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Rating  32

Contributed by

Nuba

Guide Type

Last Updated

February 3, 2016

Table of Contents

How Ranked was Saved – Formats Discussion

Introduction


Hello everyone, Blizzard just made a H U G E announcement regarding the directions the game is going to take from here onwards, and these changes are huge!

http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19995505/a-new-way-to-play-2-2-2016

But you don’t have to open this link and read the changes, because this article is all about these changes! Here you’ll read not only a detailed resume of what will happen, we’ll also discuss the long term impact of these changes and the immediate impact we’ll have on our every-day gaming.

Are you ready for what is probably the most important article this year until now?

Explaining the Changes


So, firstly, what is this “format” thing everyone is talking about?

In a card game, format refers to the rules and restrictions that govern what kind of cards can be included in a deck.

In Hearthstone’s case, let’s just say that every expansion (with exception of Neutral and Classic) that isn’t from the current year or the year before the one we’re playing is going to be out of the standard format.

There will be two different formats for Ranked play: Wild (every card in the game allowed, a “casual” format where you can still earn ranked rewards and progress through the ranking system) and Standard (The format where you’ll be playing for WCS points).

Both ranking systems work separately, and there is an individual rank for each system.

As additional changes, this is going to be the official tournament formats from the moment the patch hits onwards. Blizzard also said they’ll re-evaluate classic cards to make the game more balanced since they’ll be eternal (in other words, I believe they’ll nerf Force of Nature to stop limiting Druid’s deck building options).

Another minor information, but also important, is that we’ll now have 18 deck slots, rather than the 9 we currently do.

Another minor information is that we’ll finally be able to dust those weak Naxxramas adventure cards!

This year, after the changes have been implemented, Naxxramas (Naxx) and Goblins versus Gnomes (GvG) won’t be Standard playable anymore.

Impact of the Changes


These changes bring a lot to the table in the game and its long-term healthiness. Because of these changes we’ll be able to experience an ever-changing metagame with different cards coming in and out. We’ll also see less and less overpowered combos and strategies that tend to take over the metagame simply because there are too many options for you to pick the perfect build from (I am looking at you, Secret Paladin!).

Now, to talk about the impact of this without talking about the cards coming in and out (since we’ll do that on a further section), let’s start by figuring what Naxxramas and Goblins versus Gnomes cards are based upon:

Naxxramas is a Deathrattle themed expansion, filled with persistent Deathrattle cards that gave early-mid game decks a huge boost and assurance in the game against mid-late game decks. Naxxramas was (ignoring Combo Druid, since we already said we believe it’ll get nerfed after the changes are applied) the big “check” for Control decks since its release – Sweepers became just too weak. Naxxramas is also the “secrets” expansion for mages, allowing the othertime dead Mage Secrets to be playable due to its powerful all-star minion Mad Scientist.

Goblins versus Gnomes was a randomness (RNG) based expansion. This expansion is marked as an expansion that both added a lot of very powerful and important minions which impact you can’t control as well as was the expansion that gave life to the long-dead Paladin class. As a side-note, GvG also introduced the not-so-good-anymore Mech strategy, that was adopted by the Mage class at the time.

 

After reading this, we start to understand that post-rotation the decks will be less explosive, minions will be less persistent and the Paladin class will lose almost its entirety of the deck. Scientist Classes also get a big hit.

The big losers in this rotation are:
Paladins: losing almost half of it’s deck base, Paladins are the ones who got the biggest hit with the changes.

Hunters: losing the only good cards it got since classic (After GvG, Hunters got almost no updates).

The big winners in this rotation are:

Shamans – Who got zero important cards in both Naxx as well as GvG. Despite still having weak Midrange and Control decks, Shamans have the totality of their face deck left untouched (with the exception of Crackle, which can easily be replaced). Not to mention that Midrange Shaman is favorable on a slow metagame as the one prior to Naxx and GvG.

Druids – That despite possibly losing the combo, will lose nothing else other than that (If the combo stops existing, so will the need for Shade of Naxxramas).

Priests – Who also got nothing from GvG and Naxxramas outside of Lightbomb, and has its real power based on the last 3 expansions released. All the Best-in-slot cards post-rotation are Dragon sinergy cards, because of this Dragon Priest should rise in popularity as one of the strongest decks post-rotation.

Important cards that will go out


Now, to discuss the important cards that will go out and the impact, let’s start with the Big Boys:

Piloted Shredder – The strongest 4-drop in the game. Has an RNG-Factor that was applied as a form of “balancing” a card that seems to be borderline broken. The removal of this card from competitive games opens up for a lot of differentiation between card choices all around the decks. There is no longer a go-to 4-drop card in the game, and the decks will now pick 4-Drops to fulfil their curve as best fits their strategy, rather than an all-star-musthave card.

