The Priest review is here! They have some interesting cards this time around.
This review is brought to you by the Scholomance After Vacation Education and Mastery Experience. Are you feeling confused after some time away from the school? Are you having second thoughts about attending classes run by some less-than-qualified individuals? Come on down to the basement for a special talk by the Headmaster himself, where he'll show you some of our reviews of the cards - once you see how right we are, you won't want to leave ever again!
Well, at least something scalebound came out...
Nice. One of the better Studies card in my opinion - if you're missing a Dragon in hand for card synergy, this is a good option to quickly get one, and possibly a good one, no less. It can show up in Discover effects from cards such as Renew, or pulled straight from the deck with High Abbess Alura. Dragons also tend to be expensive, and this card could enable you to pull off playing Dragonqueen Alexstrasza and both Dragons she grants you in the same turn, as it was possible before she was nerfed.
It's cheap, and it works very well with Dragon Priest decks. I do unfortunately expect it to lose most of its power when Descent of Dragons rotates out, as it is unlikely the next Standard Year will come with an expansion so heavily populated by Dragons.
Mindrending class first thing will be sure to perk you up!
One step closer to my vanilla 2 mana 2/4 dreams.
This is a very solid option for Priest in the early game. The loss of Northshire Cleric in Standard, while understandable, left them in limbo in terms of early board presence options. A lot of what they wanted to do for board presence on turns 2 and 3 would involve buffing a minion, meaning inherently wasting part of the utility of these cards without something there to take that buff. Frazzled Freshman fills that niche marvelously, and I think it'll help make those decks far more consistent.
Something to consider is Soulbound Ashtongue, a minion of comparable stats with the downside of mirroring damage taken back to you. Not that you should consider it for long - even with the new health-changing mechanic and things which want you to be healing like Activate the Obelisk, I only see Soulbound being run in addition to Freshman, not as a replacement for it.
"Finish your feast, or there'll be no funnel cakes for dessert!"
Great card. For the measly cost of 2 mana, you can turn any minion on your side of the board into your opponent's nightmare. As if the +2/+2 buff wasn't enough, restoring it to full health at the end of your turn, after it presumably traded into one of your opponent's minions and lived, is truly strong. Frustrating to play against; I'd honestly feel frustrated for my opponent if I were to play it and eat an important minion of theirs without taking any form of penalty.
Priest tends to have a very sticky board presence - we've all battled a Priest that makes a living out of double-casting Mass Resurrection with the help of Archmage Vargoth. If you'll be working a big minion's health down over two turns, this card threatens to erase all of your hard work. Good luck.
"Fraternities this, sororities that... Murloc up and join a cult like the rest of us!"
Well, hello there Holy Water! Wait, no; but yes, kind of. Holy Water has much of the same effect, except you still need to spend mana on the minion you gain a copy of, unlike with Initiation. On the other hand, Initiation is unable to trigger the Battlecry of any minion it copies, which does make it less potent in some scenarios.
Nonetheless, this card is strong. There's so many powerful cards coming in Scholomance Academy, including 19 Spellburst cards, most of which are definitely worth copying and triggering their effect. 6 mana might seem a bit slow, but the card has enough potential to still be played. Priest is by default one of the slower classes, after all.
Always had a flair for the dramatic.
This card is pretty comparable to Cabal Shadow Priest, but with a few key differences. Obviously being only 4 mana and having Taunt are both significant upgrades, but the downside is that you need a spell to enable the effect and the choice of what you get is random. If your opponent's board only has one minion, this is an amazing combo with Wave of Apathy, but for the most part I predict this card being used as an anti-aggro flex slot for controlling Priest decks, which is totally fine. Even stealing a random 1/1 is still a pretty solid effect for a 4-mana 2/6 Taunt, so you probably won't be disappointed by this card too often.
"Now, the most important step: Remember to change the name before you hand the paper in..."
This is a fantastically interesting little card.
I like that it has variable uses depending on the opponent you're running up against. Against an aggressive or midrange deck, dropping this early can be a great play; while you may not be able to remove any of their resources due to a lack of mana, you could prevent them from playing any of your high-cost controlly cards on their turn, essentially wasting a turn and pushing you closer to victory. Of course, the ability to see what they have available to them is good information as well.
Against a control or combo deck, this can be backbreaking lategame; combo decks especially will hate having parts of their combo wasted as you try and burn through their resources while you have them. Control decks won't particularly enjoy that either, I'd imagine. The trick will be in minimising the damage they can do in return. If you're also playing a control deck, then you may be handing them some fantastic tools to clean up whatever mess you've just made, all the while having your own resources turned against you.
It'll be a tricky thing, balancing disrupting the opponent against hindering yourself. I think this will definitely make tournament lists, but might not favour ladder play.