Legends of Reddit: Thieving Yogg Priest

The Hearthstone subreddit is a gold mine for people who are looking for new decks to try out or new ideas to put into their decks. This week, reddit user gnsmsk brings an interesting new Yogg Priest deck that took him from Rank 4 to Legend with around a 60% win rate. In the same […]

The Hearthstone subreddit is a gold mine for people who are looking for new decks to try out or new ideas to put into their decks. This week, reddit user gnsmsk brings an interesting new Yogg Priest deck that took him from Rank 4 to Legend with around a 60% win rate. In the same week, professional streamer and Hearthstone player Brian Kibler was running his own version of the deck with 7 alternate cards and was doing a pretty decent job at climbing the higher ranks up towards Legend. In this deck guide we will go over the original decklist by gnsmsk as well as taking a look at Brian Kibler’s version before diving into my slightly altered version of the deck and the success it brought about for me. So without further ado, let’s check out today’s LEGEND OF REDDIT.

Original Decklist: gnsmsk

First order of business is to give credit to the original creator of the deck and a shoutout to gnsmsk for bringing this awesome deck to my attention.  I’m a huge fan of Yogg-Saron as he makes the game less about calculating every single move and making sure you play perfectly, and more about just having a fun time. A lot of my Yogg decks work like this: play the deck well, try to win without Yogg, but if you start to get overwhelmed or stuck in a corner, cast him and hope he either gets you the win or at least stabilizes you. Yogg Hunter does a good job of this since a lot of hunter spells can create minions for you to attack with as well as spamming your hero power but this priest deck has its own way of casting spells that give you minions.

The decklist should be displayed to the right but let’s take a look at some of the cards and go over what exactly they do for the deck.

Forbidden Shaping: gnsmsk only runs a singleton of this card but my version as well as Kibler’s version runs two. I’m particularly a huge fan of this card. I played a priest control deck (coincidentally created by Brian Kibler) a little while ago and fell in love with Forbidden Shaping. It’s a highly effective card that has the ability to get you some really powerful creatures. The best way to play this card is with 8 mana. Either drop it on turn 8 or on turn 10 when you can either cast something else for two mana or just hero power yourself and cast it. The 8 drops that it can get are insane, Tirion Fordring, Chromaggus, Ragnaros the firelord, Ragnaros, lightlord and a few others that we don’t have time to mention. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean you should only cast it for 8 mana. There are lots of times where it’s okay to drop this for 6 or 7 mana if you really need something on the board to handle their minions. Another efficient way of playing this card is comboing it with Wild Pyromancer to wipe minions off the board. Did a Warlock just cast Forbidden Ritual and fill his board with 1/1s? Wild Pyromancer + a 5 mana Forbidden Shaping will take care of those while also giving you something to attack with.

Flash Heal: This card is a great singleton. You can use it to activate Wild Pyromancer early if you’re getting swarmed by Shaman/Hunter/Warlock and even late game it’s a great burst of healing if you’re really low. I remember being at 3 life and casting Priest of the Feast then Flash Heal and a few other spells to bring me back up to 20. You really shouldn’t need more than one of these but as always, make your deck cater to your playstyle.

Mind Vision: This is one of my favorite cards of this deck. Kibler doesn’t use it in his version but my version is heavily focused on the “thievery” tactics of Mind Vision and Thoughtsteal. This card helps fuel Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End, allows you to know what kind of deck you’re playing against early in the game, and replaces itself with a random card from your opponent which is rarely useless. Every once in a while you get something like Deadly Poison but I can’t tell you how many times this card has snagged me an Innervate. You can either use this card early in the match to try and grab something useful in your opponent’s hand before they can cast it or to see what kind of deck they’re playing. It’s also useful late game as it allows you to trigger Wild Pyromancer or Priest of the Feast.

Holy Smite: Basic card. Triggers Wild Pyromancer and Priest of the Feast. Early game removal. Not much to say about it.

