Hearthstone’s team has just announced the contents of the new year, which will be Year of the Raven. Between expansions, format changes, rewards, and quality of life tweaks, there’s a whole host of changes to cover.

Expansions, Standard, and the Hall of Fame

The teased expansions, in all their wondrous mystery. Source: Hearthstone blog update.

With the new year comes new expansions. The announcement showed three expansions that are due, complete with individual visual designs. For now we can only speculate on how each expansion is going to be themed. However, we do know that when the new expansion arrives, we’ll also be getting a new Standard Format. The following expansions will be moved to Wild Format:

  • Whispers of the Old Gods
  • One Night in Karazhan
  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan

Everything else currently in Standard will remain, with the addition of the first expansion in the new year.

However, the format will still be shaken up: certain long standing cards are being moved to the Hall of Fame. In case you’ve forgotten, this means they will no longer be playable in Standard (but will still be available in Wild). Those cards are:

  • Ice Block
  • Coldlight Oracle
  • Molten Giant (Which was reverted to its pre-nerf mana cost in the process.)

The logic behind these cards being removed is that Standard decks will have more room to build creative decks, such as “return a minion to hand” decks. Mage was especially targeted, with the cornerstone of most Standard decks being removed to encourage variety in deckbuilding — perhaps in anticipation of mage cards being introduced in the new expansion.

Gold and Rewards

Lunara began as a playable character in Heroes of the Storm, and has now made her way to Hearthstone. Source: WoW Gamepedia.

Among the announcements of format changes, we also got some nice boosts to our in-game rewards. Most quests have had their requirements reduced and their gold rewards increased, with Blizzard looking to improve even more quests in future. On top of that, we’re getting a new Druid hero; Lunara, daughter of Cenarius. It’s important to remember that this is just an aesthetic addition changing the way the Druid looks and talks. That being said, she’s essentially being gifted to us, available after winning 10 Standard Ranked or Casual games.

On this note, though, make sure to finish the quest for Maiev if you want her, as she won’t be available come next expansion. If you think you should have the quest for Maiev but instead have “Return of the Hero” quests, contact Blizzard support for help in getting the Maiev quest back.

Tournaments and Other Stuff

Besides the big format changes and rewards, we’re getting a beta test of in-game tournaments sometime this year. Fireside Gatherings are also due for a change, although the specifics have yet to be announced. Finally, to round everything out, there’s a Q&A session on March 2, 11AM PST. You can comment on Hearthstone’s blog post to submit your questions, which will be answered by Ben Brode and Yong Woo on stream.

For the full list of notes published by Blizzard, check out the official Hearthstone update post from Daxxarri.