Obelisk (Quest) Priest Theorycraft Deck List – Saviors of Uldum – August 2019

Obelisk (Quest) Priest Theorycraft Deck List – Saviors of Uldum – August 2019

Priest class has something I call “bad rotation syndrome”, where it always and I mean ALWAYS is in a bad spot right after Standard rotation. Priest’s Basic & Classic sets were okay-ish at the time, but have certainly not aged well. In the world where tempo matters much more than the good, old value, Anduin’s toolkit is very outdated. That’s why in order to fix those issues, Priest HAS to get some really powerful expansion cards to stay relevant. However, the problem is that right after the rotation happens, a lot of those key expansion cards that were keeping the class together rotate out and he’s once again left with no real good deck to play. The problem is often fixed in the second / third set, and happens again after the next rotation.

And Saviors of Uldum looks like a classic Priest fixer. The quality of cards this class got is pretty high and a lot of them look very promising. Which strategy Priest will take in the end is still up in the air, but he has a lot of options available. One of them is a completely new approach to the class – Quest Priest. However, since it’s the second (and possibly not final) set of Quests we’re getting, I’m going to call the deck Obelisk Priest so it won’t get confused with old Awaken the Makers Priest as the time goes by. In my opinion, the new Quest is strong enough to at least warrant some experimentation. And if anything, it will be a fun and unique way to play Priest.

Deck Import

First of all, I’ll have to say that I wasn’t sure where to take the deck. You see – the Quest would be by far easiest to complete in a Control shell. You could wait until drawing your Wild PyromancerCircle of Healing combos more reliably, you could run Divine Hymn and you could afford to wait longer before finishing it (since you’ll be aiming at the late game anyway). However, the issue right here is that after finishing it, a more Control-oriented Priest would have a harder time taking advantage of the reward. The deck is relatively light on minions, and lots of them are reactive, so you could run into situations in which you would have a great Hero Power, but might not be able to put it to use. Then, the reward itself would fit best into an aggressive “Zoo Priest” kind of deck that would take biggest advantage of every turn buffs. But the issue here is that that kind of deck would have a hard time finishing the deck, and since it would aim at closing out in the mid game, he wouldn’t be able to fully utilize the reward. The deck I ultimately came up with is something in between. It’s still more minion-based an aggressive, but it also has some ways to make finishing the Quest easier.

The deck aims to still be able to finish the Quest quite quickly without relying on a lucky Circle of Healing. Which is probably the best card in this entire deck, but you won’t always get it. It runs three different “injured” minions – Injured Tol'virInjured Blademaster and Damaged Stegotron. Those are the best way to guarantee that you can throw in some healing on minions, they all have solid Circle of Healing synergy and – also very importantly – make for amazing resurrect targets for Psychopomp. Psychopomp also has some Quest synergy while we’re at it – while the main body it revives will be at full health, once it dies and Reborns, it will be down to 1 health, making it an optimal heal target. I’ve seen a lot of talk about that card and many are afraid to include it in a deck that runs small minions. And I don’t think that they should. The worst case scenario in this deck would probably be reviving 2/3 (because Northshire Cleric, despite having lower stats, is pretty good if it sticks and it should with Reborn) – and that’s paying 4 mana for 3/1 + Harvest Golem. Okay, technically you can also revive a 3/1 with the second Psychopomp, but those scenarios will be very rare. Not a great value, but it’s not terrible. But when you look at the “average” scenario of reviving 2/6 Taunt or 3/5 with Reborn, it suddenly gets much better. Then you have high rolls of 4/7 (Blademaster/Shadequill), 5/5 or 6/12 make the card look so much better.

I’ve decided to include Ornery Tortoise too. It was a choice between Tortoise and Crystallizer, and the reason I decided to go with Tortoise is because of the Quest. While I think that Crystallizer is a better card in general, I want to run as little 1-drops in Quest deck as possible. While you don’t HAVE to play Quest on T1, it might be hard to fit it later if you curve out, it also means that Questing Explorer wouldn’t be active on T2. Dealing some face damage to yourself is important. I don’t think that Aggro decks will be able to rush you down despite of that (especially since it comes with a solid body that will actually make on-board trades better), and it means that you’re now also able to heal your Hero for some Quest progress. It comes handy especially when you’re planning to drop Sandhoof Waterbearer. A 5 mana 5/5 is not the best thing ever, but if your Hero is damaged (which Tortoise helps with), it progresses your Quest by 1/3, which is big. Even better, if one of your damaged minions sticks, it can heal it up resulting Quest progress AND better board.

