Spiteful Summoner Priest (also known as Satellite Priest, in honor of the first player to pilot it to high Legend) is a tempo deck based around it’s namesake, Spiteful Summoner. By excluding any low-cost spells, this deck ensures that Spiteful Summoner will target large spells like Mind Control to create enormous minions much sooner than they would normally hit the board.
Spiteful Summoner Priest Mulligan Strategy & Guide
- Northshire Cleric – As the only 1-cost minion in the deck, this is an automatic keep in all matchups. While it’s always great to have board presence on turn 1, it’s the only way to have something on the board by turn 2 to get value out of Shadow Ascendant on curve.
- Corridor Creeper – This ridiculous minion gets better the earlier it’s drawn. Corridor Creeper is a great way to punish your control opponents for removing your early minions, or to follow up a Duskbreaker turn against aggro.
VS Fast Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Duskbreaker – Against aggro, this card is the backbone of your deck. Duskbreaker clears most early boards and leaves behind a minion with pretty decent stats. If you have a Corridor Creeper in hand when you play it, you can often play your Creeper for free, making that turn a lot more powerful. It is often a good plan to keep another Dragon in your hand if you’re keeping Duskbreaker, just to ensure that you can play it to clear the board.
- Tar Creeper – With great stats for the cost, Tar Creeper is an excellent early game taunt. This early in the game your opponent might not have a way to silence or otherwise remove it, forcing them to trade their early board into it, which can accelerate your Corridor Creeper.
VS Slow Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Spiteful Summoner – Against slower opponents you can be fairly confident you’ll survive until turn 6, and on turn 6 you really want to be playing Spiteful Summoner. The strength of this card comes from making enormous minions several turns earlier than they should be played, and keeping it in your opening hand is the best way to ensure you can play it on curve.
- Curious Glimmerroot – Of the 3-cost minions in this deck, Glimmerroot is most likely to be a good play on curve by itself against control. The stats on the card are decent, and the card you get off it’s effect creates more options for you as the game progresses. It also gives you a peak at your opponents deck, often revealing what archetype your opponent is playing if you weren’t already sure.
- Drakonid Operative – This is one of the more powerful cards in all of Hearthstone, and before the release of Duskbreaker it was the primary incentive to play Priest decks with Dragon synergy. Operative has fantastic stats for the cost, and allows you to Discover a card from your opponent’s deck, provided you’re holding a Dragon. While the Discover mechanic is usually very strong, choosing only from cards in your opponent’s deck is even better in most cases, as you are much more likely to hit a competitive card. Keeping Operative against control is safe because you’re likely to survive to turn 5, and helps you activate your earlier Dragon synergy cards.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Twilight Drake – Twilight Drake is mostly played in this deck for lack of a better option, but it does have its upsides. Four attack is difficult for most Priest decks to remove, so against decks like Raza Priest Twilight Drake is often your strongest minion.
- Kabal Talonpriest – It’s definitely solid to keep Talonpriest against anything, especially with The Coin, but I don’t prefer it to Northshire Cleric, so I don’t recommend keeping it if you don’t already have one. However, if you have for example Northshire Cleric and Shadow Ascendant in your hand already, your board can snowball out of control fairly quickly by playing them on curve into Talonpriest. Consider your hand before you keep Talonpriest, if you think it will have a target the turn you play it then in most cases it’s right to keep it.
Spiteful Summoner Priest Win Rates
Spiteful Summoner Priest Play Strategy
The goal of this deck is to keep tempo throughout the early to mid game until you can play Spiteful Summoner, creating a big minion to hopefully close out the game.
Against aggro you want to keep opposing minions off the board as much as possible. While Priest has some of the better early removal options with cards like Potion of Madness and Shadow Word: Pain, this deck can’t run them without ruining the consistency of Spiteful Summoner. This expansion Priest got one of the best board clear effects in Duskbreaker, which is especially excellent for this deck because it’s a minion. Thanks to Netherspite Historian, you can expect to be able to play Duskbreaker on curve a lot of the time, and doing so gives you a lot of momentum. This deck doesn’t get to run any healing effects like other Priest decks can, so try to keep your health high. If you can maintain tempo into the mid/late game you will out-value aggro decks to the point that they can’t catch up.
When facing Control your overall game plan is still to maintain tempo, but without the risk of taking too much damage too early. You have to be the aggressor in these matchups; the more often your opponent is forced to use their removal, the less likely they are to have an answer for your Spiteful Summoner turn. The best control decks right now are Warlock and Priest.
