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Hearthstone – ‘United in Stormwind’ Expansion

The next expansion to Hearthstone will launch on August 3rd and will include 135 new cards, new features, the Fire Festival event, and changes made to the Battlegrounds game mode. Read here to find out more!

The next expansion to launch during this ‘Year of the Griffin’ season of Hearthstone will be called ‘United in Stormwind’. Similar to the way that the last expansion ‘Forged in the Barrens’ focused very heavily on the Horde, this new expansion will be more centered on the Alliance. Aside from a standard addition of 135 new cards, there will likely be a fair number of cards that will become obsolete or may be changed for balancing. There will also be some new card features that Hearthstone players should know about.

First, there will be a new type of card called ‘Questlines’. These are somewhat like the ‘Quest’ cards introduced in the Journey to Un’Goro expansion, and the Sidequest cards introduced in the Descent of Dragons expansion, but there is an important difference. With these new ‘Questline’ cards, instead of attempting to meet a fairly challenging condition to get a powerful bonus, instead, the player will be given a series of conditions to meet and will be given minor bonuses along the way. Hopefully, players will see this as an improvement, as the old system of handling Quest cards could from game to game be very unpredictable in terms of success, with Quests giving either a huge upper hand or an annoying burden.

Next, there will be another new card type introduced. The keyword with these new cards is ‘Tradeable’, which means that the card can be traded back into the player’s deck for the cost of one mana in exchange for a different card. For example, there will be a 3-mana minion card called the ‘Rustrot Viper’ that has a Battlecry (activates when the minion card is played) that destroys the opponent’s weapon, but is also tradeable so that if you’re playing against an opponent that very rarely uses a weapon (such as the Priest or Warlock), then you can return the ‘Rustrot Viper’ back to your deck to draw a different, hopefully, more useful card.

There will also be new weapons added that are being called “Profession Tools” and will act as a passive bonus for the player. These new weapons won’t have any attack power, but will still have very powerful abilities, such as the Warlock’s ‘Runed Mithril Rod’ which will reduce the cost of all cards in the Warlock’s hand by 1 after drawing four cards. Coupled with the Warlock’s strength of card drawing, there is a lot of potential for synergy.

Currently available for pre-purchase, the ‘United in Stormwind’ mega bundle includes 80 card packs (each containing 5 cards), 5 golden card packs, two random golden legendary cards, an alternate Mage hero called Lady Katrana Prestor, her card pack, an alternate Battlegrounds Bartender, and Battlegrounds perks.

There will also be several updates to the Battlegrounds game mode. First, on July 15th a new hero will be added, called Kurtrus Ashfallen. This hero’s special ability is passive which allows them to add powerful bonuses to their minions’ attack and health by purchasing a certain number of minions in a single turn. The Shudderwock hero is being temporarily removed from the pool of playable Battlegrounds heroes, while the Lich King is being put back into the roster. Some heroes are having their ability changed in some minor way, apparently to improve balance, such as making Edwin VanCleef’s and Illidan Stormrage’s abilities a little bit stronger, although some heroes are having their ability changed completely, such as Dinotamer Brann, whose ability used to be refreshing the tavern with Battlecry minions, but will become a new passive ability that rewards the player with a Brann Bronzebeard card once per turn upon playing 5 Battlecry minions.

Finally, there will be a new event called the Fire Festival, which starts on July 6th. There will be legendary quests to complete which rewards the player with up to six Year of the Phoenix card packs, and a unique hero skin for Malfurion.

It should be noted that while there is a fair amount of information out about the new expansion and what cards players can expect, it’s still about a month away before the next expansion actually launches and so it is possible, particularly with cards, that some elements may be somewhat different when finally released. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

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