One card I also like a lot in Quest Priest is Hench-Clan Shadequill. It’s an overstatted minion (4/7 for 4 are great stats) with… an upside. Because yes, in this deck healing the opponent is an upside before you finish your Quest! If you managed to deal 5 damage early, you will be able to progress your Quest by 1/3 when it dies. And if it doesn’t, or your opponent decides to Silence it, you also don’t mind, because it means that you have a 4/7 on board.

I was one the fence about both Questing Explorer and Wild Pyromancer. Explorer is amazing, but it works only until you finish the Quest. However, I’ve decided that you want to do anything to make you stronger before you manage to finish it, because after that your new Hero Power will make up for running a River Crocolisk (which will, by the way, usually come onto the board as a 5/6 anyway). When it comes to Pyromancer – it’s your only way to clear wider boards and has great synergy with Northshire ClericCircle of Healing, but my issue is that we don’t play that many cheap spells to activate it. However, I think that the six we have (one of which has “Twinspell” – Extra Arms) should be enough.

And, of course, there’s also Zilliax. Not only it’s amazing card in general, but it has extra synergy with the deck. Lifesteal heals you and progresses Quest. If you stick Damaged Stegotron, it can be Magnetizes into it (pretty rare, but can come handy sometimes). And – most importantly – it’s an AMAZING revive target from Psychopomp. Zilliax with Reborn is just crazy. Opponent needs to hit it 4 times for it to die. In the late game, after you finish the Quest, you can also give it +3+/+3 immediately to make it even more scary (Zilliax really takes advantage of buffs with basically each of its keywords).

After the Quest is done, the deck spikes in power. Giving +3/+3 to something every turn turns even small minions into threats. The Hero Power works even better on your “damaged minions”, because it both heals them and buffs them. So Injured Tol'vir + Hero Power will be a 4 mana 5/9 with Taunt, for example. Against Aggro, it will be hard to lose unless they’re really ahead, because otherwise you should take over the board easily with buffs and then heal up your face for 3 per turn to get out of burn range (or just stick a Taunt and keep healing + buffing it if they don’t have Silence). Against Control, it might be more difficult, but the goal will be to constantly put pressure with your board presence. Play something, buff it, if they can’t answer it buff it again on your turn and go face. Ideally don’t flood the board and spread buffs between 2 minions – this way you aren’t vulnerable to AoE, but you also don’t put all of your eggs into one basket so in case one of the minions gets removed/Silenced you still get another one. Basically, every minion you have will turn into threat and the goal is to run your opponent out of removal and then just kill them with your buffed stuff. I think that late game Warrior with Boom might still be problematic (despite you having insane HP), because they can pull obscene amounts of removals out of nowhere, but that’s just how it is no mater what deck you play…

So that would be my game plan. I think that with this deck, we should be able to finish the Quest consistently around Turn 6-7, obviously depending on the draws. Getting an early Wild PyromancerCircle of Healing combo can speed that up greatly (I can imagine some T3-T4 finishes at the earliest), but then playing against a slow deck that doesn’t let you stick anything and doesn’t damage your Hero can slow it down. I think that we’ll need to see how it works in practice. The list is obviously far from final, and I already have a lot of cards in mind that I’d like to test. Other cards I was thinking about include (in a random order): High Priest AmetNeferset RitualistAcolyte of Pain (or some other form of card draw), Wretched ReclaimerEVIL ConscripterSiamatBone WraithGrandmummyPotion VendorHoly RippleDivine Hymn… and so on and so on. There are A LOT of different considerations and I’m pretty sure that we’ll see dozens of different builds floating around early. The question is – which one (if any of them) will prevail?

