Control Priest Deck List & Guide – Darkmoon Faire – December 2020

Control Priest Deck List & Guide – Darkmoon Faire – December 2020

Our Control Priest deck list guide for the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion features one of the top lists for this archetype. This Priest guide includes Mulligan Strategy, Gameplay Tips, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!


You either love it or you love to hate it: Control Priest has always been the most annoying of the defensive archetypes in Hearthstone, yanking away minions from the board and spells from the hand to subvert and survive on its way to victory. Beyond the relentless removal, it always required a bit of extra oomph to become competitively relevant, be it a strong Dragon shell, tons of resurrection effects or the machine gun of Shadowreaper Anduin. This time, it’s a flood of freshly generated spells from Sethekk Veilweaver and the cost reduction shenanigans from Nazmani Bloodweaver that do the trick, creating an explosive archetype with a plethora of decision points all across the game – most of them just as infuriating to play against as it should be against a Control Priest.

Control Priest Deck List

We’ve featured Gaby’s #1 Legend build here but we’ll go into detail about Vicious Syndicate’s version in the Card Replacements section – it’s cheaper to assemble and arguably more consistent in certain matchups! There are also versions with various other top end solutions which we will also list there for you.

Find more versions of this deck type on our Control Priest archetype page!

Mulligan Guide and Strategy

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Wandmaker – A guaranteed generator for the spell engine which forms the heart of this deck, plus a small early board presence. A must-have in your mulligan.
  • Draconic Studies – A way to bank that first mana crystal you’d otherwise waste with the deck.
  • Sethekk Veilweaver and Nazmani Bloodweaver – The two parts of the aforementioned engine itself, they form the key parts of your strategy.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Cleric of Scales – Keep with a Dragon activator.
  • Wild Pyromancer – Keep in anti-aggro matchups, preferably cheap spells.
  • Palm Reading – Works great with slower matchups with a hand full of spells, but you can’t necessarily afford three turns of passing around against aggressive opposition.
  • Apotheosis – Keep against aggressive opponents with a two-drop.

General Playstyle and Strategy

Vs Aggro

Like the Bee Gees song, it’s all about stayin’ alive. Since your endgame scenario in long matches is all about generating resources, it’s a real challenge to wrestle away control from the aggressor. You will have to survive multiple waves of threats and have to pace yourself accordingly, with an eventual massive re-heal to shut the door on the opposition. Luckily, your high-profile minions might as well have Taunt as far as your enemies are concerned, and even an unbuffed Nazmani Bloodweaver has to be dealt with immediately, which means you can use these cards simply to buy time.

Clearing the board is paramount but it won’t secure victory by itself: it’s once you manage to stick an Apotheosis-buffed minion on the board when you truly turned a corner. From then on, your opponent only has a few turns’ worth of an opportunity window to finish you off with burn damage. Play as conservatively as possible from that point onwards as there is no reason to try to race in these matchups. Secure complete board control and restore your health – from there, a concession will surely follow from the other side.

Vs Control

You have two avenues to victory in the slower matchups. Sometimes you can just get a Sethekk Veilweaver or a Nazmani Bloodweaver stick on the board and you can chain enough buffs together to get a game-winning advantage early on. This is the approach you should prioritize against decks with some sort of a combo finisher that can blow you out of the water despite your eventual resource advantage.

Otherwise, you can simply focus on generating cards to your heart’s content. Try to ensure that Raise Dead gets you Sethekk Veilweaver for this reason – indeed, maximizing the odds of getting the right cards back is a key part of these matchups and you should purposefully hold back low-impact minions like Cleric of Scales and Wandmaker if you have the chance to do so.

It may not seem like you have enough top-end to compete in a grindy matchup based on the decklist, but you’d be surprised how much value you can extract from this setup. Two copies of Draconic Studies already gives you a lot of leeway, which, when coupled with Palm Reading and Renew, will drown most of your opponents in value. If you play with Mindrender Illucia, you will also be able to potentially disrupt some of their key plays during the match.

Card Replacements

There are many different flavors of Control Priest going the rounds with smaller or greater deviations from this build depending on the kind of opponents they are trying to target. If you want to increase the consistency of your spell shenanigans engine, is worthy of a slot. For a more anti-aggro approach, consider cutting some of the top end in favor of Devout Pupil and Holy Nova.

Ruby’s recent #5 Legend build opts for a copy of Onyx Magescribe and Madame Lazul for further value generation at the expense of using Insight for cheap re-draws. This is similar to the recent Vicious Syndicate build which goes even further in the name of consistency.

Though not often seen on the high Legend ladder, tossing in a simple Galakrond shell with Disciple of Galakrond and the monstrous monster itself can also streamline your gameplan for the mirror matchup and other slow opposition. With a wide-ranging Standard balance patch coming up, perhaps the best approach if you want to play Control Priest is to just cobble together the most competent mixture of a build out of the cards you have instead of jumping on the crafting hype train before seeing how the new meta shakes out – you certainly have quite a lot of options to do so right now.


