Everything we know about Hearthstone’s Knights of the Frozen Throne
Hearthstone’s sixth expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, comes with 135 new cards and free solo missions against iconic bosses from Icecrown Citadel such as Lord Marrowgar, Professor Putricide, and the Lich King. Update: In fact, defeating the Lich King on all nine classes yields you the Young Arthas hero skin! While we don’t have a specific release date yet, it will be available in August and you can hit the expansion running with the usual pre-purchase deal, buying a 50-pack bundle for $49.99.
But now let’s take a look at the cards with a rundown of the new game mechanics and a list of the cards we know about so far.
New Death Knight cards have also been revealed.
Updated August 7: Snowfury Giant (Shaman), Night Howler (Neutral), Hyldnir Frostrider (Neutral), Avalanche (Shaman), Arfus (Neutral), Furnacefire Colossus (Neutral), The Lich King (Neutral), Death Revenant (Warrior), Deadscale Knight (Neutral), Scourgelord Garrosh (Warrior), Drain Soul (Warlock), Drakkari Enchanter (Neutral), Arrogant Crusader (Paladin), Dark Conviction (Paladin), Bloodworm (Neutral), Bloodreaver Gul’dan (Warlock), Strongshell Scavenger (Druid), Tuskarr Fisherman (Neutral), Spellweaver (Neutral), Bone Baron (Rogue), Doomerang (Rogue), Vryghoul (Neutral), Exploding Bloatbat (Hunter), Skelemancer (Neutral), Wicked Skeleton (Neutral), Spectral Pillager (Rogue), Wretched Tiller (Neutral), Grim Necromaner (Neutral), Deathaxe Punisher (Neutral), Grave Shambler (Neutral), Toxic Arrow (Hunter), Venomancer (Neutral), Keening Banshee (Neutral), Gnash (Druid), Tainted Zealot (Neutral), and Acherus Veteran (Neutral)
Updated August 6: Webweave (Druid), Saronite Chain Gang (Neutral), Malfurion the Pestilent (Druid), Druid of the Swarm (Druid), Uther of the Ebon Blade (Paladin), Blackguard (Paladin), and Forge of Souls (Warrior).
Updated August 5: Shadow Essence (Priest), Frost Clone (Mage), Wailing Felhound (Warlock), Rattling Rascal (Neutral), Breath of Sindragosa (Mage), Rotface (Warrior), and Bone Drake (Neutral).
Updated August 4: Drakkari Defender (Shaman), Acolyte of Agony (Priest), Shadowreaper Anduin (Priest), Fallen Sun Cleric (Neutral), Play Dead (Hunter), and Deathspeaker (Neutral).
Updated August 3: Roll the Bones (Rogue), Ice Fishing (Shaman), Skulking Geist (Neutral), Shadow Ascendant (Priest), and Desperate Stand (Paladin)
New card types and mechanics
Hero card type
The new Hero card type is similar to existing cards like Lord Jaraxxus, which completely replaced your hero portrait and provided you with hero powers. Now every class will get a Death Knight version of their default class hero — meaning if you were using Alleria and you play Deathstalker Rexxar, it will turn into Rexxar (and not Deathstalker Alleria).
Each Death Knight was once a mighty hero of Azeroth—but after the Lich King raises a hero from the dead, they gain unimaginable strength from beyond the grave. In Knights of the Frozen Throne, each of Hearthstone’s nine heroes has embraced the Lich King’s dark power to serve him as a Legendary Death Knight Hero card! Despite their transformation, they have not fallen completely under the Lich King’s sway, so it’ll be up to you to decide how to wield the awesome abilities at their command.
Hero cards are an entirely new card type that are neither spell, minion, nor weapon. When played, each Death Knight Hero card replaces your hero, casts a Battlecry, dons some hefty armor, AND provides a new Hero Power. While each Death Knight hero is different, they all offer possibilities that can transform the way you play Hearthstone.
This mechanic was already in the game courtesy of cards like Wickerflame Burnbristle. We can expect more cards to get added into the game with this particular mechanic.
Some of the Lich King’s spells and minions have the awful power to draw sustenance from the very life essence of a victim: Lifesteal. Lifesteal expands on an ability already found on some cards and gives it a new dedicated keyword. When a card with Lifesteal deals damage, your hero is healed for the same amount. A useful ability to have at hand when you’ve already got both feet in the grave.
