team recently revealed its plans for the Year of the Phoenix, and to say they’re huge would be an understatement. We’re talking about the Priest class getting a rework, duplicates being eliminated from card packs, a free deck for new and returning players, Leeroy Jenkins (and others) being sent to the Hall of Fame, and, of course, the biggest news of all – Hearthstone is getting its tenth class: the Demon Hunter.Demon Hunter will launch alongside the next expansion – Ashes of Outland – and IGN has a brand new Demon Hunter card from that set to reveal today. Introducing, Fel Summoner:
Fel Summoner is a key card in one of the three archetypes Team 5 planned for Demon Hunter out of the gate – its “big demons” deck. That deck plays in a controlling style, attempting to keep its opponent at bay using hero attacks and AOE during the early- to mid-game so that it can start rolling out big threats and dominate the board later on.
Fel Summoner has stats in line with her purpose – dying so that you can pull a big demon, like a Pit Commander or Hulking Overfiend, from hand. It’s an interesting card because while your opponent will likely be able to kill her easily, he or she will also need to have a plan to deal with the demon that may or may not be pulled onto the board. And if Fel Summoner isn’t dealt with, well, that’s a lot of incoming damage.
It remains to be seen just how many “big demons” you’ll need in your deck to reliably take advantage of Fel Summoner’s ability, but I can tell you that it’s very likely to be viable, as the journey to get this archetype to a good place was a long one. Fel Summoner changed quite a bit over the course of final design as the team homed in on how the big demon deck would play. Fel Summoner, in fact, was actually swapped in to replace a spell called “Bind to the Cause”, and then evolved again, into the card that’s shipping with the set. You can see the evolution below.
Demon Hunter as a whole is shaping up to be a heap of fun, so be sure to check out our exclusive behind the scenes video below, in which we detail how Team 5 brought Demon Hunter to life in terms of art, UI, VFX and storytelling. Also stay tuned for our companion video that tells the story of how the team designed the new class – the hero power, the archetypes and more. It’ll be live on Thursday PDT / Friday in ANZ.You can also see the Demon Hunter initiative set here and all the Ashes of Outand cards that have been revealed to date here.
Cam Shea is Editor in Chief for IGN’s Australian content team and a Hearthstone player since beta. He’s on Twitter.