Spiteful Priest was a new Hearthstone deck to arrive with Kobolds and Catacombs, and it's one which leans heavily on the titular card for its strength. Although it's not quite as strong as it once was, it is seeing some competitive play on the fringes of the Rastakhan meta.
What makes the Spiteful Summoner card so important to the deck though? Well, when played it'll reveal a random spell from your deck, and then summon a random choice of minion that costs the same amount as that spell. Given that most deck lists only feature Psychic Scream, Free From Amber and Mind Control spells, you're guaranteed a reasonably meaty play from putting the Summoner out into play.
As well as this signature card you've got plenty of other tools to work with as well. In our guide to playing this new archetype we've highlighted a particularly powerful deck list you can start with. We've also got some Mulligan tips, a run down of every combo you have at your disposal and in a future update we'll be providing detailed strategy advice.
UPDATE - JANUARY 2019
Spiteful Priest was tipped to make a comeback in the Rastakhan's Rumble meta, but it's off to a slow start to put it mildly. Although this is very much an off-meta deck at the time of publishing this article, we've added in an updated deck list for you nevertheless.
Spiteful Priest deck list and strategy
This is the best version of Spiteful Priest that we're aware of at this stage of the meta. We'll see if it's fortunes improve over time, and as the deck list evolves within the broader meta.
|2 x Northshire Cleric||1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze|
|2 x Shadow Ascendant||2 x Faerie Dragon|
|2 x Duskbreaker||1 x Stonehill Defender|
|2 x Tortollan Shellraiser||2 x Tar Creeper|
|1 x Cabal Shadow Priest||1 x Scaleworm|
|1 x Nightscale Matriarch||1 x Spellbreaker|
|1 x Psychic Scream||2 x Twilight Drake|
|2 x Free From Amber||2 x Cobalt Scalebane|
|2 x Mind Control||2 x Spiteful Summoner|
|1 x Bonemare|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAa0GCJAC8gWKB5vCAqbOAujQAo7uAonxAgsI4QSNCPIM3MECysMCmcgCyssCzswCy+YC1+sCAA==
Spiteful Priest is a deck that spends the early-to-mid game clearing minions and slowly developing a board presence. You have a vast array of removal tools, including straightforward board clears and a handful of Dragon synergies in the deck. A number of taunt and high health minions can also chew through your opponent’s creatures with ease.
The turning point comes at Turn 6 with Spiteful Summoner, which will summon a seven, eight or ten Mana minion alongside it, as the only spells in the deck are Psychic Scream, Free from Amber and Mind Control. From there the late game grows ever more powerful as you put yourself way out of reach of your opponent.
Early game: You can take a number of approaches in the early game depending on how fortunate you’ve been with your Mulligan. You can develop your hand with card draw from Northshire Cleric, or simply build out an early board of minions, strengthened perhaps by Shadow Ascendant.
You have multiple ways to deal with your opponent’s early minions too: either trade away yours if you’re in a position to do so, throw up taunts and high health minions that will outlast them, or hold off for one larger board clear.
Mid game: Here you’ll start to hit some of your bigger plays that will see off most other decks if you’ve kept them in check up to this point. If you’ve been taking it slowly, a high health Twilight Drake can be a significant obstacle for them to overcome. Cobalt Scalebane buffing your minions with three extra attack each turn can also get very dangerous, very quickly from your opponent's perspective.
Spiteful Summoner will start slamming seven, eight or ten Mana minions onto the board that your opponent will struggle to deal with if they don’t have any hard removal too.
Late game: Free From Amber can give you powerful eight Mana or more minions, or if your opponent plays something large and imposing you can convert it over to your side with Mind Control.
These are some tips on how to handle any aggro opponents you face on ladder:
- Don’t be afraid to encourage them into over-committing on the board in the early game if you have a Duskbreaker in hand that can wipe out everything.
- Many of your minions – such as Tar Creeper, Scaleworm and Twilight Drake – are very efficient at trading into multiple lower strength cards.
- It can be worth spending the two Mana each turn on your hero power to heal minions or steadily heal yourself back up over time and get out of range of any surprise burst.
