Update 7.1 Arena Changes

Arena Discussion
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In our next update, we will be making a few changes to the Arena that should make it more interesting for our players and offer a much different experience with each set release.

    • Arena will change from Wild format to Standard
  • As more cards are added to the Arena pool, having each game feel meaningfully different actually becomes harder to accomplish. Many of the cool synergies between cards, such as Jade Golems or Mechs, live within each individual set release. Attempting to create decks that utilize these meaningful synergies in a wide and diluted card pool will become more and more difficult as the Wild card pool grows larger. Arena runs then becomes less about card synergies and smart deck choices and more about being fortunate enough to be presented with the best card from each set. This change should put the focus back on the player for good, synergistic Arena choices and make Arena decks feel more cohesive.
  • We’ll be monitoring using the Standard format in Arena carefully, and we may add additional changes or formats in the future if it doesn’t meet our goals of having Arena feel interesting and different with each set release.
  • • Changes to Card Rarity Distribution
  • We’re making a change to the frequency in which Common and Basic cards show up in the Arena. Common cards were about 78% of all Arena cards, and we felt that number was too high considering that many of the cards that focus around individual class identity and power level rely on the common cards of any given class. After this change, the number of Common and Basic cards that show up overall should be lower, giving more room for fun Rare, Epic, and Legendary cards to show up in an Arena run. In addition, the cards Abyssal Enforcer and Flamestrike will show up approximately 50% less in Arena.
  • • More Spells in a Run
  • Spells have the power to swing a board state, generally more than minions do. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this. When the distribution of spells to minions is too low, the game usually ends up in the favor of the player that gets out their minions faster and more efficiently than the other player, because there aren’t enough cards that punish overextending. Bringing the distributions of spells and minions closer together allows for more room to have an Arena game that is more strategic and facilitates more plays and counter-plays to occur.

  • • Neutral Classic Cards Show Up Less
  • A lot of neutral Classic cards tend to be minions without any text that lack interesting effects. While they are great for introducing newer players to Hearthstone and providing baselines for power level comparisons, they don’t make for compelling Arena run choices. This helps make more room for spells, class cards, and expansion cards to show up at a higher rate.
  • • Golden Cards Show Up In Arena
  • If you own golden cards in your collection, copies of that card that appear in your Arena run will show up as golden. If you own a single golden card, the first copy of it you choose will be golden. If you own two copies of a golden card, every copy of that card you choose in the Arena will be golden. If you own one golden Legendary, every copy of that Legendary you choose in Arena will be golden.

These changes will occur in an upcoming update near the end of February. We’ll see you in the Tavern!

Edit: Added additional bullet point regarding golden cards.
Not a bad change, especially because that allows for a greater variety of cards to be printed without fear of that class becoming monstrous in arena. I see that you guys are taking the right steps in making arena great again.
RIP arena I guess.
Ripbyssal Enforcer
Will Abyssal Enforcer and Flamestrike be the only specific cards that aren't neutral classic cards that will show up less in Arena?
Thank you! Awesome changes. Can we please get the info released for how strongly weighted cards from the most recent set are?
Highly Rated
Everything is great but a "wild arena" mode would be neat,
as a lot of players love arena because of the wild cards.
Highly Rated
I like every change except for moving to Standard. While I understand the desire to make it less about forging a deck that focuses on maximum tempo and more about creating interesting decks with synergies, the problem I fear is that it'll feel too much like Constructed. Blizzard, I truly believe you need a custom solution for Arena. Not Wild, not Standard, but something inbetween.

I think this is the better solution, but one which requires more effort: why not maintain an Arena set? A handpicked set of cards that appear in Arena, regardless of expansion or Standard rotation. This way, you could eliminate potentially overpowered (in Arena) cards that might have a certain rarity for Constructed purposes, as well as "boring" cards or cards that make Arena runs feel too similar (high tempo cards that you almost always pick). It would have less of a chance of feeling like either Standard or Wild, and could be a truly unique experience somewhere between the two. I heard a while back that you were exploring internal systems to give Arena cards points or ratings, and if that has made any progress, I think it'd be great to help you create a custom set.

Anyways, I'll keep an open mind and see how good the new Arena is. Thank you for making what you think are the best changes instead of doing nothing!
Seems like some great changes. It's about time!
Highly Rated
I don't like the move to Standart. Arena never felt fair, and it shouldn't. You've always needed some luck to draft a proper deck, and if you got synergy it felt even better - if not, you had to make the best out of it.
There already is ranked mode for "fair match ups".
By reducing the cards in Arena, you are also reducing the variety and uniqueness of the Decks.
Not a fan at all.
My question is if we still have an old Wild Arena run that we did not finish after the patch goes live, does that deck become invalid since it is a wild deck?
Highly Rated
This standard arena just ruins the whole idea of arena for me . I get that you are trying to promote Wild mode this year but is killing arena the best way ? A lot of arena was about minion trading until now.If you want synergy decks u go to constructed.A lot of ppl are actually trying to escape those mech/jade/pirate synergies going for a slower paced experience in arena .Getting more spells will probably just make mage even more broken - get 2 minions out deal 10 dmg finish up with 2 fireballs t8 - seems like a wonderful experience - not .
These are great changes! Maybe in the future you can implement a different mix of cards each season. Keep the same number of sets in, but alternate which sets are excluded each season. This would keep arena fresh, and allow players who really like Wild cards to see some of those each season, while still allowing for synergies to line up more frequently due to a smaller card pool.
Highly Rated
The point of Arena for me, is to be different to constructed - changing to standard and other changes to increase synergy levels in decks are making it more like a mini-constructed.

I'll give it a chance, but the suspicious part of me thinks this is ultimately aimed at getting more arena players to decide they might as well play constructed since they're running in to constructed-like decks in Arena and join the pack-buying gang...

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