Blizzard announced today that the next year of Hearthstone will be known as the Year of the Hydra. It begins on April 12 (April 13 in ANZ) with the release of Hearthstone’s newest expansion, Voyage to the Sunken City, and three sets leave the standard format – Ashes of Outland, Scholomance Academy, and Madness at the Darkmoon Faire. It’s going to be a massive upheaval, not only because the map pool for standard players will be significantly smaller, but also because the foundation of the game – the core set, which is free for all players – will be radically different than The Year the Gryphons.
Last year’s core set was 235 cards, but The Year of the Hydra expands the set to 250 cards. Regarding the changes, 57 maps will be rotated and 72 maps will be added. I’ll get into some of the key returning cards in a moment, but first it’s worth pointing out that 11 cards are receiving buffs or have previous nerfs reset. For example, Execute is back to one mana (down from two), while Nourish is going back to five mana (down from six). Equality, on the other hand, costs two mana again (after spending time with three and four mana), meaning the classic Equality + Consecrate board clear costs six mana again. The changes are all pretty significant and show how powerful Voyage to the Sunken City’s maps are meant to be and how Hearthstone’s maps in general have gotten more powerful. You can see the full list of updated maps in the slideshow below.
Hearthstone’s Year of the Hydra Core Set – Updated Cards
Many of the cards being added have historically been deck-defining, high-play, or major technical choices, so they have the potential to really help shape the new meta in The Year of the Hydra. In the neutral state, some of the returning cards that really stand out are the original Explorers’ League: Reno Jackson, Brann Bronzebeard, Elise Starseeker, and Sir Finley, not to mention Doomsayer, Murloc Warleader, Tar Creeper, Lifedrinker, Wild Pyromancer, Sea Giant, Primordial Drake and Mossy Horror. Each class also gets some powerful new (old) tools. For example, Hunter sees the return of Houndmaster Shaw, Animal Companion, Springpaw, Cloaked Huntress, Marked Shot, and Candleshot. Priest, meanwhile, gets a selection of ice-cold classics sure to drive non-Priest players insane, including Lyra the Sunshard, Northshire Cleric, Radiant Elemental, Lightbomb, Murozond the Infinite, and Drakonid Operative. You can see the full core set in the slideshow below to get an idea of the basis of each class.
Hearthstone’s Year of the Hydra – The Complete Core Set
For those who want to see the changes at a glance, here’s a list (via Blizzard) of core set changes.
57 cards rotate out
Neutral: Arcane Anomaly, Argent Squire, Cogmaster, Young Priestess, Minimage, River Crocolisk, Toxicologist, Brightwing, Farseer of the Earthen Ring, Flesh Eating Ghoul, Ice Ravager, Injured Blademaster, King Mukla, Spider Mail, Stoneskin Basilisk, Baron Rivendare, Gurubashi Berserker, High Inquisitor Whitemane, Barren’s Stablehand , clockwork giant
Ghostbusters: Ashtongue Battlelord, Warglaives of Azzinoth
Druid: Enchanted Raven, Landscaping, Warden of the Menagerie, Druid of Nordrassil, Ancient of War
Hunter: Webspinner, Lock and Load, Scavenging Hyena, Headhunter’s Hatchet, Bearshark
Magician: Water Elemental, Mirror Creature, Fallen Hero, Coldarra Drake
Paladin: Holy Light, Pursuit of Justice, Guardian of Kings
Priest: Crimson Clergy, Shadowform, Lightspawn, Temple Enforcer, Natalie Seline
Villain: Blade cultist, patient assassin
Shaman: Windfury, Unbound Elemental, Draenei Totem Carver, Earth Elemental
Sorcerer: Dreadful Infernal, Possessed Villager, Enslaved Felslord, Ritual of Doom
Warrior: Commander of the Warsong Clan, War Hideout, Outrider of the Warsong Clan
72 cards come in
Neutral: Zola the Gorgon, Sir Finley Mrrglton, Brann Bronzebeard, Elise Starseeker, Reno Jackson, Murloc Warleader, Mistress of Mixtures, Acolyte of Pain, Doomsayer, Beaming Sidekick, Gorillabot A-3, Tar Creeper, Lifedrinker, Wild Pyromancer, Sea Giant, Plated Beetle, Azure Dragon, Twilight Dragon, Escaped Manasaber, Primordial Dragon, Mossy Terror, Faerie Dragon, Vulpera Rogue, Cobalt Scalebane, Injured Tol’vir
Ghostbusters: Metamorphosis, Ragescale Naga, Flame Reaper
Druid: Fandral Staghelm, Earthen Scales, Wrath, Living Roots, Mounted Raptor, Ancient of Lore
Hunter: Dogmaster Shaw, Animal Companion, Springpaw, Cloaked Huntress, Marked Shot, Candleshot
Magician: Kalecgos, Pyroblast, Blizzard, Pyromaniac, Explosive Runes
Paladin: Flash of Light, Amber Watcher, Bronze Explorer, Ragnaros Lightlord
Priest: Lyra the Sunshard, Northshire Cleric, Radiant Elemental, Lightbomb, Drakonid Agent, Murozond the Infinite
Villain: Tess Greymane, privateer, burglar of the Henchman Clan
Shaman: Krag’wa the Frog, Vision, Flametongue Totem, Maelstrom Portal, Bloodthirst
Sorcerer: Voidwalker, Goblin Gang Boss, Abyss Enforcer, High Priestess Jek’lik, Darkshire Librarian
Warrior: Darius Crowley, Shield Block, Bloodhoof Brave, Bash
11 Maps Receive Updates (Buffs/Nerf Reversals)
Neutral: Gorillabot A3 costs 3 mana; Azure Drake has 5 health
Ghostbusters: Festival of Souls costs 1 mana; Ragescale Naga has 2 health
Druid: Nourish costs 5 mana
Magician: Kalecgos costs 9 mana
Paladin: Equality costs 2 mana; Bronze Explorer has 3 Attack
Sorcerer: High Priestess Jek’lik has 5 health
Warrior: Execute costs 1 mana; Darious Crowley has 5 health
With today’s announcement, the remaining cards for the Journey to the Sunken City set were revealed. We’ve seen all 135 now and it’s shaping up to be a pretty darn good set, with big, impactful colossal minions taking up multiple slots on the board, the new tribe of Naga with their interesting spell synergies and the ability to sink cards to the bottom Your deck then dredge them up again, and general instructions of interest for almost all classes, whether we’re talking about Murloc Warlock, the return of Mech Mage, or the rise of Multicaster Shaman. You can see all the cards below.
Hearthstone’s Journey to the Sunken City – Complete Set
Our journey to the lost city begins on April 12th (April 13th in ANZ) and promises to start an exciting year. You can learn more about the set and the team’s plans for the year ahead on Hearthstone’s official website.
Cam Shea has worked at IGN since before and has been following Hearthstone since it was first announced. When he’s not playing games, he is mix plates.
https://www.ign.com/articles/hearthstone-year-of-the-hydra-core-set-revealed Hearthstone’s new core set brings back the original Reno, Brann, Elise, and Sir Finley cards