Hearthstone 2015 Year in Review - Expansions, Nerfs, & Popular Decks

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Hearthstone Year in Review

It's hard to believe that 2015 is almost over and with that, a wonderful year of Hearthstone. It seems just like yesterday we were playing in the beta test, whining about not getting any new cards, and waiting ever-so-patiently for Naxxramas to release - but that was all in 2014.

We've put together a review of the past year of everything Hearthstone, and would love to hear about what your favourite moments of the past year were. It's important that we mention:

  • Two adventures and a full expansion were released this year featuring a total of 208 new cards.
  • The awesome community members here on HearthPwn created over 250,000 new decks!

Hearthstone in 2015

This past year has seen the Inn filled to the top. Let's take a look at the past 12 months of Hearthstone.

  • Jan 29

    Undertaker to the Ground

    Undertaker which was released during the Curse of Naxxramas Adventure back in July of 2014 was one of the most important cards in the game throughout 2014. The card originally gained +1/+1 each time you played a minion with Deathrattle and it opened up the door to some really aggressive and punishing Deathrattle play.

    Hearthstone Patch 7628 answered the cries of the community and brought the nerf hammer down and turned the taker into the taken. We haven't seen the poor guy since.

    Blizzard Says: Undertaker was frustrating to play against. It often gained both attack and health stats significantly above those of other inexpensive minions very early in the game. With this change, we expect Undertaker will still be better than other 1-mana minions when played in a deck with a Deathrattle theme, but more likely to die from combat with other minions.

  • Feb 5

    25 Million Patrons

    No, not that kind of Patron! During Activision Blizzard's quarterly earnings call, they announced that Hearthstone had 25 Million Registered Players which was a 5 million increase from September 2014.

    Further Reading: Hearthstone at 25 Million Registered Players.

  • Feb 25

    Spectator Improvements

    Thanks to player feedback, Hearthstone Patch 7835 brought us a couple of Spectator mode improvements to help not only players keep watching their friends, but also tournaments.

    • When a match you are spectating ends, your client will be put into a waiting state until your friend joins another match. You’ll automatically connect to their next match without having to re-enable Spectator Mode. How convenient!
    • Players will now continue to spectate a match even after 30 minutes of inactivity.

    Further Reading: Hearthstone Patch 7835.

  • April 2

    A Hearthstone Adventure

    Blackrock Mountain releases! The adventure included 31 new collectible cards which had a heavy dragon / control theme and featured the various dungeons and raids of Warcraft's Blackrock Mountain making up each of the five wings. Ragnaros and Nefarian both made epic appearances during the adventure.

    The newly introduced cards saw quite a bit of play by giving us more options to put into our decks. This lead to the birth of Dragon Priest, Grim Patron Warrior, and depending on which side of the battlefield you're on, made Tempo Mage much more fun.

    Set Highlights: Grim Patron, Emperor Thaurissan, Flamewaker, Imp Gang Boss.

    Learn more about Blackrock Mountain in our BRM Guide.

  • April 14

    Go Face on your Phone

    We waited, waited some more, and then finally, four months after Hearthstone appeared on Android tablets, and a year after it released on iPad, we were finally able to put Hearthstone in our pockets.


    The mobile version of Hearthstone features an entirely different UI from the desktop and tablet versions of the game and was the primary reason why it took them so long to get it out. That deck slot UI is pretty good at scrolling on mobile...

    Further Reading: Hearthstone on Mobile is now LIVE.

  • May 5

    30 Million Patrons

    Yes, we're talking about Grim Patron - sort-of. After just a few more months, the game grew even more! The mobile release of Hearthstone definitely helped the game grow to this level.

    Further Reading: Hearthstone Reaches 30 Million Players.

  • June 15

    New Heroes of Warcraft

    Alternate Hero Art! Alleria Windrunner, Magni Bronzebeard, and Medivh all joined the Hearthstone world for $10 a piece. Each hero came with a special animated portrait and a unique card back to add to your collection.

    Unfortunately, no other alternative hero art was released this year, but there was some news at BlizzCon that said we'd hear more about it in the new year. Get your wallets ready!

    Further Reading: Hearthstone Patch 9166.

  • June 17

    Enter the Tavern and have a Brawl

    A new gamemode, and more importantly, weekly content for Hearthstone! It was on this day that the very first Tavern Brawl, Showdown at Blackrock Mountain, launched.

    The brawl was horribly balanced which lead to plenty of justified complaints, which Blizzard addressed during a recent relaunch of the brawl.

    It was also announced that we'd receive a free pack of cards during the Tavern Brawl "launch event" for winning a game during a brawl. It seems that even to this day, we're still in the launch event since it is still being rewarded.

    Check Out: List of all Tavern Brawls.

  • Aug 24

    Care to Joust?

    The Grand Tournament releases! Hearthstone's second card expansion featured 132 new cards, the Inspire keyword which interacts with Hero Powers, and the Jousting mechanic which.. hasn't been particularly useful yet.

