Hearthstone's Deathwing finally gets the animation it deserves

Deathwing was Hearthstone’s original Hail Mary card. When you slam the leader of the black dragonflight on the board he destroys every minion in play and discards all the remaining cards in your hand. Either your opponent has no answer to his 12/12 stats and you close out the game soon after, or the big dragon eats a hard removal spell like Hex and you weep tears of molten lava. Either way, dropping Deathwing always feels baller.

"I am power incarnate"

Unfortunately, until now it didn’t look quite as amazing as it felt. Deathwing has been around since the days of vanilla Hearthstone, and the card’s original animation used the same generic fiery effect employed for cards like Wild Pyromancer and Doomsayer. Not bad, but nothing special. 

For some time fans have been asking Blizzard to update Deathwing’s intro to bring it in line with other spectacular legendaries, something the developer has done for cards like Lord Jaraxxus, whose hero power got a fresh new look not long ago.

With yesterday’s quality of life patch, which added the ability to copy decks and complete quests against friends, Blizzard also updated the animations of Deathwing and, somewhat less spectacularly, the skeletal wizard Bloodmage Thalnos. The star of the show is definitely the big dragon, who now gloriously swoops across the board unleashing hot death before nuking your hand and swooping down into play. Positively badass, and for once Reddit was happy, as the reaction thread shows.

Hearthstone FX artist Hadidjah Chamberlin posted to explain her process and note that these are the only cards which have been updated with this patch. “Just Deathwing and Thalnos for now (not to crush any hopes, just to save you a hunt),” she said. “Classic animations are the first thing I go to when I have extra time at work, but it hinges on there being downtime between expansions, which are usually plenty to keep me busy.” Which legendary would you like to see get a makeover next?

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.