The Demon Hunter, Hearthstone’s first new class to date, enters the fray alongside the expansion, and is free to all players
Between now and June 29, players who log in to Hearthstone will receive the Kael’thas Sunstrider Legendary minion free
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Year of the Phoenix officially commences with the release of Ashes of Outland™, the new expansion for Blizzard’s smash-hit digital card game Hearthstone®. Inviting players to venture beyond the Dark Portal and into a brutal, war-torn realm, Ashes of Outland shakes up Hearthstone with 135 new cards that feature the wicked monstrosities, grim personalities, and fel-infused spells and artifacts native to this shattered world.
The Demon Hunter, Hearthstone’s first ever all-new class since launch, arrives today, alongside Ashes of Outland. Suffused with chaotic fel energy and capable of fearsome feats of soul magic, the Demon Hunter’s unique playstyle encourages unbridled aggression, with an emphasis on direct hero attacks and powerful demon minions. The Demon Hunter class and corresponding Illidan Stormrage Hero—as well as 30 of the class’s specially tailored cards—are available free to all players who complete the free four-part Demon Hunter prologue single-player campaign.
Ashes of Outland introduces a total of 135 new cards to the game, including Primes, a new type of Legendary minion designed to make a lasting impact on a match. In their initial forms, Primes are strong, economical early-to-midgame minions; upon leaving the board, they’re shuffled back into a player’s deck in a vastly upgraded form. Players will also have to contend with Imprisoned Demons. Initially “dormant” for two turns and unable to attack or take damage, these powerful minions unleash match-shifting effects once they’re activated.
The Year of the Phoenix Commences
The Year of the Phoenix brings some of the biggest fundamental changes that Hearthstone has seen to date (with more to come):
- Ranked Mode Overhaul—The new year kicks off with an improved ranked play experience, including reworked matchmaking and a fun progression system loaded with meaningful rewards.
- New and Returning Player Experience—New players who ascend through the beginner ranks—as well as those returning to Hearthstone after an absence—will receive a free competitive deck of the class of their choice.*
- Improved Card Pack Experience—The popular “no duplicate Legendaries” rule now applies across all card rarities. Players will no longer receive more than two copies of any Common, Rare, or Epic until they’ve acquired two copies of all cards of that rarity in a set.
- Free Solo Adventure—Later in the expansion cycle, all players will get a free Solo Adventure set in the shattered world of Outland. Join the iconic Illidan Stormrage and his cadre of elite Demon Hunters as they battle the dreaded Rusted Legion!
- Priest Class Overhaul—Big changes have come to the Priest class to better accentuate its class identity. Six of the class’s cards have moved into the Hall of Fame, with all-new ones introduced in their place.
- Battlegrounds Updates—Hearthstone: Battlegrounds continues to evolve in the Year of the Phoenix, starting with Illidan’s recent arrival to the roster of playable heroes.
Players who log in to Hearthstone can complete a chain of quests to earn a total of six card packs: three from Ashes of Outland, and one each from Descent of Dragons™, Saviors of Uldum™, and Rise of Shadows™. The first quest in the chain is available today, with the second and third to follow on April 8 and 9. Furthermore, all Hearthstone players get the Legendary minion Kael’thas free if they log in between now and June 29.
Ashes of Outland is available today on Windows® and Mac® PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android™ tablets; and mobile phones. Ashes of Outland card packs are currently winnable in Hearthstone’s Arena mode, and players can purchase them with in-game gold or real money at the same prices as Hearthstone’s other card packs.
For more information on Ashes of Outland, visit the official site.
With more than 100 million players worldwide, Hearthstone is Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed, free-to-play digital card game designed for novice and veteran card-slingers alike. Players can choose from 10 powerful hero classes and customize their decks with minions, spells, and weapons based on the unique fantasy of the Warcraft® universe. Featuring a variety of game modes ranging from epic head-to-head duels to story-driven Solo Adventures, Hearthstone offers a vibrant and rewarding experience stacked with strategy, personality, and fun. Hearthstone is available globally for Windows and Mac PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android tablets; and iOS, and Android mobile phones.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone, Overwatch®, the Warcraft, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multifranchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games† and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
*Free deck is only available to new players and returning players who have not logged in to Hearthstone in the past four months on a rolling basis. Limit one per account.
†Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distributors.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements:
Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the availability, features, and functionality of Hearthstone®, including the Ashes of Outland™ expansion, Hearthstone: Battlegrounds, and the Year of the Phoenix, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
For more information contact:
Fabio Lo Zito