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Kobolds & Catacombs

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Kobolds and Catacombs banner.jpg
"Legends tell of a vast underground world, and the countless treasures that lie in store for worthy adventurers...
You've signed up the best, you're on a great quest to find the mighty mother lode. There's treasure galore, but perils in store, and construction that isn't up to code. Trespass with care, there's sure to be something rare, you can grab all the loot that you can handle! Such riches you'll own, but leave one thing alone...
YOU NO TAKE CANDLE!
And if you steal their light, you then must take flight, eluding each hazard and each trap! It's a chaotic race, as the monsters give chase, and all the while, you're trying to follow the map! They're gaining on you, your options are few, and you fear that you're never gonna get home! You've sought after wealth, will you lose all your health... to Kobolds & Catacombs?"

Kobolds & Catacombs is Hearthstone's seventh expansion. Featuring 135 new collectible cards,[1][2] the expansion released on December 7, 2017 in the Americas region and December 8 in the Europe and Asia regions.[3][4]

Hearkening back to the roots of classic fantasy and dungeon crawlers, the expansion sees players venturing deep into dark dungeons and winding catacombs in search of treasure and loot, encountering monsters, traps, rival adventurers, and — above all — slovenly, candle-obsessed kobolds along the way.

The expansion introduces the Recruit keyword as well as the Dungeon Run, a unique single-player experience where players defeat increasingly more challenging bosses using a deck of cards they acquire along the way.

How to get[edit | edit source]

Kobolds & Catacombs cards are available through the following options:

  • Kobolds & Catacombs card packs can be purchased through the Shop, with the usual prices and purchasing options.
  • Kobolds & Catacombs cards can be crafted for the usual amounts of Arcane Dust.
  • For as long as Kobolds & Catacombs is the latest expansion, the guaranteed card pack from each Arena run will be from the expansion. Once the next expansion comes out, second card packs will have a chance to be Kobolds & Catacombs packs.
  • The Highest Rank Bonus chest has a chance to award golden Kobolds & Catacombs cards.
Pre-order
  • Prior to the expansion's release, players are able to pre-order a bundle of 50 Kobolds & Catacombs packs for $49.99 USD/€49,99 EUR/£44.99 GBP/$64.99 AUD or equivalent.
    • The packs will not be available until after the expansion is released.
  • The pre-order bundle comes with a unique card back (see below).

Cards[edit | edit source]

The set contains 135 collectible cards in total[1][2] - 45 neutral cards and 90 class cards (10 per class). There are in total 49 Commons, 36 Rares, 27 Epics, and 23 Legendaries.

Each class receives two Legendary cards: a minion card and a weapon card.

Neutral[edit | edit source]

Common (22 cards)
Dire Mole(76996).png
Wax Elemental(77009).png
Plated Beetle(76995).png
Fungal Enchanter(77003).png
Toothy Chest(77016).png
Dragonslayer(77001).png
Kobold Apprentice(76993).png
Sewer Crawler(77013).png
Stoneskin Basilisk(77021).png
Boisterous Bard(76999).png
Sneaky Devil(77019).png
Shroom Brewer(77020).png
Hoarding Dragon(76912).png
Cursed Disciple(76990).png
Corrosive Sludge(77002).png
Trogg Gloomeater(77015).png
Green Jelly(77007).png
Fungalmancer(76991).png
Guild Recruiter(73323).png
Silver Vanguard(76884).png
Violet Wurm(77012).png
Sleepy Dragon(76980).png
Rare (9 cards)
Feral Gibberer(76864).png
Gravelsnout Knight(77006).png
Scorp-o-matic(77014).png
Shrieking Shroom(77018).png
Lone Champion(76883).png
Kobold Monk(77011).png
Ebon Dragonsmith(76992).png
Furbolg Mossbinder(76934).png
Hungry Ettin(76917).png
Epic (9 cards)
Rummaging Kobold(76879).png
Void Ripper(76973).png
Shimmering Courser(76985).png
Arcane Tyrant(76910).png
Carnivorous Cube(73325).png
Corridor Creeper(77000).png
Spiteful Summoner(76881).png
Grand Archivist(76909).png
Dragonhatcher(76964).png
Legendary (5 cards)
Zola the Gorgon(76880).png
The Darkness(76986).png
King Togwaggle(76895).png
Marin the Fox(73318).png
Master Oakheart(76983).png
Uncollectible
Green Ooze(77085).png
Grub(77091).png
Giant Rat(77070).png
Tolin's Goblet(73346).png
Wondrous Wand(73347).png
Zarog's Crown(73349).png
Cursed Revenant(77103).png
Darkness Candle(76988).png
King's Ransom(76896).png
Moss Elemental(77089).png
Golden Kobold(27212).png
Master Chest(73351).png

Class cards[edit | edit source]

Druid[edit | edit source]

Barkskin(76997).png
Ironwood Golem(76965).png
Oaken Summons(76966).png
Lesser Jasper Spellstone(73327).png
Greedy Sprite(76972).png
Grizzled Guardian(76894).png
Astral Tiger(76982).png
Branching Paths(76870).png
Twig of the World Tree(76878).png
Ixlid, Fungal Lord(76947).png
Uncollectible
Greater Jasper Spellstone(73345).png
Jasper Spellstone(73344).png
Choice cards
Eat the Mushroom(76875).png
Explore the Darkness(76876).png
Loot the Chest(76877).png

Hunter[edit | edit source]

Candleshot(76994).png
Cave Hydra(76981).png
Flanking Strike(76978).png
Wandering Monster(73332).png
Lesser Emerald Spellstone(76950).png
Seeping Oozeling(76882).png
To My Side!(76970).png
Crushing Walls(73319).png
Rhok'delar(76976).png
Kathrena Winterwisp(76873).png
Uncollectible
Wolf(76962).png
Emerald Spellstone(76951).png
Greater Emerald Spellstone(76952).png

Mage[edit | edit source]

