Our Hearthstone Witchwood guide contains a card list, details of new keywords Rush and Echo, Monster Hunt info and release date information.
The next Hearthstone expansion was revealed by Blizzard yesterday evening, and it looks as though we can look forward to a feast of spookily-themed cards when the new content hits the game at some time in the next month or so.
UPDATE: 23RD MARCH 2018
Two new cards were revealed in yesterday's developer update and we've added them into the relevant card section below. Here's the lowdown on the latest additions if you just want a quick overview:
Warpath. "You get a scaling AOE spell that you can adjust to the current situation. Whether that's clearing a whole board of Murlocs or triggering your Acolyte of Pain a bunch of times."
Face Collector. "If you have nine Mana you might plan to play it several times, but if that first Legendary you get is particularly awesome, maybe you change your mind and play that instead!"
Here are the standout facts about The Witchwood:
- Release date: Thanks to the pre-order page, we know that the expansion will be released on or before 30th April 2018.
- Cards:The Witchwood set will add 135 new cards to the game, and will consist of the usual collection of creatures, minions and spells spread across individual classes and the Neutral card pool.
- Single-player: The Witchwood will bring a new single player adventure to Hearthstone! It's called Monster Hunt and plays very much like Dungeon Run but with unique heroes not found anywhere else in the game.
- New keywords: There will be a total of two new keywords added in the next expansion, called Echo and Rush.
- Pre-purchase: If you pre-purchase the 50 card expansion bundle, you'll receive a bonus 20 packs for free.
- A total of six new cards (plus a tease of the aforementioned Shaman Hero card) were revealed in the trailer.
- Echo minions can be played repeatedly on a single turn, just as long as the player has enough Mana - and the desire of course - to keep playing them.
- The Rush keyword is functionally the same as Charge, but associated cards can only attack other minions on the turn they're played, not the enemy hero. This is to stop the keyword from becoming overpowered (think Grim Patron Warrior).
- A new Start of Game mechanic is also being added. If you have a Start of Game card in your deck and the requirements of that card are met, you will get the benefit of its bonus effect from the very first turn of each match.
- There is a new card back to collect for pre-ordering, and a new card back is also rewarded for completing an as yet unknown challenge related to Monster Hunt. Most likely it involves completing the mode with all four unique heroes.
- Thanks to the pre-order page, we know that the expansion will be released on or before 30th April 2018.
- The next batch of card reveals will begin with a stream that's scheduled for 11:00am PT (7:00pm GMT / 8:00pm CEST) on Monday, 26th March 2018. The stream will be viewable on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel (we'll embed this here nearer the time).
The upcoming card set is stuffed to the brim with creatures and spells from the haunted forest of The Witchwood, where Queen Witch Hagatha rules supreme. Shaman fans should be particularly keen to hear about this new character incidentally, as she represents the sole new Hero card that will be added with Hearthstone's expansion.
Rest assured there's plenty of content for everyone here. Not only are we getting the usual injection of 135 new cards to freshen up the meta, but The Witchwood will also introduce an evolution of Dungeon Run in the form of Monster Hunt. In this single-player content you'll guide one of four unique explorers through the woods, battling creatures and gathering new powerful cards.
In our Witchwood guide, we've got the lowdown on absolutely everything to do with the new expansion, from new keywords to the new cards themselves. You can expect this article to be updated continuously in the run-up to launch and beyond, so make sure you check back regularly for updates.
First up though, here's the announcement trailer that was published:
The Witchwood Cards
Here are the cards that have been revealed so far. There is also a short FAQ on some of the obvious queries these cards have prompted, and that have since been answered by Blizzard:
Neutral cards - The Witchwood
|Pumpkin Peasant||Phantom Militia||-||Genn Greymane|
|-||-||-||Baku the Mooneater|
Druid cards - The Witchwood
Mage cards - The Witchwood
Priest cards - The Witchwood
Rogue cards - The Witchwood
Shaman cards - The Witchwood
Warrior cards - The Witchwood
Here are some quick confirmed facts about the breakdown of the cards that will be released with The Witchwood expansion:
- Each class will receive two class-specific Legendaries. This has been an established pattern for some time now.
