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In the next major update, new cards will be added to Classic card packs while two old favourites are going away.
With many cards being added to the Hall of Fame during the years, there were gaps in the Basic and Classic sets. Blizzard has announced today their replacements and went on a lengthy explanation on class identity.
Eight replacements were needed for the Classic set: 5 Neutral cards and for Warlock, Druid and Paladin.
We’re always assessing the prominence and impact of cards from every set, including Basic and Classic, and will continue to make changes when we believe it makes for a healthier meta-game and a better experience for players. This may come in the form of additions to the Hall of Fame or with the introduction of new cards that we feel bring some fresh new options to players, while still being healthy for the game.
When moving Classic cards to the Hall of Fame, we always look to introduce new cards to this set in order to keep a healthy amount of easily-obtainable cards available to players in Standard format games.
Here are the cards:
Since these are Basic and Classic cards (and so not subject to set rotation), we want to be careful with their power level so that Hearthstone can continue to feel fresh with each new year. At the same time, we’d like to provide effects that are natural for their class and can be useful in the right circumstances. With this update, Team 5 has decided to add two more cards to the Hall of Fame and introduce their replacements. If you've been paying attention to recent interviews and news, you won't be surprised to learn that Mind Blast and Vanish are going away.
Here is Blizzard's reasoning on why these cards are rotating out of Standard:
While we like Rogues’ knack for getting out of sticky situations with targeted removal, Vanish allows them to effectively clear an entire board. This negates one of their intended weaknesses, reduces our ability to design towards their strengths, and makes it much harder for players to strategize against a Rogue.
Mind Blast gives Priests the ability to inflict a large amount of direct Face damage. We want to limit the amount of damage that Priests are able to deal from their hand, which will allow us to make cards that better emphasize their strengths in controlling the game. And here are their two replacements:
For Priests, we’ve added Radiance since we wanted to have a low-cost spell that could be used for tricky spell synergies that also provided a powerful baseline heal for the class. Plaguebringer provides Rogues with another way to destroy minions and further establishes this class as the masters of Poison. All the new cards will be available through crafting and/or Classic card packs.
The blog post also contains a lengthy introduction on class identity and a breakdown of each class's strengths, limitations and weaknesses. It's a very interesting read:
Establishing Class Identity
When defining a class’s identity, we’re primarily concerned with staying true to the following three guidelines: adhere to a class’s “fantasy”, define the things the class should excel at, and establish where the class should struggle.
When looking at the fantasy of each class we want to capture the emotion of the class through gameplay. That could mean charging headfirst into battle as a Warrior, wielding devastating magical spells as a Mage, or plotting the perfect combination of moves as a Rogue. Once we know what makes a class tick, we can make better decisions about what cards fit and empower that fantasy.
Establishing stronger class identities serves several purposes. Giving classes better defined characteristics allows us to have more freedom when creating new mechanics. We can push further into the extremes knowing that each class has downsides to balance out new power. It also enables more counter-play when there is a clearer understanding of a class’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, the knowledge that a Druid is weak against big minions lets you start planning your strategy from the start of the match, with little to no knowledge of your opponent’s specific deck.
Here’s a brief look into how we currently picture each of the classes:
Strengths: These are the things that a class focuses on and excels at. Limitations: These are aspects that might show up a few times in a class, but they are very limited in power level and the number of cards. Weaknesses: These are aspects that a class either doesn’t have or struggles to achieve effectively. Druid: Attuned with nature, Druids rely on the magic of the wild, massive beasts, and swarms of woodland creatures. Their toolbox allows them the versatility to pivot from defense to aggression. However, they have limited ways to directly clear out enemy minions.
Strengths: Mana generation, giant minions, minion swarms, card draw, Beasts Weaknesses: Destroying big minions, board clear Hunter: Hunters use their wit, ferocity, and an army of beasts fighting alongside them to destroy their competition. Although they lack in defense, their aggression allows them to push through before they need it. A well-timed Secret or Deathrattle can help them gain clutch advantages against their opponent.
