- "By earth, by air, rain and fire, the only things a real troll desires are to smash, and to mash, and to bash, and maybe mangle... here in Stranglethorn! You be warned, my Loa's gonna thrash ya! Say your prayers, we'll Gurubashi-bash ya! Time for fun, we're gonna run you through... too bad for ya! It's only once a generation! One victor wins the confrontation! Standing here, got no fear, I'm the best in the arena! Mon, you've never seen a hero cut ya down to zero! Victory is no joke, careful that ya don't... CROAK. Get ya scar, it's how a star is born... here in Stranglethorn!"
|Release date:||December 4, 2018|
|Year of the Phoenix, Rastakhan's Rumble is now a Wild format card set, which means cards from the Rastakhan's Rumble will no longer be playable in Standard format matches. For more information, see Game format.|
The set is mainly centered around trolls, one of the most ancient races on all of Azeroth. Proud and fearsome, the trolls once ruled over monolithic empires, and to this day they remain scattered in various tribes all over the world. The expansion sees King Rastakhan, ruler of the ancient and powerful Zandalari Empire, summoning combatants from Azeroth's every corner to the Gurubashi Arena in Stranglethorn Vale, where they will test their mettle in a once-per-generation, no-holds-barred gladiatorial celebration of all things troll. In this year's competition, nine teams of fighters corresponding to each of Hearthstone's nine classes have formed around several of the Loa — powerful, often animal-like gods and spirits that have long been the objects of devotion and worship in troll culture.
In addition to legendary minion cards representing the Loa, each team is also headed by a legendary troll champion in service to one of the gods. The class teams are further bolstered by elusive spirits that embody some of their Loa's powers and which can grant powerful boons to those who summon them. The set also introduces a new keyword, Overkill, which embodies the over-the-top flair of arena combat and trollkind as a whole. Finally, Rastakhan's Rumble includes the Rumble Run single-player content, in which players control an upstart young troll combatant and lead him on the path to fame and glory in the ring.
How to get
Rastakhan's Rumble craftable cards can be obtained by one of the following methods:
- Opening card packs with the usual prices and purchasing options
- Crafting for the usual amounts of Arcane Dust depending on the cards' rarity
- Uncraftable cards
These specific cards can be obtained through other means. For more information, see individual articles.
- Prior to the expansion's release, players are able to purchase one or both of the following bundles:
This expansion features 135 collectible cards. Rastakhan's Rumble cards can be recognized with a special watermark (a troll in a tiki mask) behind the card text, not found on other cards.
Rastakhan's Rumble features nine teams of arena fighters, each representing one of the Loa and each aligned with one of Hearthstone's nine classes. Aside from the presence of the Loa themselves as Legendary minions, each team is headed by a troll champion (Legendary minions or, in one case, a hero card) who embodies the powers of their Loa while in the arena, as well as spirits promising powerful abilities to players who summon them.
- Akali's Rhinos are the smashy worshippers of . They have more brawn than brain and are all about heavy spikes, big chains, charging headfirst into the fray, and melting faces. Armed with huge metal shoulderpads, huge metal gauntlets that they punch things with, and huge metal totems that they draw some of their power from, they like to ram their heads into walls or do all the things a rhino might do.
- Bwonsamdi's Zombies are masters of death and followers of . In addition to shepherding the souls of the dead, Bwonsamdi is a master of dark bargains, with sacrificing his daughter 's future in order to save his kingdom from the forces of the traitorous Prophet Zul. The spell embodies this theme of sacrifice and dark bargains.
- Gonk's Raptors, who follow , are all about dinosaurs, leaping from dinosaur to dinosaur before pouncing on their enemies, and even turning into dinosaurs. They are all about being feral, wild, and vicious, as embodied by the druid hero gaining Attack and leaping into the fray to crush their enemies with their own bare claws. This is partially intended to represent the Feral druid class fantasy from World of Warcraft.
- Gral's Sharks are the swashbuckling followers of , and they combine both piracy and deception. In an arena where there are no rules, they still manage to find a way to cheat, and are the type of people who would be willing to bribe the event's judges (if there were any).
- Halazzi's Lynxes, in service to , are fast, ferocious, and just a little furious. A ball of fang, fur, and claws, they rely on tactics and speed to defeat their opponents, circling around their foes before finding the perfect opportunity to strike.
- Hir'eek's Bats worship and can attain great power, but they must be willing to give up everything. They are ready to sacrifice minions, cards, and even innocent bystanders as long as it means victory.
- Jan'alai's Dragonhawks follow and really, really, really like fire. Many of the cards for Jan'alai's Dragonhawks tie into the fiery mage Hero Power , either empowering it or taking advantage of it when it is used in certain ways.
- Krag'wa's Frogs, worshippers of , embrace the serene and spiritual voodoo aspects of troll culture and love everything about frogs: they have frog tongues on their shoulders, they have frog tongues on their weapons, they turn people into frogs, and they summon frogs.
- Shirvallah's Tigers are noble Zandalari trolls who worship and are characterized by their upright posture, glowing hammers, and gleaming yellow magic. Proud, righteous, and somewhat arrogant, they achieve victory through devotion and righteousness, to the point where the most devoted among them live forever.
