Homebrew guide: Three different Shadowpriests
From healer to a killer, or how to use Shadowform, Prophet Velen and Malygos to burn opponents with Priest.
The GosuGamers Homebrew corner returns with another community-submitted guide. Josip "yuGen" Gizdic builds an unorthodox Priest that uses Shadowform, Malygos and Prophet Velen to turn Anduin from a healer into a killer.
As usual, the guys from DKMR are here to provide pro player feedback and hone the deck into something that might perform better on the ladder. At the end of the feature, we've also listed Slurmz's legendary "Dragon Priest" as submitted on reddit yesterday.
For future editions, if you have a cool deck idea and want it analyzed and maybe even improved by professional Hearthstone players please, share it with us! Create a deck and post it in the Homebrew dedicated thread, or mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Every week, we'll select one cool submission, feature in on the website and promote it through all GosuGamers and DKMR social channels, giving the deck creator the exposure he or she deserves.
We'll wait for you submission. Till next week!
- Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev
Editor in Chief
Written by: yuGen
GosuGamers featured pro decks with Malygos recently so I decided to submit my deck with Malygos to the homebrew corner. I call this deck Double Velen Shadowpriest and even though Priest is considered the weakest class in Heartstone I enjoy playing him the most.
Shadow Madness was one of the spells that impressed me the most when I started playing Hearthstone and it got me hooked on playing Priest ever since. It started of with the defensive Priest builds with Watchers and buffs galore but something was always missing until I discovered Shadowform and figured out a way to implement it.
Priest is the only class in Hearthstone that has a card which lets you change your hero power drastically and permanently - Shadowform. This whole deck is built around it and smooth transition into Shadowform is the key to victory. Once Prophet Velen hits the board things get interesting as all of a sudden you have 4 damage (or more with double-applied Shadowform) nuke for 2 mana at your disposal which you can then pair up with the rest of your Priest spell arsenal.
This deck features heavy AoE and nuking capability and potentially massive healing to the hero so it is possible to withstand aggression while Mind Vision and Thoughtsteal give it a dose of unpredictability.
Wild Pyromancers has good synergy with Power Word: Shield, Holy Smite, Mind Vision and Acolyte of Pain so early game is all about AoE burn and card draw. In mid game Abominations come in to play and can also draw you some cards if you have your Acolyte on the board since they have 2 damage AoE Deathrattle. Mass Dispel, Shadow Madness, Crazed Alchemist and Cabal Shadow Priest are awesome but situational cards so they must be used wisely and just like when you switch your form timing is crucial.
When you burn your way to late game then you have Velen and/or Malygos at your disposal and if you manage to get them both on the board at the same time then Priest spells turn into monsters. 1 mana Holy Smite after Malygos is dropped can deal 14 damage! Not to mention Mind Blast which costs 2 mana and could be used in the same turn with your Faceless Manipulator when he makes a copy of Velen/Malygos for massive damage to the face.
Faceless can also be used if your opponent overbuffs a minion in mid game and you manage to take him down with Power Word: Death so it is basically an 8 mana Mind Control. One of the best combos for this deck is played on 10 mana when your Velen is on the board. Double Velen + Holy Nova gives you an epic 8 damage/heal AoE which clears almost every board! Holy Fire is a whole different story because it costs 6 mana and it is difficult to pull of a combo in the same turn with another card so it is mainly used for removal of threats. But still, it is an awesome spell and has a potential for 10 hp heal to the hero (or 20 in the best case scenario).
While playing this deck you might catch yourself yelling HOLD like William Wallace in Braveheart because timing is very important for all the cards in this build and Priest can soak up some damage to the face and heal up later. You just need to make sure that things don't get out of control which they can if you save your spells too much. It is a responsive deck so it's better played with a Coin in your hand, which is especially good with Wild Pyromancers. On turn 3 you can cast a 3 damage AoE and still have a Pyro on the board if you buff him with Power Word: Shield.
Adapt to the cards you have drawn in the beginning and to your opponents play style. For example if your opponent plays a slower deck then you, you can save your cards and cast a Thoughtsteal or switch to Shadowform while still in early game.
