The Comprehensive Whizbang’s Workshop Preview


Data Reaper Report - Priest

Purifying Power

This might be the greatest reference in this set to a period in Hearthstone’s history. Purifying Power has arrived to unlock the fabled Unicorn Priest, a deck lost to time.

This is a Mass Dispel to our board, which then provides a sizable +1/+2 buff to our minions. Silencing our own minions is normally a brutal downside since many of them have important effects. In the case of Priest, proactive decks are heavily reliant on other buffs and effects, such as Overheal to gain an advantage.

Purifying Power can only fit a deck where silencing your own minions isn’t a drawback or possibly an advantage. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the set that suggests that a Silence Priest archetype is being supported. This is a one-off reference card that doesn’t synergize with anything else that the class has been given. The Core set is even dropping Humongous Razorleaf, which was the best neutral minion available to this theoretical archetype.

Unless we’re blind to the genius of Unicorn Priest, the day has not yet come for this meta breaker in waiting.

Score: 1

Careless Crafter

This 3-drop provides us with two Bandages when it dies. Each Bandage is a 0-mana spell that restores 3-health.

Careless Crafter is a bit undersized for a 3-drop, but its deathrattle is very valuable. If we’re simply looking at its value as a survivability tool, it gives us 6 health for 0 additional cost. Healing usually costs mana, which makes stabilizing against aggressive decks always a tricky thing to balance. You need to spend mana contesting the board and casting removal spells to deal with threats. Otherwise, whatever healing you spend mana on just gets chunked out by the repetitive damage of enemy minions you’ve been unable to deal with. Careless Crafter allows us to heal ourselves without sacrificing the fight for board control.

But there’s much more to Careless Crafter than just healing ourselves. Bandages are an incredible tool to activate Overheal minions. Almost every Priest deck runs Crimson Clergy, which draws two cards for no additional cost if we target it with a couple of Bandages. Bandages are amazing enablers for Injured Hauler and Heartbreaker Hedanis in Overheal Priest, considerably amplifying our AOE and OTK capabilities.

This card will absolutely see play in multiple Priest decks.

Score: 3

Papercraft Angel

A 3-mana 2/5 that sets your hero power’s cost to 0-mana as long as it’s in play. Papercraft Angel may have some nice utility in an Overheal Priest deck, but where it really shines is after we’ve played Raza the Resealed, one of the Priest legendary minions in the set.

Once our hero power refreshes every time we play a card, Papercraft Angel becomes a combo enabler and allows us to cast a chain of hero powers in a single turn. That hero power could represent damage though Reno, or chain healing on an Overheal minion, which could also be worth a lot of damage if our target is Hedanis!

It’s safe to say that if a deck runs Raza, it will also run Papercraft Angel, as it opens the door for some intimidating late game combos in the class that opponents may fear.

Score: 3

Scale Replica

Another draw 2 for 2-mana card. Scale Replica is a stronger version of Capture Coldtooth Mine for Dragons. It draws both the highest cost, and the lowest cost Dragons in our deck.

This is a major consistency boost to the Dragon archetype in the class, which is getting significant support in this set, at least as a package of cards that may support the game plan of different Priest decks.

The Dragon tribe is characterized by the “Dragon in hand” condition, so Scale Replica is a good glue card that makes sure our payoffs are active. Specifically, Scale Replica is a good enabler for Fly Off the Shelves, since we want to have as many Dragons in our hand as possible to boost its AOE effect.

Considering how good some of the Dragons are in this Priest set, it’s very likely that Scale Replica will be involved.

Score: 3

Fly Off the Shelves

An AOE spell that deals damage based on the number of Dragons in your hand. The count starts at 1 damage, with each Dragon causing a further increase of damage. If we have three Dragons in hand, this spell deals a total of 4 damage to all enemy minions.

In a dedicated Dragon Priest with Scale Replica, Fly Off the Shelves might be able to consistently deal 4-5 damage to an enemy board. For 4-mana, such an asymmetrical AOE effect seems very strong.

But when looking into the Dragon tribe in Priest more closely, the card quality available is very low. It seems that Priest is more likely to run a small Dragon package just for the sake of activating Zarimi, which we’ll talk about later, rather than a robust tribal deck like Dragon Druid. In such a scenario, Fly Off the Shelves wouldn’t be very strong, even if we take Scale Replica into account.