Dr. Boom – Blizzard when made this card thought that the RNG on the bombs would balance the card out, but as was proven on every playable GvG card: that is not the case. Adding randomness to cards not only create “bad” situations for the user, they also add a lot of potential to the random cards, a lot more than the bad situations and that is what makes cards like Dr. Boom so good – The potential to win the game on its own. The Doctor is also a very powerful all-in-one board presence card, meaning the sole existence of this card made Aggro decks aim their curve higher to play a card with so much impact on the board. This card is so powerful and meta-defining that the non-existence of this card will completely shake the basis of the game and change the metagame completely.

Antique Healbot – The go-to healing card added to the game in GvG. I wished this was added in Classic as I will be missing this card a lot, the removal of the prime anti-super-aggressive 5-drops from the game makes it so “Face” decks, despite losing some tools, become a lot more powerful.

Sludge Belcher – The other anti-super-aggressive 5-drop card that is leaving the game. I still try to picture how Control decks will do without Belcher and/or Healbot, but there are bound to be other options, since Aggro decks (with exception of Face Shaman) won’t be as powerful and/or persistent anymore.

Mad Scientist – The loss of this card greatly affects Mage and Hunter strategies. The removal of this card also makes these decks more consistent, despite losing tons of power. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the removal of Mad Scientist from the competitive format will greatly affect the potential of Hunter and Mage decks, however these decks are bound to move from tempo-oriented decks into decks that do whatever they want to do with a lot more consistency, without the fear of being weaker than the other deck from the same class.

Haunted Creeper and Nerubian Egg – The Prime persistent Mid-Aggro cards that has always put Control in check and gave a boost to Mid-Aggressive decks are now gone too, this means that from now onwards mid-aggressive decks will run less persistent cards, yet stronger ones stat-wise. This means that the deck will be weaker against opponents prepared to face it, but will be able to close games a lot faster against opponents that aren’t prepared to respond them – Seeing these cards go makes me happy, but not as much as seeing Dr. Boom and Shredder leaving.

Loatheb – This one was an all-star card during its time, and we’ll never forget how powerful keeping an opponent from playing spells for a turn was. This was a card made in times where combo decks were much stronger than Aggro and Control decks (Does anyone recall the old Miracle Rogue?) and is no longer needed in the game. I feel glad this is going.

Zombie Chow – This card was the prime anti-aggro 1-drop in the game. Almost everyone who was playing something from Mid-Control to Pure-Control wanted to run these in their deck. Now with Zombie Chow gone and the game moving from Early-mid to Mid-late, I believe the slot for Zombie Chow will be filled with higher curve cards.

 

Now that we’ve seen the important neutral cards that left the game, we should take a closer look at class cards that left the game:

Paladin – Avenge, Shielded Minibot, Muster for Battle, Quartermaster – These cards going out are huge. None of them are particularly unhealthy to the game with the exception of Avenge which allowed for Secret Paladin to exist. Now, Paladins have lost a huge portion of their deck. Does anybody else remember when Paladins were the worst class in the game? That was before Minibot and Muster, and now with the removal of Paladin’s all-star cards I don’t see how the class will survive. Actually, come to think of it I do: Anyfin Paladin – The deck basically only lost Healbot and Belcher, but the whole deck base still exists! Well at least there is something you’ll be able to play as a Paladin, however you won’t be able to play anything from Mid-aggressive to pure-Mid after the formating hits the game because of these cards leaving.

Priest – Dark Cultist, Velen's Chosen, Vol'jin, Lightbomb – I believe Priests get more buffed than nerfed with these changes. Losing Lightbomb sure is a hit, but fighting against opponents with much less explosive and persistent decks is a huge, huge bonus and I don’t think Priests will be sad to see Naxx and GvG go. Dark Cultist is a strong tool that the Priest has lost, but there are just so many strong 3-drops for the Priest class that it won’t be a problem replacing the cultist (Or the Deathlord). Example of fine 3-drops that fits the Priest strategy perfectly: Fjola Lightbane, Eydis Darkbane and Blackwing Technician.

Rogue – Tinker's Sharpsword Oil – Rogues lost a single powerful card, but gained a persistent-free metagame. These persistent cards always put Rogue in check and I believe the class will be much stronger after these changes hits despite losing a major player in its deck. A special note to rogue “losing” Unearthed Raptor with the downfall of Naxxramas, which nearly never saw play anyway.

