- Healbuff Priest
- Aggro Priest
This week, we are going to cover another deck you can play with Drek'Thar while waiting for the new expansion to release. This time, it's a deck that's a lot more unique and off meta than last week's Tax Paladin. It's not going to be as competitive in ranked, but can be a lot of fun in casual and lower mmr. Priest has a lot of cards that heal and synergize with healing, and there are cards that damage themselves as battlecries to make it easier to have targets to heal. Rally! is a great card that will bring back all of those minions without them taking any damage for a lot of stats. Drek'Thar is a great inclusion to this deck as he can summon the self damaging minions from your deck without having them take any damage for a huge tempo boost. This deck is going to use healing, buffs, tempo from Drek'Thar and Rally!, and spells generated from the newly unnerfed Renew and Sethekk Veilweaver to get control of the board and then win from there. It has a very enjoyable gameplay with many ways to make great plays and use your synergies to get the most value out of your cards. Overall, the deck is perfect for this off meta deck series, hope you enjoy!
Now, let's get into a guide on playing the deck. It's going to go through major overarching strategies to keep in mind, how to mulligan, gameplay tips on key synergies, and card choices.
This deck is all about board control. You get value in terms of very favorable trades from heals and buffs, and have card draw and card generation to keep the pressure going.
Tempo - You can use your 1, 2, and 3 drops along with buffs to establish tempo and board control from the very start of the game. You then keep using buffs and healing your minions to favorably trade with enemy minions and so keep increasing your board lead to the point where you can use it to win. Drek'Thar can provide a massive tempo boost turn 4 or 3 with coin and cheat out 2 minions from your deck.
Value and Refills - You have multiple cards that add value by letting you draw, discover or generate Rally!s, more minions, and spells. You then want to refill the board with your Rally!s and use all the other generated cards to keep refilling the board if your initial tempo boards are cleared.
This deck can do really well against midrange type decks playing minions where you can take over the board with your healing and buffs leading to favorable trades. It can also do well against many combo decks. Control is a tossup, and depends on how many board clears they draw compared to how much value you can create. The worst matchups by far are hyper aggressive decks that can keep you off the board from the start and not allow you to get heal or buff value and extreme stat cheating decks like big decks.
Keep 1 drops and if you have a 1 drop keep Power Word: Feast.
Keep Injured Tol'vir if you have a 1 drop or the coin.
In general, you want to be on the lookout for synergies in the mulligan, so if you have cards that can lead to great early plays like a Northshire Cleric into coin Injured Blademaster and Circle of Healing, you would keep all of those cards even though Injured Blademaster and Circle of Healing are not usually mulligan keeps.
To play this deck well, you have to be aware of the synergies between the cards in this deck and how to use them to maximize their value. It's a very synergy heavy deck which makes it fun to play and makes your gameplay decisions matter. You're always looking to maintain board control and snowball your board control into a win by having such dominant board control that you can easily go face with some minions while using others to keep removing anything your opponent plays. Alternatively, you can just start rushing face at some point and let your taunts stall for a bit.
Below are gameplay tips regarding many of the synergies in this deck and how to use them effectively.
Circle of Healing is great for board control because you can make multiple trades into enemy minions then heal all your minions to full. This can be used along with Injured Tol'virs and Injured Blademasters to heal them to full as well. If you combine Circle of Healing with having a Northshire Cleric or Crimson Clergy on the board, you will also draw cards or increase Crimson Clergy's attack. Don't always wait to use Circle of Healing with multiple minions, just using it on turn 2 if you have a Northshire Cleric and Injured Tol'vir on the board means it is a 0 mana heal 3 and draw a card which is already good.
Northshire Cleric is a really powerful source of card draw, you can play it on turn 1 or later in the game and all your healing will also draw cards. If you have 2 of them on the board, be careful to avoid overdrawing yourself especially if using a mass heal effect like Circle of Healing. Keep in mind that Northshire Clerics also trigger on enemy minions, you can use this to your advantage to draw more cards but also be careful to avoid overdrawing and milling yourself.
Crimson Clergy's attack can scale quickly as you keep healing. He is a good target to use buffs on and to try to keep alive for a while as he can snowball into a win.
Injured Tol'vir and Injured Blademaster are minions that allow you to heal and gain value from healing even without having to trade into any enemy minions.
Remember that your hero power is a source of healing that can help you with value trading on board and activating your heal synergy cards like Crimson Clergy and Northshire Cleric.
One very powerful play to look out for is any of your 1 drops turn 1 into Power Word: Feast on turn 2. This will allow you to trade and then heal the minion back up and either gain attack or draw a card.
Renew and Power Word: Feast provide a lot of healing potential to a single minion and can be very useful to keep a minion's health up after trading.
Don't always use your healing most efficiently. Sometimes you want to use it for extra value for Northshire Cleric or Crimson Clergy. For example, if you have a Northshire Cleric on the board and a damaged minion missing 4 health you can first use Renew or hero power on it to draw a card, then Circle of Healing to draw another card, instead of just using Circle of Healing by itself.
Drek'Thar will summon 2 minions from your deck, which is great for tempo as he is already a 4/4 for 4 mana. In addition to Drek'Thar himself, you can get self injuring minions and King Mukla without the negative battlecries. The best highroll from Drek'Thar is getting 2 Injured Blademasters or an Injured Blademaster and King Mukla for either 12/18 or 13/16 worth of stats.