- Among the countless brawlers who are competing in Rastakhan’s Rumble, a handful of legendary loa are ready to shake the competition to its core.
Each team is based around one of the mighty Loa — powerful and primal deities at the heart of troll culture. The Loa of each team is generally a powerful minion, often useful as a finisher in the late game.
The Loa competing in the rumble aren't limited to gods fighting alongside their gladiator teams, however, as the competition also sees the arrival of an uninvited guest:
- Spirits are special minions with abilities that can turn the tide of battle. Elusive creatures, spirits enjoy stealth the first turn they’re in play.
As the name suggests, spirits are spiritual manifestations of the Loa they represent. Found in every class, they are all Rare, low-Cost (4 mana or less) 0/3 minions that have Stealth for one turn, allowing the player to make use of their unique boons, and generally have effects that tie into and synergize with their corresponding Loa.
Each Loa team is represented and led by a Legendary troll champion. Consisting mainly of characters from World of Warcraft history, the champions are all Legendary minions, with the exception of , who is a hero card. In contrast with the spirits, the champions are generally useful in decks that push in different directions than their Loa.
- Cards with Overkill trigger additional effects when they kill a minion by doing damage that exceeds the minion’s health.
Overkill serves to represent the over-the-top dramatic flair inherent in arena combat. Several Overkill cards are themed around dinosaurs, mostly because dinosaurs are "giant and smashy and like styling on their opponents".
The expansion came with a new battlefield.
- Official site
- Rastakhan, king of the Zandalari, ruler of the great troll empire, is calling on trolls from all over Azeroth: come witness the greatest contest of skill, strength, and cunning the world has ever seen. You best bring your finest deck and your boldest plays when you join the rumble. The winner takes all; the loser? Finished.
- Press release
- World-renowned troll gladiators and fans of fierce competition from across Azeroth will soon crowd the fabled Gurubashi Arena for Rastakhan’s Rumble™, the next expansion for Hearthstone®, Blizzard Entertainment’s smash-hit digital card game. Starting December 4, players will vie for glory with 135 new cards and a mojo-fueled arsenal of new mechanics.
- Once per generation, the troll tribes of Azeroth make a pilgrimage at King Rastakhan’s behest to participate in a no-holds-barred smackdown for the ages. This year, nine teams have formed around their mightiest combatants—Legendary Troll Champions who each represent a Hearthstone class. The teams enjoy the blessings of the Loa, the ancient spirits worshipped by the trolls, who have manifested themselves in the form of powerful Legendary minions. Players can also seek the aid of Spirits—a new kind of class-specific minion, each with impressive effects that synergize with the Loa.
- It won’t just be King Rastakhan’s favor that players will compete for—the raucous crowd must also be entertained! Players looking to exhibit their gladiatorial prowess with flashy, over-the-top finishes can do so with Overkill—a new gameplay mechanic that rewards players for dealing excess damage to enemy minions.
- Players thirsty for glory should keep their axes sharp, for soon after the launch of Rastakhan’s Rumble they’ll be able to test their might against Azeroth’s strongest troll champions in Rumble Run, the exhilarating new single-player Hearthstone experience coming with the expansion. Gurubashi event organizers will be sharing more details with all of the potential gladiators out there in the weeks ahead.
Be Ready for the Rumble!
- You hear that? The sound of the drums? The restless roar of a thousand, thousand voices thrilling with anticipation? It’s comin’.
- And you’re invited!
- King Rastakhan, the all-powerful god-king of the Zandalari trolls, presides over the once-a-generation event held in his name. Rumble fans are converging from all corners of Azeroth on the renowned Gurubashi Arena to attend a knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred, rough-and-tumble, beautifically brutal gladiatorial celebration of all things troll: Rastakhan’s Rumble!
- It’s an event like none other! You’ll THRILL to the roar of the crowd and the incredible crash of thudding flesh and searing spells. You’ll savor the scent of fresh funnel cake on the air! Witness with breathless anticipation as world-renowned troll gladiators put their mojo on the line to clash with magic and might--in style! When the Loa call your name and team spirit fills your thundering heart, nothing’s gonna stop you from leaping into the arena to JOIN the gladiatorial mayhem!
- Just remember the rule of the rumble:
- THERE ARE NO RULES!
- Just Trollin’
- Tall, lanky, tusked, and often sporting mohawks, trolls have a rich history spanning millenia. They were among the first people of Azeroth, and with the aid of the mighty Loa primal gods, they once presided over a monolithic empire that ruled over most of the world. While the days of empire are gone, the mighty, wily, and adaptable tribes of trolls—Zandalari, Darkspear, Revantusk and many more—can still be found in every conceivable corner of the planet.
- It is a noble society, with a proud heritage. And yet, the loose relationship that trolls have for the rules means that haven’t shied away from the dark mysticism of voodoo that’s at the core of their culture.
- In Rastakhan’s Rumble, we’re going to visit the storied Gurubashi Arena in the steamy jungle of Stranglethorn Vale, a sacred place steeped in both the glories of the past and the unbound reckless joy of the fight!
- There’s winning, and then there’s winning. It’s not enough to strike the final blow – the brawlers at Rastakhan’s rumble aim to entertain! When they put their prowess on display with flashy, over-the-top finishes, cards with the new Overkill keyword are urged on to ever greater feats by the roar of the crowd.