Power Word: Shield: Another basic card but one thing you need to remember is to try and use these with Wild Pyromancer. It’ll give you a trigger while also allowing your Wild Pyromancer to live longer and trigger more times. Another tactic to keep in mind is not to be afraid to cast it on your opponent’s minions. If you really need the draw don’t hesitate to drop it on a 1/1 or something else small.

Shadow Word: Pain: Basic removal spell and one of the best in the game. Mulligan for this card because you will need at least one during your early game if you want a fluid match. If possible try not to use it on anything too small like Voidwalker or even Flame Imp because this thing is great against stuff like Imp Gang Boss and Acolyte of Pain. A lot of other early game creatures can usually be taken care of by Wild Pyromancer or Excavated Evil so let those small guys attack you and save your Shadow Word: Pain for more advanced targets, another example, Bloodhoof Brave.

Wild Pyromancer: This is one of your most effective ways to deal with aggro and lots of small minions. The deck has a lot of cheap spells that synergize well with Wild Pyromancer and allow you to do some efficient board wipes if you’re careful about how you play the cards. Keep in mind, spells will resolve before Wild Pyromancer triggers so things like Flash Heal and Power Word: Shield are great for keeping him alive and allowing you to get more of his board damage triggers. Make sure you’re not casting him by himself. This deck is low on minions so any control spells your opponent has will be used on him immediately, to effectively use Wild Pyromancer make sure you’ve got enough mana to cast him and a few spells after to do what you need to do. It is not essential that he survives!

Thoughtsteal: Here is another card that is just a ton of fun to play with. There isn’t much to combo with except triggering Wild Pyromancer and Priest of the Feast with this card so usually you’ll end up casting it on turn 3 if you have full health or on turn 5 after you hero power yourself. Getting it cast early is nice because you never know what you’ll end up getting out of their deck. This card has gotten me Anyfin can happen vs a Paladin which won me the game when I cast it and attacked him for 30. It has also gotten me N’zoth, the corruptor in the same game where I Shadow madness his Undercity Huckster and Mindgames his Sylvanas Windrunner. This card fuels Yogg-saron, hope’s end while giving you more spells to fuel him or just vital cards to fight back your opponent with.

Shadow Word: Death: Self explanatory. It kills big stuff. WARNING: When facing Deathrattle and N’Zoth decks make sure you try to Entomb stuff like Cairne Bloodhoof and Tirion Fordring instead of killing them with Shadow Word: Death so they don’t come back later. Save your Shadow Word: Death for big non-Deathrattle stuff.

Elise Starseeker: This card is so important for any control deck in the meta right now. I originally took it out in my version to make room for Arcane Golems but honestly she needs to be there permanently. The thing about Elise Starseeker is that in the late game, she turns all your worthless cards into useful legendaries. Playing against a control warrior who isn’t doing damage to you so you don’t need Flash heal? Turn it into a legendary! Playing against a deck with a lack of creatures so all your removal is useless? Turn them into legendaries! She is the ultimate endgame card, RUN HER.

Priest of the Feast: I think this card is what made control priest viable again. People are realizing that you can take damage turn 1-4 and then drop a Priest of the Feast on turn 6 with a coin, Power Word: Shield and Mind Vision to regain a whopping 9 life. On top of that it has great health which means it usually survives a turn or two, or forces your opponent to waste something big on it like the fireball a mage used yesterday to remove mine. Never play this card alone. Make sure you are casting something on the same turn you drop it so you can gain some life before your opponent removes it. The deck is lacking in minions so any removal your opponent has will be used on this guy 100%.

Shadow Madness: A personal favorite of mine and something I’ve found to be very effective against Zoolock and Hunter but the most effective against N’Zoth, the corruptor decks. Steal a small Deathrattle minion like an Undercity Huckster and run it into another one of his minions for a free card while also denying your opponent their N’Zoth minion. Other than that, it’s a simple control card that allows you to remove multiple creatures if you play it correctly.

Excavated Evil: Board wipe removal #1. This card is what will save your butt against most decks and help you start to stabilize. If you’re running Holy Novas, go ahead and use these at will even if it’s against only a few minions. I myself don’t run Holy Novas so I keep these in my hand and use them when my opponent overextends and plays too many minions. However, most high ranked players know that this is priest’s most effective way of dealing with lots of minions and will try to play around it so that’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to cast it early against a few guys. Casting early also puts it into their deck early which means they can draw it and basically lose the draw for their turn since it’s not that effective against this deck.

