Hearthstone's upcoming game mode, Classic, will feature all the cards that were originally included in the Classic and Basic set. What's interesting is that Classic won't feature any of the balance changes pushed since the release of the game. Since we're talking about a game that is 7 years old, a lot of cards were changed along the way - some were slightly tweaked and still see some play today (Leeroy Jenkins, Hex), some were brutally butchered (Warsong Commander, Arcane Golem) and others were even buffed (remember last year's Priest overhaul?).
Given that we're talking about a lot of cards, we rounded them together in the same place, so that you'll be able to take a look at what will await in the future (or in the past!).
You can find further details on the new mode and today's announcement here.
Reverted Card Nerfs
Since 2014, all these cards were nerfed because of their raw power level or because of their interaction with other existing cards.
- Execute - cost will be decreased from 2 to 1 mana.
- Fiery War Axe - cost will be decreased from 3 to 2 mana.
- Flametongue Totem - cost will be decreased from 3 to 2 mana.
- Hex - cost will be decreased from 4 to 3 mana.
- Holy Smite - damage dealt will be decreased from 3 to 2, will target heroes again.
- Hunter's Mark - cost will be decreased from 2 to 0 (technically, from 2 to 1 and then from 1 to 0, since it got two nerfs in the last seven years).
- Innervate - will grant 2 Mana Crystals again (instead of just 1).
- Power Word: Shield - cost will be increased from 0 to 1 mana, but it will draw a card.
- Rockbiter Weapon - cost will be decreased from 2 to 1 mana.
- Soulfire - cost will be decreased from 1 to 0 mana.
- Starving Buzzard - cost will be decreased from 5 to 2 mana and stats will be decreased from 3/2 to 2/1.
- Warsong Commander - will read "Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge."
- Wild Growth - cost will be decreased from 3 to 2 mana.
- Abusive Sergeant - Attack increased from 1 to 2.
- Cold Blood - cost will be decreased from 2 to 1 mana.
- Ironbeak Owl - cost will be decreased from 3 to 2 mana.
- Leper Gnome - Attack will be increased from 1 to 2.
- Mana Wyrm - cost will be decreased from 2 to 1 mana.
- Arcane Golem - Health will be decreased from 4 to 2 and will gain Charge.
- Blade Flurry - cost will be decreased from 4 to 2 mana and will read "Destroy your weapon and deal its damage to all enemies."
- Eaglehorn Bow - will gain durability whenever any Secret is triggered.
- Equality - cost will be decreased from 4 to 2 mana.
- Flare - cost will be decreased from 2 to 1 mana.
- Gadgetzan Auctioneer - cost will be decreased from 6 to 5 mana.
- Keeper of the Grove - Health will be increased from 2 to 4.
- Knife Juggler - Attack will be increased from 2 to 3.
- Master of Disguise - the Stealth effect won't last for just one turn.
- Nourish - cost will be decreased from 6 to 5 mana.
- Ancient of Lore - will draw 2 cards instead of just 1.
- Bestial Wrath - will target any Beasts and not just friendly ones.
- Big Game Hunter - cost will be decreased from 5 to 3 mana.
- Force of Nature - cost will be increased from 5 to 6 mana and will read "Summon three 2/2 Treants with Charge that die at the end of the turn."
- Murloc Warleader - will also grant +1 Health on top of the Attack buff.
- Preparation - now reduces cost by (3), up from (2).
- Edwin VanCleef - cost will be decreased from 4 to 3 mana.
- Leeroy Jenkins - the cost will be decreased from 5 to 4 mana.
It should be noted that the following Murloc cards will be made global in scope and no longer only working on friendly Murlocs.
Reverted Card Buffs
Since 2014, all these cards received some upgrades, which will disappear in the Classic format.
- Charge - cost will be increased from 1 to 3 mana, will grant +2 Attack and the targeted minion will be able to attack heroes that turn.
- Holy Nova - cost will be increased from 4 to 5 mana and damages to the opponent hero as well.
- Temple Enforcer - cost will be increased from 5 to 6 mana and Attack will be increased from 5 to 6.
- Thoughtsteal - cost will be increased from 2 to 3 mana.
- Shadow Madness - cost will be increased from 3 to 4 mana.
- Bane of Doom - will summon only Blood Imp, Dread Infernal, Felguard, Felstalker, Flame Imp and Voidwalker.
Hall of Fame Goes Bye
Since the creation of the Standard and Wild formats, during each rotation some cards from the Classic or Basic set were rotated to Hearthstone's eternal format because they were deemed too oppressive or potentially dangerous for the game's future plans.
- Acolyte of Pain
- Divine Spirit
- Ice Lance
- Mind Blast
- Northshire Cleric
- Power Overwhelming
- Auchenai Soulpriest
- Azure Drake
- Coldlight Oracle
- Divine Favor
- Holy Fire
- Mind Control Tech
- Ice Block
- Molten Giant (which was also buffed along the way)
- Mountain Giant
- Prophet Velen
- Ragnaros the Firelord
- Sylvanas Windrunner
Minion Tribe Changes for the Classic Hearthstone Mode
In 2014, some minions did not have the tribe tag they have now.
- Al'Akir the Windlord, Baron Geddon, Ragnaros the Firelord, Earth Elemental, Dust Devil, Flame of Azzinoth, Frost Elemental, Lightspawn and Unbound Elemental will lose the Elemental tag, which was added in early 2017 with the Journey to Un'Goro release.
- Demolisher, Harvest Golem, Damaged Golem and Mechanical Dragonling will lose the Mech tribe.
Back in March 2020, Classic's Illidan Stormrage (the minion, not the hero), got replaced with Xavius - since the official announcement states that art and flavor changes will remain the same, what will happen with this one? You may think it's trivial, but it has some minor implications: in fact, Xavius summons Satyrs, which are demons, but Illidan used to summon Flames of Azzinoth, which are elementals.
UPDATE - Celestalon confirmed that Illidan Stormrage will come back in Classic.
Xavius will appear as Illidan in Classic.
Which cards are you the most excited about to see in their former glory? Let us know in the comments!