Shaman – Crackle – Nah, the class didn’t lose anything special, and now that all the persistency is gone from the game, Shaman’s sweepers are more powerful than never. Maybe it is a good time to give that Dragon Shaman another shot 😀

Warlock – Voidcaller, Mal'Ganis, Darkbomb, Imp-losion – Warlock took a great hit with this, but not as great as some other classes. The loss of its all-star cards Imp-Losion and Darkbomb are huge, and Warlocks will have to make up for this in some other way (maybe going back to using Soulfire??). The Demon-portion of the Warlock class was always more of a Tech than anything else, so I don’t think any existing deck that is Demon-oriented will die out completely, I just think it’ll stop “Demoning”.

Warrior – Death's Bite, Shieldmaiden, Unstable Ghoul – Basically, Warriors lost part of their Grim Patron centered cards and a small Control card. Since Warrior Control now have Justicar Trueheart I don’t think the loss of Shieldmaiden is that important and having all the persistent minions that was putting Control Warrior in check gone from Standard will make Warrior Control a much powerful strategy. Warrior Control also got stronger with Paladin Mid-early strategies going out of the game, so I believe that despite losing Death’s Bite and Shieldmaiden, Control Warrior is much stronger post-rotation. Patron Warrior however, I believe it won’t be getting much updates after these changes and will eventually be fully substituted by its older brother.

Mage – Duplicate and Unstable Portal – Ok, Mages also lost the Mech Strategy but that strategy wasn’t being played so much nowadays to begin with, so i’ll just narrow it down to these 2 cards. In the end we can say Mage greatest hit was losing Mad Scientist, and any other loss compared to that is nothing. However, I would like to express how important it is for the game healthiness to see a card like Unstable Portal go.

Hunter – Webspinner, Glaivezooka – Much like Mage, Hunter’s greatest hit was the loss of the beloved Scientist. Because of this, Hunter’s future is completely uncertain as of now. However, the removal of Healbot and Belcher from the game might make it so Face Hunter becomes a thing again, maybe even the comeback of Midrange Hunter with the removal of Shredder (since Hunters can take great advantage of Tomb Spider in long games).

Druid – Nothing, LOL!

Cards that Might see play


With the removal of all-star cards all across the curves, previously non-playable cards that were outshadowed might start seeing play, let us take a closer look to these cards:

Chillwind Yeti and Sen'jin Shieldmasta – The classic powerful 4-drops might make a comeback. I remember the time where Chillwind Yeti was the prime 4-drop card in the game back in vanilla, but let’s remember that Sen’jin is also good enough in other strategies, mostly defensive ones.

Refreshment Vendor – With Healbot gone, defensive decks might need another way to heal up. This card, despite not being so good for decks wishing to close out games, is a perfectly fit for Control strategies trying to gain more time.

Tomb Spider – A very powerful beast that was left aside because of Piloted Shredder existence. This card can now see play because of both the slot-opening as well as the speed decrease of the Metagame.

Savage Combatant – Another big candidate to take Piloted Shredder slot. I belive this card will end up being Druid’s all-star 4-drop after the Shredder rotates out. Maybe, because of this change, beast Druid becomes a thing and yet another 4-drop joins Druids side in the form of Tomb Spider or Wildwalker.

Kor'kron Elite –  This card might come back to Warrior Control’s core to take back Death’s Bite throne. This card used to be a 2-of in every Control Warrior deck prior to Naxxramas, and I believe it has great chances of making a comeback.

Azure Drake – But Nuuuubaaa, this card is already played! Well, back in Classic Azure Drake was the prime 5-drop in the game and there was nothing else better than this, so everyone would play Azure Drake in their decks – Even Control Warriors. I believe this might come back to being a thing after the rotation because of the lack of good 5-drop cards.

King's Elekk and Fallen Hero – Possible substitution for Mad Scientist once it rotates out in Pure-mid strategies for both classes. Secrets are now gone for mage, but probably not for Hunters as their 2-mana secrets (mostly Explosive and Freezing) are pretty good on their own. However, Mad Scientist will still leave an empty slot even in Hunters, and these cards can easily replace these slots with other good cantrips.

Huge Toad – Another card that might see play once Haunted Creeper and Mad Scientist rotates out for Hunters.

 

As an additional Note I would like to express how powerful I believe the Dragon strategy is going to be once these cards rotate, and maybe we’ll start seeing the Dragon theme on Warrior to be the dominant one over the standard Control Warrior we are used to see. Maybe Dragon Paladin can become a thing, but I highly doubt that.

