Basic Priest Deck

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This Priest deck:

  • is meant for players who are new to Hearthstone, and/or who have not invested much (or any) real money into the game;
  • is comprised only of cards that are granted to you for free as a reward for completing the tutorial and leveling a Priest to level 10;
  • does not include any Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary cards.

While there are obvious weaknesses due to the Basic-only limitation, this deck is balanced, and quite strong. It should allow you to defeat the AI (in both Normal and Expert modes), and it can hold its own against players using Rare, Epic, and even Legendary cards in Play mode.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also explain why some cards have been included or excluded, how some of the minions in the deck are best played, and what changes you can make to the deck.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

1. About the Author↑top

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player from the UK who competes for Team Infused. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Basic Priest Deck↑top

Our deck costs 0 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

2.1. Mana Curve

0
7
6
5
3
5
2
2

3. Strategy↑top

Priest has access to several very strong basic cards from the start. Due to this reason it is an extremely strong choice for a Basic only deck. The Priest Hero Power also lends itself well to a basic board control strategy and teaches new players important lessons about card advantage and value.

The general strategy of this deck is to use various high health minions to create a significant presence on the board. This deck favours high health over high attack due to the Priest Hero Power. Using your Hero Power you can create additional value out of your minions by healing them up after they take damage. This action is comparable to drawing a card since it allows you to get full value out of 1 minion multiple times.

The second factor to this deck's strategy is the heavy amount of card draw it plays. If your opponent lets a Northshire Cleric stay on board for even 1 or 2 turns the game can quickly get out of control with card draw. Synergy cards such as Voodoo Doctor and Darkscale Healer can facilitate you drawing multiple cards per turn with Northshire Cleric. Combine this with other card draw cards such as Power Word: Shield and Gnomish Inventor and you will usually find yourself with more options available than your opponent.

3.1. Card Choices

In this section we will discuss some of the cards that have been chosen, how to use them effectively, and why they are chosen over other possibilities. Hopefully this will both help you to succeed with this deck, as well as inform your own deck building decisions in the future.

Holy Smite and Shadow Word: Pain are your early game removal cards. They are important to have in hand early to control the early drops from your opponent and allow you to build a board advantage to start healing your minions.

Power Word: Shield is an extremely powerful card. The +2 Health buff is very strong in this deck since it allows for more total health for you to heal, plus it replaces itself in your hand by drawing a card. Using this to protect a Northshire Cleric early is a strong play, as is giving a minion extra health to be doubled by Divine Spirit.

Northshire Cleric is the core card in the deck, and much of the deck's synergy is built around it. Getting a Cleric to draw you multiple cards is key to the win condition for this deck and as such you should resist the urge to simply play it on turn 1. Instead, wait until a turn where you can gain immediate value by playing it and healing a minion on the same turn.

Voodoo Doctor is included in the deck as an extra synergy card for Northshire Cleric. Much like the Cleric, it is not a card you should play on turn 1, nor is it a card to heal your own life total. The correct use of this card is to heal a minion and draw a card with Northshire Cleric on a turn where you have already used your Hero Power, or when you only have 1 Mana to spare.

Divine Spirit is another synergy card in the deck. Since this deck's strategy is built around high health and healing, Divine Spirit fits right in. Following up an Power Word: Shield with this card can create a huge minion that your opponent will only be able to deal with using hard removal cards such as Hex or Polymorph. However, the situational nature of this card leads to us only including it as a 1-off in the deck.

Holy Nova is Priest's go-to AoE option. While the 2 damage to your opponent's side of the board is fantastic utility, just as important in this deck is the 2 points of healing it gives to your side. Combining this with a Northshire Cleric and multiple damaged minions can draw you multiple cards in a single turn.

Due to the lackluster selection of 5-drops in the basic set, Priest gets a nice advantage by being able to use Darkscale Healer effectively. Its healing effect can work similarly to Holy Nova to combine with Northshire Cleric and draw multiple cards.

Gurubashi Berserker is another 5-drop that becomes stronger in Priest due to the class's Hero Power. Damaging Gurubashi to buff its damage and then healing it up can quickly build up a hugely intimidating minion. It is also worth mentioning that Gurubashi Berserker is a great target for the Divine Spirit mentioned earlier.

Mind Control is your ultimate trump card. Taking control of the largest threat in your opponent's deck is not only a huge swing on the board, but is also fantastic for card advantage. For example, Mind Controlling a Boulderfist Ogre kills a 6/7, summons a 6/7, and then trades for whatever your opponent uses to remove that 6/7, all for 10 Mana and 1 card.

3.2. Card Omissions

Here we will talk about some of the cards that are not included to help you understand and identify weaker cards, hopefully improving your deck building skills.

Mind Vision is not included due the random and unreliable nature of the card. For 1 Mana you would almost always prefer to use Power Word: Shield and draw a card from your own deck, since these are cards that are more likely to synergise with your gameplan.

Mind Blast is not used since unless your deck is built around consistent aggression, 5 damage to the opponent is not worth a card slot. The win condition for this deck is not damage, but instead board advantage and card draw, and Mind Blast does nothing to advance either of these strategies.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Basic deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

If you have access to the Naxxramas set, the following additions are excellent:

  • 2 x Zombie Chow for 1 x Voodoo Doctor and 1 x Holy Smite. Zombie Chow's stats at 2/3 for 1 Mana are extremely high and since this deck is not focused on dealing damage, the Deathrattle drawback is unimportant. With 2 Chows in the deck early removal is less important, so a Holy Smite will not be missed.
  • 2 x Dark Cultist for 2 x Ironfur Grizzly. Dark Cultist is an incredible value card. At 3/4 for 3 Mana, its stats alone are amongst the best in the game. Combine this with the fantastic synergy its Deathrattle effect has with the deck and this card is a must include if available.
  • 1 x Sludge Belcher for 1 x Gurubashi Berserker. Sludge Belcher is one of the most powerful and most used cards in the game currently. With Gurubashi Berserker being one of the weaker cards in the deck currently, replacing it with Sludge Belcher is a nice upgrade.

Other welcome additions from the Expert Set are listed below. However it should be noted that these cards should be added only if you open them from a pack. Spending dust to improve a Basic only deck is not particularly efficient, and you should instead try to save dust towards one of our low, or mid-budget decks.

  • 2 x Temple Enforcer for 2 x Boulderfist Ogre. Temple Enforcer plays perfectly into this deck's strategy. Losing the 1 point of Health from a Boulderfist Ogre in exchange for the +3 Health buff is a very worthwile trade off.