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Has anyone made a decent Standard Tempo Priest deck?

  • meisterz39's Avatar 420 645 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 2 months, 1 week ago

    I've tried a lot of different versions, some that are more midranged with Dragon synergies, some that are more aggressive with lots of 1-drops, but I keep finding that they just don't cut it. They're not fast enough to be consistent against control decks, and the other classes that support aggro and tempo decks are often better at it, so if you don't have a 1-drop into Power Word: Feast as your opening play, you're often dead in the water. Relying on getting at least one cheap buff in your opening hand has been a struggle.

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  • drfelip's Avatar Dragon Scholar 285 256 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 months ago

    I have the same feeling. I've been experimenting more in the Aggro side, and Intrepid Initiate or Frazzled Freshman T1 + Power Word: Feast T2 are awesome early plays, also Voracious Reader helps a lot not running out of steam, but overall, it's not fast enough to beat Druid, and if your board gets cleared, you are out of the game.

    I wanted to go more midrange after those failed tests, but your post gives me little hope... Do you mind sharing your best performing tempo/midrange priest deck?

    The pleasure is mine.

    My last standard decks: nothing special right now.

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  • FieselFitz's Avatar Anduin 455 584 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 months ago

    Well , almost every expansion i try some sort of Aggro Buff Priest. This time it realy looked promising. My first build was this one:

     

     

    It is doing ok but not as strong as i hoped. It surely can and will be refined. Now im trying a few different lists - also feel like the new 0 Mana Spell could work pretty decent in this one. If you have a good opening with following buffs it can destroy the opponent early on - but once the get control of the board and trade well you're pretty much done.

    It is a nice deck but i would not recommend it to try to climb up the ladder.

    Challenge me ... when you're ready to duel a god!

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  • meisterz39's Avatar 420 645 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 2 months ago

    The most promising Aggro version I built is this one:

    Power Word: Shield with Intrepid Initiate is a 1 mana 3/4, and it has plain synergies with Sethekk Veilweaver, but it is weak enough as a top-deck that I couldn't convince myself to run two copies. I've really liked Soulbound Ashtongue in the deck, both as another way to activate Brittlebone Destroyer on curve, and also as a way to make Flesh Giant cheaper (this is particularly effective when you put Apotheosis on him). I think the Flesh Giant is a pretty important inclusion. I tried Devout Pupil (in place of as well as in tandem with Flesh Giant), but I found that it was often not impactful enough. Flesh Giant, on the other hand, can be a really strong top deck, and since card draw is so limited and there's no direct face damage anymore, you need to have powerful threats like that to close the game out before your hand dries up.

    I still find that it's easy to run out of resources, though, even with Sethekk Veilweaver and Voracious Reader, since there's really no way even just cycle single cards to help improve the odds of drawing one of those two minions.

    I tried a version of this that ran the quest package. Obviously that's a risky endeavor - drawing the quest on turn 1 means worse odds to get your powerful 1-drop into buff play. (Note that you don't want to play the Quest on turn 1.) That enabled me to swap out Kul Tiran Chaplain for Questing Explorer for more cycle, and helped make getting 1-drops back from Raise Dead feel less bad, since in the mid to late game I'd have a buffing hero power. Ultimately I didn't like it more than this one, but that's how desperate I've been to try and find more card draw. (I've also considered running Mass Dispel, but I think that would be more valuable to clear taunts and push lethal than it would be as cycle.)

    I've also tried versions that focus more on buffs, like the various buffs that copy minions. But without access to decent rush minions, I often found that those cards were too low impact to run in the deck. I'm often happy to take Psyche Split off of Renew, but without really strong synergies like Zerek, Master Cloner, I didn't think running it in the deck made sense. (Archmage Vargoth can still be good synergy for that spell, but I think at that point you're running a very different deck.)

    The midrange version I've had some success with is this one:

    A big part of why I wanted to build this version was that I often found Raise Dead to be too low impact in the aggro version (as indicated above with the Quest tests). Sometimes it gives you back key minions, but oftentimes it just gives you weak 1-drops for which you have no more buffs. Even Voracious Reader can be bad to get back since the card draw all comes at the end of your turn, which is often too late in the midgame when you're desperate for more resources.

