Descent of Dragons - Warcraft's Best and Worst Dragons come to Hearthstone
What a ride 2019 has been for Hearthstone: In
Rise of Shadows
, Hearthstone’s fist year-long storyline took off with Rafaam recruiting the most malicious villains of the Hearthstone universe to take over the magical city of Dalaran.
The second expansion
Saviors of Uldum
continues the tale of the four explorers Reno, Elise, Brann and Finley who came to rescue the Kirin Tor and their beloved capital, which had been turned into a floating spaceship by non less than Dr. Boom himself; and not only that: The League of E.V.I.L. as Rafaam called his nefarious gang, invaded Uldum to loot the land of the titans and its precious artifacts.
Descent of Dragons
, Team 5 very fittingly move the scene of the Year of the Dragon to the Dragonblight. In what turns out to be the final fight between the two leagues, not only murlocs and goblins participate by the handful; both the very best and worst dragons of Warcraft history participate in this massive aerial battle.
We’ll take a look at the fresh mechanics, the most important special guests and the hints towards past and current World of Warcraft lore in Hearthstone’s third expansion of 2019, Descent of Dragons!
I'm Tharid, a writer for Wowhead's sister site Hearthstone Top Decks, and I'll be explaining the Warcraft lore behind Hearthstone's upcoming expansion. If you just want to check the newest card reveals of "Descent of Dragons", don't hesitate to head over to
Galakrond: Invoking the Root of all E.V.I.L.
When the community got hit with a mysterious expansion teaser at the end of October, we already knew that the last chapter of the Year of the Dragon would take place at Northrend’s Dragonblight.
As one of the most lore-packed zones in all of Azeroth,
has been showcased as the homeland of all dragons. In fact, they come there to die in peace alongside their ancestors, protected by Wyrmrest Temple. This ancient structure once has been built by the titans themselves as a beacon of unity for all dragonflights.
Now back to Hearthstone: To this point it’s blatantly obvious that Rafaam, main antagonist in the Year of the Dragon, craves everything that the titans even touched.
And who could blame him? As an archaeologist, all titan creations are of infinite value to him, and not only because of their age; the functionality of most titanic artifacts often includes unlimited power of life and death and so forth, and that only means the best of both worlds for an evil excavator like Rafaam!
And Dragonblight is full of these artifacts. One of, if not the most lore-heavy artifact lies just north of Wyrmrest Temple: Galakrond’s Rest. The reason why dragons come to Dragonblight to draw their last breath is this “graveyard inside a graveyard”.
Galakrond, as the Dawn of the Aspects novel tells us, once was the father of all proto-dragons. Eventually, his powers - allegedly provided by the titans - took over his sanity, and he started to consume his own kind to grow stronger. The dragonflights decided to unite against their leader, but only with the help of the titan Tyr they managed to defeat the gargantuan proto-drake.
After their long-awaited victory, the dragonflights’ leaders
Nozdormu and Ysera
were asked by the titans to safeguard the lands as the future Dragon Aspects. With their knowledge and wisdom, they since have looked over Azeroth and tried to keep its history as peaceful as possible.
Now what if some E.V.I.L. villain found a way to resurrect the Father of Dragons? Galakrond would become the ever-living threat that he once was, and exactly that is going to happen in Descent of Dragons:
The Invoke mechanic
allows players to buff up the revived
, which has been transformed into a Hero card, one for each E.V.I.L. class, including a class-specific new Hero power. But not only that: When invoking Galakrond, a class-specific Battlecry effect goes off as well, making Invoke cards even more useful besides their efforts to summon the all-consuming proto-dragon.
No matter how you look at it: The inclusion of Galakrond, one of the most powerful creatures that has ever set foot on Azeroth, requires equally powerful effects in Blizzard’s card game, and that is exactly the case when looking at all the different Galakrond class versions.
And if you thought that the general dragon theme in Descent of Dragons isn’t cool enough already, then this piece of news should be relevant to you: All Galakrond cards will be given out for free as soon as the expansion launches!
The Return of the Aspects
To battle one of Azeroth’s deadliest threats in Dragonblight, the League of Explorers might need more than four washed-up archaeologists.
Luckily enough, the Dragon Aspects return in almost full force!
Without a doubt, their powerful Battlecry effects will stand up against Galakrond and his lackeys. But what about the Neltharion, the Earth-Warden?
The one missing Dragon Aspect who once fought the Father of Dragons - of course - returns yet again:
Deathwing, Mad Aspect
, joins the League of E.V.I.L. as a Warrior card and shows through its third iteration as a printed card that rotation has been merely a setback!
However, the resurrection of Galakrond seems to not only reactivate the four peaceful dragonflights.
As a counter to the Bronze, Red, Blue and Emerald Dragonflight, the Descent of Dragons also brings back Warcraft’s vile dragonflights and their most prominent members.
