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Control Priest deck list guide - Forged in the Barrens - Hearthstone (April 2021)

Our guide to playing the latest version of Control Priest in Forged in the Barrens.

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About James Law

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Our Control Priest deck list guide features the best Forged in the Barrens deck list for Season 85 of Hearthstone (April 2021). Our Control Priest guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Control Priest is a Hearthstone deck archetype that looks to lock down the early and mid stages of every match it finds itself in, before pushing forward with a more meaningful board presence in the late-game. It's quite a slow deck to play all things considered, but it should suit those who are happy for a leisurely but assured climb up the ladder.

A word of warning is appropriate here, however. In order to play this deck effectively, you'll have to juggle a lot of unknown variables that will present themselves throughout the course of each match. It’s hard to make the right decisions at the right time with this deck, and a lot of the meta will be able to rush you down before you have the chance to respond.

In our Control Priest guide, we've highlighted the most popular deck list being piloted right now, and provided some basic Mulligan advice for getting your matches off to a good start. After that we've broken down all of the combos available to you if you decide to use our recommended deck list.

We'll add to this guide in time, but please let us know in the comments if you have any questions about playing the deck. We'll do our best to help!

Control Priest deck list and strategy

2 x Raise Dead1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Holy Smite2 x Wandmaker
2 x Draconic Studies2 x Hysteria
2 x Renew2 x Venomous Scorpid
2 x Sethekk Veilweaver1 x Blademaster Samuro
1 x Shadow Word: Death1 x Ysera the Dreamer
2 x Condemn (Rank 1)
2 x Insight
2 x Palm Reading
2 x Apotheosis
1 x Mindrender Illucia
1 x Xyrella

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GBvvRA/voA9TtA7SKBKyfBMGfBAyTugObugOvugPezAPXzgP+0QPi3gP73wP44wOW6AOe6wOFnwQA

More great Priest guides:

General strategy

Your goal with Control Priest is pretty simple: answer all of your opponents threats, starve them of resources and finish them off in the late game.

Early game: There’s no need to rush anything here – instead focus on taking the time to draw cards and clear enemy minions using Holy Smite, Condemn, and Wandmaker. Discounting your cards with Palm Reading is also a really nice way to set up for later board-clearing plays too.

Mid game: Here’s where you need to start being more proactive in response to your opponent’s actions. Try to play Sethekk Veilweaver alongside minion-targeting spells too, as it’ll beef up your hand size and give you more and more answers to your opponents’ plays until they run out of stuff.

Late game: Keep your health solid with Apotheosis on minions, and remember the board clears at your disposal. Xyrella, Blademaster Samuro, Condemn, and Hysteria can all save you from a difficult fate if you use them wisely, and once your opponent has less ammunition to finish you off, you can start to stabilise.

Ysera the Dreamer is an ideal option for closing things out if you need that extra bit of oomph. The Dream cards generated can be really solid, offering board clears, burst damage, and even well-statted minions.

Control Priest Mulligan guide

Some of these pick recommendations will depend on the matchup, but in general you’ll want to look for these cards in your opening mulligan:

  • 1. Holy Smite will often be required in order to take out early aggressive minions.
  • 2. Wandmaker can sometimes give you extra copies of Holy Smite, Renew, and Draconic Studies, three cards so good they’re already in your deck.
  • 3. Palm Reading works great to get your spells discounted for early use against aggro enemies. You can even discover something like Soul Mirror to fully clear the board on turn six.
  • 4. Blademaster Samuro has a solid board presence and can even be buffed slightly if you want to improve his Frenzy effect.

Control Priest tips, combos and synergies

There are some important combos to keep in mind when playing with the latest take on Control Priest. You'll find the most crucial ones in our round-up here:

- Ysera the Dreamer puts five cards in your hand, so save it until the end to ensure you have space for them. The cards you’ll get are:

  • Nightmare
  • Dream
  • Laughing Sister
  • Ysera Awakens
  • Emerald Drake

- Use Hysteria on a high-health enemy minion for the maximum chance of getting a full board clear.

- The spells you Discover from the likes of Renew and Palm Reading are very important to your success in each matchup. If your enemy is a Libram Paladin and is getting to their Lady Liadrin turn, maybe choose a Shadow Word: Death if you can. Similarly, if it’s a Token Druid, Condemn could be a great shout.

- Draconic Studies’ effect lasts until you play a Dragon, meaning you could always just wait until turn eight to play Ysera the Dreamer early.

- Mindrender Illucia can utterly destroy combo decks if you’re able to play her and a bunch of your enemy’s combo cards in the same turn. It can be an instant win, as long as you get more use out of their cards than they do out of yours for a turn.

- Keep hold of Acidic Swamp Ooze against enemies who use a lot of weapons. It can help you big time against Poison Rogues or Rush Warriors.

- Xyrella can be played after Renew to guarantee a three-damage AOE. This also works when you’re healed by a Lifesteal minion thanks to Apotheosis.

That’s all for Control Priest at the moment! We have all manner of other Hearthstone guides in our Hearthstone deck tier list though, and check out the best Battlegrounds heroes for more info on that game mode.

