Exciting changes are coming to the Tavern! We’re proud to announce that we’re introducing game formats to Hearthstone! Whether you’re just getting into Hearthstone or you’re a seasoned veteran, the new Standard format will help keep Hearthstone fresh, exciting, and accessible for years to come, while the Wild format will preserve everything you already know and love about Hearthstone!
The New Standard
Standard is a new format in Play mode that allows players to go head-to-head using only the most recently released Hearthstone cards. You’ll play Standard using a deck built solely from a pool of cards that were released in the current and previous calendar year, along with a core foundation of the Basic and Classic card sets (which will always be valid for Standard). You’ll be matched against other players who are also using Standard decks.
Standard promises a fresher Hearthstone experience!
- Standard will help make for a more dynamic and balanced metagame.
- A select set of cards makes each new card have more impact!
- The developers will have more freedom to design exciting new cards.
- It lets newer players jump in faster without having to collect as many cards.
Standard is only available as a format in Friendly Challenges, Ranked, and Casual play, so it won’t affect Arena, Solo play, or Adventures.
Wild Will Be Wild
Wild is our new name for the Hearthstone you already know, because it’ll be the format where anything can happen. While Standard puts a bright spotlight on recently released cards and brings a more balanced experience, when you queue up for Wild, you’ll be cozying up with the crazy fun of Hearthstone you’re already familiar with. Of course, as more and more cards are added over time, the wilder and more unpredictable Wild will be!
In terms of gameplay, nothing is changing for Wild: you’ll be able to finish quests, earn gold, rank up on the ladder, get card backs, earn Legend rank, and use all the cards you’ve already collected to build a Wild deck, just like you always have. When you queue up for Ranked or Casual play with a Wild deck, you’ll always be matched with other players who are also using Wild decks.
When Standard is introduced you’ll be able to choose between Standard and Wild for Ranked play, and you'll have a separate rank for each format, so you can earn ranks and hit Legend in both Wild and Standard if you wish! You’ll only collect ranked rewards at the end of the season based on the highest rank you attained in one format or the other, but not both, so feel free to play whichever you like best!
Time for Reflection
The arrival of Standard format will also be an excellent time for us to take stock of Hearthstone. While normally we’re quite conservative about making balance changes to Hearthstone cards (and we’ll continue to be in the future), we’re planning to take the new Hearthstone year as a golden opportunity to re-evaluate a number of cards in the Basic and Classic card sets, including class cards, and make some long-considered adjustments.
More information on which cards are changing and why will be available as we draw nearer to the arrival of Standard format.
More Deck Slots? More Deck Slots!
Yes! More deck slots! Prior to the arrival of Standard we’ve got a buff planned for your Collection Manager! If you’ve unlocked all nine heroes, you’ll also unlock nine more deck slots, raising your total number of deck slots to eighteen.
Release the Kraken!
Standard format will arrive this spring! When the momentous moment arrives, you’ll be able to build Standard decks using the following sets:
- Blackrock Mountain
- The Grand Tournament
- The League of Explorers
- The Spring 2016 Expansion
Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes will not be part of Standard. 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.
That’s also when the new Standard year begins. 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 inaugural Standard year will be known as the Year of the Kraken, so get ready to make some waves!
Adventures and Expansions that are not part of the Standard format will no longer be available for purchase from the Shop—this year, that includes Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes. If you want any cards you missed out on for Wild play or just to fill out your collection, you’ll be able to craft them using Arcane Dust—even cards from Adventures that were previously un-craftable. Speaking of Adventures, if you’ve purchased at least the first wing of an Adventure before it cycled out, you’ll still be able to finish acquiring and playing the remaining wings.