During the opening ceremony of Blizzcon 2018, a number of bombshell teasers released. Hearthstone announced that their next set expansion, Rastakhan’s Rumble, is dropping this December.
Developers said in their official announcement video that once a generation, trolls from across Azeroth would gather at the Gurubashi Arena. There, they would fight for the glory of their tribes and “loas.”
Loas are powerful animal spirits with teams of gladiators, one for each Hearthstone class. On top of that, this expansion will introduce new single-player content and a new keyword.
Overkill: A Brutal New Keyword
“Sul’thraze” was the first card revealed during the opening ceremony. It is a Warrior weapon introducing the new keyword, “overkill.” This keyword rewards players if they deal more damage than necessary. The six cost on the weapon means that odd warrior cannot use it, a significant factor in this meta.
Sometimes fans can get a bit rowdy and enter the arena. This pirate fan summons more 1/1 fans whenever your hero attacks. Paired with cards like “Sul’thraze” or the “Rogue Hero” power, this card might see some play in lower-level decks. In the current-constructed meta, however, this card would never see play. That is due to its mediocre stats and narrow amount of classes that could ever run it.
Spirits Of The Loa
This totem-like banner is somewhat a precursor to the actual loas themselves. Spirits get stealth for one turn and can allow for devastating combos. It also has a higher chance of surviving the enemy’s turn. The “Rogue Spirit” and “The Shark” trigger combos and battle cries twice.
Decks that run cards like “Edwin Vancleef” may see an increase of play. Its four mana cost doesn’t allow for play in odd Rogue. However, it does with a lesser deck which might be a bit better when this card gets printed.
Shirvalla, The Tiger
At 25 mana, this beast is one of the most expensive cards in all of Hearthstone. Its condition may seem a bit daunting but in decks like “quest” or “odd Paladin” the price may drop quickly.
Shirvallah’s divine shield, rush, and life-steal almost guarantees a 14-health regeneration for your hero. This is a payoff that is incredibly valuable in decks trying to outlast the opponent.
Card Sets Revealed At Hearthstone‘s “What’s Next” Panel
Later that same evening, Blizzcon’s “What’s Next” panel for Hearthstone revealed more cards. None of these cards immediately struck as meta defining; nevertheless, they seem pretty powerful.
The First Set Of Cards
The “Spirit of the Bat” definitely does not compare to the “Rogue.” The effect is decent in a battlefield ripe for trading minions. But, there are other great minions that would be better suited for filling in the card slot this card occupies.
The Warlock loa, “Hir’eek,” is not great either. Although the card can synergize with “Spirit of the Bat” or “Soul Infusion,” its naked card stats and substantial mana price lowers its play potential.
The Priest spell, “Surrender to Madness,” grants a decent amount of stats to minions for three mana crystals. It is very unlikely that this card will ever see play. On turn three, this card could be disastrous. Even on turn ten, it would still be a weak play, considering that it would reset you to seven mana.
“Immortal Prelate,” the epic Paladin legendary, is actually a solid minion. Without support, the card saves heroes from fatigue. In quest Paladin, the card’s Kingsbane-esque flavor text makes it an instant auto-include.
The Second Set Of Cards
Shortly after Mecha’Thun started seeing play last expansion, counter decks played for a short while. They were made to remove win conditions from the opponent’s deck. “Void Contract” only supports that kind of deck. At eight mana, you’d want this card to do something game swinging. In theory, this card can remove win conditions, but it can also remove yours. If this card ever sees play, it’d be a very high-risk/high-reward situation.
“Savage Striker” is essentially the minion version of the spell “Savagery.” Druids very rarely have more than 1 attack which is where both cards fall flat. Decks that run “Savagery” might think about running this minion. However, it’d probably be a better idea to just scrap the deck itself.
Another strong one enters Hearthstone as “Springpaw.” This beast equivalent of “Firefly” can synergize with “Quest Hunter” and “Scavenging Hyena.” The rush on this minion also allows for immediate damage which can be useful in many situations.
A second “Overkill” card comes in the form of “Baited Arrow.” In order to get the kill mechanic off, it deals two damage rather than the full three. This card is also similar to “Flanking Strike.” But, it costs one less mana, deals slightly less damage, and summons a 5/5 instead of a 3/3. This card could make a strong addition to “Spell Hunter,” a deck that hasn’t been in the meta for some time.
The Third Set Of Cards
Mage gets two strong minions, the first being “Pyromaniac.” Brian Kibler, a Hearthstone streamer and former TCG developer, believes this minion may make “Odd Mage” a real threat. With a 3/4 stat line and three mana cost, this makes it a strong three drop to play on mana curve. It also allows for a card reload if you kill a few minions with your hero power.
“Rain of Toads,” the only revealed Shaman card, is an overload card similar to “Feral Spirit.” This card makes for a great play when you have the “Shaman Spellstone” in your hand. That means it could make an amazing addition in OTK/overload Shaman.
“Hex Lord Malacrass” is so far the only Mage legendary unveiled. Its battle cry will make you rethink your opening card “Mulligan.” This is especially true if you’re playing “Tempo” or “Aggro Mage.”
The last card revealed at Blizzcon is the Rogue spell, “Cannon Barrage.” Pirates aren’t that impactful in the current meta, but with this expansion, it very well could make a come back. Overall, this is a weak card for standard but not for wild. Wild pirate Rogue may see a spike in play after this expansion, and this card will definitely help it.
This Hearthstone Expansion Worth The Buy?
There are two options for pre-ordering this expansion. The “Challenger’s Bundle” costs $20 USD for 17 packs and an exclusive card back. The 17-20 ratio isn’t a great deal, so that bundle may not be worth the purchase.
The other bundle costs $50 USD and includes 50 packs, along with a new Shaman hero: “King Rastakhan.” The 50-50 card-to-cost ratio is probably the best you’ll get this expansion. The aesthetic of the new hero may be enough to push some players to purchase (similar to the Boomsday Project).
However, as with all expansions, players should see if there are any more exciting new cards before pre-ordering. Rastakhan’s Rumble releases worldwide this December.