It's that time of year for the Hearthstone Hall of Fame. That's when a handful of overused Standard cards from the Classic set are removed from Standard play and shifted into Wild. This year's class of cards is led by the old staple Leeroy Jenkins, but that's not the end of it. Blizzard is taking a massive sledgehammer to the Priest class, totally changing it by rotating out half a dozen cards and introducing a number of replacements.
Five Neutral cards will find their way out of Standard and into the Hall of Fame just priot to the start of the Year of the Phoenix, which begins with the release of Hearthstone's next expansion. They are:
- Leeroy Jenkins: The 6/2 Charge minion Leeroy has been a reliable finisher since the very beginning. But after over five years of hearing "LEEEEERRRRROOOOOYYY!" to polish off an opponent, Blizzard determined that the finish was old hat and it was time for something new. That's especially the case with the addition of the aggressive Demon Hunter class. So Leeroy goes off to Wild, while aggressive decks are encouraged to come up with new ways to end games.
- Acolyte of Pain: This 1/3 minion proved invaluable for early card draw, but eventually came to populate too many decks. There are other card draw methods and Blizzard hopes that the Acolyte's removal will encourage exploration and experimentation.
- Mind Control Tech: At first, Mind Control Tech proved to have such a strong effect that it was removed from Arena play. But MCT's presence has become so omnipresent in some decks (Quest Shaman, I'm looking at you!) that Blizzard now feels it has outstayed its welcome.
- Mountain Giant: Heavy-handed strategies from classes like Warlock and Mage almost always get a Turn 3 or 4 Mountain Giant, using this 8/8 minion to put their opponents behind the 8-ball quickly. Its overuse has led to Blizzard sending it away, encouraging new strategies, particularly from the Warlock. Its cousin, the Sea Giant, was also under consideration for the Hall of Fame, but Blizzard ultimately decided against it.
- Spellbreaker: One of the few Neutral Silence minions, Spellbreaker got slapped into a vast majority of decks, sometimes as a way to neutralize a high-effect minion or sometimes as a companion play with Leeroy. Spellbreaker's overuse has led to its placement in the Hall of Fame, but Blizzard does not that there is a future for Silence effects and will address it at some indeterminate point.
But the bigger story might be the complete overhaul of the Priest class. Blizzard is looking to establish a clearer identity for the Priest, while removing abusive tools like Divine Spirit and Prophet Velen. So here are the six Priest cards that will move into the Hall of Fame:
To replace them, the following six Priest cards are being added to the Basic and Classic rotations:
That's not all, though. The other Priest cards that haven't been rotated out are seeing significant changes, ranging from cost changes to stat changes. Here are the changes that players can expect to see in the following cards:
- Holy Nova: Now costs 4 Mana. (Down from 5 Mana)
- Holy Smite: Now deals 3 damage to a minion. (Down from 2 damage to any target)
- Power Word: Shield: Now costs 0 Mana. (Down from 1 Mana)
- Shadow Madness: Now costs 3 Mana. (Down from 4 Mana)
- Shadow Word: Death: Now costs 2 Mana. (Down from 3 Mana)
- Temple Enforcer: Now costs 5 Mana with 5/6 stats. (Down from 6 Mana with 6/6 stats)
- Thoughtsteal: Now costs 2 Mana. (Down from 3 Mana)
The Priest rework will debut at the same time that the Hall of Fame cards rotate out. The Hall of Fame rotation and Priest rework will take place on March 26. There's still more coming from this morning's Hearthstone stream. We'll have more news as it comes in.