One user has created a helpful visual representation of every Hearthstone Core Set change that’s coming to Blizzard’s popular digital card game, and it helps put the seismic shift in the game’s many formats into perspective. Hearthstone released on March 11, 2014 and has grown into one of the most popular card games in the world today, though competition from Magic Arena, Legends of Runeterra, and other innovative card games has made it one of many strong offerings in the genre.
As Hearthstone grew older, however, issues began to arise with the way its free-to-play mechanics were constructed. New players found it an increasingly daunting task to attempt to join the game’s competitive ranks, which required so many cards across a surplus of expansions that acquiring them without spending money was virtually impossible. While implementations like the Hearthstone Tavern Pass have been tweaked to help alleviate that pressure, fixing the barrier of entry has been a request from fans for years now, and the introduction of Hearthstone Core Set is Blizzard’s answer. Hearthstone Core Set is a 235 card base set that will be given to players for free and will be legal in Standard, giving all players a competitive baseline around which to build their decks.
However, the implementation of this design is a massive undertaking, which means tracking every Hearthstone Core Set change particularly overwhelming for players. One user on Reddit named Heisenberg_USA has solved that problem, though, providing an extraordinarily helpful graphic that tracks each change down to how it’s being implemented. The visual also groups cards based on what’s leaving the game, what’s being added in Core Set, and the myriad number of tweaks that are coming to some of the cards that are staying. It’s being justifiably praised on the game’s subreddit for its helpfulness, and is well worth a look for anyone trying to wrap their head around every Hearthstone Core Set change.
One thing the graphic does well that isn’t necessarily as easily conveyed by dialogue about the changes is illustrate just how broad in scope these alterations are. Looking at every Hearthstone Core Set change added together makes it clear that the Year of the Gryphon will be unlike any other the game has experienced, and fundamental understandings of class interactions, card strength, and more will be challenged over the coming year.
That’s what makes every Hearthstone Core Set change so interesting to observe, though – it’s also evocative of the kind of potential 2021 is brimming with for the game. Core Set solves the Hearthstone accessibility issue while also providing a dramatic refresh of the game’s many formats and metas, which means that Blizzard has successfully implemented a strategy that, at least in theory, appeals to both newcomers and veterans alike. Whether that works out in practice won’t be obvious until Hearthstone players get their hands on the cards for a long period of time, but for now, it’s a promising era, and one that’s perhaps best represented by the work Heisenberg_USA did in displaying it.