The Grand Tournament
- "From east to west, heroes are sent, seeking glory in the greatest of events... there are knights on noble steeds; those who will bring them to their knees; there are monsters to test their mettle at every turn. Legends will rise based on their merits - there's even pirates riding parrots! It's The Grand Tournament!"
|Year of the Mammoth, The Grand Tournament is now a Wild format expansion. This means that cards from The Grand Tournament card set are no longer playable in Standard format matches. For more information, see Game format.|
The Grand Tournament is the second expansion to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, featuring 132 collectible cards, as well as 19 uncollectible cards. The expansion was released August 24, 2015, shortly after 10am PDT/7pm CEST.
Based around World of Warcraft's Argent Tournament, the expansion features a strong Hero Power theme, with numerous ways to modify, augment and replace Hero Powers, and introduced the first full keyword since the game's launch, Inspire - a special kind of triggered effect which activates each time the controlling hero uses their Hero Power. It also introduced a new non-keyword mechanic, Joust. When activated, this ability causes a minion to be revealed from each player's deck, and if the player who initiated the Joust has the higher mana cost minion, a special effect is activated, depending on the Joust minion.
In addition to new cards, the expansion saw changes to the Quest Log and Ranked Play mode, and the introduction of the Highest Rank Bonus chest. Arena was for the first time changed to award random card packs, previously only awarding those from Goblins vs Gnomes.
The release of the expansion was preceded by Grand Tournament Match, a special Grand Tournament-themed Tavern Brawl designed to showcase the expansion's two new mechanics: Inspire and Joust. The Brawl allowed players access to certain cards from the expansions before they were otherwise available, through special pre-made decks. The Brawl opened August 19 and closed August 24, several hours before the release of the expansion.
The expansion's data was added to the game with Patch 188.8.131.5286, on August 18.
- 1 How to get
- 2 Cards
- 3 Battlefield
- 4 Card backs
- 5 Changes to existing gameplay
- 6 Themes
- 7 Trailer
- 8 Lore
- 9 History
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Gallery
- 12 Videos
- 13 References
- 14 External links
How to get
- Grand Tournament card packs can be obtained through the ingame shop, or with real money purchases on the Blizzard Shop.
- Individual cards from the Grand Tournament can be obtained from crafting.
- Prior to the expansion's launch, players were able to pre-purchase a bundle of 50 cards packs for real money only. This will also grant a special card back. Players were not able to open the packs until the expansion was released, although they were displayed in the Open Packs screen tied with a ribbon.
- The pre-order bundle cost $50 USD/€44.99 EUR/£34.99 GBP.
- The pre-order bundle was only available once per region for each account.
The Grand Tournament set features 132 collectible cards, as well as 18 uncollectible cards (Fandral Staghelm later added a 19th). It features 82 collectible class cards (9 for each class, except for hunter, which has 10), 18 uncollectible class cards, 50 collectible neutral cards, and 1 uncollectible neutral card. The set also includes 10 replacement Hero Powers (1 for each class, plus an additional one for shamans). TGT cards can be recognised by the shield marking behind the card text, not found on other cards.
Cards were revealed through a combination of third-party reveals, blogs and voting. The latter allowed players to choose between two possible cards, with only the card art and type displayed, through casting a vote on the official site. In the case of legendary votes, by tweeting using the #TGTLegendary hashtag, players could slowly fill a bar which at 100% would result in both cards being revealed instead of just one. Most of the cards were revealed in the run up to the expansion, with the remaining portion revealed as part of a special live stream on August 14 with Ben Brode and Frodan, and on Facebook immediately afterwards.
- Common (22 cards)
- Rare (9 cards)
- Epic (9 cards)
- Legendary (10 cards)
- Choice cards
- Choice cards
The expansion brought with it a new battlefield, with a chance to be used for any regular match. Set at the Grand Tournament itself, the battlefield features spectators, a food tent, and both ranged and melee target practice.
For more details on the battlefield and its interactable features, see Battlefield#The Grand Tournament.
