Regardless of whether you love or hate Reno Jackson, one thing is for certain: he's dominantly slowed down the Hearthstone meta unlike any other card before him. And while some may complain about him being frustrating to play against - especially when he completely restores their opponent's health just before defeat - others rejoice as he's brought much needed fresh air into an otherwise dry meta. Though we've only had him in our collections for about two months, some are worried that he may cause issues in the future.

The nature of Reno is relatively simple: have no more than one copy of a card in your deck when you play him and he will activate. This means players are either forced to run only one of each card, a sacrifice - given you'll need to replace cards you'd normally run two of with sub-par choices - or run more than one copy of each, but understand that you'll need to manually track and wait until all duplicates have been drawn. The latter is risky, but allows the rest of your deck to be much more solid. And while this all seems fine and dandy right now, as more and more cards are released (which will theoretically decrease the number of sub-par cards you have to run) we begin to approach a situation where running Reno requires very few sacrifices.

Needless to say, this is something that will need to be addressed. Professional players like Xixo are already worried and pushing for answers as to how Blizzard will keep Reno from power creeping over time.

I wonder when Reno gets nerfed, I'm convinced the card can't stay that way with bigger cardpool so it feels like delaying the inevitable.


Take Thijs' Renolock for example. There are plenty of cards in that decklist that really aren't optimal. Cards like Acidic Swamp Ooze, Sen'jin Shieldmasta, and Soulfire are optimized, yes, they're some of the best cards you can use as filler given the situation, but as we said, they aren't optimal. Even as soon as the next expansion we could begin seeing some of these cards replaced with those that are much, much better. Can you imagine how strong this deck would be if every card was as useful as Emperor Thaurissan?

Inevitably that's the future of Hearthstone assuming there are no major rule changes. Your collection is going to continue growing and while that's fine for many archetypes, it's actually really problematic for this one in particular which will become much, much stronger as your library expands over the next year or so.

Game Designer, August "Iksar" Dean Ayala says the studio is well aware of the implications additional expansions entail.

I wonder when Reno gets nerfed, I'm convinced the card can't stay that way with bigger cardpool so it feels like delaying the inevitable.
@NaViXiXo @GreenSheepHS we're aware of that point, we can handle the future :). I'm more interested in what you guys think of it now.


There's no way of knowing for sure exactly how Blizzard will approach it.

A commonly suggested solution is to somehow limit what constitutes a Constructed deck, similar to how Magic: The Gathering has their Standard format, which only allows for cards from the last three sets to be used. This would allow the card to be unbalanced outside of Ranked Play and remove the entire issue of making sure cards like this don't encounter major problems throughout the rest of Hearthstone's existence. But then that itself raises concerns with older cards being useless and obsolete. Though this does also address some other concerns that players have with Hearthstone, namely power creep, that seems like a heck of a lot of work.

We're much more likely to see a nerf or change in the card text as a result, but this is something that's very challenging to conceptualize. Unlike most other cards, the issue isn't a keyword, mana cost, attack, or health: it's the effect. Changing the power of Reno Jackson would obviously have a negative impact on the card's identity. Even if you halve the healing, he's much more likely to see less play and loses a lot of his charm. Much like the other legendaries in the League of Explorers set, Reno truly embodies the Legendary rarity and any major nerfs to his effect would blemish the image of a card so many in the community have come to love. (Assuming they aren't playing aggro)

As Hearthstone continues to grow, it's going to grow increasingly difficult for Blizzard to properly balance and track every single card interaction. The game itself is still relatively young and some of these bigger picture issues are finally starting to be realized.

We're due for an expansion in the next few months and with that, the clock may very well officially begin running on Reno Jackson.