You will often run your opponent out of cards in hand around the same time that you yourself run out of cards, but given the power-level of the cards within this deck, you tend to win the top-deck game.
In combo and control match-ups though, such as Druid, Rogue, Warrior, Mage, Warlock, and Priests, Northshire is instead held as a source of card draw, to be played only when you can guaranteed draw at least one card off of it.
In every match-up you play chow on turn 1 if you can, period. If he gets removed it's just one less piece of removal your opponent will have for larger threats, and if he doesn't then he will either trade up into some higher costed minion, or will at least keep that warrior from building up armor. In control match-ups his deathrattle doesn't matter, because control v control is all about who has control of the board, and as long as you have enough health to not be dead, health is irrelevant.
In the mid-late game, try to save the chow for when you can play him with Holy Champion so that your opponent has a reason to fear killing the chow off.
In aggro match-ups, he can discover cards like Zombie Chow, Explosive Sheep, Unstable Ghoul, Dark Cultist, Deathlord, Abomination, Sludge Belcher, and Chillmaw. The chances of him whiffing on a relevant minion are slim, and he doesn't even cost you that much tempo by doing this.
In midrange match-ups, he can discover cards like Dark Cultist, Piloted Shredder, Feugen, Stalagg, Sludge Belcher, Piloted Sky Golem, Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas Windrunner, Toshley, and Chillmaw. Again, quite the long list of relevant minions which can be aquired.
Against control decks he can discover Piloted Shredder, Feugen, Stalagg, Sludge Belcher, Piloted Sky Golem, Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas Windrunner, Toshley, and Sneed's Old Shredder.
This means he provides a flexible, on curve 2 drop relevant in every match-up. Priest couldn't have asked for more from a single card. So yeah, we run two of him.
Since this deck often does not really take control of the board until turn 3 (barring turn 1 chow), Shadow Word: Pain also helps us reign in those aggressive decks early in the game.
In aggro match-ups, Wild Pyromancer is saved to be used as an AoE spell.
In Midrange match-ups like Paladin, Hunter, and Druid he is often saved for use as a small AoE spell.
In Control match-ups he is often just a 3/2. Use him to bait removal.
Deathlord should not be played if you know your opponent can immediately kill him off. Since warriors run Execute, this means you should not play Deathlord against them unless you are certain you can handle whatever his deathrattle puts onto the opponent's board.
Note about Velen's Chosen: Do not play it on a minion unless that minion can attack the turn it was buffed. Otherwise, the card becomes very weak to silence effects. At best, your opponent gets to dictate how to trade into this new super-minion. There are some rare exceptions to this rule, but most of them involve go-for-broke situations where you buff a taunt minion and pray you don't die the next turn because it's the best play you have.
Do not place Holy Champion to the board if you know your opponent can kill her off while she is still a 3/5. If you need to stall out the game, use something like Sludge Belcher as cannon fodder instead.
Aggro decks don't want to draw a two-sided board wipe, so this card can often deny aggro decks an entire turn of play, which is huge.
Midrange decks, while they may find some use for the card, typically won't use Excavated Evil against you simply because they don't want to give it back to you. This means that often, the card has the same effect on midrange decks that it does on aggro decks.
Against control decks, you can always just save it to use on turn 10+ with a Holy Nova, and given that most of your minions have significantly more than 3 hp and that you can heal your own minions, you can usually play around the evil.
Despite all the upsides, the Japanese Priest deck still does aim to control the board, and the only way to do that is by keeping your own minions on it. This means that two Excavated Evils would just be asking for trouble, so we limit ourselves to one.
Other tech cards to consider:
The Black Knight for heavy Druid/Control metas
Sylvanas Windrunner for non-druid control metas
Loatheb for combo heavy metas
Cabal Shadow Priest for aggro heavy metas
Mind Control because everyone and his brother is playing either Priest or Warrior.
Against aggro he provides 7+ hp which hits back for the opponent to slog through. This directly counters the "Get 'em dead" strategy of aggro lists.
Against midrange he provides 7+ hp which hits back for the opponent to slog through, and can be used to deny favorable trades from the opponent. This makes the "One turn tempo push" (where-in the opponent either takes the board or takes your life) strategy of midrange decks far more difficult to pull off.
Against control he can be used to deny favorable trades from the opponent. This makes the "Gain control of the board" strategy of control decks far more difficult to do when they cannot efficiently trade the way they would like.
In a list like this which runs double Deathlord and aims to outlast the opponent, double Entomb is a no-brainer.
