You’d better be quick on the draw, because we’re shuffling down to the Inn tonight!

Ok so, I’m currently knee-deep in my undergraduate dissertation… And while it’s by far the most fascinating piece of work I’ve ever done, it’s also really, really open to procrastination… And so I’ve fallen back on my old love, Hearthstone; a game I’ve used as a key source in the dissertation in some vain attempt to make myself work harder. Didn’t work.

But the last few weeks saw the release of the first of 2019’s Expansions, ‘Rise of Shadows’, and it struck me that this is the best time there ever was to get into the game if you haven’t given it a try yet. Here are three reasons why.

It’s the beginning of the ‘Year of the Dragon’

So for those of you who aren’t familiar with card games, not all cards are usable at the same time. In order to keep the game fresh, cards are added, yes, but also removed fairly often. Hearthstone releases cards in three sets a year, and at the beginning of each year, the three oldest sets are rotated out of standard play. This means that the first expansion of each year is going to stick around longer than the other two – In other words, if you decide to take the deep dive and buy a load of packs, the cards you get from those packs will end up staying relevant for 2 years rather than 1.5 or 1… Whereas last year’s opening ‘The Witchwood’ saw a few good cards dominate to the point they’ve been sent away early, ‘Rise of Shadows’ is decidedly milder, meaning it’ll be a far smoother introduction to the next two years of play.

What’s more, the Year of the Dragon is set to feature, for the first time, a year-long story which will continue across multiple expansions – Meaning you can essentially pick the game up now and experience this journey with the rest of the community as it happens.

Solo Content

So, ‘Rise of Shadows’ has both a multiplayer and single-player component; while the multiplayer component is ‘just’ some new cards, the solo content is unlike anything seen before; it’s a concoction of things seen before in Hearthstone all mixed together in a way that demonstrates that Story aspect we talked about earier – Unfortunately, there’s a price tag on the ‘Rise of Shadows’ Content.

However, there is solo content available for free as well, in the form of the Monster Hunt, Boom Laboratory, and Rumble Run Gamemodes. These are free game modes that don’t require you to use your own cards to play, and feature Hearthstone at it’s most fun – there’s no time limit on turns, so you can slow right down and think about your moves so you can get used to the game’s thinking – You’ll see a wide range of cards over time, so you can slowly learn about the game and start to strategize around it, and what’s more you’re able to access cards that are far too wacky and powerful for competitive play, so you can experience the joy of Hearthstone at it’s craziest.

It’s a really good expansion, actually

As for the cards themselves? Well, it’s a really cool, varied set with plenty of cool effects to consider, but nothing too major or game-breaking. The game is experiencing the biggest Meta shift in its lifetime, so now is the time to get experimenting with all the new Mechanics – Twinspell, Lackeys, and Schemes all add something new, and Callback cards will give you a glimpse at the kind of mechanics that came before!

So there you have it! If you do decide to play around with Hearthstone, let me know how you get on down below in the comments!

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