Each new Hearthstone year is symbolized by one of the zodiac constellations twinkling in Azeroth’s night sky. The moment when a new constellation comes into alignment heralds the start of the year and a time of jubilation and raucous revelry wherever Hearthstone is played!
This year, we wave farewell to the Year of the Mammoth, and get ready to greet the Year of the Raven!
Set Rotation is Coming
Two years ago, we introduced a New Way to Play, which introduced the Standard and Wild game formats to Hearthstone.
In order to keep Hearthstone exciting and accessible as more cards are added, Standard allows players to use the most recently released cards, as well as a core of Basic and Classic cards. Our overall intention with Standard is to keep the game feeling fresh for all of our players, and to allow newer players to jump into Hearthstone quickly, without the need to collect lots of cards to build a competitive deck. Standard also gives our developers more freedom when designing new cards for the future.
When we release the first new expansion each year, every set that wasn’t released in the same year or the year prior will cycle out and no longer be part of the Standard format.
If you want cards for Wild play or just to fill out your collection, you’ll be able to craft them using Arcane Dust—even cards from Adventures (like One Night in Karazhan) that were previously un-craftable.
While no longer available for purchase in-game, you can also purchase content that is exclusive to Wild from the online shop.
On Raven’s Wings
The new Standard format will arrive with Hearthstone’s next expansion! When the magical moment arrives, you’ll be greeted with Hearthstone’s astrological clock tick-tocking toward a new Hearthstone year, and a new Standard format has begun!
You’ll be able to build Standard decks using the following sets:
- Journey to Un’Goro
- Knights of the Frozen Throne
- Kobolds & Catacombs
- The First 2018 Expansion
At the same moment, the following sets become exclusive to Wild, along with all previous sets:
- Whispers of the Old Gods
- One Night in Karazhan
- Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
A new Hearthstone year also means three new expansions! Can you guess what the future holds in store?
Hall of Fame Inductees
To help meet the goal of keeping Hearthstone fresh, certain cards from the Classic set will become exclusive to the Wild format. These cards will be added to the Hall of Fame set. This year, the following cards will be promoted to the Hall of Fame:
Ice Block – This Mage secret is a powerful card, and has been the centerpiece of Standard decks for years. Now it’s time to make more room for new Mage decks in Standard.
Coldlight Oracle – Coldlight Oracle is becoming exclusive to Wild for several reasons. It offers unusually strong neutral card draw which can be detrimental to class identity. Its “downside” can destroy opponent's cards and prevent opponents from playing the deck they built—which in turn limits some designs related to Battlecry and effects that return a minion to hand.
Taken individually, any one of these reasons might have been enough to prompt a promotion to the Hall of Fame, but when viewed as a whole, we feel that it’s time for Coldlight Oracle to leave Standard play.
Molten Giant – Moving Molten Giant to the Hall of Fame and reverting it to its original mana cost will allow players to experiment with decks featuring Molten Giants in the Wild format.
Just like last year, you can keep your copies of these card once they move to the Hall of Fame, and you’ll also be granted the full Arcane Dust value for each card (up to the maximum number that can be used in a deck).
The dust will be automatically awarded once you log-in after the Year of the Raven begins.
With the arrival of Hearthstone’s next expansion, quests are about to be better! The requirements for almost every quest will be reduced to make them faster to complete, and all 40 gold quests will now award 50 gold instead. Quests that awarded more than 50 gold will still have the same rewards, but with reduced requirements. Quests that only required a single game to be played, such as Play a Friend, will remain the same.
Here are some examples:
Only the Mighty – OLD: Play 20 minions that cost 5 or more. Reward 40 gold -> NEW: Play 12 minions that cost 5 or more. Reward: 50 gold
Class Victory – OLD: Win 2 games with one of two Classes. Reward: 40 gold. -> NEW: Win 1 game with one of two Classes. Reward: 50 gold
Class Mastery – OLD: Play 50 Class cards. Reward: 60 gold -> NEW: Play 30 Class cards. Reward: 60 gold
We’re not stopping here, we’ve got our eye on more quests improvements for the future!
We’re working on a feature that will help you run a Hearthstone tournament from your own home or Fireside Gathering! You’ll be able to create a custom tournament and invite your friends--all from within the Hearthstone game client. The feature will begin with handling matchmaking and checking decks, but we’ll continue to add new features and functionality over time.
We’re planning to launch in-game tournaments as a beta around the middle of this year, but that will just be the beginning. There will be a lot of potential to explore as we expand on this very early version of in-game tournaments, and your feedback will help us shape them over the course of the coming year and beyond.
New Druid Hero: Lunara
Lunara is the eldest daughter of the demi-god Cenarius. While her sisters, the dryads, embody peace and the serene beauty of nature, Lunara’s apple didn’t fall far from her father’s tree.
When your dad is a demi-god, and your grandparents are the goddess of the Moon and a god of the Wild, you’ve got a reputation to uphold. Lunara is more than up to the task—she’s a relentless defender of the wilderness and immortal proof that nature is red in claw and thorn.
Win 10 games of Hearthstone in Standard Ranked or Casual mode after the next expansion officially launches to add this ferocious champion of the wild to your Collection.
Last chance for Maiev! With the launch of the first new expansion of 2018, you will no longer be able to acquire the quest to obtain Maiev Shadowsong. If you’ve been away, be sure to obtain Maiev before the next expansion arrives so you don’t miss your chance!
Fireside Gathering Fun
If you’re not familiar with Fireside Gatherings, they’re a great way to get out and meet people just as passionate about Hearthstone as you are! Fireside Gatherings mean a lot to us, and we’re working on even more features to support Fireside Gatherings during the Year of the Raven!
Want to know more about the Year of the Raven? Ask your questions in the comments, then tune into the official Hearthstone Twitch.tv stream on March 2 at 11:00 am PST to join Game Director Ben Brode and Lead Producer Yong Woo for a Q&A session about the new Hearthstone year!
Thanks for joining us! We’re excited to share a new Hearthstone year with you, and we’ll see you in the tavern!