January 29, 2018
Table of Contents
Deck Guide: Ant’s HCT Spiteful Dragon Priest
What’s up everybody! Today I’ve got a deck that is perfect for ranked grinding at the end of the month to try and get your best rewards possible. I found this deck while going over the Hearthstone Championship Tour’s decklists because I always like to keep an eye open for unique decks that can beat the current meta. Last year I highlighted Nalguidan’s Giant Mage deck that went undefeated during the tournament (while his other decks lost) and it was a great way to fight the current meta and gain some ranks. This year, I’m taking a look at a crazy strong Tempo deck that uses Spiteful Summoner and a lot of Priest’s powerful dragon interactions.
This deck is your basic Tempo deck, try to stay on curve and by using powerful drops you slowly overwhelm your opponent with your board presence. Board wipes are your biggest enemy but the ability to drop down such huge minions really makes this deck deadly at the early “tempo” turns like Turn 4-6. The deck only uses 2 spells over 4 card slots so the deck is mainly just minions with abilities that you can drop and keep going aggressive with. Prince Keleseth will help power up your minions if you can get him out early and a good half of the deck are Priest Dragon cards that act as your removal and control instead of using spells for it. The reason you need to keep the deck spell-less is for Spiteful Summoner. Leaving only Free From Amber and Mind Control in the deck guarantees that you will get an 8 or 10 mana drop on Turn 5 or 6 which is CRAZY powerful.
In about a week I will be writing another article that is going to go over the RNG chances of cards that “summon X-mana minion” like this deck does as well as Evolve Shaman. That article will help give you an idea of what you can get from RNG so make sure you keep an eye out for it and check it out, especially if you’re running this deck, but even if you aren’t so you get an idea of what you could be up against if you see this deck. Spiteful Summoner is a very popular card right now and is being used across multiple classes.
In under a week I went from Rank 13 to Legend with a 65%+ win rate. This deck is ridiculously powerful and allowed me to grind super fast with back to back Tempo games, dropping Spiteful Summoner and winning off of it. If you’re looking for a deck to hit some higher ranks this month for better rewards, I would definitely suggest trying this one out. Unlike control decks it’s very easy to pilot and learn since it’s mostly learning when to save certain minion effects like Duskbreaker but for the most part it’s an easy curve to follow and you will stomp on a lot of opponents. Surprisingly this deck is also pretty fun and I was able to play all week without getting bored of it at all! UPDATE: As this is being published, I’m currently up to Rank 814 Legend with this deck. UPDATE2: Rank 520 Legend, haha.
Decklist: Ant’s HCT Priest
These are minions that allow you to curve really well during the game and develop a really strong board that is hard to deal with. High health minions are the main focus along with minions that have some strong abilities.
Northshire Cleric: This is your only 1-drop minion. You don’t need to worry too much about drawing cards off of her so don’t hesitate to drop her Turn 1. The only thing you need to worry about is Flame Imp and Cubelock doesn’t run it which is the most popular Warlock deck right now so you’re pretty safe to play her immediately. She also helps “disguise” your deck as another Priest deck, since most people will assume you’re either Highlander Priest or Combo Priest, and not be ready for the Tempo minions that follow her. Basically she’s just card draw late-game.
Prince Keleseth: Amazing card for anyone that has played with or against a Prince Keleseth. You don’t need to mulligan hard for him since this deck doesn’t RELY on him, so don’t worry about trying to get him in your hand. If you get him, great, your deck is now a lot stronger, if you don’t get him, you’ll probably still be okay. The alternative to running him if you don’t own him or prefer the alternative, is Shadow Ascendant, which I’ve seen other decks run. I’m personally a huge fan of Keleseth after running him in Tempo Rogue, so I definitely prefer Ant’s decklist.
Southsea Captain: Pretty basic card for any Prince Keleseth deck, a good 3/3 on the Tempo curve that also “usually” pulls out Patches the Pirate with him, giving you a 2/2 to trade with or if you had Keleseth, a 3/3 to trade with. The best part about Captain is that he works really well with Corridor Creeper, allowing you to trade with your 2/2 or 3/3 Patches into something and then your opponent usually kills your Captain, worried about another Captain making them 4/4s or possibly more pirates. It’s interesting to see how many opponents went to kill Captains after I already got Patches killed, which to me, is all they’re good for. You have no other pirates and making them 4/4s isn’t too crazy, so don’t worry when your opponents want to focus your Captains, once they’ve pulled Patches from your deck, that’s all you need.
