With the Year of the Raven on the horizon, Hearthstone is preparing the release of its newest expansion: The Witchwood. Slated for an April release, the set will contain 135 new cards, new key-word mechanics and themes, and a new single player mode. We shall give you a brief low down of what we know so far and our thoughts on the expansion as a whole.
First things first, let’s talk about the new keywords Rush and Echo. Rush is a similar ability as charge in the sense that the creature can attack as soon as its played. However, unlike charge, it can only attack other minions. This provides an immediate effect on the state of the board. In the case of Militia Commander, hitting the field as a 5/5, due to its battlecry, for 4 mana allows for control plays with temporary better than average stats.
The Echo ability shares similar properties to the Shaman card Unstable Evolution from Kobolds and Catacombs. As soon as you play a card with Echo, a copy of it is added to your hand so you can play it again and again, as much as you mana will allow. In the case of Phantom Militia, you can quickly put up a fair defense for just one card.
Along with new mechanics, a some new themes have been presented. The first are in the form of Odd and Even. Depending on if your deck is purely one or the other, certain cards will great you additional effects. For example, Baku the Mooneater will upgrade you Hero Power at the start of the game, much like Justicar Trueheart from set The Grand Tournament, if your deck has only odd cards. On the flip side, Genn Greymane will make you Hero Power cost (1) from the start of the game. Apart from those two legendaries, there have been a handful of class cards revealed that favour odd and even play. As the reveals keep coming, it will be interesting to see how the theme will reward players for doing so.
The second theme will be cards that change functionality whilst they are in your hand. The example given is Pumpkin Peasant. Each turn this card is in your hand, it swaps its attack on health. As a 3 mana 2/4 lifesteal, you can pick and choose whether you want to eat up the opponents aggressive, weaker minions or, play a dilemma threat for them to deal with. With more of these cards tipped for reveal soon, it will be interesting to see what effects will grace our hands.
The last thing featured in the announcement for The Witchwood is the new single player game mode called Monster Hunt. This mode shares some similar qualities to the Dungeon Run from Cobolds and Catacombs expansion. In this mode you will choose one of four unique heroes and fight through several encounters that will eventually lead to a boss fight. As with the previously mentioned dungeon run, you will be able to improve your deck after each encounter to improve your chances in the next fight.
So, as the earie light peers over the frightening forests of The Witchwood, it leaves us with eager expentations of wonder. From what we know thus far, the new mechanics further evolve the game of Hearthstone to new heights for interesting gameplay, it teases the creative players with new ways to build decks, and shows some love to the not so competitive players with an awesome new game mode to delve into. To top it off, upon release the wonderful team at Hearthstone will be rewarding players with 3 packs from The Witchwood expansion and a guarenteed Legendary. A very nice kick start for those who dare delve into the haunted wilds of the new set.
Keep checking back as we cover and review each card that is revealed and, we give insights on how the the standard rotation will affect the meta. And as always, smile and game.