Our Mind Blast Control Priest deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this popular deck from the The Witchwood expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!
Introduction to Mind Blast Priest
“Priest loses so many important cards with the upcoming rotation!”: That statement was heard quite often in the last few weeks, and combined with the newly revealed Priest cards, the lion’s share of the community pronounced Priest’s future in the Year of the Raven dead.
Maybe in this case the wish was the father of the thought due to the dominance of the class in the second part of the Year of the Mammoth; but after all, Priest seems to be more than alive and well. Spiteful Priest was the obvious choice for most players at the start of the expansion, but another once famous archetype that we’re going to take a look at is on the rise yet again: Mindblast Control Priest.
Mind Blast Priest General Strategy
On first sight, this deck might seem to be kind of all over the place in the chaotic meta game of the first few weeks of Witchwood. However, the combination of the best Priest cards in the game makes this deck a true meta-breaker in the best possible way. Looking at the statistics of admittedly moderate sample size, Mind Blast Control Priest beats the most played decks (Odd Paladin, Odd Hunter, Cubelock, and Tempo Rogue) pretty convincingly.
Now to the actual list: First of all, we have the card draw engine that includes Northshire Cleric, Wild Pyromancer, Power Word: Shield and a new addition called Divine Hymn. One of the strongest upsides of this group of cards is the fact that it also serves as a great way to clear the board early; Shadow Visions and Mind Blast can help in that regard as well. The amount of board clear in total makes this archetype a great match against the Aggro lists that currently try to break Cube Warlock and other control archetypes.
The dragon package suffered heavy losses with the rotation, but still kept important cards like Duskbreaker, Twilight Drake and Primordial Drake which help to survive into the later stages of the game. One of the new dragon synergy cards called Scaleworm showcases the real power level of well-designed Rush minions and tremendously helps against cards like Tar Creeper in the mid game. Alexstrasza may look like a random include, but serves one particular purpose: To defeat the mighty Cube Warlock. This will be discussed further in the Matchup Guide section.
Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones are having a field day in basically every control list at the moment. Paladins alone use three to five different weapons, Hunter uses at least two as well. Not to forget the beloved Skull of the Man'ari, one of the most precious artifacts for Harrison Jones to put into the museum!
Two copies of Shadow Word: Death try to handle early Mountain Giant aggression and Spiteful Summoner high rolls, something that many control lists still struggle with. When all the floodgates open eventually, Psychic Scream and Shadowreaper Anduin are ready to remove ridiculous board states to save even more time.
The “curve ball” in this list is Mind Blast. 10 damage for 4 mana may still be the best face damage per mana distribution in the whole game, and we don’t even need cards like Prophet Velen to make it work. Shadow Visions alone can produce up to four copies, and Alexstrasza does all the dirty work up to 15 health anyway.
At last, this deck may be straight up the best meta pick to play at the moment. Lots of players try to climb either fast with Aggro Paladin or Hunter, or they try to play safe with Cube Warlock, and all of these matchups are in our favor. It has to be said though that this list requires a lot of thinking, especially in the Cube Warlock matchup, so don’t get discouraged by a few losses at the beginning, as you will get rewarded in the end eventually!
Mind Blast Priest Matchup and Mulligan Guides
Cubelock: HIGHLY FAVORED
You want to beat Cube Warlock more consistently than any other list? Play Mind Blast Control Priest. Playing this matchup, however, is surely not a walk in the park. It is key to know when to pull the trigger on specific cards. Alexstrasza for example is part of our “combo”, so playing that on curve does absolutely nothing since Cubelock can just heal back up to full life in a heartbeat. It really is a game of attrition, and having Shadowreaper Anduin in hand early is almost mandatory to be able to put out enough damage before playing Alex eventually. Bait out as many heals as possible, try to get additional Mind Blast copies, and don’t use your Mass Dispel too early. And by the way: If you get confronted by a random copy of Rin, the First Disciple, be sure to Silence it as quickly as possible, because that is one of the very few ways to lose if played on curve.
Odd Paladin/Even Paladin: HIGHLY FAVORED
History doesn’t change, and that applies to Control Priest versus Aggro Paladin. Wild Pyromancer alone carries you through the early game, and if you don’t draw one, you should at least get Northshire Cleric for early board contesting or Duskbreaker for the heavy board swing on turn 4.
Don’t underestimate their ability of reloading the board, and choose wisely when it comes to board clear. If you play the board correctly you will almost always come out ahead, and Psychic Scream or Primordial Drake will seal the game eventually.
Odd Aggro Hunter: HIGHLY FAVORED
Basically the same game plan as against Odd Paladin. Don’t be afraid to neglect your life total at the beginning of the game, because Divine Hymn or Shadow Visions will almost always be in your back pocket. Use your Hero Power to make value trades and to keep the board presence.
Tempo Rogue: FAVORED
Many opponents will think that you are playing a Spiteful Priest list, and that helps you a ton in the matchup against Rogues. They will try to build up a big Edwin early on, and you will eat it up with Shadow Word: Death. The rest of the matchup plays out as easy. Scaleworm is the answer Priest needed against Fal’dorei Strider, so even more value-oriented Rogue archetypes will have trouble to compete in the mid game.
Spiteful Druid: EVEN TO UNFAVORED
As we all know, Spiteful Summoner’s rolls have become increasingly better due to the rotation of the Old Gods, and that is why this archetype can high-roll you out of the game in a heartbeat. The combination of Prince Keleseth and copious amounts of cheap minions that have more than 3 health can become too much from time to time. The deck also has a lot of defensive capabilities, and Armor is the bane of every combo-based Alexstrasza deck. Try to go in as early as possible, get your Scaleworm on the board, and pray.
Elemental/Control Mage: UNFAVORED
You know what’s as bad as Armor for our list? Lifesteal, and Frost Lich Jaina has plenty of that in hand. In this matchup you basically need to hard-mulligan for Shadowreaper Anduin so that you can apply pressure as early as possible and before Jaina gets drawn. You have to go wide on the board as well, because the board will stay clear all of the time anyway. The matchup against more value-oriented Elemental Mages without that many board clears is much better.
Mind Blast Priest Tech Cards and Replacements
Chameleos: Many variations of this list run Chameleos, and in a more control-oriented meta, this card can spy out a lot of vital information and create great value.
Prophet Velen: This card actually does nothing in terms of additional reach within a single turn, just because it has to stick to the board for at least one turn.