noblord’s Legend Priest Deck Guide

Do you enjoy making huge minions and maintaining crushing board control? Noblord's Legend Priest may be just what you are looking for!

Introduction

Hey guys, noblord here. I’m a pretty quick learner, I started out February playing as an Oil Rogue (for the first time), and climbed to Legend. On the Legend ladder, Oil Rogue wasn’t working too well. I came across a Priest who played Velen’s Chosen in the top 20, so I decided to try out Velen’s Chosen Priest. I started in the 900’s of Legend and climbed to finish the season at Legend Rank 32.

In the past, Priest was always a reactive class. Your goal was to draw answers to the opponent’s board state, and if you succeed, you win. This style of play continued until Undertaker came along. This card opened Priest up to a new possibility: Deathrattle Priest. With Undertaker, you could take control of the board (with the help of the crazy snowball effect of Undertaker), and win by pressuring your opponent down from 30 to 0. Once Undertaker was nerfed, this strategy no longer existed … that is, until the power of Velen’s Chosen was recognized.

General Strategy

Your goal is to take board control at the beginning of the game, and use this board control to pressure your opponent. This isn’t your typical Control Priest – it’s a tempo based deck. Drop those Northshire Cleric on turn 1 (unless it’s a Warrior), and Wild Pyromancer on turn 2. If they let your board snowball out of control, you win. Use your Hero Power and healing spells to get favorable trades. However, you have to know when to start going for face damage. If your opponent drops a minion that is awkward to trade against (such as a Sylvanas Windrunner), that means it’s time to go face.

Card Choices

(2x) Circle of Healing – 2 out of your 3 spell damage sources of AoE. Can make Injured Blademaster a 4/7. Don’t be afraid to use Circle of Healing for card draw if your hand does not curve out well. To this end, healing an opponent’s minion is sometimes okay. Be warned: Velen’s Chosen makes this a 5 damage AoE when combined with Auchenai Soulpriest.

(1x) Light of the Naaru – Can be used to buff up Injured Blademaster. Combo it with Auchenai Soulpriest to be a 1 mana Darkbomb + spawn a Lightwarden. Use it to proc Wild Pyromancer. Be open to crazy combos, in very rare situations it’s the right move to heal your opponent’s face, if you have a crazy Circle of Healing follow-up which puts a Lightwarden into Big Game Hunter range.

(2x) Power Word: Shield – Best used when you know your opponent’s sources of damages. For example, use it to bring Northshire Cleric out of Fiery War Axe range, or bring Injured Blademaster out of Swipe range.

(2x) Northshire Cleric – Great source of card draw. This can straight up win games with card advantage when playing against slower decks like Control Warrior (as a note: I would suggest not playing it in that match-up unless you plan to Velen’s Chosen it, or have a way to immediately draw cards). In most other match-ups, use it immediately as a body to change your hero power into “2 mana: heal 2 and draw a card”. Watch out for classes that can trade with Knife Juggler: if you have a Power Word: Shield follow-up or coin + Velen’s Chosen, then it’s fine to play the Northshire Cleric, but if you don’t have one of these methods, save the Northshire Cleric for a more advantageous time.

(2x) Zombie Chow – Stops aggro in its tracks. Best Velen’s Chosen target usually, because it becomes as beefy as an Injured Blademaster. Even better, if your opponent silences it, you lose the negative deathrattle. If you have a turn 4 Auchenai Soulpriest, you usually want to kill the Zombie Chow off immediately as it is a 10 damage swing (they don’t get the 5 heal, and instead get 5 damage).

(2x) Wild Pyromancer – Sure, you don’t have the Mage Hero Power, but this is the next best thing. Keep this guy alive, and you have a 1 damage AoE whenever you play a spell. Trades with the first part of Piloted Shredder, and when buffed with Velen’s Chosen, can take out a Sludge Belcher (or Druid of the Claw, with the extra 1 damage from playing the Velen’s Chosen). Shuts down the early Muster for Battle, and kills Haunted Creeper tokens nicely.

