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Game Name: Thunderstone Heart of Doom

Publisher: AEG

Designer: Mike Elliott

Year: 2011

Players: 1-5

Ages: 12+

Playing Time: 45 Minutes

Retail Price: $34.99

Category: Deck Building Card Game Expansion


  • Over 250 new cards
  • 7 New hero classes
  • 39 New monster types
  • 13 New village cards
  • One New treasure group
  • Three new settings
  • Three new guardians
  • One Thunderstone

For years heroes have roamed the world searching for the legendary Thunderstones. Now, with seven in hand, the heroes must find the final stone of legend, to seal away the destructive entity known only as Doom. With the location of the eighth stone still unknown, he has begun to appear in the world. Time has run out, the heroes must face Doom on his terms. Thunderstone: Heart of Doom brings to a climax the battle that has been building since the first release. Heart of Doom introduces all new heroes, village cards, and new monsters to challenge your deck-building skills. Heart of Doom also features the battle with Doom, including a special scenario to bring war to the ultimate evil. Set in the village of Artera, new dynamics and mechanics ooze from every aspect of the game, in much the same way that a sinister evil oozes from the nearby swamp. The village and the corrosive nature of the surroundings mean that everything is not as it seems, even once trusted villagers may be your enemy, monsters bring new dimensions to the Dungeon and the party is set up for field promotions and new ways of acquiring experience and equipment to fight their way to Doom. It is a village and dungeon where the wary adventurer can easily fall prey to a bad decision, but the bold, brave and bright can find new ways to level up and fight evil at its Heart. Will you survive to defeat Doom?

Heart of Doom is the latest expansion in the Thunderstone series. It adds more monsters, more village cards and the big, bad boss for you to tackle… Doom! I’m assuming that you already know how to play Thunderstone so I’m not going to rehash all of the rules. If you aren’t familiar with the game then by all means search our site and you’ll find reviews of the base game as well as expansions.

Heart of the Doom brings us what is the final challenge in this arc of Thunderstone. There have been some rumors floating around out there that this is the finale to Thunderstone but that simply is not the case from what we’ve been told here at TGG. In fact, we’ll have loads more info about the future of Thunderstone after the first of the year as well as an interview with series developer Doom is tough and unlike other monsters if you attack him and lose…you lose the game. If you play against him you have other Thunderstones in the deck which grant you a +6 bonus to attack Doom.

The big baddy isn’t the only new addition from this expansion. As usual there are new monsters, equipment, treasures and villagers. Many fans will be happy that there are no new mechanics added. While Heart of Doom does not add any NEW mechanics, it certainly turns some old classics upside down. This is the first expansion since Doomgate Legion that adds something to every setup, no matter how many cards are from it are included. I feel like AEG are back on track after my least favorite expansion Thornwood Seige, and can’t wait to see what they do with the Thunderstone franchise in the new year!

The Chalice Mace helps clerics (there are three clerics in this set) it has attack +3 is lighter and gives light when used by a cleric. One of the highlights from the new cards is the Short Spear. If this card is in the village you might want to hold onto those Militia. When a Militia wields a Short Spear they get +2 Attack and you draw a card. Another great weapon is the Jondul Bow. It adds +4 to attacks in ranks two or beyond and lets you swap two adjacent monsters.

There are now Doppleganger monsters included who look like the villagers from previous editions. Of course they’re there to hinder your progress as they aren’t villagers… They’re Doppleganger monsters!

Heart of Doom is a fitting finale to the current Thunderstone series. It adds some great new cards that make olds ones more useful and creates some nice combos. The Heart of Doom scenario is especially tough and will really challenge the adventurers to their limit. Many of the new heroes also gain Attacks if you decide to destroy cards. This can really be a boon but you want to be careful that the cards you destroy aren’t especially useful or difficult to replace.

Let’s be honest here. Is Thunderstone the smoothest playing deck building game out there? No. It can be clunky at times and when your deck building strategy blows up in your face, it can even be a bit on the frustrating side. But what the game has in spades is not only an abundance of theme but also the perverse satisfaction you feel when you put together an oddball strategy and by just the right card combinations you’re able to make that dungeon run knock out the high value monster and make it back in one piece. Plus I don’t know of any other deck builder out there that can keep the players as engaged as Thunderstone can.

If you own some or all the Thunderstone expansions you really need to add Heart of Doom to your collection. It brings an excellent conclusion to this story arc to date and adds some very useful cards that can help boost cards in the previous expansions as well.

Elliott Miller

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