Has Warlock Become the New Priest?

Madness at the Darkmoon Faire
  • RangDipkin's Avatar Rexxar 250 81 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 1 week ago

    I don't think Warlock is currently OP, but I have come to dread these match-ups just as I did Priest because it typically means I'm going to face endless removal and healing until they can maybe pull off a win through value attrition (a la the Prime card, Envoy Rustwix, or Galakrond).  I know Warlock has always had strengths in these areas, but for some reason I haven't dreaded the match-up until this expansion.  Anyone else?

    I think it's really the quantity of removal options that I find dispiriting as I see (2 copies of) these cards pretty much every match:

    And then sometimes these ones:

    Add to this a string of Soul Fragments negating a lethal set-up and the specter of Tickatus milling your outs and you have levels of annoyance I traditionally associated with Priest.  Again, it's not that I think current Warlock decks are too strong, but rather that I fear Team 5 has created another "fun and interactive" class identity.  Have you had a similar experience this expansion?

  • PopeNeia's Avatar Darkmaster 480 571 Posts Joined 07/06/2019
    Posted 6 days, 15 hours ago

    Well Priest has moved away from a “control” identity to more of a “value” identity.

    Warlock has now taken on the role of being a heavy control deck with its win condition of either Tickatus deleting your deck or outlasting aggro decks. It removes every single minion you play and has a large assortment of removal tools, sinilar to the old Priest. It however does not have many value generation tools and what you get is what you see, you can usually play around most of the things in their deck.

    Since its win condition (Tickatus does not revolve around using the board in any capacity, there are not many chances to interact with their gameplan apart from the new Vol’jin card. Its definitely a feels bad moment when your win conditions are burned away by Tickatus.

    This ain't no place for a hero

  • iWatchUSleep's Avatar 795 732 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 6 days, 11 hours ago

    I wouldn't say warlock is the priest of old right now. Unlike priest, warlock has a good non-grindy deck (zoo warlock is the best warlock deck right now). So it's not a one-archetype-pony.

    The deck does feel similar to facing priest decks though, I'll give you that. It's a slow, unfun grind where they're just trying to not die. Difference is that warlock has an active win condition in the form of Tickatus, something that priest (still) doesn't have.

    Luckily the deck is bad so you don't see it that often currently. Here's to hoping it'll fade away completely come next expansion.

  • clawz161's Avatar The Undying 735 691 Posts Joined 07/16/2019
    Posted 6 days, 10 hours ago

    I just don't understand why equality gets nerfed from 2 to 4 mana when used in aggro paladin screwing any chance of control paladin(unless you play braindead libram), but warlock gets plague of flames.

    Keeping track of something: Zyella, meisterz39, iWatchUSleep, DoubleSummon, Khaostheory1980, lMarcusl, RavenSunHS, Hydrafrog

  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1050 917 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 6 days, 7 hours ago
    Quote From clawz161

    I just don't understand why equality gets nerfed from 2 to 4 mana when used in aggro paladin screwing any chance of control paladin(unless you play braindead libram), but warlock gets plague of flames.

    Partly its because Equality is ('was' now, I suppose) an evergreen card and they didn't want it being too central to paladin for the rest of time, whereas Plague of Flames would rotate out eventually. More importantly than that though, classes are not created equal, and nor should they be. That doesn't mean some classes should be stronger than others overall, but they will each have strengths and weaknesses with different tools and archetypes.

    In the case of board clears, warlock has always been one of the best classes, while paladin has been OK but not exceptional at it. In fact, pally class design always has (spell-based) removal revolve around debuffs rather than dealing damage or outright destroying minions, which demonstrates just how mediocre the class is at it (while also making it unique and interesting).


    Regarding the main topic of the thread, the amount of removal warlock has at the moment is high partly because we're at the end of a HS year. When set rotation comes the class will have fewer tools and should hopefully not feel so frustrating to play against. Except when Tickatus gets played, but there's nothing that can be done to cheer you up when that happens.

  • RangDipkin's Avatar Rexxar 250 81 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 6 days ago

    Good points all around!

    @PopeNeia - You're right to highlight that Priests have gone more in the value direction with generating and discounting spells, so it's only fair that someone else takes up the heavy control mantle. I started running Freezing Trap in my control hunter decks this expansion mainly to combat Paladins, but a nice side-effect has been slowing down Envoy Rustwix shenanigans. But now that you mention it, maybe I'll sub in Vol'jin for some Tickatus disruption!

    @iWatchUSleep - You're definitely right that Warlock still has the Zoo build with discounted 8/8s and I'm glad they haven't lost that identity. The few times I remember aggro (deathrattle?) Priests being viable it wasn't too fun, haha. And that's a good point about Warlock having an actual win condition as opposed to rolling the dice on stealing a minion or copying cards from the opponent's deck or something like that.

    @clawz161 - Yeah, this is one of those nerfs where it makes less sense later down the line when the really problematic stuff has rotated (Even Paladin/Holy Wrath Pally and then not wanting to make it 3-cost to help Odd Pally).

    @AngryShuckie - Yup, you're absolutely right about power creep at the end of a HS year. I sometimes find myself getting frustrated that some meme I've been working on gets a big boost in the last expansion of the year, only for it to be outclassed by even stronger boosts to meta archetypes. But then I remember that the only reason my meme got a boost was because the overall powerlevel was raised, so I go back to tanking my MMR with Quest Kael'thas Yogg Clown Hunter ;D

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