Shifting Scroll(77017).png
Arcane Artificer(76908).png
Raven Familiar(76885).png
Lesser Ruby Spellstone(76897).png
Explosive Runes(76906).png
Leyline Manipulator(76932).png
Dragon's Fury(76963).png
Deck of Wonders(76942).png
Aluneth(73321).png
Dragoncaller Alanna(76960).png
Uncollectible
Fire Dragon(76961).png
Scroll of Wonder(76943).png
Greater Ruby Spellstone(76899).png
Ruby Spellstone(76898).png

Paladin[edit | edit source]

Potion of Heroism(76987).png
Drygulch Jailor(73329).png
Benevolent Djinn(76892).png
Lesser Pearl Spellstone(76900).png
Unidentified Maul(76886).png
Crystal Lion(76968).png
Call to Arms(76919).png
Level Up!(76867).png
Val'anyr(76949).png
Lynessa Sunsorrow(76920).png
Uncollectible
Guardian Spirit(76903).png
Guardian Spirit(76904).png
Guardian Spirit(76905).png
Greater Pearl Spellstone(76902).png
Pearl Spellstone(76901).png
Blessed Maul(76890).png
Champion's Maul(76889).png
Purifier's Maul(76887).png
Sacred Maul(76888).png

Priest[edit | edit source]

Psionic Probe(76989).png
Gilded Gargoyle(77005).png
Unidentified Elixir(73324).png
Twilight's Call(76959).png
Duskbreaker(76868).png
Lesser Diamond Spellstone(76954).png
Twilight Acolyte(76974).png
Psychic Scream(76911).png
Dragon Soul(73322).png
Temporus(76893).png
Uncollectible
Dragon Spirit(73356).png
Elixir of Hope(73341).png
Elixir of Life(73335).png
Elixir of Purity(73336).png
Elixir of Shadows(73337).png
Greater Diamond Spellstone(76956).png
Diamond Spellstone(76955).png

Rogue[edit | edit source]

Cavern Shinyfinder(76984).png
Cheat Death(76866).png
Sudden Betrayal(76865).png
Elven Minstrel(76946).png
Kobold Illusionist(73331).png
Lesser Onyx Spellstone(76953).png
Evasion(76933).png
Fal'dorei Strider(76914).png
Kingsbane(76967).png
Sonya Shadowdancer(76907).png
Uncollectible
Leyline Spider(76916).png
Spider Ambush!(76915).png
Greater Onyx Spellstone(76958).png
Onyx Spellstone(76957).png

Shaman[edit | edit source]

Crushing Hand(76998).png
Kobold Hermit(76922).png
Healing Rain(77008).png
Murmuring Elemental(76971).png
Primal Talismans(76923).png
Lesser Sapphire Spellstone(73330).png
Unstable Evolution(76931).png
Windshear Stormcaller(76921).png
Grumble, Worldshaker(76891).png
The Runespear(76869).png
Uncollectible
Greater Sapphire Spellstone(73334).png
Sapphire Spellstone(73333).png

Warlock[edit | edit source]

Dark Pact(76977).png
Kobold Librarian(76926).png
Vulgar Homunculus(76925).png
Hooked Reaver(77010).png
Lesser Amethyst Spellstone(76924).png
Possessed Lackey(76948).png
Cataclysm(76918).png
Voidlord(76913).png
Skull of the Man'ari(76930).png
Rin, the First Disciple(73326).png
Uncollectible
Felhunter(73348).png
Felhunter(73350).png
Felhunter(73352).png
Felhunter(73354).png
The Final Seal(73343).png
The First Seal(73338).png
The Fourth Seal(73342).png
The Second Seal(73339).png
The Third Seal(73340).png
Felhunter(73355).png
Azari, the Devourer(73328).png
Amethyst Spellstone(76927).png
Greater Amethyst Spellstone(76928).png

Warrior[edit | edit source]

Drywhisker Armorer(76944).png
Unidentified Shield(76935).png
Gemstudded Golem(77004).png
Kobold Barbarian(76979).png
Gather Your Party(73320).png
Lesser Mithril Spellstone(76872).png
Bladed Gauntlet(76969).png
Reckless Flurry(76945).png
Geosculptor Yip(76929).png
Woecleaver(76975).png
Uncollectible
Iron Golem(76937).png
Mithril Golem(77098).png
Spiked Shield(76941).png
Runed Shield(76939).png
Serrated Shield(76938).png
Spiked Shield(76940).png
Tower Shield -10(76936).png
Greater Mithril Spellstone(76874).png
Mithril Spellstone(76871).png

Dungeon Run[edit | edit source]

Kobolds and Catacombs Dungeon Run bosses.png
You press on through the dark, eager to find your way back to the surface. But try as you might, you find yourselves stumbling ever deeper down the endless mineshafts. You remember the innkeeper’s warnings: In their mad quest for the treasures of the earth, the kobolds and their reckless digging have awakened terrifying, powerful… Wait, did you hear that?[5]

Dungeon Runs are a new type of free single-player experience reminiscent of games from the "roguelike" genre.[1][6][7] At the start of a Dungeon Run, the player chooses a class and receives a starting deck consisting of 10 cards,[1][7] while their hero starts at 15 Health.[8] Each class has slightly different deckbuilding options, and the deckbuilding is a completely self-contained experience; the player doesn't need to already own any cards outside of the Dungeon Run.[6][8]

The player will use their deck to defeat 8 increasingly difficult encounters chosen randomly from a pool of 48 possible encounters.[1][7] Some encounters are rarer than others and will only occasionally appear.[8]

As the player progresses through the dungeon, they will acquire new cards to add to their decks along the way. Every time the player defeats a Dungeon Run encounter, they are given the opportunity to "level up" their deck by choosing one of three themed sets of three cards appropriate for their class.[1][7] These "loot piles" have synergistic themes and consist of cards pulled from all of Hearthstone's history, and since they are offered after every single encounter, it gives the player an almost unlimited amount of opportunity to customize their deck. The loot piles don't respect normal deckbuilding rules, meaning the player can choose to acquire more than two copies of a single card.[8] Occasionally, the player will also be able to pick from a selection of three Treasure cards - a total of 40[8] non-collectible cards and abilities created exclusively for the Dungeon Run and which would be too powerful for normal play.[1][7] Over the course of the run, the player will obtain 2 passive Treasure cards that provide a permanent benefit, such as buffing the player's minions or causing their opponents' cards to cost more mana, as well 2 extremely powerful active Treasure spells.[8]

