Thanks to gttirth for allowing us to re-host his Un’Goro Dragon Priest guide! If you have a question for him, be sure to check him out on Twitter! He has slightly altered the deck recently (updated version is above), and the guide represents the older version of the deck if you happen to notice cards that aren’t in the deck that appear in the guide.
Greetings! I am gcttirth (gcttirth#1560) from India. I contribute as Priest/Paladin expert for the Tempo Storm Meta Snapshot. I am here to post a guide about the Dragon Priest list that I used to get legend from rank 5 after the release of Journey to Un’Goro.
- Legend proof: http://imgur.com/a/P6XDM (Currently legend #37 on NA)
- Stats: http://imgur.com/a/IRBtB (Guide is for version
1.31.2. Version 1.41.3 has -1 Acidic Swamp Ooze, -1 Curious Glimmerroot for +2 Cabal Shadow Priest and is the one that I am using right now to climb)
After testing different Priest lists, I figured that the Lyra package is amazing. I managed to combine the Lyra package with the Dragons shell to get good result on the ladder. The deck has been successful for many other players too, helping them reach legend with it.
Mulligans are in this form: Card – Keep condition.
- Always Keep: Northshire Cleric and Radiant Elemental
- Power Word: Shield – Keep with Northshire Cleric and Radiant Elemental
- Acidic Swamp Ooze – Keep vs Warrior. Keep with Northshire Cleric.
- Netherspite Historian – Keep if you are keeping Twilight Drake or Drakonid Operative
- Shadow Word: Pain – Keep vs aggressive decks (Zoo, Midrange Hunter, Pirate Warrior). Keep vs Quest Warrior
- Curious Glimmerroot – Keep if you have at least two minions from Northshire Cleric, Radiant Elemental, Acidic Swamp Ooze or Netherspite Historian.
- Kabal Talonpriest – Keep if you have at least two minions from Northshire Cleric, Radiant Elemental, Acidic Swamp Ooze or Netherspite Historian.
- Twilight Drake – Keep on coin if you are keeping at least two other minions. Keep without coin if you have Northshire Cleric and Netherspite Historian/Radiant Elemental vs slower matchups.
- Drakonid Operative – Keep on coin with Northshire Cleric, Netherspite Historian, PLUS another spell (Shadow Word: Pain or Power Word: Shield) or another minion (Twilight Drake or Kabal Talonpriest) vs control/value matchups only.
- Dragonfire Potion: Keep on coin vs Quest Rogue if you are keeping all the other three cards.
- Always throw: Shadow Vision, Shadow Word: Death, Holy Nova, Lyra the Sunshard, Book Wyrm, Dragonfire Potion, Primordial Drake
vs Quest Rogue (9-0) Favored
Quest Rogue is second best matchup for this deck. The Dragon Priest is able to pressure the Rogue very well during the first 3 turns with the help of early game, high health minions. In the mid-game, your plan is to play the 4-cost and 5-cost Dragon minions – the Twilight Drake and Drakonid Operative. Do not hesitate to drop Drakonid Operative without triggering it’s battlecry, we do not need value in this matchup, just tempo. By turn 5/6, the Quest Rogue should have completed the quest and will be dropping down 5/5 minions. It is important to identify when they are able to PLAY their quest reward. You have to clear their board with your minions the turn before they can play their quest reward. When they play their quest reward and 5/5 minions, your plan is to use Dragonfire Potion or Shadow Word: Death to clear their board and keep going face with your minions. Use Shadow Vision to dig for Dragonfire Potion and Shadow Word: Death. If you manage to have 2 Dragonfire Potion by turn6, and a Dragon minion on board, then the game is almost unwinnable for the Rogue deck.
vs Quest Warrior (6-5) Even
This matchup is often a close one. Quest Warriors that play 2x Dirty Rat, 2x Brawl and 2x Primordial Drake seem to be close to even vs Dragon Priest. I tested this matchup a lot in friendly matches, and with a single tech card in the form of Cabal Shadow Priest, the matchup becomes favorable for Dragon Priest. I highly suggest trying out Cabal Shadow Priest (or two) if you are facing a decent number of Quest Warriors. Your gameplan vs Quest Warrior is to establish an early board, and try to rush them down. I suggest not playing around Brawl unless your opponent is specifically setting up for it (t4 Dirty Rat is often a good indicator of upcoming Brawl). If the Warrior has kept 1 card in his hand apart from Quest, try to play around Fiery War Axe. Try to not use Shadow Word: Pain on anything but the 4-cost or 5-cost taunt minions. Use Shadow Vision to dig for Power Word: Shield or Shadow Word: Pain. Dragonfire Potion is often a dead card in this matchup, so pray that you don’t draw both of them.
vs Elemental Shaman (6-0) Favored
Elemental Shaman feels unlosable for Dragon Priest. Shadow Word: Pain and Dragonfire Potion are the key cards in this matchup, capable of dealing with the high-value elementals that the Shaman plays. Using Shadow Vision to dig for situational removal really makes this matchup easy for the Dragon Priest. Book Wyrm and Primordial Drake are amazing as well against Elemental Shaman. Straight forward matchup, you will usually win this at 30hp.
