It's been a little while since most of us had to give much thought to the rotational aspect of the Standard mode that was added to Hearthstone with 2016's Old Gods expansion. With the release of the game's next expansion however, we will see quite a few recent card sets be withdrawn from the format, and restricted to use on the Wild ladder only.
The exact mechanism for how this works isn't entirely intuitive though - and you may well have forgotten what you once understood! - and so we thought it might be handy to put together a Standard rotation guide that outlines which Hearthstone sets will be removed in the near future, and how this system will work in the years to come as well.
We'll go through each stage of it clearly and concisely, but please let us know in the comments if we've missed anything. We'll answer your questions there, and also update this guide straight away to make sure it contains everything you could possible need to know.
How the Hearthstone Standard rotation system works
Before we go on, we need to stress that the Basic cards and Classic sets do not feature in the rotation plans at all. They will always be part of the fundamental card pool that can be used alongside the latest card releases.
The only exceptions here are the handful of cards from these sets that eventually become too powerful over time - these are sent off to the Hall of Fame and can only be used in the Wild format along with the retired expansions. See our comprehensive Hall of Fame guide for more information.
Year of the Mammoth - Current
Until the first expansion of 2019 rolls around, we are in the Year of the Mammoth. During this period of time the following card sets are available to play:
- Journey to Un'Goro - 2017
- Knights of the Frozen Throne - 2017
- Kobolds and Catacombs - 2017
- The Witchwood - 2018
- The Boomsday Project - 2018
- Rastakhan's Rumble - 2018
Year of the Dragon - Upcoming
Blizzard has named the upcoming cycle of Standard Hearthstone play as the Year of the Dragon.
When Year of the Dragon begins, the 2017 expansions will no longer be available to play in the Standard format.
Instead, you'll be able to make use of the following sets, with 2019's expansions added to the mix as and when they're released.
- The Witchwood
- The Boomsday Project
- Rastakhan's Rumble
- Expansion 1 - TBC
- Expansion 2 - TBC
- Expansion 3 - TBC