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"The Year of the Raven" To Bring New Features, A Druid Hero, And Much More!

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Three cards will rotate to the Hall of Fame, Lunara joins the cast of Heroes, and a variety of new and exciting improvements will be coming to Hearthstone during "The Year of the Raven".

Blizzard just dropped their biggest Hearthstone announcement of the year, detailing their plans for Hearthstone in 2018 and "The Year of the Raven". Accompanied by an enthusiastic (as always) Ben Brode video, The Year of the Raven will rotate three cards from the classic set to the Hall of Fame, promises larger quest rewards, will bring us our first new Druid hero, and will introduce an in-game tournament mode (Yes!!! Finally!). Each of these announcements would have been a major headline on their own, and each has me more excited than the last about the future of Hearthstone. There's an awful lot to break down, so let's get started.

 

Ice BlockColdlight Oracle, and Molten Giant Added To The Hall of Fame

 

Say hello to your Hearthstone Hall of Fame class of 2018! The second group of cards to enter the hall, Ice BlockColdlight Oracle, and Molten Giant will rotate from Standard when the next set is released. Just like last year, players who have these cards in their collection at the time of rotation will receive dust for these without having to deconstruct them.

 

iceblock.png

 

Ice Block has been on the chopping block for a long time, and was referenced by name in multiple balance patches during The Year of the Mammoth. One of the most polarizing cards in the game, Ice Block will be pushed out of standard due to its outdated power level, which has made it a necessity for Combo and Control Mage decks. To quote Ben Brode, "It's time to make room for new Mage decks in Standard", and I'm inclined to agree.

Defensive Mage decks will need some new tools from the upcoming sets to replace Ice Block, and I think it's fair to assume they'll come. In all likelihood, Blizzard pegged this card to be added to the Hall of Fame quite a while ago, and has had ample time to design new cards which will promote more compelling deck design choices and play decisions than Ice Block ever did.

 

7FW433ZT5KLH1519338635808.png

 

Goodnight, sweet prince. Fans of fatigue and mill strategies everywhere will be sad to see Coldlight Oracle go, but I can't blame Blizzard for wanting to rotate this card. To quote today's post, "[Coldlight Oracle] limits some designs related to Battlecry and effects that return a minion to hand". So long as Coldlight Oracle exists in Standard, Blizzard has to be extremely careful when printing cards such as Murmuring Elemental or Grumble, Worldshaker, which puts a serious damper on the power level of cards which are meant to excel in otherwise healthy and compelling decks (such as Elemental Shaman). As much as I love what this card brings to Standard right now, I'm optimistic that its departure will open the door for bigger and better things.

 

2ENQP5FEHSB71519338616126.png

 

Molten Giant is getting the classic "un-nerf then ban" treatment, having its mana cost reduced back to 20 for Wild players everywhere to enjoy. To borrow the words of Pesty, they probably should have just set this card's Mana Cost to 5 and got it over with. Naga Sea Witch decks have been dominant since the change to the game's rules back in September, and she will continue to be completely agnostic of the number written in the upper left corner of Molten Giant. Regardless, this card was completely unplayed in Standard, and I will be quite happy to receive an influx of 800 free dust when the next set is released. Thanks Blizzard!

 

Quests to Reward More, Require Less

 

The majority of Hearthstone's quests will be receiving tweaks to their wording which will make them reward more gold or require less time to complete. For example:

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

Each quest that rewarded 40 gold will now reward 50, quests which rewarded 50 or more gold will have their requirements reduced, and Blizzard has promised to make even more improvements to quests in the future. Hearthstone's stingy quest system has been a topic of frequent complaint on internet forums of late, so I expect the Hearthstone community at large to feel both relieved and victorious at this portion of the announcement. We did it, reddit!

 

In-Game Tournament Mode

 

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Aside from an in-game replay feature, tournament mode has been the most curiously absent feature of the Hearthstone client for quite some time. The burden of enforcing the various rules of a Hearthstone tournament currently belongs to players and tournament organizers, but that will no longer be the case once this long-awaited new feature is launched. This should make it all but impossible for players to cheat in tournament games by playing with unregistered lists, and should ultimately reduce the number of headaches which are currently associated with conducting a Hearthstone tournament.

The feature will include "matchmaking and checking decks" when it beta launches sometime "the middle of this year", but promises to expand and improve over time. Though we can only speculate as to what this means, the features I would personally most like to see out of an in-game tournament mode are a ranked tournament ladder (self explanatory) and a "tournament spectator mode" which allows you to see both player's hands at the same time. Both of these features would have been a pipe dream just yesterday, but the advent of tournament mode has suddenly made them into realistic possibilities!

