This is the final part of the longest article I ever wrote so far, this article is a deep matchup analysis on the latest Priest Control deck I used to get to the legendary rank, I also decided to include general tips on how to properly play Priest in this article since I think its missing in most priest articles so far, I hope you get a little push on learning how to play the priest class. Keep in mind playing priest is not easy, and even after reading this full article you will still need a lot of training in order to become a Priest master!
The reason behind this matchup being hard is that you are full of value cards that synergize well with each other, and there are some cards in the Secrets Mage deck that disrupt at least one of these cards, stopping your interaction from happening, thus breaking your tempo and making you fall behind on board. Meanwhile, they also have the positive RNG from mad-scientist, which can sometimes devastate your game. This match can be won, but it is currently a real challenge.
This matchup will probably become a neutral match once we figure out their play style, but as of now there is no “best secrets mage list” which means it’s completely unpredictable. The last thing that makes this matchup hard is the fact they can easily snowball from the early game, while dropping secrets for free that will disrupt your board development. Remember Secrets mage is still in its experimental phase, and since its matchup against decks like Zoo and Midrange Hunter is so terrible it might eventually die, but we don’t know that for sure yet. Mulligan here is just the standard mulligan, no exceptions.
This is a extremelly tricky matchup, try to go for the trades here. I will try to give you guys as much heads up as possible:
- northshire-cleric turn 1 is a fine play, no matter the situation.
- Try to ignore the mad-scientist, generally its good to not waste a holy-smite on it, but rather just get some good trade with it, like killing it off with zombie-chow or dark-cultist and then healing them back.
- Do not overextend, they tend to run double flamestrike.
- Mid game try to keep power-word-shield in your hand in order to be able to try to activate either counterspell or spellbender, same for northshire-cleric and zombie-chow to activate mirror-entity in case you didn’t played them early in the game.
- Remember they run different late game threats, from archmage-antonidas to alexstrasza or even ragnaros-the-firelord so try to hold on to your shadow-word-death in order to stop those minions.
- Remember this matchup is not easy at all, so you might lose a few games here and there: do not get frustrated over it and do not try to change cards in your deck because of this unless this becomes more played than Midrange Hunter and Zoo combined, which it probably never will.
- cabal-shadow-priest stealing mad-scientist generates absurd value and will not be stopped by random secrets!
Giants Warlock (Handlock)
And so we come to this, this deck’s nemesis: The Handlock. This is by far the hardest matchup for this deck due to the fact you do not own any response to any of his giants and twilight-drakes outside of the solo shadow-word-death. The reason I do not play two Deaths is that Handlock is, currently, a semi-dead deck in the meta, and will not be playable until some sort of nerf happens to Midrange Hunter.
Nonetheless, this is still a winnable matchup. Remember you should never mulligan as if the opponent is playing Handlock, because chances are: he is not. But well, if you are sure your opponent is playing Handlock, here are the mulligan tips: Go for the standard build, but instead of the holy-smites that you want to throw away immediately, you will be keeping shadow-word-death and thoughtsteal(sometimes good Thoughtsteals will make the game winnable).
In this matchup you will try to somehow stabilish board control, and finish him up with either your zombie-chows dying while you have a auchenai-soulpriest on the board, or holy-fireing his face.
- loatheb is really important here, will help you maintain tempo preventing them from shadowflameing your board or something like it.
- Try to stabilish control of the board, but if you realize you can not do so, face mashing seems to be fine.
- cabal-shadow-priest will steal his little taunt givers:sunfury-protector and defender-of-argus, that is all about it.
- Rush him down, but if you already have the board do not overextend.
- Play around his solo shadowflame, most Handlocks are currently only running 1 copy of it, which means minions with more than 4 health are safe to flood the board once he Shadowflames for the first time.
- Think smart, even tho this is a hard matchup, doing the right plays may lead you to victory!
- Risky plays are always welcome in this matchup, situations where you are about to lose control of the board but, for example: You can do (in 2 turns) 10 damage to his face (double holy fire) and he has 10 life, of course he can heal up, but if he happens to not have a card to do so, you might win the game, otherwise he will just overcome you after and win the game from there.
General Playstyle Tips
Alright, this is the last part of this article and here I am going to give you some general tips on how to play priest properly:
- northshire-cleric, power-word-shield(or even holy-smite) and wild-pyromancer combined with circle-of-healing after you managed to get all your minions (and the opponent’s) damaged is an extremely powerful combo. If you happen to have these cards in your hand, try to keep them until you can, for sure, combo and draw a lot of cards. Keep in mind your opponent can always disrupt this combo if you try to hurry it up, so why drop one of these cards earlier if you can, for sure, draw a lot of cards at turn 4?
- If you are in need of cards, its fine to cast circle-of-healing after you damaged some of your minions and your opponent’s for a couple of draws with your northshire-cleric.
- zombie-chow is always a good turn 1 drop.
- zombie-chow should be used for trades rather than face rush, always use it as a trading tool.
- It’s fine to suicide a zombie-chow if you have auchenai-soulpriest on the board, getting free mind-blasts is always good, unless you desperatly need the board presence.
- Do not use dark-cultist as a 4-mana 3-health buff before casting your circle-of-healing to wipe out the board while you have auchenai-soulpriest in play, that is a poor waste of a good 3/4 body.
- Do not hurry, games will end when they have to end. Do not waste your spells unless you feel like they are necessary. Remember: you are not a rush deck.
- Never ever overdraw. Burning cards is a fine, fast, way of losing the game.
- Whenever you feel like you can make your oponent burn some cards, go for it! Be it thru opposing northshire-cleric or acolyte-of-pain, overdrawing is always painful!
- Do not hurry your thoughtsteals, if you have a play that will give you a better board position, do it first. thoughtsteal is a tempo killer card and should be used whenever you feel safe to.
Ohh!! Its done! I have to tell you, I never worked so hard on an article before. Took me over 24 hours to write all of this, and I hope it pleased you and satisfied your demands.
I hope, a lot, that this helps you thru your Priest learning and makes it so the learning curve becomes easier.
Priest is the most fun class to play in the meta, currently, it counters all the most played decks as well as have equal chances against almost all of the rest, it took me some time to figure this deck out so I hope this gets you to higher ranks in the legendary ladder as much as it did me. This article was very different from the others, I tried my best to make it so all my knowledge of the class was put into words, and I believe this is how the real articles must be written.
Hope you all liked this, Now its late in the night, and I must be going, hope you liked this!
Wanna find me somewhere else other than this website? Here are some links!