The stars return again to give you a new Fan Community Spotlight featuring a previous project returning. You may remember that a month ago, I did a spotlight covering The Dawning Cataclysms, a set made by LarryMoments. Today, she is back with us again to talk about Conspiracy Under The Cracks, which is a mini-set for that expansion. You can see the entire project (including both the main set and the mini-set) here.
The Prophecy mechanic is still the same as it was in the main set. Cards with Prophecy put themselves into a prophecy token spell and once you have 3 cards in that spell, you will add it to your hand to cast and replay those 3 cards.
There are two different tokens for the Prophecy. The difference between the two is entirely cosmetic and dependent on which faction your class is part of. Classes are part of either Tomorrow's Rise or The Crystal Circle. More information about this can be found in the article about the main set.
Now it's time for LarryMoments to give her view on how this mini-set came to be.
What is the mini-set about and how does it tie with the main set?
LarryMoments: "Contrary to Cataclyms, where we gazed upon the stars and told tales on the surface, we do not know what's below us... we now go into the deep grounds, to reveal everything that's hidden from the public.
Conspiracy Under the Cracks talks, or at least, show us a view from another eye, another perspective. CutC doesn't feature any side in specific, theories and conspiracies dawn (heh) equally upon everyone, while there's a secret society working beneath the earth, there are some odd ocurrences seeping up that we can decipher something from them.
It tackles conspiracies, rumors, urban legends, with my own spin of them. If Prophecies are about something that's going to happen eventually, theories are just possibilities, or at worst, baseless declarations."
How did you want to design the mini-set in relation to the base set? What cards do you think best signify what the mini-set is about?
LarryMoments: "Considering that they're things unheard of from the public, I wanted to develop archetypes completely (or mostly) separated from the base set, flavor wise though its completely different from it; I was bugged by the lack of tribes (in my opinion) from Cataclysms, so logically I put as many as I could in this set. I told myself to make a stronger flavor for this expansion due to the nature of the theme, it isn't that easy to make theories out of the blue, and I think I made a good job at it.
As for cards that best tell the story, Black Market was one of the last cards I made for the set, being a replacement for a previous one with a similar trigger, ended up working in it's favor. As items and objects get thrown around everywhere and traded for goods, despite their obvious illegality, search for what you need and get out of there, the black market is a crowded place that I'm sure you don't wanna search for. Rogue in the mini-set is about adding cards to your hand, which they do often (Burgle, Shadowstep, and the such), but I didn't want to go the obvious route, which is burgle rogue since we all know how that worked out *cough* Wildpaw *cough*
Adding cards tends to be at a cost, whether be a higher price or lower stats, so I made this as a payoff for that, it has a trigger that I like and plan on working with the next set. Don't pay your taxes, people.
Brainwash has two effects from existing cards, Earth Shock and Madame Lazul, and combines them into one. Like the flashing tool in Men in Black, they make you forget everything you have seen so you don't tell anyone, its confidential information. Replicated into Brainwash, you make a minion forget everything, how they function, what they had, who they've talked to, all the important information you required to delete, and they're only left remembering one single thing (the card), you insert the information in their head and leave them for dead, hopefully, doesn't work as well as in real life when your opponent can throw them at you.
Shadow Priest merely existed in Stormwind due to the lack of shadow spells that were given to them in later expansions, so this would've helped their case, along with another minion in the set related to one of the cards in Cataclysms. Then again this would also work well with the new Nathria legendary, The Harvester of Envy.
I wanted to make a brief mention on Living Nutrients, which is a card that was revealed in Cataclysm's article, its a take on "Your food is alive!" that some people throw at others, especially people who eat meat. Ironic that they're vegetables...
For Warlock, its removal with good damage, along with a delayed card draw if you can get the Prophecy moving. It's also a rare Nature spell, which is not common (or existing, if I remember correctly) in Warlock."
Are there any other cards you wish to highlight for any particular reason?
LarryMoments: "Personally I'm the most proud of Forgetful Sapper, which has a very unique effect that was hard to word, but it was well worth it.
