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Hearthstone adds jousting, new monthly ranked rewards

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Blizzard is bringing a new gameplay mechanic — jousting — to its competitive collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the developer announced at its Gamescom press conference today. The company is also bringing new monthly rewards to the game as part of its next expansion, The Grand Tournament.

Jousts will be introduced with new cards coming in The Grand Tournament. A player who draws a joust card will summon a minion from their own deck and from their opponent's. The player whose minion card costs more mana will emerge the victor in the joust, and if the player who initiates the joust wins, they'll receive the bonus specified on the card they played.

Blizzard executive producer Hamilton Chu revealed a handful of joust cards at the press conference, including the Master Jouster, which gives the player taunt and divine shield; Tuskarr Jouster, which restores 7 health to a player's hero; and Armored Warhorse, which gives the player charge.

Here's a quick video of a joust play in Hearthstone.

Blizzard revealed 11 new cards, including the aforementioned joust cards, on the official Hearthstone website.

At Gamescom, Hearthstone senior game designer Mike Donais introduced another change coming to the game as part of The Grand Tournament: Highest Rank Bonus.

Highest Rank Bonus is a quality of life improvement designed to keep Hearthstone players playing ranked play, without fear of having their rank go down should they take a few losses. Donais said the bonus was designed "as a way to continue feeling good about continuing to play."

Each player's Quest Log will capture their highest rank, and at the end of the month, they'll get a bonus for the highest rank they've achieved. Players who reach level 20 or better, will get rewards to recognize their accomplishments: a card back, one to three golden cards and some amount of Arcane Dust.

Blizzard has posted some details on Highest Rank Bonus on Battle.net.

The Grand Tournament expansion for Hearthstone is expected to launch in August.