It’s fair to say that Hearthstone fans expected an adventure announcement. The game’s been operating on alternating adventure/expansion cycle since The Curse of Naxxramas. What fans didn’t anticipate was how quickly they can expect to play it. Hearthstone’s Ben Brode revealed at Blizzcon yesterday that the new 45 card expansions “The League of Explorers”, will be available to play and purchase next week.
The League of Explorers will feature four wings in total, one less than usual, but more cards than any other adventure. This means that the price to card ratio is much higher than it has been previously, a fact which is especially good news for F2P players. Just like with the previous expansions, the Hearthstone team have provided a cinematic trailer to give players a flavour of what to expect.
In the past, adventures have been centred on iconic World of Warcraft raids and dungeons but The League of Explorers takes a different turn. The adventure sees us join the League of Explorers and team up with its members to track down pieces of the Staff of Origination. Each wing will be set around a different location in Azeroth, such as Stranglethorn Vale and Uldaman, where a different piece of the staff is waiting to be discovered.
That brings us nicely to the new keyword. Discover. The Discover keyword acts like a battlecry which presents the player with 3 options. The player can select an option and add it to his hand. Just like drafting in the Arena, the options the player will be able to choose from are cards your class could have added to their deck in constructed. This means you won’t have to worry about druids playing Flamestrikes and hunters finishing you off with Fireballs.
On the run up to past expansions Blizzard has slowly leaked the cards through social media and streamers. This time around Brode took to the stage shortly after the opening ceremony to reveal all 45 of the cards that players can get their hands on over the next 5 weeks. These cards are handily available for viewing in this Facebook album.
Ben Brode told attendees that anyone who purchases a wing of the expansion will receive the primary tools required for any good explorer. A hat and a torch. Explorer’s Hat is a 2 mana hunter card which gives a minion “+1/+1 and Deathrattle: Add an Explorer’s Hat to your hand”. Forgotten Torch is a powerful mage spell for 3 mana. The card acts like an overpriced Darkbomb, dealing 3 damage, but also shuffles an under-priced 3 mana Fireball into your deck.
Perhaps the most interesting card that was shown was Elise Starseeker. This legendary minion adds the Map to The Golden Monkey to your deck which in turn shuffles The Golden Monkey into your deck and draws you a card. When you finally play The Golden Monkey all the cards in your hand and deck become legendary minions. While this card is unlikely to see any competitive play, it’s sure to provide some great stories to tell your friends.
The expansion’s first wing “The Temple of Orsis” launches Thursday the 12th of November for 700 gold or $6.99. Players who reach rank 20 and above this month in ranked mode will also receive an exclusive League of Explorers themed cardback.