Core Set Is Replacing Basic/Classic – 235 Cards Set Updated Every Year (Free For All Players New), Classic Hearthstone Format With Original 2014 Game’s State, More Deck Slots!

Huge news just dropped out of nowhere. Team 5 has been teasing the Basic/Classic revamp for a while now, but most of us have expected some new cards, nerfs and buffs. Instead, the entire current Basic & Classic sets will rotate out to Wild (alongside Hall of Fame cards, they will be called “Legacy Set”) to make space for a completely new Core Set. The rotation will happen with the usual yearly Standard rotation (when Year of the Dragon sets become Wild-only).

Core Set will contain 235 cards and be updated every year. In the upcoming Core Set 2021, a lot of the well-known Basic/Classic cards will make a comeback, but we’ll also get a lot of Wild cards, as well as 29 brand new cards designed specifically to be a part of the Core Set. And that’s not all – many already existing cards will get buffed when getting added to Core Set. We don’t know any details yet, such as how the new cards will look like or which old cards will get changed, but we hope to learn soon.

Core set will be FREE for all players! The cards will be earned, just like current Basic cards, by leveling each class to level 10.

We’ll learn more about the Core Set on the upcoming BlizzConline and the full Core Set will be revealed a few days after it.

And that’s not all. Possibly after the success of Classic WoW, Blizzard has decided to introduce a similar format to Hearthstone. A new one called Classic Hearthstone will be added to the game, where you will be able to play the game in its original, 2014 state (June 2014 to be specific – before the first adventure was released). Any alterations to the cards done ever since (nerfs, buffs) will get reverted – the game will be exactly like it was back then (for example, Leeroy Jenkins will still cost 4 mana and Knife Juggler will be a 3/2). Of course, plus all the tools, deck building skills and knowledge we have. Players who own a certain card will have two versions of it – the one they do right now, as well as the old version playable only in Classic format. Classic format rewards & ranking system will work like Standard or Wild, with its separate ladder & MMR.

What’s worth mentioning is that Classic Format is NOT the new game mode – we’re still getting another game mode soon! (Confirmed by Celestalon)

On top of that, we’ll also get MORE DECK SLOTS. That’s right. The limit will be changed from 18 to 27.

You can read more about it in the official blog post below:

We’ve got some major changes on the horizon we’re ready to discuss. When card sets from Year of the Dragon (Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum, Descent of Dragons, Demon Hunter Initiate) rotate to Wild at the launch of our next expansion, we’re planning to move the Basic and Classic sets to Wild as well to make way for the new Core Set!

Introducing the Core Set

The Core set replaces Basic and Classic cards in the Standard format and will contain a selection of 235 cards.

After set rotation this year, Standard will include card sets from Year of the Phoenix (Ashes of Outland, Scholomance Academy, Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, Darkmoon Races Mini-Set), the next expansion, and the new Core Set!

The Core Set will be free for all players and will replace Basic and Classic in Standard as a curated selection of 235 cards intended to provide a modern collection of starting cards to players of all types and make Hearthstone even more approachable for newcomers. Some of the Core Set cards are returning from previous sets, some are reimagined favorites, and 29 cards are completely new!

Core Set Breakdown:

  • 88 cards returning from Classic (54 class cards, 34 neutral cards).
  • 54 cards returning from Basic (41 class cards, 13 neutral cards).
  • 55 cards returning from Wild (36 class cards, 19 neutral cards).
  • 4 cards returning from Ashes of Outland (4 Demon Hunter Class cards).
  • 4 cards returning from Demon Hunter Initiate.
  • 1 card returning from Hall of Fame (Shadowform).
  • 29 new cards (20 Class cards, 9 Neutral cards).

Like the Basic Set, you’ll earn Core Set cards by leveling up each class. All Core Set class cards are rewarded between levels 1-10 for each class, and Neutral Core Set cards will unlock based the sum of all your class levels combined, up to the combined level of 60. Golden versions of Core Set cards can be unlocked by completing Achievements associated with winning games as each class.

When you log in after rotation, you’ll automatically be granted the new Core Set cards equal to your current level for each class!*

Unlike how Basic and Classic functioned previously, the Core Set will be refreshed each year. At the end of every (Hearthstone) year, a new Core Set will take the place of the previous, comprised of new and existing cards. When that happens, the Core Set cards that are rotating will be swapped with new ones in your Collection automatically.

*Core set cards will be available in your Collection automatically at set rotation. Players will not see an in-game pop up when this occurs.

Introducing the Legacy Set

Basic and Classic cards will join Wild in the form of a card set named “Legacy”.

When the Core Set is added at rotation, we’ll be retiring the Hall of Fame entirely. The Basic and Classic sets will move to Wild under a new name—the Legacy Set, which is where most cards from the Hall of Fame will go as well. There are a few exceptions: Genn Greymane, Baku the Mooneater, and other Hall of Fame cards from the Witchwood will return to the Witchwood set, and Shadowform will return to Standard as part of the Core Set!

