Hello everybody and welcome to another Fan Community Spotlight. Today we're looking at a fan-made Core set for an entire Hearthstone year, that being the Year of the Spider Core Set created by TheFriendlyEnemy appearing on FCS for the third time. Both of TheFriendlyEnemy's previous appearances have been covering The Arcane Arcade, which was a set originally made in 2020, then named the best custom set of that year on r/customhearthstone subreddit, and then remastered in 2022. The set is actually the first set of the Year of the Spider with the second set supposedly coming out very soon.

All the cards in this Core set are designed with a custom Spider watermark to signify their inclusion in the set. This Core set notably doesn't contain any entirely new cards just like this year's Core set (and in contrast to last year's which featured several new cards), but there's still a lot of overhauls and changes to talk about. With that on the rise, let's go.

What new identities or aspects are you trying to focus on with this new Core set?

TheFriendlyEnemy: "For each class, these are the identities I was trying to emphasise:
• Demon Hunter got a focus on attacking with their hero, as well as a meaningful Outcast effect.
• Druid got some solid cards at certain costs that will be meaningful in the next Year of the Spider expansion (namely, 1 and 7). Lifeweaver, despite triggering off of healing, wasn’t really meant to be “heal support” per se, but rather a tool to help fill out curves with Survival Game active.

• Hunter got a cheap Beast, as well as cards that deal exactly 2 damage to support the Arcane Arcade Remastered’s Sharpshooter Tavish.
• Mage got Frost support, one of which is a 0-Cost spell to allow cheap spellcasting synergy.

• Paladin’s Secrets were shuffled around in order to add another Attack reduction card into their core set. Their identity was also shifted away from “summoning Silver Hand Recruits specifically” to lean more towards “summoning minions with your cards generally” for this year.
• Priest got an efficient buff spell, as well as a decent target for them.

• Rogue got Bounce support, as well as some cards to help slower Rogue decks.
• There’s a lot going on with Shaman. They got Windfury to support their Quilboar archetype in the Arcane Arcade Remastered, as well as the three Charge-based Quilboars from Gadgetzan. There are also Watch Posts and Kargal Battlescar in the Neutral set, again supporting the Arcane Arcade Remastered. Finally, they got the foundations of an Elemental archetype which is soon to be elaborated on.

• Warlock got support for their Lifesteal archetype last set, as well as a late game card draw in preparation for the upcoming set.
• Warrior got a damage-based board clear to trigger minion damage synergies while also being a generic control tool, as well as support for Pirates and weapons."

There are no completely new cards in this Core set? What's that all about?

TheFriendlyEnemy: "I decided to follow the precedent set by Year of the Hydra because of the complexity constraints involved in making a Core set. As well as setting the scene for the rest of the year, a Core set needs to be a starting point for new players. While the option is there to introduce a small handful of new cards, there wasn’t really a reason to just add those cards to one of the expansions, where there’s more room for complexity."

What are some particular additions or removals that you want to talk about?

TheFriendlyEnemy: "The cards that were buffed are the ones I think are the most interesting to talk about. Icicle, for example, was a card printed to be deliberately weak as a replacement for Ice Block in the Classic set, but buffing it to 1 mana could give it actual relevance in supporting a Frost deck. Similarly, even though Daring Escape already sees play, adding cost reduction to it opens up a wider range of ways to use the card."

Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us? Or perhaps a peek at what's later to come in Year of the Spider?

TheFriendlyEnemy: "There’s plenty of exciting cards coming up in Year of the Spider. The next set will be called Gallywix Megastores, themed around a supermarket in the Hearthstone universe. Expect cards that interact with the Cost of cards and spending Mana as a key theme, and even some cards that spend alternate resources that aren’t Mana. The third set of Year of the Spider is still in early stages, so I can’t promise anything concretely just yet, but you can expect to see some Secrets unlike any you’ve seen before, and one very exciting Rogue card."

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

TheFriendlyEnemy: "Since the Core set is mainly a way to set the stage for the expansions of the year, keep a look out for when I post Gallywix Megastores very soon. Also, as I’ve said before in this section, join the Custom Hearthstone Discord if you want a good art source and a place to talk about your cards. And finally, thanks to Demonxz95 for featuring this Core set as well as hosting Fan Community Spotlight generally."

We've gotten to the end of this week's Fan Community Spotlight covering the Core set. We've got many more projects on the way, and there's more to see in just this Core set. If you're interested in seeing more of what there is to offer, then you can see all the information about the Core set by clicking the banner below.