Blizzard has announced its first Hearthstone expansion for the Year of the Raven, titled The Witchwood. The new expansion will pack 135 cards and a new single-player adventure and it's slated to release in April.
The team debuted six cards today, with more planned reveals coming on March 26 live stream and then steadily leading up to the release. The six shown today give a taste of this expansion's flavor, including two new keywords. The first is Echo, which allows you to play the same card multiple times in the one turn, as long as you have the Mana to pay for it. The second is Rush, which works similar to the existing Charge mechanic but disallows attacks toward the opposing Hero on their opening turn.
Some cards have already been printed that utilize similar mechanics. The Shaman's Unstable Evolution allows multiple plays in the same turn, and cards like Charged Devilsaur have had Charge but disallowed attacks on Heroes as a Battlecry. Clever plays can find ways around the Battlecry, though, so making a new keyword like Rush should allow the card designers some more flexibility.
Other cards have similarly big effects, like upgrading or reducing the cost of your Hero Power from the start of the game, copying your opponent's hand, or flip-flopping health and attack while still in your hand.
The lovably goofy reveal trailer ended with a glimpse, but only a glimpse at a new Warlock Hero card. Hero Cards were introduced in the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, and they replace your Hero with an entirely new and powerful effect. We can see the name "Hagatha" and the Mana cost (8) but the tease didn't reveal further details about what this Warlock Hero actually does.
The expansion will also bring a new single-player adventure, called Monster Hunt. It will launch two weeks after The Witchwood expansion. It will work similarly to the Dungeon Run mode introduced in Kobalds & Catacombs, but it appears players will choose a new hero rather than one of the existing ones.
As usual, Blizzard has opened pre-purchases of a large card bundle with an exclusive card back for those who purchase it. This time, though, the bundle is a full 70 packs instead of the usual 50. Also, as usual, logging in near launch will get you some freebies: three packs plus one random Class Legendary.