Blizzard details how Hearthstone's updated Deathstalker Rexxar will work

The avid build-a-beast fans among you—and hey, who isn't?—will be aware that the arrival of Hearthstone's The Witchwood expansion on 12 April (that's tomorrow) will also see Deathstalker Rexxar finally fixed. For those who haven't been following the saga, Deathstalker Rexxar is the Hunter hero card that lets you stitch two Beasts together to make a new Zombeast. Players had originally assumed that the selection of Beasts Deathstalker Rexxar picks from would always mirror those that were available as part of the eligible Standard card pool. That turned out not to be the case, with the trouble of translating combined Zombeast card text of wildly varying length being blamed by Blizzard. Cue community outrage. 

Happily Blizzard relented, and agreed to do the work necessary to keep Deathstalker up to date with future sets. The fruits of that labour will go live when The Witchwood launches. As part of our recent interview with Ben Brode, we followed up with Blizzard to confirm exactly how the card will now work. A representative told us that the Beasts leaving Standard as part of rotation will also be removed from Deathstalkers possible picks, though will still be available in the Wild mode. Excitingly, eligible Beasts from the Kobolds & Katacombs and The Witchwood sets will be added to the pool. 

So what makes a Beast eligible? Well, it needs to cost equal or less than 5-Mana, and be a Neutral or Hunter card. That being the case, we get the following list of new beasts to pick from:

  • Cave Hydra
  • Dire Mole
  • Plated Beetle
  • Stoneskin Basilisk
  • Shimmering Courser
  • Swamp Leech
  • Vicious Scalehide
  • Nightmare Amalgam
  • Lifedrinker
  • Night Prowler
  • Scaleworm
  • Vilebrood Skitterer
  • Hunting Mastiff

If you'd like to see what their card text says, check out the gallery below.  Unfortunately there is one notable omission: Witchwood Grizzly

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Witchwood Grizzly

That's a lot of text for one ghostly bear.

Despite being a new Beast from The Witchwood set, and costing 5 Mana, it won't be available to pick. A Blizzard spokesperson told me that the reason is because Witchwood Grizzly has both a Keyword and a text box. The text box is used for the first pick, the second pick provides the keyword. Cards that have both aren't included in Deathstalker Rexxar's pool. So far there have only been two otherwise eligible Beasts that aren't in his pool: King of Beasts and now Witchwood Grizzly.

So there you have it. A shame not to be able to use the giant Taunt bear, but the sheer amount of text on him was probably going to be an issue anyway. Of the new Beasts, the most promising look to be Vilebrood Skitterer, which has Poisonous and Rush, Hunting Mastiff which is cheap and has Echo, and Vicious Scalehide which is also cheap and has Lifesteal and Rush. Being able to pick Lifesteal more regularly, and on cheap Beasts, should be an overall buff to Deathstalker in this set. As mine is golden, I'm very much looking forward to trying him out tomorrow.