Joseph’s Brew – The Grand Tournament Dragon Priest

Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused […]

Introduction

Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused on decks and deck construction. Anyone who has seen my series or watched me play knows that I am a brewer at heart. Hitting legend is fine, but I always strive to find the most interesting or creative ways to reach the orange diamond. Brewing is my favorite part of card games, and despite what some certain rope-loving streamers think, this set is certainly going to shake up the meta. Not only was this desperately needed, but it also means that many new decks will rise from the chaos that will surely come in the next few weeks. New cards have two purposes in cards games: to either strengthen existing decks or create entirely new ones.

One thing I should make clear before we begin is that the lists are first takes. They are by no means refined, which would be impossible due to the cards not being in the game yet, but they are shells that will serve as a great place to start brewing. When I (or anyone) builds a deck you just start with a shell, play test that shell and see what needs to be tweaked or improved. Not every card in the set is going to give birth to a new deck, and not every deck you theorycraft is going to end up being good. However, this article is not just for the decks laid out below, it is also to show exactly how you want to think when you begin brewing. There is no way to know exactly what will come from the Grand Tournament, but the decks below are ones that I am excited to try, and I will most likely be playing all of them at some point next week.

Dragon Priest

We end today’s article with a decklist I know many, many people (myself included) are extremely excited about, and that is Dragon Priest. Dragons were all the rage during Blackrock Mountain, but it turned out that they didn’t have enough tools nor enough power to make the cut at the end of the day. TGT plans to fix that. When looking at a strictly Dragon deck, you really only have two options: Priest or Paladin (sorry Warrior, you’re still just Control in disguise). For this, I could of looked at Paladin, but Priest has more options, and more ways to make a smooth, well-rounded Dragon build. Not only do they have access to Twilight Whelp, but they also have access to Wyrmrest Agent. The agent is the primary reason this deck is going to work. Not only was the two drop spot for Priest notably empty for the past forever, but a 2/4 with taunt for two is absolutely insane in a control deck like this one. This card can kill many popular early game minions and live to tell the tale. In addition, dragons also got access to a card that filled the empty four drop slot in Twilight Guardian. While a 2/4 taunt for two is very strong, a 3/6 taunt for four is even better. These two cards, backed by the common control-type Priest spells and minions will fill the deck quite nicely, and should make it a very competitive choice.

While traditional Priest is a combo deck, running cards like Circle of Healing, Injured Blademaster, Auchenai Soulpriest and Light of the Naaru, this deck is much more minion oriented. You typically want to try and curve out, and use your spells as prime removal more than anything else. While most Priest decks depend on their removal to stall the early game, this deck has a lot of really strong minions that do that just fine. Northshire Cleric is still as strong as ever, and Twilight Whelp alongside Dark Cultist do wonders for your opening. I did include one Shadow Word: Pain as well, which helps when you start out a little slow. Noting the cultists, you could play Blackwing Technician but, while a 3/5 for three is undoubtedly strong, the three health from Dark Cultist is worth much more than one extra health in a build like this. Priest is not a deck that commonly focus on large amounts of minions, but a deck that runs more minions than spells also wants Vol’jin, which will allow you to trade up.

As a Control-ish deck, you are going to want to have finishers. As you are a dragon deck, these finishers will of course be dragons. The three big dragons of choice here are Ysera, Nefarian and Chromaggus[/card]. All of these minions are powerful in their own right, and directly give you some sort of card advantage, which is very necessary for decks that want to go long. For this reason, I think this is the way you want to end the game, regardless of which one you choose. The final two cards that I want to discuss are the inclusion of Lightbomb and Azure Drake. Though it may ultimately prove to be unnecessary, I like Lightbomb here as a “get out of jail free” card should your opening curve go wrong. This just gives you a silver bullet against swarm type decks, and can reset the board should you need it. Azure Drake is a good fit for this deck, providing you with more dragons and more card advantage. I just wanted to note here, that Twilight Drake is also an option, and could be worth testing, though I think Twilight Guardian will be fine in the four spot.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. Speculation, speculation and speculation. I am so ready for Monday it isn’t even the least bit funny, and I am going to crack my packs ASAP and get crafting. Be sure to check out my other brews:

All of these builds excite me, and I’m not sure which one I am going to bring to the ladder first. I am most intrigued by Demon Aggro, Token Druid and Tempo Mage, but Dragon Priest and Maly-Shaman also look so fun. I will return to Weekly Legends next week, where I will start to actually play the new decks, and I cannot wait for that as well. Hope you guys enjoyed this and my “top ten” article, and I hope you are as ready as I am. Remember, you never know what to expect on the new ladder, so have fun, get testing, and play what you love. Until next time, may all of your Legendaries be golden!