Initially it was developed as a delayed Deathrattle enabler, allowing you to set it up by placing the mine somewhere else when you need it (considering Warlock does have some desirable Deathrattles, including Proud Sacrifice in the main set), and by placing it on the opponent's battlefield, it acts as a revealed Snipe that your opponent must work around to not get blasted, or just play something weak to bait it out.
To quote exactly from the Cataclysm post in how the card exactly functions:
Forgetful Sapper will give you the 14 positions in the board as possible positions to place a landmine in, its visible to both players and doesn't take space, you can't put two mines in the same spot, unless it goes off.
In total, Sapper took me about 7 cards (including tokens) to get right.
I did want to mention Exiled Conscriptor, considering the military and protection themes that they had in the base expansion, this goblin was associated to them in the recruiting department, however his methods of gathering new recruits was so unethical, that he was stripped off his position and exiled from the town, and thus, found his place here.
Paladin has a Silver Hand theme and a buff card in it, although considering Nathria has a much better card in Promotion that it makes Secret Partnership look awfully weak, and even people in the server mentioned it to me, but I never fixed it.
Bavarah was one of the first thematic cards made for the set, and I'm not going to go over the mechanic, but rather the flavor, the Iluminati. The society that was an old meme was known as the Bavarian Iluminati, which goes into Bavarah's name, and all of its numbers only include numbers that are multiples of 3, a number heavily associated with the group. As they're secret, Bararah possesses information that they hold off from being public until its brought to light, even if late. Prophecies are also made out of 3 cards, so they made something to eventually become true."
Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?
LarryMoments: I do! I've actually got a little compendium of scrapped cards since many of them were trial and error, along with some being fixed or changed (shouout to Aflag from the Discord).
All of these cards didn't end up making the cut, Gossip Snitch was made early on when I had discard as an archetype for warlock, but upon the change of it, ended up getting the hammer. Energizer was way too weak and weird, didn't really end up feeling Rogue-ey, good news it, ended up being changed for Black Market (they did have a drugs/trafficking theme going on).
And also a bunch of cards that were notably modified:
Interviewer's note: These are previous iterations of cards that made it into the final product, but they were all changed from this version.
Stash was in a weird spot, I did want some variety in what they had hidden but it felt forced, ended up being changed. Now it actually uses brainpower as you choose a card to get and discount, and the other two to get later. Well-Armed was way too hard to do and balance, so the give effect part was scrapped, still keeps the weapon aim. (Sounds familiar, eh? Firesoul from Volcania?).
Both Desperate Society and Dust Construct are spiritually kept, former I still liked, but they found it too weak (even with the potential of destroying 3 minions) so I changed it to be a "minion", instead of a spot on the board. Dust Construct would've been the first card if not for Shaman, and I still like that the effect is out of place for mage, but it was way too weak, so it became a 3/3/2, its still powerful, and with AoE present in mage, it can easily go for +20 Health."
Do you have anything else you wish to share?
LarryMoments: Ayup, two things actually.
First, that I'm working on a new expansion, Goodwills Orchestra that I showed yesterday at the time of writing this, it'll take a while to be finished. But I will say that I went the extra mile for the flavor, now does it work? Idk honestly, but I did a lot of research for musical terms and especially art, its hard to find varied fantasy music related art around these parts, a few I even had to stretch to make them work.
And second, that I'm working on my own Hearthstone year, the Year of the Angler! It includes both The Dawning Catacylsm and Goodwills Orchestra, plus another expansion that I haven't started to work on or develop, you can have a sneak peak of it now! This should exist along with the YotH, with Sunken City, Castle Nathria and the third Expansion.
This core set is being tailored to include many cards that are either neat, or didn't see much play (or at all) during their time in Standard, amongst them are some of my favorite cards that didn't see much play, I know a Core set must be core, essential, but I've always found it dumb that they included Classic cards, when you can... literally craft them anytime or get them from the pack that's always been there, so I put them to the side (90% of them) to have space for the new ones to be featured or return."
This will wrap it up for this installment to give you some content until Nathria reveals continue tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed this set, and you can check out the entire main set and mini-set by clicking the banner below.