Iksar Asks On Twitter – “What Would Get You Back To Hearthstone?”

One simple Tweet from 2 days ago has resulted in a lot of interesting discussion. Dean “Iksar” Ayala, Hearthstone game designer, asked players this:

If Hearthstone used to be your main game but isn’t anymore, what would get you back?

The question got thousands of responses already, both on Twitter and on other social media. We encourage you to answer it yourself (or leave comments on our site if you want to share your answer with us), it’s a great opportunity to let the devs know what people want.

In the meantime, we’ve picked some of the pro player responses, as well as other interesting replies. You can read them all below:


I haven’t played or streamed hearthstone for the past few weeks. Every time I wake up I have a desire to play, but it’s trumped by playing autochess or doing something more fun. I’ve opened the client 5 or 6 times in the past 2 weeks to try to play around with deck ideas but nothing really feels good so I haven’t actually played a game yet. This is the longest I’ve gone without playing Hearthstone since I’ve started. It’s not that I don’t still like Hearthstone, it just feels too repetitive and to a certain extent- it feels like my decisions don’t matter as much. I’m not a card game expert and definitely not a game developer, but this is my take on a few problems I personally experienced and maybe a few suggestions.

Matchup polarization was a problem a lot of people seemed to have. The issue I have with matchup polarization is not having the option to tech in a card that can make a match up better. This wouldn’t have to instantly win a matchup, but simply make it better. Not having a combo disruption card that is a neutral is really hurting the game – combo decks became a bit too powerful when there is virtually no counterplay.

I want my decisions to matter, not just in game but out of game. I feel lost and frustrated when I’m trying to tinker around with a deck but can’t make specific matchups better. It’s not that I even need to win the matchup, it would just be helpful to have an additional card to to make my percent better. Back when quest mage was popular and dirty rat was around, quest mages would have to hold extra cards in their hand and manage card draw and hand size which was kind of difficult – on top of that they could tech in redundancy in their deck- which could counter the counter card etc. I thought deck building like that was cool – now it just feels like I wait for them to combo and kill me.

It’s only a part of the response, read the rest here!


It is an issue that the optimal way to succeed is to netdeck the highest winrate deck and jam it over and over. No matter how well the cards are designed, or things are balanced, it devolves to this. Ladder needs some variable added to the equation.

Justin Black (JAB)

delete the OTK archetype as a whole or add a lot of answers to it, i don’t like that usually the only way to beat OTK is by playing an aggressive deck and killing them before they go off since we cant react on our opponent’s turn in this game

incentivizing veteran players more, even simple stuff like new portrait frames or alternate art cards for 1k/2k wins etc. feels like theres nothing to play for aside from the daily quests which i have even become too lazy to do most of the time.

i will make a longer post on the matter later but tbh HS at its core is really well designed from the game-play standpoint, outside of game however feels too simple and could use better progression systems, more formats, and a better rotation system to keep the game feeling fresh

Jeffrey Brusi (Sjow)

1) When i was still playing i felt like everytime a change happened (balance patch, expansion, new formats) it all got extra exciting again so I would like to see changes more frequently.

2) the handlock, fon druid, patron meta was the time frame of HS I enjoyed the most. But it was other factors too like the tournament scene was at its peak then and there was always tournaments to play in outside of ladder. Tournament mode in the client would be ideal for this

The closest thing to tournament mode we had was heroic tavern brawl which was really enjoyable. Having some other prices like cool card art, cardbacks would bring alot of intrest to it from the hardcore players I think.

Yevhenii Shumilin (Neirea)

One of the suggestions: split expansions into main one(2/3)+additional(1/3) after 2 months to keep meta fresh all the time

Nicholas “DeckTech” Weiss

Hasn’t stopped being my main game, but things I’d like to see:

1) in-client tournament mode–I was pretty bummed when that was scrapped; I want something small and easy to access so I can do a 8-man bracket any night that the wife is out with friends or something. Small entry fee and win some packs. In-client is for ease of access.

2) more formats, even if they are only available in casual or something (pauper and sealed are my favs);

3) a Hearthstone necktie in the store.

