At the start of the new year for Hearthstone, all players can easily unlock the new 235-card Core set, which replaces the existing Classic and Basic sets. Forged in the Barrens™, the first expansion of the year, is available for pre-purchase now; it introduces 135 all-new cards inspired by one of World of Warcraft®’s most iconic and beloved locales. Hearthstone Mercenaries, a new single-player and competitive game mode in which players collect, upgrade, and do battle with mighty characters from across Azeroth, is coming later in the year.

Hearthstone® will soar into a new era in the coming weeks with the start of the Year of the Gryphon,which is set tointroduce large-scale changes, hundreds of new cards, and bring thrilling new ways to play. The Year of the Gryphon will lift off with its first new expansion Forged in the Barrens, inspired by the iconic World of Warcraft®locale where millions of brave Horde adventurers cut their teeth (or tusks) and began forging their legends.

Coinciding with the start of the Year of the Gryphon is the launch of the new Hearthstone Core Set, which replaces the existing Basic and Classic sets with a curated selection of 235 cards (including new and previously released cards), reinvigorating the game for both existing players and newcomers. Launching alongside the Core set is the new Classic format, which will allow players to craft decks and compete using Hearthstone’s original sets of cards, as they were in 2014.

Coming later this year is Hearthstone Mercenaries, an all-new single-player and competitive game mode that invites players to assemble and upgrade teams from among Azeroth’s mightiest heroes and villains and put them to the test in an everchanging series of engaging tactical battles.

Players will see their mercenaries gain experience, equipment, new abilities, and evolve into more powerful versions of themselves while battling through highly replayable, randomly generated roguelike missions.

“The Year of the Gryphon will be yet another exciting and eventful year filled with new content and new experiences in Hearthstone,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “Forged in the Barrens will take us to a place straight out of World of Warcraft that’s dear to us and to many of our players, the new Core set will continue to shake up the game on an annual basis, and Hearthstone Mercenaries and the new Classic mode will introduce even more awesome ways to play.”

Forged in the Barrens Expansion Set

Forged in the Barrens hearkens back to World of Warcraft’s roots, introducing 135 all-new cards inspired by the characters and stories that define this beloved, hardscrabble setting. In addition to new keywords and game mechanics, Forged in the Barrens will introduce 10 Legendary Mercenary minions, each representing a different Hearthstone class, whose stories will play out across the Year of the Gryphon—including in the upcoming new game mode Hearthstone Mercenaries.

Starting today, players can prepurchase the Forged in the Barrens Mega Bundle (USD $79.99), which comes with 85 card packs from the expansion (five of which are Golden Card Packs, which contain all Golden cards), and two random Golden Legendary cards; the Hamuul Runetotem card back and alternate Hero; and perks for Hearthstone Battlegrounds that last until the next expansion. Also available is the Forged in the Barrens Pre-Purchase Bundle (USD $49.99), which includes 60 packs from the expansion, two random Legendary Cards, and the Hamuul Runetotem card back.

Hearthstone Mercenaries

Hearthstone Mercenaries is an upcoming all-new single-player and competitive game mode in which players collect mighty characters new and old from across the Warcraft® universe and level them up in exciting tactical battles. Mercenaries is scheduled for release later this year, with more information on the mode to be shared closer to launch.

Hearthstone Core Set & Classic Format

The Hearthstone Core Set will arrive alongside the launch of the Year of the Gryphon. Free to all players to unlock as they level up and updated every year, the Core Set replaces the existing Basic and Classic cards with a curated collection of 235 new and existing cards meant to keep Hearthstone fresh and provide an approachable on-ramp for new players. The Core set will consist of 160 class cards and 75 neutral cards, among them reimagined Legendary minion versions of Warcraft’s most fearsome dragons, including Deathwing, Malygos, and Ysera.

Also coming with the Year of the Gryphon is the Hearthstone Classic format, which invites players to experience the game as it was when it launched in 2014. Sitting alongside Standard and Wild, the Classic format will be fully supported, with its own rewards and rankings, and will include all of Hearthstone’s original cards as they were in the game’s early days.

Visit www.playhearthstone.com for more details on Forged in the BarrensHearthstone Mercenaries, and the upcoming Core Set.

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