Quest Priest Deck List Guide – Post Nerf: Witchwood – June 2018

Our quest priest deck guide features the most popular deck list for the archetype! This guide features play strategy, mulligan advice, card substitutions, and more!

Introduction to Quest Priest

Don’t let your memes be dreams! The Priest Quest, Awaken the Makers, was added to Hearthstone in Journey to Un’Goro in April 2017, but it took more than a year until Quest Priest became a somewhat viable archetype. Multiple players kept trying to make Quest Priest work every now and then, including popular streamers such as Savjz and Brian Kibler, but for the most part it simply did not work that well – aggro decks were too fast for it, and combo decks did not care about Priest having 40 Health from Amara, Warden of Hope.

The Standard rotation that took place with the Witchwood expansion helped the archetype a little, and the nerfs in May 2017 finally put it into a position to win more games than it loses. Rotten Applebaum was a key missing defensive piece, and Archbishop Benedictus finally found a strong role in countering Rin, the First Disciple. Quest Priest is able to defend itself against most of the current aggressive decks and it can outvalue control decks, but it still has weaknesses against combo decks (Quest Druid, Shudderwock Shaman) and all varieties of Rogue.

Quest Priest is not for anyone who likes their Hearthstone short and sweet, though. My latest play session with the deck saw me go through 13 games in four hours, that’s almost 20 minutes per game. While your actual mileage will vary depending on how much aggro/control you face, be prepared for some long games with the deck.

The current list featured in this guide is from Brian Kibler’s stream, although there are multiple variants being played.

Deck List

Deck Import

Quest Priest Card Choices

Awaken the Makers requires you to summon seven Deathrattle minions to complete the quest and receive Amara, Warden of Hope.

The first thing when building Quest Priest is looking into the Deathrattle minion package to ensure timely Quest completion. Cheap Deathrattle minions are important to give yourself a chance to complete the Quest against aggressive decks, as playing Amara immediately wins the game against pure aggro, all that healing is too much for them.

Some of the most common Deathrattle minions include:

  • Crystalline Oracle – Cheap Deathrattle minion that gives you another card when it dies. Getting cards from your opponent’s deck ranges from almost useless to game-winning. Overall, it is quite good, as you are not getting completely random cards, but cards that the opponent has deemed good enough to include in the deck.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos – Cheap Deathrattle minion that draws a card and gives you Spell Damage for Spirit Lash. A nice little trick with Thalnos is that you can sometimes guarantee a Thalnos from Twilight's Call to buff Spirit Lash after the original Thalnos has already died.
  • Loot Hoarder – Another cheap Deathrattle that draws a card. Drawing cards is always good, because Archbishop Benedictus ensures that you cannot be in a bad position in fatigue.
  • Plated Beetle – A defensive early-game Deathrattle minion.
  • Rotten Applebaum – A defensive mid-game Deathrattle minion. The Witchwood’s contribution to the deck, fixing the mana curve by giving a good mid-game Taunt minion.
  • Bone Drake – One of the few pressure tools in the deck. While the overall game plan of the deck benefits more from defensive minions, Bone Drake has the advantage of being both a Deathrattle minion and a Dragon, enabling Dragon synergies.

Note that any way to get those Deathrattle minions on the board will do, as the requirement is summon and not the more stringent play, which would require actually playing the cards from hand. This means that in addition to the Deathrattle minions themselves, various other cards can be used to advance the Quest, such as:

  • Twilight's Call – The most important and common support card. Summons 1/1 copies of two friendly Deathrattle minions that died during the game. The minions do not have to be unique, you can summon two copies of the same minion type, but at least two Deathrattle minions need to have died in order to get two back.
  • Mirage Caller – If you have a Deathrattle minion on the board, Mirage Caller can summon a 1/1 copy of it. Situationally useful, as you could simply have another Deathrattle minion in the deck instead.
  • Carnivorous Cube – Deathrattle minion that can summon two more Deathrattle minions if it is used to eat a Deathrattle minion. A bit slow and can be countered with Silence, and you generally cannot get as much value out of it as you can in a deck like Cubelock or Devilsaur Druid, but it is still an option to keep in mind. Some decks that opt to include Cubes also include Spiritsinger Umbra to ensure the Deathrattle effect.