Simon Wilbrandt (sipiwi94)

Nerfing Barnes.

Also back in the days HS was very much about value. Control matchups were about using removal and threats at the right time. And it usually ended with a guy having a threat left because he spent his cards better. With only aggro and broken combos that is not really a thing anymore.

That is a shame. Think back to old control warrior mirrors for example. I like OTK decks being there, but they should not be there instead of control decks. I think control decks needs better answers against combos. Cause old control is possible again when DKs rotate.


I know this will never happen but more consistent outcomes of cards (less rng) is something that HS is really lacking for me. I want to play chess not a lottery (exaggerating here). Pilot cards, something fresh like planeswalkers etc.

Also, I think that not being able to react in opponent’s turn (I don’t count secrets) is something that was always hurting HS and made the game less complex and fun. But I get that you would have to change the game from ground up to change this so that is also never happening.

One more thing that always bothered me on HS was lack of proper graveyard. That one thing limits HS in some many ways it’s crazy. I liked when you started to bring some “graveyard” interaction to priest a while back but it never really worked (for me) since it was all random

4 expansions instead of 3 a year

Rotating basic / classic set

A move away from super death star OTK/ infinite value decks (you guys are already doing this Yay)

Hearthstone auto chess. We can program that into the current platform right?

William Barton (Amnesiac)

I still really enjoy the game, but in the past it felt like a lot of games were more about the summation of a lot of small decisions rather than a few big occurrences. I’m thinking like an old value based control mirror that went to fatigue vs a relatively linear otk mirror


Much faster turns and anims for all game modes.

Max’ / Kalàxz

-Ladder being relevant somehow (gives a reason to play + streaming content)

-More balance patches keeping the game fresh and interesting over time

-Replay mode/stats

-Achievements and more rewards like golden portraits overall, cool and casual friendly I would guess


Bring back adventures. Bunch of good cards and legendaries for a cheap price so casual players can afford it and not run away


The game desperately needs more ways to play. Long-time players with full collections have nothing to do. Ranked mode is the only continual offering, and it gets quite stale.

– tournament client

– bo3 or bo5 mode

– mode with alt build rules (peon, singleton, diff block configs)

Ridiculous Hatter

More to do. More game modes, formats, progression, etc. Wouldn’t be opposed to a more frequent rotation and a reworked classic+basic either – big difference between a trickle of nerfs and remaking a set with 5 additional years of experience with design

Josh Graham (Impact)

Sending Baku/Genn to Wild early, it was a fun year but you don’t want design decisions limited by Paladin hero powers and Tank Up. Open cup system, preferably with prizes that aren’t just qualifying to something. Maybe partner with ESL again?


Arena mattering more would be nice


1)In-game reporting of toxicity with real consequences for offenders.

2)Scale battlecries back and make more spells that matter, but aren’t broken. Make it so that you have to choose between minion and or an effect on the board so that people can innovate in deck building

I feel as though the Casual Mode isn’t really casual anymore. There’s more meta decks than not in it, so use the space for a Limited format mode, or something in between Wild and Standard, rather than just a place where people complete quests when they are scared to lose a star.

Petr Žalud (CzechCloud)

This will be a long post. Basically everything developers do are a 30 minutes of content or less every week or a new expension/nerf. You are adding nothing to the game for players like me which has 300 000 dust, and 80% golden collection with all cardbacks.

When i start the client i have nothing to do. Ladder is mostly the same for the last five years, collecting new cards is also the same and PVE content can be finished in a matter of minutes, mostly days. I love to collect and have things to do.

Gettting 500 wins on every hero used to be a challenge when it was three years ago, same with all the skins. What could take me back is samething which takes months to get like a new card art, new skins which can be completed under insane circumstances, achievments

When you look at League of Legends and WoW, they get it mostly right. There are something for every player, but in HS, there is nothing for a hardcore player like me. I dont even have to buy the next expansion to have it all golden on launch.

Tyler | Code WILDCAT

A mode in which all classic cards were back in the game and returned to their original state on release. I miss combo Druid, zoo, freeze mage, control warrior, miracle rogue/oil rogue.