Cards that might stop seeing play


Now, there are side-effects to cards leaving, which is not only cards that start seeing play, but also cards that stop seeing play – Let’s take a look at a couple of them:

Big Game Hunter – The prime anti-Dr. Boom card added to every deck. Since Dr. Boom was a thing in most decks, Big Game Hunter also became a thing in most decks. With Dr. Boom gone, strategies are going to be a lot more “pure” than they were before, and things like seeing an Aggro deck with its curve going up to the 7-drop won’t be a thing anymore. Because of this, I believe Big Game Hunter will take a major hit and will stop seeing play in most decks after the changes have been made.

Mind Control Tech – Another card that was great due to Dr. Boom and Muster for Battle, might stop seeing play as Mid-early Paladin strategies won’t exist anymore, and the sole use against Aggro decks won’t justify its main deck inclusion.

Mirror Entity and Counterspell – Mage’s prime Aggro secrets will now be gone from the metagame with Mad Scientist being cut from the game. However, Freeze Mage gains a lot more than loses with these changes, so Freeze’s secrets won’t take a hit and will still be playable after the rotation.

Mysterious Challenger and Paladin’s Secrets – With the whole curve of Paladin gone, combined with the rotation of Avenge, Secret Paladin took a huge hit and I don’t think it will be able to keep being a powerful player in the next months – THANK GOD!!!!

Bear Trap and Snake Trap – Traps that aren’t so good when they can’t be cheated into play by Mad Scientist.

 

Of course, there are other cards that might stop seeing play after the rotation, but these are the major hits taken by the metagame – In case you think of another card that might stop seeing play, let me know in the comments!

Possible Standard Nerfs


Now, Blizzard already said they’ll change a couple of classic cards to make it so the eternal portion of the Standard Format stays healthy, which almost absolutely means: NERFING DRUID’S COMBO!!!

As long as Force of Nature+Savage Roar exists, Druid’s strategy will always be limited towards combo, and Blizzard doesn’t want that. Because of it, I am positive that either Force of Nature or Savage Roar will take a hit after the rotation and something tells me that it is going to be Force of Nature, as Savage Roar also enables for Aggro decks to have an Edge, while Force of Nature is a combo-only thing.

If I would take a guess, the 2/2 treants won’t be able to hit face after the nerf hits.

Other possible cards to be changed:
Divine Favor – nerf.
Overload – Possible rework.
Secretkeeper – Nerfed to match post-nerf Undertaker.

I can’t think of other changes that might happen to the game, but these are the ones I can think about. However, these last 3 changes I mentioned aren’t likely to happen and it might just be my heart – but once again, I am positive Druid’s combo will take a hit of the Nerf bat.

Conclusion


These changes are huge, the game never changed as much as it will post-rotation and I for once love every single one of these changes – Being able to play different cards for the same slot across classes, playing a more consistent and skill-oriented game, and most importantly never needing to see Dr. Boom and Piloted Shredder ever again.

I hope you guys enjoyed this read, it was fun writing about all this and you just wait for me to post thousands and thousands of playable deck-lists for you guys to play once the rotation takes place!

I love you all, see ya in the next article, if you want to take anything, go to the comment section and i’ll be responding ASAP!

Byes,

Nuba

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18 Comments

Leave a Reply

  1. John says:

    I remember it said that the giants might see a nerf. The ability for a Warlock to drop down to 7 health, drop a couple 0-mana 8-8’s, give them taunt, then heal back up seems “unhealthy”.

  2. Nuba, I’m so happy to see your enthusiasm for Hearthstone’s future! I’ve been dealing with the MTG community’s moronic resistances to positive changes for years and years, and it was disheartening to see SO MUCH backlash to this announcement that is ONLY going to be good for the game. So thank you for having a good head on your shoulders and being able to look at the health of Hearthstone in the long-term.

    Though I still don’t like that the adventures are going to be removed once they cycle out of Standard. They’re so much fun and a nice way to break up the gameplay. I’m hoping Blizzard will come up with some way to retain the adventure experience while still being able to make the rewards craftable, but perhaps I’m just overly nostalgic.

  3. masterofthese says:

    Hello nuba! I respectfully disagree on standard being more skilled. To a point…..

    To explain: the card pool in standard will be much smaller and while it will eliminate old broken decks it will also require less memory of collective card mechanics.

    Wild format will require memory of all the cards and there will be many more cards to play around!

