Breaking news: Teamfight Tactics Tier List (June 2019)

esports news and guides
Sections

Dragon Priest deck list guide - Rise of Shadows - Hearthstone (April 2019)

Our guide to getting started with a Rise of Shadows take on Dragon Priest.

Picture of John Bedford

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 Dragon Priest deck list guide features the best Rise of Shadows deck list for Season 61 of Hearthstone (April 2019). Our Dragon Priest guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to learn that Dragon Priest is a deck that seeks to exploit the synergies that exist between the pool of Dragon-related cards in the Hearthstone library. Many of these Dragon synergies relate to increasing the stats of other cards - making them either more powerful or more resilient - or triggering additional powers if you’re holding Dragon cards in hand.

Dragon Priest is nothing particularly new in Hearthstone, but everyone’s attention was elsewhere and it wasn’t expected to have much of a resurgence in the Rastakhan’s Rumble meta. It still isn’t an incredibly popular deck right now, but is finding some play by those who enjoy their Anduin fix and want to see it succeed.

In the latest of our Rastakhan’s Rumble deck guides, we'll show you how to get to grips with this long-running deck archetype. We'll start with a look at the latest deck list, outline the basic strategy behind playing it, and then give you some Mulligan tips so you get off to a good start. Finally, we'll run you through all of the most crucial Dragon-powered combos that are part and parcel of the deck.

UPDATE - RISE OF SHADOWS LAUNCH

During the busy launch period, we’re adding theorycrafted deck lists into all of our established guides so you have something new to play with in the new Rise of Shadows meta. Here’s Dragon Priest, courtesy of OldGuardian:

PriestNeutral
2 x Lazul's Scheme2 x Firetree Witchdoctor
1 x Chameleos2 x Nightmare Amalgam
2 x Power Word: Shield2 x Twilight Drake
2 x Northshire Cleric2 x Scaleworm
2 x EVIL Conscripter2 x Dragonmaw Scorcher
1 x Madame Lazul2 x Crowd Roaster
2 x Omega Medic
2 x Hench-Clan Shadequill
2 x Convincing Infiltrator
2 x Cabal Shadow Priest

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GAvLsAqCsAw6QAuUEjQjyDInxAuP3At6CA+iJA+yJA7CRA4KUA4OUA+iUA42XAwA=

More great Priest guides:

When we know what a refined version of the deck list looks like, we’ll be overhauling this article completely.

Everything below this point refers to a previous version of the guide, and will be updated as soon as we can.

Dragon Priest deck list and strategy

Here’s a deck list for Dragon Priest that’s been updated for the launch of the Rastakhan set and is seeing the most play right now. We’ll continue to tweak it if we spot any major changes over the coming days.

PriestNeutral
2 x Northshire Cleric2 x Firetree Witchdoctor
2 x Power Word: Shield2 x Wild Pyromancer
2 x Mind Blast1 x Gluttonous Ooze
2 x Shadow Visions2 x Scaleworm
2 x Twilight Acolyte2 x Twilight Drake
2 x Duskbreaker2 x Dragonmaw Scorcher
1 x Cabal Shadow Priest2 x Primordial Drake
2 x Psychic Scream1 x Alexstrasza
1 x Shadowreaper Anduin

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GBJACxQTTxQKQ0wINoQTlBPYHjQjyDNHBAsnHAujQAsvmAvzqAonxAuiJA+yJAwA=

General strategy

Dragon Priest aims to mix together a dollop of classic Control Priest with the powerful synergies found in Dragon cards to create a singular strong deck. With all the removal and survival options in the early game, Dragon Priest scales in power as you approach the late game with more powerful minions, and a hero card that can help you move towards a more aggressive playstyle.

When playing Dragon Priest, try to build your way towards establishing a solid presence by the mid-game, and use clever trading and removal cards to keep the opponent at bay until that moment comes. Duskbreaker provides immense value in the context of controlling the game and, along with other impactful cards such as Psychic Scream, Twilight Drake and Primordial Drake, is key to victory with Dragon Priest.

