Hearthstone players old and new pay attention for much is changing. Grandmaster caster Jia shares all the details of patch 20.0 and what’s to come.

A massive 20.0 patch update hit Hearthstone which could trigger a surge in returning players. The release of the new expansion Forged in the Barrens, which launches on March 30th, coincides with the start of a new year in Hearthstone, the Year of the Gryphon.

The Year of the Gryphon welcomes a brand new game mode Mercenaries, the introduction of spell schools and Battleground updates. However, the most anticipated feature of the Year of the Gryphon is the introduction of a brand new system; the Core set. Grandmaster’s caster Jia gave Esports.GG the lowdown on everything to expect from the upcoming update.

Lorrd Jaraxxus now grants +5 armour and no health penalty

The Core set consists of 235 FREE curated cards, that are a mix of cards from previous sets and updated fan favourites. Lord Jaraxxus for example, now grants 5 armour and no longer sets your maximum health to 15. Elsewhere Cairne and Bane Bloodhoof have had their attack buffed from 4 to 5.

At BlizzConline, Blizzard also happily shared that iconic cards Annoy-O-Tron, Tomb Pillager and Tirion Fordring would all be part of the new Core set.

There are also 31 entirely brand new cards as part of the Core set. The Core set will last for the duration of the Year of the Gryphon. Above all, to make way for the Core set, all the Basic and Classic cards will move to Wild under the Legacy set.

Play Hearthstone as it was in 2014

As an added bonus for players looking for a touch of nostalgia, the Classic format in the 20.0 patch allows you to play Hearthstone as it was shortly after its 2014 launch. All 240 original cards will be playable and their balance changes reverted. For instance Mana Wyrm will gloriously revert to being a 1 mana cost card.

Introduction of Spell Schools

Taking inspiration from Magic the Gathering, Hearthstone spell cards will now all belong to a Spell School. This feature will also be applied retroactively to previously released spells “adding synergies and a new layer of depth throughout your Collection”.

All cards will have a tag from one of seven 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)
  • Shadow (4 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 109 Spells from past sets)
  • Nature (6 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 114 Spells from past sets)

The Forged in the Barrens expansion launches on March 30th.


Lawrence "Malystryx" Phillips

Director of Content | Twitter: @MalystryxGDS | Twitch: MalyPlays

Malystryx is Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor at Esports.gg. and a veteran esports journalist, content creator and personality. He has been involved in the esports scene since 2004 and has worked with many different organizers and portals, including SK Gaming, ESL, Dexerto, GINXTV, Razer and Monster Energy. Malystryx was also a broadcast talent on Valve's Dota 2 Pro Circuit over the last few years, creating on-site video content for PGL and Starladder. In his spare time he streams on Twitch as MalyPlays.