Hearthstone introduces limited format and more deck slots
With more and more content being added every year, Hearthstone's point of entry has been getting higher and higher. Now Blizzard is taking drastic steps to address those concerns.
In the Spring, Hearthstone's ranked and casual play modes will be split into two formats—"Standard" and "Wild."
Standard will only feature the last two years worth of content, and will be changed on a yearly basis. For the first set, that will include Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, League of Explorers and an as-yet unnamed expansion that will be released in the next couple of months. The basic and classic set will be a permanent feature of the Standard format, with a number of balance changes to both neutral and class cards. Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes being cut this year.
For those players who wish to continue playing with every card released, however, Wild will allow them to use the full card pool. Each of these two modes will have their own ladder, with separate ranks in each format—but only the standard ladder will award Hearthstone Championship Tour points and all HCT events will be played in standard.
The new format will mean that cards currently considered staples of the most powerful decks in the game, like Piloted Shredder, Dr Boom and Antique Healbot, will disappear from most of the competitive tournaments.
When standard is introduced, the Naxxramas adventure and Goblins vs. Gnomes packs will no longer be available to buy—and will likely never be again.
Alongside the new format, Hearthstone will be introducing more deckslots to the game, taking the available spaces from nine to 18.
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