vs Midrange Hunter (6-1) Favored
Midrange Hunter is another favorable matchup for the Dragon Priest, although a really close one. Often, you will find yourself stabilizing at ~9hp with a Primordial Drake on the board. Early game is all about trying to deny them Houndmaster value. Dragonfire Potion followed by another AoE clear around turn6 and turn7 is optimal, and Shadow Vision helps achieve that consistently. Go for early game board control, and play around the Crackling Razormaw when ahead.
vs Spell Priest or Dragon+Elemental Priest (Or “Hybrid” Priest?) (5-1) Favored
Spell Priest (deck based around Lyra the Sunshard and/or Divine Spirit+Inner Fire) is a really easy matchup for the Dragon Priest, thanks to the Shadow Word: Pain and Death, they cannot deal with Twilight Drake and they cannot manage to stick a minion on the board thanks to the removal options. Dragon+Elemental Priest is often a close matchup, as they run more value-generating card than us, at the cost of reducing the consistency of Dragon-triggers. Take advantage of that, and try to beat them down in the mid game with the help of Twilight Drake. Most Elemental lists aren’t running Twilight Drake so unless they get one from their discover effects, regular Dargon Priest should be favored.
vs Zoo Warlock (3-2) Favored
Small sample size, but the deck should be favored vs them thanks to the amount of AoE options available in the deck. All the spells except Power: Word Shield helps Dragon Priest to clear the Zoo’s board, making the matchup favored for the Priest. I faced a couple Quest Zoo Warlock that I lost to due to their Deathwing, but that is not a popular deck on the ladder and hence you should feel fine whenever you queue in to a Warlock. Primordial Drake and Shadow Vision have boosted the win-rate of Dragon Priest in this matchup.
vs Pirate Warrior (2-3) Unfavored
The lack of early game taunt minions has resulted in Dragon Priest being unfavored vs the Pirate Warrior. If you are facing too many Pirate Warriors, consider upgrading the Acidic Swamp Ooze to Gluttonous Ooze, and replacing the Curious Glimmerroot with Golakka Crawler. Play your early game drops, hope to take control of the board, and then pray they don’t draw Arcanite Reaper. Using the suggested tech cards will make the matchup favored for Dragon Priest.
vs Quest Mage (2-1) Favored?
I do not have enough sample size on this matchup, but it felt that this matchup is similar to the pre-expansion Dragon Priest vs Reno Mage matchup. They are unable to complete their quest in time due to the constant pressure from minions. As long as they don’t get early doomsayer off, it feels that the Quest Mage fails to stabilize in-time. Needless to say, Drakonid Operative and Curious Glimmerroot can discover Ice Block which will result in an easy win.
vs Token/Aggro Druid (0-1) Unfavored?
Small sample size, but the matchup feels unfavored to me. Token Druid is able to swarm the board turn after turn, thanks to Living Mana. Early game chip damage means that anytime their board survives a turn, they can burst down the Priest with a Savage Roar or any +1/+1 buff card. Hence, unless the Priest gets 2x on-curve AoE removal, the matchup is difficult to win.
vs Control Paladin (2-0) Favored
Most control decks that lack burst damage should be favored for Dragon Priest, and Control Paladin is no different. It is important to note that the Control Paladin lists are probably not refined enough and that the matchup can change once they are more refined. Play minions on curve, get value from Lyra the Sunshard and try to play around Equality clear and it should be a smooth sailing to victory.
Decks that I have not played against
Do note that the descriptions can be inaccurate here, as these are just based on my theory and other players playing the Dragon Priest deck.
vs Aggro Mage (0-0) Favored?
Aggro Mage started blooming after I got legend with Dragon Priest, so I do not have any data for this matchup. On paper though, it feels like Dragon Priest should be favored. Aggro Mage should not be able to stick minions on the board for too long, and their chip damage is offset by Priest’s hero power. It is important to go for tempo in this matchup and try to close out the game as fast as possible.
vs Miracle Rogue (0-0) Unfavored
Miracle got a huge boost in play after Eloise hit #1 legend with it, again after I finished my legend climb. Miracle Rogue has been historically a bad matchup for most Priest lists, and I would assume Dragon Priest is no different. The Vilespine Slayer makes the matchup even worse for the Dragon Priest.
The deck has three flex slots: Acidic Swamp Ooze, Curious Glimmerroot, 2nd Primordial Drake. You can replace them with the following card to get improved result vs a specific deck. Matchups in bold indicate suggested replacement.
- Gluttonous Ooze: vs Pirate Warrior
- Golakka Crawler: vs Pirate Warrior
- Dirty Rat: vs Quest decks (Warrior, Rogue, Mage), Miracle Rogue
- Cabal Shadow Priest: vs Zoo, Quest Warrior
- Holy Nova: vs Zoo, Token/Aggro Druid
- Ysera: vs Quest Warrior, Priest, Control Paladin
- Potion of Madness: vs Zoo, Pirate Warrior, Hunter, Token/Aggro Druid
If I missed any matchup description, let me know and I will edit them in. I will also playtest the deck against other, recently popularized decks to get a better sample size and will edit this post to reflect them.
Follow me on twitter for constant updates on this list and many others. I “like” good decks on twitter too, for your net-decking purposes 🙂 If you try this list out, please tweet at me or post here about how it is working for you!