Dean "Iksar" Ayala popped in this evening for a Hearthstone Q&A session on Twitter. As usual, here's our recap of all the important points and a full transcript of the event.

  • All previous Q&As from Dean can be found under our "Iksar's Community Q&A" topic.
  • Anything covered in the previous Q&As will not be covered in the recap but will appear in the transcript below.
  • As usual, not everything in AMAs becomes a real thing in Hearthstone - keep that in mind!


  • There will not be an adventure releasing during the Year of the Hydra.


  • They are considering doing a around of card buffs in the near future.
    • They may not be cards that were nerfed in the past.
  • We will see dual-class cards again in the future.
    • They were a big hit and have low in-game complexity with high payoffs for more uses for each card.
    • There is a chance they might do some one-offs inside of a mini-set.
  • Dean would love to bring back Dr. Boom as a character.
  • They don't intentionally make changes to cards to shake-up a tournament. If they can wait and have a low impact to the player base because of it, they prefer that direction.


  • They are still working on "ultimate" hero skins.
    • Dean was leaving feedback on one of them today.
  • Random hero portraits might launch during the next expansion cycle.
  • Random Bartenders in Battlegrounds sounds like "a good idea".

The Backlog

  • They want to have more information accessible in the client (patch notes, known issues were suggested) but it isn't high on the priority list.
  • Tournament Mode is not in development but remains on the feature list of things they want to do.

Warcraft Arclight Rumble

  • Dean has played between 50 and 100 hours of it and "love[s] it".
  • Dean "almost exclusively" played PVE but is looking forward to try more PVP.


  • The Warcraft IP doesn't do as well in Japan as it does in other regions.
  • They have discussed doing a Japanese IP cross-promotion.
  • They floated the idea of making a Hearthstone-inspired card game in Japan, but with an art style and IP that would gain more traction over there.
  • Either of these ideas are unlikely to happen, but "exploration is warranted".

Dean Ayala's Q&A #43 Transcript

Quote From Dean Ayala

Hearthstone AMA #43 7:30PM - 8:30PM PST Ask me a question about Hearthstone! Or Design! (or anime…or elden ring) (Source)

@IksarHS What are your thoughts on more info (patch notes, known issues, etc.) being accessible in-client. I can understand the balancing act of wanting people to have access to info without having to leave the client but also not wanting to crowd the screen a la Raid Shadow Legends

@WhyteKnoize want to have more info accessible in-client, just not super high on our list of features to do features that are very far down on the backlog always have the risk of never getting made, but it is on the backlog! (Source)

@IksarHS will the mini-set be related to the sunken city? or something else entirely?? 🤔🤔🤔

@navyverdant no spoilers our path with minisets has been to do something in the same locale from warcraft or something that continues a story we're telling i'd expect one of those (Source)

@IksarHS Has the team ever though about doing a custom game browser similar to StarCraft II’s arcade?

@griffior user-generated-content comes up often as a topic, but we don't have anything in development nor plans for it it's a major feature that would take a significant amount of our dev time and we'd rather spend that time on something like social game modes, tournament, etc (Source)

@IksarHS I like how cards get unnerfed when rotation to wild, but has there been any consideration of unnerfing cards that stay in standard when other cards leave? right now, several classes don't have many viable deck options; seems like this could be a solid answer to that issue.

@ASMRxism We're considering buffing many cards in the near future. They may not be cards we've nerfed in the past, though. (Source)

@IksarHS You mentioned in an AMA a ways back that there would be a second retroactive scrape of our profiles for achievements. Any ETA on that? I’ve gotten 12 wins in arena with most classes just not since achievements were introduced

@TheWhiskeyWolf I don't remember what I was referencing, but I don't believe there are plans for another retroactive scrape. @Celestalon can correct me if I'm wrong. (Source)

@IksarHS @TheWhiskeyWolf Yeah, what is possible to retroactively detect has already happened. (Source)

@IksarHS Hello iksar!! I remember in one of your AMA, you said that a new hero skin with different treatment in the hero power is in development, does that mean we're getting some kind of "ultimate skin" like LoL has?

