The Hearthstone Standard Rotation in 2019 is just around the corner, so it’s time to take a look at which sets are going to be making the transition to Wild! We’ll be going over when the rotation will happen, how the standard rotation works, which sets are going to be rotating, and the most important cards that we’ll be losing in the game!
The Standard rotation in Hearthstone is probably the most exciting event each year if you are slinging cards in the tavern. This generally brings big changes to the game as it takes a large amount of powerful cards that were previously featured in a lot of top tier decks out of the format. In most cases, we get a pretty fresh new meta to work with and it lets a lot of cards from the previous expansions to potentially shine. Cards that were not playable in the past can make a statement in this fresh new meta. This is also the point in the format with the least amount of cards to work with.
This time of year also gives us the potential for additions to the Hall of Fame. If you were unaware, each year Blizzard decides if certain cards from the Classic set should be rotated into the Hall of Fame. Cards in this set are no longer usable in the Standard format. We’ve seen cards such as Ice Block, Ragnaros the Firelord, and Azure Drake make the jump to this set in previous years.
HEARTHSTONE STANDARD 2019 ROTATION DATE
The exact rotation date for Standard in 2019 is April 9th, 2019! This will launch the first expansion of the Year of the Dragon!
HOW THE STANDARD ROTATION WORKS
Once the first expansion of the year is announced and we get the release date we are on a countdown to the rotation. Cards that will head to the Hall of Fame will be announced. If you own any of those cards, you will be given a full dust refund for them up to a collectible amount and the highest quality. What this means is that if a Legendary card rotates, you will get 1,600 arcane dust if you own a normal version of it. If you own two of them, you will still only receive 1,600 dust. If you own a golden copy and a regular copy, you will receive dust for only the golden copy (3,200 arcane dust). If it’s an Epic or lesser rarity you will get dust for two copies of what you own. If you own four of the cards and one of them is golden, you will get dust for a normal version and the golden version. Keep in mind that you get to keep the cards, so this dust is completely free. If you don’t own the cards, you can craft them for free (you get the dust back once they give it out) and use them in Wild!
Once the new expansion is finally released, you will then no longer be able to use the three sets from 2017 in Standard.
WHICH SETS ARE ROTATING IN 2019?
So, that ultimately brings us to which sets are going to be rotating in the new year. Let’s take a look at how each year breaks down, and then discuss which expansion are rotating out in 2019.
Year of the Dragon Sets
The Year of the Dragon kicked off on April 9th, 2019 with the release of Rise of Shadows.
- End of Year Expansion
- Saviors of Uldum
- Rise of Shadows
- Rastakhan’s Rumble
- The Boomsday Project
- The Witchwood
Year of the Raven Sets
- Rastakhan’s Rumble
- The Boomsday Project
- The Witchwood
- Kobolds and Catacombs
- Knights of the Frozen Throne
- Journey to Un’Goro
Now, the Classic and Basic sets are always going to be apart of Standard unless Blizzard makes a drastic change. That means there are the three sets from 2017 that are going to be removed: Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds and Catacombs.
WHAT STANDOUT CARDS ARE WE LOSING IN 2019?
This is a pretty big rotation because we’re losing a lot of pretty big cards from these expansions. I think it’s been pretty noticeable that Blizzard has been trying to reduce the power level of some of the cards, and the rotation will be removing a lot of big offenders including the Death Knights from Knights of the Frozen Throne. Here’s a look at some of the particularly strong cards that are going in each set.
Journey to Un’Goro
While you might think Quest cards are a big standout, most decks don’t use these and they were largely disappointing for the most part. however, we will be using a lot of utility cards that were pretty strong and saw a lot of player of the last two years. This also pretty much removes all of the Adapt cards in Standard which was a pretty powerful mechanic. Elemental based decks lose quite a bit as well.
- Stonehill Defender: One of the most used cards in the meta right now, provided an early game taunt to halt aggro while also giving you options in the early and late game with the discover.
- Tar Creeper: Another great early game taunt that worked in both aggro and control decks alike.
- Fire Fly: Great card for aggressive and token decks. Was also good in Elemental based decks to fill in curves and allow for easy triggering of the play an Elemental last turn mechanic.
