Blizzard detailed its plans for the upcoming year of Hearthstone content at BlizzConline 2021, starting with the next expansion, Forged in the Barrens. This will be the first expansion of the new annual rollover, which this time has been dubbed the Year of the Gryphon. The Barrens expansion will take place in the Horde stronghold of Kalimdor and include a new keyword. Plus it’s coming alongside some major changes to the underlying mechanics of Hearthstone more broadly.
As usual, Forged in the Barrens will add 135 new cards to collect. This time the cards will feature a new keyword, Frenzy. Similar to the recent Spellburst effect, this is a one-time trigger, but it activates the first time a Frenzy minion survives damage. (That means that if your opponent kills it in one shot, the Frenzy effect won’t trigger). And in a wink to the fans, there’s even a Mankrik card, who is naturally seeking his wife.
The set will also add 10 legendary “Mercenary” characters, as part of a year-long narrative. Those likely tie into the new Mercenaries mode, to be coming later this year.
Forged in the Barrens will be the debut of some larger changes to Hearthstone as well. For one, it will debut the new Core set, a free base set of cards that will be replacing the Basic and Classic sets. It will also be the first set to come alongside Spell Schools, which essentially sort spells into one of seven types: Arcane, Fire, Frost, Holy, Nature, Shadow, and Fel. This will be retroactive, so many older spells will be outfitted with those spell schools as well. Some of the new Barrens cards have special interactions with particular spell schools, rather than generic spell-triggered effects.
For more on the upcoming expansion and all of the Year of the Gryphon changes, check out everything we know about Hearthstone’s 2021 plans.
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