Team 5’s League of Explorers has truly been a holiday treat. Unlike the last two expansions: The Grand Tournament and Blackrock Mountain, the auspicious LoE has proven to us that the Blizzard team can still produce amazing content for Hearthstone. Unsurprisingly, creating fun and useable cards is conducive to success and the LoE is full of them. Entomb, one of the Priest class cards is one of those interesting cards to come out of this expansion and Zetalot has built a successful and fun Control Priest around this sumptuous card.
How to play
If you are someone who finds fatigue decks to be boring or soporific then this is not the deck for you. Control Priest is intrinsically a deck that is designed to outlast the opponent through sustainment and removal. Patience is a virtue with Control Priest, this is not a deck that dumps resources on the board to nuke down the opponent, parsimonious play is paramount and often times thinking 3-4 turns in advance is a key component to success.
Board control will not come easy with Control Priest but it is necessary to stymie the opponents damage output. This doesn’t mean that every minion needs to removed, in the early stages of the game try to either establish a board presence or keep your hero health high. Cards like Wild Pyromancer and Deathlordare great for slowing down the opponent. The mid-late game AoE for Control Priest is the best in the game but getting there is not an easy task, so it is imperative to keep cards like the Injured Blademaster alive for as long as possible. Early game is even more important if you’re going up against a swarmy, aggressive deck, doing things like using the Shrinkmeister to trade with will often provide a huge tempo swing, providing you with two healthy minions while removing one of the opponents. Getting successfully into mid-late game without losing too much life or board control will place you in great position to win the game.
Around turn 4-5 is when the Control Priest really starts ramping up in strength, cards like Auchenai Soulpriest, Holy Nova, and Lightbomb can provide devastating removal, helping set up the decks late game. Essentially, Control Priest wins by draining the opponent of all resources. It does this through sustainment and Justicar Trueheart is the ultimate sustain card. The ability to heal yourself of four health per turn is amazing and in most cases, this alone is enough to outlast the opponent. Against other heavy control decks Entomb is a great card for removing large threats from the board and placing them in your deck. That means cards like Sylvanas Windrunner and Tirion Fordring can no longer activate their retrospective deathrattles while also getting completely removed from the board! Against aggressive decks, most of the minions should have already been wiped in the late game by this decks stout AoE. Cards like the Cabal Shadow Priest can help clean up whatever the opponent has left so that you can finish them off with their own minions!
To win almost any game you’ll need a cheap minion in the opening draw. Shrinkmeister, Wild Pyromancer, Deathlord, and the Injured Blademaster are the best early game solutions for Control Priest. Deathlord is by far the best card to get in the early game, immediately slowing down the opponent for several turns. If you already have a Deathlord or Wild Pyromancer in the opening draw, try looking for a Power Word: Shield as it will make the Deathlord that much stronger and allow you clear smaller minions with the Wild Pyromancer.
Control Priest can be a really fun deck to play when there are wins to be had, but when things go south, this is one of the most miserable decks to play. Right now, this is not a good meta-game choice as the ladder is littered with Zoolocks, an archetype that absolutely smashes Control Priest to pieces. If the meta starts to shift to more of a midrange/control based ladder then try playing this deck because there is nothing more fun than watching a Control Warrior hemorrhage as you take away their precious Grommash Hellscream!