Ancient Watcher and why you should use it

Posts: 122
Ancient Watcher:

Mana Cost - 2
Stats - 4/5
Effect - Can't Attack

How many times have you been wishing you had that something to stop those rush decks, and that, at the same time, was effective overall? Well, Ancient Watcher is the answer. I had read comments of players and did not believe it at first, but he is the real deal. Why? Here's a few reasons:

1- He can be dropped on the field very early, at a time in which you won't have been dealt a lot of damage. Which means that, against rush decks, for instance, you can safely drop him at turn 2 with a Sunfury Protector on the 3rd or Defender of Argus on the 4th turn.

2- He often serves as bait. Many players see him and just assume he's gonna get buffed with taunt, and try to get rid of him right away. Which suits us fine as well.

3- After he gets taunt, that's a 2-mana cost wall that you have there, and your opponent will either trade a higher mana cost card for it or 2+ cards. All while defending your most valuable Hp!

"But to run Ancient Watcher you have to run Sunfury Protectors and Defenders of Argus". Yes, this is true. However, when it comes to control, having a 2/3 is not so different from having a 3/2, so a Sunfury Watcher on its own is kind of a 1-for-1 (141) card we can use (and, eventually, even buff up with another SW or a DoA). Defender of Argus, while having been nerfed, still serves as an excellent card that can provide with these other 2 minions (and all the others you run in your decks) a solid +1/+1 and taunt.

So all in all, Ancient Watcher has been the stall that I needed in many games, and has definitely earned his spot. Try him out, you won't regret it!
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Posts: 420
I don't use watcher because he is dependent on other cards for support, rare cards to boot, is defense orientated and can only attack with a silence, which is a waste.
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Posts: 271
02/13/2014 02:58 AMPosted by KidTaylorIII
I don't use watcher because he is dependent on other cards for support, rare cards to boot, is defense orientated and can only attack with a silence, which is a waste.


If you don't have silences in your deck, you're doing something wrong. While I agree that you need rare cards to make this combo work (Defender and Sunfury), it is, by far, the most effective Priest combination to stave off early aggro from rush decks. The number of cards it requires to work lends to its sustainability rather than detracting from it.
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Posts: 420
You are using a silence defensively, which is a waste of a silence slot. You are hoping for a two-card combo which involves at least 4 rares and two commons for adequate draw. It does not make sense that a 2-card combo is easier to draw than a one-card play. You still do not get any offensive option even if you pull off your combo. Your early game is forced into this play because 1/5 of your deck is dedicated to pulling this combo off.
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Posts: 375
Up to recently I used Watchers in my Priest deck, I generally like it and think it's a good card but I had too many games in row where I couldn't get any value from them due to bad draws/mulligan - I replaced them and I have to say (maybe unrelated but still..) I am doing much better on ladder nowadays. I tweaked my deck around Wild Pyromancers as defensive tool.

I don't use watcher because he is dependent on other cards for support, rare cards to boot, is defense orientated and can only attack with a silence, which is a waste.


If you don't have silences in your deck, you're doing something wrong. While I agree that you need rare cards to make this combo work (Defender and Sunfury), it is, by far, the most effective Priest combination to stave off early aggro from rush decks. The number of cards it requires to work lends to its sustainability rather than detracting from it.


Both best NA/EU players (both were #1 legend in their respected regions at some point) who exclusively play Priest class since the beginning of the beta don't use silence(s) in their decks.

I can give you their contact so you can teach them how to play Priest if you are up to it.
Edited by DenDron on 2/13/2014 3:41 AM PST
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Posts: 1,131
Ancient Watcher is probably one of my most used minion especially on a priest deck. He has been a staple since I got him... When playing aggro, if I don't get AW or Sunfury or at least one component, I mulligan everything... he eats too many of the opponents cards to not be included in my deck.

EDIT: Though recently, I've made more aggressive priests that uses Pyro and it works just as well as an early form of defense. I guess there's also a bit of flexibility in the priest line up.
Edited by Mythicman on 2/13/2014 3:53 AM PST
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Posts: 271
02/13/2014 03:38 AMPosted by DenDron
I can give you their contact so you can teach them how to play Priest if you are up to it.
Please do. I'm sure they'd love to learn a thing or three from their betters.
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Posts: 6,613
Though recently, I've made more aggressive priests that uses Pyro and it works just as well as an early form of defense. I guess there's also a bit of flexibility in the priest line up.


This is what I do, and it's working for me, so far. I understand the appeal of the watcher as a taunt unit. I do not like burning a silence to allow them to attack, though. He basically becomes a Yeti that cost 2 cards to field. With Pyro + Holy Smites and SW:P, I just haven't had that hard of a time vs rush decks, and I can almost always hold out until I can play Tazdingo at turn 4 and Holy Nova (if needed) on 5.

