Arthas is coming to Hearthstone

Spoiler season is in full swing for Hearthstone's next expansion, the Lich King-flavoured (probably an appalling taste, to be fair) Knights of the Frozen Throne, which is due to arrive some time in August. You can check out our complete gallery of cards revealed so far—Corpsetaker looks very spicy in the right deck—but today we're talking about the new mission content, and the rewards coming with it.

Earlier today Blizzard put out a video, embedded above, in which lead mission design Dave Kosak talks about the expansion's PvE content. As with the currently mothballed Hearthstone adventures, the boss encounters will be arranged into 'wings' and released across consecutive weeks. In this case that means a prologue plus three bosses in week one, followed by another three bosses in week two, and climaxing in week three with a battle against the Lich King himself.


The new Paladin hero portrait shows Arthas in happier, significantly less Lich-shaped times.

In the video, Kosak notes to the surprise of precisely no-one that the Lich King is quite the cheat when it comes to cards. Pleasingly, given how much people like to grouse (not unreasonably) about the cost of Hearthstone, all this stuff is free—and also comes with a tangible reward. 

If you're able to beat the Lich King with all nine hero classes, you'll be given an exclusive alternate horror portrait of the Paladin class. And no prizes for guessing, because I'm assuming you read the headline, it's none other than Arthas Menethil himself—otherwise known as the Lich King before he turned heel.

These things come animated, unlike the standard hero portraits (unless you've racked up the 500 wins required to unlock the golden version), and usually go for $9.99/£8.99 ingame. So definitely worth doing, especially as the Lich King encounter has been designed to be different depending on which hero ol' dead eyes is up against. It's slightly odd that Druid and Warlock still don't have alternate heroes, but I'm sure they'll come eventually, and hey, Arthas had to be a Paladin right? 

The fact he's getting the portrait treatment also doesn't preclude Arthas from becoming a collectible card in this expansion or at some point down the line, as we've seen happen with Medivh, who was also turned into a powerful legendary and currently sits at #14 on our crafting list.  

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.