(2x) Shadow Word: Death – If your board can’t deal with a minion without you losing your advantage, chances are Shadow Word: Death can bail you out. Shieldmaiden, Ancient of Lore, and Ancient of War can all be taken out with this 1 card. If possible, save Shadow Word: Death for their biggest threats, such as Dr. Boom. If you have a Sylvanas Windrunner in hand, Shadow Word: Death becomes a 9 mana (2 card) Mind Control.

(2x) Velen’s Chosen – Most common win condition of this deck. Play it on a minion against a deck that lacks silence / hard removal (such as Mech Mage), and you have the board for the rest of the game. Try to avoid using it on minions with a good abilities/deathrattles (Dark Cultist, Sludge Belcher, Sylvanas Windrunner), unless the situation calls for it, or if you know the opponent’s class has 0 silence / hard removal.

(2x) Dark Cultist – Spider Tank + 3 HP Deathrattle. What more could you ask for? Don’t be afraid of killing this guy off (especially into a Piloted Shredder) to buff a Sludge Belcher or Injured Blademaster. If you are able to curve into this minion (1-drop into 2-drop into 3-drop, or 1-drop into coin + 3-drop), you will be a happy camper.

(2x) Injured Blademaster – Has the potential to be a 4/?, or at the very worst case, a 4/3 with super taunt: it must be removed on the turn it’s played. Try to hold off on playing it if the opponent’s class can deal 3 damage cleanly (Frostbolt, Wrath, 2 attack minion + Mage Hero Power). Strong plays include: Turn 3 Injured Blademaster + Circle of Healing, Turn 4 Injured Blademaster + Power Word: Shield/Light of the Naaru, or Turn 5 Injured Blademaster + Hero Power.

(2x) Auchenai Soulpriest – Your Hero Power becomes a beefed up Mage Hero Power. Zombie Chow now has a 10 damage swing. Circle of Healing becomes a 0 mana Flamestrike (that hits your own board as well). Very strong play on turn 4 or turns 6+. Playing this minion before turn 7 allows your Vol’jin to steal a minion’s health, and then allows you to kill that minion with a simple Hero Power. Warning: Velen’s Chosen on another minion + Circle of Healing + Auchenai Soulpriest = 5 damage AoE that kills the Auchenai Soulpriest… I’m going to mention it again later.

(1x) Holy Nova – Most direct source of AoE in this deck. When used in conjunction with Wild Pyromancer, it can fend off a turn 8 Quartermaster + Muster for Battle. Try to play it on Turn 7 against a Face Hunter if possible, so that you can Hero Power your face every turn.

(1x) Harrison Jones – Great against Paladin, Hunter, Warrior, Rogue, and sometimes even Shaman or Warlock. If you can get 3+ draws off Light’s Justice, or need the card draw, then it is correct to Harrison Jones. Most of the time I would try to save it for Truesilver Champion, or other high-impact weapons.

(2x) Sludge Belcher – Such a savior against Face Hunter / Rogue, and a solid card against everything else. Playing him on curve is great, allowing you to use him to deal with a Sylvanas Windrunner next turn (while dealing 2 damage with your other minions).

(1x) Vol’jin – Great source of removal and a good body. Can be used with 2 Wild Pyromancer procs, one Zombie Chow attack, a Holy Nova, or an Auchenai Soulpriest + Hero Power to remove the minion of your choice. Any minion with 5+ HP is usually a good choice, especially if it has taunt. It’s a better Fire Elemental that costs less mana.

(1x) Holy Fire – Savior #2 against Face Hunter. If you draw into this, you have a good chance of winning: I’ve considered keeping it in my starting hand, but I think you need the early game pressure to counter the charge minions. It takes out 5 HP minions cleanly, and with Velen’s Chosen it can even take out 6 HP minions.

(1x) Cabal Shadow Priest – Stealing a Mad Scientist, Sludge Belcher token, Annoy-o-Tron, spawn from a Piloted Shredder, Bloodmage Thalnos, Acolyte of Pain, Keeper of the Grove, Flametongue Totem, or Mana Tide Totem are great ways to swing the game’s tempo. If you’re losing, it’s a great way to come back. If you’re winning, it’s a nice way to extend your lead.

