The Year of the Phoenix officially commences with the release of Ashes of Outland, the new expansion for Blizzard’s smash-hit digital card game Hearthstone. Inviting players to venture beyond the Dark Portal and into a brutal, war-torn realm, Ashes of Outland shakes up Hearthstone with 135 new cards that feature the wicked monstrosities, grim personalities, and fel-infused spells and artifacts native to this shattered world.
The Demon Hunter, Hearthstone’s first ever all-new class since launch, arrives today, alongside Ashes of Outland. Suffused with chaotic fel energy and capable of fearsome feats of soul magic, the Demon Hunter’s unique playstyle encourages unbridled aggression, with an emphasis on direct hero attacks and powerful demon minions. The Demon Hunter class and corresponding Illidan Stormrage Hero—as well as 30 of the class’s specially tailored cards—are available free to all players who complete the free four-part Demon Hunter prologue single-player campaign.
Ashes of Outland introduces a total of 135 new cards to the game, including Primes, a new type of Legendary minion designed to make a lasting impact on a match. In their initial forms, Primes are strong, economical early-to-midgame minions; upon leaving the board, they’re shuffled back into a player’s deck in a vastly upgraded form. Players will also have to contend with Imprisoned Demons. Initially “dormant” for two turns and unable to attack or take damage, these powerful minions unleash match-shifting effects once they’re activated.
The Year of the Phoenix Commences
The Year of the Phoenix brings some of the biggest fundamental changes that Hearthstone has seen to date (with more to come):
- Ranked Mode Overhaul—The new year kicks off with an improved ranked play experience, including reworked matchmaking and a fun progression system loaded with meaningful rewards.
- New and Returning Player Experience—New players who ascend through the beginner ranks—as well as those returning to Hearthstone after an absence—will receive a free competitive deck of the class of their choice.*
- Improved Card Pack Experience—The popular “no duplicate Legendaries” rule now applies across all card rarities. Players will no longer receive more than two copies of any Common, Rare, or Epic until they’ve acquired two copies of all cards of that rarity in a set.
- Free Solo Adventure—Later in the expansion cycle, all players will get a free Solo Adventure set in the shattered world of Outland. Join the iconic Illidan Stormrage and his cadre of elite Demon Hunters as they battle the dreaded Rusted Legion!
- Priest Class Overhaul—Big changes have come to the Priest class to better accentuate its class identity. Six of the class’s cards have moved into the Hall of Fame, with all-new ones introduced in their place.
- Battleground Updates—Hearthstone: Battlegrounds continues to evolve in the Year of the Phoenix, starting with Illidan’s recent arrival in the roster of playable heroes.
Players who log in to Hearthstone can complete a chain of quests to earn a total of six card packs: three from Ashes of Outland, and one each from Descent of Dragons, Saviors of Uldum, and Rise of Shadows. The first quest in the chain is available today, with the second and third to follow on April 8 and 9. Furthermore, all Hearthstone players get the Legendary minion Kael’Thas free if they log in between now and June 29.
Ashes of Outland is available today on Windows and Mac PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android tablets; and mobile phones. Ashes of Outland card packs are currently winnable in Hearthstone’s Arena mode, and players can purchase them with in-game gold or real money at the same prices as Hearthstone’s other card packs.
For more information on Ashes of Outland, visit the official site.
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