You know the old saying, time is of the essence? We claim to be killing time, but in reality it's time that is killing us, so let this be a lesson to note waste it because it's only so finite and you can't get it back.

Conversation this week is about time.

On Location

With that dramatic introduction out of the way, we start off with as usual by congratulating our most recent WCDC winner. This time, it's Wailor with their Orgrimmar.

They will be in charge of the next competition's theme. What is it exactly? You'll have to wait to find out.

Humble Beginnings

Tomorrow morning is the day that Hearthstone celebrates its ninth anniversary of release, and that's not even counting the beta phases that people got to play before its public release date. While it doesn't compare to Magic: The Gathering or the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh card games (celebrating their 30th, 27th, and 24th anniversaries this year respectively), a lot has happened over the course of nine years and it's hard to deny that Hearthstone hasn't been through a HUGE amount of design changes over time.

The newest set of the game when I started playing was Blackrock Mountain, and I've seen firsthand just what has changed over time. I still remember going through the reveal season for The Grand Tournament and it felt like seeing new cards was the coolest thing ever even if the cards themselves were sometimes of obviously questionable quality. I was still a noob that ran cards like Wolfrider and Raid Leader, and even I could tell that Acidmaw was going to be a horrible card.

King Krush Card ImageMaexxna Card Image

Over the course of nine years of being publicly available, all card games will naturally evolve a lot. Back in the old days, cards like King Krush and Maexxna were considered unique enough to be Legendary due to the fact that large minions with Charge or Poisonous were very unique. Back then, Poisonous minions were all very small and Maexxna was by far the biggest one at the time (and this was before the mechanic was even keyworded), so the thought of having a large one that could tank a lot of damage and kill multiple minions was justified, but nowadays large Poisonous minions are printed at Common and no one bats an eye. In fairness for King Krush though, large Charge minions are still quite rare to this day, so it holds onto some amount of spectacle at least.

Gnomeferatu Card ImageRevenant Rascal Card ImageMutanus the Devourer Card ImageKayn Sunfury Card Image

This also means that the philosophies of card design will also change, and if you're a member of a community that makes custom cards for any card game, this is something you're bound to run into.

Back in the day, any card that discarded a card for your opponent would automatically be viewed as unacceptable in the eyes of almost anyone regardless of how good the card was. When Gnomeferatu and Skulking Geist were printed in Knights of the Frozen Throne, it was a huge moment for the community of the game since it was the very first time that cards were printed that allowed this to occur and the custom card scene also quickly took note of this. Though interacting with your opponent's resources in a negative way like this was now considered acceptable, it was still a very thin tightrope to walk on. To a lesser extent it still is, but with Mutanus the Devourer in the game now, the rules have been either broken or evolved depending on the way you wish to view it).

One other such example of interacting with your opponent's Mana Crystals, which used to be one of the easiest ways for any card to be vehemently and furiously panned by absolutely anybody. Even if the card was simply a 10 mana spell that destroyed one of your opponent's Mana Crystals and did nothing else, people would've told you to never make a card that destroys your opponent's Mana Crystals and not focus on how obviously terrible the card is. Do you know what card we've received since then? Mojomaster Zihi, Revenant Rascal, and Celestial Alignment.

Another one of my favorite examples of this is Kayn Sunfury because of simply how on-the-nose it is in this regard. This exact card design was always dismissed as one of the worst and most unrealistic card designs could make... except when it's done by the actual game. And now that it has been done by the actual game, no one minds it. It was nerfed to have 1 less Health and then eventually buffed back, but who actually complains about the card? Absolutely no one.

There are tons of other cards that could be pointed as examples of this, and I could spend all day talking about them, but we've got to move on at some point. My final note on this topic is that it's simply always exciting to see new cards, especially if they're custom designs that you've seen makers talk about and make for a really long time finally get into the game. There's still a long list of fan-made design tropes that we have yet to see in the game like giving your hero Divine Shield, spells that deal 0 damage, or "equipping" weapons onto minions. Whatever the next one that will be added to the game is is something that we'll have to wait and see, and given the announcement that dropped with the return of Battlegrounds Buddies, it may not even be long until that happens. I still yearn for the day where a card with the text "restart the game" is printed, not so much for the actual card itself, but so I can finally dig it so a bunch of people who doubted me all this time.


Our most recent Fan Community Spotlight took me to my Time Traveler project, which I had to cover because the gap between that and the previous installment was getting quite long and I wanted to get something up.

Still, if you're interested in seeing what has been my pet project for over 5 years now, you can click the link to the interview or even check out the entire class.

Here are a few cards that were brought up in the article.

Digging Up The Past

Speaking of time, you still have some of it left to submit a card for our current competition, which also goes back through time. In this competition, we're designing hypothetical Death Knight cards for expansions before March of the Lich King.