Hearthstone – the Year of the Gryphon is upon us!Published March 2, 2021
There's plenty of room by the fire, so pull up a chair by the hearth and read about the latest updates and our thoughts about the new changes coming to your favorite game in the Warcraft universe, Hearthstone.
Blizzard’s latest announcement comes with significant excitement. To kick off ‘Phase 1’ of the new season of Hearthstone (this time themed on the legendary Gryphon), they shared their plans to release a new expansion called Forged in the Barrens.
As with all earlier expansions, certain card sets will be moved to Wild, including those from the Year of the Dragon (Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum, Descent of Dragons, Demon Hunter Initiate).
By far, the biggest change that comes with this new expansion is the addition of Spell Schools! Hearthstone players are no doubt aware that minion cards have their own types, including Murlocs, Dragons, Pirates, Demons, Mechs, Totems, and Elementals. Now, spells will have tagged types of their own, including Arcane, Fel, Fire, Frost, Holy, Shadow, and Nature. This retroactively applies to a total of more than 400 spell cards! (There are still some spells that don’t have a particular type).
The OG players of Hearthstone also have something to look forward to the release of a new format of gameplay simply called ‘Classic’ in which you can play Hearthstone exactly as it was first released way back in 2014, before all the expansions and balance changes made since then. Wow!
There also will be the addition of a new ability keyword for cards, ‘Frenzy’, to join the existing roster: Reborn, Rush, Divine Shield, Taunt, Deathrattle, Lifesteal, Overload, Stealth, Windfury, Combo, and oh wait there’s way too many to list! Similar to the now obsolete keyword ‘Enrage’ in which a minion would take on a special effect while damaged, and the recently added keyword ‘Spellburst’ in which a minion unleashes a one-time special ability when the controller of the minion card casts a spell, ‘Frenzy’ means that a minion will trigger a special effect the first time it takes damage.
Not only that, but all ten classes will also have access to ‘Ranked’ spells that upgrade their effect based on how many mana crystals you have while not changing the cards cost. Very interesting how this will affect decks that rely upon high mana cost cards.
And that’s just Phase One! Over the next year, there will be two more phases that promise a whole host of new changes to the base game, including new game modes, solo quests, and seasonal events. We can’t wait to play more!