Tired of all the changes made to Hearthstone? You’ll be happy to see the new Classic format – a return to the game as it was around 2014.
The most recent round of Hearthstone The ads featured a radical change at the very core of the game, with the “Classic Set” leaving and being replaced by the new “Core Set”. This is just one of the ways the game has changed since its initial release, and the cumulative number of nerfs, formatting, and balance changes have left it a completely different beast. Fans who originally played it in its closed or open beta may feel like they have been left behind, as each year it brings with it three new expansion sets for the game. Fortunately, there is a way back for anyone yearning for the early days of the game’s launch: Classic.
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The classic format will be rolled out alongside the core set, in addition to the game’s most recent expansion: Forged in the Barrens. As standard or wild, it is a different “format” for the game. That means it will have its own informal classified scale, along with a list of allowed cards that distinguishes it from Wild and Standard. But unlike Wild and Standard (which are simply different due to their different sets of cards), Classic will also feature completely different versions of the card used. All cards will be played as they did during June 2014, just three months after the game’s initial release.
This means that the Classic metagame will be completely different from Standard or Wild, even if they share the same cards. Hearthstone has undergone a truly overwhelming number of balance changes over the years, as the developers have struggled to adjust the balance between the different classes and strategies. While this revert to the cards of yesteryear will lose much of that careful healing, it will also be free of any of the complications stemming from the game’s various expansion sets. His first adventure, Naxxramas, was infamous for the creation of “Deathrattle Hunter”, a strong aggressive deck that was all bundled with the powerful new minion Undertaker.
Without either of those cards, Classic is likely to slip into the old routines of the 2014 metagame, which will likely be a refreshing change for many players. After all, Hearthstone did incredibly well when it launched due to a combination of an ultra-smooth user experience (compared to other digital card games of the time), as well as lively and fun gameplay. Players can use 4-mana Leroy Jenkins without energy in their aggro decks, as well as companion control decks that benefit from tools like Ice Lance, Molten Giant, and Force of Nature.
The classic format also has the added advantage of having a small pool of cards. With only the game’s Basic and Classic sets, players will be required to have the fewest number of cards to play from the game’s launch. The expansions of all the years have only increased the rate at which players fall behind, and even if they manage to keep up, many of their cards soon become useless due to the standard rotation. Classic will have fewer than 400 cards, many of which players will have already acquired. Otherwise, they can simply work to complete the entire set. They will never be left behind or have to worry about new cards, as the classic format will remain the same in the future. That’s a huge relief compared to formats like Standard or Wild, which are constantly receiving new cards.
Of course, Classic also loses the excitement of those new cards. While Hearthstone’s prohibitive economy can be exhausting, its new outfits are also one of the most joyous moments for its players. The excitement of spoiler season and new deck testing is like Christmas morning, only enhanced by the opening of new packs. Classic is a moment of the game frozen in time, one that can never advance, grow or change. That’s great in theory, but it can quickly become stale. After all, Naxxramas was released on July 22, just four months after the game’s release. The Classic format has a lot to prove if you hope to remain relevant for months (and years) to come.
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