27/03/2020: Combined with Blizzard's official take on the core sets. Also brand new layout!
Following this post, I decided to post my own take on the Priest's core sets. The comparison is interesting because we had very different ideas.
I made a few custom classes in the past, so I had to think a lot about class identity and how to make a class feel unique while still being stable and balanced in the long term, and expandable with expansions. Like Shadows, I made a few custom cards, but most of my sets is nerfs/buffs and substitutions with expansion sets.
NOTE: This set was started slightly after Saviors of Uldum was released
Blizzard's official post on class identity is weird. It mixes class mechanics with strengths and weaknesses so most of the stuff doesn't make sense. The way I proceeded is completely different. I started by listing what should be the primary and secondary mechanics of the class, the strengths and weaknesses of the class as well as the archetypes available to it should follow from this list.
I say "core sets" a lot, but the Basic and Classic set are NOT interchangeable in their functions.
About tribal synergies, each minion type has its own identity
Tribal synergies are part of a class primary identity in only 3 cases
All other class-tribe associations are mostly a matter of coincidence as these tribes happen to fit in the class identity (eg pirates for Warrior/Rogue)
About which keywords I chose to keep in the core sets
I tried not to steer away too much from what Blizzard defined for the class, although there are definitely some directions I disagree with and went against. I will signal it when it is the case.
These cards have a fundamentally unbalanced and unbalanceable effect (ie it can't be made balanced just by tweaking numbers).
On the contrary, these cards are just uninteresting and often straight up bad.
These cards are too widespread and limits novelty. They aren't interesting enough to just be nerfed.
On the contrary, these cards are too specific and narrow to be core cards.
These cards are fine and could have stayed. However there were better cards to fill their spots.
The following cards almost made it into my core sets, but didn't because there were no room left for them.
OK. I went completely wild here.
What's that? By alternative structure I mean a core set structure other than the 10 Basic/15 Classic structure we have now. I thought a lot about this. I thought about 10/10 (reduced Classic set), 15/10, and even 10/0 (no Classic set at all!). However I settled on this 10/10/9. The 9 being for a yearly rotating core set made entirely of reintroduced old cards (as in the Tombs of Terror event).
The purpose of this set is to avoid redundancy in cards as well as give more supports to the archetypes that are being pushed. 3 cards are re-introduced each expansion, for a total of 9 cards over the year. These cards can vary in rarity but they will stay the same between classes. This allows me to "deport" certain secondary themes of the class into yearly sets, so that they will go back and forth rather than always be there. In order for these sets to feel new, they should not contain any cards from the year that just rotated out.
For this example, here's what the yearly set for the year 2019 could have been:
NOTE: In order for yearly sets to feel new, this 2019 core set will not contain any 2017 cards since they would have just rotated out.
RISE OF SHADOWS
SAVIORS OF ULDUM (Healing)
DESCENT OF DRAGONS (Dragons duh)
I seriously fucked up the formatting. I'll use the HTML editor next time.
BTW, yes, there will be a next time because I'm working on other classes and neutral cards as well.
Hey Cheese, nice to see your work around here :) Tho it seems a little silly to go to this length and then skip the probably easiest part, gems and watermarks, lol. It might make it confusing, if someone wouldnt read your descriptions ... which as you well know is going to happen :) Guess depends on how well you want to relay the information is all. Anyway, looking for more :)
Ishanah is interesting, not sure how strong would it be with the Quest, giving minions +5/+5 :D but i guess it has to stay up, decent classic lege i think.
Mindbender: im sure this would get abused sooner or later lol.
Not sure i would like Convincing Infiltrator in there.
And Power Word: Fortitude would be so brutally OP in arena, i dont like that as a basic card, it would be in (almost) every rotation.
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I feel like Power Infusion might be too good, since if you play both cards that turn its 0-Mana draw 2. Maybe it should say “Draw 2 cards. The first one you play this turn costs 2 less”, that way it’s less of a high roll card. Overall,, I love the changes and the new Holy Nova rework!
Nice work! Convincing Infiltrator in classic may make me quit the game though.
So, uh, good timing I guess. Here's my opinion on the changes.
The first thing I noticed: Blizzard went into the same direction as Shadows and I for Priest's primary identity: A class that seeks to win through
The second thing I noticed, besides the fact that they didn't reverse-HoF anything is how redundant the new cards are. That is a lot of the cards have very similar effects and only varies in their numbers. Redundancy isn't a bad in and of itself as more redundancy = more consistency and more viability. However this is done at the expense of internal diversity. I don't see any "Razakus-like" combo synergies, any resurrect cards, or any Deathrattle cards. I can understand their design choices for the first two but it's also very limiting. It means they will have to print new cards for each of those themes every time they want to push them...I guess it makes sens from a €€€ perspective.
4 out of the 6 cards that were HoFed by Blizzard were also HoFed by me. The 2 remaining ones are Holy Fire and Northshire Cleric. I can understand the reasoning for Holy Fire. I myself hesitated to cut it, but chose to keep it out of principle to make my Core sets more versatile.
What I can't understand is Northshire Cleric. Sure, Cleric in its current state is problematic for the reasons I explained. But it is also a card that is healing synergy and therefore fits Priest and, more importantly, a vital form of card draw. Since Blizzard got rid of the card draw part on Power Word: Shield as well, it means that the only form of card draw left to Priest in the Core sets will be Mass Dispel. Hardly viable!
My opinion is that each class needs some minimal form of basic mechanics to be viable. This is why I chose to nerf Cleric rather than HoF it. Shadows chose to HoF it but he replaced it with another form of card draw so there's continuity. By removing all forms of effective card draw from Core sets, Blizzard may just have re-created the same problem they just fixed for board clears: they will have to print card draws for Priest every expansion again.
Just thought I'd leave this here:
Same exact name, and even Cost.
No, that's wrong!
Power Infusion is an iconic disco Priest spell in WoW, and iconic spells are generally part of the core sets, so this one doesn't surprise me. My version is closer to its effect in WoW than theirs btw.
Update! I tried to combine Blizzard's official modifications with mine. I made the following replacements:
I disagree with Blizzard's decison to HoF Northshire Cleric so I kept my nerfed version.
Shaman revamp is coming Soon(TM)
Dammit why did I spend the night doing this instead of sleeping like normal people...
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