For many players whose Hearthstone journeys had begun a long time ago, there would eventually come a point at which their Classic packs started becoming synonymous with Dust that's used for crafting cards in the game - and only very small amounts of it, to be precise. Aside from occasionally opening an odd Epic or Legendary that might've been still missing from the collection (if someone had managed to resist the urge to create all the ones necessary for whatever decks they wanted to play with in the first place), there wasn't much else to be excited about.
So it's understandable people weren't exactly looking forward to their weekly free acquisition of one Classic pack from the Tavern Brawl mode. It probably didn't help things that aspect of Hearthstone also became somewhat stale as time went by, turning into a chore of sorts. There were even players speaking about how they couldn't be bothered to go through it just for a reward they had little use for.
We certainly got used to this sight.
Soon all that's about to change as we get ready to welcome the new Core Set and a proper separate format with "Classic" in its name. We know that Classic packs will assume a new identity, no longer linked to the current rotation of any Standard sets. It's going to be a little weird to view them in this new light, at least initially. But both new and veteran players alike should be happy with this upcoming new tavern order. At long last, a certain wish is about to come true.
It's hard to believe we've had over 300 Tavern Brawls under our belt by now. Whew. That also means a lot of Classic packs were given out (fewer than the total number of Brawls though, as there were a few Card Backs thrown in here and there, and even an odd expansion pack). Ever since the introduction of the Hall of Fame concept all those years ago, clever players figured out how it made sense to hold onto their packs and cards just in case. Everyone loves them some extra Dust.
If you have been saving your Classic packs for the past weeks or months, either purposefully or out of habit, your patience might just get rewarded. To some extent, it all depends on how long you've been playing and the size of your Classic collection. And whether you have any plans to dabble in formats such as Classic, Wild, or Duels in the future. If you are unsure, it's probably wise to wait and not disenchant any of these cards once the Core Set arrives along with Forged in the Barrens.
Old Favorites Return to Your Packs
The contents of Classic packs kept dwindling ever so slightly over time as certain prominent cards were being taken out and subjected to the "craftable only" fate. Since the Hall of Fame will be fully retired, it's all getting back to the original state in terms of what we could pull from our packs. In recent years the Hearthstone team did add a handful of cards to that set in order to balance the numbers, but we've been informed ahead of time that they are *not* going to be a part of the Classic experience:
- Tome of Intellect
- Call of the Void
- Gift of the Wild
- High Inquisitor Whitemane
- Barrens Stablehand
- SI:7 Infiltrator
- Arcane Devourer
- Kul Tiran Chaplain
- Scarlet Subjugator
- Shadow Word: Ruin
- Natalie Seline
If you still really really want to try and get any of these from your packs, for maximum safety best make sure to open them before the patch 20.0 drops later today! It's not recommended, however - 95% of them have never made any true impact. It would be mainly for collecting purposes, but they will all remain craftable if ever needed.
The true value lies elsewhere. We have mentioned this indirectly before: a fair amount of cards making their return will increase the average value of a Classic pack - if you don't currently own them or happened to disenchant them a long while ago. Just look at these friendly faces:
That's not an extensive list, of course. There will be your Ice Block, Divine Favor, Power Overwhelming, and several other old "meta breakers" to be found as well. Even Shadowform - yes, you will have a different free copy of it through the Core Set, but remember that's just a temporary loan by the game (for this year at least). Your permanent copy is said to have a different watermark to distinguish between them (on top of being subject to the usual crafting and disenchanting rules).
The Quirk of Duplicate Protection
The full Duplicate Protection mechanic has been with us for a good year now, yet there is one little-known fact about it that is relevant to how your reimagined Classic packs might behave. Namely - it shouldn't be entirely retroactive. If you ever owned some of these cards in the ancient past and decided to disenchant them after collecting your free Dust from previous Hall of Fame rotations, the game wouldn't quite remember that and the cards in question would return to the top of the offering pool available to you from the packs. In a way, it's guaranteed.
So if you qualify for that and currently own all/most other Classic cards but not the ones discussed above, expect to see them start popping out of your packs as a priority. One other example of this behavior involves Preparation. It was nerfed back in May 2019, at which point I decided to disenchant it for a full refund. Then, once the duplicate protection rolled out in March 2020, it became one of the few remaining Epics (along with the likes of newly added cards such as Shadow Word: Ruin) I would be getting back from my Classic packs. Over the course of this past year, I found my two copies of it again without having to recraft any.
One more reason why holding onto some packs might prove to be rewarding in the days to come. But don't try to open them just right after the patch hits the live servers! To be safe, you will have to wait until Forged in the Barrens launches on March 30. We know this thanks to ever-inquisitive Ridiculous Hat and Celestalon always being willing to dig up the relevant info. Much appreciated!
OK yes, it's on Barrens Launch (Tuesday)
Year of the Phoenix Packs in Your Future Tavern Brawls
Earlier developer communication told us that Classic packs as a source of rewards would be switched out with suitable replacements all across the board, and we know from the 20.0 Patch Notes that Tavern Brawl will be offering us Year of the Phoenix packs - that is cards from Ashes of Outland, Scholomance Academy, and Madness at the Darkmoon Faire - from now on (presumably until the next yearly rotation where Year of the Gryphon packs take over).
And so the current Brawl might be the last of its kind in that Classic pack kind of way, at least. There has also been some speculation by players as to what might happen in this particular instance once the patch arrives - many people seem to believe that the rewarded pack type could change on the fly, and for that reason prefer to wait with playing through it. If that were to be proven true, the reasoning would be simple: get in before the patch if you desire to collect one last Classic pack, or move in afterwards if you would like to earn something more recent. But, that's quite an if.
Do mind that we haven't had any official info on the subject that we know of, and that there is no reason why the Tavern Brawl reward for this week couldn't remain as is - it all depends on how they coded it. It's true that end-of-season Ranked Rewards currently still show Darkmoon Faire packs (to be changed to Forged in the Barrens once the patch is live), but those aren't claimable at this point anyway - making it different from an ongoing event. It's strange to consider that Team 5 wouldn't have thought of it, but everything is possible. Were that the case, there would probably be some upset players too - the ones who complete their Brawls for the pack reward as soon as they come up. Whatever the answer, we will be able to find out soon enough.
Classic Packs Will Still be in the Shop
That one should be fairly obvious. With everything said thus far, it's only a partial goodbye to one free reward souce. One that will pay off for most of us in the long run, to be sure. But for anyone else still hoping to be able to gradually work on their Classic collection - especially if you seriously want to experience the original format again or for the first time ever in the new mode - fear not, the usual cash/gold options of acquiring packs remain. Even if you haven't been diligently gathering your Classic packs for a long time or are relatively new to the game, you could still get there eventually. And who knows, perhaps become a new Classic devotee if the modern Hearthstone doesn't prove to be much to your liking.
How is your own Classic collection at this point? Do you have many Classic packs either saved up or opened by now? Have you been playing through all these Hall of Fame years? Looking forward to the new Classic format or happy to stick to current Hearthstone with its improved fresh rewards? Share your experiences with us below!