Hearthstone's Arena Mode Moving to Standard, Further Burying Wild Play

Hearthstone's Arena Mode Moving to Standard, Further Burying Wild Play

Good night, sweet Piloted Shredder.

With the Year of the Mammoth now properly underway, Blizzard announced today that Arena mode will soon be moving to Standard Play, among other changes.

Up until this point, Arena has supported Wild Play, meaning that every single card has been available for use. The move to Standard Play will significantly reduce the number of cards available for drafting, cutting out popular choices like the Piloted Shredder. Standard Play currently supports League of Explorers, The Grand Tournament, Blackrock Mountain, and the recently-released Means Streets of Gadgetzan, as well as the base classic cards.

The move is due in part to Blizzard's desire to highlight certain synergies, "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."

Blizzard added that they will be monitoring the new format "carefully," and may add additional changes or formats in the future.

In addition to the new format, Blizzard announced a number of changes to the card distribution. Once the changes go live, rare cards and spells will be more common, while neutral classic cards will show up less.

Epic cards will have a better chance to appear with the new distribution.

Hearthstone Fans React to the Changes to Arena Mode

Some fans predictably expressed frustration with the move, with one user on Reddit writing, "The thing about arena I liked is that it was a fresh escape from experiencing all the cards in Standard. I understand most would say "just go to wild" but I didn't want to do that."

Another added, "Not sure how I feel about Standard Arena format, as it's even less likely people will play and be exposed to Wild cards. Blizzard better have something amazing planned for Wild or it's really doomed."

Others were more positive, "I think moving arena to standard is a good move. As someone who enjoys MTG drafting/sealed, being able to put together a synergistic/thematic deck makes the experience much more fun, and feels more rewarding when your deck works."

The card distribution changes received a warmer response, not the least because it's simply more fun to draw epic and legendary cards. With many Arena runs boiling down to whether or not you were able to draw enough Truesilver Champions, these are welcome changes.

These changes will be part of Hearthstone's anticipated 7.1 patch, which will also include a number of card nerfs. It is due within the next week or so.

A little further down the road, Hearthstone will be adding in yet another expansion, which will cycle out previous releases like League of Explorers as well as popular legends like Ragnaros the Firelord. As always, Hearthstone rolls on.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

Related articles

It's Not Game Over for GameStop Just Yet

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Reports of the retailer's imminent demise have been mildly exaggerated.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Players Can Skip Ahead to Cherry Blossoms After the New Patch

If you don't want to be spoiled on how this cute Spring foliage works, look away.

Competitive Musical Chairs Brings Out the Beast in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Players

All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey grabbed his elephant gun...

You may also like

What's The Best Animal Crossing Fruit?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Are you a pear defender? #PeachSquad? Let us know!

How Doom 64's New "Lost Levels" Connect to Doom Eternal

In bringing the oft-overlooked N64 entry to new systems, Bethesda, id, and Nightdive have canonized its story.

Games Done Quick Is Putting on a Coronavirus Relief Marathon Next Month

The premiere speedrunning fundraiser is also delaying its annual summer event.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens Is a Timed Apple Arcade Exclusive That's Fully Out Today

Shantae's latest is exclusive to Apple for a spell, with console release in May.