Look at the stars above you. What do they say? They're telling you that we've got a new Fan Community Spotlight this week. On this installment, we're covering The Dawning Cataclysms. This expansion is not based on any particular Warcraft location, but instead has one theme that permeates all over. The set was created by LarryMoments, whom is being featured on the series for her very first time.
The set carries strong invasion, astrology, and prophetic themes to it. Speaking of Prophetic themes, the keyword of the set is Prophecy. Cards with Prophecy place themselves into 3-card list, and once all 3 spots are filled, a 2-Cost spell is added to your hand which replays all the cards (or in other words, your prophecy is foretold and revealed to be true). Whichever token you get depends on your class, and the difference between the two is purely aesthetic.
In terms of the set lore, the set views an opposition between two factions of classes with opposite goals.
- Demon Hunter, Hunter, Rogue, Warlock, and Warrior are part of Tomorrow's Rise, a cult on a mission to gather the Violet Rune and advocates for the cataclysm to commence to being their invasion.
- Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, and Shaman are part of The Crystal Circle, a group of astrologists protecting the Violet Rune.
We can look into the skies to see what the set has to await for us, or we can just talk to LarryMoments herself. I like the latter option better.
What exactly is this set about?
LarryMoments: "The Dawning Cataclysms starts out as a warning from The Crystal Circle that the cataclysm is coming, which then turns out to be true. This set deals with three factions, Tomorrow's Rise, a cult that awaits for the cataclysm to come before their invasion begins, the town nearby (which is still unnamed) and the Circle an association of astrologists and magicians that protect their most sacred treasure, the Violet Rune, away from the cult.
But their power is not enough, they need their champion to arrive. Question is, where is that champion?"
What is the inspiration for the set theme?
LarryMoments: "I actually remember making a cult expansion waaaay back in my Fan Creation years (which looking back, whew that era was cringe), over time I remained with a liking of the twisted, dark themes, more leaning towards the dark side since I'm also writing stories with my own stuff. I'd say stuff like Darkest Dungeon and Library of Ruina, a game I recommend, were the main inspirations for it, especially Ruina, which is my most recent hyperfixation.
There was also a custom adventure that I was making that had Prophecies in it, but I remember getting sick and tired of making stuff, so I took a break from the CHS community in general until a few months ago, it's never even been revealed.
The End of Times, that was how it began, unironically. Starting out your own story and path towards a goal. There were also stars as an inspiration, which is a theme that appears in this expansion. I know Cataclysm already exists in WoW, but I'm not that good at starting things based on existing properties."
Where does the Prophecy mechanic come from?
LarryMoments: "Prophecy actually isn't original, but I did make some tweaks to it. It actually comes from a Slay the Spire mod, Downfall, to be specific; where you can play as the villains rather than the protagonists, one of the many characters you can play as is the Automaton, who can Encode cards to form a Sequence, when 3 Encoded cards are in it, a Sequence is born, a 1-Energy card with all of its effects combined. It ended up being one of the most entertaining experiences I've had, easily my favorite character, I set myself a goal of translating that keyword faithfully into this expansion.
It acts as a way to illustrate a story in the making, allowing the players to craft their own. The dilemma is whether to complete one quick to get out the value early, or slowly build it over time for a massive swing, unlike Spire, cards aren't shuffled back into your deck, its a one-shot, technically. Prophecies will always cost 2, so more expensive cards will grant more value when cast."
What ended up being the easiest or hardest classes to design for in the set?
LarryMoments: "Paladin was the true easiest class as it was the class I finished first, although its the last that I tweaked. Following that is Hunter. I had a clear theme and archetypes I wanted to push with them. Druid was also a fun class to come up stuff for.
Surprisingly, even to me, it wasn't Demon Hunter. It was Warrior, not for the theme actually, but because of the archetype that I was pushing, Armor synergy is something that I've seen in the game, but didn't want to push it that far, trying to make a balance between the pushed archetype and other cards."
Are there any other cards you wish to highlight for any particular reason?
LarryMoments: "One of the earliest cards I made was Exalted Purifier, and it still stands as one of my favorites in the set. Its a somewhat complicated effect to trigger as its normally not able to activate like other (girls) Deathrattles do.
