Hearthstone’s Arena mode is about to undergo one of its biggest changes since the game was released as part of the game’s next patch later this month.
When the Standard format was introduced last year creating two different ways to play Hearthstone, Arena retained the Wild format with all cards available.
In practice however, this has frustrated players. The bloated card pool makes card synergies hard to achieve and drafts become dependant on just having the objectively best individual cards.
So in the 7.1 update, Arena will change to the Standard format leaving Wild as solely for constructed formats.
That’s not the only big change however. After 45 cards were removed from Arena last year, weakening the stronger classes and boosting those that struggled, the rarity distribution of card picks is also being tinkered with. Rare and epic cards will now appear more often, with Flamestrike and Abyssal Enforcer specifically being offered around 50 percent less frequently.
Spells will also appear more often, and will be made about as frequent as minions due to their strength in the format.
Alongside those major changes to the format itself, Blizzard is also making a cosmetic change than has long been requested by players—if a player owns gold copies of cards that appear in their Arena draft, they will be able to play those golden copies in Arena.
While Blizzard are hoping that these changes will help to improve things for Arena players, they aren’t opposed to making more changes more frequently than before. In a Reddit comment game director Ben Brode called the move to Standard “a big experiment” that they were willing to reverse if it did not yield positive results.