Curse of Naxxramas

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Curse of Naxxramas banner.jpg
"Whispers of an ancient tomb… holding horrors in every room. Ghastly ghouls, poisons galore… but in the shadows lurks something more. Knights of death and abominations… cleaving your bits for new creations. And if by chance you should survive - there’s plenty of sweet loot inside!"
Wild format
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With the arrival of the Year of the Kraken, Curse of Naxxramas is now a Wild format card set, which means cards from the Curse of Naxxramas will no longer be playable in Standard format matches. For more information, see Game format.

Curse of Naxxramas (Naxxramas, Naxx) is Hearthstone's first adventure, released on July 22, 2014.

Set in the Scourge necropolis of Naxxramas, Curse of Naxxramas consists of 5 wings representing ones of the World of Warcraft Naxxramas raid instance. The adventure features a total of 30 collectible cards, which can be gained through completing various aspects of the adventure. Each wing of the adventure must be purchased before they can be played. As a Wild format adventure, Naxxramas cards can also be crafted without completing the adventure.

Structure[edit | edit source]

Main article: Adventure
Selecting the adventure. The number of unbeaten Normal bosses is shown, while the red skull indicates there are Heroic bosses to kill.
Some of the Curse of Naxxramas bosses
Kel'thuzad speaks as the player prepares for the first boss.
Choosing a Class Challenge
  • Curse of Naxxramas consists of 5 wings, 15 bosses, 9 Class Challenges, and Heroic mode.
    • Normal mode is the default for playing adventures, designed to allow players of all abilities to participate in and complete the adventure.
    • Bosses in Normal mode and Class Challenges use the Naxxramas card back, while bosses in Heroic mode appropriately use the Heroic Naxxramas card back.
  • Kel'Thuzad, the final boss, "hosts" the adventure, addressing the player as he or she progresses through the adventure, starting with the unlocking of the very first wing. He is alternately threatening, genial, and comical, or sometimes a combination of all three. During boss encounters, the bosses and certain minions chime in as well, at predetermined times and sometimes in response to player actions.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

  • Defeating a boss awards 2 copies of regular Naxxramas cards.
  • Completing a Class Challenge awards two copies of that class Naxxramas card.
  • Completing a full wing in Normal mode awards the player 1 copy of 1 or 2 Naxxramas legendary cards.
  • Defeating all 15 bosses in Heroic mode awards a special card back.[1]
  • Bosses are worth XP in equal amounts to Practice mode,[2] but do not qualify for the purpose of completing quests (other than the "Total Dominance" quest) or any other gold reward.[3]

Summary[edit | edit source]

The following table illustrates the arrangement of wings, bosses, and rewards of the adventure. The placement of the Class Challenge sections indicate which boss features in each Challenge, as well as which wing must be completed in order to unlock it. The "Dust value" column shows the amount of Arcane Dust the cards in that wing will produce if disenchanted.

Wing Boss Boss reward Wing reward Class Challenge Challenge reward Dust value
The Arachnid Quarter
(July 22)
Anub'Rekhan  Haunted Creeper  Maexxna 480
 Grand Widow Faerlina  Nerub'ar Weblord Druid  Poison Seeds
Maexxna  Nerubian Egg Rogue  Anub'ar Ambusher
The Plague Quarter
(July 29)
 Noth the Plaguebringer  Stoneskin Gargoyle  Loatheb 480
 Heigan the Unclean  Unstable Ghoul Mage  Duplicate
Loatheb  Sludge Belcher Hunter  Webspinner
The Military Quarter
(August 5)
 Instructor Razuvious  Dancing Swords  Baron Rivendare 480
 Gothik the Harvester  Spectral Knight Shaman  Reincarnate
 Baron Rivendare  Deathlord Warlock  Voidcaller
The Construct Quarter
(August 12)
Patchwerk  Undertaker  Stalagg and  Feugen 890
 Grobbulus  Mad Scientist Warrior  Death's Bite
Gluth  Zombie Chow
Thaddius  Wailing Soul Priest  Dark Cultist
Frostwyrm Lair
(August 19)
 Sapphiron  Echoing Ooze  Kel'Thuzad 810
Kel'Thuzad  Shade of Naxxramas Paladin  Avenge
Total: 3140

How to get[edit | edit source]

Each wing of the adventure must be purchased with gold or real money in order to unlock it for play. Once a player has unlocked a wing, that wing stays unlocked, and can be replayed as frequently and as many times as desired.[4] Players who have already purchased at least one wing can purchase the remaining wings through the adventure itself.

Curse of Naxxramas is only accessible by players who have unlocked all 10 classes.