Rally! is going to be amazing for tempo, it can resurrect both Injured Tol'virs and Injured Blademasters without triggering their battlecries. King Mukla as a 5/5 from the 3 cost minion slot is another great result. Both Northshire Cleric and Crimson Clergy are pretty good minions to get from Rally! as well as despite being 1 drops, they are very impactful and can either draw cards or increase attack. Finally, you can sometimes get Sethekk Veilweaver from Rally! instead of an Injured Tol'vir. While the stats are worse, this can generate a lot of value and so is still a great result.
You can predict what minions are most likely outcomes from Rally! and somewhat control it. For example, if you'd rather have an Injured Tol'vir than a Sethekk Veilweaver, don't play Sethekk Veilweavers until after you've used Rally! unless you don't have any other good plays.
When you have board control, it will be hard for enemies to get value out of Bananas so King Mukla will just help you snowball a board. In addition, he is amazing stats for the cost when summoned from Rally! so even if you do get some downside from playing him it is often still worth it so that you can resurrect him later on. He is also great when summoned from Drek'Thar as a ton of tempo without the downside.
You can use King Mukla to mill an opposing deck's card if they have 8 or more cards in hand. I've used this milling ability to win multiple games, including milling a combo druid's Malygos.
In general, buffs will increase minion health which makes it easier to keep them alive after trades and keep on healing them. Increasing attack helps too.
Power Word: Feast is a really powerful buff that you can use to trade then fully heal a minion or on an Injured Tol'vir or Injured Blademaster to both get the 2/2 buff and heal them to full health.
It's usually better to use buffs on minions with ongoing effects than pure stats, however if you can get a more favorable trade and tempo gain from using them on pure stat minions, then it's better to do that. This deck has no burst damage other than spells you discover or generate, so keeping control of the board is more important than extra value.
You can use Raise Dead to get extra copies of key cards like Northshire Cleric and Drek'Thar. It also damages your hero and allows you to heal your hero to activate Crimson Clergy even if your opponent is not damaging you. One thing to keep in mind is Velen's Chosen will increase the damage it deals to you. Also, something to look out for is if it's early in the game, you can try to trade Drek'Thar even if it's not a very favorable trade to be able to get an extra copy of him from Raise Dead before you trade your other minions.
You can use your buffs and Renew on friendly minions to generate priest spells with Sethekk Veilweaver. Since some of those spells will also be able to target minions, you can keep on generating a ton of value from your Sethekk Veilweavers.
Shadow Visions and Thrive in the Shadows are very flexible, you can use them to draw or discover copies of any spell good for the board state you are in, including Rally! which is one of your most generally powerful spells. If you have both in hand it's better to use Shadow Visions first to get an extra copy of the spell you want before using Thrive in the Shadows to draw it.
This section is going to go through the main packages of cards in the deck. Each package has cards that help the deck with a specific goal. When playing the deck, it's useful to know what purposes each card serves and what other cards in the deck have synergy with it or help achieve the same purpose. This section might also be useful if you're interested in the reasoning for why each card was included in the deck.
These cards either heal or synergize with healing. Honorable mention goes to the priest hero power, it's actually really useful in this deck as a consistent source of healing.
Card Draw and Generation Package
These cards will help you avoid running out of cards in hand.
Drek'Thar and Rally! can put a lot of stats into play for only 4 mana, and it's especially powerful when they summon minions like Injured Tol'vir, Injured Blademaster, and King Mukla since they will be overstatted minions without the downsides of their battlecries. King Mukla is also a great tempo play by itself while the injured minions are great tempo when used along with healing.
Buffs are great for favorable trades. Velen's Chosen is good for the stats, this deck doesn't have any damaging spells. However, sometimes you do discover or generate a spell that does benefit from spell damage. Sethekk Veilweaver can generate a lot of value for you using all of these buffs and Renew.
This is one of my personal favorite decks. It has a really unique feel to it for a priest deck, and you can have great results from synergies. It's a deck that cares about the board and wins by value trading. Due to multiple discover and card generation effects, games will have substantial variety. If you like this sort of playstyle and want to play a priest deck that utilizes Drek'Thar, heal synergy, and Rally! along with many rarely seen cards give this deck a try. If you have a question or comment, or are wondering about a card substitution, post below.
Below are some highlights that show some of the things this deck is capable of.
You can have a large board on turn 4, while also having a close to full hand for additional board refill and buffs if needed.
Beating a big priest turn 6.
Against decks like Reno Warlock, you can outlast multiple waves of clears, healing, and armor gain using value from Sethekk Veilweavers to win in the lategame.
These 2 images show how against handbuff paladin, you can trade into their turn 5 plays, then heal all your minions to full while further developing the board with an extra fully healed Injured Blademaster and a Crimson Clergy with increased attack.
Crimson Clergy can snowball and have high amounts of attack to win games.
You can get lethal as early as turn 5.
Overall, there a lot of fun moments and highlights you can get with this deck. It's a board based aggressive deck that can have multiple options to play each turn due to the ability to maintain large hand sizes from card draw and generation. Especially due to Sethekk Veilweaver's spells, games often feel different and give the deck a lot of replayability.
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