@miranha_fa Still in development, but yes we're working on an 'ultimate' skin type (name TBD). I was just leaving feedback on some of the prototypes today. (Source)

@IksarHS Hardest boss for you in Elden Ring? 🧐

@Eduardrcc Probably Malenia, like most people. I died the most to Fallingstar Beast, though. I just tried to fight him way, way too early. Died 50+ times. (Source)

@IksarHS What’s is your favorite anime? And why is it Spy X Family?? (Seriously give this one a shot if you haven’t already)

@Longshot099 it's amazing! episode #4 was so, so good (Source)

@IksarHS still no plans for a tournament in the future?

@MasQueCarvalho nothing in development, on the short-list of major features we still want to make (Source)

@IksarHS Is there any class this expansion cycle that surprises you in how poorly its performing or vice versa?

@ZeddyHS I don't work on expansion balance anymore, but Warlock/Priest are in a lower than average for 'worst' classes of the expansion. We'll try to address some of that in the next balance patch. DH is a bit too strong, but I wouldn't call it a surprise. (Source)

@ZeddyHS The 'best' class of the expansion always hovers in the 54-55% WR space. DH is in line with that. (Source)

@IksarHS One of my favourite card designs in recent years was dual class cards. I think Scholo only scratched the surface, do you see the team returning to them? Not quite an evergreen keyword but one that’s revisited often, like quests evolving from Ungoro > Uldum > Stormwind.

@UchihaMiek We'll return to this at some point. Dual-class was a big hit. Low in-game complexity but high pay-off in terms of opening more uses for every card. We might do some one-offs in a miniset, to make it a core mechanic of a set again we'd want to find a theme that makes sense. (Source)

@IksarHS Who is your favorite hearthstone-originated character/card and would you wanna bring them back again sometime in the future with a new version?

@Nincity_ I think Dr. Boom. I know Dr. Boom is from WoW but I feel like Hearthstone made him into an awesome character with a personality beyond his representation in the MMO. I love when we can take what already exists and expand on it. Grows the IP! (Source)

@IksarHS @Nincity_ stares at your own dog named Reno Jackson 👁👄👁

@ItsMeMollyO @Nincity_ …. (Source)

@ItsMeMollyO @Nincity_ reno is a doofus in-game and dog-version (Source)

@IksarHS Do you ever look at fan made cards and if you do have you ever been inspired by one?

@Robins_compass there is some legal stuff that prevents us from using fan made stuff for inspiration so we abide by that i'm glad people can use hearthstone as an outlet for creativity, though! (Source)

@IksarHS top tier video content channel 👑

@ItsMeMollyO (Source)

@IksarHS Have you played Warcraft Arclight Rumble? How do you like it?

@Busy_Peon I've played it for …. 50 hours? 100 hours? I love it. Looking forward to release. I played almost exclusively PvE, want to try more PvP. (Source)

@IksarHS I feel that balance adjustments are often made just before big competitions, is this intentional? Or is it a coincidence?

@takepf I can't think of a time we intentionally made a balance change to shake up a competition. We make balance changes for the general population, not tournaments. If we can delay a change with very low impact to playerbase, we sometimes will wait for a major competition to conclude. (Source)

@IksarHS Hello、Mr Ayala! Thank you for supporting Hearthstone I,m Suramaru. I'm a Japanese player. I play Hs in 5 years, and making movie of hs in youtube I have a request. I would like to see continued increased publicity for Hearthstone!

@IksarHS Hearthstone is becoming more and more interesting and challenging every day thanks to Ayala and the team! Instead, the number of people is not increasing worldwide. As other players in my country have told me, the reason is obviously that there is not enough publicity.

@IksarHS It is a mottainai(waste)! . The population is not growing, so even if we become popular through distribution, we do not have enough viewers. I would like to see 20,000-30,000 views per video on youtube. Even if you become popular, 10,000 views is not enough.

@IksarHS I am saddened because I see here and there people who lose motivation because of it. And I think I would do very well if I had that many people in the game that I love too!

@IksarHS I understand that it is a difficult task, due to financial issues, to continue advertising, but I believe that we are in a situation where we are unable to draw the popularity that we should be able to generate. I'm sorry for the long post.

