Whispers of the Old Gods is easily Hearthstone’s biggest expansion to date, and we’re not just talking cards. The split between standard and wild formats is the most interesting change the game’s seen since it came out two years ago.
The expansion adds 134 new cards to Hearthstone. Well, maybe not completely fresh, a lot of the cards are new riffs on existing ones, but now we’re just sweating the details. In addition to that, though, the new game format, Standard, completely removes all of the cards from the Naxxramas adventure and Goblins Vs Gnomes expansion. A lot of the cards in these sets were so good that a lot of them existed in the vast majority of Hearthstone decks. To have a game mode that disallows them from being played is a pretty hefty change.
There’s always the Wild format if you want to play with all the Hearthstone cards, past, present, and future. As time goes on, Wild is sure to become more and more, well, wild. It’s also worth noting that Tavern Brawls (Hearthstone’s weekly game mode with different rules) and the arena (draft a deck of random cards and see how well it does) are both wild format. So while a lot of the cards are being rotated out of Standard, expect to still see them in other modes often enough.
Patch 5.0 also included nerfs to a lot of the classic Hearthstone cards that have existed since the game came out. Since these cards will always be part of standard play, Blizzard chose to make sure none of them remained as powerful as they’d been in the past. You can also disenchant every single one of these cards (well the ones that are basic) for their full crafting cost, and then use that dust to create a bunch of other Whispers of the Old Gods cards.
Then finally, anyone who plays Hearthstone this week can earn up to 13 card packs for Whispers of the Old Gods. 3 for simply logging on, and an additional ten for completing quests in the new Standard format. Additionally, the first pack for Whispers of the Old Gods that players open from now until indefinitely will contain the legendary card C’Thun as well as 2 Beckoners of Evil. Seems like C’Thun decks will be the most accessible decks in Hearthstone. You might even go as far as to call it one of the new Hearthstone starter decks.
So yeah, patch 5.0, and the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion are easily the biggest changes Hearthstone’s seen since it’s inception. It’ll be interesting to see where the meta takes us from here on out. For the moment, though, expect to see lots of C’Thun decks, and lots of tried and true decks that have substituted Wild cards for Standard substitutes.