Hearthstone's spring update is adding a Standard & Wild format

In a rather surprising blog post Blizzard announced that they will be splitting up Hearthstone's ranked mode in to Standard & Wild leagues which are essentially a straight up copy of MTG's Standard & Legacy.

Besides the two new leagues the spring update will bring with it more deck slots (!), the removal of Naxx & GVG, a rebalance of the classic card set and a bunch of brand new cards. Here's a short overview of what exactly is happening:

The biggest change here is definitely the splitting of constructed in to Standard & Wild leagues.

In Standard you will only be able to use cards released in the current and previous year, much like how it works in MTG's Standard. The idea here is that by cycling the available card pool the metagame will be a lot more interesting and new players will have an easier way of getting in to the game since they will only have to buy cards from a couple of sets.

The Wild format on the other hand will allow you to play with every single card in the game, provided you own it, making it in essence the wild, wild West of Hearthstone where balance dare not thread. Much like MTG's Legacy expect this format to be mostly reserved for players with very deep pockets as it will be the "dumping ground" for every overpowered card that goes through Standard.

It has been a very long time since I've been this conflicted about a video game. On one hand I'm really excited about the prospect of Hearthstone going through massive shake-ups every couple of months but on the other I'm about to lose 80% of my cards...

Hearthstone's spring update will invalidate a lot of player collections

This is how I feel after crafting golden shredders, belchers and healbots

My biggest issue with the whole Standard & Wild format is that some really cool cards such as Dreadsteed will completely go away before they've had a chance to really shine. The same goes for some classes such as the Paladin because once GVG & Naxx get phased out poor Uther will lose the majority of his good cards and will be left with only a Murlock deck *shivers*.

Thankfully it seems that Blizzard is aware of this. In order to ensure that this cycling of cards doesn't end up poorly the classic set is going to go through a bit of a rebalance. What exactly this rebalance will entail wasn't said but I'm assuming the Druid Savage Roar & Force of Nature combo is going to one of the first things on the chopping block given how game-altering it really is.

Hopefully it will also include something for the Paladin and Warrior as they will both be losing a bunch of cards that are in almost every single competitive deck.

GVG and Naxxramas will be leaving Hearthstone this spring

The death of Dr. Boom comes at a heavy price

While I can understand their reasoning for splitting up the constructed format the complete removal of the Naxx adventure and GVG packs is baffling to me. Even though you'll be able to disenchant adventure cards once the update hits it doesn't mean that the adventures themselves have to go away completely. Why not have the "benched" adventures be completely free and even if they can't give you new cards its still a fun piece of content for new players to explore. 

But its not just about adventures. Even GVG packs will become unavailable once the update hits meaning that if you want to make a Wild format deck you're going to have to pay the full dust cost for everything, even the commons you can get easily through packs. This is the sort of thing that can easily kill off the entire format so I'm quite surprised Blizzard is going along with it.

On a more positive side there are going to be 9 more deck slots! It would appear that we as a community have matured enough that we are now past the point where having more than 9 deck slots would confuse our poor little minds. Hooray for progress! To be completely serious its a great addition and I am fully behind it, I'm just taking the piss out of the fact that it "only" took them 2 years of half-baked excuses to finally get there.

Hearthstone will make "old" adventures unplayable in the future

Why should new players never get the chance to experience the wonders of Naxx?

And that's the long and short of it. This update, once it comes to Hearthstone in spring, is going to be the single most important update in the history of the game. What exactly will happen once it arrives I don't think even the most experienced players will be able to guess but one thing is for certain, at least it'll be interesting, for better or for worse.

Please Log In to post a comment