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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18 Comments

  1. Maximum
    August 4, 2019 at 4:36 am

    Very solid deck, wouldn’t change a thing

  2. Taznak
    August 1, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Damn, and here I thought Stonekeep was trying to get Desert Obelisk to work

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 2, 2019 at 4:55 am

      Hahah, okay, I can see how the name can be confusing. Lots of people don’t remember how Priest’s Quest is named, but everyone remembers Desert Obelisk.

      But I still think that we should name it something else than “Quest Priest”. Because imagine 3rd or 4th wave of Quest cards being released, calling each of those 27/36 decks “Quest X” would be really confusing :p

      • Taznak
        August 3, 2019 at 4:51 am

        Yeah, fair point. I guess I’d call the archetype “Uldum Quest Priest”, myself.

  3. Rolioli
    August 1, 2019 at 11:22 am

    When I saw obelisk in the name I thought that it was the obelisk card that does something if you have three of it, so I was really confused

  4. RainManKianig
    August 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Honestly I don’t see a win condition, like Nomi or some strong combo effects. I am not sure if tempo works with priest, as there is limited removal

    • OldManSanns
      August 1, 2019 at 9:51 am

      The win condition is that once you complete you quest, you start playing cheap minions and buffing them +3/+3. Think like a cross between Prince K and Deathstalker Rexxar: every turn you’re spending minimal resources to put a new threat on the board, and your opponent only has a finite number of ways to deal with them. I’m not saying that will necessarily be enough to close out games in practice (and I don’t think Stonekeep was promising that either), but its an intriguing concept.

      • RainManKianig
        August 1, 2019 at 2:21 pm

        Thanks !

      • TardisGreen
        August 2, 2019 at 5:01 pm

        The Quest is NOTHING like Prince Keleseth. Keleseth could be played on turn TWO, and Keleseth buffed minions would often hit the board on turns 3, 4, 5, and 6, the turns where enhanced stats mean the most. Do you remember The Mistcaller? It gave +2/+2 (twice what Keleseth gives) stats to every minion in the Shaman deck, and didn’t even have a deck building restriction. But it cost SIX mana. Turn 6 was too late, the card never saw competitive play. Extra stats have diminished value as the game gets later and later.

        The Quest is NOTHING like DK Rexxar. Priest can only buff minions that are either in play or in hand. Without those, it can’t do anything. But Rexxar could generate a minion every turn unconditionally. And those minions almost always had a carefully chosen mechanic like LIfesteal or Rush or Charge or Stealth – whatever the situation called for. If Priest plays a minion from hand, and buffs it with it’s hero power, it is for the most part a big dumb thing. It’s not that hard to remove big dumb things in the late game. Omega Devastator is still a thing. As are a lot of other cards that remove single targets one way or another.

        • OldManSanns
          August 2, 2019 at 5:23 pm

          Tardis: I was trying to draw comparisons for the sake of discussion–perhaps a belabored comparison, but honestly it was the best I could think of. If you can think of a more apt comparison for how/why this deck could be viable, I would sincerely to hear it. If you’re just saying that this deck CAN’T be viable–well, you might be right, but personally I’d much rather imagine how new and interesting decks *might* take off rather than assume we’re in for 4 more months of the same stale Dr. Boom / Conjuring / Zul’gin / Kangor / etc meta.

          • TardisGreen
            August 3, 2019 at 7:56 am

            Sure. The way to make the deck better is to get rid of the Quest, and some of the suspect cards like Tortoise that are being stuck into the deck to support the Quest.

            Zoo Priest sort of has a powerful curve of Injured Tolvir and/or Injured Blademaster into Psychopump. Also Shadequill into Baby Rags might be good because the Shadequill will often trade 2 or 3 for 1. But the curve feels less powerful than the Midrange Dragon Priest of MSG. That deck could play 2/3 on one, 2/4 taunt on two, 3/4 buff or 3/5 on three, 3/6 taunt on four, and 5/6 discover on five. But even with all these overstated early game minions, the deck just wasn’t that good. Pirate Warrior crushed it with one card – Win Axe. It didn’t have enough punch to kill Reno Lock, and had no answer for Jar Jar.

            The reason why Zoo Priest doesn’t work is that Priest doesn’t have Savage Roar or Bloodlust, so it doesn’t have any way of capitalizing on a wide board. And it doesn’t have Lifetap – no consistent way of drawing cards.

