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Deck of the Week #31: Zetalot Deathrattle Priest

by - 7 years ago

Every Friday a legendary member from team DKMR breaks down Don’t Kick My Robot’s “Deck of the Week” . These decks are seeing a lot of play either in constructed ladder or tournaments. Team DKMR explains the deck lists and how to play them. Make sure you check out Don’t Kick My Robot if you want to become a better player or check out their premium services if you would like them to do a 1 on 1 coaching session with you to help you better your game. View past Deck Lists of the Week.

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[DKMR]Faramir here to bring you the next DKMR Deck of the Week. This week we will take a look at the Deathrattle Priest, mainly innovated by Zetalot. There are a lot of variations of it , we will use the list [DKMR]Faramir played in the Blizzcon Qualifiers. The reason it got so popular is that it consistently has a winrate from around 60% against Hunter, which is more than most of the other classes can say of itself. It also does fairly well against other meta decks right now, so it see a lot of play in tournaments and on ladder. Lets break down the cards and analyze what this deck wants to do. Before we start though, we need to say, “Priest is a thief and in the course of this article you will learn why”.

The Deck :

Zetalot Priest2 x Circle of Healing :

This card might not be great on its own but has so much potential in combination with Northshire Cleric. It also is your main board clear in combination with Auchenai Soulpriest and can give you a strong start together with the Injured Blademaster, so don’t waste it and use it on the right occasion to draw you a lot of cards or swing the board heavily in your favor.

2 x Power Word: Shield :

PW:S is always good to have, it protects your minions from common removal like Fiery War Axe or AoE damage. You can use it to buff your taunts to make them more durable to protect your other minions. It also draws you a card. Just nice.

2 x Northshire Cleric :

This card is your main draw engine. Don’t waste it! It can be played early to apply pressure to your opponent and prevent them to play early minions cause it threatens a draw. But don’t just play them out if you can’t get any value out of them. It is great in combination with Injured Blademaster as well as Circle of Healing. Its natural enemy is the Fiery War Axe, so you should never drop it on Turn 1 against the Warrior.

2 x Undertaker :

This is one of the key-pieces in the Deathrattle Priest. You want to play it on Turn 1 and buff it with your different Deathrattle minions like Loot Hoarder, Zombie Chow or Dark Cultist. You can heal it up constantly with your Heropower and draw cards off that with Northshire Cleric. That’s the dream every deck that Undertaker plays has. Often it doesnt work quite that well but Undertaker is always a good drop as long you have Deathrattle minions on your hand.
Together with Sludge Belcher, Sylvanas Windrunner and Cairne Bloodhoof it still is a threat in the later stages of the game.

2 x Zombie Chow :

This card is the reason Priest works so well against Hunters. Its 2 Attack and 3 Health prevent Hunters from playing things like Undertaker, Leper Gnome and Webspinner since it trades with all of them very effectively. In combination with Auchenai Soulpriest it also takes advantage of its Deathrattle effect, damaging the enemy for 5 instead of healing him. It also synergies with the Undertaker which makes Undertaker into Zombie Chow a really terrifying start.

2 x Loot Hoarder :

Another draw engine in this deck since this deck doesnt always have time to make use of its Heropower to draw cards with Northshire Cleric. It synergies with the Undertaker which makes it a good 2-drop. Most of the time it also trades fairly well, either for a 2 mana Heropower or for another early minion while replacing itself.

1 x Shadow Word: Death :

Due to this minionbased deck, the removal has to be cut back. Shadow Word: Death is an amazing removal card for the late game but with this deck you don’t necessarily want to go there. SWD also has the risk of just staying in your hand for a long time without doing anything. When you can use it on something like a Ragnaros the Firelord or an Ancient of War, it gives you a lot of tempo, an ability that every aggressive deck relies upon.

2 x Thoughtsteal :

Thoughsteal is one of the best, if not the BEST card in the game. It can really backfire and give you 2 Deadly Poisons or give you a bunch of legendaries to win you the game and give you additional threats.
It can also give you the removal you need to deal with your opponents minions which this deck is lacking since its more minionbased. It is one of Priest’s best tools to steal things from your opponent and beat him with his own weapons. It also makes your hand unpredictable since he can’t play around cards that he doesn’t know.

2 x Dark Cultist :

Trump would be proud of this card. It is basically a 3/7 minion for 3 mana. It also synergies with the Undertaker and is a better 3-drop than the Injured Blademaster although the Blademaster is more versatile. Your opponent always has to kill off your board before he kills this minion otherwise your board gets buffed and out of range of other removal. Buffed by the Defender of Argus or just on its own its a threat to your opponents life total.

