Hello everybody, and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. Today, we've got KingKuba to talk about their most recent set, Escape from Elwynn. This set is actually a first for multiple things on Fan Community Spotlight. This is the very set I've covered to have an "official" cinematic trailer for the expansion, of which is narrated by Hogger and takes place in none other than Elwynn Forest.

This is also the first set I've covered to introduce a new tribe into the game, the Gnoll tribe.

Gnolls have special synergy that triggers if a friendly Gnoll died last turn when you play it. Existing Gnolls in the game include Shaky Zipgunner, Tanglefur Mystic, Hogger, his WotOG counterpart, as well as both of their respective Gnoll tokens.

One other thing you may have noticed that is Riverpaw Assailant here has Escape. Escape is a new keyword introduces in this set. If a card with Escape is currently the top card of your deck, you can look at it and pay 1 mana to draw it.

But I'm not here to hog all of the spotlight. Let's talk to KingKuba and see how this set came together.

What exactly is this set about?

KingKuba: "Fist off - hello there, readers! Hope this interview will be valuable to you in some way!

The set takes place in Elwynn Forest - a place where humans live in, with Stormwind being their capital city. The biggest problem for people in this calm area are gnolls, aggressive hyena-like creatures. Their leader, Hogger (Which we get to meet in Hearthstone tutorial, has 2 Legendary cards and became a Pirate in the Battlegrounds) got thrown into the jail in Stockades, where we finally kill him as a dungeon boss in WoW. Escape from Elwynn shows an alternative scenario. Flee Master Hogger and his prison pals succeed in freeing ALL prisoners and now they are a threat to entire Stormwind!

How did that happen? Find out in the Cinematic Trailer!"

How long have you been making your own cards?

KingKuba: "My first card (that is present in Hearthcards Gallery to this day) was Faceless Giant, 6th January 2017, so it will be 4 years soon. In this time I went from literal bottom to a Top Rated Card Maker, played dozens of CCG's and even made my own card games, one of which I want to release through a crowdfunding campaign soon. It was a long story of a strong passion."

Where does the idea for the Escape mechanic originate?

KingKuba: "One of the card games I played, Eternal from Dire Wolf Digital studio (Check it out, it's like MtG with Hearthstone-ish appeal) had a keyword named Warp. If a Warp card was on top of your deck, you could see it and play it from there. I liked it, so I decided to create some Warp cards in Hearthstone and share it on Hearthcards. People enjoyed the concept, but my examples we criticized. Playing a Warp card from your deck is like drawing it for free, which made it overpowered when put on well-stated minions or strong spells. These words of critique pushed me to change it - from playing a card to drawing it for 1 Mana. Once it was my thing, the idea of my expansion was born and Fugitives started Escaping their cells."

What was the inspiration for the set theme?

KingKuba: "My World of Warcraft experience as a human player. I love Elwynn Forest, I love Goldshire, I love Stormwind! And most importantly - I love Hogger! He's just a perfect character for Hearthstone in a perfect location for Hearthstone. Escape mechanic just glued everything together with a story of prison break and that's when I started working on it knowing it will be awesome."

This set introduces a new tribe, the Gnoll. What was the thought behind the tribe and how it differs from the other tribes?

KingKuba: "To make this expansion believable and create a foundation for future expansions in a custom Hearthstone Year, just like Hearthstone developers do it - I wanted to start it with a bang! In Un'Goro, Elementals were introduced and we might get new tribes later. Year of the Lion starts with Hogger leading the prisoners, so why not Gnolls? While Elementals are entirely different species, Gnolls are more like Murlocs or Pirates - a funny minion type out of a something popular. Gnolls have special synergies, triggering "if your Gnoll died a turn before", referring to your opponent's last turn. Everyone knows that Gnolls are either stupid or cowardly. The cowardly ones will get a bonus if they weren't the ones who died but their provocative friends. This update is also great for Gnolls currently in the game. Original Hogger can finally shine!"

Of note are the three new Priest Secrets. Where did the idea to give them Secrets originate?

KingKuba: "Each class in Escape from Elwynn has 5 cards for the prisoners and 5 cards for Stormwind. Prophet Zul represents prisoner side of the conflict in Priest. He's a mysterious Zandalari troll which uses dark magic for his evil plans. That's a great basis for Priest Secrets, which relate to trolls and their little mysteries: Restless Spirits, Shadowed Mind and Deal with the Loa."

Are there any other cards you wish to showcase for any reason?

KingKuba: "Sure! Let's discuss some of the Legendaries!

Lady Katrana Prestor

Don't get distracted by her looks! She's actually a daughter of Deathwing in disguise!
Escape mechanic often encourages you to draw a lot. In a miracle, hand synergy or even control deck, there's a better chance Onyxia will reveal her true form right away!

Marshal Dughan

This one's pretty hilarious. Dughan can make any mere soldier a frickin' Tirion Fordring!
Paladin has an entire archetype around Goldshire Footmen with cards like Ward of Elwynn and Goldshire Guard. Could be really fun to play.


Anduin is already a hero portrait, so it was an honor introducing this truly legendary weapon to fight the prisoners in my expansion.
I think it's a really elegant alternative to one of the best classic Neutral cards, [Hearthstone Card (Alextrasza) Not Found]. Has a potential to backfire, but also to heal yourself while damaging your opponent.

Aedelas Blackmoore

What? How did he survive Durnholde's fall?
With some Plot Twist action and a new card - Redridge Gladiator there's a potential for some crazy numbers! It's for those who like to experiment with their playstyle.

Tekton the Sheep

The craziest out there. Every sheep is now an Explosive Sheep from GvG!
Combining it with Polymorph and new cards like Guiding Hound or Arcane Herding, you can clear literally every board.

Flee Master Hogger

The mad lad himself.
This time, he's going to machine gun you with some spells and can be played up to 3 times with Call for a Gnoll. Will Spell Hunter return with a Gnoll package?"

Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?

KingKuba: "Here's Year of the Lion's teaser for future expansions:"

What design philosophies do you have? What advice do you wish to spread to future creators?

KingKuba: "When it comes to Hearthstone custom cards, It's all about adapting to their style and just adding more value to it. Hearthstone is meant to be a fun, simple and a bit crazy strategic card game experience. It's also a product that encourages you to always buy the newest expansion. With this in mind, don't create anything complex, too weak, unflavorful or unfun to play against. Try to think about your cards as something you want to sell to your players - that's literally what CCG's and TCG's are about. That's an approach from a marketing standpoint, but your cards also need to be mathematically balanced and meta-changing at the same time to keep the game fresh and fun to play. That's a harder one, because Team 5 can test out their Hearthstone cards while we can't. But if you manage to operate in this style or deeply understand it, don't put off your passion - try to create and sell your own card game! I'm not joking. Find your own style, play a lot of card games, from Poker to UNO to MtG to frickin' Roblox Card Game (Blox Cards, it really exists), learn from other creators (Must-watch: "Magic: the Gathering: Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons Learned"), test a lot, learn more marketing skills but most importantly - have fun through the process and let other people have fun too - that's THE NUMBER 1 most important thing in all the playing cards (it's literally why they exist!) So, take a piece of paper, a pencil, Photoshop... or Hearthcards. Create something awesome! I believe in you!"

Do you have anything else you wish to share?

KingKuba: "If you want to ask me anything more, feel free to message me on outof.cards! Thanks for reading and have a great day!"

That would do it for Fan Community Spotlight today. This is just a small taste of KingKuba's set, Escape from Elwynn. Check out the full set and you won't be able to escape your tab (but you will escape these puns).