Proud Sacrifice may be just an egg on most circumstances, but Warlocks can use their sacrifice cards to get the most out of it before your opponent has the chance to take it out, it fills the board with demons and then goes to the next sacrifice in line. An inspiration I wanted to mention for this card was Rita's Thrall from Infinity Wars.
I actually wanted to show two this time, Observer Pluto and Miss Ivena, two cards with Prophecy that I really liked that work differently. Pluto is a Mana Wyrm on steroids most of the time, but it also buffs himself while your Prophecy is in the making, leading to probably a huge creature once you get your Prophecy going. The big bad of this expansion, Ivena was made as a big finisher using the expansion's keyword (to foil another Legendary), become the cataclysm in the matter of one card, or three, if you need."
Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?
LarryMoments: "Yes, I do. The expansion's keyword worked much different than what you see in front of your eyes at this moment. There were cards that gave you out Prophecies, which were 2-cost cards that let you choose an effect, and gives it to all your future Prophecies, there was a general pool for effects, but classes had 2 specific effects they could choose.
A few cards in and I realized that I was just making Jade Golems all over again, so I ditched the idea. Spawn of Malice is the closest I have of a remnant of early development, being close to one of the effects Demon Hunters could give their Prophecies.
This does not spark joy.
Another thing I wanted to share is that warlock had a completely different archetype going for, which was... discard warlock, in the end, after a search on pinterest, I could find something that interested me and was on point with warlock, which were sacrifices and manipulation with a theme of puppetry. It's one of my favorites thematically now.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to add something to that
Retrace your Steps was the card that went through the most versions, about 3-4 before reaching the final product. Started out as a common spell that I wanted to make big because I like variety, but turned out to be too hard to come up with an interesting effect for it.
In the end, a user in the CHS discord gave me the suggestion to change one of my cards in the set to a common, and make the new card a Rare, so I analyzed and indeed there was, so I changed Blind Liutenant to be a Common.
The Health restoration is a callout to one of the neutral cards in the set."
How long have you been making your own cards?
LarryMoments: "I started in 2015 (and jesus christ this surprises even me) making cards, but I don't like that time of me at all, as I said. 2019-2020 I only helped a bit in an expansion before taking a break from making cards. In late 2021 I had taken the decision to just distance myself from everything, considering how low quality I felt my stuff was, despite the effort that it took me to make them, self-worth took a hit and I wanted to cut off one of the main sources of my pain.
However, the leader (is that the word?) of an expansion I was working in, but did not participate as I was taking a break, fully convinced me to stay, and I thank god she did, now I'm actually having fun making cards and my own stuff. If it weren't for Decatherinated I don't think I would've made a return. If you're reading this, you are a great person, don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
What design philosophies do you have hat you wish to share and spread to new creators?
LarryMoments: "I don't like overexerting my brain so I simply go with the flow, make the stuff that I like, however as for actual philosophies...
I think its called top-down? I don't manage myself well with these. But I go with flavor first, and then mechanic, unless I can figure out a mechanic first; although I prioritize flavor because I want to have a card feel like it does the stuff it does. I don't think deep of mechanics unless I have one in my mind already, it comes to my brain once I look at the art and theme enough.
Even if I don't have knowledge of Warcraft stuff, I go with what resources I have and want to have. Early me didn't like making Warcraft related things, but now I can tolerate it and I'm fine, still don't like searching to start my own, but if I'm helping anyone, sure thing!
For other creators out there, don't be so hard on yourselves and have fun is all I ask. Passion and creativity can't come in good shape from a tired and exhausted brain, words from an animation student's mouth!"
Do you have anything else you wish to share?
LarryMoments: "Actually, I do, its a teaser for the mini-set of this expansion, called Conspiracy Under the Cracks! It'll be coming soon, hopefully.
Unlike Cataclysms, there are no factions in here.
Do you really know what's in this earth? All of its secrets are deep beneath the underground? Those who move up and cause activities? Have you heard about the society living below? All of those are questions they'll ask.
This time, I'll be tackling conspiracies, theories and legends, and putting my own spin on them.
Did you know that the food you eat is alive?
Was that mountain always there?
Is there a bunch of rats stealing your stuff that you can't find it?
How did that bush move like it had life?
You won't know yet, only I know, hehe..."
Our prophecies tell us that we are arriving at the end of the article for this week. Furthermore, the prophecies also state that there is much more to come by clicking the banner down below to see the full-set, and eventually the mini-set will be available as well.