An invitational tournament that was widely characterized as the first Hearthstone tournament to use the Standard format, Curse Trials, was played out over the past three days.
Now, the big caveat here is that Curse Trials had very little to do with Standard: it was the current card pool with Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes banned. So, it was trying to emulate Standard by banning the cards that will rotate out of Standard with the next expansion while not incorporating the upcoming changes to cards that will stay nor, obviously, having access to the spring 2016 expansion that will be part of the first Standard rotation.
Nonetheless, maybe we can learn something from the tournament. Let’s dig deeper into the lineups and their performance to see what we can find.
With the Standard format coming out soon, huge changes are about to take place in the Hearthstone metagame. The first expansions to rotate out, Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes, have been cornerstones of many decks. One notable feature of these expansions has been sticky minions, many of which are thus now about to rotate out of the Standard format.
While the contents of the upcoming spring 2016 expansion are not yet known, it can still be useful to examine what is going out and how it can potentially affect the metagame.
In the most significant Hearthstone announcement since the release of the game, Blizzard introduced a new way to play, the Standard format, which will take over as the main competitive format for Hearthstone.
This is reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering, in which the main competitive format is also called Standard. Not only is the name the same, but the format itself is in large part copied over from Magic. Given that Magic has been a successful game for decades, this is not necessarily a bad thing!
In this post, I take a look at the Standard format in both Hearthstone and Magic and see what the differences between the two are and why such differences exist.