Welcome, fellow achievement hunter.
Here we will be taking a closer look at what Hearthstone has for us in store when it comes to Gameplay XP Achievements for the Mage class in Forged in the Barrens expansion. Each one gets its own section below, so you could always scroll down if looking for tips and tricks for anything in particular. All other important info along with the links to other classes and categories can be found here.
Mage Barrens Achievements - General
Mage had a number of fairly straightforward achievements with the previous iteration, and here the tradition continues. You have most likely made some progress on these if you played the class enough in any of the relevant modes. More or less regular Spell Mage list might do the trick, but we could also adjust it slightly to better suit our purposes:
That all still does take a while, however. If you only need to focus on one particular achievement, it becomes easier to switch to a more specialized deck. Let's take a quick look at such below.
As always, we will be defaulting to Standard format lists with the assumption that many players may not have the necessary older cards, then adding relevant notes for Wild and Duels where applicable. Remember that this is just one example of a possible direction to take! Mix and match per your own needs. Tips, tricks, and recommended cards for each separate achievement as follows:
How to Complete the "Shatter Combo" Barrens Achievement
Who remembers when Shatter was actually a card? And not a very desirable one at that. Luckily for us, that's not something we'll have to rely on. As long as you finish off minions while they are still frozen solid, anything goes. So put on your best Sub-Zero impressions for this one:
- Mulligan for: Runed Orb, Wandmaker, Venomous Scorpid.
- Your frosty combos are best pulled off slightly later once you have enough mana and some targets to play with. If there is anything constant freezing excels at, it's stalling. And you get to discover even more spells for your chilly arsenal.
- The achievement doesn't say that it ought to be enemy minions only, and a few of your spells (Brain Freeze, Snap Freeze, Cone of Cold) don't mind some friendly fire... so you've got options.
- Varden Dawngrasp can be very flashy, but far from a must. You have a pretty good chance to find them through Font of Power if you wish, otherwise Glacier Racer does a similar thing in fair style.
- This one doesn't actually have to be completed by playing Mage only, so you might find yourself with some progress from playing Rogue (Brain Freeze, Wand Thief finds), or even see other classes pulling off an occasional Frozen combo in various game modes.
- Wild format note: all those old "favorites" you might or might not've missed. Frostbolt, Frost Nova, Blizzard, Ray of Frost, Ice Lance, Icicle, Shatter... and more. Even certain synergistic minions to help compose that frosty symphony, such as Demented Frostcaller, Snowchugger, or Coldwraith. Or you could go play that poor forgotten Freeze Shaman archetype, if that's your thing (Ice Breaker, Cryostasis, Avalanche & others, let's go!).
- Duels note: your very own Frost Shards to fit the theme, Embercaster for more cheap Frost spells.
How to Complete the "Barrens Bubbler" Barrens Achievement
If you played any Spell Mage before the patch that hit Refreshing Spring Water with the increased mana cost, chances are you already got this done. And even now it's not that difficult given some luck, as Incanter's Flow still helps a lot. We can modify the deck to focus less on face burst, upping the achievement odds instead:
- Mulligan for: Incanter's Flow and Refreshing Spring Water, really.
- If you go defensive and stall long enough, it shouldn't be a problem to hit the necessary mana and find your cards in the process.
- Remember that you need to refresh 8 mana crystals, not just cast Refreshing Spring Water twice in the same turn. It could be the same thing, but not always. If you reduced its cost to 3 or less with several Incanter's Flow, you will need to open with a different card that costs more than 0.
- Conjure Mana Biscuit is a nifty little way to bank some mana for that big turn.
- Runed Orb has a decent chance of finding you more copies of Refreshing Spring Water or Incanter's Flow. Font of Power into Wand Thief actually might too sometimes. Primordial Studies into Steward of Scrolls is an option, but it's usually better to grab something cheap to pair with Cram Session. Why bother discovering when you can draw the stuff you need.
- Wild format note: more removal options with cards like Rolling Fireball, Meteor, or Blizzard, but surprisingly nothing that would be absolutely amazing for this purpose.
How to Complete the "It's Not "Spamming", It's Art" Barrens Achievement
Even without playing Ranked at all, it's possible to get there eventually. You would be surprised just how often you end up pressing that Hero Power button while playing Arena or Duels. But of course there are also special cards to make this whole process move along a lot faster:
- Mulligan for: if you hit Tour Guide, Fallen Hero or Wildfire are fair keeps. Otherwise anything you can play early such as Wandmaker, Runed Orb, Venomous Scorpid.
- There is plenty of time to hero power later with more mana to spare. Early turns are just for board control and removal.
- As long as you occasionally play Mage in any game mode, it's the kind of achievement you could leave up even until the final weeks or so. Perhaps you won't have to go out of your way for it at all, once gradual progress adds up.
- Wild format note: oh, there is a lot. It's mainly minions which boost Hero Power in various ways: Daring Fire-Eater, Arcane Amplifier, Waterboy, Fencing Coach, Maiden of the Lake, and many more. One could even go the route of Genn Greymane, Baku the Mooneater, or Justicar Trueheart. Finally, there is also a somewhat crazy strategy involving Majordomo Executus, Ice Block and various stall cards (along with Brann Bronzebeard plus Reckless Apprentice) - as you can imagine, DIE, INSECT! means a lot of huge hero power damage ticks if you can pull it off while your opponent has sizeable board.
- Duels note: we have got Wyrm Bolt, Frost Shards, and Wand of Dueling. Hero Powers as a whole tend to be far more important in this game mode.
Our clever community members set up a forum thread just for such achievement progression, and we have added separate #achievements channel to our Discord server. Feel free to join in! Any comment in here will also not go unnoticed, if you'd like to share your own experiences or point out anything in particular. We try to keep an eye on things and reply swiftly.
Good luck tackling any of these achievements for your experience boost or just for the sake of satisfying completion!