(1x) Sylvanas Windrunner – Whether playing it on an empty or contested board: it’s probably a good play. You can hold it in your hand and use in conjunction with Shadow Word: Death for a 9 mana Mind Control, but usually, you’re dropping this earlier to ensure that you have control of the board.

(1x) Dr. Boom – This card can bring you back from behind, or solidify a win. If your opponent can deal with this card, they probably had to use a lot of resources. This in turn keeps the rest of your board safe. You can also use the Boom Bots for kill potential, when Wild Pyromancer is in play.

Combos

  • Wild Pyromancer + Any Spell
  • Injured Blademaster + Circle of Healing / Light of the Naaru / Holy Nova
  • Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing / Light of the Naaru / Zombie Chow
  • **LAST WARNING** COMBO: Auchenai Soulpriest + Velen’s Chosen buff on another minion + Circle of Healing + Zombie Chow = 5 damage AoE = dead Auchenai Soulpriest and +5 health for opponent

Substitutions

Harrison Jones: If you have Naxxramas unlocked, Loatheb is a pretty good substitution. If you still want to deal with weapons, Acidic Swamp Ooze probably wouldn’t be too bad, since it’s an extra 2-drop that you can keep in your starting hand.

Vol’jin: This card’s effect is really unique. If you remove him, you are definitely making this deck weaker. However, he is mainly used to kill off taunt minions or Dr. Boom, so either a Big Game Hunter or The Black Knight would be suitable, but weaker, replacements.

Sylvanas Windrunner: This card is SO GOOD, especially in Priest. Just like Vol’jin, removing Sylvanas will make this deck weaker. On my EU account, I ran Piloted Sky Golem for a while, and Cairne Bloodhoof would probably work as well. They are not as scary of a board presence as Sylvanas Windrunner, but they do always leave a body behind to buff with Velen’s Chosen. Mind Control might work as well, against slower decks.

Dr. Boom: Same thing goes: removing him will make your deck weaker. I tried putting in Troggzor the Earthinator on my EU account, but he isn’t nearly as scary. You might just want to add in a Thoughtsteal to try to steal late game cards from your opponent. Baron Geddon may have a similar effect, since he damages your opponent’s minions for 2, and has 7 attack, but he won’t be nearly as effective.

Tech Choices

Against Aggro

Deathlord for Dark Cultist: You have double Shadow Word: Death in your deck, so its negative effect won’t be too harmful. It’s also a great target for Velen’s Chosen.

Sen’jin Shieldmasta for Sludge Belcher: I’ve actually been trying this for the new season, and it helps against Oil Rogue. You don’t really use the 1/2 body left over from Sludge Belcher (except to stop a combo from Druid, delay a Warrior weapon by a turn, or stop a Sylvanas Windrunner attack).

Against Control

Mind Control for Light of the Naaru: Light of the Naaru isn’t necessary, but it is helpful in most match-ups. It isn’t ever a bad card, and sometimes is a great card. However, Mind Control can steal an opponent’s Tirion Fordring, Sylvanas Windrunner, Dr. Boom, or Grommash Hellscream, which can straight up win you games.

General Mulligan Strategy

In each match-up, I will have more specific mulligan strategies. For every match-up, the general rule of thumb is that you want to mulligan for a curve. For example, if you have a One-drop and a Two-drop, keeping Dark Cultist in your hand is fine, even if you don’t have the coin. You also want to keep buff spells if you have a minion to use them on.

  • Always keep Zombie Chow, Northshire Cleric, Wild Pyromancer
  • If you already have an aforementioned minion, keep Power Word: Shield and Velen’s Chosen
  • If you have coin and aren’t against Hunter, keep Dark Cultist
  • If you aren’t against Hunter, keep Injured Blademaster + Circle of Healing combo, or Injured Blademaster + Light of the Naaru combo in hand

Match-ups

Shaman (Very favored – 70/30)

Special Mulligan: Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing combo

Sadly, there weren’t many on the ladder. However, when I did face them, I felt super confident. Always use Power Word: Shield, Velen’s Chosen, and your Hero Power to keep your minions out of Lightning Storm range. Clear their board so that Flametongue Totem doesn’t get value. Don’t play Velen’s Chosen on a minion that’s already strong (to play around Hex). Also watch out for Fire Elemental on turn 6 (essentially, keep your big guys at least >3 hp).

