Who Is the Hearthstone League of Explorers?
Throughout the various mythos of Hearthstone are characters and groups that are integral to the overarching story. There’s the League of EVIL that includes King Togwaggle and many others. Many of these characters are featured not just in the card game but in Blizzard’s other games as well.
After all, Hearthstone is a card game that exists within the same world as World of Warcraft. There are many important characters from that MMORPG who have crossed over to the card game and been represented there, too.
There are also several locations and events that have been mentioned in the card game, too. All of this builds up to create rich lore that keeps players interested beyond the normal card matches themselves. One such crucial group in the overall lore is the League of Explorers.
Why the Hearthstone League of Explorers Is Important
Before I get into who the Hearthstone League of Explorers is, it’s necessary to go over why it is so important to the lore and why you need to know about them. For starters, this group is being teased right now by developer Blizzard as a group that you should know.
The most recent cinematic video for the game was released on YouTube, offering that signature 2D art that fans have come to know and love from the story cutscenes. Simply titled “What’s this?” the video features the League of EVIL’s King Heistbaron Togwaggle.
In the video, Togwaggle is shown sneakily entering what looks to be a castle room in the midst of a stormy night. There, he finds what looks to be Madame Lazul’s room filled with interesting items around. The biggest focal point of the room, though, is a deck of cards on the table.
When King Togwaggle tries to lift up one of the cards, it glows brightly and plays some very Indiana Jones-like music. When I (and many other players) think of Indiana Jones in Hearthstone, I think no further than the Hearthstone League of Explorers.
That League of Explorers is basically the Indiana Jones of the game as they are, well, explorers. So, Blizzard is teasing the League for some reason, but what? Well, the end of the video teases that players will soon find out what’s next for the game.
This led us to believe that Blizzard is teasing the next expansion for the game and that it will be about the Hearthstone League of Explorers. So, in order to prepare for the next expansion, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about this eclectic group of explorers.
Who Makes Up the Hearthstone League of Explorers?
The Hearthstone League of Explorers is a group of four explorers who have come together to go on adventures to find mysterious artifacts and treasure. They travel around World of Warcraft’s Azeroth, visiting archaeological sites and ancient locations.
The Hearthstone League of Explorers was first introduced in the game back in 2015, almost four years ago, with the release of the solo adventure The League of Explorers. This was a solo expansion that featured a nice story for players to compete on their own.
The story featured the player joining up with the famous treasure hunter Brann Bronzebeard and his band of merry explorers as they race against time to find the elusive Staff of Origination. The solo adventure had you not just looking for the staff but fighting off bad guys also looking for it.
Those evil people wanted to use the staff for nefarious reasons, and it was up to the League to stop them. It had several wings, each one focusing on one of the four explorers in the group. These explorers aren’t just random characters, either, as they are cards in the game, too.
In fact, completing one of the separate wings of The League of Explorers solo adventure would give you the legendary card for that particular member of the group to use in matches. Some of those cards, especially the Reno Jackson card, have become a staple in the community over the years.
Character portraits courtesy of Hearthstone Wiki
Brann Bronzebeard, the famous treasure hunter dwarf, is the leader of the Hearthstone League of Explorers. He is actually one of two characters in the group who didn’t originate from this card game as he is from World of Warcraft, too.
Brann hails from a family of dwarves that are at the heart of the conflict and lore of the MMO game. His older brothers, Magni and Muradin, may sound familiar to you if you’ve ever played that game at all as they are the core of the Azeroth lore.
As for Brann himself, though, he is also leading up a group of adventurers in the MMO, but they are known as the Explorers’ League there. It’s not known if the name difference is because they are separate leagues and something happened to it or something else entirely.
Regardless, the most recent adventures of Brann and his league saw the leader travel alongside the former enemy Mother to Uldir in order to find a way for her to help Azeroth. With the next expansion of the game coming out soon, it is clear that he has more people to save.
That’s just the lore behind Brann Bronzebeard, though. This leader of the League of Explorers is also a card within the game itself. He hails from the League of Explorers set and is a legendary neutral minion card that can be used in any deck and with any class.
Created by artist Sam Nielson, the Brann Bronzebeard card has two attack and four health, which is okay. It’s made better by the fact that it costs only three mana in total to summon him. However, it is well worth the effort of summoning him despite his low stats for his amazing ability.
When Brann Bronzebeard is on the field, he gives all of your monsters the ability to use their Battlecries twice in a row, which is insane. For those who don’t know, a Battlecry is an ability that occurs when the monster is summoned. It could destroy a target creature or deal damage or so on.
With Brann Bronzebeard, though, whatever that Battlecry ability is, it will now happen twice in a row. You could build an entire deck around this card and deal massive amounts of damage or keep the board cleared with the help of his useful ability.
Elise Starseeker is the only female in the Hearthstone League of Explorers, a member of the Night Elf race from World of Warcraft. She is also one of the two original characters from this group, making her debut in this battle card game.
