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.