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Year of the Dragon Announced

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This Hearthstone year belongs to the constellation of the Dragon and Blizzard has prepared some amazing changes, which we will detail in this article.

As usual, the start of the Year of the Dragon will signify the cycle of the yearly rotation. It's time to bid farewell to Journey to Un'Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds & Catacombs. There will be a special period between March 25 to April 2, where you can login and earn a pack from each of these expansions.

That's not all, though. Usually, at the beginning of a Hearthstone year some cards are rotated out of Standard. For 2019, these cards will be Naturalize, Doomguard and Divine Favor.

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What is unprecedented is that Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater will also join the Halls of Fame. These cards were only released last year with The Witchwood expansions, but they have certainly be a headache for both the playerbase and the developers.

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So long!

Since they were part of the Odd/Even package, Black Cat, Gloom Stag, Murkspark Eel and Glitter Moth are also going away.

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As far as Solo Adventures in the Year of the Dragon are concerned, Blizzard is shifting towards a business model that is reminiscent of the original one they had for PvE Adventures like Curse of Naxxramas or Blackrock Mountain. Specifically, the first single-player Adventure of this year will be made available a month after the launch of the first 2019 expansion. The first chapter will be free for everyone, but the four next chapters will cost 700 gold each. Alternatively, you can purchase the entire Adventure for $19.99. These Adventures will have new features, like a pause option, different modes, new Heroes with multiple Hero Powers and more! After completing each chapter, you’ll earn three card packs from the new expansion, and for completing all five chapters, you’ll get a card back and a Golden Classic pack.

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Arena is getting very interesting this year with a rotating draft pool. Sets will be switched around twice every expansion. The Year of the Dragon will begin with the following sets in the Arena: Basic, Classic, Curse of Naxxramas, Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, The Witchwood, and the first expansion of this year. Lastly, wins in Arena will now count towards the 500 wins needed to get a Golden Hero.

There are also several quality-of-life changes. You will be able to reroll Legendary quests (for example, the ones that makes you win 3 games in Dungeon Run or Monster Hunt) if you don't wish to complete them.

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Another option that lots of players had asked for is the ability to have random card backs, which you will be able to do once the Year of the Dragon launches!

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The team has been working on making the deck builder smarter; they will have more to announce on this soon. According to RegisKillbin and Hearthstone Top Decks, the deck builder will offer cards with the highest winrates for semi-complete decks, while for entirely empty ones it will propose to you the best deck by winrate by comparing the cards in your collection. It can even build a deck around a single signature card you particularly enjoy or suggest replacements for key cards you miss. Everything will be based from real, internal Blizzard data.

The release date of the Year of the Dragon and its first expansion hasn't been announced yet, but it is expected to go live in April. The devs will host an AMA on Reddit on March 7 at 1:00 pm PST to answer all your quests. You can also watch the following Hearthside Chat, where Ben Thompson and Chris Sigaty talk in brief about all the novelties of the Year of the Dragon.

Read our theories on what the three Year of the Dragon expansions could be about in this article!

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I get that they want to break the currently stale as hell meta, but the next expansion had better be damned amazing if they're going to put the clamps on so many deck types at once.

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Yeah, more cash-crab from Blizzard!

Why let people play the solo-content if you can take money from them?

First we had 1 or 2 expansions a year and 1 or 2 adventures.

Then they decided that didn't give them enough money. There had to be 3 expansions and no more adventures (sure, 2800 gold for a 100% card-coverage was horrible for Blizzard. Way too easy and cheap.)

Greedy, but at least the solo-missions were fun.

But hey, earning several hundred million dollars / year with Hearthstone is not enough of course!

Let's sell those solo missions...

 

I am curious how long Blizzard will survive with this kind of policy. Will there be the point player say: Go *filtered* yourself Blizzard?

Lucas Arts managed it.

Bioware seems on a great way to do it (there are several rumors they will be closed this years.)

I guess Blizzard will take longer. 3 years?

If I would be shareholder of Blizzard-Activision I'd sell my stocks at once.

But wait, I am not the only one - after Blizzcon they crashed by 40%. Do the investors realize that Blizzard-Activision is going downhill as fast as an avalanche? Looks like it.

 

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Just now, WedgeAntilles said:

Yeah, more cash-crab from Blizzard!

Why let people play the solo-content if you can take money from them?

First we had 1 or 2 expansions a year and 1 or 2 adventures.

Then they decided that didn't give them enough money. There had to be 3 expansions and no more adventures (sure, 2800 gold for a 100% card-coverage was horrible for Blizzard. Way too easy and cheap.)

Greedy, but at least the solo-missions were fun.

But hey, earning several hundred million dollars / year with Hearthstone is not enough of course!

Let's sell those solo missions...

20 bucks, 15 packs plus a golden pack and a legendary. If you don't mind me asking, what is the going rate of normal packs in your country? Where I live, 15 packs is 15 euros. So, I will give 5 more, get a golden pack (which is gonna yield me some dust), get a legendary and hours of content.

