Arena changes coming to Hearthstone in patch 7.1
I admit, I tired of attempting the Hearthstone Arena within a month of the game’s launch. All I ever seemed to get were terrible cards which made for terrible decks which made for terrible losses — buying packs, for me, was clearly a better use for my gold. But the Hearthstone team plans to shake up the Arena, which should mean better cards and more interesting decks in Arena matches. At the end of February, patch 7.1 will roll out with serious Arena changes:
- Arena will feature Standard cards only. While this sounds like a nerf, having fewer cards to choose from means you’re more likely to grab cards from sets that work well together.
- Fewer boring, common cards. Hooray!
- Fewer neutral classic cards, which also tend to be on the boring side.
- Fewer minions and more spells.
While the random nature of the Hearthstone Arena draws still means there’s a lot of luck involved in deck building, these changes mean more powerful cards will be available. Sure, they’ll be available to your opponent, too, but they’ll make matches more interesting if nothing else.
You can check out the full rundown of changes, complete with the rationale behind the changes, below.
• Arena will change from Wild format to Standard
- As more cards are added to the Arena pool, having each game feel meaningfully different actually becomes harder to accomplish. Many of the cool synergies between cards, such as Jade Golems or Mechs, live within each individual set release. Attempting to create decks that utilize these meaningful synergies in a wide and diluted card pool will become more and more difficult as the Wild card pool grows larger. Arena runs then becomes less about card synergies and smart deck choices and more about being fortunate enough to be presented with the best card from each set. This change should put the focus back on the player for good, synergistic Arena choices and make Arena decks feel more cohesive.
- We’ll be monitoring using the Standard format in Arena carefully, and we may add additional changes or formats in the future if it doesn’t meet our goals of having Arena feel interesting and different with each set release.
• Changes to Card Rarity Distribution
- We’re making a change to the frequency in which Common and Basic cards show up in the Arena. Common cards were about 78% of all Arena cards, and we felt that number was too high considering that many of the cards that focus around individual class identity and power level rely on the common cards of any given class. After this change, the number of Common and Basic cards that show up overall should be lower, giving more room for fun Rare, Epic, and Legendary cards to show up in an Arena run. In addition, the cards Abyssal Enforcer and Flamestrike will show up approximately 50% less in Arena.
• More Spells in a Run
- Spells have the power to swing a board state, generally more than minions do. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this. When the distribution of spells to minions is too low, the game usually ends up in the favor of the player that gets out their minions faster and more efficiently than the other player, because there aren’t enough cards that punish overextending. Bringing the distributions of spells and minions closer together allows for more room to have an Arena game that is more strategic and facilitates more plays and counter-plays to occur.
• Neutral Classic Cards Show Up Less
- A lot of neutral Classic cards tend to be minions without any text that lack interesting effects. While they are great for introducing newer players to Hearthstone and providing baselines for power level comparisons, they don’t make for compelling Arena run choices. This helps make more room for spells, class cards, and expansion cards to show up at a higher rate.
These changes will occur in an upcoming update near the end of February. We’ll see you in the Tavern!
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