    So, in this version I'm still running the 1/4 1-drops, but with the higher curve I've cut Voracious Reader. I also cut the 1-drops that die to Backstab. I've got Cleric of Scales to find buffs a bit more effectively (by keeping the number of different spells low, this card works wonders for tutoring exactly what you want). I've also got extra card generation thanks to Cobalt Spellkin. Priest has a lot of relevant 1-drop spells for a Dragon Tempo deck, so that card does a lot of work. I've also got 1x Onyx Magescribe in there as a little extra power if things go sideways in the mid to late game. The 2x Dragon Breeder is in there for the same reason I tried a Quest package in aggro - there's just not enough card draw in Priest, so any extra resources are a blessing. I could imagine swapping them for something like Wandmaker so you don't need to wait for a Dragon in play to get the value. And depending on how many Rogues you're seeing on ladder, I could also see a case for swapping something for another copy of Breath of the Infinite to deal with stealth boards.

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  • SLima's Avatar 245 213 Posts Joined 08/17/2019
    Posted 2 months ago

    I tried a version with some deathrattles like Serpent Egg (to make a stickier board) and High Abbess Alura (for filtering) but the problem is the same: not enough card draw and losing the board once means game over. I wanted to experiment with Disciplinarian Gandling but i can't justify crafting him after my early experiments. He doesn't seem to be doing great either.

    I find Voracious Reader to be more of a necessary evil than an actual good inclusion. The minion itself is pretty weak and sometimes the hand gets clogged with buff spells that are hard to get rid of to get a proper pay off from her ability. She can become really awkward to play from time to time. She seems to only be truly great in extreme low curve hyper aggressive decks that can just dump their hands very easily because of all the cheap cards. If you have any conditional cards (like buffs) that costs 4 or more then she can become really hard to play. Also, sometimes you just won't draw her at all. And the games end really fast. You either win very fast because of a big early game snowball or the opponent pushes you off the board and you run out of resources. The deck is full of terrible top decks.

    Maybe it's a little early to completely write off the deck but so far it looks like a flop once again. The card draw issue is in my opinion too much of a back breaker for this archetype.

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  • meisterz39's Avatar 420 645 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 2 months ago

    I think it could be a decent low tier in the right metagame, but I agree that Voracious Reader, for as strong as it is in the right deck, is surprisingly weak in these Tempo Priest decks.

    Ultimately, I think Priest needs more narrow, cheap cycle cards. Paladin and Hunter - two classes that have historically had limited card draw - serve as pretty good examples of this. This type of card includes Scavenger's Ingenuity, Ursatron, and Diving Gryphon in Hunter, and Hand of A'dal, Call to Adventure, and Salhet's Pride in Paladin. These cards cycle, they offer a limited benefit to account for the cost of the card outside of cycle effect, but are only really useful in specific archetypes.

    Priest has historically had Purify, Dead Ringer, and pre-nerf Power Word: Shield in this category. Cleric of Scales also serves this purpose, which is why I've started experimenting with dragons. It's definitely a tricky problem for Blizzard to solve. Control Priest decks are pretty good already, and they can develop card advantage without card draw thanks to AOE cards and Galakrond. So you don't want to make generic card draw that can tip the scales for control in an unfair way, but Tempo Priest definitely needs one or two more decent, narrow draw effects to build on.

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  • drfelip's Avatar Dragon Scholar 285 256 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 months ago

    That's right, card draw is a problem, I keep using Big Ol' Whelp and Skeletal Dragon in my midrange dragon priest experiments because of that.

    The pleasure is mine.

    My last standard decks: nothing special right now.

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  • dh905763's Avatar Banned 25 3 Posts Joined 10/09/2020
    Posted 1 week, 1 day ago
    Quote From drfelip

    That's right, card draw is a problem, I keep using Big Ol' Whelp and Skeletal Dragon, ninjs store in my midrange dragon priest experiments because of that.

    yes of course, these are right. go with it

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  • thazud's Avatar 90 42 Posts Joined 06/05/2019
    Posted 1 week, 1 day ago

    I always wondered why they reworked Priest's core set with a bunch of midrange cards but killed all Priest's card draw at the same time. Midrange Priest with Cleric, DS+IF was one of my favorite decks of all time. 

    Hope you find a way. 

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