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Expansions are major card set additions to the game of Hearthstone. Expansions introduce large amounts of cards into the game, in contrast to adventures, with expansions featuring around 130-145 new cards and adventures only around 30-45 cards. Cards introduced into the game through expansions are referred to as expansion cards, and these are obtained chiefly through card packs, crafting, or Arena rewards.
As of early 2017, the developers plan to release three expansions each year, each featuring around 130 new cards. Starting with Knights of the Frozen Throne, expansions will also feature optional solo-player content in the form of Missions, effectively integrating an adventure into each expansion.
Hearthstone's first expansion was Goblins vs Gnomes, released in December 2014.
- 1 List
- 2 Expansion cards
- 3 Expansions and adventures
- 4 Notes
- 5 Speculation
- 6 Trivia
- 7 References
List[edit | edit source]
- For a table of all card sets, see: Card set table
Goblins vs Gnomes[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Goblins vs Gnomes
Goblins vs Gnomes (often abbreviated as GvG) was the first expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The second infusion of new cards to be added to the game, the expansion features 143 new cards (123 of which are collectible), with a strong mechanical theme, and introduced the Mech minion type, as well as debuting the long-awaited spectator mode. The expansion was debuted in an arena-only launch event on December 4th, 2014, with the full launch taking place on December 8th/9th/10th.
The Grand Tournament[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Grand Tournament
The Grand Tournament is Hearthstone's second expansion, launched August 24th, 2015. With more than 130 new cards, the expansion features a strong theme of Hero Power-related effects, as well as seeing the introduction of the first full new keyword since the game's release - Inspire - allowing minions to grant special effects each time the player uses their Hero Power. It also introduced a new non-keyword mechanic, Joust.
Whispers of the Old Gods[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Whispers of the Old Gods
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
Released December 1, 2016, Hearthstone's fourth expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, features 132 new collectible cards. Set in the bustling, lawless port city of Gadgetzan, the expansion features characters from the city's three ruling crime families - the brutish Grimy Goons, the assassins of the Jade Lotus, and the shadowy spellcasters of the Kabal. With their own minions, spells and weapons, each family is formed from an allegiance of three different Hearthstone classes, resulting in multi-class cards, usable by heroes of any of those three classes.
Journey to Un'Goro[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Journey to Un'Goro
Journey to Un'Goro is the fifth expansion to Hearthstone, featuring 135 collectible cards. The expansion was released on April 6, 2017 in the Americas region, and April 7, 2017 in the Europe and Asia regions. The expansion features the new Adapt mechanic, the new Quest card type, and adds the new Elemental minion type. Set in the primordial mists of Un'Goro Crater, the expansion sees Elise Starseeker leading an expedition to explore the strange wonders of the region. The denizens of the region include dinosaurs, raging elementals and unusually active plants, many of whom have learned to adapt to the needs of the situation with impressive new powers.
Knights of the Frozen Throne[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Knights of the Frozen Throne
Released August 10th, 2017, Knights of the Frozen Throne is the sixth expansion to Hearthstone, featuring 135 collectible cards. Set in the frozen wastes of Northrend, the expansions sees each of the nine classic heroes of Warcraft fall under the sway of the Lich King, becoming undead death knights in his service. The expansion features the introduction of a new card type in the form of the hero card, which replaces the player's hero portrait and Hero Power, as well as the Lifesteal keyword. Knights of the Frozen Throne is also the first expansion to feature a new type of free, optional single-player content in the form of Missions, which take the player through the halls of Icecrown and rewards card packs and a random legendary hero card.
Kobolds & Catacombs[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Kobolds & Catacombs
Kobolds & Catacombs is the seventh expansion to Hearthstone. It was released on December 7, 2017 and is the final expansion in the Year of the Mammoth. This set consists of 135 collectible cards, along with the new Recruit keyword, legendary weapons for all classes, and offers the new Solo Adventures option of Dungeon Run. This expansion was deeply inspired by classic fantasy and dungeon crawling adventure games, with several references to games such as Dungeons and Dragons within the cards, and revolves around Kobolds and treasure.
