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Should I play Standard or Wild in Hearthstone?

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With the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion, ranked and casual play was split into two modes - Standard and Wild. They differ in card pool - with the first set release of a year, Standard rotation discards the sets from two years ago. For example, with the first expansion of 2018, all sets released in 2016 would no longer be available in Standard rotation, and could be used only in Wild, Tavern Brawl, and Solo play. Due to the cost of Hearthstone (required time or money spent to stay personally competitive), this presents a question - do I rotate each year with Standard, or do I stick with Wild?

To answer this question is not easy. There are many aspects to consider, some of which you will discover only after you make the call. We will try to cover the main ones in order to help you decide.

The Cost

High-level Wild and Standard are both expensive, but each in their own way. Wild is expensive to get into, especially because Wild-only cards cannot be found in packs, but have to be crafted instead. However, once you get a few decks, keeping up should not be as much of a problem anymore. On top of that, the cards that become popular in Wild are often popular in Standard as well, which makes it feasible to play both Wild and Standard once you are able to hoard some dust after crafting wild decks.

Standard, on the other hand, is not as expensive to get into, but due to rotations is much more expensive to keep up with. On the other hand, when a rotation comes, you will find yourself having quite some dust after you disenchant all cards that entered Wild.

What this leads to is that Wild is more viable for players that do not play as often thanks to its lower cost to keep up with set releases, while Standard can be better to players that play every day, as they are able to keep up easily with more left-over dust, letting them to craft more decks than they would be able to in Wild in the short term. Due to the nature of Wild, however, this difference goes away with time, making Wild the winner in this category from the long-term point of view.

The Competitiveness

While Wild has its own tournaments, the number is nowhere close to the one of Standard mode. Wild is also seen by players as the easier mode because of the amount of casual players even at high ranks, including legend. This, however, also makes Wild more attractive to players that want to easily achieve rank 5 for the Ranked Chest rewards (more about that here). 

In short, Standard is better for players that want to be more competitive, either in tournaments or in legend rank. Wild is better for players that just want to get their easy ranked chest and don't want to feel forced to play tier one deck in order to do so.

The Variance of Meta

In Wild, you have more cards to choose from, which also results in greater palette of decks seen on ladder, and therefore more decks to choose from. This is great if you are feeling tired of facing the same deck on ladder several times in a row, or if you are bored of playing the same rotation of decks over and over again. On the other hand, the meta changes slowly, so if you want to play tier 1 decks, but want them to change every two weeks or so, Standard meta fulfills that task better. 

Although not strictly tied to meta, if you love a certain non-classic card, like Yogg-Saron, Hope's End or Lyra the Sunshard, you need to consider that these cards will once rotate out of Standard mode, and will be available in Wild mode only. This is often a huge deciding factor when a rotation happens, as the players do not want to part with those cards, and instead build a wild deck around them.

If you prefer a broader range of decks that do not change as much, Wild the place for you. if you want to face a smaller amount of deck that change faster instead, Standard provides you with that.

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