Hello everybody and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. We're about a week and a half away from the release of Fractured in Alterac Valley, we've already seen all the cards, and people are already busy theorycrafting. While we're waiting, how about we look at a new project. Today we've got VexMagic to look at an in-progress custom class known as The Illusionist. Believe me, I tried to make a joke about illusions to transition into this, but I couldn't think of anything good.
This class uses an Initiate-set style format, although no definitive starting point has been given yet. The class is still very early in development, but it still has enough cards to justify showing it off for everyone, and I thought the class also looked really cool. At some point in the future, I may end up returning to this class again with another article.
As an Illusionist, your base hero is The Great Mirage sporting the iconic magician look and stage name. A magician never reveals his secrets after all. He may not even be real. He is The Great Mirage after all, so how do we know he isn't anything more than just... an illusion. Wouldn't that be the greatest magic trick ever?
The Illusionist's base Hero Power is Minor Illusion, summoning a 0/2 Conjured Illusion with Taunt and is also apparently strangely lifelike if it has the ability collide will other minions, but I'm not going to question it. If The Great Mirage truly is as great as his title, then I have no doubt that he found a way to give his illusions some type of physical properties. Even greater than that is the upgraded Hero Power, Greater Illusion summoning two 0/2 Illusions with Taunt instead of one. Truly some next level illusionary right there.
Because one illusion isn't enough, the crowd will want you to perform another. The class-specific mechanic for Illusionist is Encore which triggers if you've played a card with the same Cost as itself at some point during the game.
Seems pretty sweet, right? I agree, but we still have a lot to learn. That's when it's time for us to pass the microphone over to VexMagic and she will take everything from here.
Give us an overview of the class. What does it do good at? Where does it falter? Which cards give us the best first view of the class?
minion swarms, taunt, spells, minion buffs, card generation, destroying individual minions
Healing, board clear, face damage
here are 5 cards that show what the class is good at"
Interviewer's note: Cards with the Classic watermark are not intended to be Classic cards, but are instead actually the class's Initiate set.
What initially gave you the idea to make an Illusionist class, as well as the specific new mechanics that are at play here?
VexMagic: "I had started out making cards when I had an Idea for one but that felt kind of aimless. Around that time I saw that a few others had made custom classes so I decided to try it out. I tried to find an area of the game that my class could fit so it wouldn't step on the feet of the other classes. What I came up with was that tricking and manipulating the opponent with spells and illusions would be an interesting fit for a class."
Were these mechanics designed first and the rest of the class around that, or were they made to go with what was already built?
VexMagic: "I wanted to get a good base to build the rest of the class around and I liked the idea of having a class specific keyword since it opens up a lot of interesting archetypes and is an easy way to make the class feel unique. I started by thinking of what keywords I liked and I really liked how the Corrupt keyword became very different depending on the cost of the card. I tried to think of something that could interact with cost in some other way. I then came up with the Encore keyword.
Another mechanic that I came up with was kind of an accident. I was making cards for the basic set and thought of gaining spell damage for 1 turn instead of on a minion. I didn't intend for it to happen but it ended up becoming an overarching mechanic."
Are there any other cards you wish to point out for any reason?
VexMagic: "list of some card that I would like to show"
Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us, or perhaps a sneak peak of what's next to come?
VexMagic: "sneak peak at the Illusionist barrens set"
How long have you been making your own cards? What design philosophies do you have that you wish to share and spread to new creators?
VexMagic: "I played a bit of Hearthstone when it was released but didn't get really into it until the Saviors of Uldum expansion was announced. I didn't actually play much but I watched streams and such. My favourite part was when they revealed new cards but that only happens about 3 times a year. So I started watching custom card reviews and around the middle of 2020 I decided to try it out myself and really enjoyed it. I've been casually making custom cards ever since.
My design philosophy is to keep the cards simple since it is easy to over complicate things. Most of the time people want to the biggest most complicate and involved cards but I find the most well designed cards are the ones that have only a maximum of 3 lines of text."
And that's all we have for now. As always though, this is just a short burst of what the class has to offer. If you want to look at the rest of VexMagic's class, then click the link down below to see what else is in store. Her work on the class is pretty sweet and you're missing out by not looking at it.