Hello everybody, welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. It's been quite a while since we looked at a class, hasn't it? Well that's going to change today because we have the Dragoon Class created by Beatdoof (aka Beat) to showcase today. Do you like dragons? Is your name Brian Kibler? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you'll really want to stick around for this.
In Dragoon, your hero is Ezra Vermillion, a lord of the dragons and commander of the Dragoon Regiment (according to the flavor text that is).
Your basic Hero Power is Sharpen Claws, which... sharpens your claws. And it gives a character +1 Attack this turn. Upgraded, it turns into Hone Claws doubling the effect, granting +2 Attack for the turn instead. I guess sometimes dragons enjoy a nice mani-pedi. Wish all those claws, you probably need one.
The class also has its own keyword, Supremacy. A card with Supremacy will have a special ability activated after it kills a minion during its controller's turn. Excess damage not required!
Beat: "Hi there! I'm Beatdoof, but everyone of my friends call me Beat. I'm the guy who made Dragoon, as you've seen down below later, or if you've seen my album up there!"
Give us an overview of the class. What does it do good at? Where does it falter? What cards give us the best first view of the class?
Beat: "On a technical level, the basis of Dragoon is just the fact that…Dragons exist! Their basis is basically just the concept of a class focused around dragons as a tribe, which some classes do, but at the time when I made this, there's only like one class in HS who's focused around Dragon, and even then, it's overshadowed/overlooked by a certain Highlander combo they have. Anyway, they're all inspired by all the popular card games around this time that featured dragons, and especially the retellings of other media with their dragons, like Monster Hunter, How to Train your Dragon, etc. Dragoon is amazing at…well, controlling dragons, big and small. You got your petite, simple dragon like Molten Whelp that helps you control the early game a little better, a big brawly dragon like Drakonid Bruiser that emphasizes the aggressive, controlling style of this class, and then the giant payoff dragons you have a myriad of options for, up to and including the ever so slow but destructive Armageddon Wyvern!
Looking at these cards, you can tell that they're aimed to be really great at dominating the board, piece by piece, efficiently with every one of their dragons, and if they're taken out? It's not a problem, Dragoons always can come back from any dire situations with their very own dragons. They're really good at taming and controlling dragons for their victory, but they can have difficulties in fighting back if their opponent are sufficiently stronger in numbers, or have one giant big thing that they can't just take away with minions. Not to mention they're not very good at stopping the game's flow if they need to, making them very bad at stalling the game out, area of effect cards and unconditional hard removals. They're not really spellcasters, alright?
But, because they're so good at controlling and taming the tempo of the board, that's where Supremacy as a mechanic come in, basically having Dragoons come in and assert their very own supremacy and domination at the board, with their own minions coming in to wreak havoc and gain more strength in the battle, like the aforementioned Armageddon Wyvern, or even something small like Erudite Drakonid, or in some cases, even the Dragoon itself, coming in hot with their own cases of weaponry, asserting that even the master of dragons has just as much domineering power as their own dragons, with weapons like Crimson Blades or Lava Saber, or in some cases even their very own improvised, dragon-related spellcasting, whether it'd be like Draconic Bolt or Lacerate, or strengthening your own minions like Dragon Pendant, Lesser Garnet Spellstone, or Forbidden Roar.
With all this combined, I think you can get the gist on how strong and weak Dragoon can be in some aspects. Don't forget though, to be a Dragoon means to be someone who dominates and controls the board by the sheer force of their dragons, and with big dragons like Rheastrasza, Sinestra, Sapphiron, Thitazov, or even cutiepies like Bomber Whelp and Bone Whelp, who can say no to being a dragonmaster?"
How long have you been making your own cards?
Beat: "I was making around the time between Karazhan and Gadgetzan, so somewhere around 2017, but it wasn't until 2018 around Un'goro that I decided to make cards for serious realsies. When it comes to actually making some big project, well, only Dragoon exists as is in a completed state. I have a lot of projects in mind, like two more classes I've been thinking about, Seer and Tactician, or even an expansion based around Yogg-Saron but due to time being spent for more important stuff like college or supporting family, I've never got around to the latter two, and I've only really done like a few Seer cards, of which I'm not even sure is good enough for me.
