Big Priest, also known as Barnes Priest, also known as Show and Tell Priest, also known as “Did they seriously let us cheat big bodies out on turns four, five, AND six!?” Priest, is a control-combo deck. It focuses on getting large threats out way earlier than the advertised mana cost, then brute forcing your way to victory with those threats. Time to break down how it works.

In the early game, you have one goal: stay alive. This is especially true against aggressive decks, like Pirate Warrior and Jade Druid. You will often find yourself on the back foot from turn one and onward. Cards like the standard Shadow Word: Pain and Shadow Word: Horror will work to stabilize things for you. Pint-Size Potion in conjunction with Shadow Word: Horror will get the larger minions you couldn’t otherwise reach. Dragonfire Potion is yet another sweeper for your midgame, and will be the bridge to your Shadow Essences, [Free from Amber]s, and hardcast threats.

Thoughtsteal is your control mirror card, as you need to have a bit more to work with since you’re so heavily slanted against aggro. This card is especially good against Control/Handlock, as they have a plethora of removal for large threats. If all else fails, or if you need to equalize against large Jade threats, Shadowreaper Anduin will punch a hole right through their offense, allowing you to make a very hard pivot toward your own offense. Mass Dispel also fits this role to a much lesser extent, but trades the lesser effectiveness for cycling and shrinking pumped threats, which is useful against decks like aggro Paladin and Pirate Warrior. Obsidian Statue is the hallmark card for this deck, and is the reason why this is the optimal class for this archetype. Being able to jam a removal spell, life gain, and taunt all in one package for a potential four mana is a ridiculously good deal.

The rest of your threats are the absolute best cards to want to have early: The Lich King, Ysera, and [Y’Shaarj, Rage Unbound]. To further bolster your threat diversity, and just to make sure you’re not running out of steam, a Free From Amber is included.

In most situations, you want to mulligan as hard as possible for Barnes, as that is the absolute best card in your deck. After that, the basics of the deck are to just not die and not be greedy. Keep track of what minions are dead, especially when you use Potion of Madness, as this will mess with your Eternal Servitudes. Save your coins for Shadow Essence if you’re able to, and do your best to get as much out of your curve as you can.

If you’re facing heavy aggro, take out two Thoughtsteal for Holy Smite and Spirit Lash. And remember: stay alive.

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

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