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A New Hearthstone Expansion Has Been Announced: The Witchwood!

Blizzard announced a new expansion for its hit digital card game, Hearthstone, today. The Witchwood will launch in April and will include dozens of new cards and new single player monster hunts!

 

All About Being Scary

 

Whispers of the Old Gods focused on creatures from beyond reality. Knights of the Frozen Throne heavily referenced the corrupting influence of the Lich King and the creatures of Northrend. The Witchwood is a horror and mystery themed set that revolves around haunting spirits and shapeshifting Worgren (werewolves).

Shapeshifting

Shapeshifting cards swap qualities while they are in your hand. The initial preview card simply swaps attack and health, but other designs are very possible. I would expect to see at least one legendary that does something SUPER whacky.

Echo

 

Echo is a keyword that allows a spell or creature to be cast multiple times during the same turn that that it is cast. This type of mechanic has been used in other card games before and Blizzard has printed a card already that was close enough. Unstable Mutation is a card that cost one mana and could be repeated. It feels like it was a test to see how it worked. The preview card is a mediocre taunt creature, but I am certain that echo cards are going to have a significant effect on the decks people build once The Witchwood releases.

Rush

Rush is a keyboard that is very similar to Charge. Creatures with Rush can attack the turn they come into play, but they can only attack other creatures. That is a subtle difference, but it is once that will likely result in some very aggressively costed creatures.

New Legends

The preview cards for the Witchwood include two legendary Worgren that will fundamentally change the game once the set is released. They both allow players to start the game with an enchanted hero power if they are included in a deck with only odd or even costed cards. These cards are incredibly powerful and will create entire new deck archetypes for players to use.

Pre-orders are live!

You can pre-purchase cards for the expansion starting today. $49.99 will net you a total of seventy packs of cards.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Has Released!

Developer: Blizzard

Platform: PC/Mobile/Tablet

Release Date: 8/10/17

Teaser Trailer:

Website

What is Hearthstone?

Hearthstone is one the first and most popular digital collectible card games. It was created as a spin-off of the popular Warcraft and World of Warcraft game series but has since taken on a life of its own. Hearthstone has set the tone for game design in online games the same way Magic the Gathering has influenced all other physical collectable card games.

Hearthstone is primarily a player against player game, where each player takes turns as they slowly collect mana crystals to play cards in their hand. These cards represent iconic Warcraft monsters, spells, items, and events that can be used to reduce the health of your opponent from 30 to 0. The art style and design is meant to bring out a very casual and relaxed feel. The vary name “Hearthstone” refers to the World of Warcraft item that let you return to the safety of an inn.

Where Magic: the Gathering distinguishes their cards using color to represent various themes and mechanics. Hearthstone cards are primarily divided into groups based on iconic Warcraft heroes and their classes. Players build a deck by selecting a hero and using cards based on that heroes’ class as well as a collection of neutral cards. Each hero also has a unique “hero power” that can be used once a turn to support their style of play. It is this combination of hero based deck building and the steady build up of resources to play cards that makes Hearthstone a lot easier of a game to play than Magic: the Gathering for some family gamers.

What also sets apart Hearthstone and other digital card games from their physical brethren is their free-to-play model of game expansion. Playing games as various heroes initially unlocks cards from that class and completing quests, tasks that require specific actions during a game, reward you with coins that can be used to purchase more packs of cards. While you can use money to purchase additional packs, daily quests and a weekly casual event known as a “Tavern Brawl” provide a steady stream of resources. There is also process for taking extra cards and turning them into a flexible resource for crafting specific cards. There is something satisfying to someone who has played for years with paper card games, to be able to turn a pile of extra cards into that elusive card.

What is Knights of the Frozen Throne?

Knights of the Frozen Throne is the 5th large expansion for Hearthstone. With this expansion comes cards that feature iconic characters and themes from World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Arthas the Lich King and his lieutenants of the Icecrown Citadel are available as creatures to summon along with legions of monsters and spells inspired by the treacherous Northrend.

 

Why is the Awesome?

A single player story mode featuring The Lich King himself will be available for all players. The challenge is a series of matches versus computer opponents with special hero cards and decks based on iconic villains of the Icecrown Citadel. Players who conquer this gauntlet of challenges are rewarded with a free legendary card that is a card type unique to this set…

Death Knight Hero Cards

This set features a new set of legendary cards that represent the nine iconic heroes falling under the sway of the Lich King. These cards have an immediate effect when they are played and replace each character’s hero power with an evil, and significantly more powerful, effect. Personally I am excited for the corrupted

Priest hero: Shadow Reaper Anduin

Rarity adjustments geared towards newer players

While announced several weeks ago, this set marks the starting of new features that are geared towards newer players. A legendary card is guaranteed to be opened in the first ten packs of any set purchased, and duplicate legends will never be opened. If a player would open a legendary that a player already has, the game replaces it with a different legendary that the player does not own. These changes were made in response to player feedback on the frustration of opening duplicate legends or very few epic or legendary cards at all.

Lifesteal, a familiar mechanic comes to Hearthstone

Players of Magic: The Gathering and other card games will know this by names like Lifelink and Drain. Cards with Lifesteal heal your hero for as much damage as they deal. This ability is put on creatures and spells, and some death knight hero cards give lifestealing weapons or hero powers. While life gain by itself is not a strong ability, pairing it with a creature or a removal spell can never be a bad thing.

 

Divine Shield and Deathrattle

Two mechanics that are at the core of Hearthstone are getting a large infusion of cards from this set.

Divine Shield is an ability on a minion that prevents all damage from the first time it is attacked or hit by a spell. Not only are there a lot of divine shield minions that have been added, but several paladin cards benefit from divine shield minions going into the fray.

 

 

Deathrattle is an ability that happens when that minion dies, and Knights of the Frozen throne has a lot of creatures that care about when they die. New to the theme are creatures that care when they die and punish opponents who aggressively destroy your creatures.

 

Why should you pick up this game?

Hearthstone, and its recent expansion Knights of the Frozen throne, is a game that is easy to learn and play for computers, tablets and mobile devices. It offers one of the best free to play experiences around and its short games are perfect for gaming opportunities when time is short or physical space is limited. With it being an online only game, it is important to note that chat and social interactions are opt in, which is important for younger family gamers.

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