Same drill as always: post the card, talk about my thought process, and look at any feedback I received from my posts on r/CustomHearthstone. Oh, and if you would like to join in on the fun of this challenge or even just want to draw inspiration from our daily themes as they are happening, hop in our Discord server!
Now without further ado, let's take a look at my cards for this week!
Day 356 | Grandma Glek
A card with a Start of Game effect for both players
Any one-sided start of game effect is extremely dangerous, and this can still happen when an effect is given to both players. If something is given that you can abuse significantly more than your opponent, that's when it becomes an issue. I had to think about what possible effects I could give at the beginning of the game that are somewhat fair no matter what decks are up against one another. Seeing as how every single game of Hearthstone has at least one Coin in it, then why not add a couple more? The only concern with this card is if there are any OTK combos that are only possible with 11-Mana; while they have always been possible with the regular Coin, this card makes them considerably more consistent.
To my surprise, people loved this card! I had thought that people would find a way to make this card broken, particularly in a Rogue deck, therefore making it unfair, but people thought that even with the synergies available, the fact that it gives a Coin to both players seemed to balance out the effect. That being said, there's still an issue; Rogues can double Coin on turn 1 into a 6/6 Edwin VanCleef, which is really hard for most classes to deal with. Even though the reception of the card was extremely positive, I don't think I would personally want to play Hearthstone in a meta where this is a consistent turn 1 play, so the only clean solution is to make this a class card for anything but Rogue. Thematically, the selfless nature of Grandma Glek giving both players money fits best in Priest, and seeing how Priest was given a Coin-related card with Gilded Gargoyle, it is the class that makes the most sense for this card.
Day 357 | Adusto, Moving Sun
A 7-Mana card for Paladin
I made a card earlier this year that gives your hero Divine Shield, and it went over pretty well on this subreddit. Well, time to take that idea and crank it up a notch with Adusto, Moving Sun. I had the idea of some sort of sun-based entity that gave your hero Divine Shield contextualized into the different actions of the sun, those being sunrise, sunlight and sunset. These were then put into the game's mechanics through when the card is drawn (which I shortened to When Drawn for the sake of text size), a Battlecry, and a Deathrattle respectively. Originally one of the triggers was at the Start of Game, but after some rapport in the Discord, it seemed healthier to move it to what it is now!
This card also went really well in the subreddit! People realized that this card could be used in conjunction with weapons in a Control Paladin deck to mitigate face damage as much as possible, and they were all for it. The thing is, a lot of people thought that the When Drawn and Deathrattle effects were too difficult to control in terms of when they went off, meaning that most of the time the Divine Shield would basically only block 1 damage. Because of this, buffing the stats of the minion to be more reasonable seems fair, especially because the minion itself is really just a consolation for the effect.
Day 358 | Omega Livewire
An Omega card ("If you have 10 Mana Crystals, ...")
I have never really been a fan of Omega cards in all honesty; I don't like the polarization of a card that's borderline useless before 10-Mana which then becomes amazingly strong at 10-Mana. That being said, they've grown on me ever so slightly purely because they encourage late-game decks as opposed to aggro decks, which I am always a fan of. Anyways, Omega Livewire allows for you to not only tutor-draw a spell from your deck, but also give it more Spell Damage. You might think that Spell Damage +3 is a lot, but keep in mind that this can always land on spells that don't even deal damage, rendering the Spell Damage +3 useless. In that case, this card would most likely be run in a burn mage deck, where you run as much damaging spells as possible, but you won't be able to get this effect to trigger until you have 10 Mana Crystals, which might be too late for big plays for a deck like that.
People liked this card, but there wasn't a lot of feedback on things to improve. It was said that landing on a spell that doesn't do damage is less than desirable, but I think it adds to the deckbuilding for this card. Additionally, making it draw a damaging spell adds a bit of clunk to the card's design, which I'm not a fan of.
