The full Fractured in Alterac Valley set has been revealed and it's time to look at all the new cards and look at how Priest will be doing this expansion. We'll be breaking each of the Priest cards down.

Keep in mind that this is an early look at the class before we've been able to play with the new cards, so while we try to be as accurate as possible in our predictions of what is to come, no one can perfectly predict the Hearthstone meta.

Priest Deck Themes in Fractured in Alterac Valley

Priest received support for a couple of different themes: Deathrattle and Heal/Buff!

The Deathrattle theme focuses on stalling the game out, introducing two more Taunt Deathrattle minions to Priest that emphasize board control and value generation. Xyrella herself becomes stronger the more Deathrattles that have triggered, further emphasizing a long-term game plan. Deliverance isn't directly a Deathrattle synergy card, but it goes well when Honorably Killing your own minion and is especially valuable when hitting an enemy Deathrattle minion, adding another to you Xyrella pool. Najak Hexxen is the odd one out, have an actually detrimental Deathrattle. However, him having the tag loops him in with other synergistic cards, such as Call of the Grave or Barrens Trapper.

The Heal/Buff cards are quite flexible, potentially being used in Control or Tempo decks. Bless especially can be turned into a quick win-condition by quickly and cheaply giving a minion tons of attack. Gift of the Naaru naturally slots into control decks as a heal+draw, but the AoE heal could also let it see play in sustaining wide boards of minions. There isn't clear or obvious spots for many of these despite all being related, but I am really excited for the flexibility.

Xyrella, the Devout

Xyrella, the Devout Card Image

*This* close to having another 'Devourer'

This is one of the cards I am most excited for. Shudderwock meets N'Zoth, the Corruptor, replaying all the Deathrattle effects, which Priest has received copious amounts of. Playing this card could very easily stabilize the board through AoE damage courtesy of Undying Disciple and healing from Lightshower Elemental and Mo'arg Forgefiend. It won't necessarily create a large board like N'Zoth does, but it also won't overflow like N'Zoth, meaning you can get a huge number of Deathrattle triggers combining this with resurrect mechanics like Amulet of Undying or Rally!.

Xyrella isn't as flexible as some of her mercenary peers, but she offers very powerful build-around potential that still has some room for flexibility. You could slot her into a full Control deck, attempting to purely outvalue and out-sustain the enemy. You could also build around aggressive Deathrattle minions with damaging effects such as Shadowed Spirit and Humongous Owl. Regardless, I am very excited to see Xyrella push longer games and merge Priest's Holy and Shadow themes.

Najak Hexxen

Najak Hexxen Card Image

Mom said its MY turn with Ragnaros

Najak Hexxen, while a Deathrattle minion that I did classify under Priest's 'Deathrattle' theme, might not want find his home in a dedicated Deathrattle deck. His inclusion of the Deathrattle keyword means that he mucks up Amulet of Undying, taking up the space of a much more relevant body and actually useful Deathrattle. He thankfully doesn't directly counter all Deathrattle synergies, going neutral-effect with Xyrella, the Devout, and still having use in control-style decks as threat removal or at minimum 'freezing' an enemy minion. Outside of that, Najak's handy removal could also be beneficial for tempo-style Priest decks as a way around pesky Taunt minions.

Notably, this control is the Mind Control kind and not the Shadow Madness kind, so you won't be able to get immediate value with the minion's body. I think Najak will ultimately be a tech card that decks slot in depending on the shape of the meta. Especially if there are a lot of Rush minions around, Najak can get immediate value and potentially clear two minions the turn he is played. If Deathrattle strategies are popular, Najak can also deny a Deathrattle for the enemy as well as a minion for their resurrect pool. Najak can also be comboed with Teron Gorefiend for guaranteed removal of a single minion and extra value when Teron dies.

Gift of the Naaru

Gift of the Naaru Card Image

You get 3 health! You get 3 health! Everyone gets 3 health!

On its surface, Gift of the Naaru is a pretty clear contender for a Control card. Control typically won't care as much about enemy minions or heroes getting healed, so long as the Control player gets to stay alive longer. Getting a draw effect from this makes the card comparable to Renew, a card I'm sure many people can recognize as a staple Priest card. Priest getting even more ways to simultaneously generate healing and card advantage certainly sets a strong base for Control decks to be built upon.