- On their owner’s turn, when a card with the Overkill keyword deals damage in excess of their target’s health during an attack, it triggers a bonus effect.
- The Primal Loa
- The Loa are incredibly powerful primal gods that have been figures of worship for thousands of years in troll culture. In Rastakhan’s Rumble, each Loa is the patron of a Rumble team, and they carefully pick mighty gladiators who best embody their spiritual essence.
- Loa are no passive mascots, they are legendary minions who bring their ancient power to the fray right alongside their teammates!
- Spiritual Might
- The Loa have imbued each team with the essence of their power, which manifests in the form of Spirits. Spirits are 0/3 minions that pack potent passive powers. To ensure that each team has an opportunity to show off skillful use of their power, each Spirit has Stealth for one round!
- Legendary Champions
- Each of the teams has a legendary Champion—a most-valuable-Rumbler from the past who each specialize in the fighting style of a different Class. These mighty trolls are heroes and villains of history who have proven their mettle in the Rumble, though there are a handful upstarts shaking things up in this year’s Rumble.
- Team Spirits
- Hopefuls from across Azeroth are converging on Gurubashi Arena to hear the call of the Loa and lend their fury to a Rumble team in glorious combat. There are nine teams, each representing a powerful Loa, and aligned with one of Hearthstone’s nine Classes.
- Shirvallah's Tigers — Paladin: The Good Guys. Proud, noble, and maybe a little arrogant. . . They talk big, but they can back it up. They fight honorably because they don’t need to play dirty to win.
- Hir'eek's Bats — Warlock: The Bad Guys. Nasty, shrieking bloodsuckers who’ll do anything from demon summoning to ritual sacrifice to win. They’re ruthless, they fight dirty, and they’re proud of it.
- Gonk's Raptors — Druid: Dinosaur Parkour. The first (and wildest) team of the Rumble. A roving, raving pack of dinosaur riders that leap from Megasaur to Direhorn before pouncing on their slow-moving prey.
- Halazzi's Lynxes — Hunter: The Fast and the Ferocious. They like animals more than people, and it shows in their strategy. The Lynxes pride themselves on clever mystical tactics and bestial fury.
- Krag'wa's Frogs — Shaman: Masters of Voodoo. The Frogs are brilliant spellcasters, but they’re all a little…odd. They worship frogs, they use frogs in their magic. The Frogs. . . love frogs. And Lightning.
- Jan'alai's Dragonhawks — Mage: The Firelords. Voodoo’s cool, but the Dragonhawks know that arcane fire is where it’s really at. They really, really, really like fire. A lot of fire, all at once. They even like fire elementals. You could say that fire is their thing.
- Akali's Rhinos — Warrior: Heavy Metal. The Rhinos love to charge headfirst into the fray. They’re all about big spikes, loud music, and melting faces. There’s no problem that can’t be fixed by bashing it away.
- Gral's Sharks — Rogue: The Dirty Cheats. In a competition known for having no rules, the Sharks still manage to find ways to cheat. It’s kind of impressive. They’re vicious, brutal, and devious, and those are their good qualities.
- Bwonsamdi's Zombies — Priest: Masters of Death. Spooky, unsettling, and eerie, this team sends a chill down the crowd’s spine. Bwonsamdi’s the Loa of the Dead, and a team devoted to him is just as creepy as you’d expect. They’re known for raising the dead and making dangerous bargains.
- Rastakhan’s Rumble begins December 4. To be ready, soon you must decide: which Loa speaks to you? Which team will you join?
A New Challenger Approaches
- Part 1
- stood on the intricately cobbled path and gazed up at the fabled Gurubashi Arena. Ever since he was a little troll, he’d dreamt of being here, preparing to compete at the legendary Rumble. As the crowd streamed past him toward the gates, he paused to savor the moment: the thrill of anticipation on the air, the roar of the crowd in the stands, the grimaces of pain as chumps paid the scalper for last minute tickets. Nothing in the world was like Rastakhan’s Rumble!
- Rikkar had spent his whole life preparing for this moment (and bought his tickets two years ago. He wasn’t foolish). Last time the Rumble was held, Rikkar was small enough to watch the action from his father’s shoulders, screaming at the top of his lungs along with the crowd as he witnessed clinch the final for the Tigers over the Sharks. He knew it then: someday HE would be down on the sands, and the crowd would be roaring HIS name!
- As he joined the long line leading into the arena, the team posters that adorned the walls caught his eye. They were pristine, unlike his well-loved, but creased and faded collection back at the village.
- The Tigers! Now there was a team! Rikkar could see himself earning Shirvallah’s favor and wearing the gold. He’d been training all his life: he had the eye of the tiger . . . the thrill of the fight . . . the wing of a bat . . . and a few other animal parts, just in case. Rikkar came prepared.
- One thing you could say for the Bats, Hir’eek’s team knew how to get the job done. And shriek. And do absolutely anything it takes to win. Rikkar had to respect the initiative.
- Why be a Bat when you could be a Rhino though? No fancy tactics or thinking. Got a problem? Smash it! Don’t got a problem? Smash it anyway! Plus, everybody loves . Not only are Voone’s parties legendary, rumor has it that he’s got friends in high places. Blackrock Mountain is pretty high up, right?