We think this card might be surprisingly underwhelming in Priest decks at the expansion’s launch unless mediocre neutrals end up being correct choices for the class. It’s very likely to become strong once there is a real incentive to run a dedicated tribal deck.

Score: 2

Clay Matriarch

Clay Matriarch is the primary Priest Dragon in this set, and it packs a lot of punch in terms of stats and board presence. The initial body is a 6-mana 3/7 taunt that summons an Elusive 4/4 Dragon when it dies. An Elusive 4/4 minion is easily worth 3-mana, so paying 3 more mana for a 3/7 taunt passes the vanilla test with flying colors. This makes Clay Matriarch a strong card at its baseline.

But what really tips it over the edge is its Miniaturize ability. We get a 1/1 taunt with the same deathrattle that summons an Elusive 4/4 Dragon. This package of stats for the total cost of 7-mana is just good.

What’s more is that Clay Matriarch summons a total of 4 Dragons when it’s played and all its deathrattles are resolved. This is very important in the context of Zarimi, as a single Clay Matriarch nearly activates Zarimi by itself. This encourages Priest to stick with a small Dragon package and Scale Replica, while still enjoying the benefit of Zarimi.

Clay Matriarch is a strong defensive card that enables one of the best cards in the set. It will see play in every Zarimi deck.

Score: 3

Chalk Artist

Chalk Artist draws a minion and transforms it into a random legendary minion. It keeps the original cost and stats of the drawn minion. This is a card no Priest deck with a streamlined game plan will be interested in. You’re not going to turn your core minions into random garbage.

What’s clear is that the minion drawn doesn’t matter, only its stats and cost do. This makes Chalk Artist a similar card to The Stars Align. Both cards likely belong to the same deck, where you run cheap fodder minions and try to cheese your opponent with randomly generated garbage, much like Energy Shaper has successfully done in Mage after it was buffed.

A Stars Aligned Priest is nowhere near competitive, and we don’t think Chalk Artist makes it one. Not every legendary minion out there has a game changing ability that can cheese games when it’s played early. There’s no method to madness here. This is a fun meme card for those looking to have fun rather than win.

Score: 1


Repackage is a… repacked Psychic Scream. Same cost and ability to bypass deathrattles, Repackage yoinks ALL minions from the board and sends them into the deck. The difference is that Repackage puts all the minions into a 2-cost spell that is shuffled into the opponent’s deck. For the opponent to be able to play these minions, they need to cast the 2-cost spell. It works like a Fizzle Snapshot.

For most intents and purposes, this is Psychic Scream, one of the most powerful AOE effects in the history of the game. It is Psychic Scream that elevated Razakus Priest from a competitive deck during Knights of the Frozen Throne, into a dominant deck during Kobolds & Catacombs.

We do think Repackage feels a little better to play against. Psychic Scream could shuffle a bunch of trash minions into your deck, so you’d draw each minion separately. It had a disruptive effect on your draws, much like a Bad Luck Albatross. The Repackaged box is just one draw, and it could be a decent find in the right circumstances.

Nevertheless, this is a debilitating AOE effect that instantly goes into every Priest deck with even the slightest need of reactive tools. It’s the first removal card you put into your Priest deck. A massive boost in the class’ survivability, to complement what might be its newfound late game lethality.

Is this a sign of history returning?

Score: 4

Raza the Resealed

Speaking of Raza Priest… Raza has returned with the same iconic cost and stats distribution. Once again, Raza modifies your hero power, but does not require the highlander deck restriction. Interestingly, his ability is akin to the one of his old partner, Shadowreaper Anduin. For the rest of the game, your hero power is refreshed every time you play a card.

This works on newly acquired hero powers too, so if you play Raza and then play Reno, Reno’s hero power will refresh accordingly. However, note that Reno’s hero power does not switch form on each use. The same hero power will persist through the full turn, even if refreshed multiple times.

Reno has one hero power that is particularly scary with Raza: Arcane Bullet that refreshes mana crystals every time we cast it, so we could potentially set its cost to 0 mana with Papercraft Angel and just machine gun our opponent to death. It’s one of seven different hero powers, so the Priest must wait for the turn when it randomly comes online. Not as reliable as Shadowreaper Anduin.

But even if we don’t get infinite mana on a single turn, Raza seems to have great synergy with Reno regardless of the hero power. Damage is damage.

Another deck that will likely use Raza is Overheal Priest. In this deck, there’s no need to convert our hero power, because repeatedly healing Heartbreaker Hedanis thanks to Papercraft Angel is going to deal insane amounts of damage to our opponent.

