After the recent Hearthstone nerfs, the move into the next Standard year is the next big landmark.
When the Year of the Mammoth ends, and the first expansion of the new year drops, some Classic cards will almost certainly be moved into the Hall of Fame. That will take them out of the Standard format and move them into Wild.
Although most new Hearthstone content is planned out well in advance, it appears that Hall or Fame rotation is not decided yet. Hearthstone caster Dan “Frodan” Chou revealed on Twitter that some of the game’s designers had asked him for his thoughts.
Some of Frodan’s suggestions are not new. Ice Block in particular has come in for a lot of criticism, mostly because some people find it not fun to play against. But for those who play it, however, it would single handedly kill off a number of strong control decks. Hopefully that will mean it survives.
Wild Growth is also a commonly cited card, mostly because it’s so ubiquitous with the Druid class. For that reason though, it probably will survive. Blizzard want to protect class identity, and with Innervate nerfed Wild Growth is the most identifiable Druid card that sees a lot of play.
Spellbreaker is more of an unusual suggestion. Ironbeak Owl was nerfed to three mana, leaving Spellbreaker as the best Silence option available. Frodan calls it not fun—but really Silence is there to keep other not fun things like massive taunts in check.
His suggestion of Edwin Van Cleef is definitely interesting. There’s probably an argument for rotating out all of the Classic set class legendaries. Tirion Fordring, Antonidas, and Edwin all see pretty regular play, and even other legendaries like Grommash have been part of strategies for such a long time that it might be time to say goodbye.
So what else should be in consideration? Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Alexstrasza are too commonly cited neutral cards that some players feel are getting stale. Those two cards have been driving strategies since the earliest days of the game—and even two nerfs to Auctioneer haven’t hampered it completely.
In terms of class cards, Doomguard could be in the firing line. It’s a very hard card to counter, and decks like Control Warlock have great ways to cheat it out onto the board now.
Whatever cards end up getting rotated, if any, we’ll find out in the next couple of months as the Year of the Mammoth wraps up. Whatever happens, the Standard rotation is sure to massively transform the Standard meta once again.