- Rikkar couldn’t believe it. Twenty years later, he was finally part of the crowd thronging into the Gurubashi Arena. His heart was resolved: he wasn’t just here to watch the spectacle this time. He was here to compete! Somehow. . . .
- He just needed a chance to prove himself!
- But which team would he join? Which Loa would he pledge himself to?
- Part 2
- There were no lines at Rastakhan’s Rumble. The motley crowd jostled, shoved, and moshed their way into the arena: the competition to get a good seat was almost as ferocious as the battle that would take place on the Arena floor! Rikkar followed the flow of the crowd, his eyes open for an opportunity to get down to the Arena floor so he could meet some of his favorite competitors—and maybe score a spot on a team!
- The corridor ahead of Rikkar was packed with an unusually riotous mob; a gleefully flailing mass of trolls, dwarves, ogres, gnomes, orcs, tauren, and more, including the occasional human. The wall of rampaging Rumble fans was held in check by the Arena’s bouncers' forbidding stares. Despite the festive mood, no one in the crowd was willing to test the resolve of the heavily-armored security team.
- Rikkar threaded nimbly through the thrashing crowd, deftly dodging elbows, administering the occasional shove when necessary. As a few slightly flattened gnomes were peeled off the walls, Rikkar noticed more posters for his favorite teams (every team was his favorite).
- Despite being one of the more popular Rumble teams, the Frogs had a reputation for being weird—because they were. They were also unparalleled in their mastery of troll mysticism. Let them scoff: Rikkar knew that joining Krag’wa’s team would make his talent with elemental magic blow up.
- Speaking of “blowing up”, the Dragonhawks were the hottest team in the Rumble this year. Everyone was talking about how they were on fire. Literally. All the time. And everything around them. If you absolutely, positively have to torch every adversary in the Arena, accept no substitutes.
- Rikkar admired Malacrass’ showmanship. Despite his team’s reputation as hot-heads, they knew how to fire up the crowd before sending the fireballs flying.
- Everybody knew that was a reluctant Rumbler, and everyone also knew that it didn’t matter: with her as Champion of the Zombies they were the team to beat. Rumor had it that King Rastakhan himself had made some kind of bargain with Bwonsamdi, and ever since his family (including Princess Talanji) was required to serve the Loa of the Dead. Rikkar would have joined the Zombies at the stop of a heart, deal or no deal—Bwonsamdi was one of the most powerful Loa around.
- Rikkar saw an opening, and finally managed to slip past the bouncers and into the Arena! He inhaled the lovely aromas of ozone, hot steel, sand, and the press of thousands of bodies. And what’s better in the muggy, sticky, sweltering jungle heat than. . . soup? The usual funnel cake vendors were absent. Instead, enterprising Tuskarr were competing with the trolls peddling magically frozen ice cream to sell steaming bowls of stew with unidentifiable chunks floating in it.
- It seemed that the Tuskarr Bros. had mistakenly shipped a huge surplus of soup to Stranglethorn instead of Northrend, but they were making the most of it. Of course, Rumble fans being Rumble fans, more soup was getting ON the crowd, than was ending up IN the crowd.
- Rikkar dodged hurled soup and flying frozen treats as he searched in vain for a place to sit, but everywhere he looked the stands were already packed with roaring Rumble fans. He finally spotted a lone empty seat, all the way up by the announcer’s tower. It was as far back from the action as you could get, but it was better than nothing, wasn’t it? Swallowing his disappointment, Rikkar trudged up the many (many) stone stairs and snatched the seat before someone else could.
- From this distance, floor of the arena looked like a gold coin with ants skittering on it. How was he going to get into the action from here? If he was gonna get his shot, Rikkar realized that he'd have to take drastic action. . .
- Part 3
- After spending his whole life training in preparation, Rikkar had finally reached his goal: Rastakhan’s Rumble, the most legendary gladiatorial display in all of troll history. Which was great! He’d been forced to take one of the worst seats in the house, right by the lofty heights of the announcer’s tower, which was very not great.
- Yearning burned in Rikkar’s heart like a raging dragonhawk. He longed to be down in the arena with his idols, the legendary loa and champions of the Rumble—not sharing a cloud bank with the two-headed Ogre announcer, so high up that he could almost reach out and touch the passing zeppelins.
- As the booming voice of the announcer proclaimed the beginning of opening ceremonies, the teams marched into the arena. Rikkar was running out of time—there had to be something he could do! He pored over the team posters plastered on the tower, wracking his brain for inspiration.
- Rikkar thought Gonk and were examples of inspiring contrast. Gonk was one of the oldest loa, and Loti one of the younger competitors in the Rumble (not to mention an advisor to King Rastakhan! And one of the most talented shapeshifters in the world!), but the two of them joined forces to open the door for young Zandalari trolls to become Druids. Loti was the inspiring leader to a pack of howling, dinosaur-jumping lunatics. Maybe he could use that!
- Rikkar sympathized with Zul’jin. They had a surprising amount in common: they were both passionate, indomitable, and hungry for victory that always seemed just out of reach. Zul’jin never gave up fighting for the Amani empire, no matter how bad the odds. Or losing major pieces of his anatomy. If Zul’jin could keep fighting with one eye and one arm, how could Rikkar give up now, with two eyes and two whole arms?
