Mastering Control Priest: Beginner Guide

This is Part 1 of the Mastering the Control Priest deck guide series. It is split into 3 main guides: Part 1: Beginner Guide Part 2: Advanced Strategies, Alternate Cards and Tech Choices Part 3: Matchups and Mulligans This guide will cover the basics and card choices of Control Priest. Hello everyone! Falathar here with a guide about one of […]

This is Part 1 of the Mastering the Control Priest deck guide series. It is split into 3 main guides:

This guide will cover the basics and card choices of Control Priest.

Introduction

Hello everyone! Falathar here with a guide about one of my favorite decks in Hearthstone: Control Priest. Personally I play multiple strategies, ranging from Face Hunter (with golden coin!) to Midrange Paladin and Control Warrior. But the archetype I enjoy the most is Control. And why is that? Do I just love Hearthstone so much that I want to have longer games? The reason for that is that Control decks give the better player a greater edge. When I make my monthly Legend grind, having a 50 % or 60 % winrate is very unsatisfying. At least I only want to lose a third of my games, aka a 66 % winrate is satisfying enough for me. And Control decks give me the possibility to leverage my understanding of the game against the average Rank 5 to Legend player. In the current metagame Control Priest is among the better Control decks to play.

Control Priest is one of Hearthstone’s premier control decks and has been around since beta. For beginners I would describe it as a very board-centric Control deck, that wants to get early board control with the help of their cheap and powerful minions and leverages its hero power Lesser Heal to maintain control of the board while also gaining card advantage.

Other board-centric decks like Combo Druid or Secret Paladin are very draw dependant, which means that if they have a bad/ slow starting and the opponent does not they will simply lose the game. Because of that the Secret Paladin mirror for example is just dumb, it is like flipping coins, one player will get a better draw and will snowball that to victory, which results in a very low skill intensive matchup. But Priest on the other hand does not need to have a strong opener, because it has very powerful catch-up mechanisms in the form of Lightbomb and Auchenai Soulpriest  combo’d with Circle of Healing (you deal four damage to the entire board).

Because of Priest’s flexibility to either curve out by droping minions or to later gain control with the mentioned board clears, it is a highly skill intensive deck, which results in having a very high winrate if you are a master of the deck (f.ex. 70% pre Legend Rank) or a very low winrate if you are not good with it.

If you are not a good player or don’t want to learn becoming one (time constraints for example), you should not play Priest. Control Priest is hard to play optimally and you are much better off to play easier decks and to “flip coins” with your opponent and make Legend with a slightly above 50 % winrate.

But if you want to be rewarded by being a good player and making very thoughtful choices during your games, you should definitely play Control Priest. The ladder is full of aggressive decks, which means that if you play Priest very well you will make Legend easier than with the majority of other decks.

So what do you want? Do you want to play a skillful deck, that will reward you by being a better player than your opponent? If so, your journey begins here.

Summary

Control Priest’s game plan is not to rush the opponent down or to have the nuts and curve out like a God. The game plan of Control Priest is inevitability. You want to exhaust your opponent’s resources (card advantage and/ or board presence) by being patient and making smart plays. There are multiple ways, depending on the matchup or the gamestate to exhaust the opponent:

1) Lesser Heal

Your hero power is some sort of pseudo- card draw. In Hearhstone damage on minions is permanent. In a vacuum Chillwind Yeti only can only kill three 2/2 minions before it dies. But Priest’s hero power heals your minions, therefore Chillwind Yeti backed up by Priest’s hero power can theoretically kill and infinite amount of 2/2’s. That results in virtual card advantage.

2) Northshire Cleric

Lesser Heal is virtual card advantage, but when you combine it with Northshire Cleric you get actual card advantage. Sometimes you can combo Northshire Cleric with Wild Pyromancer, a random spell and Circle of Healing to get a crazy amount of free card draws. But even getting one or two cards out of Northshire Cleric is a small step towards the end goal, which is exhausting the opponent’s resources.