Swagoi | rebobson

It is still just about my main game, but I find myself wanting to play it less and less. When you’ve been playing the game for a long time, there’s just nothing left to do in the game. I will happily devour pve content, new tavern brawls, anything approaching a new experience

But those will go very very quickly. The games just been crying out for something to do which isn’t the ladder experience (which now feels fundamentally pointless with the recent eSports changes, so the grind gets even more boring)

Tournament mode was the big thing I was looking forward to, and while I understand the reasons for calling it off, the fact that there seem to be no plans to replace it with a different way to play to appeal to the long term player base kinda sucks.

I love HS, but now it feels like a stale marriage. Give me a fresh way to enjoy it, and I’ll be right back in there loving it again.

Merps4248 (Grinning Goat)

I think you could get a lot more people to dip their toes in the Arena if you introduced a way for people to practice drafts and/or challenge friends. Currently no way to improve without spending 150 gold each time, which turns a lot of people off.

Andrew Denniser (Pizza)

-Not taking away LAN events

-Ladder providing a reward so people have literally any incentive to play

-Rotating core set

-deviating away from impactful cards with low requirements(ex. Baku/gen, hero cards)

And more! We’ve only picked a small part of the responses. If you want to read more, check out the original Twitter post from Iksar.

If you have your own ideas how to make the game better, be sure to reply there. And while you’re at it, leave a comment here!


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Nickus89
    February 28, 2019 at 12:27 am

    I am still into hearthstone, however as many others, I am slowly losing interest. The last few meta’s got stale quite quickly, not to mention how uninteractive and not fun to play some matchups are. I am speaking of both OTK combo decks, where you basically wait to get killed or ultra aggresive ones where you are dead turn 5, 6, because opposing player just rushes you down with “all face” and you didn’t manage to draw an answer. Neither is not fun nor interactive. In my opinion, the best meta is midrange/tempo and control oriented where fight over the board and managing resources is what wins you the game. As dog said, I want my decisions to matter and at least have options to improve specific matchups. I understand that RNG is necessary evil of every TCG, however at least draw rng should be containted so that decision and strategy are not ignored.

    Another bigger issue I have with current state of the game is the lack of deck building incentive. As firebat said, pretty much everybody just netdecks some tier 1/2 decks, with minority trying to be creative and experiment a bit. Deck building and experimenting is one of my favourite things in every TCG. However playing against the same tier 1/2 decks becomes stale. No matter how well designed some cards are or how much fun you are trying to have, you will often get butchered playing against meta decks. Casual mode was supposed to be exactly for that, but it is flooded with tier 1/2 decks just the same. I used to go to casual mode just to have fun with some goofy decks, however I am really getting tired of seeing midrange hunter, odd paladin, secret paladin, resurrect priest and odd aggro mage all over again. They could implement a casual mode sistem with a list of banned cards, similar to what is done for arena where most oppresive cards are not offered in draft.

    In regards to content, I will pretty much summarize what others are saying already:
    1. More formats: like pauper or sealed that don’t have to be competitive
    2. More frequent meta refreshes: extra expansions, changed rotation cycles, patches, perhaps included monthly rules/bans. Something that would give players some incentive for deck building and keep the game fresh at least on mothly basis.
    3. Reworked classic and basic set: perhaps introduce yearly rotating core set
    4. More achievements and challenges: new card arts, new skins, perheaps added in game portrait with additional accessories that can be obtainted if certain conditions are met, etc.

  2. Flyingbird9
    February 25, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    I miss Savjz on HS.

  3. […] Blue Post/Community: Iksar Asks On Twitter – “What Would Get You Back To Hearthstone?” […]

    • JG20152015
      February 25, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      I’d like Blizzard to consider the great amount of disappointed players who have invested money in buying losts and lots of card packs to have competitive decks that are soon unfortunately nerfed. We understand the need of nerfing, but when it happens once, twice or three times or maybe 2 times almost consecutively (last nerfs) , it really frustrates players since their -perhaps- only deck(s) have been “destroyed” due to nerfs and nerfs….So I guess Bizzard should consider that there are still thousands of casual players willing to invest but not to get cards that will be taken out soon. In that case, may be a new system to get cards , cheaper packs or something must be created soon by the creative team in charge. We feel HSTN in on the decline due to these reasons, among many others. Management of this game has been incorrect and the best decisions have not been taken.

