Our Rastakhan’s Rumble Resurrect Priest deck list guide (aka Big Priest or OTK Priest) will help you learn how to better pilot this deck. Our guide features mulligan, play, and card replacement strategies!
Introduction to Resurrect Priest
Off-meta combo decks seem to be getting quite popular lately. While neither Big Priest, nor OTK Priest is something we haven’t seen before, it’s the first time we needed to combine those two archetypes in order to make them successful. And in the end, while this deck has a clear combo win condition, it can also snatch some games by reviving big minions over and over again, just like Big Priest did.
The deck was popularized by Asmodai. At the time I’m writing this, he already climbed to #1 Legend three times with this exact deck. A big warning is that the deck is very hard to pilot and it’s definitely not a high tier meta deck, Asmodai’s experience with the list and all of the matchups was the main reason he was doing so well. In other words, the deck works, but you might not have much success until you learn how to play it. This guide should help you with the basics, but you will still need a lot of experience in different matchups.
Resurrect Priest Deck List
We’ll be updating all of our guides for Rastakhan’s Rumble in the near future!
Resurrect Priest Mulligan Guide
VS Fast Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Radiant Elemental – Solid 2/3 body on T2, can trade into something, if it survives you might get some extra tempo by playing a discounted spell.
- Shadow Word: Pain – Keep versus basically any Aggro deck, it lets you clear their early play and stall the game for a while. For example, unanswered 3/3 minion is 9-12 damage until you can Psychic Scream it, way more than you can take. It’s even worse if that 3/3 is a Vicious Fledgling.
- Gilded Gargoyle – Coins are really important in this deck. Since your early game is really bad, being able to play Shadow Essence or Psychic Scream a turn earlier can save your life.
- Zilliax – Great card vs Aggro, even though you can’t Magnetize it into anything. Most of the time you will clear a minion or two and heal for 6.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Bloodmage Thalnos + Holy Smite / Spirit Lash – Those cards aren’t great keep by themselves. You can keep Lash vs Odd Paladin or Smite vs Zoo, but they get really amazing if you also have Thalnos. Thalnos is 2 AoE damage for 4 mana, and it heals you for a lot (10+ healing is common). Thalnos + Smite lets you clear those pesky 3 health minions, which are very common right now.
- Psychic Scream – It’s a key card vs Aggro, but you can’t always afford to keep it, since it costs a lot. I’d say that you keep if if your early game hand is good and you think that you will last that long – especially if you have Gilded Gargoyle too.
VS Slow Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Radiant Elemental – While technically it works best when you get two of them with Velen and Maly from Gallery and then OTK your opponent, it will rarely go that way. And in the early game, Radiants can snatch you some tempo. There is a high chance that your opponent won’t throw everything in to kill it, and you might get to your key plays a turn earlier.
- Shadow Visions – Definitely too slow vs Aggro, but pretty good vs slow deck. It kind of gives you an extra, upgraded mulligan (because you can pick one of three), lets you grab one of your ways to summon big minions or sometimes an extra Mind Blast.
- Gilded Gargoyle – Coins are still very important, you’d love to have as many of those as possible.
- Zerek's Cloning Gallery – It’s a keep in the slow matchups, but we’re really talking “slow matchups” – you don’t keep it vs Even Warlock, for example, or vs Spell Hunter. Even though they aren’t Aggro, they often don’t give you enough time.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Shadow Word: Death – Against decks that can drop a big minion on you early. E.g. if you think that you face an Even Warlock and not Zoo, then SW:D is a great keep.
- Shadow Essence – Can keep it with Radiant or Gilded Gargoyle. It’s a bit too slow by itself, even in slower matchups, but if you can get it out one turn earlier, then it’s really solid.
- Lesser Diamond Spellstone – Keep in the slowest matchups, like Odd Warrior. Normally it’s really greedy, because you might not be able to use it until well into the game (unless you get lucky with your Shadow Essences), but keeping it so you can start upgrading it as soon as possible can be a decent play sometimes.