2 x Injured Blademaster :

One of the combopieces in the Priest deck. Although it doesn’t synergies with the Undertaker it does with Northshire Cleric and Circle of Healing. It has the potential to draw you a lot of cards as well as threaten the life total of your opponent significantly. It trades well and if healed to maximum in the early game its hard to deal with for almost every deck. You should however almost never just drop it on Turn 3 if you don’t have a Circle of Healing. It dies very easily to common removal like Fiery War Axe, Execute or Wrath. So be aware of that !

2 x Auchenai Soulpriest :

Auchanai is a one-of-a-kind card. It changes your Heropower into aggressive mode and helps you trading very well. If you consider it for a moment : 2 mana for 2 damage is really great value for a Heropower. It also turns the Circle of Healing into a Flamestrike for both boards if you will. This combination is a great answer to almost everything your opponent can throw at you in terms of minions. The combination with Zombie Chow makes it a tool for finishing the game aswell and pushing in the last points for lethal damage. Against decks like Miracle Rogue you should always save an Auchenai + Circle combination for a concealed Auctioneer!

1 x Defender of Argus :

Always a great card in a minionbased deck. Since this deck plays a lot of high health minions, it is very likely by Turn 4 or whenever you draw your Defender of Argus, that there are at least 2 minions on the board you can buff. It is a great card that helps you in trades. In combination with the Heropower it can give you a lot of board control. There are some interesting targets you can taunt up in this deck. Sylvanas and a Zombie Chow with an Auchenai Soulpriest on the board forces your opponent to attack into it first and damaging himself.

1 x Holy Nova :

The Holy Nova in this deck is less a card to get back board control with rather than healing your own minions while damaging or killing the rest of the defense that your opponent still has. By Turn 5 you normally want to have board control with this deck. Holy Nova is one of the few tools in this deck to get it back when you lost it but most of the time it will be used to heal your board back up. In combination with Northshire Cleric it also draws you cards which is always nice. But never use it with an Auchenai Soulpriest on the board!

2 x Sludge Belcher :

The Sludge Belcher is one of the great additions from the Naxxramas Expansion. Its a better Sen’jin Shielmasta because it forces 7 damage of removal which isn’t easy to come by, making it a great protection for your minions. Its Deathrattle Effect also synergies with the Undertaker, making Undertaker viable in the late game. Buffed by Power Word: Shield this card is a wall that is hard to get over.

2 x Cabal Shadow Priest :

Priests main tool of stealing things. You know when Turn 6 comes around, you will not play your Acolyte of Pains, your Oasis Snapjaws or Mana Tide Totems. The Cabal Shadow Priest is such a big board swing that it can single-handedly can win you the game on its own. Smaller minions your opponent relies upon cause of their utility rather than their damage output added to your arsenal of weapons often gives you the advantage to swing the game in your favor. Best target is debatable but we would say its definitely Maexxna.

1 x Cairne Bloodhoof :

Cairne is always a solid card. Its a great 6-drop, way better than a vanilla Cabal Shadow Priest or Sylvanas Windrunner on an empty board. Removing it isnt easy and in combination with Lesser Heal it can provide you with great trades. As an extra it also synergies with the Undertaker and even better with Kel’Thuzad. Killing it off and bringing a Baine and a Cairne back is almost always game winning. Its natural predator is Hex, look out for that frog!

1 x Sylvanas Windrunner :

If the board looks grim and all seems lost, Sylvanas often is your tool to win the board and the game back. Its threat makes your opponent play weird combination of cards to play around it if they don’t have silence. You can kill it off with Auchenai + Circle if you want or just with the Auchenai + Lesser Heal combination if its low enough. For a bonus it synergies with Undertaker and if you can get Sylvanas back with Kel’Thuzad it almost always means game over for your opponent. Because of its potential you should never just drop it on an empty board other than in a topdecking war.

1 x Kel’Thuzad :

I was really skeptical with this card at the start but it has won me a lot of games with this deck. The variety of minions you have can make this card very powerful. If you kill of your minions and get their Deathrattle effects and get them back after the turn it is game over most of the time. And if you get back something like Caine or Sylvanas its just icing of the cake. These 3 cards are your late game weapons and can often match what most of other decks can bring.
If played correctly, KT allows you to overwhelm your opponent with minions and strangle him out of the game.

