The new Hearthstone expansion, Scholomance Academy, focuses on Dual Class cards, spells and the new Spellburst keyword. However, I asked Blizzard’s Alec Dawson and Liv Breeden about what’s in store for the Demon Hunter class.
Given that Demon Hunter was only added in the previous expansion, Ashes of Outland, I was curious to learn what Blizzard wanted to achieve with Demon Hunter in its sophomore outing. Dawson explained how Demon Hunter had become quite an aggro hero but Blizzard hoped to expand on this.
“Coming off of Ashes of Outland, Demon Hunter’s really aggressive and very tempo oriented. With this expansion, particularly, we wanted to make sure that we explore the other archetypes within Demon Hunter,” Dawson said.
When we first saw the Demon Hunter, Blizzard had given the class lots of tools and strategies to create a wide variety of decks and archetypes. However, the aggro/temp archetype was far stronger than the others and so, we’ve yet to see much variety.
Dawson told me, “They have some building blocks. They have a token style of gameplay, some stuff for big demons and so these archetypes are going to be explored more in Scholomance Academy.”
In Scholomance Academy, Demon Hunter is paired with Warlock, Hunter and a third unknown class. Breeden calls the Warlock/Demon Hunter combination one of her favourites. “They have a unique mechanics that’s exclusive to them,” she explains. “Both Demon Hunter and Warlock interact with souls and there’s a cool story there but it’s also a really cool mechanical piece as well.”
Breeden also told me about the one-time trigger (Bloodthirst) Demon Hunter had access to in Ashes of Outland. While the one-time effect was a mechanic Blizzard liked, the way it was implemented narrowed the Demon Hunter.
“It made Demon Hunter decks all feel exactly the same because you always wanted to get those bloodthirst triggers, but we thought the one time trigger was really cool. So by putting it in a spell theme, giving it a school of magic, it seems it works a lot better this way.”
As the first new class in Hearthstone since launch, it’ll be interesting to see how Demon Hunter evolves moving forward and it Blizzard can find a way to make all of its archetypes viable.
Scholomance Academy launches in early August.