BlizzConline 2021 has seen a flurry of Hearthstone announcements, including the new Mercenaries mode and an exciting new expansion focusing on WoW's Horde. The Year of the Gryphon will also shift around the existing formats, introducing the Classic format that will take us back in time to Hearthstone in its original 2014 form, and a new Core Set which will be free to all players.
There are few details on the exact contents of the Core Set at the moment, but we know that it'll contain 235 cards. So far, Team 5 has revealed that reimagined versions of its iconic dragon aspects, including Malygos, Ysera, and Deathwing will line the set, along with the pesky Annoy-O-Tron Mech. However, we now know that Lord Jaraxxus won't be joining the Core Set in his current form.
"The new version of Jaraxxus in the Core Set will be a Hero card", confirmed Hearthstone designer Chadd Nervig in an interview today. The nine Mana Demon currently has a Battlecry that destroys your hero and replaces it with Lord Jaraxxus. At present, this sets your maximum Health to 15, equips a 3/8 weapon, and changes your Hero Power to 'Summon a 6/6 Infernal'. However, it sounds as though this could change when he's promoted to Hero card status. While we don't have specific details just yet, Nervig says that "the tuning on [Jaraxxus] is a little different [in the Core Set]. We've balanced it accordingly".
The Hearthstone community has discussed this exact change in the past, so it's great to see Team 5 give the old lord some love. Last April, Blizzard decided to nerf Sacrificial Pact, a Warlock spell that could previously destroy any Demon to restore five health to the player's hero (it now only targets friendly Demons). While this was good news for Lord Jaraxxus, who could no longer be directly targeted and immediately destroyed by the opponent, he's dropped out of Standard play in recent expansions. It'll be interesting to see how the team plans to change his effects to support his new Hero card status.