So, you guys love my Control Priest articles, every one of them, today I decided to give Control Priest even more love by making all the Control Priest Matchup Analysis! Yap, you guys will be getting to know first hand how to deal with every single Control Priest matchup as I will try and give you guys all the knowledge regarding the hardest deck to play in Hearthstone.
Just as a heads up, the Matchup Analysis series is all about how to play that one specific matchup and not a full deck guide. However, there is nothing as detailed as a full MUA series.
I wrote, awhile back, a Full Renolock MUA, and this is going to be my second MUA series, I also already did a couple of Priests MUA, and in case you are interested in reading those, jump into the Priest Section of this website!
Control Priest is a deck filled with tools to deal with all the different types of strategies there are in this game.
As of right now, no deck is more armed to deal with everything that is thrown at them, and Control Priest is the most Control-ish of the decks.
This is a standard Control Priest list, without any clunky options such as injured-blademaster which is sporadically added to the deck to make use of otherwise useless circle-of-healing, light-of-the-naaru and flash-heals that are part of the deck. However these cards already have their uses and the only reason such a card is used in Control Priest is to make the deck seem more consistent. This deck also contains no Light of the Naaru or other inconsistent tools.
Control Priest became a strong deck after League of Explorers, which added both museum-curator and entomb to the Priest class, allowing the deck to play a full anti-aggro setup while still maintaining a very strong anti-control arsenal.
Because of these additions, Control Priest has had its Control Matchup heightened greatly, making it the strongest Control Option as of now.
Priest Mirror is one of those all-skill matchups that are rarely decided by who got luckier, but rather by who played better.
In a matchup list this you know you’re likely to be playing a 30 vs 30 card matchup, so you should play the game in the value way rather than the tempo way.
The cards you’ll be looking for in the mulligan are:
northshire-cleric, zombie-chow, power-word-shield, museum-curator and deathlord – (*)These are the cards you’ll always want in every single Control Priest Matchup. There is no reason not to pick these cards in your mulligan regardless of matchup.
justicar-trueheart – You know the game will take long, might as well have the better hero power since the beginning.
The Injured Guys (new!) – In case you are playing a version with either injured-kvaldir or injured-blademaster, feel free to keep them in your starting hand.
thoughtsteal – A way to draw cards without reducing your Deck’s size.
wild-pyromancer and auchenai-soulpriest – Always.
circle-of-healing – Only if you also have Wild Pyromancer or Auchenai Soulpriest in hand.
How to Win
This is a matchup of both value and fatigue, meaning you’ll either lose on value by getting little advantage of your cards, or you’ll lose because you got into fatigue faster than your opponent.
This is never a matchup of tempo, and often times trying to rush down your opponents with a couple cards in hand can be your doom due to the value you can end up losing trying to rush.
Early Game Strategy
Both players will start by dropping small minions, generating value from them, making trades and trying to take the least value out of northshire-cleric possible. Here you still want to drop your Clerics, as a couple of cards early on are good, but you should try and suicide your Clerics as soon as you get some value out of it.
Usually a Priest who is forced to overdraw due to opposing circle-of-healing, burning a bunch of cards, loses the game. Because of this, you should be very careful with your Clerics, as getting responses is good, but losing because of a single Cleric feels just terrible.
If you have the option to make your opponent overdraw because of wild-pyromancer+Spell+circle-of-healing combo, do so, but only if your opponent’s hand is already within burn range – Always watching your opponent’s hand size, the number of removal he has, the responses he possibly have and how close are you and your opponent to fatigue (yep, you should be looking at this since the beginning of the game).
Another thing you should take note here is how you should play around your opponent’s AOE spells.
The best cards you’ll be looking for in this game with museum-curator are the Late Game bombs and Midrange cards, as you want to generate as much value as possible.
Mid Game Strategy
From this point onwards, you only want to make sure you have sweepers for his board and responses. You don’t want to draw cards if you don’t have to, and in case you don’t have to, never ever play northshire-cleric.
Here is basically where the fatigue wars start. Even if you’re still 12-10 cards away from fatigue, you should always do your plays thinking on fatigue.
Don’t use your removal if you don’t have to, the best Entomb targets are: big things that come out of museum-curator and/or cabal-shadow-priest (<- very good option).
Stealing your opponent’s Deathlord is much better than killing them, because (once again) you don’t want to get closer into fatigue, so try saving cabal-shadow-priest for Deathlords, Entombing a Deathlord isn’t bad when you’re ahead in value (has more removal than he does in your hand+deck).
Always remember that having big stuff to play or to put on board matters nothing when your opponent can respond it, or if you’re 5 cards behind.
Late Game Strategy
Never, ever, draw cards here. This is something you don’t want to do because if you do, you lose. Thoughtsteal is the best card in the Control Priest mirror because it puts cards in your hand rather than drawing them.
Here everything you do should be done focusing on the fatigue wars that has started, you’ll also be able to play around the removal left in his deck, since you’re supposed to be taking notice of the removal he uses from the beginning of the game until now.
So: Play around the removal he has left, don’t draw, win the game because your opponent has less removal than you, got out-valued and/or is further into fatigue (have you noticed how every single one of these things are skill-dependant win-conditions?).
Priest mirror match is another one of those all-skill matchups because it is a 30 vs 30 card matchup as said before, so even after reading this don’t feel bad if you lose a Priest mirror here and there, because it takes a lot of training to get better at it.
I hope you guys are enjoying these Control Priest MUAs, I would also like to know if there is any MUA that you guys are interested in reading in the future? If there is something you want to know, please post it in the comments so I can either respond or (in case it is a MUA request) start working on it right away!
Love you guys,