With the Classic Set joining the Legacy Set in Wild, all Classic cards and their Golden versions will now be craftable and disenchantable. Basic cards and their Golden versions will be granted to all players that have Wild unlocked for free at rotation, as will the normal versions of Demon Hunter Initiate cards (Golden Demon Hunter Initiate cards will still be craftable and disenchantable).

Introducing the Classic Format

Craft decks and compete using Hearthstone’s original 240 cards as they were in 2014, the year the game launched!

We’re excited to share that we’ll be launching the Classic format alongside set rotation and our next expansion! The Classic format invites players to craft decks and compete using Hearthstone’s original 240 cards as they were in 2014, the year that Hearthstone launched!

When logging in after our patch for the next expansion (before expansion content unlocks), your entire collection of Basic, Classic, and relevant Hall of Fame cards will be mirrored and available for deck building in the Classic format—as they were in the patch of June 2014 (after we made a few important changes), with any and all balance changes since then reverted. Yes, in the Classic format Warsong Commander can give minions Charge, Holy Smite can go face, and Leeroy Jenkins will cost 4 mana! If you want to relive the old-school Hearthstone experience, Classic will be the place for you!


Moving forward, unlocking the Wild format will also grant access to the Classic format. Classic’s reward systems, rank systems, and seasons will function the same as Standard and Wild, and like those formats, Classic will have its own matchmaking pool. You will be able to challenge your friends in the Classic format from Day 1, and games played in the Classic format will count towards any relevant Achievements.

Classic format cards will appear in their own section within the Collection manager and Classic format decks will have a unique border on your deck selection page to differentiate them from your Standard and Wild decks. Speaking of the deck selection page, we’re also excited to share that we’ll be increasing the total number of deck slots from 18 to 27 alongside the release of Classic!

Classic packs will now add to your Collection for the Classic format, as well as the Legacy set in Wild. If you have Knife Juggler in your Collection, you’ll have two versions of it—one that can be used in Wild with 2 Attack and 2 Health, and one you can use in the Classic format as it was in 2014 with 3 Attack and 2 Health.

Cards that were added to the Classic set later in Hearthstone’s history will not be usable in the Classic format or drop from Classic packs, but will be craftable as part of the Legacy set in Wild. This includes:

Lastly, since cards from Classic Packs are no longer usable in Standard, we’ll be replacing Classic Packs in various rewards (such as Tavern Brawls and Achievements) with other recent card packs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Core Set only playable in Standard?
    • No. The Core set can be used in Wild as well.
  • Will the Core Set cost money?
    • No. The Core Set is free. Once you reach level 10 with a class, you’ll have all Core Set class cards for that class unlocked forever. A total level of 60 across all classes will unlock all Core Set neutral cards forever! When cards in the Core Set rotate for the first time, the applicable cards in your Collection will automatically swap out for new ones.
  • Are there any dust refunds associated with this?
    • No. We are rotating Basic and Classic to Wild just like other card sets that have moved to Wild in the past, and providing the new Core Set for free. No cards in Standard or Wild are being nerfed.
  • I have every class at level 10 or higher, will I get the full Core Set at set rotation?
    • Yes, you will have the full Core Set unlocked at set rotation. Core Set cards are unlocked based on class levels (quite easily), regardless of whether you own the original card or not. Unlocking a card in the Core Set doesn’t grant you ownership of the card in its original set. You can use them for the duration of the year. Next year, a different set of cards will comprise the Core Set.
  • Will the Core Set replace Basic and Classic in Arena?
    • Yes, the Core Set will replace Basic and Classic in the next Arena rotation, which will take place at the launch of our next expansion.
  • Will we be able to get Genn Greymane, Baku the Mooneater, and the other Hall of Fame cards from the Witchwood in Witchwood card packs now?
    • Yes, you will be able to unpack all Witchwood minions that were previously in the Hall of Fame from Witchwood packs after the format changes take place.
  • What’s happening with Shadowform?
    • Shadowform is returning to Standard as part of the Core Set, but it will also be playable in Wild as part of the Legacy set, and available for use in the Classic format as well.
  • How do Classic Packs work with Standard now?
    • Classic packs still contain Classic cards, which will now be usable in the Classic format and in Wild as part of the Legacy Set. Classic cards that aren’t part of the Core Set will not be usable in Standard. We’re adjusting the rewards for a wide variety of quests/achievements/etc. that previously awarded Classic packs to have Standard-usable rewards instead.
  • Can I disenchant the Classic format version of a card and keep the version in Wild that’s part of the Legacy Set or vice versa?
    • No. You cannot disenchant or earn these cards separately. While stats, card text, and effects might be different, they are effectively the same card shown in two different ways.
  • Can I disenchant Classic format/Legacy cards?
    • Yes, Classic format/Legacy cards can be disenchanted. But as stated in the answer above, Classic format and Legacy versions of a card are not duplicates of each other; if you disenchant Leeroy Jenkins, he’ll be gone from both your Classic format Collection and Legacy.
  • Will Demon Hunter be in the Classic Format?
    • No. Demon Hunter was not in Hearthstone in 2014, so it will not be part of the Classic format.
  • Will cards in the Classic format be the exact same as they were in 2014?
    • All balance changes for these cards over the years will be reverted, but cosmetic changes will remain. For example: Felstalker will be Felstalker and will not revert to Succubus. Also, all Basic cards from the Hall of Fame will be Common rarity in the Classic format.
  • Will the Classic format see changes in the future (more expansions added, etc.)?
    • We have nothing further to announce currently, but we’re looking forward to player feedback on the Classic format!
  • Why 27 deck slots? That seems like a strange number.
    • We’re keeping the same familiar deck selection UI but adding one more page of 9 slots.
  • Are you changing the pool of cards Zephrys the Great pulls from?
    • No. Zephrys the Great is rotating to Wild with Saviors of Uldum and will still pull from the same Basic and Classic cards that are now part of the Legacy set.
  • What happens to Whizbang?
    • Whizbang will remain in Wild as part of the Boomsday set and will be updated for every major release moving forward.
  • When will the Core Set and Classic format go live?
    • While we don’t have dates to share today, the Classic format will go live with the patch for our next expansion and the Core Set will go live with set rotation when content for the next expansion unlocks.
  • Will there be a page on where we’ll be able to see the full Core Set and all the cards in the Classic format?
    • Yes! The full Core Set will be revealed a few days after BlizzConline and will be available for early deck building in the card library. The card library will be updated to include all cards for the Classic format when it goes live with the patch for our next expansion.

