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‘Hearthstone’s’ Biggest Bads Team Up for New Rise of Shadows Expansion

A new coalition of villains is rising to power in the latest expansion for digital collectible card game ” Hearthstone ,” developer Blizzard Entertainment revealed on Thursday.

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RIse of Shadows kicks off ” Hearthstone ’s” first-ever yearlong story campaign. After suffering defeat at the hands of the League of Explorers (the game’s third expansion, which launched in 2015), the villain Arch-Thief Rafaam decided he needed some help carrying out his dastardly schemes. So, he’s recruiting for his brand new League of E.V.I.L. — a shadowy cabal comprised of villains from other previous “Hearthstone” sets, including King Togwaggle, Madam Lazul, Dr. Boom, and Hagatha the Witch.

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Hearthstone has a cast of fan-favorite villains, and it’s a thrill to see them take center stage in Rise of Shadows,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment . “We can’t wait for players to get in on the mayhem in this expansion, with a bunch of sinister new cards at their disposal.”

Players get to help the villains too, of course, along with Lackeys — 1/1 minions with a variety of battlecries. Lackeys synergize well with Schemes, new spells that grow in power each turn they’re in a player’s hand. The new expansion also features callback cards featuring effects that pay homage to expansions from “Hearthstone’s” past.

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Every villainous supergroup needs heroes to fight against, so players who help the League of E.V.I.L. with their nefarious plans could encounter the mysterious crime-fighting Defenders of Dalaran. These heroes wield Twinspells which, once cast, generate a copy of themselves that can be cast again immediately or on a later turn. Blizzard said it will share more about the Defenders of Dalaran at a later date.

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Rise of Shadows comes out on Apr. 9 and features 135 new cards total. Starting today, people can pre-purchase the expansion’s card packs in two bundle options: the 50-pack bundle includes a random Legendary card and the Jewel of Lazul card back, while the 80-pack bundle includes a random golden Legendary, the Jewel of Lazul card back, and a new playable Madam Lazul Priest Hero. They cost $50 and $80, respectively.

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