It’s no secret that Priest is in a bad spot right now. They’ve been the lowest class on the totem for quite a while, and by a significant margin. They were given a bad hand from Whispers of the Old Gods, which left them in the dust. Now they get a new few cards from One Night in Karazhan… and they are once again given the worst. Blizzard seems to not understand something regarding Priest, because they keep getting handoffs.
The New Priest Cards
One Night in Karazhan has added three new Priest cards. First we have Purify. The obvious example here is to compare it to the other Priest card, Silence. Silence can target any minion, and is zero mana. It is also part of the Classic set, so it will always be playable in standard. Comparing the two, we see that Purify is essentially two mana draw a card, with a downside. Not only are you paying two more mana simply to draw a card, you also cannot target enemy minions. This card is fairly useless in most imaginable ways. Certainly unplayable.
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Onyx Bishop falls into a very similar category of being overstated without being unique. A 3/4 statline is what good three mana cards have. This means that Onyx Bishop’s ability is worth two mana. Which is fairly accurate, since there’s a card called Resurrect. Resurrect does exactly Onyx Bishop’s effect, for two mana. Also, Resurrect isn’t played in any deck due to how unreliable it is. Typically when cards are combined, their cost is reduced. Here they remain the same. This means on turn five you’ll have a 3/4, or maybe even two if you’re lucky. It’s a huge tempo loss against other five drops, and retains its unreliability. It’s not as bad as Purify, but its close.
Their last new card is Priest of the Feast. This card isn’t nearly as bad as the others, it simply doesn’t help Priest at all. A four mana 3/6 is a decent statline, no issues there. Unfortunately, its ability isn’t that useful for Priest. Priests excel in self-healing. This card would be excellent in some other classes, like Rogues, who really need healing. What Priests really need is good board control, and this doesn’t provide that.
Blizzard needs to take a good long look at the new Priest cards and the class as a whole. When a class isn’t working, giving them worse versions of existing cards is not the answer. These cards won’t even present new viable decks, they change nothing about Priest. What Priest really needs is some strong early game so they don’t simply lose board. That or give them Lightbomb back! Either way, Priest is in a bad place right now. Hopefully the next major expansion will help them out.