Our Combo Priest deck list guide features the best deck list for The Witchwood (May 2018). Our Combo Priest guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Combo Priest is a Hearthstone deck that's been around in one form or another for absolutely ages, broke free of Dragon trappings to becomes its own thing in the early Witchwood meta, then returned once more to the safety of the Dragon tribe.
The general idea behind playing this kind of deck is that you boost a minion's Health up with Divine Spirit, and then convert that Health into an equally large amount of Attack strength by applying Inner Fire to the same minion. This done, you should find it pretty easy to slam enough damage into your opponent to get the match finished up fast.
In the second edition of our Combo Priest guide, we're highlighting the most competitive version of the deck that's seeing play right now. We've also added in loads of strategy and Mulligan advice to help you pilot the deck to your best ability. If this one continues to be popular, we'll continue updating this article!
UPDATE - 3RD MAY 2018 - THE WITCHWOOD
The Combo Priest format has changed quite a bit since our last update, and now packs in a lot more Dragon synergy (making it much like the pre-expansion version). Make sure you add the new deck list to your Hearthstone client, and also have a re-read of our guide overall - it's all been tweaked to match the latest changes!
Combo Priest deck list and strategy
This precise version of Combo Priest is the one that's seeing the most play in the current Witchwood meta. We'll update our recommendation as the meta evolves over time.
|2 x Circle of Healing||2 x Wild Pyromancer|
|2 x Inner Fire||2 x Acolyte of Pain|
|2 x Northshire Cleric||1 x Scaleworm|
|2 x Power Word: Shield||2 x Twilight Drake|
|1 x Divine Hymn||2 x Witchwood Piper|
|2 x Divine Spirit||2 x Primordial Drake|
|2 x Radiant Elemental|
|2 x Shadow Visions|
|2 x Duskbreaker|
|1 x Mass Dispel|
|1 x Shadow Madness|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GBNwB1gqJ8QK98wIN+ALlBPYHjQjRCtIK8gz7DNHBAtjBAsnHAsvmAqbwAgA=
Combo Priest uses the class’s extensive healing effects and cheap spells to gain significant value from its minions, keep them alive when trading to control the early game and draw cards aggressively. This huge buildup of a single minion’s health can then be turned into a big aggressive play by changing its attack to match its health using Inner Fire for some devastating damage.
Early game: Drop down Northshire Cleric to get your card draw engine going early. A common play is running it into a minion and then heal it up to draw. You can also buff its health with Power Word: Shield to make this even easier to achieve. Don’t be afraid to use Circle of Healing to get some significant card draw in a single turn, even if it’ll heal your opponent’s minions too. Just be careful not to overdraw. Meanwhile, Wild Pyromancer can be combined with a lot of your cheap spells to keep the board clear. Just be sure to keep an eye on its health and use your hero power to keep it alive.
Mid game: Continue to maintain board control using the AOE effect from Wild Pyromancer and your spells. You can play Injured Blademaster along with Circle of Healing to negate its Battlecry effect and leave you with a 4/7 for just three mana. Acolyte of Pain can draw you some extra cards too. You may also be able to build a fattened Twilight Drake, or clear the decks with Duskbreaker.
Late game: Your late game is all about working towards creating a single huge minion that can take out your opponent in one or two swings. Whichever minion you choose, you’ll want to buff its health up using Divine Spirit at least once, though probably twice, and then cast Inner Fire to make its attack value match. You can usually do thirty or more damage with this combo.
If you’re low on resources to make it happen, you can use Shadow Visions to discover extra copies of either Divine Spirit or Inner Fire and make an even larger minion.
A few top tips for playing against aggro opponents on ladder:
- Wild Pyromancer is your best friend in this matchup as it is so good at clearing away all their small, low health minions.
- A buffed up Northshire Cleric can also be good at trading away their smaller minions while drawing you extra cards when healed back up.
- Duskbreaker can be an amazing clear option against aggro opponents, but don't forget the damage hits your minions as well.
- Acolyte of Pain can get you multiple card draws if you keep it buffed and healed.