Mage (Mech/Tempo Mage = very favored – 70/30, Freeze Mage = neutral – 50/50)

Special Mulligan: Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing combo

I was so happy whenever I saw Mech or Tempo Mage, which is an unusual feeling. You want to get board control and hold on to it. If you can Velen’s Chosen a minion on turn 3 or 4, you pretty much have the game in the bag. Use Power Word: Shield to help your 1-drops/Wild Pyromancer trade well with their early game, and when in doubt, heal your minions (unless the Mage pinging it off with their Hero Power gives them too little mana to work with, and you have a good play next turn). If you get a bad start, then you have the possibility of drawing into Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing, or Wild Pyromancer + Holy Nova to clear the board. Try to not use your Shadow Word: Death on the Goblin Blastmage (unless you are behind on board). Don’t be afraid to drop Injured Blademaster as a 4/3 – either they have to remove it (and make weird trades), or they have the possibility of straight up losing to you healing it and getting value. For Freeze Mage, keep putting on pressure; and if you have a Zombie Chow on the board, wait until you have Auchenai Soulpriest to kill it off (this is the case in most match-ups, but in the Freeze Mage match-up it is especially important). You don’t want them to get the heal from it. Play around Blizzard/Flamestrike with your buffs (as usual), and keep Holy Fire/Light of the Naaru if you know you can’t pop the Ice Block and kill them by turn 9 (to play around Alexstrasza). I was very positive against Freeze Mage, so I might be over-rating it, but I feel like they drew poorly (not entirely sure).

Druid (Ramp = very favored – 70/30, Combo = favored – 65/35)

Special Mulligan: Always keep Injured Blademaster, Dark Cultist, and Velen’s Chosen

Druids have no hard removal, and they only have 2 silence minions (which can be stolen by Cabal Shadow Priest for VALUE). If you can kill off the Shade of Naxxramas, do it on the latest turn possible (i.e. if you have Wild Pyromancer + Holy Nova, and they just dropped a Shade of Naxxramas, don’t Holy Nova on turn 6 … wait until turn 7 so that you can kill off the Shade of Naxxramas and get added value) unless there is a clear reason to do otherwise. Get an Injured Blademaster on the board, or a Velen’s Chosen minion, and out-trade them to the max. Early drops aren’t half bad either for racking up damage. Power Word: Shield + Injured Blademaster is probably enough to keep the Blademaster alive (unless they already have a minion on the board) … Swipe only does 4 damage, and two copies of Wrath seems like the only “good way” to remove the Blademaster without Innervate. Make sure to keep your minions out of a good value Swipe/Wrath by healing them.

Warrior (Pretty favored – 60/40)

Special Mulligan: Always Power Word: Shield

At first, I thought this match-up was unfavored, but if you play against Warrior like a Druid that has the possibility of surviving longer, it turns into a favorable match-up. You can win by fatigue, or you can force out an early Brawl/removal and just crush them in the late game. If you already have board control and are pressuring them down, it’s good to Shadow Word: Death the Shieldmaiden/Loatheb, because they won’t have the ability to drop their big minions without dying. Bait out the Fiery War Axe with Zombie Chow/Wild Pyromancer (in general, you play Zombie Chow before a Northshire Cleric), and wait to play Northshire Cleric until you can buff it out of weapon range, or until you have tested that the Warrior does not have the ability to easily remove the Northshire Cleric.

Warlock (Demonlock = pretty favored – 60/40, Handlock = slightly unfavored – 45/55)

Special Mulligan: If you know the Warlock is not Handlock, keep Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing. If you know it’s Handlock, keep Shadow Word: Death/Vol’jin. If you’re not sure which deck the Warlock is playing, mulligan normally.

