Dragon Priest Deck List Guide (Post Nerf) – Kobolds – February 2018

Our Dragon Priest deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion features the top list for this archetype. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Dragon Priest

Dragon Priest saw its earliest iterations in the Blackrock Mountain meta and the deck solidified its presence with The Grant Tournament bringing in some midrange powerhouse minions for Priest. However, with the introduction of set rotations in the game, the deck had lost a lot of its power with Blackrock Mountain and The Grand Tournament cards being phased out of Standard. But it seems like Blizzard is not done with the archetype yet with many powerful Priest and Neutral dragons introduced to the game which have kept the archetype alive in Standard.

With the latest expansion, we got access to multiple Priest dragons as well as a Dragon-themed legendary weapon. The deck is a mix of Dragon Priest and Combo Priest and it also makes use of spell synergies with Lyra the Sunshard as an alternate win condition. It is a refreshing change from the usual Razakus lists we have been seeing mostly before the Pre-Kobolds expansion and the new synergies make this variant of Dragon Priest extremely fun to play around with.

Check out our List of the Best Standard Decks for Hearthstone Ladder

Update: Dragon Priest (February 2018 – Post Nerf)

Some small updates to this more combo-oriented version of Dragon Priest. There’s another Dragon based Priest deck called “Spiteful Priest” that uses Spiteful Summoner, Grand Archivist, and Mind Control that is making the rounds which is more popular than this style.

Multiple players have hit high Legend ranks with slightly different versions of Dragon Priest already (we’ll cover the tech differences below), which makes it a good, albeit a bit difficult deck to ladder with.

Dragon Priest Mulligan Strategy & Guide

VS Fast Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Northshire Cleric – Against Aggro, Cleric is mostly valued for its 1/3 body. Not only that, but your opponent might skip a 1-drop completely, because you might draw a card off of it, making it a great tempo play.
  • Potion of Madness – This card is one of the best early game clears versus fast decks. Every fast decks play some 1-2 attack minions in the early game, making it an amazing tempo move and often lets you win the board in the early game.
  • Radiant Elemental – This is a highest priority card in your entire deck against both decks. Not only it’s a solid 2/3 for 2, but it also lets you perform all your combos for cheaper. You can immediately combo it with Potion of Madness or Power Word: Shield, which is great against Aggro.
  • Duskbreaker – It’s a game-changer against faster decks. They often rely on flooding the board in the early game, and 3 AoE damage as early as Turn 4 can usually wipe everything.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Power Word: Shield – Keep with Radiant Elemental or Northshire Cleric. DO NOT keep with no minions in your hand, or it will stay dead for a while (it’s hard to stick a minion vs Aggro).
  • Netherspite Historian – Keep with a Dragon (preferably Duskbreaker) – it can fetch you an extra Duskbreaker.
  • Wild Pyromancer – Keep on Coin or with a cheap spell (especially Power Word: Shield) against the decks that want to go wide on the board early (e.g. Aggro Paladin).
  • Kabal Talonpriest – Keep with Cleric or Radiant Elemental.

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Northshire Cleric – Your main draw engine. Unlike vs Aggro, you don’t always want to drop it on Turn 1, but it’s very useful to have.
  • Radiant Elemental – The best minion you can keep. With so many spells in your deck, the spell discount is amazing.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Power Word: Shield – Keep with Cleric or Radiant Elemental.
  • Netherspite Historian – Great for getting a strong Dragon, but usually best kept if you already have a Dragon in your hand.
  • Shadow Visions – A solid card that allows you to fish for combo pieces and close out the game against your opponent. Keep with Radiant Elemental.
  • Kabal Talonpriest – Keep only if you keep other early game minions.
  • Twilight Acolyte – Keep vs Warlock if you face a lot of Cube Warlocks. Otherwise a Turn 4 Mountain Giant might hurt.
  • Twilight Drake – Keep with Netherspite Historian (so you can play it on Turn 2), or if the rest of your hand is good enough. Always keep against Priest (usually hard to remove).