    Although not all the cards featured in The Grand Tournament have been of use yet, there are definitely some must-have cards in today's meta! Oh, and it's worth pointing out that Paladin Secrets are finally viable thanks to Mysterious Challenger.

    Set Highlights: Mysterious Challenger, Murloc Knight, King's Elekk, Dreadsteed, Nexus-Champion Saraad.

    Learn more about The Grand Tournament in our TGT Guide.

  • Sept 9

    Developer Communication++

    Hearthstone's Senior Game Designer, Ben Brode, began a new vlog series on the PlayHearthstone YouTube channel to discuss game design challenges and communicate with the player base on important issues. Currently, four episodes have been uploaded.

    We're hoping Ben continues making episodes next year, especially due to the Hearthstone community team abandoning their CM Twitter accounts in favor of @PlayHearthstone not too long ago and has not communicated with us as much as they did prior to the change. The community has questions, and sometimes it feels like Mass Dispel is in constant play.

  • Oct 20

    Everyone, Don't Come in Here!

    Undertaker came back to put the nail in Warsong Commander's coffin. This staple card in the popular Grim Patron Warrior decks was nerfed because it was much too powerful. It was an interaction whose implications weren't fully considered prior to the launch of Blackrock Mountain.

    Grim Patron Warrior may still exist in spirit, but it will never be the same.

    Further Reading: Warsong Commander Nerf Incoming.

  • Nov 4

    Gearmaster Mechazod - CoOp Hearthstone

    After datamining the brawl information on two [1, 2] different occasions, the first Co-Op Tavern Brawl, Unite Against Mechazod arrived! It was a rough first implementation of how a co-op brawl could work as they wanted to get a co-op brawl out before the end of the year and didn't have the time to re-engineer systems for it.

    The Hearthstone team stated they received lots of great feedback for it during the BlizzCon Tavern Brawl panel and that they were excited to work on more new types of brawls in the future.

    Further Reading: Unite Against Mechazod Brawl, Tavern Brawl BlizzCon Q&A.

  • Nov 7

    Ostkaka Wins the Hearthstone World Championships 2015

    Firebat has been dethroned as Ostaka takes the title of Hearthstone World Champion! Ostkaka took home $100,000 in this year's tournament for his Wizard Poker skills defeating Hotform 3-0 in the grand finals. Check out his decklists below!

    Find more decks from the 2015 HS World Championships.

  • Nov 12

    Adventuring with the Explorers League

    The League of Explorers launches! A second adventure this year for Hearthstone, this time featuring the most cards an adventure has ever seen - 45! This adventure was also different in that it was only 4 wings, and it included the new Discover keyword!

    They're still trying to find Harrison Jones.

    There has been a ton of experimentation so far with the new cards revealed in the League of Explorers, and we've seen some crazy changes in the meta which have kicked down some of the previous aggressive decks. Overall the community feels like we're in a happy place with the new set which is breathing new life into the game.

    Set Highlights: Reno Jackson, Brann Bronzebeard, Raven Idol, Entomb, Jeweled Scarab

    Cuteness Overload Award: Murloc Tinyfin

    Learn more about The League of Explorers in our LOE Guide.

  • Dec 16

    First Hearthstone Holiday Event

    The Feast of Winter Veil, a holiday celebrated in many of Blizzard's games nowadays received it's first entry into Hearthstone this year with a special event which included the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl which rewarded players with a special festive card back, and the store saw a special price for 50 packs of cards.

    The Orgrimmar and Stormwind gameboards also received a facelift for the holiday featuring festive decorations, and all heroes received a unique Winter Veil greeting emote to spam. Blizzard, give us more holiday events in the future that mirror the ones in World of Warcraft!

A Look Back at our Favourite Decks

Not only was 2015 an eventful year for Hearthstone, but it also brought forward quite a few decks that we loved or loved to hate. There was plenty of creativity we saw during the year which ranged from going to face, going to face even harder, or meching up and.. going to face. 

While people were busy going to face and arguing on the forums about whether or not you should be allowed to go to face, we also witnessed broken keyboards when everyone finally arrived in here, and an early Christmas tree thanks to Uther the keeper of secrets.

Did you know the top 5 decks this year on HearthPwn each received over 1 million views? Also, Miracle Rogue, although not at all viable for many decades, made it into the top 10! Check out the top 10 decks of the year, sorted by views, in a table below.

What were your favourite decks this year?

Deck Author Cost
 Face Hunter neilyo_hs 2760
 Grim Patron Senfglas 580
 Midrange Totem Shaman x1phias 4280
 Secret Pally PurpleLum 5640
 Dragon Priest Reynad 3880
 Tempo Mage FreiKuk 5860
 Mirror Entity Mech Mage markopoloyolo 4220
 Tempo Mage BloodlipsHZ 5760
 Mill Rogue is Back! airbass0 4640
 Miracle Rogue LegacyDecks 6660

Here's to a Happy and Glorious 2016

Thanks for your continued support of HearthPwn, it's been a fantastic year and we can't wait to enjoy what Hearthstone has to offer next year and more importantly, make the site even better! From us to you, have a Happy New Year and we'll see you then!

Happy New Year!



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