The Year of the Mammoth is nearly upon us (April 6th, 2017), and with it comes the Standard rotation. This year’s rotation will remove three sets from Standard: Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and The League of Explorers. Blizzard has also decided to implement the Hall of Fame, which will take six cards from the Classic set and move them to Wild.
If you haven’t heard about the Standard rotation, check out our Standard Rotation Guide!
The following list compiles the most notable cards we will be saying goodbye to in the upcoming Standard rotation.
Notable Cards Leaving Standard in Year of the Mammoth
Hall of Fame
Six cards from the Classic set are on their way to the Hall of Fame and won’t be playable in Standard.
Azure Drake is the most played card in Hearthstone (other than The Coin). It was a card, in most cases, that you could just throw in your deck and you would be rarely making the wrong decision. The loss of Ice Lance looks to be the final dagger in Freeze Mage’s heart, while Rogue losing Conceal makes using Gadgetzan Auctioneer much more difficult. Power Overwhelming was great in combo decks, and even Warlock Zoo for making trades with your weaker token minions.
Ragnaros the Firelord and Sylvanas Windrunner were mainstays in many decks and could often fill in for spots in your deck where you might be missing a more fringe Legendary. They are both powerful cards, and it will be interesting to see a meta game without them.
Druid already being short on removal will be a bit sad about Mulch heading off to Standard. Aviana did not find much success early on in decks, but with the addition of Kun the Forgotten King she found a strong combo deck that gave her one last bit of glory before heading off into the sunset.
Quick Shot is the biggest loss for Hunter as the card was good removal with a relevant side benefit of getting to draw a card, especially when you were top decking. Desert Camel didn’t see much play on the ladder, but actually featured prominently in a few Tournaments when you could ban certain decks.
Arcane Blast and Flamewaker are the biggest losses for Mage and will make any sort of Tempo Mage deck most likely dead. Forgotten Torch was an interesting card that saw play in both Freeze Mage and Reno Mage.
Paladin will finally say goodbye to Secret Paladin in Standard. The deck was a powerhouse for a while, but eventually became obsolete once the Standard rotation removed powerful Paladin cards like Shielded Minibot, Muster for Battle, and Avenge. Anyfin Can Happen is also saying goodbye which means the once popular combo deck won’t be reappearing in Standard.
The Standard rotation brings along the death of the long standard Dragon Priest deck. The loss of The League of Explorers for Priest turns out to be a big one as all three of the cards in the set saw play in various Priest decks.
Rogue doesn’t lose a whole lot, and I actually had trouble deciding on some of the cards. Most are fringe cards, such as Gang Up and Burgle. Even the cards Dark Iron Skulker and Unearthed Raptor are debatable, but the one that hurts the most is Tomb Pillager. It was a mainstay in Miracle Rogue decks that provided a good body and fodder for Gadgetzan Auctioneer.
Shaman loses some of its pretty good Control cards in Elemental Destruction and Healing Wave. The big losses happen to Shaman’s early game, with the loss of the infamous 1-2 combo in Totem Golem and Tunnel Trogg.
TGT turned out to be a pretty weak expansion for Warlock as literally none of the cards moving on are notable. Imp Gang Boss, however, is a pretty big loss as it saw meaningful play in both Renolock and Zoo.
Warrior loses some control tools in Bash (sometimes seen in Aggro) and Revenge, but also loses a solid card in Fierce Monkey that saw play in Tempo Warrior as well as Dragon Warrior.
The League of Explorer’s has some of the best Legendaries of any set in Hearthstone. The loss of Reno Jackson is huge, as it most likely kills an entire archetype across multiple classes. Sir Finley Mrrgglton was a quality card in a lot of decks where the Hero Power didn’t mesh with what the deck was trying to do. Elise Starseeker saw a lot of meaningful play in Control Warrior, and Brann Bronzebeard was a good inclusion in a lot of different decks. Emperor Thaurissan is a huge piece in many combo decks, while Justicar Trueheart was similar to Elise Starseeker and saw play in slower metas.
Fun Fact: there were no Epic cards in Blackrock Mountain! Not a whole lot to cry over in the Epic category, but Twilight Guardian was a must include in just about every Dragon deck since it was released.
While Grim Patron isn’t played very much now, it was still part of one of the most dominant decks in Hearthstone history. Patron Warrior was a high skill-cap deck that even survived its initial nerf and went on to be played for quite a while.
The big loss here is in Blackrock Mountain where Blackwing Corruptor played a major role in any deck in which you played Dragons. The other two cards were alternates, but saw a fair amount of play. Argent Horserider has been in and out of Aggro decks for the duration of its Standard lifespan. Refreshment Vendor was a solid option in most Reno decks, while Huge Toad was a common find in Midrange Hunter decks.
That’s all the cards! Keep in mind this list is subjective, some cards could be on here and you might disagree with some of the choices. If you do see something you think is completely missed or shouldn’t be on the list let me know in the comments!