  4. Moltar
    February 22, 2019 at 7:33 am

    A super cheap and fast 8 players tournament mode would be cool, for example:
    – Entrance fee 15 gold (yes 15!), you pay and start queuing.
    – When there is 8 players that paid, matches start. (so the “prize pool” is 120 gold)
    – It’s a simple bracket tournament, all matches are best of 1
    – First place gets a pack (+10 gold for a 3 win streak)
    – Second place gets 20 gold (basically just recover the investment)

    It’s a low cost “high risk” investment, usually wins give you 10 gold, this way you gamble 15 gold to get a pack.
    Also it’s fast, only 3 matches (for the winners) so it only takes less than an hour in average.

    Another thing, but requires a drastic change and time, is to “worsen” the neutral cards, to help with the class identity problem.
    Neutral cards should be there to fill gaps between the class cards, not to build a whole strategy around them or to have them in every class deck.

  5. Bajula
    February 21, 2019 at 5:39 am

    1. Denerf cards like Fiery War Axe, Mana Wyrm, Warsong Commander, Ancient of Lore…etc. and HoF them.
    2. Nerf unfair control tools like Dustbreaker, Defile, Spreadin Plague, Branching Paths, Mass Hysteria and Psychich Scream.
    3. Start making some decent (non-legendary and epic) tempo cards, so the meta won’t get as ultra stale in the future as it is right now.

    If one of my above mentioned points got fulfilled, I would definitely consider coming back to the game.

  6. Pindead
    February 21, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Just nerf aggro. Set the static health at 40 so we can have fun

  7. Fyrfytr998
    February 20, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Rotating core set every year. I understand there is the wild format, but I think having new core sets will open up future development.

    Better value for dusting cards. I have no problem spending money on packs, but I find the disenchant to create ratio rather disproportionate.

    I would also like more quest rewards that didn’t depend on playing PvP. Sometimes my hectic schedule precludes my ability to play live opponents.

  8. Apolz
    February 20, 2019 at 9:38 am

    We need that tournament mode fully working as a real tournament. Make it so that people can join/start smaller tournaments with some settings, like what sets is included etc.

    Making more rewards, so there is a reason to rank up also after u hit legend. Make diamond heroes, like gold heroes. Give packs and cards backs everytime u advanced alot on ladder.

    More deck slots.

    A life view in the hs client of your ranking and others. Also stats in the hs client, like most played deck the last 24 hours in your rank.

  9. Buckz1lla
    February 20, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Simple as this (to me) —

    MTG has always been the superior game (I think its fair to compare the two…), it just hasn’t had a good digital format. Now it does, in MTG Arena. So I play that 90% of the time to 10% Hearthstone.

  10. DukeStarswisher
    February 20, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Honestly the best suggestion here is arena practice mode. It is a lot of fun, but I’d like to get better at it without spending gold. Even if that meant limiting it to just friend challenges w/o rewards. Of course they might be against that if it means that people never play competitive arena anymore…

    I am REALLY into the limited format. Bringing old and new expansions together for a new meta every month or two. THAT would ensure things don’t get stale. Alongside that I really think they should lower the price of Wild expansion packs to promote Wild cards. They would need to modify the dust gained from those cards however w/o decreasing the craft value.

    A lot of these complaints I feel will be solved come rotation though (besides Genn/Baku). Standard won’t have to worry about unlimited value from DKs.

    • JoeBar
      February 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      I even dream to be able to draft an arena whenever i want to duel a friend who drafted too, and we could be able to do BO3, or even with another friends to make an arena tournament.

      So many ideas could be possible if they went into this direction.

  11. Exo21551
    February 20, 2019 at 2:56 am

    What i would do is to add tournaments inhouse (at most 8 players) with 1 pack as first price and game-money or dust for the second. I think it would be great at it will call back lots of players…