Rise of Shadows: The Dalaran Heist (PC)

It’s Good To Be Bad

Well, well, well, look who just walked into our lair. Aw, you should see your face right now: did you really think you had vanquished us? Fool! The League of E.V.I.L. will never be defeated! Just you wait until you see the true scope of our secret master plan! Come to think of it, we do have an opening for lackeys, and you seem… uniquely qualified. What do you say? Care to take a walk on the dark side?

The Dalaran Heist is a Hearthstone expansion adding a solo mode that follows in a similar way to its predecessors by putting the player in a ‘run’, where you face a number of bosses and add new cards to your deck between each encounter. This time the plot is that you will assist the bad guys in stealing the floating city of Dalaran. The mastermind of the heist is Rafaam, who together with other returning villains, makes sure that this adventure will be an exciting one.

The heist also takes the opportunity to introduce cards with a new mechanic and a new keyword to the standard set. These come in the form of schemes and twinspells. Schemes are cards that become stronger each turn you keep them in your hand. Twinspells are similar to other normal spells, but you get to cast each card twice, so it’s like having an extra card in your deck without counting as a duplicate.

The last addition to the expansion are the lackeys. These minions are added to your hand by some of the new minions’ battlecry, and provide support in order to make your evil plans succeed. The lackeys may look innocuous and cheap, but a bunch of them will surely carve a big dent to your enemy’s health.

There are five areas in the adventure itself, and you can buy access to each area for 6.99 Euros or unlock it with 700 coins. You start with only one playable character, Rakanishu the mage, who has the standard mage hero power. Eventually, by completing quests (which come in the form of defeating a number of bosses or using a certain type of minion a number of times) you will have access to other hero powers as well as a choice of starting decks. You will also have access to more heroes after each chapter that you unlock.

Each run pits you against eight bosses (with the last one twelve), but now there is also the introduction of friendly encounters after every three bosses or so. During these friendly encounters, your hero will take a break inside a tavern and most importantly you have a number of random cards that will allow you to modify your deck, for example by adding or removing minions, beef up their stats, or reduce the cost of spells.

The Dalaran Heist feels like a refinement of the run type of adventure. When building your deck between each duel, you have to think ahead and choose cards that will give you a balanced deck and work well with each other. When you consider that you have to win eight games in a row without losing a single one it may seem that it’s not easy, and sometimes it also depends on how the cards are shuffled. Ands since some bosses are harder than others, luck also plays a role because even the boss list is randomised.

There’s a range of emotions that the Dalaran Heist will bring you. On one hand, it gives you the opportunity to use cards outside of your collection and gives you instant gratification, but on the other there is also a feeling of helplessness against some of the bosses, especially later on in the game. However there are three packs of cards waiting for you at the end of each run, and a new golden card which is Zayle, Shadow Cloak when you unlock all the five chapters. And when you do manage to beat the final boss you will be rewarded with a new card back and a golden pack of cards, so in the end it is well worth it.


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