In addition to the Deathrattle minions, the deck needs defensive tools. The main defensive tool for Priest in The Witchwood is Duskbreaker, and in order to use it, the deck needs a number of Dragons. If you want to have Duskbreakers active in the early game reliably, you generally want to include at least seven Dragons in the deck. Some of the best options are:

  • Duskbreaker – Hellfire on a stick. An incredibly powerful area-of-effect damage card and minion all in one, and it’s a Dragon itself, so if you have two copies in hand, the second one activates the first one.
  • Bone Drake – While not completely ideal, it is both a Deathrattle minion and a Dragon. It even gives you more Dragons when it dies to keep the synergy up.
  • Primordial Drake – A big Taunt minion with a small area-of-effect damage component. Powerful defensive tool.
  • Alexstrasza – Healing or damage on demand.
  • Ysera – A powerful value engine.

The remaining defensive tool package consists of some key Priest spells:

  • Spirit Lash – Area-of-effect damage and healing, can be buffed with Bloodmage Thalnos.
  • Shadow Word: Death – The main way to deal with an early Mountain Giant.
  • Psychic Scream – Temporary reprieve and an effective buff remover. You often win through fatigue, so you need to consider when and how to use this. If you use it after Archbishop Benedictus, you can put yourself in a bad position regarding fatigue. Early Psychic Scream is good to disable the spell synergy cards of Spell Hunter and slow down a combo deck such as Shudderwock Shaman. Also, if you can shuffle a large number of weak cards into your opponent’s deck, you can slow them down enough to try and go for a win with minions or Shadowreaper Anduin.
  • Shadow Visions – A utility tool to dig for the right answers. Think carefully how to use it: if you dig too early, you have a lower chance to find the card you need, or you may not even know what you want, but if you wait too long, you may draw all the good spells from your deck.

There is one more absolutely crucial package in the deck – the fatigue package:

  • Archbishop Benedictus – Adds a copy of the opponent’s deck to your deck. A key tool to ensure that you’re always well-positioned for a fatigue game, and one of the few counters to Rin, the First Disciple in the current meta: you can either hold on to Benedictus until after Azari, the Devourer, or if you’re ahead in fatigue, you can play Benedictus with Zola the Gorgon to get to a good fatigue position while keeping another Benedictus for Azari. Be careful with when you use the card: Psychic Scream after Benedictus can weaken your position, and it will also be more difficult to find key cards after playing it, so try to wait until you have the most important pieces you need for the matchup. However, shuffling large enough of a deck into yours can give you enough buffer to Psychic Scream while retaining fatigue advantage, or alternatively playing Benedictus after a Scream can ensure that you get most of the minions you screamed away into your own deck as well.
  • Zola the Gorgon – The main target of Zola in the deck is Amara, Warden of Hope. Going to 40 Health twice is often game-winning, especially in fatigue games. However, there are times when you want to use Zola on something else, most notably Archbishop Benedictus for some fatigue setups or even a cheap Deathrattle minion in order to complete the Quest early against an aggressive deck.

Finally, there are some utility tools in the deck:

  • Shadowreaper Anduin – A flexible card. Anduin can be your win condition through damage, it can remove a boardful of minions with more than five Attack, and it can turn your Hero Power into a board control tool. Because Amara, Warden of Hope gives you all the healing you need in the late game, losing the healing Hero Power does not hurt too much.
  • Mind Control – Defend yourself by grabbing a major threat from the opponent, and turn it into a threat at the same time. Against some combo decks, it can even be correct to Mind Control card draw minions to slow them down.