In aggro match-ups, Justicar Trueheart will often allow you to recover from almost dying and deny your opponent the ability to top-deck that last point of damage.
In midrange match-ups, Justicar Trueheart performs much the same function that she does in aggro match-ups, in that she allows you to outlast the opponent's deck. Most midrange decks either lack in reach or lack in ways to recover the board, and your augmented hero power can compensate for whichever area the opponent's deck is strong in.
In control match-ups, the augmented hero power allows your minions to make what should be ridiculously poor trades, but so long as they survive you can heal them back up to full and never let go of the board again.
Harrison Jones: Well... it's a weapon using class of which none of its archetypes typically win the game before turn 5, so this should be a no brainer.
Entomb: Good against Control Warrior to have guaranteed answers to their late game threats. At worst against Patron it can hit Emperor Thaurissan.
Lightbomb: Great agaisnt Patron because it clears any sort of board they try to establish. Also good against control because it can go 1 for 1 with most of their win-cons and perfectly answers Dr. Boom.
Justicar Trueheart: She is good against Control Warrior, and even against patron she allows your taunt minions to basically become Fort Knox.
Velen's Chosen or Excavated Evil can be kept if you have a solid opener already.
Northshire Cleric: Performs the same function as Zombie Chow, though not quite as well.
Power Word: Shield: Useful when combined with Wild Pyromancer and The Coin for an AoE clear as early as turn 2. Since you only get the coin when going second, this card becomes too slow to keep when going first.
Museum Curator: He could find a 3 drop like Dark Cultist or Deathlord and he has soft taunt simply because you MIGHT have a Velen's Chosen in hand.
Shadow Word: Pain: Kills a Totem Golem on curve. Kills Tunnel Trogg too. Need I say more?
Wild Pyromancer: Potential source of board clear if you are going second. At worst, you go first and he is a 3/2 with soft taunt that eats a Lightning Bolt or Crackle.
Deathlord: He stops aggro decks.
Velen's Chosen: Very powerful if you have an early minion to play it on, as it often allows you to wrestle an early control of the board from the shaman. This usually means you win. It's completely useless without a minion though, which is why it is a situational keep.
Excavated Evil: Kills Tunnel Trogg, Feral Spirit, all totems, and puts a dead draw into the opponent's deck. It still isn't enough to save you if you don't have an early game play though, so you can't keep this without having solid early game in your opener.
Museum Curator: Provides a dink and helps you curve out. Flooding a rogue early in the game is a great strategy as it often forces them to use removal at sub-optimal times. The curator helps us force the rogue to do that.
Deathlord: A big minion to help protect the face and a great target for Velen's Chosen. Most rogue decks don't run any minions which are that big of a problem when summoned by the deathrattle, so this guy has very little downside against rogues.
Holy Champion: Another threat, and it becomes more and more threatening every turn. Especially good because it can answer cards like Violet Teacher.
Excavated Evil: Kills the SI:7 Agent and Earthen Ring Farseer and denies the rogue a draw. No real downside here, so it's keepable.
Harrison Jones: I should not have to explain why you keep this guy against a rogue.
Side Note: Discover taunt minions with Museum Curator wherever possible. They really hurt Blade Flurry combos.
Velen's Chosen can be kept if you have an early game minion in your start hand.
Northshire Cleric: Northshire inhibits paladins from using hero power, and can draw you at least one card before dying against any 2 drop other than Knife Juggler. It's typically worth the risk to play her.
Power Word: Shield: Good Wild Pyromancer trigger, which is very strong against a class that summons an army of 1/1's
Museum Curator: His 1/2 body still kills dudes off just fine. You want to try to discover minions that will allow you to play on curve and thus keep up the tempo against a paladin.
Shadow Word: Pain: It kills Shielded Minibot. It kills Knife Juggler. It's worth keeping.
Wild Pyromancer: Given that he provides a repeatable Whirlwind effect, this guy is an all-star against paladins.
Deathlord: Deathlord is a little weak to Equality, but given that most paladin lists only run one or don't run any, that is a very small price to pay for such a powerful early game minion. Paladins really struggle with him since their primary ways of dealing damage involve minions and weapons, both of which can easily be played around.
Harrison Jones: He can eat Truesilver Champion to help solidify control of the board, or eat a 2-3 durability Light's Justice gotten from Muster for Battle to get you back into the game. Why wouldn't you keep him?
