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Hearthstone's next expansion is off to The Barrens

The news from BlizzCon

The next Hearthstone expansion is off to the land of trolls - no, not Darkspear Isle, it's The Barrens. Due to launch this spring, Forged In The Barrens will send Hearthstone players to World Of Warcraft's infamous haven of inane chat spam. But rather than badger opponents into submission with trade scams and questions about Mankrik's wife, you'll be battering 'em with frenzied minions and mercenaries.

Cover image for YouTube videoForged in the Barrens Cinematic Trailer

Blizzard's announcement introduces the new Frenzy keyword for minions, which triggers an effect the first time they survive damage. It might attack a random enemy, add a random spell to your hand, or punch every enemy minion.

They're also introducing Spell Schools, elemental classifications (Arcane, Fel, Fire, Forst, Holy, Nature, Shadow) that can trigger synergies. The Spirit Healer, for example, gives a random one of your critters two health after you cast a Holy spell. These Spell Schools will be applied retroactively to many existent cards too.

Looking at the cards revealed so far, oh god they actually do have Mankirk and his missing wife.

Cards for Mankirk and his wife in Hearthstone: Forged In The Barrens.

We're now moving into Year Of The Gryphon for Hearthstone. Blizzard laid out more of their plans for the year too. On top of new expansions and the recently-reveled the Core Set and Classic format, it'll eventually bring Hearthstone Mercenaries. This new mode, announced today, is about building and levelling up a collectin of mercs to send on roguelikelike runs through random encounters.

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Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.