There seems to be quite a bit of confusion around how the Standard rotation works in Hearthstone. When each new year starts the release of the first expansion of that year will set in motion the next year of Standard, our current year is known as “Year of the Raven” (2018/2019). The upcoming year will be known as “Year of the Dragon” (2019/2020).
Table of Content
- How Does the Rotation Work?
- Year of the Dragon Standard Sets
- Year of the Dragon Hall of Fame
- How to Maximize Your Dust Gain
- Most Important Cards Rotating Out in 2019
- Rotation Resources – News, Articles etc.
How Does the Rotation Work?
While the video below is a bit outdated, it still explains the basic concept quite well.
But if you prefer to read about it, it’s very simple. Hearthstone has two Constructed formats – Wild and Standard. Wild is the simple one – you can play every single card ever released there.
Standard, on the other hand, is a rotating format. It always consists of Evergreen sets (Basic + Classic), as well as between 4 and 6 latest expansions (up to two years worth of sets). Standard rotation happens with the first expansion of each year. After it releases, three “oldest” sets rotate out at once. Thinking that sets rotate one by one is a common misconception. When the first expansion of 2019 is released, all three sets from 2017 will be out.
So to put that in the perspective of upcoming rotation – when the first expansion of Year of the Dragon (2019) will be released in April, Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, as well as Kobolds & Catacombs will be out and only playable in Wild. We’ll be left with Evergreen sets: Classic + Basic, Year of the Raven (2018) sets: The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project and Rastakhan’s Rumble, as well as Year of the Dragon (2019) sets: the first expansion that’s yet unannounced.
Rotation will happen when Rise of Shadows releases, which is April 9th, 2019.
Year of the Dragon Standard Sets
The Year of the Dragon is the fourth year of Standard. Learn more about the Year of the Dragon with our big roundup post.
Here is a full list of sets that will be available in Standard after the rotation:
- Rise of Shadows – RoS is the first expansion of Year of the Dragon and the only one we know about so far.
- There will be two more expansions released roughly around August and December 2019.
These are sets that will not rotate out of Standard.
Year of the Dragon Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame started as a concept of rotating out cards from Evergreen sets that were too strong or problematic. Since Basic and Classic cards are in Standard forever, there are two ways to deal with them – nerf them or rotate them out to Wild, where they might not be that relevant (since the power level is higher in Wild anyway).
However, Year of the Dragon rotation is the first time when expansion cards rotate out too. Those cards are Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane, as well as other Odd & Even synergy cards. The idea is that those two Legendaries wraped the entire meta around them for an entire year, and with the power level falling down across the board with rotation, they might be even stronger and more unfun to face. Given that, Blizzard has decided to rotate them out early. Here is a full list of cards that are rotating out:
When a card rotates to Hall of Fame, players get a full Dust refund for it AND they get to keep their copies. It’s a great deal, because if you still play them in the Wild, you can keep them and get your Dust back, and if you don’t, you can even disenchant them for extra Dust. You get Dust only for the most valuable copy – so if you own both regular and Golden version of a card, you will get refunded only for the Golden.
How to Maximize Your Dust Gain
A rather common question we hear is about maximizing your Dust income from the cards that rotate out. It might seem a little bit confusing at first. If you don’t have the card, do you want to craft it? What do you do if you have a regular copy? How about Golden? Well, it’s actually quite simple if you just follow those few simple rules:
- If you don’t own a card that rotates out to Hall of Fame, craft it in Golden. It’s the most profitable outcome. You will get your entire Dust investment back, and then you can still disenchant a Golden copy. For example, if you don’t have Baku the Mooneater, craft a Golden copy, and then disenchant it, you will get an extra 1,600 Dust for free.
- If you own a regular playset of a Common card, craft it in Golden. Long story short, even if you own regular copy of a Common that rotates out to Hall of Fame, it’s still worth to craft it in Golden. While the Dust gain isn’t impressive, you end up getting an extra 10 Dust per card. E.g. if you have a regular Naturalize, it’s still worth to craft it in Golden.
