An unusual warmth has settled over the wintery landscapes of Azeroth... from Northrend to Winterspring, snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and dormant beings are awakening. The rumors are true: SPRING IS COMING.
"The Great Thaw" expansion is all about the clash of Winter and Spring. We have Frostsabers, Ice Elementals, and Avalanches, as well as Forest Spirits, Flowery Glades, and Woodland Creatures. Similar to Goblins vs. Gnomes, this expansion is not set at a certain place or event, but is instead a general theme that permeates all over. Pushing for more control-style decks, this expansion includes a few more instances of the Sherazin Dormant mechanic, more board control spells/weapons, and two* new keywords:
*I also use the unofficial keyword Elusive (the Faerie Dragon effect) but since it's not a new mechanic, I'm not highlighting it here.
About the Keywords
- Chill -
Chilled minions have a shimmering light blue mist surrounding their token. The Chill takes place at the end of each player's turn. This mechanic encourages trading; it's not often that a Chilled minion will last long enough on board to accumulate a ton of damage from the Chill effect. Also, it should be noted that a Chilled minion is being debuffed, NOT damaged - and thus won't trigger Enrage and damaged minion synergy.
- Warm -
Examples of this currently in the game are Shifter Zerus and Molten Blade. Like these cards, your opponent will not see the trigger take place, the trigger will occur before the card is drawn to start your turn, and cards kept in your mulligan WILL warm on turn one.
The sun icon tracks the number of turns a card has Warmed. In this example, Blossoming Nymph has been kept in hand for 3 turns and is buffed to 4 health. The icon doesn't appear on a card until the Warm count is at 1 or more.
Huge shoutout to ZardozSpeaks for helping me with this graphic!!
themes: Chill (especially self-Chill), Warm, Taunt, Control
- Common -
Frost Whelpling is just learning his skills and can't control his Chilling frost breath (btw - see Frost Drake below for the grown-up version of this little guy!). This is also an example of the general push for control-style decks in this expansion... he's a strong 1-drop for decks that don't want to flood the board. Also, as the Elven Sharpshooter warms, her text would change in the way that text for spell damage does. So for example, after being in your hand for 2 turns, her battlecry text would read "Deal *3* damage to a minion."
- Rare -
Iceshard Elemental is an example of a minion that doesn't like to Warm in your hand. Play him as early as you can, or he'll melt altogether (if his health reaches 0, he can still be played - and would trigger things like Knife Juggler - but would die instantly).
- Epic -
The wording for Arboreal Giant was much debated, since the text could also read "Warm: Reduce the Cost of this card by (1)." However, I've chosen to keep it in line with the other giants, whose texts all begin with "Costs (1) less".
- Legendary -
Mith'ra, Spirit of Spring and Lae'ra, Spirit of Winter are Sister Spirits that are said to be battling over control of Azeroth. Lae'ra's hold over Northrend and other snow-covered regions is waning, and Mith'ra has taken the opportunity to Warm the lands and Restore life. Lae'ra, meanwhile, is filled with vengeance and is taking it out on minions that can't handle her Chill. And the others, well... she'll justFreezethem where they stand. Also, I feel like I should address how these two cards interact xD The ruling is that Kalecgos cannot be made Elusive. This is one of those unspoken rules of Hearthstone, something DisguisedToast would make a video about upon release ;)
Cards by Keyword
❄ Cards with Chill ❄
☀ Cards with Warm ☀
HUGE thanks go to the following amazing people, who helped me so much along the way: