Hearthstone’s Whispers of the Old Gods expansion is almost upon us. The game has a quite a dedicated following, but it can be hard to break into. If you’re a casual player or someone who’s never gotten into Hearthstone, there’s no better time than now to dive on in.
I’ve been playing Hearthstone on and off for quite a while. I’m still yet to spend a cent in game, but that has become a barrier to long term play. You need to craft and use new cards to stay competitive as the meta evolves. This is why I’m excited about the offerings of the Old Gods expansion.
The game is free to play, and Blizzard has players covered for launch. Players can score thirteen booster packs free, a total of 65 cards from the set’s 134 cards, just by logging in and playing. You’ll also receive C’Thun and two Evil Beckoner cards when you open your first Old Gods booster. This alone means any player is well on their way to having quite a strong set of options for deck building.
Logging into the game during the first week of the expansion (launching April 26th) will net you three packs. Completing a quest to win two games in Standard format will award you five packs, with another seven wins here awarding you the final five. This is a rather generous offer, allowing everyone to fill out their collection with new cards.
This is the second reason it’s a great time to jump into Hearthstone – the new Standard format mode. This new mode restricts decks to the game’s standard card set and cards from the current and previous calendar year’s expansions. This aims to keep players on a semi-level playing field, in both casual and competitive play.
The Old Gods update will remove the Curse of Naxxramus and Goblins vs Gnomes expansions from the standard pool and shop. Their cards will still remain craftable.
This is where the second division to normal play comes in, entitled Wild. Wild is the normal Hearthstone with no hold barred. Ranked play remains here, with each of the modes holding their own separate rank.
If you’re new or returning to Hearthstone you won’t have to worry about players with too many cards up their sleeves from expansions you missed. You can learn the new sets and work out the meta from there. It seems like a good decision that I hope will keep the game fresh and engaging. Players in Standard format will have to make the most of new expansions rather than resting on old favourites. It should help shape a more welcoming competitive scene, and a more dynamic pro-scene.
All this comes as an aside to the cards themselves, the most interesting set of creatures to come to the game. As excited as I am to open a chest-load of new boosters, the deck building potential is going to be great to watch.
The Old God C’Thun and cards that interact with him across all classes are sure to provide to plenty of imaginative plays. As a standalone ten mana card, his battlecry does the total of his attack split across all enemies. For decks with few minions on the board this could hurt quite a lot, and that’s before taking into account those that buff him before he’s played. He’s just one of the match-changing Old Gods in the set, but one almost every player will have up their sleeve.
While you can check out all 134 cards right now, it’s hard to tell just what the battlefield will look like come April 26th. One thing’s for certain; right now is a better time than ever to dive into the tavern and play some Hearthstone!