Hello everybody, and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. Whenever we talk about cards on this website, they've always been made for Ranked play mode. We've really yet to talk about custom cards for Battlegrounds, Duels, or modes in a similar vein. That is until today. In this installment, we're looking at a new fan-made tribe specifically made for Battlegrounds, the Treant tribe. Treants are represented in the game purely as 2/2 minions. How about we change that. This particular project was made by Cydonianknight, whom was just featured 2 weeks ago. In addition to some Treant cards, 3 new heroes are also implemented into the mix. But now, it's time to give the spotlight to Cydonianknight.

What is the inspiration for making the Treant tribe? What are some distinct characteristics about the tribe?

Cydonianknight: "I’ve believed for a while now that Treants should become a tribe within their own right in the main game but as the minions themselves are usually 2/2 tokens I couldn’t see this happening any time soon. Then, last year Battlegrounds used up all the currently existing tribes (bar totems) for its expansions.

Around October last year, I had the idea to see what a Treant tribe would look like in Battlegrounds. Unfortunately my early concepts were quite complicated; including about 4 or 5 mechanics across 20ish cards. These ranged from being based around the Refresh mechanic; to a glorified keyword version of ‘At the start of your turn’ called ‘Grow’; to generating their own resource (similar to King Mukla’s Bananas).

I abandoned this project pretty quickly but then I picked it up again recently with a fresh perspective. The introduction of Greybough as a hero in Battlegrounds inspired the mechanic of buffing Treants which were summoned in combat rather than the Tavern phase. This then became the basis for the whole class, with the ‘Grow’ mechanic from before being completely abandoned. Garden Golem is the most simplistic card to demonstrate this new mechanic but my personal favourite is Dame Hazelbark who just allows your Treants to grow to absolutely insane heights in the late game.

I kept the idea of utilising the Refresh mechanic as this tied in nicely with some art from Saviors of Uldum of the Oasis Treants; with Oasis Lurker and Applebough being the representatives of this mechanic. I also decided to keep an homage to the idea of Treants generating their own resource from before with Rotten Applebaum generating the Rotting Apple, helping with the idea of buffing Treants summoned in combat."

Give us a rundown of the 3 new heroes that come along with this tribe.

Cydonianknight: "Lucentbark is very much the introductory hero to Treants, similar in vein to Millificent Manastorm but focused more around resilience. If you can land on a couple of Treants in the early game then Lucentbark is quite strong there, but in the later stages the +2 Health buff becomes very irrelevant.

Goru the Mightree is my personal favourite of the three heroes. He’s pretty much identical to Ysera in terms of how the Hero Power actually works however there is some extra strength here. With a little bit of the class being dedicated to the Refresh mechanic, Goru can find specific Treants far more efficiently than any other hero whilst simultaneously buffing your Oasis Lurkers.

Splintergraft is the hero I am the least certain about the power level of. We’ve seen with Illidan Stormrage that just being able to attack first consistently isn’t that great. However, with Treants, you will want to trade off specific minions rather quickly to summon your bigger Treants sooner. Great targets within the Treant tribe to target with the Hero Power are Warped Treant and Propeller Treant. Also to note, Splintergraft does not have to be used with Treants so it is the only hero here which can be picked when Treants aren’t present in the tribe pool."

Battlegrounds is a very different ball game compared to regular Hearthstone. What does one need to keep in mind when designing Battlegrounds content?

Cydonianknight: "It is quite different yeah, one thing I focused on was what makes the current tribes successful. A focus of mine from the start was that I need minions that are capable of scaling throughout the game, so I put a lot of thought into how I could make scaling unique within this tribe compared to others.

To draw a comparison, one of my favourite tribes to use in Battlegrounds is Pirates and if you look at the design behind Pirates and Treants, it’s pretty similar. Both Pirates and Treants have two mechanics they focus on with one taking a more lead role in the tribe. This allows for each tribe to feel diverse within themselves whilst also being quite focused at the same time.

Another key difference between Battlegrounds and the main game, is that the design of the tribes tends to be more focused and synergistic. Custom expansions for the main game are often a showcase of loads of brilliant ideas, whereas Battlegrounds almost needs that Chekhov’s Gun approach where every piece needs to be synergistic to some degree and feel like a key player in at least one strategy."

Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share?

Cydonianknight: "One of my least favourite parts of card design is gathering art because I am quite a lazy person and to me it just seems to be the most tedious part hence why large expansions generally aren’t my bag. Most, if not all, of the art for this project came from the game itself (peak laziness) because I just wanted to get into the mechanical design process as quickly as possible."

Do you have anything else you wish to share?

Cydonianknight: "I really enjoyed designing this tribe and fleshing out  the concept. I sincerely do hope that other creators try making some Battlegrounds content as it is such a unique space to design for and a really enjoyable one at that. I certainly want to create more of this kind of content in the future and a collaboration with other designers would be sweet."

We've reached the end of today's Fan Community Spotlight. Battlegrounds is a mode that I don't see people here designing many cards for, but that doesn't mean you have to be afraid to try it if you have any interest in it. Perhaps this Treant tribe might've piqued some interest to try designing some Battlegrounds cards.

If you're interesting in checking out the entire custom Treant tribe, then click the banner below.