The first deck I ever built in Hearthstone was a Priest deck.
As I recall, it was a Thursday in December and I had just unlocked all the cards from The League of Explorers expansion. The point of the deck was to draw cards as quickly as possible to get to the Golden Monkey – which turns your deck into a world of pain for your opponent – that had been shuffled into my deck. There were other elements to the deck, but it was all built around card draw, controlling the board and having answers to my opponents plays.
It was a glorious time and I had an incredible amount of fun with the deck.
Then came the Whispers of the Old Gods (WotOG); an expansion which silently killed the Priest class.
It wasn’t that the class didn’t get any good cards, it did, the trouble was so many other classes got spectacular cards.
For instance Flamewreathed Faceless, a Shaman class card with a 4-mana cost which places a 7/7 body on the board. Sure, the card overloads your mana count by two but even then you a 6-mana 7/7 minion. The value is ridiculous, and that’s just one example.
Priest however had to make do with cards such as Power Word: Tentacles. While not terrible Power Word has an incredibly high mana cost and the state of the game meant that it was very difficult to get minions on the board that would benefit from the buff.
So then, when the next adventure – One Night in Karazhan – was announced and a few of the cards were revealed, there was excitement. Well, there was until they revealed Purify.
By fire, be burned
Among the many troubles with card was silence effect. Priest already had a silence type card in the form of Silence, a zero-mana cost card that could silence any card, including your own. The two-mana cost of Purify didn’t help the card either, it was expensive and yielded very little value in the state of the game at the time.
The video below gained massive traction following the card’s announcement. Popular streamer Octavian “Kripparrian” Morosan, spends a lot of time playing Hearthstone and has a deep insight into the game, as do most professional Hearthstone players and streamers, so its best if he explains why – at the time – Purify was worse than garbage. Forewarning, he gets mad and uses some pretty harsh language.
As a player who once loved playing Priest, I sided with Kripp because what he says makes complete sense and after WotOG was introduced, and a ton of cards removed from Goblins vs Gnomes expansion and the Curse of Naxxramas adventure; Priest was woefully under-powered in the Standard format and worse still it wasn’t viable in the Arena format.
So great was the criticism of the card that Blizzard removed the card from the Arena format before it was even released to the public. The card would still be a reward in The Menagerie wing of the One Night in Karazhan adventure, but it would not be made an available option while drafting a deck in the Arena.
Medivh’s party is over
So, now that we actually have Purify, I decided to craft a deck that would benefit from it and give it the good ol’ college try against some other players.
This was the deck I crafted, with a bit of help from Hearthpwn. If that image is a bit small you can check out the full deck list in the box below the image.
Barnes is an interesting card here because the minion the card summons can be silenced and presto, you have a free minion. Purify helps with card draw here and the added benefit of the silence is extremely beneficial to the deck and tempo it has later in the game. An earlier version of this deck contained Elise Starseeker. The additional draw I had from Purify resulted in me finding the Map, and the Monkey effectively.
Silencing Ragnaros is also effective if you can’t handle the random nature of the card and Icehowl is a nice bit of fun, especially if Barnes creates a 1/1 version of him. If you happen to have silence in that instance, you’ll have a 10/10 minion at turn four. Thanks Blizzard.
The feast of the Priest
I can’t speak for high level rank play but I feel more in control of the game as a Priest with the release of this adventure. The best part is, it’s fun, so much fun. For example, when I plonk an Ancient Watcher down on the board at turn two, my opponent either knows what is coming next or you see a little red ring come up around the minion and you get the sense your opponent isn’t sure what is going on.
Often, the result is them attacking your hero – rather than the Watcher – and well it snowball’s out of control from there.
This deck is among my favourites to play and I feel confident enough to play against folks without worrying whether or not I’ll be able to live until turn five.
Purify is just another card in a Hearthstone deck, but what it has done is opened my eyes to a new style of play which I hadn’t even considered. Thanks, Blizzard, you’ve shown me life at the Inn doesn’t just have to be about murlocs, dragons and C’thun and sometimes we just need to shut up, and smile to ourselves as a two Eerie Statues and an Icehowl force your opponent to concede.