Dragon Priest Win Rates

Winrates provided by Metastats

Dragon Priest Play Strategy

Vs Aggro

Against Aggro, your win condition changes from “combo” to “survive”. While you will sometimes snatch a win with a combo out of nowhere, most of the time you will win the games by constantly clearing their board and slowly establishing a board presence, while healing yourself out of burn range. Which obviously means that the best tool against aggro in your deck is Duskbreaker.

You always keep it against fast decks, just like you always pick it from Netherspite Historian. One of them already increases your chance to win by quite a bit – having two is almost like an auto-win against fast decks (maybe besides Secret Mage, which can still burn you with empty board). If you’re holding onto only one, you might want to be a little greedy – don’t clear a board with 2 minions unless you have two. Just play other things and make your opponent think that you don’t have Duskbreaker. This can lower his guard and make him play more minions, and that’s when it strikes.

Other way to AoE down the opponent’s board is Wild Pyromancer. You can combo it with some small spells, usually for anything between 1 and 3-4 damage. Power Word: Shield is by far the best spell, because not only it deals AoE damage, but it also cycles (possibly giving you another one to play) and heals up Pyro, so he can live longer. Ideally, you want to keep your Wild Pyro alive when performing the combos (without Power Word: Shield, you can heal him up after the first spell), but that’s not absolutely necessary. If you clear the opponent’s board, he did his job anyway, so don’t be scared to play Pyro + 2 cheap spells even if it will die. 

If you don’t get your AoEs, or you already use them, you need to play proactively. You have a lot of buffs to keep your minions alive, but the biggest challenge is actually sticking something on the board. Most importantly, you really don’t want to go all-in with buffing a single minion. Try to spread over the board – against Aggro it’s generally better to have multiple minions over one big threat for a few reasons – your opponent won’t be able to swarm you with small bodies you can’t keep up with, fast decks generally don’t run AoE to punish you anyway, but they might run some single target removal (like Vilespine Slayer in Rogue) and Silence (Spellbreaker is a very common tech).

And that’s basically your strategy. Clear the board, then try to play some minions, trade, play more minions while buffing the ones you have on the board etc. One important decision is whether you want to heal up your minions or your Hero. It depends on a few things. First of all – the deck you’re playing against. It’s important to know how much burn they have, how much damage from hand they can deal. If you play against Secret Mage, they can deal A LOT of damage without board. On the other hand, if you play against Murloc Paladin, you shouldn’t really worry about burn damage from hand outside of weapons and possibly Leeroy Jenkins, in other words, board control is more important. Another thing you need to look at is your health total, obviously. 20 health is comfortable against Aggro Paladin, so you can heal your board. But against Pirate Warrior, you might want to clear your Hero, because they can still kill you with weapons and Charge minions over the next few turns. And finally – it depends on your hand. In this deck, healing minions also makes your combo stronger. If you have a combo in your hand already, but you’re a few damage off, you might heal up your minion instead to set up a kill next turn, for example.

Vs Control

Games against Control are less straightforward than those against Aggro. You can’t win by just surviving – your deck is not a Control deck. It packs almost no late game value and any slow deck will outvalue you in the long run. But it doesn’t mean that you don’t stand a chance against those decks, no. It’s actually quite the opposite. There are two main win conditions in slow matchups – tempo and combo.

Let’s start with the tempo. Your deck still has quite a solid early/mid game, which means that you can win a lot of the games by simply playing minions on the curve and hitting your opponent in the face. If he can’t remove them, cards like Twilight Drake or Drakonid Operative can pack a lot of punch. You can also utilize your buffs and Hero Power to keep them alive for longer. Your combo pieces might come handy too even if you aren’t going for a full combo. For example, playing Kabal TalonpriestInner Fire on Netherspite Historian can turn it into a formidable 6/6 threat. Normally you’d want to keep those to OTK your opponent, but if you’re pushing him with the tempo, then this play is great. For just 4 mana, you put a 3/4 on the board and give your minions +5/+3 (which also means that you smack him for 5 extra damage immediately).

