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Hearthstone's big Ashes of Outland expansion is live

Hearthstone's big Ashes of Outland update is live, and that means the Demon Hunter class—the first new class in the game's six-year history—has now joined the action. The new class is free for all players who complete the free Demon Hunter prologue campaign, along with ten Demon Hunter basic cards, a 20-card Demon Hunter Initiate set, and a pre-built Demon Hunter starting deck list.

Ashes of Outlands, which kicks off Hearthstone's Year of the Phoenix, will add 135 new cards to the game, along with a new Outcast keyword that grants big bonuses to cards played from the left or right-most position in your hand, and new Primes and Imprisoned Demons minions: When a Prime's deathrattle is triggered, a powerfully upgraded version of itself is shuffled back into your deck, while Imprisoned Demons are visible but untouchable for two turns after they're played, but then spring to life and unleash powerful effects.

Players who log into Hearthstone between now and June 29 will be given the Kael’thas Sunstrider Legendary minion for free, and if you're new to the game (or long lapsed) you'll also get a free deck from the class of your choice for giving it another shot. A new, free solo adventure that will see Illidan Stormrage and the Demon Hunters square off against the Rusted Legion is also on the way, although there's no date on that just yet.

We took the Demon Hunter class for a spin in a pre-release session in March, and found it something like a cross between the Rogue and Warlock classes: "It's a fast, aggressive class, but hopefully not as one-dimensional as, say, Hunter tends to be," Tim said in his analysis. More recently, we whipped up four speculative strategies for taking it on that you can dive into here.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.