Early game: Take a slow pace in the early game. You can spend your turns slowly healing up the chip damage you may take from other decks, while looking for ways to draw cards using Northshire Cleric. Meanwhile, Firetree Witchdoctor is a useful new card for you to Discover additional spells as you’re moving into the mid game.

Mid game: Now is when you can properly start responding to whatever game plan your opponent is taking. If they’re a fast aggro deck, you have big board clears from Duskbreaker and Wild Pyromancer that can instantly undo all of their early game work. As for matches against slower decks, you should be able to drop a very high health Twilight Drake on curve to challenge them. You might even be able to pinch one of your opponent’s creatures using Cabal Shadow Priest.

Late game: Here’s where Dragon Priest can truly assert itself in a match. Dropping Primordial Drake onto the board can usually clear off any of your foe’s minions that are clinging on for dear life, while also leaving a huge Taunt body in play. If you play Shadowreaper Anduin, you can look to shift gears from a control game to a more aggressive one with the new two damage Hero Power. Meanwhile, Alexstrasza is an excellent way to take a chunk of your opponent’s health away in a split second, or to heal yourself up if needed.

Save up to 40% on your Hearthstone card packs with Amazon Coins.

You get cheaper cards while also supporting the continued development of Metabomb. Our Amazon Coins guide has more detail.

Dragon Priest Mulligan guide

The following cards are all useful early-game minions, and we list them here in a rough order of importance:

  • 1. Northshire Cleric: You can start to get this draw engine going in the early game while you have little else to do. It’s much easier when buffed with a Power Word: Shield too.
  • 2. Firetree Witchdoctor: Decent two-drop that will also allow you to Discover a spell you might need for later in the game.
  • 3. Duskbreaker: An excellent catch-up card if you find yourself getting overrun by aggro. When the effect triggers it should be able to kill everything on the board.
  • 4. Twilight Drake: As you probably aren’t playing too many cards in your first few turns, this can gain a rather significant Health boost and present a big problem for your opponent.

Dragon Priest combos and synergies

However familiar you may be with the concept of Dragon Priest it’s always worth brushing up on how all the important combos and synergies work in the deck.

- If you’re holding another Dragon in hand then you’ll activate the effect of Firetree Witchdoctor and be able to Discover a new spell.

- Shadow Visions allows you to Discover a copy of a spell in your deck. You can use this to find an answer you need that could be buried deep in your draw pile.

- Gluttonous Ooze doesn't just destroy your opponent's weapon, it also grants you Armor equal to that weapon's Attack value at the time it was destroyed.

- You can use Twilight Acolyte as a way to deal with an opposing minion that has high Attack power. If you have a Dragon in hand when it’s played, you can swap the targeted minions Attack with the measly two Attack on Twilight Acolyte.

- Duskbreaker is a very powerful card for this archetype. Assuming you have another Dragon in your hand on the turn its played, all minions on the board (friendly or otherwise) will take three points of damage. Ouch.

- Make sure you have a reasonable hand size when you play Twilight Drake, as it will gain one point of Health per card you’re holding.

- You can use Alexstrasza as both a way to remove a lot of your opponent’s health in a single blow, or to heal yourself up in a desperation play if you’re low.

Card choices and substitutes

Dragon Priest isn’t just about throwing every Dragon card into the deck and hoping it works. These are the important ones you need for the archetype to be most effective:

Firetree Witchdoctor: Pretty much guaranteed to give you a free bonus spell when played, given all the Dragons you run in the list.

Twilight Acolyte: Essentially, this is a very good way to deal with big minions while also using their Attack power in your favour. You can run Shadow Word: Death in its place, although it isn’t as effective.

Duskbreaker: Your big area of effect removal on Turn 4 that will likely kill all minions on your opponent’s side of the board, as well as their chances to end the game early.

Twilight Drake: Another hugely impactful four-drop. If you bulk it up to a large enough Health value then it can be a real problem for opponents to deal with easily.