The player will need to defeat all 8 encounters to clear the run. If the player is defeated by one of the bosses, they will need to start over on a different run using a new deck.[1][6][7]

Completing a full Dungeon Run with all nine classes will reward the Candle King card back.[1][7]

With 9 classes, 48 possible encounters, and 40 Treasure cards, Blizzard themselves aren't sure how many combinations are possible in the Dungeon Run,[8] and it has been described as Hearthstone's most replayable single-player content ever.[6]

Themes[edit | edit source]

Adventurers[edit | edit source]

Marin the Fox full.jpg
Treasure is the glittering heart of Kobolds & Catacombs, but to truly capture the fantasy of delving into dungeons, you need Adventurers to go after the shiny stuff![1]

With the promise of treasure and riches, the Catacombs attract a wide variety of fortune-seeking adventurers, all part of an organization known as the Guild.

Recruit[edit | edit source]

Recruit summons a random minion from your deck, and it shows up only on cards associated with the adventurer characters in Kobolds & Catacombs. Recruit introduces some interesting deckbuilding decisions, and because it sometimes comes with key limitations, such as mana cost, you’ll need to make careful choices about how many minions—and which ones—you include in your deck.[1]
Cards with the Recruit keyword immediately summon minions from your deck and put them into play. Some cards recruit minions that match certain conditions; others recruit randomly chosen minions.[5]

Kobolds[edit | edit source]

Drywhisker Armorer full.jpg
Kobolds are key figures in Kobolds & Catacombs; after all, they were the ones who dug all these miles of tunnels and chambers with their endless excavations. Despite living nearly their whole lives underground, kobolds don’t like the dark. They all wear a lit candle on their heads, and while they might jealously defend the piles of gold, jewels, and magical artifacts that can be found in their domain, every kobold’s most treasured possession is that bit of wax and wick.
If you venture into the catacombs, remember the refrain: You no take candle![1]

Monsters[edit | edit source]

Feral Gibberer full.jpg

No dungeon is complete without its wandering denizens of the deep, and as adventurers head further into the depths they'll find increasingly monstrous opponents.

Dragons[edit | edit source]

Duskbreaker full.jpg

The dungeons are rife with enormous, ancient dragons guarding hoards of treasure.

Elementals[edit | edit source]

Ancient, powerful, and volatile, a number of elementals also call the catacombs home.

Oozes[edit | edit source]

A number of oozes and slimes have found their way down into the dungeons.

Traps[edit | edit source]

Guarding the treasures of the catacombs are a variety of deadly traps.

Treasure[edit | edit source]

King's Ransom full.jpg
Azeroth’s rat-like, candle-loving cave folk—the kobolds—have been digging deep beneath the surface for millennia. Their catacombs stretch on for miles, wending through forbidden tombs and breaking through the walls of long-forgotten treasure vaults. A hoard of glorious loot is there for the taking—if you can survive the dangers that lurk in those uncharted tunnels![1]

Legendary weapons[edit | edit source]

From mighty magic wands to staves dripping with awesome primordial power, razor-sharp blades to the swords of legendary heroes, the catacombs hold special arms for every class. With trembling hands, you reach for the lock...[5]
Legendary adventures call for Legendary weapons! From mystical blades wreathed in eldritch energies to staves imbued with the wisdom of ancient ages, mighty magical weapons are the calling cards of great heroes.[9]

In Kobolds & Catacombs, each class will receive a legendary weapon, even classes that have never received weapon cards before. Some of these weapons are based on the artifact weapons from World of Warcraft: Legion.[8]

Spellstones[edit | edit source]

Lesser Jasper Spellstone full.jpg
There are stories of mysterious stones imbued with strange magics that can be found within the catacombs. Rumor has it that the Spellstones were forged for a dark purpose, but for now, they lie in the dust, inert, waiting for someone to awaken their power.[9]
"In ages old, when Ancients broke
Azari of the Legion spoke
To tempt the mortals: gems of power
The weak succumbed, their souls devoured."[10]

Spellstones are spells that become more powerful if the player fulfills certain criteria while the Spellstone card is in their hand.[8]

Unidentified items[edit | edit source]

Unidentified cards gain additional characteristics beyond their “base” qualities when you draw them.[5]

Representing the idea of finding an artifact in a treasure hoard but not knowing what it is, "unidentified items" are cards that gain one of several bonus effects once drawn from the player's deck.[8]

Rogue Secrets[edit | edit source]

Rogues have honed their cunning in the form of 2-Mana Secrets.

Trailer[edit | edit source]

Lore[edit | edit source]

Kobolds and Catacombs logo.png
Official site
Drawn by tales of untold riches, you have gathered a party of bold adventurers to find fortune in the catacombs. Now, shadows dance as your torches flicker and you descend into the mines. Just then, a gust of wind snuffs out your light. In the sudden dark, you make out a faint glow ahead, coming closer. An all-too familiar cackle echoes through the gloom.
“You NO take candle!”[5]
Announcement blog
Azeroth’s rat-like, candle-loving cave folk—the kobolds—have been digging deep beneath the surface for millennia. Their catacombs stretch on for miles, wending through forbidden tombs and breaking through the walls of long-forgotten treasure vaults. A hoard of glorious loot is there for the taking—if you can survive the dangers that lurk in those uncharted tunnels![1]

Tale of the Fox[edit | edit source]

Part 1[edit | edit source]

