Since the release of Rastakhan’s Rumble, there have been two nerf patches. These nerfs resulted in a gradual slowing down of the meta to more control based decks. Priest has slithered its way back to the top of the meta and the Wall Priest archetype has quickly become one of the most popular decks.
What is Wall Priest?
Wall Priest is a deck that combines meta cards of now with combos of the past. It uses the cards Eternal Servitude and the Diamond Spellstone to resurrect large taunt minions and value cards like The Lich King. It then uses Divine Spirit to buff the minions, then finish the game with Innfer Fire or Topsy Turvy for a minion with more attack than the opponent could ever have for total health.
To execute on this gameplan, it runs a lot of high health taunt minions. These are cards like Tar Creeper for the early game, as well as Witchwood Grizzlies and Mosh’Ogg Enforcers for the late game. They don’t have very high attack values but they make great targets for Divine Spirit plus Inner Fire.
The deck is very reminiscent of old Combo Priest decks but has benefited from better minions being released. It would have to rely on Deathlords and Injured Blademasters with early high roll potential to win its games.
The deck saw its downfall when the popularity of Skulking Geist came around. Due to the number of Druids and Warlocks at the time it was a must include tech card. However, now that Geists are no longer being ran, and Topsy Turvy was printed, this deck doesn’t have to fear the loss of its combo.
How To Play
The deck should have no problems beating control decks as they have no real way of countering your combo. The deck may struggle against very aggressive game plans and requires a good mulligan phase.
Against Aggro decks, the Priest needs to find cards like Tar Creeper, Zilliax, and Witchwood Grizzly to survive the early stages of the game. They also have a turn five removal tool with Mass Hysteria. Using Eternal Servitude to resurrect Grizzlies will halt aggressive decks in the mid game.
Once you are able to play a Greater Diamond Spellstone it usually creates a board state that aggressive decks can no longer get through. The Inner Fire or Topsy Turvy combo is typically not required to win this matchup.
In control, the gameplan is a little different. The Priest runs Master Oakheart for a huge turn nine swing play which can be game winning in control matchups. This is because even if the opponent is able to clear the board, it all comes right back with a Spellstone.
The Lich King is also a huge value generator. He can be resurrected to get cards like Death Grip to disrupt the opponent’s game plan. Control decks won’t be able to kill you or gain enough armor/health before the combo hits.
Wall Priest has thwarted many Odd Paladins on ladder. Odd Paladin is still very popular and Wall Priest performs great against it. The Paladin has no way of clearing the large health taunts without using all of its damage output. Once the taunts are resurrected, the Paladin soon runs out steam.
Odd Mage is also very popular on ladder. The deck can be very aggressive with direct damage from hand and the hero power. However, it still relies on pushing some damage with minions in order to secure a win. If taunts are able to be put in front of their small threats they usually can’t deal enough direct damage.
Midrange Hunters are one of the weak matchups for the deck only because it still runs cards that can deal with taunts. They can make a taunts health one since they still run Hunter’s Mark, and often times Scavenging Hyena is unable to be answered by the Priest.
Another weak point of Wall Priest is combo decks. These matchups usually come down to whoever can pull off their combo first. Clone Priest and Malygos Rogue can find their lethal combos pretty quickly with the right draws. Unless the Wall Priest can draw both Divine Spirits and an Inner Fire there’s no way around it.
Malygos Druid and Quest Rogue have seen some resurgence in this current meta due to these slow decks like Wall Priest. Malygos Druid doesn’t need to deal damage with minions in order to win the game and Quest Rogue can have infinite value with its minions.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.