Be careful out there!
Blizzard revealed the latest expansion for its digital card game market leader Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft during its BlizzCon event in Anaheim, California, today. bringing back lapsed players. It’s called Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The new cards not only give players new packs to buy, but they can keep current card-slingers engaged while potentially new players. The expansion will be out in early December.
Gadgetzan first appeared as a city in World of Warcraft when the online game launched in 2004. It’s a port town run by goblins in a desert area called Tanaris. It was one of the first neutral cities players could explore, meaning that both the Alliance and Horde faction were allowed inside.
In Heartstone, Gadgetzan is a bustling town with a dark side … well, it looks like the town is mostly engulfed in darkness. Gangs have taken over, and crime rampant.
The new expansion’s major contribution is tri-class cards. Before, cards were either neutral or class-specific. These new ones can be put into decks of three classes. For example, one card can work for Mages, Priests, or Warlock decks.
A new tri-class legendary, Kazakus, has the unique ability to create a new spell as long as you don’t have any duplicate cards in your deck (making this a natural for Reno Jackson works). You craft the spell by choosing mana cost and effects from a series of three choices. No other card in Hearthstone’s two year-plus history has done this.
Other new cards include the Priest minion Kabal Talonpriest, a 3/4 card that can give another minion +3 health with its Battlecry effect. The Piranha Launcher is a 2/4 weapon that summons a 1/1 Piranha every time a player attacks with it. The Rogue class minion Lotus Assassins has 5/5 stats and starts with Stealth, and it regains Stealth every time it kills an enemy minion. The Kabal Courier is another tri-class card. It’s a 2/2 minion that allows players to Discover a random Mage, Priest, or Warlock card. I Know a Guy is a Warrior spell that Discovers a random Taunt minion.
Expansions add over a hundred new cards to the game, which can shake up the kinds of decks and classes people use. And Hearthstone can use a shakeup, especially for players tired of seeing the same Shaman decks in the Standard format while classes like Paladin and Priest continue to struggle.
The last new set of cards released for Hearthstone came via the One Night in Karazhan adventure, which came out in August. Adventures add fewer cards, but they also offer unique fights against computer-controlled opponents. However, many fans were critical of One Night in Karazhan, complaining that its new cards did little shake up the game while negatively impacting the Arena mode by making the already powerful Mage even stronger.