Mike Donais and Dean Ayala on the Arena Changes, Priest, Yogg-Saron, Tournaments

Mike Donais and Dean Ayala on the Arena Changes, Priest, Yogg-Saron, Tournaments

IGN's Cam Shea had a chance to chat with Hearthstone's Dean Ayala and Mike Donais. We've recapped the interview below!


  • Mike believes the meta is in a good spot but it's a little more Shaman heavy than he would like.
  • Shamans are currently around 20% of the ladder.


  • Dean was surprised to see Malygos Druid pop up again thanks to the consistency brought by Arcane Giant.


  • They've both been playing different Resurrect Priest lists, with Mike having the better one. (Check bottom of post)
  • Mike admits he was lucky winning with his Priest list.
  • Reno Priest has been spotted at high MMR in a couple of the regions.
  • They should make sure to get good Priest cards into the next set.
  • It is understood that people love Priest trickiness. They hope to incorporate more tricky cards in the future.

Hunter / Call of the Wild

  • Not certain if Call of the Wild needs to be changed. Community feedback is being read.
  • In some cases, it is okay to have strong class cards.
  • It's tough to agree that Call of the Wild is an issue when those decks are on par with the good decks of other classes.


  • Yogg is on the developer radar.
  • They want to find a solution that makes everyone happy.
  • It's too early to talk about when they'll have a solution to the problem.


  • BatStone was great to see because it explored a new format in how you could play Hearthstone. More events like this can lead to the discovery of new long-term formats.
  • They don't have any tournament client stuff in development right now, but they've been talking about it for years.

Arena Balance

  • It's too early to tell what impact the arena balance changes have made.
  • There's two things they want to measure:
    • How the winrates have changed.
    • How often each class is being picked.
  • Short term goal is to get all the classes closer together in pick rate.
  • Long term goal is to be able to have players pick the class they love the most because they're all so even.
  • They wanted to target class specific cards in the arena changes because removing neutrals doesn't really change anything for specific classes.
  • They didn't want to remove weaker cards that gave players awesome moments such as Eye for an Eye.
    • Bouncing Blades was questioned and ultimately, they think it's more consistently awesome in constructed.
  • They didn't want to remove cards which felt core to what each class was. Example cited being Fireball and Flamestrike on Mages.
  • Windspeaker was removed over Windfury because there are less spells in Arena as time goes by. The two cards were statistically very close.
  • Succubus was statistically a very, very poor card.
  • It is believed that the best method of long term arena balance is through changing the drop percentage of cards. They'll talk more about it when they figure it out.

Mike Donais' Resurrect Priest

Mike Donais' Resurrect Priest
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