Beneath it's Control-y surface though, Gift could find its way into a midrange buff Priest. Priest minions historically have large amounts of health, allowing to tank a lot of damage or trade into wide boards. Gift helps keep your entire board up in health and combos especially well with Injured Blademaster, netting you a '4-mana' 4/6 and draw a card. It can also be utilized with Lightsteed to increase the health of your entire board by an extra 2. Be careful with this one though, since Gift is symmetrical and Lightsteed would also buff your opponent's minions' health.

Shadow Word: Devour

Shadow Word: Devour Card Image

One from all, all for one

I this card is super cool and I'm very excited to see the Hearthstone team utilize the 'steal' mechanic more. This can be a very cheap AoE for Priests to utilize with the small caveat of having a minion on the board you don't mind getting tons of health. The minion requirement can be quite steep for some decks, as some decks might have a hard time sticking a minion on the board, namely Control decks. Thus, Devour finds a natural home in a Tempo or Midrange Priest deck and can even be used with Darkbishop Benedictus.

Another spooky application for Devour is in a Miracle Priest deck with Sethekk Veilweaver and Nazmani Bloodweaver since it is a cheap targetting spell. Devour provides cheap AoE for the deck, which historically lacked AoE, while still fueling the generation and mana-cheating engine. I think this Miracle deck will be where the card sees the most play until it rotates in a few months, but Devour also synergizes very well with the new Bless spell, possibly leading to surprise lethal.

Undying Disciple

Undying Disciple Card Image

She doesn't have a great Grasp on the 'Undying' part

This card is an Aggro deck's worst nightmare. Not only do they need to get through 7-health in taunt, but then the it blows up for 3-damage AoE, likely wiping out a good chunk of the enemy board. Combined with Lightshower Elemental, the two make a powerful duo for Priest to consistently shut down aggressive strategies. I think Priest will have reached close to a critical mass of Taunt Deathrattle minions and should be able to have a very strong hold-out against many minion-oriented decks. Since it isn't super clear, if the Deathrattle is triggered via Call of the Grave or Xyrella, the Devout, it will deal 3-damage to the enemy board.

While good against Aggro, Undying Disciple isn't quite as useful against larger minions or decks with few minions. a 6-mana 3/7 won't do you too many favors against a Questline Mage deck, nor will it make that much of a dent in Big Paladin minions or Flesh Giants. If the meta becomes so much Control and Big decks, I could see a world where Disciple is dropped from lists. However, the new Bless could help by raising Disciple's attack to 9, clearing most boards.

Stormpike Aid Station

Stormpike Aid Station Card Image

Nice refreshing Stormpike-ade

The Priest objective is a tad underwhelming. AoE health buffs are handy, especially in Priest, but there still aren't enough ways to leverage them. Aid Station has such terrible tempo, providing no immediate threat and requiring at least a couple of minions on your side to receive value. The effect is also pretty restrictive, only really rewarding wide minion-based decks. 

There could be a home for this in the Sethekk Nazmani Miracle priest deck, adding some extra defense to the key minions, but even there I think the card is too slow. Despite all this bad-talking, I do think there is a possibility this card is sleeper powerful. Such large and continuous health gain could be powerful enough that this shows up in a tier 2-3 deck, but that's a spicy stretch.


Bless Card Image

Inner Fire Deluxe

If a non-Shadow minion-based Priest deck, it's because this card no exists. Inner Fire offered Priest a viable win condition for stacking huge health on their minions and turning it into kill potential. It's currently a bid difficult to tell where this will fit since there is not a current deck that can clearly make use of this. This however could pave the way for more Tempo or Midrange Priest decks that don't rely on Darkbishop Benedictus to close out games.

For general use, Bless has a very strong combo with Blademaster Samuro, creating an 8-damage AoE while likely leaving a huge threat around. In a slower fashion, Undying Disciple becomes a 9-damage AoE. Samuro being pretty handy in Priest as another AoE combined with Priest's need for a finisher means I think we'll probably see a decent amount of Bless in the future.

