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Season 20 Grinder Priest GvG Deck

Last updated on Mar 25, 2015 at 22:12 by Sottle 26 comments

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: this deck has been archived. It remains on the website for documentation purposes, but we no longer maintain it and no longer guarantee that it works well in the current meta-game.

The following Priest deck is an alternative Control deck to the classic style of Priest. It cuts many of the two card combos and situational cards that are usually seen in Priest, such as Auchenai Soulpriest, Circle of Healing, Light of the Naaru, Wild Pyromancer and Injured Blademaster. Instead, it focuses on a more proactive strategy, with more cards that you are able to play out to take initiative in the game, it is perhaps the best deck in the game for dealing with recklessly aggressive decks such as Face Hunter.

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. S20 Grinder Priest GvG Deck

Our deck costs 3,660 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Priest Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This Priest build is a versatile deck, that plays out in a variety of different ways depending on your draw and the matchup you are facing. It is capable of being an anti-aggro Control deck against Face Hunter and Mech Mage, an aggressive Tempo deck against Druids, and a Fatigue deck against Paladins, other Priests, and Warriors. These strategies are all fairly draw dependent, so mulligans are an extremely important part of playing this deck correctly.

Your early game is extremely powerful with this deck. You play an extremely strong early game curve between Northshire Cleric, Zombie Chow, Gilblin Stalker, Deathlord, and Velen's Chosen, meaning it is very likely that you establish an early board presence. Gilblin Stalker is an unusual inclusion in the deck, but an important one. Since the deck plays two copies of Velen's Chosen and two copies of Power Word: Shield, it is important to guarantee targets on the board, to prevent these cards sitting dead in your hand. If you are able to curve out with a minion on turn 1 and turn 2, and then follow this up with a Velen's Chosen buff, you are in a commanding position to simply tempo the opponent out of the game.

Deathlord is an important card in the deck, and a difficult one to play effectively. Against Aggro decks, you will want to play Deathlord out as early as possible, or pretty much whenever you draw it, since the protection is vital, and the minion that the opponent gets from its Deathrattle will usually be small and inconsequential. Against Control decks, unless you can curve into Deathlord aggressively in the early-game, you should generally hold it until you have sufficient answers to back it up. If you hold cards like Shadow Word: Death and Lightbomb in your hand, you should generally feel relatively safe in dropping your Deathlord, as you will have sufficient answers to whatever minion is summoned.

Your mid-game strategy will depend heavily on the matchup you are playing, and how strong your start was. If you were able to take significant control of the board early, then you are able to curve through the mid-game with cards like Velen's Chosen, Piloted Shredder, and Sludge Belcher and keep up the aggression on the opponent. In games where your opponent has been the aggressor, you will simply focus on clearing the board consistently, and keeping yourself alive, eventually fighting yourself into a position where the opponent is unable to maintain pressure. Against decks where neither of you has been able to achieve an aggressive start, you will play slowly, and try and maintain cards, in case the game goes extremely long, or to fatigue.

If it does look like you are engaged in a long protracted game that is likely to go to fatigue, you should be careful with cards like Northshire Cleric and pay close attention to how many cards you are drawing. You do not want to get too far ahead of your opponent in card draw if you expect the game to go long enough for you to draw all 30 cards. This may lead to situations where it is in fact correct to deliberately kill off your own Cleric to prevent drawing more cards.

Since the deck plays a large number of board clears between Holy Nova and Lightbomb, you will usually have an answer for your opponent's board when needed. However, in the before mentioned games where it seems likely the game will go to fatigue, you need to ration out your board clears so that you have sufficient answers for all of your opponent's threats. In situations like this, it is important to treat your life as an additional resource. It is sometimes correct to hold onto your AoE for a turn and take the damage from a reasonable sized board, in order to get more value out of your Lightbomb or Holy Nova.

In the late-game, the deck plays various powerful options to swing the game in your favour. Firstly Sylvanas Windrunner is included, as in many Priest decks, due not only to the power of the card, but for the fantastic synergy with Shadow Word: Death. Shadow Word: Death can be used to target your own Sylvanas, creating a direct Mind Control effect to steal a minion of your choosing. Secondly, Cabal Shadow Priest can quickly reverse the state of a board, especially when used in combination with Shrinkmeister to steal a strong minion such as a Sludge Belcher. Finally, Mind Control is your ultimate trump card, and should be reserved for the biggest threat in your opponent's deck, or for a situation where it creates an irreversible advantage on the board.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Velen's Chosen is very strong in combination with your early sticky minions such as Gilblin Stalker, Deathlord, and Zombie Chow. It also buffs the power of your removal spells like Holy Nova and Lightbomb.

Sylvanas Windrunner + Shadow Word: Death can be used as a Mind Control effect, to kill your own Sylvanas and steal a high value minion from your opponent.

Shrinkmeister can be used with Cabal Shadow Priest to steal high value minions like Sludge Belcher and Piloted Shredder. Alternatively, it can combine with Shadow Madness to steal strong Deathrattle effects from your opponent, such as Sylvanas Windrunner.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

You general mulligan strategy involves looking for Zombie Chow, Northshire Cleric, Gilblin Stalker, and Deathlord. You can also consider keeping Piloted Shredder if you have a solid curve of minions, especially when holding The Coin. Keeping Velen's Chosen is also fine if you have an early curve of minions, especially Gilblin Stalker, or Deathlord with The Coin.

Against Aggro decks, you will want to focus even harder on your early game, throwing away your entire hand for Zombie Chow, Northshire Cleric, and particularly Deathlord. If you are able to get a strong start, you may find that the game is over as quickly as turn 3 or 4, as the opponent is completely unable to generate any aggression.

Against Control decks, Zombie Chow and Deathlord are still strong early, but you can also favour keeping additional threatening midrange cards, such as Piloted Shredder and Velen's Chosen.

3.3. Card Swaps

A second Shrinkmeister or Gilblin Stalker can be included in the deck in place of 1 Zombie Chow. This will increase your power against other Control decks, but will somewhat reduce the consistency with which you defeat Aggro decks.

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