A high level player's thoughts:Priest design.

Posts: 133
Hi, I will introduce myself quickly - I have placed highly in a few managrind tournaments so far and was very likely the first person in the world to hit level 60 on priest. I have very extensive knowledge of this class.

First things first : Mind control is overpowered, and will be fine at 10 mana. I agree with this change.

Mind control in design SHOULD be a niche card, run only when the meta is very late game-centric.

That said, priest as a whole needs several tweaks and re-works. Even with the overpowered state of mind control, priest is one of the weakest classes in the game BY FAR. Priest has not won a single tournament so far except in Artosis' blizz-con deck rotation and the competition was popular players not skilled players.

Priest is very weak to classes with cheap removal who can establish board presence very easily - Priest cards rely on having board control without actually offering any way to reliably establish board control in the first place.

1. Pain - very good card but it costs 2 mana which means in early turns you give them initiative back when you cast it, surrendering board control. It also isn't affected by spellpower and thus can't be scaled up to take out bigger minions.

2. death - very powerful card but is a dead card most of the time due to the fact that low end neutral minions are more viable in competitive play than high end ones.

3. mind control - very good card except for the fact that with the way priest is designed, by the time you get to turn 8 you're probably already well on your way to losing if you haven't already.

4. shadow madness - very powerful card but is super situational. This card leaves room for the enemy to play around it. Sometimes the enemy just randomly wins the game because so many of the priest cards are dead cards until the perfect situation arises (which a skilled opponent will try very hard to not let happen).

5. Holy nova - oftentimes this card is too little, too late. This type of spell is put in a deck for the damage, not the heal, causing spells like consecration or lightning storm to be strictly better since they can be casted and comboed with at earlier points in the game. Most of the time by turn 5 2 damage isn't enough to make any significant come backs.

6. Other classes get things like backstab, soulfire, lightning bolt, rockbiter weapon, fiery war axe, stormforged axe which pretty much gaurantee board control unless the opposing player retaliates with similar low cost removal spells. Priest has no such spell, pain is the closest and it costs 2 mana compared to 1 or 0 which means you oftentimes cant couple it with a minion in the same turn like other classes can. This means priests always lose board control early on, and with the efficiency of buffer minions and the initiative advantage this almost always snowballs into a quick loss for the priest player.
tl;dr : priest cards cost more mana for the same thing.

7. The Priest class specific minions are garbage, so every other class has access to the same or better quality of minions that priest has depending on their class specifics (see S1:7 agent or flame imp). Lightspawn is gimmicky and bad, northshire cleric is gimmicky and bad, velen is too slow, temple enforcer is too slow and assumes board control (despite priests inability to establish board control). Cabal shadow priest is the only good priest minion and it is put in the very competitive 6 mana slot with cards like holy fire, sunwalker, argent commander, temple enforcer. This brings me to my final point.

Priest minions and spells need to be re worked to fit into smaller mana slots so that priest curves are more balanced and are better suited to establishing board control - temple enforcer should be a 3-3 for 3 drop that adds 2 HP rather than a 6 drop that adds 3. Cabal shadow priest should be a 5 drop with the same stats and effect. Smite should be 0 mana to be competitive with backstab and soul fire. Holy nova should be changed to either 4 mana or changed to deal 3 damage to everything. Holy fire should be rebalanced to be a 0, 2, 3 or 4 mana spell.

Maybe not all of these changes should be made as they are all vast improvements, but they are suggestions that would improve the class' ability to fight over board control rather than be forced into lying down and taking it like priests do now. That is the essence of what I'm trying to convey - board control is everything for priest and currently it's not even a fair fight compared to classes like warlock or rogue or shaman or mage.

TL;DR: nerfing mind control is fine, just buff other stuff that will give priests a fighting chance.
Edited by Kisstafer on 11/18/2013 2:41 AM PST
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Posts: 8
Priest underpowered... interesting...
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Posts: 118
I don't really think that priests are "underpowered" at the moment nor do I agree with you that Mind Control is an overpowered spell or that the 10 mana cost changes anything.

