We've reached the end of the season, which means that it's time for one last Card Design Conversation. These will be back if we ever have a season 7, but I already harped on that enough in the previous Card Design Conversation. Let's try to make this one a bit of a happier one, shall we? It's also the start of Pride Month, and I wish a happy month to everyone. Even if you aren't directly celebrating it for yourself, I still wish you a happy time regardless.
Conversation this week looks back at the 20 weeks of the season.
All Your Card Work
We don't have a winner or another competition to advertise this time around as we already finished the final competition. Instead, I'll simply redirect you to my recent Fan Community Spotlight recapping the season as a whole.
I already congratulated Wailor for winning the season prize, and he truly dominated through. After winning 7 competitions this season (accommodating for nearly one-third of all of the competitions hosted this season), there's no way it couldn't have been him. He just won competition after competition after competition, and he really is a good card designer here.
Although depending on your perspective, perhaps Loknax may have won the competition that matters the most with his Drawer. None of us were really sure how the April Fools competition would be received and I'm glad that you guys seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.
Dead In Your Tracks
The season was particularly new and interesting to design for because of the introduction of Locations (which were caught in the tail-end of season 5, but definitely saw more liberal use in season 6) and Death Knight. I think Death Knight inspired a lot more experimentation with fan designs than Demon Hunter did when it was first revealed for Ashes of Outland.
Although the design of the Death Knight class is definitely not perfect, and I could talk about the odds and ends of that at a different time, I do think Death Knight is a more fun class to design around than Demon Hunter. Runes and Corpses in particular allow for some cool design space, and it's really no surprise that so many people jumped to experimenting around with them when the class was new. I do quite enjoy the process of seeing what people brainstorm when a new class or mechanic is introduced, and eventually the designing process for both will get streamlined as we experience playing with them more.
Death Knight was still less than a month old when the season's prologue competition started, which means that we were still very much in the "alpha experimentation" phase of designing for the class, but at the same time, we had understood how the groundwork of the class had stood up and how to add onto it.
As the season progressed, this "experimentation" eventually waned out in favor of supporting what we already knew from experience the class does good at, but as the class is still very new, there's still quite a lot of room to give them new design space. My winning card from Naxx Out?, Skeletal Smith was built off of the knowledge that Blood Death Knight is very up-close-and-personal. Both Blood and Frost like using weapons, but they don't have any weapon synergy, so why not give them some? It also has cross-synergy with Unholy which likes to use Blood's hand-buffing. Death Knight ended up with 4 winning cards this season (tying with Warrior and Shaman for the highest amount per class of the season), and it makes sense that people would want to experiment with it.
We may bat an eye at new concepts for new (or even year-old) classes right away, but every addition of design space for a class needs some legs to stand on. In the case of Deathrattle synergy in Demon Hunter, the legs needed to be built up from scratch. Prior to Forged in the Barrens, if you tried to make a Deathrattle synergy card for Demon Hunter, you'd probably be told that it doesn't fit the class style. While there is some level of truth to that, it will become normal as more synergy in those lines are introduced. We've seen enough Deathrattle support for Demon Hunter now that no one would consider it weird anymore if you did design synergy for Deathrattle Demon Hunter.
I'm still hoping for Taunt Demon Hunter synergy to be made. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for it, but the groundwork for it to be a part of the class is there. They have a lot of Taunt minions, and they seem to get a higher volume of them than many other classes. It's something that isn't just attacking and drawing cards. In the case of some new archetypes, the legs are already there, but it's up to you to design the rest of the body. Examples of this are basically any tribal-based synergy in a class that utilizes a lot of minions of that particular type. Bottom line is, if you think you can justify the existence of a particular archetype or playstyle in a particular class, then go for it.
Here we are at the end of the conversation. This would be where I would advertise the next competition if there was one, but we don't have one, so instead I'll just say that I hope you enjoyed the season anyway despite the troubles, and that I hope you have yourselves a great day.