Warlock decks have largely cut their removal cards like Twisting Nether and Siphon Soul, so if you can keep control of the board while forcing them to use their Lesser Amethyst Spellstones on earlier things, then your Spiteful Summoner minion will likely stick. The issue here is Voidlord. Cube-lock decks not only accelerate Voidlord early, but can replicate them with Carnivorous Cube and Faceless Manipulator. While Duskbreaker does give you an easy way to clear up the Voidwalkers once you manage to break through the Voidlords, your board has likely taken significant enough damage to do so that you’ll be clearing your side as well. Against aggressive boards, it can be hard to play Skull of the Man'ari or a Possessed Lackey without Dark Pact, so try to keep them focused on removing your minions. Starting as early as turn 8, thanks to Grand Archivist, you can Mind Control opposing Voidlords for devastating tempo swings. If you run into Cube-lock a lot, and have trouble getting around Voidlord, consider adding Spellbreaker to your list.
While Priest doesn’t have the powerful Taunt tools that Warlock has (with the possible exception of Obsidian Statue), it makes up for it with its ridiculous removal package. The Dragons in this deck help it play around Dragonfire Potion, but Psychic Scream removes everything. Shadowreaper Anduin also hits many of your best threats. Against Priest your best option is to be careful how much you commit to the board. Try to have a Dragon on board when they’re likely to play Dragonfire Potion, hold back your Corridor Creepers when they’re likely to play Psychic Scream, and play your 4-attack minions when they’re about to play Anduin. The easiest way to spot which removal card they’re likely to use is how much mana they have available, but otherwise just keep track of which board clears they’ve used already and commit to the board accordingly.
Spiteful Summoner Priest Card Substitutions
This deck has a few powerful cards in it, and a bunch of less powerful cards to synergize with them or just because you need thirty cards to play the game. Considering this, the deck actually has a lot of room for substitution while still maintaining most of its strength. Spiteful Summoner, Mind Control, Duskbreaker, Drakonid Operative, Northshire Cleric and Corridor Creeper are all either core or too strong to remove, but everything else can be played around with to some degree.
- Southsea Captain with Patches the Pirate – Southsea Captain with Patches still in the deck is one of the strongest turn 3 plays in the game, and Patches is also great for accelerating Corridor Creeper. If you played Hearthstone in Year of the Mammoth you probably already have these cards, and they are absolutely fine, maybe even optimal, to include in this deck. Consider these if you are missing low cost cards.
- Prince Keleseth – Turn 2 is pretty weak in this deck, as you can tell from the inclusion of Shadow Ascendant, so Keleseth is something you can consider, especially if you include a Pirate package like the one above. You do miss out on Netherspite Historian, which, while not being an outstanding turn 2 play, is an excellent value card. Including Keleseth cuts the cards in this deck that can be played before turn 3 in half, which can be detrimental, but Duskbreaker helps you catch up on board if you fall behind. If you own Keleseth and don’t want to invest in One Night in Karazhan so close to it’s rotation (Netherspite is part of this Adventure), then he is probably your best substitute.
- Faerie Dragon – Faerie Dragon is a decent 2-cost minion as its immune to most early removal and has the Dragon tag, but having only 2 health is a significant weakness. Kobold Librarian trades very efficiently into it, as does Patches if it was summoned from Southsea Captain. Against decks that don’t have minions like that it can be a strong early play, so its something to consider instead of or alongside Shadow Ascendant.
- Twilight Acolyte – One of the primary strengths of this card is that it enables counter-combos in Inner Fire based Priest decks, which is probably why it’s not mainstream in this one, but it’s pseudo-removal effect can be valuable. This deck already includes enough Dragons to support it, so if you own copies of it and are missing Curious Glimmerroot it’s a decent substitution, especially considering the popularity of Mountain Giant in Cube-lock.
- Psychic Scream – This deck loves big spells and Psychic Scream is one of the better ones. The reason this isn’t a more mainstream inclusion is that you want to have a lot of minions on board and it’s super risky if you’re playing Grand Archivist. Some lists don’t play Archivist, so if you aren’t running one or don’t want to craft it you can consider running a Psychic Scream to remove otherwise impregnable boards.
- Spellbreaker – I was recently playing Cube-lock and got wrecked by a version of this deck running two copies of Spellbreaker and Kabal Songstealer. Running that much silence might be a little over the top, but I’m suspicious Spellbreaker might become a staple of this deck if Cube-lock remains as popular as it is. Priest as a class has some of the better silence effects, but unfortunately for this deck all it’s best ones come from low cost spells. If you find yourself running into a lot of matchups where Spellbreaker would make the difference then it’s a good idea to find room for it.
About the Author
Martian has been playing Hearthstone regularly since early 2014, and consistently makes it to Legend in both Standard and Wild.