If you love Hearthstone as much as I do then you may be aware that Arena Mode has been the target of much criticism over the years. Nobody likes getting their board incinerated by Flamestrike on turn 7 because Mage’s always manage to draft it in their Arena pick. And I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a Paladin drop Murloc Knight on turn 6 then Hero Power into another Murloc Knight!
Today, Blizzard came out with their latest proposed changes due to come out at the end of the month. Probably the biggest change is the announcement that Arena will be moving from Wild to Standard. (RIP Piloted Shredder. RIP Haunted Creeper) In addition, they are making big changes to the distribution of commons and basics as they currently make up over 70% of all cards that are chosen by players which is far too high and creates issues when certain classes have far stronger commons and basics than others.
The first major push to a less infuriating Arena happened on September 2016, when Hearthstone Game Designer, Dean Ayala revealed that cards such as Faceless Summoner, Sense Demons and Astral Communion were getting removed from the Arena pool, meaning they would have zero chance to show up when picking cards. The reasons for these cards being put on the chopping board were varied. Some were simply too strong for their rarity, others were cards that were extremely bad with little to no utility but would appear often in the draft – again, due to rarity.
The Hearthstone community has often questioned why Blizzard doesn’t just overhaul the rarity system and make super powerful cards like Flamestrike an “epic” instead of “basic card”, which would drastically reduce the chances of a Mage getting it all the time. Unfortunately, like most things, Blizzard held to the premise that Arena balance is a lot more nuanced than at seems. And they’re absolutely right about that.
Personally, I’m looking forward to these changes but I don’t know how I feel about it going from Wild to Standard only.