So many things are changing in Hearthstone lately and soon will be the biggest change that happens once a year, card rotation and the announcement of the new year. Being a big fan of Hearthstone and dragons :D Year of the Dragon really excites me. We didn't get any new cards but we saw a glimpse of changes in the upcoming year.
We got so many teasers for this year of Heartsone so let's just jump right to it.
First thing I want to touch on is the new cards entering the Hall of Fame:
First, we got Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater! When these cards got introduced in The Witchwood expansion it was a really interesting time for Hearthstone meta. These unique effects, not the first ones that required specific deckbuilding strategies but the one and only that changed the way we looked at cards taking into account other than effects and stats, their mana cost being odd or even. These two cards by themselves created so much exploration in the game that I really hate to see them go, but I get it, they are becoming more of a burden after every expansion. Blizzard's main concern that Baku and Genn would potentially overshadow upcoming expansion so they made the decision to retire them earlier than usual.
Gloom Stag, Black Cat, Glitter Moth, and Murkspark Eel all go to Hall of Fame as well since they were maybe as complementary cards for Genn and Baku. Gloom Stag and Glitter Moth won't be really missed since they seen next to zero play but Black Cat and Eel had some place in the meta, shame we gonna lose them too, although they wouldn't make sense without the souls of these archetypes, Genn and Baku.
Other newcomers to the Hall of Fame are Naturalize, Doomguard, and Divine Favor! All three of them make sense from the developer point of view since they are constricting the design space for the future expansions.
Maybe Doomguard not so much, but we saw that Blizzard started hating on the Charge mechanic and steered away to Rush, which is nice. As a Warlock class was my favorite I don't want to see it go, although it is obviously from time to time a problematic card to balance.
Naturalize is the best example of a card that is only played when it is too good and when "Your opponent draws 2 cards" isn't really a drawback but a healthy bonus. Mill Druid and newly Togwaggle Druid players will know what I'm talking about. 1 mana destroy any minion and draw 2 fatigue cards for your opponent will no longer be the case, thank you, Blizzard!
Divine Favor is probably one of the most hated cards in the game because of the way its effect is designed and feels totally unfair. Playing an aggressive paladin and unloading your whole hand just to play a 3 mana draw 5-6-7 cards is stupid and then again you are ready to unload your whole had in a turn or two is so unintuitive way of playing Hearthstone. Thankfully Blizzard realized that they are having problems controlling the power level of aggressive paladin style decks that they decided to retire it from standard play.
We are also getting some changes in the Arena. Highly anticipated change and we finally got it! Every 2 months there will be expansion rotations, with a basic and classic set there will be rotating other 5 expansions. For the first 2 months "season" in the arena, we will have Curse of Naxxramas, Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, The Witchwood, and whatever the newest expansion might be. This will help the Arena always feeling fresh while still having some consistency that the Arena experts will most certainly enjoy.
Another addition to the Arena is that win counting toward golden portrait progression will now count in the Arena also.
Blizzard also teased us with new Solo Adventure Content and it sounds awesome. On the image above you can see all the additions to this mode. This is a lot of content and we will be getting 1 chapter for free, but other chapters will be unlocked using gold or real money. Too bad they are coming back to the paid version of the Solo Content, but it seems that this time it will definitely be worth it and for those that don't want to unlock it won't be mandatory since there will be no cards that are playable in multiplayer that are unlockable in the Adventures, but nonetheless there will be some pack rewards for those that decide to buy it.
Lastly, I want to mention the addition of a Random Card back. This is cool! The way it functions is that when you designate this as a card back for your deck like any other, every game you enter you will have any random card back you have in your collection. The funniest part of this is that there is a chance that you will start a game with this card back and this is the only way to get it xD
There are a whole lot of changes coming up in the Year of the Dragon, it really looks like Blizzard will try to push it harder on the development on the game and make more frequent changes to keep the game feeling fresh and exciting for a long time. For anyone interested in more changes, go on the Blizzard original announcement here.
Thank you for reading!