From a 3* Master: The woes of Priests, Part 1

Posts: 93
So with the recent announcement that Mind control is getting its cost raised to 10 mana, there have been a lot of debate about if this will fix Priests. As an active Yu-Gi-Oh player I could show you a chart about how each “Mind Control”-like card have been historically banned. However this isn't really that relevant in Hearthstone and I would also rather talk about the issues with priests that are far greater than Mind control. So that is exactly what I am going to do, so sit tight because this is going to be a long one.

So first some introduction. My name on the internet is Sumadin, and I am currently Three-star master on the EU beta server. The class I used to get to here was primarily Paladin but I got a moderate amount of experience with all the classes by now, including Priest itself. As said I am also a veteran TCG player with experience primarily from Yu-Gi-Oh.

The first thing you got to understand is that these points are entirely from the view of constructed play. I am not much of an arena player, but I am well aware that different rules of deck building applies. As such a lot of the points presented here don't really applies in Arena. They are only meant to be viewed at from the perspective of competitive constructed at the highest level.

So I guess the primary question from everyone would be: Are Priests currently overpowered at the highest level? And I can tell you right now, no they aren't. Even with the current Mind Control. If I were to make an estimate I would say I personally have anywhere from 70 to 80% win rate vs. Priests as 3-star master and that is with multiple classes.

So for this part 1 I am going to talk about some of the issues that I see with the priest deck that in general, and why I personally think Priests are the most underpowered class right now. Keep in mind i don't got much data to back this up with. This is purely from an analysis of patterns among my own opponents. Without further delay, here are my thoughts.

Mind Vision/Thoughtsteal/Mindgames. A broken concept for the sake of being broken.

When i first saw these cards they seemed like an alright concept, but having played with them, it is abundantly clear why these cards are a problem. To put the issue simple:

THEY SUCK!... and noobs don't understand why.

So first of all i will talk about thoughtsteal. Now some people have compared this card to arcane intellect saying that this card is better because it gives you a plus 1 at same manacost but you don't drain your deck as fast. I will respectfully disagree and say that this card is MUCH worse than arcane intellect. The simple reason is synergy. The cards you gain from "drawing" from your opponents deck are much less likely to work with your own. Thus you would be more likely to get better cards for your current situation with arcane intellect than with thoughtsteal, because arcane intellect picks from your own cardpool.

The thing is, arcane intellect is not even that good! Alot of mages have already figured this out. Yes, you gain a card advantage but the momentum lost from using 3 mana on doing nothing on the board is devastating for your board control. It becomes very hard to recover even with an extra card. Throughtsteal suffers even worse from this. You have the chance of getting completely situational cards that can do nothing to make up for the lost tempo.

Mind Vision suffers from most of the above problems as well, only to an even greater decree. Yes you get some information on what is in your opponents hand, but knowing is literally half the battle here. And a lot of times this knowledge won't help you gain, any advantage whatsoever. Thus you will often spend a card for something worthless. Also it is a completely useless card if topdecked in a close game when your opponents hand is empty.

Finally Mindgames. The only card here that actually generates some field presence. The problem again through is the immense randomness and the dependance on your opponents deck. Mindgames is 4 mana and thus to be a gain, the monster it summons must cost 5 or more mana. The problem here through is that generally speaking, the majority of minions in our deck is below 5 cost . Also because the monster is summoned through an effect, battlecries won't trigger which means even if you do get a 5+ cost minions then sometimes a lot of its value would be lost by the missing battlecry. For these reasons it would almost always be better to add a 5 cost minion to your deck instead of Mindgames. It seems some people loves the thrill of the chance through. That one chance to summon your opponents legendary for such a cheap cost seems to inspire some people who don't understand basic statistics.

To new players these cards are basically a dreadful trap. It fills so much into their basic package that people thinks this is the way to use priests. Pros have long since got the memo that these cards sucks. You only need to check deck lists from tournaments like the TL open or Blizzcon to see that all of them almost completely skips these cards. But in constructed I often see Priest use these cards. Correction, I often see priests lose using these cards.