Tune-in to BlizzConline on February 19 to learn more about the Core Set and Classic format! We’ve got some exciting news to share before revealing some of the new and revolutionized Core Set cards!

Year of the Phoenix Page Footer Image

Mana Crystals Page Footer Image



A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Nephilim99
    February 10, 2021 at 7:13 am

    The real question is, for Classic Mode, we will have the sorry emote back?

  2. Nephilim99
    February 10, 2021 at 6:10 am

    a question that will only become relevant next year, what happen to the 29 new cards the core set introduced when it get updated? Do they get added to wild or they’ll just disappear?

    Too bad we won’t be getting HoF dust this year but at least I hope they’ll use the opportunity to unnerf the basic/classic card when they’ll rotate them (except a few exception; mana wyrm/leeroy/cold blood)

  3. X15d
    February 10, 2021 at 4:33 am

    In the FAQ it says no dust refunds but is there any other way to gain dust from all this? Also, for future reference, a post for the 2014 meta decks and/or fun decks would be greatly appreciated.

    • Nephilim99
      February 10, 2021 at 7:12 am

      2014 meta deck (in no particular order) : Combo Druid (FoN+SR), Handlock, Zoolock, Control Warrior, Face Hunter, Midrange Hunter, Freeze Mage, Miracle Rogue

  4. JoyDivision
    February 10, 2021 at 1:49 am

    So … to understand that right … let’s say Brawl gets added to the Core Set and I own 2 golden copies of it right now in the Classic Set … those two copies will then be shown in my Wild collection and in Standard I’ll have two non-golden copies that are ‘temporary’?

    And this sentence makes no sense imho: ‘…all Classic cards and their Golden versions will now be craftable and disenchantable…’. Because, well, they are right now!? Amiright?

    Last but not least, while Classic HS sounds cool, the meta will be solved in like 10 seconds and this will be the most boring meta ever. 😉 I really can’t see the long-term motivation in that game mode.

    Besides all of that, FINALLY! Dreams come true. It’s gonna be awesome!

  5. Pandamonium
    February 9, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    They should really reactivate the parrot reward now then for getting all the classic pirates (and murlocs)

  6. Jimilinho
    February 9, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    I think this is great news. Rotating core set is much needed and should make the game much fresher. Classic mode is probably more of a novelty then anything but expect it will be fun as an occasional alternative. Realistically we were never going to get full dust refunds so not sure not sure how people are upset about that. Only thing I wish they would address is the dust economy which has always been shocking. Overall though very positive news.

  7. H0lysatan
    February 9, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    It might be a good idea to raise all hero to lvl.60 in order to get Golden Basic cards, so you can disenchant them for dusts later on when they rotated out.

    • Zombie69
      February 9, 2021 at 5:47 pm

      There won’t be full dust disenchant, we’ve known that for a few weeks already about Edwin.