 

New Druid Hero - Lunara

 

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After Nemzy Necrofizzle was announced as a reward for attending Fireside Gatherings, Druid became the final class in the game to not have an alternative hero portrait. Lunara will change that when the first set of The Year of the Raven is released (likely in April). Players can obtain her by winning 10 games of ranked or casual mode, just as Maiev was given to players at the start of The Year of the Mammoth. A familiar face to fans of both World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm, Lunara's emotes will be announced on a future date.

 

Teasers For The Year Of The Raven

 

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Blizzard teased the upcoming expansions in 2018 with this image, but left nothing else for us to guess as to what it might mean. I'm reasonably sure that Hearthstone's top internet detectives will be able to come up with something meaningful out of this image, but I for one am not quite sure what to make of this. With that said, I'm most excited for the pink set by far and reject all green-and-red set truthers.

Buried near the bottom of today's announcement was also a promise to continue developing and improving Fireside Gatherings, as well as the announcement of a Twitch.tv live stream on March 2nd with Game Director Ben Brode and Lead Producer Yong Woo, where they will hold a Q&A session (presumably with Twith chat?) about the upcoming Hearthstone year.

Phew! I can hardly remember the last time I read that much good news in one place. Hearthstone in 2018 has already kicked off with a bang, but today's Year of the Raven announcement has me convinced that the best has yet to come.

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expansion 2 looks like the dragonshrines in Dragonblight in wow

 

ed.  well  tbh  most of the portals look like that  :-/

Edited by misi

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typo in the headline, it says "mountain giant" :)

thank god ice block is finally gone!

Edited by Breadd

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Yeah, ice block makes sense to rotate, sort of needed it.  I am unconvinced that molten needed to be rotated even after the buff, but eh, better safe then sorry.  Cold light I am extremely sad to see go, love fatigue and mill, and there reasoning about it being unfun rings a bit hollow in light of warlocks Rin condition, and gnomeferatu.  My only caution would be assuming blizzard has more defensive options for mages, they gutted blade flurry to make more design space for rogues like 2 years ago and are only now getting around to exploring it.  Also supprised and pleased auctioneer dodged the bullet again, another year of the best deals anywhere.

Edited by VaraTreledees
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2 hours ago, Aleco said:

Blizzard teased the upcoming expansions in 2018 with this image, but left nothing else for us to guess as to what it might mean. I'm reasonably sure that Hearthstone's top internet detectives will be able to come up with something meaningful out of this image, but I for one am not quite sure what to make of this.

Expansion 1) Dread wastes tileset

Expansion 2) Netherstorm tileset

Expansion 3) Throne of the Tides tileset

 

I don't play WoW at all........ *Cough*

WoWScrnShot_111512_144020[1].jpg

2[1].jpg

172312[1].jpg

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I play World of Warcraft and from what I can see I assume expansion 1 looks druid related, perhaps the Emerald Dream. Expansion 2 is 100% related to the Nether from the look of the portal around the circle (Proof down below from the Mana Tombs in WoW). FInally expansion 3 seems Troll related because of the paints and wood. Keep in mind these are only assumptions that I have related from my WoW experience.

timewalk-MT-1.jpg

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To further emphasize my previous post:

 

 

Expansion 1

The "bleeding" between the wood of the tree branches/roots for strongly resemble those in the Dread Wastes. Dread Wastes has some fibrant "bleeding" in both "teal-ish" and "white-ish".

 

Expansion 2

For those that played in BC (And those to pay enough attention to detail while questing to max level), the inner part of the purple orb is identical to the gates, including the smaller golden circles. These gates have been re-used quite a few times in other xpacs (including legion): 037-netherstorm-1.jpg

 

Expansion 3: I mentioned "Throne of the Tides" because this is the most likely to be recognizable for players as queueing while leveling in dungeons and timewalking, it is easily recognized. However, you can clearly see that it could be any naga theme (or even Kvaldir theme, perhaps both considering Vashj'ir has you fighting as a naga (Battlemaiden) against the Kvaldir)

The colors used on the planks in the Expansion 3 teaser also very strongly resemble that very same theme. The red around the water orb is also a very popular color for naga.

300px-Nagas.jpg?version=a74b3a5b9bc59e50

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Tournament mode is great, better late than never!

Ice Block we pretty much knew, personally happy to see it go. I imagine the freeze/otk mages will still find find their way into the meta from time to time but they’re horrible to play against. Feel similarly with coldlight. Queueing into matchups you know even with perfect play you’re losing 90+% of the time is no fun. I’ve been quite enjoying playing dead man’s hand warrior from time to time but still, imagine the 10+ Aggro Paladins I met today will be happy to see that deck disappear (although admittedly the coldlights aren’t even needed in that matchup). Molten Giant meh, but really wish they made naga sea witch text override the text on these things.

Edited by Bozonik

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VY8RH5NG5OGB1519344039240.png.4e494abaf4

Expansion 1 design kind of reminds me of these creatures from Drustvar. Maybe they are going for a haunted forest theme?

672928.jpg

672917.jpg

Expansion 2 is definitely Netherstorm/Ethereal related (as Yridaa mentioned).

