We are a couple weeks into The League of Explorers and it already looks like Team-5 has hit a home run. Unlike the previous two soporific expansions, The League of Explorers has instantaneously infused new life into the game. The new cards are not only fun, but effective, giving each class something powerful and new to play around with. Hearthstone is no longer torpor inducing, there are a myriad of things to do now and this game is once again a blast to play!
How to Play
Dragon Priest is an archetype that has been around for a while and like most decks, it has seen its ups and downs. It plays very similarly to a Mech deck, in that it plays on curve throughout the entire game. Playing a strong minion every turn can quickly overwhelm the opponent, often forcing them into a corner or quickly snowballing them to defeat. The drawback to this type of deck is that it is wholly reliant on the draw. Getting ahead and staying ahead is easy, but if the right cards aren’t drawn this deck falls behind rather quickly and struggles to make up ground after it has lost tempo. Luckily, midrange decks like these are easy to play and often times all you have to do is play an equivalent card for the mana cost on the given turn. The main difference in my Dragon Priest deck is that I’ve tried to create a synergistic minion-buff model. There are six cards that thrive off of becoming buffed and with six upgradable spells it shouldn’t be too difficult to make these cards work together.Inner Fire and Power Word: Shield are both 1-mana costed spells, making them good choices for larger combinations later in the game.
Wyrmrest Agent and Twilight Whelp are top priority in the mulligan phase. Getting either of these cards in the opening hand is extremely strong, instantly garnering strong board control. The Wyrmrest Agent is especially powerful, giving you time to set up a powerful mid game or protect weaker minions like theNorthshire Cleric. Getting a poor draw with this deck can be detrimental, especially against an aggressive deck like Zoolock or Face Hunter. Starting off slow with a poor opening draw will often set you too far back, too early, making it very difficult to recover. Cards like Twilight Guardian are great stymie the bleeding, but in most cases, it’s too late by the time can be played. Don’t be parsimonious with legendary cards either, sometimes sacrificing Brann Bronzebeard to staunch the onslaught is the right thing to do, especially if there is nothing on the board to buff!
To be honest, this wasn’t the hardest deck in the world to come up with; the skeletal frame was already intact with the dragon synergy and plugging in the new cards only took me a few games to figure out.
Brann Bronzbeard: What isn’t there to love about this card? I don’t know if it fits perfectly in this deck, but with tens cards having a “battlecry” effect, I thought it was an appropriate card to include. Synergy with the Blackwing Corruptor makes this card worth it alone, and making already strong cards like the Twilight Guardian even stronger is just a bonus!
Inner Fire: Costing one mana is this cards strongest attribute and with almost every minion possessing a high health pool this card fits in perfectly. It’s another affordable tool to use for the upgradable minions and in the worst case scenario you have to use it early on a card like the Wyrmrest Agent.
Djinni of Zephyrs: A 4/6 body for 5 is already decent value and getting two for one value on an upgradable spell is just bananas! This is a great, late game finisher, providing a huge body that’s difficult to remove. By the time Djinni is played, most of the opponent’s removal should already be spent on high priority targets like Eydis Darkbane, Fjola Lightbane, and the Twilight Guardian. This card wins games and is ridiculously fun to play with; buffing the Dragonkin Sorcerer with this on the board is one of my favorite combinations to pull off!
This might not be the “perfect” iteration of Dragon Priest, but it’s certainly fun to play. Taking advantage of new cards like Brann Bronzbeard and Djinni of Zephyrs gives this archetype a new look and should keep the opponent guessing.