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 Dragon” (2019/2020). The upcoming year will be known as “Year of the Phoenix” (2020/2021).
Table of Content
- How Does the Rotation Work?
- Year of the Phoenix Standard Sets
- Year of the Phoenix Hall of Fame
- How to Maximize Your Dust Gain
- Most Important Cards Rotating Out in 2020
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While the video below is a bit outdated, it still explains the basic concept quite well.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 2020 is released, all three sets from 2018 will be out.
So to put that in the perspective of upcoming rotation – when the first expansion of Year of the Phoenix (2020) – Ashes of Outland – will be released in April, The Witchwood, Boomsday Project, as well as Rastakhan’s Rumble will be out and only playable in Wild. We’ll be left with Evergreen sets: Classic + Basic, Year of the Dragon (2019) sets: Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum, Descent of Dragons (+Galakrond’s Awakening), as well as Year of the Phoenix (2020) sets: for now only Ashes of Outland (releasing April 7).
Standard Rotation will happen when Ashes of Outland expansion releases, which is April 7, 2020.
Hall of Fame rotation, however, happens on March 26 – keep that in mind!
Year of the Phoenix Standard Sets
The Year of the Phoenix is the fifth year of Standard. This time around we already know what the first expansion will be – Ashes of Outland launches on April 7. However, we still have no clue about Expansion 2 or Expansion 3, and just like every year, Blizzard released this teaser. If you have any guesses or predictions, share them in the comments!
Here is a full list of sets that will be available in Standard after the rotation:
- Ashes of Outland
- Expansion 2 (Released ~August 2020)
- Expansion 3 (Released ~December 2020)
These are sets that will not rotate out of Standard.
Year of the Phoenix 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).
Year of the Phoenix rotation is kind of unique, because it’s also used as a way to rework Priest class. Anduin is getting some major changes in Basic/Classic sets, and in order to fit the new cards, six of the old ones (some of which are pretty problematic) are rotating out. Here’s a full list:
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.
Hall of Fame rotation happens on March 26, 2020!
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 Prophet Velen, craft a Golden copy, and then disenchant it AFTER rotation. You will get 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 Acolyte of Pain, 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 Leeroy Jenkins or two Mountain Giants, just leave them. If you own only a single Rare/Epic, see the first point – craft it in Golden.
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 treat! You gain 5,560 Dust for doing nothing. And then you still own all the regular copies. If you decide to Disenchant them (because you don’t play Wild), 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!
You only get Dust refund for up to a playset of cards (2x Common/Rare/Epic, 1x Legendary). Having more copies will not give you any more Dust. Golden copies count first – so if you e.g. own 1x Golden and 2x normal, you will get Dust for 1x Golden and 1x normal. If you own 1x Normal and 1x Gold you will also get Dust for both.
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 2020
While Hall of Fame is an important part of every Standard year, the actual rotation is what people are waiting for. Year of the Raven (2018) sets will rotate out and will no longer be playable in Standard. While it’s not the most impactful rotation ever, those still contain a lot of powerful cards that players will have to find replacements for. Many decks will be straight up unplayable, because some of their key cards will be gone.
Here are our articles listing the most important cards rotating out in 2020. Part 3 still isn’t out yet, but it should be soon!