Museum Curator can grab Sylvanas Windrunner, Cairne Bloodhoof, and Piloted Sky Golem in this match-up and use them with pretty brutal efficiency. This said, his priority is still to help you play on curve.
You can keep Power Word: Shield if you have a Wild Pyromancer in your opening hand.
Northshire Cleric: It isn't quite a chow, and it can lose to a Knife Juggler... but it's better than nothing.
Museum Curator: He helps you curve out (and this is how you should use him against hunters) and against the more aggressive lists he can take care of some annoying 1 drops.
Shadow Word: Pain: Even though Hunters run some sticky minions, it still deals with Knife Juggler and is a Wild Pyromancer trigger. It also kills a Haunted Creeper which has been hit by Houndmaster, which is far more relevant than you might think.
Wild Pyromancer: Hunters play a lot of 1 hp minions. PUNISH THEM!!!
Deathlord: He hurts aggressive decks. Yes every now and then a hunter will use Hunter's Mark on him and then pull out a Savannah Highmane, but prospect of early board control is worth the risk.
Zombie Chow: A strong early game minion which could soak some early removal and threatens Darnassus Aspirant.
Museum Curator: Like Power Word: Shield, it's a great way to capitalize on the lack of early game pressure. It also provides a target for Velen's Chosen. When played early in the game you typically just want to curve out. Mid-late game just go for powerful minions/taunts, depending on where your health is at.
Shadow Word: Pain: It counters Darnassus Aspirant. That's about it.
Deathlord: The lack of early game pressure from Druids means he isn't likely to get killed off. He's just a good target for buff spells, because he doesn't mind getting silenced one bit.
Velen's Chosen: Keeping this revolves around rather twisted logic. Druids run a fair bit of silence, but the deathrattles on most of your early game minions help your opponent. This means that you can use Velen's Chosen to try to force the druid to silence minions with those deathrattles. If he doesn't blow his silence effects, great. You get a big beefy minion with spell damage! Huzzah!
Turns 2-6, try to use Museum Curator to help you curve out. As you reach turns 7+ though, instead use Museum Curator to discover powerful mid-game minions. Minions with taunts like Sludge Belcher and Chillmaw have top priority unless you either have solid control of the board, or the druid has already blown his first combo and you are not in danger of dying any time soon.
Power Word: Shield: Same rationale as the northshire. Against other warlock decks it can take your early game minions out of Darkbomb range.
Zombie Chow: Zoo is a deck. You need early game.
Museum Curator: He is just good in every match-up. The discover mechanic can flex based on which deck you are facing, and he provides a 1/2 body. Against Zoo try to curve out or, failing that, grab taunts. Against RenoLock grab Stalagg/Feugen if given the option, otherwise grab powerful mid-game minions. Against maly-lock, try to curve out or grab powerful mid-game minions. Against Handlock grab powerful mid-game and late-game minions.
Shadow Word: Pain: It has great targets against every one of the warlock lists except for handlock, and it can be a game-decider against Zoo.
Wild Pyromancer: Against Zoo it gives you another form of board clear. Against every other Warlock list it will at worst soak some removal.
Deathlord: Warlock lists don't tend to have great ways to deal with an early Deathlord. This means it's usually safe to play him.
Velen's Chosen: Just like with druids, Velen's Chosen can help you trade favorably or at worst baits a silence onto a minion of yours with a negative deathrattle.
There is no general strategy against the Reno-lock deck, as that deck's draws usually dictate how you should play the game. If the Reno-lock has a strong opener, you try to out-value him and then just overwhelm him as the game goes late. If he draws a slower hand, you want to try to out-tempo him. In both situations, try to play Ysera only if you are confident that she cannot be easily removed. She is your best way to win against this deck.
Entomb should prioritize Sylvanas Windrunner, Stalagg, and Feugen. You will also occasionally be forced to Entomb Twilight Drake, which is not an optimal target.
Museum Curator has three big targets in this match-up: Sylvanas Windrunner, Stalagg, and Feugen.
Try to keep minions at 3+ hp to play around Hellfire. As the game goes late and the likelihood of your opponent having the Malygos finisher increases, try to keep your health above 18.
Museum Curator should just be acquiring powerful mid-game minions to help you keep board control against the Maly-lock.
Use Museum Curator to help you curve out and to find powerful mid-game minions to help you keep control of the board. Chillmaw is especially good on turns 7+. If you also have Ysera in hand, PogChamp.
