For a long time, Priest has been one of the weakest classes in Hearthstone. Although Anduin had few issues with aggressive decks, he really struggled against control and combo lists like Miracle Rogue, Control Warlock, and Druid. In 2016, the release of some powerful Dragon cards made Priest into a decent deck for the first time. However it never achieved tier 1 status compared to other 2016 powerhouses such as Shaman and (pre-nerf) Combo Druid. But now everything has changed: Razakus Priest is a force to be reckoned with in Standard, abusing the insane synergy between Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin.
The fact that Priest has numerous excellent class cards makes it possible to create a solid ‘singleton’ or ‘one-of’ deck with both Kazakus and Raza. The deck has a lot of complex synergies and there are several good resources online (including a great guide to the Wild version of the deck from my colleague, Sensei Tsukaime). I’ve decided to focus on the mulligan, which is crucial to any deck but especially so for singleton lists. It’s easier to explain the playstyle in a coaching session since the deck can be very complex, so if you’re aiming for the top definitely consider a lesson. Let’s get started!
This is the list that I settled on – use the following import code to try it yourself!
Keep These Winners: The Mulligan Guide
One of the best cards in the deck, and you should always keep him in your opening hand! Your ideal play is dropping him on turn 4 and get a 5-mana potion with “Draw 2 cards” and another good effect. In the late-game, if you already have access to both Raza and Shadowreaper Anduin, consider choosing a 1-mana Potion to increase your combo potential with Hero Power. If Prophet Velen is in the mix, things can get very rough for your opponent!
Kazakus is strong because he is flexible. Playing against a Handlock who has been Life-Tapping in order to play a Mountain Giant? No problem: just look for a ‘Polymorph’ Potion and watch his Giant turn into a Sheep. The ‘Deal 4 damage to all minions’ options is also a great supplemental board clear against Rogues, Paladins, and Shamans. So many options – so many possibilities!
Raza the Chained
Reno Priest was a decent deck in the past Standard, but never achieved tier 1 status because it lacked the ability to pressure the opponent. Raza is an insanely strong card for this deck and is usually even more important than Shadowreaper! The ability to heal for free in the mid-game can buy you valuable time until you find both pieces of the deadly combo.
Raza is almost a guaranteed keep in your opening hand – except when going first against a very aggressive opponent. If you have at least one other good card for the matchup (like Doomsayer, Potion of Madness, etc) then he’s a safe keep.
The main win-condition of our deck, and absolutely one of the best cards in Hearthstone right now! It should be kept every time in slower matchups.
Due to his Battlecry, Anduin is extremely strong even against aggressive decks. A lot of threats right now have 5 Attack or more! Bittertide Hydra, large Jade Golems, Savannah Highmane, and most buffed minions (including Bonemare and its targets) are natural prey.
Should be kept against aggressive decks to deal with their early minions and slow their board development. If you manage to stabilize the board and play either a 5-mana Kazakus Potion or a timely Raza you’ll usually be in a good position to win the game! Always keep versus Rogue, Hunter, (Murloc) Paladin, and Shaman. Also a great keep versus Mage and Warrior if they’re playing an aggressive variant.
Potion of Madness
Keep versus decks that have strong early game minions that must be dealt with. Especially versus Paladin, Hunter, and (Pirate) Warrior but not Shaman! Also very powerful in the Priest mirror to snipe Deathrattle minions.
Always keep, except against Handlock. More often than not, this minion should be played on turn 1, especially if your opponent’s deck relies on the early game.
Power Word: Shield
Surprisingly, one of the most important cards in slower matchups! Keep if you already have a target for it (like Northshire Cleric or Acolyte of Pain). You should usually aim to get Power Word: Shield from Shadow Visions in the mirror match.
In the mirror match you should plan to keep Bloodmage Thalnos and Novice Engineer in your opener. You want to draw as many cards as possible early, plus prevent your opponent from stealing Loot Hoarder, Thalnos, or Acolyte later in the game!
Shadow Word: Horror and Pint-Size Potion
Shadow Word: Horror should be always be kept against Shaman, especially with the Evolve token lists running amok! On the other hand, Pint-Size Potion should be never be kept by itself – but if you also have Shadow Word: Horror in your opening hand when going second, consider keeping both in matchups like Hunter and Paladin.
Ditch These Losers: Cards that Didn’t Make the Cut
Elise the Trailblazer
A decent card which helps with late-game resources, but you don’t need it! You’ll sometimes find yourself with too many unplayable cards in hand, and Elise definitely does not help with that. Despite some similarity to Prophet Velen, the latter is simply better because he enables some 30+ damage combos from your hand. You can also play him as a 7/7 and force aggressive decks to trade or risk losing the game on the spot!
Very good in the mirror but you can’t really afford playing such a slow spell in a fast meta. Curious Glimmerroot is a better option since the 3/3 body is important versus fast decks.
Other Razakus Variants
Do some digging and you’ll find several interesting variants on this list by top pros like Zalae, Neirea, and more. Razakus Priest is definitely among the strongest decks in Hearthstone right now, and there’s a lot of room for tech cards depending on which decks are popular! Wild Pyromancer is a good option against aggressive decks and can enable some powerful combos, while Mind Blast is often game-winning against slower opponents. Find the list that suits your playstyle, learn to mulligan correctly, and you’ll be ready to start dominating the ladder!