I do however agree with you on the class minions like Light Spawn and Temple Enforcer - rather cards in general like Thoughtsteal, Mind Games, Inner Fire, and Divine Spirit. In general all of these cards aren't anything special - with the exception of maybe Temple Enforcer (I do like your suggestion for that card though, it would certainly help a lot with early board control).

I also agree with you on cards like Holy Smite vs Soul Fire/Backstab/etc

All in all I would love to see certain Priest cards removed/reworked to help with board control situations.
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Posts: 114
Great post that needs attention!

Priest has very powerful tools for control but (pain,death, shadow madness) they are easy to go around.

Not only do I notice more and more 4 attack minions in decks but aggro decks take early control and there is almost no way of making a comeback once a priest has lost the first 1-2 turns.

The only comebacks I have made are very situational:
- Opponent had lot of <3 minions giving me 1 or 2 shadow madness to trade efficiently with.
- Opponent had 2-3 strong minions -> I got out Sylvanas (which ofc is not related to priest), suicide her into one of the minions and got one of the stronger ones.

Basically that's it. I specially agree on the pain part.

If my opponent gets out a minion before me in the first 2 turns I have two choices:
- Cast a spell (pain or smite) and give back control for next turn
- Take a risk and not cast a spell but instead get out a minion hoping that in the next turn my opponent doesn't throw out a minion that buffs the first one making him not only kill my only minion but now he has 2 vs mine 0.

So here I am sitting and waiting for shadow madness or pray that holy nova will at least kill one or two his minions so I can make comeback.

Also what's up with velen. By the time velen comes out the game is nearly always decided for a priest.

1) Either I have already control which then makes priest hard to beat at turn 7 and onwards -> I don't need velen, I will kill my opponent with good neutral cards already.

2) Or I don't have board control in which case velen is a sitting duck and I will be better off with lot of other neutral legendary cards that at least will do something at the end of my turn.

So velen comes out at a point where the game for a priest is already decided making it a useless card in most cases where other legendaries will do a lot better.
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Posts: 5
A lot of ppl who are complaining 'bout Mind Control, are those ppl , who just putting everything on a single minion. They think if this minion has 10/10 & a lot of positive effects, they won.

They aren't ready for a instantly change on the board & just starting to complain, 'bout how OP MC is.

What about to think for a following 2-3 turns? What will you do if something will happen with your minion?

And guys, all of you know 'bout Mind Control, so just swarm a lot of minions!
Edited by Discepless on 11/18/2013 1:43 PM PST
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Posts: 177
I have played priest a lot and against them a lot, been a 3 star master for over 3 weeks now and at least 50+ games. I agree with you a lot about priest general design, if you can somehow get board control from them, they have a hard time getting it back from you, but you have no real way of getting board control in from your opponent if he has it. They have no class only "comeback cards", warriors and pally's got weapons, mages and shaman's got massive AOE, Druid got a little of each, Rogue got lots of zero cost cards and good creatures and warlocks got Free cost spells and the best mass board wipe. Priest need something to help them when the other player just decides to play 4 power creatures, and most of the good ones being used are 4 power (yeti, spellbreaker, drake, etc..)

I disagree about MC, i think it is fine as is. I have yet to lose a game to MC. Yes I have lost to Priest and they have played MC on one of my creatures, but it wasn;t MC that cause me to lose the game, it was because he manage to stall to turn 8 while denying me strong board control. 90% of the time if MC cause you to lose the game you either:
A: made a dumb move, play a giant creature for no reason
B: were losing anyway, play a giant creature in the hopes of swing the game back into your favor, but at this point probably a silence, or a shadow word death would have cause you to lose the game anyways

If you have 3-4 mid game creatures (3-5 cost) on the board, a mind control is not going to help a priest deck, it is probably a bad move to play it, better to use the 8 mana to get some defenses up and kill a creature, then to take control of his yeti then have your opponent punch you in the face with the rest of his creatures for 7-9 damage then cast another yeti.