Holy Nova: Board wipe removal #2. I personally don’t run this card in my version. I ran it at first but it didn’t quite seem to have the same effect as Excavated Evil did. It’s rarely used to heal your minions or yourself and the two damage it’s doing to their field usually doesn’t make a difference. It pairs well with Wild Pyromancer but I only got that to go off once since the mana cost is just so high for Holy Nova. Once I saw that Brian Kibler wasn’t running these in his version I took them out as well. Run them at your own discretion!

Entomb: Priest’s #1 removal card. Use this card SPARINGLY. You only get two and they are necessary for being some of the top decks out there right now. Your best targets are going to be Deathrattle minions, preferably the legendaries such as Tirion Fordring, Cairne Bloodhoof and Sylvanas Windrunner. I usually don’t use these on things like Ragnaros the firelord and let Shadow Word: Death deal with those types of minions. Another thing you want to save them for are murlocs if you’re facing Anyfin Can Happen Paladin. By casting Entomb on a Murloc Warleader you’re effectively making their combo useless by not letting that murloc die. Make sure you are saving these for the biggest threats.

Holy Fire: Singleton removal for pesky things such as Azure Drake which you can’t kill with your Shadow Word spells. This card has changed the tide of the game by allowing me to remove something big while also healing myself for a nice chunk. I was tempted to up this to two in my deck but I’ve been keeping it at just a singleton and it seems to be doing a great job. Save these for minions that you can’t kill with Shadow Word: Pain or Shadow Word: Death or just use it when you’re in a pinch and need to kill something while also healing yourself.

Justicar Trueheart: Everyone’s favorite. Make sure you are not playing this early, like on turn 6 or 7 unless you absolutely have nothing else to cast. If you’re desperate for healing and have no other option then turn 8 isn’t terrible, dropping her and starting to heal yourself for 4 every turn, but the most efficient way is to use her on turn 10. Make sure you hero power yourself first, then drop her down, she will upgrade your hero power and also reset it so you can use it again. 10 mana for a 6/3 and healing yourself for 6 is pretty nice and once you’ve got the hero power upgraded you should be fine for the rest of the match.

Mind Control: Kibler isn’t running this card but I love it. With all the Deathrattle minions out there with N’Zoth, this card gives you a great answer on top of Entomb already being in the deck. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this card on Sylvanas Windrunner. It’s very expensive so you’ll have to spend a whole turn to use it so make sure you’re grabbing something worthwhile or just save it for a bigger threat. Do NOT run more than one of these or you will get both of them in your hand and never be able to cast them.

Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End: One of my favorite cards in the game. One of the things you need to make sure you’re not doing is casting Yogg-saron, hope’s end too early. This decks runs a ton of spells as well as Thoughtsteal and Mind Vision which will get you into even more spells so let Yogg-Saron, hope’s end power up and use it as a finisher. The way I like to play this card is to just save it until the last minute. If your opponent stabilizes and you have nothing else to cast, go for it. If you’re losing and your opponent is slowly dwindling down your life total, cast Yogg and see if he can get you out of a pickle. NEVER cast him if you’re already controlling or winning the match, it is far too risky. Keep on doing your job and controlling the match, if your opponent finds a way to overcome your control that’s when it’s Yogg’s turn to do his dirty work.

Control Decklist: Brian Kibler

I’m a huge fan of Brian Kibler so to see him playing the same type of deck during the week I’m writing this article is exciting. His version is much more control based but I feel that fits his playstyle better.

