Hello everybody and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. After my previous installment covering my own project, which was after 4 weeks of having no project, we're finally back to covering a project from another person.

For basically as long as Hearthstone has been out, Ulduar has always been one of the most popular locations for people to want an expansion to take place at and it's easy to see why. It's the home of the titanic keepers, where you find Algalon the Observer, and the prison of Yogg-Saron. There's a lot of potential that can be pulled from the location. That's exactly what Luke_Wait did for their most recent custom expansion, Prisoners of Ulduar.

The set comes with a new keyword, Observe. When you play a card with Observe, you look at the top 3 cards of your deck and then put them back on top in whatever order you choose. Very coincidentally, this matches perfectly with the fact that my Time Traveler class was the subject of the previous Fan Community Spotlight. I love effects like this and in the next expansion, we might see some. We just know that we're going to get something for Death Beetle.

Luke_Wait has even made their own trailer for the expansion, which even includes some commentary on some of the cards in the set.

There is a lot for us to get into, but for the moment, we'll hand the microphone off to Luke_Wait to tell us more.

What exactly is this set about? What is the inspiration for the set theme?

Luke_Wait: "Prisoners of Ulduar is a set that I have been wanting to make for a long time now. The expansion is themed around the Ulduar raid in World of Warcraft, and my goal with the set was to try to closely mimic the essence of that raid with the cards I made. I knew I wanted to include each of the Main Raid Bosses, as well as the bosses from the Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning. As for the main story of the set, I wanted to focus more on the raid itself. Brann Bronzebeard led the raid on Ulduar in WoW, so I felt it was only appropriate to bring him on as the set's main Protagonist! This time Brann has his work cut out for him as he is up against one of his biggest dangers yet: The God of Death, Yogg-Saron! Though he is not completely alone! Brann has enlisted the help of other brave explorers, including fellow member of the Explorers League Elise to help him take out the Old God. The set's story follows these explorers as they head deeper within Ulduar, exploring its dangerous locations and battling foes corrupted by the Old Gods Whispers."

What is the inspiration for the Observe mechanic and how you use it?

Luke_Wait: "One iconic aspect of Ulduar is its Planetarium, where the ancient Constellar Algalon can be found. Algalon was tasked with keeping an eye on Azeroth and was instructed to make sure the planet itself was destroyed if the Old Gods' corruption spread too far. This idea of an Observatory of sorts and cosmic entity watching the planet was the thing that inspired the idea for the Observe Keyword. Originally the Keyword was Observe: (x) and it allowed you to look at the top (x) cards of your deck and you'd pick one to draw, with cards not being able to do more than Observe: (8). I then decided to make the Keyword far simpler, and easier to design around and so after some thinking I came up with the idea of recording the top 3 cards of your deck and after making some cards with it, I liked the stuff I could come up with and it stuck."

What part of the set was the most fun to design?

Luke_Wait: "The cards that I had the most fun making have gotta be the Neutral Legendaries. Each of them came out so good in my opinion. Yogg-Saron is a meta warping card that creates pure madness. Algalon is the perfect Observe payoff. Loken is a fun and unique take on a finisher card. XT-002 Deconstructor really encapsulates the boss mechanics and theme. (For those who don’t know the XT-002 is a really annoying fight you can hardly ever hit the boss and he is a mech that acts like a toddler, so the card is an Annoyo callback but on steroids and seemed very appropriate for him) Finally, one of my favorite cards of the entire set has got to be The Assembly of Iron. Had a ton of fun trying to come up with how I was going to include this boss fight faithfully and I love what I came up with!"

The Assembly of Iron tokens

One thing I noticed was the addition of spell schools to some of the Elementals. Mind telling us about them?

Luke_Wait: "Yah, the Elemental Spell School thing was just a neat idea I had when developing the Death Knight Set.I just thought it was a cool idea to add more variety into Elementals. It was a simple and easy way to bring Elemental Types into hearthstone without actually adding all of the like 12 Elemental Types from WoW. Probably wasn’t a necessary addition for this set, but I thought I’d throw the idea in there just for fun and to see what people thought."

Are there any other cards you wish to showcase for any reason?

Luke_Wait: "One of my favorite class archetypes is the Mech Dragon Hunter deck, a lot of really cool designs there like Synthetic Egg and Aerie Defense. But the card that ties it all together is Razorscale. Keep in mind your Mech Dragon cards gain the +2/+1 from Razorscale twice as they are both Mechs and Dragons. I was really proud of the design I came up with there. But hands down the best card of the set and honestly my whole career making custom cards has gotta be Eavesdropper. I mean it is the perfect pun that fits the mechanic/theme so well."

Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?

Luke_Wait: "I do have one pretty big behind the scenes thing for this set. There was actually an entire cut archetype I had planned for Rogue. It was a Dormant Rogue that focused on summoning Dormant minions and awakening them early. The Legendary was even going to be the return of the Face Collector. In the end though I wasn’t a fan of the cards I came up with at all, and the theme was very strange for an Ulduar set. So I ended up scrapping it."

Do you have anything else you wish to share?

Luke_Wait: "This time around when making the set, I decided to make YouTube shorts with each class set as I developed them. So when it came time to release the set I actually took this YouTube video idea further and made an entire YouTube Expansion reveal video, with a set trailer and mechanic Overview. I edited the video, attempted to do the voice of Loken for the trailer. The amazing Chr2 also created an awesome logo for the set which I was able to use to add that iconic Hearthstone expansion trailer logo revealed at the end of the video. Had a ton of fun doing all that and I love how it turned out! I also just want to say thank you once again for having me! I love creating these custom cards and it’s always such a joy when I finish one of these sets and see all of the wonderful responses to it!"

There we have it. Our trip through Ulduar on the spotlight is over, but you don't have to look up to the stars to see more of the set. Click the banner below to see the entire expansion.