Spirit Guide

Spirit Guide Card Image

They've got guides for everything these days

Once a master of creating random cards, it seems Priest is now getting a ton of effects that draw for specific cards. Getting both a Shadow and Holy spell for the relatively cheap cost of 5-mana and a 5/5 Taunt is extraordinarily handy and means this could easily slot into a lot of different decks. It's obvious home is in Deathrattle and Control decks, being somewhat slower and good at stemming Aggro, but being the high-end in a Midrange deck could also work as a way to not run out of fuel.

There are many powerful Holy and Shadow spells this could fetch, such as Soul Mirror, Condemn (Rank 1), or Amulet of Undying, the latter of which is especially handy for synergizing with Deathrattle decks. It can also be used to nab the Purified Shard from Seek Guidance, which while slow, could be a neat application. 


Deliverance Card Image

30-minutes or its free!

I initially had doubts about this card, since getting the Honorable Kill felt kind of difficult, but the similarities to Serpentshrine Portal make the card seem a bit better. It still won't be the most amazing card, and is still wore than Portal, but decent single target damage with the chance for strong tempo could be good enough.

I'm not sure if there's a specific deck that wants to run this, but I could see it finding a home as decent value removal in Control or Tempo decks. There is some niche value to be had for killing your own minions to trigger some of your own Deathrattles, but that feels too specific to really see application.

Luminous Geode

Luminous Geode Card Image

The forgotten Pokemon remake

One of the piece in creating a non-Shadow Tempo deck for Priest, rewarding healing with minion buffs to help pressure and trade into the opponent. I'm not sure if there is quite enough cheap healing to warrant this card or the archetype, but every little bit counts. It certainly has great synergy with Gift of the Naaru, buffing your entire board's attack and health.

The thing that really stings about this for me is that it is somewhat useless with Bless, which offers an easier and potentially much larger attack buff. Geode and Bless do not help each other despite wanting to be in similar decks and having similar plans, which is a bit unfortunate, but who knows, maybe they still both end up in a deck together. 

Theorycrafting Priest in Fractured in Alterac Valley

Priest has had a Deathrattle heavy focus in the past year, so I tried to make a deck utilizing all the fun tools Priest has gotten (also because I love Deathrattle archetypes). No trying to do anything too fancy, this deck also makes use of Vanndar Stormpike to try to get out some of the larger Deathrattles that have been released, such as the new Undying Disciple and Spirit Guide. The copious Taunt minions and healing should help the deck survive against Aggro long enough to win and Humongous Owl provides some pressure that the deck previously lacked to help deal with Combo decks. Amulet of Undying and N'Zoth, God of the Deep provide a powerful refill against other Control decks and works to further boost the power of Xyrella, the Devout's battlecry.

Closing Thoughts on Priest in Fractured in Alterac Valley

Priest is looking pretty spicy in this expansion, with a ton of Taunt Deathrattle cards to support Control decks and Deathrattle synergy to justify a slew of dedicated decks. Xyrella, the Devout can utilize so many different Deathrattles that she can be slotted as a key piece in Control, Combo, or even Midrange decks. In addition to the ton of Taunt, Priest got plenty of ways to empower their high-health Taunts through Shadow Word: Devour and Bless creating, new threats and win conditions for Priest to play around with. The minion buffs just aren't for the Taunt minions though, the buffs and healing help support any minion-oriented playstyles for Priest. Could this be the advent of Zoo Priest? Could Heal/Buff Tempo Priest finally see the light of day? It's difficult to say, but if Hearthstone has taught me anything, its that the millions of players in this game will eventually find out something crazy or strong to play around. The flexibility of Priest's cards has me excited to see what people come up with!

What do you think about Priest in Fractured in Alterac Valley? Let us know in the comments below!

More From Fractured in Alterac Valley

We've got more class reviews that you won't want to miss! Don't forget that you can see all the cards coming in the expansion in our Alterac Valley Expansion Guide and if you want to test your luck, you can head on over to our pack opener to crack some packs.