We dropped a mountain of information about all the exciting changes to Hearthstone alongside today’s patch notes, including a deep dive on the new Demon Hunter class! When you’ve finished reading about the Year of the Phoenix, check out the rest of what we’ve got going on:
We’re ready to share with you a host of major changes coming to Hearthstone in the immediate future, as well as a roadmap of what we’ve got coming to the Tavern in the months to come!
Where We've Been and Where We're Going
The Year of the Dragon started with Rise of Shadows, where we introduced the League of E.V.I.L. and Arch-Villain Rafaam’s sinister scheme to commandeer the magical floating city of Dalaran. We then saddled up with the League of Explorers in Saviors of Uldum to stop E.V.I.L. from unleashing Uldum’s ancient secrets upon Azeroth. In the final act, Descent of Dragons, the League of Explorers put the kibosh on E.V.I.L.’s campaign to resurrect the dreaded progenitor dragon Galakrond. With the Year of the Dragon’s end at hand, the time has come for Rastakhan’s Rumble, The Boomsday Project, and The Witchwood to enter Wild and rotate out of Standard.
With the announcement of Hearthstone’s newest expansion, Ashes of Outland, it’s time to brave the hazards of that shattered world following the Rusted Legion’s hostile takeover. Ashes of Outland marks the start of the first phase of our new Hearthstone year—the Year of the Phoenix!
We’ve got expansions, Battlegrounds updates, seasonal events, new Tavern Brawls, a solo adventure, and so much more planned. On the roadmap below, you can see the massive amount of content we have coming this year!
We’re kicking off the new Hearthstone year with some big changes. Follow us on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up to date on what’s coming.
Card Pack Changes
A few years back, we made changes to how opening card packs works to ensure that every time you got a Legendary card, it would be one that you didn’t already have. Starting March 26, we’re extending this to cards of all rarities!
Once this change goes live, you will no longer receive more than two copies of any Common, Rare, or Epic until you have owned two copies of all cards of that rarity in a set. Crafting a card counts towards acquiring it, and any cards you acquire and later disenchant (whether golden or non-golden) count as well. This means that if you get a card that you don’t want, you can disenchant it and you will not receive it again until you have all cards of that rarity from that set. This change does not affect the overall distribution of rarities in card packs.
Free Deck for New and Returning Players
There’s always a lot going on in Hearthstone, so if you’re new to the game—or you’ve been away for a spell—we’d like to help you get right into the swing of things. Starting March 26th, players new to the game who graduate from the New Player ranks will get a free deck from a class of their choice, built with cards from the Year of the Dragon! This also applies to players who haven't logged into the game in the past four months*. We’re hoping this will help players feel empowered to jump right in and experience the latest of what Hearthstone has to offer!
*Free deck only available to players who have not logged into Hearthstone in the past 4 months beginning on March 17, 2020. Limit one per account.
Ranked Mode Overhaul
Last year, we started exploring ways we could make Ranked Play experience better. Primarily, we wanted to figure out ways to make the matchmaking experience fairer, and give players more rewards for playing in Ranked, all while preserving the essentials of the core system that’s already in place.
Starting with the April 2020 Ranked Season, we're replacing the existing ladder in Ranked Mode with a new league system. There will be five leagues in the new system, each made up of 10 ranks. Players start each season at Bronze 10, and climb their way to Bronze 1 before graduation to the Silver league, and on through Gold, Platinum, and Diamond before hitting Legend. Each league will also have rank floors at rank 10 and rank 5, where you cannot go down in ranks for match losses. The New Player ranks will have their own league that runs from ranks 40–1. The Legend ranks will continue to work as they currently do.
To go from one rank to the next—say, Gold 10 to Gold 9—you will need to gain three Stars. You’ll gain one Star for each match you win, and lose one for a loss. At the start of each season, players will be awarded a Star Bonus based on their performance the previous season. This Star Bonus acts as a multiplier on the Stars you earn from each win.
For example, if you have a Star Bonus of 5x and you win a game, you’ll get five Stars instead of one. If your winning game is a part of a win streak, you’ll get double that: 10 Stars! Upon hitting each ranked floor in your climb, your Star Bonus will be reduced by one. When playing with a Star Bonus you’ll be matched by your matchmaking rating (MMR), meaning you’ll be matched even more precisely with players of your similar skill level when climbing!
As mentioned earlier, we’ve reworked the rewards you earn at the end of each season of Ranked play. Your reward chest can now contain card packs from the latest expansion, Rare cards, and even an Epic card, based on the rank you achieve. Five wins at any rank will also award the seasonal card back immediately, instead of at the end of the season.
