This expansion isn’t just closer than it appears, it’s actually here.
Hearthstone’s newest expansion, Journey to Un’Goro, is now live for PC and mobile. It adds 135 new cards to the digital, free-to-play behemoth. Expansions keep Hearthstone alive, giving players a reason to remain invested in the game (and giving them new card packs to buy). New sets have a dramatic effect on Hearthstone, changing deck-building strategies and introducing new archetypes.
This also marks the start of the Year of the Mammoth. The rotation of the standard cycle will make cards from older expansions ineligible in most of Hearthstone’s modes. Specifically, cards from the Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers sets are no longer allowed in Standard formats.
Journey to Un’Goro introduces new mechanics like Quests (which set players up with a specific goal, like summon 7 minions with Deathrattle, and gives them a big reward when they achieve it) and Adapt (which allows players to pick their own bonuses for certain minions, like adding extra health, attack, or giving them a Divine Shield).
THis is the first of three expansions Blizzard is planning for the year. Before, the developer would switch between large expansions like this (that introduce over a hundred new cards) and smaller sets with fewer cards called Adventures that included story-based battles against computer opponents. We won’t get any Adventures this year, but Blizzard has said that it wants to include Adventure-like story content in future expansions.