    I agree with your other points though. People playing standard will need cards to develop a board and aoe for come behinds. I see rogue and shaman being best in this format. Im not sure where jaina stands without the scientist

    • Nuba says:

      *plays X card – wins*
      *RNG giving people edge on winning games*
      there are many factors that are leaving the game together with the introduction of standard.
      not needing to play around sweepers (this is the only card game in the world where you don’t have to worry about people clearing your board because you have eggs and creepers and shredders and belchers….)
      boom’s boombots can win games by itself killing 2 valuable minions for your opponent.
      not to mention challenger.
      Losing the game despite outplaying your opponent for 20 turns in a roll because of double Roar combo dealing over 30 damage to your face with just one small minion left on board.
      unstable portal -> bomb on turn 3.
      These are all plays from the most powerful decks in the game, they’re all rng-oriented and all revolve around things neither player can control, thus the little skill involved in playing HS at a high level right now. I acompanied a big tournament here on Americas called “american cup”, literally 9/10 of the people qualified played the exact same build: Druid+Zoo+Secret, and to feel crazier about it, 4/10 of the qualified players NEVER got to the legendary rank in their lives. They qualified on a series of 4x 1024 players tournament without even knowing the basics of the game simply because their decks allowed them to.
      This metagame is very, veeery unskilled – the room to outplay your opponent is very small. There is simply no bonus to playing skill-oriented over unskilled decks such as Midrange Druid and Secret Paladin.

  4. LordZhark says:

    Hi Nuba, you were quicker than me, heheh…

  5. GerMagic says:

    I sincerely hope one of their reworks is a buff to Illidan Stormage. For such a falvorfull character with huge impact on the Warcraft Lore he should really be playable.
    Otherwise agree with most of what you said. Also Cairne might be coming back, my first golden Legendary. <3

    • shevcza says:

      I wouldn’t expect that.. why would they give you a good card for free, when they can sell you a new one?:)
      Since I started playing HS (Naxx), I don’t recall ANY buff.. just nerfes.

  6. ThorSmash says:

    Great article.

    I agree with almost everything you said, but I don’t think Secret Keeper will be nerferd nor will it need one once the Standard Format hits.

    1) With Minibot, Muster, minbot, shredder, and especially Avenge gone then Secret Paladin (at least as we now know it) loses a ton of power. That deck is really only the current deck that runs secret keeper and its not even that good in it. Very different than undertaker since drawing secrets kinda sucks whereas drawing haunted creepers, webspinners, etc. early was quite ok.

    2) Also, once Mad Scientist leaves the table, I think Blizz is worried that mage secrets will never see play and to a lesser extent worried hunter secrets become irrelevant as well. Thus, I think they will want to encourage aggresive-midrange hunter/mage decks to still run secrets and keeping secretkeeper as is helps keep the secrets relevant.

    Also, Secret Paladin will possibly lose significant power because I think Knife Juggler will get a rework as well so I cant see Blizz worried that much about Secret Keeper. That particular card isn’t overpowered in the current metagame even if Secret Paladin as a deck is probably a little too strong.

    • Nuba says:

      Oh those 3 were just random things that came into my mind rather than actual possibilities

  7. kaos120 says:

    Having been a long time MTG player, I have waited for formats to exist. However, I am not on board with how it is currently being proposed. Since two formats are going to exist why not have two Blizzard championships? Both formats should afford players the opportunity to compete at higher levels.

    The need to make Wild a casual only format takes away a lot. While I like it, I don’t believe creating a “legacy” format that could eventually fold in on itself is the correct course of action. It is committing Wild to a dwindling of support and exposure since the Pros will obviously flee to play standard more and focus their attention on that. Also, players who wish to play on a competitive level but cannot foot the bill every rotation will be relegated to Wild. No one focuses heavily on creating for casual decks now so why would they do so for a rank when they only receive one chest? There is no incentive to do so.

    Any long time MTG player will tell you that short standard formats become stale within months as the hive mind figures out what works best. This will be exacerbated by the speed at which HS is figured out by the many videos articles and other media generated. I admit that having two expansions a year will shuffle this around but the classic and basic sets will always be there which means you will still suffer from seeing the same base cards used. At some point soon the same complaints levied now will be brought forth once again.

    MTG has proven that standard formats create more pack buying so while they want to freshen up the game it should not be at the expensive of another format. Both should be equally viable for tournaments and coverage but that is not Blizzards goal with this move. It is also important to keep in mind that we cannot currently trade cards and dust returns are is still extremely low. If you’re going to put players in a position to buy more packs then the dust returned should be much more. This will help players will have to buy and craft that much more.