There are also brand-new first-time rewards. Primarily aimed at helping new players, these one-time rewards of Classic card packs, Rare cards, and Epic cards will be granted immediately upon hitting a ranked floor for the first time on your account. Hitting Legend for the first time in the new ranked system will grant a random Classic Legendary card!
|Ranking up To||End of Season Reward||First-time Rewards|
|Legend||1 Latest Expansion Pack||1 Random Classic Legendary Card|
|Diamond 5||1 Random Standard Epic Card||1 Classic Pack|
|Diamond 10||1 Latest Expansion Pack||1 Random Classic Epic Card|
|Platinum 5||2 Random Standard Rare Cards||1 Classic Pack|
|Platinum 10||1 Latest Expansion Pack||1 Random Classic Epic Card|
|Gold 5||2 Random Standard Rare Cards||1 Classic Pack|
|Gold 10||1 Latest Expansion Pack||4 Random Classic Rare Cards|
|Silver 5||2 Random Standard Rare Cards||1 Classic Pack|
|Silver 10||1 Latest Expansion Pack||4 Random Classic Rare Cards|
|Bronze 5||1 Standard Rare Card||1 Classic Pack|
We wanted to make several changes to the Priest class in the Year of the Phoenix, in order to bring it more in line with its class identity. In order to achieve this, we’ll be rotating six cards to the Hall of Fame and adding six brand-new Priest cards to the Basic and Classic Sets. We’ll also be updating seven existing Priest cards to improve their Basic and Classic Sets. The cards we’re replacing will go into the Hall of Fame, so they’re eligible for play in Wild.
All players will get the appropriate dust refunds automatically when these changes go into effect on March 26th.
Priest Cards Entering Hall of Fame
Rotating these cards to the Hall of Fame will bring Priest more in line with its class identity and help them explore exciting new archetypes. Players who own the Classic cards below will be granted the full dust refund for each. Players who do not have access to the Wild format will have the two Basic cards removed from their collection and will be granted a full dust refund for both.
- Classic - [[Auchenai Soulpriest]]
- Classic - [[Holy Fire]]
- Classic - [[Shadowform]]
- Classic - [[Prophet Velen]]
- Basic - [[Divine Spirit]]
- Basic - [[Northshire Cleric]]
Priest Balance Updates
- Power Word: Shield
- Old: [Cost 1] Give a minion +2 Health. Draw a card.
- New: [Cost 0] Give a minion +2 Health.
- Shadow Word: Death
- Old: [Cost 3] Destroy a minion with 5 or more Attack.
- New: [Cost 2] Destroy a minion with 5 or more Attack.
- Holy Smite
- Old: [Cost 1] Deal 2 damage.
- New: [Cost 1] Deal 3 damage to a minion.
- Holy Nova
- Old: [Cost 5] Deal 2 damage to all enemies. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.
- New: [Cost 4] Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.
- Shadow Madness
- Old: [Cost 4] Gain control of an enemy minion with 3 or less Attack until end of turn.
- New: [Cost 3] Gain control of an enemy minion with 3 or less Attack until end of turn.
- Temple Enforcer
- Old: [Cost 6] 6/6 - Give a friendly minion +3 Health.
- New: [Cost 5] 5/6 Give a friendly minion +3 Health.
- Old: [Cost 3] Copy 2 cards in your opponent's deck and add them to your hand.
- New: [Cost 2] Copy 2 cards in your opponent's deck and add them to your hand.
New Priest Cards
Players will automatically be granted the two new Basic cards, and the four new Classic cards can be crafted or obtained from Classic card packs.
- Basic - Psychic Conjurer
- [Cost 1] 1 Attack, 1 Health
- Battlecry: Copy a card in your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
- Basic - Power Infusion
- [Cost 4]
- Give a minion +2/+6.
- Classic - Kul Tiran Chaplain
- [Cost 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health
- Battlecry: Give a friendly minion +2 Health.
- Classic - Scarlet Subjugator
- [Cost 1] 2 Attack, 1 Health
- Battlecry: Give an enemy minion -2 Attack until your next turn.
- Classic - Shadow Word: Ruin
- [Cost 4]
- Destroy all minions with 5 or more Attack.
- Classic - Natalie Seline
- [Cost 8] 8 Attack, 1 Health
- Battlecry: Destroy a minion and gain its Health.
Neutral Cards Entering Hall of Fame
At the start of each Hearthstone year, we take the opportunity to reevaluate the Basic and Classic sets. As Hearthstone has evolved and we’ve better defined and distinguished the classes, several cards from those sets stand out as pushing classes in directions different than the rest of their tools.
Five neutral cards will join the Hall of Fame on March 26. You will be able to keep your copies of these cards once they move to the Hall of Fame, and you’ll also be granted the full Arcane Dust value for each card (up to the maximum number that can be used in a deck). The dust will be automatically awarded once you log-in after March 26.
- [[Acolyte of Pain]]
- [[Mind Control Tech]]
- [[Mountain Giant]]
- [[Leeroy Jenkins]]
The Year of the Phoenix is shaping up to be the best yet, and this is only the beginning! Be sure to check out our Ashes of Outland announcement and our announcement of the new Demon Hunter class!