New Hearthstone Year of the Hydra kicks off with Voyage to the Sunken City
New Hearthstone Year of the Hydra to kick off alongside Voyage to the Sunken City
Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

New Hearthstone Year of the Hydra kicks off with Voyage to the Sunken City

The Year of the Hydra and Voyage to the Sunken City begin on April 12

The Year of the Hydra in Hearthstone will kick off alongside Voyage to the Sunken City on April 12, Blizzard announced on Tuesday. Year of the Hydra will feature a refreshed Core Set, Hearthstone Mercenaries updates, Battlegrounds seasons, in-game reporting and more.

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Year of the Hydra Core Set

Hearthstone players will experience a new Core Set in the Year of the Hydra, with 57 cards rotating out and 72 cards going in. The refreshed Core Set will include 250 cards in total, with 15 more neutral cards compared to the previous year.

Reno Jackson, Brann Bronzebeard, Elise Starseeker and Sir Finley Mrrgglton will be part of the Hearthstone Year of the Hydra Core Set
The League of Explorers will return to Standard. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Notable neutral class cards will include the return of Reno Jackson, Brann Bronzebeard, Elise Starseeker and Sir Finley Mrrgglton. Other returning cards will include Wild Pyromancer, Acolyte of Pain, Doomsayer, Sea Giant, Tar Creeper, Voidwalker, Mossy Horror, Cloaked Huntress and Fandral Staghelm. Meanwhile, some cards, such as Execute, Equality and Azure Drake, will receive updates.

The full list of Year of the Hydra Core Set cards can be viewed via the official card library.

More returning neutral cards in Hearthstone Year of the Hydra
More returning neutral cards. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone Mercenaries updates

Next, Hearthstone Mercenaries will see a task system change, expanding in terms of the endgame experience and featuring content beats alongside typical patch updates.

“This shift will allow Mercenaries to have its own big moment like the other major modes do, and will allow the team to focus more efforts on the types of improvements that the community has been asking for,” Blizzard wrote in its announcement.

Hearthstone Mercenaries screenshot
Hearthstone Mercenaries screenshot. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

The announcement also noted a new way to spend Mercenary Coins is coming later this year. Hearthstone players will get to add power and specialized traits to max-level characters through these in-game items.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds seasons

For Hearthstone Battlegrounds, the mode will turn major updates into seasons, which will be similar to the game’s expansion cycles. This will begin with the first Battlegrounds season in patch 23.2, highlighting the Naga minion type, new heroes, a keyword mechanic and more.

Players who enjoy in-game cosmetics can look forward to emote and combat board updates. Meanwhile, Battlegrounds will have a progression system arriving mid-year, and players should stay tuned for more information about this, according to Blizzard.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds screenshot
Hearthstone Battlegrounds screenshot. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

In-game reporting to arrive in Year of the Hydra

As for in-game reporting, Hearthstone Executive Producer Nathan Lyons-Smith revealed that this feature will arrive soon after the launch of Voyage to the Sunken City during the Year of the Hydra introduction video. Players will be able to report specific BattleTags and messages received via in-game chat.

An example of the recently completed achievements panel in Hearthstone Year of the Hydra
An example of the recently completed achievements panel. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Additionally, Hearthstone players will get to favorite a bunch of card backs with the arrival of the new expansion. Later this year, players will have the option to equip a random hero skin as well. Moreover, the achievement system will have a “recently completed” section.

Author
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Amy Chen
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!