Cabal Shadow Priest: The tempo swing in your favour when you play this card and steal one of your opponent’s minions is huge.

Psychic Scream: Some late game mass removal that can give you some time to take control of the game after too.

Primordial Drake: A huge Taunt minion that is difficult to get through for your opponent. The Battlecry effect is very useful for clearing off any small creatures remaining on the board.

Shadowreaper Anduin: Yet another way for Priest to come back against an overwhelming board. Once it’s down you’ll get a new hero power that deals two damage to a target and can push you towards a more aggressive playstyle to finish the game.

Alexstrasza: You opponent may think they’re having a great time still sitting on 30 Health, but this Dragon allows you to drop them down to 15 in an instant. Remember, you can use it on yourself for some emergency healing if needed, too.

Comment on this article

Comments on this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

  • fanap #1 10 months ago
    I think you have the same code for both Dragon and Deathrattle Priest?
  • Bedders #2 A year ago
    @Zottffss Interesting idea thanks, I'll give it a go myself!
  • Zottffss #3 A year ago
    I find this deck is a bit of a wild card. It is good and can defeat those top tier decks at times.
    I find Skulking Geist played a lot more often and it destroys the combo of the Inner Fire, so the only recommendation that I would suggest is to replace one or both copies of Inner Fire with one of two copies of Crazed Alchemist. It only costs one extra mana and it is immune to Skulking Geist. I've pulled off some surprising victories with it. It also reduces the Shadow Visions stress of debating over whether to grab the Divine Spirit or Inner Fire.
  • Donutaku #4 A year ago
    @Embersnacker Since you need to buy each wing before the last one with netherspite historian you need to spend 2800 gold which is insane for 2 commons
  • Embersnacker #5 A year ago
    @MrStealYaBike I Really think it's worth getting!

    If you don't wanna buy Karazhan do as i did, save you gold for it, if you do a quest a day it'll take you 14 day(without considering the 10g you get for every 3. win) to open a wing.

    I did it for the 700g cost legendary I could dust. so atleast you get your golds worth of dust


    - Embersnacker!
  • MrStealYaBike #6 A year ago
    I never bought Karazhan and don't have the money for it right now... any replacement cards for Netherspite Historian?
  • vladoonet #7 A year ago
    Thank you. Great deck so far !
  • Bedders #8 A year ago
    Here's the pre-expansion list and import code for everyone still playing the archetype over the next 24 hours or so:

    Priest

    2 x Inner Fire
    2 x Northshire Cleric
    1 x Potion of Madness
    2 x Power Word: Shield
    2 x Divine Spirit
    2 x Radiant Elemental
    2 x Shadow Visions
    2 x Kabal Talonpriest
    1 x Shadow Word: Death
    1 x Priest of the Feast
    2 x Drakonid Operative
    1 x Lyra the Sunshard
    2 x Dragonfire Potion

    Neutral

    2 x Netherspite Historian
    2 x Tar Creeper
    2 x Twilight Drake
    2 x Cobalt Scalebane

    AAECAa0GBNMKkrQCtbsCvsgCDfgC5QSNCNEK8gyCtQK6uwLwuwLqvwLRwQLYwQLKwwLKywIA
  • Flexybleu #9 A year ago
    Weakest deck against aggro ive ever played. Once the expansion discovery period ends and the meta aggros up, like it generally has, eversince Gadgetzan, this deck will be fantastic if you like losing a lot and deranking.
  • Bedders #10 A year ago
    @Suqafuq Good insight thanks. I'm going to give this a go later on today as I love Dragon Priest and really want to find a way of making it work better.
  • Suqafuq #11 A year ago
    This deck wants to run to late-game. Problem with that is at some point you're going to have to use Shadowreaper Anduin just for board clearance, and from that point on your health is going to be on its way out.

