Historically I tend to tackle video games in a fairly intense way. I play a single game and I do so as much as humanly possible. This is inherently bad for someone like me who likes several genres of games because the propensity for burnout is quite high. It tends to make the desire to get into another type of game pretty high. I don’t normally just play a game casually when I’m into it either I read blog/news sites dedicated to it, listen to podcasts, read forums, etc. In an attempt to deflect burnout I have picked up Hex again as well as casually playing Hearthstone (honestly, it’s really casual). I am here today to talk about Hex.
Quite a lot has happened in Hex since the last time I have written about it which was during the Alpha. It is now in closed Beta (although all you have to do is ask for a key and you get one) and the first iteration of PVE content has been released on 3/10 in the form of the Frost Arena. I played through it one time and managed to get all the way through to the final tier boss. Several community run constructed tournaments have been run over the past year or so as well as community leagues. These tournaments and leagues have prizes attached to them that are donated from community members.
My focus in the game has usually been to draft if I have the packs/platinum (the real money equivalent currency in Hex) to do so. If I couldn’t do that then I would occasionally play a game or two against a random opponent for fun but I really didn’t have a competitive deck suitable for a tournament so I didn’t focus on it much. I also hadn’t played the game for a while but would come in game to post a ton of commons and a couple other money cards on the auction house. I eventually came to a point where I was able to afford a competitive deck which I needed the least amount of cards in terms of price. The deck is called Gore Feast or Gore Knight based on the primary win condition card which is Gore Feast of Kog’Tepetl which is a basic action that allows you to have a secondary attack phase on the turn that you play it which also gives all of your troops ‘Rage 1’ which increases your attack value by one each time you attack. To give an example: if a 3 attack troop swings unblocked then it will do 4 damage to the champion and then 5 damage on the second attack phase given by Gore Feast. If you have a couple troops on board then it’s entirely conceivable and common that you can defeat an opponent in just a few turns with this deck. The other primary card of the deck is Cerulean Mirror Knight which inspires troops with the same cost or higher that “when this troop dies, draw a card”. This is one of the best cards in the game currently as card draw is very important and making it so that if your opponent decides to remove a card then there is a consequence of allowing you to draw a card in response. This is currently the most hated deck in the meta game. I don’t like to play a despised deck, but based on the lack of cards for some of the other top tier decks and lack of money to acquire said cards, I’m currently forced to play the deck if I want to be competitive.
After I acquired the cards necessary for the deck I decided to join my first tournament which was the Sapphire Cup run by FiveShards.com. I had never played in a TCG tournament before and I really wanted to do it for the experience so I didn’t really have any expectations going in. It was an eight round swiss style tournament that then has a single elimination top eight bracket after the swiss rounds are over. My record was five wins and three losses over the course of the swiss rounds. The rule of thumb for these tournaments is that once you have two losses then you are pretty much out of the running for a top eight spot.
I won’t go through my round by round record but I will give my thoughts on the experience as a whole. Overall I really enjoyed it. Personality wise I very much enjoy competition in most formats although I need to be good or at least competent in whatever it is I’m competing in to have a good time. If I constantly feel over matched I tend to stop participating in the activity all together. Since I don’t have anyone to critique my play I have to use my record as the barometer as to how I played and in that case I’d say I did well for my first tournament. There are only a couple times in the tournament where I thought that I made a wrong decision after the fact but in almost every case it didn’t lose me the game or match. A couple of things to take away for the next tournament would be that it is a long day (approx. 9 hours) if you play all 8 rounds so a good night sleep the night before is necessary. Take notes during matches especially regarding key cards in an opponent’s deck. Practice more with the deck I plan to run in the tournament.
The feeling of being in the tournament and competing at that level certainly seems like it could be addicting. It was recently announced that there will be a $100,000 sponsored tournament so it seems like a really good time to get into the competitive scene of the game. I will surely be trying my best for that top prize. Anyone reading this that has not given Hex a try should really do so. Go to Hextcg.com and sign up for an account and reach out to me once you have, my in game name is Tirc.
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