@suramaru3 Japan is a huge market for strategy and card-gaming, though to be honest the Warcraft IP doesn't do as well there as it does in other regions. Trust me when I say we'd love (LOVE) to have a bigger audience in Japan, have spoken about it frequently. (Source)

@suramaru3 We've discussed working with a Japanese IP to do cross promotion, and even floated the idea of making a very Hearthstone inspired card game in Japan but in an art style and IP that was more likely to gain traction. Either are unlikely to happen, but more exploration is warranted. (Source)

@suramaru3 Glad you are enjoying the game! (Source)

@IksarHS What anime have you been watching recently? Oh and how's being a dad treating you?

@Pokefreak911 keeping up with spy family, haven't been watching anything else started a game of thrones rewatch with my wife so that will probably take my tv time for a while…. (Source)

@IksarHS When a new patch drops, we see a little jankiness of like menus not working properly, UI elements slightly out of whack, etc. The team puts together known issues and then fixes it. But my question is how often do similar things happen during design and testing? Is it a hindrance?

@Multizord things break all the time in testing, we fix most of them and some slip through for the ones that slip through, we review what we could have done to prevent it in dev and qa does the same bugs will always happen, we strive to do as good as we can! (Source)

@IksarHS Why am I in there twice?

@J_Alexander_HS I don't know man blonde was supposed to be @snglttrs, and the dark haired woman was supposed to be @Slysssa but then I swapped them later in the gif and accidentally put you twice…. then I turned @ZeddyHS into @ben_heathstone at some point i have a long way to go as a memer (Source)

@IksarHS But since I’m there twice, can I pay someone some amount of dollars to use that in standard?

@J_Alexander_HS no plans, sorry what makes you like this one? (Source)

@J_Alexander_HS hey, why don't you like battlegrounds anyway it seems fun, strategic, good game to stream cman (Source)

@IksarHS Hard to say. Dusky background is nice. It has a certain vintage art feel to it that it’s hard to put into words. I like the original Tess one from the legendary as well. She just looks like a badass

@J_Alexander_HS @IksarHS @AngelinaChe (Source)

@IksarHS Is personal bias a problem when designing cards? I bet you don't like playing against certains cards or strategies, but how do you define what's acceptable and what's not? Working in group should help, but I don't think that fixes everything, specially if the group is likeminded

@Shmilia having two design groups helps a lot initial design has the set for 16 weeks then final design has the set for 16 weeks two different perspectives, but there are still some bias in final design I think we have to be cognizant of because they are the last group to see the set (Source)

@IksarHS Hello @IksarHS hope you are doing well and the fam is doing great 😁 Wanted to ask about how the team’s currently working for the feature of random hero portraits. Are there any issues or difficulties so far? Or everything’s going smoothly w that?

@HolyKnight077 this sounds like a question for…. @Celestalon ! (Source)

@IksarHS @HolyKnight077 Work is currently in progress on random hero portraits and is going well! Not quite sure which patch it'll go into yet, probably sometime during next expansion cycle, if all goes well. (Source)

@Celestalon @IksarHS @HolyKnight077 and bartenders, right?

@jcandance @IksarHS @HolyKnight077 That would be a separate project, but I agree it's a good idea! (Source)

@IksarHS Will there be adventure mode in the year of the hydra?

@HearthstoryHS no adventures (Source)

@IksarHS What do you think about daily shop deals like MTG Arena does? In my opinion not only it promotes daily logins but also spending.

@AlonsoArrietaC1 First step, make the shop an exciting place with products that surprise and delight you. Second step, give you a reason to enter the shop every day (like daily login reward). If we did only the second one, I think it would mostly just be an annoyance. (Source)

@IksarHS Who's the title holder on the design team for the most cards they designed getting nerfed?

@adam_noodelman hmm that's a good question probably Liv, @Celestalon, or @JohnEvMcIntyre. I'd guess Liv, she's designed a lot of cards…. (Source)

@IksarHS @adam_noodelman @JohnEvMcIntyre Hmmmm… That's an interesting question. My initial designs tended to skew toward weird or fantasy-driven, which aren't as likely to be competitive-tuned. Based on that, I *would* guess it's not me… Except… Demon Hunter. So yeah, quite possibly me. :D (Source)

that's it for AMA, thanks for coming and talk to you again soon!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Source)