The Witchwood

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The Witchwood banner.jpg
"This poor town has seen its share of trials. Now we face a new force, sinuous and vile.
Is something wicked twisting trees and turning them to ill? Some diabolic expertise strives to break our will.
Do my eyes play tricks on me, will monsters seal our doom? What were those things? What did I see hiding in this gloom?
We're turned around and taunted, but moonlight is our friend.
The way ahead is haunted, our hackles stand on end!
We'll make our stand right here, our choice is crystal clear! We are the beasts the monsters fear!"

The Witchwood is Hearthstone's eighth expansion. Featuring 135 new collectible cards,[1] and the new Druid alternate hero Lunara, the expansion released on April 12, 2018.[2]

The expansion introduced three new keywords: Start of Game, Echo, which allows a card to be played multiple times on the same turn, and Rush, which acts like Charge but doesn't allow the minion to attack the enemy hero the turn it is played. It also added a new game mode called Monster Hunt, a single-player mode akin to Dungeon Run with four exclusive playable classes.

As the first expansion of 2018, the release of The Witchwood ended the previous Standard year, the Year of the Mammoth, and started the new one, Year of the Raven.

How to get[edit | edit source]

The Witchwood cards are available through the following options:

  • The Witchwood card packs can be purchased through the Shop, with the usual prices and purchasing options.
  • The Witchwood cards can be crafted for the usual amounts of Arcane Dust.
  • For as long as The Witchwood 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 The Witchwood packs.
  • The Highest Rank Bonus chest has a chance to award golden The Witchwood cards.
Pre-order
  • Prior to the expansion's release, players are able to pre-order a bundle of 70 The Witchwood packs for $49.99 USD/€49,99 EUR/£44.99 GBP/$64.99 AUD or equivalent.
  • The pre-order bundle comes with a unique card back (see below) and 20 additional The Witchwood packs.

Cards[edit | edit source]

The set contains 135 collectible cards in total. Each class receives two Legendary minion cards, with the exception of shaman which receives one Legendary minion card and one hero card.[3]

Neutral[edit | edit source]

Common (22 cards)
Swamp Dragon Egg(89449).png
Swamp Leech(89477).png
Lost Spirit(89472).png
Vicious Scalehide(89444).png
Spellshifter(89401).png
Blackwald Pixie(89366).png
Hench-Clan Thug(89456).png
Marsh Drake(89452).png
Pumpkin Peasant(89339).png
Tanglefur Mystic(89455).png
Ravencaller(89371).png
Walnut Sprite(89462).png
Felsoul Inquisitor(89470).png
Swift Messenger(89399).png
Unpowered Steambot(89459).png
Clockwork Automaton(89367).png
Rotten Applebaum(89347).png
Darkmire Moonkin(89453).png
Furious Ettin(89467).png
Wyrmguard(89442).png
Cauldron Elemental(89463).png
Deranged Doctor(89466).png
Rare (9 cards)
Phantom Militia(89337).png
Lifedrinker(89471).png
Mad Hatter(89476).png
Night Prowler(89478).png
Scaleworm(89364).png
Witchwood Piper(89427).png
Chief Inspector(89474).png
Witchwood Grizzly(89381).png
Gilnean Royal Guard(89400).png
Epic (9 cards)
Baleful Banker(89438).png
Nightmare Amalgam(89353).png
Voodoo Doll(89404).png
Witch's Cauldron(89386).png
Sandbinder(89464).png
Muck Hunter(89357).png
Mossy Horror(89417).png
Worgen Abomination(89412).png
Splitting Festeroot(89419).png
Legendary (5 cards)
Dollmaster Dorian(89402).png
Genn Greymane(89336).png
Azalina Soulthief(89334).png
Countess Ashmore(89415).png
Baku the Mooneater(89335).png
Uncollectible
Drakeslayer(89481).png
Muckling(89360).png
Woodchip(89421).png
Splitting Sapling(89420).png
Spellshifter(89489).png
Pumpkin Peasant(89486).png
Swift Messenger(89488).png
Gilnean Royal Guard(89487).png

Class cards[edit | edit source]

Druid[edit | edit source]