    The new card slots as I understand it are only accessible by buying the the other character portraits so how is that a benefit? One has nothing to do with the other and they should not be linked.

    • Nuba says:

      Hello Kaos, nice input but I believe you’re missing a couple of things here.
      Although not mentioned, I believe old cards can come back to being standard legal with time (I believe there shall be “reprints” in a couple of years)

      Standard makes it so, in the long term, they don’t have to worry about broken combos with very old cards and nerfing cards won’t be needed. It also makes powerful allstar cards rotate out without the need for blizzard to create stronger cards (just imagine how hard it is to make a stronger piloted shredder or dr.boom!).

      The cards currently rotating out are very “unskilled” cards, so if anything the game will be a lot more skill-oriented than it ever was.

      Standard being the only legal format for tournament makes it so new players aren’t so punished for joining the train later (just imagine the pain of having to craft a deck and buy thousands of expansions it would be in a couple of years).

      About the dust Blizzard wouldn’t be selling anything if you could dust rotating cards for their full value, and the game would suffer a major hit in sales – Blizzard won’t make that happen, ever.

      And this is it I think, I believe this sums up all my responses to your comment, hope it was satisfatory! Much loves <3

      • targoun says:

        Unfortunately you sound like a paid shill. It doesn’t help that there are some pro’s that have already said they were brought in on this to start ahead of time. I played Mtg back in revised, and for several years after. I remember being pissed about the introduction of type 1 and 2. In the end I got tired of the constant money grab and left that game.

        I thought Hearthstone was going to be different. After all they didn’t have the lame excuse that card packs were too hard to come by since they were no longer being printed and the secondary market was too expensive. This is just bad as far as I’m concerned.

        It sickens me that people parrot the marketing crap Blizzard spews to them as if this is a good thing. Well it’s not. Decks will begin to be based almost solely off of the core set, which is classic. New expansions will have tech cards each year that will rotate out. Once in awhile we will get a card that will spawn a new deck that that will last a whole year….

        Wild? Don’t make me laugh. It will be filled with pub stompers. Who is going to spend dust to craft Boom? Some newb that is being told not too? For a format that will never bring fame or money? Standard is the only format that will be used. At least in Mtg, legacy and Modern still get tournaments and you can still be considered a pro player at it.

        • Nuba says:

          I heard in Cuba and North Korea all Hearthstone cards are free for everyone. Sadly, we don’t live in comunism and a company has to make money in order to keep making content/games.

        • Zephyr says:

          Well, you’re also assuming that literally every player in the game is aspiring to be a pro and searching for “fame and fortune”. There are probably quite a few players who play simply for the fun of playing the game. I’m looking forward to be able to ranking with my own decks and not seeing constant tier 1 optimized decks all the time. Some creativity in the game can only be a good thing, and right now, it’s nothing but the same four decks all the time.

    • j says:

      “Since two formats are going to exist why not have two Blizzard championships?”

      – A similar thing would happen to Hearthstone that already happens in MTG with the Modern format Pro Tours: They have to ban/unban cards to shake up the format, otherwise nothing changes, and it’s not going to drive new card sales. I think we’ll see the last of the Modern Pro Tours this year. The pro players generally dislike playing Modern and enthusiasts/casual players would just complain about the constant nerfs and changes to their “pet format”.

      “…It is committing Wild to a dwindling of support and exposure…”

      – As a MTG player, surely you must be aware of format-specific sites like The Source, ManaDrain, etc? Wild format enthusiasts will create sites to focus their energies on their preferred style of play.

      “Also, players who wish to play on a competitive level but cannot foot the bill every rotation will be relegated to Wild.”

      – There’s nothing stopping third-party organizers from holding Wild Tournaments, and they almost assuredly will…probably by the people who spearhead Wild-specific websites and forums. Between these and the separate ladder system, you should have plenty of opportunities to play Wild on a competitive level.

      “This will be exacerbated by the speed at which HS is figured out by the many videos articles and other media generated.”

      – This is highly subjective. I’d even argue that MTG’s content websites are far more sophisticated than the dozen Hearthstone sites I’ve visited.

      ” …Both should be equally viable for tournaments and coverage but that is not Blizzards goal with this move.”

      – As far as Standard being the supported format for BLIZZARD’S HIGH-LEVEL TOURNAMENTS, this only affects a very small group of people, who generally don’t care what the formats are as long as they are healthy ones. Again, Hearthstone has gone through most of the same “growing pains” that Magic has, and I think you’ll see that most of the solutions that were found for that game will be used for this one. If Blizzard won’t support Wild, the community will.