If you don't want to spend a single dime on the game, you know you can just play for couple hours a day, get that 700 gold in several days and pay the wing with gold (Thats how I opened most of the adventures)

I was unhappy when they decided to get rid of the adventures, and make it 3 sets a year. But this deal is just fine.

What exactly do you want from Blizzard?

For the general idea, this might be the first time they actually hear what the community says in terms of meta, recent nerfs and this hall of fame are almost on point. This is going to be a long explanation, so bear with me please; 

When we look at the meta right now, what we don't like generally is how stale it feels. Main reason is the strength level of cards from KoFT and K&C, and Baku&Genn. Now, as these cards create power spikes, they generally balance each other (there are some examples where they work well together of course). For example, hunter uses neither cards, but had a really strong cards from the aforementioned sets, or druid, or priest. Now all these classes lose these super important cards, Baku and Genn would remain 'uncontested' in a sense, they would be the main forces to shape the meta. Because, none of the cards from WW, BdP or RR has enough raw power to check them out. And this is why rotating out Baku and Genn is a fantastic move by Team 5. 

For the other cards, Divine Favor had it coming, Naturalize has a good explanation by T5, and Doomguard was already a controversial card (even though its explanation isn't as accurate). The problem is how Team 5 defines 'Class Identity'.  Lets say Naturalize really didn't fit the theme of Druid. What about the cards which did, like Wild Growth or Nourish? Why are they nerfed even though all the late game powerhouses for Druid (UI, Hadronox, Death Knight, King Toggwaggle and etc. ) are about to rotate out?

Aggro Paladins have a really strong draw engine with Divine Favor (I agree), but control paladins have a really strong board clear with Equality, so lets get rid of both. Okay, so what are paladins supposed to play? 

As I mentioned at the beginning, Team 5 seems to hear what playerbase says, which is great. But there are some really uncalled nerfs, which destroys an entire class.

Sorry for a really long post.

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3 hours ago, Migol said:

I get that they want to break the currently stale as hell meta, but the next expansion had better be damned amazing if they're going to put the clamps on so many deck types at once.

Thats a reason to break out the lunatics from the insane asylum and give thema job making cards

Edited by Hoods

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4 hours ago, Zadina said:

Another option that lots of players had asked for is the ability to have random card packs, which you will be able to do once the Year of the Dragon launches!

Backs, not packs 🙂 (sorry for grammar nazi-sm, but this time text may confuse)

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Pro: the hall of fames will give me LOTS of dust this year (2 legendaries + 4 epics means 3 free legendaries to craft day one), and as I play wild there is no changing or killing nerf at all.

Cons: I don't think that the SP content should be sold, for an ideological and business point of view. But if the cost of the preorder will be low enough, I will make peace with it. If instead they'll make a big preorder, I'll be a little disappointed. Oh, and I think that the SP content in the end should award an alternate Hero like Arthas instead of a boring card pack.

However, I would note that sending Genn and Baku to the HoF early is a big ammission of a failure this year. It's like saying that they did a big mess releasing this cards. If they were right, they should after this unnerf some card that has been taken away just for Genn/Baku iteration.
For the other HoF cards,

Naturalize I just hope they'll release something big for druid, or the class will be unplayable. Druid doesn't have aoe, now he doesn't have target hard removal too. After having lost his very own soul giving up ramp, I don't understand what druid should do now. Only aggro?

Doomguard I understand that they want to delete charge from the game, while I don't understand why some class can't charge you to face while other can burn spell to your face and be cool doing it. It's my problem, I simply don't understand this unfairness. And after the rotation of KaC there shouldn't be a way to cheat this. I fear more handbufflock support incoming.

Divine Favor this card is very strong, I can understand this. In wild is safer, while in standard they can release more fair card draw for control/healing pally, the deck they think will play equality at 4 mana and be competitive.

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Finally Arena wins are going to count towards getting a Golden Hero. I rarely play constructed and play arena a lot, I'd definitely already have 5+ golden heroes if they did it from the start. Glad I can finally work towards them.

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13 hours ago, FanOfValeera said:

20 bucks, 15 packs plus a golden pack and a legendary. If you don't mind me asking, what is the going rate of normal packs in your country? Where I live, 15 packs is 15 euros. So, I will give 5 more, get a golden pack (which is gonna yield me some dust), get a legendary and hours of content.

You are correct, I overlooked the packs.

My mistake.

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At the moment, each class has exactly 15 cards in the Classic set, with the exact same rarity distribution. Last time Blizzard moved Classic cards to the Hall of Fame, they later compensated the loss of class cards with 4 new Classic class cards of the same rarity. The non-class cards were never replaced though, although they said they were considering it.

I suppose they are going to introduce 3 new class cards to compensate for Naturalize, Doomguard and Divine Favor. I wonder if they will also take the opportunity to add non-class cards. I also wonder if it will happen at the same time the current cards will be moved to the Hall of Fame, or if we will have to wait half a year as was the case last time.

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