However, though she did make her appearance for the first time as a member of the League of Explorers, she has since made the jump to the MMORPG, too. She was featured recently in the game as one of the quest givers that you can meet and work with in Mechagon.
Elise Starseeker didn’t stop her appearances there, either. She was also a major focus of the Hearthstone Journey to Un’Goro expansion and is the only one in the group who has two cards. Her second card in the game debuted with the launch of that expansion.
As for her first card released as part of the League of Explorers set, Elise Starseeker is a legendary minion like Brann who is neutral, thus, being usable in any type of deck. She has three attack and five health with a four mana cost, which is decent.
As with Brann, the crux of her usefulness comes from her ability. Her Battlecry allows the player to shuffle the Map to the Golden Monkey card into your deck. This is the only way to get this card into your deck as you can’t find it, purchase it, or craft.
When you draw and summon this spell card that costs two mana, it then allows you to shuffle the Golden Monkey into your deck and draw a card. Now, if you are able to draw the Golden Monkey card, you will find that it costs only four mana to use but has six attack and six health, which is great.
It has two main abilities as well: Taunt and a Battlecry. The Battlecry changes up the entire game as your hand and deck are both replaced with legendary minions. Being able to use Elise Starseeker the right way can lead to an early and efficient victory.
But that’s not her only card in Hearthstone. With the release of the Journey to Un’Goro expansion, she received another card, but this one is called Elise the Trailblazer. This card is not as good as her previous incarnation but is worth checking out regardless.
Like the first, Elise the Trailblazer is a neutral legendary minion card. It costs five mana to summon this card that has five damage and five health. The main ability of her card is a Battlecry that, like the original, shuffles a sealed Un’Goro pack into your deck.
Then, if you are able to draw the Un’Goro Pack, you will find that it is quite literally a pack of cards. You can use two mana to use the spell card, and it will add five cards from that set to your hand.
Sir Finley Mrrgglton
Sir Finley Mrrgglton is a terribly named Murloc character who comes from World of Warcraft. In both games, he is seen as an explorer who enjoys looking for treasure and has a knack for taking on pirates and other evildoers.
The backstory for Sir Finley Mrrgglton is that he is more welcoming to strangers and other races than his Murloc counterparts due to his origins. He was discovered as a little egg by fellow adventurer Elise Starseeker and raised by her.
He has one card in the game thus far that comes from the League of Explorers expansion and is a legendary neutral minion. It costs only one mana to summon Sir Finley, but it is more than worth the modest cost. He has one attack and three health, which is solid, but it’s his ability that helps even more.
His Battlecry ability allows the player to discover a new Hero Power. This is an ability with a lot of randomness to it, but the stats and low cost are worth it. During its time in the standard set, the Sir Finley card led to some odd but also beneficial results for players using him.
Last but not least, we have the unforgettable Reno Jackson. This fourth and final member of the Hearthstone League of Explorers was your partner for the first wing in the solo adventure. He is a charming explorer who has no problem talking about himself.
But what really made Reno Jackson so famous isn’t his conceitedness and accomplishments as a treasure hunter but his renowned card. Hailing from the League of Explorers card set, this is one of the most famous and important cards in the entire collection to date.
It is likely that you already know about this card while reading this. But for those who don’t know, the Reno Jackson card is a legendary neutral minion card that can be used in any deck and with any class like the other cards. What makes it stand out is that it changed the metagame forever.
Reno Jackson costs six mana to summon, having four attack and six health, which are alright stats. But it’s his Battlecry ability that makes him worth adding to your deck. When Reno Jackson is summoned to the battlefield, he will fully heal your hero as long as you have no duplicate cards in your deck.
This means you could have one health left, but as long as every card in your deck is unique, you will be back to full health. This unbelievably amazing card changed the meta forever as players were now able to counter against decks that were on the aggressive side.
In true Yu-Gi-Oh! fashion, you could turn the entire match around as long as you drew and played this card at the right time. It was also the first card of its kind in the entire collection that allowed you to receive a benefit for having all unique cards in your deck.
What the Next Expansion Could Be About
Since the story cinematic references the Hearthstone League of Explorers, it is likely that the expansion will be all about them. As of right now, we only have one expansion released this year, and that was Rise of Shadows. We know that there will be three expansions released this year.
As such, it is high time that we get the second one to continue the story set by Rise of Shadows. That first expansion this year saw the League of EVIL led by King Togwaggle begin to cause mayhem and destruction around the world of Azeroth.
This next expansion could see a group of heroes rise up to defeat the League of EVIL and stop their sinister actions. No group would make better sense than the League of Explorers. As such, this expansion will most likely give more focus to these four heroes than ever before.
I, for one, am hyped and hopeful for what new cards the four explorers will get in this upcoming expansion. All four of them got cards that were useful in a variety of situations, so it would be exciting to see what Blizzard has in store for Brann Bronzebeard, Reno Jackson, and the rest of the gang this time around.