You know how they say: “There’s no rest for the wicked”. That catchy old-timey phrase perfectly describes what Rise of the Shadowstorm, the latest Hearthstone expansion will be all about. It can also be applied to creative minds from Blizzard and their famous hard-working ethos. It seems it has been only yesterday that they gave us the opportunity to visit the legendary Gurubashi Arena and take part in their gory gladiatorial contest, determining once and for all who’s the mightiest warrior in all of Azeroth. And, we haven’t even had the opportunity to fully mend our broken bones and bruised limbs from of Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion when they announced Rise of Shadowstorm, which will be sneak attacking us from the shadows starting from April 9.
This time Azeroth is under the new threat. Five wickedly diabolical (yet somehow still extremely likable) super-villains have decided to join their maleficent forces and heist magical sky-bound city of Dalaran – Ocean’s Eleven-style! – seeking to lay their paws on its many arcane treasures and secrets. This League of E.V.I.L. (as they like to call themselves) is lead by one of the greatest criminal masterminds Azeroth had ever seen – Arch-Villain Rafaam! Knowing well that he couldn’t pull this heist on his own, this bandages-clad crook is backed up by equally unsavory scoundrels such as Dr. Boom, King Togwaggle, Hagatha, and Madame Lazul. Of course, their task won’t so easy as they’re hoping for since Dalaran is full of trigger-happy mages who like nothing more than to incinerate the intruders with their balls of fire. And there’s even a group of self-righteous vigilantes known as Defenders of Dalaran who would stop at nothing to see them brought to justice – dead or alive.
Thankfully, wrongdoers from League of E.V.I.L. had come fully prepared for the heist, bringing with them powerful new spells, insidious game mechanics and a mob of lackeys to do their bidding. As you might expect, each of crooks from the League has its own sidekick to do its dirty work. They are Goblin Lackey, Witchy Lackey, Kobold Lackey, Ethereal Lackey, and Faceless Lackey. They are 1/1 creatures, which would usually place them in the “pathetic” category if they weren’t armed with Battlecry abilities, aiding your nefarious goals with a number of useful effects.
Since schemers are best at scheming, Rise of Shadowstorm will introduce a new game mechanic which is – you’ve guessed it – called Schemes. Basically, they are spells that increase their potency each turn, as long as they are in your hand. Of course, it can be expected that the mages will retaliate with the vengeance, so League of E.V.I.L. will have to face powerful magic such as Twinspells. As their name hints, these Twinspells are spells which can be cast twice. When a Twin spell card comes into a play, its exact copy – or twin, if you like – will be created, which can be played anytime you want, i.e. immediately, or you can save it for later.
All in all, in this evil-bent Hearthstone expansion you can expect 135 new cards, scores of exciting new theme-based game mechanics and a few oldie-goldie ones which proved especially interesting in the past. There are currently also two bundles to be pre-ordered: normal 50-pack bundle and 80-pack mega bundle. The first will award you with a random legendary, the second with a random Golden Legendary. Of course, if you really want to prepare yourself for the heist on Dalaran, you can always purchase both and show those annoying Defenders the true power of League of E.V.I.L.