Resurrect Priest Play Strategy
Most of the combo decks are pretty straightforward when it comes to the ways they kill their opponent – they have one main combo and maybe a few alternatives with a slight adjustments depending on the cards they have in the hand. This one is a bit different, because late into the game, you might have ten different ways to kill your opponent, depending on the cards in your hand, minions on the board, minions that have already died and how many Coins you were able to keep.
In the perfect world, when all of the important minions are still in your deck, you can OTK your opponent very easily with a simple Zerek's Cloning Gallery. With two Radiants, Bloodmage Thalnos, Malygos and Prophet Velen, your burn spells are free and deal lots of damage. Smites deal 16 damage each (2 base + 5 from Malygos + 1 from Thalnos = 8, and Velen doubles it) and Mind Blasts deal 22 damage each (5 base + 5 from Malygos + 1 from Thalnos, Velen doubles). 2x Smite is enough to OTK an opponent without Armor. Even if he has Armor, you can still deal lots of extra damage – e.g. 2x Mind Blast + Holy Smite is 60 damage. But that perfect case scenario rarely comes up. If you draw some of those minions before, or you don’t have enough burn in your hand, or even don’t have Zerek’s Cloning Gallery.
In that case, you need to adjust your plan accordingly. Another common, albeit quite RNG, way to kill your opponent is Lesser Diamond Spellstone. When fully upgraded, it resurrect 4 different minions that dies this game on your side of the board. However, given that often more than 4 different minions will die throughout the game (you have 9 different minions in the deck in total), it won’t always give you the minions you need. You also have Eternal Servitude as a way to revive your Malygos or Velen, and that’s often how you kill the opponent. To give you a little cheat sheet. A single Velen = 4 damage Smite, 10 damage Mind Blast. A single Malygos = 7 damage Smite, 10 damage Mind Blast. 2x Velen = 8 damage Smite, 20 damage Mind Blast. 2x Malygos = 12 damage Smite, 15 damage Mind Blast. 1x Velen + 1x Malygos = 14 damage Smite, 20 damage Mind Blast. Those are the most common scenarios you will stumble upon, but it might get more crazy sometimes – you can add Thalnos in, sometimes you get e.g. 3x Maly on the board (rare, but happens) etc. It would be great if you roughly remembered how much damage each common combination can deal, but you also need to be able to calculate it yourself on the fly. When doing it, remember that Spell Damage applies first before Velen’s doubling effect, and that Velen’s doubling effect stacks multiplicatively (2x Velen = 4x damage from your spells). The entire thing gets even more complicated if you start getting random spells from Lyra the Sunshard – that random Vivid Nightmare, for example, might win you the game in the right scenario.
That said, OTK is not the only way to win the games with this deck. In fact, most of your games against Aggro aren’t won like that – sometimes you finish them with a quick Zerek’s or Spellstone + burst, but most of the time you win the game by getting the board control – if you clear their board and then get some minions they can’t answer, you most likely win the game. Even more so if one of those minions is Obsidian Statue – it can heal you like crazy. Sometimes a T6 Statue into two Eternal Servitudes is a way to win the game. Other times you get Malygos or Prophet Velen, and it either sticks to the board or it dies and you revive it and play Spirit Lash – it’s one of the best ways to win vs Aggro. Malygos is generally better with Lash, since it ups the damage to 6, most likely clearing whatever your opponent might have on the board. Velen is great, because it doubles BOTH damage and healing – e.g. if there are 4 minions on the board, regular 2 damage Lash would heal for 8, but with Velen that number is also doubled to 16. Still, Maly would heal for 24 on the same board while most likely clearing it. Yet another way to gain edge vs fast decks is a huge Psychic Scream. In the best case scenario, if you could deal with their early/mid game plays, then you might have forced them to flood the board in order to put enough pressure. Then Scream is amazing, because it’s very likely that they’re rather low on cards, and might not have a great way to refill. Even if they do, it buys you a turn or two, so you can get to your important cards quicker.
