January 11, 2017
Table of Contents
Dragon Reno Priest Guide: By The Light!
Priest has been in a sketchy spot in the meta this year for the most part and it was time for Anduin and Tyrande to finally redeem themselves with the new expansion Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The new expansion pushed the Priest class very hard overall and it is in a great spot overall. While Reno Priest is not a Tier 1 deck, it holds its ground in the meta really well and Priest loyalists have been going for either Dragon Priest or Reno Priest for their ladder grinding needs. While Dragon Priest is a very consistent deck, Reno Priest brings in all of the Kabal goodness and fun cards put together for a great experience.
What this very list tries to do is bring together the best of both worlds and get you the consistency of Dragon Priest while also maintaining all the value card additions that Reno Priest has access to. While the Dragon synergy in the deck might not be as consistent as what a proper Dragon Priest deck can offer you, this list still manages to be consistent enough for steady paced grinding at a healthy winrate. While a lot of people have been trying to for Shadow Reno Priest builds, having the Priest hero power at your disposal is very necessary at this point because of how aggressive the meta is and something like Shadowform is better suited for meta games when there are plenty of Control style decks in the game.
Let’s check out the cards in the deck and break down the deckbuilding choices.
Northshire Cleric: With plenty of older cards seeing more play due to the meta shift, Northshire Cleric is right up there. With so many 1 HP minions in the game, Northshire Cleric is very valuable for taking out minions in the early game and helping you draw cards.
Potion of Madness: It is a very flexible tool to take control of an enemy minion and use it to kill off other enemy minions or trade 2 minions into each other. It is a cheap board control tool that offers an insane amount of value in the deck.
Power Word: Shield: We all know that Priest does not have too many good sources of card draw and Power Word: Shield is one of the best tools that priest has access to for drawing cards at any point of time. Just like most other Priest cards, this is a situational card as well and you need to have a minion on the board to get value out of it. It is great for putting out extra trades with a minion as well as the extra 2 HP can help you go 2 for 1 or even more in many cases.
Twilight Whelp: One of your cheap early game minions that helps you get early board presence or simply can be held in your hand for triggering your Dragon synergy cards at any point of time in the game. When I face control decks I tend to hold the card to make sure I am able to get value out of all of my Dragon synergy cards that require me to have a Dragon in hand. While against aggressive decks, this little guy can be used for early game value trades.
Acidic Swamp Ooze: Weapon removal is very crucial in the meta right now and there is nothing that gets the job done better than Acidic Swamp Ooze. It is a great removal tool for weapons and you lose no stats at all for its additional effect over its vanilla stats that everyone is accustomed to getting for 2 mana.
Dirty Rat: One of the early game tools that came out in the new expansion and it is very reminiscent of Deathlord from Curse of Naxxramas, but since it is a Battlecry effect it gets a lot scarier at times. However, the early stats that you get access to and the Taunt effect makes Dirty Rat extremely valuable. You can even combo the card with Mind Control Tech as well for stealing a random enemy minion. One of the best case scenarios is by taking out crucial Battlecry effect minions or combo pieces from your opponent’s hand, allowing you to ruin their game plan.
Doomsayer: A card that used to be mostly seen in Freeze Mage evolved over time and it is one of the most popular picks in Control decks and sometimes even Mid Range decks as well all over the meta. With so much aggression in the meta, Doomsayer is one of the best ways to deal with early game spam and if nothing else you get at least 7 extra HP most of the time even if your Doomsayer gets killed. Do not get too greedy with the Doomsayer value because taking him out is easier than ever due to how scary board states can get even at turn 2 these days, so you should be using it as early as possible or combo it with an AoE spell to get initiative on your part.
Netherspite Historian: One of the most flexible Dragon synergy cards in the game and you can get answers to mid game threats or simply late game Dragons for yourself through Historian quite easily. Since most Dragons are good you will always get at least 1 or 2 good options to pick from and if you manage to get extra value out of the card using Brann, then you can save it for the lategame against slower decks for keeping your fuel levels high.
Shadow Word: Pain: One of the best removals Priest has access to for dealing with low attack minions. Knowing the meta is crucial when it comes to using this card correctly because you need to have an idea of what possible threats your opponent has access to and you want to play it accordingly. Since this is a highlander deck we do not have 2 copies of any removal and using it properly is essential.
Wyrmrest Agent: A great anti-aggro card that gets the job done quite handily. With so many 2 HP minions in the meta being included in aggressive decks you can expect Wyrmrest Agent to go 2 for 1 more often than not.
Brann Bronzebeard: You have access to a massive amount of Battlecry minions and squeezing out value out of your cards is exactly what this deck wants to do. You will be able to get a ton of value by doubling your Battlecry value for anything from stat gains on board to extra card draw.
Kabal Courier: A great discover card that allows you to draw cards from 3 classes including your own and it’s a great tool to find answers that you do not have in your deck or do not happen to have in your class. Getting cards from Mage and Warlock can be extremely beneficial since class cards are most of the time better than Neutral ones and getting this kind of pseudo card draw can be really great.
Kabal Talonpriest: It is reminiscent of Dark Cultist and it is a great way to buff up your minions to get extra trades out of them. Even on an empty board, he never feels bad when played because the raw stat line is quite standard and has no drawback even without its Battlecry whatsoever.
Mind Control Tech: A card that just comes and goes in the meta and with so many decks being able to flood the board so easily in the early game, it is a great card to run in the current meta. You can also combo with Dirty Rat for pulling off some crazy steals from your opponent. You can even throw in a Brann Bronzebeard into the combo and do some crazy things as well.
Shadow Word: Death: Just like Shadow Word: Pain, this is a hard removal spell but for big minions and if offers a ton of value against expensive minions. Its cheap cost makes the card very appealing to run in pretty much all Priest decks in the game right now.