    If you want to out-last, I would swap out Lyra the Sunshard and one of the Bone Dragons for a couple of Greater Heals.
  • BetaMomb #12 2 years ago
    @Bedders Thank you, I'll try that.
    Now, I only need 3200 dust to actually complete my Dragon Priest deck....
  • Bedders #13 2 years ago
    @BetaMomb I believe the original version of this deck list only had one Primordial Drake, so try dropping one of those in favour of Ysera. Let us know how you get on!
  • BetaMomb #14 2 years ago
    Having pulled Ysera from a pack, is there anyway I can insert her into this deck, or would it significantly weaken it?
  • Bedders #15 2 years ago
    Hello folks, this is now updated for the May season. Let me know how you're getting on with it, or whether you've found a better version.
  • Bedders #16 2 years ago
    @Trixiebellle Ah whoops! I think this was from an original draft I'm sorry. We've had a few slips this week and I can only put it down to the frantic activity around launch.

    (Glad you find it useful though!)
  • Trixiebellle #17 2 years ago
    You refer to the potion of madness in the mulligan guide, but its not in the decklist... Apart from that, great guide as always.
  • Bedders #18 2 years ago
    @JessieDill Hello. We have many decks still to be updated and this is one of them. With Dragon Priest looking potentially - but by no means certainly - viable in the Un'Goro metagame, it's unfortunately further down the priority list for an update.

    I may do a little run through the site and put an alert at the top of articles to make this clear. I thought the headline with last month's date on it would be enough of an indicator, but it looks like not.
  • JessieDill #19 2 years ago
    Azure Drake is not standard anymore! This is why the Internet doesn'the trust you for hearthstone tips, John Bedford.
  • spyroslois #20 2 years ago
    Asmodai Dragon Priest http://themoment.tv/playlist/4752/moment/35316
  • gianischo #21 2 years ago
    @dsadadas did u went izy rank 12? coz im stack at 15
  • Bedders #22 2 years ago
    @dsadadas I think it's probably my favourite deck right now!
  • Not enough dragons for my taste. It happened far too often that I didn't have any dragon in my hand and so the synergies didn't work.
    I added:
    - 1x Chillmaw
    - 1x Deathwing
    - 1x Drakonid Crusher
    - 1x Twilight Dragon
    - 1x Entombed
    - 2x Acidic Swamp Ooze

    and removed:
    - 2x Priest of the Feast
    - 2x Kabal Talonpriest
    - 2x Powerword Shield
    - 1x Shadowword: Death

    Not to say that this list is bad. I started with it and then calibrated it to my gaming style. Maybe this list can help or inspire other players by building their own deck.:)
    Happy New Year!
  • Bedders #24 2 years ago
    Hey folks, sorry for missing your posts earlier. I think Dragon Priest more than any other deck is open to interpretation right now, and this is a very early take on the format. Do try lots of different versions.

    In the opening month of an expansion there's always a lot of refinement and experimentation going on, but it's part of Metabomb's thing that we avoid having endless versions of the same archetype, and no-one knows which one to turn to.

    That unavoidably leaves us a bit exposed in the first month of an expansion - where things are subject to rapid change and optimisation - but we'll have a clearer idea of how the archetype stacks up for the January season.
  • andrásrőczei41 #25 2 years ago
    I actually like this list so much, i even added 1 mana geode instead of Brann. Don't explain me brann sinergy, I am literally a hardcore player but i think mana geode can be better in the druid and warrior matchups.
  • Dokhou #26 2 years ago
    @benrubinstein65 Im kind of confused why they went this way with this deck

    Minus Cleric, priest of the feast and talon priest.. either too clunky and situational, they do not help you with the overall constant threat of cards..

