Blizzard Announces Year of the Mammoth for Hearthstone

Last year, Blizzard announced that along with the Standard Format, things would change in Hearthstone each year starting with that year’s first expansion.  Blizzard named these years in a way where it was kind of like the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. 2016 was the Year of the Kraken and 2017 is going to be the Year of the Mammoth.  So what is changing in the Year of the Mammoth? A lot, actually.

First off, Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament and The League of Explorers will be rotated out. Cards from those expansion sets will no longer be able to be used in Standard, but you can still use them in Wild Format just like you always could. While it has been known that these sets would be rotating out, what players didn’t see coming were six cards from the Classic Set going away as well!  Blizzard has stated that these cards have been an auto include in almost every type of deck and in order to shake up the meta, they made the decision that they would be rotated out. Many were shocked to learn this because Blizzard had previously stated that they wouldn’t rotate out classic cards, but as the year went on, they noticed that maybe some cards did, indeed, needed to be rotated out for balancing sake.

The six cards that will be rotated out are:

  • Azure Drake
  • Sylvannas Windrunner
  • Ragnaros the Firelord
  • Conceal
  • Power Overwhelming
  • Ice Lance

These cards can still be used in Hearthstone’s Wild Format, but as a consolation to not being able to use these in Standard, Blizzard stated they will NOT allow these cards to be disenchanted for full crafting value; however instead, they will just give players Arcane Dust equal to their full DISENCHANTING value. So if you have a Golden Legendary of Sylvannas or Ragnaros, you will get 1600 dust for them.  This should help players craft at least one legendary card from the new expansion when it launches.

Speaking of expansions, Blizzard stated that they are no longer using the release model that they have been using for this year.  Typically in Hearthstone, we would see an expansion, then an adventure, then an expansion, then another adventure and so forth.  In 2017, we will not be getting any adventures at all. Instead, we will receive three expansions, each containing 130 new cards in each. Their have been leaks on the internet that the first expansion may be called the Secrets of Un’goro, themed after World of Warcraft’s Un’goro Crater.  If that is the case, expect lots of dinosaur minions and power crystals! Maybe Blizzard will even toss in a few legendaries hinting at the Mario and Luigi quests they had in there back in the day!

Expansion Release Timeframe

While three expansions seems a bit unfair to those who enjoyed the adventures, Blizzard has stated that new adventures are not going away entirely.  The second and third expansions will feature a story mode in which players can do some solo content in. Kind of like a mini-adventure built into the expansion, but you will not be unlocking any cards through these adventures. They will only come from purchasing that expansion’s card packs.

Blizzard is also touting daily login rewards. These will only be available for a limited time and they haven’t yet said what they will be.

The Rogue Class will FINALLY be getting an alternate hero.  One could say that our “long hunt has finally come to an end.” To unlock Maiev Shadowsong, you simply need to win 10 games in either Standard Ranked or Standard Casual mode.

Maiev Shadowsong

Blizzard also announced that they are looking into adding new in-game features to entice players to partake in Fireside Gatherings, Blizzard’s version of Friday Night Magic. 

The Year of the Mammoth should arrive in Hearthstone in Quarter 1 of 2017 with Quarters 2, 3 and 4 each receiving one of the three new expansions!

Year of the Mammoth Announcement Video