First there is Zzeraku the Warped of the Netherwing dragonflight. Once hatched from black dragonflight eggs, this species of dragons has been altered through energies caused by Ner’zhul who opened several portals to the Twisting Nether. Later on,
used the nether dragons to create her own new Twilight dragonflight.
Zzeraku has been part of Sinestra’s experiments after he had been captured by Zendarin Windrunner, cousin of the Windrunner sisters. They imprisoned him inside
, and eventually he sacrificed himself to save a Draenei Shadow priestess called Irdi, who then sacrificed herself to destroy Dargonax, Sinestra’s most powerful twilight dragon.
Next in line to fight against the Dragon Aspects and the League of Explorers is
In World of Warcraft, he is a Legion world boss, located in
. Once a member of the Thorignir, a group of storm dragons loyal to the titan keeper, Nithogg - like so many dragons - got too much of his own power and decided to terrorize Stormheim instead.
Priest players under Rafaam’s sergeant Madam Lazul will be able to showcase a special treat of dragon history in their decks:
Murozond the Infinite
Murozond is the leader of the Infinite dragonflight and, in fact, an equivalent to Nozdormu, Aspect of Time. Under the influence by the Old Gods, Murozond, now basically living in a parallel time, was in fact once the real Nozdormu, but turned mad after they had showed him his own death in the future. With the help of the Hourglass of Time, he created his own reality and tried to alter all other realities to his advantage.
WoW players can find Murozond in the
, a five-player heroic dungeon within the
Caverns of Time
which was introduced during Cataclysm 4.3. In there, players experience what could happen if Deathwing takes over the world and thus introduces the
Hour of Twilight
, the end of the world as we know it.
Last but not least there is
, the Hunter Legendary dragon. She has been a broodmother of the proto-dragons, the feral ancestor of all dragons of Azeroth. Many players may remember the epic quest line around the Sons of Hodir,
where Veranus is brought back to her master
, the titan keeper
. Shortly after, the traitorous keeper
locked him and Veranus inside Ulduar, where the proto-dragon received the “Deathwing treatment” and got turned into the vicious
Looking at the aerial battlefield of Dragonblight, both leagues seem to have bolstered their ranks to the maximum, making it an even fight that will be ultimately decide by us, the players!
A Bunch of Mounts, A Grizzled Wizard and An … UNDEAD Paladin?
As always, besides the general plot, we try to find homages to World of Warcraft in the upcoming Hearthstone expansion.
What would an aerial battle in Dragonblight be without some mounts to take players on a ride? That may be the sole reason we see World of Warcraft mounts printed as cards in Descent of Dragons. Both
not only have beautiful art but also very interesting effects.
Another card that peaked our interest is one of Paladin’s new Legendary cards,
. On the card art we can see a paladin riding a plated dragon, so nothing special given the circumstances. However, Talritha looks special. Pale skin, pointy skeleton fingers.
Could this be the sighting of Warcraft’s first Undead paladin? Are Lightforged Forsaken going to be a common thing in the Warcraft universe? Could
our 2019 April Fools
joke turn into sweet reality?
The answer is: Maybe!
The current happenings around Calia Menethil
indicate that the Forsaken can build a connection with the Holy Light. Besides that, Team 5 already has a strong history with unveiling future Paladin racial possibilities, as we have seen with
the first Zandalari Trolls in Rastakhan’s Rumble last year
Last but not least, a very inconspicuous card raised more than one question:
. As proof that pictures speak louder than a thousand words, we simply compare it with one of the most iconic cards in Hearthstone history:
The resemblance is uncanny. On the left we see a grizzled wizard in the cold of Dragonblight; the other side shows Archmage Antonidas, once leader of the Kirin Tor. The white beard, the glowing eyes, the summoned magical orb, the staff, the medaillons, the pocketbook, the purple clothing. It all makes sense! Could it be that the great Antonidas somehow survived the destruction of Dalaran?
Hearthstone Finishes one Year of its own History
A living Antonidas may be the only - and surely blasphemous - thing in Descent of Dragons that would go beyond the scope of Hearthstone’s alternative universe.
The Year of the Dragon comes to an end, and with it Hearthstone’s first year-through storyline. How was it? Well, we will know once the Descent of Dragons is in full force, and that includes its single player campaign that is about to be released some time through January.
What we do know already though is that crafting a full Standard year worth of epic tales was a risk worth taking. Rafaam’s master plan to collect Hearthstone’s super villains and Warcraft’s most precious artifacts at the same time served as the background story, and the reintroduction of the League of Explorers brought back the most popular fan favorites of Blizzard’s card game.
And not only does this continue with the Descent of Dragons; Seeing Galakrond as well as the Dragon Aspects taking part in this epic conflict shows that the Warcraft world really cares about what’s happening in Hearthstone - and that goes for both sides.
In the end, it is only one question that remains: Who will win the final battle of Dragonblight? Find out on
December 10th when the Descent of Dragons expansion releases
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