3) Initiative

If you play Zombie Chow into Shrinkmeister into Injured Blademaster with Circle of Healing (so a 4/7 on Turn 3 that you can then later heal) you are in a very good spot. A lot of other decks have very inefficent removal (Druid, Secret Paladin), which means that if they don’t have early board control their chances to win are very slim.

 

4) Board Clears

As a Priest player you will have a lot of games, where you essentially do nothing the first four turns, but still win the game in a dominant way.  A lot of other decks simply lose if they don’t play any cards the first couple of turns, but Priest has a lot of board clears available:

  1. Wild Pyromancer combined with multiple spells (you can even kill multiple 4 toughness minions)
  2. Auchenai Soulpriest and Circle of Healing
  3. Lightbomb

All these cards or combos make it possible that you don’t need to have initiative to win any given game. There are even a lot of games where the opponent dumps down his entire hand and later simply loses the game on the spot, because his whole board is gone. So board clears are one of the best ways to exhaust the opponent (Trading 1-3 cards for 5 cards from the opponent).

5) High value cards

Control Priest has powerful legendaries (mainly Ysera) or powerful combos (Cabal Shadow Priest with Shrinkmeister) that can turn the game completely around. Having a Ysera on the board for multiple turns or stealing a crucial Sludge Belcher can result in some incredible tempo swings your opponent cannot recover from.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Control Priest

Strengths:

.) Flexibility (you can curve out by playing minions on Turn 1, 2 and 3 etc. or simply sit back and later clear the board)

.) Good against every aggressive deck (with the exception of the extinct Aggro Rogue)

.) Good card draw in the form of Northshire Cleric

.) Best potential card draw in the game (drawing for example 8 cards in a single turn is something no other deck can achieve)

Weaknesses:

.) Can be inconsistent (f.ex having Circle of Healing in your hand without any cards to combo it with)

.) Tough time against hard Control decks like Control Warrior or Handlock (but that can be mitigated or even changed; more about that in the Tech Section) and Combo decks like Freeze Mage.

Favored Against:

Face Hunter

Zoo Warlock

Tempo Mage

Midrange Paladin

Secret Paladin

Aggro Druid

Midrange Hunter

Midrange Druid

Mech Mage

Dragon Priest

Equal Against:

Patron Warrior (I’m not sure about that one. In theory with Warsong Commander gone I thought Control Priest would be favored, but from my personal experience playing the new Patron Warrior I think Patron Warrior is favored. But when I play Control Priest against average Patron players I feel like Control Priest is favored….)

Ramp Druid

Unfavored Against:

Handlock

Freeze Mage

Oil Rogue

Control Warrior

Card Choices

Control Priest, like all other Control decks is a very flexible deck to build. Unlike other archetypes you don’t have that many staples (cards you absolutely have to play). In this section I will mark the cards as “staple” you absolutely have to play. The non- “staple” cards in my decklist can be removed and you should not feel bad about cutting them in your personal Control Priest deck list.

Zombie Chow (staple)

Warrior has the best early game removal in the game with Fiery War Axe to make up for the worst hero power in the game. Priest sadly (or gladly for balancing reasons) does not have such a powerful card. Therefore like Midrange Paladin it has to play the good old Zombie Chow, which acts as some sort of pseudo- early game removal. Because of Lesser Heal Zombie Chow is at its best in Priest because you can kill something like a Shielded Minibot and still have your Zombie stay alive. The drawback of Zombie Chow is close to nonexistent in Priest, because the majority of time you don’t care about the opponent’s life total. A Secret Paladin or Hunter could theoretically have 60 life, it won’t matter when you exhausted his resources.

It even has synergy with Auchenai Soulpriest, which is of utter importance against Handlock. Double Zombie Chow, Auchenai Soulpriest, Circle of Healing, Light of the Naaru and your hero power can kill Lord Jaraxxus from full health. Sounds fancy, but in reality it is not. I’ve won a lot of games against Handlock with similar combinations. To navigate into this situation is rather skill intensive, so I will cover that more in the next article.

