Hearthstone Outlines Plans For The Coming Year

Well met! Hearthstone's "Year of the Raven" is preparing to take flight.

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Blizzard has outlined its Hearthstone plans for the coming year. Dubbed the "Year of the Raven," it promises three more expansions, some big changes to existing cards, a new Tournament feature, and more.

First and foremost, the Year of the Raven will kick off upon the release of the next (as yet unrevealed) expansion. That announcement is coming next month. That will also trigger the set rotation, which means that the Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan sets will be rotated into the Wild format and no longer available in Standard play.

Joining them in Wild will be new Hall of Fame inductees. This tradition takes some cards from the Classic set and moves them out of Standard. Usually this is because Blizzard has determined they're too powerful or otherwise limit the design space for upcoming expansions. This year the Hall of Fame will include Ice Block, a mainstay Mage secret; Coldlight Oracle, which is troublesome for designing new Battlecries and has created the deck-burning "Mill" archtype; and Molten Giant, which will revert to its pre-nerf cost upon rotation to Wild.

Finally, Blizzard will be starting the Year of the Raven by introducing a new alternate hero portrait. Lunara, the daughter of Cenarius, will become the new Druid hero. That rounds out each of the nine classes with at least one alternate portrait. To get Lunara, you simply have to win 10 games in Standard mode after the next expansion launches.

Blizzard will be hosting a Q&A session about the new year on its official Twitch channel next week, March 2, at 11 AM PST. That's also likely to be where we get first hints, or perhaps even a first look, at the next expansion.

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