Hearthstone's Dean Ayala Talks About Rastakhan's Early Nerfs, Barnes, Power Level

Hearthstone's Dean Ayala Talks About Rastakhan's Early Nerfs, Barnes, and Power Level

IGN's Cam Shea had a chance to speak with Dean "Iksar" Ayala on the nerfs introduced during early Rastakhan's Rumble, balance, and Barnes.

See our recap below and the full transcript here.

Rastakhan's Early Nerfs

  • The early nerfs happened because they knew the changes they wanted to make.
  • They didn't need to give the meta time to "breathe" this time, it was certain the nerfs would bring "more fun for the next month".
  • Pretty happy. That's how the team feels about the post-nerf meta.
  • Hunter power level is pretty high and is being watched closely.


  • This week and next week are some of the final weeks where they are working on 2019 Set 1's balance.
  • There wasn't an effort last year to create expansions with less power than Un'Goro, KFT, and Kobolds.
  • Introducing new archetypes was a goal, it doesn't matter how many of the older cards get brought along for that ride.


  • Making changes for the sake of changes isn't what they want to do, they have to make them to make things better.
  • Talk about Barnes still takes place. No current changes planned right now.

Quote from Dean Ayala

In a broad sense, how happy are you guys with the post-nerf meta?

Pretty happy, I would say. The popularity and power level of Hunter is pretty high right now, so that’s something that we’re keeping a pretty close eye on. It’s been stabilising a little bit, but we’re still looking at it pretty closely. We have meta reports that come in every single day and we monitor not only where stuff is, but where is it trending; where do we think things are going to be in a month or two months, or where do we think things are going to be in the month leading into the next expansion. And if we feel like that’s going to be a really positive environment, we won’t make any changes, but if we feel like there’s some things we can do to make a major impact, then we will.


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