So welcome back to the third and final part of my blog series about the problems in the current design of priests. If you haven't read part 1 and 2, then here is some links.: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/10588658777
The name for this one is:
Consistency, Redundancy and other closing thoughts.
The biggest issue that I see with Priest is overall lack of consistency. Now take note that lack of consistency doesn't mean overpowered or underpowered necessarily. What it means is that the performance of priests swing a lot from game to game, depending on a number of factors.
Sometimes the stars will align. The priest start off with Northshire cleric. Follow up with a divine spirit or a shadow word to shut down the early play of the opponent. He enters the mid-game with total control and card advantage, and never lets go of this. When the opponent in his desperation plays his legendary to turn things over, it is then swiftly snatched by mind control in order to seal the game.
That is the ideal case for the priest. And in this case, the priest might actually be unbeatable. But it might as well look like this.
Turn 1, the priest mind visions Deadly poison. Turn 2 the priest draws into Northshire cleric, but it is immediately killed by the buffed dagger, not even giving a single draw. From here the rogue opponent follows up with nothing but strong 4 attack minions like nether drake, azure drake and goblin auctioneer, leaving the priest's shadow words powerless. When the priest finally gets to play mind control, it is already far too late as the field and card advantage of the opponent is too big for even mind control to turn the tide.
Most of the time, the play of the priest will lie somewhere in between. But the problem arrives exactly at the bordering cases. Because the priest either looks extremely overpowered or completely powerless.
You might ask, isn't this the same case with every class? Doesn't a good or bad hand decide the strength of your play for every class? And the simple answer is: not in the same way. One of the things that hurts priests in this case is their lack of redundancy. Now lack of redundancy would normally be considered positive but in this case it basically means lack of cards that does the same or can do the same.
2 quick examples
-Mages for example can inflict 2 damage to all minions with Blizzard. But cone of cold can do pretty much the same thing if you summon a spellpower minion like Bloodmage Thalnos, with same mana cost too.
-Paladins might be facing a chillwind yeti. He can run one of his recruits into the yeti and then finish off with the truesilver champion. Or he can buff said recruit with Blessing of Kings and have it deal with the yeti alone.
Both cases are examples of cards with comparable costs that works towards the same goal, and I am sure most of you could come with more examples like this. Their effects differs and in each case, you probably know which cards you would want the most. But it is not really a matter of choice, as most of the time the game decides it for you and you might actually run all of the cards mentioned for maximum chance of being able to deal with said situation.
Priests differs through in this case. There is barely any overlap and their cards works in all sorts of ways with very few of them interacting. There are for example no case where a minion can be dealt with by both type of shadow word. This is what leaves a lot of the priest cards so situational. They work best at a given time against a given kind of opposition and there is not a lot of flexibility.
Is this balanced? Can it be balanced? Well in theory under the normal definition you could get a balanced winrate for priests assuming that they were dominating just as much with a good hand as they were getting dominated with a bad hand. Assuming both cases happens about equally as much.
But I think most of you would agree that it is not very good game design through, when the priest can tell from the very starting hand, whether they are sure to win or sure to lose. It doesn't help either that their hero power is completely useless in the opening game either, where as other classes might be able to supplement a bad hand by using their hero power until their cards becomes useable.
This will probably be the last part of my blog series. I hope those of you who have read to this point have enjoyed it. I didn't get to talk about the stronger cards of priests that much, but since MC is already getting nerfed, then there isn't really much relevance with the current trend in the highest leagues in constructed. Ask anyone and they will tell you that priests are getting owned.
Just for funsies I also made a small album containing some cards I would like to see changed/added for priests. Feel free to take a look: http://imgur.com/a/Vta1v
Have fun hearthstoning.
Edited by Sumadin on 11/23/2013 9:35 AM PST
I agree with you 100% on a couple of points. More often then not I, as a Priest player, find myself either in complete control of the game or not at all and, against hyper-aggressive, early-game decks, I'm more so not in control.
I'm not sure if people realise how detrimental that 4 attack "sweet spot" actually is to a Priest because, aside from Holy Fire (which I currently don't have), the only way to deal with most, if not all, 4 attack minions is to either MC them or run a minion into them (if you even have any minions on the field at that point up to the job). I really think that both shadow words should be removed/replaced with more consistant removal.
One thing I don't exactly agree with you on is regarding the Hero Power. That small heal has saved my !@# more times then I can remember. The problem with it, like you pointed out, is that it isn't strong enough to get you out of "debt", so-to-speak, by itself, you often have to couple it with other heal mechanics like the Earthen Ring Farseer or a beefy taunt, of some kind, in order for it to be of value.
The biggest problem I'm having with the Priest so far is that all of our cards are so expensive... Against a hyper-aggressive, early-game deck you have to, at turn 5, be 90%-100% sure that something like Holy Nova is going to turn the game around for you because it takes up your entire turn in mana "allowance". This is true for most other of the Priests cards.
I also don't understand why they're nerfing MC in the way they are, I honestly think that it should simply be removed from game and replaced with something more useful because, as mentioned before, if you're in control then, yeah!, it's going to seem "overpowered", but when you're not in control it seems "underpowered". Seldom does it ever actually turn the tide for me.
First there is currenly no Priest in Hearthstone,only some incredibly unbalanced multiclass of paladin,warlock,mage,priest and rogue.