- If you own a regular playset of Rare, Epic or Legendary cards (so two, or one in case of Legendaries), don’t do anything. You won’t gain more Dust by crafting it in Golden. E.g. if you already own a regular Genn Greymane or two Glitter Moths, just leave them.
After the rotation happens, you can disenchant all of the Golden copies you’ve crafted. Or you can keep them around if you want to play with them. If you don’t play Wild and don’t plan to play it, you can disenchant the regular copies too.
But is it really worth the hassle? The answer is yes, yes it is! For a moment, let’s assume that you don’t own any of those cards. In order to craft them all in Golden, you need to invest a lot of Dust – 19,200 in total. But after they rotate out, you get ALL of that Dust back, and you still own the Golden copies. Which you can Disenchant for 5,600 Dust in total. Which means that you got 5,600 Dust essentially for free. If you don’t have enough Dust to craft all of them in Golden, start with Legendaries – those are most profitable.
And what if you own regular copies of all of those cards? Well, then you’re in for a threat! You gain 5,560 Dust for doing nothing. And then you still own all the regular copies. If you decide to Disenchant them, you can get extra 1,340 Dust, for 6,900 Dust gain in total.
You should wait for as long as possible with the crafting. Remember that you might still open those cards in packs before the rotation!
The guide above is about maximizing your Dust gain. If you actually care about Golden Copies of the cards that rotate out, it’s worth to craft them even if you have regular ones! This way you get an “upgrade” for free, while gaining Dust for the regular copy that you can disenchant after.
Keep in mind that Dust refund applies only to cards that rotate to Hall of Fame. The regular yearly rotation DOES NOT give you back your Dust. If you don’t play Wild and you don’t plan on ever playing it, you can still disenchant them for their regular disenchant gains (400 per Legendary, 100 per Epic etc.) – but it’s really up to you.
Most Important Cards Rotating Out in 2019
While Hall of Fame is an important part of every Standard year, the actual rotation is what people are waiting for. This is the first time we get three full expansions to rotate out (e.g. when Year of the Raven rotation happened, one of the sets was adventure – Karazhan, so the number of cards that went out was lower). Because of that, the rotation will make 405 cards go away (or 414 if we count Hall of Fame rotation too). It’s massive, and it’s closest to the full reset Hearthstone ever had. But despite the fact that Year of the Mammoth (the one that rotates out) had one of the highest power levels in the history of Hearthstone, roughly 2/3 of the cards from that year still haven’t seen that much of a competitive play. Some of them might have been solid budget replacements, others were placed in fun decks, while most of them just didn’t get enough support to take off.
In this section, I will list the most important cards we’re losing in Standard. I’ve decided to stick with the cards that were an important part of an actual viable, meta deck. I will ignore cards that were tested in such a deck but quickly replaced. If I had to list every card that was ever played in an off-meta deck, I would need to add almost every single card to the list, which doesn’t make much sense. Still, given that I had to go through over 400 cards, I might have missed something – if I did and you notice it, let me know in the comments! The cards will be sorted by rarity first and then by their mana cost.
Rotation Resources – News, Articles etc.
- News: Year of the Dragon Announcement
- News: Rise of Shadows (first expansion of YotD) announcement + guide
- Deck Roundup: Decks You Can Try Before Year of the Dragon Standard Rotation – Part 1 (Regular Decks)
- Deck Roundup: Decks You Can Try Before Year of the Dragon Standard Rotation – Part 2 (Odd & Even)
- Article: What will happen to budget decks in the Hearthstone Standard rotation 2019?
- Article: What’s Druid Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Hunter Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Mage Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Paladin Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Priest Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Rogue Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Shaman Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Warlock Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?
- Article: What’s Warrior Losing in the 2019 Standard Hearthstone Rotation?