Druid usually plays slower decks so you can have some breathing room and switch to Shadowform early or cast Thoughtsteal. Druid of the Claw are annoying because they have 4 attack, especially when they charge and Crazed Alchemist can't switch their attack for hp. Keeper of the Grove can be an issue in late game so it would be ideal if he used them on Abominations or your Acolyte.
|I enjoy playing against hunters because this deck features good AoE synergy and Abominations are a nightmare for those Hounds. If you are playing against Deadly Shot decks make sure to draw them out before late game.|
|Mage can be a tough class for this build because she has Polymorph and Fireball + Fireblast cancels your Velen. Ethereal Arcanist with a Counterspell/Spellbender can be a nuisance as well so try to save your weaker spells for dispelling secrets.|
Pyromancer is great for removing Divine Shields and Abomination loves to rattle against Paladin as well. Leave one Shadow Word: Death for Tirion Fordring and try to bait out those Equality combos as early as you can so you can drop your Velen.
Try to make him use Shadow Word: Pain on your Wild Pyromancers instead of Acolyte of Pain. Watch out for your Velen and if you play first try using him at 9 mana to take advantage of his buff on the same turn because he is a prime target for Shadow Word: Death and Mind Control. It is also better to copy Malygos with a Faceless Manipulator if possible.
Miracle Rogue is an easier setup here because Gadgetzan Auctioneer falls to Mass Dispel and AoE damage so he can't draw that many cards while under Conceal but watch out for that double Leeroy charge. Pyromancer is awesome for those Argent Squires with Cold Blood and Cabal Shadow Priest should ideally be used on his Bloodmage Thalnos.
|Earth Shock and Hex are the main problems against Shamans. You need to play passive against them so you don't waste your minions. Pyro + Holy Nova is devastating to Shaman totems as well as Mass Dispel so use them wisely. Crazed Alchemist is primarily used to kill his 3 hp totems and Holy Fire loves to burn those Fire elementals. Try to save your Shadow Word: Pain for Al'Akir if you suspect he has one|
Shadowpriest is awesome against faster warlock decks because of massive AoE but Giants are another story. Save your Mass Dispel for Twilight Drakes and if you manage to hit them both then it's jackpot. Shadow Word: Death is great for Giants and Holy Fire is also saved for them in case Shadow Word: Death doesn't come up in your hand.
Control warrior can be hard to beat because he loves to take damage to his minions so make sure you kill those Frothing Berserkers in one turn. Shadow Word: Pain should be used on his Acolyte and try to save your Abominations for late game to counter that [card]Garrosh Hellscream[/card] charge.
Shadowpriest, a deck that so many people have tried, but have yet to succeed. Priest, in general, is a fairly week class on the ladder, but it definitely has potential if paired up against the right classes. The list that you put together is very interesting. We've played a few games on the ladder with it and a couple of the games were crazy with 10 damage mind blasts!
The problem we were facing when playing this deck is that it is not consistent; some of the cards were a bit too slow. With the help of a few cards that we've decided to put in, it not only helped the deck last in the longer games, it also added consistency.
-1 Acolyte of Pain: We feel like this card doesn't have enough synergy with this deck. We tend to stay away from this card unless playing a deck like Mage, that can ping it, miracle rogue, or warrior that uses cards like Whirlwind and Cruel taskmaster to draw an extra card. We understand that Pyromancers can trigger this effect but Gadgetzan effectively does the same thing when you cast a spell.
-1 Thoughtsteal: We believe this card is too slow for this deck. Without Auchenai Soulpriest and Circle of Healing, this deck seems to have a hard time catching up if it gets behind unless you get Wild Pyromancer followed up by Power word: Shield and a couple more spells for a board clear which is often hard to do.
-1 Mass Dispel: Simply, we feel that this card doesn't do enough for its mana cost and doesn't have too much synergy with this deck. The only deck we feel that this card works decent in is a rush Priest and we don't believe this deck is in that category, it leans towards more of a burst Priest category.
