Gaming

Hearthstone’s Big 2020 Finish - From Darkmoon Faire to Duels

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We've compiled a list of everything you need to know in order to gear up and get ready to replenish your decks and handle the series' next meta change, while waving a thankful goodbye to 2020 in style
By Kosta AndreadisPublished on
Blizzard’s Hearthstone has had something of a stellar year, and in 2020 no less. Where the long-running card game kicked off its Year of the Phoenix with the introduction of a brand-new class in the form of the Demon Hunter and a pair of delightful and engaging expansions.
Like a reflection of that impressive opening, where the Demon Hunter card was placed onto the proverbial table, Hearthstone is closing out the year not only with a new expansion (that will take players to the twisted carnival setting of Darkmoon Faire) and a brand new PvP mode called Duels.
With Duels looking to blend the very best of single-player Dungeon Runs with the competitive tournament-style format of multiplayer Arena battles, it brings a new way to play the long-running game. Plus, a pretty massive overhaul of the progression system to add a better sense of reward to player effort -- and investment. Here’s everything you need to know.

Madness at the Darkmoon Faire

  • Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is the latest Hearthstone expansion and the final 135 new-card set for the Year of the Phoenix.
  • Darkmoon Faire is based on the popular World of Warcraft location that pops up in towns across Azeroth bringing a fantasy-themed Carnival to players.
  • Also run by Silas Darkmoon, who gets his own card in this expansion, the Hearthstone version of Darkmoon Faire retains the carnival feel but adds a dose of “cursy-ness” in the form of corruption.
  • As brought on by the return of the Old Gods - C'thun, N'Zoth, Yogg-Saron, and Y'Shaarj, last seen in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion from back in 2016.
  • Which means, yeah, a lot more tentacles than the Darkmoon Faire found in WoW.
  • Once again Legendaries, these new versions of the Old Gods in card-form were created using the most recent mechanics and overall meta found in Hearthstone, whilst retaining their original feel.
  • The new Corrupt keyword will see a card transform into a more powerful version when a card of a higher cost is played.
  • As an example, if you have a 3-cost Corrupt card in your hand, you need to play any card that costs 4 or more to ‘Corrupt’ it.
  • Corrupt is a skill-test mechanic that plays into the strength of player-created decks whilst promoting the dual nature of cards. Blizzard has taken steps to ensure that the ‘non-corrupted’ versions are still viable.
  • Although chock full of corruption Madness at the Darkmoon Faire continues Hearthstone’s whimsical take on Warcraft with cards based on classic carnival games like Guess the Weight and Dunk Tank. The various, and questionable, fried foods too.
Darkmoon Faire's progression rewards
A look at how progression rewards work

Duels

Treasures, as seen in Dungeon Runs, offer powerful Passive abilities ranging from +1/+1 to all your minions or bonus spells to powerful Cards designed to give each encounter a distinct flavour...
  • Duels is a brand new PvP mode arriving alongside the latest expansion.
  • It blends the treasures and pre-defined heroes of single-player Dungeon Runs with the deck-building and tournament style of Arena battles.
  • Beginning your Duels journey you’ll first select a hero equipped with their own unique Hero Power (Season 1 of Duels features famous Scholomance Wizards based on the existing playable classes), choose a starting Treasure, and then a 15-card starting deck from your own Collection.
  • Season 1 decks are limited to Scholomance Academy, One Night in Kharazan, Curse of Naxxramas, and Basic/Classic cards.
  • Each new season will rotate Heroes, Treasures, and cards.
  • Treasures, as seen in Dungeon Runs, offer powerful Passive abilities ranging from +1/+1 to all your minions or bonus spells to powerful Cards designed to give each encounter a distinct flavour.
  • Each Duel run ends after you accrue three losses or 12 wins -- hopefully the latter
  • After each round, regardless if you win or lose, you are rewarded with new cards and treasures that play into the ever-growing complexity found within each subsequent Duel against human players.
  • As a brand-new game mode Blizzard will be updating it throughout its first season with plans to introduce new treasures ahead of Season 2 in 2021.
  • Duels features a Heroic mode similar to Arena where the cost of entry is gold or a Tavern Ticket and the rewards are things like arcane dust, gold cards, and new card packs.
A look at the Darkmoon Faire board aesthetics
The Darkmoon Faire board

Progression System Revamp

  • Achievement Unlocked! Hearthstone is finally getting a detailed achievement system, one that will track all manner of game accomplishments. As seen across WoW, Diablo, StarCraft and Blizzard has gone all out to cover just about every aspect of the game.
  • Achievements cover everything from the playable classes to card collections, ranked milestones, single-player adventures, and even the brand-new Duels mode.
  • Achievements will play into Hearthstone’s sense of fun with a few early examples being: “Encounter another player with the Mark of Hakkar card back” and “Summon 1000 Murlocs”.
  • As a nice little bonus, with achievements you’ll be able to see just how many cards from each expansion you have in your collection. Which, might just be a curse as much as a blessing for the completionists out there.
  • Seasonal rewards are also being added, which Hearthstone is calling its version of the Rewards Track - where the arrival of a new expansion will see overall progression and rewards begin anew.
  • With 50 levels in the Rewards Track, everything from card packs to Tavern Tickets to new card backs to gold will be up for grabs. And for those that complete all 50 levels - a brand new Hero Skin.
  • The Quest system, which has been a Hearthstone staple from day one, is getting a revamp. It will be tied to XP for the Rewards Track and will see a Weekly Quest join the Daily action.
  • Finally, a new and improved profile page has been added so you can see all of the above.
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