The Death Knight Showmatches have reached their icy conclusion. Yet there’s no consensus for the hot debate regarding Denathrius and Renathal balance. Here’s what both the community and devs had to say. Potential balance dates discussed.

Death Knight Showmatches have crowned their champions: Team Frost (of Icecrown?). Yet another capital D villain has been on everyone’s lips and fingertips. The community and game designers have keenly discussed Sire Denathrius and Prince Renathal’s balance. In this article, we shall analyze what both sides had to say.

The culprits

Denathrius and Renathal are Murder in Castle Nathria’s free Neutral legendaries, hence their ubiquity. The Prince was the set reveal giveaway and was warmly received. The Sire was the reward track leggo and provided a strong win condition to the greedy Renathal meta. Couple that with lots of bodies from Topior and Scale of Onyxia tokens and we’ve got ourselves a problem.

Sire Denathrius
Denathrius and Renathal balance
(Image via Blizzard)
Sire Denathrius
(Image via Blizzard)
Prince Renathal
Denathrius and Renathal balance
(Image via Blizzard)
Prince Renathal
(Image via Blizzard)

“We either continue to live in a post-Renathal world where scaling cards triumph over others, or we need to make Renathal less powerful so these scaling cards don’t make a bigger difference. Either way, this is the first decision that needs to be made, because all other card changes will follow suit. For example, if we nerf Renathal, touching […] Sire is less relevant, but if we keep Renathal the same, then we need to nerf these scaling cards.

Extract from pro player LunaLove‘s TweetLonger

Death Knight synergy with Denathrius and Renathal

The Death Knight and its new mechanics were the centerpieces of the showmatch. Three types of runes to mix and match have indeed spiced up deckbuilding, as you could see from the three teams. But the new class’s keyword is Corpse, a “Resource gained when a friendly minion dies”. And of course, the Death Knight hero power has synergy with it, summoning a 1/1 Ghoul token that dies at the end of the turn. Thus, we are back to our favorite token fetishist and his enabler, ‘Daddy D’ and the Prince.

Community reactions

Reactions have swiftly followed, with hot takes from well-known players and chill caveats from data lovers. Savjz, J_Alexander and Feno had distinct views on the scale of each card’s oppressive nature. ZachO of Vicious Syndicate meanwhile reiterated their synergy. His second reply echoes that of Hearthstone Features Lead Chadd Nervig. In response to raised pitchforks on social media, they both raise the same counterpoint. Explicitly that the DK-only meta may not be indicative of the wider March of the Lich King meta.

Potential balance change timing

A key insight from his tweet is that the team is keeping a close eye on the Denathrius and Renathal. Indeed, Final Design Lead Aleco Gereco confirmed his department’s shared worry. He further highlights an important but often overlooked point. The potential balance patch shall be convenient for Hearthstone World Champs players’ schedules. It’s already slotted at least five days before the event. This provides decent time for competitors to practice and submit their decks, while also allowing a fresh meta to be showcased.

“How long can this go on?” stated a minion in Hearthstone’s first Lich King set, the Knights of the Frozen Throne. March of the Lich King comes with an answer, at least concerning ‘Daddy D’ and Renathal. The first week of the new expansion should allow the meta to breathe before finally deciding how or whether the two vampires are nerfed. We can hope they don’t end up <sucking>…

Denathrius and Renathal trivia

Finally, we leave you with a bit of trivia. Overall, the two cards’ synergy and endless debates on which enables which, remind us of the chicken and egg dilemma. And what a fitting analogy, lore-wise, since Renathal is Denathrius’ child, in a way. The Prince was the first vampire (venthyr) he created, by his own hand and to his own likeness. Despite their Hearthstone synergy, Renathal ultimately led the rebellion against his Master and ‘Daddy’.

Will Renathal survive a potential Daddy downfall or will they instead go down together? Whether you’re waiting for at least one of these two nerfs or for Death Knights, stay tuned to Esports.gg. Unlike the two cards, we strike a balance of Hearthstone news and updates.

Stefan Stoican -

Stefan Stoican

Stefan Stoican’s a former music journalist turned to the dark side of esports. When he’s not roping in Hearthstone, you can find him teaching or working towards a tour guide licence. #1 FPL Captain jinxer!