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Hearthstone’s future plans include faster ranked progression, Standard Arena

Hearthstone 2017

Today’s Hearthstone livestream was packed with news, as Blizzard prepare for playing cards in the tavern for 2017. A lot of it is coming soon at an unspecified time, or being worked upon and may not come out exactly as described. However, it’s all pretty interesting, so lets go through it.

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  • Dean Ayala, game designer, talked about making arena use Standard rotation. This would mean less cards and very different decks, with new sets having more impact, in a similar way to how constructed changed when Standard was implemented.
  • He also mentioned reducing both the number of commons and the number of neutral classic/basic cards. This would lead to less predictable decks, and mean less totally useless picks like River Crocolisk or Magma Rager.
  • In February, top 100 rankings will be distributed for Arena play, similar to how they are for ladder play.


  • Ben Brode, game director, spoke about a lack of satisfaction with the way ranked ladder play works. While these changes aren’t definite, this is what they’re thinking about and will be deciding between as implementations shortly.
  • More bonus stars based on ranking in previous season, meaning less players sitting down in the 25-15 range at the start of the season.
  • More break points where reaching that rank won’t allow you to drop below it via losses.
  • Win streaks possibly going all the way up to Legend rank, rather than stopping in rank five.

Here’s a full archive of the Q&A: