In an announcement on the Hearthstone website, Blizzard revealed that they will be changing the way they release new content for Hearthstone, and that 2017 will be seeing the release of three 130 card expansions. Until now, Blizzard has alternated between regular expansions and Adventures. Players will receive the full dust value of up to two copies of each card, in addition to golden ones, that they own, which will be automatically given once the Year of the Mammoth kicks in.
Also mentioned was the possibility of bringing new cards into Classic from old sets, ones that aren't powerful enough to see play in Wild but are interesting additions to a format. Wild mode, of course, is Blizzard's slightly unintuitive name for Hearthstone's original mode of play, in which all cards are available for frenzied card battling.
Blizzard is moving the neutral cards Azure Drake, Sylvanas, and Ragnaros because they are so powerful that they are nearly auto-includes in too many decks. That concept is something we would like to do more of in future sets: Take the storytelling and cool missions of Adventures, and combine them with the card pools of expansions.
The Year of the Mammoth, which will launch with the release of this year's first major expansion, will replace the Year of the Kraken and introduce a brand new Standard format to the digital card game. "Our overall intention with Standard is to keep the game feeling fresh for all of our players, and to allow newer players to jump into Hearthstone quickly, without collecting lots of cards to build a competitive deck". The reasoning for each of these cards rotating out seems to be that each of them were somewhat overplayed, causing the deck slots where they could be inserted to become stagnant. This will let Blizzard selectively move certain Classic cards to Wild. These new expansions will arrive at the start, middle, and end of the year, as per Blizzard's rather vague wording. There will still be single-player missions in each expansion, that will serve to enrich the narrative of the cards being released.
This won't begin until the second expansion released in 2017.
In the Year of the Mammoth, though, there won't be any single player adventures released.
Blizzard also shared that it plans to host a Heroic Tavern Brawl that uses the Wild format. That sums up all the great things ahead for Hearthstone in 2017 - see you on the board, card fanatics.
Before the release of our next expansion, there will be daily login rewards available for a limited time, offering dust, gold, and expansion packs, along with a few other surprises.
It will be easy to unlock Maiev Shadowsong, as players will only need to win 10 Standard matches, whether in Ranked Play or Casual, once the Year of the Mammoth begins with the launch of the new expansion.