The other win condition is OTK Combo. The goal is to basically buff your minion’s health A LOT, then play Inner Fire and kill opponent before he can react. In order to do that, you need to stick a minion to the board (preferably a high health one), have a few health buffs (most importantly Divine Spirit) and Inner Fire in your hand and make sure that nothing is standing in your way. The combo is very powerful, but not always easy to perform. Your opponent will try to clear your board all the time, and you need a lot of combo pieces in your hand before you can successfully OTK. Going for a big, but not big enough minion is generally risky, because you have no burn cards – even if you get your opponent down to let’s say 3 health, you probably won’t be able to kill him (unless you steal something from his deck). And your huge minion is most likely going to die. Of course, if this is your last resort and you have no other plays to make, you should still go for it, it’s just not entirely optimal.

There is also another way to perform a combo, without sticking a minion. It is even harder to pull of and requires more combo pieces, plus a good opponent will play around it, but it can sometimes work. The goal is to steal low attack minion with Potion of Madness, buff it and kill your opponent with it. What if your opponent doesn’t play a small minion? You can still do that thanks to the Twilight Acolyte. In fact, him playing a big minion might be even easier for you, because big minions usually have more health. That said, you often need A LOT of combo pieces in your hand – Acolyte, Potion, 3-4 buffs, Inner Fire, possibly even Silence if your opponent plays Taunt alongside that minion.

But of course, you can also mix up those play styles. You can go for the tempo first and then after you get your opponent to lower health, combo him down easier. Or you can try to go for the OTK combo, but if you won’t be able to, because your opponent is keeping the board control all the time, you can try to tempo out with a few minions and some of your buffs. That’s one of the biggest difficulties when playing this deck – assessing the situation and understanding when, for example, you won’t be able to perform the OTK plan and going for something else instead. That’s not really something you can learn from a guide – you will have to play the deck a lot yourself.

Dragon Priest Combos

Dragon Priest is a very combo-oriented deck. In this section, I’ll cover most of the combos you might perform and talk about the situations in which they’re useful.

  • Divine SpiritInner Fire – The most basic combo, your main win condition in a lot of matchups. You buff the minion’s health out of control and then turn that health into attack. Alternatively, some builds also use Crazed Alchemist as a “third” Inner Fire. It is the same for the OTK purpose, because you don’t care about low health if you’re killing your opponent anyway.
  • Twilight AcolytePotion of Madness (+possibly OTK combo) – Twilight Acolyte and Potion of Madness is an amazing combo. You can use it to steal something important (like a Deathrattle), clear a big minion (as long as opponent has something you can bump it into) or perform your OTK combo.
  • Wild Pyromancer + Spells – You use it as a secondary AoE (Duskbreaker is the main one), great against Aggro decks.
  • Wild PyromancerNorthshire Cleric + Spell + Circle of Healing – Ultimate draw engine. You can just use Cleric + Circle on a board with some damage minions, but this combo means that you will draw a card for every minion with 2 or more health (and no Divine Shield) on the board. You often draw 5+ cards right away, and possibly even more if your Cleric ends up surviving.
  • Inner Fire on enemy minion – Yes, this is actually a thing. Remember that Inner Fire can be used to debuff as well as buff. If you face a minion with high Attack and low health (e.g. 8/2) that you can’t deal with, you can just Inner Fire it to reduce its attack (in this case, to 2/2). It acts like a worse Humility, but sometimes it’s what you need to do.

