Trading Card Games

Hearthstone – Introduction of Standard and Other Changes

You’ve heard right! Hearthstone is getting Standard. What is Standard you may ask? Well, it’s a game mode where only the cards released in a specific recent timeframe (basic and classic cards excluded), in this case one calendar year, can be built into a deck. That means, when this update launches in Spring 2016, the cards that came along in the Goblins VS Gnomes expansion won’t be available for any Standard decks – that means no more Dr. Boom. Yay!

Thankfully, the game isn’t completely eradicating the cards, as the same old Hearthstone we know and play will now be called Wild mode, where there are no restrictions on what cards you can use as per usual.

Ranked will be available on both Standard and Wild, but they will be separate. You could be rank 1 on Standard, but rank 5 on wild, so the two of them won’t be connected. However, your end of season rewards will only count for the highest attained rank on ONE of those two modes you have achieved throughout the season.

Unfortunately, with the new Standard mode coming out, some bad news does have to go along with it. Blizzard have decided that with the introduction of this new mode they are going to remove the Naxxramas adventure, along with the Goblins VS Gnomes card pack. From now on you will be able to craft the cards from Naxxramas, unlike before, but you will no longer be able to purchase the adventure if you didn’t already own it. Personally, it seems like a shame to see an adventure go, as there will be an entirely new player base that won’t ever get to experience the adventure for themselves. Regardless of the cards in the adventure, it is still a fun experience to at least go through it once, and even enjoy a few nods to the World of Warcraft universe for anyone who has played the popular MMORPG.

I know that there are many TCG’s out there that stop producing card packs after they’ve been out for some time; MTG being one of the most prominent, so I don’t feel it come as too much of a surprise for Hearthstone to do the same thing. Just because the packs won’t be available anymore doesn’t mean the cards disappear, since you can still dust them, just like every other card in the game. Although, since the card packs in Hearthstone are completely digital, like the game itself, it doesn’t warrant a particular reason for them to stop availability for them, as they don’t require to pay for production costs of physical cards, packaging and whatever else. On the other hand, though, it seems Hearthstone wants to lean more towards Standard now, which is probably leading to the reason they don’t want the card packs around anymore, as they will be useless in Standard.

Whatever the reason, though, I’m still going to be spamming Goblins VS Gnomes packs from now on, just in the hopes I get a few more cards that I don’t already own – Looking at you Dr. Boom!!

Other than the release of Standard and the removal of an old adventure and Goblins VS Gnomes packs, Blizzard have also announced that they will be making some changes to both basic and classic cards with this new update, but as to what we don’t currently know. Oh, and from the looks of things there is to be a new expansion set for Spring, but we don’t currently know what is to be included with this new expansion, only that it exists.

Oh, and that thing players have been begging for forever: new deck slots. Well, that’s finally coming out and it’s being doubled from 9 to 18, completely for free once you’ve unlocked all 9 heroes. I’m quite surprised they’ve done it for free, but I’m not complaining in the slightest, even if it did take them all this time to finally make the increase of deck slots that people have been begging for for ages now.

So, that’s about the gist of this new Hearthstone announcement. Honestly, I’m looking forward to Standard, due to the fact it means we won’t be seeing the same decks like we usually do, and it means Blizzard doesn’t have to interfere with card design quite so much on an already released card (not that they really do anyway). I am sad to see the Goblins VS Gnomes packs to disappear, but I can understand why with the new push for Standard. What does sadden me a little more, though, is the removal of Naxxramas. The adventures are fun and it’s a shame that newer players won’t get the chance to experience them once this update hits.

Now, I don’t currently know from a personal perspective on whether I’m going to be focusing more on Standard when it comes out, or stick to what I know with Wild, but either way, I’m going to be enjoying the new content that’s getting included into Hearthstone, and I can’t wait to play it. Oh, and see just how much I suck at Standard ranked, as well as Wild!