Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.
If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.
This Standard deck is constructed with only Basic cards gained from reaching Level 10 with this class and cards from the One Night in Karazhan adventure set.
Basic + Karazhan Priest utilizes a variety of cheap removal spells in the Basic Priest set for board control, and generates card advantage through a Northshire Cleric card draw engine.
Minions - 20
2x Northshire Cleric
- The card that this deck is built around! She’ll be our primary way of drawing cards late in the game. Synergizes well with our Hero Power, Darkscale Healer, and Holy Nova.
2x Acidic Swamp Ooze
- The best two mana minion in the Basic card set. With a weapon destroying battlecry, an Acidic Swamp Ooze played at the right time can swing games.
2x Pompous Thespian
- A plain 2 mana for a 3/2 with taunt. He’s chosen over other 2 mana minions in the Basic set because 3 attack allows him to kill most 3 mana minions.
2x Shattered Sun Cleric
- An amazing card for tempo if you can utilize her battlecry to buff a smaller minion to trade against a larger one, or when you can increase the health on a minion so it doesn’t die in what would have been an even trade.
2x Violet Illusionist
- Violet Illusionist provides great value for its cost and has the ancillary benefit of being able to shield our hero from damage when we use it to attack.
2x Chillwind Yeti
- A plain 4 mana for a 4/5. He’s almost always going to be the largest minion on the board on turn 4. This is one of the best 4 mana minions in the game.
2x Priest of the Feast
- 4 mana for a 3/6 is great value! While Priest of the Feast isn't as good as Water Elemental in terms of utility, the healing can often be triggered from our cheap spells like Holy Smite and Power Word: Shield.
2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta
- A great card against aggro. 4 mana for a 3/5 is already fair, but the taunt is what makes this card good.
1x Onyx Bishop
- Onyx Bishop can be great value if it resurrects a minion with a casting cost greater than 3. Because his Battlecry is a bit situational, we only play a single copy of him.
1x Prince Malchezaar
- Prince Malchezaar is one of our primary win conditions in this deck. His value is similar to Boulderfist Ogre in terms of stats, but its the random Legendaries that he shuffles in our deck that can swing games in our favor against more expensive decks.
2x Boulderfist Ogre
- A plain 6 mana for 6/7. This is exactly what we want at this slot. A big guy who will trade with two other big guys. He’ll trade with two 6/6 minions, and is out of Big Game Hunter and Fireball range.
Spells - 10
2x Holy Smite
- Great cheap removal. 1 mana for 2 damage is great for protecting your Northshire Cleric from 3/2 minions on turn 2.
2x Power Word: Shield
- Gives 2 health to any minion for 1 mana, and draws you a card. Ideally, you’ll want to play this on a minion that would have died in a trade without the extra health. Make sure to play this first before your other cards, as the card you draw from it might be useful.
2x Shadow Word: Pain
A pretty efficient card. The dream is to use this against hard to remove minions like Water Elemental and Fen Creepers. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t work around battlecries and deathrattles.
Neither this nor Shadow Word: Death affect 4 attack minions, making Priest weak against 4 attack cards.
2x Shadow Word: Death
A great card to draw into late game to eliminate your opponent’s late game threats. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t work around battlecries and deathrattles, so using this on your opponent’s Sylvanas Windrunner will still have her steal one of your minions.
Neither this nor Shadow Word: Pain affect 4 attack minions, making Priest weak against 4 attack cards.
2x Holy Nova
- Priest’s primary board clear card. Works well in conjunction with our Northshire Cleric to draw cards and heal our minions after clearing your opponent’s board.
In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.
When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.
When going second, your advantage is mainly The Coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.
When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.
When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This might be a minion like Eater of Secrets to counter classes with Secrets or a removal spell like Frostbolt.
When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.
While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.
- 2 Mana: Acidic Swamp Ooze, Pompous Thespian
- 3 Mana: Shattered Sun Cleric with a 2 mana minion, Violet Illusionist
- 2 Mana: Shadow Word: Pain with The Coin
To upgrade this deck, check out the Control Priest section of ManaCrystals.com!
If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world.
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I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comment sections below.