Control Priest Deck List Guide (The Witchwood July 2018)
Table of Contents
- 1. Control Priest Card List
- 2. Control Priest Mana Curve
- 3. Control Priest Mulligan Guide
- 4. Control Priest Strategy
- 5. Control Priest Card Swaps
- 6. Budget Control Priest Deck
- 7. Wild Control Priest Deck
- 8. Quick Tips and Tricks
- 9. Similar Hearthstone Decks
- 10. About the Author
- 11. ChangeLog
This guide contains detailed strategy, mulligan, and deck-building information to help you improve your Control Priest play for the Witchwood meta.
Control Priest is a deck that has existed throughout Hearthstone's history. It uses efficient spells to keep the board under control to generate card advantage over opponents. The deck is renowned for playing long and drawn-out games due to Priest's unique ability to acquire copies of cards from the opponent's deck, which is excellent when games often come down to fatigue damage.
The control-heavy meta of the Witchwood expansion has forced a new approach to Control Priest to be used. With so many efficient tools available across most classes, Priest is no longer the King of Control. Instead, Control Priest aims to play a slow game until an opportunity can be found to burst opponents down with a series of Mind Blasts.
1. Control Priest Card List
This Control Priest deck costs 7,920 and it is made up of the following cards.
|Priest Cards||Neutral Cards|
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2. Control Priest Mana Curve
3. Control Priest Mulligan Guide
When deciding how to Mulligan for Control Priest, there is a large divide between Control and Aggro matchups. With the goal of survivability in mind, you will primarily be looking for defensive cards to run opponents out of resources. However, against control decks, you should being assembling a collection of burst damage as soon as possible to catch out opponents who let their Health drop too low.
4. Control Priest Strategy
During the early game, you will have very few decisions to make regarding what cards to play. The primary options you will have available are Northshire Cleric and Power Word: Shield and in most cases you will not want to play these cards early. Playing a Northshire Cleric on Turn 1 will often lead to it being removed, instead you should save it for a later turn where it can be used immediately to draw cards. The exception to this rule is if you are playing against a deck that plays many 1-Health minions, such as Odd Paladin. Similarly, you should also avoid playing Wild Pyromancer due to the value it can offer later in the game.
If you are against Aggro, having powerful AoE cards like Wild Pyromancer and Duskbreaker will have a large influence on how you play. In cases where you have Duskbreaker and an additional Dragon to activate it, you can simply pass the first few turns and use its powerful Battlecry to clear the board in the mid game. While this line of play may cost you a small amount of Health, it will allow you to save multiple cards that you will be able to fit into future turns. A comparable situation exists with Wild Pyromancer if you have access to cheap spells like Power Word: Shield and Shadow Visions to pair with it. However, clearing the board in this way is much less desirable as your Wild Pyromancer can be used for future synergies with Northshire Cleric and Acolyte of Pain.
When you reach the mid game, you can begin to start putting some pressure back onto the board. Your primary card for doing this will be Twilight Drake, which should gain a reasonable Health buff due to the minimal cards played in the early game. Alternatively, you can choose to play Twilight Acolyte if your opponent has decided to play a minion of their own. Twilight Acolyte is an extremely powerful card that can create huge swings in tempo, especially if you opponent has played a card like Mountain Giant. However, it can be a strong play against any minion with 4 or more attack. As Twilight Acolyte changes the Attack of the target to 2, it will never be vulnerable to trades from a single target due to it having 4 Health.
Although Control Priests of the past have relied on simply outlasting opponents to win the game, the slow nature of the Witchwood meta means there are many rival decks that will beat you in fatigue battles. To account for this, the deck has a more direct win condition available through the use of Mind Blasts and Shadowreaper Anduin. To access these cards in a timely manner, the deck uses Northshire Cleric and Acolyte of Pain as powerful draw tools. Both of these cards have excellent synergy with Wild Pyromancer, which should be used to optimise your card draw. When using Pyromancer with your Acolyte, you should prioritise playing cheap spells like Power Word: Shield and Shadow Visions to draw cards. When using your Pyromancer with Northshire Cleric, you should also look for Divine Hymn and try and look for an opportunity when there are other minions on the board. By using Wild Pyromancer with a cheap spell you can damage all minions on the board, which can be immediately healed with Divine Hymn to generate many cards with your Cleric.
