The newest Hearthstone expansion, March of the Lich King, adds the Death Knight class
March of the Lich King is the third and final expansion of Hearthstone‘s Year of the Hydra, and it brings an enormous shake up to the game — and with a release date of December 6, this expansion will be hitting servers any minute now. March of the Lich King adds Death Knights as a brand-new class, plus new minion type, Undead, a new keyword, Manathirst, and more!
This set will feature 203 new cards, divided as such:
- 68 for the new class, Death Knight.
- 32 are part of the Core Set, available for free for all players after completing a prologue event which tells the story of Prince Arthas’ descent into darkness.
- 26 are part of the Path of Arthas set, which will be purchasable with Gold or Runestones, as well as being part of the March of the Lich King Mega Bundle.
- The remaining 10 cards should be found on the March of the Lich King set itself.
- 135 for the other classes.
That’s a lot of cards, so let’s talk about all the new features in March of the Lich King.
New Class: Death Knight
A few Death Knight-themed cards were already a part of Hearthstone in certain special effects, but those are in the past: the class itself will become fully playable now, with brand-new cards that have nothing to do with those previous cards.
This new class will come with this hero power:
- Ghoul Charge (2 Mana)
- Summon a 1/1 Ghoul with Charge. It dies at end of turn.
Death Knights will feature a Corpse mechanic. Whenever a friendly minion dies, you’ll store one Corpse. Many DK cards make use of those Corpses, spending them to summon Undead minions, or even exploding them directly to damage their enemies.
Death Knights use Runes as a new twist on deckbuilding
The class will also have a Rune system, which lets you specialize your Death Knight deck with Blood, Frost, and Unholy cards. Many Death Knight cards include a Rune indicator under their Mana cost. That indicator shows a varying amount of runes of one of three types: Blood, Frost, and Unholy, which give an idea of what the card does:
- Blood runes are for control gameplay, with big minions and health manipulation.
- Frost runes are for direct damage with icy spells, as well as mana manipulation and freeze effects.
- Unholy runes are for board-centric gameplay, swarming it with endless minions that keep coming back, or exploding on their enemies.
When building a DK deck, you’ll need to pick which three Runes you want to use, in order to gain access to cards that have that same rune requirement. So if you decide to go triple Unholy Rune, for instance, you’d get access to the most powerful Unholy cards in the game, while forsaking all Blood and Frost cards.
New minion type: Undead
Whenever the discussion of new minion types comes up, Undead is an easy one that players like to wonder about. Well, they should wonder no more, for that minion type is finally being made a reality. Many past minions will be retrofitted to receive this tag as well.
Some examples of Undead minions, or cards that synergize with them, include:
- Patchwerk: 7 mana Legendary Death Knight Undead, 4/6.
- Battlecry: Destroy a random minion in your opponent’s hand, deck, and battlefield.
- Acolyte of Death: 3 mana Common Death Knight minion, 3/4.
- After a friendly Undead dies, draw a card.
Manathirst is a new keyword that makes cards more powerful once you have enough mana crystals
Cards with the Manathirst keyword will have stronger effects once you have enough mana crystals to activate it. Note that the extra mana crystals are not spent, you merely need to have that many. It’s somewhat similar to how the Ranked spell cards — which upgrade once you hit a certain amount of mana crystals — already work. Manathirst cards include:
- Arcane Bolt: 1 mana common Mage Arcane spell.
- Deal 2 damage. Manathirst (8): Deal 3 damage instead.
- Sunfury Clergy: 3 mana common neutral minion, 2/4.
- Battlecry: Restore 3 Health to all Friendly characters. Manathirst (6): Restore 6 Health instead.
- Embers of Strength: 2 mana Rare Warrior Fire spell.
- Summon two 1/2 Guards with Taunt. Manathirst (6): Give them +1/+2.
- Silvermoon Sentinel: 3 mana common neutral minion, 2/5
- Taunt. Manathirst (8): Gain +2/+2 and Divine Shield.
The Reborn keyword is… reborn
The Reborn keyword is back in action as well, as an evergreen mechanic, being found in several new cards, such as Graveyard Shift and the hilarious Scourge Rager:
- Graveyard Shift: 3 mana Rare Death Knight spell
- Summon two 1/1 Zombies with Reborn.
- Scourge Rager: 3 mana Common neutral Undead, 5/4.
- Reborn. Battlecry: Die.
Dual-type minions are now a reality
Some minions will now feature two types instead of just one! One such minion is the Lich King’s own personal steed, Invincible, which sports both the Undead and Beast tags.
- Invincible: 8 mana Legendary neutral Undead Beast, 5/5.
- Reborn. Battlecry and Deathrattle: Give a random friendly Undead +5/+5 and Taunt.
I’m very excited to see what new synergies will become available from this. And it may even end up spilling into other parts of the game later; who knows?
The Knights of Hallow’s End event brings back cards from a beloved set
Good news, everyone: your favorite corrupted heroes are back! Starting November 1, one of the most beloved sets in Hearthstone history, Knights of the Frozen Throne, will be back. All of those cards will join Standard mode by being temporarily integrated into the Core Set, where they’ll remain until March of the Lich King releases. And what’s more: they’ll be available to all players for free!
With this Hallow’s End event, the whole event system will be revamped, having its own dedicated place within the user interface. While an event is active, the Journal button will be modified, and reward content for that event will also be found in its own dedicated space within the Journal.
This is definitely one of the biggest expansions Hearthstone has ever had, and we absolutely can’t wait to accompany the Lich King on his march towards the Sunwell.
Originally posted November 1, 2022. Updated December 6, 2022.
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