Hello and welcome to another one of those MUAs. This time, however, I am not doing another Renolock Control matchup. No, today I am attending to Herseyhawkins’ request and writing a Control Priest versus Renolock Matchup Analysis.
This matchup however isn’t an issue just for Herseyhawkins, and seems to be a major issue for all Control Priest players, so in case you want to expand your Hearthstone knowledge, stay around and follow me, for this ride is going to be amazing!
Today’s decklist is the recently updated Control Priest list. This list focus a lot more on early game defenses but also has a very powerful Anti-Control arsenal in the form of thoughtsteal, entomb, voljin, deathlords, museum-curators and other cards.
Control Priest is now one of Control’s strongest options together with Renolock, however Reno Lock’s popularity surpass the one of Control Priest by a long margin, because the deck is both easier to play as well as has better overall matchups.
However, Control Priest seems to do as good when played on its full potential, and since people don’t play as much against Control Priest, the deck seems to be a stronger option due to its surprise factor – People are experienced in playing against Renolock, but they aren’t experienced in playing against Control Priest.
Mulligan for this matchup shouldn’t be done as if the opponent is playing Renolock, but as Warlock overall, as Zoo is equally popular these days. As such, you should be looking for Early game cards such as:
- zombie-chow – Always a good 1-drop, in this particular matchup it excels because you are able to constantly trade it and heal it with Renolock’s minions, which all happen to have only 2 attack. Without this card Control Priest tends to fall behind when faced by a well curved Renolock, going dark-peddler into imp-gang-boss.
- museum-curator – Something useful to do on turn 2.
- northshire-cleric – Whenever you have the option to get value out of this card’s ability you’ll want to have this card in hand, so you should always keep this in order to get value from it.
- power-word-shield – Another card that you’ll want to generate value from as soon as possible, this card is a versatile always-keep card, regardless of matchup.
- deathlord – Always keep this.
- wild-pyromancer – A card that doesn’t do much on its own against Renolock but is very good against Zoo. Should be kept in your starting hand if you have either a power-word-shield to pair with it or The Coin.
- auchenai-soulpriest+circle-of-healing – Keep those if they come together, an early game board sweeper can be handy. Note you can keep a sole Auchenai if you have Zombie Chow and/or Museum curator in your hand already as a possible snowball card, but you shouldn’t keep Circle of Healing unless your hand is already good enough and you also have a Northshire Cleric on it, which is a very rare situation (however, possible).
- thoughtsteal – Only if you are 100% positive you are facing a Renolock.
How to Win
As a hard matchup for the Control Priest, the Priest will usually win if it gets a good early game while the Renolock has a very bad one, however there are other ways for the Control Priest to win, one of them is by getting a good northshire-cleric turn, drawing a lot of cards with a wild-pyromancer combo with circle-of-healing after some other spell casted (this situation is more common than you can imagine) getting a lot of responses and managing to stay ahead on board while being able to deal with everything the Renolock drops, or to get good Thoughtsteals on evenly matched resources war.
The last and most common way for a Control Priest to win is when the Renolock leaves a window for the Priest to have a good auchenai-soulpriest turn, dealing a lot of damage and killing the Renolock.
Early Game Strategy
Both players will start by slowly developing their board, here the Priest will want to take advantage of its hero power the most, healing its minions while doing favorable trades. deathlord excels at this since it has a lot of health, is easy to heal and protects your other minions. Deathlord also, when killed, spawns a minions for the opponent, removing it from their deck, which means your opponent will be a card closer into fatigue while you’ll be clearing their whole board later on with lightbomb anyway.
Here during the early game you’ll want to generate as much value as you can, and if possible you’ll want to draw as many cards as you can out of your Northshire Cleric.
The cards you’ll be looking for with your museum-curator are the late game bombs, always look for cards to give your Renolock opponent the most trouble.
Example of good cards to pick: sneeds-old-shredder, sylvanas-windrunner. cairne-bloodhoof, piloted-sky-golem, feugen or stalagg (only if you know your opponent is running the brother’s combo, usually you’ll only want to pick these later on in the game) and so on…
Mid Game Strategy
Keep in mind how you should not be casting those flash-heals. Usually you’ll want to have them to either kill a big minion with your auchenai-soulpriest or to kill your opponent. Flash Heal is a fine way of killing a minion you would some other way have trouble with, but I like saving the combo (if I can) for finishing purposes – this means also saving at least one auchenai-soulpriest, but probably only that second one, usually the one still in your deck.
Be smart with your resources, here is where you’ll want to spend your resources the wisest way possible, the room to outplay your opponent here is huge as you can spend your resources wisely and force your opponent into using their resources the worst possible way.
It is best to know your opponent’s deck lists so take a look at a few Renolock decklists here and there before going into the ladder so you can tell which removal has been used and which ones haven’t.
One of the best Entomb targets here, if not the best is the second Feugen/Stalagg brother they drop (not the first, always the second) as you should be the one getting value out of its Deathrattle later on when you draw it.
Late Game Strategy
Here is where things start getting hairy. The Renolock is probably already within Fatigue range while you are not, you probably already used one of your entombs so the second one will likely be used to Control the board rather than generating value. You’ll lose here if you let your opponent freely play lord-jaraxxus while you have no way of killing him the following turns. You’ll win if your opponent runs out of responses while you still have board Control.
In this stage of the game you never want to let go of the Board Control, as a empty board Jaraxxus is devastating for you and there should be no way of coming back from that outside of a very powerful auchenai-soulpriest turn – Remember those Flash Heals I told you to save early on in the game? they’re the all-star cards here! If you have a way of dealing 15 damage in one turn, killing the Warlock, that is how you’ll win, in case the Warlock played Jaraxxus on an empty board but your damage combo is still on your deck, try to stall as much as possible in order to draw the damaging combo.
Reno Lock is supposed to be Control Priest’s worst matchup, but I believe that with the addition of thoughtsteals and voljin the matchup goes from bad/unfavorable to evenly-matched, as the Priest has a lot more room to outplay the Renolock than the opposite.
I hope you guys were able to get more knowledge out of this article and that you are able to win more games now as a Control Priest against its nemesis.
Love you guys, see you in the next Renolock MUA!