While every other post is still about how expensive Hearthstone is, some of us actually enjoy the game. Main reasons that I still play it after almost 7 years is the simplicity of the cards, animations and voicing. None of the other card games I played came even close in my opinion.
Anyway, this is not a post about the state of the game but rather about the deck I have played to get legend this season. It is a priest highlander deck. I named it after my favorite teacher, Illucia, because she is the MVP of the deck. She is the ultimate C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER. She is definitely viable even after the nerf, because priest got some RNG based mana reducing cards this season and when they hit Illucia she becomes deadly.
My win rate is 44-29 (60%) Average game is 12 turns (10 minutes) It is best against Warrior which is one of the slowest OTK decks in this meta; the Il’gynoth OTK Demon Hunter as well as any C’thun, the Shattered deck.
Summary stats https://imgur.com/wjAEey5
Vs Each Hero https://imgur.com/HDeXLTN
Cards and Mulligan
Raise Dead: Keep it if you have Zephyrs, Wandmaker or Wild Pyro (against aggro decks)
Animated Broomstick: Keep against Hunter (cheap way to trigger secrets) and Demon Hunter if you have any other 1-2 mana minions. Helps fighting for the board
Draconic Studies: Mana reduction is always welcome, best picks are Cobalt Spellkin against aggro decks, Evasive Wyrm against midrange decks and Dragonqueen Alex against control decks
Psychic Conjurer: early board presence and value card
Renew: Must have, keep it against aggro decks, especially if you have Pyro
Wave of Apathy: Stalls the board damage for 1 turn, steals a minion when comboed with Cabal Acolyte
Insight: More mana reduction and card draw, keep it if you are playing against Warrior and Druid
Penance: Board clear and health, perfect against Bonechewer Brawler and Manafeeder Panthara
Sethekk Veilweaver: Mostly value card but feel free to play it on turn 2 to fight for the board. Any fool who lets it survive will feel a great deal of pain
Shadow Word Death: Only keep against Rogue, because of Edwin and Questing Adventurer
Thoughtsteal: Only keep against Mage, Warrior and Druid. The sooner you know what your opponent is up to the better. It is ok to play on turn 2 if it comes from mulligan against Demon Hunter and you don’t have a better play. It often gives you their board removal tools which is always welcome
Wandmaker: Early board presence and card generation. Priest has very good 1 mana spells. The worst outcome is probably Inner Fire but even that has its use sometimes.
Wild Pyromancer: Clears the board from those pesky 1-2 health minions. On turn 5 and later can be comboed with Apotheosis for some nice health generation in addition to the board clear. Keep against Hunter, Demon Hunter, Rogue and Shaman
Zephrys the Great: Panic Card. Can be kept against any deck. Especially when you have Raise Dead in hand
Apotheosis: Very versatile card. Ideal targets are Animated Broomstick (turn 4+), Wild Pyro (Turn 5+) and Siamat (Turn 10+)
Breath of the Infinite: Early board clear, love it. Must keep against aggro decks, including Shaman.
Madame Lazul: Treat it as Thoughtsteal, best against OTK, Combo and Control decks. Can be replaced with something else if you are running into too many aggro decks
Mindrender Illucia: There she is, the bane of OTK decks. Messes up their “fun and interactive” plans and prevents C’thun from coming into existence. If you are against an OTK deck, the best is to keep her until turn 9-10 to play as many of their cards as possible. Also keep track of the cards they have been keeping in their hand for more than 5 turns. Make sure there is at least one such card. Keep against Warrior and Warlock.
Nazmani Bloodweaver: Mana reducer. Good stats. With so many cheap spells she is almost always useful. Too bad she can hit 0 cost cards, so prioritize them over other spells if there is an appropriate target for them.
Palm Reading: More mana reduction for spells. Sets up the stage for Nazmani after you have played Wandmaker/Cobalt Spellkin
Cabal Acolyte: We all know the combo with Wave of Apathy but he can also be played with other cheap spells to steal a minion to fight for the board
Holy Nova: More board clear, never sad to see this card
Shadow Word Ruin: Very good against paladin when they pressure you with their Libram of Hope, comboed with Argent Braggart. Never keep it though. Zephrys can find a copy of it in case of panic.
Cobalt Spellkin: Same as Wandmaker, cheap spell generator
Kronx Dragonhoof: Board Clear and Finisher. Never keep
Galakrond, the Unspeakable: Ultimate value card, never keep
Siamat: Almost always played as a rush minion. Can go with Divine Shield + Taunt on an empty board if you are looking for some protection from Weapon Damage
Soul Mirror: Another board clear.
Dragonqueen Alexstrasza: I very rarely get the chance to play this card, so definitely replaceable with something cheaper but I love the card and will play it whenever can.
Plague of Death: Ultimate board clear. Best against paladin when they go all in on the board damage.
How to play the deck?
I added some of my replays if you prefer a visual guidance. Cover opponent’s hand and pause at each turn to see how you would have played.
Against Aggro and Midrange decks: Board control is the utmost importance. Value and mana reduction cards can be played when the opponent’s board is not much of a threat. Don’t waste healing.
Demon Hunter: https://hsreplay.net/replay/decNY3UgJMjHiUTo67mGfA Hunter: https://hsreplay.net/replay/9bG4dpei68dtVYwBFDQiq7 Rogue: https://hsreplay.net/replay/Ag9cp7mvA7rLvd7mG6Uyw8 Shaman: https://hsreplay.net/replay/3LnKVLuTvYDJqjpceq7R7n
Against Combo and OTK decks: Illucia is the answer. This includes all the C’thun decks and Tickatus Warlock which aims to destroy 10 cards from your deck. Once your opponent plays a 7 cost card and you have at least 9 mana you can play her especially if they played a “draw demon card” and/or kept a card in their hand for longer than 4 turns. Hopefully Tickatus will destroy some of their important cards. Also try not to give them your Galakrond while you are playing Illucia.
Warrior (OTK): https://hsreplay.net/replay/PbABi5ba6GsmoDZKNgWKoV Warlock (Tickatus): https://hsreplay.net/replay/hmTrpqFvRnXyvcp5S8VajX Priest (C’thun): https://hsreplay.net/replay/BzyaVXY4XXxMg5CZW72ivS Druid (C’thun, Highlander): https://hsreplay.net/replay/yNesYzyKUZNwQSyhUaqNFP Rogue (C’thun): https://hsreplay.net/replay/EoyxFRpyeuPNFk4Kzr8UTK Mage (C’thun): https://hsreplay.net/replay/8Hc2xgBFpBHhGngVevuHpa
Against Control/Fatigue decks: Galakrond provides endless value and we don’t have much card draw to worry about fatigue. Unfortunately, not many of these decks are left in this Demon Hunter infested meta
Pure Paladin: https://hsreplay.net/replay/efKx65a97WbvSNinrfxXEX Druid (Clown): https://hsreplay.net/replay/TKiPfALECVrkoWKYjCJCFF
Against Weapon Decks, looking at you Soul Demon Hunter: there is not much we can do but keep clearing the board and healing at every chance. If you suspect they are also running Il’gynoth, which I run into 1 or 2 such decks (they suspiciously keep some cards in hand) then look for a chance to play Illucia to disrupt their plans.
Demon Hunter: https://hsreplay.net/replay/m8Lgv4qSthSpbMueCiJSf4
I hope this helps. I will try to answer any questions you have in the comments.