Sadly, when it comes to the Priest, C'Thun is the only budget option available (because players can get C’Thun for free) and it’s far from optimal right now. C’Thun decks were pretty strong right after the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion, but with multiple new cards added to the game they have fallen behind. Not to mention that C’Thun Priest wasn’t the best C’Thun deck to begin with. But if you really like to play slower decks on budget or you want to play Priest, this one should work in the lower ranks.
C’Thun Priest is a slow, Midrange deck that relies on C’Thun synergies. First you play minions that are slightly below the curve to buff it, but then you get rewarded by, for example, a 20/20 C’Thun with an incredible Battlecry. After you buff it to 10 Attack, you also activate the Twilight Darkmender‘s Battlecry, which is an incredibly strong healing on a well-statted body – great against Aggro decks.
The win condition is to play your minions on the curve, try to keep them alive with your Hero Power, deal with whatever opponent plays and stall until you play a big C’Thun. If the first C’Thun doesn’t do the job, you can play Doomcaller to shuffle it into your deck again.
Budget C’Thun Priest Card Replacements
High Priority Replacements
1x Crazed Worshipper => Twin Emperor Vek'lor – Twin Emperor is one of the main reasons why you even want to play C’Thun decks to begin with. A lot of the games will be lost if you have to wait until C’Thun turn to get the payoff from all the weak cards you’ve played. And two 4/6 Taunts are both great value and tempo – they’re useful in every matchup.
1x Twilight Elder => Brann Bronzebeard – Brann is one of the key cards in C’Thun decks. Since most of them are Battlecry-based, you can either buff your C’Thun way easier OR take even more advantage of the effects. And so, your Darkmender heals you for 20 instead of 10 (pretty much an auto-win against Aggro decks, similarly to Reno Jackson), Twin Emperor spawns 3 Taunts instead of 2 and the C’Thun himself also procs twice.
Low Priority Replacements
2x Auchenai Soulpriest + 2x Circle of Healing – remove those, because the combo is a little inconsistent and you don’t want that in your deck. Instead play:
2x Excavated Evil – While 3 damage is less powerful than 4, the fact that it doesn’t require a two cards combo makes it much more consistent board clear.
1x Cabal Shadow Priest – Entomb is another option here, but it’s a meta call. Play Entomb in this slow if you face a slower meta (e.g. a lot of Reno decks), play Cabal Shadow Priest if you face a faster meta (e.g. a lot of Aggro Shamans). Both cards are amazing in the respective matchups.
Budget C’Thun Priest Mulligan Tips
High Priority (Always Keep)
- Northshire Cleric – The only turn 1 play. If you play against a faster deck, the 1/3 body might trade into something + your opponent might be scared of playing small minions so you won’t get draw value. In slower matchups, you want to cycle through your deck as quickly as possible, and so Cleric is very good card.
- Beckoner of Evil – It’s just a vanilla 2/3, but on turn 2 it might actually not matter, as minions often trade 1 for 1. Plus it buffs your C’Thun early, hopefully activating the Darkmender as soon as possible.
- Twilight Elder – You just follow the curve. Twilight Elder is the best proactive t3 play, so you want to keep it. 3/4 stats are actually quite powerful on turn 3 and give you the first opportunity to really use your Hero Power.
- Shadow Word: Pain – Pretty much every deck plays some early minions and SW:P is a way to answer those.
Low Priority (Situationally Keep)
- Power Word: Shield – With a minion. I know that PW:S is a very strong card, but if you don’t have any minions to play it on, it’s dead card in your hand. While you can afford a dead card against Control, you can’t against Aggro – if you don’t have early drops, don’t keep PW:S.
- Acidic Swamp Ooze – Keep against decks that use weapons.
- Wild Pyromancer – Keep in faster matchup on Coin or with a cheap spell like PW:S or SW:P.
- Disciple of C'Thun – Keep in faster matchups.
- Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing – Keep in fast matchups, but only if you get both pieces – keeping individual pieces is too greedy, as they might be dead cards.
Budget C’Thun Priest Strategy Tips
- Since the meta is infested with Aggro, I’ve decided to add Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing, because you often need the early 3-4 damage board clear and turn 5 Holy Nova rarely cuts it in the current meta. On top of that, I’ve added 2x Wild Pyromancer for the same reason – the card is good for the early AoEs, especially on the coin. Something like Pyro + Coin + Power Word: Shield can clear many early game boards. Try to use those combos to your advantage, because you really need to clear board to survive against Aggro.
- When you have Auchenai + Circle in your hand already, you can try to bait your opponent into playing more stuff. For example, on turn 5 just drop your Beckoner of Evil into his 2 small minions, heal yourself and pass. Now, he has a choice – if he doesn’t develop more, that’s fine, because you stall the game. If he develops more – you can Auchenai + Circle his board. Try to get more value, but remember to not be too greedy when you’re at low health – clearing 2-3 minions is often alright, especially in fast matchups where you need to survive.
- Remember to NOT combo Auchenai Soulpriest with Twilight Darkmender, unless you want to kill yourself.
- Doomcaller is a card with amazing value, but you don’t always have to keep him for after C’Thun. If you play in a matchup where first C’Thun will seal the deal, you can play Doomcaller before it – you get extra +2/+2 and a big body on the board. Do the same thing in the matchups in which your opponent might steal your C’Thun – e.g. against Control Priest. He will very likely keep Entomb for your C’Thun, so you won’t have a second chance to play it anyway.
- Circle of Healing, outside of the Auchenai combo, is also useful for healing your minions. If you make some efficient trades on the board, damaging all your minions, Circle of Healing to heal them back might be a great way to play around AoE and get a lot of value for 0 mana.