Thoughts and feedback on the state of Priest from a player with over 6000 wins with the class

hearthstone 1 - Thoughts and feedback on the state of Priest from a player with over 6000 wins with the class

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Priest player since the launch of the game, the current state of Priest is not a new occurence. While we’ve had our periods in the spotlight, the class has over the spans over the years generally been amongst the worst, and often the worst class. I actually don’t mind that, and there might even be some wisdom found in the infamous words «there will allways be a worst class». What I don’t like is how the same mistakes keeps being repeated, and core problems are not adressed:

  • The Classic set has too many holes that needs to be filled: the evergreen Priest sets lacks a good and reliable AoE, a solid 2-drop, 3-drop, 5-drop, 6-drop, a late game value minion, unconditional card draw, and reliable healing (seriously, we got Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Lightwell). Each year, most of these holes need to be patched before the class can compete. And each year, when the rotation hits and the first set fail to patch said holes, the class renegedes to the dumpster (more on exceptions later). Tinkering with the evergreen sets has been a heated debate and the scope of it is bigger than this text, but Blizzard would surely make it easier for themselves if they would rethink and adjust the Priest core.

  • Busted cards printed to save the class: when the first two sets of the year fails to do enough for the class, there has been a trend to print a completely busted, obviosuly over-the-top card to shoehorn the class into the top tiers. See: Duskbreaker, Drakonid Operator. While they certainly do their job, it’s terrible game design for many reasons. First, it limits deck building, as having so much of the classes power consentrated in one card means you have to run it. It’s even worse when said card is a tribe or synergy card, meaning every Priest deck would have to run a certain package (i.e. dragons) to support the one busted card keeping the class alive for a year. Second, it feels bad playing with and against a deck with so much power in one card, and matches become more draw dependant. Thirdly, when the broken card rotates, other cards that are balanced around the broken card are suddenly unplayable.

  • The Resurrect mechanic shouldn’t have been Resurrected: I’ve yet to see one person praising this mechanic, and for good reason. It creates a bad experience for both players where you need to stay alive using only spells the first part of the game, which doesn’t feel very interactive. Most of us are tired of big minions being cheated out as it creates a polaraizing gameplay experience where it feels like you either win or lose hard and seldom something inbetween. What do we say to the God of Death? Yes please, today – and make it permanent.

  • Hero Cards: I think Hero Cards are a disaster for this game, and their toxic effect hits the Priest class the hardest. Much of the Priest kit is designed to outvalue your opponent (hero power, Mind Control, Thoughtsteal, Cabal Shadow Priest..), and all of that i useless as ong as cards like Dr. Boom and to an extent Hagatha exists. You just can’t beat a never-ending button that prints value, even if you had 10 Thoughsteals or Mind Controls in your deck. It feels terrible that one Hero Card undermines an entire style of play, and warps the meta so that the one thing Priest is actually good at is useless. For what it’s worth Hero Cards like Zuljin are much better because the strenghth lies in the Battlecry and not in the Hero Power (but at that point, why just not make a minion?).

  • Too many loose ends: this is connected to the bad evergreen set problem. Because Priests are completely dependant on expansion cards to do the job, we are so suspectible to «loose ends». By that mechanics and buildaroiund cards not getting supported in later sets. Currently we have Spirit of the Dead/Bwonsamdi, Thief cards like Chameleos, Holy Water and Princess Talanji, Deathrattles, Spell cards like Test Subject, Grave Horrorand Sand Drudge, Resurrect cards, Control Cards, healing synergy like Ahcenai Phantasm and Renegate, Squashling, Silence cards and even more. It’s great that they try different things, but right now there a LOT of cards that lacks proper support to work, and almost none of them fits in the same deck. Sure, they can print another Silence card to make that archtype better, but that won’t help the other 50 cards that won’t benifit at all from SIlence support. I suggest Blizzard try to tie some of the Priest ideas together in further expansions.

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