2.jpg

latest?cb=20060731190450

Expansion 3 seems sea related (obviously) but i can't put my finger on anything specific. It doesn't really seem naga related specifically, maybe it is meant to symbolize an underwater expansion in general, not just naga.

 

Edited by Terradon

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Lunara, yay, but frankly anything is better then Malfurion "help im stuck in the nightmare again" Stormrage. Iceblock moving to HoF was expected and needed, Molten Giant was unexpected, and I am sad to see Coldlight Orcale go, I just started to enjoy playing mill and fatigue decks :P

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Ice Block is no surprise, Molten Giant (well ok) but I am really happy to see Coldlight Oracle is going to leave :D

Also I have questions about the dust refunding. you can read it here: Hall of Fame and Dust refunds

Edited by Caldyrvan

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I was still hoping they might add cards to the classic set as replacements for the ones moving to the hall of shame.

Guess they really want to make us to rely more and more on the expansions.

But if they will not make the next expansion more expensive or with more cards in the sets the increased gold reward for quests is pretty nice.

Edited by Caldyrvan

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whatever the expansions are, lets just hope we get more single player content. I've really enjoyed the Lich King fight and the Dungeon Runs. 

If its not a new boss fight(s), maybe just new bosses to the Dungeon Run rotation that fit in with the theme of the new expansions.

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1 hour ago, Enhialus said:

only on the golden ones.

Do I have to dust normal be4 release to get dust for golden ones?

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15 minutes ago, Aleco said:

It worked that way last time, so I would expect it to work that way again! This hasn't been confirmed yet though.

From HS official page:

Quote

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.

I also have normal cards. Do I have to dust normal cards to get arcane for golden cards?

Edited by masamune

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My 2 cents on the HoF:

  • Ice Block: they made clear, with the last 3 expansions, that Control Mage belongs to Elemental. If you see Quest Mage, they will rotate some key cards ( Babbling Book and Cabalist's Tome), but they already have some Elemental substitute ( Lesser Ruby Spellstone and Shimmering Tempest). With Frost Lich Jaina you can build a control/OTK/exodia/fatigue Elemental deck whatever you like. While I don't consider Ice Block a problem, this is Standard's way: change cardpool every year. Now, they can change Control Mage every year, instead of having always Freeze Mage.
  • Coldlight Oracle: I wouldn't have hit this card, IMHO. I thought they would hit Doomguard. However, this card is a one of a kind, as it open, almost alone, an archetype: mill decks. I understand that every class should have their own way to draw cards. And in fact, almost no deck used oracle to draw cards. But without this card, we'll never have again a mill deck. Unless they will print a  substitute, of course. Thing that I expect in the next expansion: either a new Brann or a new Oracle will come, and this is the reason behind this nerf.
  • Molten Giant: this is good. I love the fact that I will get to play the original version of this card. I don't own it, sadly, but I'll craft it as it will be free. I just hope that next year, with new cards and new powercreep they will send to the Hall of Fame other cards of the past.

 

To end this post, I would say that Hall of Fame is a good thing, IMHO, because it nerf some cards without nerfing them (I, as a Wild player, won't be touch at all, except for the free dust). But I would also like some iconic to see some card added to the standard pack.

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Even though it will not change anything now, maybe in the next year who knows I hate the rotation system. I am more than happy that Mean Streets rotates out, such an awful expansion, but the fact that one set of "A Year" stays for nearly 2 full years while the last set is in standard only for 16 months is pretty bad.

Edited by Caldyrvan

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21 hours ago, masamune said:

I also have normal cards. Do I have to dust normal cards to get arcane for golden cards?

No, you do not.

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On 28.2.2018 at 5:09 PM, masamune said:

From HS official page:

I also have normal cards. Do I have to dust normal cards to get arcane for golden cards?

If you have non-golden cards already you don't benefit by crafting golden ones. In the end you have exactly the same amount of dust as if you don't craft a card.

If you don't own two non-golden cards (e.g. you own only 1 x non golden) then it is the best to craft a golden one.
If you don't own a single card it is best to craft 2 golden ones.

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On 2/28/2018 at 3:11 AM, Drachar said:

Lunara, yay, but frankly anything is better then Malfurion "help im stuck in the nightmare again" Stormrage. Iceblock moving to HoF was expected and needed, Molten Giant was unexpected, and I am sad to see Coldlight Orcale go, I just started to enjoy playing mill and fatigue decks :P

lol yeah maybe if Malfurion didn't eat so many berries before bed he wouldn't have so many nightmares, then again someone has to keep Freddy Kruger in check.

I always felt mill and fatigue decks were a very lame and lazy way to win, what makes this game so addictive to me is how it pushes...no demands me to get better and over come the opponents cards, not sit back and watch them hang themselves with little effort and by extension little fun on my part, but to each his own i suppose.

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