That being said, I don't have a problem with this combo. It's fine to run one in your deck, though I don't know if I'd run two. There are certainly benefits to being able to setup your wall over 2 turns and to have a 2/3 available with it. I don't think it completely overshadows Sen'jin as an option, though.
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Posts: 122
People think you need to spend a silence on Ancient Watcher to make it useful. The fact is, you don't. Priests don't really need to pop those 3 or 4 damage early game to make victory, unlike Hunters and the sort. As such, the fact that Ancient Watcher can't attack shouldn't really be seen as a disadvantage or as a "must-silence" condition.
He works as a wall, and he does it in a cheap fancy manner. While I agree that Wild Pyromancer can be useful in stalling your opponent, he's far more "delicate", he is dropped on the field with a "you're gonna die soon" debuff, while AW trades that debuff for a "can't attack" one. I take defense over offense in Priest early game any day, which is why I prefer the Watchers. (I myself have used Pyros before.. in fact, I think I have tried almost every single possible combo with priest, from Inner Fire to Crazed Alchemists).
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Posts: 15
I'm not going to throw all my versatility in the garbage so I can play this lame stall tactic. It just sounds boring and there are going to be times when it just doesn't pan out when you need it.
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Posts: 122
Define "versatility". Which cards are you talking about?
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Posts: 15
02/13/2014 06:26 PMPosted by Dorne282005
Define "versatility". Which cards are you talking about?
I mean I'd rather be able to play offensively if I have an opportunity to do so. I can't really do much damage with a defender of argus or sunfury. Why just turtle up and play defense automatically if you could be laying the smack down?
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Posts: 271
02/13/2014 02:46 PMPosted by alienj7
I'm not going to throw all my versatility in the garbage so I can play this lame stall tactic. It just sounds boring and there are going to be times when it just doesn't pan out when you need it.


One, I don't know if you've realized this, but there is no real rush deck for Priests. Your entire game is predicated on stalling the early game and taking it into late with removal and smart trades.

Two, you're talking about 8 cards that lend into this strategy with a little wiggle room for changes on the silences, and Sunfury protectors are a decent stat drop for 2 early if you need them. Regardless, I've had very few games where I didn't draw into a relevant combo early, not to mention that if I didn't, I probably drew into other early priest removal.

I'm extremely interested in which deck you're running on Priests that isn't a stall tactic or a consistent gamble for pure cheese.
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Posts: 122
02/13/2014 09:57 PMPosted by alienj7
Define "versatility". Which cards are you talking about?
I mean I'd rather be able to play offensively if I have an opportunity to do so. I can't really do much damage with a defender of argus or sunfury. Why just turtle up and play defense automatically if you could be laying the smack down?


Because if you try to "lay the smack down" on a guy who is trying to lay the smack down on you, you'll lose most of the times, simply because the probability of him having better support than you to do so is big. Priest lacks a lot in early game support for its minions, which means playing an offensive early game is less effective than it is in other classes. To add to that, Priest has two late game cards which I consider to be the best late game cards in the game: Cabal Shadow Priest and Mind Control. While they might look a bit too expensive at first sight, the advantage each of them brings is just huge.

Cabal Shadow Priest costs 2 more manas than a Chillwind Yeti (making example since they both have the same stats and the Yeti is vanilla) and lets you grab an opponent's small minion. So it's 2 manas for that effect, which could be translated into something like "Battlecry: summon a random <small> minion", and even if we're looking at a 2/1, it would be 6 manas for a 4/5 + 2/1. However, that 2/1 means your opponent just lost a 2/1 which most likely cost him 2 manas to get on the field. So you're getting clear advantage, regardless of the monster stolen. And needless to say, if you steal something like Thalnos/Loot Hoarder/Harvest Golem, that advantage ratio increases even more.

Mind Control is just plain sick. I remember watching Masters of Disguise, a few months ago, and at the start one of the magicians is doing a card trick where he says to the girl: "Pick a card, any card. Not this one (just for reference here, it was the bottom card of the deck) cause this one's too obvious". This applies so well to Mind Control. If you made it to mid game rather confortably, and managed to gain a bit of control through mid game (with Cabal Shadow Priests, heals and whatnot), then you're at a point where a small mistake can cost you the game, and a slight advantage can give you the game aswell. This is what happens with Mind Control. You'll clear the field with your small spells and your small minions, and make room for the big ones. Mind Control will make that nasty "will-make-you-use-2-cards" minion into pure advantage, and it only costs you the turn advantage, which may not even be noticed if you have field control by then. But my point is, use it well, and Mind Control finishes the game or, at the very least, gets you back in the game. You'll be stealing his best prize minion from his side of the field, which will make him spend something there. Which, at the very least (save for rare exceptions, ofc), turns Mind Control into a 1-for-2. Used well, you can almost ensure that it either means game or something very close to that or, if you're being overwhelmed, it will make you even the scale.

So, what I'm trying to say here is, I see Priest as control and late game, and Ancient Watchers are a cheap way to grant a solid early game, even if that means you won't be dishing out on your opponent's hp on the early turns.
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Posts: 652
Define "versatility". Which cards are you talking about?
I mean I'd rather be able to play offensively if I have an opportunity to do so. I can't really do much damage with a defender of argus or sunfury. Why just turtle up and play defense automatically if you could be laying the smack down?