- Northshire Cleric can contest well with most early game minions while also drawing you some extra cards to gain a huge advantage over your opponent.
Keep these tips in mind when you come across control decks on ladder:
- Chances are it’ll be a slow start for both of you so work on your card draw and gather extra resources in the early game using Northshire Cleric.
- You have a number of ways to deal with their big threats, such as silencing it with Spellbreaker or stealing it for yourself using Mind Control.
- Spending a turn just using your hero power, even if you don’t need to heal anything, is sometimes a better play than just throwing something onto the board for no reason.
- Always mulligan for Spiteful Summoner against control decks as it is more vital than ever as your win condition in those matchups.
Spiteful Priest Mulligan guide
Here are some of the cards you’ll want to hunt for in particular when it comes to building your opening hand.
- 1. Northshire Cleric: Usually survives taking a hit from your opponent’s one drop and can then get you a card draw on turn two.
- 2. Shadow Ascendant: A very neat way of gaining extra tempo if you've another minion on the board to boost.
- 3. Faerie Dragon: A solid enough minion presence but consider that you may prefer to hold onto it to empower a card like Duskbreaker
- 4. Stonehill Defender: A solid early-game wall that will buy you a little extra time against aggro decks in particular
- 5. Tar Creeper: Worth holding against aggro to slow them down in the early game.
- 6. Acidic Swamp Ooze: A worthier keep against opponents likely to be wielding weapons.
Spiteful Priest tips, card combos and synergies
If you've not played this kind of deck before then you are strongly encouraged to take a bit of time reading through the following combos before taking this list to the ladder!
- Every time a minion is healed, Northshire Cleric will add a card to your hand. Note that this effect stacks if multiple minions are topped up.
- At the end of your turn, Shadow Ascendant will pick another friendly minion at random and grant it +1 / +1 of stats.
- As useful as Faerie Dragon is in the early game, be mindful that as a cheap Dragon it might be worth holding onto to empower cards like Duskbreaker or Scaleworm which require a Dragon in-hand.
- Tar Creeper only has its bonus Attack power during the opponent's turn. Try to plan things out ahead of their turn so you can make life as difficult as possible for them.
- When you play Twilight Drake onto the board, it'll gain one extra Health for each remaining card that exists in your hand.
- Cobalt Scalebane will choose a random friendly minion at the end of your turn and give it an extra 3 points of Attack. Note that this creature cannot target itself.
- Duskbreaker's powerful Battlecry board-clear can only be triggered if you have another Dragon in your hand when this card has played. Check twice!
- Nightscale Matriarch will add a 3 / 3 minion to the board whenever a friendly minion is healed.
- New card Scaleworm can attack another minion on the same turn it's played - and gain +1 Attack - but only if you have a Dragon in your hand.
- Your cheapest spell in this deck costs seven Mana, and so Spiteful Summoner is guaranteed to summon a random minion that costs at least that much.
- Bonemare not only gives a friendly minion +4 / +4 of stats, the target also gains the Taunt ability which provides a handy wall for the rest of your minions to hide behind.
Spiteful Priest card choices and substitutions
The influx of new Witchwood cards has encouraged some interesting developments with Spiteful Priest, so here are the deck’s most impactful cards and potential substitutes where possible:
- Curious Glimmerroot: If you have a good idea of which deck type you’re up against, this usually gives you a free card and a 3/3 body on the board. A fun mechanic, although not vitally important. Tortollan Shellraiser can fit in here if needed.
- Twilight Acolyte: Good for reducing down the strength of powerful late game cards, although if you want to go for straight removal you can throw in a Shadow Word: Death instead.
- Duskbreaker: A big board clear for little Mana that excels against aggro.
- Spiteful Summoner: The card that gives the deck its name – and it’s the reason why you only run Free from Amber and Mind Control as spells.
- Grand Archivist: A minion that randomly casts Free from Amber or Mind Control at the end of your turn is quite valuable. It isn’t vital, however, and can be replaced with something like Nightscale Matriarch.