As you hit the late game, you will have a diverse range of options available and it is important to understand your win condition in each game for optimal decision-making.
While navigating each game, it is important to understand your win condition in each matchup. Nearly every win will require the use of Shadowreaper Anduin in order to use the Voidform Hero Power to ping down your opponent. Without your opponent using any healing effect, a two-turn kill is available by using Alexstrasza for 9 Mana to set your opponent's Health to 15 and following it up with 2 Mind Blasts with 3 Voidform Hero Powers to deal a further 16 damage for 10 Mana. However, games rarely go that smoothly and further planning is usually required and you must be able to react to the state of the game.
- Against Aggro decks, you will often be able to skip the Alexstrasza part of your combo. Small amounts of damage you should have been able to deal to your opponent throughout the game in combination with Mind Blasts will often be more than enough damage to win the game.
- Against Control, you should try and save up for a full combo and be aware of healing effects your opponent may have, such as Divine Hymn for Priests, Dark Pact for Warlock, and Malfurion the Pestilent for Druid.
- Against Druid and Warrior specifically, you should be very mindful of the amount of Armor they can gain as it can get out of control quickly and become impossible to burst them down. To help with this, you should aim to play Shadowreaper Anduin as early as possible. This will allow you to start using Voidform each turn to keep your opponent's Armor to a minimum. Additionally, as Alexstrasza does not remove Armor, you are free to use Mind Blasts to remove Armor if you ever have spare Mana.
Having your win condition in mind will also help you make much more informed decisions when using Shadow Visions. Because damage is not very relevant against Aggro decks, you will be looking to use Shadow Visions to gain additional healing like Divine Hymn or a cheap spell like Power Word: Shield for your Wild Pyromancer. Conversely, against Control decks you will almost always exclusively want to pick up Mind Blast to maximise the amount of burst damage you have available.
5. Control Priest Card Swaps
Control Priest is a flexible deck overall and can be adjusted to play either faster or greedier as the meta requires. If you decide to make changes to the deck, the first cards you can look to swap out are Cabal Shadow Priest, Mind Control, Skulking Geist, and Twilight Acolyte.
Scaleworm can be included to add more mid-game strength and control to the deck.
A second copy of Acolyte of Pain can be added to the deck to speed it up.
Elise the Trailblazer can be added to the deck to provide more overall value.
6. Budget Control Priest Deck
Control Priest is relies on a large number of Legendary and Epic cards to be successful. As a result, there is no budget version of the deck available at this time.
7. Wild Control Priest Deck
If you wish to play Control Priest in Hearthstone's Wild format, there are many extra tools that you have at your disposal. A general deck you can play in the Wild format is shown below.
|Priest Cards||Neutral Cards|
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In the Wild format there are many more AoE tools available, such as Lightbomb and Excavated Evil, which remove the need for the Dragon package in the deck. Additionally you will also gain access to Emperor Thaurissan which will allow you to reduce the cost of your Mind Blasts to allow them to be played in a single turn, alongside Prophet Velen.
8. Quick Tips and Tricks
- Do not be afraid to play a Twilight Acolyte on a medium-sized target. Waiting too long for the perfect target will result in it being a dead card in your hand.
- Cabal Shadow Priest can be combined with Twilight Acolyte from Turn 9 onward to steal any enemy minion.
- Acolyte of Pain and Northshire Cleric can be used in combination with Wild Pyromancer to draw a large number of cards.
- Keep in mind your win condition when choosing cards from Shadow Visions. Choose cheap spells and removal against aggro and Mind Blasts against control.
- Try to play Shadowreaper Anduin as early as possible to weave in as many Voidform Hero Powers as you can.
9. Similar Hearthstone Decks
If you enjoyed playing Control Priest, we have other Hearthstone deck guides you may enjoy.
Similar Priest decks:
Other Control decks:
10. About the Author
This guide is presented to you by Kat, a professional Hearthstone player competing at the highest level since closed beta. She is a consistent legend player in both Wild and Standard with multiple high-rank finishes.
- 01 Jul. 2018: Guide has been reviewed for the July play season.
- 12 Jun. 2018: Control Mage added to similar decks
- 09 Jun. 2018: Deck added.
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