Dragon Priest Card Substitutions

First of all, let’s briefly talk about tech choices. Here are some of the cards you might want to run in your deck:

  • Novice Engineer – Some builds run it. Since you play a combo deck, you ultimately want to cycle as much as possible and thin your deck. This card is great against slower decks, but not so much against the faster ones. You aren’t really looking for the combo pieces anyway, and 2 mana 1/1 is usually too slow, so it often sits dead in your hand until the mid game.
  • Tar Creeper – Not only it’s a good anti-Aggro option, but the 5 health makes it a great buff target too. If you play it on Turn 3, it often sticks to the board, so you can start buffing it. Just don’t overdo it in case of Silence!
  • Lyra the Sunshard – Most of the builds have cut that card already, but it makes some sense to run it as an alternative win condition. If you can’t gather your whole combo, or you just need more value, you can drop Lyra, possibly with Radiant Elemental or two and start cycling. With some luck, it can get you much closer to winning the game or even finish the game on the spot (e.g. if you get extra Divine Spirit that you need for your OTK).

Now, as for the budget choices. The deck is rather inexpensive – you can play it with no Legendaries at all. That said, there are some adventure cards and Epics you might not have:

  • Netherspite Historian – While the card is not absolutely necessary, it’s really good. Having another minion to drop on Turn 2 is big, and the fact that it can give you either more value/tempo (Drakonid Operative) or a board clear (Duskbreaker) makes it amazing. You can play 2x Novice Engineer, Tar Creeper or Curious Glimmerroot instead.
  • Shadow Visions – I’d say that if you truly want to play this deck, this card is irreplaceable. The ability to fish for the last combo piece you need is super important. But, just like above, in the worst case scenario you can just play more cycle instead.
  • Twilight Acolyte – It’s the only way in your deck to deal with a big minion, not to mention the ability to combo your opponent down from the hand vs a big minion. You can use any of the subs listed above, or try teching in a Shadow Word: Death if you face a lot of decks with big minion (like Cube Warlock).

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. He's achieved infinite Arena and multiple top 100 Legend climbs.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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39 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. TheDragonLord
    February 11, 2018 at 7:38 am

    This deck looks fun and great but for beginners who are willing to play this deck have to save up alot so is there a substitute to the acolyte and shadow visions for begginers like me ?

    Reply
    • Stonekeep - Author
      February 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      There is a card substitutions section at the bottom of the guide.

      Reply
  2. Hinotoumei
    February 9, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    thanks for the relatively cheap combo priest deck list 🙂 i am having a hard time with the learning curve however. I need to get golden priest before the next xpac. This should be a great deck to learn some new things. Might not get a good ranking but priest is always enjoyable to play; it’s level of fun is amazing. deck shows promise and for those losing they obviously are not mulliganing or playing too well.

    Reply
  3. Springtail
    January 21, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    This list feels outdated, thats not a dig at the site because they do beyond a fantastic job here, so as a suggestion to anyone interested in this archetype; I’ve been keeping track of different versions of this deck whilst updating a list on this account – can have a look here if you want a updated list.

    Overall; Lyra has been found to be too rng dependant whilst relying on no hard removal. Additionally the charge packages ive seen lately have been too inconsistent.

    Finally, this deck archetype has a huge skill cap; a very hard deck to play however very rewarding – one of the strongest decks around due to being favoured in a lot of matchups. Definitely master it if you want to see good results in the current meta.

    Reply
  4. Polar
    January 12, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Replacement for lyra pls

    Reply
    • jarjarbink
      January 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      i put ysera in it and its pretty good against control or put a scalbane

      Reply
  5. Thoras
    January 8, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I got Dragonsoul as my free weapon for this expansion! I think this is the first deck where it could fit in, what do you think about that?

    Reply
  6. Lordfolken52
    January 8, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I had games where my dragon activators are missing hence ysera > lyra. the 12 health comes in handy as an alt win condition plus it sticks to the board

    Reply
  7. Dunyan
    January 5, 2018 at 3:53 am

    This deck is so much fun ty <3

    Reply
  8. Amazing
    December 24, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Should i make this deck?

    Reply
  9. Zakar
    December 18, 2017 at 6:57 am

    May i use this guide?
    I want to translate it into korean and post korean Hearthstone communiy.