Pressure. Pressure. Pressure. Demonlock is probably Silentstorm’s version, in which case you must have at least 1 AoE in hand for Imp-losion. Remember that they only have 1 Hellfire and 1 Shadowflame (probably), so consider this when you build your board. Keep your Shadow Word: Death for Malganis, and watch out for the attack boost from Defender of Argus. Against Handlock, you don’t want the game to go down to Lord Jaraxxus, so if you have the option to kill off your Zombie Chow for damage while Auchenai Soulpriest is on the board, do it and pray that they don’t have Molten Giant. I consider the new Demon-Handlock decks as Handlock.

Priest (Thoughtsteal Version = pretty favored – 60/40, Velen’s Chosen = same deck – 50/50)

Special Mulligan: Always keep Injured Blademaster and Velen’s Chosen

Priest is won by the person who keeps control of the board, and gets the best heals. The only way the opponent can ping off a 1 hp minion is through a Wild Pyromancer combo, Auchenai Soulpriest + Hero Power/Circle of Healing, or Holy Nova. Keep that in mind. Don’t make stupid mistakes when Sylvanas Windrunner is in play, and watch out for Cabal Shadow Priest. Best case scenario is using Velen’s Chosen on a Zombie Chow (for a fake “Injured Blademaster“).

Hunter (Midrange = somewhat favored – 55/45, Face = neutral – 50/50)

Special Mulligan: Light of the Naaru

The Midrange match-up is all about knowing when you should stop trading, and can outrace the Hunter. Yes, there are a few cases when you can completely clear the board and kill the Hunter afterward, but those are rare occasions. Count up damage, if you can kill him in 2 turns, go for it (and maybe even 3 if you have a taunt and/or heal in hand). In the Face Hunter match-up, make sure you have at least one minion on the board at every opportunity, and use your Hero Power to heal your own face as much as possible.

Paladin (Up to chance – 50/50)

Special Mulligan: Always Power Word: Shield if you don’t have the coin

Did they draw Muster for Battle? You’re in trouble, unless you have Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing, or Wild Pyromancer + spell. After this, it depends on the order in which the cards are drawn: does the Truesilver Champion get value, or can you Harrison Jones it? Are you able to get an Injured Blademaster/minion with Velen’s Chosen on the board, and did he have Equality in hand? Does he drop Tirion Fordring, and do you have a Shadow Word: Death to answer it? Who drops Dr. Boom first, and does he have a Big Game Hunter to deal with it? Cutting Mind Control pretty much only hurts this match-up (one less answer to Tirion Fordring). In this match-up, your goal is to gain board control and pray he doesn’t draw Equality.

Rogue (Pretty unfavored – 40/60)

Special Mulligan: Always keep Power Word: Shield and Velen’s Chosen

This is mostly up to chance. The questions are: did I draw Velen’s Chosen/Injured Blademaster + Circle of Healing, and did he not draw a Sap? That’s about it. If no Sap has been drawn, the Rogue will have to use so many resources to remove your minions that you can easily win. During my first 7 games in the top 100 (after taking a break from the 7 hour push), I faced 5 Rogues, and went 3-2 against them. That’s when I realized that while the match-up is pretty bad, it’s winnable with Velen’s Chosen. If you make sure that they can’t get a minion to stick on the board (to limit their Tinkers-Sharpsword-Oil value), you’re in a good spot.

Ladder Experiences

I’ve been quite successful with this deck. After falling to the 900’s with 11 days left in the season, I decided to use a serious deck, and chose this one. That day, I climbed to just outside the top 100. I then experimented with decks again, and I fell down to 877 with less than 30 hours in the season. I climbed from legend 877 to top 50 legend in 7 hours with this deck, and I ended up finishing at legend 32.

I’ve tried it again this season, but at the lower ranks, Velen’s Chosen Priest does not work too well for laddering. This is because (1) people naturally take a long time when playing against Priest, and (2) you don’t know the exact deck-lists that people are using, and thus cannot play around certain cards. Once you get into the single digit ranks (at least early in the season), Velen’s Chosen Priest works just fine. The growing popularity of Handlock is hurting this deck’s win percentage, but the new Tempo Mage variants help the win percentage out.

Closing

I’m one of those people who hate long, drawn-out games, and with this deck, the majority of your games are over before turn 10. Have fun crushing the meta with your Priest deck!