Blizzard has announced the next expansion coming to Hearthstone, Scholomance Academy. The school for fledgeling witches and wizards takes a jauntier tone than the dark and edgy Ashes of Outland, and introduces a few new spell-based mechanics along with a few other surprises. It will add 135 new cards in all, and it’s set to launch in early August.
Scholomance Academy’s biggest addition comes in the form of 40 new Dual-Class Cards. Each class has been matched with two others that share certain aspects, like Druid and Hunter’s affinity for Beasts. The Dual-Class Cards are split down the middle with the color-code for each of its classes, and these cards can be added to decks of either of the classes. Longtime players may recognize the mechanic as similar to the tri-class gangs in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.
A new Spellburst keyword will also accent the spell-focused flavor of the expansion. The new keyword will trigger a one-time effect from a minion the first time you cast a spell. Some will be ideally triggered on the same turn they’re played, while others will get the best effect if you wait and keep the minion on the board for a subsequent turn. It works like a delayed-action Battlecry, letting you choose when the impact enters play.
Similarly, new Studies cards will let you discover a card while also reducing the cost of the next card of that type. If you discover a spell, for example, your next spell will be discounted.
Blizzard hasn’t announced a date for the new expansion yet, but it has opened pre-orders. You can get a Scholomance Academy Pre-Purchase Bundle ($50) that includes 55 packs, one random Golden Legendary from the set, and a Kel’Thuzad card back. A bigger “Mega Bundle” ($80) gives you 80 packs, five Scholomance Golden Card packs, the random Golden Legendary, a Kel’Thuzad Mage Hero, card back, and a “Tavern Pass” with four Arena tickets.
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