So, you guys love my Control Priest articles, every one of them, today I decided to give Control Priest even more love by making all the Control Priest Matchup Analysis! Yap, you guys will be getting to know first hand how to deal with every single Control Priest matchup as I will try and give you guys all the knowledge regarding the hardest deck to play in Hearthstone.
Just as a heads up, the Matchup Analysis series is all about how to play that one specific matchup and not a full deck guide. However, there is nothing as detailed as a full MUA series.
I wrote, awhile back, a Full Renolock MUA, and this is going to be my second MUA series, enjoy!
Control Priest is a deck filled with tools to deal with all the different types of strategies there are in this game.
As of right now, no deck is more armed to deal with everything that is thrown at them, and Control Priest is the most Control-ish of the decks.
This is a standard Control Priest list, without any clunky options such as [card]injured-blademaster[/card] which is sporadically added to the deck to make use of otherwise useless [card]circle-of-healing[/card], [card]light-of-the-naaru[/card] and [card]flash-heal[/card]s that are part of the deck. However these cards already have their uses and the only reason such a card is used in Control Priest is to make the deck seem more consistent. This deck also contains no Light of the Naaru or other inconsistent tools.
Control Priest became a strong deck after League of Explorers, which added both [card]museum-curator[/card] and [card]entomb[/card] to the Priest class, allowing the deck to play a full anti-aggro setup while still maintaining a very strong anti-control arsenal.
Because of these additions, Control Priest has had its Control Matchup heightened greatly, making it the strongest Control Option as of now.
Secret Paladin is the most played Paladin deck right now, and should be so until the strategy is nerfed or a very strong counter shows up. Whenever you see a Paladin in the ladder you must assume that you are playing against a Secret Paladin and always mulligan as such.
This, however, happens not only because the matchup is more common than the Midrange one, but because a good Midrange Paladin start is very similar to a good Secret Paladin start.
For this matter you should be looking for good early game Controlling cards, such as:
- [card]northshire-cleric[/card], [card]zombie-chow[/card], [card]power-word-shield[/card], [card]museum-curator[/card] and [card]deathlord[/card] – (*)These are the cards you’ll always want in every single Control Priest Matchup. There is no reason not to pick these cards in your mulligan regardless of matchup.
- [card]wild-pyromancer[/card] – A very good anti-aggro card that should be picked in every single aggro matchup. This card is also great in the Paladin matchup.
- [card]auchenai-soulpriest[/card] – Only if you have a [card]circle-of-healing[/card] in your starting hand.
- [card]flash-heal[/card] and/or [card]light-of-the-naaru[/card] – only if you have Wild Pyromancer in your starting hand.
- [card]circle-of-healing[/card] – Only if you also have Northshire Cleric, Wild Pyromancer and/or Auchenai Soulpriest in your starting hand.
- [card]holy-nova[/card] or [card]lightbomb[/card](never both) – only if you also have at least two of the cards mentioned in (*).
[toc]How to Win[/toc]
This is a slightly favorable matchup for the Priest. Sadly, Control Priest has trouble generating Tempo so sometimes the matchup can go the wrong direction, but overall it is favorable for the Priest as once the Board has been Controlled, there is no way a Paladin can come back from that, no matter how many cards they draw from [card]divine-favor[/card].
This happens because, despite being inconsistent, Priest has a lot of X-for-1 tools at their disposal, and once the train starts rolling there is nothing the Paladin can put on board that will keep Priests from getting big value out of their cards, constantly clearing Paladin’s threats and eventually overrunning the Paladin with pure value.
[toc]Early Game Strategy[/toc]
There are ways for Control Priest to win the game by just obtaining a good early game.
Zombie Chows and Deathlords doing good trades plus getting healed back up is huge, especially with Northshire Cleric. Once you start getting draws with a good board presence, nothing the Paladin do will stop you.
The matchup goes from slightly favorable to impossible-to-lose if you get a good Wild Pyromancer combo rolling early in the game with a couple of spells, because of how hard it is for a Paladin to clear a Pyromancer with jus board presence (since Paladin lacks removal outside of a solo [card]truesilver-champion[/card] to deal with that Pyromancer, everything else the Paladin will do is contest the board with more board) and how Pyromancers can simply deal with a full board, regardless of how many minions there are.
Another good thing to note is how the Paladin getting value from your [card]deathlord[/card] isn’t relevant, since you’ll be, by turn 6, clearing everything they have on board anyway with your [card]lightbomb[/card]s – Regardless of this, you should do your best to keep your Deathlords alive, as the Paladins will have a very hard time dealing with it, and the Deathlord will be constantly dealing 2 damage to everything they throw at it, giving your sweepers more value, exceptionally [card]holy-nova[/card].
You’ll be looking for different cards here when it comes to [card]museum-curator[/card]’s pick. It all depends on your board position and game state, and these cards can vary from Deathlords, to [card]explosive-sheep[/card], to [card]cairne-bloodhoof[/card] or [card]sylvanas-windrunner[/card], it all depends on board state and you’ll be the one taking the picks here, be wise!
[toc]Mid Game Strategy[/toc]
This is where your hand will be tested, he will start dropping his bombs like [card]mysterious-challenger[/card], [card]dr-boom[/card] and [card]tirion-fordring[/card] and you should be responding them otherwise you’ll lose. However, there are plenty of ways to deal with these cards, and the best responses are: Entomb is best to deal with Tirion, while Lightbomb is best to deal with Dr. Boom and [card]shadow-word-death[/card] to deal with Mysterious Challenger (preferably after you’ve activated the Paladin’s secrets, so they lose value) – But these picks should be done only if you have the option to do so, and in case you don’t these cards all can respond the other threats, the only thing you can’t allow is for their threats to go unresponded.
It is also fine to deal with a huge buffed minion you wouldn’t be able to otherwise deal with by “wasting” one of your Entombs, all you can’t do is let them snowball.
[toc]Late Game Strategy[/toc]
Here you don’t care about their [card]divine-favor[/card] anymore. If you got here it means you survived one or two big threats and is already in the late game. Draw as many cards as you can, don’t worry about Divine Favor as your cards are all better than his and you already have them by now, keep the board control and don’t let them snowball back into the game – Secret Paladin Cards are good to snowball but terrible to play from behind.
Once you got to the late game it is very hard for you, as a Priest, to lose this matchup.
This is it for the Control Priest vs Secret Paladin MUA. I hope I was able to deliver you guys the knowledge you should have in order to fight such a common matchup on everyday’s ladder.
This isn’t a hard matchup by any means, but it is so common that I decided it was to be one of the first MUAs for me to post!
I love you guys, see you in the next MUA!