GvG – Control Priest (Part 2 – Mulligans and Matchup Analysis)

Greetings, today I would like to share with you the second part of my control priest deck that I have been playing on the ladder this season.

Introduction

Greetings, This is the second part of my GvG – Control Priest Guide. In this section I will be discussing the Mulligan and Match Up Strategy. We will take a look at the most popular match-ups on the ladder right now and take a look at how particular cards are going to help you out in specific match-ups.

View Part I here.

Mulligans Guide

Against Control:

A good minion filled early game:

  • northshire-cleric
  • wild-pyromancer
  • dark-cultist
  • injured-blademaster

A sludge-belcher follow-up can easily let you lock-in the midgame.

Note: This strategy is highly recommended against Control Warriors since they are at a greater advantage if they get to fill up their hand and stack up armor. A good early game prevents them from getting an advantage over you.

Against Aggro/Midrange:

A spell heavy Pyromancer hand.

The ideal hand would be:

  • wild-pyromancer
  • power-word-shield
  • holy-smite
  • light-of-the-naaru

This start helps you clear off early game aggression. if you get the-coin with this hand you can really devastate an aggro deck.

Note: If you have the auchenai-soulpriest + circle-of-healing combo in your hand, then you can go for a minion start rather than the Pyromancer start.

Matchup Guide

Mech Mage

Important Cards: northshire-cleric, wild-pyromancer + spells, auchenai-soulpriest + circle-of-healing.

Cards to be wary of: fireball, goblin-blastmage, dr-boom

Currently the most cancerous deck on the ladder, should be an easy match up due to the sheer amount of AOE you get with Pyromancers and Circles. The trick is to not fall into their burst range. 12 damage with double Fireball.

They will try to snowball the board by spamming all the mechs in their hand with mechwarper and just faceroll you down. The main card in their deck is goblin-blastmage which isn’t much of a threat to you since you are not running any weak 1 health minions. Try your best to not have too many of your guys at 1 hp however to play around this guy. Keep clearing their board and developing yours. Since you get a board your hero power will overpower theirs and you will win. Mech mages don’t run flamestrike you shouldn’t play around it.

Best way of beating a mech mage is by not letting them get tempo. Playing cards like dark-cultist and a fully healed injured-blademaster should be really difficult for the mage to deal with efficiently. sludge-belchers are also really good in this match up.

Zoo

Important Cards: northshire-cleric, wild-pyromancer + spells, auchenai-soulpriest + circle-of-healing.

Cards to be wary of: soulfire, darkbomb, power-overwhelming, doomguard, sea-giant.

This is one of the few decks that zoo is weak against. Pyromancer and Auchenai pretty much guarantee that you will have the better board in this match up. Even the newly added imp-losion won’t be a big deal because of wild-pyromancer. The have started running sea giants in their decks however you will only need one death since they wont be able to get all 3 of their threats in your face.

Try being as greedy as possible with the Pyromancer. Zoo can’t really burst you down if you are above 5 health which is out of doomguard range. dark-cultist is also a pretty good card in this match, he can let you get some favorable trades against zoo. If you happen to have one in your hand on turn 3 it is recommended that you play this guy. He will be able to successfully weaken the enemy board so that you can clear it with AOE

Cancer Hunter

Important Cards: northshire-cleric, wild-pyromancer + spells, light-of-the-naaru.

Cards to be wary of: kill-command, animal-companion, undertaker

This current hunter list that is running in the meta is a super aggro list oriented towards ignoring everything and killing you as fast as possible. Which means that you are favored against this type of deck since you can keep healing and negate their damage. their minions are not gonna be super efficient and they will run out of cards eventually. Light of the naaru is a really important card in this matchup since not only does it heal you but it also gives you a threat that the hunter has to answer immediately.

This deck also does not run freezing-trap the lists that I have been seeing only have 2 copies of explosive-trap. Try to get early board presence. If you are able to establish a board early you will win the game. Just don’t let the hunter get in a lot of damage on you. Try to stay as high on health as possible. An early Blademaster that has been healed up is an absolute nightmare for this hunter deck.  Your cleric should help you get some good early game draws if you manage to kill off thier leper-gnomes and webspinners with her. Overall this is a good and easy matchup for this deck the main focus is on saving as much HP as possible while developing your own board.

Control Warrior

Important Cards: thoughtsteal, injured-blademaster, harrison-jones, voljin, cabal-shadow-priest.

Cards to be wary of: fiery-war-axe, brawl, alexstrasza, grommash-hellscream.

This is a match up that is heavily favored to the more skilled player. This match up is all about saving cards for the right moment going 2 for 1 with your cards. Pyromancers are really weak in this match up due to the aoe effect having from little to no use and it’s vulnerability to fiery-war-axe. It is absolutely imperative that you gain an early board presence in this match up and deal with acolytes in the most efficient way possible. The two things you absolutely don’t want happening are losing board control and letting the warrior draw. However in the case that the warrior has drawn a lot of cards but you have a lot of good answers then you should focus more on setting up for these answers. I will suggest a scenario here:

Opponent warrior has a bunch of cards in his hand, and is about to have some really big turns with back to back legendary follow ups. If you do not have the answers you will lose the game. So if you know your opponent is going to play alexstrasza next turn, set up your board so that it doesn’t directly trade into it but you can kill it from your hand. This will deceive the warrior into thinking that his alexstrasza can be safely played that turn. This way you can gain advantage over the warriors in such situations. Another method would be to put out a high priority target that needs to be killed as quickly. This is useful when your hand is really bad and you know you dont have cards to deal with an upcoming threat. Doing so will stall the game and give you some more time to draw into answers.

If you can land a good mind-control and get your minions out at the right time this match up should be in your favour. Thoughtsteals are really good for gaining card advantage and getting some extra lategame punch. They provide extra value vs Warriors. It is ok to take some damage in the early phases of the game because the warrior is just going to Alex you anyways. Play on curve and don;t let them get full value from their weapons. Stealing armorsmiths and Acolytes is really good with cabal-shadow-priest. Play this game smartly and you will sure be the winner here.

Handlock

Important Cards: voljin, shadow-word-death, dr-boom, thoughtsteal, injured-blademaster

Cards to be wary of: shadow-flame, twilight-drake, molten-giant.

This match up is slightly unfavoured with this variation of the priest deck. It can be built to be favored against handlocks by changing a few cards which I have mentioned in the sideboard.

The matchup is highly dependent on whether or not you can deal with their early Drake/Giant. I try to get a board with Pyromancer, Blademaster and Cultist so that I can easily get trades on their first threat. Don’t feel rushed to kill the ancient watchers unless they have been activated. Light of naaru is really good on the Blademaster early on since it is something the handlock has to deal with immediately which will mess up their turn 4. If he does not, a buffed up lightwarden can get some really good trades.

While fighting a handlock the goal is to not let them get easy Molten + Molten + Taunt and you lose. Keep their health around 16-17 and try to kill them from there with a good board. This might be difficult for this deck. But mind-control and sylvanas-windrunner should help out a bunch.

Conclusion

Priest decks are really flexible right now and can be altered to win almost every match up. The current list that I am using is suited for a aggro filled meta mixed with a bit of control here and there. If the meta shifts towards more control decks then cards like lightbomb and shrinkmeister will see more play. All in all this is the decklist that is good right now to beat the cancer decks on ladder.

I hope you enjoyed reading through my priest guide. If you have any feedback or suggestions feel free to post them in the comments and I will try to help you out. If you want to add me in-game and need more help on my deck guides you can add me using my battle tag DarkFrost#1991 NA. I hope you have fun and good luck laddering 🙂