Hey there everyone. Now that Goblins Vs Gnomes is out on the EU server, I’ve been tinkering around with my priest deck and have updated it for the expansion. This deck is designed to combat some of the aggressive decks I’ve been running into on the ladder. It certainly has its strong and weak matchups, but as the meta is just all over the place, I wanted a solid deck that has a chance to beat anything.
There are a few new cards in this deck, so I’ll spend time explaining the ins and outs of those less familiar interactions that aren’t so obvious at first glance.
circle-of-healing: To regain board control after some of the really wacky unstable-portal/mechwarper openers, you need to be able to totally wipe the board before you get beat to death. Circle of Healing + auchenai-soulpriest is a tried and tested defense against your opponent snowballing to victory. There is also draw available with some northshire-cleric + wild-pyromancer.
holy-smite: Early game removal that has great synergy with voljin and wild-pyromancer.
power-word-shield: A cheap cantrip card and will make your 3/2 minions trade more efficiently. It has some nice AoE potential with wild-pyromancer, but you should feel free to cast this buff on any of your minions.
northshire-cleric: Your main draw engine of the deck. circle-of-healing and holy-nova give you access to huge draw, which is necessary when the strength of the deck comes from powerful card interactions. It also denies a lot of enemy 2 drops, as you can bump this minion and heal it for free draw.
shadow-word-pain: Early game removal that was recently cut from most priest decks. I think this is powerful enough to bring back into the class with the addition of shrinkmeister. You can theoretically Shadow Word: Pain ysera now, which is fantastic. More realistically, there are plenty targets for this removal, like sludge-belcher, undertaker and mechwarper. It’s a solid removal spell that won’t let you down when you need it.
recombobulator: This minion is insane! The amount of cool stuff you can pull off with the battlecry is just beyond belief. In this deck, it has a few specific uses. First off, when you have a damaged minion that you need to heal up, you can simply recombobulate it into a new minion at full health. Secondly, if you steal a minion with shadow-madness and then recombobulate it after attacking, the new minion you create will not go back to your opponent’s side of the board. It’s yours forever. Lastly, the cabal-shadow-priest has rather poor stats for 6 mana, so you can feel confident that you will get a better minion if you recombobulate it. It’s a powerful minion that I really love and with any luck you will learn to love it too.
shrinkmeister: Another incredible 2 cost minion. If you are trading blow for blow with your opponent, you can think of Shrinkmeister as a pseudo 3/4 for 2 mana, as it will give you 2 more health (at least) left over after the trade. I’ve already mentioned the Shadow Word: Pain interaction, but I didn’t mention it also works with shadow-madness AND cabal-shadow-priest. Nothing is safe from your mind controlling powers.
wild-pyromancer: The 2 drop slot got incredibly crowded when GvG came out, so I had to ditch one of my pyromancers for some of the new cards. It’s still a great minion with fantastic AoE effects, so I’m bouncing between having 1 or 2 of these in my deck. muster-for-battle be warned, this deck has superb AoE.
shadow-word-death: This card needs no explanation other than its effect. Destroy a minion with an Attack of 5 or more. Simple and efficient. I’d never make a Priest deck without it.
dark-cultist: Huge stats for the mana cost. This priest deck has quite a lot of minions in it, so I feel pretty confident in the value you gain from such a strong health buff. This is like the chillwind-yeti of 3 drops. Just slam it on the board and know it will get some great value.
shadow-madness: Stealing enemy minions is always fun. Now with the shrinkmeister synergy, you can steal so much more. It’s always preferable to steal a minion with a deathrattle, like loot-hoarder, and trade it away for the extra value when you can. It’s great against aggro decks and there are some pretty large (cough cough sludge-belcher) minions that fall into its effective range.