To summarize Zombie Chow is amazing in Priest and while it not be great against Control decks, he is awesome against everything else, so always play at least two of them.

Northshire Cleric (staple)

Control Priest has a lot of combo/situational cards, therefore the deck is much more powerful (and complex because you then have something like 8 different plays on Turn 5) when you draw a lot of cards. Northire Cleric has amazing synergy with Lesser Heal (and other cards like Circle of Healing and Light of the Naaru etc.). Circle of Healing, especially with Wild Pyromancer and another spell combined (so that you damage multiple minions before Circle of Healing resolves) can draw you a bunch of cards. Games where Northire Cleric is going nuts are very rarely lost and allow you to beat unfavorable matchups like Handlock.

Northshire Cleric can even kill for free a lot of aggressive one toughness minions like Leper Gnome etc. Because of that, Northshire Cleric is amazing in every matchup and you should always try to get at least one draw out of her.

Circle of Healing (staple)

At first sight this card only seems to have synergy with Northshire Cleric, Injured Blademaster and Auchenai Soulpriest, but it also has synergy with Wild Pyromancer. If you have Wild Pyromancer on the board and play the Circle you now transformed it into a Whirlwind, which is quite good against a lot of aggressive decks. So against decks where a Whirlwind is good (Paladin, Hunter etc.), you always keep a Circle of Healing even if it is your only keep, because in such matchups you have even more good combos.

Wild Pyromancer (staple)

This card is at its best in Control Priest. Not only has it some kind of synergy when you combo it with Northshire Cleric and Circle of Healing, Wild Pyromancer also gives you the possibility of amazing board clear potential. Your hero power even helps keeping the Wild Pyromancer alive and further supports his reign of terror against aggro minions.

Some combos to visualize the board clear potential:

1) Wild Pyromancer + Power Word: Shield/ The Coin/ Circle of Healing etc.: a Whirlwind, that helps clearing Muster for Battle.

2) Wild Pyromancer+ Circle of Healing+ Power Word: Shield+ The Coin+ Velen’s Chosen: You now have a 5/4 while you also dealt 4 damage to the entire board (opponent’s dominant board presence is likely gone, so you have a 5/4 that on an empty board). The spell always resolves before the Wild Pyromancer triggers, so be careful with your sequencing. If you don’t play Circle of Healing first, you will then heal all the minions you previously damaged, which then turns your amazing board clear plan into a horrible play.

Power Word: Shield (staple)

A 1 mana card that gives a minion two additional health and draws a card aka replaces itself. Very powerful against weapon based classes to get your crucial minions out of weapon range (Fiery War Axe, Death’s Bite). It can also help your 1 drop minions to get a free kill on something like a Knife Juggler. In addition to that it has amazing synergy with Wild Pyromancer (a free Whirlwind where you did not need to spend a card) and supports the Auchenai Soulpriest and Circle of Healing Combo, by getting the Auchenai out of one damage pings.

The small cycle effect also helps a lot by digging deeper towards your combo pieces/ key cards (like Lightbomb) that can swing the game.

Light of the Naaru (staple)

A cheap spell that makes Wild Pyromancer even better and with the help of Auchenai Soulpriest becomes a Lightning Bolt without Overload that makes a Lightwarden. Oh and it also heals an Injured Blademaster and can replace itself when you have a Northshire Cleric on the board. And even if you don’t have anything to combo it with, it is still a decent card, because it helps you stay alive while producing a minion. So why on Earth should you ever not play this card? It costs 1 mana, can sometimes be amazing, while never being bad. Did I also mention it only costs 1 mana?

This card makes me wonder why Power Word: Glory is so bad. Power level wise there are worlds between these two cards.