- Gral was not a subtle Loa. When he wanted something, he went for it, full force. He was a natural match for and the bloodthirsty band of buccaneers she called a Rumble team. When it came to the Sharks, ruthless was a euphemism. They never played by the rules. Sometimes they’d even make up rules just for the pleasure of breaking them. Just before they broke their opponents.
- Rikkar had the spark of an idea. Rastakhan’s Rumble had no rules!
- He leapt into the announcer’s box, and before the ogre could react, Rikkar snatched the mic from his ham-sized fist, leaving both of the ogre’s faces goggling.
- Miraculously, the crowd fell silent as Rikkar’s voice echoed across the arena, “I am Rikkar! I got no tribe, no village, and no Loa. My whole life has been lived for dis moment. Da Rumble is my tribe! Dis arena will be my home! And I claim kinship with all de Loa of the Rumble! I challenge you. I challenge all of you!”
- Shocked silence stretched for what felt like an eternity.
- “. . . Dere’s no rule against it!”
- Outrage erupted in the arena, as the crowd and competitors alike protested Rikkar’s challenge. With her golden fur gleaming in the sun, Shirvallah the Tiger stepped forward and spoke, her voice ringing out for all to hear, “The boy is right. There is no rule, and he has a mighty heart. He claims us as his Loa, and I claim him in return. I grant him my blessing to fight with the Tigers.”
- Not to be outdone (or miss a potential advantage), Hir’eek fluttered through the air and shrieked, “This one is ruthless. He will fight with the Bats, not your pathetic kittens, Shirvallah!”
- One by one the other loa voiced their support, all urging Rikkar to fight alongside their teams. Rikkar could barely comprehend what had happened: had the blessing of all nine Loa. He would finally get a chance to prove himself fighting for glory in Rastakhan’s Rumble!
- The ogre announcer chuckled as he retrieved the mic. One of his heads rumbled, “Bold move, but looks like it worked out.” The other said, “Go get ‘em, kid. We’ll be rootin’ for ya.”
- Rikkar beamed, tears of joy in his eyes. He couldn’t wait.
- To be continued in Rumble Run, December 13
In World of Warcraft
Stranglethorn Vale is a vast jungle that stretches across the southern tip of the Eastern Kingdoms. Nestled south of the human kingdom of Stormwind and southwest of Deadwind Pass (the site of 's tower of Karazhan), the region is the ancestral home of vicious jungle troll tribes and a haunt of all manner of wild beasts. Ever since 's Cataclysm, the vale has been split into two areas: Northern Stranglethorn and the Cape of Stranglethorn.
The upper parts of Northern Stranglethorn are dominated by the ancient city of Zul'Gurub, once capital of the mighty Gurubashi Empire, which crumbled over a thousand years ago in the wake of a brutal civil war caused by the sinister Blood God Hakkar. Ever since, the various jungle troll tribes have continued clinging to Zul'Gurub and other troll ruins dotted throughout the jungle, occasionally violently clashing with other races in and around Stranglethorn. These tribes formerly included the Darkspear tribe; however, the Darkspears were eventually forced out of Stranglethorn by the other, more violent tribes, and proceeded to settle on a remote island chain before eventually becoming members of the Horde under the leadership of .
Elsewhere in Stranglethorn, an expedition of hunters formerly led by the renowned , now instead headed by his son Hemet Nesingwary Jr., test their mettle against the jungle's indigenous beasts and have been known to invite passing adventurers to join them in hunting Stranglethorn's panthers, raptors, and tigers. Other parts of the region are infested with murlocs from the sea and brutish Mosh'Ogg ogres.
Separated from the north by a giant whirlpool called the Sundering, the Cape of Stranglethorn covers the area all the way to the very southern edge of the Eastern Kingdoms. In the northwest corner of the Cape lies the enormous Gurubashi Arena, a coliseum where Alliance and Horde adventurers can engage in free-for-all combat, even against other members of their own faction. Every few hours, the goblin Short John Mithril will appear in the arena and drop off his as a prize for any combatants willing to fight their way to it.
Continuing south past the naga-occupied Nek'mani Wellspring and the Mistvale Valley (home to gorillas such as Silverback Patriarchs), one eventually reaches the goblin port town of Booty Bay (home of the and ), a bustling harbor firmly controlled by the Blackwater Raiders, a pirate crew with close ties to the influential and politically neutral Steamwheedle Cartel. The Blackwater Raiders are engaged in a constant rivalry with their nemeses, the Bloodsail Buccaneers (whose ranks include the Bloodsail Corsairs and Bloodsail Raiders), who infest the southern shores of the region. Off the southeastern shore of the Cape lies Jaguero Isle, the domain of and his Skymane gorillas. Finally, the Cape of Stranglethorn is also home to a few sea giants, who occasionally pose a threat to passing ships.
- In Hearthstone
Aside from the many denizens of Stranglethorn that have previously made their way into Hearthstone, the vale is also represented in one of the original four Hearthstone battlefields, as well as in The Ruined City, the third wing of The League of Explorers. The Gurubashi Arena, the central setting of Rastakhan's Rumble, has also indirectly appeared in the form of the card art for .
