy with circle-of-healing and zombie-chow and you should too. It’s a great minion to drop on turn 4 and should be included in every single priest deck in my opinion. Beware of the dangerous damaging holy-nova while this minion is in play.defender-of-argus
As the deathrattle priest relies on creating and maintaining a strong board presence to win, what better minion to include in your deck than one that buffs your pre-existing minions? Argus is great for strengthening your board presence and also slowing down the aggro matchups. Hiding undertaker and kelthuzad behind a taunt will give you a strong advantage over your opponent, hence the inclusion of both this card and the sludge-belchers.holy-nova
This is staple AoE removal for when the game isn’t going your way. Most of the minions in this deck have more than 2 health, meaning the value you gain out of the heal can be pretty significant. This card is especially good against Hunters, as most of their minions have 2 or less health. There is only 1 Holy Nova in the deck because I found having both of them in the same hand led to some less efficient plays and in 1 case almost cost me the game.sludge-belcher
Taunt? Check. A second Taunt? Check. Deathrattle? Check. This guy is great for slowing down aggressive opponents and keeping your own minions alive. The 5 slot was notoriously weak before the release of Naxxramas, but I find that Sludge Belcher fills the gap pretty nicely. It’s a pretty straightforward minion to play and it has no particularly powerful synergies. Just a strong minion in an otherwise weak part of the mana curve.
Kel’Thuzad heard you like taunts, so he’s going to keep giving them to you. Forever.cabal-shadow-priest
This minion is incredibly good. There are so many strong minions to steal that I struggle to name them all. Against Priests, it can be good to steal northshire-cleric and deathlord. Shamans have their feral-spirit and flametongue-totem. Hunters have starving-buzzard and Leokk. Warriors have armorsmith. The list goes on. Basically the rule is as follows: Play this card when you can steal a minion or have no other alternative for the turn. Any minion stolen, even a 1/1 makes the card mana efficient when compared to a boulderfist-ogre. Every deck right now has something to take, so just steal it from them and win.cairne-bloodhoof
This is one of the most mana efficient minions in the game, plus it has a deathrattle for our little undertaker. This minion is great as it is durable enough to make consistently strong trades in all of the matchups. There are not many other minions as good as this one, so I really recommend you get it before you play this deck. The same goes for the next minion.
2 Yetis for the price of 1? Kel’Thuzad prefers 2 Yetis for the price of none.sylvanas-windrunner
I feel like this legendary is an auto-include in every priest deck because of the availability of shadow-word-death. 5/5 for 6 mana is alright, but stealing an enemy minion as well makes it fantastic. I try not to play Sylvanas in a way that lets my opponent circumvent the deathrattle, but often this is not the case and you won’t get your fantastic steal. If you steal anything, Sylvanas did her job and you should be happy.
Kel’Thuzad would like to steal that minion. And that one. Oh and that one too.kelthuzad
This is the best minion in the deck. If you followed the plan and have a reasonable board on turn 8, then drop this bad boy it’s game over. No deck can deal with sylvanas 2 or even 3 turns in a row. Flooding the board with tonnes of cairne-bloodhoof and baine-bloodhoof will give you such a huge advantage that your opponent will not be able to beat you. Even if you only resummon 1 minion, you are still playing a 6/8 minion that can be an issue to deal with. Get this guy behind a taunt and laugh at your opponent as you start killing everything for free. If by some miracle you get 2 Kel’Thuzads on your board at the same time, they will resummon each other and double resummon everything else. I only mention this because it has happened to me with the Sylvanas + Death Combo. ragnaros can be used in this slot if you want, but I prefer Kel’Thuzad personally.
General Mulligan Strategy
Aim for minions to play on turns 1/2/3 (2/2/3/4 or 1+1/2/3 with coin). Power Word: Shield is good too.
The following opener gives me the highest win rate:
Turn 1: Undertaker
Turn 2: Any minion(s) with deathrattle that total 2 cost.
Turn 3: Dark Cultist
If you have the coin, add in another Undertaker or Zombie Chow into that.
