For me, running Hearthstone Players is a full time job and that usually means that I don’t have a lot of time to write up content for the site personally. Hitting Legend for casual players usually is a one time thing – once you hit Legend the first time and get that card back, there’s no incentive to hit it again unless you’re aiming for Top 100 for Blizzcon points.
Then the Grand Tournament came and brought with it the Ranked Rewards – and that got my full attention. So I decided to hit Legend again for the August season.
Outbreak of Secret Paladins
With the introduction of Ranked Rewards (Golden cards!) My interest in hitting Legend was renewed. Before I was simply bouncing around Rank 5 to 1 each season – mainly to get a feel of the meta and checking out what decks people are playing so if there was anything new, we can share it with you, the readers. (And if you haven’t been playing attention, this was the meta for the last 2 months).
I played around with Dragon Warrior to Rank 5 when The Grand Tournament was released. Then bounced around that Rank testing all kinds of decks – Totem/Midrange Shaman, Ramp Druid, Secret Paladin and Dragon Priest. Basically having a blast trying out all the new cards.
Then the Secret Paladin fever caught on. First there was the guide from Newton. Then from Keuzer. And then players hit #1 on NA and China with it. It was getting out of hand so I made a quick guide on how to take on Secret Paladins.
After writing up that quick guide, I sat down and decided to pilot the Dragon Priest all the way to Legend to get that sweet ranked reward come September 1st.
The Dragon Priest
I tweaked this version to especially take on Midrange and Aggro decks. Priest had always been a great choice to go against Aggro, and with the addition of taunts from Wyrmrest Agent, Twilight Guardian and Chillmaw – you can now afford Dragon synergy and drop Sludge Belcher from the list.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while piloting this deck:
- Be aware of the Dragons in your hand and the minions that need Dragons to get buffed. At the start, I was making mistakes left and right, dropping Dragon first then realizing my Blackwing Corruptor isn’t glowing orange any more. Or wiping my own board with Chillmaw cause I kept a Dragon in hand.
- Be careful when using Lightbomb. Its damaged get increased by spell power. Make sure to be aware of cards like Azure Drake and velens-chosen on the board before you drop the bomb.
- It’s common for you to keep Twilight Whelp or a late game Dragon like Chillmaw and Ysera in your hand as Dragon activators. Don’t drop that Whelp just cause you feel the need to play something. Patience and knowing to hold back your Dragon card is key to playing this deck optimally.
- Know your answers! With only one shadow-word-death and no Big Game Hunter, you must be smart about how you remove big threats. I’ve wrecked countless dr-boom with a voljin + 2 damage combo. Don’t use Death on threats that aren’t immediate such as Ancient of Lore. If you think your opponent runs Ysera, hold on to Vol’jin unless you got no other choice.
- Dragon synergy gets you value and by using your Hero Power, you can clear out bigger minions while staying in the game for board control and tempo. Dragon Priest is to trade. Not the face.
- This deck curves out beautifully and with 8 Dragons, you have no problem with Dragon synergy unless you get unlucky.
- Vs Hunter/Paladins: Dropping Cleric to bait out the Knife Juggler and Smite the gnome in the face – this happens a lot since they can’t do anything less than dropping a 3 attack. If they do, collect your free card. Be aware of Eaglehorn Bow on Turn 3 so if you drop Cleric on T2, make sure to back it up with a Power Word: Shield.
- Vs Paladins: Always have an AOE clear ready for Muster for Battle. Can’t afford Competitive Spirit or Quartermaster to buff them up!
Due to the Dragon synergy, mulliganing can be tricky. There are 2 main hands you can look for – a Northshire Cleric starter or a Dragon starter:
- Keep Northshire Cleric, Smite
- Keep Wild Pyromancer if you’r facing an Aggro class
- Keep Power Word: Shield if you got Cleric or Pyro
- Keep Twilight Whelp if you got Wyrmrest Agent (Don’t drop the Whelp if it’s going to be a 2/1!)
- Keep Wyrmrest Agent if you got Twilight Whelp or Twilight Guardian
The only time you keep a high cost Dragon like Twilight Guardian or Azure Drake is if you have 2 other early cards that gets buffs from it – like Wyrmrest Agent, Blackwing Technician. And I would only do this if I am facing Midrange/Control decks. If doing it against Aggro, you’ll lose board control if they manage to get early drops in.
The trip to Legend on the back of Dragon Priest was relatively quick. Games are usually over once you stabilize the board. We’ll have more in-depth Dragon Priest guides coming soon. I’ll also be looking forward to my golden cards reward come September 1st!