Forged in the Barrens transports players to the sun-baked savanna of central Kalimdor, a proving ground where the mighty heroes of the Horde embark on their first adventures. They’ll recruit legendary mercenaries, face roving bands of quilboar raiders, and if they’re really lucky, maybe even find Mankrik’s wife! Lok’Tar Ogar!
- Release Date – March 30, 2021
- 135 New Cards
- Introduction of Core Set instead of Basic/Classic
- New Keyword – Frenzy
- New Mechanic – Spell Schools
- New Mechanic – Ranked Spells
- Year-Long Narrative – all three 2021 expansions will be connected by their story.
- Two Pre-Purchase Tiers
Once again, we’ll have two different pre-order bundles. You can get the bundles here. Here’s what they include and how much they cost:
Forged in the Barrens Pre-Purchase Bundle ($49.99)
- 60 Forged in the Barrens Card Packs
- Two Random Legendary cards from Forged in the Barrens
- Hamuul Card Back
Forged in the Barrens Mega Bundle ($79.99)
- 80 Forged in the Barrens Card Packs
- 5 Golden Forged in the Barrens Card Packs
- Two Random Golden Legendaries from Forged in the Barrens
- Hamuul Runetotem Druid Cosmetic Hero
- Hamuul Card Back
- Battlegrounds Perks
Pre-purchases are available through March 29, a day before expansion’s release.
New Keyword – Frenzy
This expansion’s new mechanic is Frenzy. Frenzy triggers the first time a minion takes damage and survives. If you think that it sounds a bit similar to now retired Enrage mechanic – well, that’s because it is!
Most important difference between Frenzy and the old Enrage is that Frenzy can only trigger once. Enrage was sort of an on/off thing – if minion got healed up to full health, it would lose its Enrage effect. Frenzy is one and done.
As you can see, Frenzy can trigger all kinds of diferent effects, ranging from dealing extra damage, transforming the minion to adding more value to your hand. Frenzy cards will certainly be stronger in classes that can more easily damage their own minions, such as Warrior. Rush is also a big bonus, given that you can attack immediately, which means that Animated Broomstick might see even more play with Frenzy cards!
New Mechanic – Spell Schools
Minions had their types (also known as tribes – e.g. Dragon or Beast) ever since the game’s creation, and it’s time for Spells to also have them now. Spells might now belong to one of the seven spell schools – Arcane, Fel, Fire, Frost, Nature, Holy or Shadow. It will also be applied retroactively to already existing spells.
There are also pay-off cards that synergize with a certain spell school. For now, we only know two, but we expect to see many more this expansion (and most likely in the future).
You’ve already caught a glimpse of it above, but yes, there’s yet another mechanic coming in the expansion – ranked spells. Those will start at Rank 1, but upgrade whenever you hit 5 mana and then once again on 10 mana. The upgrade is free and it doesn’t have any negative impact on the card – it only makes it stronger.
Ranked spells might be quite powerful due to their flexibility. For example, Imp Swarm isn’t the strongest 2-drop, but a 2 mana 3/2 is passable if you have nothing else to do. However, you can always wait and play it in the mid or late game, when it summons two or three 3/2’s for the same cost. Unlike your regular 2-drop, topdecking this card later won’t feel bad!