Death Knight cards
Curious about the lore behind Hearthstone’s new expansion? How did some of our favorite, beloved heroes become Death Knights? Check out the comics!
I believe the Scarabs are 1/5 with Taunt and the Spiders are 1/2 with Poisonous. 7 mana might be a little too late to deploy the Scarabs, but the Spiders present an interesting utility to remove any taunt minions that might be in the way. The Plague Lord Hero power is no slouch either. The attack or armor gives you added reach to punch through more durable minions or it can provide you with added survivability to get into the late game.
Intriguing card but we’ll have to see what other new taunt minions will come from this.
Cool new mechanic here where you can choose a secret Deathrattle. Your opponent won’t know which one you’ve chosen.
I like this new card mechanic where it echos the spell if certain conditions are met. This one creates a potential wall of taunts.
Ooh, I like this card. Not quite on par with Taunt Warrior or anything but quite useful for the early game. Slows down aggro significantly for Druid.
Amazing card. The draw 5 cards alone is incredible.
The spell seems kind of pricey for two spiders with Poisonous. Wish they had Taunt.
Playable card for sure. I think in most cases you pick the 1/5 Taunt for early game. But if you draw the Druid late game, you go for the 1/2 Poisonous and force a trade.
Straightforward buff card. Taunt Druid miight have to be a thing now.
Your hero gets +3 attack and 3 Armor.
The first hero card to be revealed, Rexxar will change your hero power to allow you to build-a-beast. You can create custom minions between combinations of different collectible beasts. All beasts from the hero power are 5 mana or below and will range from neutral beasts to hunter beasts. Only thing you gain is the additional 5 armor and new emotes. Your life doesn’t get reset.
Whoa, a playable Hunter legendary. Comparable to Lyra. Lots of huge potential here. Is Hunter going to be on the way back up to the top?
‘Nuff said, right?
Hrm, Savannah Highmane on turn 6, Archer on turn 7! Seems good!
Playable, I suppose. Not sure if I’d auto-include it in any kind of secret hunter deck. Still, 2 mana for a 2/3 Cobra.
Solid 3 drop. I could always use more Savannah Highmanes.
Looks like Deathrattle Hunter’s now going to be a thing.
Mmm, I have mixed feelings about the card. The design team is really trying to push Deathrattle Hunter or something. But ugh, I hate “adorable” card art type cards. This is a Liz card just because of the art. Both this and that Penguin, now that I think about it.
A board clear and it plays well with the Deathrattle activators that Hunters have.
For 2 mana, you can deal 2 damage to a minion. If it lives, it gets Poisonous.
The Lich Queen lives! Her hero power is Icy Touch. For 9 mana, you get additional armor, a 3/6 Water Elemental, and the ability to generate more Water Elementals if the upgraded hero power manages to kill a minion. Pretty good!
Not sure about the Conjurer yet. At 4 mana, I think I’d still rather have a Water Elemental instead.
Not only is Sindragosa an 8/8 Dragon, but …
… She generates two of these guys. One of which you can immediately ping using the Mage Hero Power and add a random legendary to your hand immediately.
Opposite of a Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Ooookay, now here’s a tactically interesting card. Not just pinging with your Hero Power, but the ability to freeze a minion in play as well? Even if it didn’t have that ability, it has the stats of an Acolyte of Pain at a slightly cheaper cost allowing to almost go toe to toe with any early game minions.
Not sold on this card yet. 8 mana to draw out your secrets and put them in play. Seems a little too late by that point. Mysterious Challenger in Paladin relied on secrets to help protect any existing minions on the board. In the realm of Pirate Warrior, Murloc Paladin, and Evolve Shaman, it might be too late by then if you haven’t drawn out your Ice Blocks or your Ice Barriers. That’s assuming your early game Arcanologist didn’t already thin out and fetch you some secrets earlier. But 8 mana to thin out your deck isn’t terrible. The effectiveness of this spell is going hinge on what secrets you were able to draw out to begin with.
If you can catch two Battlecry (or even Deathrattle) minions with this, it’d be amazing.