Currently priest is a late game control deck, so yeah if they get to late game they will generally win but I don;t see the issue with that, that is what they are design to do. It is like saying "i can't out weenie biltz a warlock deck", with a warrior deck.
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Posts: 177
^^ this only apples to constructed play. MC in arena is stupid only because you don't have the key cards to make a good rush deck all the time and usually will depend on big creature late. I wish there was a way to fix MC in arena but leave it alone in constructed.
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Posts: 5
Pretty much agree with OP. Early aggro decks that establish board control easily destroy priests decks. They get nearly everything down faster and clear whatever I throw down with ease. Use Shadow Word Pain? They got more where that came from. Shadow Word Death? Nearly useless. Works in unranked where people tend to love throwing down big monsters. Even if I manage to establish board, my life is at critical levels. Most of the time I have to wait for late game or hope they run mid to late-centric decks. I'd be happy if they just change Holy Nova to deal 3 and heal for 1 instead.
Edited by Juttes on 11/23/2013 5:14 AM PST
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Posts: 5,620
didnt a priest win a Euro mana grind tournament with a priest deck he refered as anti-aggro?
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Posts: 177
if you look at the deck it really didn't play a lot of priest cards itself and just ran a lot of anti rush netural cards. It also depended on the circle of healing with the soulpriest combo to mass nuke the board for 4 if you lose board control. Believe me when I tell you, that combo is amazing if it goes off, but you need 2 key cards at the right time with no search and no class specific card draw, so it is fairly iffy if you get it unless you get amazing luck.
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Posts: 11
Rush Decks > Priest decks... its simple... a priest cannot contend with a rush deck... and well that's what everyone runs with. Except those who are complaining that priests are OP. when in reality most priests lost 60-70% of the time.
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Posts: 5
Hello

I think i agree with you totally, priest although great at giving you board control, tends to leave you with trash mobs to play with. I really just go R&G with priest and use thought steal etc in the hope i get some of the other guys fancy mobs (i did once get deathwing, which helped perfectly when he played deathwing)

Mind control is always going to be a sore topic, having it played against you is as the card says "nominated as "spell most likely to make your opponent punch the wall" i tend to never play a high card against a priest if possible and if i do i always make sure i got something to remove that card or make it useless if it does get MCed. Obviously the best way is to provoke them into using MC (i found sticking out some 6 cost cards such as the taunt one and stormwind champ usually does it)

I hate MC and i love it when i play a priest... But it is very much a enforcing your dominance... a few times i have had board control and out comes a druids 8/8 taunt guy as his last ditch, you MC it and pretty much you said "i win".... but saying that i have lost a few games with 2 MCs in my hand and no real use, Shadow madness is far more potent,especially early game (you can even use it to ninja al akir thinking about it)
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Posts: 3,349
Hi, I will introduce myself quickly - I have placed highly in a few managrind tournaments so far and was very likely the first person in the world to hit level 60 on priest. I have very extensive knowledge of this class.

First things first : Mind control is overpowered, and will be fine at 10 mana. I agree with this change.

Mind control in design SHOULD be a niche card, run only when the meta is very late game-centric.

That said, priest as a whole needs several tweaks and re-works. Even with the overpowered state of mind control, priest is one of the weakest classes in the game BY FAR. Priest has not won a single tournament so far except in Artosis' blizz-con deck rotation and the competition was popular players not skilled players.

Priest is very weak to classes with cheap removal who can establish board presence very easily - Priest cards rely on having board control without actually offering any way to reliably establish board control in the first place.

1. Pain - very good card but it costs 2 mana which means in early turns you give them initiative back when you cast it, surrendering board control. It also isn't affected by spellpower and thus can't be scaled up to take out bigger minions.

2. death - very powerful card but is a dead card most of the time due to the fact that low end neutral minions are more viable in competitive play than high end ones.

3. mind control - very good card except for the fact that with the way priest is designed, by the time you get to turn 8 you're probably already well on your way to losing if you haven't already.

