Our Budget Combo Dragon Priest deck list guide for the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion will teach you how to play this Combo Priest list. This Budget Dragon Priest guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Combo Dragon Priest
Combo Dragon Priest got pretty popular in the Kobolds and Catacomb meta. While we had seen Silence versions of Priest that operated under a similar principal, we had not seen the archetype reach the heights it had towards the end of the Year of the Mammoth.
Rastakhan’s Rumble Update
The list doesn’t change much with Rastakhan’s Rumble, but it does gain an interesting early-game synergy card: Firetree Witchdoctor! This card replaces the clunky Shadow Ascendant, giving you can early play that can often Discover additional combo pieces!
Budget Combo Dragon Priest Mulligan Guide
The best cards you can get in your early mulligan are Northshire Cleric, Radiant Elemental, and Power Word: Shield. If you have one of these minions, you can keep some of your higher cost ones like Firetree Witchdoctor, Tar Creeper, or Duskbreaker (particularly if you know it’s a board flood deck). If you have Radiant and Shield you can also keep Divine Spirit or Inner Fire (probably better because you can play the same turn as you Shield) which can win you the game if your opponent can’t deal with it.
Budget Combo Dragon Priest Play Strategy
The combo from which this deck gets its name is Inner Fire plus Divine Spirit. Divine Spirit doubles a minion’s health, and Inner Fire changes the minion’s attack to be equal to its health. If you have a minion with, for example, 5 health on the board, playing two copies of Divine Spirit and then targeting it with Inner Fire will increase its stats to 20/20! In a perfect world you would save the combo for when you can use it to destroy the enemy hero in one turn.
Firetree Witchdoctor can grab you removal or additional combo pieces. Consider your hand and what you’re up against when picking which spell to Discover, but Shadow Visions and Divine Spirit are your best targets in a vacuum.
Sometimes you just have to throw down your Northshire Cleric and hope that they can’t kill it. You won’t always get a draw, but maintaining some semblance of a board is very important. This is especially relevant against aggressive decks, and ones that play a lot of 1-attack minions will have to alter their strategy or give you a free draw a lot of the time.
Against aggressive decks Duskbreaker is a real all-star. Dealing three damage to the whole board and leaving a 3/3 body behind is ridiculously powerful for four mana.
Your main targets for buffs are going to be your higher health minions. If it’s early against an aggressive or midrange class that doesn’t run cheap removal like Hunter, Paladin, or Rogue you can be more aggressive with Inner Fire. Making a large minion early in the game can be an effective way to get significant advantage if your opponent is unlikely to have an answer for it for a couple turns. Keep in mind how likely it might be that your opponent has a way to Silence your minion before you commit to this.
This being the Dragon version means you aren’t fully reliant on your combo to win games. You have late game power with Bone Drake, Nightscale Matriarch, and Wyrmguard. This deck also has some snowball potential in Shadow Ascendant and Cobalt Scalebane.
Future Card Replacements for Budget Combo Dragon Priest
The Dragon package isn’t as strong as it once was when it had Drakonid Operative, so this deck doesn’t really turn into a meta deck. Combo Priest without the Dragon package looks like it will have its place in the meta. The first and most important thing you need for that version of the deck, or even just a better version of this one, is Shadow Visions. This is the card that took Inner Fire Priest from a meme to a real competitor. Shadow Visions fills in the holes of your combo, and can function as additional copies of Divine Spirit. If you craft Shadow Visions, you can take out a lot of the late game minions (Cobalt Scalebane, Bone Drake, Wyrmguard) in favor of removal cards like Mass Hysteria.
You could try taking out Bone Drake and Tar Creeper to add Wild Pyromancer and Acolyte of Pain if you want to invest more in the combo side of this deck. Wild Pyromancer strengthens the Northshire Cleric/Nightscale Matriarch plus Circle of Healing synergy of the deck, and combos well with Acolyte of Pain to draw into things faster.
If you have these then you might want to slot them into the deck, but because this doesn’t evolve into a meta deck I’m not recommending you craft any of them unless you think you’ll use them in another list.
- Lyra the Sunshard – A very solid minion to target with the buffs or just start cycling your cards with.
- Primordial Drake – Strong late game sweeper that has taunt and is great for receiving buffs from your combo pieces.
- Ysera – If you happen to have it then it can fit in the deck, but it’s pretty slow and can weigh down your hand quite a bit if you get it in the early game.
- Crowd Roaster – Decent stats for a removal minion.