This is one spell where your pathetic magic won’t betraaaaay you!
Whoo! I’m really excited for this. Between Tirion and Uther, you get 30 damage alone in weapons. The 2/2 Hero Power (Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) is just a bonus. It forces your opponent on a 4 turn clock and is something they need to pay attention to. If only you could give them Deathrattle …
Looks like an ongoing theme for Paladin is the loss of Divine Shield means a buff in some other manner. In Bolvar’s case, he gains +2 attack whenever one of your minions loses Divine Shield. Even so, Bolvar comes in at 5 mana and starts off as a 1/7.
I expect Light’s Sorrow will compete with Truesilver Champion at the 4 mana slot weapon. There’s a higher upside to this though due to the extra durability and scalability. Starting at 1 attack and 4 weapon durability is an acceptable start.
Pay 3 mana to draw Tirion Fording. Seems pretty good!
A better Argent Squire, for sure.
The Paladin version of Ancestral Spirit. Not quite as potent.
The stats on Blackguard are interesting enough for a 6 drop. But without a way to consistently heal, you won’t be able to take too much advantage of the passive ability.
For one, I hope to one day earn a title in World of Warcraft called Shadowreaper. Second, Anduin’s one of those heroes that makes you go “Hmm…”. Hero power is great at clearing the field against late game Jade Druid decks. Anduin changes your Hero Power to Voidform.
Now this is an insane legendary. Between this and Bring It On!, games can stretch a little longer.
Possibly a better Arcane Explosion?
Fantastic Priest card right here. I think it’ll see … service.
Reminds me of Entomb except your opponent has one turn to get rid of that minion and prevent you from getting it. For 6 mana? I’ll take it.
Great late game minion for a Priest. Ensures that if it goes down, it’ll try to take something with it.
Solid playable card. Ideal opener is a Northshire Cleric on turn 1, followed by this on turn 2.
An okay 3-drop minion.
Mmmm, and you don’t get to choose which minion it is either.
Valeera’s the Rogue Death Knight Hero. You’ll gain stealth for a turn, but make sure you attack before playing Valeera otherwise you’ll negate the stealth aspect. Your Hero Power is Death’s Shadow which is a passive ability that grants you a Shadow Reflection. Keep in mind that Shadow Reflection leaves your h and at the end of your turn so it works best on cards that are 5 mana or less.
For 4 mana, if you have terrible cards in hand, you can twist them into something else from your opponent’s class. I’m actually not sure if this is strictly better than a Chillwind Yeti.
Actually, this seems more like a great arena card rather than one that would see play in constructed.
Ooh, Lifesteal! Sounds like there might be some awesome weapons coming for Rogue (hopefully).
Nice stats on a 4 drop, but are there any good weapons that can be played which can then be followed up by the Haunter?
Possible setup for a Deathrattle Rogue of sorts. At the very least, 2 mana to cycle a card.
Neat spell! You lose the weapon (equipped) but you can get it back as a card to play again.
For even more wacky Evolve tricks, check out Deathseer Thrall. It evolves your minions to something a little better than Evolve. Thrall’s Hero Power lets you Transmute Spirit your minions into something else that costs 1 more.
Neat legendary, not sure if it’ll see regular play though. Need to see what other Freeze activators are going to be added.
I wonder if Freeze Shaman will be a thing. We’ll need to see if more Freeze cards get added since Frost Shock will be one of the primary methods of freezing a minion.
Can be used defensively to power up your minions or used to prevent an opponent’s minion from attacking.
Yet another Murloc :(.
Probably won’t see much play unless we get some amazing murlocs coming down later. Synergizes with the Shaman quest.
That’s a tough Overload cost to eat. It’ll set you back a turn for sure. Puts a stop towards Murloc Paladin or Pirate Warrior in the early game though.
I assumed we’d get a new giant this expansion but I didn’t realize it would be a class specific one.
Nice damage spell. Another card to have to play around.
Guldan’s hero power is pretty insane. Siphon Life a 6 point life swing due to the life steal.
Hey, a card buffed whenever you discard a card! I’d feel safer if Blood-Queen had a discard protection mechanic in the sense that she can’t get discarded.
Might play well with a revamped and revived Zoo Warlock deck. Could be combined with Eggs or a Possessed Villager.
