Dragon Priest is a strong, value oriented Deck that improved with some of the new card additions from Journey to Un’Goro. This guide is brought to you by Albatross, who managed to get Legend with it.
1. General strategy
Dragon Priest plays more like a Control deck than a Midrange deck. The key to winning most games is to out-value your opponent. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to play all of your Dragons in hand because of the potential to draw more Dragon activator cards. The exception to this rule is if you are going to lose the game if you don’t play your last Primordial Drake for instance. In many games it’s also correct to hold onto cards like Power Word: Shield, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadow Word: Death, and sometimes even Potion of Madness for a better scenario. Remember, the key to winning most games with Dragon Priest is to out-value your opponent, not to simply fill out your curve. How can you expect to out-value the opponent if you play your cards at sub-optimal times? Always keep that in mind before committing to a line of play.
In general, try to find good early game cards (3 mana or less) that can also pressure the opponent.
Against Aggro: Potion of Madness, Northshire Cleric, Shadow Word: Pain, Curious Glimmerroot
Against Control: Curious Glimmerroot, Shifting Shade, Twilight Drake, Drakonid Operative
Vs. Pirate Warrior (-) : Pirate Warrior is a hard Match-Up for Dragon Priest. Especially, if you didn’t teched against Aggro. Potion of Madness is a key card here.
Vs. Quest Warrior (-) : Play as aggressively as you can. Forget their Brawls and their Sleep with the Fishes. Put them under as much pressure as possible because once they complete the Quest, you’re toast! You might as well go all-in because that’s your shot at victory.
Vs. Token Shaman (n) : If you have the Coin, hold onto it for a huge Dragonfire Potion play by turn 5. Other than that, Dragon Priest needs to fight for the board as aggressively as possible using Priest of the Feast for its body and Power Word: Shield for draw power (into Dragonfire Potion or Shadow Visions).
Vs. Quest Rogue (-) : Ideally if you have both Potion of Madness and Shadow Word: Pain, you can play Potion of Madness on their Igneous Elemental, attack with it, and then Shadow Word: Pain it to prevent your opponent from getting the Flame Elementals. If you manage to pull this off, that will often delay their quest by a turn or two. Other than that, play aggressively, Shadow Visions as soon as you can for Dragonfire Potion.
Vs. Miracle Rogue (+): Shadow Visions for Shadow Word: Death whenever you can. You will need at least 3 against them (Edwin van Cleef, 2 Arcane Giant). Set yourself up so you can deal with Gadgetzan Auctioneer by turn 6. The last thing you want is to let it live another turn, draw their whole deck before dropping 2 Arcane Giants and sometimes Edwin van Cleef as well.
Vs. Aggro Paladin (-): You want to try to play proactively as much as possible but when they drop Murloc Warleader, then definitely Shadow Word: Pain it away because if you don’t there’s a possibility they will buff it and the game will spiral out of control. Also be sure to use Shadow Word: Pain on their Murloc Tidecaller because it has the potential to go to 4 attack or higher nullifying your Shadow Word: Pain and adding way too much pressure against you. If they go first and they play Murloc Tidecaller and you have Shadow Word: Pain, it’s very risky to not coin it out, because if they play Grimscale Oracle and another 1-drop, suddenly their Murloc Tidecaller is at 4 attack. Forego using the Coin at your own risk.
Vs. Control Paladin (+) : Drakonid Operative their weapons as much as possible because a Dragon Priest with a weapon is no laughing matter. It gives you a lot more reach and it helps prevent a huge Sunkeeper Tarim play. Play around Sunkeeper Tarim as best as you can and always be wary that you may have to face up to 3 Sunkeeper Tarims because of Stonehill Defender.
Vs. Midrange Hunter (n) : Save your Potion of Madness for Kindly Grandmother. Using it on an Alleycat is a relatively low impact play. Use your spells and your minions as aggressively as you can. You want to convert your mana into board control so it’s definitely correct to use Power Word: Shield and Priest of the Feast more aggressively. Power Word: Shield can help you draw into late-game outs to Savannah Highmane while Priest of the Feast has a massive 3/6 body for its price.
Vs. Jade Druid (n) : Hitting their face should be your number 1 priority. Trade only when it gives you more tempo. This is one of the many matchups where Shifting Shade really shines. It allows us to have a turn 4 play that isn’t Twilight Drake meaning we can hold onto our Drake for the Dragon activator cards.
Vs. Aggro Druid (n) : Save your Shadow Word: Pain for Vicious Fledgling and Enchanted Raven because if they play Mark of Y’Shaarj on it, it will dodge both Shadow Word: Pain and Shadow Word: Death. Play Shadow Visions aggressively for Dragonfire Potion.
Vs. Zoo Warlock (+) : There are not a lot of viable Warlock’s Deck at the moment, but if you see one it is probably Zoo. Keep their board clean and win an easy game. GG
Vs. Freeze Mage (n) : Save Priest of the Feast, Shadow Visions, Power Word: Shield and the Coin for optimal healing opportunities later in the game. Drakonid Operative for Ice Block when you can. Also be wary of over-drawing. Make sure you try to empty your hand as much as possible. Save Shadow Word: Pain for Doomsayer. If you can do all that, the rest is easy. They’re going to eventually Alexstrasza you to which you respond with Priest of the Feast, Shadow Word: Death, and a bunch of other spells before watching the Freeze Mage player squirm.
Vs. Control Mage (+) : How you win this game is not by breaking both of their Ice Blocks before hitting them for lethal. How you win is by nullifying all of their threats. Save Shadow Visions, Power Word: Shield for Priest of the Feast. Save Shadow Word: Death for Alexstrasza and potential Atiesh minions. Do your best not to Shadow Word: Death a turn 8 Medivh, the Guardian. Do your best to hold onto your last Shadow Word: Death in case your opponent runs Elise the Trailblazer and gets a high statted minion. Hold onto both Priest of the Feast because you’re going to need both of them. With a bit of luck, Control Mage should run out of resources and conceded.
Vs. Secret Mage (-) : If you’re holding onto the Coin, do not use it for the sake of checking for Counterspell. Use it only when you have to play another spell. The last thing you want is to diffuse their Counterspell early only to have them play a 2nd copy to ruin your day. Play Priest of the Feast aggressively while also respecting their potential Mirror Entity. Play Power Word: Shield and Shadow Visions to check for Spellbender and Counterspell when you can afford to. The last thing you want is to not check for Counterspell only to have your Dragonfire Potion countered.
Vs. Purify Priest (n) : Attack their 4 attack minions when you get a chance without losing card advantage. You want to make their Divine Spirit plays as awkward as possible.
[(+) = good Match-Up >50% Winrate, (-) = bad Match-Up <50% Winrate, (n) = neutral Match-Up ca. 50% Winrate]
This deck has 3 flexible spots which are the 2 Shifting Shade and the 1 Darkshire Alchemist. If you don’t have Elise the Trailblazer you can replace her with Wild Pyromancer.
Against Aggro: -2 Shifting Shade + Wild Pyromancer + Tar Creeper
Against Control: No changes. This deck is already very tailored to beat control.
Laws of Experience: Author – Albatross (>2800 wins in ranked mode in total ✔. >550 wins in ranked mode with Priest ✔)
Laws of the Ladder: Standard ladder deck ✔. Deck was tested between rank 3 and Legend on Americas server beginning and mid of june ✔.
Laws of information: The deck was tested in a total of 61 games ✔. Information about General strategy, Mulligan, Match-Up’s & Replacements is given ✔.
Test Prerequisites: ✔
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