Recently, Blizzard announced the newest expansion for the ever-popular card game, Hearthstone. The expansion, titled “Rise of Shadows,” is available for pre-purchase now!
Previewing the Rise of Shadows Hearthstone Expansion
Revel in Glory, in the Year of the Dragon!
This past year, we saw improvements to the ranked system, and a number of balance changes (looking at you Hunter and Warlock players, especially Quest Rogue players). The Year of the Raven produced insane decks and tons of hilarity. From DR Hunter to Odd/Even Paladin, from Cubelock to Toggwaggle Druid, the creativity was endless.
And with each rotation comes cards that become members of the Hall of Fame.
After dominating the meta for the past year, odd and even decks will be left to gather dust. Genn Greymane and Baku, the Mooneater have had their heyday. In addition to both Genn and Baku, seven more cards will join the Hall of Fame. Naturalize, Doomguard and Divine Favor will be moving to the Hall of Fame.
Druid, Warlock and Paladin cards respectively have been some standout cards that dominated in past metas. A followup with Genn and Baku, the odd and even card cost cards that debuted in The Witchwood will also be moving to the Hall of Fame. Say goodbye to Gloom Stag, Black Cat, Glitter Moth and Murkspark Eel.
Mark your calendars, because the Year of the Dragon is upon us!
Newest Expansion: Rise of Shadows
The next expansion for Hearthstone will take on several new twists. Dark, nefarious, and unscrupulous twists, mind you. Before we jump into the dark abyss, there are some familiar elements that are still in play.
We ventured deep into the gold-laced catacombs and took candles from Kobolds and Catacombs. We were able to hunt down the evil, swamp witch Hagatha from The Witchwood. Finally, we managed to stump the ever-lovable and devious mind of Dr. Boom from The Boomsday Project.
What do three big meanies have to do with the next expansion?
Well, another familiar face has come back to make the evilest group of villains ever! Arch Thief Rafaam is back. You know him as the ultimate opponent from League of Explorers. This time, he’s back, with a vengeance. Creating the League of E.VI.L., he has joined forces with villains from past expansions. Now, they’re plotting to take over the magical floating city of Dalaran! We, the heroes, must unite to defeat this wretched force. If we could handle the Lich King and his army of the Scourge, the League of Evil will be a piece of cake.
New Mechanics and Features:
Twinspell is a brand new mechanic coming to Hearthstone! What does it do exactly? Let’s find out!
Twinspell allows spells to add a copy of themselves to your hand after they have been cast. Essentially, you can gain two spells for the price of one. Or, you can think of this as a “draw two cards” feature. Above all, this new mechanic is not only cool in design, but AMAZING in relation to gameplay features.
One of the new cards revealed that features this mechanic is a Druid spell, called The Forest’s Aid! For eight mana, you get to summon five treants with two attack and two health. While this might be a slow card, it applies board pressure to your opponent due to the Twinspell mechanic.
Schemes and Lackeys
Now that we’ve gotten the new keyword out of the way, let us discuss two new card features for this set.
Schemes and Lackeys are two new features brought by Rise of Shadows. Another brilliant narrative piece brought by this new set are factions of the current hero classes. Siding with the League of E.V.I.L. are Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Warlock and Warrior. However, siding with the Dalaran Defenders will be Hunter, Paladin, Mage and Druid.
Unfortunately, the League of E.V.I.L.has the power of Schemes and Lackeys. Schemes are spell cards that gain power the longer you hold them in your hand.
For example, the Shaman spell card, Hagatha’s scheme, deals one point of damage to all minions. It upgrades each turn when you hold it into your hand. So at some point, you can nuke your opponent’s entire board with just one spell. Kind of crazy, right?
As for Lackeys, one card produces this feature as of now. A Rogue card, EVIL Miscreant, adds two random Lackeys to your hand as a result of a combo. Lackeys unleash insane and explosive battle cries against your opponent. These minions have 1/1 stat lines, and more will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Last Word on Rise of Shadows
Overall, Rise of Shadows looks amazing. We can expect a lot of goofy mechanics and gameplay features. So far, Twinspell is looking to be an insane effect and might have an impact on the meta. Maybe even in some hero classes. Schemes and Lackeys might be the lesser of the new effects, but they might have a certain niche with the upcoming set rotation. As for hero classes that might stand out, tough to say right now. Journey into Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds and Catacombs are arguably some of the best expansions ever in Hearthstone. A lot of hero classes lose quite a bit of power, but they will start fresh with the Rise of Shadows.
For more information, please visit https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/expansions-adventures/rise-of-shadows/.
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