The Fate of the Lifesteal and Deathrattle Mechanics in Knights of the Frozen Throne

The Fate of the Lifesteal and Deathrattle Mechanics in Knights of the Frozen Throne

Last Thursday, the new Hearthstone expansion Knights of the Frozen Throne was revealed. With it, we learned of a new mechanic being introduced into the game called Lifesteal. This mechanic causes damage dealt by the card to also restore the same amount of health to the controlling player's hero.

Expansions that have introduced a new keyword see it sprinkled throughout the set, but in the case of Lifesteal, Dave Kosak, Lead Mission Designer on the Hearthstone team, said we won't see many cards with the mechanic.

Quote from Dave Kosak

[19:15] We did introduce the major mechanics, like, Lifesteal is an important mechanic in the set. There's not tons of cards that use it, but there are a handful that use Lifesteal and they'll make a big impact I think on the set.

[20:30] Lifesteal is a good way for some of the classes to get healing that don't necessarily have healing. There can be minions, there can be spells, like the Priest spell we showed, Spirit Lash - not that Priests need more healing, but they have it. It's a very different kind of tool for a Priest deck to use.

Deathrattle Returns?

Now, on the subject of the Deathrattle mechanic, it will be making a bit of a comeback with the expansion! Dave Kosak says though that we shouldn't expect them to be everywhere like they were with the Curse of Naxxramas set, which depending on how you take that, conflicts with information from the announcement.

Quote from Dave Kosak

[21:23] There's not necessarily a lot of Deathrattle minions. This is a set about the Lich King, so there will be some Deathrattle minions, but it might not be like Naxxramas where there were Deathrattle minions everywhere. Yeah, its a part of the set, but its not a huge part of the set.

Naxxramas for reference contained 17 cards that made use of Deathrattle, which was just over half the set! At the time with the low number of cards in Hearthstone, that was a seriously crazy amount of Deathrattle to add to the game! Considering that, you probably could add 40 new Deathrattle minions to the pool and it wouldn't feel like they were everywhere - not with all of today's archetypes.

Here's the amount of Deathrattle we've seen in other expansions:

Going from expansion to expansion, we've seen a high number of Deathrattle cards followed by a low number. With this being the first time they've specifically mentioned Deathrattle in their announcement outside of Naxxramas, there's a good chance we could see more Deathrattle cards than we did in the Journey to Un'Goro expansion, breaking this trend.

[4:48] Jason Chayes: We also have a recurring theme of Deathrattle that you're going to see coming back with a lot of the minions. 

[5:08] Ben Brode: We've got a lot of cool Deathrattle cards in the set. In fact, the set has a lot of death in it.

Hey, if you look at the amount of Deathrattle cards (1) out of the currently revealed cards (5), 20% of the set is Deathrattle . If we forget the Kappa for a moment, that ratio would give us 27 Deathrattle cards; Is that enough to not be a "huge part" of the set while being a recurring theme?

For the Comments

So how do you feel about Lifesteal's limited availability in the set? What about Deathrattle making a bit of a comeback, whatever that means? Let us know in the comments below!

Eloise Interviews Dave Kosak

The above quotes come from Eloise's Interview with Dave Kosak. Check it out below!


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