Team 5 have wanted to make — and received fan requests for — a troll-themed set for a long time prior to the creation of Rastakhan's Rumble. With the launch of the World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth earlier in 2018, players got the opportunity to explore trolls more in depth than ever before by venturing to the Zandalari homeland of Zandalar, and Blizzard felt that there was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of that in the form of a fully troll-themed expansion. During development of Rastakhan's Rumble, some of the Hearthstone developers went and talked to the World of Warcraft team to get inspiration and references for the various loa and troll characters used in the then-upcoming Battle for Azeroth. The team internally discussed various ideas for a troll expansion, such as a frosty ice troll monastery and "the search for Troll Dorado" (a legendary city of gold they just made up on the spot), but one thing they especially wanted to capture was the sense of diversity among trolls, with all the different troll races scattered around Azeroth and the contrast between the trolls' proud heritage, dark mysticism, and "smashy troll axe guys". They decided that the best way to do this was to simply have the trolls beat each other up in the Gurubashi Arena.
The developers got the team together and asked them what they liked most about trolls and which things from World of Warcraft had to make it into the set. Suggestions ranged from and Hakkar the Soulflayer's Corrupted Blood to dinosaurs with giant shoulder armor. One thing that everyone called out was the Loa, the primal gods and spirits worshipped by all trolls. In addition to being really powerful and cool, the Loa have big personalities, which was especially great for the team. They settled on having the Loa each have a gladiator team embodying the characteristics of that Loa, and began creating concept sketches along this theme. The first team concepted during the development of the expansion was "Hakkar's Soulflayers" (see image), but the developers ultimately decided not to put Hakkar with a gladiator team since, being the most evil Loa, he would likely just eat all of his gladiators. Though Hakkar's team was scrapped, he still appears in the set as a neutral card and the concept art largely informed the design of the other Loa teams in the expansion, particularly elements such as fans having images of the Loa painted on their chests and color schemes, weapons, and gear based on the gods' physical features.
The team began work on Rastakhan's Rumble in early January of 2018, almost a year before the set's full release. The expansion's development cycle took almost a full year, with different people working on it for about 16 weeks per team, with the initial design team spending around a month deciding on the Loa and troll champions for each class. Originally, the shaman team were planned to worship Bethekk, the panther Loa, while Krag'wa was at least at one point considered as the warrior Loa. However, the team later decided to shift Krag'wa to the shaman team; they didn't need another big cat since they already had Halazzi and Shirvallah and they felt that frogs were "a little bit sillier and funnier than panthers".
To capture the vibe of gladiators in the arena, the developers created the Overkill keyword, the mechanic of which had previously been experimented with during the development cycles of Blackrock Mountain and The Witchwood. To capture the sense of teams in the Rumble, Blizzard designed spirits, all of which are 0/3 minions that have Stealth for one turn and grant powerful benefits to their owners. The team designed the spirits to be build-around cards that make one's entire deck feel themed, which was deemed a critical part of the expansion's overall vibe. To ensure that players would more likely get value out of the spirits, the developers tried various different designs to make them more resilient. One idea was to make the spirits into invincible Permanent cards, but it soon became clear that this version felt really bad to play against. Another design involved making the spirits "ethereal", unable to be attacked by other minions. However, this had similar problems, with many decks having difficulty removing them, ultimately leading to them once again not being very fun to play against. As a swing in the opposite direction, the developers also tried simply giving the spirits large amounts of Health. However, even though this iteration of spirits was really good if a player was ahead on the board, it was difficult for the opponent to remove them. Conversely, they were not nearly as effective when behind, since the opponent would simply clear the spirits out before the player had a chance to make use of their effects. Ultimately, the designers settled on making the spirits 3-Health minions with Stealth for a single turn, ensuring that there are possible answers that opponents can use to remove them, while also making it so the spirits are likely to survive long enough for the player to make use of them in combos. The spirits were all intentionally designed with low mana Costs to ensure that players would get the opportunity to use them relatively early on in the game before the outcome of the match had already been decided. One of the design lessons the developers learned during Kobolds & Catacombs and onwards is that they like their build-around cards to be of rare quality, ensuring that more people have access to the cards and don't feel like they're locked behind legendary rarity. As a result, all spirit cards in Rastakhan's Rumble are rare.
When designing the Legendary minion representations of the Loa, Blizzard wanted to give them powerful effects as befit "badass gods". However, they also wanted to make sure the Loa weren't used in every deck, but rather only in the right decks.
On February 27th, 2018, Blizzard announced the changes and new content planned for the Year of the Raven, the third year of standard format. The announcement blog post and accompanying video included a teaser image for the planned three expansions of the year, with the third expansion being denoted with a blue-green object surrounded by red on a green background.
On October 30th, a mere three days before the expansion announcement at BlizzCon 2018, the card set was prematurely leaked when a reddit user discovered a playlist with the expansion's title in Korean on Blizzard Korea's official YouTube channel.
On November 1st, the official Hearthstone Twitter account posted a teaser image later revealed as the card art for the Rumble Run minion , depicting a parrot in a pirate hat flying over the Gurubashi Arena in Stranglethorn while carrying a flag with the logo of Gral's Sharks. The image was accompanied by the caption "Arrg who be flyin’ to Blizzcon to hear what Hearthstone be having in store!?"
