April 2022 marked the discharge of Hearthstone’s twentieth enlargement within the type of Voyage to the Sunken Metropolis. That’s an intensive quantity of playing cards and concepts packed into the previous couple of years. Not all releases turned out the identical, although, and whereas your mileage might range, this checklist of all Hearthstone expansions ought to offer you a good suggestion of the trajectory of the sport and the ups and downs of what we’ve received to play with to date.
The League of Explorers
To this present day, there’s nonetheless nothing fairly like The League of Explorers in Hearthstone. A small and tightly crafted journey expertise with memorable characters which can be nonetheless round to this present day, on playing cards that every one turned out to be related however not oppressive in Constructed, launched lower than per week after its announcement as an enormous shock to the neighborhood. It additionally gave us some of the Hearthstone-y key phrase within the type of Uncover, which is now a staple within the sport.
Journey to Un’goro
Nobody would blame you in the event you positioned this set on prime of your private checklist. The cardboard design division actually knocked it out of the park with this one, even when Adapt was a reasonably underwhelming key phrase (and the one card that truly made use of it effectively, Vicious Fledgling, a everlasting drawback). Various archetypes throughout a number of courses, the introduction of Quests, and uniquely designed defensive and utility playing cards within the Impartial slots make this one of many best-designed units within the sport so far.
Knights of the Frozen Throne
You possibly can’t actually get a lot better than Hero playing cards in relation to pleasure and sheer “oh no” game-change expertise. From Deathstalker Rexxar to Bloodreaver Gul’dan, they turned out to be the cornerstone of contemporary Hearthstone and a beloved, if tough-to-balance card sort. Once more, nobody would fault you for placing this enlargement on the highest of the checklist—although the facility ranges might have been only a tiny bit too excessive.
Whispers of the Previous Gods
The primary set after the introduction of Customary and the common set rotation, WotOG gave us a recent begin with new class identities and attention-grabbing playing cards round a few of the most ominous and unknowable characters from WoW. To this present day, it stays the favourite of many gamers.
Voyage to the Sunken Metropolis
Although the set remains to be fairly new, Voyage to the Sunken Metropolis looks like one of many higher Hearthstone units to date. Dredge and Colossal each turned out to be wonderful key phrases, the flavour and the artwork is totally on level, and all courses have no less than some kind of viability—it’s the kind of metagame the place the neighborhood complains about all kinds of decks as an alternative of only one, which is often signal.
Kobolds and Catacombs
Capping off a super-memorable yr after Un’goro and KoFT, Kobolds and Catacombs had quite a bit to reside as much as. It actually did so within the solo content material departure with Dungeon Run. Typically, the final expansions of the yr characteristic stronger playing cards as a result of they spend comparatively much less time within the metagame earlier than rotating to Wild, and that was actually the case right here, veering into oppressive territory on a number of events.
Recruit simply wasn’t a really attention-grabbing key phrase to play with or towards, but it surely was insanely robust in the appropriate circumstances with little alternatives to counter it from the opposite aspect of the board. Carnivorous Dice and costly Deathrattle minions cheated out at a low mana price shaped the inspiration of a number of archetypes throughout all kinds of courses, with Warlocks being particularly egregious about all this—no marvel they have been focused by a ton of nerfs quickly after the set’s launch.
Although the theming was slightly unmemorable, Scholomance Academy greater than made up for it within the card design division. The Twin-class playing cards have been memorable, efficient, and flavorful. The multitude of nutty one-drop minions like Pen Flinger, Tour Information, and Animated Broomstick added plenty of attention-grabbing determination factors to the video games. Although the facility stage was maybe a bit too excessive once more (I’m taking a look at you, Lightning Bloom and Devolving Missiles), this was an attention-grabbing set with nice concepts that translated effectively to gameplay.
Saviors of Uldum
If we have been to guage expansions by their trailer movies, this could positively be the primary contender. Sadly, we’ve additionally received the playing cards and the key phrases, and the metagame to think about. Zephrys the Nice was very cool, however the League of Explorers members have been wasted by turning into class-specific playing cards, with Sir Finley specifically languishing in tier 3 decks all through his time in Customary. The set additionally gave us Puzzle Field of Yogg-Saron, which can be the most effective or worst a part of it, relying in your preferences.
