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Big Priest deck list guide - The Witchwood - Hearthstone (April 2018)

Our complete guide to playing Big Priest in the Kobolds and Catacombs meta.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Big Priest deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 49 (April 2018). Our Big Priest guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Big Priest was a new kind of Hearthstone deck to hit the game with the launch of Knights of the Frozen Throne, and it's one that builds on the Resurrect archetype you might recall from years gone by. The end result is a deck that does a tremendous job of controlling the early stages of the game, while having the kind of meaty end-game power that will leave even the heaviest control decks quaking in their boots..

In our Big Priest guide we've got a snapshot of one of the best decks that's being used on the ladder right now, as well as a bit of insight on how to actually play it. After that we've got some starting advice for Mulliganing your starting hand correctly, before we wrap it all up with a comprehensive look at every single combo in our tips section.

If there's something else you'd like to see added to our guide, let us know in the comments and we'll work it in for the next update. Until then, I hope you have as much fun as I've had messing around with this exciting deck!

UPDATE - 1ST APRIL 2018

There are no changes whatsoever for Big Priest in April, and last month's strongest version of the archetype is this month's too. The Witchwood is just a matter of weeks from launch at this point, and we expect big changes for Big Priest when those new cards land. We'll have a revised deck list for you just as soon as we can after launch.

BREAKING NEWS! - A new expansion is coming! Our massive Hearthstone: The Witchwood guide contains details of the new cards, mechanics and single player content coming to the game.

Big Priest deck list and strategy

This is the most popular Big Priest deck that's being played in the latest stage of the Kobolds and Catacombs meta. There will likely be further refinements, but this is as strong as the archetype gets right now.

PriestNeutral
1 x Silence1 x Barnes
2 x Pint-Size Potion1 x The Lich King
1 x Potion of Madness1 x Ysera
2 x Shadow Visions1 x Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound
2 x Shadow Word: Pain
2 x Shadow Word: Death
2 x Eternal Servitude
2 x Greater Healing Potion
2 x Shadow Word: Horror
2 x Dragonfire Potion
2 x Shadow Essence
2 x Lesser Diamond Spellstone
2 x Psychic Scream
2 x Obsidian Statue

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GBqIJpQmoqwKFuAK1uwLCzgIM0wrXCqGsAre7Aui/Auq/AtHBAuXMAubMArTOAujQAuPpAgA=

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General strategy:

The very simple, top-level strategy behind playing Big Priest is that you want to control the very early stages of the game using any number of removal tools until you reach the mid-game. Here you hope to play Barnes onto the board on Turn 4 in order to get another high-cost, high-impact minion onto the board for free. Failing that, Shadow Essence is there to provide help on Turn 6.

This deck is not entirely unlike Resurrect Priest if you've played that one in the past, although a handful of recent cards make the archetype more consistent and so more viable in the current meta. Shadow Word: Horror is excellent for dealing with aggro - and is equally effective against control when combined with Pint-Size Potion.

There are lots of combos to consider really, and it's vital that you prevent every opponent from getting ahead on the board. For that reason, we recommend taking a little bit of time to carefully study the combo tips sections before you hit the ladder with Big Priest. You'll find that towards the bottom of the page, and it's packed with strategic insight.

For now, here's some broad advice for taking down both aggressive and control opponents in the current meta. This is of course subject to change as the shape of the Kobolds and Catacombs meta becomes more refined over time and all decks are optimised further. Still, we think the following should provide some solid guidance that will get you going:

Beating aggro opponents with Big Priest

As always, survival is the name of the game here, but the good news is that Big Priest is stuffed to the brim with tools for dealing with an early onslaught. Try to bait out a little bit more - without endangering the game - before you trigger Shadow Word: Horror and/or Pint-Size Potion.

You may also find running a deck tracker helps here, as there's a lot of removal at your disposal, and you'll want to know what's spent and what you still have available for the rest of the game.

Always try to make as efficient use of every spell as you can, as the danger will come relentlessly - be sure there isn't a more cost-effective way of dealing with the problem at hand before committing to your play.

Beating control opponents with Big Priest

The strategy for dealing with control is much the same as it is aggro, although the pressure is somewhat lighter due to the lack of fast, early damage. This time around though, you need to be very, very careful not to drop your minions into calamitous AOE damage that your opponent might have at their disposal.

It pays to study the meta carefully here, and know how much pressure to apply without going completely all-in...and potentially losing everything in the process.

More great Priest guides:

Big Priest Mulligan guide

It's difficult to give very specific Mulligan advice with so many changes afoot in Hearthstone, but you know that Barnes is always going to serve you well so don't worry about the slow start he provides.

Other keeps are pretty situational, and are based on the opponent you have in front of you. See the advice in the strategy section of some extra advice on what you might want to keep against aggro and control-focused opponents.

Big Priest tips, card combos and synergies

Control of the board is, as we've said, absolutely vital with Big Priest, so you need to know how the various cards in this version can be blended together. The following tips should give you a pretty good head start in wrapping your head around the archetype.

- Do the maths carefully first, but you can very often use Pint-Size Potion to bring a heap of enemy minions into the range of Shadow Word: Horror. Even weighty control opponents can be brought crashing back down to earth with this combo.

- You have so many amazing targets for Barnes to bring onto the board that you always want him in your opening hand. You don't have a lot of minions to play with, but they're all top-notch: The Lich King, Obsidian Statue, Ysera and Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound will all - to one degree or another - provide you with an advantage.

- Potion of Madness is particularly useful against aggro decks, where you'll often be able to steal one minion, slam it into another, and take out two creatures in the process.

- It's a little wasteful, but in a pinch Pint-Size Potion can also be used to make a single target vulnerable to Shadow Word: Pain.

- Try and stay on top of the top ten meta decks, as this insight will help you choose the best spell from casting Shadow Visions. If in doubt though, hard removal of any kind will almost always prove highly beneficial across the remainder of the match.

- Keep track of your friendly minions that have died. Eternal Servitude will bring a random dead minion back to life, but you can shorten the odds of getting your preferential target by playing this card at just the right time.

- Something to keep in mind here is that the damage issued by Dragonfire Potion won't affect any Dragon cards - friendly or otherwise. On your side of the board, that means Ysera.

- Shadow Essence is another card that will struggle to find a bad target in this deck! Remember that it summons a copy, so don't worry if it pulls Barnes and you think you could lose that minion's Battlecry as a result of the summoning.

- An active Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound will grab a minion from your deck, and put it on the board at the end of each of your turns.

- Your new Spellstone card is Lesser Diamond Spellstone. In its basic form this seven Mana spell resurrects two dead friendly minions. Once you've cast four spells, that increases to three resurrections. Cast another four spells and the card maxes out at four resurrections.

- At the end of your turn, The Lich King will add a random Death Knight card to your hand. There are eight of these special new cards in total, and we've got a snapshot of each one for you right here:

CostNameDescription
2Death CoilDeal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.
2Death GripSteal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
2ObliterateDestroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
3Death and DecayDeal 3 damage to all enemies.
4Anti-Magic ShellGive your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”
5Doom PactDestroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.
6Army of the DeadRemove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.
7FrostmourneDeathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.

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