- Cards that effectively already feature the Rush mechanic (such as Charged Devilsaur) will not have their keyword text changed. Unstable Evolution will similarly not be updated to accommodate the Echo keyword.
- With regards to those special cards that demand an even or odd costed deck, cards costing 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 Mana will count as even. Cards costing 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 will be considered odd (naturally enough).
Baku the Mooneater Interactions
With regards to Baku the Mooneater, this character's Battlecry will only affect the hero power you begin the game with. It won't interact with any of the Hero cards introduced with Knights of the Frozen Throne.
How does Baku affect your Hero Power in the first place? The effect is basically identical to the transformation effects provided by our old favourite from The Grand Tournament, Justicar Trueheart.
Here's how the Justicar shook things up back then, and how Baku will similarly affect the meta!
- Druid - Dire Shapeshift: Gain 2 Armor and +2 Attack this turn
- Hunter - Ballista Shot: Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero
- Mage - Fireblast Rank 2: Deal 2 damage
- Paladin - The Silver Hand: Summon two 1 / 1 Recruits
- Priest - Heal: Restore 4 Health
- Rogue - Poisoned Daggers: Equip a 2 / 2 Weapon
- Shaman - Totemic Slam: Summon a Totem of your choice
- Warlock - Soul Tap: Draw a card [Cost reduced to 1 Mana]
- Warrior - Tank Up!: Gain 4 Armor
New Shaman Hero card: Hagatha!
Back in August's Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, Blizzard introduced the concept of Hero cards to Hearthstone. All nine heroes in the game received an alternative character with a devilish new hero power to help define them.
In the Witchwood expansion the Shaman only will receive a new Hero card, and it's the Witch of the Witchwood herself, Hagatha. Hagatha is described as a dark shaman who has twisted the woods around Gilneas.
Sadly we do not have a full description of either Hagatha's name or her mysterious powers just yet. Suffice to say we'll bring you a further update on this intriguing character just as soon as we get some more information from Blizzard!
The Witchwood: Rush and Echo keywords
We've got a separated page dedicated to the new Witchwood keywords, but here are some quotes from the developers on how they work, taken straight from the trailer above:
”Echo means you can play the same card multiple times in the same turn. If you had six Mana, you could play Phantom Militia twice. If you had nine Mana you could play it three times. All kinds of crazy Echo cards are in the set.”
”Rush minions can attack other minions as soon as they enter the battlefield. It's not like Charge - only against minions. It's too powerful with Charge, but with Rush you can hit minions hard and fast.”
The Witchwood: Monster Hunt
Dungeon Run was an incredibly popular single-player addition to the game when Kobolds and Catacombs was released in December last year, and the team is building on that concept with Monster Hunt!
This new mode will see four intrepid adventurers (who are, in fact, completely new characters for the game) embark on a trip into the grim and foreboding forest. You'll need to steer your choice of hero through eight deadly encounters, before coming out top in a showdown with the mode's final boss.
Along the way you'll collect cards and other treasures that will strengthen your deck even further. It's all very reminiscent of Dungeon Run, but make sure you check out our complete Monster Hunt guide for all the latest info on the mode as it's revealed. We'll be adding in tips and tricks for beating the various encounters there as well, so expect lots of updates.
What fate will befall Dungeon Run when the new expansion arrives though? Well, the team has confirmed that Dungeon Run will still be available to play once The Witchwood arrives. As for its future after Kobolds and Catacombs rotates next year, that's less certain. As the designers themselves have acknowledged though, there's plenty of time to work that one out.
The Witchwood: Community Reaction
A few well known streamers have already provided some thoughts on the reveal so far. Here's Trump's initial thoughts:
1. Militia Commander - This seems awfully powerful and will likely see play in a Tempo Warrior deck. Trump hopes we'll see more excellent Warrior cards printed to go along with this.
2. Phantom Militia - This has a new keyword Echo and so can be cast multiple times in the same turn (like Unstable Evolution). Repeats do not get affected by buff cards, only on the first play and there'll be no Mana reduction shenanigans either. There is, however, a potentially huge combo between this card and Summoning Portal. The stats may not be enough to make this one competitive though.
