A Curse Reversed? - Interview with Zetalot
League of Explorers has released many interesting cards: Reno Jackson, Brann Bronzebeard, Dark Peddler, among many others, but, in a cliché turn of events, some of the most exciting cards have been saved for last, especially for those who enjoy playing Priest: Entomb and Museum Curator.
Nail in the Coffin
While Museum Curator is just a proactive early minion that can provide great value off of the discover ability (potential choices include Sylvanas, Majordomo Executus, and Piloted Shredder), I was much more excited for Entomb. Entomb is not simply a removal spell, it functions more like a lighter version of Mind Control, where it adds the threat to your overall resource pool. However, unlike Mind Control, it costs 4 less mana and it allows you to take advantage of any cards with Battlecry. Yet, Entomb really shines versus control decks, and especially control Warrior, an archetype that Priest usually struggled against.
The reason why I value Entomb so highly is that it does two things in the control matchup: it increases the total size of your deck and it adds to your overall resource pool. Now what does that actually mean? Increasing the total size of your deck means that you will fatigue slower than your opponent, and since these matches almost always go to fatigue, Entomb will net you a sizable advantage since you will always fatigue second. Increasing your overall resource pool means that you are now employing extra threats outside of those in your starting deck, allowing you to increase the amount of removal in your deck, or simply out-value other control decks. To help me with parsing what Entomb and Museum Curator will dig up for Priest is SK Gaming's Zetalot!
BCBV2: Hello Zetalot! If there is anyone that knows the ins and outs of Priest, it would be you. You are the definitive Priest player. So, how did you get into Hearthstone, and why do you enjoy Priest so much?
Zetalot: Hey, I've been playing Blizzard games for many years now and I've always liked trading card games so Hearthstone was an easy choice for me. Priest is the class I most enjoyed playing in World of Warcraft so maybe that's why I like it so much in Hearthstone as well.
BCBV2: In Hearthstone there's this sort of tug of war between value and tempo. How would you summarize these concepts in the realm of the game and how does this apply to Priest?
Zetalot: Each class has different play style that's why it's hard to compare those two. Priest is definitely one of these classes that benefit the most from value trades(mostly because of Priest's hero power). The only exception would be Deathrattle Priest(which doesn't exist anymore thanks to Undertaker nerf) and Dragon Priest which seem to be really boring to play.
BCBV2: Speaking of value and Priest, Priest recently received 2 cards in the LoE expansion which I'm very much enjoying: Museum Curator and Entomb. While there are traditional "value" cards like Echo of Medivh, Hogger, and Ysera, these Priest cards are a bit different, especially in the case of Entomb, where you steal an enemy's minion to put in your deck. Priest has traditionally struggled vs. control decks, what impact will these 2 cards have, and how will they change Priest's matchup vs. control decks?
Zetalot: Priest had always trouble dealing with minions such as Sylvanas or Savannah Highmane. Thanks to Entomb you don't have to worry about these anymore. It is also great tool in games when both players run out of cards. Because of Entomb you can increase your card pool and effectively beat your opponent in fatigue war. There's not much to say about Museum Curator, it's just a great 2 mana drop. The Discover mechanic allows you to pick whatever minion you need at the time which makes the card great both against aggro and against control decks. Also, as far as I'm concerned, there's about 74% to get at least one legendary minion to choose from after playing Museum Curator.
BCBV2: While Curator is indeed a great minion, I think Entomb is revolutionary. Not only does it deal with those previously mentioned nightmare minions, it touches on an aspect of Hearthstone which most non-control players rarely deal with: absolute resource management. Entomb functions as both removal AND adds a threat to your deck, allowing you to out-value control decks. How has entomb changed the way you approach games now, especially versus control Warrior, and what's the outlook for Priest in the coming weeks as the meta settles?
Zetalot: Because of cards such as Justicar Trueheart, Warriors had always advantage in fatigue wars versus Priests. It seems that with the Entomb addition Priest beats Warriors after you both run out of cards and that's the way I try to approach Priest right now. Seems that Blizzard really wants us to play Fatigue decks.
BCBV2: And how does Priest now fare vs. its hated rival, Handlock?
Zetalot: It's always been bad match up and the new card addition doesn't really change too much here. Lord Jaraxxus is the card that beats Priests most of the time and new cards have no affect on that, that's why it's good to include in your deck cards like Flash Heal or Light of The Naaru and try to burst Handlock with Auchenai Soulpriest before it gets out of control.
BCBV2: I've seen some people run Priest lists without Auchenai, but is Auchenai needed for the offense it brings? And lastly, where can people find you online?
Zetalot: I think Auchenai is one of the strongest cards Priest has to offer and obviously one of the most fun to play with that's why I almost always include it in my decks. It's not necessary to have it but the possibilities that this card can give you are just endless. Not only burst but also board clear and many other things like damaging your own Sylvanas to make efficient trades. You can find me streaming almost every day on TwitchTV and I'm also sharing my new deck lists(especially after hitting #1 legends) on Twitter.
BCBV2: Thank you for talking about this lesser seen class! And good luck on ladder and in any upcoming tournaments you have!
Zetalot: Thanks, the light shall bring victory!
Priest has been low compared to other classes in the meta for a while now, and while people who have mastered the class can find some success with it, its weaknesses were rather glaring. While people may groan and moan at the prospect of having the thief class rise to power once again, I feel that a healthy metagame where all 9 classes have viable decks will be far more entertaining. It remains to be seen where Priest's place will be once the dust settles, but I have high hopes, especially since it is one of my favorite classes!
Zenhurak, Thursday, 17/12/15 15:30
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