Shrinkmeister

Control Priest lacks a good two drop (Wild Pyromancer is not a willy-nilly card you can just play on Turn 2, the majority of time that is incorrect), something it just can play on Turn 2, has high health can be healed…. oh there is something close to it in the game: Wyrmrest Agent. But it is a Dragon synergy card and Dragon Priest in my eyes is inferior and more inconsistent than Control Priest. A Priest deck that is unfavored against Zoolock/ Midrange Paladin is an insult to the class in my eyes 😉

So Control Priest has Shrinkmeister as a potential two drop. From my point of view the card is decent and not great. It is good when you have already board presence and then can trade more favorable or steal something more valuable with Cabal Shadowpriest, but on its own without support it is underwhelming because of the poor stat distribution (a 2/3 would have been so much better). The feeling when this card trades with Leper Gnome… I have nightmares about that….

Nevertheless it is still a fine card to play, that not only can be an early game drop against aggro (not a great one, but still decent), while also being a value card against Control decks when you combo it with either Shadow Madness orCabal Shadow Priest.

Shadow Word: Death

Mysterious Challenger, Fel Reaver, Ancient of Lore, Loatheb, Savannah Highmane, big legendaries…. it kills them all!

You get the point. Shadow Word: Death has a lot of targets in the current metagame, but mainly late game minions or midgame minions, which makes playing multiples kind of akward, especially if you draw both of them. So I would recommend only playing zero to one copies, because you already have Lightbomb which has a similar purpose. Playing two can be correct in a more Control heavy metagame.

Thoughtsteal

Steal their stuff and make them suffer. On paper it seems like a good card, you draw cards that are not from your deck (good when it comes to fatigue) and get additional threats. But honestly this card is only good against slower decks, because it is very slow. You pay three mana and don’t get any immediate board impact and can steal a lot of crap (f.ex getting Deadly Poison or Power Overwhelming). So if Arcane Intellect was a Priest card I would play that in a heartbeat over Thoughsteal. Drawing cards from your deck is a lot better, especially in a synergy heavy deck and fatigue is in very few matchups a factor. But we don’t live in that world, Thoughtsteal is the closest card to Arcane Intellect and therefore it is a fine card to play.

Velen’s Chosen

The arena all-star is also very good in Constructed. Getting some suprise trades by buffing a 1 or 2 drop can produce a lot of tempo by trading up. Against slower decks the card is a lot more risky, because the opponent has more ways to deal with the buffed minion and get a 2 for 1. Overall a powerful card that has a lot of synergy with other minions and Lesser Heal.

Deathlord

Another neutral card that is at its best in the Priest class, because of Lesser Heal. Deathlord can win a lot of games on its own against aggressive decks, but it can also sometimes lose you games if your opponent manages to kills it and gets a Tirion Fordring or Savannah Highmane. So a very high risk, but high reward card. Lightbomb kind of negates the drawback of Deathlord to some extent.

Injured Blademaster (staple)

A staple since the classic set. Getting a 4/7 on Turn 3 still outright wins you a lot of games. I have yet to lose a game against Midrange Druid with a turn three 4/7. What I love about this card is that it’s a skill intensive card. If you play Injured Blademaster with Circle of Healing you invest two cards for one card and lose a card that has synergy with other important cards like Auchenai Soulpriest. It also can open you up for some bad trades against some decks (Aldor Peacekeeper, Equality, Execute etc.), so the optimal usage is matchup and game- state dependant. In addition to that the timing and sequencing is also important.

For example: You have Injured Blademaster, Circle of Healing, Light of the Naaru, Power Word: Shield and Northshire Cleric in your hand and it is Turn 3. You play against Warrior, the board is empty or the he has an Acolyte of Pain on the board. Or you play against Druid, the board is empty or he has a Piloted Shredder out. All these situations are very complex and are only two matchups. So you can see, that depending on the matchup and the game state you have an abundance of plays, and seeing the correct and optimal play comes with skill and experience separates good Priest players from exceptional ones. I will cover that more in the Advanced Guide, otherwise the article would get too long.

Auchenai Soulpriest (staple)

Another old core card of Priest Control. Before Naxxramas Auchenai Soulpriest and Circle of Healing would win the game on the spot against Zoolock. Nowadays with cards like Nerubian Egg and Haunted Creeper, clearing a whole board is a lot harder, but Auchenai Soulpriest is still very good on its own and very powerful with Circle of Healing.

