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Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy goes live with a free Legendary card for everyone

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Scholomance Academy, the latest expansion to Blizzard's big-time card game Hearthstone (opens in new tab), is now live, adding 135 brand-new cards to the pile, including 40 new Dual-Class cards and the new 'Spellburst' keyword.

As their name suggests, Dual-Class cards—which we took a closer look at (opens in new tab) a couple of weeks ago—can be played in two classes. The result will be that synergies which were previously impossible, such as Shaman having access to Mana ramp, or Mage being able to play Combo cards, will now be open for exploration.

Blizzard says it will "unlock a whole new spectrum of gameplay possibilities," which of course it would say, but we'll have to wait and see whether the result is greater homogeneity because we see twice as much of these cards, or cool new combos. 

As for the new Spellburst keyword, it activates a one-time-only effect after a spell is cast while the card with Spellburst is in play. Another addition in Scholomance is Studies. These all cost 1-Mana, and enable players to Discover a card of a certain type. The next card of that type you play has its Mana cost reduced by 1, effectively making the Study card free. 

Speaking of free stuff, the launch of the expansion comes with some gratis goodies: All players who log into the game before October 27 will be given a Scholomance Academy Legendary card, and up to six Scholomance card packs can be earned by completing Legendary Quests.

The full lowdown on Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy is up at playhearthstone.com (opens in new tab). To ensure your learnin' gets off to a strong start, don't miss our list of top theorycrafted decks, and discover the three things Tim learned (opens in new tab) last week when he got his ass beat by (among others) Trump.

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.