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Hearthstone Patch 9.0: Knights of the Frozen Throne Preparations & Arena Changes

A new patch was added earlier on the Hearthstone client, paving the way for the upcoming expansion.

Knights of the Frozen Throne will be released on Thursday for the Americas and on Friday for the rest of the world. On August 8, there was an update which added the expansion in the game and now all we need to do is wait for its release date to unlock it.

You can preview the KotFT cards in the client and you can also read their flavour text. Moreover, a new icy-themed gameboard was added to the game.

As far as the single player Missions are concerned, Ben Brode explained on Twitter that they will be gated just like the Adventures were in the past. This week, we will get the Prologue which is a single mission against the Lich King himself! After you finish the Prologue, you will get a random Death Knight hero card. Therefore, to maximise your chances of getting a DK hero, you should open all of the packs you have first (more details in this Reddit thread).

Furthermore, we will get the first "wing" of Icecrown Citadel, The Lower Citadel, which will feature three bosses. You will get a Knight of the Frozen Throne card pack for beating each boss, making for a total of three free packs! The remaining two wings will be released in the next two weeks, one for each week.

The patch also features some Arena changes. The rewards have been altered so that you can no longer get single, non-Golden common cards. The more interesting part is that the first two sets of cards in a draft are now more likely to include synergy-based cards.

It'll make more sense once you see it. Basically, those first two sets will be more likely to have cards in them that could lead to interesting decision points later in your drafts.

They aren't a guarantee that the cards they synergize well with will appear, but they could still give you a small head start toward building a particular kind of Arena deck. (source)

So it's not that your choices influence what shows up later on, just that the first few picks are specifically high-synergy cards themselves.

Correct. (source)

Card descriptions were updated to reflect the new keyword, Lifesteal (with its special symbol added too), as well as for consistency's sake. Some of the cards, whose descriptions were altered, are Wickerflame Burnbristle, Mistress of Pain, Fandral Staghelm, Bite and Dreadsteed. The change between the interaction of Lifesteal and Auchenai Soulpriest - making it impossible to kill yourself with it - is live too.

Among many other interesting stuff, our friends at Hearthpwn have datamined that Pirates' Day (September 19) will be celebrated on Hearthstone this year. This is a one day event that first started in World of Warcraft as a virtual correspondent of the International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

The patch notes can be found inside the spoiler tag. You can also see four new card backs: August 2017, September 2017 and two promotion ones, which are thought to be tied to a Twitch Prime promotion.

In this Hearthstone update we’re laying a path of frost for Knights of the Frozen Throne, Hearthstone’s newest expansion! We’re also making Arena rewards more consistent, changing Dreadsteed, and fixing several bugs.

Read on for details!

Knights of the Frozen Throne arrives on August 10!
  • Witness as Hearthstone’s heroes embrace the Lich King’s power to become Death Knights in Hearthstone’s latest expansion: Knights of the Frozen Throne. Knights of the Frozen Throne introduces 135 all-new cards -- including a crypt-full of undead monstrosities, a new health-draining keyword in Lifesteal, and an all-new card type: Hero cards!

Death Knight Hero cards – Each of Hearthstone’s nine Heroes can wield the chilling power of a Death Knight. Hero cards are an all-new card type, neither spell nor minion, that allow you to transform your existing hero into a new one, complete with a powerful Battlecry, armor, and a potent new hero power!

Knights of the Frozen Throne introduces free single-player Missions.
  • A new section of Missions unlocks each week until all the Missions are unlocked.
  • The Prologue and The Lower Citadel are available with the launch of Knights of the Frozen Throne.
  • Earn a free random Death Knight hero card just for facing the Lich King in the Prologue. Earn a Knights of the Frozen Throne card pack after completing each Mission section, for a total of 3.
  • Defeat the final Mission with all nine classes to earn a new Paladin hero!

New Paladin Hero: Prince Arthas

  • Arena Rewards: Reduced variance of rewards in Arena. In particular, reward bags will no longer contain single, non-Golden Common cards.
  • Arena Draft Change – The first two sets of cards in a draft are now more likely to include synergy-based cards.
  • Added the following card backs:
  • Blood Knight – Acquired from achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Play, August 2017.

Frost Knight – Acquired from achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Play, September 2017.

Call of the Light – Acquired from a special promotion.

Call of the Void – Acquired from a special promotion.

Card Change: Dreadsteed.
Dreadsteed’s text now reads: Deathrattle: At the end of the turn, summon a Dreadsteed.

  • Mistress of Pain and Wickerflame Burnbristle now use the Lifesteal keyword.
  • Fandral Staghelm’s text has been updated to reflect that he will interact with powers as well: Your Choose One cards and powers have both effects combined.
  • Changing your Hero will no longer 'refresh' your weapon swing.
  • Auchenai Soulpriest and similar effects will only trigger once when combined with Lifesteal.

Bug Fixes
  • The deck recipe "replace missing cards" UI no longer closes after every card is selected.
  • Devices with no Wifi capability will now correctly receive a no wifi error message during Fireside Gatherings.
  • Adventure bosses now correctly respond to the 'Wow' emote.
  • Several cards that interact with cards of a specific type now glow when those cards are on the board.
  • Anub'ar Ambusher no longer shows a Poisonous Keyword on mouse-over. (source)