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      December 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      That’s fine as long as you don’t use the English version wherever you’re posting it and you link back to this guide!

      Reply
  10. supa
    December 15, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t have the netherspite historians. Maybe loot hoarder in its place? or faerie dragons?

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      December 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Faerie Dragon would probably work, and Loot hoarder isn’t that bad either.

      Reply
    • Amance
      December 18, 2017 at 7:27 am

      just put in sleepy dragon or something big

      Reply
    • UkuleleLover
      December 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

      I would just get Netherspite historian. She’s a cheap card and can get you a really good dragon…potentially

      Reply
      • Nesta
        February 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        Expansion

        Reply
  11. Agooo
    December 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I am playing the “Sirvilgauda” variant of Dragon Priest. It is so much fun to play, and it has a good WR once you get to learn the deck. My problem is not having a good way to get back into the game with Aggro deck. Once they start winning, they keep winning. Priest of the feast is too slow. I am hoping to find a 3 or 4 drop taunt or lifesteal minion to slow down Aggro/get me back into the game. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  12. Spyborg
    November 16, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Horrible deck. I’m a fairly good player, and this deck will get you hardly any wins to make up for the losses. DONT waste your time and dust.

    Reply
    • Mosab
      November 19, 2017 at 7:22 am

      A lot of people are getting different results to you, especially pro players playing this. are you sure you’re playing this deck correctly? Calling yourself a fairly good player doesn’t give me much to judge .

      Reply
    • WTF
      December 1, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Wow….
      1. A deck very similar to this achieved legend – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIlE2DaOlfw&t=6329s
      2. If you really were a fairly good player, you wouldn’t call this deck horrible, any fairly good player knows that it takes quite some time to understand and learn to play a deck properly

      Reply
    • PDinny
      December 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

      I am one hundred percent convinced this deck is horrible because you are a fairly good player (not doubting that one bit, no sir!). No need to explain or elaborate further on why, in your opinion, this deck is so horrible. Leave that to those wussy bad players! Puh!

      Thank you, fairly good player, for your great and meaningful advice!

      Reply
      • WildRage
        December 30, 2017 at 3:21 am

        PDinny You’re great. X’D

        Reply
  13. kabal
    July 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    songstealer better

    Reply
  14. wendel
    July 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    bad deck 0 – 8

    Reply
    • chukky1123
      August 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      sorry but here am 12-2 easy mode

      Reply
    • Mania
      November 2, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Lol? I’m 13-3 obviously you aren’t playing the deck correctly.

      Reply
  15. Israphil
    July 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    This deck is awesome !!

    Reply
  16. Abelcain
    July 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I have only faced a single warrior this month so far.

    Other than that match, the only other time I have ever used Harrison Jones was against a mage with Atiesh.

    What would be a good substitution for Harrison Jones besides acidic swamp ooze and other weapon breakers for this meta?

    Reply
    • Chronomancer
      August 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Twilight Drake fits like a glove in this deck

      Reply
  17. a
    July 7, 2017 at 3:51 am

    gjty 🙂

    Reply
  18. Fistouille
    July 6, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Only 4 dragons ? it’s a joke ?

    Reply
    • darkslayer_91
      July 6, 2017 at 5:39 am

      I know right? Plus, no Radiant Elemental, Harrison Jones is kinda useless, considering you’ll be having full hand almost everytime.

      Reply
  19. Ricky
    July 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Any room for twilight drake?

    Reply
  20. Heinkel
    July 5, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    The win rate vs Quest rog is gonna get higher soon… finally.

    Reply
  21. Karma
    July 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    so there is a matchup for elemental shaman and not token shaman?

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      July 5, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Sorry about that, I just added Evolve (Token) Shaman into the mix.

      Reply
  22. Archios
    July 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Isn’t this Zetalot’s list he used to reach high legend a while ago?

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      July 5, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      Yes, I just added a mention of that in the guide.

      Reply

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