Blizzard has revealed information about the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, which will kick off the upcoming Year of the Dragon. As ever, the new update, which will release on April 9, will introduce 135 new cards, as well as a handful of new mechanics.
The most important of those new mechanics is Twinspell. These are spells that, once cast, will create a copy of themselves which will then be placed back into your hand, ready to be played again next turn, essentially allowing for four versions of the same card to be featured in each deck.
Elsewhere, you’ll have Schemes to work out and Lackeys to be bossed around. The former work similarly to the spellstone cards introduced as part of the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion, but are more passive, increasing in potency for every turn you hold them in your hand. Lackeys are relatively weak 1/1 minions, but each will come with a Battlecry to boost its impact, and other cards are able to boss them around, making it easy to summon them and turn the tide of a match in your favour.
An early look at the new expansion has also offered a glimpse at some of the new Legendary minions being introduced into the game. Kalecgos is a ten-mana 4/12 Mage card, who, while active on the field, reduces the cost of the first spell you play each turn to zero. If that weren’t enough, it’ll help you out by letting you discover a spell as soon as you play it.
Your move: Here’s what we know about Hearthstone’s new Year of the Dragon
Elsewhere, Chef Nomi is a neutral minion, but if you can hold off from summoning him until the end game, you’ll be able to summon six 6/6 minions alongside him.
Finally, Arch-Villain Rafaam is a seven-mana 7/8 Warlock card. He comes with a taunt, which makes him a bit of a roadblock, but his Battlecry allows you to throw out your strategy if things aren’t working out, replacing your hand and entire deck with Legendary minions. It’s definitely a last-ditch option, but it sounds like a way to sow a little bit of chaos into a game. You can check out the rest of the new cards revealed so far in the gallery below.
Narratively, Rise of Shadows will launch Hearthstone’s first year-long piece of story content. It’ll focus on many of the villains that you’ve done away with in the past, a little like Marvel’s Sinister Six or League of Evil Mutants. Their plan is a mystery for the moment, but we’re likely to get our first look at it next month.