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Hearthstone’s next expansion takes us back to the spires of Stormwind

[peasant voice] Off I go then

Hearthstone - Key art for United in Stormwind, showing a selection of Alliance heroes standing in the middle of the trade district. Image: Blizzard Entertainment

The last Hearthstone expansion, Forged in the Barrens, took us to a predominantly Horde zone to see how Kalimdor was faring. The follow-up expansion, United in Stormwind, was revealed today, and it looks the Alliance equivalent. The expansion has 135 new cards and some new mechanics that should add an intriguing twist to the digital card game.

As always, there’s a new keyword with this expansion, and it’s Tradable. Tradable cards can be played normally, or you can put them back into your deck for one mana and draw another card that might work better. Of course, it might not; it’s a bit of a gamble.

Players will also be able to get new Mount spells. Mounts buff up minions, and if the rider dies, the enemy still has to contend with the remaining steed. Rounding out the feel of a Warcraft City is Profession Tools. These passive weapons give bonuses when certain things happen. You can’t attack with them, but they’re worth equipping because of these reactions. For instance, a Paladin’s Prismatic Jewel Kit boosts all of the minions in their hand when an ally on the field loses Divine Shield. In short, you trade attack power for more long-term conditional gains.

Quests, where players meet certain conditions for a big reward, have been part of Hearthstone for some time now. United in Stormwind’s Questlines expand on that formula. Players will have three-part quests that are tied to certain mercenary heroes. Complete all three quests in a match and the mercenary joins you as a Legendary minion. Each class will have their own Questline in United in Stormwind, and the Legendary minions will likely have roles to play in the upcoming Mercenaries game mode.

The United in Stormwind expansion will launch alongside an update to the game’s Battlegrounds mode. Players can expect big changes to the minion pool. There will also be cosmetic options for the Tavern, including heroes having a cool summer party and a set of heroes that match with the current Shadowlands expansion.