Quest Priest Mulligan Strategy & Guide

Whatever you do, always keep Awaken the Makers. It is your win condition against fast and slow decks alike, pushing you out of reach of aggro and winning fatigue games as well.

VS Fast Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Crystalline Oracle – Keep with other early Deathrattle minions, can be good on turn three together with a two-drop.
  • Spirit Lash – Keep against token decks, such as Odd Paladin.
  • Rotten Applebaum – Keep with some other early minions to curve out.

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

Quest Priest Play Strategy

Quest Priest is a fatigue-style control deck. Armed with the ability to copy your opponent’s deck into yours with Archbishop Benedictus and heal yourself up to 40 Health with Amara, Warden of Hope – and do either of them twice thanks to Zola the Gorgon – Quest Priest can take on any other control deck in a long fatigue game.

The ways for Quest Priest to win, from the most common to the most rare, are:

  • The opponent runs out of viable win conditions and concedes
  • The opponent dies to fatigue
  • You kill the opponent with Shadowreaper Anduin
  • You kill the opponent with minions and possibly Alexstrasza

As you can see, there are some occasions where you take a more active path, but for the most part you are the control deck and try to defend and stall and run the opponent out of threats.

The main reason you may end up as the beatdown is that you’re facing a combo deck that can kill you with their inevitability in the late game, such as Shudderwock Shaman. Sometimes you also need to be proactive against a Warlock with Rin, the First Disciple in order to delay Azari, the Devourer to get enough time to draw your key answers to it – Archbishop Benedictus and Shadow Word: Death.

In such a case, make as much as you can of your few threats: Rotten ApplebaumBone DrakeShadowreaper AnduinAlexstrasza, and Amara, Warden of Hope – note that Amara is an 8/8 minion too, and it can be used proactively to push damage! That said, you don’t have a lot of tools to be aggressive, and whenever you are forced into such a role, your chance to win is very low.

You are much more comfortable playing the control role, where using your board clears to line up well against the opponent’s threats is the key consideration. How much damage can the opponent deal in the next couple of turns? How can they buff their minions during that time – with Fungalmancer maybe? Do you need to use removal now or can you do it later?

In general, you want to remove boards that threaten to push too much damage for you to recover from or that threaten to be buffed beyond the reach of your removal tools. If you’re close enough to Psychic Scream, you may sometimes be happy about a buff, as you can then scream the board away and remove the buff. If you do not have to use board clears yet, you can use the time to develop minions and advance your Quest.

Because you have a lot of healing available from the Quest, playing an early Shadowreaper Anduin is a viable strategy – your new Hero Power can then be used to either push face damage or control the board. However, Anduin is also one of your most powerful removal tools, an excellent answer to Dragoncaller Alanna, for example, so you may want to hold onto it if you are on a fatigue game plan and you expect the opponent to have big minions that Anduin can take down.

VS Aggro Decks

All you need to do is survive. The key questions are how many refills they are capable of and how the Health of their minions lines up against your removal pieces. Sometimes you want to stagger a Spirit Lash into Duskbreaker on the following turn, and sometimes you need to use both on the same turn. Sometimes Bloodmage Thalnos can be used to buff Spirit Lash, potentially even twice thanks to Twilight's Call.

Zola the Gorgon can be used actively in the early game to advance the Quest and get more armor, card draw, or spell damage. Archbishop Benedictus is rarely needed or even desirable, as you want to draw the removal pieces from your own deck, not aggressive cards from your opponent’s deck.

VS Control Decks

You can take most control decks to fatigue quite comfortably. Amara, Warden of HopeArchbishop Benedictus, and Zola the Gorgon are your key minions that ensure fatigue advantage. In some cases, you may be able to push with Shadowreaper Anduin, but it may also be needed for removal.

