After many teasers, Blizzard has announced their new expansion for digital card game Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows. This expansion will launch The Year of the Dragon, which will see a large shift in the meta of the game. It will also see the first time that they will create a year-long arc, with Rise being just the first of a three part story focusing on some of Hearthstone and Warcraft’s most iconic characters.
RAFAAM, THE SUPREME ARCHAEOLOGIST has begun the League of E.V.I.L, dead set on destroying the mages of Dalaran once and for all. To help him, he’s recruited Hagatha the Swamp Witch, Madam Lazul, King Togwaggle, and the mighty Dr. Boom. To go with their diabolical schemes will be new cards, new mechanics, new game modes, and potentially some of the most radical changes the game has ever seen.
This release is not just about in with the new, it is also about out with the old. With the shift to the new year, old expansions Kobolds and Catacombs, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Journey to Un’goro will rotate out of standard and into wild.
In addition, two cards from the previous year are going into the Hall of Fame: Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater. These cards, introduced in The Witchwood expansion, changed the makeup of the game by introducing decks like Odd Paladin and Even Warlock into the meta that ran rampant at tournaments and on ladder. They’ll be taking with them most of the cards that play on the special odd and even rules like Glittermoth and Black Cat, as well as some classic cards like Doomguard (who’s aggressive play-style runs counter with the way modern Warlocks operate), Divine Favor (which has always been a massive nuisance for control players), Naturalize (another overly aggressive mismatch with its Druid class). Unlike the cards in the rotating out expansions, these cards will be refunded their full value without having to be removed from your collection.
The new expansion launches April 9th, so you have three weeks to pre-order. This expansion has two options for pre-order: one at the $50 price point and one at $80. Both will get you packs (50 and 80 respectively), a legendary card, and the exclusive card back. The $80 option ensures your legendary is golden and
introduces Madame Lazul as a new Priest hero.
The Year of the Dragon is a new era for Hearthstone, and we’re tentatively excited. What do you think about the new cards? Are you already deck-building, or are you trying to squeeze as much out of that Odd Rogue as you can before it goes to wild? Sound off in the comics!