Two weeks. That’s all the time you have left before Hearthstone’s big Descent of Dragons update crashes into servers in all of its haughty, scaly might.
The latest expansion to the gold standard of digital card games brings in a lot more than a stack of new cards to mess around with – and a lot more than winged lizards, even.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Hearthstone expansion
It wouldn’t be a new Hearthstone set if there weren’t a bunch of new mechanics and features to influence your deck strategy, would it? Of course not – and Descent of Dragons leans heavily on its heroes vs villains motif with what it’s got.
On the heroic side, we have cards like Learn Draconic and Clear the Way – all (thus far) cheap one-mana spells that don’t do anything immediately, but stay in effect all game until their reward triggers are fulfilled. In the case of Learn Draconic, you get a beefy 6/6 Dragon as soon as you’ve spent eight mana on other spells – others trigger off not taking damage for a turn (Paladin, of course), or getting two attacks in with your hero.
On the E.V.I.L. side of things, everything’s centered around the marquee character of the new set – Galakrond, the evil ancient progenitor of Azeroth’s dragons. Versions of him are available for Warriors, Priests, Warlocks, and Rogues, all costing seven mana – and all of it upgradeable over time.
Once played, Galakrond takes over the fight as the player’s hero avatar. But even before then, his presence is felt through a line of Invoke cards. On their own, they trigger activations of his hero ability, which differs based on what class he’s currently played in. But with Galakrond in the deck, they also serve as a way to empower him. The more the player Invokes his name, the more powerful he becomes.
There are also, of course, old mechanics given a bit of polish. Long-time Hearthstone players are well used to cards that care about Dragons in hand – now all under the Dragon Breath category.
New Game Modes
There’s a whole new way to play Hearthstone. Blizzard’s answer to the Auto Chess genre will be found in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, an eight-player variant with mode-exclusive heroes and abilities, making you draft cards, upgrade them every time you get sets of three, and send them crashing automatically into the enemy team.
Though the card game format of Battlegrounds is a huge deviation from what we’ve come to expect with Auto Chess and Riot Games’ Teamfight Tactics, the overall principles and flow of game should prove familiar to those that have played its peers before.
Previews and Release Date
Blizzard’s hype-building engine has been going on strong for a while now, with new cards getting previewed constantly as we head towards Descent of Dragon’s release date. The public gallery is available on their site – and you can expect the usual community influencers to also have previews and streams leading up to the release date.
As for the release itself: December 10th 2019. That’s the second Tuesday of next month. And as usual, there’ll be pre-purchase bundles and specials available to the Hearthstone aficionado. Good luck chasing the set legendaries!