- Dragon Priest
Hello, everyone. Lencrennis here!
The niche priest inhabits in Hearthstone is a unique one. Its cards are narrow, but powerful, capable of utterly dominating entire strategies and archetypes at the cost of rolling over to anything other than its prey. This extreme, yet narrow, power makes priest the breaker of narrow metas, assuming it hasn't been given two years of bad cards (looking at you, standard!).
The current wild meta is utterly dominated by two decks: pirate warrior and secret mage. Both of these are aggro lists that like holding the board early, only to transition to burn, be it spells or weapons, in the later rounds. Given their similar design, this means wild is sitting in a narrow meta. Priests, it is our time!
Pirate Warrior Matchup
When facing off against our prey, we are looking for ways to shut down their early aggression. For pirate warrior, we need to shut down two possible patterns of play: a turn 1 Patches-and-friends flood, and a turn 3 cannonade.
Your goal here is to make as much of an ass of yourself as possible. Pirates run out of gas quickly and putting them into topdeck mode is a great way to end the game with a single efficient taunt. Keep clearing, keep trading, and never pass up on an opportunity to knock out two or more minions, even if it stops you from knocking out three or more minions out with a single card the following turn. Your health is a resource, and spending it to get more value out of your cards will get you killed. You'll outvalue the pirate naturally. Just keep blowing his stuff up.
A side note for Mindflayer Kaahrj. This card is unique to priests in that it is the single most proactive reactive card we possess. If your opponent has a board, any board, Kaahrj becomes good. A 3 mana 3/3 that summons a 1/1 when it dies passes the vanilla test, and then some. That said, if your opponent just slammed down a 3/3, you're jumping for joy, because you just played a 3 mana Pit Fighter split over two bodies and that's pure tempo in a class with extreme tempo problems. Kaahrj can blunt your enemy's aggression simply because it's very easy for him to be 5, 6, or even 7 mana of meat at the very beginning of the game, which takes a fragile board like a pirate and snaps it like a twig.
Secret Mage Matchup
Secret mage is a little harder. You have the same general gameplan, but your 1-damage AoEs are significantly less valuable because secret mage likes 2 and 3 health minions.
Keep if your early game is set
In this matchup, you want to buffer yourself against damage as much as possible, repeatedly clear the enemy board, and keep topping off your face to stay out of range of being smacked down out of nowhere. Spirit Lash becomes more of a heal than a board clear. Never use it to test for counterspell: Holy Ripple is your weakest card here, so feed that to the Counterspell gods instead.
Spot removal is more valuable than boardclears here. Scalerider and Penance keep the heat off of your face, whose safety you assert with Twilight Guardian early and Primordial Drake late. If they get frustrated and pop Aluneth when you stabilize, top off aggressively and keep out of killshot range. You just won. If you can steal an ice block with, "SECRET AGENT, COMING THROUGH!" all the better.
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