Project Spotlight: Fires of Hwel

Featuring RedPandersBear

This month, we are featuring Fire of Hwel, a project being developed by RedPandersBear. To see the project in full as it stands check out its Planesculptors page, linked here:

"Fires of Hwel is designed around the idea of Rakdos-tinting an entire set mechanically and flavorfully. I decided that making it a chaotic landscape where humanity (and angels) are extinct would be a cool way to portray that sense of structure and stability being gone especially with white being the enemy color to red and black. This means there is a lot of demons, devils, and undead running amok as well as the occasional critter. More than Rakdos-tinted, the set is basically demon-tinted."

"Early on it was just a couple cards that were ironically white or blue where I went "I want to make these aggressive designs that really break the color's mold". I love flipping concepts on their head and undermining people's expectations with designs. Rakdos is especially an underdog to design for as it's one people find tricky to innovate on, so I thought instead of innovating the pair what if we embrace it across a whole set!"

"Fires of Hwel is basically a finished product that is really just doing quality of life improvements and fine tune playtesting/changes before marking it as fully complete. It is being applied to custom formats as well!"

"Green was the easiest to design around with themes of ignoring society and removing it from the equation. It's almost self destructive where it's desperate and violent to nearly everything indiscriminately in self preservation.  White tries to introduce structure to a world without structure and often times I saw myself relying on a sort of duty or oath style of white where what you are doing is out of necessity or promises. A demon that is tasked with watching over a road, a lich making a pact to make sure all parties follow through, vengeance, and a zombie/creator relationship are all present here. The vampires of Hwel band together in white to try and survive the demons that threaten them. Blue was actually the trickiest and I found myself relying a lot on the themes of knowledge at all costs, ocean themes of large predators, and putting a lot of the mystery and body horror into this color from the more powerful sorcerers. It is the lich color."

"Don't be afraid to go crazy with a concept and start at the absolutely wild and broken end of a spectrum when designing before tweaking and bringing the effect to something that's appropriate power level. It has lead to a lot of really cool designs in Hwel and other sets I have done. An example would be like "How would I balance a 1 drop creature that draws a card a turn"."

"Speaking of 1 drop creatures that draw a card, I think that's my favorite design in the set! It's blue, it's aggressive, and it doesn't care who knows it. Bone collector is a phenomenal card that came out of the project that both can be the cornerstone for any blue aggressive deck while not feeling unfair to play against from the opponents angle either. Everyone loves cards and it is up to you to try and leverage it harder than your enemies!"

"Man there is countless people that have helped on this project since it's spanned a few years on and off so I could be forgetting names from 2 years ago or more. Janahwhamme, Philippe Saner, Zangy, Cool Beans, TVP, Stasis, Scribbl, Ensorcerlor, Fungustober, and ndb were all incredibly prolific in the channels and/or feedback at various points to get the set to the point it is at. Thank you all of you."