    What you add is up to you, test the below:
    - potion of madness: (it is epic vs so many classes, stealing deathrattles, popping hunter traps
    - Blackwing T
    - Entomb (the usual reasons, its awesome)
    - Chillmaw, nice vs all these aggro decks
    - Wrathion (personally still testing him, ive gotten mixed results
  • benrubinstein65 #27 2 years ago
    Why the Talonpriest and Priest of the Feast? They really better than Blackwing Technicians & Twilight Guardians? Seems very odd.
  • Nyjene #28 2 years ago
    I really love the idea with Medivh and Dragon Priest but is so far the worst Dragon Priest Deck. With so much aggros, tempo and midrange one SW : Pain and one Bookwyrn is juste too slow and not enough, priest of the feast get a very rare impact on the game and there is not anough synergies, and Medivh is the worst ; not enough spells and usually your entomb/holy nova have already be used and mostly it's very slow, even against a control, and Priest is already too slow.
    Nonetheless I love the idea to mix Dragon and Medivh, and I keep it, maybe it can be improve despite my attempts.
  • Bedders #29 2 years ago
    @Lokojet I've not had much of a chance to play with this deck since I'm afraid. Always the way when you're trying to stay on top of the latest developments with 30+ decks! (I have also been playing too much WOW on the side...)
  • Lokojet #30 2 years ago
    @Mandylanemth Thanks, too! I tried with a second Book Wyrm and also one Twilight Drake, it seems it works well.
    @Bedders How you doing against aggro? I've been trying with one Wild Pyromance and also one Excavated Evil, sometimes it works well but my problem I think is that I don't have Chillmaw so I don't have a strong destroyer taunt.
  • Bedders #31 2 years ago
    @Mandylanemth Thanks very much for sharing your changes with us! I'll give them a go when I'm next playing the deck.
  • Mandylanemth #32 2 years ago
    This deck plays out quite well. I too have had slight problems with the dragon synergy but thats not much. Still 85℅ winrate from rank 15 - 10

    My adjustments is following: replaced sylvanas with Cabal for more tempo, the alternative is another book wyrm if you're struggling with triggers.

    If you're still having trouble triggering your dragons then replace priest of the feast with Twilight Drake. It works real nice in DP as you most likely will have 5-7 cards by turn 4. Drawing it later on with a smalller hand is not really great, 4/4 for 4 is not super, but can sometimes be really huge too. Deck kind of lacks quantities of spells anyways.

    Medivh is actually real good as he will make your entombs hurt soooooo much in the late game.

    Surprisingly good deck!
  • Bedders #33 2 years ago
    Yeah you're playing this for the Dragon synergy, card draw and body on the board. Spell damage is very much the occasional bonus you don't particularly plan for.

    I've been thinking about your question@Lokojet and quite honestly, I'm finding it hard to make a suggestion. This seems like an archetype that's going to go through a lot of changes in a very short space of time and I'm wary of making fundamental changes until things settle down.

    Maybe Medivh won't cut the mustard in the long run and Chillmaw or something else from previous incarnations comes back - it's so early to call. If that happens though, we're almost back to a fairly middling Dragon Priest and nothing's changed.

    How can I put it simply? I've found about as much success as I expected to get from Dragon Priest in the current climate - read into that what you will :-)
  • Klck #34 2 years ago
    @tobiasjameswalker43 thats actualy last thing You care about. The thing here is a decent body 4/4 for 5 with card draw and dragon flavoured. Who cares it has +1 mag, even better.
  • tobiasjameswalker43 #35 2 years ago
    Two Azure Drakes and yet your only spell damage card in the whole deck is Holy Nova. Seems like quite a waste but good luck.
  • Lokojet #36 2 years ago
    Nice deck, however not sure if 9 dragons is enough having 14 cards that are triggered when holding a dragon. Any chance to include 1 or 2 more dragons? what could you replace if needed?
  • staintool #37 3 years ago
    I've been finding that N'Zoth Dragon Priest is pretty good. Cabal just doesn't find enough targets in the meta, so I've cut them completely. I use +1 n'Zoth, +2 Shifting Shade, +1 Cairn, +1 Chillmaw, +1 Justicar, +1 Eviscerated Evil, -1 Forbidden Shaping, -1 Northshire Cleric, -1 Museum Curator, -1 Entomb, -2 Cabal, -1 Blackwing Tech. Thinking about putting Curator back in and removing a Shade, but they can be game changers.
  • Calibus #38 3 years ago
    FYI, Azure Drake only affects the spell damage of Holy Nova, not the healing.
  • Bedders #39 3 years ago
    @staintool You are absolutely correct - apologies and thanks for the spot and letting us know. I have made some changes.
  • staintool #40 3 years ago
    Think it's probably Scaled Nightmares or possibly Twilight Drakes.
  • staintool #41 3 years ago
    Just a heads up, but you have 2x Blangwing Corruptors twice in your Dragon Priest guide.
  • Gr81derer #42 3 years ago
    Hey Guys! For some Video Gameplay of a Dragon Priest deck check this Playlist out:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJn-ARhTme68BufXg66_OGLSqSAWFqwFq

