Blizzard has today announced the next Hearthstone expansion; Scholomance Academy. Launching with 135 new cards, new keywords and some new mechanics, Schololmance Academy returns to a time when Kel’Thuzad was the headmaster and before the Academy was a haunted place of ghosts and spirits.
Available in early August, players can pre-purchase the Mega Bungle for $109.05 AUD or the Scholomance Academy Bundle for $66.95 AUD. The Mega Bundle includes 85 card packs, which includes five Golden cards packs. These golden packs contain Golden Scholomance Academy cards only. The Mega Bundle also includes a Golden Legendary card, Kel’Thuzad Mage hero, Kel’Thuzad card back and a Tavern pass.
The Scholomance Academy Bundle comes with 55 card packs, one random Scholomance Academy Legendary Golden card and the Kel’Thuzad pack.
So what’s new in Scholomance Academy? Let’s find out.
Hearthstone Scholomance Academy
In Scholomance Academy, Blizzard is adding Dual-Class cards. These cards are usable by two classes and each class is paired with two others to create 10 combinations. For example, Demon Hunter and Warlock share cards, as do Rogue and Warrior, Druid and Shaman etc. Blizzard says it tried to use combinations that made sense, that’s why you’ll see the Druid and Hunter share cards as they both “have an affinity for beasts.”
There are a total of 40 Dual-Class cards in Scholomance Academy including 10 Legendary professor minions, one for each of the class pairs and each class has access to 14 of these Dual Class cards.
The idea for Dual Class cards came from the school setting of Scholomance Academy, Designer Alec Dawson told me. “Approaching this set from a card design perspective was a really fun challenge.
“We asked ourselves, ‘what does it mean to go there as a student? What are you doing? What courses are you taking?’You’re not going to just take one course, so we though about Dual Majors and that led to Dual Class cards.”
Continuing on with the school theme of Scholomance Academy, a new keyword; Spellburst. This is a one-time mechanic that fires the next time you play a spell. For example, the Goody Two-Shields minion has Divine Shield but it also gains Divine Shield from Spellburst. Another minion, Diligent Notetaker, has Spellburst and the effect returns the cast spell to the player’s hand.
Dawson explained how the team was excited about Spellburst because of its one-time effect. “It only happens once, which is a new thing for us in Hearthstone. We created a new temporary bauble that shatters so you’re not wondering how it works.
“Playing spells after you play minions definitely feels like you’re going to a magic school.”
Studies are a new spell type that allow players to Discover a card immediately and reduce the cost of the next card of that type they play. Nature Studies is a 1-cast spell that allows the player to Discover a Spell. The next spell played costs 1 less.
Dawson explained that leaning into the school theme meant that Studies were a now-brainer. “If you’re going to schoo, you’re going to be studying, you’re hitting the books.”
Starting today, players can log in to Hearthstone to receive two free copies of the epic neutral minion card Transfer Student. Transfer Student’s text reads “This has different effects based on which board you’re on” and these effects relate to the board in some way.
For example, when played on a Saviors of Ul’dum board, Transfer Student gains Reborn. Speaking with Alex Dawson and Liv Breeden, we also learned that Blizzard has gone back and created an effect for Transfer Student on all Standard and Wild boards in Hearthstone.
Hearthstone’s next expansion, Scholomance Academy, launches in early August.