Hello everybody and welcome to another Fan Community Spotlight.
It really has been two months since I last typed that sentence. Some people here may have been wondering exactly where this series has been, and truth be told, there was absolutely nothing to cover because no one was making anything that I would be able to substantiate into an article on this series. A living community of people making custom cards is more important than one may realize because if no one's around to make their own cards, then that means there's dwindling interest in the game (at least as far as actually playing it is concerned).
Why exactly there has been a lack of fan-made projects to cover can be attributed to the fact that Hearthstone popularity is indeed dwindling even though it really has been holding on all this time. Results in fewer and fewer people being interested in making their own projects. For the first time in two months, I'm actually able to get something up because there's enough to talk about and hopefully I'll be able to get other projects up at a better timeframe, but that is of course relying on people making projects and how much I can actually write about them.
But what exactly is the set that's able to drag this series out of limbo? My old friend Mr.Stupid comes with us to bring us set Capers in Kezan (I am aware that the graphic says "Cappers" instead of "Capers", but according to Mr.Stupid, this is a typo on the graphic editor's part and it is intended to be "Capers") and its associated mini-set, Breaking out of Barrow Deeps. Our set this time around is themed around superheroes. We all know that they're known for their heroic deeds and we the Heroic keyword to reflect that.
Heroic is a spell-exclusive keyword that makes your next Hero Power have the same effect as the Heroic spell itself (minus the Heroic ability) and it costs 2 mana as you would expect (yes, even if you are a Demon Hunter). Once you use your Hero Power in its Heroic state, it'll revert back to whatever it was before you played the Heroic card.
What's a good superhero without a sidekick though? Batman has Robin and... I'm not a huge superhero person, okay? Anyway, Sidekicks are non-Legendary hero cards that only last for 3 turns, but they still come with all the bells and whistles that hero cards normally come with (Armor and Hero Power).
So, is this a... super comeback for the Fan Community Spotlight? Mr.Stupid has the mic now, so let's hear it!
What exactly is this set about? What is the inspiration for the set theme?
Mr.Stupid: "I've always been a massive fan of superheroes and comics. I love the action, the drama, and the wide casts of characters. I tried my hardest to fit that into this set. I came up with some major adjectives for this set which played into the archetypes and cards. Those words were "Strength, Vitality, and Action." It's why there are so many cards that buff your hero, summon both massive and tiny minions, or just do damage. I wanted to show off the action of fighting a horde of henchmen, wrestling with a lieutenant, or having a showdown with the big bad.
Another thing I wanted to do was play around with the themes of each class. Each class was based on two different characters, often one hero and villain, though some classes I had a lot of fun messing around with, like Warlock being a pure hero, and Hunter being pure evil. You don't often see these classes leaning this way, so it was a lot of fun to justify stuff like Demons saving people."
What is the inspiration for the Heroic mechanic and how do you use it?
Mr.Stupid: "I wanted a keyword that messed around with two under-exploited parts of the game. We don't get many keywords revolving around your hero power, or keywords that are exclusive to spells. I thought combining both was interesting and fit well with the focus on your hero. After coming up with it, I realized I could do archetypes based off Hero Powers, like for Mage and Demon Hunter.
As for the keyword itself, there were two sorts of ways to make cards for this keyword. Cards that change depending on the form they're in, like Fire Fight needing Spell Damage or Hero Power damage, or combo cards, where you set something up with the first cast, and then buff it with the second."
What part of the set was the most fun to design?
Mr.Stupid: "The Archetypes! God the Archetypes were a blast to come up with. I've been a big fan of TheFriendlyEnemy's sets and archetypes, so I wanted to do wacky archetypes similar to his, but with my own Super Stupid Spin. I also loved the theming of this set. Basing each class of different heroes and villains was fun as I could get in so many references into almost every card.
Each class was so fun to make. Almost each one got their own wacky archetypes, from summoning a legion of wacky mutants in Priest, to throwing a belt's worth of gadgets in Rogue, and suiting up into Armor as Paladin. I wanted to give them each new powers that played off what they're good at, like minion playing for Paladin, draw in Rogue, and buffs in priest."
Are there any other cards you wish to showcase for any reason?
MrStupid: "I do. When this set started, a few cards were made just on a whim before I focused on certain things. One of those things was Shadow Mage, which kicked off my wacky archetype kick. I knew I couldn't give Mage too many shadow spells, so I thought "Why not have them pull from other classes?" It made sense too, as you pull from dark otherworldly forces to bring a disaster upon your enemy.
Another thing I wanted to focus on in this set was making simple, yet not boring cards. Stuff like Street Patrol isn't too complicated, but combined with the Divine Shield support in both the set and surrounding sets like Festival of Legends, it becomes something new as it allows you a stickier board, and more triggers for stuff like Spotlight or Jitterbug.
Lastly I would like to show off the Sidekick Cycle. I am not the one to come up with the rare hero cards that only last a few turns, that credit goes to my buddy Magma who was so kind enough to let me use the idea. I really liked the idea of the lasting passive effects, ones made before Paladin got their auras, and the temporary hero powers. I also gave them only 4 Armor instead of 5 to show that while they're not quite as strong as the legendaries thematically, they are still happy to help and keep you safe."
Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?
MrStupid: "This set was defiantly a journey, It started at an end, my Year of the Axolotl dying out due to Blizzard managing to beat me to the punch for both archetypes and expansion with stuff like Shuffle DH, Menagerie Paladin, and Festival of Legends as a whole. I couldn't keep up, so I decided to try something new.
At first I was all on my own making the set, by design. I had my own private discord server that I posted in myself. Slowly though I came back out of my shell and got help from my friends again. People like TFE inspired me, Magma gave me an idea for an awesome cycle, and Sunni stuck by watching it and giving me advice and feedback when I really needed it. I am grateful for them all and wouldn't have gotten this done without them. Thanks guys."
Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?
MrStupid: "This doesn't have much to do with card making, but I actually am working on my very own comic! Its a slice of life comedy about a henchman whos only job is to do chores around his boss' lair, and all the wacky antics that involves. I hope one day you guys will all be able to read it! But thats all from me for now, see ya'll next time! - Mr. Stupid"
It feels really good to be back here writing more spotlights. Here's for (hopefully) more to come. And there's more to come for you by clicking on the banners below to read the whole sets. Let me know what you think in the comments below and I'll see you in the next one.