Blizzard’s massively popular digital CCG Hearthstone recently announced their biggest summer seasonal event yet – the Felfire Festival of Music and Vengeance. The event’s trailer opens with a catchy rock tune, and then a demonic fel-infused Ragnaros takes the stage. The festival’s lineup is nothing to scoff at either – it offers 4 full weeks of new content and challenges for new players and veterans alike.
Week 1 of the festival is already underway. As of Hearthstone patch 17.4, Battlegrounds (Hearthstone’s take on an auto-chess style game mode) now features a new minion class, Pirates, as well as three new Battlegrounds heroes to complement them. Previously, Battlegrounds centered around only five minion types – Beast, Murloc, Mech, Demon, and Dragon, missing the three remaining minion types Totems, Elementals, and you guessed it – Pirates. The addition of Pirates shows that Blizzard is very likely to implement the last two remaining types into Battlegrounds – it’s only a matter of time.
Patch 17.4 also introduced a shifting minion pool to Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds revolves around recruiting minions to form a strong core that utilizes the synergies of a minion type in order to win. One of the challenges of this is utilizing the minion pool – often times there will be turns when you can’t find minions that complement your warband, and this is often due to an excess of other minion types clogging the pool. With the 17.4 patch, each 8-player match will only feature five of the six currently available minion types will be able to recruit, thinning the amount of possible bad outcomes. Pirates will be available to use for all, but players who want to use the three new heroes will have to purchase a Battlegrounds Tavern Pass for either $10 USD or 1250 in-game gold.
Week 2 of the festival (starting June 17) will unlock the special solo adventure for Hearthstone’s latest expansion – Ashes of Outland. The Trial by Felfire adventure will follow the novice Demon Hunter Aranna Starseeker as she teams with the legendary Illidan Stormrage to take on the Rusted Legion and its brutal leader Mecha-Jaraxxus. Beating the adventure will grant the player a special card back.
Week 3 (starting June 24) will introduce the Trial by Felfire challenges, featuring the same bosses and encounters on a whole new level of difficulty. Defeating all challenges will award the player a Golden copy of Kael’thas Sunstrider, a special card players were given a normal copy of to promote Ashes of Outland. Beating the gauntlet of challenges is the only way to obtain a Golden copy. Unlike Galakrond’s Awakening, the solo adventure for Hearthstone’s Descent of Dragons expansion, Trial by Felfire, and its challenge mode will be free to all players right away, so pick up your warglaives and jump right in.
The rest of the festival features special Tavern Brawls, Hearthstone matches with crazy, game-changing effects. Also happening throughout the brawl are a lineup of legendary quests – special tasks that grant players card packs. There’s one legendary quest each week starting on Week 2, and each quest offers 3 card packs, so be sure to log on and complete them. Also starting on Week 2, players will be able to purchase the Aranna Starseeker Bundle, which contains 20 Askes of Outland packs, a special card back, and the alternate hero Aranna Starseeker.
While players play as Aranna in the Trial by Felfire adventure, purchasing the bundle will allow Aranna to be used as a permanent Demon Hunter hero instead of the default Illidan Stormrage. The bundle will be $19.99 and is only available until the end of the Felfire Festival – so be sure to grab it before then.
The Felfire Festival itself will run from June 9 to July 7, and with the recent release of the Demon Hunter class and free decks for new or returning players, now’s a better time than ever to jump back into Hearthstone or finally give it a try.