Tale of the Fox 1.jpg
“Tonight’s tale is about highest adventure and deadliest danger! It’s about heroes and villains, treacherous traps, hideous monsters, and—of course—treasure beyond imagination!”
The Bard’s voice cut through the din of the tavern as he spoke. Players laid down their cards, diners set down their forks, and Harth Stonebrew leaned against the bar, grinning. All eyes were drawn to the man standing before the hearth. The usual raucous laughter and friendly banter came to a halt as a hush fell over the tavern. Soon, all that could be heard was the crackling of the fire, and the subtle, mesmerizing melody that emerged from the Bard’s instrument as he played.
“A group of seasoned adventurers once delved into catacombs deep, in search of the fabled axe, Woecleaver! These heroes trekked through miles of mineshafts and tunnels chipped into the rock by busy kobold hands. They endured hardship, overcame dozens of deadly traps, and laid low scores of vicious monsters . . . but in the end? They failed, and hired someone else to get it!”
There were some wry chuckles from the audience, but the Bard was quick to speak over them, “This is the story of the man they hired. An adventurer’s adventurer, slicker than a greased murloc, and twice as slippery. A rogue, a thief, a treasure-hunting vagabond—and a hero! Of a sort. You may know him as Marin the Fox! And if you don’t? Well, by the end of my tale, you will!”
At the mention of Marin’s name, a chorus of cheers went up. A tale about Marin was always worth the listening.
“Let us set the stage. We join our hero deep in the catacombs. . . . “
Marin stepped into a large, stalactite-studded chamber and found that the path ahead was slashed in half by a deep chasm. The roar of an underground river could be heard far below, and mist rose from the depths to add a ghostly cast to the clusters of glowing blue crystals that sprouted from the walls. Lava oozed from a boarded-up hole in the wall of the cavern, lending the cavern a ruddy glow and mingling a sulfurous stink with the sweeter scent of water. Marin idly wondered how the planks blocking the molten rock avoided burning to cinders, and considered his options.
Fortunately, a bridge forded the river-carved rift ahead. Unfortunately, it was a knotted assemblage of fraying rope and weathered wooden boards hanging precariously over a dizzying drop. And there were no hand rails. Of course.
It didn’t look promising, but poison gas had flooded the only other route Marin was aware of, and backtracking would take hours. From the looks of the hastily-blocked lava tube, this path might not last much longer, either. The catacombs were like that—a little different every time you returned. And Marin returned often.
While the lure of riches was always enough to provoke a dungeon run on its own, this one had a special purpose. An old friend had asked Marin for help retrieving the legendary axe, Woecleaver. He recalled Oakheart’s words from a few days ago. . . .
“The Guild needs that axe, and we just can’t find the blasted thing. Aye, we spent weeks searching the catacombs and turned up nothing but kobolds and more kobolds. Everyone knows you’re the best, Marin, and I need your help. So, what does ‘the’ Fox say?”
“The Fox says, ‘How much does it pay?’”
Turns out it didn’t pay anything, but Oakheart had heard a rumor that Woecleaver was stashed with another treasure, one Marin had been after for some time—a large chest said to contain items of particular interest. Marin had agreed, and now here he was, faced with a marvel of kobold “engineering.”
The ropes groaned and the “bridge” danced drunkenly underfoot as Marin gingerly committed his weight to the splintering wood. The chasm yawned below, distressingly visible between the wide gaps in the planks, and a breeze whistled upward from the depths to tug him this way and that. With every nerve-wracking step, he tried his best to not imagine the bridge abruptly dropping out from beneath him.
As he neared the middle, a group of kobolds sprang from the tunnel entrance Marin was creeping toward. An ambush! Though, thankfully, not a very effective one—the kobolds revealed themselves too early and just stood around in plain sight. Still, there were several of them, and only one Marin, halfway across a decaying bridge that could give out at any moment. Not an ideal situation!
One of the kobolds was larger than the rest (which isn’t saying much), and this one sported a crown with an actual lantern in place of the typical kobold candle. The miniature monarch was rather more rotund than his fellows too—no doubt there were culinary benefits to being king.
The crowned kobold said something to one of his followers, then prodded it forward onto the swaying bridge. The additional weight was enough to make the fraying ropes groan in a most alarming way. Marin gritted his teeth.
The small kobold wrung its paws, puffed up its chest, and spoke, “Y-you. You Adventurer. . . .”
Confronted by a fully-armed hero who was much larger up close, the kobold forgot its lines. At a loss, it fell back on the classics. “You no take candle!”, it squeaked, then scampered back to the safety of its fellows.
The crowned kobold rubbed a paw across his face in exasperation. “I be King Togwaggle!” he shouted, his voice echoing oddly in the cavernous space. “These is being MY tunnels! YOU be dropping treasures now!”
Marin arched an eyebrow. “There’s a snag in your plan, your Highness. You see, I don’t have any treasure yet. How about you let me by, and I’ll go get some. Then we can have a do-over on my way out?”
Several of the kobolds saw the wisdom in this suggestion and nodded happily, candle flames bobbing. Their king, however, was not so easily convinced. Togwaggle’s eyes glittered malevolently. “If you not be dropping, kobolds be taking!” he shrieked, fist raised, “BE SUMMONING THE GOLEM!”
The audience gasped. Tavern chairs squeaked as patrons leaned forward, hanging onto the Bard’s every word. There was a long pause as the spell broke, and then someone asked, “Well?! What happened next?”
“Telling stories is thirsty work, friend. Think I’ll be taking a short break,” the Bard winked in reply. He dragged a large cauldron across the tavern floor. Scrawled across the black iron in white paint were four words: ‘HUZZAH FOR THE TIPPER’.[11]

Part 2[edit | edit source]