I love this card!
This card is going to be a nuisance. Once in a while, you’re going to catch one of your opponent’s key cards (like an Ice Block or a Finja) and it’ll really throw a wrench in their game plans. It’s quite cheap to play at 2 mana and the 2/3 stats aren’t terrible either.
An interesting form of removal. Might be better suited for arena play. The fact that it’s random sort of skews how reliable the card can be.
Hrmm, what minions would you want your opinion to get a hold of?
Nice stats on it especially the cost. But the draw back of losing a card might be a little excessive.
Cheap, effective. Going to be a new Warlock staple.
Garrosh’s hero power is Bladestorm. It’s a reusable activator for all the Warrior cards that can buff taking 1 damage. Shadowmourne’s a 4/3 weapon that can just go to town on your opponent’s board as well due to the ability to damage adjacent minions.
Here’s a Warrior legendary! Annnnnnd it’s Rotface. If it lives, make a new legendary! Definitely seems playable.
Amazing card! Remniscient of the old Death’s Bite. But you get a Whirlwind effect when you play it and when it gets destroyed. Play Frothing Berserker or Acolyte of Pain on turn 3, and drop this on turn 4 to activate them.
Digging this new Deathrattle mechanic where if it dies on your opponent’s turn, something happens to you. There aren’t that many of them but if this is a new thing going forward, it might add an extra level of options to consider.
Probably a card to be played late game if the opponent’s running out of steam.
I do wish they kept the original name of Fluffy, Fiery Warrior. Anyway, this is a neat activator card. Works well with Acolyte of Pain or Grommash.
This card is the one spell that scares me the most. The potential here is amazing because it can refill your deck in the late game.
Nice early game spell! Allows you to thin out your deck and pull immediate answers. Absolutely soul crushing if you draw it late game as you might not have any weapons left to pull.
Interesting BattleCry effect here.
Oh my lord, I can’t believe this is a card. I can’t believe the name on the card.
Stonehill Defender just got buffed here. But yeah, fantastic legendary. The actual Death Knight cards themselves are pretty awesome.
Interesting drawback. Perhaps further refinements and modifications to aggro decks?
Another remake of a Naxxramas classic (Loatheb), the Nerubian Unraveler is an intriguing “hate” card that just might seem to slot into aggro or more minion heavy decks. It can slow down most Mage decks, Jade Druid, and Evolve Shaman.
Severely limits your ability to play minions as if it dies it’ll most certainly put a dent on your side of the board. Still, a 4 mana 5/6 is nothing to sneeze at. It won’t be as good as a 4 mana 7/7, however.
Hey, we’re getting another Dragon in this set! Pretty decent stats and bonus to boot. Attracts removal to it but you need to ensure you still have some minions on board to take advantage of the buffs. Even then, a 5/5 is pretty solid.
Turn 4, play Meat Wagon. Turn 5, crash the Meat Wagon into something and summon out a Validated Doomsayer.
Not sure if this card will see real competitive play as it can be great at slowing down opponents for a turn or two. Though even without the ability text, a 2/5 at 3 mana isn’t terrible. Might have some value here as an arena card.
Mmm, the stats are a little weak on this one. Battlecry more than makes up for it but you need to have a quality Deathrattle on board to make use of it.
Absolutely destroys Jade Druid decks.
Definitely arena filler. Not sure if there’s much of a spot for this guy in constructed play.
I have a suspicion this might be a sleeper card that flies under everyone’s radar. The stats on this are quite good and it can protect one existing minion on the board as it trades into something else which swings board control in your favor.
As it takes damage, it gains 2 attack. Okay card, I suppose.
This is actually underrated. The 4/4 stats on it alone make it worthwhile. Sure it freezes your minions, but if you don’t happen to have any minions in play, there’s no drawback!
Okay card but it involves losing all your weapons. Not a fan of this one.
This expansion’s lone Murloc.
Possible sleeper pick here. You’d have to build a deck around this theme somehow.
4/4 with Lifesteal? Oh, and it’s a Beast.
Slightly better than a Kobold.
Vanilla Spellpower minion.
Makes your opponent a little reluctant to take it down knowing it can reanimate itself into a 2/2.
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