I agree with the poster... I just rushed to the forums to write something about this.
I play many different classes, but main as hunter. I'd like to mention a few changes that I believe will put the Priests on the same playing field as all other Heroes, without changing the core play style of the class.
I'm just going to compare hunter vs priests, just to show comparisons. This is by no way saying that Hunter's are played in the same strategies as priest.
Minion draw mechanism:
Northshire Cleric (cost 1, 1/3) vs Starving Buzzard. ( cost 2, 2/1)
As a 1 cost minion, cleric can out-survive 80% of the other 1-2 cost minions out there. It also has 1 damage, allowing it to damage and SURVIVE the other 2/1, 1/1, 1/2 minions, then the Priest can use heal to auto-draw one card. Also mentioning, Druid/Rouge/Mage with their hero powers cannot burst it down quick enough. Getting 2-5 cards using this method is not uncommon for a priest.
Buzzard costs 2 points, making you wait an entire turn before placing it.... But why do that when it has only 1 measly, which is prioritized by 80% of the cards/hero powers out there that can do 1 damage. Furthermore, even though it doesn't have survivability the 2 points is taxing and requires you to summon at least 2 beasts in the same turn, in order to be cost efficient. The hunter's power (2 damage to enemy hero) does not synergize with the draw mechanism, therefore he cannot potentially draw every turn as a priest can.
early game draws = gg
-Change cost of N. Cleric to 2 points, from 1 OR change health to 1, from 3
-Change Priests hero power; Lesser Heal, to restore only 1 health, from 2.
Low Cost Draw Spells
Mind Vision Vs Tracking
Mind Vision allows you to trade that card for a copy of a card in your opponent's hand. This allows you to see 1 card that your opponent may play in the future, allowing you to play accordingly. Tracking allows you to see the next 3 cards in your deck, allowing your choice to pick the highest valued card, but trashing the other two in the discard pile.
Both seem almost balanced, though mind vision is still preferred over potentially trashing a card you need from Tracking.
Thoughtsteal (cost 3) Vs Flare (cost 1)
Cost 3 to Draw 2 cards from your opponents deck... How strong is that? .. Chances are the priest will use those 2 cards strategically, even if the cards could have been bad. Hunter has Flare... so you trade 1 card to get 1 card, and you killed off 1-2 secrets from 3 out of 9 classes...
Solution: Change thoughtsteal to Cost 4, from 3.
Low cost damage dealers
Holy smite (cost 1, 2 damage) vs Arcane shot (cost 1, 2 damage)
This is fair.
Mind Blast (cost 2, 5 damage) Vs Kill Command (cost 3, 3 or 5 damage).
For a measly 2 points, you can deal 5 damage to the enemy hero with MB. Kill Command costs an extra point AND requires you to have a BEAST in play in order to use it. Although you can use it to target anyone, the trade off is still more cost efficient for the Priest.
Minion Nuking Spells:
Shadow word Pain (cost 2, kills 1) vs Multishot (cost 4, damages 2)
Shadow word costs 2 allowing you to target 1 enemy with 3 or lower attack. Now it is rare to see a low-mid level minion with higher than three attack. Multishot REQUIRES the enemy to have TWO Minions on the field in order for you two use it. If they have only 1 out, you're screwed... and even then, it may not kill the enemy, since it isn't an auto-kill card. And at a whopping 4 mana, it is risky to include into the deck.
Shadow word Death (cost 3, kill 1) Vs Deadly shot (cost 3, RANDOM kill 1)
Both costs the same, though SWD allows you to target a minion while DS takes a blindfolded shot at the enemy minion line-up. 5 attack is not asking for a whole lot, therefore it is not very risky to include at least one SWD into your deck. However, Deadly shot is usually saved to play later on in the game as is SWD. Though saving the card may come with a risk that the opponent will summon multiple minions by the time the high hitting cards roll out. This increases the chance DS is wasted on a 1/1 minion.
Solutions: A rework of the Shadow words will probably be needed, since the safe zone is if the minion has EXACTLY 4 Damage. Perhaps making the costs 1-2 mana higher.
Make or Break spells
Divine Spirit (cost 2) Vs Hunter's mark (cost 0)
Both cards are saved to use later to make or break minions. Both cards synergize well with their respective decks. Both cards are relatively balanced, though divine spirit holds more value in the priest's deck than Hunter's mark does in the Hunter's deck.
Mind Control ( cost 10) Vs Misdirection
Honestly Hunters don't have any cards that can compare to the power of Mind Control. I threw Misdirection in there because it potential, but very unlikely, could have the same power as MC. Sure it costs 10 mana, but all of the shadow words have nuked what was used against the priests beforehand, allowing the priest to stall until MC. It takes what was the last bit of high-powered minions from the opponent, and turns it against them... Not to mention the Thoughtsteal, mind vision, and Mindgames used earlier to turn 4-8 minions from the opponent's deck against him. Misdirection allows for the chance of the attacking minion to attack the opponent, though most players would know to summon low, and attack low to set off secrets, making this a pointless comparison.
Solution: Mind control is fine within itself, but combined with the sheer amount of control that shadow words have on the battlefield beforehand, it makes this card have hidden power. I would just remake the shadow words.
First of all, there is a lot of hidden power found in the Priest's hero power; Lesser Heal. Most hero powers are 2 for 1, in meaning it costs 2 mana in order to do 1 indirect damage. The trade off of 2 for 1, is that it will always be there when you cannot, or do not, want to play anything else. All other 2/2's are untargetable or requires the player to wait a turn to use effectively.
With Lesser Heal, it allows him to target ANYONE he wants, making the 2 for 2 extremely powerful. This has extreme synergy when combined with Northshire Cleric, along with lightwell and lightspawn. Making this change will solve almost 70% of the hidden power that Priests have.
The other change would be to remake the Shadow Words because they also provide a small amount of hidden power due to the low costs, and synergizing well with the deck and Mind Control. Perhaps changing them to deal damage rather than instantly kill targeted minions would be a more fair alternative.
These small changes would definitely help in bringing the priest's power to the level of all other heroes while keeping the play style and strategies the same.
-Thanks for your time
Edited by JimDaAsian on 12/19/2013 5:34 AM PST