Curse of Naxxramas
Naxx out! The primary post-Traditional Hearthstone content material launch nonetheless stays endearing, particularly its solo journey portion, even when the playing cards themselves appear vastly overtuned at this time. Undertaker Hunter was one of many strongest decks of all time, powered by playing cards like Haunted Creeper and Mad Scientist. In the meantime, Loatheb and Sludge Belcher grew to become instantaneous midrange staples till the tip of their time in Customary, and there was simply an excessive amount of sticky Deathrattle stuff in a sport with restricted board clear choices to think about this a transparent winner.
Rise of Shadows
The beginning of a year-long storyline that includes common characters from Hearthstone’s previous, Rise of Shadows got here at an exceptionally poor time for Hearthstone. The brand new Specialist esport format just about killed viewers curiosity with the infinite Management Warrior mirrors that includes Archivist Elysiana reloads. The set did present attention-grabbing gameplay, however most of its playing cards have been swiftly outclassed later down the road—and the infinite random useful resource technology introduced alongside by Lackeys can be a difficulty for fairly some time to return.
The Boomsday Mission
It’s largely due to the dearth of Constructed influence that individuals disapprove of this in any other case fairly alright set, because the playing cards therein merely couldn’t supersede the present Genn/Baku methods in Customary. The Legendary spells and the Mission playing cards have been hit-and-miss, and although there have been some standout playing cards like Zilliax or Dr. Increase, Mad Genius, the set simply didn’t do sufficient with the long-awaited return of Mechs to warrant a better spot on this checklist.
Insanity on the Darkmoon Faire
By this level, it was getting a bit tiresome to see Hearthstone’s insistence on mining its personal earlier successes. This time, the Previous Gods have been recycled with little or no Constructed influence, bringing alongside a near-irrelevant key phrase within the type of Corrupt. The set is a mish-mash of unsupported archetypes and the occasional underpowered card, and you may’t assist however really feel like there was way more they might have executed with the Darkmoon Faire theming.
Ashes of Outland
Oh, look, a tenth class! Oh look, it’s brutally overpowered and it just about dominated the whole metagame all through the enlargement’s life cycle regardless of unprecedentedly quick and harsh nerfs—a number of rounds of it, in reality. The shockingly overtuned state of Demon Hunter on launch makes this one of many lesser units by itself.
Imply Streets of Gadgetzan
Patches the Pirate. Pirate decks. A stupidly robust Priest archetype. Jades. Kazakus. Although everybody may discover one thing to love in MSoG, they inevitably discovered much more to dislike. No matter what your most well-liked playstyle is, there was quite a bit going towards it on the time, be it super-aggressive Warriors and Shamans, ultra-grindy Monks and Mages with their Reno decks, infinite stat-vomiting from Jades: you had all of it. The excessive energy stage of the set additionally made older methods utterly out of date, with few alternate options to the highest meta decks.
Cast within the Barrens
An underwhelming content material launch all in all, with Mercenaries across the nook, ultimately bringing an earth-shattering ‘meh’ because the neighborhood response to it. The key phrases have been unappealing and pretty weak, whereas a lot of the supported archetypes didn’t get off the bottom. Oh, and there was that quick interval after launch once we have been all enjoying WatchPostStone as an alternative of the particular sport. That wasn’t any enjoyable.
Fractured in Alterac Valley
A good, if not significantly memorable set, Fractured in Alterac Valley featured a considerably underwhelming reimagination of the Horde-versus-Alliance battles in WoW, a surprisingly weak key phrase within the type of Honorable Kill, and a gameplay atmosphere that was nonetheless revolving across the United in Stormwind drawback playing cards. The set was meant to advertise slower gameplay methods however by no means actually fulfilled this said design objective.