            So Priests are back to putting in Divine Spirit and Inner Fire to try to win the game. And I’m BORED to death of that. As stale as Dr Boom + Eleysiana + 28 removal cards Warrior is, I find the idea that Priests only win condition to be DS/IF to be even more stale.

          • RainManKianig
            August 3, 2019 at 1:58 pm

            I have to agree with TardisGreen’s explanation. I agree with him.

  5. Nickus89
    August 1, 2019 at 7:51 am

    As priest main, I am really excited about priest archetypes in the upcoming expansion. They look refreshing, fun and potentially powerful (in particular quest and deathrattle archetypes). As for the Obelisk quest priest in particular, I completely agree with your reasoning about taking the deck into midrange waters.

    I tried to build something similar myself and ended with 3 versions, playing around pretty much the same cards as you mentioned in the end, with inclusion of Recurring Villain, which with completed quest becomes “must be dealt in 1 turn” treat. I especially like the inclusion of High Priest Amet, Siamat and Wretched Reclaimer. Neferset Ritualist and Questing Eplorer seem to be fighting for the same spot. As for others however, I am not sure about. I guess we will have to experiment with different card choices and see what works best.

  6. Skoopy
    August 1, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Hey Stonekeep! Your Deck is very similar to the version i build.
    If we see how this Deck can survive in any meta, i would suggest the following package:
    -2 Tolvir, -2 Blademaster (Cause Tortoise can do the same with more stats and more potential heal for the quest) -2 Explorer, -1 Arms, -1 Psycho Pump (cause the minion pool is really big, and i dont want to rely on a high roll, even to roll the other Psycho Pump).
    Than you are going to add: +1 Thalnos (also +1 Spelldamage for Penance), +2 Banana Buffoon, +2 Recurring Villain, +1 Lady in White, +1 Zerek Master Cloner.

    Removed 2 Explorer cause an issue with unconstancy when you finished the quest, therefore added Thalnos, maybe switching another card for one Akolyte? Banana Buffoon is of course for Zerek, Villain and Pyro clears. Lady in White another win condition, if you can hit it on curve (the Inner Fire Decks in the past did not work at all, so i try to make it work! :)). The only bad synergy with Lady in White is Ziliax obv. But i think you can complete the quest around turn 6 to 7. Than you can play Ziliax with buff.
    What do you think? 🙂

    • Skoopy
      August 1, 2019 at 7:11 am

      I misscounted. Both Arms still in deck :). Posted it public.

    • Poison
      August 1, 2019 at 7:53 am

      I really dislike your deck ideas…you don’t cut Explorer because of incosistencies, and why Zerek Master Cloner?? only because of Banana Baffon and Arms? Furthermore Thanos only because of Spelldamage for Penance?

      Sure this theorycraft wont be perfect on the first day because you can only see how good a deck works when you play it and adapt it to the meta… but I can garantee you almost certainly that it wont go into your direction.

      • Skoopy
        August 1, 2019 at 8:36 am

        Well so thanks for your opinion! But what do you do with 2 useless Explorers after your Quest is done? You can get more useful, something like a Akolyte. Zerek of course for your Quest, Buffoon and Arms, true! Zerek can be replaced, but the synergy is easy, also with Powerword Shield, so easy more than 10 cards to synergize with. And yes, Thalnos is a more guarantied draw than Explorer and also synergizes with Penance, dealing 4 damage than and healing for 4, even better for your Quest.

        But sure you are right, my version is much slower, but has potential. i dont see many downsides to my version tbh. Thats the only reason i really hate theorycrafting, cause everyone is going mad on you, whenever they dont like any synergy or replacing some “obvious good cards”, well, at least in their minds. Thanks for advice bro! Really appreciate!

        • Poison
          August 1, 2019 at 11:18 am

          Believe me 🙂 Every Quest Deck will run Explorer.. its just so good. Acolyt might be usuful in a more combooriented approach (Devine Spirit Inner Fire) for cycling cards with Pyromencer but the Obelisk Decks will seek for value with good trades and creating threats every turn I think. Zerek doesnt work with the quest btw, only spells.

          Anyway have fun with the expension soon..