You obviously shouldn't be playing Priest then. You'd be way better off playing an aggro class, because of the Priest hero power, what they do best IS turtling up.
Edited by Slade on 2/14/2014 3:02 AM PST
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Posts: 652
02/13/2014 03:25 AMPosted by KidTaylorIII
You are using a silence defensively, which is a waste of a silence slot. You are hoping for a two-card combo which involves at least 4 rares and two commons for adequate draw. It does not make sense that a 2-card combo is easier to draw than a one-card play. You still do not get any offensive option even if you pull off your combo. Your early game is forced into this play because 1/5 of your deck is dedicated to pulling this combo off.


Actually if you're running Sunfuries, Argus', and Spellbreakers they work for other things, crazy I know. You can use them if you don't have an Ancient Watcher out and in fact 2 of those 3 cards are staples in the vast majority of decks. You can even drop Sunfuries on turn 2 if you're in a tight spot and have nothing else as they can trade with 3/2s but also have 3 life to survive most low cost (Read: 2 damage) removals.

Ancient Watchers compliment these other cards a lot for sure, but generally Argus and Spellbreaker are in decks anyway...You're not putting them in there only for Ancient Watchers.
Edited by Slade on 2/14/2014 3:07 AM PST
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Posts: 284
Rarity aside these cards are yet another tool for stopping aggro, and they work fine. However the watchers aren't a "must include" like Sunfury Protectors and Argus are, because they're useless unless you have taunt or silence. There's only 4 cards that give taunt+whatever silence you draw, what are the chances you'll have this card in your hand by then? I mean, if I had a 3/2 Pyro instead I could taunt it with the SP or Argus just fine, it would work the same in stopping aggro. The difference is Pyro can be played and used to stop aggro on it's own or when you draw other spells instead of SP or Argus. In fact I don't run both SP and Argus, just Pyro with smite, SW:P and Abominations. Those deal with aggro adequately, and I don't have waste card slots on stuff that can enable watchers.
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Posts: 420
That's wrong, by running 4+2 in order to complete the combo, you have effectively crowded out your 2 mana range and potentially your 4 mana range as well.

All 6 cards are dependent on each other in order to run effectively. The question is not whether DOA or SFP are able to work on others, but is it feasible to run such a setup. Given a turn 1 draw of AW, the chance to draw a SFP is 7.69%. Completing the combo later than turn 5 renders it ineffective as an early blocker as you advertised.

If you are running the taunt setups on other minions, you are also reducing your own chances of completing it. Nobody attacks ancient watchers for no reason unless forced to. The OP is very misleading. This is essentially the reverse of the Inner Fire + Divine Spirit + X combo. That combo can win the game, but chances of it being pulled off are slim. I question the viability of this combo compared to IF+ DS, because that combo actually has been proven to win games. AI Druids using your combo do not. If you are running other high HP 2-3 minions and hoping to combo off them as well, I question whether AW is even needed and other minions can be used to substitute them.

Also, if there is an absence of minions on the field due to enemy removal, the 4 taunt enablers become deadweight, creating a situation similar to Sunwell Clerics when there are no minions being cost ineffective.

The people who are advocating this strategy have not done the math correctly and are basing their analysis off feelings. It is at best an unreliable secondary backup strategy but should in no way be relied on.
Edited by KidTaylorIII on 2/14/2014 7:24 AM PST
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Posts: 579
02/13/2014 03:38 AMPosted by DenDron
Up to recently I used Watchers in my Priest deck, I generally like it and think it's a good card but I had too many games in row where I couldn't get any value from them due to bad draws/mulligan - I replaced them and I have to say (maybe unrelated but still..) I am doing much better on ladder nowadays. I tweaked my deck around Wild Pyromancers as defensive tool.



If you don't have silences in your deck, you're doing something wrong. While I agree that you need rare cards to make this combo work (Defender and Sunfury), it is, by far, the most effective Priest combination to stave off early aggro from rush decks. The number of cards it requires to work lends to its sustainability rather than detracting from it.


Both best NA/EU players (both were #1 legend in their respected regions at some point) who exclusively play Priest class since the beginning of the beta don't use silence(s) in their decks.

I can give you their contact so you can teach them how to play Priest if you are up to it.


can you link me to their decks? i could use some pointers.
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Posts: 271
02/14/2014 07:22 AMPosted by KidTaylorIII
The people who are advocating this strategy have not done the math correctly and are basing their analysis off feelings. It is at best an unreliable secondary backup strategy but should in no way be relied on.


It's viable specifically because of secondary effects. Besides, most often, this combo isn't ran as six cards, but as eight. The final two pieces being silences of some type. This makes drawing into something far more likely. Also, with the sole exception of Ancient Watcher, all of the other cards are versatile enough that they can be played into other combos or used as threat removal.

The problem is that Priests suffer from a horrid early game. Any other combos take even more prayers to RNGesus to setup... and are dubious in effectiveness. We are crushed by early aggro. This provides the means to combat that and ALL of the cards play well in late game.
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