Hearthstone‘s next expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, has officially been revealed. In last night’s announcement, we were treated to card reveals, theme details, and even more information about next month’s release.
The setting for the expansion is one of the most iconic areas of the Warcraft universe, Northrend. It’s a frozen area filled with the undead scourge. The centerpiece of Northrend is Ice Crown Citadel, where the iconic Lich King sits on the Frozen Throne.
Most of the cards in the set will have at least thematic influence from that lore. But the set will also contain a large number of Deathrattle cards in the vein of Curse of Naxxramas.
The big news from the set is that death knights are coming to Hearthstone. But instead of just one class, every class will get a new death knight hero card. These cards replace the existing hero, give it a new hero power and some armor, and have a battlecry that will affect the board when its played.
Only one of these was showed off in the announcement, Hunter’s Deathstalker Rexxar.
The new hero power is Build-a-Beast, which crafts a custom “Zombeast” card from the stats, mana cost, and effects of existing beast cards in the same sort of method as a Kazakus potion.
The set will also add a new keyword, Lifesteal. Like Poisonous, it replaces existing text that is already on some cards. Lifesteal refers to cards which heal your hero as it does damage, and will feature heavily in the set.
This four mana 3/2 Charge minion also has Lifesteal, meaning every time it does damage it will heal your hero for that exact same amount of damage.
Lifesteal will also feature on spells like Spirit Lash. This card has more flexible healing options, as it will hit as many minions are as on the board for one damage. That means that for two mana players can heal for up to 14 life, as well as doing some AoE damage.
The first legendary revealed was Prince Keleseth. This card rewards a deck being built around it, something we have seen with cards like Kazakus and Hemet in the past. Whether it works remains to be seen. This card would seem to fit in a minion-heavy deck, and those decks are unlikely to want to skip turn two a lot of the time.
Shallow Gravedigger was the first example of the set’s Deathrattle flavor, and definitely will give you flash backs to Naxxramas.
The set will be the first to include free single player content alongside the card release. These missions are in the vein of what was previously released through Adventure sets, before those were scrapped for this year.
In Frozen Throne, the missions center around the iconic World of Warcraft Icecrown Citadel raid. Players fight their way through eight bosses, in encounters that will apparently be harder than the standard Adventure mode battles. The Lich King himself will be the final battle.
The prologue mission will reward you with one of the death knight hero cards for free, incentivizing players to go through the single player content.
Card reveals begin July 24, with the standard 50 card Pre-order bundle already available for $49.99. As usual, this will be the best value if you want to buy packs from the new set.
The Frozen Throne game board was also revealed, with tons of potentially fun clickables to interact with while your opponent is roping on turn one.