Welcome to another Fan Community Spotlight, where we're here to satiate your desire for new cards while we're still waiting for cards to be revealed. We've got Linkblade91 becoming the third person to join the two-timer's club on this series (as I previously showcased a set of his called "The Trials Within Us"). Today, we're looking at his Alraune class. If you're familiar with anime-like monster girls, you might've heard that word before, but as I myself am not, I had never heard this word until seeing his class. What is an Alraune though? Alraunes are essentially female humanoids who live inside giant flowers and protect their forest, and also use their "sexiness" against men for, uh, all sorts of terrible things.

Notably, this class is still in production, which is a diversion from what I normally cover on this series where all the projects are either finished, close to finished, or in their highest possible state of progress (as classes theoretically have no end). Perhaps I might cover this class again in the future when it's further updated, but it's definitely worth looking at now. The class also does not use the Demon Hunter model. In other words, it does not have an Initiate set, but is instead designed as if the class existed since the very start of the game. If you remember during the first season of the WCDCs, Linky here won 4 competitions and placed in the finals in 15/22 of them. In other words, he's pretty fucking good at making cards, so of course there's going to be something good here.

The Alraune

As an Alraune (how the hell do you pronounce this word?), your base hero is Aisha Darkpetal, whom is very true to her name and indeed has dark petals, along with everything else. Alraunes don't fuck around at their jobs, and Aisha appears to be a perfect example of that.

Your basic Hero Power is Nature's Wrath, which equips you with a 2/1 Thorn, mirroring the stats of the Wicked Knife created by Dagger Mastery. Upgraded, it becomes Nature's Fury, upgrading the Thorn to a 3/1.

The class notably has no custom class-exclusive keyword, which is very different in comparison to most fan-made classes which normally do have one. This markes the first class showcased on Fan Community Spotlight without a new keyword.

But now it's time for the interview, so now the floor is all on Link.

The Interview

Give us an overview of the class. What does it do good at? Where does it falter? What cards give us the best first view of the class?

Link: "An "Alraune" is a (literal) being of nature, and I tried to reflect that in Aisha's gameplay. Growing new minions (like with Overrun), building better minions (Vitality Infusion), controlling the field (Vine Wrap): these should be expected when you can literally manipulate plants and the terrain. She can even grow her own weapons, like the Man-Eater Tendril! However, the Alraune generally has to brute-force her problems away, relying on minions and weapons to clear threats and deal damage. Her spells can help, but not with clearing; I mean, she has some, like Thorn Barrage, but it's definitely not a strength.

If you want to break it down in terms of the existing classes, Aisha should feel like a combination of the Druid and the Warrior...which only seems natural to me. Natural, get it?"

What initially gave you the idea to make an Alraune class?

Link: "The history of the Alraune comes down to making a realistic Hero Power. I got some flak for Kel'Thuzad's Freeze HP in our last class competition, and rightly so. So, I set out to make an original character with a more balanced Hero Power. I eventually settled on a 2/1 weapon, and from there thought it would be neat if more weapons had 1 Durability: that would encourage the player to swap them out frequently, and such cards would probably have powerful effects on them. Originally I was making a "Weaponmaster" class, but decided that it was A. too dull, B. too close to the Warrior, and C. too dull. It wasn't until I landed on "hey, she should grow her own weapons, like a plant!" that I came to the Alraune.

Granted, not all of the Alraune's weapons are a part of her, like Staff of the Water LilyBiting Splinter, or Deadwood Dagger, but that's more of an art problem than anything. It's tough finding good weapon art for a nature class!"

One very noteworthy part of this class is that it has no class-exclusive mechanic like a lot of fan-made classes do. How does this change the design process of your class?

Link: "Well, it does have one class-exclusive thing, with the Seedlings. A cross between Animal Companion and Nithogg's eggs, they can grow into Moon Blossoms or Thorn Spitters if you can defend them for a turn (or grow them instantly, like with Cultivate or Garden of Spikes). What I don't have is a unique Keyword, something I see a lot of with other unique classes. I did the same thing with Kel'Thuzad, relying on Freeze instead of something completely new: there's a familiarity to it, a comfort in using the existing mechanics and tweaking them instead of trying to go all-out with something fully unique. I've seen a lot of brand-new Keywords backfire, creating a class that's overly complicated or pushed into a corner creatively-speaking. When done well, though, I fully admit that they are more interesting and all the better for it, so maybe I'm in the wrong for staying away from new Keywords..."

Are there any other cards you wish to point out for any reason?

Link: "I found the art for Timbermare and loved it, so I made it a Legendary. But I also found out that the original Magic the Gathering card the art comes from is a dedication to a woman who died of cancer, the wife of an avid MtG player and lover of horses. It felt wrong to do anything that might tarnish the original intention of the card, so I named my card the same thing."


Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us, or perhaps a sneak peek of what's to come next?

Link: "Behind the scenes, I have no idea what I'm doing XD I wing it for everything, slapping my untrained hands against the keyboard until something cohesive and sensical appears. Some card ideas are easy for me to come by, like Voracious Snapper or Reclaim Un'Goro/Irlek the Ravenous, others...not so much. I spent at least five total hours trying to think of the Legendary minion for Knights of the Frozen Throne. I eventually scrapped the whole thing, upgraded Orik the Demolisher from Epic to Legendary, threw out the art I was so focused upon, and then finally came up with Herald of Winter. The process can be a serious pain in the butt sometimes."

Do you have anything else you want to share with us?

Link: "If you think you have a cool idea, and want to share it with others, then go for it! There's no sense leaving it to collect dust in a notebook somewhere. I was sitting on the Alraune concept for a while, waiting for a new class competition, but I was bored and figured "why not?" Get it out there; you might be surprised by how well received something can be. It surprises me every day that people might like what I make.

Oh, I also want to say one more thing real quick: stop making "card draw" a weakness! I did it for Kel'Thuzad, and it was a bad idea lol. You have no idea how many creative windows you're closing by turning off one of the fundamentals of a card game (drawing cards). I'm much happier making things like Essence Seeds or Jungle Bloom, versus the alternative: sitting there wondering how I'm ever supposed to draw all the cool shit I've made >_>"

And that ladies and gentlemen, would wrap up this Fan Community Spotlight. Take a look at Link's Alraune class and let us know what you think in the comments.