We’ve been avoiding Hearthstone for some time now because the game has become somewhat stale. Meta decks are boring but ultimately a requirement for climbing the ranked ladder and, well, it’s just not fun anymore.

News this week of the forthcoming Year of the Dragon however has us rather excited for what Blizzard has in store.

For starters, let’s address the headline – Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater.

These two cards seemed like a good idea on paper but in practice they proved divisive. Genn requires players build a deck of even-cost cards while Baku requires a deck be built with odd-cost cards. Upon release of these two cards the tides of Azeroth shifted (in the tavern at least) and the meta became more about odd and even decks than a healthy mix.

Says Blizzard, “Baku and Genn are powerful cards that have promoted new strategies since their introduction in the metagame. Those strategies have been more prevalent than we’d intended in Standard, and we felt that they might end up overshadowing what we’re going to introduce in the Year of the Dragon.”

So off they go to the Hall of Fame.

Joining those two cards are Gloom Stag, Black Cat, Glitter Moth and Murkspark Eel as these cards complimented Genn and Baku.

Other cards headed to the Hall of Fame are Naturalize, Doomguard and Divine Favor.

As with every Hall of Fame rotation, players who own these cards will be granted the full Arcane Dust value (up to the amount you can have in a deck) and you’ll be able to keep the cards for use in Wild.

Single Player improvements

We loved the Dungeon Run that was introduced in Kobolds & Catacombs but the more we’ve played it the more we realise just how lacking Hearthstone’s single player experience has become.

There is good news on that front for the forthcoming year.

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback on our Dungeon Run–style missions, so you’ll be pleased to know that we’re using that as a framework for what’s coming this year. Expect a more robust level of customization, including the ability to unlock multiple starting decks and Hero Powers per class, and a non-combat tavern encounter where you’ll have the opportunity to fine-tune your deck,” Blizzard wrote.

The developer says that the first taste of this will be coming roughly a month after the release of the year’s first expansion. This game mode will boast one free chapter and additional chapters will cost 700 gold (in-game currency that can only be earned by playing the game) or by purchasing the full experience for $19.99. An image containing what we can expect this year is included below.

There are also changes coming to the Arena.

“In the Year of the Dragon, we’ll be updating the Arena draft pool by rotating out sets and adding new ones twice every expansion to keep things fresh. With the first rotation, the Arena draft pool will contain the following sets: Basic, Classic, Curse of Naxxramas, Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, The Witchwood, and the first expansion of this year,” said Blizzard.

A number of quality of life changes are also inbound with things like being able to have a random card back and being able to re-roll Legendary Quests coming in the Year of the Dragon.

We miss Ben Brode but current creative director Ben Thompson appears to be addressing some longstanding issues with Hearthstone and we’re hopeful about the Year of the Dragon.

You can find all the news in more detail about the Year of the Dragon here and we’ve embedded a Hearthside Chat for you to watch below.