Witchwood Apple(89348).png
Druid of the Scythe(89428).png
Ferocious Howl(89432).png
Witching Hour(89380).png
Forest Guide(89362).png
Bewitched Guardian(89431).png
Wispering Woods(89349).png
Gloom Stag(89341).png
Duskfallen Aviana(89385).png
Splintergraft(89405).png
Uncollectible
Wisp(89393).png
Druid of the Scythe(89429).png
Druid of the Scythe(89430).png
Druid of the Scythe(89484).png
Choice cards
Dire Panther Form(89482).png
Dire Wolf Form(89483).png

Hunter[edit | edit source]

Hunting Mastiff(89361).png
Dire Frenzy(89398).png
Vilebrood Skitterer(89441).png
Duskhaven Hunter(89378).png
Wing Blast(89387).png
Carrion Drake(89440).png
Rat Trap(89388).png
Toxmonger(89379).png
Houndmaster Shaw(89346).png
Emeriss(89370).png
Uncollectible
Doom Rat(89389).png
Duskhaven Hunter(89485).png

Mage[edit | edit source]

Snap Freeze(89475).png
Black Cat(89342).png
Vex Crow(89365).png
Cinderstorm(89450).png
Bonfire Elemental(89425).png
Curio Collector(89451).png
Book of Specters(89416).png
Arcane Keysmith(89426).png
Archmage Arugal(89424).png
Toki, Time-Tinker(89406).png

Paladin[edit | edit source]

Rebuke(89350).png
Sound the Bells!(89372).png
Ghostly Charger(89445).png
Paragon of Light(89433).png
Bellringer Sentry(89410).png
Silver Sword(89409).png
Hidden Wisdom(89448).png
Cathedral Gargoyle(89382).png
The Glass Knight(89411).png
Prince Liam(89443).png

Priest[edit | edit source]

Divine Hymn(89461).png
Squashling(89435).png
Quartz Elemental(89458).png
Holy Water(89390).png
Coffin Crasher(89368).png
Nightscale Matriarch(89457).png
Vivid Nightmare(89351).png
Glitter Moth(89340).png
Chameleos(89377).png
Lady in White(89375).png
Uncollectible
Nightscale Whelp(89480).png

Rogue[edit | edit source]

Cheap Shot(89373).png
Blink Fox(89423).png
Cutthroat Buccaneer(89460).png
Pick Pocket(89408).png
Mistwraith(89407).png
Cursed Castaway(89376).png
Spectral Cutlass(89391).png
WANTED!(89363).png
Face Collector(89345).png
Tess Greymane(89422).png

Shaman[edit | edit source]

Zap!(89439).png
Witch's Apprentice(89354).png
Ghost Light Angler(89436).png
Blazing Invocation(89446).png
Earthen Might(89447).png
Murkspark Eel(89343).png
Totem Cruncher(89414).png
Bogshaper(89394).png
Hagatha the Witch(89355).png
Shudderwock(89437).png
Uncollectible
Bewitch(89356).png

Warlock[edit | edit source]

Witchwood Imp(89468).png
Duskbat(89397).png
Fiendish Circle(89465).png
Dark Possession(89473).png
Curse of Weakness(89434).png
Blood Witch(89396).png
Ratcatcher(89469).png
Deathweb Spider(89395).png
Glinda Crowskin(89352).png
Lord Godfrey(89359).png
Uncollectible
Bat(89403).png
Imp(89479).png

Warrior[edit | edit source]

Warpath(89344).png
Woodcutter's Axe(89383).png
Rabid Worgen(89454).png
Redband Wasp(89358).png
Militia Commander(89338).png
Festeroot Hulk(89418).png
Town Crier(89413).png
Deadly Arsenal(89384).png
Darius Crowley(89369).png
Blackhowl Gunspire(89374).png

Monster Hunt[edit | edit source]

Main article: Monster Hunt

Monster Hunt is a single-player game mode in which the player battles sequentially more difficult bosses to win and complete a run, similar to the game mode of Dungeon Runs featured in Kobolds & Catacombs. Monster Hunt released on April 26, 2018.[4]

Four special heroes are featured, each having access to a special hero power:[5]

Clearing Monster Hunt with all four classes makes them all join forces against Hagatha the Witch. Completing this Final Challenge earns the player the "Monster Hunt" card back.

