Hearthstone Hall of Fame ends Odd-Even decks one year early

Blizzard is preparing to start the Year of the Dragon by revealing the next Hearthstone Hall of Fame class, which will put an end to Odd and Even decks a full year early.

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Hearthstone's Year of the Raven is coming to a close. The annual Standard rotation is set to arrive with the next expansion, which is still shrouded in mystery. But on Thursday, Blizzard revealed what the next Standard year will entail. The next Standard year is the Year of the Dragon. This announcement includes the big reveal of the 2019 Hall of Fame class of cards that will rotate into Wild forever. But in a big change from years past, this year's class also includes cards from the current Standard set.

The first thing to note is that despite being in Standard for only one year, Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane are going to the Hall of Fame and hitting Wild a full year early. That means the Odd and Even deck-building mechanic that first debuted in last year's Witchwood expansion is leaving Standard for good. All cards associated with Odd and Even decks, including Black Cat, Gloom Stag, Glitter Moth, and Murkspark Eel, are also rotating out to Wild. Because of their place in the Standard, Blizzard is promising a full dust refund for all of these cards, should players decide to dump them.

As for the Classic cards making their way to Wild, there are three of those this year and they're fairly big ones. They are:

  • Doomguard: The Warlock's trustiest Demon is going away for good, despite the Discard drawback fitting in so well with its class identity. Blizzard is teasing that future cards may fill the void being left by Doomguard.
  • Naturalize: One of the Druid's most reliable removal spells is off to Wild. Blizzard is citing the Druid's class identity largely revolving around ramping up and getting big bodies on the board and notes that single-target removal cards like Naturalize don't quite fit in with that idea.
  • Divine Favor: With Paladins able to play most of their hand and replenish it in an instant, Blizzard has recognized that the time has come to address Divine Favor. One of the Paladin's most powerful tools is now going away, which will leave the class to utilize other card draw tools.

The Year of the Dragon will also see the full Year of the Mammoth set rotate out into Wild, so make peace with Journey to Un'Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds & Catacombs now, because they will soon be gone from Standard.

Hearthstone Year of the Dragon set rotation

While Blizzard isn't ready to reveal the next Hearthstone expansion just yet, the publisher is vowing to dive farther into the Hearthstone Solo Adventure experience. The next big PvE content is set to drop in May, just weeks after the next expansion. In addition to a more robust single-player experience, Hearthstone players can also expect replayable content and a slew of rewards. Beyond boss battles, players will also find new features, like non-combat "Friendly Encounters" where they can bolster their decks, and returning features like Heroic Mode difficulty. The rewards for this single-player content includes three card packs for the unrevealed expansion for each wing completed, with a new card back and a Golden Classic Card Pack being rewarded once all five wings are completed.

Because of the amount of content and reward potential on the table, the next Solo Adventure will go back to the old pricing model first used by Hearthstone's first PvE campaigns. The first chapter will be free, while the full experience will be available for $19.99 or 700 in-game Gold for each of the four subsequent chapters. May's PvE content will be the beginning of what's set to be a year-long storyline that will unfold throughout the Year of the Dragon. More information about the upcoming year in Solo Adventures is coming soon.

Hearthstone Year of the Dragon PvE Solo Adventure

The Year of the Dragon will also usher in some major quality of life updates. A refined Smart Deck Builder will allow new and returning players to craft smart decks based around cards they want to play with. Simply insert anywhere from 1 to 29 cards into the builder and the game will automatically complete the deck with the best tools to complement those cards. As for those veterans with a glut of card backs, the Year of the Dragon will also introduce a new rotating card back feature that will automatically choose a random card back to show off in any given game.

Hearthstone Arena

Arena players certainly won't be forgotten by the Year of the Dragon. In fact, they're being specifically addressed in ways they may not be expecting. First off, Golden Hero progress will now count Arena wins, so getting to that 500-win goal just became a little easier. But that's not the biggest change.

Arena formats will now change completely going forward. Rather than focus purely on the Standard meta, Arena formats are going to rotate every two months. What this means is that Arena will focus on Basic and Classic sets, but will also include cards from a pre-selected batch of three or four expansions from both Standard and Wild. These expansion sets will rotate out every two months, ensuring six different Arena experiences over a calendar year.

This is just the beginning of the march towards the Year of the Dragon. All of it is set to begin with the arrival of the next Hearthstone expansion. Of course, nobody knows what that expansion is at the moment. Look for more information on what's next for Hearthstone in the near future.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 28, 2019 6:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hearthstone Hall of Fame ends Odd-Even decks one year early

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      February 28, 2019 6:50 AM

      thank you jesus

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      February 28, 2019 9:52 AM

      Where’s crunchtime, who was waiting for the HOF reveal yesterday?

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        February 28, 2019 10:41 AM

        Here! Very excited for the changes and the rotation. Removing Genn/Baku a year early is the right move and I am honestly looking forward to a game where the hero power doesn't impact the games as much.

        As for the single player expansion, I think it is a good value. $20 (or 2800 gold) for a ton of content, 12 packs (+3 free) + golden pack + cardback seems good to me.

        Also from what I have heard from one of the guys who went to the HS Summit at Blizzard this week is that they have a LOT of changes coming this year to the game for the better. Nothing he could say on stream but I think they are finally listening to the players and giving the community a voice to help them make the right changes.

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          February 28, 2019 11:15 AM

          I like the changes as well and I’m excited they may release some really cool stuff this year.

          I feel like they’re hemorrhaging players right now and finally getting pushed to mix it up.

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          February 28, 2019 11:29 AM

          Genn and baku were posed to dominate the meta. Like if you look at the card quality of odd pally, it's abysmal. It looks like a starter deck. It still runs stonehill defender hoping to find tarim, which just screams they can't find a better card. So the deck is completely driven by the hero power. And I don't think I've ever lost to prince liam. I'm always relieved when that thing gets played because I get to play real cards in response.

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      February 28, 2019 10:49 AM

      The new SP /PvE approach sounds cool (more details here https://www.pcgamer.com/genn-baku-and-doomguard-sent-to-the-hall-of-fame-as-hearthstone-heads-into-the-year-of-the-dragon/ ) , sucks a bit that it is $$ but it does look like a better investment for card packs (you get packs as rewards and appears you get many more packs for the overall completion than the $$ to buy it gives). Also looks to help with deck construction options in a pseudo-draft style.

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      February 28, 2019 1:07 PM

      They replacing these classic/basic cards?

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        February 28, 2019 2:46 PM

        The idea is to replace them down the road, but they don’t want to overshadow the overall Standard rotation or the new expansion.

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        February 28, 2019 3:20 PM

        For the overall set of cards, any class-specific Classic cards taken out to Hall of Fame will be replaced with new class-specific Classic cards so as not to screw up the counts there

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          February 28, 2019 4:49 PM

          Eventually. It can take quite a long time for those like it took like 18 months for Ice Lance, Power Overwhelming, and Conceal to get replaced.

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      February 28, 2019 4:52 PM

      I hope this means that some cards get un-nerfed. It felt like mana values got changed to break odd-even deck types last time around

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