Hearthstone’s latest expansion, United in Stormwind was launched about a week ago so if you haven’t logged on to Hearthstone, you might be greeted by all the new cards and synergies that your enemies throw at you.
The latest expansion brings 135 new cards, an all-new keyword (“Tradeable”), other new mechanics, and a refreshed Tavern Pass.
And if you grab the Mega Bundle pack, you’ll get 80 United in Stormwind packs to open, plus 5 golden United in Stormwind packs (which include golden cards to unlock), 2 random Golden Legendaries, Lady Katrana Prestor Alternate Hero, the Lady Katrana Prestor card back, perks for Hearthstone Battlegrounds that last until the next expansion, and the Ve’nari Alternate Bartender for Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Opening the Mega Bundle pack certainly took a while, but every unpack was exciting and I was quite lucky to be able to get lots of Legendary cards from the new expansion (compared to my previous unpacking experience with Forged in the Barrens).
Let’s have a look at what the latest expansion offers.
New “Tradeable” mechanic
Tradeable cards are what it means – tradeable. The moment you draw the card from your deck, you’ll given a choice to play the card or to trade it with another card from your deck randomly. You can trade it anytime you like, i.e does not have to be traded the moment you draw it from your deck. Trading it can be done by dragging and dropping the card to your deck for 1 mana cost.
This is a really good mechanic as it allows you to delay using the card too early in the game or hoping to get something else better suited for the situation you are currently in.
For example, I have the “Fire Sale” card on my Mage deck which deal 3 damage to all minions – a great spell to clear the board from Murlocs or Rush decks. However, if I realise that my opponent is using a Control deck or relying on a single powerful minion, I can trade this card away for another with just 1 Mana.
All Hero classes in Hearthstone now can have access to a Questline unique to the Hero. There are usually three chains of quests and completing one automatically starts the next chain. Complete all three quests and you’ll be rewarded with a final, powerful Legendary minion.
I’ve been playing a No-Minion Mage Deck and its latest Questline, Sorcerer’s Gambit synergise well as it requires you to Cast a Fire, Frost, and Arcane spell to complete the quest. The final reward is Arcanist Dawngrasp, a 7/7 Legendary Minion which gives you +3 Spell Damage for the rest of the game.
What a way to finish your opponents with the rest of your spells!
However, the most interesting Questline is the Priest’s Seek Guidance which will reward you with Xyrella, the Sanctified minion. Once you play her, a Purified Shard will be shuffled into the deck. Play this and you’ll get an instant win as the card reads “Destroy the enemy hero”, no questions asked, no fuss. I was surprised I fell into a loss with this one in one of my games (I took too long to finish my opponent).
While the Questlines are rewarding, they do gear your Hero towards a specific type of deck – which you may or may not like. For example, if you don’t have many spells of varieties in your Mage deck, then there’s no point in trying to complete the Sorcerer’s Gambit questline.
Apart from Tradeable and Questlines, there are also new mechanics like Mounts where the card would leave a Mount (minion) on the board after the rider (the buffed, original minion) dies. It’s great for Control decks but will work with any deck really.
In addition, the new cards are good and refreshing. The used-to-be-mighty Archmage Antonidas is now “Grand Magus Antonidas” that requires you to cast a fire spell for three turns in a row to trigger his ability: “Cast 3 Fireballs at random enemies”.
With the new cards, mechanics, and Questlines, I’m definitely quite happy to take a break from facing Warlock opponents using annoying Tickatus combo decks. Plus, there are new decks and stuff to explore as always.
From the games I’ve played ever since the expansion gets released, about 80% of the players seem to focus building their decks with the respected Questline. We’ll have to wait and see if there are more varieties and combos found using the new cards and synergies from United in Stormwind.
If you haven’t logged on for a long time (maybe because you hate meeting Tickatus on almost every game with a Warlock or other reasons), it’s definitely time to come back and have another look.