4. shadow madness - very powerful card but is super situational. This card leaves room for the enemy to play around it. Sometimes the enemy just randomly wins the game because so many of the priest cards are dead cards until the perfect situation arises (which a skilled opponent will try very hard to not let happen).

5. Holy nova - oftentimes this card is too little, too late. This type of spell is put in a deck for the damage, not the heal, causing spells like consecration or lightning storm to be strictly better since they can be casted and comboed with at earlier points in the game. Most of the time by turn 5 2 damage isn't enough to make any significant come backs.

6. Other classes get things like backstab, soulfire, lightning bolt, rockbiter weapon, fiery war axe, stormforged axe which pretty much gaurantee board control unless the opposing player retaliates with similar low cost removal spells. Priest has no such spell, pain is the closest and it costs 2 mana compared to 1 or 0 which means you oftentimes cant couple it with a minion in the same turn like other classes can. This means priests always lose board control early on, and with the efficiency of buffer minions and the initiative advantage this almost always snowballs into a quick loss for the priest player.
tl;dr : priest cards cost more mana for the same thing.

7. The Priest class specific minions are garbage, so every other class has access to the same or better quality of minions that priest has depending on their class specifics (see S1:7 agent or flame imp). Lightspawn is gimmicky and bad, northshire cleric is gimmicky and bad, velen is too slow, temple enforcer is too slow and assumes board control (despite priests inability to establish board control). Cabal shadow priest is the only good priest minion and it is put in the very competitive 6 mana slot with cards like holy fire, sunwalker, argent commander, temple enforcer. This brings me to my final point.

Priest minions and spells need to be re worked to fit into smaller mana slots so that priest curves are more balanced and are better suited to establishing board control - temple enforcer should be a 3-3 for 3 drop that adds 2 HP rather than a 6 drop that adds 3. Cabal shadow priest should be a 5 drop with the same stats and effect. Smite should be 0 mana to be competitive with backstab and soul fire. Holy nova should be changed to either 4 mana or changed to deal 3 damage to everything. Holy fire should be rebalanced to be a 0, 2, 3 or 4 mana spell.

Maybe not all of these changes should be made as they are all vast improvements, but they are suggestions that would improve the class' ability to fight over board control rather than be forced into lying down and taking it like priests do now. That is the essence of what I'm trying to convey - board control is everything for priest and currently it's not even a fair fight compared to classes like warlock or rogue or shaman or mage.

TL;DR: nerfing mind control is fine, just buff other stuff that will give priests a fighting chance.


Very well said and well structured post Kisstafer.

I agree on all points.

I think a simple tweak to Shadow Word:Big and Shadow Word:Little could go a long way to set Priests right.

One possible suggestion is to increase the mana cost of Power Word:Big to 4 mana but allow it to target 4 attack and up. Maybe also increase Pain to 3 mana to balance the suit of removal together though.
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Posts: 169
I agree with you 100% on most points. The only three points that absolutely don't agree with you on would be the point regarding Mind Control, the point regarding Holy Fire and the point regarding Holy Smite.

Quite often, Mind Control has 100% been the cause of me coming back and winning the match. How it has done has simply been because my opponent overextended and played a big, beefy taunt and then I MC it and it, somehow, bought me enough time to heal myself back up.

I don't agree with Holy Fire simply because of the 5 Health heal aspect of the card. The only reason as to why a Mage's Fireball is 4 mana for 6 damage is because that's all it is (4 mana for 6 damage). If the cost of Holy Fire was lowered to anything other then 5 mana, I'd consider it to be too strong. However. If they lowered the heal portion of the card as well, then maybe it could work.

And lastly. I don't agree with your take on Holy Smite, simply because if they were to do this to a Priest's Holy Smite, they'd have to do it to a Hunter's Arcane Shot as well. I suppose you could argue that this should've been the case from the get-go though.

All-In-All. A fantastic post. I wish I had found it sooner to prove to myself that I'm not insane, haha.
Edited by JohnCP on 11/28/2013 11:38 PM PST
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Posts: 951
I think an important thing to note about Shadow Word: Death, is that while it's sometimes a "dead" card, that actually works somewhat in the Priest's favor, as it means players can't bait out Priest into misusing it like it's possible for Hex, Polymorph, Assassinate, etc..