Changes to existing gameplay
For a list of all changes made with the accompanying patch, see Patch 184.108.40.20686. Major system changes are listed below.
- With the release of the expansion, the Arena no longer rewards exclusively Goblins vs Gnomes card packs, but instead randomly awards Classic, Goblins vs Gnomes, or Grand Tournament packs, with a higher chance of rewarding Grand Tournament packs.
- We love receiving feedback from the Hearthstone community. One thing that we’ve been hearing a fair bit of is that, when playing on the Ranked Play ladder, people often feel hesitant to continue playing after reaching a particularly good rank. It simply feels like too much of a step backwards if they lose a rank or two. Based on that feedback, we’re making a change that we think will help put players’ minds at ease so that they can continue enjoying Ranked Play and pursuing even greater heights.
- Beginning this month, each player’s Quest Log will display the highest rank they have reached during the month and recognize their accomplishment. Additionally, we’ll be awarding players who progress past rank 20 with some minor rewards as a way of congratulating them for their achievements. Eligible players will receive a treasure chest at the end of each season containing the season’s Ranked Play card back, one or more golden cards, and some Arcane Dust. What’s in the chest is determined by your highest rank over the course of the season.
For details on the Ranked Chest system, see Ranked#Rewards.
- "Hero Powers are the manifestation of heroic prowess and play a major role in The Grand Tournament. Many of the valiant minions who will be joining your cause with this expansion have a knack for meddling with Hero Powers, making some stronger, some weaker, and changing some around entirely! The Grand Tournament introduces exciting new ways to bolster and change them that will make Hero Powers more heroic than ever."
The Grand Tournament features an unprecedented number of effects which modify or replace Hero Powers. The effects themselves also exceed previous mechanics, reducing mana cost, increasing damage, and even allowing them to be used multiple times per turn.
- Main article: Inspire
- "The courageous deeds of champions have long served as a source of inner strength for others, and witnessing a hero’s gallantry in action can be enough to inspire even the lowliest of squires to great feats of strength."
The expansion will add a new keyword - Inspire. Essentially a kind of triggered effect, minions with Inspire will activate a special effect each time the controlling hero uses their Hero Power. Cards such as Frost Giant offer Hero Power synergy in other forms.
- Main article: Joust
The expansion also introduces a new non-keyword mechanic, Joust. When activated, this ability causes a minion to be revealed from each player's deck, and if the player who initiated the Joust has the higher mana cost minion, a special effect is activated, depending on the Joust minion. This is primarily activated by Battlecry effects, but some cards use others such as Deathrattle to start Jousts.
The expansion significantly expands the availability and importance of Spell Damage for mages, with a number of cards such as Arcane Blast and Master of Ceremonies adding new synergies for the ability.
The expansion has a sub-theme of paladins, with cards like Silver Hand Regent and Grand Crusader granting heroes of all classes access to cards previously limited to the paladin class. This is intended to help the expansion to feel "paladin-y".
- "Fueled by friendly competition and fun, the Grand Tournament is a marvelous event where the greatest heroes in the land put their mastery on display before adoring crowds."
- "Knights of all shapes and sizes from far and wide come together at the Grand Tournament to complete for fame and glory! Years ago, the Argent Crusade started the tournament as a way to find champions fit to take on Azeroth’s greatest villains. Now that the Frozen North is less perilous (and a tad bit warmer), the Grand Tournament has a playful side to it. Ogres, Pirates, Dragons, and even Murlocs have sent their finest Knights, ready to strut their stuff and show what they’re made of—all in the name of fun!"
- "When the Lich King and his undead Scourge threatened the world, the Argent Crusade called upon Azeroth’s mightiest heroes to prove their mettle in a magnificent tournament. Knights of all races flocked to Northrend, vying for glory in epic battles against fearsome monsters. Though the Lich King’s evil has been vanquished, the Grand Tournament continues… the competitive atmosphere’s just a bit more playful than it used to be.
- And why shouldn’t the show go on? Would-be champions are arriving in droves from all over the world, hankering to prove their worth and claim the honor of flying their colors in the name of victory!"
