Blizzard released details for a new game mode along with it’s plan for the Core set. “Classic Mode,” as it’s being dubbed, will allow you to play the game mostly as it was back in 2014. Most of the furor from the announcement is going towards the new Core set, which is undoubtedly going to shake up the way the game is played. However, less attention has gone to Classic mode. Some critics have dismissed it, thinking it will be “solved” quickly, and therefore not fun to play. I feel like the same people don’t realize that we had almost a year of Odd Paladin dominance, and Wild remained largely unchanged for years until Raza got unnerfed. If there’s a competitive mode – people will play it.
What does Classic entail? Hearthstone was a fledgling game, even when the first expansions started coming out. Even though “Classic Era” lasted about 8 months, it’s hard to say whether or not the format was solved. We didn’t have the same tools for analyzing the game that we do now. Classic will still be more clunky than Standard or Wild. With a smaller card pool, and less thematic card design, you’ll see some cards that would never see play otherwise become superstars.
What kinds of decks can we expect? There is already buzz about Handlock/Jaraxxus being playable. The original Miracle Rogue is also included in the list of decks that people are excited to re-try. Midrange Hunter was a pretty big deal. There will definitely be some top-tier options to try. You can also venture out and do some deckbuilding on your own. Back then there were not as many competitive people. I’m sure some form of Ramp Druid will be viable. And tribal synergies are better understood now than they were then. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Pirates or Murlocs make a big play. Don’t forget there are unnerfs to be had too. Leeroy is now 4 mana. Juggler is a 3/2. There are plenty of options. I think it will be more exciting than people give it credit for.
This mode is going to appeal to returning players, and Wild players that are tired of the power level of Wild. “Haven’t played in 5 years? That’s okay! Come play Classic!” A vibrant competitive scene could reel in people that haven’t played in ages. Could they get the bug to be competitive again? It’ll be interesting to see what kind of crowd Classic Ranked draws. Are you excited to go back to 2014? Let us know in the comments below!
Something to keep in mind is that Classic mode will only be playable if you HAVE those cards. And Classic packs are being replaced on the reward track. It may be that if you have access to the Core set that you will still have a base collection for Classic mode. Clearly Blizzard has some details still to work out.