Enter the tavern and get ready for Hearthstone’s first expansion pack of 2020, Ashes of Outland. The expansion pack brings 135 new cards and for the first time, a new class, the Demon Hunter. This is the 14th expansion pack for the game and the first for 2020 which marks the end of the Year of the Dragon and began the Year of the Phoenix.
The Year of the Phoenix is the fifth Standard year and rotated The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project and Rastakhan’s Rumble into the Wild Format. This year also added the HoF Leeroy Jenkins, Mountain Giant, Mind Control Tech, Acolyte of Pain and Spellbreaker to the Hall of Fame.
Ashes of Outland is just a start as there’s tons of content to expect in the upcoming Year of the Phoenix. More expansions, Battlegrounds updates, seasonal events, Tavern Brawls, solo adventure and so much more. You can refer to the Year of the Phoenix roadmap below.
This is a great time to be a new or be a returning player as you can have the option to select a class and gain a free, prebuilt deck. Starting March 26th, players new to the game who graduate from the New Player ranks gets a free deck. There’s also a new rule implemented which gives you higher chances of getting the card you want as all rarities now follow the Duplicate rule. It’s a rule that you can no longer open duplicate copies of any card you own, unless you already have all cards of that rarity from that set.
Just a little background, the expansion is set in the alien realm of Outland and stars Illidan Stormrage and his Illidari disciples facing against the Rusted Legion, a mysterious new foe that’s wreaking havoc across the Outland. Best thing about this expansion is the expansive single-player adventure is completely free.
Having Illidan in this expansion, Ashes of Outland introduced the Demon Hunter class which features Demons, who enters the field in a dormant state and takes 2 turns before being active and unleashing new effects; and Primes, who transforms into powerful versions of themselves upon death. You can finish the Prologue and unlock the Demon Hunter class which adds 10 new cards to the Basic set and 20 new cards in a special Demon Hunter Initiate set.
The Demon Claws is the Demon Hunter’s Hero Power. It’s a 1-mana cost boost which gives the Hunter +1 attack. It’s designed to have synergies to most cards in the Demon Hunter arsenal. The low mana cost gives it an aggressive play style. There are also a number of Hero Attack buffs with weapons that trigger different effects.
The Demon Hunter also introduces a new class-specific keyword, Outcast. Outcast cards have powerful bonuses if they’re sitting on the left or right-most position in your hand. These bonuses can easily sway the tide to your favor.
One of the popular decks right now is the Tempo Demon Hunter build. It’s a very aggressive build that capitalizes on the Hero power of the class and minions and tend to snowball very early. The core cards got a Day 1 nerf as it seemed pretty imbalanced, but the cards are still useful despite their reduced forms. These are: Skull of Gul’dan, Imprisoned Antaen, Eye Beam and the Aldrachi Warblades. The Eye Beam and Warblades give the Demon Hunter very early access to powerful lifesteal abilities. The Blade Dance and Altruis the Outcast card gives the Demon Hunter powerful board control, clearing waves of minions at a minimal cost. Middle game gives you more advantage as at this point in the game, you gain access to powerful demons in your stash. Raging Felscreamer makes you summon the next Demon for 2 mana less, perfect for summoning Priestess of Fury, a 6/7 Demon for 5 mana? Sold. Do I need to talk about late game? Chances are you’ve already finished your opponent early mid game if you played your cards right.
There’s 135 new collectible cards in the Ashes of Outland expansion. You can check them individually here
To conclude, whether you’re a new player starting out Hearthstone or a returning player getting that card battle itch, now’s the right time to jump in with the Ashes of Outland expansion. Explore the new meta, enjoy the new cards and explore the world of Outland with Illidan Stormrage. Wreak havoc with the new Demon Hunter class or revisit your previous decks with the number of new cards available. Stay tuned as the Year of the Phoenix has just started.