Hearthstone’s next expansion is Ashes of Outland, includes new class

"You are not prepared."

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The dreams of the Hearthstone community were realized today when Blizzard introduced its new expansion, Ashes of Outland.

In addition to a plethora of new cards, Ashes of Outland will also add the game’s first new class. Inspired by Illidan Stormrage, Ashes of Outlands will introduce the Demon Hunter class.

The team also revealed that the new year for Hearthstone will be dubbed the Year of the Phoenix. The first expansion released during the Year of the Phoenix will introduce duplicate protection across all card rarities. This means you won’t have to worry about opening three copies of a common, rare, or epic card until you have every card of equivalent rarity from a set. The Year of the Phoenix will also include new ways for us to play with a number of events similar to last year’s FIRE Festival.

Undoubtedly the most exciting part of today’s announcement is the information surrounding the Ashes of Outland, namely the new class, Demon Hunter. Much like their World of Warcraft counterpart, the Demon Hunter in Hearthstone looks to be an in-your-face damage dealer.

The Demon Hunter’s Hero Power is called Demon Claws. It will only cost one mana and gives the Demon Hunter +1 attack for a turn. This is similar to Druid’s Hero Power, which makes sense because Illidan and Malfurion are brothers.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

A new class isn’t the only thing shaking up Hearthstone with Ashes of Outland. On March 26 the Priest class will receive major updates and a number of its cards will be moving to the Hall of Fame. Priest is getting new cards that aim to fill the gap left by those leaving for the Hall of Fame. Priest will also have a number of its current cards edited to rebalance them. In addition to the Priest cards moving to the Hall of Fame, Leeroy Jenkins, Mountain Giant, Mind Control Tech, Acolyte of Pain, and Spellbreaker will all join the Hall of Fame when Ashes of Outland launches.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The team also plans on revamping Hearthstone’s ranked system. Instead of just being a numbered star system, players will now be able to climb from Bronze to Diamond. Players will be reset to Bronze at the beginning of a season but will earn stars faster based on how well they did in the previous system. The new ranked system will debut alongside a plethora of rewards that you can see in the image above.

You can look forward to playing Illidan and all the goodies coming with Ashes of Outland when it launches on April 7.