The Hearthstone Zodiac
The release of the first expansion each year marks the start of the new “Standard year”.
Each Standard year (or “Hearthstone year”) is symbolised by a zodiacal constellation formed from stars in Azeroth’s night sky. The lore behind this is that the new year is heralded by a new constellation coming into alignment above Azeroth, marking “a time of jubilation and raucous revelry wherever Hearthstone is played”. Each year will be marked by a different beast.
The current year’s constellation acts as a symbol for Standard format, as seen on the Standard format selection button on the Play mode screen.
While most of the constellations have not yet been revealed, some can be seen during the introduction sequence for each new Standard year. In theory, this would indicate the constellations for future Standard years, but so far this has proven not to be the case: according to the original depiction, the Year of the Kraken should have been followed by the Year of the Zhevra/Unicorn (since that constellation followed the kraken), but the subsequent year’s animation instead replaced the zhevra with a mammoth. It is possible that some of the revealed beasts may feature in future years, but it is more likely the developers will choose a new beast each year to fit the current theme or desired tone.
The below table charts the known constellations, according to the latest depiction.