Because of this, people are wearier of SW: Death then the removal of other classes, when building their decks over during actual games with Priests.

----

I do not think Priest minions need buffs.
What they need is for Shadow Word: Death to be replaced with something more consistent (like Hex or Assassinate, but Priest-like). This would resolve Priest issues for both players, through making board-control easier to attain, and opponents, by removing the 4-attack "sweet spot".

If following that, they are still weak, then I think can start talking about buffs to other cards.
Edited by JunCurium on 11/29/2013 12:35 AM PST
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Posts: 45
Very good post.

A few things I am ambivalent about: Smite being changed to 0 mana cost would make it a far superior card to backstab, which only works on undamaged minions. If they were to change smite, they will have to change backstab and other cards in order to achieve balance.

I think another possible change will be to keep smite as it is, but let it deal 3 damage to undamaged minions, and 2 to damaged ones. (This will make it somewhere in between backstab and frostbolt.)This might seem like a really small change, but the 1 damage more to undamaged minions can be extremely crucial, especially when you're playing against crazy rogue/warlock/hunter rush decks.Those aggro decks usually have means of buffing up minion health to beyond the 2-health barrier, and that's when you are forced to use SWPs inefficiently on 1-3 or 2-3 minions, and you're left struggling with the 3-3 or 3-4 minions show up.

The smite issue won't be so bad if Priest minions could actually DO DAMAGE. But Priests minions are garbage as it is right now. Northshire cleric is honestly a !@#$ turn 1 play because it's too easily killed, and even if you get a PW:S on it, making full use of it means spending 2 mana during your turn 2-4 phase, when this is the phase of the game when it is crucial to establish some board control - which means you have to get minions. You could attack in with Northshire Cleric, sure, and then heal up and get cards, but against aggro decks that early card advantage means totally losing board control. The only time Northshire Cleric is actually good is if it's behind a taunt, or if you can play it the same turn you're gonna use Holy Nova.

TL;DR: Northshire Cleric CAN be really good, but it's generally more miss than hit.

Don't get me started about the other Priest early-mid game minions. They're just too vulnerable to silence. Don't get me wrong: many other classes' minions get wrecked by silence too. But Priests minions are the only ones which are TOTALLY worthless once silenced. Say Timber Wolf or Starving Buzzard for Hunter...sure, a silence hurts them a lot, but at least they can attack and do some damage. Lightwell or Lightspawn are useless once silenced. unless you give them taunt to soak up some damage, or if you have an inner fire.

Lightspawn CAN have the potential to be a good card, but I seldom find it working well as a mid-game damage dealer. It really depends on whether you have established board control or not. Most players just use a super cheap damage spell card after it has been summoned to push down its attack, then clear it up with a low damage-high health 3-4 drop. Of course, one could play it later and couple it with a divine spirit the same turn... but there's always the risk of being silenced. And unlike other classes' minions Lightwell/spawn are truly useless once silenced.

SW:P and SW:D may be good, yes, but the thing is that most non-priest users don't realize that they are ABSOLUTELY crucial to priests for succeeding, so they whine a lot about how OP those cards are. More than any other class Priests REALLY need to maintain board control.

Priests do not have fancy-schmancy show-offish plays like bloodlusting 5 minions or playing 4 minions on turn 7 + unleash the hounds or having a turn 4 8-8 Questing Adventurer or whatever to end the game. The only synergy among Priest cards is either Northshire Cleric + Heal (you seldom get more than 2-3 cards from Northshire cleric play, if at all) or Divine Spirit + Inner Fire which pays off well if you can get a high health minion out (if you are not dead by then). But still easily countered by just 1 silence. So yeah, Priests still rely very much on efficient ol' school efficient minion trading, which requires constant board control.