Some people more prevalent or active in the Custom Hearthstone community (the Discord one, specifically), might remember me more back then from my mini 3-Set Class cards, essentially me going on a concept and then making cards around it, like a Murloc-focused set for Shaman, or a Hero Power set for Mage, and I've been working on some of them so far. Other than that, I always prefer making singular cards here and there, and the most concrete thing I've really done is…well, Dragoon. I've been reworking a lot of cards as well for the past 3 years, mostly rebalancing or replacing cards that aren't up to snuff (Fun fact: I had a plan to make Beast synergy starting in Un'goro for the class, but I've decided to scrap it in the end, in part due to people I've shown this class to like Maxlot and Teknician thinking that Beast synergy seems lame comparatively to Dragon, which I do agree in the end). And that's mostly my experience, really."
What initially gave you the idea to make a Dragoon class?
Beat: "Disclaimer firsthand: I made this class between the time of Journey to Un'goro and Knights of The Frozen Throne.
Do you remember Boogeymonster? Poor guy isn't even that good at Battlegrounds in this year of our lord 2020. Yeah, he's partly what really inspired me with Supremacy, because the mechanic of "Do something if this kills a minion" is really not something we've seen a lot before, plus the fact that it's underutilized to this day in the game, even when taking into account that Overkill exists, much less back in 2017. And I happen to be reading into dragon mythologies and stereotypes around that time for a high school assignment. Dragons are strong, greedy, egoists, and always like to show how strong they are generally, and that played a large part on how this mechanic is created."
The Dreadtalon is a card that caught my eye. What was the thought process behind this card in a class full of Dragons?
Beat: "This was made around the time where I realized that I'm kinda stumped on the idea of a Legendary weapon for Kobolds and Catacombs. Nothing really sticks with me, then I realize that for a class full of dragons, you know what would be an interesting deckbuilding meme? Dragoon but no dragons. So, I immediately spun around my head on what effect I can give on such a brutal condition, until I eventually settled on a simple endless board flood. Pretty neat, huh?"
There are a few times where the art style in the class is more anime-esque than the other cards. Where does this come from?
Beat: "Going to be really honest with you, Demon, I don't ideally want my cards to look anime-esque. But a large problem in making custom cards, especially a big one is, well, you have a limited selection of art to work with. Or rather, there's a lot, but because of the expacs you work it with, you can't just put an offputting artwork that doesn't work with the expacs flavour, or even your class' flavour, and there's a decent amount of anime arts out there that I can, sorta, kinda work with. In my defense, some of the recent card artworks in HS can look anime-esque, like Elise post-Uldum, Azure Explorer, Finley, etc. And, most of the anime artworks I've pulled came from Shadowverse, which I used to play a lot during my break in Gadgetzan era. Nothing too much into it, really."
Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us?
Beat: "As I've said before, there's a lot of ideas in this class that I ended up scrapping just because of how unsatisfied, or the poor reception I got on some of it. Originally, with Boomsday, instead of the current flavour of them being a heavy industry in the Boom Labs led by a short-tempered red dragon, I was originally aiming for a hybrid, mad scientist labs that was basically the reason why Nightmare Amalgams exist led by a monkey/spider hybrid girl (any of you who play Magic may know exactly the one I'm talking about), and I tinkered around the idea of Beast/Dragon, Dragon/Murloc, but I never really feel great about it, so I end up scrapping it in favour of continuing the mostly-abandoned-at-the-time Mech synergies Dragoon have, and continuing the support for Mech Dragoon to this day.
There's a lot more story on the scrapped stuff I have for Dragoon, including how I originally also want to do Freeze stuff and synergies for Dragoon, but after Shaman's experiment about it failed, that kinda soured me on the whole thing, plus in hindsight I think it was kind of bad to work with anyway? You can see some fun ideas I have that I scrapped here. If you're curious about me, why not go to the r/customhearthstone Discord server, I'm always there and I'd be happy to answer some of your questions, or even help you make your cards. Be aware of timezones though, as I'm always up when people are mostly sleeping, and vice versa."
What design philosophies do you have that you wish to share and spread to new creators?
Beat: "This is something I don't think everyone really says, but don't be afraid to make seemingly overpowered or ridiculous cards. Blizzard loves to do that, especially in their Kobolds and Catacombs, or even the current Descent of Dragons set. You'll get big criticisms for it, sure, but that's how you balance a card later on! Don't be afraid to take feedbacks either, no matter how they were worded as well. At the end of the day, it's just simply criticizing a custom card for a perceived issue. Never be afraid whenever you make a card, it's your very own idea and no one is gonna take you down for it, even if they say something mean about it."
Do you have anything else you want to share with us?
Beat: "Thanks to you, Demon, I guess I have to make a Dragoon thread, or follow the Fan Creation stuff/competition in Out of Cards, so yeah.
Thanks a lot for interviewing me, feels very happy that this class is getting more attention!"