Recently, Windows Central accidentally leaked news about an upcoming Hearthstone patch that will bring us greatness, including the long-awaited mini-set for the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion!
Now that we know the release date (January 21st) and a few other details, like a potential bundle purchasable with Gold (!), we also know that we'll receive callbacks to old mechanics of the Year of the Phoenix, exclusive to Ashes of Outland and Scholomance Academy - the leak talked about Spellburst and dual-class cards, but we might receive Dormant and Prime cards as well, who knows!
For now, let's talk about the dual-class cards. The best part is that just a few days ago, Hearthstone Designer Dean "Iksar" Ayala revealed this mechanic would come back in the future. Most of us were happy about this news but didn't really think it would've been this soon.
For those who don't know, dual-class cards are a mechanic first introduced in Scholomance Academy: the same card can be played by two specific classes as if each class had the same card in its arsenal.
The ten class pairings in the Scholomance Academy expansion.
Now that we know we'll get other Dual-class cards, let's try to speculate which pairings will be involved.
Just a few preliminary thoughts:
- The last time we did this kind of prediction, we at least had the pairings and we just had to imagine the card themes, meanwhile this time we don't have any information at all;
- Every pairing below is different from the ones released in Scholomance Academy - although some were very fitting and flavorful (especially Rogue-Warrior, Paladin-Priest and Druid-Shaman), we want to mix things up!
- Do not use anything in this post as factual, we're just having some fun!
Shaman-Warrior - Enhancement and Weapons
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire gave Shaman a wide set of "attack with your face" tools - Cagematch Custodian, Deathmatch Pavilion, Whack-A-Gnoll Hammer, Stormstrike and Inara Stormcrash are all new cards, but let's not forget Thrall has access to Doomhammer, Rockbiter Weapon and Rune Dagger too.
We think that pairing Shaman with Warrior, one of the most proficient classes when it comes to weapon synergy (if not the most proficient together with Rogue - they even got paired in Scholomance and received Steeldancer and Doctor Krastinov) is the best way for the devs to push the Enhancement trait of Thrall's class identity.
We, therefore, expect a dual-class weapon focused on damage output, a card able to buff weapons like Upgrade! or Krastinov or a minion that rewards the player for holding a weapon or swinging with it.
Paladin-Warlock - (Im)purity
While these may be the most distant classes lore and flavour-wise, we think there are some gameplay similarities that are worth speculating about.
First of all, during the last expansion we received Lothraxion the Redeemed, the first Demon ever for the Paladin class (remember: back in Ashes of Outland every class' Dormant minion was a Demon, but Paladin got Imprisoned Sungill). Sure, we are talking about an exceptional character: as a former demon in the ranks of the Burning Legion, he is a unique instance of a nathrezim (humanoid demon) infused with the Holy Light (see here if you want to read more). However, this is not a character you'd expect to see at Darkmoon Faire. Moreover, Lothraxion is not the only thing that binds the two classes.
Another identity trait that we recently noticed is that both classes have their own form of Pure archetype: while Paladin is centered around using just cards from their class, Warlock has the restriction of being able to use only demons in their deck in order to get greatly rewarded by Free Admission and (partially) Man'ari Mosher, not to mention that we started receiving big demons again since Kobolds & Catacombs: Tickatus, Ring Matron, Enhanced Dreadlord, but we can also consider Kanrethad Ebonlocke.
We, therefore, predict the upcoming release of (im)pure synergy cards for both Paladin and Warlock, so that Gul'dan will be able to have more reasons to go demons-only and Uther won't be left with just Yrel after the upcoming set rotation, when Lightforged Zealot and Lightforged Crusader will rotate out of Standard.
Demon Hunter-Druid - Face Damage and Card Draw
While Illidan and Malfurion have their own distinct styles, they have more in common than you might think. First of all, both classes have a Hero Power that can ping (if you think about it Demon Claws is just a more aggressive Shapeshift) and spells that can provide damage through hero attacks; they don't have efficient board clears (RIP Blade Dance) and are very good at drawing cards.
Moreover, Illidan and Malfurion are brothers lore-wise, and as you might have learned by playing the Demon Hunter Prologue released in April 2020, they are not in a very good relationship. So, it would make sense to explore some of the elements they have in common and see what could come out of it. For example, when we were thinking about this pairing we came up with this idea: a Choose One card that, if played in an Outcast spot, grants you both effects - pretty much like a Faire Arborist but with Outcast instead of Corrupt.
Therefore, we think that if this pairing will ever come to life, it will be about face damage, card draw and possibly some sort of spicy combination between Druid and DH's own keywords, Choose One and Outcast.
Druid-Priest - Mana Manipulation and Menagerie
Druid and Priest have a few traits in common when it comes to class identity: even though Druid is devoid of AoEs and Priest has plenty of them, they both share a proactive nature rather than an aggressive one. Take Elise the Enlightened for example: back in both Tombs of Terror and Trial of Felfire, she was portrayed as a dual Druid-Priest character, with lots of overlapping themes.
While predicting "healing" would be way too obvious and not exciting at all, we think these classes have a lot more to offer. In particular, there are a few Darkmoon Faire cards that jumped to my eye during the reveal season. On one hand, Fizzy Elemental's purpose is supporting the Big/Menagerie game style, and to do that they even broke the "vanilla rule"; on the other hand, Blood of G'huun has the Elemental tag but with no further reason (please note that Blood of The Ancient One is a tribeless 9/9). What I am trying to say is that there seems to be some setup for Menagerie support for these two classes, which is good news since N'Zoth, God of the Deep is the least popular Old God.
Moreover, we also have to consider that Priest, now that Team 5 got rid of any sort of burst for the class, is granted access to remarkable Mana-cheating tools (Nazmani Bloodweaver, Palm Reading and Insight are the latest examples, but let's not forget other niche tools like Fate Weaver) and we know very well that Druid is very good at manipulating Mana Crystals.
Therefore, we predict that if this pairing will ever be present in the next mini-set, it will be about Mana manipulation and Menagerie support.
Priest-Rogue - AoE and Burgle
Okay, this one makes very little sense from every perspective, but hear me out. Everyone on the team knows that I am a complete sucker for the recently leaked Book of Heroes Anduin skin - while we received more information about it and we know that it "will show how Anduin learned to wield both holy magic and a sword as he traveled throughout Azeroth", it still makes very little sense. Why not try to justify it with some playable support?
First of all, both Priest and Rogue take advantage of cards from outside their decks to gain the edge on their opponents - while Anduin uses his opponents' cards against them, Valeera generally uses cards from other classes through effects like Dragon's Hoard and Pilfer.
Moreover, the classes have very different playstyles: Priest is probably the best class in the game when it comes to clearing the board, but it's not very good at playing tempo, even though it has received support over the last expansions; on the other hand, Valeera's only board clear is the good (bad?) old Fan of Knives, but she's probably second only to Illidan tempo-wise.
We think that AoEs and Tempo tools are fields where the two classes could help each other, even if by just a little, but we'd love to see an ambitious crossover between Thief Priest and Burgle Rogue.
What do you think about these predictions? Which dual-class pairing would you like to see in the upcoming mini-set? Let us know in the comments below!