      “The new card slots as I understand it are only accessible by buying the the other character portraits…”

      – I believe you are mistaken, here. You only need to unlock all 9 heroes.

      Cheers!

      • Anonymous says:

        Brian Kibler does not like the implementation either.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUupMooIJYo

        “As a MTG player, surely you must be aware of format-specific sites like The Source, ManaDrain, etc? Wild format enthusiasts will create sites to focus their energies on their preferred style of play.”

        With all do respect but this makes my point. The level of coverage and skilled players will not be focused on it as it is now. Casual is not given nearly as much attention as MTG tourney formats. Furthermore, the only reason Commander is big as it is based on its creation by players. This is a paradigm shift by Blizzard not an organic one like Commander (Elder Dragon Highlander) by players.

        “There’s nothing stopping third-party organizers from holding Wild Tournaments, and they almost assuredly will…probably by the people who spearhead Wild-specific websites and forums. Between these and the separate ladder system, you should have plenty of opportunities to play Wild on a competitive level.”

        You are correct there is nothing stopping them but again what is the true incentive. If you want exposure and to potentially make money you will make tournaments based on the predominant format. The only reason Legacy in MTG is big is because Star City Games made a big push behind it not Wizards of the Coast who makes magic cards. HS does not currently in its infancy have a company with that kind of clout that could do that.

        “This is highly subjective. I’d even argue that MTG’s content websites are far more sophisticated than the dozen Hearthstone sites I’ve visited.”

        I’ll concede you that but I can only base it on the observations I have made. Sophistication does not change the speed at which this is till happening. Look how fast the hive mind developed Renolock. It did not take even a full 2 seasons for honed deck-lists to appear.

        “I believe you are mistaken, here. You only need to unlock all 9 heroes.”

        I may be but I read it from the release in the HS write up. I believe it said purchase. Someone verify this please lol.

        “A similar thing would happen to Hearthstone that already happens in MTG with the Modern format Pro Tours: They have to ban/unban cards to shake up the format, otherwise nothing changes, and it’s not going to drive new card sales. I think we’ll see the last of the Modern Pro Tours this year. The pro players generally dislike playing Modern and enthusiasts/casual players would just complain about the constant nerfs and changes to their “pet format”

        The fact is for as many who complain, many would still play Wild because the idea of repeatedly buying in does not appeal to them. Besides, many would still like having access to all the “power” the game has to offer. The nerfs and bans would happen regardless because Wild would still be a laddering format so this ends up being irrelevant. They are not just going to let overpowered decks exist if it destroys that format casual or not.

        Cards are routinely relegated to the backseat in MTG standard because once the format is figured out there is no reason to experiment or find another solution. Add to this there is not going to be as much time as MTG standard has to make changes.These formats will be figured out faster than you think because the seasons are only a month long and this pressures players to stick with what works. If two sets are released a year this does not leave much time for change and exposure of other cards.

        Let me be clear, I want formats. I just do not agree with not creating a Blizzard level championship for Wild.
        I do not agree with keeping Classic and base in forever which could end up in those cards being nerfed which then destroys Wild’s ability to play those cards and said decks. I also don’t agree that eliminating adventures and old card packs for purchase is correct to do.

        • j says:

          “Brian Kibler does not like the implementation either.”

          – Brian’s biggest hangup with the idea is that Classic set will always be available in the format. I can absolutely see Blizzard changing this. I’m surprised that the MTG players among us can’t see this stuff coming. The more they nerf Classic to balance the format, the more they will muck with Wild, which will create it’s own set of problems and community uproar.

          “Casual is not given nearly as much attention as MTG tourney formats. ”

          – It doesn’t have to, though…casual players don’t often browse forums looking for the latest technology and edges to win games – they play for fun, after all.

          “the only reason Commander is big as it is based on its creation by players. ”

          – Commander is a casual format, created and nurtured by players (EDH, you know?). I fail to see it’s relevance to the discussion, other than to showcase formats (in the future of Hearthstone) that will be community-supported, like Wild may end up being.

          I think Blizzard may change their stance on matters like not showcasing top 100 ranked legend Wild players. Community backlash was the thing that brought back the Modern Pro Tour to MTG (Which, even as a Modern enthusiast, I wish they would do away with). People will speak their minds, Blizzard will listen and react in the way they see appropriate.