But even against slow decks, while OTK will be your most common way to win, it’s definitely not the only one. After you get a bunch of big minions into your revive pool, Greater Diamond Spellstone can shut your opponent down. Even reviving two big minions like The Lich King and Prophet Velen at once can be devastating – if they don’t all get answered immediately, the damage really stacks, and given that you’re ultimately playing a combo deck, getting in minion damage can set it up for the future turns. Random DK cards are also a great way to win the game – in some games you will be bringing The Lich King back to life multiple times, and even if it dies right away each time, you still end up with a stack of Death Knight spells. 5 single target damage / 3 AoE ones are the best, because you can combo them with Velen or Maly, but Frostmourne is also amazing in many scenarios. You can either clear minions and go for the value / tempo swing when they’re all up, or you can deal 15 damage over 3 turns to your opponent in order to set up the combo.
And last, but not least, Lyra the Sunshard is another amazing win condition this deck has. It’s difficult to write about Lyra, because given her random nature, every time she does something different. But before going into your Lyra turn, it’s best to set her up correctly (unless you’re desperate, then you can go in any time and hope for the best). It’s good to start your chain with enough mana and at least one Radiant Elemental. It’s also good to have a bunch of cheap spells to start the chain – it’s likely that you will get some stuff from Lyra, but not always. Coins work best for that – not only you’re cycling them into a random spell, you also get +1 mana to work with. Shadow Visions work incredibly well during your Lyra turn – not only it’s a cheap spell (1 mana with a single Radiant), but it can give you another cheap/free spell. The most difficult decision is whether you want to play your Holy Smite or Mind Blast with Lyra, or save them for the OTK. There is no one clear answer, but I’d say that if the OTK aspect of the deck is still there. If you get Lyra off the Spellstone, alongside Malygos or Velen, then you definitely want to go for them – not only you get lots of damage immediately, but you might get another, possibly more useful spell. Lyra can win you the game in multiple ways. She can give you more burn damage to get your combo done (or even Vivid Nightmare, which I’ve mentioned before, and which is a great way to get an extra Velen or Maly for cheap). She can give you a lot of value cards. She can give you another Spellstone to have one extra big swing, or at least Eternal Servitude to get one of your big minions up again (or maybe even Lyra again to continue the chain). She might give you the right removal you need. Most of the time, if you can cast at least a few spells alongside her, she WILL give you something useful.
Resurrect Priest Card Substitutions
Resurrect Priest is one of the most expensive decks currently in game, but sadly you can’t do much about it. A lot of the Epic & Legendary cards are simply necessary. The deck is already not a tier 1 deck, and by tampering with it you will most likely break it. I will still go through all of the expensive cards and try to offer some replacements to them.
- Bloodmage Thalnos – Card draw, can push your combo to the lethal range, can be played with Spirit Lash early for nice AoE… but it’s not absolutely necessary. Play Power Word: Shield or Vivid Nightmare instead.
- Lyra the Sunshard – I’d say that Lyra is absolutely necessary, she’s an alternative win condition and you need those given that your OTK is not absolutely reliable. But if you don’t have her, you can try going for Vivid Nightmare and make the deck more focused on the OTK.
- Zilliax – Again, a very important card vs Aggro, but not a vital part of the main deck. You can try Power Word: Shield, Binding Heal or Shadow Word: Pain
- Prophet Velen – A part of the OTK combo, can’t be replaced.
- The Lich King – I’d say that The Lich King can’t be replaced. Reviving it multiple times is often the best way to win the game, even better than OTK in many matchups.
- Malygos – Another part of the OTK combo, can’t be replaced.
- Shadow Visions – Can be used to snatch the necessary cards, such as Spirit Lash or Psychic Scream vs Aggro and Spellstone or Gallery vs Control. Still, you could try replacing it with Power Word: Shield.
- Psychic Scream – Absolutely can’t be replaced, the only board wipe this deck has (other than a lucky Malygos + Spirit Lash, but even that is not often a full wipe). The card is absolutely key in many matchups.
- Obsidian Statue – It’s a great card to get from the Cloning Gallery if you don’t kill your opponent (because even as a 1/1, it will at least kill something), it’s also an amazing minion to revive vs Aggro, but you COULD play the deck without it – I’d replace it with any of the cards listed above, most likely the PW:S, Binding Heal or SW:P.