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Control Priest Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Aug 15, 2016 at 16:11 by Sottle 15 comments

Table of Contents

Below you will find a guide for a Control Priest deck. Priest is a very balanced class and can be built in numerous ways to skew your win percentages against Aggro or Control.

Control Priest has suffered enormously in Standard through the loss of Lightbomb and Deathlord but has been granted a decent tool in the Karazhan expansion in the form of Priest of the Feast.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. 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. Control Priest Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 4,040 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Priest Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This Control Priest deck aims to control the board in the early and mid-game using strong, efficient minions and powerful board clears. Once you reach the late game in a stable position, this deck takes over and starts to come into its own.

The key tool to facilitate the control style of this deck is the Priest Hero Power. Being able to heal your own minions is an extremely powerful tool for controlling the board and as such, using your Mana to heal an existing minion is usually a better play than putting out a new one. This will extend your resources and enable you to keep more cards in hand for the later turns.

When deciding whether to heal a minion, always keep in mind your opponent's options. For example, Shamans excel at doing 3 damage with cards like Lightning Bolt, Rockbiter Weapon, and Fire Elemental, so healing a minion out of range of these cards can be extremely frustrating for your opponent.

In the early game, your turns are likely to be quite passive. Most of the Priest's cheap minions such as Northshire Cleric and Wild Pyromancer are better held for turns when you can get immediate value out of their unique effects. As such you will often find yourself passing in the early turns before dropping your first minion on turn 3. The exception to this is against aggressive decks, where you should be prepared to play out minions to fight for the board. Wild Pyromancer should usually be held, even against Aggro however, since it has such powerful board clear potential in Priest.

Another reason why you should often hold back on playing weak minions in the early-game is that this deck features Resurrect. Resurrect is extremely powerful if the only minions that have died are things like Injured Blademaster and Priest of the Feast. This is particularly true since Injured Blademaster will return as a 4/7 minion when summoned by Resurrect.

Once you have some board presence, you will look to compound an advantage by making efficient trades and healing your minions. This will create 2-for-1 scenarios and generate card advantage for you, which will be of huge significance in the later turns. If you combine this healing strategy with a Northshire Cleric, the game can quickly spiral out of control in your favour.

This deck will spend most games playing from behind and trying to control the threats of the opponent. However, it does play a few ways to be proactive on the board through Injured Blademaster and Priest of the Feast. This should not be your priority however, and you should focus on removal as much as possible.

If you fall too far behind on board you have two powerful options to clear the board. Wild Pyromancer can be combined with spells such as Power Word: Shield and Shadow Word: Pain to cheaply create AoE damage. If this is still not enough, you can combine Circle of Healing with Auchenai Soulpriest to deal four points of AoE damage to the board, or use Holy Nova for two.

After using all these tools to reach the late-game, Priest really starts to take over. You have some of the most powerful late-game plays in the game available to you in the form of Entomb and Shadow Word: Death. Which can deal efficiently with minions both big and small in the later stages.

Entomb is a fantastic addition to the deck that allows you to deal efficiently with cards like Ysera, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Tirion Fordring that Priest often struggles with. Furthermore, you then place that high value threat in your own deck, allowing you to draw it later and use it as a win condition of your own. Due to this card, the deck can afford to be very light on threats of its own, cutting out things like Holy Champion, and instead focus even harder on removal options.

On top of all of this, this deck also features Justicar Trueheart, which can create a lot of value from your Hero Power. It both brings a lot of sustainability to your minions, and protects your own life total from aggressive decks. The key to this card is finding the right turn to get it onto the board. Since it is such a fragile minion, you will almost certainly suffer a Tempo loss on the turn you play it, so you need to find the correct time to play it. This is usually when you are already in a comfortable position, or when you are desperate for healing in the late-game and have enough Mana to heal yourself immediately.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Priest is a very combo heavy deck and as such, learning the interactions between your cards is key to playing the class successfully.

Injured Blademaster with Circle of Healing creates a 4/7 minion for 3 Mana, a hugely powerful tempo play. Combining this further with Northshire Cleric will even draw you a card in the process as well as enabling more possible card draws in the future by healing your Blademaster as it clears your opponent's board.

Injured Blademaster plus Flash Heal will leave you with a 4/7 for a total cost of 4 Mana.

Wild Pyromancer in combination with Spells can lead to some creative board clears. Priest can take better advantage of Wild Pyromancer than any other class. Using Power Word: Shield as your first spell will buff your Pyromancer's health and allow you to use more than the usual two spells before the Pyromancer dies. Compounding this further by healing your Pyromancer in the middle of the combo can extend your AoE range even further.

Northshire Cleric in combination with Circle of Healing can be used to draw multiple cards in 1 turn. This is a particularly powerful combination if used immediately after a Wild Pyromancer combo.

Auchenai Soulpriest and Circle of Healing turns your Circle of Healing into a 4 damage global AoE. While not always useful when you have minions on board, it is one of the best catch-up mechanisms in the game.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

You will generally mulligan for your early minions such as Injured Blademaster and Wild Pyromancer. If you have these cards already, additional keeps such as Power Word: Shield or Northshire Cleric are appropriate, as well as keeping Circle of Healing or Resurrect if you have Injured Blademaster specifically.

Against Aggro, Northshire Cleric is a high priority keep since it trades extremely favourably against the 1 health minions that are common in such decks. You can also keep important AoE cards like the Auchenai Soulpriest plus Circle of Healing combo so you have access to them when you need them. Since Priest is so well equipped to stabilise in the late-game, you can often afford to play from behind for a few turns if you are able to clear the board in an efficient manner later.

Against Control, you should mulligan more aggressively for Injured Blademaster and Circle of Healing, since activating that combo on turn 3 can ofen give you an immense advantage in such matchups. Northshire Cleric is not essential, since Control decks will usually have an answer to it early, so you will usually hold it until you can gain value from it anyway, even if it is in your opening hand. Outside of this, your regular early game spells and Power Word: Shield are you other priorities.

4. ChangeLog

  • 15 Aug. 2016: Deck added.
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