So I want to talk for a moment about the announcement Blizzard made on Tuesday February 2nd. We have had a few days to let this information process and I want to elaborate a little more from what we discussed on Episode 14 this week. First and foremost I want to reassure the player base this is not the end of Hearthstone! I have been seeing lots of posts in different communities on the web that all start basically the same way “R.I.P. Hearthstone, it was fun while it lasted!” or “Blizzard has ruined yet another game!”. Let me reiterate this is not the end of days, I was there when Wizards of the Coast implemented formats in Magic: The Gathering, people were upset they would no longer be able to use their Black Lotus, or their Moxes that they had spent years or hundreds of dollars collecting. A lot of those people traded off or sold their collections or just the cards that would no longer be used in the new standard format, those same people later came to regret those decisions when most of those cards shot up in price. Now I know what you are saying, “That analogy does not pertain to Hearthstone because you can’t trade or sale the cards, they are only virutal” and you are right, but you will be able to dust all of the previously soul bound Naxxramas cards if you have them, I feel like this would be a mistake. TrumpHS recently quoted that the total value of dusting these cards would be somewhere around 3700 dust, that is 2 Legendaries, 1 Epic, and 1 Rare, personally I don’t think that is worth the $25 I paid for the adventure especially when those cards are still viable in the new Wild format.
Lets talk about Wild for just a minute. I have been seeing lots of people saying Wild will be the new casual, well casual you cannot rank up the ladder. To me Wild will be just like the Type 1 or Legacy format in Magic, anything goes, it will allow you to build those crazy combo decks that are so much fun. Decks like Secret Paladin will continue to thrive, Freeze Mage will still be strong, Mechs will rule the day, plus you will have all the cards from the new expansions that are yet to come to mix and match with those cards, the possibilities are truly endless in the Wild format. Now I can still hear you saying, “But Blizzard has said only standard will be the tournament format going forward.” This is true however it may not always be that way, gaming organizations like Archon, or Tempo Storm like to run their own tournaments their way, take ATLC for example. There very well could be tournaments that run a Wild only format, it is still too early to tell and as was mentioned on Hero Power the other night it might be in a year or two once this has settled in we might even see tournaments for Standard and Wild at Blizzcon! What I am saying is don’t discount Wild yet, not while we know so little so early in the discussion.
Okay back to standard, I know a lot of people are worried about the card pool not being big enough for standard format, the average block size for Magic the Gathering standard is 7 sets, 2 base sets and 4 expansion sets, plus a core set. Looking at one of the most recent standard blocks (Theros and Journey to Nyx) this was a pool of about 1,500 cards to build 60 cards decks with. When Theros rotated out of the standard and Khans of Tarkir was released that card pool was more around 900 cards. Right now in Hearthstone with the current standard as described to us by Ben Brode we have 676 cards in the meta, this is before our version of Khans of Tarkir (the spring 2016 mystery set) has been released. Ben mentioned in his video this will be a “big” set, if they release 200 cards, which could be conservative as GvG was 146 cards and TGT was 148 cards, that would put us to about the same cards pool size as Magic during their rotation period.
The TL:DR version of this is have faith in Blizzard, they are doing what I feel is the right thing for the growth and longevity of the game we all enjoy. I am excited to see how the game continues to evolve over the next few years and improve, there is no need to riot all will be well.
Have Fun and Good Gaming