Sorry if this got a little ranty lol.
Edited by Mondster on 11/29/2013 2:01 PM PST
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Posts: 92
I think people miss the point of why MC is overpowered. Its not that you were winning or losing, its that whenever ive lost to it(and many many others) it is played on extremely close games where youve had to swap minions and use removal so you have nothing left to deal with it by turn 8+ or when youre both in top decking situations. In those very common situations MC=instant win.

Even after thats all said i personally dislike MC not because of what it does but how it works. No other card in the game can remove an 8/8(for example) minion form your opponent AND give you an 8/8 minion in the same turn with no consequences other then using mana(which most the time is close to the same amount your opponent used to put the minion out). I maintain that if MC worked like it does in wow few people could complain about it. Keep its function as is but make it so you cant take any actions(play cards/hero power) other then attacking with minions until either the MC is killed or you take a certain amount of damage(which would have to be tweaked to figure a good number).

This would remove the OP aspect of the card and then blizz can work on fixing the rest of the priest class, which i agree is fairly weak and occasionally OP at the same time. This class, in my opinion, is the farthest from being balanced then any other(mage coming in close second, imo).

In the end making it 10 mana doesnt fix anything it just either delays the inevitable of the priest who was ahead destroying your last grasp at a comeback, or the priest not having anything still to deal with the rush down/better early game of a lot of other class's. Really wish people would stop saying how you should have a way to remove the MC after he uses it. That just shows ignorance to RNG and card games. You cant control what you get in yoru hand when you get it so you cant control what removal you have in yoru hand. NOR can you control what your opponent has used on you so no youre wrong to say you should save removal. Not to mention you make the complainers point for them by saying they need to hold a removal because then youre playing your hand based around 1(2) card/s in your opponents deck. Dont get me wrong you should play for what your opponent can do but playing your hand entirely based on waiting for 1 card makes that card unbalanced.

Ty for reading this and these are my opinions feel free to troll and have a nice day. :)
Edited by Silentmobius on 11/29/2013 6:35 PM PST
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Posts: 17
Why do these trolls who say priest is not op insist on using the top 5% of players in the world....... Maybe you want to come down out of the clouds for a moment and understand that the vast majority of people playing this game are not and never will be any more than casual players. It is with that player base in mind that priest is OP. Why? because with the most basic of cards it can turtle and destroy most decks. At the top tier when you have all the cards in the pool available maybe it isn't OP. But guess what.... No normal player cares a less because they will never play the game at that level and that is the target audience. On a professional level I won't even argue with your assessment because I am not qualified am I am sure you are right because the results speak for themselves. That or 50% of the top tier players play priests and everyone else has a deck built to demolish priests and attrition takes care of the rest.

Bottom line when you start out playing this game you will likely play priest because it is easy, the cards are great and it is very forgiving.

God help the poor souls when the open beta begins they will get rickroll'd out of the game.
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Posts: 424
Why do these trolls who say priest is not op insist on using the top 5% of players in the world....... Maybe you want to come down out of the clouds for a moment and understand that the vast majority of people playing this game are not and never will be any more than casual players. It is with that player base in mind that priest is OP. Why? because with the most basic of cards it can turtle and destroy most decks. At the top tier when you have all the cards in the pool available maybe it isn't OP. But guess what.... No normal player cares a less because they will never play the game at that level and that is the target audience. On a professional level I won't even argue with your assessment because I am not qualified am I am sure you are right because the results speak for themselves. That or 50% of the top tier players play priests and everyone else has a deck built to demolish priests and attrition takes care of the rest.

Bottom line when you start out playing this game you will likely play priest because it is easy, the cards are great and it is very forgiving.

God help the poor souls when the open beta begins they will get rickroll'd out of the game.


In this post: Guys wants Blizz to cater to casuals in a CCG. Thanks for trying to ruin another game cassiesbads. This attitude is why I don't play WoW anymore.
Edited by KindaBigDeal on 11/30/2013 8:59 AM PST
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Posts: 51
I have been playing a priest in wow since TBC and raided sunwell
I also have 200 victories on my hearthstone priest deck.

I agree with everything Kisstafer says.
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