Today is the day! A big announcement stream is starting soon, and while we don’t know the exact content, Blizzard has already shared enough teasers and announcements so we can speculate.
The thing we’ll definitely see is the second expansion of 2021. Thematically it’s all but guaranteed to be about Alliance, as opposed to the first set’s focus on Horde. As for a specific setting – the most common prediction right now is Stormwind. The color scheme of the “teaser crystal” pointed in that direction, but many people have also interpreted it as – for example – Lordaeron, or even Darnassus. However, the first guess became more on point when the recent video teaser showed Stormwind guards lining up and another one had a Stormwind music theme in the background. So it’s probably Stormwind, but we’ll find out in a few hours.
We should also get some Battlegrounds news. We don’t know what those might be – I feel like it’s too early to announce a new minion type (since Quilboars just came out 2 months ago), but they might tease it already. However, if anything, we should see some new Heroes and minions. Or maybe the mode will finally get a proper release? It’s not like it really matters, but it’s funny that it’s still in Beta after 1.5 years.
Of course, that’s only the part we know about – they might still show some other stuff they haven’t talked about yet. For example – a Fire Festival event should be starting soon (since it usually happened in July), and we might learn more about it. Given that they usually push pre-orders out at the time of the announcement, we should also expect a patch going live later today – now the question is, will it be just pre-orders + a few bug fixes, or maybe something more?
Sadly, there will be no info about Mercenaries game mode. Blizzard has explicitly said that to not build up hype. Apparently, the mode requires some more time in the oven, and it will come out during Phase 2 of Year of the Gryphon. We should learn more about it during a dedicated stream in Fall. That’s still pretty far away, but hopefully, time will fly thanks to the new expansion.
The stream starts at 9.30 AM PDT / 12:30 PM EDT / 18:30 CEST on PlayHearthstone Twitch channel and on YouTube – keep that time in mind, because it’s 30 minutes earlier than most of the announcement streams in the past. If you can’t watch it live, don’t worry, we’ll be posting about everything that happens during the stream in this thread, as well as on social media!
Reveal Stream Live Recap
Here’s a recap of everything we’ve learned during today’s stream!
United in Stormwind Expansion
- New expansion is called United in Stormwind. It launches on August 3, 2021. Check out full expansion guide here.
- New keyword – Tradeable. Cards with Tradeable can be dragged into your deck to replace them with a random card from your deck – doing so costs you 1 mana. They can, of course, still be played like regular cards.
- New keyword – Questline. Those work similarly to regular Quest – you get them in your opening hand. But after you finish the first part, you automatically start second and then third. First two parts have pretty small rewards, but the last one gives you a amssive boost.
- Flightmaster Dungar is given out for free to everyone starting today!
Mage’s Questline + Rewards
Warlock’s Questline + Rewards
Lots of changes coming to Battlegrounds. Today we had a massive Patch 20.8 (check out full patch notes here) with tons of BG changes – new Hero, returning Heroes, nerfs and buffs. Also a ton of minion changes.
On top of that, cosmetics will be added to Battlegrounds. Players will be able to use alternative skins for their favorite Heroes, as well as change the Bartender completely.
We’ll also get a major Battlegrounds rework – over 30 minions will get changed to flesh out a better gameplay fantasy for each minion type. For example – Pirates will be now more focused on Gold and “treasures”.
Learn more in the Fire Festival announcement.
Year of the Gryphon roadmap was updated for Phase 2 – United in Stormwind expansion. The only “new” thing per se is Mercenaries game mode. It was first scheduled for Phase 1 – Forged in the Barrens expansion, but there’s been a delay. Before the reveal stream, Blizzard has announced that they plan to release it during 2nd expansion and the mode will get a dedicated reveal stream this Fall. Since Fall only starts in ~3 months, by the looks of it Mercenaries won’t launch early into the expansion – if I had to make a guess, between mini-set and the 3rd expansion seems like the most likely timeframe.