Tale of the Fox 2.jpg
“When last we left Marin, our intrepid hero was in quite the predicament: stranded on a failing rope bridge over a deep chasm, with his only path forward blocked by unfriendly kobolds. To make matters worse, there were strange, new magics afoot!”
The Bard began to play a fast, tense melody on his lute, the strings singing of danger. “The Kobold King demanded a golem, and his minions obeyed. Huge, yellowed candles on their heads dripped melted wax and they began to chant. . . .”
King Togwaggle grinned in wicked satisfaction as his waxmancers cast their spell. Hot wax ran in streams from the candles they wore atop their heads, but the candles did not shrink. Instead, seemingly endless runnels of wax wormed their way to pool together unnaturally. Marin watched with mounting concern as the wax flowed together into a humanoid shape a full head taller than himself. Finally, the suggestion of a face appeared, with lit candlewicks for eyes. Burning eyes fixed on Marin, the golem took a step onto the bridge.
“A candle golem. Of course. I don’t know what else I was expecting from kobolds.” Marin muttered.
Togwaggle cackled in delight. “You no take this candle, stupid adventurer!”
The old ropes creaked like a rusty hinge as the bridge sagged under the golem’s weight, and Marin was convinced he heard something snap. He backed away as the golem advanced. He’d never imagined that the simple-minded kobolds had been cooking up spells like this! But he had no time to ruminate on kobold ingenuity; he needed to deal with the golem quickly—the bridge creaked and juddered with every step the waxy monstrosity took.
Marin drew his sword as the golem lurched toward him, slashing experimentally when it came into range. His blade passed through the warm wax of its body with little effort, but the wounds left by his blade closed almost as soon as he made them. The kobolds let loose a ragged cheer.
The hulking wax golem reached out to grab Marin with its blocky hands. Marin dodged easily—the golem was clumsy and slow. But it was relentless. Marin cut it a dozen times, but the golem kept coming, its candle-flame eyes glowing brightly in the gloom.
It had eyes! That gave Marin an idea. He waited a breath, and let the golem get close. As it swung its arms out to grab him, Marin ducked into the golem’s embrace. At the other end of the bridge, the kobolds whooped and hollered, thinking that the foolish adventurer had made a fatal mistake.
If the golem was capable of expecting anything at all, it wasn’t expecting that. It overreached, its massive arms passing harmlessly to either side of the adventurer. This close to the thing, Marin could feel its unnatural warmth, and the smell of burning candle wax was overpowering. Before it could close its arms around him, Marin took a deep breath and blew. The candle flames in the golem’s eye sockets guttered out, releasing thin tendrils of smoke. It reared back in surprise, blinded and its prize forgotten—just as Marin had hoped. The kobolds groaned in disappointment.
Marin took advantage of its distraction to sheathe his sword and slip over the edge of the bridge. His stomach lurched as he swung down and dangled from one of the fraying ropes, the depthless chasm seemed to reach up and grasp at his boots. He swallowed and worked his way past the groping, flailing golem, careful not to get his fingers stomped as he edged past. He forced himself to give it a wide berth before levering himself back up onto the tortured span with a sigh of relief. He wasn’t far from the kobolds now. As he stood to face them, he drew and leveled his sword at the creatures. Time to say something dramatic and intimidating!
“Huh. . . . Do you hear that?”
Marin felt the hair rise on the back of his neck. He faintly heard an unnerving, dissonant babbling, as if from many mouths, echoing from the tunnel behind the kobolds. The kobolds exchanged expressions of horror. In all the excitement of cheering for their wax champion, they’d neglected to listen for other dangers. “Feral gibberers!” King Togwaggle gasped, fleeing to the bridge and leaving his subjects behind without a second thought.
The kobolds scrambled after their king, pushing past the adventurer onto the bridge in a mad dash to escape whatever was coming. The other end of the bridge was still blocked by the blinded golem, so they huddled behind Marin for protection, evidently forgetting their previous conflict in the face of a greater threat.
Marin rolled his eyes, working to keep his balance as the kobolds jostled him. “Are you serious? This isn’t going to work, you candle-tipped nitwits! The bridge can’t hold us all!”
The bridge agreed. It had bravely withstood the weight of a full-grown man and an overgrown candle monster. It had even put up with Marin’s gymnastic antics. But the weight of a party of quaking kobolds plus a golem and a hero was simply too much. The ropes released a long, crackling groan.
“Hold on!” Marin screamed. He dropped his sword and scrabbled for something to grab onto, but he was too late. The ropes beneath the golem gave way, cracking like a giant whip, and they all—adventurer, kobolds, and golem—plummeted into the murky blue glow of the chasm.
“They’re not dead.” The Bard told the wide-eyed audience. “Some of you look very concerned. I just wanted you to know that they live through this. The river isn’t as far down as it seems, and it runs deep.” The Bard chuckled, “Who kills the hero halfway through the story?”
He propped a boot on his black iron tip cauldron. “Now, that doesn’t mean all is well and good. Not at all. Things are about to get interesting.” The Bard smiled mysteriously. “I’ll just rest my voice a bit—I’m a little parched—and then you’ll find out what I mean.”[12]

Part 3[edit | edit source]