You have to play the slow game against Handlocks, as playing a high tempo game is reliant both on you drawing an aggressive hand, and on the Handlock not having Molten Giant(s). A typical game sees both decks going to turn 15-20 followed by the Handlock playing Lord Jaraxxus and winning.
Play Ysera only if you are confident that the opponent cannot deal with her. Dream cards which allow you to burst the opponent are this deck's only way to achieve a significant amount of reach, and without reach you simply cannot kill a Handlock.
Save Harrison Jones for when he plays Lord Jaraxxus. Harrison drawing you that many cards should keep you in the game for 3 or 4 turns of Jaraxxus, and that's all you could ever hope for as a Priest.
Museum Curator should just be grabbing powerful late game minions. Sylvanas Windrunner, Sneed's Old Shredder, Cairne Bloodhoof, Piloted Sky Golem, Toshley, and Feugen are all reasonable discoveries. Stalagg though just tends to get BGH'd. If you happen to pull Feugen with your first discovery though, it should go without saying that Stalagg becomes a powerful second discovery.
Zombie Chow: Tempo Mage is a think, and chow is the king of turn 1.
Museum Curator: A good body to threaten Velen's Chosen with. Against most mage decks you want him to help you curve out.
Shadow Word: Pain: This card is great against every kind of mage. Against tempo mage, it keeps them from snow-balling early on. Against mech mage, it keeps them from snow-balling early on. Against Freeze Mage, it kills Doomsayer. Against Control Mage, it can handle Water Elementals and Sludge Belchers.
Deathlord: He is hard for the aggressive mage decks to plow through, and against freeze mage he can force cards like Alexstrasza into play before the mage is ready, significantly crippling the opponent's deck.
Velen's Chosen: It helps you establish early board control. Mages don't like it when you take early control of the board.
Maintaining control of the board is critical in this match-up, and stacking buffs on minions is perfectly ok, as spells like Fireball are usually the only removal that a Tempo Mage will have. Landing Velen's Chosen on a Deathlord usually just wins you the game.Museum Curator should be used to help you curve out above all else. However, because Tempo Mage decks run Mirror Entity, know that Zombie Chow, Clockwork Gnome, Explosive Sheep, Unstable Ghoul, and Loot Hoarder are all solid pulls from the curator. The Museum Curator itself can also be held to use as a "test minion" for Mirror Entity.
This is quite possibly the only match-up where it does not matter one bit what you discover with Museum Curator. Among all of the deathrattle minions, not one is better than the others against Freeze Mage. Because of this, just try to discover minions which help you to curve out.
Try to steal Mad Scientists with Cabal Shadow Priest if you can, to force the Freeze Mage to both draw and play his secrets.
Board control is critical in this match-up. Heal minions, not the face (unless you are fairly certain that healing your face would prevent the opponent from having lethal).
Cabal Shadow Priest should only be played if it has a minion to steal.
Museum Curator should be helping you curve out in the early game, and should be held to check for Mirror Entity as the game goes on. Discovering cheap minions like Zombie Chow is just fine, as they further counter Mirror Entity.
Entomb should be used on Sylvanas Windrunner and Reno Jackson (where possible).
Museum Curator should be discovering powerful mid-game threats for you, as board control will be critical.
Save Shadow Word: Pain for any Doomsayers or Water Elementals that dare show their faces.
Northshire Cleric: In the mirror match, the Priest with the most cards in hand is usually the priest who is winning. An early Northshire helps us be that priest.
Zombie Chow: We keep him because, if paired with a Velen's Chosen, he becomes an Injured Blademaster, which is very hard for priests to deal with.
Museum Curator: Another early game minion which could potentially be hit by Velen's Chosen. His ability to grab powerful mid-game threats is also amazing in the mirror.
Shadow Word: Pain: One of the only answers we have to another Priest's early game. It is especially critical against Dragon Priests.
Deathlord: He can buy you some time against opposing Priest decks. Even if he gets dealt with, he brings your opponent closer to fatigue, which is good. If he gets hit with a Velen's Chosen, you basically just win the game.
Velen's Chosen: When it lands on Deathlord or Zombie Chow it can swing the game massively in your favor. That fact alone is enough reason to keep it in an opening hand.
Holy Champion: Not only does she have great synergy with our deck, but she stops the opponent from using his/her hero power. Great anti-priest card.
Museum Curator should be helping you to curve out and grabbing powerful mid-game minions that will help you obtain board control.
Do not play Ysera until your opponent has used both of his Entombs. The fact that we run our own late-game finisher and they do not is what gives us such an advantage, as the two decks tend to go to fatigue.
