I am a high legend player, currently at 64 legend on the NA server and I hit rank 1 legend at the start of the month. I play against a lot of Priest currently as they're a popular counter to Warrior in high legend.
Upcoming Balance Changes
The balance update announced for patch 17.6 should impact the meta heavily. With Demon Hunter and Galakrond Rogue seeing significant nerfs, it seems that the meta will slowdown considerably. A slower meta is great for Priest. Demon Hunter was a terrible match up and as its popularity goes down, it gives Priests more time to set up their game plan.
Playing around Priest removals
Priest is a heavy reactive class for the most part, they want you to play into their removals. It is your job to try to play around them as much as possible.
An example of this is Breath of the Infinite. Lets say I'm playing tempo Demon Hunter, we know the possibility of getting AOEd is possible on turn 3. We need to try to play around it as much as possible by either baiting the removal with a good enough board or by playing minions with more than 2 health.
Another example is Shadow Word: Death. In an optimal scenario, you would like to bait out SW:D so they your opponent is forced to use it on a mediocre minion. Once you've seen them use it, you can play more aggressive onto the board with big minions, which segues me into the next point.
Counting and Predicting Removals
- Priest can only run a certain amount of removals, 2 SW:D for examples. Keeping track of this information lets you make better plays against their removals and can force the Priest in an awkward spot.
- Thinking the turn ahead. If you're going into turn 5, Time Rip now becomes an option,so you might want to try to play two equally threatening minions to force them to only clear one.
- It also important to note that many of Priest's removals take up a lot of mana, so forcing them to play them off curve is a great way to ruin their game plan.
Deck trackers like HDT are very helpful for remembering what the Priest has used and not used in this game.
I will also say that I know priest can generate a lot of random stuff but I am only focusing on the cards in their deck, as we can 100% try to play around that.
Adapting your game plan
- Priest is a very slow deck for the most part, and often times their threats are not that threatening. This allows a lot of decks to take a much slower approach. A great example of this is keeping Skull of Gul'dan in the mulligan as tempo Demon Hunter.
- Going a for a bigger play than smaller plays, Priest has removals but often times it is really hard for them to deal with a lot of stuff at once. Examples of this is going for a huge burst combo with Egg/Enrage Warrior. Setting up a turn doing 24 damage from hand (Kor'kron Elite + 2x Inner rage + 2x Bloodsworn Mercenary) can put Priests in a very awkward spot.
- Don't play into spot removal. If you are only threatening them with only one minion on the board, the Priest will clear it will ease and you will only be hurting your chances of beating them.
- If you are playing against Resurrect Priest, consider changing your game plan to clearing the boards instead of trying to push damage, if your deck allows it.
I hope this guide helps you better navigate your games against Priest!
Here is a video in which I explain some these concepts