Kibler’s changes are -1 Flash Heal, -2 Mind Vision, -1 Shadow Word: Death, -2 Holy Nova, -1 Mind Control and adds +1 Forbidden Shaping, +2 Loot Hoarder, +2 Resurrect, +1 Harrison Jones and +1 Sylvanas Windrunner

As you can see he removes the Mind Visions and Holy Novas but adds more control-type creatures with Loot Hoarder, Harrison Jones and Sylvanas Windrunner. I see the synergy he could be going for with Resurrect but the problem lies when a Wild Pyromancer dies and Resurrect brings it back to life only to make it a 3/1 after a board wipe. The randomness of Resurrect is why I wouldn’t run this particular version but it seems to be piloted well by Brian Kibler so if you’re the type that likes control cards such as Sylvanas Windrunner and Harrison Jones then this version might be the one for you.

Thievery Fun Decklist: Fireflyer

My changes: -2 Holy Nova, +1 Mindgames, +1 Forbidden Shaping

I wasn’t really feeling the power of the Holy Novas when I tested out the original version of the deck so they were the first things I cut in order to make room for some of my own personal choices. Playing Brian Kibler’s control priest made me fall in love with Forbidden Shaping and its crazy randomness it brings on turn 8 and 10. When I saw the deck was only running one of them I knew that had to change immediately. At first I only cut one Holy Nova but as I was going through my priest cards I noticed one that might actually fit in the current meta. Most of the decks I’ve seen recently have tried to abuse the Barnes card that came out recently in the Opera Wing of One Night in Karazhan. Mindgames is kind of like your own Barnes that searches their deck. I’ve managed to get things like Sylvanas Windrunner but also things like Flametongue Totem. It only fits into the current meta so if you’re not running into Barnes decks, take this card out immediately and throw in your own bit of flavor. One card in particular I tried for a few games was Arcane golem since the deck runs so many spells. I actually got them out pretty frequently but since your deck is lacking minions already your opponent will have their removal saved up and usually be able to handle them without much difficulty.

How to Mulligan: Stop Aggro

The main thing you’re going to run into with this deck is its inability to do much in the first few turns. Get used to seeing guys drop into play and attack you for a few turns before you come back with Priest of the Feast chained with a couple low costing spells like Mind Vision and Power Word: Shield to get your health back. As long as you can survive into the later turns you’ll be able to control much easier so the focus of your mulligans is to make sure you can handle any aggro scenario and make it to those later turns with health to spare.

Here are the main things you want to try and keep in your hand in rank of importance:

HIGH: Shadow Word: Pain and Holy Smite – Main early game removal cards. Use them to get rid of important things only, allow small minions to attack you and heal through it with your hero power.

MID: Priest of the Feast or Wild Pyromancer mixed with low cost spells like Mind Vision, Flash Heal or Thoughtsteal to either board wipe or gain a bunch of life and come back. Having The Coin makes the importance of these cards much higher.

LOW: Excavated Evil if you feel like you’re facing a swarm deck and need to make sure you have a board clear.

Conclusion: Personal Experience

I ran this deck for about 30 games and had a blast. Mixing Mind Vision, Thoughtsteal, Mindgames, Entomb and Shadow Madness really gives you the feeling that you’re mimicing your opponent. I’ve cast a N’zoth, the corruptor and gotten Undercity Huckster, Cairne Bloodhoof and Sylvanas Windrunner into play. I’ve used an Anyfin can happen against a paladin to hit him for 20 and win the game. This deck is loads of fun and has a winrate of about 40% but a lot of those matches were me playtesting different ideas. I’m sure once you make the tweaks and create your own version of the deck, it would have a higher rate than mine. Also keep in mind that gnsmsk was able to pilot his version with a 62% winrate up to Legend.

Well that’s all I’ve got for this. Depending on how popular this deck gets I may end up doing some Matchup Analysis articles and talk about in-depth strategies versus the current top-tier decks. If that’s something you would like to read, let me know below in the comment section! Let me know what decks interest you guys the most and those are the ones I will try to play while I stream and focus on getting good data on how to beat popular decks. I skipped streaming this week but I will be back next week streaming on my Twitch channel, Twitch.tv/MrSlightly and as always you can keep up with what I’m up to in my gaming world by following me on Twitter at Twitter.com/HS_Fireflyer.

Leave me comments below, let me know if this deck was fun for you and I do my best to reply to everyone who has any questions or ideas they want to throw around. Thanks for reading and remember, Praise Yogg!