“Wild Summit” at Blizzard – Big Changes Coming To Wild Format Soon?

Wild format, while enjoyed by tons of players, is for the most part ignored by Blizzard. Standard, Battlegrounds, and even less popular formats like Duels, Arena and Mercenaries (RIP) get more attention. Some might argue that it’s by design – unless something is seriously breaking it, they probably won’t touch it and let it remain wild. It takes way longer to balance it or even fix some important bugs. New cards are basically never designed with it in mind and it shows – the recent emergency Test Subject ban should serve as proof.

That’s why reading today’s Matt London’s (Modes Design Lead) announcement caught me by surprise. Apparently, the Hearthstone team has kicked off an internal “Wild Summit”, where they discuss the future of the format. Don’t expect any news this week, but he said that they are committed to building a great plan for Wild format and sharing it once they have it.

It’s quite interesting and I would really like to know what those plans will be. There’s only so much you can do for Wild format without fundamentally changing its nature, and I don’t think that Wild players would want that (there’s a reason why they play it over Standard after all). Of course, I don’t think that more common balance changes or bug fixes (especially bug fixes) go against the spirit of the format. But I also don’t think those warrant a “big internal discussion”. The whole message sounded like they are planning something bigger. And if those plans include major changes like introducing set rotations – I simply don’t think that’s going to work. Not because it’s a bad idea per se (I would love to play a format like that), but because Wild players play the mode for a very specific reason – to be able to enjoy their entire collection at once. But I’m probably getting ahead of myself – we don’t even have a clue what those plans might be, so it’s just pure speculation on my part.

Also, it’s not the first time Blizzard is announcing that they have some bigger plans for Wild – but nearly 7 years after its introduction, none of them have materialized yet. That’s why I will believe it when I see it, and I recommend that you do the same.


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!

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  1. Tailsfromvienna
    February 26, 2023 at 6:58 am

    If I had to take a guess, I would say they will bring a separate rotating core set just for wild.

    That would lower the entry barrier for new players that want to take a step “into the wild”

    Once the players are hooked, they will pay for “wild bundles” and their dubious “duplicate protection”, that still floods you with duplicates no matter how many rares are still missing from your wild collection

  2. Asperkraken
    February 23, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Summit? They should be doing this more regularly. Wild has been hard to balance and at times (to be fair, Standard does this too) can lead to oppressive metas. Discard Warlock is too dependable at the moment – but if you had asked me during Kobolds & Catacombs whether Cataclysm was gonna be a problem card in a few years, I would have thought it madness. And yet…

    Does Team 5 have people that specifically consider card costs for, say, Shaman class knowing Even Shaman is a thing? Likely they do (Grand Totem Ey’sor is a 3 drop) or perhaps players are (certainly) more creative than they think? (Popping the Twig of the Mana Tree with Sphere of Sapience for instance is a thing).

    And Demon Hunter is almost not worth playing in Wild whatsoever at the moment. How do you remedy a class that hasn’t been around as long? Death Knight has managed a tier-2 placement at last (thanks to Construct Quarter) but it’s still got the drawback of lower card pools to choose from.

    An “Extended” format sounds like a solution but its more money to keep up with. However having a smaller pool of cards can make balancing easier in the long run. Some other solutions:
    – Allow wild decks or wild “collections” for reduced prices to help with building legacy collections
    – Discount old adventures and wild packs in general (or perhaps intro deals like they do for new/returning players) to lower barriers to entry

    • Asperkraken
      February 23, 2023 at 11:51 am

      Another option is “Restricting” cards for certain classes or making it to where some cards can only have one instead of two copies – however as an amateur indie dev I am sure this is a LOT of work on the backend.

  3. PitLord
    February 22, 2023 at 12:38 am

    A sinergetic card bann should be a solution. If card X is in the deck than you can add the card Y and viceversa.
    Example: If you use the druid weapon you can’t add the sfere of sapience (or any future neutral weapon) and viceversa

  4. MJT3ll3r
    February 21, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    I think it might be time for the old Type 1.5 introduction like they did in MtG.
    Type 1 being full out Wild format with moxes and lotuses, turn one otk’s etc.
    Type 2 being Standard rotation. And then type 1.5, allowing all cards but banning the most powerful draw, manacheat and broken interactions between new and old cards.

    • JoyDivision
      February 22, 2023 at 1:36 am

      Jupp, that’s probably what’s going to happen. After all, the gap between the 2 current popular ‘ladder’ modes is getting bigger and bigger. Introducing a .5 mode is the easiest way to fill that gap (for now).

      The option I wish for is either a mode with changing sets of expansions – like they do in Arena, but with more expansions per rotation. Alternatively (but way harder to implement), a mode with custom rule sets (also changing) would be very cool (if executed well, that is 😉 ).

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        February 22, 2023 at 8:47 am

        I’ve been a proponent of the “rotating format” for a very long time. I think it would be really fun to have those ever-changing metas while still being able to play with some older cards.

        It would also make things interesting by making tons of older cards viable. A card that’s weak in the current wild format might be very strong in this “pocket meta” of a given rotation.

        However, the only thing I’m afraid of is the cost. Wild is more stable and it’s pretty easy to keep up with as long as you own the most important cards. With different cards being viable each rotation, players who haven’t been playing for years now would have a difficult time playing anything – and crafting things that will just rotate out very soon and then might not be playable in that format for years is a big ask. I think they would need to somehow make this kind of format cheaper and more accessible for it to be successful.

        • Aldred42
          February 24, 2023 at 12:29 pm

          I’ve mostly been a fly on the wall up till now but I’m a long time visitor of this site and appreciate the articles, so thank you for those. In my opinion if they want to keep wild alive while switching up the meta by specifying certain sets at different times they should do just as you said and make more accessible to newer players. My suggestion is that once a card rotates to wild they dramatically reduce it’s crafting cost likely removing the wild pack option so the only way to get dust is still via standard packs. Then at that point it would be accessible for more players and still keep a profit structure. To keep standard players engaged I would likely guarantee the last 2-3 of the changing “wild sets” are the most recently rotated out of standard, making standard packs still more valuable then just any wild card because they are certain to be playable longer.

          • Asperkraken
            February 25, 2023 at 7:55 pm

            Great ideas. I have to agree that Wild cards should cost less dust. I also feel that may drive a bit more experimentation in decks.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 22, 2023 at 8:43 am

      Yeah, I think it would be a good middle-groud. I’m just a bit worried about splitting the Wild population even further – the format is already not nearly as popular as Standard (it was in China, but that was an exception) and such eternal formats rarely appeal to new players (so the Wild community is probably shrinking rather than getting bigger).

  5. Ecajnoxid
    February 21, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    I love Wild. I hope they do good for it.