Tale of the Fox 3.jpg
The Bard plucked at his lute, playing notes that conjured an eerie foreboding from its strings. Delighted that the tale teller’s break was at an end, the tavern’s denizens gave him their rapt attention as music filled the air.
“Now, as I was saying, the misty depths of the chasm disguised how far down the river was. Quite a drop, no doubt, but not lethal. Marin was flung into that chilly tumult, tumbled and tossed, soaked to the bone. He caught a breath whenever the river would allow as it sped him through tunnel and chamber, ever downward—as all rivers run—deeper into the catacombs. The river spent its strength and grew sluggish and shallow enough for our hero to drag himself ashore. . . .”
The tumultuous trip downriver had been quite a ride, so Marin allowed himself some time to cough up a few buckets of water and catch his breath. He assessed the damage (wounded pride, some bumps and bruises), then got his bearings.
The river had deposited him on the edge of a cavern blooming with huge, glowing blue and purple mushrooms, and the air was thick with the rich, slightly acrid scent of them. He’d heard of such places—groves of glowing fungi with strange properties scattered throughout the catacombs—but he hadn’t had much occasion to explore them. The feared Fungal Lord Ixlid was rumored to frequent such places, which Marin felt was an excellent reason to avoid them.
As he crept among the oversized fungi, one of the mushrooms uprooted itself and toddled in Marin’s direction. It was almost cute, but Marin hadn’t remained in one piece all these years by trusting appearances. He kept his distance and tried to shoo it away.
“Surely you have better things to do? Vital mushroom business, perhaps? Over in that direction?” Marin said, hoping to dissuade the odd, squat creature’s approach.
The mushroom creature looked up at him as he spoke, and tipped its head to the side quizzically. It paused for a heartbeat, then it let loose a deafening, skull-piercing, shriek. The sound hit Marin like a physical force, and he stumbled away from it, wincing and clutching his ears.
Such a cacophony was sure to summon unwanted attention! Plugging his ears, Marin fled from the noise into a nearby tunnel, pursued by its shrill echoes.
As he put more distance between himself and the creature, the noise finally faded. Eventually, whole minutes passed in blessed silence. Marin allowed himself to breathe, thinking that perhaps he’d gotten lucky, and that the abominable shrieking somehow hadn’t attracted any passersby after all.
“Avast, ye tunnel lubber!” came a call from the tunnel behind him.
He was wrong.
Whenever Marin entered the catacombs, he expected to be surprised. Even so, the place still managed to catch him off guard from time to time. A kobold swaggered down the corridor toward him, waving a cutlass and dressed head to toe in the regalia of a ship’s captain. One of his hands had been replaced with the head of a mining pick. His captain’s hat bore a candelabra’s worth of lit candles, and more were woven into his whiskery beard, wicks burning.
Marin crouched into a fighting stance as the outrageously dressed newcomer and a motley assortment of equally eccentric followers approached. The kobold gave Marin a once-over with a delighted expression on his ratty face and sheathed his cutlass. “Well snicker me whiskers! Ye be a fellow pirate!”
Marin didn’t understand it. For some reason, strangers mistook him for a pirate all the time, despite the fact that he’d never set foot on a boat larger than a canoe in his entire life. Still, there could be an advantage in playing along. The kobold would surely know the area, and Marin might get an opportunity to “replace” some of the useful tools he’d lost to the river.
“Yes. Uh. . . aye. I’m definitely a pirate. Starboard! Yo ho, poop deck, rum, and so forth!”
The kobold narrowed his eyes and nodded, as if considering the wisdom of Marin’s words, then broke into a gap-toothed grin. “I be Captain Candlebeard. Welcome to the crew!”
Candlebeard gestured expansively with his pick-hand to the ragtag assortment of outlandishly-dressed kobolds that filed up behind him. None of them looked the least bit like a pirate, but that didn’t seem to bother Candlebeard.
“Back to the ship, ye scallywags! Mind the violet wurm burrows to the larboard side!”
The crew of “pirates” marched their way from fungal forest through a procession of corridors, the natural stone tunnels they traveled eventually giving way to timber-supported mine shafts. Candlebeard happily spouted nautical nonsense at Marin all the while, and it was obvious that Candlebeard knew even less about real piracy than Marin did, which left Marin wondering how the kobold had adopted the pirate persona to begin with. The answer soon became clear.
They emerged into a mined-out cavern—it was like a hub, with several smaller tunnels gaping in its walls. The space was dominated by the imposing bulk of a derelict pirate ship, resting at an angle against the cavern wall. Clusters of burning candles cast flickering light from its railings and masts, and the windows of the captain’s quarters glowed fitfully from within. Its ghostly tattered sails and a moth eaten black flag (painted with a candle and crossed bones, naturally) stirred in a steady draft. Marin couldn’t begin to guess how the ship had become interred here, deep underground and miles from the ocean.
Candlebeard led them aboard and into the captain’s quarters. Very little of its former grandeur remained and there wasn’t much furniture: a captain’s table with a throne-like captain’s chair, and a weathered treasure chest. A map pinned to the wall caught Marin’s eye. There was a large dragon drawn on it, and Marin had seen a similar map before. He suspected that it charted a path to the lair of Vustrasz the Ancient, the most powerful and cantankerous dragon in the catacombs, famed for both his temper and his treasure hoard.
Candlebeard thrust his cutlass at the image of the dragon in the center of the map.
“Ye joined the crew just in time!” Candlebeard announced with a manic gleam in his eye. “We’re going to pillage a dragon treasure!”
“. . . .And we need bait!”
“Alas, poor Marin, always going from the cauldron straight into the flame.” The Bard lamented. “And when it comes to Vustrasz the Ancient, I mean flame quite literally. But don’t you worry, Marin is sharp one, and we’ll soon find out how he handles Captain Candlebeard!” The patrons cheered, thumping their tankards on tables and stomping the floorboards.
The Bard peered into his tip cauldron and appeared a little crestfallen. “But not that soon. Time for a break!”[13]

Into the Catacombs[edit | edit source]

In World of Warcraft[edit | edit source]

"You no take candle!"

From Wowpedia:

Kobolds are a race of diminutive, rat-like subterranean humanoids who dwell in and around caverns and mines throughout the Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor and the Broken Isles. They are not particularly intelligent and are notoriously cowardly, preferring to keep their distance from other, larger races. Kobolds are famous for being obsessively protective of the candles they wear upon their heads and which help them light their way through the dark tunnels they call home.


History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

Kobolds & Catacombs was originally planned to be Blingtron's Lootapalooza.

Designer Peter Whalen described the creation of Kobolds & Catacombs as follows:

"For every expansion, a bunch of us get together in a room, and we talk about what's next. We'd just done Un'Goro with its enormous dinosaurs. We'd done Knights of the Frozen Throne with the Lich King and his horrible undead minions. So we wanted to do something a little different, something a little more whimsical, a little more classic Warcraft. So someone pitched: 'What if we did the treasure set?' Hm. Treasure set sounds pretty cool. And so, we were on board, we were going to make the treasure set. And that is how Blingtron's Lootapalooza was born. That's right, Blingtron's Lootapalooza. We were going to explore the history of Azeroth's most enigmatic treasure golem. We even talked to some people on the World of Warcraft team, and put the art from Blingtron's card image in our Year of the Mammoth preview. But the more we explored Blingtron's Lootapalooza, the less we liked Blingtron as the heart of the set. We really wanted to do that classic dungeon dive, that feeling of going deep underground and unearthing amazing treasures. That's how we hit on the kobold. These are the little rat creatures from World of Warcraft. They've got candles on their heads that they absolutely love, they've got treasure that they mine in the earth, and so, they were perfect for us. They were going to build us the ur-dungeon, the dungeon that contained all other dungeons inside of it. They would build us the Catacombs."[8]

According to Art Director Ben Thompson, it was "super important" to the art team to figure out what the expansion's main setting — the Catacombs — were going to look like, not just for the design team, but for the players as well. The team took it upon themselves to understand the mind of a kobold, and concluded that kobolds are likely very single-minded, direct in their thought, and likely not thinking too clearly or too straightly when building. The team strived for each part of the dungeon to always "point to this feeling of kobolds", whether it be hastily constructed rope bridges, shoddily repaired lava breaches, idols to ancient kobold gods, or wondrous beasts enslaved and/or hired to protect treasure.[8]

