Only 3 cards this week? Well, yeah! It's the final week! That and I also started the year with a week of only 5 cards, so because of this imbalance, there's also an imbalance on this side of the year. But anyways, it's the 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. Now, the challenge is over, but there's a group of users that are taking this challenge into 2020 to give it another go in our Discord server, which you can join if you would like!
Now without further ado, let's take a look at my cards for this week!
Day 363 | Highway To Fel
A 9-Mana card for Warlock
I didn't make a single spell last week, so to make up for that, I forced myself to make a spell for today. And if you know me and you know the cards I've made, I struggle a lot with high-cost spells. I decided to try to focus on a theme and flavor of the card before the design, and I thought of the name 'Highway to Fel', which is a joke on AC/DC's song 'Highway to Hell'. The effect came into play afterwards, where I thought of making something similar to Hellfire but with an extra upside since you're paying 9-mana for this spell. If you're ever in a situation where your opponent's board is significantly more built up than yours, but you have some Demons that you're willing to let die, playing this will hopefully clear the opponent's board and give you some fresh new Demons to play with. This allows for a more controlling Demon Warlock deck to swing back in losing positions. Additionally, comboing this with cards like Fiendish Circle or Rafaam's Scheme and Bloodbloom would allow for some pretty nuts early game boards.
People loved the theme behind this card, and they thought that while it wasn't amazingly strong, it could see some use as a late-game card in a zoo deck, specifically working well with Warlock's Galakrond Hero Power that summons two 1/1 Imps.
Day 364 | Stormriser
A card for the Basic set
Seeing as today is the last day before the final day of the challenge (in which I have a special theme ready), I wanted to try to pick the most interesting theme out of the remaining lot. Someone in the Discord suggested we make a card for the Basic set, and seeing as how Basic cards tend to be more simple and straightforward, I thought it would be a fitting day-before-last-day theme. As I was looking through the Basic set for inspiration, it seemed like most classes have a card that represents their core identities, but Shaman didn't have any Overload cards, which I thought was odd. I made Stormriser to fit this spot in the Basic set, with the added effect of gaining attack with more friendly minions on the board. A 4-Mana 3/5 minion isn't amazing, but considering how Chillwind Yeti was essentially the figurehead of balance in the Basic set, this statline seems reasonable. Being able to gain more Attack is a pretty reasonable upside on its own, which is why the Overload effect is added onto the card. Thematically, gaining Attack was something that was pushed for Shaman in the Basic set with cards like Bloodlust, Rockbiter Weapon, and Flametongue Totem, so this card seemed like it would fit pretty well into the Basic set!
There was little to no feedback on this card, and that's probably because this is a Basic card. People are looking for flashy, interesting designs, so this didn't really hit the mark with the people on there, but that's fine!
Day 365 | A Year's Passing
A 20/20 minion or a 3-Mana 6/5 minion
365 cards done, every single one being done for each day of 2019. To commemorate this being done, I knew I wanted to do something special for today's theme, so rather than just doing a "New Year's themed" card, I made a theme that's either a 2020 minion, or a 365 minion. Additionally, I knew whatever I made couldn't just be another card; it had to be something that reflects the challenge thematically. Originally, I thought that drawing you entire deck would be the best fit, but because Plot Twist Warlock and Chef Nomi already exist, that really didn't seem very inspired. The next best thing was playing unique cards, and from there I got this idea. There was no realistic way to have a player play 365 cards, so I figured the deck-limit was the next best thing. As for the reward, it needed to be something that synergized with the idea of having all sorts of cards in your deck and had to justify running the Quest in the first place. Miin'Tei, Year's End (which definitely, totally was not named after my username 'Mynty') is a 20/20 minion with Rush for 5-Mana, which is already really good, but then has the added bonus of generating more of itself whenever you play a card. This way, the deck has a strong finisher that refills your deck and allows you to play card draw even after your original deck is gone! Oh, and the card is a Neutral Quest. What? Yup! I know that Neutral spells aren't a thing, but there's no way I was going to make my last card of the year anything but a Neutral card. On top of that, the singleton-theme of the card doesn't really fall into any one class, and the card itself can't really be abused by any one class. The way I see it, I feel like this could be hypothetically added into the game as some free promo card for the end of the Year of the Dragon, and making it a Neutral card allows for anyone to play and enjoy it!
What a way to end the year off. This card did as good as I could have asked, with it reaching not only the front page or Reddit on r/all, but also reaching the top posts of all time in the r/CustomHearthstone subreddit. I don't think it needs to be said that this was my highest upvoted card of the entire year. I know that most of these upvotes are because of the challenge ending rather than the card itself, but there still was feedback on the card. Some people thought it was too strong, some people thought it was too weak, and a lot of people thought it would do really well in all sorts of decks as an alternate finisher. People were requesting that the requirement be lowered to something like 20 cards, but while I do think that would make the card more playable, it fringes on spoiling the theme of celebrating an entire year of cards made, so I would vote against that change. All in all, I'm glad with the final card I made for this year. :)
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 started doing this challenge with: Josh Grazda, Dakota Williams, Joe Siehl, and Wes Weitzman.
And that's that! No more cards from here on out, at least not for this challenge. I'll probably be taking a break from making cards for a little bit, since, well, I need the break, but I'll still be playing Hearthstone and looking at custom cards. This past year of making cards has been a lot of different things: fun, stressful, engaging, challenging, etc. But all of it was super worth it; I feel stronger as a designer and I'm happy I managed to follow through on a goal I had set for myself the whole way through. Additionally, seeing the amount of support I was getting from people in the r/CustomHearthstone subreddit, people in the Discord server I started, or even my friends in real life was always so heartwarming and gave me the motivation to keep going. Making cards is fun on its own, but it becomes even more fun with an amazing group of people talking about my cards.
Now, this blog post isn't the last one. You can expect one additional post from me talking about the entire year in review, with fun statistics and things of the sort. That post is going to take me a while, so I don't think it will be done any time soon, but that's going to be the cherry on top to the year of 2019. Until then, I hope you've enjoyed looking at my cards day in and day out, and I wish you an extremely happy new year!