Use Museum Curator to discover mid-late game threats. Curving out is not so important in this match-up.
Since S14 though he has ceased to maintain/update the Japanese Priest deck archetype, and given that I helped him refine the original list in S13, I have taken up the mantle of maintaining the deck. This means that any and every card in this deck released post-GvG is one of my own personal modifications.
I have no personal claim to the idea of a Deathlord + Lightbomb control Priest. At best I am just a hipster-turned-loyalist who has played the deck longer than almost anyone else.
Thank you guys for checking out the deck! Any and all feedback is very much appreciated. With luck, this deck can help you both to have some fun on the ladder, and to rank up at a rather high win-rate.
I will be adding a match-up table, probably some time tomorrow (Thursday 12/17). I just recently got done with my finals, so I may finally have the time to put such a massive chunk of text into the deck's description. Don't quote me on that time, but know that a full match-up table and mulliganing guide will be coming.
December 16, 2015 9:23 p.m.
I really like the time and thought you've put into this deck description and matchup analysis! +1!
December 21, 2015 7 a.m.
Really glad to see Museum Curator here. It's the perfect fit for the deck, and I haven't seen much experimentation with it.
Has Holy Champion been performing well? I'm always wary to put it in my decks and always end up just going with the old dependable Auchenai Soulpriest. And with the control decks out there, do you think a Shrinkmeister might be good tech against opposing Yseras?
December 21, 2015 7:24 a.m.
Holy Champion is one of the best four drops in the game. It wins the mirror if left unanswered, and almost always either trades up or forces big threat removal from the opponent. Shrinkmeister doesn't have enough synergy with the rest of the deck to make him worth playing. Just save one Entomb for any Ysera.
December 22, 2015 2:56 a.m.
It looks like a very strong Priest deck, Shadow Word: Pain is an interesting choice seeing as it doesn't show up in many lists on Hearthpwn.
Looks like LoE made Priests good.
Holy Champion is another interesting choice. As you said, it can win the mirror handily but I'm not so sure about "one of the best four drops in the game" but it's strong. (Basically a Lightwarden on steroids.) However, I wonder if the package might get you more mileage? The nice thing about Auchenai Soulpriest is that you can run Zombie Chow to help clear aggro in the early game and if you draw it late it can deal 5 damage if she [soulpriest] is in play.
I have a version of this deck that's unposted and I have a lot of differences but the core is the same. It's nice to compare notes.
December 24, 2015 9:16 p.m.
Not sure why that part edited out.
December 24, 2015 9:17 p.m.
Here is my reasoning for not running that package:
Circle of Healing: It's a touch useless on its own. It can draw lots of cards or can be useful when combined with Blademaster/auchenai, but it significantly damages consistency. In this deck, consistency is everything.
Injured Blademaster: well... He passes the vanilla test for 3 drops but he only really becomes a powerhouse with circle of healing, or when played post turn 3. This means that playing a Blademaster on curve is rarely a good idea. If I were to run him, that would mean I have no solid turn 3 play against aggressive decks. Blademaster relies on circle, and Velen's chosen relies on me sticking a minion prior. Both are countered by a turn 2 knife juggler. I would rather not lose to a turn 2 knife juggler.
Auchenai Soulpriest: she isn't bad, especially combined with justicar. The thing is, her and holy champion each effectively "deal two damage" when you use your hero power. Holy champion can be blocked by taunt, but the +2 damage per hero power stacks cumulatively each time you use it. This means that without the rest of the auchenai package, holy champion tends to generate more damage per game than the auchenai will.
Don't get me wrong, this aforementioned package is quite strong, but running that package requires a greater portion of the deck to be built around it than what this deck can offer. Cards like Flash Heal, which have no place in this list.
The type of package you are describing is the core of "American priest" which has been an established archetype since open beta, the creation of which is credited to Amaz.
This list's core is 2x Lightbomb, 2x Entomb, and 2x Deathlord. This is the core of "Chinese Priest" and "Japanese Priest." Japanese Priest was created in S13 by a streamer and legend player called "TaikiM13". The difference is that Chinese Priest also tends to run shrinkmeister, Thoughtsteal, and cabal for a stronger anti Aggro element, while this list simply aims to curve out and dominate in the stat/mana cost department.
I can't make the suggested change because it would require that I change the very core of this deck, which would result in a complete overhaul of the deck.
December 25, 2015 12:18 a.m.
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|Top rank||#1 on 2015-12-24|