Blizzard won’t surprise us with a new adventure this year. Instead, the Year of the Mammoth will bring some changes to Hearthstone‘s Standard Format, up to three card expansions, new rewards, and a few cards that got dropped from Standard along the way.
In their latest blog update, Blizzard announced their plans for 2017, which include many changes in their card release strategy. To welcome the change of season and introduce the Year of the Mammoth, Blizzard plans to release the first expansion of around 130 cards and start producing a new single player mission format that combines with these new additions. By doing this, they expect to offer more card and deck variety while keeping Hearthstone‘s lore flowing.
Standard Grows, But Loses a Few Classics
The upcoming expansion (and the ones to come) will be part of this year’s Standard Format set, together with The Whispers of The Old Gods, One Night In Kazakhstan, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and both the Basic and Classic sets. Remember that Standard gives players the chance to play only with the cards released during the current and prior year, while in Wild format every card released is available for unpredictable deck creation.
Unexpectedly, Hearthstone will also let go of Classic cards that may have been affecting the game’s balance, thus creating The Hall of Fame collection and adding them to the Wild format. There’s currently six cards selected, a combination of both neutral and class specific cards: Azure Drake, Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, Power Overwhelming, Conceal, and Lance.
During the past year, Hearthstone spotted these cards as recurrent powerful picks that were affecting the game’s dynamic by being a “must have” for most decks. Their main concern stands on how these cards versatility prevented players from picking other drops in the same mana tier. However, they did comment on how some of the upcoming features, like new deathrattles, would be too powerful with cards like Sylvanas.
Year of the Mammoth Comes With Rewards
With three new card sets thrown into Wild format, and over 300 new cards on the way, what could make Hearthstone players go for even more matches? Rewards! With this new year, daily logins will offer players gold, dust, and some secret presents for a limited time. If that’s not enough, a new rogue hero will join Hearthstone when the first expansion launches: Maiev Shadowsong. You’ll only have to play ten casual or ranked Standard after the release to get her.
More details will be announced as each expansion releases, but expect these changes to affect the other game modes and features, Blizzard is looking forward to add diversity to every aspect of Hearthstone.