Patches the Pirate: There’s nothing to say about this guy, we’ve all seen him. Don’t have him in your opening hand, don’t draw him, and have Southsea Captain put him into play as a bigger minion. Another fun combo, using Patches with Twilight Acolyte since it will give him 2 attack or 3 attack if you Keleseth. That little bit of damage can make a big difference.
Tar Creeper: One of what I would consider a “filler” minion for this deck. Since you can’t run any spells the whole deck needs to be filled with strong minions and this one is strong but somewhat lacks in offense which is important in Tempo. The Taunt is nice and is strong against the early game aggro decks like Druid and Rogue which allow you to curve into your 4-6 drops which are your strongest. Basically it’s just in the deck because of Taunt, I could also see this being replaced with Stonehill Defender if you’re a fan of that card as well.
Kabal Talonpriest: A great Tempo card because a 3/4 is powerful on Turn 3 and the extra 3 health you’re giving to something like Northshire Cleric or Southsea Captain is a lot and will usually keep them alive for 1-2 more turns. Just a great card for Tempo and a strong minion to curve with.
Spiteful Summoner: One of the biggest cards being played from the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion and is in a lot of decks right now. People are trying to find the best way to utilize this card, like in Warlock with Twisting Nether, but I honestly think Priest does it best with the combination of spells in this deck. 8 and 10 mana minions are the best in the game and have the best odds of being strong and useful, and limiting your deck to just those spells makes this card a game winner if played on curve, even more so if you can Coin into it on Turn 5. I don’t mulligan for these but if I get one in my opening hand, I usually keep it, and if I have the Coin, I almost always keep it. Getting it right on curve is hard for any deck to deal with.
Corridor Creeper: This card works well in any deck that has lots of minions since you end up trading your minions with your opponent as removal since you don’t have removal spells. This allows you to trade early without feeling like you “lost” something when your minions die because they get replaced with a big 5/5 really early in the game. Patches helps this guy come out real fast too, so the Pirates package is hard to take out because they work so well with this ability. This is just a card you can’t take out, kind of like Bonemare, I wouldn’t really say it’s a Tempo card specifically but with how this deck is built with the massive amounts of minions, it’s impossible not to run this card.
Bonemare: I’m sure you’ve seen enough of this card already to know it’s one of the best Tempo cards out there. You’re getting a huge 5/5 minion and also making another minion MUCH bigger while also giving it Taunt. Spiteful Summoner curves into this real well too because even if they can kill your big minion, you still have a 4/4 left over that you can make into an 8/8 Taunt. This is just one of those staple Tempo cards that will pretty much be in any Tempo-based deck.
Dragons and Buddies
These are the Dragon-focused cards of the deck. It’s important to remember which ones your dragons are because a lot of players, even pro players, tend to forget how many dragons they have left before they place down their last Drakonid Operative and then find out they don’t have another dragon to activate their Duskbreaker they needed. Getting your dragon abilities are really important so make sure you learn to utilize your dragons.
Twilight Acolyte: I’m putting this guy with the dragons cards because he has a dragon ability but it’s important to remember, this is NOT a dragon. It will not activate your dragon cards so it’s important to get this guy out early before you drop your late-game dragons, or at least keep one in hand to use on your opponent’s big minions. I actually love this guy, in my version of the deck I run 2 of these and no Kabal Songstealer. Right now a lot of decks are running big minions like Tempo Rogue with Edwin VanCleef and Bonemare and Big Priest with their resurrection of big minions or using Spiteful Summoner. Because of that, a great counter is being able to just steal your opponent’s attack and make their minion small like Aldor Peacekeeper. I can’t tell you how many times this guy has gotten me out of trouble, he’s very useful and can also be super powerful on the offensive.
Duskbreaker: One of the BEST dragon cards to come out because of its ability to Hellfire AoE while also giving you a 3/3 minion on curve. You will mulligan heavily for these against aggro decks like Paladin and Rogue. Once again it’s important to manage your dragons well in your hand, because I’ve already embarassed myself a few times forgetting to keep one and accidentally playing too many, and not having one when I need to activate the ability. I’ve found these also work really well against Cubelock and Voidlord, when they make all the Voidwalkers you can crush them all with one minion, and even against Spreading Plague since you can hit a whole field at once and take them out quickly. Cannot be replaced since it is your only area removal.
Twilight Drake: Basically in the deck just to have another dragon but since the deck actually curves out slow during Turn 1-2, this guy comes down pretty big most of the time, usually as a 4-mana 4/6 or 4/7 which can be really good against most decks. Priest can’t kill it unless they Silence it first and Mage/Druid have to deal a lot of damage just to get rid of it, wasting it on your minion instead of yourself. Even though I rarely use them they’re still important to have because of dragon activators, and even if this is just in your hand to activate other cards, it’s worth it. If you can think of other good dragons that could replace this one, let me know in the comments below, I’d like to hear your ideas.