Strengths: Beasts, face damage, Secrets, Deathrattle Limitations: Card draw and generation, board clear, Taunt Weaknesses: Healing Mage: Mages have mastered the arcane arts and use their wide range of spells to take on even the most aggressive of opponents. Their defensive cadre is limited—while a good Mage usually has a useful tool to deal with any situation, a great Mage conjures the right tool when they need it.
Strengths: Spells (big and small), damage spells, Secrets, board clear Limitations: Minion swarms Weaknesses: Healing, Taunt, minion buffs Paladin: Paladins are great champions who support their minions with buffs, healing, and divine shields; however, they are not afraid to get their hands dirty when the time comes. They are methodical, controlling the battlefield through debuffs and focused attacks instead of destructive spells. Strength and persistence are the keys to a Paladin’s victory.
Strengths: Minion swarms, minion buffs and debuffs, healing, Divine Shield, Secrets Limitations: Cost reduction Weaknesses: Direct damage spells, destroying big minions Priest: Priests balance holy light and shadow magic to defeat their opponents. They control a battle’s outcome using powerful spells with situational applications. While not the most aggressive, they are able to generate, copy, and use combinations of cards to create a powerful army.
Strengths: Healing, narrow but powerful spells, copying, single-minion buffs, Deathrattle Limitations: Card draw Weaknesses: Face damage spells, multi-minion buffs Rogue: Rogues hide in the shadows, planning for the perfect time to strike. They may be sneaky and nimble, but they lack strong defenses and regeneration, forcing them to act quickly to incapacitate an opponent. Their innate ability to generate, draw, and burgle cards allows them to build up and execute on many synergies.
Strengths: Combo cards, destroying individual minions, card draw, weapons, Deathrattle Weaknesses: Taunt, healing, board clear, multi-minion buffs Shaman: Shamans wield the power of the elements along with their trusty totems. While they may not be able to generate resources as quickly as a Mage, they are able to overload their Mana Crystals with lightning, allowing them to ramp up for a burst of power faster than other classes. Shamans are thus rewarded for planning a few turns ahead by tuning their mana curve. Shamans also have strong tools to adapt to many situations. Although they are not as versatile as a Druid’s Choose One cards, they are able to extend their capabilities in ways other classes might not be able to.
Strengths: Minion swarms, damage spells, Totems, Elementals, Murlocs Weaknesses: Card draw, card generation Warlock: Sometimes sacrifices need to be made for power, and when you get demons involved this is often the case. The Warlock is comfortable with this bond and can manage all their resources (including their Health) in order to defeat their opponent. Their inherent ability to draw cards—with a sacrifice—allows them to keep the power flowing.
Strengths: Powerful sacrifice effects, card draw, minion swarms, disruption, Demons Weaknesses: Face damage spells, big healing Warrior: Warriors thirst for the battlefield. Primarily a martial class, they incorporate Armor, weapons, and minions to destroy their opponents. The minions who fight alongside each Warrior tend to be bigger and stronger, and they employ Rush and Taunt to control the flow of battle.
Strengths: Armor, weapons, Taunt, destroying minions Limitations: Card draw and generation Weaknesses: Face damage spells, multi-minion buffs, minion swarms Neutral: Neutral cards allow classes to extend their strengths to reach a specific goal with their deck or to make up for some of their weaknesses. For example, a Paladin can add Neutral Murlocs to help them round out their deck, or a Hunter may use a Neutral card that gives them a small amount of healing so they can stay in the fight longer. These cards are generally lower in power level so a class can never completely overcome their weaknesses.
We've seen a rotating set pool in Arena this year and now it's time to play with the idea on a Tavern Brawl setting. This week, you are required to build a deck using only certain expansions.
Specifically, in this constructed Tavern Brawl you need to build a deck using cards only from the following sets: Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan and Rastakhan's Rumble.