    First video here ...



    I have more then 11 more videos coming facing almost every single other deck there is currently played on EU ladder.

    Hope you Enjoy!
  • isFlorGaming #43 3 years ago
    I am truly trying to Mulligan for Zombie Chow, but it's so hard when he's not in my deck! Any tips? ;)
  • vitaminedrink #44 3 years ago
    This deck is very well-tuned, but I made some changes nevertheless. I do not have Chillmaw and Sylvanas Windrunner and therefore tried some other cards as a replacement, before spending 3200 dust on those cards. I replaced them with Chromaggus and Nefarian. Chromaggus and Nefarian do not even serve the same purpose as Chillmaw (taunt+boardclear) and Sylvanas Windrunner (body and cheap steal), but for me it works out. Nefarian is a fun card in general and it makes up for some strong plays on the next turn (especially against paladin). Chromaggus synergizes well with Power Word: Shield, Azure Drake and Northshire Cleric. On top of this, both cards have a dragon tag.

    I will be using this for climbing the ladder the coming days, together with tempo mage, oil rogue and aggro druid.
  • inposition #45 3 years ago
    No museum curator? Vol'jin?
  • daniellekatagasm27 #46 3 years ago
    Shrinkmeister and shadow word pain is a great combo, but.... Shadow word pain isn't in this deck..
  • alexaltman56 #47 3 years ago
    @alexaltman56 Additionally, in my opinion, it should have one Holy Fire or one Mass Dispel (depends on preference), instead of one of the two Cabal Shadow Priests.
  • alexaltman56 #48 3 years ago
    In my opinion, this should have Malygos instead of Ysera, Chillmaw instead of Vol'Jin, Emperor Thaurissan instead of Dragonkin Sorceror, and 2 Mind Blast instead of 2 Blackwing Corruptor. Also maybe a Blackwong Technician or two instead of one or two Dark Cultist(s).
  • dominiksteinbach34 #49 3 years ago
  • Bedders #50 3 years ago
    You know what? I think you're right. I'll pop in a revised version now - thanks!
  • dominiksteinbach34 #51 3 years ago
    No Lightbomb? no no no :)
    Very useful against the cancer paladin and handlocks out there...maybe take out the second shrinkmeister.

    also. maybe try entomb for SW:D once it comes out ?!
  • Bedders #52 3 years ago
    I think it probably depends on whereabouts you are on the ladder. I flew from 20 to 11 using this deck, then I have to admit I've had to switch to something else due to a wall of wallet Warriors.

    It's very powerful in the right meta I think, but if it's consistently failing against a very specific type of opponent, switch out! I do think it's a lovely addition to the Priest's arsenal though - it's been lacking variety for far too long.
  • a.j.oppman02 #53 3 years ago
    maybe i'm not playing it right but im having the worst luck on the ladder with this deck. Yeseras been more or less useless..
  • King_of_Hyrule #54 4 years ago
    Looks like a fun deck, not sure how viable it is, perhaps it doesn't have enough dragons to reliably trigger all the effects? Hope the deck will work out though :)

    Small correction: "Spells must actually target the Dragonkin Sorcerer in order for its boost to be triggered" (instead of blackwing corruptor)