Hearthstone's new solo adventure launches January 21, adds 35 new cards

Presumably because it's hard to keep the arrival of an enormous, world-ending dragon under wraps for too long, Blizzard has announced that Galakrond's Awakening is scheduled to land on January 21. For those not keeping up with Hearthstone's current scaly shenanigans, said Awakening is the new solo adventure that's coming as part of the Descent of Dragons expansion.

Galakrond's Awakening features 24 encounters spread across two separate stories: One that sees the League of E.V.I.L. attempting to resurrect the great proto-dragon Galakrond, and another featuring the League of Explorers' desperate effort to stop the nefarious plan and save the world.

The new solo adventure won't just bring Hearthstone's Year of the Dragon to a close, it will also bring back the Solo Adventure format that challenges players to take on a series of unique and powerful bosses using pre-made decks. Over the course of several weeks, players can earn 35 new cards by completing the challenges, which can be added to both Standard and Wild decks, and once both stories are finished a Heroic mode will unlock which will present even tougher versions of those challenges that players can take on with their own decks.

"The Year of the Dragon has been a dynamic and exciting one for Hearthstone, with a series of meta-shifting expansions, an ambitious year-long story, and a rapid cadence of new features and updates that have fundamentally evolved the game," Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said. "Galakrond’s Awakening will bring the story we’ve been telling in the game all year to an epic and fitting conclusion, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone."

Hearthstone's Descent of Dragons expansion went live in December, and very quickly ran into trouble. We expected it to be a powerful set, but it turned Shamans into such "unstoppable, storm-summoning forces of nature," as Fraser put it, that Blizzard began working on nerfs almost immediately. Complaints about overpowered cards in new Hearthstone expansions are hardly unusual, but Blizzard's rapid response was a pretty clear indication that something was definitely amiss. Another patch, with even more nerfs, is set to go live this week

The first chapter of the League of E.V.I.L. campaign in Galakrond's Awakening will be free for all players on January 21, with four League of E.V.I.L. card rewards to earn; the League of Explorer campaign , with seven League of Explorer card rewards, will be available on the same day for $7 or 700 gold. Subsequent chapters for both campaigns will be released weekly (January 28, February 4, and February 11) for the same price, or you can get the whole thing in a bundle for $20, which will also get you a Golden Classic card pack. 

Full details on Galakrond's Awakening are up at playhearthstone.com, and you can get a look at four of the cards coming in the new solo adventure—Shotbot, Chaos Gazer, Dark Prophecy, and The Amazing Reno—down below.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

(Image credit: Blizzard)

(Image credit: Blizzard)

(Image credit: Blizzard)
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.