-1 Abomination: 2 of these are just too many. This deck already runs 2 Holy Novas and 2 Pyromancers which are sufficient enough AOEs. This card can be unreliable as well. It can help a lot in the zoo matchup, but we prefer to run AOEs that we control rather than putting it in the hands of our opponent.
+2 Gadgetzan Auctioneer: This deck needs draw power in order to finish off the opponent. With a deck so highly based on the single card, Mind Blast, you need to draw the combo pieces to finish off the opponent or the deck will fall short. There are so many cheap spells in this deck that this card works so well. Miracle priest? Who knows, it could be the next big thing!
+1 Mind Vision: Synchronizes well with wild Pyromancer and Gadgetzan Auctioneer, that's about all that needs to be said about this. This is mainly the replacement for the Thoughtsteal that we've taken out. This is a faster card and can be an easy to card draw for 1 mana when you have an Auctioneer on the board and a cheap way to trigger the Wild Pyromancer of course.
+1 Sen'jin Shieldmasta: You need to stay alive until late game and this card helps a lot. Sen'jin shieldmasta on turn 4 is generally an extremely strong play and hard to deal with. The only card you have to be aware with when playing taunts, for the most part, is black knight and if you play this card on turn 3, with coin, or on turn 4, that shouldn't be an issue.
We hope these changed that we've added to the deck have helped you out. This is not a type of deck that we have a lot of experience with, but it was definatily a fun one to play! We don't think Shadowpriest will ever make a serious appearance on the competitive scene until more cards are released, but it can definitely be a fun one to mess with on the ladder once in a while. We haven't been lucky enough to faceless a Malygos or Velen for a 10 or 11 damage mind blast, but maybe sometime later down the road we will have that opportunity! Thanks for sending in this interesting deck and we want to thank everybody for taking some time to read this article. We hope you all try this deck out, it's a lot of fun!
Written by Nydra
Just while we were preparing this week's edition for the Homebrew Corner, reddit user Slurmz submitted his "Dragon Priest" deck, a Shadow Priest version he used to climb up to legend rank. As his build fits the topic perfectly as has yielded results on the ladder, we decided to expand this guide a bit and give it some credit as well.
In its core, Slurmz's deck follows the ideology of yuGen's and DKMR's builds. Wild Pyromancer is a key survival component for the early game, as are the Sen'Jin Shieldmastas. Shadow Madness is there to keep the aggro decks in check. There are two Shadowforms (naturally) and two Holy Novas and two Holy Fires for extra AoE and point removal, respectively, as well as for some healing power. The Shadow Words add even more layers of removal. Prophet Velen and Malygos return to boost Holy Smite and Mind Blast and to be copied by Faceless Manipulator.
There are, however, some notable differences. Slurmz runs tangibly fewer card draw spells or minions as Thoughtsteal, Acolyte of Pain and/or Mind Vision are completely gone. They are replaced by an extra Shadow Word: Pain and Bloodmage Thalnos for extra removal power. For the early game, Thalnos and Power Word: Shield are deck's sole source of card advantage.
The Abominations/Gadgetzans are also gone, replaced by two Azure Drakes, whose purpose is the same as Thalnos': spell power to feed the burn spells and an extra card.
Up the curve we see even more changes. Considered to be a staple in almost every other Priest deck, Cabal Shadow Priest is missing here. The curve is made more mana-heavy and very oriented towards the late-game. Sunwalker replaces Cabal Shadow Priest at the 6 mana slot to protect the finishers that come on turns 7, 8 and 9. Velen and Malygos - the only legendaries in yuGen's and DKMR's decks - are here supported by Ragnaros the Firelord and Alexstrasza, both of which are staples in control decks.
The reasoning behind the Firelord and the extra Dragon is to give even more firepower to the Shadow Priest. They are alternative win conditions if Velen and/or Malygos are not drawn in time. Putting opponents at 15 means that Mind Blast's suddenly chip a third of their health in one blow, more if spellpower minions are on the field. Ragnaros, on the other hand, has been a natural choice for many Priests (and slower decks in general) as the amount of board control cards allows the player to "control" Rag's RNG and mitigate its volatility.