Budget Control Priest (LoE Edition)

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started! Budget Standard Standard C’Thun Druid Budget Standard Midrange Hunter Budget Standard C’Thun Mage Budget Standard  Aggro Paladin Budget Standard C’Thun Priest Budget Standard C’Thun […]

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started!

Introduction

Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.

If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.

Requirements

  1. Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
  2. Complete the Naxxramas, Blackrock Mountain, and League of Explorers expansions.
  3. Have 980 Dust for crafting cards.

Deck Playstyle

  • Control Priest is a deck that utilizes Priest’s ability to heal as an offensive and defensive weapon. The two key minions in our deck are northshire-cleric, which serves as a card draw engine and auchenai-soulpriest which allows us to use circle-of-healing, zombie-chow, and our hero power offensively.
  • In the early game, control the board with zombie-chow and combo spells like power-word-shield with wild-pyromancer to clear the board.
  • In the mid game, utilize combos with northshire-cleric and auchenai-soulpriest to clear your opponent’s board to draw multiple cards to gain card advantage.

Minions – 19

2x northshire-cleric

  • The Cleric is the primary card draw engine for our deck. Generally, you won’t want to play her early, but rather save her when you can heal a minion to draw a card from her on the same turn.

2x zombie-chow

  • Zombie Chow is great for helping us establish the board early against more aggresive decks. When auchenai-soulpriest is on the board, his Deathrattle becomes a 5 damage bomb.
  • Many fun combos can be done with auchenai-soulpriest and circle-of-healing to kill off your own Zombie Chows for lethal damage.

2x museum-curatorNew!

  • Museum Curator is a great little card that allows us to put a body on the board (worth 1 mana), while allowing us to discover a Deathrattle minion. This can be especially beneficial to our limited deck as it opens the door to options like piloted-shredder, piloted-sky-golem, and sylvanas-windrunner.

2x wild-pyromancer

  • Aside from zombie-chow, the Wild Pyromancer is our second line of defense against aggro decks. A single Wild Pyromancer combined with a spell can clear an entire board of 1 health minions.
  • Be careful when using Wild Pyromancer because he also deals damage to the minions on your own board. It’s very easy to forget this and end up killing your own Wild Pyromancer by playing the-coin carelessly.

2x dark-cultist

  • One of the best 3 mana minions in the game. Not only is he beyond mana-efficient with a 3/4 body, he buffs a random minion with more health on your board when he dies. Opponents will have to awkwardly trade their board into him to eliminate him before you play other minions for his Deathrattle to target, or live with a minion that trades extremely effectively with other 2 or 3 mana minions.

2x injured-blademaster

  • I’m really surprised that injured-blademaster isn’t a class card for Priest, because no other class benefits from his damaged 4/3 body than Priest. A common combo is to play an Injured Blademaster and heal him on the same turn with either a circle-of-healing or your hero power. He also synergizes well with northshire-cleric as he’s a target you can immediately heal to draw cards.
  • Just be careful playing him against Warrior as execute is an extremely efficient counter.

2x auchenai-soulpriest

  • A key card that is just as important for us as northshire-cleric. Auchenai Soulpriest allows us to combo with cards like circle-of-healing and zombie-chow, and turns our hero power into an offensive weapon.

2x sludge-belcher

  • Sludge Belcher is an extremely annoying card to deal with, because when he dies, he leaves behind a smaller taunt. This effectively shuts down very aggressive decks, that are generally forced to use silence to get around him. Another benefit to the Sludge Belcher’s deathrattle is his synergy with kel-thuzad. Good luck getting past that wall of taunts when both are on the board at the same time!

2x sunwalker

  • After playtesting, I felt like Sunwalker was a good fit for the 6 mana slot, which is normally reserved for cabal-shadow-priest in more expensive Priest decks. He’ll slow down the game against midrange and aggro decks and synergizes well with kelthuzad.

1x kelthuzad

  • Kel’Thuzad is a primary win condition in our deck. If you have any semblance of a board going into turn 8, he has a good chance of winning the game for you. His value only goes up when you have Deathrattle minions on the board that spawn more minions.

Spells – 11

2x circle-of-healing

  • The Circle is one of the best spells in our deck, and can be used to draw multiple cards with northshire-cleric or to clear a board with auchenai-soulpriest.

2x power-word-shield

  • Gives 2 health to any minion for 1 mana, and draws you a card. Ideally, you’ll want to play this on a minion that would have died in a trade without the extra health. Make sure to play this first before your other cards, as the card you draw from it might be useful.
  • Also serves as a cheap enabler for wild-pyromancer‘s passive.

1x shadow-word-pain

  • A single Shadow Word: Pain is great to deal with other Priests that can play twilight-guardian or Mages with water-elemental.

1x shadow-word-death

  • Shadow Word: Death allows us to deal with larger late game threats in an extremely mana-efficient manner.

1x shadow-madness

  • Generally we want to play shadow-madness[card] when we can use an opponent’s minion to kill off another minion on his board, allowing us to trade one spell for two minions.
  • Bonus points for using Shadow Madness on a [card]loot-hoarder or harvest-golem, as the Deathrattle will spawn on your side of the board and belong to you.

2x holy-nova

  • Our primary board-clear outside of auchenai-soulpriest + circle-of-healing. Synergizes well with northshire-cleric and velens-chosen.

2x entombNew!

  • Entomb was automatically included into Control Priest decklists the week it was released. This is a great answer to late-game threats, and doesn’t require the 10 mana needed to play mind-control. The reason Entomb is so good is because it will ignore Deathrattles, and allows you to deal with a threatening minion like sylvanas-windrunner very cleanly. In addition, by stealing your opponent’s win-condition, you can give yourself an additional win-condition by putting it into your own deck.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.

When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.

When going second, your advantage is mainly the-coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.

  • When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.
  • When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This spell might be something like a kezan-mystic to counter classes with Secrets or removal like frostbolt.
  • When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.

While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.

Minions

  • 1 Mana: zombie-chow
  • 2 Mana: museum-curator, wild-pyromancer
  • 3 Mana: dark-cultist, injured-blademaster

Spells

  • 0 Mana: circle-of-healing with injured-blademaster.
  • 1 Mana: power-word-shield
  • 2 Mana: shadow-word-pain

Gameplay Video

Upgrades

Here are some substitutions that will improve this budget deck. If you’re looking to craft cards to play this class, it’s best to start with the “Key Substitutions” first before working your way to the “Nice-to-Have” Substitutions. Unless stated otherwise, you can substitute a single copy of an upgrade card instead of two if you don’t have both.

Key Substitutions

2x sunwalker ? 2x cabal-shadow-priest

1x kelthuzad ? 1x justicar-trueheart

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to use the comment sections below. Our team at HearthstonePlayers would be happy to answer them.

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. 

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