Once a year Blizzard changes things up with our beloved Hearthstone, rotating old card sets to become Wild-only, severely limiting the Standard card pool and making drastic changes to the meta. This can all be a bit confusing, so here's the definitive answer to how set rotations work. Below you will also find historical information on each of the rotations we've seen.
Set Rotation Basics
- Once per year with the release of the first expansion, usually in April, the rotation takes place.
- *NEW FOR 2021* A Core Set will always be a part of the game.
- Some cards in this set will rotate out, bringing in older or brand new cards into Hearthstone's "evergreen" set.
- Prior to 2021, these non-rotating sets were the Basic and Classic sets.
- Any card that gets kicked out of the Core Set will return to its original set.
- Standard format, upon rotation, is restricted to sets released in two calendar years. (2019 = sets from 2018 and 2019).
- The first set of a year also marks the new name of a "Hearthstone Zodiac" year. (Kraken, Mammoth, Raven, Dragon, Phoenix, Gryphon).
2021's Set Rotation Overhaul
- A Core Set has been introduced. This replaces Basic and Classic though sees some of their cards available.
- Cards from Classic and Basic have been moved to the Legacy set if they don't belong to another set.
- The Hall of Fame was removed from the game. Cards went back to their original sets.
List of Standard Rotations
- Year of the Kraken: April 26th 2016 - April 6th 2017
- Year of the Mammoth: April 6th 2017 - April 2018
- Year of the Raven : April 12th 2018 - April 2019
- Year of the Dragon : April 9th 2019 - April 7th 2020
- Year of the Phoenix: April 7th 2020 - March 30 2021
- *Future* Year of the Gryphon: April 2021 - 2022
Standard arrived with the launch off Whispers of the Old Gods, the first expansion of the Year of the Kraken.
Curse of Naxxramas, and Goblins vs Gnomes cards became Wild only.
Additionally, promotional and reward cards were moved to a new set dubbed the Hall of Fame:
This year started with the release of Journey to Un'Goro. Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers became Wild only.
Additionally, these cards were moved to Hall of Fame:
This year started with the release of The Witchwood. Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan became Wild only.
Additionally, these cards were moved to the Hall of Fame:
This year started with the release of Rise of Shadows. Journey to Un'Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds and Catacombs became Wild only.
Additionally, these Classic cards were moved to the Hall of Fame:
For the first time ever, some cards from a newer set were also removed from Standard:
For another first, two Basic cards were sent to the Hall of Fame and replaced as well:
They were replaced with these cards, which will always remain in Standard:
This year started with the release of Ashes of Outland. The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project, and Rastakhan's Rumble became Wild only.
Additionally, Classic Priest and neutral cards were moved to the Hall of Fame. Many of these cards had been staples since the release of the game, including:
The Priest class received some changes, and several of its original cards joined the Hall of Fame as well:
In order to maintain the same number of class cards available, some new replacements were released which will always be playable in Standard: