Elements of Hearthstone RNG: Active Reinforcement

I haven’t written an RNG Series article in a while, so here’s one!

I wrote about Passive Reinforcement before, which was a card adding a card to your hand. Since then, the Discover mechanic came out, which greatly expanded the potential card pool to be discovered. Luckily not much has changed for Active Reinforcement, a term I use for something getting summoned to the board. While some cards like Razorfen Hunter and Silver Hand Knight give you Boars and Squires 100%, a lot of other cards will give you something random.

Game-dependent RNG

These cards do not have a specific percentage, as they are dependent as what is in a deck. Because decks are limited to 30 cards, and often have doubled cards, the RNG of these cards are much lower than that of uncontrolled RNG.

  • Voidcaller – Very low randomness, as the reinforcement has to be a Demon in the hand. Because a hand is 10 cards, the lowest percentage for a minion summon is 10%. There is no RNG at all if there is only 1 demon to play.
  • Alarm-o-Bot / Ancestor’s Call – Both cards have the same RNG, as they will take a minion from the hand to the field.  They have the same 10-100% chance for minion summons.
  • Resurrect – The only card to interact with the “graveyard” in Hearthstone, and depends on what is in your graveyard.
  • Desert Camel / Mad Scientist – These cards could do nothing at all in the Arena, as they depend on what 1-drops and secrets are in your deck.
  • Deathlord / Mindgames – These cards dip into a slightly larger pool of all minions in your/opponent’s deck.

Low randomness

  • Animal Companion – While it is always Huffer, all three companions should have a 33% chance of appearing. They are all cards that are worth more than the 3-mana cost. But I think people want Huffer to come out most of the time.
  • Gelbin Mekkatorque – There is a 25% chance for each invention. Homing Chicken is the only one that helps the player only, while the other 3 have a chance to affect either side of the board. I’d say that the Poutrylizer is worst outcome for a player, so there is a 75% chance of getting something more desirable.

Medium randomness

  • Tuskarr Totemic – There are 8 totems out there, meaning there’s a 12.5% chance for a summon with this card. 4 of the 8 are the “good totems”, the ones that are not the 4 default Shaman totems.
  • Murloc Knight – With 14 Murlocs, there is a 7% for each Murloc. While there is a Murloc generated for each inspire, there are really 5 or 6 desirable outcomes for the Murlocs.

Quite a bit of randomness

  • Bane of Doom – 21 Demons means a 4.8% chance of getting a certain one. Unlike other Active Reinforcement cards, the range of the swing is the biggest with this card, as cards costing from 1 to 9 can be summoned.
  • Blingtron 3000 – 23 weapons means a 4.3% chance of getting a certain weapon. Like Bane of Doom, there is a big range, from 1 to 7 cost weapons. Further, it goes both ways with weapons for both characters. Cards like Cursed Blade are a really bad outcome, while Doomhammer is pretty good.

High randomness

  • Mounted Raptor / Hungry Dragon – There’s a 2.1% chance for each particular 1-drop. While the 1-drops are typically slim pickings, cards like Injured Kvaldir and Flame Imp are pretty good gets.
  • Ran Wrangler – 48 beasts, means also a 2.1% probability for each beast. Also has a huge swing, with cards ranging from 1 to 9 cost. There are also 8 legendary beasts, so a not-bad 16% for one.

Very high randomness

  • Piloted Sky Golem – There’s a 1.2% for each 4-drop from the Sky Golem. Typically a solid 4-drop will have 4 or 5 attack and health. But sometimes, there are weak bodies like Twilight Drake and Dreadsteed, along with understated 4-drops with negated effects like Enhance-o-Mechano and Gnomish Inventor. Pit Lord or Piloted Shredder are probably the most desirable gets.
  • Piloted Shredder – This ubiquitous card has a 1.1% for each 2-drop. This makes the desperation “hit Shredder for Doomsayer” move a virtually 1 in 88. The best gets are Milhouse Manastorm, Wrathguard and Succubus.
  • Confessor Palestress / Sneed’s Old Shredder – There are somehow 92 legendaries in Hearthstone, meaning a 1.1% chance for each. Because legendaries are legendaries, these are typically good minions.
  • Effigy / RecombobulatorSummoning Stone – These cards scale reinforcement according to mana cost, giving the ability to virtually summon any minion. While most mana-costs are a lot of variability, the Effigy or Recombobulator of 8+ cost minons are exclusive to very powerful minions.
Hearthstone Screenshot 10-15-15 00.05.50
I am Mal’ganis, I am a turtle!
Hearthstone Screenshot 10-02-15 23.48.16
The rare clone yourself reinforcement.


  • Active reinforcement usually is high-RNG. And the chances will get lower with more and more cards in the future.
  • Effects like Battlecry, Overload, etc don’t apply with the summoned cards, making normally unplayable minions with big stat points the best reinforcements.
  • No matter what is brought to the field as a reinforcement, typically, these are up-tempo cards, allowing “something” to be put on the board for presence. This gives these cards good value.



2 thoughts on “Elements of Hearthstone RNG: Active Reinforcement

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