Second,forget about mind control,that is the last thing about priests,however if you somehow managed to miss Northshire cleric for 1 mana,power word:shield,holy smite,divine spirit,mind blast for 2 mana,LIGHTWELL for 2 mana that is generally unkillable that soon and stall everything,Thoughsteal for 3 mana,or gods forbid Lightspawn hiting you at turn 6 for 24 damage and similar stuff,it tells me that you are rather biased in unhealthy way and should stay away from commenting on priest balance.
For real,the ammount of blindness to the reality that you need to often trade more cards for priests single and more resources is appalling.The example of Northshire cleric shows it pretty well,someone spends 3 mana on 3 dmg dagger and two cards in exchange for 1 mana 1/3 creature and you see that as inconsistency or disadvantage?
Imho,let the priest keep his mindcontrol,but things like power word:shield,divine spirit,shadow word death and Thoughsteal needs to cost more,same goes for mind vision for 1 mana.Those things need to go up in cost.Shadow word:death needs to cost atleast 5 mana,not 3 like its now,because unless you bring 4 attack minions (god forbid to have minion that gives global buff to attack),the priest just own the board!
And above all,priest aint supposed to be the best of atlest 4 classes in 1 and shouldnt be.Imho the whole class needs to be redone.
Im not saying the priest is alone in that way,rogues and mages are very similar in this aspect,however only priest manages to be all of them in some way more or less.And with thoughsteal and mind vision,its pretty clear that priest could be everything RNG allows to him!
I do know that it can be quite useful later game, but I only said that it is utterly useless early on. Because nothing really to heal.
If you somehow managed to miss Northshire cleric for 1 mana
Covered that in part 2
Covered that in part 1
He used 1 card. The dagger is "free" so to speak and only requires 2 mana. The poison buff costs 1 mana aswell, but that is a card. Also the 3 damage dagger is still ready for another swing and might take down another card. It is a position of solid advantage yes. Not even going to bother commenting on the rest.
Edited by Sumadin on 11/23/2013 1:36 PM PST
Not even going to bother commenting on the rest.
Because there is nothing you can say on lucky "RNG" that pulls 2x Northshire cleric into priest hand,which if he starts as second mean 2 of them on board,what you gonna do then?Most likely nothing with 2 mana,unless you happen to be priest and even in that case only one goes down!
Now enhance this scenarion with light well on his turn 2 and its done,game over!That is some well balanced class indeed!
Shall i continue?What about shadow word:death for 3 bloody mana that can vaporize literally everything of worth?Hey is that your legendary?Doesnt matter,DEATH!Hey is that your questing adventurer you just buffed really high for quite lot of cards and for tremendous resources?Doesnt matter,DEATH for 3 mana!
Hey,is that you starting with Murloc rush?Well let me see,2x Holy smite?Or perhaps just single Northshire cleric to stall it?
Seriously as long as the RNG atleast a bit favours the Priest,its unbalanced beyond any reason.Actually talking about reason in this case is absolutely out of place.
And as i said already,its quite hard to sometimes figure out what kind of class the Priest is,it have buffs,it have controls that are very similar to Mage/Hunter/Rogue and Warlock,just cheaper.It can steal your cards which make it even more harder to figure out!
So really dont bother answering me and patiently wait as anyone else for the very justified nerf the priest is for going to get.For example you might keep posting such ridiculous attempts as these to defend your favorite class,or you might actually switch and learn to play something else!Something that is not overplayed and unbalanced as the only multiclass in Hearthstone is....
Woes of Priest ololol,maybe Woes of RNG that doesnt favored me this time should be better title!In fact mentioning the word Woes in the same sentence with such class as Priest (and the ridiculous board control it have) is almost criminal!
Edited by WillWeedzor on 11/23/2013 4:44 PM PST
Most of the time, the play of the priest will lie somewhere in between. But the problem arrives exactly at the bordering cases. Because the priest either looks extremely overpowered or completely powerless
Priests differs through in this case. There is barely any overlap and their cards works in all sorts of ways with very few of them interacting. There are for example no case where a minion can be dealt with by both type of shadow word. This is what leaves a lot of the priest cards so situational. They work best at a given time against a given kind of opposition and there is not a lot of flexibility
the combination of shadow words are just to powerful. Allowing priests the ideal early game and end game removal. Personally I think this is the problem much more than MC. It seems the class was designed to be strong early and late but weak during the middle game.
However because of how strong the class is in the early and late game, players have realized the designed sweet spot of 4 attack is really all thats needed, even for "end game" or they are instantly expecting a priest to use MC and plan accordingly. Mind control still creates a 2 for 1, but its unsurprising and dealt with.
Changing Mind control to 10 mana will weaken priests endgame, however most smart players, already expect the play, and decide to sit in the 4 attack sweet spot until they have a counter available be to use against the Mind control. Or hold the big play trying to pressure priests into using mind control on a less they optimal target.
What I am trying to say is that making mind control 10 mana instead of 8 is in my opinion a band aid fix. The spell needs a real counter like silence, or more limitations and mana cost reduced. I believe it could be used to weaken the class endgame control but shore up the mid game. So I say reduce the cost and reduce the effect or give it more limitations / counters (silence!?)
The combination of shadow words are the classes real problem. I personally feel it to powerful and feel no sympathy for the class because of that.
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