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Rastakhan's Rumble comes out tomorrow

The wait is over – all the Rastakhan’s Rumble cards are coming tomorrow and players will be able to finally open their packs and start playing.

A big patch was uploaded to Hearthstone yesterday. It, of course, contained all the new cards, but also four new card backs, a special winter-themed update, and some improvements in gameplay.

New cards

A set of 135 cards is entering the Collection tab. These come in sets of five in every Rastakhan card pack (worth a 100 in-game gold or less than $1 in real cash) and also available for crafting within the game using Arcane Dust. The set is very character-driven with nine sets of a Legendary Loa, Legendary champion and a Rare Spirit. We discussed these in some length in our previous articles, so feel free to read up on them.

Winter vale

“Happy Feast of Winter Vale” will be the default “Hello” emote in-game, and the tavern will receive Christmas decoration and revamp in style. On top of that, a special Tavern Brawl game mode launches December 18 and it will surely bring presents alongside festive mood and cheeriness.

Card backs

The patch also brought four new card backs. We knew one of them – it’s the one rewarding player for completing the Rumble Run single-player adventure. One of them is available through the Winter Vale special event. Two of them are rather cold and hot respectively. These are the Chillin’ ice-themed card back rewarded for achieving five victories in January, while the other is the steamy-hot Pizza Stone rewarded for five wins in February.

Competitive rank floor reduced to 20

A feature that players have been asking for many years is a slight tweak in the competitive system. From now on, players who achieved at least Rank 20 (starting at 25) will no longer fall behind that ceiling, leaving some space for ranks 25 and 20 where the game’s newest and least experienced players are. This is meant to improve matchmaking and reduce frustration at the lowest ranks where a brand-new player wielding a starter deck would often face and lose to expensive-to-craft Tier 1 decks.

Rule changes and bug fixes

Here’s a list of all the changes in game code that will hopefully improve the game overall as described by the devs themselves:

Game Mechanics Update – Different damage redirection effects can chain with each other, but each one will only occur once. Re-directed damage is applied before modifiers (e.g. Cursed Blade) and will only damage the final target once.

Added a black and purple sparkle effect to indicate when cards and powers that normally provide healing will do damage instead (such as when affected by Auchenai Soulpriest).

The Rogue Quest card, Crystal Core, now applies to minions in your deck, rather than applying after they are drawn.

Enchantment tiles now use a square border like history tiles.

Deathrattles that move a card to hand or deck will no longer sometimes prevent its other Deathrattle effects from triggering.

Fixed an issue that could prevent Augmented Elekk from activating.

Tracking will no longer sometimes make a card invisible when your hand is full.

Resolved various minor UI and visual issues.

Resolved several interaction issues in single-player content. Set watermarks will no longer appear on non-collectible cards.

New Player Experience

An Undo button is now available after disenchanting a Wild card when in New Player Ranks.

When at Legend in both Standard and Wild, if the Wild rank is higher, it will once again be shown on the Quest Log and Friends List.

And we saved the best for last – there’s a sweet login bonus! Players who simply open the game in a short period after launch will get a free Legendary Loa card alongside two Rare Spirits (both chosen at random from the pools of nine) and six free card packs. So, don’t forget to open up the game and crack a pack… or, you know, twenty. Good luck, and may the Loa bless your drops!