On November 2, a few hours before BlizzCon, the expansion was leaked once more, this time in an unrelated news article by PC Gamer that mistakenly included sections of copy-and-pasted text that revealed the set's title of Rastakhan's Rumble and several details about its setting and contents, including the Legendary minion . Though the mishap was quickly corrected, a reddit user reported on the leak, complete with a screenshot of the text in question, leading to the expansion being widely reported on by various different fansites. In the original reddit thread, another user further discovered that the domain name "www.rastakhansrumble.com" had been registered in late September, further strengthening the veracity of the leak.
The expansion was officially announced on November 2 by Creative Director Ben Thompson during the Opening Ceremony of BlizzCon 2018, showcasing the trailer and main themes of the expansion. Later, during the What's Next panel, Game Designer Peter Whalen and Associate Game Designer Liv Breeden showcased more of the expansion, notably the Loa-themed teams representing each of the nine classes and several more cards. The BlizzCon audience got the opportunity to influence the card reveals by cheering for one of two teams at a time to decide which card to reveal next at several points during the panel.
Following the initial expansion announcement, small amounts of cards from the set began being revealed through official Blizzard blog posts, as well as promotional videos (see below). Card reveals kicked off in earnest on November 19 in a card reveal livestream with Peter Whalen and streamer RegisKillbin, who showcased and discussed several new cards from the set before also showcasing some gameplay from the expansion in a showmatch against Chakki (or Realz playing on Chakki's account). Uniquely, Twitch viewers got the opportunity to influence the card reveals by using an on-screen Twitch extension to vote on which deck would be used: a mage deck featuring , or a warlock deck starring . The mage deck won by a wide margin, and Whalen and RegisKillbin proceeded to beat Chakki's Token Druid with the help of some of the new Hero Power-themed mage cards from the expansion. Afterwards, the remaining warlock cards that were not shown on the stream were instead revealed by Blizzard through Twitter and the official Hearthstone website.
Following the stream, selected cards began being revealed by members of the press and community. The final card reveal stream, featuring Senior Designer Dean Ayala and streamer Brian Kibler, took place on November 28. In a series of showmatches against Realz, several of the remaining cards from the expansion (notably including the last unrevealed Legendary, ) were showcased. Kibler ended up going 3:1 with the "Heal Paladin", "Feral Druid", "Surrender Priest", and "Dragon Rush Warrior" decks against Realz's warlock, rogue, hunter, and shaman. After the stream, all of the remaining cards from the set, primarily neutral cards, were revealed on the official Hearthstone Facebook page.
Ticket to Greatness
Similar to the preceding expansion, The Boomsday Project, part of the promotional material for Rastakhan's Rumble includes a series of animated shorts created by YouTube animator Wronchi, released on the official Hearthstone YouTube channel and used to reveal individual cards from the set, with a new episode posted every week.
- Part 1
- Hearthstone’s heroes have joined the crowd of enthusiastic fans converging on the renowned Gurubashi Arena to attend that knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred, rough-and-tumble, beautifically brutal gladiatorial celebration of all things troll: Rastakhaaaaaan’s Ruuuuuumble!
- They’ve got pennants. They’ve got sunscreen. The one thing they’re missing? Tickets!
- Part 2
- The best thing about the Rumble? Other Rumble fans! The worst thing about the Rumble? Other Rumble fans!
- Find out what happens when gets wrecked in Wronchi Animation’s Ticket to Greatness - Part 2!
- Part 3
- The Frogs face the Rhinos in this episode of Ticket to Greatness, but the match leaves us with some questions: What does Annoy-o-tron taste like? What’s up with Krog’wa’s[sic] eyebrows? And what’s going on with that crowd?
- Find out in Wronchi Animation’s Ticket to Greatness - Part 3!
- Part 4
- is on the ropes in this episode of Ticket to Greatness, but she could get some help from an unexpected quarter. Can she pull a miracle out of her pocket? Will she just cheat? Is the cutest ever?
- Find out in Wronchi Animation’s Ticket to Greatness - Part 4!
- Part 5
- One lucky contestant has won the Rumble raffle, but the prize isn’t what he bargained for! Will prevail? Will Rastakhan rumble? How many teeth does a crab have?
- Find out in Wronchi Animation’s Ticket to Greatness - Part 5!
Show Your Team Spirit
From November 27 through December 3, players got the opportunity to earn a free card pack from the upcoming expansion by showing their team spirit and voting for one of the nine Rumble teams on the official website. Players were encouraged to visit the Rastakhan's Rumble Team Spirit webpage, choose the team that best represented them, and to stay tuned for the final episode of Ticket to Greatness (see above) to see which team emerged victorious from the competition.
Included on the page were a series of short blurbs offering descriptions of each of the class champions. These descriptions were originally shown in a press release document offered on the official Blizzard press site following the original expansion announcement at BlizzCon, but they are showcased here for completeness.
- Concept art
- Daxxarri (2018-11-02). Be Ready for the Rumble!. Retrieved on 2018-11-02.
- Blizzard Entertainment (2018-11-02). BlizzCon 2018 Opening Ceremony. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- BlizzCon 2018: Hearthstone: What's Next. (2018-11-02). Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Cam Shea (2019-02-04). Hearthstone: Peter Whalen and Dean Ayala on Designing Key Rastakhan Cards. IGN. Retrieved on 2019-02-06.