- Don’t neglect healing your hero every now and then too – you don’t want to get caught out by surprise lethal damage.
Some things to keep in mind when up against control decks:
- You can spend more time in the early game patiently drawing cards to find your combo pieces.
- Be cautious of committing too hard with a single large minion before you can do anything with it as there’s a good chance your opponent is saving removal for it.
- Silence and Mass Dispel are the closest cards the deck has to a big removal tool so keep them in hand for any major threats.
- The quicker you can assemble your combo pieces, the less time they’ll have to get out of range with healing or armour.
More great Priest guides:
Combo Priest Mulligan guide
These are the card you’ll want to search for in your opening mulligan:
- Northshire Cleric: Can contest the board early while also helping you draw some extra cards in the early game.
- Power Word: Shield: Gives you card draw and can also give your early minions a health boost to survive trades.
- Radiant Elemental: Solid stats for the mana cost if you need to contest the board and the spell discount can be very handy.
- Acolyte of Pain / Wild Pyromancer: Both of these cards have their uses in the early-game, but you probably want to prioritise the first three in this list.
Combo Priest tips, combos and synergies
To help you understand the general strategy behind playing Combo Priest, we've broken down all of the combos that exist within the latest version of this deck. We'll update these tips as and when the recommended deck list changes.
- Your classic combo in this deck involves doubling a minion's Health with Divine Spirit, and then converting that increased Health into added damage through Inner Fire. Assuming the minion was played on a previous turn, you should then be able to attack for an almighty amount of damage.
- Every time a minion is healed while Northshire Cleric's out on the board, you'll draw an extra card. If multiple minions get healed through a spell like Divine Hymn or Circle of Healing, then you'll draw multiple cards.
- Each time that Acolyte of Pain takes damage, you'll drawn an extra card into your hand. There's important synergy here with Wild Pyromancer (see below).
- Remember that Wild Pyromancer dishes out its damage to every minion on the board after the effect of the spell you cast has been applied.
- Each spell you cast while Radiant Elemental is out in play will cost one Mana less than it otherwise would have. The effect stacks with multiple Elementals on the board. This reduction is important in the context of building your powerhouse minion, so plan ahead carefully here.
- Duskbreaker's AOE damage only goes off if you have another Dragon left in your hand when you play him. Keep in mind as well that the damage he does will be inflicted against your own minions as well as the opponent's! The same advice applies to the Battlecry effect of Primordial Drake.
- If you have a Dragon in your hand when you put Scaleworm onto the board, it will gain an extra point of Attack damage and be able to hit an enemy minion on the same turn it's played (not the enemy hero though).
- Twilight Drake gains an extra point of Health for each other card you have in your hand when it hits the board.
Combo Priest card choices and subsitutions
These are some of the key cards for Combo Priest. Fortunately it doesn’t feature many expensive cards, as the ones it does include can’t be easily replaced.
- Circle of Healing: Can offer massive card draw value when combined with Northshire Cleric and a board of injured minions.
- Inner Fire: The second part of your big combo finish that sets a minion’s attack to be the same as its health.
- Northshire Cleric: Offers some early board presence that can also become a huge card draw engine if kept alive.
- Power Word: Shield: Helps your minions survive and trade in the early game while also drawing you a card.
- Divine Spirit: This is what you want to play before Inner Fire to set a minion’s health to ridiculously high values.
- Shadow Visions: Can find you extra copies of Inner Fire and Divine Spirit when you need them most. An essential part to keep the deck more consistent.
- Wild Pyromancer: You’ll need this to keep aggro decks under control in the early game. Can offer significant value when combined with spells such as Power Word: Shield and Divine Hymn.
- Twilight Drake: A fantastic activator for your other Dragon-fuelled cards, and very often a significant problem for your opponent to deal with thanks to that fattened up health.
- Duskbreaker: A potentially devastating play for greedy aggro opponents to deal with, and very often capable of stopping such players dead in their tracks. Just be mindful about the damage it'll do to your side of the board as well.
- Primordial Drake: A final wall against aggro. Even if it doesn't wipe their board, they'll very often have to trade off a lot of their minions just to get through the taunt and back at your face.