Road to Perfection – Control Priest, Playtesting Results

Hello everyone, how is it going? Today we’ll talk a little about my progress in perfecting the Control Priest deck. Since I got my Golden Warrior I started to play a lot of Priest (my Priest is already Golden, sadly, but it is still wonderful to play the class) because I wanted to play Control […]

Introduction

Hello everyone, how is it going? Today we’ll talk a little about my progress in perfecting the Control Priest deck.

Since I got my Golden Warrior I started to play a lot of Priest (my Priest is already Golden, sadly, but it is still wonderful to play the class) because I wanted to play Control Priest just too much.

I started with my own build, which was posted on this week’s “Decks to Play” premium article I wrote, but then after a lot of playtesting I started changing cards to make the deck better, and ended up with a slightly different build.

In this very article I am going to be discussing the changes I made, and why they took place, hope you enjoy the ride!

A bunch of Information

I took Zetalot’s build as my starting point, I took the deck and made what I thought was the best way to playtest the deck, which was the build I posted on the Decks to Play article and the build you guys see on your left.

I was extremely doubtful about flash-heal because the card often looks like one that provides zero value, so I started my playtesting with just one. I disliked the idea of using injured-blademaster altogether so I excluded them from my initial playtesting list.

I thought about jeweled-scarab and thought it would be nice to have more pro-active plays early on it the game.

confessor-paletress seemed like an awesome card to have in Mirror matches because it was immune to the shrinkmeister+cabal-shadow-priest combo as well as demanded 2 responses.

So I started my playtesting, and although the deck was performing really well, I felt like changes were needed, the initial playtesting results were:

  • jeweled-scarab is good, helped me a couple of games but I had the feeling I would do better having just one.
  • confessor-paletress although good, wasn’t needed in order to win Control Matchups. Because of this, I thought it would be better to drop it in the playtests.

So I took the Paletress and a Jeweled Scarab out for a pair of injured-blademasters and went back to playtesting:

  • The card felt bad often times, a lot more than I would like, and all the time it felt like I would much rather have a second Scarab or Paletress herself, so I had to take those away.
  • I also realized how good flash-heal felt even without the Blademasters in hand. I never had the chance to Flash Heal a Blademaster, but even then the Flash Heal was strong.

So, Blademaster was tested and didn’t felt worthy, at the same time Flash Heal proved itself to be better than what I thought initially, so I cut one of the Blademasters for a second Flash Heal and went back to the drawing board – The Blademaster, once again, felt too weak.

I then decided to try Shrinkmeister, but had no success as you usually want immediate responses to deal with whatever your opponent drops on the board, and as a Priest you can not afford to use unreliable cards.

I then went back to Playtesting with 2 Scarabs, despite knowing it was just too much having a pair of those.

After a streak of Aggro games, I decided to add a copy of zombie-chow to the deck, but ultimately the card felt worse than wild-pyromancer, as the single Pyro won me a couple of Aggro matchups and even Control matchups here and there.

I then swapped the Chow for the second Pyromancer, and the deck just felt too good.

As of now, I believe the list to be well tuned and is the list I recommend you playing! It has no apparent bad matchup and is a lot more pro-active than other Control Priest decks.

Things I learned

Some things I learned about this deck:

  • You don’t need Late game Bombs because you both have entomb as well as museum-curator that often provides you value cards.
  • This is a true Control deck, filled with responses to deal with anything an opponent can throw at you. This deck is powerful enough to win the value game against Midrange Paladin with justicar-trueheart.
  • You can easily Entomb Midrange minions so you don’t lose tempo if you have to. You have just too many responses to everything, voljin helps you with that, allowing you to always have Control of the board without worrying too much about being “wasting” your Entombs.
  • This deck seems decent enough against Freeze Mage, which used to be Priest’s nightmare. There doesn’t seem to be a reason to play Control Warrior over this unless you are interesting in getting a Golden Warrior.
  • Paletress can make a comeback to the deck later, but it will require a much slower metagame than this one.
  • I like Vol’Jin enough that I don’t think it should be a flexible slot, since it deals well with both Control and Midrange stuff. However, Jeweled Scarab seems to be the flexible slot in this deck – I just like its versatility over anything else that has been presented to me so far.
  • Deathlord and Lightbomb are BFFs, and work very good together. You prevent yourself from taking lots of damage, you damage your opponent’s minions, you get your opponent close to fatigue, and then you clear his board with just 1 card, generating tremendous value.

Gameplan and Mulligans

This is a Full Control deck, which means you should never let your defenses down in order to rush your opponent, that is just wrong. After playing a lot of this deck I can easily say that this is the hardest deck in the game right now, and the skill level you’ll need to play this perfectly is just absurd.

Always go for board, if you are playing the (non-Warlock) Control Matchup, try to not draw cards, unless you need them, and play around fatigue – Against Warlocks, feel free to draw as many cards as possible, since they’ll still draw more than you in the long run.

Against Warlock Control decks (Handlock or Reno), remember you have auchenai-soulpriest to make good use of those flash-heal, and you can easily do tons of damage in 1 turn, making him pay the cost of those Life Taps, however try to only do so if lethal is presented to you.

Don’t worry about Paladin’s Divine Favor if you have Control of the board, your cards are so good you can easily 3 for 1 their cards (or even more!) most of the times.

This deck is absurd against Secret Paladin and good enough against Face Shaman that I believe it should, eventually, become a tier 1 deck.

Be efficient, you should play this trying to be as efficient as possible, one turn being sloppy can be enough for your demise – play wise!

As for Mulligan, they are slightly different if you are playing against Control or Aggro:

  • Against Control (Warlock, Warrior, Priest, Rogue) – Power Word Shield, Northshire, Curator, Scarab, Deathlord and Jones if they’re a Weapon Class.
  • Against Aggro (Paladin, Hunter, Druid, Mage, Shaman) – Power Word Shield, Northshire, Curator, Scarab, Deathlord, Wild Pyro, Flash Heal(only if you have Pyro), and in case you have Auchenai Soulpriest keep it together with Circle of Healing, also: if you have Pyromancer, feel free to also keep Circle of Healing.

Note that even if your opponent might not be playing those classes as their respective strategy I just said, feel free to do the same mulligan anyway.

Conclusion

Priest Control is an awesome strategy, by far my favorite one to play in this metagame and the one I will continue to improve and learn about the coming weeks, I hope you found the information posted here insightful and that you follow my suggestion as far as decklist goes.

Have any question regarding this decklist? Want to see a full guide about it? Let me know everything you’re thinking in the comments below!

Love you all!

Nuba