The Witchwood[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Witchwood
The Witchwood is the eighth expansion to Hearthstone. It was released on April 12, 2018 and is the first expansion in the Year of the Raven. This set consists of 135 collectible cards, featuring three new keywords: Start of Game, Echo, and Rush. It also added a new game mode called Monster Hunt, a single-player mode akin to Dungeon Run that features four exclusive playable classes. The expansion also celebrated the release of Lunara, a new Druid alternate hero. The release of The Witchwood ended the previous Standard year, the Year of the Mammoth.
Expansion cards[edit | edit source]
How to get[edit | edit source]
All expansion cards that are currently part of Standard format are obtainable through the same means: in card packs, through crafting, or as Arena rewards. Golden versions of Standard expansion cards may also be found in the Highest Rank Bonus chest at the end of each Ranked season. Wild format expansion cards are only available through crafting.
Notably, expansion cards are obtained through game-wide means, rather than content-specific means such as completing specific boss encounters, as with adventure cards. Expansion cards are added to the game in relatively large batches, becoming immediately available through all normal means, while adventure cards are added in small batches as each wing of the corresponding adventure is released. This tends to have a far larger impact on the game's meta.
Standard format[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Standard format
When the first new expansion is released each year, all card sets that weren't released in the same year or the year prior are removed from Standard format. Cards from these removed sets are termed Wild cards and can only be used in Wild format matches. For details on how the Standard format year works, see The Standard year.
Expansions and adventures[edit | edit source]
Starting in 2014, only a few months after the game's release, Hearthstone presented two different forms of content: adventures and expansions. The former featured a small number of cards and a substantial solo experience, with special bosses and challenges; while expansions brought far larger amounts of cards, but without solo content of any kind. Additionally, while adventures' cards were earned through defeating bosses, expansions' cards were earned through regular means such as crafting and card packs.
Despite these differences, in more general parlance, adventures can be considered equivalent to expansions in other games, with substantial changes to the game's basic play experience that far exceed the impact of a regular patch. For example, Curse of Naxxramas, the game's first adventure, is commonly considered its first 'expansion'.
Between the release of the game in March 2014 and the start of the Year of the Mammoth in spring 2017, Hearthstone saw an alternating pattern of adventures and expansions. However, in early 2017 the developers announced plans to integrate future adventure content into expansions. Starting with the second expansion of 2017, each release will feature optional single-player missions, themed around the expansion and serving to illustrate its story, setting and characters. These missions will be free of charge, but may not award cards in the same way or numbers in which adventures have until now. Further details will be announced later in the year.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- By the time an expansion is released, Team 5 are "already working a lot on future expansions", including "not only the next [expansion] but the one after that as well". Former Game Director Ben Brode states that the team always have "3-ish expansions in development", although it is likely this also includes adventures. According to Senior Producer Yong Woo, the developers are always "trying to get ahead of the curve". In April 2018, shortly after the release of The Witchwood, Ben Brode stated that the next set had passed through final design, the stage in development during which Team 5 focuses on refining the balance and clarity of the set's new cards. The set after that was currently in the final design process, and the set after was in the initial design phase, during which Team 5 comes up with the ideas for the set's general theme and for the cards and their mechanics. All in all, there are usually at least three sets that Team 5 know about but which players don't yet know about.
Speculation[edit | edit source]
- Future expansions may bring increased level caps for heroes, although this has not yet been the case.
- World of Warcraft already has six expansions: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor and Legion. However, only one of the Hearthstone expansions so far have matched with one of these (Wrath of the Lich King), with a preference for original themes.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Eric Dodds has jokingly referred to a potential The Lich King vs Battle Pets expansion.
- "There was another idea out there... well actually it wasn't really an idea out there, but I was kinda wishing it would have been [...] because it's one that I think would be super awesome, is the idea that maybe we could do something like, you know, "THE LICH KING... VS... BATTLE PETS" [...] of course I've only put that up there to have a little fun with it, but on the other hand as I've been looking at it and thinking about it, it... it's starting to grow on me, actually..."
References[edit | edit source]
- Hearthpwn: Fireside Chat - BlizzCon Panel
- A Year of Mammoth Proportions!. (2016-02-16).
- Yong Woo, live on stream. (2014-12-13).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-09-7).
- Ars Technica (2018-04-18). Blizzard's Ben Brode Answers Unsolved Hearthstone Mysteries. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-04-20.
- The Grand Tournament announcement. (2015-07-22).