Tess Greymane(89512).png
Scavenge(89514).png
Darius Crowley(89540).png
Fire!(89542).png
Houndmaster Shaw(89490).png
Dog Whistle(89491).png
Toki, Time-Tinker(89592).png
Temporal Loop(89594).png

Themes[edit | edit source]

Echo[edit | edit source]

Shifting shapes and ephemeral phantasms manifest out of the fog—the curse on the Witchwood has unsettling effects on both material beings and spells alike. Some will Echo, reproducing themselves.
The wily can channel this spectral side effect to their advantage: cards with Echo can be played again and again on the same turn—as long as you have the mana to pay the price.[1]

Cards with Echo can be played multiple times on the same turn.

Rush[edit | edit source]

The power emanating from the Witchwood imbues feral vigor into those who are in tune with their predatory instincts, urging them to unnatural aggression and startling speed.
Minions with the new Rush keyword can attack opposing minions—but not Heroes—on the same turn they are played. Rush offers the immediate gratification of Charge without its game-ending potential, so you’ll encounter more minions that hit the ground running with this new keyword.[1]

Minions with Rush can attack the same turn they are played, but are not allowed to attack heroes. While not as strong as Charge, they make up for it in other areas; mainly stats.

Odd and even[edit | edit source]

The Witchwood’s growing influence drives even the redoubtable citizens of Gilneas to fearful flights of fancy. Uneasy townsfolk share bizarre stories of black cats with knowing eyes, and giant moths that peer into windows during the dead of night. Stranger still, they all seem to share the same horrid dream, night after night: a feeling of unspeakable dread as they watch huge, spectral fangs devour the moon.
Striking back against the fear that grips the city requires iron discipline and sacrifice. Superstition must be cast aside in favor of strict order. Those with the will to banish this evil must find it in them to do what must be done—even when close to the limits of their strength.[1]

Some cards activate a powerful effect as long as your deck contains only odd- or even-cost cards.

Odd
Even

Worgen[edit | edit source]

The cursed denizens of the Witchwood will not find the people of Gilneas to be easy prey. Even the city’s humblest citizen hides a beastly secret: they are Worgen, capable of assuming the form of a hulking, ferocious wolf-beast when threatened.
Each turn they are in your hand, these cards swap their attack and health. Spring them on an opponent when their form best matches your desired function.[1]

When Gilneas was hit with the curse of the worgen, many of the kingdom's human inhabitants were transformed into monstrous beasts, but have since then gained the ability to switch between the two forms.

Some cards alternate between forms each turn while in your hand and change their stats to represent this ability.

Battlefield[edit | edit source]

The expansion came with a new battlefield. A partial shot of the new board is shown below.

Battlefield - The Witchwood.jpg

Card backs[edit | edit source]

A special card back was available as part of the expansion's pre-order bundle. The card back for Ranked play Season 48 is related, due to the end of the Year of the Mammoth that was on the same day of the expansion's release, while Season 49's card back is related to the expansion's theme.

In a Dark Wood
Card back-In a Dark Wood.png
Pre-ordering 50 (+20) The Witchwood card packs

The forest was eerily quiet. Aside from the howls. And the screaming.

Year of the Mammoth
Card back-Year of the Mammoth.png
Achieving 5 Ranked wins in Season 48 (March 2018)

It was a big year. Massive. Sure, things got a little wooly, but that's irrelephant.

Raise the Roof
Card back-Raise the Roof.png
Achieving 5 Ranked wins in Season 49 (April 2018)

The finer Gilnean homes feature "Howling Verandas" with unobstructed lunar views.

Trailer[edit | edit source]

Lore[edit | edit source]

In World of Warcraft[edit | edit source]

Gilneas[edit | edit source]

From Wowpedia:

The kingdom of Gilneas (or the Gilnean kingdom), pronounced Gil-NEIGH-uhs,[gɪlˈniːəs] is one of the seven human kingdoms located in the peninsula of Gilneas and situated south-west of Silverpine Forest on the continent of Lordaeron. It is ruled by Genn Greymane of the House of Greymane. With the events of the Cataclysm, Gilneas has rejoined the Alliance.
Gilneas is a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of western Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the north-east and Kul Tiras awaits across the sea to the south. The kingdom was founded following the splitting of Arathor and besides the peninsula, the kingdom also included the island of Zul'Dare, and formerly held lands in southern Silverpine Forest including Pyrewood Village and Ambermill. The southwestern reaches of Hillsbrad Foothills in the area around Azurelode Mine were also part of Gilneas.
Its king Genn Greymane never ardently supported the Alliance of Lordaeron in the Second War. Thus, after the war, he constructed the Greymane Wall: a massive barrier spanning the entire northern border. The enormous wall barricaded Gilneas from the rest of Lordaeron for around two decades.
It was later discovered that the 'worgen curse' has swept mercilessly across the nation, eventually turning nearly all of its inhabitants into savage beasts. Escalating tensions among the survivors escalated into bloody civil war that all but wrecked the nation. Following the Cataclysm and an invasion by the Forsaken, some of these Gilnean worgen have regained their free will. After Gilneas fell to enemy hands, Gilneas rejoined the Alliance.