- Rastakhan's Rumble - Hearthstone. Retrieved on 2018-11-02.
- Hearthstone (2018-11-19). Rastakhan's Rumble Card Reveal Livestream (04:00). YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-20.
- Blizzard Press Center - Rastakhan's Rumble Announcement Press Kit - Rastakhan's Rumble Announcement Press Release enUS. (2018-11-02). Retrieved on 2018-11-06.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-12). Rastakhan’s Rumble: A New Challenger Approaches – Part 1. Retrieved on 2018-11-12.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-21). A New Challenger Approaches - Part 2. Retrieved on 2018-11-21.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-26). A New Challenger Approaches - Part 3. Retrieved on 2018-11-26.
- DeviousKat (2018-11-10). Blizzcon 2018 Interview with Initial Designers Peter Whalen and Liv Breeden. /r/hearthstone. Retrieved on 2018-11-12.
- Skiffington (2018-11-07). Interview With Hearthstone Game Designers Liv Breeden & Peter Whalen At BlizzCon: Discussing Rastakhan's Rumble!. Hearthstone Top Decks. Retrieved on 2018-11-12.
- Daxxarri (2018-02-27). The Year of the Raven Soars Ahead. Retrieved on 2018-03-18.
- MonetRain (2018-10-30). Blizzard Korea leaks new hearthstone expansion title - 'Hearthstone: Brawl of Rastakhan'. reddit. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2018-11-01).
- JamieFTW (2018-11-02). Did PC Gamer just accidentally leak the description of the new expansion? (SPOILERS AHEAD!!!). reddit. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Wesley Yin-Poole (2018-11-02). Website's Scum penis story leaks Hearthstone expansion. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- pepsi_cola_addict_ on reddit. (2018-11-02). Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-14). Rastakhan's Rumble Card Reveal Schedule. Retrieved on 2018-11-14.
- Hearthstone (2018-11-19). Rastakhan's Rumble Card Reveal Livestream. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-20.
- Hearthstone on Twitter. (2018-11-19).
- Hearthstone (2018-11-28). Final Card Reveal Livestream | Rastakhan's Rumble. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-30.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-06). Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 1. Retrieved on 2018-11-06.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-13). Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness Part 2. Retrieved on 2018-11-13.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-20). Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 3. Retrieved on 2018-11-20.
- Daxxarri (2018-11-27). Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 4. Retrieved on 2018-11-27.
- Daxxarri (2018-12-04). Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 5. Retrieved on 2018-12-04.
- Show Your Team Spirit - Hearthstone. Retrieved on 2018-12-03.
- Blizzard Entertainment (2018-11-27). Rastakhan’s Rumble: Show Your Team Spirit. Retrieved on 2018-12-03.
- Blizzard Press Center - Rastakhan's Rumble Announcement Press Kit - Rastakhan's Rumble Champions Fact Sheet enUS. (2018-11-02). Retrieved on 2018-12-03.
- Christie Golden on Twitter. (2018-11-06).
- Hearthstone Update – November 29 – Rastakhan’s Rumble! (2018-11-29)
- Rastakhan’s Rumble: Show Your Team Spirit (2018-11-28)
- Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 4 (2018-11-27)
- A New Challenger Approaches - Part 3 (2018-11-26)
- Pre-Release Is Back for Rastakhan’s Rumble! (2018-11-24)
- A New Challenger Approaches - Part 2 (2018-11-21)
- Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 3 (2018-11-20)
- Hearthside Chat with Dave Kosak: Loa and Lore (2018-11-15)
- Rastakhan's Rumble Card Reveal Schedule (2018-11-14)
- Rastakhan's Rumble: Ticket to Greatness Part 2 (2018-11-13)
- Rastakhan’s Rumble: A New Challenger Approaches – Part 1 (2018-11-12)
- Pre-Release Is Back for Rastakhan’s Rumble—And Rowdier Than Ever! (2018-11-08)
- Rastakhan’s Rumble: Ticket to Greatness – Part 1 (2018-11-06)
- Be Ready for the Rumble! (2018-11-02)
- Selected media
- IGN: Peter Whalen and Dean Ayala on Designing Key Rastakhan Cards (2019-02-04)
- IGN: Hearthstone's Peter Whalen on Designing Zul'jin and Moving Away From Infinite Late Game Value (2019-02-04)
- /r/hearthstone: Blizzcon 2018 Interview with Initial Designers Peter Whalen and Liv Breeden (2018-11-10)
- Tempo Storm: Hearthstone Developer Interview | Ben Thompson & Catherine Morgan | Blizzcon 2018 (2018-11-08)
- HSReplay.net: Interview with Hearthstone Executive Producer Chris Sigaty and Senior Game Designer Dean Ayala (2018-11-07)
- Hearthstone Top Decks: Interview With Hearthstone Game Designers Liv Breeden & Peter Whalen At BlizzCon: Discussing Rastakhan's Rumble! (2018-11-07)
- Icy Veins: Interview with Dave Kosak and Hadidjah Chamberlin on Rastakhan's Rumble & More (2018-11-03)
(Expansions / Adventures / Mini-sets)