Pricing[edit | edit source]

Players can purchase wings using Gold or Runestones. "Bundle" discounts are offered if purchasing all remaining locked wings at one time using Runestones.

Package Runestones Gold
All 5 wings 2500 Runestone.png 2800 Gold coin.png
Remaining 4 2000 Runestone.png -
Remaining 3 1500 Runestone.png -
Remaining 2 1000 Runestone.png -
Individual wings 700 Runestone.png 700 Gold coin.png

Previous availability[edit | edit source]

Prior to Patch and the introduction of Runestones, Curse of Naxxramas could also be bought with the following real money prices:[5]

All 5 wings $24.99 €21.99 £17.49 $31.99 $319
Remaining 4 $19.99 €17.99 £13.99 $24.99 $259
Remaining 3 $14.99 €13.99 £10.49 $18.99 $189
Remaining 2 $9.99 €8.99 £6.99 $12.99 $129
Individual wings $6.99 €5.99 £4.99 $8.99 $89

Release schedule[edit | edit source]

The Curse of Naxxramas wings were originally made available over the course of five weeks - purchasing a wing did not immediately grant players access to it. The first wing was originally free to access, with players entering it prior to September 30th that year permanently unlocking the wing.[1][6] The first wing was then available with the same pricing as the others.

Cards[edit | edit source]

Curse of Naxxramas adds 30 collectible cards to the game - 21 neutral cards and 9 class cards, 1 for each class. Naxxramas cards can be recognised by a special watermark (a skull set upon the silhouette of Naxxramas itself) behind the card text, not found on other cards. Many Naxxramas cards follow a Deathrattle theme, or involve minion death in some way.

Customize this list


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Boss cards and Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Main article: Naxxramas boss cards

In addition to the playable cards listed above, Curse of Naxxramas brings numerous unique cards and Hero Powers available only during the adventure's boss encounters.

Including both Normal and Heroic mode versions, the adventure includes 50 boss cards, and 28 boss-only Hero Powers.

For a full list, see Naxxramas boss cards.

Battlefield[edit | edit source]

The adventure brought a new battlefield, complete with interactable features. The battlefield is used during the adventure, and was not initially available during other play. However, the battlefield was later made available for use in all play modes.[1]

For more details on the battlefield and its interactable features, see Battlefield#Naxxramas.

Battlefield - Naxxramas.jpg

Card backs[edit | edit source]

Completing the adventure on Heroic mode grants a special card back. The card back for Ranked Play Season 4 also matches the expansion.

Heroic Naxxramas
Completing Curse of Naxxramas in Heroic mode

You can tell a lot about an Abomination by his stitching. This one just screams “insane”. Literally.

No longer available
Achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 4 (July 2014)

The gooey center is Ooze slime. Don’t lick it.

Lore[edit | edit source]

Curse of Naxxramas, full art

Curse of Naxxramas is based upon the Naxxramas raid from World of Warcraft.

The World of Warcraft Naxxramas instance had two incarnations; it was originally released in vanilla World of Warcraft hovering above the Eastern Plaguelands, before being revamped for Wrath of the Lich King, where it moved to Northrend. Curse of Naxxramas is based on the raid's second incarnation.

Official overview[edit | edit source]

Kel’Thuzad: A Thirst for Power

High above the bitter cold of Dragonblight in the continent of Northrend, the ancient Nerubian necropolis known as Naxxramas looms in the skies, casting a dark shadow on the barren tundra that lies beneath it. Safe from most terrors that may threaten it, Naxxramas is an effective holding ground for a host of undead horrors, ready to strengthen the influence and reach of the undead Scourge at a moment’s notice.

The archlich known as Kel’Thuzad sits at the seat of power within Naxxramas, coordinating the normally mindless Scourge into a fighting force for the Lich King. In his mortal days, Kel’Thuzad was once a powerful human mage and high-ranking member of the Kirin Tor, working under the great  Archmage Antonidas, leader of the Kirin Tor at the time. The Kirin Tor had a wealth of secrets and knowledge at their disposal, and Kel’Thuzad spent countless hours devouring every bit of knowledge he could get his hands on—even the darkest and most unthinkable of arcane arts, such as necromancy. He became increasingly more reclusive and shunned by his peers the further he delved into forbidden magic.

The Lich King sought out Azeroth’s most powerful and ambitious individuals to bend to his will, sending out a mental summons to those he thought could easily be swayed by the promise of power. Kel’Thuzad was the first to answer the Lich King’s call. He saw the power the Lich King held over the undead and desired such power for his own, so he offered his services as a mage to the Lich King in whatever manner he desired. After a long, tortured journey to the frozen wastes of Northrend, Kel’Thuzad knelt at the feet of the Lich King and offered him not just his loyalty, but his soul as well.

"As my lieutenant, you will gain knowledge and magic to surpass your most ambitious dreams. But in return, living or dead, you will serve me for the rest of your days. If you betray me, I shall make you into one of my mindless ones, and you will serve me still.”

The Lich King’s words were both a threat and a promise. Kel’Thuzad would become his lieutenant, carrying out the Lich King’s whims, but in return he would gain power beyond his wildest dreams. Kel’Thuzad accepted these terms . . . as if he had much of a choice in the matter.[7]

Inside the Necropolis[edit | edit source]

Map of the original Naxxramas from World of Warcraft

The lich Kel’Thuzad uses Naxxramas as a base of operations for the undead Scourge, separating the citadel into four specialized quarters to train his minions:

The Arachnid Quarter

The Arachnid Quarter houses undead nerubians, an ancient race of intelligent arachnoid beings. Normally highly reclusive and suspicious of outsiders, living nerubians fought valiantly against the undead Scourge, but were overwhelmed by their numbers. While living nerubians were immune to the undead plague, nothing could prevent the Lich King from bringing back the fallen to join the Scourge in undeath.

One of the minions raised by the Lich King was the Crypt Lord Anub’Rekhan. In life, he was one of the nerubians’ most powerful lords. Now, he guards the doors of the Arachnid Quarter that house…

 Grand Widow Faerlina. Once one of the high-ranking members of the Cult of the Damned under Kel’Thuzad, in death she breeds and takes care of the seemingly endless amount of arachnids that swarm from the depths of the citadel. A master of poisons, she has a keen understanding of what makes mortals suffer. The poisons she concocts comes from the spiderlings produced by…

 Maexxna, a massive spider taken from the depths of Northrend. She feasts on those foolish enough to enter the necropolis, producing spider after spider that Kel’Thuzad uses to his own foul ends.[7]

The Plague Quarter

Rife with monstrosities twisted by the undead plague, the Plague Quarter produces and refines the plague into highly efficient weapons, bent on destroying all of humanity as a part of Kel’Thuzad’s undead army.

 Noth the Plaguebringer was once a reputable mage of Dalaran, who heard the call of the Lich King in much the same way Kel’Thuzad did. Also driven by power, he accepted the summons to serve the needs of the Scourge with his skills in necromancy and curse-weaving. However, when Noth saw that the Third War was taking numerous innocent lives, he began second guessing his decision to join Kel’Thuzad. Kel’Thuzad swiftly dealt with Noth’s growing compassion by freezing the living heart in Noth’s chest.

 Heigan the Unclean was the mastermind behind the magic of the cauldrons that quickly spread the undead plague through Lordaeron, corrupting not just the humans, but the flora and fauna in the area as well. The entire wilderness surrounding Lordaeron is now referred to as “the Plaguelands”—thanks in no small part to Heigan’s handiwork.

A prime example of how the plague manifested in the local flora and fauna is the twisted fen creeper  Loatheb. In a twisted mockery of the plant kingdom’s natural ability to regenerate, Loatheb can summon deadly spores that quickly spread a sickening miasma that turns magical healing arts against those who wield them.[7]

The Military Quarter

Many of the humans and their loyal mounts who were once soldiers in Lordaeron’s army now find their martial talents put to use in Naxxramas’s Military Quarter. Here, in service to Kel’Thuzad and the Lich King, they hone their skills far past what they could have accomplished in life. Leaders, trainers, and military coordinators—all use their talents to coordinate the Scourge into a powerful fighting force rather than a mindless horde. Many Death Knights begin their training within this quarter under the direction of its powerful lieutenants.

 Instructor Razuvious is the trainer of the Death Knights, the fiercest and most loyal of the Lich King’s servants. His strikes are sure and deadly, and it is rumored that only students under his tutelage can withstand even a single blow of his deadly runeblade.

 Gothik the Harvester, master of necromancy, teaches young Death Knights the power of summoning the undead to their aid. Even the most novice Death Knight can call the lifeless from their graves, thanks to Gothik’s dark and sinister techniques. Ghosts, ghouls, skeletons—none are safe from Gothik’s influence.

Kel’Thuzad’s royal guard can be found in  Baron Rivendare, each with their own twisted powers at their disposal: Lady Blameaux is a master of the shadow, able to drain the essence of life from those she encounters; Thane Korth’azz controls the destructive power of fire, and can even call forth fiery meteors from the skies; Sir Zeliek was once a paladin, so powerful in life that he can still wield the Light in death; and  Baron Rivendare, once a friend of Kel’Thuzad, now continues to serve his old comrade in death with his corrupting powers and skeletal Deathcharger.[7]

The Construct Quarter

The Construct Quarter houses various nightmarish abominations stitched together from the once-living. A steady stream of toxic slime flows through this wing of Naxxramas; though it doesn’t pose a threat to the undead constructs that shamble about within, the viscous ooze is deadly to those who still enjoy doing things like breathing and having a pulse.

