Hearthstone started releasing mini-sets in the last Hearthstone year with Madness at the Darkmoon Faire bringing in the Darkmoon Races 35 card set. Since then, we've seen the Forged in the Barrens mini-set, which also launched around 2 months after the initial set launch, come into play adding a fresh batch of cards for a meta shakeup before Stormwind launched. The question remains, what is happening with the Stormwind mini-set?
Here are the release dates for the past mini-sets and their main sets.
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire
- Release: November 17, 2020
- Mini-Set: January 19, 2021
Forged in the Barrens
- Release: March 30, 2021
- Mini-Set: June 3, 2021
United in Stormwind
- Release: August 3, 2021
- Mini-Set: ??
In the past, Hearthstone's typical set cadence was us seeing releases every 4 months. This very clearly didn't change with the introduction of mini-sets, seeing them drop exactly halfway into that expansion's lifecycle. With United in Stormwind though, things are going to be a bit different, as confirmed today by Blizzard when speaking about the upcoming card buffs.
Some of these changes are on the lighter side, in anticipation of the mini-set coming in the next major patch after the patch launching Mercenaries.
We already know that Hearthstone Mercenaries will be launching on October 12, which is just a little over a week from the 2-month point after the main Stormwind set dropped. This confirmation from Blizzard that says we won't see the mini-set until after Mercenaries shows that the mini-set is going to have a much smaller lifecycle. So, are there any other clues to tell us when we can expect the mini-set patch for Stormwind?
Mini-sets are available for purchase in full via the Blizzard Store (and in-game) instead of requiring you to craft the cards through dust, though you can also open them in their corresponding expansion's card packs. Although we don't have a ton of historical data to go by, the Darkmoon Races mini-set was unlisted from the shop on May 11, 3 weeks before the launch of Forged in the Barrens mini-set, Wailing Caverns.
The Wailing Caverns mini-set from Forged in the Barrens is going to be removed from sale a week after Mercenaries launches, on October 19.
What this, and the confirmation from Blizzard, tells us is that we should be expecting the United in Stormwind mini-set as early as the end of October but more realistically, we're looking at a November launch. If we were to guess a date, November 9 sounds like a good launch date for the Stormwind mini-set. This is quite odd to see when you consider mid-November is when the Darkmoon Faire set launched last year, which gives us almost 12 months from that set to the mini-set, which means we should be expecting a major expansion in November instead, but Darkmoon Faire's release date was an anomaly.
Typically, Blizzard releases the final expansion of the year in December, and normally within the first week. Launching them any closer to the middle or end of December would result in poor support while the team takes off on their December holidays.
- Goblins vs Gnomes - December 8, 2014
- Mean Streets of Gadgetzan - December 1, 2016
- Kobolds and Catacombs - December 7, 2017
- Rastakhan's Rumble - December 4, 2018
- Descent of Dragons - December 10, 2019
- Madness at the Darkmoon Faire - November 17, 2020
Note that League of Explorers launched the Monday after BlizzCon 2015 with a November release date (Nov 12, 2015) and has been excluded because it was a one-off hypefest.
With Blizzard moving up the release date of the Stormwind mini-set, we're expecting a return to the norm with a December launch of the currently unknown Set 3. The availability of the Stormwind Tavern Pass being through December 6, a Monday, also corroborates this theory quite well.
Having the Stormwind Tavern Pass no longer available past Monday, December 6 gives us an earliest release date of Tuesday, December 7 release date of the third set of the year.
- We should expect the Stormwind Mini-Set, Deadmines, in November. Our guess? November 9.
- The third set of the year should launch in December, possibly on the 7.
- Most likely though, it'll be a week later on December 14.