From a new expansion to a whole new class, Ashes Of Outland is probably Hearthstone’s biggest announcement to date. We’re seeing Demon Hunters doing their thing, updates to the game’s ranked mode, and whole classes getting revamped. Our friends at Metabomb have put together this overview of everything you need to know.
Hearthstone Ashes Of Outland guide - all the info you need
With an entirely new class coming to the game, the Year of the Phoenix might be the most significant update since the game’s launch. Here’s a rundown on all the new stuff.
- When does Ashes Of Outland release?
- Demon Hunter - new class
- Returning player bonuses
- Leeroy Jenkins is going to the Hall Of Fame
- The Priest class is changing
- New ranked system
Hearthstone’s upcoming expansion will be released on April 7th. Historically, this means we’ll be able to update the game at 6pm GMT (11am PST, 2pm EST), but we’ll update you on any changes to that.
Demon Hunter - new class
The new Demon Hunter class is hands-down the big ticket item for this latest update. We’ll be seeing demonic claws, aggressive play, and sacrificing minions for your own ends. The Demon Hunter’s class identity will be immediately familiar with players of World of Warcraft’s 2007 expansion The Burning Crusade, and the Hearthstone team have tried to transport Illidan’s likeness into the card game, albeit with a Hearthstone-style twist.
On April 2nd, you’ll be able to play the Demon Hunter Prologue, a 4-part adventure describing Illidan’s transformation into a Demon Hunter from his own point of view. For this, players will receive 10 Demon Hunter cards from the basic set, as well as 20 more ‘Demon Hunter starter cards’. Each expansion, the new class will receive 15 cards of its own, instead of the ten every other class gets. Hopefully this’ll catch them up a bit in card count.
The new keyword for Demon Hunters is ‘Outcast’. It gives you a bonus for playing a card when it’s either the left-most or right-most one in your hand. For example, Eye Beam usually costs three mana to cast, and deals three damage to an enemy minion with Lifesteal. However, if you play all cards to its left, or topdeck it, Eye Beam costs zero, giving you a huge amount more flexibility thanks to its Outcast ability. Other cards have different bonuses for Outcast, not just mana reduction, so make sure you play out your cards in the right order to maximise your benefit.
The class’ Hero Power is an interesting one too. Demon Claws only costs one mana, and gives your Hero +1 Attack this turn. Its lower cost means it’s easy to slot into more turns and giving your Hero attack power holds a great deal of synergy with other cards in the class. Battlefiend is a great example of this - if you can get your Hero to attack every turn, you’ll be buffing the minion’s attack by one every turn too.
Illidan is even being added to Hearthstone Battlegrounds, with a passive Hero Power that lets your left-most and right-most minions attack immediately at the start of combat. This is shaping up to be pretty powerful and he’s likely to sit pretty high on Metabomb’s Battlegrounds tier list.
For those of you who haven’t done a lot of Hearthstone recently, the Returning Player experience is being improved for you. Now, you’ll be able to hang out with Illidan for even more adventures, and as a reward get a free deck from a class of your choice to get you started.
Of course, it’s still not cheap to fill out your collection, but the new returning player experience has been designed to make it easier than ever to get into Hearthstone, particularly considering all the new stuff that’s been added over the last couple years.
That’s right, with the end of a year comes the end of some old favourite cards. Leeroy Jenkins will always be in our hearts, but he’s gone forever (unless you play Wild format). Along with Leeroy, Mountain Giant, Mind Control Tech, Spellbreaker, and Acolyte of Pain are also being rotated out of Standard format.
Hopefully, this gives the Hearthstone team more space for designing engaging and interesting cards, but fans of these ubiquitous minions will be sad to see them go.
Priest has been the subject of scrutiny for a little while in Hearthstone. It’s a little bit too focused on raw damage, rather than the healing and mind control the class’ flavour indicates. That’s why six classic Priest cards are being removed from Standard, and are being replaced with brand new additions.
Auchenai Soulpriest, Prophet Velen, Holy Fire, Shadowform, Divine Spirit, and Northshire Cleric are all being taken out of Standard, with all-new control focused cards to replace them. We’re especially looking forward to seeing how Shadow Word: Ruin performs - it’s 4 mana for a potential full board wipe which could get pretty ridiculous in a lot of decks.
Hearthstone’s ranked system has been pretty heavily altered. Along with the new star bonuses, which let you boost through the lower ranks far more easily, there’s an entirely new system of ranking players, going from Bronze all the way up to Diamond, with Legend rank still above that. With MMR matchmaking giving players more even games, this ranked system should make it easier to visualise how highly ranked you are in relation to everyone else.
For more info on Hearthstone’s latest announcements for the Year of the Phoenix, head on over to our friends at Metabomb. They’ve got all sorts of guides for the Ashes Of Outland expansion, as well as a whole host of constantly-updating Hearthstone decks. Check out the links below if you want to read more.
- Hearthstone Demon Hunter - an overview
- Hearthstone’s new ranked system - what does it mean?
- Leeroy Jenkins and friends have been Hall of Famed
- Priest class in Hearthstone undergoes big changes
- Hearthstone’s newest expansion: Ashes Of Outland
- Revamped new player experience means now is a good time to get back into Hearthstone
- Aggro Demon Hunter deck list guide