Becca Abel described the expansion as "If this is a love letter to the classic dungeon crawl, it's a love letter written by candlelight".[8]

When the design team sat down at the beginning of Kobolds & Catacombs, they wanted to figure out the core fantasies of treasure and what makes treasure so cool. They came to two conclusions: anticipation and progression. Unidentified items hit on the feeling of anticipation, making players hope they'll get the ideal one. The team wanted to express progression through the feeling that as the player finds treasure, their character gets stronger and, in turn, finds even more powerful treasure. This was expressed through the Spellstones, spells that can become more powerful while in the player's hand.[8]

The unidentified items presented a challenge to the art team, as Blizzard was essentially telling them "Draw a thing, but don't show people what it is!". The way the team solved this was by depicting the objects as being wrapped in a shroud to obscure their identity.[8]

Spellstones presented a challenge in communication, both for the player and for the opponent, so that both players properly understand what just happened. It was important that each Spellstone felt very specific to its respective class, as well as feeling as though they were "leveling up" and getting more powerful by having three clearly defined states. This ended up being a practice in different silhouettes, colors, and slightly different palettes, all of which helped achieve a sense of progression.[8] The developers had a couple of goals with the Spellstones: they wanted to support new deck archetypes, to give more players more options for customizing their decks, and to tell a cool story about "some awesome treasure you find while adventuring". The team initially started out with around 4 Spellstones, but as they really liked the mechanic they gradually increased the number of them in the set. At the time, there was a mix of different Spellstones, some of which tracked over the course of the game while others had conditions that needed to be fulfilled in a single turn. The latter allowed players to potentially get really lucky early on and upgrade their Spellstones in their first couple of turns, allowing them to easily steamroll their opponent. The Spellstones that tracked over the course of the game, on the other hand, were much more fun to play and their power levels could be tuned much more accurately, making games "less of a blowout" and making playing both with and against them more satisfying.[10]

While the Spellstone mechanic was established early on, the individual Spellstone cards took a lot more time to design. The team had three different types of Spellstone they wanted to pursue: ones that could be put into existing decks and encourage players to slightly tweak the decks (such as Lesser Diamond and Lesser Jasper Spellstone); ones that could be put into any deck, but would require an accompanying package of cards to make work (such as Lesser Amethyst, Lesser Emerald, and Lesser Mithril Spellstone); and lastly, ones that would inspire entirely new deck archetypes (such as Lesser Onyx and Lesser Sapphire Spellstone).[10]

One of the design challenges faced by the team during the development of the expansion was the legendary weapons. It's very important to the developers that each class in Hearthstone feels distinct, with some classes having weapons and others not. In order to get this across, the legendary weapons for the "caster" classes — mage, priest, and warlock — all have 0 Attack. Early on in development, these weapons lacked the Attack and Durability stats altogether; this idea was scrapped, since it "felt pretty weird" in playtesting, but the sense of that idea was retained by giving the weapons 0 Attack.[8]

Blizzard wanted to explore what the dungeon looks like from the point of view on the lowest monster on the totem pole. They gravitated toward kobolds for a couple of reasons: they're "the kind of small monster that you might find in all kinds of dungeon environments", and there's something "uniquely Warcraft" about the Warcraft kobold, their candle-wearing tendencies, and their iconic "You no take candle" catchphrase.[8]

Teasers[edit | edit source]

Year of the Mammoth announcement
A sneak peek at the content released during the Year of the Mammoth.

On Thursday, February 16th, Blizzard announced on the official Hearthstone website the changes coming with the Year of the Mammoth, the second year of standard format. The announcement post included a teaser image for the planned main events of the year, including "Expansion III" in the year's fourth quarter, the image for which featured a sack of gold coins in front of a faded background image of entire mountains of treasure;[14] however, this was actually a remnant from when the year's third expansion was planned to be Blingtron's Lootapalooza, rather than Kobolds & Catacombs.[8]

Hearthstone Inn-vitational

On October 24th, Blizzard announced the teams that would be competing in the Hearthstone Inn-vitational at BlizzCon 2017: the Jungle Giants, the Big-Time Buccaneers, the Grimestreet Grifters, and the Chillblade Crusaders.[15] Three of the four teams appeared to correspond to the major themes of three previous Hearthstone expansions:

This led to speculation that the fourth team, the Big-Time Buccaneers, was hinting at the theme of the next and as of yet unannounced expansion.[16]

Marin the Fox

On October 10th, Blizzard revealed the in-game items that would be rewarded to purchasers of the BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Ticket. The Hearthstone reward was announced to be a "Mystery Goodie" in the form of an unrevealed golden legendary card, accompanied by the description "What’s on deck for Hearthstone players? The Innkeeper’s not quite ready to show his hand quite yet!".[17]

On October 27th, the identity of this mystery card was revealed on Twitter as Marin the Fox, accompanied by the description "Adventure! Danger! Derring-do! TREASURE! Meet Marin the Fox!",[18] and on October 30th, it was confirmed that the upcoming expansion, as well as the full details on Marin, would be revealed at the BlizzCon Opening Ceremony.[19]

Announcement[edit | edit source]

Kobolds & Catacombs was officially announced by Game Director Ben Brode during the Opening Ceremony of BlizzCon 2017 on November 3. After the screening of the official trailer, Brode took the live audience on a "quest" by allowing them to choose which cards to reveal.

"So what kind of cards can you expect from Kobolds & Catacombs? I'm not gonna tell you. I'm gonna let you discover the set for yourselves. Steel yourselves, adventurers, we're going in!
Okay, you're in the entrance to a dungeon on a quest to find legendary treasure. To your left is a tunnel. Stinky goo lines the floors and walls. To your right is a massive door with a huge lock, but the lock is broken. Where do you wanna go?"

Though both sides were fairly even, the part of the audience who wished to go through the tunnel won out.

