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Hearthstone: 2019 Standard rotation guide & schedule

How Hearthstone's 2019 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 2019, 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 2016'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 With the release of the game's next expansion however, we will see quite a few recent card sets be withdrawn from the format, and restricted to use on the Wild ladder only.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.

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. See our comprehensive Hall of Fame guide for more information.

Year of the Mammoth - Current

Until the first expansion of 2019 rolls around, we are in the Year of the Mammoth. During this period of time the following card sets are available to play:

  • Journey to Un'Goro - 2017
  • Knights of the Frozen Throne - 2017
  • Kobolds and Catacombs - 2017
  • The Witchwood - 2018
  • The Boomsday Project - 2018
  • Rastakhan's Rumble - 2018

Year of the Dragon - Upcoming

Blizzard has named the upcoming cycle of Standard Hearthstone play as the Year of the Dragon.

When Year of the Dragon begins, the 2017 expansions will no longer be available to play in the Standard format.

Instead, you'll be able to make use of the following sets, with 2019's expansions added to the mix as and when they're released.

2018

  • The Witchwood
  • The Boomsday Project
  • Rastakhan's Rumble

2019

  • Expansion 1 - TBC
  • Expansion 2 - TBC
  • Expansion 3 - TBC

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  • Bedders #1 2 years ago
    @Thymatron I think at this point it's a matter of record that the game is in a really bad way right now. Certainly things are much slower on the site if that's any indication.

    The devs have put their hands up though and there are some unspecified nerfs coming at the end of the month (put your money on Small-Time Buccaneer - they don't mind Patches apparently).
  • Thymatron #2 2 years ago
    I would really like it if this big rotation of cards resulted in a game where aggro was a valid choice with some downside to it. Rather than aggro being almost the only choice for people to make to win.

    However, if we continue the same way as before we'll probably end up dying to face damage turn 3 instead of 4.
  • Bedders #3 2 years ago
    @hetenyidomonkos19 No, to the best of our knowledge Blizzard plans two expansion per year from now on, with an Adventure appearing between them. Check the listings we've put again:

    2017

    * Expansion 1 (Spring)
    * Adventure (Summer)
    * Expansion 2 (Winter)

    2018

    * Expansion 1 (Spring)
    * Adventure (Summer)
    * Expansion 2 (Winter)


    Blizzard may well change their minds, but this is correct to the best of anyone's knowledge right now.
  • hetenyidomonkos19 #4 2 years ago
    (Sorry for bad english)
    You plan 2 expansions for 2017??? I cant be the only one who noticed the pattern from the naxxramas to the mean streets of gadgetzan. After an adventure we will always get an expansion and after that we get an adventure again.
    According to this the next thing that will come would be an adventure so we will have 2 adventures and a single expansion in 2017
  • lgemmr #5 2 years ago
    @Bedders yeah it was insane, especially when one realizes that all four legendaries introduced were used in major, highly competitive decks. My only prayer is that the next expansion doesn't increase warriors power. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick of the small time-patches-fiery war axe combo
  • Bedders #6 2 years ago
    @lgemmr Yeah I'm really not happy about the card set that made the most difference to Dragon decks viability is basically being written out of Standard.

    BUT! We don't know what's coming in the next expansion, so let's see how it pans out :-)

    In terms of Shamans and the general state of the current metagame, when you break down the significant cards that are leaving the game, you realise what an insane impact one Adventure (LOE) has had on the metagame more than a year later.
  • Bedders #7 2 years ago
    @precious2789 Ah, I did this on a bit of a whim today as I suddenly realised this whole thing seems quite confusing - even when you've been playing for years.

    I'm so glad to hear it's been useful for someone else right away!
  • lgemmr #8 2 years ago
    Glad to see Shaman finally lose its power. Sad to see all those dragons go though- I've always liked them, and they've only just recently became a good competitive deck with Dragon Priest.
  • precious2789 #9 2 years ago
    Great article. Especially for the newcomers (like myself) who have only been playing since the Last Gods expansion. Gutted to see the League of Explorers rotate out. Reno & Brann especially.
    I hope in time Blizzard will try to find ways of including similar mechanics on other cards.