Worgen[edit | edit source]

From Wowpedia:

Worgen [ˈwɔɹgɛn] are large, lupine humanoids reminiscent of werewolves that walk upright, but lope on all fours to run. They primarily inhabit forests and are skilled hunters. Being bitten by or drinking the blood of worgen causes humans and night elves to be transformed into one. After the transformation, worgen are overcome by rage and guilt, gradually losing all vestiges of their former lives and turning feral. By controlling their emotions, worgen may resist being overcome by their feral instincts.
Originally inadvertently created as a result of night elf druids assuming a Pack Form that embraced the fury of the wolf Ancient Goldrinn during the War of the Satyr, they were sealed within the Emerald Dream after it was discovered they were spreading their beastly form through what would become known as the worgen curse. Centuries later, they were unleashed once more by the human Archmage Arugal to fight the undead Scourge. Eventually the curse found its way to Gilneas, where many of its inhabitants were transformed into worgen, including King Genn Greymane. After being taught how to control their inner beast by the night elves, many worgen are now members of the Alliance.

In Hearthstone[edit | edit source]

The city of Gilneas once lived in uneasy peace with the sprawling, ancient forest that looms beyond its walls. Though the wilderness was grim and forbidding, the citizens of Gilneas—being no ordinary folks—roved and hunted there without fear.
That was before a darkness began to fester in the heart of the forest. . . . Before the wicked witch Hagatha cast a dire curse!
A sunless gloom now cloaks winding trails, and gnarled branches claw hungrily at passersby. Terrified travelers speak of misshapen shadows flickering in an unearthly mist. In the witching hours, eerie figures have even been seen to stalk the narrow alleys and foggy, cobble-stoned streets of the city itself.
Foolhardy travelers who dare venture beyond the city walls after nightfall disappear into the wilderness, never to return. The Witchwood is safe for none to tread![2]

The Witchwood[edit | edit source]

The Blackwald in World of Warcraft.

The titular Witchwood featured in the expansion was once called the Blackwald.

From Wowpedia:

The Blackwald is a forest in southern Gilneas, located south of Gilneas City and north of the village of Stormglen. The Blackwald was the home of the Druids of the Scythe, who eventually became the first worgen. Tal'doren - a tree identical to the one where the original worgen were imprisoned in the Emerald Dream - is in the forest's center. The Blackwald is full of Howling Banshees, Sylvanas' scouts looking for Tal'doren.

However, ever since the witch Hagatha took up residence in the forest, she has used her magic to twist the forest, awakening and empowering the trees and beasts of the woods. The Blackwald has now become very dangerous, and the Gilneans have taken to calling it "The Witchwood".[6][7][8][9]

Official site
Hush, brave heroes, and take heed; you tread on dangerous ground. See how the light dims all around, and moving shadows creep? The Witchwood calls, but I implore: do not its treasures seek! Stay where it’s safe, pull up a chair, let’s play another round! I see, your minds are quite made up; please hear me importune: Keep your decks close, and your wits sharp…
lest the Witchwood be your doom![5]

History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

Team 5 has wanted to do a worgen-themed expansion for years and knew that they specifically wanted to explore the transformation from human to worgen.[10] The expansion that later became The Witchwood was originally known as Murder on the Gilnean Express[11] and was primarily based in Gilneas City and themed around Gilneans and murder mysteries.[10]

During this early stage development, the Hearthstone team experimented with various new mechanics and keywords, such as "Investigate", which would allow the player to create a "murderer" minion through several Discovers to determine their stats and abilities. Another mechanic was "Mysteries"; this allowed the player to Discover a card, after which the same Discover options were presented to the opposing player. If the opponent correctly guessed which card the first player had picked, they would also receive a copy of it. Finally, to capture the "spooky vibe" of the fateful train ride, Blizzard experimented with "Ghostly", a keyword that would cause a card to discard itself from the player's hand at the end of the turn if not played. As Blizzard iterated on Ghostly, they found that the most fun version of the ability was the cards that added Ghostly duplicates of themselves to the player's hand.[11]