- "The Grand Tournament is more than just a test of skill and valor; it’s also a whimsical mash-up of celebration and carnival. At this tournament, you’ll find just as much fun and excitement outside the arena as you do on the field!
- There’s the jousting arena, of course, where the clash of armor and the roar of the crowd can be heard. That’s where you’ll find the stars of the show, the noble knights, basking in the adoration of the crowd. But there’s so much more to delight the senses: you’ll feast your eyes on elaborately decorated tents and pavilions in a rainbow of dazzling colors, you’ll thrill to performers and games, and your mouth will water at the delicious aroma of fresh baked festival pies that fills the air everywhere you go!"
Following the success of the Argent Tournament's efforts to defeat the Lich King, adventurers decided to keep on the tournament, albeit in a slightly more light-hearted format. Invitations were sent out to heroes across Azeroth and beyond, although the range of competitors arriving for the new tournament exceeded everyone's expectations, with parrot-riding pirates, armor-clad murlocs and even ethereals!
The Argent Tournament
Revolving around the campaign against the Lich King, Wrath of the Lich King has strong themes of the undead, and frost magic. It introduced the nerubians, as well as the tuskarr, the vyrkul and the valkyr, and featured battle with the blue dragonflight, as well as re-animated proto-dragons.
- Combatants of the Alliance and Horde! You are welcome under the banner of the Argent Crusade.
- To the south lies our goal. We will march to the Citadel and cut out the heart of the Scourge where it dwells.
- But this is no task to be taken lightly.
- A massive attack with every able-bodied man would end in needless slaughter. Every soldier lost would rise as the enemy. Azeroth would be left defenseless against the undead threat.
- Instead, we require a small, concentrated strike force for the attack to succeed. For that reason, we have created the Argent Tournament.
- Within these walls, you will be tested. Your skill in combat will be matched against the fiercest dangers Northrend has to offer under the watchful eyes of your leaders.
- Your prowess, your might, and your cunning will be under close watch. These games will determine the best Azeroth has to offer.
- The victors will take their rightful place in the assault upon the Citadel. We will stand together in the face of evil, and Arthas WILL fall!
In early July, Blizzard began sending out special invites to selected press. Opening the small cardboard tube caused a literal fanfare to play - matching the theme from the Argent Tournament. The tube contained a scroll, bearing the following message:
- Champions are gathering from around the world to witness the next exciting thing Hearthstone has in store. News travels far and wide in search of brave new faces ready to answer the call to arms — Are you one of them?
- Muster for battle and mark July 22 on your calendar. The next bit of news won’t come by carrier pigeon — thankfully, we have much better ways of communication now. Victory awaits.
- A Rattlin' Rally
On July 8, 2015, a new Innkeeper's Tale blog was released, which appeared to be a teaser for the expansion. The blog specifically describes a large gathering, with everyone wearing plate - even the magic users and murlocs. There is also mention of a unicorn, which may be a general nod to the mounted Argent Crusade, or something more specific. The blog ends by teasing that all will be revealed soon.
- The Inn is the kind of place that will always welcome anyone and everyone who’s willing to play fair and have fun, so we get all sorts here. Still. . . Some crowds leave a real impression!
- Today was somethin’ else! The air was filled with the happy hubbub of folks dueling away and enjoying one another’s company, no matter where they hailed from; nothing too out of the ordinary. The funny thing was, most of ‘em were wearing the shiniest armor you ever saw—including the magic-using types! I even saw murlocs all geared up in plate, clankin’ about like wee fishy-smellin’ mechs. I’ll never forget the young Dwarven lass leadin’ a majestic unicorn around the common room! That seemed to make the other patrons nervous, since getting impaled is usually inconvenient, but they had nothin’ to worry about.
- Soon enough, everyone finished their brews (even the unicorn!), wrapped up their Hearthstone games, and got back to whatever journey they were on. It was an inspiring sight, and I admit that I was sorry to see ‘em go.
- I have to wonder where they were all headed. Of course, the Inn has a knack for putting itself right where the excitement is, so I reckon I’ll be findin’ out soon enough!
The official tweet sharing the blog read "The Champion’s path ALWAYS begins with a trusty steed to bear them safely on their adventures!"
On July 9 the official Hearthstone Twitter account tweeted an image of a female blood elf, apparently holding a horn or trumpet. The image was accompanied by the message, "Champions are individuals who courageously answer the call of those who require their aid!" The German language version of the tweet read, "Ein Champion ist jemand, der all seine Mitstreiter in einem Wettbewerb übertroffen hat. [A champion is someone who has outdone all his comrades-in-arms in a competition]"
On July 14 another official tweet featured an image of a female troll, with the message, "Champions are varied, and come in all shapes and sizes! They’re masters of many different disciplines!". July 16 saw an image of a male pirate, with the message, "Champions are sometimes even pirates with barrels for feet, although admittedly that’s rare!", while July 20 featured an image of a male human paladin with the text, "No matter their differences, all champions pursue valor, glory, and most importantly, FUN."
- Sword in the snow
On July 15 a sword was added to the official site's menu bar. Opening loading the main page, the sword falls from above the window down into a pile of snow, becoming thoroughly embedded in the menu bar. The sword remains there, with occasional golden sparks appearing from the blade. This is the same location previously to tease the announcement of Blackrock Mountain, with the presence of a fire elemental.
This again agreed with the Argent Tournament theme, with the tournament set in the snowy continent of Northrend.
The expansion was officially announced by Eric Dodds at a special event at The Folsom Street Foundry, San Francisco, on July 22, 2015. Following the initial presentation, a series of showmatches were played between Trump, Amaz and Firebat, with commentary by Frodan and Kripparian. 15 cards were initially showcased, including those revealed through the showmatches.
- The Grand Tournament was at the time Hearthstone's largest post-launch content release, with 132 collectible cards and 148 cards in total.
- The teaser package for the expansion was first opened by PC Gamer on July 2, 2015 - the same date on which the game's first adventure, Curse of Naxxramas, was released one year earlier.
- The announcement of the expansion was preceded by Hearthstone's first adverts - taking place in and around arena matches in what appeared to be a medieval jousting tournament. However, the resemblance was purely coincidental.
- Card voting
- "Champions" banners
- Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-07-22).
- The Grand Tournament™ Opens This August!. (2015-07-22).
- Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-07-24).
- The Grand Tournament™ - Now Available!. (2015-08-24).
- The Grand Tournament at gamescom. (2015-08-05).
- The Grand Tournament: Hero Powers. (2015-07-23).
- The Grand Tournament: Get Inspired. (2015-07-30).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-08-06).
- Offical expansion page. Retrieved on 2015-07-22.
- The Grand Tournament – A Grand Celebration!. (2015-08-04).
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-07-09).
- Hearthstone DE on Twitter. (2015-07-09).
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-07-14).
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-07-16).
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-07-24).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-08-04).
- Ben Thompson on Twitter. (2015-07-25).
- Official site - The Grand Tournament
- Hearthstone: The Grand Tournament: Special Event (Podcast: Hearthstone production director Jason Chayes talks about the game and offer a behind-the-scenes look into the development of the latest expansion, The Grand Tournament. Duration: 46 mins. 2015-09-25)
- The Grand Tournament™ - Now Available! (2015-08-24)
- The Grand Tournament Arrives August 24! (2015-08-19)
- A GLORIOUS Tavern Brawl Begins Wednesday! (2015-08-17)
- The Grand Tournament – The Joust! (2015-08-11)
- The Grand Tournament - Honor! Valor! Knighthood! (2015-08-06)
- The Grand Tournament at gamescom (2015-08-05)
- The Grand Tournament – A Grand Celebration! (2015-08-04)
- The Grand Tournament: Get Inspired (2015-07-30)
- The Grand Tournament: Hero Powers (2015-07-23)
- The Grand Tournament™ Opens This August! (2015-07-22)
(Expansions / Adventures)