I have some amazing news for all Hearthstone fans out there, news that will make you smile with joy … plus some other news that will make you ask yourself “why?”, followed by an inevitable “Aaah, that’s why” in a year or two.
Blizzard has announced a new game mode for Hearthstone, named Standard, using a deck built solely from a pool of cards that were released in the current and previous calendar year, along with a core foundation of the Basic and Classic card sets (which will always be valid for Standard). You’ll be matched against other players who are also using Standard decks. This means in 2017 you will be able to build a deck using cards from these sets:
The Grand Tournament
The League of Explorers
Why is Blizzard doing this? Because the game’s balance is horrible if you take into consideration all the cards. The chances for a new player to win when his opponent has a legendary from 2 years ago, which was completely OP, or a pathetic Secret Paladin deck, are very small. This way, new players will have better chances of having fun.
In TCG-ish language, Hearthstone makes one step toward becoming more like Magic The Gathering.
Those who still want to get REKT by players who own every single card in the game can do so in Wild Mode, where all cards are allowed. Because the two ways to coexist, the number of crafted decks will be increased from 9 to 18.
And now comes the not-so-good news, which in over a year or two will make sense. You will no longer be able to buy adventure packs such as Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes, so if you want any of these cards, you will have to build them using the crafting system.
Of course, if in a couple of years they become available again, under the form of a comeback or classic pack, it would not surprise us.
Standard mode will be available once the next Hearthstone expansions launch, possibly next month.