Luci Kelemen is an avid strategy gamer and writer who has been following Hearthstone ever since its inception. His content has previously appeared on HearthstonePlayers and Tempo/Storm's site.

Check out Yellorambo on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Phoesias
    December 30, 2020 at 1:51 am

    Im playing Priet since Beta.

    Sadly, Priest Decks are instaconcede vs every single Deck running C’thun or OTK and 110% loose vs Warlock atm and also super weak vs bomb warrior and shaman.

    Priest in the current state is a joke and literally unplayable on ladder right now. Trust me, i tried it since Darkmoon Faire arrived, impossible to win a Game @ Legend except vs aggro

    • Remiehh
      December 30, 2020 at 2:10 am

      You realise Illucia counters both C’thun and OTK decks, right? So if you instaconcede versus these decks, you are doing something terribly wrong, as these should be won the vast majority of the times.

      • Phoesias
        December 30, 2020 at 5:06 am

        “won the vast majority of the times”

        The Statement

        A – contradicts ANY statistics and is far from reality

        B – evidently shows very litte experience with Priest on ladder

        C – even IF a single card counters a deck then…

        A – you should have ALWAYS have the card on hand when you need it and

        B – always apply in the perfect moment to destroy your opponents key cards

        C- you forget that Illucia is still clunky as fuck and most of the time its a dead card in your hand. Even IFFFFFFFF you are be able to counter cthun decks IF You have Illucia IN the PERFECT moment in Hand thant this card is still bad vs many other Matchups and many times it backfires pretty hard. Even if Illucia wins you one single 1 Match, if everything comes perfet together, she will lose you many other games beacause she is not playable or has no value

        Most important, its still useless vs tickatus, if you swap hands and play tickatus, you will mill your own deck and Warlock is all over the ladder right now @ Legend.

        The only way you can use Illucia to destroy opponents deck easily is vs OTK Warrior and OTK Demon Hunter cause they need many combo card-peaces, but these both decks are not the problem on ladder right now for Priest.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      December 30, 2020 at 5:04 am

      When playing OTK or C’thun decks, Priest is one of my biggest fears. A well-timed Illucia can completely mess up my gameplan. When playing C’Thun, I just try to play a piece whenever I draw it, but sometimes it’s impossible and I need to hold it for a turn or two. And it’s even worse when playing something like ETC Warrior – I need so many combo pieces for the combo that my opponent just waits until I have like 5-10 cards left in my deck and then drops Illucia, steals the combo and I’m done.

      In fact, stats show that Priest has worse matchup vs most of the Aggro decks than against stuff like ETC Warrior.

      • Phoesias
        December 30, 2020 at 6:24 am

        Read my Post again plz, it seems like your dont rly understand my words and plz check out what i said about OTK Warrior.

        Obvisouly your the only Person in HS right know who’s “scared” of Priest. And in fact, Priest has no problems vs aggro decks atm, none. Breath of Infinite, Pyromancer, lot of healing, small removals like Penance and Holy Smite are perfect tools to survie. im SO happy when im facing aggro decks, jesus.
        Im playing HS all day every day and the last time i saw Illusia was…i dont know, mabe 3 weeks ago. Cause Priest is SO bad atm that even IF you destroy a piece of cthun from your opponent, …you still cant win.

        Priest is currently extremely dependent on discovering something “good” and hoping that you have the right answers at the right moment. Otherwise, Priest is currently just a joke, a pure slow clown fiesta. And with all due respect, I’ve only been playing priests since the beta until a year ago. I have about 15K Priest matches and I think that I can assess very well when priest is good and when he is bad and priest is currently very bad. Apparently Blizzard doesn’t know what to do with the class, all of the new archtypes didn’t work. Midrange Priest is absurdly bad, Buff Priest does not exist, Miracle Priest has no win condition and strong plays, cthun decks are inferior to all other Cthun decks because other classes draw cards faster to realize their gameplan. Priest has no proactive plays since a decade.

        Anyone who disagrees with this simply has no in-depth experience with the class imho @ higher ranks.

    • Planetcube
      December 30, 2020 at 7:53 pm

      Your posts and replies are so dramatic and hyperbolic.

      I’d suggest the reason you’re doing poorly with priest at the moment is largely due to your “instaconcede v this, 110% loss rate vs that” attitude.

      While the class may not be in a powerful spot, this deck is not impossible to climb with, as evidenced by it being piloted to #1 legend…

  2. Joris
    December 29, 2020 at 10:54 am

    There seem to be some missing cards in this paragraph:

    “Two copies of already gives you a lot of leeway, which, when coupled with and , will drown most of your opponents in value. If you play with , you will also be able to potentially disrupt some of their key plays during the match.”

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      December 29, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      It was the issue of using ” instead of ” in card tags (simple things like that sometimes mess up with the tags). Thanks for pointing it out, I’ve fixed it!