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It’s Time to Troll with Rastakhan’s Rumble

Michael Bitton Posted:
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It’s been some time since I’ve actively played Hearthstone. Keeping up with it just got too expensive, but after digging into some of the more popular decks lately, I’ve considered getting back into the game. My decision was made a bit easier when the  newest expansion, Rastakhan’s Rumble, was announced at BlizzCon last week. Color me interested.

Rastakhan’s Rumble focuses on the Trolls of Warcraft, specifically, a once in a generation tournament where Trolls from all over Azeroth come to fight on behalf of their loa (primal gods). The new expansion serves a number of purposes. It gives players the Troll set they’ve been clamoring for, it (hopefully) shakes up the meta, and  also ties into the current events of Battle for Azeroth, which is a nice thematic bonus.

In terms of gameplay, the expansion introduces Overkill, a new keyword. Overkill grants a bonus that is triggered if you deal, well, overkill damage to a minion. One example shown was the weapon card Sul’thraze, which allows you to attack again if you trigger its Overkill keyword. Considering the fact the weapon has a condition of 4, you could potentially attack up to three additional times in a single turn.

As one would expect, Blizzard is also introducing new cards that synergize well with the Overkill keyword. Blizzard showed off a simple 2 mana pirate minion called Sharkfin Fan. This creature summons a 1/1 Pirate whenever your hero attacks. Combined with a weapon like Sul’thraze it’s easy to see how one could make a play for board control with just these two cards.

The nine teams in Rastakhan’s Rumble are each represented by a champion who fights for its loa with the teams corresponding to each of Hearthstone’s nine classes. Each champion will be available as a Legendary minion card for its respective team (class), with the exception of Zul’jin, who will instead be a hero card for the Hunter class.

Additionally, each class in Rastakhan’s Rumble gets a spirit. Spirits are thematically tied to the loa associated with each class. For the Rogue, this is the Spirit of the Shark. This card allows the Rogue to trigger all Combos and Battlecries twice for as long as that card remains active on the board. The effects of each spirit are unique to its class, but they share similarities in that they are all 0/3 minions and Stealth for a single turn.

The loa themselves will be available as Legendary cards for each class, as well. Blizzard showed off the Paladin loa, Shirvallah, the Tiger, a 25 mana 7/5 Beast with Divine Shield, Rush, and Lifesteal. Its mana cost is reduced by 1 for mana the Paladin spends on spells.

PvE players have something to look forward to in Rastakhan’s Rumble too. The expansion adds Rumble Run, new single player content which leverages the game’s popular deck-building PvE modes. In Rumble Run, players will pick from three randomly selected Troll champions, each corresponding to one of the game’s classes, and add new minions and spells to their decks as they advance through the Rumble.

Personally, I’m not a huge Warcraft guy, so the themes of the expansion don’t do a whole lot for me (Trolls are pretty cool, though!), but I am excited to see what the new mechanics end up doing for the game’s meta. Hearthstone, at least in my experience, tends to stagnate fairly quickly after an expansion drops. The first few weeks are exciting, but then everyone is basically running the same decks. It’s hard to say at this point whether Rastakhan’s Rumble will sufficiently shake things up, but I’m hoping the varied effects promised by all the new mechanics will keep things interesting for a while after launch.

What’s your take on the new expansion? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB