Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Rastakhan’s Rumble takes the players through a brand-new experience based on the troll race. In a nutshell, the expansion sees King Rastakhan summon all the best fighters from around Azeroth to fight in an awesome tournament. The new classes all battle under different representation of a specific Loa in an attempt to become victorious.
I am no Hearthstone master but I do enjoy jumping back into the game every expansion or so to see what has changed, was has not and play the single-player mode that releases with almost every expansion. Rastakhan’s Rumble was particularly interesting as I spent much of my past few months playing World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth and the Hearthstone expansion is set in the same new location.
Rastakhan’s Rumble does not change the game much, especially when comparing it to past expansions. There are a few new things like a new hero portrait, 135 new cards, 23 of these being legendary, a new dungeon run and a new hero card – Zul’jin. The single player experience sees you fight through a handful of opponents using a set deck and as you progress through these matches, new cards are added to your deck. This means as you progress through it all, things get tougher and matches go from being pretty easy to needing to learn the cards and tactics behind them all.
The single player content relies on these new “Shrines” to use in matches. These special cards are on your board throughout the match and offer specific buffs to you and the game in general. Some of the Shrines include buffs like dealing damage to an opponent’s hero everytime you get attacked. The main idea of these Shrines means that you need to get rid of them as fast as possible by attacking them and putting them into a three-turn cooldown to allow you to focus on the standard gameplay. They are a refreshing change of pace in my opinion.
Blizzard’s new approach for this expansions is simple, release a bunch of new cards and let people decide how to use them and they are pretty effective given the range of the new cards. The new Overkill mechanics found across certain cards adds a method to another method. Blast Wave, for example, deals 2 damage to all minions and its Overkill mechanic adds a random page spell to your hand. The Overkill mechanic often praises Spell Damage and forces the player to focus on improving spell damage to do more spell damage only to have an Overkill mechanic kick in and, well, Overkill it with even more spell damage.
One of my most favourite cards is Sul’thraze which is an overkill card that lets you attack again. It is pretty overpowered and once used late in a game is extremely effective. We then also have Bloodclaw that deals 5 damage to your hero. This card may seem useless but when you combine it with a card that says, summons specific cards for every 1 damage you receive, the sacrifice of hurting yourself makes it well worth it to fill the battlefield with smaller minions.
I have always been scared to get into Hearthstone. I played it heavily when it first released and took a break shortly after but the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion forced me to spend time with the game again and it has been well worth it. The cards are fun, the mechanics are a great change from the usual pace and the single-player content may be very similar but its coliseum-like approach is refreshing. Its price tag of $39,99 may be steep for newcomers but if you have been on the fence about the game then I assure you there is a lot of fun to be had here.