It's been 3 weeks, but I'm finally back with another Fan Community Spotlight. Sometimes there just aren't any sets to cover.
But this time, we have MrRhapsody here with a mini-set of cards called the Dragonslayers, which all share a watermark, but are not connected to any expansion. The Dragonslayers are an archetype of Hunter, Mage, Paladin, and Neutral cards which synergize with Dragons in a different way than what we've seen before. To top it off, the expansion has a little bit of Dark Souls lore in it, making it the first time in this series that I'm showcasing a set with lore in a franchise outside of Warcraft.
So let's see what MrRhapsody has made for us in store.
So, what exactly is this mini-set about?
MrRhapsody: "The set is about a "what if?" war between the Dragonslayers and the Dragonkind. The Dragonslayers were a group created by Dia the Time Breaker and Dragonslayer Orn dedicated to kill evil dragons, but as time passed, they were convinced by Dragoncloner Nefarian that the whole dragonkind is a plague that should be stopped, and with the help of a new powerful weapon know as Dragon Essence Extractor, wich aborbs a dragon's power and transfer it, they declared a war againts the dragon kind. The Discard mechanic is a way to show the Dragon Essence Extractor in use, by using a dragon's power to boost yours and then discard it like it was nothing, a good example is Dragonslayer Apprentice. Something worth sharing is that ALL dragons used by them, like Constructed Dragon, Bronze Highkeeper, Spawn of Kalysera, Draconid Protector, etc, are all constructs or slaves, none of them servers the Dragonslayers on purpose. Another thing worth mentioning is that i play only Wild mode, the land of the High powerlevels, so you guys should expect a very high power level in this set."
How long have you been making your own cards?
MrRhapsody: "I've been making custom HEARTHSTONE cards since 2016, the same year i started playing it, but i've custom cards for others games like Yu-Gi-OH! since my childhood. i've always loved cardgames, and custom cards were part of the fun of playing them, but back there, i only created cards based on things outside of the game's universe, like cards based on other games, movies, animes and even songs. And this mini-set is a callback to that era, when a created a whole expansion based around Dark Souls 1. The reference is clear with cards like Sethgos the Crystallized wich is basicly Seth the Scaleless and Dragonslayer Orn, wich was named after Dragonslayer Onstein. Other examples are Power of the Dragonflame and Knightrider of Doom, wich were based on songs of my favorite band: Rhapsody of Fire (There's the reason i call myself "Mr.Rhapsody"). There's also Saphire Splash, Dia and Bites the Dust, but i'll leave those as a mystery."
Can you pinpoint exactly where this idea originates from?
MrRhapsody: "The idea came when i was making the Dark Souls expansion. I was creating the cards for the expansion and i was wondering how to proplerly introce the Silver Knights from dark souls, wich were dragonslayers, into the game. I thought destroing enemy dragons was too especific and boring, and destroing you own was kinda of slow, since dragons usually are high costed. It was when i've maked the comparison with the in game dragon mechanic, "The dragon's servents gain bonuses from holding a Dragon, so what about make the Dragonslayers gain bonuses from...discarding them?" and BOOM, i was done. The first card i've made with this mechanic was Silver Squire, wich was very similar to Bold Dragonslayer, but it had Charge and a 2/1 statline instead."
What significance do each of the individual hero cards represent?
MrRhapsody: "In lore, they represent the ultimate creation of Dragoncloner Nefarian, they are the evolutionary apex of the Bronze, Blue and Green dragonflights, wich is why they visual are a bit dissonant from the other dragons. But in game, they represent the main three archtypes of the game: Aggro,Control and Combo. Kalysera the Rooted represents Aggro, along with cards like Old Dragon Hunter, Draconic Blossom, Draconic Crossbow ,etc. Sethgos the Crystallized represents Combo along with cards like Crystal Barrier, Crystal Surge and Final Crystal Blast. And Masthormu the Infinite represents Control along Dragonforce (Another reference), Time Stealer and Bites the Dust."
Are there any other cards you wish to showcase for any reason?
MrRhapsody: "Yes, it's the scrapped Hero for warrior, wich almost ended as a Dragonslayer class, but it didn't make the cut because i had no clear direction of what path to go with the Warrior version of the Dragonslayer. One of the scrapped ideas was to make a set fully based around armor and Dragon generation, and Midirasz the Darkeater was the main core of the dead archtype."
Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?
MrRhapsody: "I think i've shared all i wanted to."
What design philosophies do you have? What advice do you wish to spread to future creators?
MrRhapsody: "My card design philosophy is to always follow this pattern: Flavour first, realism second and inovation for last. For me, the flavour is the most important part of a custom card and must be the priority. The realism is how close to the in game cards your card looks, and everything about the card conts for it, like watermark, wording, art, etc, of course there might some mistakes in your card that are almost unnoticeable, but remember, the more realistic, the better. And for last is the inovation, its how new and fresh the effect of the card feels, but this is a very tricky part, because some people try way too hard to make new and cool effects and end up overdoing their cards, thats why it must be at the bottom of the list in the custom card recipe, but must also be taken into consideration. My tip for the other creators is to always follow this pattern. I was the finalist in quite some card design competitions, so i think my words has some weight."
Do you have anything else you wish to share?
MrRhapsody: "Nah, i think thats it, for now at least."
That would just about wrap it up for this interview. Check out the set of cards and let us know what you think.