Day 359 | Stocking Stuffer
A Christmas themed card
A lot of the Christmas-related cards I have seen play with the idea of giving gifts to both players and overall making fun, happy cards to play around with for fun. I want to embody this feeling too, but I don't feel like there's enough creativity with symmetrical effects combined with a Christmas theme. Instead, I wanted to contextualize the idea of the naughty & nice list and the whole "don't-open-your-gifts-before-Christmas" ideology within Hearthstone. Stocking Stuffer is a 4-mana 2/4, which is really bad stats, that only grants you a 1/1 Coal Elemental upon dying. But if you wait two turns, you'll get a random Legendary minion instead as an amazing gift!
People enjoyed the theme and design behind the card a lot, but there was some discussion on how to make it more viable and playable. One idea was to add the Legendary minion to your hand rather than summoning it, and while I do like that idea, it adds too much text to the card to the point where it becomes less visually appealing, which is something that I try to prioritize as much as possible. Additionally, the way that it is right now isn't thematically contradictory, so I feel as if there doesn't need to be a change of this sort.
Day 360 | Faceless Marauder
A "Faceless" card
Today's theme has a lot of leeway; typically, Faceless cards have to do with transforming or copying (see Faceless Manipulator or Faceless Corruptor) but sometimes they don't (see Faceless Summoner or Faceless Behemoth). Because of this, there was a lot of discussion in our Discord about what exactly fits the requirement of the card, but I'm leaving it up to the interpretation of the creator. For me, I think correctly-themed Faceless cards are those involving transforming or copying, so I took that into my design for today. Faceless Marauder is essentially a combination of Phantom Freebooter and Hoard Pillager. You would think that combining these two cards into one would be too strong, but I made sure that it was tweaked correctly. It is 1-Mana more than Phantom Freebooter, which was already not a very popular card, but becomes stronger with the attached Deathrattle effect. Unlike Hoard Pillager, the reequipping of the weapon happens on a Deathrattle, making it less immediate. The upside it isn't random, allowing you to ensure you get the weapon you want so long as you play this when you have it equipped!
There was little to no feedback on this card. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Day 361 | Bunkered Guard
A card with an upside for your opponent
When a minion has an upside for your opponent, it's pretty typical that they have big stats or better effects than they should to make up for it. Bunkered Guard is a 3-mana 2/5, which isn't necessarily big stats, but with the addition of Taunt, it becomes a pretty good tool against aggressive decks with the ability to soak up at least 5 damage while killing small minions. The Deathrattle is pretty negligible as-is, but becomes almost worthless against aggressive decks. Thematically, it's as if your opponent is picking up some of the armor that the minion left behind upon dying since it does seem to have enough to share!
The general consensus for this card was that it's a bit too weak. When compared to Tar Creeper, there's almost no reason to run this over Tar Creeper since it does it's just much better without any downside and with an extra attack. Some people suggested to raise its Attack by 1, others suggested reducing its Cost and Health by 1, but the former is too close to Tar Creeper and the latter is too close to Belligerent Gnome. My solution is simply to raise its Health by 1, making it a Stegodon (a card that's fair, but nothing more) that comes out a turn earlier in exchange for a small downside. This way, it can still combat aggro decks without dealing too much damage on its own.
Day 362 | Wrath Vanguard
Artwork found by Dlaf'rferg
Warrior has always had this theme of damaging their own minions through minimal effects like Whirlwind in order to gain a benefit from cards such as Acolyte of Pain or Frothing Berserker. They've also had a Taunt archetype pushed every now and then, and today's theme seemed like a perfect time to meld the two together. The shield in the art reminded me of the Taunt keyword for fairly obvious reasons, and the Whirlwind effect came from the enraged red spirit holding the shield. Balance-wise, this card is on the strong side, allowing for a strong wall for your opponent to get through that also breaks down at their board.
A ton of people liked this card! It was complimented on its design, balance, and flavor, all of which added up to people saying that this seems like a card Blizzard could actually print. There was also the interaction pointed out between having two of these on the board at the same time essentially nuking the board for 13 damage, but that didn't seem like a problem and only seemed like a neat aspect of the card.
Sadly, because the amount of work my friends and I are doing for school, many of them are unable to create cards daily and I am unable to follow which ones are being made from them. Because of this, I will no longer be highlighting the cards they are making every week. But either way, I definitely think you should know who I am doing this challenge with: Josh Grazda, Dakota Williams, Joe Siehl, and Wes Weitzman.
And that's all for this week; I'll see you all in 7 days!