Drakonid Operative: Another amazing dragon card, not only is it a good sized minion for a 5-mana minion, the ability it has to copy a card from your opponent’s deck is nasty since Discover allows you to usually pick something good. Rarely will your opponent’s deck have something “useless” in it so you can always pick something that will help you out and give you that card advantage to win. This also allows you to pick up spells that your deck is lacking like an area effect Blizzard if you can’t draw your Duskbreaker. A great dragon that can’t be replaced.
Cobalt Scalebane: The perfect card for this deck since it’s one of the staple “Tempo” cards right now and is also an amazing dragon. There’s not much to say about this card, if you can curve into it and keep it alive, it will make your other minions so big that your opponent will get overwhelmed fast. I usually play this dragon last from my hand since I can use it to activate my other dragons and then drop him since he doesn’t require a dragon to activate. He’s best played on curve though if you can drop a decent sized minion on Turn 3 and 4 with high health so they can stay alive while he boosts their attack.
The only two spells of the deck. Do NOT add any more spells, even if it’s another high costing one I would say that this deck is built perfect the way it is when it comes to the Spiteful Summoner plays. Any more and you will flood your hand with high cost spells.
Free From Amber: A great card for tempo since you can usually grab a minion that costs more than 8 mana. As I mentioned earlier, I will be doing an article in the near future where I will go over all the possible outcomes for 8 mana and 10 mana minions for this deck, as well as 6 mana minions for Evolve Shaman. I would take a look at that article as it will give you a better idea of what options are available in this mana bracket and what possibilities there are, such as 7/7 Charge Charged Devilsaur which can finish the game if your opponent is low enough, or which is great for this deck since you can set up for him to die and then drop all the dragons from your hand into play. I will be writing that article in the next week or so, so keep an eye out for it.
Mind Control: At first I thought this card was useless except to fuel Spiteful Summoner but man was I wrong! Being able to steal people’s taunt minions at the end of the game is amazing, especially when your opponent uses Bonemare. This is also great for stealing pesky “big” minions against decks like Big Priest and Evolve Shaman, since they can get something crazy like a Tirion Fordring into play and then you can snatch it away easily and reap all the benefits. Another great target, Cubelock’s demons, since it will steal them and not allow them to resurrect. Best target, Voidlord so you can get those baby Voids! Definitely an underrated card, never keep it in your opening hand obviously, always let Spiteful Summoner try to benefit from it first.
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Conclusion: Rank Grind!
This deck was AMAZING to grind with! I’m ending a temporary job I’m working at soon and I took this week to try and test myself to see if I could still reach Legend and prove myself of being worthy of streaming. I looked around, found this fun deck to play, and within 4 days I was able to POWER grind my way to Legend! It felt good having a proper win % again and seeing myself progress through the ranks at light speed. If anyone is trying to grind ranks for the end of month rewards, or just to get to Legend for the first time, I highly recommend this deck since it is pretty easy to learn and pilot, and is highly effective.
Like I mentioned a few times already, in a week or so I will be writing another article that will go well with this one that will discuss the different outcomes of “Summon a X-mana minion” effects like Spiteful Summoner and Evolve. It’s going to focus mainly on the 8 and 10 mana minions that this deck can produce, while also maybe taking a look at 6-mana minions for Evolve Shaman since that deck focuses on 6 and 8 mana minions with Doppelgangster and Corridor Creeper being changed into higher cost minions. I’m hoping to condense some of the information in that article into a small section that people can use as a cheat sheet to see what they can try to get into if they’re needing something desperately to win the game. It will also help give you an idea of what size minion to expect when you’re summoning those costs.
With that being said, I will also be streaming again very soon! My temporary job ends February 16th and I’m unsure of how long it will be before I find something else, so in the meantime I will be filling my empty schedule with LOTS and LOTS of streaming. Depending on what I’m up to I might even try to get into some of the Monthly Cup tournaments and see how I can fare in earning Hearthstone Championship Tour points for this year. With the recent release of the Overwatch League, I’ve been excited about competitive gaming again recently and with my latest accomplishment of hitting Legend again so easily, I’m amped and excited to get back into gaming.
If you want to follow my progress, you can follow me on Twitter at @whoisfuskee and keep an eye out for my upcoming streaming schedule. One that is posted up you can catch me streaming at twitch.tv/whoisfuskee every day while I’m job hunting. Leave me some comments below about what you think of this deck and keep an eye out for my next article in the upcoming week. Thanks and I’ll catch you next time.