auchenai-soulpriest: The wombo combo is real. There is a new card called light-of-the-naaru that has additional synergy with Auchenai Soulpriest that I’ve been unable to test so far. For the most part though, this minion has solid stats for 4 cost and it gives you a temporary shadowform effect. Depending on how deep you want to go on the Auchenai Synergy, I can also recommend the 3 damage from earthen-ring-farseer, though I personally find it a little too situational. PSA: HOLY NOVA IS VERY BAD WHEN AUCHENAI SOULPRIEST IS ALIVE.
chillwind-yeti: Filling out the 4 slot is a beefy minion that is easy to play on any board. It’s not fancy, but it works.
holy-nova: AoE 2 damage? Count me in. Should you want more bang for your buck out of Holy Nova, consider investing in velens-chosen. I’ve found it to be unnecessary so far, but in a more minion heavy deck it could work wonders. My experiences in arena have shown the card to work surprisingly well when cast on micro-machine and gilblin-stalker.
voljin: Woooaah Legendary! Vol’Jin is amazing and I expect him to get nerfed soon. The usual scenario that you play Vol’jin will be to trade with a 5 health minion. This means that you can rewrite his effect as “5 mana, 6/5, deal 3 damage”. That’s just a cheaper fire-elemental. Continuing that train of thought, you can go as huge as foe-reaper-4000 or ysera where this card is INSANE. The enemy minion left over can be easily removed via trading/auchenai-soulpriest+lesser-heal/holy-smite/holy-nova. I’ve considered the possibility of using crazed-alchemist on the 2 health minion and stealing it with cabal-shadow-priest, but that seems a little too situational.
cabal-shadow-priest: Steal a dude. Great against aggro, not so much against control. Your usual targets should be deathrattle minions or something that you hit with shrinkmeister. There are a few minions, like defender-of-argus, that make fantastic recombobulator targets, so keep an open mind when stealing dudes.
ragnaros-the-firelord: I’m a sucker for the simple cards, so your lategame threat (should it come to that) is Ragnaros. You can put pretty much any huge minion here and feel fine with it, so think of this as the “big threat slot”. I have a feeling that both dr-boom and troggzor-the-earthinator will also fit quite nicely in this spot, so play around and see what you like.
Since the meta is just all over the place right now, I don’t think there’s much point in trying to analyse matchups right now. For the most part, you want a decent curve of minions that cost less than 4 (or up to 4 if you have the coin).
My personal list of must-keep cards is:
1) Holy Smite, Power Word: Shield, Northshire Cleric,
2) Shadow Word: Pain, Shrinkmeister, Wild Pyromancer
3) Dark Cultist
4) Shadow Madness
Should you see 1x auchenai-soulpriest and 1x circle-of-healing in your initial hand, you can feel confident in keeping both of them.
These cards are chosen for their strength in trading with other early drops and their potential for cheap removal. Recombobulator is a viable 2 drop, but you get so much more value out of it when combined with other cards at turn 6+ that I prefer to mulligan it if I have another 2 drop available.
This deck is here to decimate the likes of Zoo, Aggro Mech and Deathrattle decks. If those are the kinds of decks you are running into, you will have a lot of success with this list. Don’t expect too much luck against very control oriented decks like Handlock and Control Warrior, but also remember they are winnable with shadow-word-death and voljin. I like a deck that makes you think on your feet and has the tools to get out of any unpleasant situation, so this is what I’ve come up with.
Should you have a different playstyle to me, feel free to play with the deck however you want and make it your own. I gave a few suggestions throughout the guide, but there are many alterations you can make without ruining the feel of the anti-aggro priest.
I hope this deck serves you well as it has for me. This is the best time to get out there and do some experimenting. If you make something great I’d love to hear about it. I’m usually very active in this comments below, so you can get some feedback down there if you want. If you want a more personal touch, shoot me a friend request. I’m TrainerDusk #2126 on the EU server and I love chatting with the community and using the incredible new spectate feature. Recently I’ve been helping some friends with the arena, so if you want any advice from an infinite arena player, I’m happy to help.
Good Luck and Have Fun!