The next Hearthstone expansion is taking us back to a familiar place in World of Warcraft’s history — and back in time, to when the school of Scholomance was at its peak. Scholomance Academy takes place before the launch of World of Warcraft, and introduces 135 new cards to Hearthstone, along with some new mechanics to shake things up. The expansion is set to be released in early August, Blizzard announced Tuesday.
For those unfamiliar with Warcraft lore, Scholomance was a school for necromancers that fell into disrepair after things went terribly wrong. The academy served as a dungeon in both vanilla World of Warcraft and Mists of Pandaria, and is considered a fan favorite.
The three major mechanics introduced this expansion are Dual-Class Cards, Studies, and Spellburst.
Dual-Class Cards are used by two classes, and are available in both of their libraries. For instance, a Demon Hunter and a Warlock can both access a set of demons, while a Rogue and a Warrior will gain access to a shared inventory of weapons.
There will be 10 combinations between the Hearthstone classes. Each combination will receive its own signature Legendary Professor minion, and there will be a total of 40 Dual-Class cards.
Spellburst minions and weapons set up a powerful effect that triggers when the player casts a spell from their hand. Cards like Yogg-Saron or Zul’jin — which trigger a set of spells upon being played — won’t set off a spellburst; it has to be a deliberate action from the player.
Studies are spells that allow players to “Discover” a card. Discover was introduced in 2015, and it gives players a choice between three cards within specific parameters, such as a Taunt minion, or a minion that costs more than 8 mana. Studies will build on that mechanic. When players drop a Study, they Discover a card. Then, they can follow up that discovery with another card of the same type for less mana, leading to effective combos.
Players can log in starting July 14 to receive two free copies of an epic neutral minion, the Transfer Student. There will also be two Scholomance Academy bundles available. The first, which will cost $49.99, includes 55 Scholomance Academy packs, one random golden legendary from the new expansion, and the Kel’Thuzad card back. The mega bundle will go for $79.99, and includes 85 Scholomance Academy card packs (including five golden card packs), a random golden legendary, the Kel’Thuzad mage hero, the Kel’Thuzad card back, a Tavern Pass for Battlegrounds, and four Arena tickets.