Quest Priest Card Substitutions

Quest Priest is a very expensive deck. You’re looking at spending more than 13,000 dust for the full version, and there are several Legendary cards that are difficult if not impossible to cut:

  • Awaken the Makers – There is no Quest Priest without the Quest, obviously.
  • Archbishop Benedictus – A key tool in the fatigue game plan of the deck. Cannot be replaced without losing win rate in control matchups.
  • Shadowreaper Anduin – One of the few offensive threats in the deck as well as a powerful removal tool. Cannot be replaced.

There are some replacements for the other Legendary cards in the deck:

However, even after replacing the Legendary cards, there are still some Epic cards left:

There are some options to replace a number of the more expensive cards in the deck, but the deck gets weaker with each replacement, and replacing everything leaves you with a barebone shell.

Old Guardian

Ville "Old Guardian" Kilkku is a writer and video creator focused on analytic, educational Hearthstone, and building innovative Standard format decks.

Check out Old Guardian on Twitter or on their Website!

13 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. Nicodiangelo
    June 5, 2018 at 8:52 am

    I feel it’s important to mention that Benedictus shouldn’t be played until Quest is completed. Just played against a quest priest who dropped benedictus and got stuck on 6/7 quest completion because he just got unlucky draws from my deathrattle-lacking deck mixed with his. He stalled for four turns just barely avoiding lethal and was not able to finish his quest. Benedictus is great for the fatigue game that he and Amara let you win, but he really shouldn’t be summoned until the quest is completed IMO because opponent’s deck gets in the way of you drawing your own deathrattle minions.
    Also, Dollmaster Dorian is crazy good in this deck because of how well his effect synergizes with deathrattle. imo he definitely should at least get an honorable mention for people (like me) dying to use him in a feasible deck.

    Reply
  2. MrMeme
    May 30, 2018 at 1:30 am

    How do you counter this deck?

    Reply
    • Uncle_Abe
      May 30, 2018 at 1:39 am

      aggro

      Reply
    • Old Guardian - Author
      June 1, 2018 at 1:47 am

      Combo decks (Quest Druid, Shudderwock Shaman) and all varieties of Rogue.

      Reply
    • Vic
      June 1, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      I’m playing this deck and getting countered. It seems that aggro just runs over it unless you draw your early removal, and control decks usually have enough threats to kill me before I get to fatigue. I think I’m 2-7 with it, beat a paladin who drew poorly and one spell hunter. Lost to taunt warrior, control warlock, odd paladin, tempo mage and aggro hunter.

      Reply
      • Blobbs
        June 1, 2018 at 2:12 pm

        I’m 27-10 with this, i built it myself last season, kind of annoyed its here now lol my only diff is – one primordial + one scalebane

        Reply
  3. Paul
    May 29, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I decided to give it a try today when I hit rank 5, as you can’t drop below 5 at that point. I just won 5 straight games. One was against Warrior, one against Odd Paladin, one against Tempo Mage, one against Hunter, and I forget the other at the moment. I’m liking it.

    Reply
  4. GlosuuLang
    May 29, 2018 at 5:31 am

    There should be a mechanic in the game whereby if both players play an Archbishop Benedictus, the game automatically ends in a draw. I would not play this deck for ladder just because the games take forever, but playing the mirror is pretty much masochism for both sides.

    Reply
    • Old Guardian - Author
      May 29, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Luckily, Quest Priest is quite rare. It’s been hovering at around 3% of the meta since the nerfs and has slowly headed downwards from that over the past couple of days. But yeah, games take forever.

      Reply
    • Stonekeep
      May 29, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Mirrors are nightmare. Probably the second worst to the Fatigue (Dead Man’s Hand) Warrior. In case of Priest, at least if both players draw Benedictus (and neither copies it), the game won’t last forever. In case of DMH Warrior, if both players play the matchup well, the game will 100% get to the turn limit.

      Reply
    • Uncle_Abe
      May 30, 2018 at 1:40 am

      60 turns is draw, right?

      Reply
    • UNKN0WN5
      May 31, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      I m crying right now.Sorry for u dude! Kinda feel u.

      Reply

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