New Hearthstone expansion: Festival of Legends decks, spells, and minions galore
Festival of Legends is the new Hearthstone expansion! We interviewed Blizzard about Festival of Legends decks, spells, minions, and more.
Festival of Legends is the new Hearthstone expansion! We sat down with game designer and expansion lead Leo Robles Gonzalez plus game designer Aleco Pors for an interview. Here are some cool insights about what players can expect in terms of Festival of Legends decks, spells, and minions. We also go into the inspiration behind Festival of Legends!
Festival of Legends cinematic trailer screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Hearthstone Festival of Legends decks
Given this mix of new cards amounting to 145 in total, the new Hearthstone expansion offers a lot of deck-building possibilities. Gonzalez told esports.gg that he looks forward to seeing menagerie decks.
Players get a hodgepodge of minions in their deck, and while it's not supposed to work out, the menagerie minions still all work together. The One-Amalgam Band minion is a keystone that encapsulates this deck archetype.
The One-Amalgam Band could be useful for Hearthstone Festival of Legends decks (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Meanwhile, Pors said he's excited about the Priest Overheal mechanic and the decks that might emerge from that. The Priest keyword is a way for the Hearthstone team to tune up the class and reinforce its identity. The mechanic also prompts players to think about healing minions while making healing feel like an important thing to do.
He also noted that players can hope for more class-specific keywords or tune-ups like this in the future. "I would say you can definitely look forward to more of these over the coming years," he said.
The Priest class represents the pop music genre (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Legendary class spells in new Hearthstone expansion
Gonzalez revealed that he's a fan of the Legendary spells for each class. "I think all 11 just feel like the genre, and they feel like the class, they look like the album art," he said. Gonzalez added that these Legendary spells also play music when a player casts them.
As for the Harmonic spells that swap between Harmonic and Dissonant modes, these used to be called Major Metal and Minor Metal. However, since it didn't feel cool to go from Major to Minor, the Hearthstone team brainstormed ideas of what other musical things can represent this mechanic.
Climactic Necrotic Explosion in Hearthstone (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Hipster minion and Void Virtuoso shenanigans
One of Gonzalez's favorite cards from the expansion is the Hipster minion. He shared with esports.gg that when he put it in a spreadsheet, it became a favorite right away. "Someone was looking through the spreadsheet and was like, 'Oh my god, we have to name a card this, we have to ship this card, this is hilarious,'" he recalled.
The Hipster minion is especially unique because it's also one with multiple voice lines. Players who are familiar with hipsters in real life can expect some voice lines of that style.
Hipster and Void Virtuoso minions in Festival of Legends (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Por's favorite minion is also Hipster, so he talked about Void Virtuoso instead. "That one has played really well," he said, adding that it feels smart to prevent damage when playing the 1 mana 1/3.
More Festival of Legends minions
The new expansion includes soloist minions that have special effects when there's no other minion on one's side of the board. An example of this is the Opera Soloist. Gonzalez recalled how the Lone Champion minion is similar to this, noting that it's simple, strong, but not overly strong. Minions like these are open-ended and just need one input. The output possibilities are endless.
"It just feels like a very clean and natural design," Por said, also adding that since the input is so clear, the Hearthstone team gets to do more exciting things for the output. This is especially the case for cards that go up in mana cost because as a game continues, it becomes more difficult to not have a full board.
Opera Soloist on the board (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
What inspired Festival of Legends in Hearthstone?
In terms of what inspired Festival of Legends, Gonzalez said it was his turn to be the set lead and it was a dream to do a music-themed expansion with E.T.C. at the forefront. He pitched the idea, everyone was on board, and the team went with it.
The music genre and class pairings came about naturally. Gonzalez shared his excitement about contextualizing real-life music genres through the lens of World of Warcraft. Up until now, Hearthstone was full of traditional bards playing the lute. Now, players can engage with rock and roll for Warrior, pop for Priest, and hip-hop for Rogue.
Festival of Legends in Hearthstone (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
"So seeing just like the Record Scratcher, the turntable as a weapon — just makes me smile so much," Gonzalez added. Record Scratcher is a 3 mana 2/2 weapon for the Rogue class.
As for where the Festival of Legends takes place, it's the Thousand Needles canon from the World of Warcraft universe. Gonzalez revealed that when the set was super early in development, it was as if he was scouting a venue for the festival himself. At Thousand Needles, spectators can hang out on the spires to watch musicians perform. However, the focal point of Festival of Legends isn't the location, but the performance and music.
The Hearthstone team needed something that would make players instantly recognize as cool, and Thousand Needles fit that bill perfectly.
That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates about the new Hearthstone expansion!
Editor | Twitter @AmyChenOfficial
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!