To get a feel for Gilneas, the Hearthstone team replayed the worgen starting experience in World of Warcraft and found that they really liked the "creepy, Gothic" feel of the area. They specifically focused on the Gilnean forest known as the Blackwald and asked themselves what would happen if the forest began to grow and become twisted, and this was the direction the team ultimately went with for the Gilneas-themed expansion.[10] Over the following months,[11] the setting of the expansion was moved outside of Gilneas City to the forest around the capital[10] and the expansion's main theme evolved from a murder investigation on a train ride to a haunted forest, causing Murder on the Gilnean Express to become The Witchwood. The keyword Ghostly became more and more the perfect fit for the flavor of the set and eventually became Echo, one of the two new keywords introduced in the final version of the expansion.[11]

Teasers and announcement[edit | edit source]

A sneak peek at the content released during the Year of the Raven.

The Witchwood was first teased on February 27th, 2018, when Blizzard announced the changes and new content planned for the Year of the Raven, the third year of standard format. The announcement blog post and accompanying video included a teaser image for the planned three expansions of the year.[12]

Similar to Journey to Un'Goro, the official announcement of the expansion was preceded by several teasers posted on Twitter. On March 3rd, the official Latin American Hearthstone Twitter account posted an image featuring characters from the card sets released during the Year of the Mammoth as well as earlier expansions, apparently searching for clues about the upcoming expansion in a foreboding forest.[13]

On March 6th, Lead Mission Designer Dave Kosak tweeted that he was "goin' camping" to look for the next Hearthstone expansion, noting that "Nothing gets the @playhearthstone creative juices flowing like some time outdoors."[14] Kosak did not return for several days thereafter, and after some back-and-forth between various Hearthstone developers on Twitter and Reddit, Game Director Ben Brode and Lead Artist Ben Thompson headed out to look for him, asking the playerbase to get in touch with Yong Woo if they weren't back by Sunday night.[15]

On March 12th, The Witchwood was officially announced in a special reveal video featuring Brode and Thompson reuniting with Kosak and discovering the details of the expansion in the dark woods outside Blizzard's headquarters in Irvine, California. The video is presented in the style of "found footage" horror films such as The Blair Witch Project.

Card reveals[edit | edit source]

Card reveals for The Witchwood began with a special card reveal livestream featuring Game Designer Peter Whalen and Dan "Frodan" Chou on March 26. The day following the livestream, other cards from the expansion began being revealed one at a time through selected websites and streamers.[16] The final card reveal livestream featuring Game Director Ben Brode and Sean "Day[9]" Plott took place on April 9,[2] after which all of the remaining cards from the expansion were revealed via Hearthstone's official Facebook account.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Key art
Key art

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Daxxarri (2018-12-03). Be Ready to Brave The Witchwood. Retrieved on 2018-12-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Daxxarri (2018-04-05). Face The Witchwood April 12. Retrieved on 2018-04-05.
  3. The Witchwood Card Reveal Livestream - Twitch (25:00). (2018-03-26). Retrieved on 2018-03-26.
  4. Daxxarri (2018-04-12). Enter The Witchwood Now!. Retrieved on 2018-04-13.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Official site - The Witchwood. Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  6. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2018-03-12). 
  7. Mike Donais on Reddit. (2018-03-12). Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  8. Mike Donais on Reddit. (2018-03-12). Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  9. Ben Brode on Reddit. (2018-03-12). Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Shacknews (2018-04-06). PAX East 2018: Hearthstone Ben Brode Developer Interview (0:35). YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-04-08.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Hearthside Chat with Peter Whalen: Echo - YouTube. (2018-03-22). Retrieved on 2018-03-22.
  12. Daxxarri (2018-02-27). The Year of the Raven Soars Ahead. Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  13. Hearthstone LATAM on Twitter. (2018-03-03). Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  14. Dave Kosak on Twitter. (2018-03-06). Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  15. Oh Boy... The Hearthstone Team has Gone Looking for Dave Kosak - News - HearthPwn. (2018-03-09). Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
  16. Blizzard Entertainment (2018-03-21). The Witchwood Card Reveal Schedule. Retrieved on 2018-03-21.
  17. Christie Golden on Twitter. (2018-03-12). 

External links[edit | edit source]

Blogs


Promotional Content