The Year of the Mammoth, Hearthstone‘s new year, arrived in April and brought many changes for Blizzard’s trading card game. Chief of which was the removal of the single-player quasi-expansion “Adventures” in favor of larger and more regular releases of new cards. And that’s what we saw last week with the announcement of Knights of the Frozen Throne.

Based on The Lich King’s iconic frozen lands of Northrend, players’ collections will be bolstered with 135 new cards. The theme is (un)death, and new keyword for this expansion is “Lifesteal”. Echoing The Lich King’s connection between life and death, minions and spells with Lifesteal will transfer damage dealt back to their Hero as health. Much like Un’Goro’s Poison keyword, we’ve seen this effect before, but it will be the first time that we’ll see the effect enshrined as a major card keyword.

knights of the frozen throne board

But perhaps the most exciting addition to the roster is an entirely new card type – the Hero card. Representing a Death Knight version of each class’s default hero, these Legendary cards will replace your current Hero and Hero Power, and will likely all come with a Battlecry effect. Unlike similar cards like Jaraxxus, it is assumed that these cards will not count as minions and cannot be pulled from your hand by effects like Dirty Rat. So far, only one Hero card has been revealed; Deathstalker Rexxar.

Deathstalker Rexxar

Deathstalker Rexxar’s new Hero Power has been confirmed to be “Build-A-Beast” – an unholy fusion of two beast cards stitched together and animated with The Lich King’s dark power:

Build-a-Beast allows Deathstalker Rexxar to stitch together a horrifying new Zombeast by ‘Discovering’ pieces of two former animal friends. The new creation combines all the stats of both creatures he’s sewn together; mana cost, attack, health, and card text. The beastly abomination is then added to Deathstalker Rexxar’s hand to later be unleashed on a hapless foe.

knights of the frozen throne campaign

In addition to the new cards and card type, Knights of the Frozen Throne will also feature a single-player component where players will be tasked with climbing Icecrown, battling The Lich King and his minions, and taking the Frozen Throne for themselves. Success will reward you with card packs, and one of the Legendary Hero cards. And thanks to the other changes, you’re guaranteed a Legendary minion in your first ten packs.

You can see the other four cards that have been formally revealed in the gallery below. Knights of the Frozen Throne will release in August, with a fifty-pack set on sale for $49.99/£44.99/€49.99 – including a bonus card back, of course. Where would we be without more card backs? Read more about this expansion over at Blizzard’s official site.

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Mark Jansen

Staff Writer

When I'm not writing on TechRaptor, you can normally find me on YouTube pulling stupid faces under a silly pseudonym.