Quick Decks: Elemental Priest
This week will be the first in a series of deck techs that will focus on some lesser known lists that I think are well positioned on the ladder. To start things off, I wanted to try out a deck that will benefit from the upcoming Quest Rogue nerf.
Elemental Priest is not the most common elemental strategy but I like how the elementals fill holes in the Priest curve and offer some solid late game. This is more of a midrange deck rather than a full control deck. There isn't much top end, so contesting the board is important so we can generate value through the Priest Hero Power and elemental chains.
The first thing that turned me onto this list is the sheer amount of defensive early game plays. In this aggressive meta, having the tools to contest the board early is necessary. The downside is that these minions don't go to the face too well, so instead of getting to race, you often have to attrition the opponent out before you can seal the deal. We have a diverse set of removal, but that means you have to be careful with Shadow Visions. Even if you can get one off for cheap with a Radiant Elemental, often you should stay open and wait until you know what you need.
- Druid 5-0 (Token Druid 5-0)
- Hunter 4-1 (Midrange Hunter 4-1)
- Mage 5-2 (Secret Mage 4-1, Freeze Mage 0-1)
- Paladin 1-2 (Murloc Paladin 1-2)
- Priest 1-2 (Combo Priest 1-1, Dragon Priest 0-1)
- Rogue 3-9 (Crystal Rogue 1-8, Combo Rogue 2-1)
- Shaman 6-2 (Token Shaman 6-2)
- Warlock 1-0 ( Zoolock 1-0)
- Warrior 5-1 (Pirate Warrior 4-0, Taunt Warrior 1-1)
- Total 31-19
I played 50 games with this list and I was pleasantly surprised with some of the matchups. Going into the games, I knew that the Rogue matchup wasn't going to be good and I was only able to steal a game away from the combo. Other than that, matchups across the board were solid to great.
Token Shaman, Token Druid, and Pirate Warrior were the most popular aggressive strategies and all were stellar matchups. Other than two games lost to Bloodlusts, I didn't drop a game against any of them. Our removal was the focal point of the aggressive matchups, even the best starts have trouble with Potion of Madness and Holy Nova.
The problems came against the slower decks. Without the top end to close out a game, often the board advantage we built up would be outclassed by slews of legendaries. Often the early removal would be stuck clogging up our hand near the end of the game, as it does not scale well against most of the control decks. One swap I would be in favor for to help with that is cutting down a Shadow Word: Pain for a Silence.
Going forward, additional win conditions may be necessary, unfortunately there isn't much in the way of elementals unless you start looking at Baron Geddon. Freed from Amber is another interesting option as it let's you hit it off Shadow Visions. We'll have to wait and see how the format reacts to the incoming nerf but I think a list like this is a good start. Elemental Priest can really prey on this aggressive format.
If there are any decks that you think are interesting in the format, but you aren't quite sure are good enough for the ladder, let me know in the comments and maybe it'll be the deck for next week.