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Hearthstone’s The Witchwood builds on Year of the Mammoth’s best ideas

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed Hearthstones next expansion, The Witchwood. The set includes 130 new cards, including new Keywords that introduce new mechanics and strategies. The expansion also adds another single-player experience that will follow a similar formula to Kobolds & Catacombs Dungeon Runs, building on one of the games best ideas from the Year of the Mammoth. Hearthstone is the leader in the digital card game market. The free-to-play game for PC and mobile depends on microtransactions, which largely come from selling digital card packs. New expansions drive sales of cards. This set also marks the start of the Year of the Raven, a rotation in the games standard cycle that will move cards from older sets out of eligibility in Hearthstones Standard formats. The Witchwood is themed around witches and the Worgen, the Warcraft universes take on werewolves. To follow this theme, at least one of the new cards will change in your hand every turn. The below Pumpkin Peasant will switch from 2 attack and 4 health to stats of 4/2. Pumpkin Peasant. The set also introduces the new Echo keyword. You can play an Echo card multiple times a turn as long as you can afford them. It also adds the Rush keyword. This is more of a definition for types of cards that already exist, which can attack other minions on the turn you play them but not enemy Heroes. This is different from a current keyword, Charge, which lets minions immediately attack minions and Heroes. Charged Devilsaur is an example of a card that has the Rush ability already, but defining Rush as a keyword means well see it more often. Other cards introduce effects at the start of the game. Genn Greymane reduces the cost of your Hero Power by 1 if you only have cards that cost even numbers of mana in your deck. The Witchwood has its own single-player mode, Monster Hunt. Like Dungeon Runs, it has you going up against bosses, up to eight, and you can supplement your deck with new cards after victories. However, while Dungeon Runs had you playing as Hearthstones 9 established classes, Monster Hunt has you picking one of four new classes made just for this mode. At the end of The Witchwoods trailer, Blizzard also teased a new Hero Card. These were introduced in 2017s second expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne. They replace your Hero Power with a new one and grant you additional armor and other benefits. The Witchwood doesnt have a big, flashy new card type like last years expansions so far. Journey to UnGoro brought us Quests, Knights of the Frozen Throne gave us Hero Cards, and Kobolds & Catacombs had Legendary Weapons and Spellstones. But The Witchwood is taking a lot of the best ideas from those sets — notably the Hero Cards and Dungeon Runs — and expanding them. Both of those additions were popular with fans during the Year of the Mammoth (2017s Standard rotation), and now Blizzard is giving players more of them. Meanwhile, cards like Genn Greymane carry over the tradition of deck-defining cards like Knights of the Frozen Thrones three Princes, notably Prince Keleseth. The Witchwood may not be as ambitious as past sets (at least from what weve seen so far), but its cards and features are bringing enough new ideas that — coupled with the standard rotation — will bring a big change to Hearthstone

First 'Hearthstone' expansion of 2018 delves into ‘The Witchwood’

You know the drill: 135 new cards with several new playstyles. Weeks after laying out this year's plan for Hearthstone, Blizzard has announced the first expansion of 2018: The Witchwood. Once it lands, the Year of the Raven will begin -- and all of 2016's cards will be retired from the main Standard format. The haunted forest-themed set will introduce 135 cards and several card types that introduce new styles of play. And like the last two content additions, players will get solo content for free. The announcement didn't give a release date, but if the last two years are any indication, The Witchwood will likely drop next month. As in every expansion, the set's big additions are the new card types. The first, Echo, allows you to play as many copies of a card as you have the mana for. In their example, the Hearthstone team presented a 3-mana minion with the ability, which would make it useful later in the game, allowing you to drop an extra one on turn six or two on turn nine. The second new card type, Rush, allows minions to attack on the same turn like the existing ability Charge, but only other minions. Finally, there are some Worgen (read: werewolf) cards that shift while they're in your hand. In the Hearthstone team's adorable lost-in-the-woods promo video, they also showed off a couple of the new legendary-rarity cards that promote innovative deck archetypes. One reduces your hero power to cost one mana if you've only included even-numbered cost cards in your deck, while another upgrades your heroic ability if you've only got odd-priced ones. In other words, these will enable new gimmicky decks that may or may not pan out, but people similarly underestimated cards like Razakus that ended up dominating the meta for awhile. As the Hearthstone team promised while outlining the 2018 schedule, The Witchwood will come with its own single-player content: Monster Hunt. This first debuted with last year's second set, Knights of the Frozen Throne, but the most recent expansion Kobolds and Catacombs kicked solo adventuring into high gear with the Dungeon Run. Much like that adventure, Monster Hunt will have players defeating bosses and drafting decks as they go, though they'll have to wait two weeks after the set launches before this mode goes live. If you're really keen to learn the cards, the Hearthstone team will host a livestream on its Twitch channel at 11am PT on March 26th where it will start revealing them.