I hope that Blizzard is really doing what they deem reasonable and not just surrendering to nerf-whiners. That is why I normally just ignore topics like this. But since some of the recent changes indicate it might not be the case and that the whiners actually have an impact on the game, I feel the need to respond to this topic.
Mage got hit very badly by the previous nerfs and I understand that, because some aspects of Mage were unfun to play against and Mage was pretty powerful pre-freeze nerfs. The nerfs did a bit more than was expected and at this point the class feels not unplayable, but below average in constructed. Most of the expert Mage cards are currently out of the meta because they are either too slow or underpowered. Though Mage still has strong basic cards like Water Elemental, Fireball, Polymorph, Frostbolt and Flamestrike. The other five basic cards are mostly chosen not because they are good, but because Mage doesn't have better alternatives, the best example being Arcane Intelect which is arguably bad, but still generally the best reliable card draw mechanic the Mage has.
Let's focus on the good Mage cards - the five mentioned above, the five that people whine about and will keep on whining, because they are strong and because they are mostly spells - and new players and weak players hate spells, because they don't know the cards and don't plan against anything that isn't on the board. All these 5 cards seem very strong when taken individually, the thing is they aren't by any means OP. Their price is adequate to their effects. Also they aren't mana-curve friendly, because 3 of this 4 cards stack up on 4 mana - the spot where you'd prefer running neutral minions, cause most 4-drop minions are good. And Flamestrike, while powerful, is either taking the place of some of your late game or defining your deck as slow-paced.
Now considering Flamestrike in particular - first of all it's a SPELL! A spell card is used once and it's all the value you will get from it. A minion stays on the board and can deal damage constantly, thus not only giving you an advantage - because you are ahead, but also putting the opponent in a disadvantageous position - where he needs to remove/control or else he gets further behind. A minion in general can be played at any given moment in a game and it will still have similar value. Of course, it will be advantageous to play it on a clean board or having already secured board advantage, but still the value of the minion itself isn't greatly affected by the state of the board save for the extreme cases. A value of a damage spell is greatly affected by the state of the board, because playing a Flamestrike against a board of two totems is most of the time wrong. Playing almost any minion against a board of two totems will be reasonable.
So a spell is a situational card. Now consider that a situational card needs to be in the players hand precisely at the moment in which he needs to play it. If a situation calls for a Flamestrike and you don't have a Flamestrike in hand, you either die, or you trade unfavorably and get the Flamestrike in your hand in a position where the card isn't of that great help. Of course to some extent that could be said about almost every card. The thing is, Mages have very poor draw mechanics. Arcane Intelect makes your deck shorter and doesn't give a significant hand advantage. Gadgetzan Auctioneer is hard to combo because Mage spells tend to be too expensive. Acolyte of Pain is just slow and mana expensive, needs a very good setup to be efficient. Plus, Flamestrike is extremely expensive, so excluding Arcane Intelect, it's hard too look for the card and play it on the same turn.
All of this actually makes Flamestrike a clumsy card, that is really hard to use to it's full potential unless your opponent is playing into your hands by overextending - which is a common error of unexperienced players. If you are an experienced player and yet you are overextending and then blaming the loss on card balance, you're experienced but bad at the game, it's as simple as that, because Flamestrike isn't the only card that can hurt you if you overextend and you should be aware that most Mages will run this card. It's just like cards like for example Ragnaros, if you spend your hard removal on something small and then have no means of coping with a real threat, than you can't blame the card balance.
Another thing is that before the nerf of Blizzard, almost all Mages considered Flamestrike to be an overkill, situational card and valued it much less than the 5 mana 2 damage board wipe, that was comparable to both Consecration and Holy Nova. And Blizzard got nerfed not because the card was OP, but because all of the freeze plays combined were considered OP. So you're calling for a nerf to a card that Mages run only because their first choice card, comparable to other classes cards, already got nerfed.
Finally, you're crying about Mage removal, while Shaman's does basically the same and is far more efficient. Why aren't there as many whines about Shaman? Because Shaman removal are expert cards, so they're not that popular at lower ranks, or you can just whine in general that the game is P2W.
Edited by AJAvalanche on 2/11/2014 12:59 AM PST