      • Pandamonium
        February 9, 2021 at 9:28 pm

        And because BASICs won’t disenchant at all, only CLASSICs.

        • H0lysatan
          February 10, 2021 at 2:53 am

          Um, actually, when Priest cards got reworked, they actually change basic into a Common cards, so you can disenchant them. Both golden and non.

          • Zombie69
            March 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

            It’s been confirmed that Basic cards won’t become craftable nor dustable.

      • H0lysatan
        February 10, 2021 at 2:56 am

        it will rotated out to wild, so, if you don’t play wild like I do, you will dust it for sure.
        yes, it won’t be a full dust compensation like HoF, but an extra 50 dust for each golden is priceless to me.

        • Pandamonium
          February 10, 2021 at 9:10 pm

          Ah just saying if you keep all cards for the wild and classic modes like me then you won’t disenchant and get the cards back or get any compensation.

        • Zombie69
          March 12, 2021 at 10:49 am

          Basic cards won’t become dustable, that’s been confirmed by designers.

  8. Pandamonium
    February 9, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Ok classic HS is a really really dumb idea. The only thing announced here that really stands out for being such a whiff of an idea.

  9. Goldenpantss
    February 9, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    So are we going to try and guess the wild cards they’ll bring back?

  10. Nonagon4
    February 9, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Uh so does this mean once the core set is revealed, we should dust all the Classic cards that will be core if we’re getting them for free anyway? Or am I reading this wrong?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 9, 2021 at 11:03 pm

      Well, yes and no.

      First of all – if I understand it correctly, the Classic cards from Core Set won’t be playable in Classic format if that’s something you want to play.

      Also, cards from Core Set won’t be added to your collection permanently. Core Set will be updated yearly. Let’s say that in Core Set 2021 we will get Brawl for free, but it won’t be available in Core Set 2022. If you disenchant it, then you won’t be able to play Brawl in Wild.

      But if you only play Standard, then yes, you can disenchant Classic cards.

  11. Yoshi13357
    February 9, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    So when it says that we will get all the new core cards after we reach lvl 10 does this mean all the core cards to that class specifically like my Paladin class is lvl 60 that means all the new core cards to Paladin will be open to use??

    • Zombie69
      February 9, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      All the paladin cards will be. Most neutral cards will be unlocked through other classes, as they are now.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 9, 2021 at 11:05 pm

      Yes, you need to hit level 10 with a given class to unlock all Core Set cards from that class. So if you have Paladin at level 60, you have all Paladin cards.

      To unlock all Neutrals, you need to hit level 60 between all classes. So e.g. if you have Warrior, Rogue and Shaman at level 20 you will already unlock all Neutrals. Or your Paladin at level 60 will also unlock all Neutrals already 🙂

  12. Nerose
    February 9, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    This is very interesting. Some people are complaining that this is a way to get out of hall of faming cards, but I think I would rather have a new core set than some hall of fame dust.

    I assume this means all hall of fame cards will be in classic, though.

    • Nerose
      February 9, 2021 at 1:24 pm

      Tavern brawl packs will be less exciting

      • Irish Seadog
        February 9, 2021 at 2:20 pm

        Nothing new there then

        • Nerose
          February 9, 2021 at 4:22 pm

          For sure. Unless they get more generous and offer up to date packs.

          • Stonekeep - Site Admin
            February 9, 2021 at 11:06 pm

            It would make sense for Tavern Brawls to be updated with non-Classic packs, because Classic Packs will be now useless in Standard (and I think that Standard will still bel the “main” way to play the game). But we’ll see what they do about them.

            • Nerose
              February 10, 2021 at 9:08 am

              For sure. I am expecting “year of the —-” packs to be the most likely type of pack, with cards from the older year.

  13. DarkParsley
    February 9, 2021 at 12:32 pm


  14. Ruflus
    February 9, 2021 at 11:30 am

    when is going to happen?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 9, 2021 at 11:46 am

      With the upcoming Standard rotation, so shortly before the next expansion releases. We don’t know the exact date yet.

    • Herodreamer79
      February 10, 2021 at 1:30 am

      Iksar noted that if the Expansion is ready in March they will release it… or else it will be delayed into April (when it normally launches) or possibly longer.

      Usually the design team would already be well into designing set 2 of 2021, but Iskar noted that the pandemic and working from home has really slowed then down.

  15. INeedHealing123
    February 9, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Do I need lv 60 with all classes to get all core cards or only lv 10?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 9, 2021 at 11:47 am

      Level 10 on a class to unlock all Core cards from that class.

      Neutrals will be unlocked based on the summarized level across all classes (a total of 60 levels needed, so e.g. 6 classes to level 10 will give you all Neutrals).

  16. Irish Seadog
    February 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Looks pretty good, certainly looking forward to all of this