3. Pumpkin Peasant - An interesting card that does something in your hand! Switches between human and worgen form and always starts off as 2 / 4. Trump thinks it seems like a poor choice of card in most decks, and just doesn't have enough stats - if those stats were any better though, it would probably be just a little bit too good.
4. Azalina Soulthief - Trump thinks this could be strong in an aggro deck, but it is expensive compared to, say, Divine Favor. By the time you can play Azalina, the opponent's probably emptied their hand quite a bit. Trump doesn't see Azalina seeing much play, given what we currently know about the expansion.
5. Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greyname - Both interesting cards, and like the Princes you have to build your deck in a very unique way. These are even better than the Princes though, because you're not dependant on pulling them into your hand in the same way you are with Prince Keleseth, for example.
Genn Greymane decks
Paladin will probably like this, and Handlock could be back too. Think of cards like Mountain Giant and Twilight Drake, and the ability to tap for cards for a cheaper price right from the start of the match.
Baku the Mooneater decks
Mage has a lot of odd cost cards, and Elementals are generally odd-costed as well. An upgraded hero power will allow players to sustain themselves right up until Frost Lich Jaina shows up, although note she will not get an upgraded hero power herself.
.On Turn 2, Hunters can push the button and do three damage to the face. Running 1s, 3s and 5s need not be bad for an aggro deck, and this class could be an answer to Cubelock.
Here's what Kripparian thinks of the reveals so far:
Genn Greymane - The stats are bad on this card and your deck is potentially worse for having only even-cost cards in it. Nice for combos, but combos might be very restricted. An interesting card, but could be more powerful in Wild, where a smaller card pool isn't quite so problematic. Kripp notes that a Hero Power costing one Mana fills in those “odd” gaps quite nicely.
Baku the Mooneater - A very expensive card but Kripp considers odd Mana cards to be more powerful, simply because one-Mana cards are typically great. He suspects either Genn or Baku will prove the most powerful in the end.
Pumpkin Peasant - A decent card for a Common and pretty interesting. Lifesteal is a powerful mechanic but these cards have typically sucked. This one does suck a bit too, but it's not so bad.
Phantom Militia - Kripp notes that the copy you have in your hand is removed if you don't spend it on the current turn (an important point). Like Trump, Kripp sees huge potential between this card and Summoning Portal. Don't forget the Taunt affect which protects the portal as well.
Militia Commander - It's a strong mechanic. A lot of the time when playing Rush cards in other games you're fighting for control of the board and it suits Warrior well. As a midrange threat this certainly fits the bill for Kripp.
Azalina Soulthief - Kripp complains that it is too much like Divine Favor which he would like to see banished to the Hall of Fame. It's just not fair for Control opponents. This is worse because of the high cost of playing the card, but it is likely going to have a home in Aggro Paladin. A very meta-dependant card and it will certainly hurt Combo and Control decks.
The Witchwood: Pre-order information
You can pre-order The Witchwood expansion over at the official site. Packs are only available after the expansion has been released, which will take place on or before the 30th April 2018.
The pre-order bundle costs £44.99 (or equivalent in your local currency), and contains 70 packs, rather than the 50 you typically get from a bundle of this cost. You'll also receive a special card back if you pre-order as well.
The Witchwood: New game board
As you surely could have guessed for yourself by now, The Witchwood will add a new playable game board to Hearthstone. Expect the usual secrets and interactions to mess around with at launch, but here's how the board looks in screenshot form:
The Witchwood: New card backs
There are two new card backs coming with The Witchwood and we've highlighted them for you below. The one on the left is for pre-ordering the expansion, while the one on the right is related to Monster Hunt. If it works the same as Dungeon Run, you'll receive this card back when you beat the challenge with all four of the unique heroes:
The Witchwood: Trailers, gameplay footage and cinematics
Here's all of the video content that's been released by Blizzard so far. Although we've posted it at the top of this page, we've also included the original reveal just to make sure we have everything in one place!
We'll be back with a fourth update of our Hearthstone Witchwood guide very shortly.