As a long time priest player (14000+ wins and like 50 or so wins with mage as second most) I feel, that it is an absolute disgrace, that the developers are even considering removing mind blast from standard.
The reasoning, that it doesn't fit the "identity" of the class is such a ridiculous concept to me (and honestly most of reddit and the hearthstone player base). The whole identity of priest is the balance between shadow and light, healing and damage, when to be defensive, and when to risk going face. This is perfectly exemplified with cards like Auchenai Soulpriest, Holy Fire, Holy Nova, Shadowform, Prophet Velen, Lightwell, and especially the card Mind Blast.
Furthermore, the idea, that priest should have it as a weakness to deal face damage with spells is also in contrast to its actual weakness, which is dealing face damage with minions. Any class should of course be able to deal damage with either mininos or spells, but what the goal apparently is for the priest class to deal damage through minions and minion buffs. This, to me, indicates, that the entire shadow and light concept of priest is supposed to balance shadow and light, but somehow not shadow anyways, but divinity (divinity in minion buffs like Divine Spirit, Power Word: Shield, Inner Fire)? The flair of the priest class would then be reduced to light and more light. There would be no balance and no switching between the good and evil, which contradicts your own statement:
Priests balance holy light and shadow magic to defeat their opponents. They control a battle’s outcome using powerful spells with situational applications.
The controlling "divine/light" aspect of the game is there, but what about actually winning and switching to the shadows, going into "Shadowform",in order for the priest to turn on its morals and use "shadow magic to defeat their opponents".
What priests have historically struggled with is to finish off their opponents quickly, and the removal of mind blast hasn't been the great offender in that regard, rather the combo of Divine Spirit/Inner Fire has. Mind blast has always been a card used, late in the game, in control and combo decks and rarely for aggressive pushes. It matches the flair of turning to the shadows and changing playstyles for the final push to defeat the enemy.
The weakness of priest should be the inability to create a quick push on a wide board and the inability to defeat their enemies through minion combat. That is for warriors, hunters, paladins and druids to do. Priests should use the ligh and healing to survive, while seeking the shadows to deal damage to both the enemy (for example Mind Blast and Shadowform) and their board (for example through Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing)
I am not saying that, I am going to boycott Hearthstone because of the removal of this card. But I will likely have a lot less interest in playing since my favorite decks, combo priest and control priest, have lost an important flair to them.
I know that a large portion of the Hearthstone player base agrees with me when I say this:
Please keep Mind Blast in standard. And please don't go through with it because you have designed, some healing spell, that will never ever see play and noone (truly noone) cares about
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