Hello everybody and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight, and the one with the longest article title of any installment so far. After we celebrated the 100th FCS last week showcasing an old personal project of mine, we're back to our usual territory this week covering a Hearthstone set. In fitting with the week before that FCS covering a fan-made project tied to an existing set, this is another installment doing exactly that although in a very different way this time. What exactly is the set in question?
Glad you asked. Today, we're looking at Communion of Ahn'qiraj, which is a mini-set for Whispers of the Old Gods, although the cards in the mini-set are designed with the current state of the game in mind. That said, there's no mechanics introduced after WotOG or Demon Hunter present in the set. This project was made by Beatdoof or simply "Beat", whom has been featured twice on the series before to talk about the Dragoon class on both occasions (and that won't be the final time *wink wink*). Let me hand the microphone over to Beat to get this installment moving. No, those are not tentacles coming from my outfit's armholes. I don't know what you're talking about.
What inspired you to create a mini-set of Whispers of the Old Gods?
Beat: "I got bored, lmao. Well, no, I was trying to make my Dragoon Hydra Core Set cards (which, yes, I haven't updated that page in awhile, SHIT. Don't worry I'll get to that soon), but the watermark for it only came by the time I finished the set, so during that time, I figured I might as well go and make some cards. Not just cards, though, need them to be on a specific theme to keep them tied together...oh, mini-set! Iksar did an AMA a few weeks back about them planning to make 'straight-to-Wild' cards, and I thought why not make a miniset straight to Wild? And then I thought of the expac...Whispers of The Old Gods! The most least expansion of Hearthstone in my opinion, an expansion that got so many praises and undue adoration largely because they were the expansion that kickstarted the new Standard/Wild format separation. So hey, that's where the decision come in. WoToG miniset, mostly continuing the themes of WoToG, just with new characters!"
How did you want to design the mini-set in relation to the base set? What cards do you think best signify what the mini-set is about?
Beat: "This mini-set is designed in relation to the base set in a way that's more...full. I guess is the word? One thing I already thought of is that I don't want to make these cards with inline power level from, what, 2017? Because making weak cards sucks, and limits what you can do on many levels, lot of cool things can't be made without really making them overly weak or whatever. And I know some people would doompost and go "Oh Wild is too OP these cards won't be strong enough" which is like, whatever man, at least I know I intentionally crank up the valve on this one. Love making strong cards, y'know.
Cards that I think really signify this mini-set...hm. I'd say Fankriss, Sara, and Rajaxx. Those three are made on the three main things I wanted to put a shine on: C'THUN, "cheating" Old Gods early...and cheating big things early. Hell, I even made a Neutral Common that's literally just a flat C'Thun cost reduction lol. But yeah, mainly those three I think solidify what I'm aiming for in this miniset: really strengthen that core WoToG feel but giving it the power of the present yknow, just really good cool stuff.
Oh, and special shout-out maybe to Heart of Y'Shaarj. You'll see why later."
Are there any other cards you wish to point out for any reason?
Beat: "The C'Thun synergy cards. I've said already that I don't like WoToG, especially in hindsight, but if there's one thing I really adore, it's the OG C'Thun decks. I used to climb ladder with C'Thun Druid, by the time the meta settling pretty much a mid tier 3 deck I think? But I don't care at that time, it was just such a feel good deck, of that feeling of everything slowly coming together to build up this menacing big boy that's about to say that his dreaming is over and your nightmare begins. Just so cool.
So I figured I should really ramp up the C'Thun cards, shout-out to Druid who's all three cards are literally all C'Thun related, some of them people would even call busted. Hey, straight-to-Wild present power level, right?
Though I'd say making the Paladin cards are also fun. Just the idea of like one class theme-wise basically not fucking at all with Old Gods, and decided to be so pure they even turned Ragnaros into a certified good guy??? Chad move, honestly. Sacred Defense, Lightlord's Envoy, all play in to that theme while also supporting Divine Shield stuff. Oh, and can't forget my Murloc boys! Coldlight Crusader. Love him."
Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us? Can we possibly expect more mini-sets for past sets in the future?
Beat: "So, I'll answer that last question first straight up...no. Not unless I'm bored/can't make cards I wanted because of some reason or another and I needed to make something to pass the time until I can (although I do have an Un'goro miniset from way back when...stay tuned for that. I mostly make have it for a Discord competition for the Custom Hearthstone Discord lol)
In terms of behind the scenes...fun fact, Tidemistress Sashj'tar was supposed to be Athissa, and then they released Athissa for Battlegrounds right as I was about to finish the set...so that sucks, lol. And Heart of Y'Shaarj undergoes what I would call the most massive change out of the other cards I make here. Originally it was like a wonky(?) Big Priest-styled card that says "Destroy a friendly minion. In two turns, summon a 5/5 copy of it." at 1 mana or something. I keep trying to work on that idea more and more to make it feel better...and then eventually I just said screw it and just changed the card entirely to what you see right now. Which in itself was 7 mana...which was too good, yes, so it got bumped to 9 mana.
Mage probably got the least changes, mainly because their theme is easy to pick up, and I just continued off of that. Freeze stuff, and Yogg moment. That's really about it.
Rogue was fun to make. Mainly because of Xaril being so overcosted even during then, and Toxins was so cool and yet...only one card to explore them? Ew??? So that's why two of the cards for Rogue are Toxin-themed. Y;know, cool to have Rogue play with flavorful small spells.
And some people might point out Privateer of Yore's art being....ahem. And I agree, but that background is so good and everything about it is so flavorful for an Old Gods theme...just too bad she had to look like that, yknow. Wish I can find better art, but there's nothing to do about it for now lmao."
Do you have anything else you want to share with us?
Beat: "I actually thought of like buffing cards in WoToG as well to coincide with the set's supposed 'release', ala Rise of The Mechs...and I haven't made a mockup of that page yet just like what you've linked up there, so stay tuned for that as well I guess.
That's probably it, don't expect more minisets like this. I'm mainly nowadays only making cards for my custom class Dragoon lol. Thank you again for the interview, Demon! Love doing these!"
It may feel a bit weird to go back to our more regularly-sized articles after how huge the one for last week was, but this right here is the end of this week's installment. This is only a fraction of what the mini-set has to offer, so you can click the link in the banner below to check out the entire mini-set. Hope you enjoyed this one, and I'll see you all in the next one.