Wild Hearthstone Battlegrounds Hearthstone August Iksar Dean Ayala senior game designer future development new game modes

Hearthstone senior game designer August “Iksar” Dean Ayala has posted some thoughts about the current meta to the Hearthstone forums. Included in this post, however, were several interesting insights for the future of various Hearthstone game modes, namely, Standard and Wild formats, and the newest game mode, Battlegrounds.

The shifting Standard meta

In the forum post, Iksar explained his view on the current Standard meta. He included win rates of certain archetypes in Hearthstone from over the last four days, looking at the top 1% of players (roughly Rank 3 to Legend).

The relative strength of the Hunter class in the current meta is notable. The Hunter class has two widely different archetypes in the top 5 decks in three of the four measured days. Both Highlander Hunter and Quest Hunter seem to be performing very well regardless of the other decks in the meta. However, due to the decks’ popularity, the win rates of all players might make the stats represent the deck as weaker than it is.

The other stand-out is Galakrond Warrior, with an average win rate of 54.3%. The deck is in the top three best-performing decks throughout the measured days. On Feb. 10, for example, the deck performed an average of 1.3% better than the next best deck, Mech Paladin, at 53.7%.

The upcoming nerf to Demons in Hearthstone Battlegrounds

The nerf to Demons in Hearthstone Battlegrounds has been a long time coming. It was first revealed by game designer Conor Kou on Feb. 11. In the forum post, Iksar mentioned that this nerf to Demons will be targeting Floating Watcher, saying it is “planned to go out tomorrow and a larger scale update planned in the near future.”

An exciting development to the Wild format

Iksar closes out the post with a short mention to a mostly forgotten format in Hearthstone, Wild, saying that “we’re looking at some of the nerfs we made to cards that rotate into Wild with the next expansion and seeing if we want to revert any of them. Will have more updates on that soon ™.”

The dedicated follower base of the Wild Hearthstone format is ecstatic over this.

Cards that could be un-nerfed

Several cards were nerfed in the current Standard rotation, like Raiding Party, Reckless Experimenter, Extra Arms, Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, Giggling Inventor, and Luna’s Pocket Galaxy. Some of the likely candidates include Raiding Party, a card that could play a vital role in the Odd Rogue or Tempo Rogue decks if the cost is returned to 3 mana. The other is Luna’s Pocket Galaxy. Wild has several more broken decks than Luna’s Pocket Galaxy builds, so seeing this card return to the game would be interesting.

Raiding Party Hearthstone August Iksar Dean Ayala senior game designer future development new game modesWild Hearthstone Battlegrounds August Iksar Dean Ayala senior game designer future development new game modes Luna's Pocket Galaxy

Besides the cards of the Year of the Raven, two examples of cards that players have long asked to be un-nerfed are Raza the Chained and Patches the Pirate. Both Raza and Patches were nerfed shortly before being retired to the Wild format.

patches the pirateraza the chained Wild Hearthstone Battlegrounds

In the blog posts of these nerfs, the developers claimed that these changes were made for the long-term good of the Wild format. However, the changes were long overdue in the Standard format, which is why many believe the changes happened. It will be fascinating to see whether this is an actual first step towards building the Wild format into a supported game mode by Blizzard. Though, many in the community have lost hope after the (likely) discontinuing of the Wild Open.

For more surrounding Hearthstone, be sure to read all about the recent signing of streamer David “Dog” Caero to the Golden Guardians.

Arend Zijdenbos
I'm Arend Zijdenbos, from the Netherlands. Gamer for as long as I can remember. My current focus is further improving at esports journalism. At the moment, I write for Daily Esports and work on a project with Gamersensei surrounding improvement in League of Legends. For more of me, find me on twitter @Azijdenbos.