          “You are correct there is nothing stopping them but again what is the true incentive. If you want exposure and to potentially make money you will make tournaments based on the predominant format. ”

          – I feel that my original post stated it well: Tournament players will not care what the card sets are, as long as it’s a challenging format. Brian Kibler himself said that other than the 2 Modern bans, Oath of the Gatewatch brought very little to the Modern format…he even made the analogy to Hearthstone: When new sets come out, very few cards actually make their way into very refined decks.

          “The fact is for as many who complain, many would still play Wild because the idea of repeatedly buying in does not appeal to them. Besides, many would still like having access to all the “power” the game has to offer. The nerfs and bans would happen regardless because Wild would still be a laddering format so this ends up being irrelevant. They are not just going to let overpowered decks exist if it destroys that format casual or not.”

          – Everything here is absolutely true. I don’t know if this was intended as a counter-argument or not. I’m still going to play Midrange Hunter in Wild because I love the deck.

          “Cards are routinely relegated to the backseat in MTG standard because once the format is figured out there is no reason to experiment or find another solution”

          – True innovators will always find ways to gain those small edges…Look at guys like Kolento or Ostkaka making what are widely-accepted and imitated card choices in deck archetypes. Taking MTG standard as an example, the metagame starts with the Pro Tour dictating a set of decks which the best players have determined (broadly speaking) are “the best”. From there, things cycle…tweaks are made, tech choices come into play, match ups suddenly change due to small (or large) fluctuations in card choices. The SCG circuit (and other tournament systems like it) provide PLENTY of opportunities for players to innovate and keep things moving, even if on a small scale. I’m absolutely confident that Hearthstone is going to do the same thing.

          “Let me be clear, I want formats. I just do not agree with not creating a Blizzard level championship for Wild.”

          – Everything is fluid…things change, Blizzard may change their stance on the matter. However, you know in your heart-of-hearts that they HAVE to do this right now to shake things up. If people want a Wild championship, the community will rise up and start one…look at MTG..Eternal Weekend and the Vintage Championship are being spearheaded by an acquaintance of mine on the East Coast…Vintage Super League is the brainchild of Randy Buehler…any and all of this stuff can be organized independently by the community, and if the organizing group is respected as a legitimate champion of the format, then it’s results will be treated with the same amount of recognition.

          “I do not agree with keeping Classic and base in forever which could end up in those cards being nerfed which then destroys Wild’s ability to play those cards and said decks. ”

          – Agreed, it will probably change.

          “I also don’t agree that eliminating adventures and old card packs for purchase is correct to do.”

          This is actually a pretty sweet thing, if you look at it this way: You will be able to craft the cards you need…(looking at just Naxxramus) Zombie Chow; Haunted Creeper and Mad Scientist are common, Egg and Belcher are Rare, and Loatheb is the Legendary that you’ll need for Wild. You can dust Maexxna, Feugen, Stalagg, Kel’Thuzad or whatever you want for full value. I think it’s actually kind of great to pick and choose what you want from the expansion if you should choose to disenchant things. I think they should open that option to Goblins Vs. Gnomes as well (if they haven’t already done so) because a lot of people have probably crafted Dr. Boom because, well…you know…Dr. Balanced.

          Look at it from Blizzard’s point-of-view…you don’t want to have a bunch of packs and adventures available for purchase. New players will get confused, or simply give up because there are too many options, and it seems daunting to try and get involved. This was covered in the Value Town podcast just recently released…worth a listen.

          You can always craft the old cards. That’s one of the biggest differences between Hearthstone and a game like Magic…there’s no secondary market, no hyper-inflation of prices due to demand and power level.

          I think one of the overarching things for players who have been around the block with other TCGs is that things change. Just because a decision is made today, doesn’t mean that it will stay that way…it’s just the way that a dynamic universe works – Blizzard will continue to experiment, gather feedback and make what they feel are appropriate changes, and then the cycle repeats itself. Their goal is to make a great game (and turn a healthy profit in the process).

          As for the players who haven’t played a TCG before? Relax. Humans hate change, they’ll always complain. Magic players declared “the end of the game as we know it” many times when the makers made fundamental changes to the game:

          – “Paris” Mulligan
          – Adding “damage to the stack”
          – Removing “damage to the stack”
          – Removing Mana Burn
          – “Vancouver” Mulligan
          – Any of the various iterations regarding tournament procedures on handling missed triggers during play, etc.

          People bitched and complained about these sorts of things that are just accepted as commonplace (in MTG) now. The same thing will happen with Hearthstone.

          It’s gonna be okay, folks.

          • kaos120 says:

            You and I sect in disagreement on any of the main points including the doom and gloom naysayers. It’s the peripheral points that I take issue. Hopefully, those issues with have a satisfactory remedy at some point.