Patchwerk is one of Kel’Thuzad’s most powerful abominations—his strength and speed come as a shock to those that may face him in combat. Far from a sluggish, mindless undead, Patchwerk uses his immense power to pulverize any tiny meat thing that may face him with a flurry of potent, powerful attacks. He just wants to play!

 Grobbulus lurks deeper in the Construct Quarter, carrying the same ooze that flows through Naxxramas within its hulking form. Grobbulus is a flesh giant, the first successful one of its kind, created to build a formidable army capable of quickly spreading the undead plague. One of Grobbulus’ limbs has been replaced with a syringe, which it uses to inject the plague slime of Naxxramas into its enemies.

The undead plague-dog Gluth sits obediently within Naxxramas, awaiting orders from his masters. No doggie biscuit can satisfy Gluth’s ravenous hunger. It is rumored that Gluth can easily devour an army of undead on a daily basis, which Gluth uses to knit his own decaying flesh back together.

The final hulking horror that stands within the Construct Quarter is  Thaddius. Pieced together from the flesh of the innocent, this massive abomination dwells in one of Naxxramas’ experimental laboratories, flanked by two huge wights—Stalagg and Feugen. Powerful bolts of electricity arc through the laboratory, supercharging Thaddius and his wight minions.[7]

Frostwyrm Lair

At the pinnacle of Naxxramas awaits Kel’Thuzad himself, who is protected by the ancient skeletal frost wyrm  Sapphiron.

Once one of  Malygos’ blue dragonflight, Sapphiron was slain by Arthas Menethil and raised from the dead to guard Kel’Thuzad for all of eternity. Like many of the blue dragonflight, Sapphiron had immense magical power, which was only magnified by the fact that the Lich King personally resurrected him to serve the Scourge. The chill of frost is at his command, and he uses his magic to defend Kel’Thuzad at all costs.[7]

Launch blog[edit | edit source]

 Mr. Bigglesworth getting in the mood

The following dialogue was released in the official launch blog.

Mr. Bigglesworth, did you hear that? There appears to be a small commotion outside. . . .
Mr. Bigglesworth
Intruders everywhere! Who left the door open?! A curse upon you, interlopers! Rouse my undead army! Bring me my most imposing hat! Things are about to get interesting—now, where did I put my cards. . . .
Mr. Bigglesworth
THANK YOU, MR. BIGGLESWORTH! Who’s a good kitty? Ahem, now prepare to face the minions of the great arch-lich Kel’thuzad . . . and witness powers beyond your imagining!

In World of Warcraft[edit | edit source]

Naxxramas in World of Warcraft, floating above Dragonblight

Years ago, the crypt lord  Anub'arak led an army of undead warriors into the ancient nerubian ziggurat now known as Naxxramas. The Scourge forces overran the citadel, and under the will of the Lich King its corridors were transformed into a potent war machine. Dark magic tore the fortress from its subterranean home and lifted it into the sky. Hidden behind a thick layer of clouds, Naxxramas grew in strength. At the Lich King's bidding, the burgeoning wrath within the necropolis was unleashed upon the world. Brave heroes breached the citadel and eventually overcame Naxxramas' vile commander, the lich Kel'Thuzad, but the victory was short-lived.

Above the war-ravaged wastes of the Dragonblight, Naxxramas has returned with renewed fury. Kel'Thuzad, once again seated in the frigid heart of the necropolis, has laid siege to the Alliance fortress of Wintergarde Keep. As factions from around the world converge at the gate to Icecrown, the war against the Scourge enters its most pivotal hour. It is within Naxxramas that the tide of battle could turn against the Lich King... or irrevocably in his favor.[8]

Statistics[edit | edit source]

  • Just 3 months after Curse of Naxxramas was released, 6 million Nerubians had been hatched from their eggs.[9]
  • In October 2014 it was stated that the deadliest Naxxramas boss in Normal mode was  Grand Widow Faerlina, while the deadliest boss in Heroic mode was  Maexxna.[9]
  • Players took an average of two attempts to kill a Normal boss in Curse of Naxxramas, while defeating a Heroic boss take players an average of nine attempts.[10]

History[edit | edit source]

