Hearthstone: The League of Explorers is off to a great start

by on November 18, 2015

The first wing of Hearthstone’s League of Explorer’s expansion, The Temple of Orsis, is a glorious start to what will hopefully be the best Hearthstone adventure yet. I’ll be covering each wing of the expansion and have a full feature out when it is over.

There are pieces of The Staff of Origination scattered all over ancient sites in Azeroth and your aim is to help the League of Explorers acquire them all for the museum. You will also earn some very interesting cards during your journey.

The Temple of Orsis is where the first staff piece is located, and Reno Jackson is your companion throughout this wing. Reno can summon an entity called Zinaar by rubbing a lamp, who has an interesting hero power: he draws a card and grants you a wish in the form of another card that can let you discover either a minion, a spell, or more wishes.

When you “discover” a card, three cards appear in front of you in a similar manner to Tracking (the Hunter card), and you select a card of your choice. The discover mechanic will let you select from either neutral or class cards from your own class. This is a form of controlled randomness as opposed to full blown randomness seen in some cards from previous expansions.

Sun Raider Phaerix is the second boss in the Temple of Orsis. He has the first piece of the staff and this battle involves a minion on the board called the Rod of the Sun. This Rod lets you be immune, and if your opponent destroys it, they get the power. Phaerix’s deck has a lot of cards that deal damage to both heroes, and controlling the Rod is essential to win.

I love when Blizzard does something unique with boss fights and the final one of the First Wing is the Temple Escape, in which your opponent is the temple and its guards. You encounter new obstacles each turn and get to pick what to do to progress. This can involve touching a ruby, getting into a pit of spikes, and more. I hope more wings of this adventure include some unique battles like this one.

When it comes to production values, the League of Explorers has fully delivered thus far. Voice acting is top notch and the music is really catchy. Even the small things, like the wing opening animation, look beautiful. I’m glad Blizzard continues to impress me even though I’ve been playing Hearthstone every day since it launched.

The two class challenges are fairly interesting, too. I’ve noticed that Blizzard encourages the use of some newer cards with each class challenge and the Warrior one is basically a Bolster deck. The Bolster card introduced with The Grand Tournament will give your taunt minions a +2/+2 buff. This challenge unlocks two new Warrior class cards. The Warlock one is fairly straightforward and unlocks two class cards as well.

The most important part of an adventure is the new cards and I’ve already faced off against quite a few. Reno Jackson, the new Legendary, has made a huge difference to my deck of legends and when I face off against some control decks. He heals your hero completely if you have no more than one of a card in your deck. The Summoning Stone is another card I’ve seen a lot on ladders in the higher ranks, which will summon a minion when you cast a spell.

I can’t wait for Uldaman (the Second Wing) to open this week so I can put everything away to spend a few hours clearing it in normal and heroic and get the new cards.

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