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Hearthstone getting annual refresh, will feature three expansions

A shield shaped wheel with a raven sign in the middle under a Hearthstone logo
Blizzard: Hearthstone

It's that time of the year for Hearthstone, when Blizzard's card wielding addiction machine sheds the decks of old and comes out with the new. This time around, we'll have three expansions, a new hero, private matches and more.

The Year of the Mammoth will soon have to come to pass, with the Year of the Raven starting right with the first expansion, according to game director Ben Brode. There will be three expansions in 2018, although we're soon to find out exact dates.

Blizzard[undefined]Blizzard: Hearthstone: The Year of the Raven

Now a picture is worth a thousand words and you can probably already guess what the expansions will be about. Once the first expansion is here though, Hearthstone will wave goodbye to Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night In Karazhan and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan sets.

Of course, you'll still be able to play them in the Wild and/or craft them with Arcane Dust, even if you couldn't do so earlier. So, the sets you'll be using for standard decks are:

  •     Basic
  •     Classic
  •     Journey to Un’Goro
  •     Knights of the Frozen Throne
  •     Kobolds & Catacombs
  •     The first 2018 expansion

Blizzard[undefined]Blizzard: Hearthstone: Off to the cupboard with you!

The devs are also retiring three cards above from the Classic set - Ice Block, Coldlight Oracle and Molten Giant, the latter with de-nerfed mana cost, so players can go wild in the Wild. Naturally, players get to keep their copies and will be reimbursed with Arcane Dust.

Hearthstone quests will go at a quicker pace as well, with most 40 gold quests turning into 50 gold ones. The devs say there will be more changes here but so far, the plan goes as follows:

Only the Mighty
OLD: Play 20 minions that cost 5 or more. Reward 40 gold
NEW: Play 12 minions that cost 5 or more. Reward: 50 gold

Class Victory
OLD: Win 2 games with one of two Classes. Reward: 40 gold.
NEW: Win 1 game with one of two Classes. Reward: 50 gold

Class Mastery
OLD: Play 50 Class cards. Reward: 60 gold
NEW: Play 30 Class cards. Reward: 60 gold

Blizzard[undefined]Blizzard: Hearthstone: Lunara, daughter of Cenarius

The team are rolling out a new Druid Hero as well, Lunara, the daughter of Cenarius. Don't get fooled by all the treehugging - Lunara will pack a punch.

Of course, you'll need to win 10 games in Standard Ranked or Casual mode once the first expansion has launched. Note that if you haven't already snatched Maiev Shadowsong, you may want to hurry up because the offer's off the table once Lunara's here.

The Hearthstone team announced private matches, improvements to Fireside Gatherings and the game's tour will visit more countries than ever before, so if you're a Hearthstone fan - you're looking at one seriously exciting year.