The correct timing and usage of Auchenai Soulpriest comes with skill. Sometimes you play her simply on curve, sometimes you wait for the Circle, and sometimes you even wait, receive 10 more damage the following turn to then get more value out of the combo.

Holy Champion

Prior to the Grand Tournament, Priest Control had the same problem Control Warrior still has to some extent: The lack of good four drops. Warrior has Death’s Bite, but not a single other 4 mana card that comes even close to the power level of the weapon (at least Death’s Bite is arguably the best card in the entire game). And Priest? The only good 4 mana minion was Auchenai Soulpriest. The Grand Tournament filled that slot with Holy Champion, a very powerful 4 mana minion. Because of 5 toughness it has synergy with Lesser Heal (Piloted Shredder does not, so Priest is among the few classes that does not play our overpowered four drop overlord), can kill Piloted Shredder while giving you the opportunity for huge burst: Good old Wild Pyromancer with a spell and Circle of Healing can result in burst that makes Grommash Hellscream look like an Angry Chicken. But by no means, I would consider the card as a staple. Holy Champion is a good four drop, don’t get me wrong but she is not amazing.

Holy Nova

Helps killing a flood of smaller minions, while also comboing with Injured Blademaster and Northshire Cleric. With Wild Pyromancer you even deal 3 damage (but remember the spell resolves first, so the Wild Pyromancer will be a 3/1)

It also has horribe synergy with Auchenai Soulpriest because it then damages everything and does not heal anything.

Lightbomb (staple)

What a wonderful card. You now what you get when you cast it (looking at you Brawl !). Can remove an opponent’s entire board, and helps a lot dealing with Mysterious Challenger. Also very potent against Handlock and allows you to kind of outplay less skilled opponents if they get too greedy and you then kill a lot of stuff with Lightbomb.

Hearthstone needs more cards like Lightbomb, that punish the “Oh I’m so smart, I play a 1 drop on Turn 1 and then a 2 drop on Turn 3, then a Piloted Shredder on Turn 4 and oh yeah whenever I can I smash your face with everyting”- type of player.

Cabal Shadow Priest (staple)

A Chillwind Yeti– body attached with an effect that can turn the game around. The card a lot of the time reads: Kill a Shielded Minibot, get a Shielded Minibot, or even something like an Imp Gang Boss. If you combo it with Shrinkmeister you have devastating value plays available, stealing something like a Ysera can outright win you the game.

Sylvanas Windrunner (staple)

In a vacuum Sylvanas Windrunner is the best legendary in the game. Yes she is even better than Dr. Boom. But why is Dr. Boom played more? Sylvanas has a smaller body, while Dr. Boom can help you push for damage. Dr. Boom can even one day become an outdated legendary while having a Mind Control attached to a minion, will never become obsolete in Control decks (and I highly doubt that Blizzard will make similar cards to Sylvanas; the card was even nerfed a while ago and is still a staple in every control deck).

Ysera (staple)

Ysera and Lord Jaraxxus are the ultimate late game legendaries. Both of them win games on their own over several turns if they are not dealt with. A lot of decks like Druid, Paladin or Priest have a very tough time dealing with Ysera due to her high amount of health.

General Strategy

Priest Control is a highly complex deck, compared to other decks you don’t have many proactive cards, the strength of Priest mainly comes more from finding the best possible response to your opponent’s plays. Nevertheless I will try my best to give you a small guide how a typical Priest game looks like (mulligan and early plays) and how you should adapt your plays to the game plan of Priest to give yourself the best odds of winning any given game.

Small Mulligan Guide

Against board-centric that flood the board with smaller minions (f.ex Secretpaladin, Hunter, Tempo Mage etc.) you mulligan for:

Early game minions: Northshire Cleric, Zombie Chow, Wild Pyromancer, only keep Shrinkmeister if you have other early game plays or keep a combo of Shrinkmeister and Power Word: Shield which then allows you to get a free kill against other two drops.

Against non- Hunter decks also keepAuchenai Soulpriest,  even if you don’t have Circle of Healing. Always keep Circle of Healing, because it is extremely potent against aggro.

If you have Wild Pyromancer in your hand, multiple otherwise unkeepable or semi- keep cards become a good keep like: Light of the Naaru, Velen’s Chosen (only with the Coin), Power Word: Shield.

Against board-centric that don’t flood the board with small minions (f.ex Dragon Priest, Midrange Druid), you keep all the early game minions, but you don’t keep Circle of Healing and/ or Wild Pyromancer. You only keep Circle of Healing if you have Auchenai Soulpriest and vice versa. Against Druid you always keep Injured Blademaster, especially with Circle of Healing.

Against Control decks (Control Warrior, Handlock etc.): You want to get your card draw (Northshire Cleric mainly, but also Thougthsteal and Power Word: Shield which is very potent against weapons). Proper timing and sequencing is very important against slower decks, therefore protect your Northshire Cleric with a Power Word: Shield.

Small reminder of plays you should not make against Control, because they are horrible and you should feel bad about them (I have seen them so many times already):

.) Northshire Cleric on Turn 1 against Control Warrior. Giving the Warrior the opportunity of a free kill with Fiery War Axe is bad. Previously you only played Cleric on Turn 1 against Warrior, because it might be Warsong Commander– Patron and the matchup was all about tempo and playing to win.

.) Playing Northshire Cleric and using Coin for Power Word: Shield to buff it on Turn 1 against Control decks. Plays like that are a habit players get from playing too many “I dump my hand down- do I win?- Oh no you better dumped down your hand- Oh I guess you win then!- Well played, you master of the minion curve!”- type of decks. You don’t need to spend all your mana, this is a different type of deck. A slow one, a patient one. You are also playing a Control mirror, tempo is not of any great importance, the Coin is much more valuable, so simply save the Coin for a better opportunity.

.) Keeping Zombie Chow vs Control decks because it is a 1 drop and you need to play something early. Yeah you better follow that up with a Velen’s Chosen (or even Coin the Velen’s Chosen) to enter the worst possible play territory.

Early Game

You try to get early boad control with Zombie Chow and other smaller minions. Unless you are playing against hyper aggressive decks like Face Hunter you should prefer drawing cards with Northshire Cleric over playing more minions, so using Lesser Heal instead of playing another minion is a better play. The more cards you get the better. It is very normal for Control Priest to simply gain some card advantage in the early turns, then lose board control (using your hero power is tempo inefficient, so you lose tempo) and then get it back later with your powerful board clears.

Try to plan ahead your future turns by asking yourself the following question:

.) Do I have board clear potential in my hand? If so which cards should I save to combo with Wild Pyromancer or Auchenai Soulpriest?

Also try to save The Coin, because of Wild Pyromancer (Turn 3 Wild Pyromancer, then Coin and healing the Pyromancer answers Muster for Battle while the Pyromancer is not vulnerable to Light’s Justice) and the more expensive cards. It can make a huge impact when you play a Cabal Shadow Priest on Turn 5 or a Ysera on Turn 8.

Mid Game

There are two possible game states in the midgame against the majority of decks:

1. Board-centric Game State

You had a decent curve and played a lot of minions and then you either have control of the board or you are fighting with your opponent for board control and try to get better trades with the help of your hero power.

2.  Comeback Game State

Your opponent has board control and you either wait to draw into your board clears or you already have them and use them at the perfect opportunity to exhaust the opponent of his resources.

Late Game

If Control Priest survived long enough winning the game against almost every deck is inevitable. Your high value cards (Cabal Shadow Priest, Ysera etc.) will put the final nail in the coffin. In other games you don’t need any specific card to win, because you drew a lot of cards with Northshire Cleric and simply overwhelm your opponent by having more cards than he has.