"So, you slide through the tunnel, and into a room with a huge ooze creature lying dead on the floor. Prying a chest from its remains is the legendary adventurer Marin the Fox!"

After showcasing Marin and revealing that all players who logged in starting Monday, November 6, would receive the legendary for free, Brode resumed the quest.

"Okay, back to the dungeon. Marin winks at you and escapes with the treasure. You see two doors in front of you. To your left is a door with a sign on it that says 'Kobold Treasure Hoard - Adventurers Keep Out!'. To your right is a door with the words 'CERTAIN DEATH' scrawled on it. Where do you wanna go?"

The audience overwhelmingly picked the right door, much to Brode's bewilderment.

"Okay, so your party enters the room, and as you do, the walls start closing in, crushing half of your party! What did you expect?! So, everybody from here to here, you're all dead. On the bright side, you found another new card - Crushing Walls!
Alright, you guys are gonna have to recruit some new party members to finish the dungeon. Fortunately, the new keyword in Kobolds & Catacombs is Recruit!"

After showcasing the Crushing Walls and Gather Your Party cards, the latter with the new 'Recruit' keyword, Brode continued with the last part of the dungeon.

"Alright, you can tell that you're close to finding the legendary treasure. This next decision is very important. To your left is a hallway where claw marks mar the entrance. To your right is another hall THAT IS LITERALLY ON FIRE! Where do you wanna go?"

Once again, the audience overwhelmingly chose the right option.

"So, you run through the hallway, burning away most of your clothes, and you enter a room filled with kobold candles surrounding a pedestal with a glowing disk atop it. It's the legendary treasure you were searching for - the priest card, Dragon Soul!"

After directing audiences to the "What's Next" panel later that day to discover more cards, Brode showcased the new Dungeon Run single-player experience.[6] At the "What's Next" panel, Lead Mission Designer Dave Kosak, Art Director Ben Thompson, and Initial Designer Peter Whalen presented the story and development of the expansion, as well as showcasing artwork and several new cards.[8]

Card reveals[edit | edit source]

Starting November 20, cards from the expansion began being revealed one at a time through selected fansites and streamers. On November 17, Blizzard unveiled the schedule for the card reveals set to take place during the first week of card reveals.[20]

On November 20, the Kobolds & Catacombs card reveal season began with a special card reveal livestream featuring Peter Whalen and caster and streamer Brian "bmkibler" Kibler. The stream showcased 9 new cards, including two of the first-ever Rogue Secrets as well as the two legendary cards The Runespear and Kathrena Winterwisp.[21][22]

On November 24, the schedule for the card reveals set to take place during the week of November 27 was posted.[23]

On November 30, Blizzard announced that the second and final card reveal livestream, featuring Game Director Ben Brode and Sean "Day[9]" Plott, would take place on December 4.[24]

Launch[edit | edit source]

On November 28, the release date of the expansion was officially announced as December 7 and 8, 2017. Logging into Hearthstone after the release of Kobolds & Catacombs will reward three card packs from the expansion as well as a random legendary weapon card for free. In addition, the expansion launch will also see the addition of three sequential one-time Dungeon Run quests that reward one Kobolds & Catacombs card pack each, for a total of three more card packs.[3]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Key art
Key art

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Daxxarri (2017-11-03). Gather Your Party for Kobolds & Catacombs. Retrieved on 2017-11-04.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kobolds & Catacombs - Hearthstone - Blizzard Shop. Retrieved on 2017-11-04.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Daxxarri (2017-11-28). Explore Kobolds & Catacombs on December 7!. Retrieved on 2017-11-28.
  4. Daxxarri (2017-11-28). Explore Kobolds & Catacombs on December 8. Retrieved on 2017-11-28.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Official site - Kobolds & Catacombs. Retrieved on 2017-11-04.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Hearthstone at BlizzCon 2017: Opening Ceremony - YouTube. (2017-11-03). Retrieved on 2017-11-04.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Daxxarri (2017-11-23). Hearthside Chat with Dave Kosak: Dungeon Runs. Retrieved on 2017-11-26.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 BlizzCon 2017 - Hearthstone | What's Next panel. (2017-11-03). Retrieved on 2017-11-26.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Daxxarri (2017-11-03). Kobolds & Catacombs: Tempting Treasures. Retrieved on 2017-11-18.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Hearthside Chat with Peter Whalen: Spellstones - YouTube. (2017-11-30). Retrieved on 2017-11-30.
  11. Daxxarri (2017-11-15). Kobolds & Catacombs - Tale of the Fox Part 1. Retrieved on 2017-11-18.
  12. Daxxarri (2017-11-22). Kobolds & Catacombs - Tale of the Fox Part 2. Retrieved on 2017-11-22.
  13. Daxxarri (2017-11-29). Kobolds & Catacombs - Tale of the Fox Part 3. Retrieved on 2017-11-29.
  14. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-02-16). A Year of Mammoth Proportions! - News - Hearthstone. Retrieved on 2017-07-09.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-10-24). You're Invited to the Hearthstone Inn-vitational. Retrieved on 2017-11-01.
  16. Fluxflashor (2017-10-24). You're Invited to the Hearthstone Inn-vitational - Did Blizzard Just Give us Clues for the Next Expansion?. Retrieved on 2017-11-01.
  17. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-10-10). BlizzCon® 2017 In-Game Bonus Items Incoming!. Retrieved on 2017-11-01.
  18. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2017-10-27). 
  19. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-10-30). Join Hearthstone at BlizzCon 2017. Retrieved on 2017-11-01.
  20. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-11-17). Kobolds & Catacombs Reveals Unearthed. Retrieved on 2017-11-18.
  21. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-11-16). Kobolds & Catacombs Card Reveal Livestream Kickoff. Retrieved on 2017-11-18.
  22. Kobolds & Catacombs Card Reveal Kick-Off - YouTube. (2017-11-20). Retrieved on 2017-11-22.
  23. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-11-24). Kobolds & Catacombs Reveals Unearthed Week 2. Retrieved on 2017-11-24.
  24. Blizzard Entertainment (2017-11-30). Kobolds & Catacombs Final Livestream. Retrieved on 2017-12-01.

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