Every card game has a portion of its player-base that likes one thing above everything else: designing, and I'm among them. If it were up to me, I would live chained-up in Blizzard’s office and be tasked with coming up with new ideas, cards or otherwise. I must admit though, nothing gets me quite as excited about Hearthstone than the prospect of its entire untapped potential coming to life, and if the card creation community is any indication, it looks like I'm not alone.
Scouring the internet for Hearthstone content has left me with a folder filled with images of custom cards from other people who share my card-making addiction. Authorship is lost in the wind because of the sheer amount of these images I have. But below, you will find five of my all-time favorites! If you recognize your card, speak up!
Starting off with a Neutral minion, meant as a tool to deal with aggressive decks: a (4) Mana 2/6 capable of constantly restoring Health to your hero, given that it lives. It's not strong enough to kill the typical Chillwind Yetis of the world, but it'll carry its own weight when it comes to fighting off an army of 1, 2 or even 3-Attack minions! With the right support, he's likely going to be a much better Tournament Medic for the sake of board control, with the downside of needing to be enabled reactively rather than proactively.
At the end of the day, maybe the Wild Pyromancer makes a friend, and Grim Patron becomes more accepting of Tauren. Either way, I'll risk having my mind changed by Cabal Shadow Priest if I can kill two Knife Jugglers with one beat of this guy's hoof while restoring precious Health.
And if you're wondering why he's able to heal you despite being nothing like a healer, he works with Nozdormu. Going back in time before you got punched in the face is the medicine of the future.
This Shaman card exemplifies what I think a tribe-based weapon should resemble: it warps the way your game plan develops, but not to the extreme point that something like Cogmaster's Wrench might. It capitalizes on the only thing Shamans are sure about: they can control a Totem. They rarely know which totem, how impactful it'll be, or what'll come of it if they decide to create one, but they know they'll have one.
It puts their opponents in a position of having to destroy Totems as they come up, lest Shamans use their weapon to its maximum potential. This has inherent counterplay since the Shaman is then pushed into a pseudo-Overload situation where he spends (2) Mana per turn to keep the weapon buff active unless, of course, one of the wide array of Totems in their deck are played.
I would not be surprised to see this mechanic show up in game at some point. We've already had a few interesting tribal cards for Totems, but the archetype itself isn't quite there yet.
A Hunter card that may make the players want to not hit the Hero Power button!? COUNT ME IN! This is an interesting card primarily because it gives Hunters in the later stages of the game a meaningful way to use some very hard-to-setup Beasts with awesome effects. First among them is of course Ghaz’rilla, which would, if you could reliably get it to survive its first turn, enable a true combo Hunter deck! Tundra Rhino would be another great target for this, played on Turn 7 and followed with a Giant Sandworm or, heavens forbid, Call of the Wild! If such a play-style were to become a viable option for Hunters, we could finally say that we managed to do it: Hunters have a Control deck now!
But it might be over the top. Either way, the concept is great: a single-target tribal Conceal that can draw you a card if you find a target for it. I must say I'm fond of the fact that, unlike Flare, it can't merely be played as a "Pay (2) Mana, draw a card".
Paladins have had a great array of play styles since the advent of Goblins vs. Gnomes: Midrange Paladin, Control Paladin, Hyperaggressive Paladin, Secrets Paladin, not even mentioning the fringe Hobgobladin and Healadin decks. This tool is one that weaves itself in just about any of them. Regardless of the deck you're playing, this card will find a home, such as a removal tool, a source of direct damage to close games, a way to shift the aggression tempo of a game in mirror matches, or even a clutch heal before your late game stabilization. Pick your utility.
This card reaches a design equilibrium I'm comfortable with. You may not need to hit a minion and take retaliation damage with Truesilver Champion, but you also can't outright destroy a bland Chillwind Yeti on curve. Put your faith in the light!
Last on my list because of my love of game-changing effects, this card features one of the most iconic demons in the World of Warcraft, and it does so admirably well! Even among demons, nothing says mayhem and destruction like Mannoroth, and how better to give in to chaos than to annihilate the certainty of one's Hero Power? No longer can you fall back on your Hero Power as a way to round up your mana efficiency, or to impact the flow of the game. If you don't have playable cards, minions on the battlefield, or a weapon equipped, you're completely out of luck.
This drawback is very harsh, but the stat gain is incredible; larger than a Boulderfist Ogre, and at (2) less Mana, the board presence this Legendary offers is literally out of this world. You can always negate its drawback very late in the game by letting Lord Jaraxxus take over for you. In a midrange/tempo Warlock deck, I can imagine this card making waves. Huge, huge waves. Of Shadowflame and awesomeness.