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Control Priest deck list guide - Forged in the Barrens - Hearthstone (April 2021)

Our guide to playing the latest version of Control Priest in Forged in the Barrens.

Control Priest is a Hearthstone deck archetype that looks to lock down the early and mid stages of every match it finds itself in, before pushing forward with a more meaningful board presence in the late-game. It's quite a slow deck to play all things considered, but it should suit those who are happy for a leisurely but assured climb up the ladder.

A word of warning is appropriate here, however. In order to play this deck effectively, you'll have to juggle a lot of unknown variables that will present themselves throughout the course of each match. It’s hard to make the right decisions at the right time with this deck, and a lot of the meta will be able to rush you down before you have the chance to respond.

In our Control Priest guide, we've highlighted the most popular deck list being piloted right now, and provided some basic Mulligan advice for getting your matches off to a good start. After that we've broken down all of the combos available to you if you decide to use our recommended deck list.

We'll add to this guide in time, but please let us know in the comments if you have any questions about playing the deck. We'll do our best to help!

Control Priest deck list and strategy

2 x Raise Dead1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Holy Smite2 x Wandmaker
2 x Draconic Studies2 x Hysteria
2 x Renew2 x Venomous Scorpid
2 x Sethekk Veilweaver1 x Blademaster Samuro
1 x Shadow Word: Death1 x Ysera the Dreamer
2 x Condemn (Rank 1)
2 x Insight
2 x Palm Reading
2 x Apotheosis
1 x Mindrender Illucia
1 x Xyrella

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GBvvRA/voA9TtA7SKBKyfBMGfBAyTugObugOvugPezAPXzgP+0QPi3gP73wP44wOW6AOe6wOFnwQA

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General strategy

Your goal with Control Priest is pretty simple: answer all of your opponents threats, starve them of resources and finish them off in the late game.

Early game: There’s no need to rush anything here – instead focus on taking the time to draw cards and clear enemy minions using Holy Smite, Condemn, and Wandmaker. Discounting your cards with Palm Reading is also a really nice way to set up for later board-clearing plays too.

Mid game: Here’s where you need to start being more proactive in response to your opponent’s actions. Try to play Sethekk Veilweaver alongside minion-targeting spells too, as it’ll beef up your hand size and give you more and more answers to your opponents’ plays until they run out of stuff.

Late game: Keep your health solid with Apotheosis on minions, and remember the board clears at your disposal. Xyrella, Blademaster Samuro, Condemn, and Hysteria can all save you from a difficult fate if you use them wisely, and once your opponent has less ammunition to finish you off, you can start to stabilise.

Ysera the Dreamer is an ideal option for closing things out if you need that extra bit of oomph. The Dream cards generated can be really solid, offering board clears, burst damage, and even well-statted minions.

Control Priest Mulligan guide

Some of these pick recommendations will depend on the matchup, but in general you’ll want to look for these cards in your opening mulligan:

  • 1. Holy Smite will often be required in order to take out early aggressive minions.
  • 2. Wandmaker can sometimes give you extra copies of Holy Smite, Renew, and Draconic Studies, three cards so good they’re already in your deck.
  • 3. Palm Reading works great to get your spells discounted for early use against aggro enemies. You can even discover something like Soul Mirror to fully clear the board on turn six.
  • 4. Blademaster Samuro has a solid board presence and can even be buffed slightly if you want to improve his Frenzy effect.

Control Priest tips, combos and synergies

There are some important combos to keep in mind when playing with the latest take on Control Priest. You'll find the most crucial ones in our round-up here:

- Ysera the Dreamer puts five cards in your hand, so save it until the end to ensure you have space for them. The cards you’ll get are:

  • Nightmare
  • Dream
  • Laughing Sister
  • Ysera Awakens
  • Emerald Drake

- Use Hysteria on a high-health enemy minion for the maximum chance of getting a full board clear.

- The spells you Discover from the likes of Renew and Palm Reading are very important to your success in each matchup. If your enemy is a Libram Paladin and is getting to their Lady Liadrin turn, maybe choose a Shadow Word: Death if you can. Similarly, if it’s a Token Druid, Condemn could be a great shout.

- Draconic Studies’ effect lasts until you play a Dragon, meaning you could always just wait until turn eight to play Ysera the Dreamer early.

- Mindrender Illucia can utterly destroy combo decks if you’re able to play her and a bunch of your enemy’s combo cards in the same turn. It can be an instant win, as long as you get more use out of their cards than they do out of yours for a turn.

- Keep hold of Acidic Swamp Ooze against enemies who use a lot of weapons. It can help you big time against Poison Rogues or Rush Warriors.

- Xyrella can be played after Renew to guarantee a three-damage AOE. This also works when you’re healed by a Lifesteal minion thanks to Apotheosis.

That’s all for Control Priest at the moment! We have all manner of other Hearthstone guides in our Hearthstone deck tier list though, and check out the best Battlegrounds heroes for more info on that game mode.

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