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  • Moongolfer #1 4 years ago
    Thanks for this guide. Wasted some dust to create this deck. Feels great to Alexstraza a face and finish the job with three mindblasts.
  • Bedders #2 5 years ago
    @Phoenix4217 No worries! Thanks for your patience, it's been a bit manic lately.
  • Phoenix4217 #3 5 years ago
    @Bedders, thanks for updating this!
  • sassysnackpack #4 5 years ago
    @Phoenix4217 ok, gotcha. Thanks!
  • Phoenix4217 #5 5 years ago
    @sassysnackpack, Yeah! It's not ideal, but since this is actually miracle priest, just run a second shadow word death. Lyra is really your only out if you plan on playing it like control, however. In that case, consider running Medivh, Free from amber, dragonfire potion, and maybe a few other actual control spells (assuming you have the adventure)
  • sassysnackpack #6 5 years ago
    Replacements for Lyra? I know Lyra is a really good card, but is it essential to this deck, any replacements?
  • Phoenix4217 #7 5 years ago
    There's a few reasons it doesn't run Medivh:
    1. The primary reason is... it's not really control priest. It's OTK priest (divine spirit/inner fire combo), you win nearly all your games that way. However, it is possible to value them via smart trades, healing, and Lyra, but it's difficult to say the least. It is consistent, I'd say beyond a meme deck, but... only three removal spells isn't really very control deck-y.
    2. Secondly, even if you argue OTK priest is control priest, the deck receives a lot of variance (in terms of deck build). This version is pretty miracle priest like (as mentioned before), so it runs lots of card draw (8 cards, 2 Acolytes of Pain, 2 Northshire cleric, 2 Circle of Healing, 2 Wild Pyromancer, though Circle and Pyro do other stuff too), the divine spirit inner fire package (4 cards plus assorted health buffs like PW:S and Kabal Talon Priest), big minions to buff up (literally all of the minions either draw cards, buff health, or have a lot of health), control spells (only three, Potion of Madness, SW:P and SW:D, though there's only one of the last one), Shadow Visions for consistency, and Lyra as a bail out/inner fire target. Fills your entire deck- no room for Medivh unless you completely change the outlook- which is perfectly doable and probably effective. But if you were to run Medivh you'd need him, x2 Free from Amber, and then probably some more high cost spells like Dragon Fire potion or maybe a mind control- stuff that there is no room for in the current deck goal. Turns out your most expensive spell costing 3 just doesn't cut it for Medivh...
    3. Finally, Lyra isn't the win condition- really its a tech card as 1(occasionally last minute desperate effort, 2(value matchups, 3(it's just a really good card, and 4(two shadow word death is unnecessary in this type of deck- the opponents usually dead by turn 6 (which makes Medivh too slow anyway), and 5(Lyra's primary purpose in the deck is to get stuff done without using resources- clear the opponents board, buff your minions, etc. all without using your essential divine spirits and inner fires- not exactly a win condition, just something to keep you going.
    Sorry about how long that is- I really love this deck so far- made it fairly recently and can't stop playing it. Best part is, its cheap, which is nice 'cause I can't afford too very many cards. When I played it though, I got a pretty good win-rate (and recognizable misplays when I didn't) but really only doing a divine spirit thing. So I suppose I'll find out how far it takes me.
    TL;DR: This deck is actually miracle OTK Priest, not control- Medivh is far too slow and cannot fit in the deck- besides, Lyra isn't a win condition in this scenario.
  • benrubinstein65 #8 5 years ago
    Interesting that this doesn't run anything like Medivh/Free from Amber. They seem to be a much more reliable win condition than Lyra.
  • Shining #9 6 years ago
    @nimurta I would not cut a Power Word Shield. I would cut one Injured Blademaster and replace it with Elise
  • nimurta #10 6 years ago
    this deck really lacks a finisher( except if you saved your flash heals) , i replaced 1 power word shield with elise and its working wonders
  • heejaesong75 #11 6 years ago
    I replaced 2 Acolytes with 1 shrinkmeister and 1 Cabal Shadow Priest.
  • Shining #12 6 years ago
    Control Priest usually doesn't run Acolyte of Pain and I don't like Flash Heal that much. I would add 1 Shadow Word Pain, 1 Shadow Word Death, 1 Velen's Chosen and Ysera.
    Or are the Acolytes and the Heals so important?
  • Bedders #13 7 years ago
    @King_of_Hyrule I struggled to make meaningful progress with this deck to be honest - I'm not a natural Priest player either which doesn't help. I could understand it enough to write a guide on it, but I just can't make it shine with these clumsy hands!
  • King_of_Hyrule #14 7 years ago
    I've been playing this deck pretty extensively last week, thanks for posting this!

    In my opinion the two best uses for the recombobulator in this deck are:

    1. Use it on your cabal shadow priest, ideally after attacking into a minion and taking some damage, you are almost guaranteed to get a better minion since the average quality of a six drop is way higher than a 4/5

    2. A second powerful play is to recombobulate the minion you took with shadow madness (obviously attack with it first) that way you get to keep the recombobulated minion and give nothing back at the end of the turn, ideally you use this on high mana 3-or-less attack creatures such as a healbot, quartermaster, maexna etc
  • TheRealGhostDragon #15 7 years ago
    How do you access the monthly meta report? Is that a feature for subscribers or something?