Curse of Naxxramas logo.png

Curse of Naxxramas was first announced on April 11, 2014, exactly a month after Hearthstone's full release. However, it would be more than three months until the adventure was eventually released, on July 22 that year. While any anticipated release tends to result in excitement among on players, this extended delay led to a particularly large demonstration of frustration as the months wore on. This was exacerbated by the fact that the game had seen no new cards since near the start of the closed beta the previous year, meaning that many players had been playing Hearthstone with the exact same set of cards for almost a year. The developers would later use the frustration expressed by players during this period as explanation for their reluctance to discuss future content until it was fairly close to release.[11]

The revealing of upcoming cards also led to a discussion regarding card wording. With new cards featuring a tendency not to state when certain effects were random, Ben Brode released a blog sharing the team's approach to the word 'random', explaining that by not explicitly stating the randomness of effects in 'hidden' game areas, groundwork could be laid for future shortening of text. Despite this explanation, continued feedback from players finding the new cards' descriptions confusing and ambiguous eventually led the team to alter their stance, with an announcement a few days later that the word 'random' would be added to the cards' text.

Developer commentary[edit | edit source]

The following commentary was taken from an interview with Eric Dodds in April 2014, two months before the adventure's release.

On the adventure's Deathrattle theme: "Almost all of the cards in Curse of Naxxramas have to do either with Deathrattle, or things that happen when something dies, or things that interact really interestingly with things dying, … The idea behind Naxxramas as a dungeon is of course that it was from World of Warcraft, ruled by the necromancer Kel'Thuzad, so we really wanted to jump big on the whole death and deathrattle idea, and we also really liked the idea of taking this mechanic which we'd done a little bit with and blowing it out and doing crazy stuff with it." - Eric Dodds[12]
On dialogue and  Kel'Thuzad: "I can tell you that Kel'Thuzad is going to be doing a fair amount of chatting … and he totally cracks me up." - Eric Dodds[12]
On  Nerubian Egg: "It's a card that we've seen people build decks around, with other [existing] cards that give the Nerubian Egg an attack so you can make sure you get that Nerubian Egg killed. … It's a particularly powerful card against hunters who use  Explosive Trap a lot" - Eric Dodds[12]
On  Baron Rivendare: "In a lot of ways I'm excited about that card because I don't know exactly how players are going to use it … It's one of the types of card that we call a story card - it's a card that the number of possible combinations for it are crazy and once it gets out there we expect to hear some crazy stories that come out of it. " - Eric Dodds[12]
On  Poison Seeds: "In the case of Poison Seeds we thought about, hey, we have druids and we really like the idea of Treants and druids and doing a little bit more with that, and while we want to have it be death-related, what's an interesting interaction we can have in the combination of those things." - Eric Dodds[12]
On shaking up the existing game: "It's very important for us to throw a curveball out there and see the game changing in interesting ways" - Eric Dodds[12]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Naxxramas was chosen for the game's first adventure because of it being a well-known raid from World of Warcraft. Its first incarnation made it familiar to veteran players as the final raid from vanilla World of Warcraft, while its second incarnation meant it was also well-known to those who joined during the later Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It was also chosen for its large number of bosses, making it well-suited for adaptation as a sprawling adventure.[13]
  • The raid's second incarnation was chosen as the basis for the adventure at least partly because of players being more familiar with it than the original version.[14]
  • Each wing of the adventure were released on Tuesday evenings at 11:59pm in the main time zone of each region. Many players bemoaned the choice of time, with restrictions on playing due to the lateness of the hour, and in many cases the need to work the next day. According to Zeriyah, the non "prime time" schedule was chosen to reduce server stress.[15]
  • The adventure had been in development for "many months" as of April 24th, with "almost all" of the adventure's cards "locked down way before [Hearthstone's release (March 11)]".[13]
  • Curse of Naxramas is the first card set to have minions with 3/4 stats.
  • While Curse of Naxxramas is officially termed an adventure, Jason Chayes has been quoted in interviews as calling it a 'raid'.[12] This may be due simply to the game's origins as a World of Warcraft raid, or may reflect a larger view of what adventures represent. Ben Brode has also referred to the adventure as a 'mission', perhaps reflecting the similarity to the game's tutorial.[13]
  • The main art for the adventure was created by Luke Mancini.[16]
  • The pop-out Kel'Thuzad art presented when first defeating the boss in Curse of Naxxramas was made by Jomaro Kindred.[17]
  • Several new pieces of music are found exclusively in the adventure itself, and one additional piece was added to the repertoire for the main game, created by main Hearthstone composer Peter McConnell.[18][19] The developers have stated that this will be their approach to the generation of new music going forward.[19]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Screenshots[edit | edit source]

Trailer[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Official site