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Predictions for future Set Themes

  • A set that calls back heavily to the original RTS games, with an emphasis on Orcs vs Humans. Possibly parodying old war movies.
  • An underwater set featuring the Naga, Makrura, and other aquatic races.
  • A Western-themed set featuring Tauren as literal cowboys.
  • A superhero themed set.
  • A murder mystery themed set.
  • A movie set themed expansion, with the various legendaries being parodies of iconic films or actors.
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  • A Nordic/viking themed expansion featuring the Vrykul and Valarjar.
  • A heist/spy-themed expansion revolving around Stealth, stealing cards, gaining info on the enemy hand/deck, and Secrets.
  • A prison break themed set, involving a Rogues Gallery of old Hearthstone and WarCraft villains such as Hogger, Rafaaam, Patches, Don Han'Cho, Aya Blackpaw, Kazakus, etc.
    • Previous two are confirmed by Rise of Shadows.
  • A Space Opera set based on the Draenei.
  • A Pirates vs Ninjas expansion.
  • A gnoll-based set.
  • An ogre-based set.
  • A crossover set with Blizzard's other franchises.

The Whole Game is Canon
But instead of the hero characters actually being their game world counterparts, their really just hero cards and Hearthstone is a new, popular trading card game on Azeroth being played at inns and taverns the world over. Maybe even on Draenor/Outland.

  • So, the whole game is basically people playing the old WoW tcg in an inn?
  • Yes, and the players are all tired, drunk player characters looking to kill the time between log ins of their players.

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  • You can find a 'game' (specifically a Garrosh vs. Jaina game) being played at the main hubs for Alliance and Horde in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, so this is confirmed. Not so much for the old WoW TCG though.

The game is the Epilogue to World of Warcraft
After the heroes of WoW save Azeroth for the upteenth time, the world is finally at peace. The Horde and the Alliance no longer enemies but rather reluctant allies, working together to rebuild the war-torn world. The players are retired adventurers that, in spite of having amassed untold riches during their travels, are having a hard time adjusting to lives as a civilians. As a result, restless mercenaries seek to carve out domains, and a civil war between the recently-united lands of Azeroth looms over the horizon.

Luckily, some clever guy had a wonderful idea to dispel this threat, and make some coin wile they're at it. To occupy the heroes' time, he invent an addicting card game and gave away the basic set to all of the old heroes. That way, the adventurers can channel the OCD normally reserved for gathering arbitrary numbers of random objects into something harmless, yet profitable.

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My evidence for this? First, a heartwarming promotional image that shows kids from both Horde and Alliance races (as well as a Merloc) gathering around to play a game of Hearthstone.

Second, the fact that it's called "Heroes of Warcraft", in spite of villains like Gul'dan and Garrosh being class representatives, and the fact that all kinds of nasty guys can be summoned as minions. My theory is that the "Heroes of Warcraft" subtitle doesn't refer to the characters in the card game, but rather the characters the players are actually playing as; retired adventurers.

  • This theory is gathering strength, with the flavor for The Grand Tournament mentioning that the titular Tournament is actually the old Argent Tournament from Wrath of the Lich King, having changed over some period of time into a sort of good-will sporting event a la The Olympics

The reason the game's Microtransactions are so understated is because it's really just a promotional tool for World of Warcraft
My guess is that Blizzard doesn't expect to make that much money off the game; they just want to keep "World of Warcraft" a household name, and maybe see if they can get casual players interested in the MMO.

And you know what? That's actually a pretty good plan.

  • Considering how WoW is already the most-popular and highest-grossing MMORPG of all time, with something like 10 million currently-active players (which is below its high point, mind you) you've probably got it exactly backwards - they made it a Warcraft game to sell it to the WoW players.

  • More likely, it's an attempt to keep WoW's money train rolling. WoW has been around so long that anyone who is capable of having their fill of generic gameplay already has. The game's population spikes whenever a new expansion comes out, then peters out over the next few months. At this point, the game's unheard-of longevity is its biggest barrier to remaining relevant. Hence, Hearthstone is a way to harness the WoW IP and use it to start a new IP before the eventual day that WoW itself is no longer worth active development.

There may be new classes in the future
They have been hinting on a Monk class... but sometimes, there are some new vacant classes ripe for the taking. Does anyone notice that there is no Death Knights, or even Lich King as a card? Well, Arthas might be a good candidate for that kind of class... Also not to say things off, but do we have a class that specializes in raising the dead? Most of the 'undeads' seems to fall in Neutral ones, thematically it would make sense if they fall into the Death Knight or sorts (because we already have Warlock for demons, and demons aren't undeads

  • Almost certainly Jossed as of Knights of the Frozen Throne, where Death Knight did appear as its own class, but only as overpowered uncollectible cards.

Guesses For Standard Themes
With the Year of the Kraken underway, what will we see next?

  • Year of the Boar
  • Year of the Dragon
    • Confirmed, this is 2019
  • Year of the Crocolisk
  • Year of the Devilsaur
  • Year of the Beetle

How funnel cakes will be referenced in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan:

The protagonist of the "Mulligans" shorts is either schizophrenic or has a multiple personality disorder.
The various Hearthstone characters only appear when no one else is around. When someone is there, he stops talking to them, and they usually disappear without actually walking off screen unless taking a specific action (for example, Uther and Gul'dan going for cheese cubes).

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