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Hearthstone 2018 Standard rotation guide & schedule

How Hearthstone's 2018 Standard rotation will work, and the notable cards that are heading for the exit.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Hearthstone Standard rotation guide explains which expansions will be available in 2018, along with details of notable cards leaving the Standard ladder.

It's been a little while since most of us had to give much thought to the rotational aspect of the Standard mode that was added to Hearthstone with last year's Old Gods expansion. With the release of the game's next expansion however, we will see quite a few recent card sets be withdrawn from the format, and restricted to use on the Wild ladder only.

The exact mechanism for how this works isn't entirely intuitive though - and you may well have forgotten what you once understood! - and so we thought it might be handy to put together a Standard rotation guide that outlines which Hearthstone sets will be removed in the near future, and how this system will work in the years to come as well.

We'll go through each stage of it clearly and concisely, but please let us know in the comments if we've missed anything. We'll answer your questions there, and also update this guide straight away to make sure it contains everything you could possible need to know.

BREAKING: WITCHWOOD LAUNCH DECKS! - We've got more than 20 new and updated Witchwood deck guides for you in our guide to the best Witchwood decks. Whatever you need for launch, it's in there! We'll be updating deck lists daily so keep it close.

How the Hearthstone Standard rotation system works

Before we go on, we need to stress that the Basic cards and Classic sets do not feature in the rotation plans at all. They will always be part of the fundamental card pool that can be used alongside the latest card releases.

The only exceptions here are the handful of cards from these sets that eventually become too powerful over time - these are sent off to the Hall of Fame and can only be used in the Wild format along with the retired expansions. [HALL OF FAME GUIDE]

Blizzard has named the current cycle of Hearthstone as the Year of the Mammoth. The Year of the Mammoth makes use of the following card sets from across the last two years of Hearthstone:

2016

  • Whispers of the Old Gods
  • One Night in Karazhan
  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan

2017

  • Journey to Un'Goro
  • Knights of the Frozen Throne
  • Kobolds and Catacombs

2018 Hearthstone Standard Rotation - Year of the TBC!

What happens when the first expansion of 2018 rolls around though, and which card sets will you be able to build decks from at that point?

First things first, the Year of the Mammoth will officially end and we'll enter a new - yet to be named - rotational year.

Here are the cards you'll be able to make use of:

2017

  • Journey to Un'Goro
  • Knights of the Frozen Throne
  • Kobolds and Catacombs

2018

  • 2018 Expansion 1

As 2018's second and third expansion are released, you'll of course be able to make use of the cards from those sets as well.

Notable cards leaving Standard in 2018

Now that we've covered the basics of how this works, let's see what impact this is all going to have on 2018.

While there's obviously a massive mix of good, bad and incredible cards being rotated out with the release of the first 2018 expansion, we thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the most notable ones:

GadgetzanKarazhanOld Gods
Patches the PirateBabbling BookC'Thun
MANY JADE CARDS!BarnesYogg-Saron, Hope's End
KazakusEvolve
Raza the Chained
Dirty Rat

While not all of those cards are absolute game-changers for the Standard format, there are some very big names disappearing from the game's core format in around 6 months from now.

What effect all this will have on the metagame is anyone's guess, and will depend largely on what's being planned for the next card set...

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