Hearthstone's 20.0 patch is set to arrive on March 25, and as befits such a large, round patch number, it's going to be "a big one." The update nerfs Nitroboost and makes a few changes to Battlegrounds, and more importantly it sets the table for the upcoming launch of the Classic Format that will use all 240 of the game's original cards, in their original 2014 incarnations.
Unveiled in February, Classic Format is like World of Warcraft Classic for CCGs: It takes players back to the early days—specifically, the 188.8.131.5232 patch of June 2014—with all subsequent balance changes undone. "In the Classic format Warsong Commander can give minions Charge, Holy Smite can go face, and Leeroy Jenkins will cost 4 mana," Blizzard said at the time, which I imagine makes sense to people who play the game. "If you want to relive the old-school Hearthstone experience, Classic will be the place for you!"
To make that happen, the patch will mirror your entire collection of relevant Basic, Classic, and Hall of Fame cards when it goes live, then revert them and make them available for deck building. Classic cards will appear in their own section of your Collection Manager, and you'll be able to expand your collection further with Classic packs, which will drop two versions of cards—one for Classic format and one for Legacy in Wild, with different stats where applicable.
Classic format leaderboards will go live on March 30 with the launch of the Forged in the Barrens expansion, which will also see the new Core Set replace the Basic and Classic sets in Standard. Cards making up the Core Set will be slightly different than originally announced:
88 cards returning from Classic (54 class cards, 34 neutral cards).
52 cards returning from Basic (41 class cards, 11 neutral cards).
55 cards returning from Wild (36 class cards, 19 neutral cards).
4 cards returning from Ashes of Outland (4 Demon Hunter Class cards).
4 cards returning from Demon Hunter Initiate.
1 card returning from Hall of Fame (Shadowform).
31 new cards (20 Class cards, 11 Neutral cards).
"After taking time to consider community feedback, we’ve replaced the previously announced Core set versions of Stonetusk Boar and Bluegill Warrior with two brand new minions—Emerald Skytalon and Redgill Razorjaw!" Blizzard said.
Blizzard also updated the Shaman Hero power to replace the Wrath of Air (Spell Damage) Totem with a new totem, Strength Totem, which gives +1 Attack to a friendly minion at the end of your turn.
"The Great Unnerfing" will see the reversion of nerfs to 36 cards rotating to Wild. There will be five days between the rollout of the patch on March 25 and the set rotation on March 30, and Blizzard warned that "we’re expecting the Standard meta to be very interesting this weekend." Here's what's changing:
Mana Wrym - Old: [Costs 2] 1 Attack, 3 Health. → New: [Costs 1] 1 Attack, 2 Health
Wrym Weaver 0- Old: [Costs 5] 3 Attack, 6 Health. Spellburt: Summon two 1/3 Mana Wryms. → New: [Costs 4] 3 Attack, 5 Health. Spellburst: Summon two 1/2 Ma
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