Once every generation, Azeroth's Troll tribes come together to compete for the blessings of the Loa and the favor of King Rastakhan. The no-holds-barred battle forms the basis for Rastakhan's Rumble, the next Hearthstone expansion, which was just revealed today as part of the BlizzCon opening ceremony.
Nine teams will take part in the latest iteration of this time-honored Troll-down, each led by a Legendary Troll Champion representing one of the Hearthstone classes. The Loa, ancient spirits worshipped by the Trolls, will also take part in the fighting as Legendary minions. Shirvallah the Tiger is the Paladin Loa, which costs a cool 25-Mana to cast. You can reduce that outlay by casting spells, but even so it seems like a restrictive price for an effect that's probably only going to be good in incredibly slow control decks.
Rastakhan also adds a new kind of classic-specific minion called Spirits, which will aid players with "impressive effects that synergize with the Loa." As part of the on-stage reveal we saw a card called the Spirit of the Shark. This is a 0/3 Rogue minion which, like all Spirits, has Stealth for 1 turn. It also comes with the passive effect of your Battlecry and Combo cards triggering twice. Spirit of the Shark costs 4 Mana, and anyone who can remember how good the similar Brann Bronzebeard was won't be sleeping on this card. Calling it now: We're going to see some giant Edwins.
And because there's no kill like an excessive one, the new Overkill mechanic will reward players with a bonus (these will vary) for inflicting excess damage on enemy minions. To demonstrate, we got a look at the 4/4 weapon Sul'thraze. If you deal excess damage with it (eg, kill a 3 health minion with its 4 damage), its Overkill bonus allows you to attack again—and you can keep doing that to clear the board if you can keep dealing excess damage to minions.
Rastakhan will add 135 new cards to the game, as well as a new single-player adventure called Rumble Run that will pit players against the realm's strongest Troll champions. Apparently axes will be involved. Overall, Rastakhan sounds a lot like, well, another Hearthstone expansion—a smattering of new ideas plus the addition of a keyword. We'll need to see more cards to have a sense of whether this set is going to be enough to shakeup a metagame which has grown stale in recent months.
Rastakhan's Rumble card packs can be purchased with real money or in-game gold at the same rates as other card packs, and can also be won in Hearthstone's Arena mode. Prior to the release of the expansion, players will also be able to pre-purchase the 17-pack Challenger's Bundle, which includes the Ready to Rumble! card back, for $20, or the 50-pack Rumble Bundle, which adds a new King Rastakhan playable Shaman Hero, for $50.
Hearthstone: Rastakhan's Rumble will go live on December 4. Full details are up at rastakhansrumble.com, and you can get a look at the new cards we talked about down below.
Blizzard is revealing more about the expansion at BlizzCon today—for instance, they mentioned that a new hero card is coming—and we'll add more details and card images to this post as we learn more.