The Year of the Hydra and the Voyage to the Sunken City are upon us. Core Set changes and the big Hearthstone set rotation is coming.

The Year of the Hydra will bring several changes to Hearthstone when it hits on April 12th. On top of the new Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion, The Hearthstone Core Set will see many card changes. Moreover, three expansions will be rotating out of standard. Take a deep breath while we start our Voyage to the Sunken City, Hearthstone’s next expansion, and the changes it will bring.

Hearthstone changes with Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion

This April 12th, Hearthstone players will be able to enjoy 135 new cards from the new Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion. The meta will revolve around the new Colossal and Dredge Keywords, and Nagas will stalk in every game waiting for their turn. But these are not the only changes that will come with the next Hearthstone Expansion.

With the Year of the Hydra, the Hearthstone Core Set will see numerous changes and three expansions, and their Mini-Sets will rotate out of standard. This means over 500 cards will leave Hearthstone’s main constructed format to become part of the Wild mode.

The Core Set in the Year of the Hydra

The Core Set was introduced during Blizzcon 2021 as a replacement for the old “Basic Classic Sets” of cards. The 235 cards in the Core Set are free for all players, and they intend to provide a modern collection of starting cards, making Hearthstone more approachable for newcomers or returning players.

When the Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion hits, Hearthstone players will be automatically granted the new Core Set cards for the Year of the Hydra. This time, Hearthstone devs have shaken a bit what was in offer with the promise of a more Board-centric meta. It’s time for Boulderfist Ogre to shine!

Glorious Returns to Hearthstone’s Core Set

The Core Set allows the Hearthstone Design team to bring some cards from previous expansions that were rotated into Wild. Hydra Cards will make a comeback to Hearthstone with the Hydra Year Core Set. The most relevant of them are:

The League of Explorers is back! Hearthstone Core Set
The League of Explorers is back!
Some other iconic Neutral cards will make their return

On top of these Neutral Highlights, we got to see the most important class cards coming back to the Hearthstone Core set.

Druid sees Choose One cards return
Druid sees Choose One cards return
Big Dragons and Big spells for Mage
Big Dragons and Big spells for Mage
Will priests dominate the Meta with these old-new powerful cards?
Will priests dominate the Meta with these old-new powerful cards?
Rogue will keep stealing your cards, so check your pockets often
Rogue will keep stealing your cards, so check your pockets often

If you want to check the full 72 cards coming into Hearthstone’s Core Set in the Year of the Hydra, make sure you check the card library

So long, Partner

On the other hand, some cards that are currently in the Core Set will be sent to Wild after the expansion hits. This flexibility of taking powerful staple cards out of standard creates some design space for new exciting cards. Cards that wouldn’t see play, or be overpowered in combination with what’s in existence. The most iconic cards leaving the Core Set and standard this next April 12th with the Voyage to the Sunken City expansion are:

You can find the full list of cards leaving the core set in the official announcement of Hearthstone’s Year of the Hydra.

Expansions rotating out of Standard

With every new Hearthstone Year, on top of Core Set changes, old expansions rotate into Wild. Upon the arrival of the Year of the Hydra, the 2020 sets will no longer be eligible for standard play. 

There will be no refunds for cards that are rotating out of Standard. However, players are free to dust them to get resources for new cards. Disclaimer: watch out for what cards you disenchant, you might need them if you play Wild!

Next April 12th, the following sets will become part of the Wild collection:

  • Ashes of Outland
  • Scholomance Academy
  • Madness at the Darkmoon Faire

Furthermore, their respective Mini-Sets will also leave standard. This will reduce the standard card pool by almost 400 cards, considering that we are getting 135 new ones with the Voyage to the Sunken City expansion.

Hearthstone devs have been teasing that they want to tone down the general power level. Iksar disclosed that the team even discussed the idea of a mass nerf. In the end, they chose a more gradual path, aiming for fewer OTK strategies and reducing the amount of “mana-cheat” available. 

The changes in the Core Set combined with powerful expansions rotating out might be what Hearthstone needs to please part of its community. How will this interact with the new Voyage to the Sunken City expansion? That’s what we will soon discover.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time, in Sunken City. 

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.