The Mulligan :

Look aggressively for your 1-drops, especially against aggressive opponents like Hunter. You need that Undertaker, that Zombie Chow to win you the early game and not let him sneak in damage. Against Warrior you don’t really want Northshire Cleric, you want to keep it for the carddraw. Play other stuff early game like the Undertaker to test for Fiery War Axe. Dark Cultist is a great minion to get if you already have an Undertaker. You are the aggressor in every matchup you play, the “beatdown” if you will.

The Coin :

The Coin is always great to have if you play a deck like this. Dropping an Undertaker + Zombie Chow onto an empty board gives you immediate board control and pressure on your opponents life total. Against decks like Hunter however you really want to go first though so you can get that Zombie Chow down because that really puts your opponent in a difficult spot.

If you have coin you can also be a little bit more forgiving with your mulligan. Undertaker into Coin + Dark Cultist is a great play and is hard to match, you don’t necessarily need 2 1-drops. This deck is very similar to Zoo in this a lot of aspects.

 Gameplan :

With this Deck you want to play aggressively for board control while chipping away your opponents life total. It isn’t a big combo deck like Miracle Rogue and relies on combos to kill your opponent. It rather depends on combos to give you board control and card advantage.

You want to build a board while constantly drawing cards with your Northshire Cleric, Loot Hoarder or Power Word: Shield. It doesn’t have a great finisher, so always be sure to keep a strong board. If you lose board control and you don’t have things like Auchenai + Circle it is really hard to get it back. It really relies a lot on snowballing and strangling your opponent out of the game. Build up your early minions and overwhelm him with your late game threats like Sylvanas Windrunner and Kel’Thuzad and whatever you get from Thoughtsteal.

We hope you guys will have fun with this deck and have any questions just ask them below 🙂

[DKMR]Faramir streams weekdays http://www.twitch.tv/faramirHS. You can find all of DKMR’s streamers on their website with the days that they stream!

Written by [DKMR]Faramir

Discussions about this topic brought to you by Team [DKMR]


JR Cook

JR has been writing for fan sites since 2000 and has been doing Blizzard Exclusive fansites since 2003. He helped co-found BlizzPro in 2013. You can hear JR every week talk about Hearthstone on the Well Met Podcast published on iTunes.


0 responses to “Deck of the Week #31: Zetalot Deathrattle Priest”

  1. Mark Davis says:

    I have a pretty similar deck, I call it Walking Dead (heals +deathrattle). I don’t have Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas, or Cabal Shadow Priest but I run Loatheb, Baron Rivendare and a second Defender of Argus.

  2. Joshua "Nytemare" Pierce says:

    Sorry but this deck is just complete garbage compare to other Zetalot, Only way this deck can win if it get perfect hand/draw. 11 games on ladder and went 2-9. This just so bad, every deck can easily destroy this one, and if you can’t play your first minion until after turn 4 due to bad draw you might as well just quit. Either they have board control and you have no hope, or they have all the counter to your minions and you still lose. I followed the Mullian rules, and aim, did what guide said, yet deck just fail over and over. Lost 2 ranks because of this. Came looking for a counter to the Hunter decks I keep running, instead got a deck that just sucks.

    Normally your deck of the weeks are good, but this deck is just garbage.

    • Cypher says:

      If you cant play a minion until turn 4 with six(!!!!!) 1 drop minions, two 2 drop minions, and four 3 drop minions (10 cards, 1/3 your deck) then you have some absurdly bad luck… currently at 70% winrate at rank 4 with this deck.

      • Joshua "Nytemare" Pierce says:

        11 games 2w 9L using Decktracker doesn’t line, I read how to play it, watched Zetalot play his version, so I know what combo to do and what card to play and not. Like not dropping a Cleric T1 against a warrior or druid, etc as it just be destroy. Deck so depend on good draws, without them can’t win. Grats on your 70% winrate. This just go back to part with HS is 90% luck and only 10% skill. Luck gives you the right draws, luck get your the right hand. Skill only play a factor when trading minions, and knowing what to do with cards in hand. I started off at rank 15 after I practice this deck to know it, and then took it to ladder as I now working on priest to 60/gold and just couldn’t win.

        Warrior, Hunter, Druid, Shammy, Priest (mirror), Lock, and no wins 2 games I won I got perfect hands, either I own fast like a zoolock, or I had cards like CoH + Soul Priest to wipe field and gain control of it.

        • DKMR Faramir says:

          sorry to hear that you didnt have success with it, zetalots original isnt much different tho in the aspect of board wipes, it only runs 1 holy nova and auchenai circle. he doesnt run sludge belcher which also help you come back into the game and are espacially strong against hunters. the rivendare is a gimmick card that doesnt always work, the kelthuzad is way more consistent, espacially in control matchups

          • DKMR Faramir says:

            and you can definitely drop a cleric turn 1 vs druid, drawing a wrath is worth it, against warrior its very poor though

          • Joshua "Nytemare" Pierce says:

            Keep playing it and using Zeal current one from his twitch, just seems that unless I get a perfect hand/draw I just get destroy as I get overran, or don’t draw cards needed.

          • Mark Davis says:

            Even with my handicapped version of this deck I have a way better win percentage than that. I win at least 60% of my patches with it.

  3. Petar Angelov says:

    I would rather substitute the one Loot Harder with Thantus. Same card – more benefits. Nova with 3 or heal with 5 is somehow great. and there is no down site…
    discusable is of course if you really need 2 blade master. Maybe a Harrison or Acid Ooze for one of them. And than… 2 Soulpriests? For real? What can you do with them (instead of increasing the chance of them being drawn). You just stop all your card drawing options. And again i would go for something like Acid or Harrison or Shadowword or something that will ballance the deck more (also cards i would concider are divine spirit, shadow madness or even second nova)

    • DKMR Faramir says:

      the reason why i noone plays bloodmage thalnos instead of loot hoarders is because it doesnt synergize with the deck at all, only 1 single card in the entire deck and that is the 1 copy of holy nova. since this is an aggressive deck, you want minions that trade well and loot hoarder normally trades up because of its 2 attack power.
      auchenai soulpriest is one of the strongest cards priest has. the combination with circle makes it one of the best tools for priest to come back into the game.
      together with your heropower it also allows you great trades and the 5 dmg from zombie chow are great aswell.
      you already have great carddraw engines with loot hoarder and northshire cleric, you dont really need harrison jones.
      shadowmadness can definitely be good although it was the strongest with hunter still around.

      • Petar Angelov says:

        Thank you for the replay! I saw like 2 Hours of Zetalot games – he also
        have 2x Soulpriest – never used both! Like really never 🙂 Maybe I saw the two
        hours, where it just didn’t happen (and he had 2 in the hands – so it is not
        because of bad draw). In the most of the game you only need to clean the board
        once. And with nova actually you have a second mass destruction spell. I agree
        about the theory, that it synergizes with chow – but in the practice you try to
        put chow very early in the game… at that point one is far away from playing
        soulpriest. In the mid game where this combo is really of any consideration it
        either become countered (cause soulpriest is a magnet for removals). Or you
        play it in the same turn – but then again – that’s only 3 dmg (5-2) So…

        Having Harrison is
        not only about the card drawing – the benefits against Hunter, Warriors,
        Paladins, Rogue and Shaman are just too great. that’s like 5 mana for removel
        from 2-7mana weapon, a card (or more), and 4/4 creature. Even agains priest i
        would like to have this card in my deck, cause he has hard time killing
        creatures with 4dmg. In the most of the cases it’s like arcane intellect + Acid
        ooze but it has 4/4 mop. But enough with the Harrison. I just love
        weapon removels and I never go to arena without an ozee. But that’s just me.

        Another Idea is
        also lightwarden. It is kind of great with blade master and circle. The most of
        the players are going to trow a good removel for 1 mana card. Any objections
        about that? And having 4/7 and something like 3/2 with potential for
        more on the 4 turn is scary.

        • DKMR Faramir says:

          harrison is a 5/4 not a 4/4, lightwarden is a shitty card, zombie chow is a way better 1 drop, undertaker aswell. you dont buy the better trades? trading loot hoarder for heropower which is 2 mana and his whole turn early is a great trade.
          soulpriest is a 3/5 with way too many upsides to not play it.
          nova isnt a a great boardclear, and wanting to play thalnos just for 1 copy of nova is just bad.

          • Petar Angelov says:

            About harrison – even better (my bad). For the lightwarden – well ok. I guess it was at least worth concidering it. Ok – i got your point aboit thalnos. Still it takes exactly the same amount of heropower to get rid of – even if you are right, the argumentation is not good… (its for both a 2 mana cast and one turn… so no pro for the hoarder, and no contra for thalnos in matter of heropowers 🙂

          • DKMR Faramir says:

            i give up

          • Petar Angelov says:

            What i mean is – probably you are right – just i didn’t liked the argument – thats all 🙂 Dont take it personally! The point of discussion is to get to the truth. And i didnt mind to insult the deck or whatever – i find the idea great, and i am sure it works just fine.

          • DKMR Faramir says:

            go ahead and try thalnos, you will see it sucks, maybe you will believe me then

  4. Robb Corbett says:

    I agree with the other comments; this deck relies on a good initial draw and is very week against most other deck archetypes. Needs more mid.