's second expansion, Rise of the Bloodborn, has snuck up on all of us. It was expected sometime this month, but it's actually just days away, going live this Thursday, December 15. A smaller set, Rise of the Bloodborn will add 39 new cards to the game, along with a new keyword: Blood Surge.
A minion with the Blood Surge ability will activate a unique effect any time you use your general's Bloodborn Spell—basically the same as Inspire keyword with Hearthstone's hero power, but Bloodborn Spells are cheaper and can't be used every turn. As you might have guessed, the set generally revolves around using and empowering Bloodborn Spells, which Counterplay Games's Emil Anticevic told me is an attempt to make using those spells more strategic, rather than just activating them whenever they are available.
While you'll still get Rise of the Bloodborn cards by purchasing orbs (card packs) unique to the set, these orbs function a little differently than the ones for the classic and Shim'zar sets. Instead of paying 100 gold for five random cards, a Bloodborn orb will cost 300 gold and contain three copies of three different cards, so nine cards total. None of the cards from this set are craftable or disenchantable, and once you've acquired a certain card, you won't ever see it in an orb again.
That means, with 39 different cards and three per pack, you only need to open 13 packs to guarantee you'll have unlocked three copies of the whole set. Alternatively, you can buy the orbs for $3 each, or $20 for all 13. If you buy a few orbs individually before deciding to spend cold hard cash, the $20 option will also come with a refund on any gold you already spent on Bloodborn orbs. Anticevic told me they think this method of distributing a set is better for players when releasing a smaller set like this, but it won't necessarily become the way they always release new sets from now on.
Now then, onto the card reveals. Counterplay has given us a sneak peak at six new cards to share with you from Rise of the Bloodborn, four of which have the new Blood Surge keyword. We'll be showing off one from each class, and you can flip through them all in the gallery below, along with my impressions. You can also find the full resolution PNGs and animated gifs of each card here.