We expect Raza to become a cornerstone card in the class going forward. Get ready.

Score: 4

Timewinder Zarimi

As the final punchline, we’ve got Timewinder Zarimi, which is… Time Warp. Priest is getting a 5-mana 4/6 Time Warp. What? Hello?

Zarimi gives the Priest an extra turn if they’ve summoned 5 other Dragons over the course of the game. This can only happen once per game. You cannot play multiple copies of Zarimi and get more than one extra turn. This is a logical limitation considering Priest has access to Power Word: Synchronize and Creation Protocol. It would be absurdly broken otherwise.

Nevertheless, Zarimi just seems like a completely insane card. An extra turn transforms Priest from a slow, grindy class into one that’s capable of obliterating the opponent in one move.

A Reno Priest deck with Raza may suddenly acquire OTK capabilities not different from its predecessor Razakus Priest. Overheal Priest may also use it to further enhance its late game. Other Priest decks may look to abuse stat development alongside Zarimi to kill the opponent without a response. Such options include Astral Automaton and Playhouse Giant. Of course, we all remember what Illucia used to do in Shadow Priest. Aggressive Priest decks may even emerge and turn Time Warp into their finishing move.

All of that is possible because Zarimi is so easy to activate thanks to Clay Matriarch and Scale Replica. We just need to find one Clay Matriarch, and one other dragon. That’s it. This package can reasonably be included in every Priest deck. We think it likely will.

This card just doesn’t seem like an April release card. It looks like something you print in the January mini-set and nerf in February. Probably the most busted card in the set. Possibly one of the most busted cards in the game’s 10-year history.

It doesn’t feel real at all.

Score: 4

Final Thoughts

Whizbang’s Workshop Set Rank: 1st

Overall Power Ranking:  4th

It’s been a long time since Priest got so much hype before the beginning of an expansion, but we think that hype has more than enough merit. This Whizbang’s Workshop set is phenomenal and might be remembered as one of the best sets in the Priest class’s history.

It’s got everything we could possibly want for a class that has been struggling to find a late game identity beyond “slowly grinding the opponent into sand”. While Overheal Priest has made a brief, meta breaking appearance at the end of Badlands, the class has mostly floundered as a fringe, situational choice.

These days could be over because Priest is done with the grind. It is time for Priest to kill opponents in a proactive, premeditated fashion. Zarimi is at the center of the class’ newfound lethality. There are so many things we can do with Zarimi to win Hearthstone games. Aggression from the onset. Massive swings that turn the corner. Late game combos that are easy to build up and extremely difficult to prevent. You name it, Zarimi can accomplish it. We still can’t believe this is a real Hearthstone card.

And then you got Raza, who is hilariously being overshadowed by Zarimi, yet also offers an extremely powerful ability that can help Priest execute effective late game win conditions with frightening lethality. Raza can turn the tame Reno Priest into a ferocious Raza Priest. It can help Overheal Priest execute Hedanis OTK combos that deal Phylactery levels of damage.

And then you look at the subtle additions of consistency. Clay Matriarch almost activates Zarimi by itself. Scale Replica draws whatever dragon package you opt into, which makes Zarimi very consistent. Papercraft Angel enables Raza Miracle turns. Careless Crafter is a glue card that likely goes into every Priest deck because Bandages are always useful.

And if there was any doubt that this set was a winner, you only need to look at Repackage, which is a new Psychic Scream level AOE that offers Priest the best panic button it’s seen in years. We do find it interesting that this is the second time Priest gets this kind of AOE when its late game is poised to become lethal, much like in the days of Knight of the Frozen Throne into Kobolds & Catacombs.

Those days might return. Peak Anduin gameplay is reloading.

1 Comment

  1. Good read overall, but the write up on Timewinder Zarimi is a bit over the top. It just screams, “Blizz, if you’re reading our article nerf this card now!”, and I think it’s way too early to jump to that conclusion. Time Warp effects are strong, but it’s no more strong than OTK card strategies; one could argue it’s actually weaker cause you need two turns in a row to win when other decks can OTK.

    A weakness with Timewinder Zarimi that shouldn’t be ignored is its reliance on dragon tribe. Can’t just put in any deck, must devote enough other cards to get to 5 dragons.

    TLDR – Let’s try not to put a target on cards to nerf before they’re actually a problem.

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