This Hearthstone year belongs to the constellation of the Dragon and Blizzard has prepared some amazing changes, which we will detail in this article.
As usual, the start of the Year of the Dragon will signify the cycle of the yearly rotation. It’s time to bid farewell to Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds & Catacombs. There will be a special period between March 25 to April 2, where you can login and earn a pack from each of these expansions.
That’s not all, though. Usually, at the beginning of a Hearthstone year some cards are rotated out of Standard. For 2019, these cards will be Naturalize, Doomguard and Divine Favor.
What is unprecedented is that Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater will also join the Halls of Fame. These cards were only released last year with The Witchwood expansions, but they have certainly be a headache for both the playerbase and the developers.
Since they were part of the Odd/Even package, Black Cat, Gloom Stag, Murkspark Eel and Glitter Moth are also going away.
As far as Solo Adventures in the Year of the Dragon are concerned, Blizzard is shifting towards a business model that is reminiscent of the original one they had for PvE Adventures like Curse of Naxxramas or Blackrock Mountain. Specifically, the first single-player Adventure of this year will be made available a month after the launch of the first 2019 expansion. The first chapter will be free for everyone, but the four next chapters will cost 700 gold each. Alternatively, you can purchase the entire Adventure for $19.99. These Adventures will have new features, like a pause option, different modes, new Heroes with multiple Hero Powers and more! After completing each chapter, you’ll earn three card packs from the new expansion, and for completing all five chapters, you’ll get a card back and a Golden Classic pack.
Arena is getting very interesting this year with a rotating draft pool. Sets will be switched around twice every expansion. The Year of the Dragon will begin with the following sets in the Arena: Basic, Classic, Curse of Naxxramas, Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, The Witchwood, and the first expansion of this year. Lastly, wins in Arena will now count towards the 500 wins needed to get a Golden Hero.
There are also several quality-of-life changes. You will be able to reroll Legendary quests (for example, the ones that makes you win 3 games in Dungeon Run or Monster Hunt) if you don’t wish to complete them.
Another option that lots of players had asked for is the ability to have random card backs, which you will be able to do once the Year of the Dragon launches!
The team has been working on making the deck builder smarter; they will have more to announce on this soon. According to RegisKillbin and Hearthstone Top Decks, the deck builder will offer cards with the highest winrates for semi-complete decks, while for entirely empty ones it will propose to you the best deck by winrate by comparing the cards in your collection. It can even build a deck around a single signature card you particularly enjoy or suggest replacements for key cards you miss. Everything will be based from real, internal Blizzard data.
The release date of the Year of the Dragon and its first expansion hasn’t been announced yet, but it is expected to go live in April. The devs will host an AMA on Reddit on March 7 at 1:00 pm PST to answer all your quests. You can also watch the following Hearthside Chat, where Ben Thompson and Chris Sigaty talk in brief about all the novelties of the Year of the Dragon.
Read our theories on what the three Year of the Dragon expansions could be about in this article!