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Hearthstone Forged in the Barrens: Frenzy, Ranked Spells, Spell schools, mercenaries, more

The first Hearthstone expansion in the Year of the Gryphon is called Forged in the Barrens, and here's everything we know about it, including new cards, new mechanics, new keywords, and more!
Hearthstone Forged in the Barrens: Frenzy, Ranked Spells, Spell schools, mercenaries, more

Blizzard has just revealed the first Hearthstone expansion of the Year of the Gryphon: Forged in the Barrens.

The Year of the Gryphon, a new Standard rotation for 2021, will be themed around more traditional Warcraft concepts, and the first expansion of the year, Forged in the Barrens, will be focused on the Horde and the region of Barrens.

Forged in the Barrens game board
Forged in the Barrens game board (Picture: Blizzard)

The Barrens is the iconic region of Kalimdor, the place where tauren, trolls, and orcs united for the first time to create the Horde as we know it.

These sun-scorched lands are filled with quilboars, centaurs, and harpies, and only the mightiest of warriors can outstand the challenges this unforgiving land puts in front of them.

The theme of this expansion perfectly encapsulates the essence of Warcraft and we are excited to play with new cards, but first, let's take a look at all that is coming with the Forged in the Barrens expansion set.

New Keyword Frenzy - how does it work?

Hearthstone Keyword Frenzy
Some Frenzy minions (Picture: Blizzard)

As with any new expansion, Forged in the Barrens is coming with a new keyword as well.

Minions with the new Frenzy keyword will trigger a powerful effect the first time they survive damage. It can be any damage, both from minions and spells, either from you or the opponent. The only thing important is that the minion with Frenzy survives that damage and the effect will trigger.

It is a one-time effect, but a very powerful one, so use it wisely!

What are Hearthstone Ranked Spells?

Hearthstone ranked spells
Three forms of the same ranked spell (Picture: Blizzard)

With Forged in the Barrens, all 10 classes will get one new Ranked Spell.

Ranked Spells are upgradeable spells that become better the more mana you have.

Their first form is an ok-ish basic effect, then at 5 mana they rank up to slightly above-average effect, and at 10 mana they give significantly better value for their cost.

New Mechanic: Spell Schools

Possibly one of the biggest changes that are coming with this expansion is Spell Schools.

For the first time in the history of Hearthstone, Spells will get their own types, called "schools".

Not only that new cards will have Spell Schools, but many old spells will retroactively get a Spell School tag.

Hearthstone Spell Schools types
(Picture: Blizzard)

The idea of Spell Schools is to give more design space for some interesting spell mechanics without worrying too much about balance because now some powerful spell effects can be tied to a specific Spell School.

Here is the full list of Hearthstone Spell Schools

  • Arcane (2 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 44 Spells from past sets)
  • Fel (3 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 22 Spells from past sets)
  • Fire (2 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 43 Spells from past sets)
  • Frost (2 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 24 Spells from past sets)
  • Holy (5 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 67 Spells from past sets)
  • Nature (6 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 112 Spells from past sets)
  • Shadow (4 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 109 Spells from past sets)

Hearthstone Mercenaries cards

The Forged in the Barrens expansion will feature 10 Legendary Mercenary minions, one for each Class.

Hearthstone Brukan

These Mercenaries and their stories will play a key role in the Year of the Gryphon year-long narrative, including all-new singleplayer content and a new game mode called Hearthstone Mercenaries.

Forged in the Barrens release date

The Forged in the Barrens expansion is expected to be released in the second half of March 2021.