Blizzard has revealed the first cards of the Hearthstone Core 2021 set at BlizzConline 2021, following an announcement that left the vast majority of cards yet to be revealed. The new Core set will be the base set of cards future expansions throughout this year, and will be swapped for a different set of Core cards in 2022. The first cards shown include some returning mainstays, along with new cards and reimagined versions of classics.
The Core set is a curated selection of 235 cards, and 29 are entirely new. Some foundational parts of class identity, like the Mage’s Fireball and Paladin’s Tirion Fordring, are remaining untouched. Others, like Deathwing the Destroyer, have been updated from their original versions but keep the same essential functionality. And some, like Vanessa VanCleef, are entirely new.
Unlike the traditional way of opening Classic packs to fill out your collection, the Core set will be free for all players. You earn it by leveling up your heroes, and if you’ve already reached the requisite level cap you’ll automatically be granted the entire Core set from the start of the season. Then you’ll have it automatically swapped for the new Core set in 2022. Blizzard says this allows it to curate the cards that will best facilitate its expansions for the coming year.
The Classic and Basic cards will live on in Wild as one combined “Legacy set,” and also in the new Classic format. That format will allow you to play the game exactly as it appeared in 2014, before the first expansion hit, with all balance changes reverted to their original state. Classic will have its own ladder and matchmaking, just like Standard and Wild.
For more on the upcoming expansion and all of the Year of the Gryphon changes, check out everything we know about Hearthstone’s 2021 plans.
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