The tentacle-y influence of Hearthstone's next card expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods, is nearly upon us. The set will launch next Tuesday, April 26th, and add a total of 134 new cards to the game—about 70 of which have been revealed so far. Similar to Hearthstone's previous expansions, we can probably expect to see all the remaining cards revealed at once sometime later this week.
The arrival of Whispers of the Old Gods will also mark the introduction of formats in Hearthstone. Ranked play will be split into Standard and Wild: Standard only allowing Basic and Classic cards, along with cards from any set released in the last two calendar years, while Wild will be the equivalent of Hearthstone as we know it now. Blizzard has also said that there will be a wave of nerfs to some of the more oppressive cards in the Basic and Classic sets (I'm looking at you, Druid combo) but we still don't know exactly what those nerfs will be. We spoke to Lead Designer Ben Brode about the coming changes, formats, and the Whispers of the Old Gods late last month.
Despite wanting to tune older cards, Blizzard clearly isn't afraid to introduce some pretty ridiculous (and potentially powerful) card effects with this expansion, especially when it comes to the set's four Old God legendary minions. Tim was very excited about N'Zoth, The Corruptor, who resummons all of your Deathrattle minions who died in the current game and could make for some insane swing turns. Meanwhile, I was more interested in the somewhat sillier Yogg-Saron, Hope's End, which plays a random spell with a random target for every spell you've played that game—probably not a very good card, but it sure will be a fun one.
In a change from previous expansions, every player will be given three Old Gods card packs completely free, along with one of the set's more unique legendary minions, C'Thun. Blizzard is also bringing back the pre-order offer they introduced with Hearthstone's last big expansion, The Grand Tournament, allowing you to buy 50 card packs (and an exclusive card back) for $50. Or, you can just farm gold with the rest of us.