Descent of Dragons
One more set stuffed with problematic playing cards that launched in a cripplingly unbalanced state, Descent of Dragons gave us Galakrond Shaman after which Galakrond Rogue to hate. There have been many different problematic gameplay mechanics on show right here as effectively: Management Priest’s means to generate near-infinite quantities of stuff, a mana-cheating Paladin deck(?!) with Nozdormu the Timeless, Dragoncaster into Puzzle Field of Yogg-Saron on flip six with Mage, nasty aggression with Face Hunter and infinite Dragons in Druid.
The near-limitless Dragon discovery choices (particularly with Dragonqueen Alexstrasza) turned out to be a bit too robust for its personal good, one thing that wasn’t alleviated by the Galakrond’s Awakening mini-set.
BRM was a good set on the time however hasn’t aged effectively. The truth that the journey revolving round Dragons solely gave us unplayable Dragon playing cards for Constructed on the time was a significant disappointment—and that about covers half of the discharge by itself. There’s Patron Warrior, nonetheless, the core reminiscence of those that performed on the time, a irritating deck with an undeniably excessive ability cap (and flooring), which ensured that this journey was not going to be as forgettable as TGT can be quickly thereafter.
The Yr of the Raven got here after an enormous sugar excessive because the devs tried to rein within the energy ranges launched within the earlier three units. Although this appeared like a wholesome strategy, it considerably lowered participant curiosity within the sport and led to the discharge of units that couldn’t actually compete with the previous yr’s card releases. Although The Witchwood gave us the Rush key phrase, not a lot else stays attention-grabbing or memorable in regards to the set at this time—besides, after all, Genn and Baku, playing cards that warped the sport to such an extent that they’d need to retire to Wild a yr sooner than deliberate.
United in Stormwind
By no means have combo decks been as robust in Hearthstone as when United in Stormwind was launched, and no matter whether or not you’re keen on or hate the archetype, the near-complete lack of counterplay choices to the Sidequest playing cards that have been clearly overtuned on launch led to a really irritating gameplay expertise for a lot of within the participant base. Many nerfs have been wanted to get these spells again in line, and they’ll be a design situation for the foreseeable future.
Goblins Versus Gnomes
It was the primary massive enlargement of Hearthstone, and it was clear the devs nonetheless had quite a bit to study their very own sport. Each the RNG and the facility stage levers have been cranked to the max right here, which turned out to be an issue all the best way till the eventual introduction of Customary. Piloted Shredder remained an auto-include all alongside the best way, very like Dr. Increase, and that is simply the aggressive Impartial playing cards: Paladin leaned on the Shielded Minibot + Muster for Battle crutch for years, for instance. In the meantime, Mech Mage was constructed round RNG swings, very like how roll on Crackle or Imp-losion may determine a sport all by itself.
We’ve got a bone to choose with this set as a result of it was clearly the time when Hearthstone’s match mode was imagined to launch, one of many final options introduced beneath Ben Brode that was canned shortly earlier than launch. Past this, there’s additionally little else to like right here: the solo content material was yet one more rehash of Dungeon Run, the playing cards weren’t highly effective sufficient to make an influence, and the Overkill key phrase was each irrelevant and boring to play with.
The Grand Event
Regardless of having the Encourage key phrase, no set was much less inspiring upon launch than TGT. Many of the playing cards have been underpowered even on the time or lacked the archetypal help to have an effect on the metagame. The explanation it’s not on the very backside of this checklist is that lots of its playing cards truly turned out to be important later down the road, even when most gamers don’t affiliate it with this dud of a launch: Totem Golem, Thunder Bluff Valiant, Buccaneer, Alexstrasza’s Champion and a few aggro Impartial minions.
One Evening in Karazhan
Not even the superior disco theme may save this bastardization of the Karazhan raid. The solo content material is by far the worst in Hearthstone’s historical past, insultingly straightforward to play by even on Heroic, constructed across the storyline the place probably the most highly effective and attention-grabbing wizard of the land disappears for the entire affair. As for the playing cards, they have been both ineffective or overpowered: Barnes and Spirit Claws remained a difficulty for years whereas memorable duds like Purify, Nightbane Templar, Defend the King! and different instantly unplayable instruments polluted this small set launch.