- Ramp Druid
- Trap Hunter
- Mid range Hunter
- Shockadin (Paladin)
- Shaman (all)
- Zoo Warlock
- Handlock (Warlock)
- Control Warrior
- Aggro Warrior
- Deathrattle Priest
- Anti-Aggro Priest
- Rogue (all)
Notable Matchup Mulligans
Undertaker, Zombie Chow, Loot Hoarder, Haunted Creeper, Dark Cultist
You are aiming for a strong early game board presence to snowball the game early. I have had more success in this deck assuming my opponent does not have his starving-buzzard+ unleash-the-houndscombo on turn 5 (unless a tracking or a flare has been played) and just going full aggro. As soon as possible you want to get your taunts out with sludge-belcher and Defender of Argus, so the Hunter wastes his hunters-mark and cannot easily remove your kelthuzad.
Save circle-of-healing for use with auchenai-soulpriest and if possible use Auchenai to flip the zombie-chow deathrattle as hunters cannot heal themselves.
Against Trap Hunters, try to steal their mad-scientist with cabal-shadow-priest. It won’t give you a secret when it dies but it denies your enemy a free secret. When you are in a bad spot, it is sometimes worthwhile to try and thoughtsteal for an unleash-the-hounds or explosive-trap to clear the board when behind.
Win rate is ~70% against all hunters, but the match is significantly harder if they get a good Buzzard + UTH.
Undertaker, Zombie Chow, Loot Hoarder, Dark Cultist, Shadow Word: Death
The Shadow Word: Death is useful against both Zoo (doomguard) and Handlocks (mountain-giant/molten-giant), so I keep 1 in my opening hand if I get the option.
Aside from the standard early game rush, I would recommend saving an circle-of-healing for use with auchenai-soulpriest to clear against Zoo if you feel you are falling behind. Against Handlock, I recommend an early thoughtsteal as there are some very strong cards you can get. Most notable is the possibility of casting shadowflame to set off one of your many positive deathrattle effects or respawning a minion if kelthuzad is on board.
Win rate is ~60% vs Zoo and >90% vs Handlock.
Vs Control Warrior
Undertaker, Haunted Creeper, Zombie Chow, Dark Cultist, Thoughtsteal
Warriors run so many large threats and have such a slow early game that keeping a Thoughsteal or even a cabal-shadow-priest can be worthwhile. They do not run silences but instead use execute and shield-slam which trigger your deathrattles. Overall this is a very simple and straightforward match that is heavily in your favour.
Win rate is >90%. The only way you will lose this match is if your opponent hits you with alexstrasza and can enrage a grommash-hellscream on the following turn. sludge-belcher alone will save you here.
Undertaker, Zombie Chow, Dark Cultist, Thoughtsteal, Cabal Shadow Priest
An enemy priest is not going to be able to rush you down, nor you to him, so you can play the deck much slower. The first priest to Thoughtsteal is often the first to win and if you can force your opponent to cast shadow-word-death on undertaker, there is one less available for kelthuzad. Beware the Auchenai Circle Combo if you feel like you should flood the board.
Do not overdraw with northshire-cleric. Your opponent can force you to draw too with lesser-heal and there is serious risk of fatigue damage in this matchup. Generally I try to kill off my Northshires in this matchup and I do not use power-word-shield on any card that can be stolen with cabal-shadow-priest unless I have my own to steal the minion back.
Win rate is ~50-60%, depending on the opening hands and the Thoughtsteals.
Undertaker, Zombie Chow, Haunted Creeper, Loot Hoarder, Dark Cultist
You are not going to beat a Rogue unless they get a bad draw, so assume they don’t have the cards they need when mulliganing. Generally speaking, deadly-poison, backstab, the-coin + si7-agent and eviscerate will remove your minions before you can build a decent board. If by some miracle your enemy does not clear your board efficiently, try to make favourable trades and do not rush your opponent. You win this mode by wasting the enemy sap then getting kelthuzad behind a sludge-belcher on an already reasonable board.
This is the only seriously bad matchup for the deck, so expect a ~30% win rate across the board.
I hope you enjoyed this introductory guide into the deathrattle priest deck. I fully believe this to be the best deck to play on the ladder right now as it has favourable matchups against everything else in the current meta game.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get back to you. You can also reach me on my twitter @TrainerDusk or in-game on the EU server as TrainerDusk#2126.
Thanks for reading and as always have fun!