[Note: The power of the Lich King has proved so immense that our servers got frozen as a result of a deadly strike. We've been working to restore the intended functionality ever since. You might've seen the site announcement and the bulk of our coverage temporarily taking place elsewhere. The intent is to catch up throughout the following few days, while jumping into additional news as they happen; big thanks to anyone sticking around to relive the hype with us!]
And so it happened, all expectations being met. Those who did not believe before have no choice but to take heed of March of the Lich King, Hearthstone's next expansion scheduled to release on December 6 with 145 new collectible cards. This is by far the biggest card set to date, perhaps even the most ambitious one in its grand scope. Hearthstone as we know it is not going to be quite the same afterwards.
If you are interested, the pre-purchase bundles (Standard and Mega) for March of the Lich King are already available, and for the first time ever, will also remain accessible for one extra week following the launch of the expansion. You can wait and see how much appeal the new cards will hold!
The Lich King returns to Hearthstone, leading his Undead army and the new Death Knight class in an all-out assault on the elven city of Silvermoon! The Blood Elves won’t go down easily; they are as thirsty for combat as they are for the magic of the Sunwell that they draw power from. As the Corpses pile up, the Death Knights’ army swells, and so begins the March of the Lich King.
Here is everything we know about the third and final expansion for the Year of the Hydra:
New Death Knight Class
It is finally here, either to answer or crush the hopes of the large part of the Hearthstone community, which has now got their wishes granted. The new Death Knight class is bound to feel very unique in its own right.
- This is the second time Hearthstone adds a new class to the game, following the arrival of Demon Hunter with Ashes of Outland in April 2020.
- We will go up to 11 classes come December; that's a lot of decklists to keep up with!
- Hero Power: Ghoul Charge (2 Mana cost) - Summon a 1/1 Ghoul with Charge. It dies at the end of the turn.
- Class Mechanic: Corpses - Whenever a friendly minion dies, the Death Knight gains a Corpse. This special resource can be used to reinforce some of the other class cards.
- Special Deckbuilding Mechanic: Runes - Certain Death Knight cards are marked with Rune symbols. Red for Blood, Green for Unholy, Blue for Frost (this is a callback to World of Warcraft and the class' talent specializations there).
- Runes affect deckbuilding in turn - by choosing certain combinations (3 of one Rune, or 2+1, etc.), certain powerful cards will become available, while others will have to be excluded from the deck.
- Some Death Knight cards will not have any Rune restrictions.
- There will be a total of 68 Death Knight cards at the start: including the free 32-card Core Set pack unlocked through a dedicated Prologue solo adventure (similar to how Demon Hunter had its Initiate Set introduced back then).
- Path of Arthas Set will also be available upon launch, with 26 Death Knight class cards. Purchasable for either 2000 Gold or 1500 Runestones. Featured cards can also be manually crafted.
Death Knight Cards
This is a combination of March of the Lich King, Path of Arthas, and Core sets. You can see the Runes featured on most of the cards, right under their Mana cost.
All Other New Cards Revealed
Reveals will resume on November 7 and last until November 27. Here are all the other cards that have been shown so far (Sunwell is already available in the game as our free Legendary of the expansion):
New Minion Types - Undead and Dual-Type
Enter Undead as the new minion type, one that's been long awaited! You might've noticed a few examples among the new cards above. There are currently 226 cards (38 for Standard) listed in Blizzard Library that fit into this category. Do mind, these changes are not available in-game until Patch 25.0 delivers expansion-specific content.
The Lich King commands the Undead Scourge, and these unholy masses will be Hearthstone’s next new minion type: Undead! In March of the Lich King, Undead minions will appear in Neutral and in the classes that have aligned with the Lich King. Many cards synergize with Undead, triggering bonus effects “if a friendly Undead died after your last turn,” meaning either on your opponent’s last turn, or earlier on your current turn.
But that's not all! We've already had Dual-Class cards, now it's time for Dual-Type minions! Imagine all the upcoming synergies.
In March of the Lich King, some minions will have two minion types! For Undead minions, this might be a second type to represent what they were before they became Undead. These will be retroactive additions, with both Undead and second minion types being added to many older minions as well as those in this expansion.
New and Returning Keywords
You might've noticed one mysterious new keyword among the cards above, and one that's very familiar to players who remember Saviors of Uldum.
- Cards with Manathirst unlock a more powerful version once you reach a certain amount of Mana Crystals. We've seen similar mechanics before.
- Once activated, you don't actually need to spend the amount of Mana that's required to enable Manathirst (the cards use their own cost); it's all about getting there on the designated turn or through Ramp mechanics.
- Reborn returns as the new-old evergreen keyword that's going to appear in many future sets from now on!
- The first time a Reborn minion dies, it is resummoned with 1 Health remaining.
New Signature Cards and Packs
Enter new tier of cosmetic quality for cards (Diamond versions were apparently not the end): Signature. Available with the launch of the new expansion.
Signature is a new cosmetic quality that cards can have (like Golden or Diamond), with stylized full-art images, starting in Patch 25.0. For March of the Lich King, the Signature cards will all feature an icy sepia style, evoking the Lich King’s powers over Frost and the Undead. The art style of Signature cards within each expansion will match their respective expansion’s style and the card frame for future Signature cards might also change from time to time. That means Signature cards from future sets will look different from these ones, to evoke different tones and styles.
Signature cards can’t be crafted or disenchanted; they can only be opened in packs or earned through special means. There are a total of 18 Signature cards coming with the launch of March of the Lich King, including 15 Legendary cards. Two of the Legendary cards will be available on the Tavern Pass, and the three non-Legendary cards will be earnable for free as part of an event with expansion launch. After the launch of March of the Lich King, the other 13 Legendary Signature cards can be opened in Standard Packs, class packs, March of the Lich King Packs, and new March of the Lich King Signature Golden Packs. Signature Golden Packs are like current Golden Packs, but they have a chance to include Signature cards instead of only Golden cards, and they have much better overall odds of opening a Legendary card!*
The March of the Lich King Pre-Purchase Mega Bundle includes 2 random March of the Lich King Signature Legendary cards and 5 March of the Lich King Signature Golden Packs! Signature Golden Packs will also replace Golden Packs in the in-game Shop for all future expansions, starting with March of the Lich King.
* See full odds and disclosures on the disclosure site.
This is becoming somewhat complicated, but if you have a Collector's soul... the reveal stream has given us a preview of how such cards are going to look like for March of the Lich King. Quite impressive, at least for anyone appreciative of 'cooler' colors.
The full reveal stream, as it happened.