Win Conditions

I already covered it at the beginning of the article, but I think a quick reminder does not hurt. To summarize quickly, this is how you win with Control Priest:

1) Lesser Heal

Your hero power is some sort of pseudo- card draw. In Hearhstone damage on minions is permanent. In a vacuum Chillwind Yeti only can only kill three 2/2 minions before it dies. But Priest’s hero power heals your minions, therefore Chillwind Yeti backed up by Priest’s hero power can theoretically kill and infinite amount of 2/2’s. That results in virtual card advantage.

2) Northshire Cleric

Lesser Heal is virtual card advantage, but when you combine it with Northshire Cleric you get actual card advantage. Sometimes you can combo Northshire Cleric with Wild Pyromancer, a random spell and Circle of Healing to get a crazy amount of free card draws. But even getting one or two cards out of Northire Cleric is a small step towards the end goal, which is exhausting the opponent’s resources.

3) Initiative

If you play Zombie Chow into Shrinkmeister into Injured Blademaster with Circle of Healing (so a 4/7 on Turn 3 that you can then later heal) you are in a very good spot. A lot of other decks have very inefficient removal (Druid, Secretpaladin), which means that if they don’t have early- board control their chances to win are very slim.

4) Board Clears

As a Priest player you will have a lot of games, where you essentially do nothing the first four turns, but still win the game in a dominant way. A lot of other decks simply lose if they don’t play any cards the first couple of turns, but Priest has a lot of board clears available:

  1. Wild Pyromancer combined with multiple spells (you can even kill multiple 4 toughness minions)
  2. Auchenai Soulpriest and Circle of Healing
  3. Lightbomb

All these cards or combos make it possible that you don’t need to have initiative to win any given game. There are even a lot of games where the opponent dumps down his entire hand and later simply loses the game on the spot, because his whole board is gone. So board clears are the best way to exhaust the opponent (Trading 1-3 cards for 5 cards from the opponent).

5) High value cards

Control Priest has powerful legendaries (mainly Ysera) or powerful combos (Cabal Shadowpriest with Shrinkmeister) that can turn the game completely around. Having a Ysera on the board for multiple turns or stealing a crucial Sludge Belcher can result in some incredible tempo swings your opponent cannot recover from.

Bonus: Free2play- Priest

If you are looking for a cheaper version of Priest, you should give this deck a try. You don’t need any cards from Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain. The lack of Zombie Chow hurts the most. Gadgetzan Jouster IS NOT a replacement. But you still have a very good deck, you can definitely make Legend with. Legend Rank 1000 (so you don’t have a dumpster rating and feel bad) late in the season is reasonable to accomplish, if you play very well.

With that said I would only recommend this deck if you already have experience in other card games like Magic the Gathering, otherwise you are going to have a very hard time with this deck. You are much better off playing easier decks when you start playing Hearthstone.

You could cut the Cabal Shadow Priests for other expensive cards to make the deck even cheaper, but obviously that comes with a sacrifice, the deck gets worse. Possible replacements can be: Mind Control or Boulderfist Ogre. In all seriousness I would prefer the latter one, Mind Control is very slow (even too slow).

Closing

I hope you liked my article. In the near future, I will update all my other Master the Deck Series Guides: Control Warrior, Echo Mage and Oil Rogue that I wrote a while ago and will make a new one about Patron Midrange. All of them are very good and viable decks on the ladder, the only disadvantage they have is that they are all very skill intensive. Even Rogue is still in a very good spot in the metagame.

I have no idea what the guys who ranked it Tier 4 smoked, but it must have been very good stuff. Two players are even bringing it to the Blizzcon World Championship….

Maybe I will even upload some video guides about Control Priest. But I can’t promise anything, I don’t like that lot. I have a very busy schedule and when it comes to Hearthstone I mainly want to chill, eat some good pizza and have fun (therefore I don’t stream).

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments. May the light burn your opponents (always heal your opponent on Turn 2 and use the “threaten”-emote, show dominance! 😀 ! And most importantly: have fun!