It’s been a rough time for Priests in Hearthstone. While the cards obtained from One Night in Karazhan aren’t as bad as we had originally thought, the class doesn’t dominate in any particular area. It’s swamped by aggressive and mid-ranged decks, and generally loses the control match-up later on. However, the newest iteration of Priest is one of the most fun archetypes I’ve had in this Standard world. Resurrection Priest is the name of the game, and if you play your cards right, your opponent may be staring down five Ragnaros’.
The deck is incredibly dependent on spells in the early game. Turn 3 Forbidden Shaping isn’t an uncommon play, due to nothing else really hitting the board beforehand. Injured Blademaster also does the turn 3 slot well. By Turn 4, if you have minions like Archaeni Soulpriest and Priest of the Feast, throw them out if for no other reason than to gain some sort of board presence.
Ideally, you’re going to want to have your big minions like Sylvanas and Ragnaros chill in your deck while Barnes, the cornerstone of this archetype, goes into play. He summons a 1/1 copy of a minion in your deck. While those aforementioned legendaries are ideal, sometimes you’ll get a copy of Onyx Bishop, the only awful card you’ll copy. Literally every other minion in your deck can be brought back stronger and better than before with cards like Onyx Bishop and Resurrect.
Here’s the thing about this deck that’s interesting – it interacts with a graveyard mechanic of sorts. Bringing back minions that have died means that when a minion has died (not transformed or burned from you hand), it’s put somewhere. Including the 1/1 copies Barnes throws out. They’re brought back at full power, and the more often they’re killed, the more likely they’ll be brought back by Onyx Bishop or Resurrect, which can lead to some crazy board presence. I’ve had multiple instances of 3+ Sylvanas’ and Ragnaros’.
The deck’s downfall comes in its slight inconsistencies. If Barnes pulls out Onyx Bishop, it’s a real blow to your momentum, on top of the fact that you very well could have Ragnaros and Sylvanas in your opening hand just by the nature of card draw. They’re still great cards, so by the time you play them they can still be played, but it really can take the wind out of your sails. Also, Mid-Ranged decks from the likes of Hunter and Shaman can completely shut this deck down if your Priest of the Feast isn’t doing work, though I did see it do well against most aggressive archetypes.
This deck isn’t top-tier material, but it never had to be. It’s the most fun I’ve had with Priest since I discovered Shadow Reno months ago.