Kazakus: One of the best legendaries to have come out in the expansion, it offers a ton of value to anyone who wants to play a highlander deck for Priest, Mage or Warlock. Being able to create custom spells is a very unique effect and more often than not you will be able to make very high tempo spells or clutch removal spells that can turn the game in your favor.
Twilight Guardian: Quite possibly one of the best Dragon cards ever released and the value you get for 4 mana if you pull off the effect is just amazing. It is a great card in the current meta for holding off against fast paced decks and it is definitely an auto include in any deck that wants to run dragons.
Azure Drake: One of the most versatile cards in the entire game and the value you get for 5 mana is just incredible. The card draw and spell damage aspects of the card are good enough on their own but the added Dragon tag makes it all the more better and it also fits into the Dragon theme of the deck.
Blackwing Corruptor: One of the most powerful Dragon synergy cards. It is over costed by 1 mana when it comes to just the raw stats but its effect makes up for it by allowing you to deal 3 damage to a target of your choice. It is great for getting back the board or to simply apply pressure on your opponent in the mid game.
Drakonid Operative: The first card of its kind, being able to discover cards from your opponent’s deck is not something we have ever seen before and it’s good to see such new styles of draw being introduced to the game. While the card can feel slightly oppressive because even though it has such a powerful effect, it does not have any kind of drawback when it comes to its raw stats – it is great in the deck and allows you to get access to your opponent’s cards and also information about your opponent’s deck.
Holy Nova: A staple AoE tool in most Priest decks in history, being able to wipe out small minions while also healing all friendly characters makes Holy Nova a great pick in the deck. You will be able to get extra trades or evade opponent’s AoE spells by keeping your minions healthy while also asserting board presence by taking out enemy minions.
Kabal Songstealer: A great Silence tool in the deck. It is great for nullifying buffs and deathrattles on minions and just like many of the other cards released in the last expansion, there seems to be this trend of having better stats for respective mana costs compared to previous releases and Kabal Songstealer is no different either. You have absolutely no drawback in stats and it’s a great card to play for tempo as well to contest enemy minions.
Raza the Chained: Easily a top contender for being the best Priest legendary till date. The effect requires you to run a highlander deck but the value that he provides in return is just exemplary and you will be able to get great value through your free hero power.
Book Wyrm: It is a slow removal card that helps you take out low attack minions handily if you are holding a dragon. Book Wyrm is one of the more recent additions to Dragon decks that came out in One Night in Karazhan and even though a lot of people thought he is a slow card, Book Wyrm broke into the spotlight and has been seeing a ton of play in Dragon decks.
Cabal Shadow Priest: One of the best Priest class cards in the game and this iconic 6 drop seems to be making it back to the meta with so many aggressive decks running minions that have 2 or less attack, allowing you to get value out of her every game more often than not.
Dragonfire Potion: One of the strongest AoE spells in the game right now and it helps you deal with big boards without necessarily sacrificing your own minions due to so many of them being dragons, making Dragonfire Potion a perfect tool for board control.
Entomb: A great hard removal, perfect for taking out Deathrattle minions because it will not trigger the Deathrattle of minions you Entomb. It also helps a lot in games that go into fatigue because you add a card back to your deck in a way, allowing you to be ahead in the fatigue game possibly.
Reno Jackson: The one card that started the trend of highlander decks in Hearthstone. He is the superstar of the deck and dropping him to heal back up from low health crushes the dreams of aggro decks quite handily. He is definitely one of the best comeback cards in the whole game and the value he has to offer is just immense.
Chillmaw: Another AoE effect for you to take advantage of in minion for. It is a great tool for wiping out a flooded board and with Silence effects being not as common these days, it is definitely worthwhile to include Chillmaw in the deck since you have limited AoE options in the deck due to deck building restrictions.
Ysera: A lategame legendary that saw a ton of play in Priest decks in the past but went out of favor over time, she makes a comeback in the deck in style and it is one of your win conditions. Since you can easily get your opponents to exhaust their resources on other threats, Ysera can go unchallenged and get you a ton of value in the end game.
Mulligan and Playstyle
- Wyrmrest Agent
- Acidic Swamp Ooze (against weapon classes)
- Potion of Madness
- Northshire Cleric
- Twilight Whelp
- Shadow Word: Pain
- Kabal Talonpriest
- Reno Jackson
- Wyrmrest Agent
- Twilight Whelp
- Kabal Talonpriest
- Raza the Chained
You want to mulligan aggressively for early game against aggro decks and keep removing their threats to avoid any kind of chip damage at all. While against control you should not have any trouble at all. You are quite favored against aggro decks due to the burst healing potential and also the amazing early game that Dragon decks have to stall aggressive decks from hitting the hero’s face. You want to have a trigger for your Dragon synergy at all times and since you have only one copy of each card, it can feel a bit inconsistent when getting value out of cards like Wyrmrest Agent and Twilight Guardian, you should try to hold on to a dragon for this very reason.
Other than Jade Druid and Renolock you are not too unfavored against other decks as long as you know you will be able to maintain stable board presence and ward off aggressive decks. Sometimes not drawing Dragon synergy for your cards or not drawing Reno Jackson can definitely cost games but that’s just a tradeoff you will have to accept for playing highlander style decks. Warlock is definitely a more consistent class when it comes to running such decks but the Priest hero power helps out a lot in keeping yourself alive and the matches are definitely fun to say the least. The viability of the deck is not in question with Savjz hitting Rank 1 Legend with it last season and others following suit, however, games are long but rewarding at the same time and it might not be the fastest deck to ladder with in the current meta so choose wisely.
We hope you have fun playing the deck and if you have any feedback please let us know in the comments below. Do try out the deck and let us know how it works out for you!