With Gadgetzan in the mix, it's no surprise that Jade decks are already omnipresent in this Tavern Brawl; the ability to summon even larger men is just too good. C'Thun decks are also quite popular.
If you miss cards from these expansions, you can use the auto-fill feature or just queue a deck of any size, with the game automatically filling the rest of your deck.
As always, you will get a Classic pack after your first win.
If you want to try Wild, there's a one-time bundle available that allows you to get 56 packs from Wild expansions.
Toki's Wild Bundle contains 56 packs - 8 from each of the following Wild expansions: Goblins vs Gnomes, The Grand Tournament, Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Journey to Un'Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds & Catacombs.
The Bundle costs 35 dollars/euros, with Blizzard claiming it's a "75%+ bonus value". You may purchase the bundle once per account only from the Blizzard Shop (not ingame). It can also be gifted.
It will be available until July 1st.
Mike Donais appeared at his daughter's stream yesterday and he answered a few questions about new cards, balance and the upcoming expansion.
In case anyone is wondering, Mike's daugher is Melody Serafina, she is 22 years old and she is a Twitch streamer. Yesterday (which was Father's Day), she played the Dalaran Heist adventure with her father.
u/imicekczech watched the stream and he was kind enough to provide bullet points with everything that Mike said. Below, I've categorised said bulletpoints under topics discussed:
Balance & Cards
New classic cards are going to be announced in few weeks. Big Priest is "still" being watched closely but nothing new. In the future we will see more cards that work like Reno Jackson and even maybe for other classes (not just Mage, Warlock, Priest). Mike was responsible for the Rockbiter Weapon nerf. We will see more buffs in the future, but they want to try something different than buffs and nerfs in the future too. (We don't know what or when.) In the upcoming sets we will see a card that could make your Pogo-Hopper a 45/45 easily. We might see one hero card this year, just maybe. Sometimes they release a 4 mana 7/7 just for the memes. They already did a few cards like Shadowform and we might see some more of them in the next expansion. (Dinomancy, Lord Jaraxxus, Hero Cards, etc.) It´s quite possible that we will see Classic Cards buffs in the future. (It isn't that high on their list.) Next expansion
RoS was about the bad guys, new expansions should be about other things? Mike thinks that the trailer and the theme for the next expansion is awesome and probably everyone will love it. Mike's favourite expansions are League of Explorers and Journey to Un'Goro. So, judging from what he said in the previous point and the other point about Reno cards making a return, a new LoE expansion looks quite possible (check out this clip as well) The story of Rafaam will continue with new expansions this year but it's not only about him. Dalaran Heist & Adventures
Haro Setting-Sun is going to be nerfed next week. It would be cool to allow golden cards in the adventure and Mike agreed. With the next expansion, we will see also a new adventure but its playstyle might be different. We will probably see the most popular Dalaran Heist playable characters as class skins. (At least one would be great, Mike said.) They have 2 lines fixed between bosses from Dalaran Heist (power level-wise) and if any is above or below the lines, they are establishing them accordingly. They tried to do an "infinity" mode for adventures, but it ended up being boring. (12+ bosses will probably never happen.) Future plans and ideas
We will see more in-game shop skins for real money in the future. They are working on cosmetics. We will see a better deck copying feature and maybe even better deck sharing with your in-game friends. Mike said that special legendary card back with its expansion logo for every expansion would be a nice idea. Splitting expansions into 2 smaller expansions has been discussed, it would be good as things would change quickly. Random hero option is a good idea as random card back option already exists and it wouldn't be hard to implement that into the game. A lot of HS devs are playing MtG and they are maybe getting some ideas from it. Artwork & Animations
Angry Chicken and Chicken arts aren't going to be updated ever because it would be distracting for the players. There are plans about changing animations for some classic cards in the future. From past statements, likely candidates could be Tirion Fordring and Edwin VanCleef. Giant Wasp doesn't look like really stealth minion with her pink "tentacles", that's because they had her art first and then they decided to give her a poisonous and stealth because she was the only meaningful card in the set that could have poisonous.