To me it seems these are cards, that Blizzard made, just because they could. Watching footage from Blizzcon it was mentioned to be the kind of cards they could only make in an online CCG. We also get to see the classic example of Millhouse Manastorm allowing the use of 2 thoughtsteals and a mindgames into Ragnaros. A terrible hand turned good through the use of infinite mana.

Basicly these cards would be completely retarded in live TCGs, so Blizzard decided to try and add these to their online CCG where they are STILL retarded. Personally I also think some of the “obvious” element of this theme of mind reading is missing. Where are the card that allows you to see your opponents entire hand? Something that actually works in traditional TCGs and when used correctly could give you a proper edge without even the slightest amount of added randomness. It just seems weird to me.

So that is really all I got to say about these mindcards. Hope you enjoyed it if you read this far. This is by far not the only issue with Priest and I do plan to make some more posts about the woes of priests, escpicially if feedback is good. I will also get around to the parts of Priests that I consider moderately overpowered but as I said in the intro, it won't be as much as you think.

Thank you for reading. Have a nice day.
Edited by Sumadin on 11/16/2013 5:33 PM PST
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Posts: 73
Well, every class has those sort of cards, that are fun and random, but ultimately not the ones you want in a comeptetitive constructed deck. But that doesn't make a case as to whether a class is under or overpowered.
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Posts: 118
That was the longest post ever just to say that Mindgames, Thoughtsteal, and Mind Vision are worthless cards.

I whole-heatedly agree with you though - I think all of those cards are complete trash. I've used them in the past and ended up getting someones legendary card and on the flip side I've ended up getting useless !@#$ like Deadly Poison that I can never play and just takes up space in my hand the entire game. It goes both ways and it's never really worth the risk when you can just put in a 1/3/5 mana card into your deck that you know will work/help.

Then again Priest has a lot of trash cards. Divine Spirit, Inner Fire, Circle of Healing (apparently can be useful shown through Artosis but it's completely situational), etc.

Hell, I honestly think the Priests legendary card (can't remember name atm - haven't slept in 30 hours) is completely worthless too. You're better off going with Ragnaros/Ysera if you end up having the arcane dust to craft a legendary for a Priest Deck.

edit 2
I will say this though: the one huge, major, advantage that Priests have over other classes is that they don't always have to play into the mana curve with each turn (ie. playing 5 mana cost card on turn 5). Of course it's always ideal if you can, but the huge advantage is just being able to constantly heal up your minions after attacking and making your opponent waste their cards by drawing out the game by healing up your minions and slowly filling the board.
Edited by Vaxity on 11/14/2013 7:40 PM PST
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Posts: 7
I actually disagree about thoughtsteal for a couple of reasons. Thoughtsteal can easily win you the game out of chance, however this is situational and the chance probability is not worth running. However in the priest's current state with their insane ability to create card advantage, any extra cards are icing on the cake. This is most likely attributed to different deck setups though.

And I'll still run mind control at 10 mana because it doesn't matter it's broken.
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Posts: 8,180
The priest isn't so much overpowered as it is bad for the meta. Players have to build their decks around fighting the priest moreso than the other classes, simply because priests are both so powerful and so popular.
Even then, the match isn't fun. Rarely do I actually enjoy fighting priests, even though my win/loss ration against them is reasonable, it's simply not an enjoyable experience, and apparently there are players who just outright concede whenever they see Anduin.
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Posts: 93
Part 2 is up:
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Posts: 6
A priest used thought steal on my paladin deck
He copied my tirion fordring twice
played them back to back
I definitely lost that one
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Posts: 326
I disagree that momentum means anything on a Priest deck.

So your opponent takes the turn to put out 2~3 big creatures? NP, you can wipe them all out with single target spells in one turn anyways.

As long as you have the cards to do so.
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Posts: 311
I disagree that momentum means anything on a Priest deck.

So your opponent takes the turn to put out 2~3 big creatures? NP, you can wipe them all out with single target spells in one turn anyways.

As long as you have the cards to do so.

Wut... Im pretty sure every class can do that given the right cards. NP take your !@#$ logic elsewhere.
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Posts: 137
10 mana for Mind Control? Now this card is totally worthless... maybe I'm being too negative... I will have to try it.
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