- Shadow Visions: Just a really great card for Priest that was pretty much slotted into every one of their decks. It made Combo Priest a whole lot more consistent.
- Crackling Razormaw: Just a powerhouse card for Hunter that could make your 1-drop a whole lot more useful. This card alone could start the snowball leading to your opponent’s demise.
- Vilespine Slayer: Great removal card with a body, it’ll be interesting to see how Rogue does without it.
- Primordial Drake: Well designed card that could help stop aggressive and midrange decks by either clearing their board or stop them with a high health taunt.
- Sunkeeper Tarim: One of the best Legendaries in the game for a long time. This card worked in multiple different decks and could be used as ways to remove big minions or to power up a bunch of minions on your side.
Knights of the Frozen Throne
What a great set this turned out to be! I can’t think of a set that better encapsulated a World of Warcraft expansion than this one. It hit great notes by bringing very memorable cards to the set with an overall great theme. It did The Lich King justice by making it a powerful but not over-bearing card, as well as bringing a great single-player mode to the game. There are a ton of great cards in this set and that’s not just including the Death Knights.
- Deathstalker Rexxar: While this card started off a bit slow when it came out, it turned the corner after the 2018 rotation and became an extremely powerful card. Having an unlimited value source turns out to be pretty strong if the game goes late.
- The Lich King: Strong but not too strong. It’s a great card with some very flavorful cards that can be created by it. The animation on entry is also great.
- Defile: Arguably one of the best designed cards in the game. Not only is the card very strong in general, it can be very skill intensive due to sometimes having to calculate what damage you’ll need to do to create a full board clear.
- Prince Keleseth: It’s hard to argue that 2-drops are pretty strong and missing out on them can be very problematic, but the fact that Keleseth saw so much play just shows how good it is.
- Shadowreaper Anduin: While not everyone remembers it fondly, those old Highlander decks in standard with Shadowreaper Anduin machine gunning damage were pretty fun to play and watch. The deck was eventually nerfed and Anduin suffered from it, but it remained a powerful card all the way to the end.
- Bloodreaver Gul’dan: Just an extremely powerful card that powered combo and control decks for the Warlock class.
- Spreading Plague: Druid got a big nerf recently so this card currently isn’t seeing a lot of play, but when the class was firing this was a card that helped it do so.
- Ultimate Infestation: Boy did this card garner some hate when it first came out and just about all the way until Druid was nerfed. This card is one of the best ever added to the game. It does everything you’d want out of a high cost card: removal, board presence, and card draw.
Kobolds and Catacombs
While the theme of this set felt underwhelming against the Knights of the Frozen Throne, it still managed to be a pretty powerful and great expansion. Not only was the set pretty strong, we got the introduction of Dungeon Run which ended up being a really great single-player mode. This set will largely be known as the expansion that gave Hunter the power to reign over the meta for the last few expansions.
- Lesser Emerald Spellstone: One of the cards that allowed Spell and Secret Hunter to be so powerful. A lot of players were surprised when it didn’t get hit with a nerf, but the rotation will bring it out of the pool soon enough.
- Kobold Librarian: This card seemed insane when it was revealed, and we soon had these thoughts confirmed when it released. Just a great card in Warlock and fit in just about every archetype.
- Psychic Scream: One of Priest’s best board removal cards. The class will be in an interesting spot once it’s gone, hopefully they get some good stuff in the new expansion.
- Branching Paths: Very versatile card for Druid and worked in different archetypes. Could be used as a buff for your minions, but was mainly used to gain armor and buff the Lesser Jasper Spellstone.
- Duskbreaker: Another great card that Priest is losing. This card was so good that the class could include it in decks that were not primarily focused on Dragons.
- Corridor Creeper: While not as powerful as it was this card literally warped the meta early on in its lifespan. Once it was nerf it was thought to be dead, but it eventually found a comfortable home in Shaman.
- Carnivorous Cube: The card that created the infamous Cubelock that reigned terror on the meta for a long time. While that deck got nerfed (it eventually came back, but not as powerful as it was), it still saw play in Deathrattle decks.