A Kind Of Magic: Hex ‘Shattered Destiny’ Set Out

It's a kind of Magic.

Hearthstone’s expansion Goblins vs. Gnomes wasn’t the only big release in virtual collectible card games this week, mind. Tuesday brought the second card set for Hex: Shards of Fate, another free-to-play which I hear is awfully popular and quite good. (And Mojang’s Scrolls is due to launch today.) Looking at Hex now, I see so much of Magic: The Gathering that I should run screaming before it drags me in. But the ‘Shattered Destiny’ expansion is out and oh no I think I even know which Magic cards inspired some of these. Help don’t let me download this client.

Shattered Destiny adds over 200 virtual cards to Hex, which you’ll find neatly organised with pictures in this here cardlist. This lot introduce a few new card abilities, including Lethal (which sounds like Magic’s Deathtouch), Skyguard (Magic’s Reach), and Tunneling. That last one sounds vaguely like Magic’s Morph, if I’m understanding it right, but not quite; Tunneling cards can be played concealed but still have active abilities, e.g. one lets you see your opponent’s hand without them knowing.

Developers Hex Entertainment are holding a launch event over the weekend, with special tournaments offering cards with alternate artwork. The full patch notes for Tuesday’s update are over here too.

So far I’ve kept Magic urges off with Duels of the Planeswalkers games, finding their limitations a relief as they stop me from getting too caught up in them. But as more and more modes are stripped out the series, well, I have CCG needs which are being unfulfilled. Hmm!

27 Comments

  1. Blowfeld says:

    Sure you wrote an article about Hex?! ;)

    To me it seemed you wrote an article about magic, mentioning Hex also, as you mention Magic more than the game this article would seem about …

    This kind of writing will only fuel the Magic / Hex controversy regarding the ongoing lawsuit.

    BTW: Hex is an amazing game produced by a great team, can not wait for PVE to be implemented to see if the full package is as good as it’s PVP.

  2. pedropars says:

    It´s being a great month so far,HearthStone got an expansion,Hex got a new set and Infinity Wars is also getting a new set with 100 new cards tomorrow :D

    • shoptroll says:

      SolForge picked up its 3rd expansion last month, and Duel of Champions had a new set back in October. It’s a good time to be playing digital CCGs :)

  3. Vandelay says:

    I quite enjoyed the little of Hex I played, mostly as it is a Magic like game that isn’t as restrictive as Duels nor as incomprehensible as Online, but I really don’t get the F2P model.

    It seems impossible to do much without spending money on new packs. For example, I only seem to have access to one starter pack (I picked the Dwarves,) and the other races are locked off from me behind a pay wall. The only way to unlock further cards for my deck is to play games against the AI in some kind of tutorial battle, but it always is against the same opponent, so got dull after the first 2 or 3 wins. Playing against real people to earn in game currency seems foolish with such a limited deck, so I feel kind of stuck.

    I don’t have a problem with the game requiring you to spend a bit of money to get the most out of it, but it should at least let you get into the game before you start spending. Perhaps I’ve just been overly spoilt by what Hearthstone gives for free, but Hex seems the opposite.

    It also seems limited as to what you can spend money on. A £10-15 bundle that contains all the starter packs and a bunch of boosters would be great.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      The game seems to be very anti-Hearthstone in that regard. I’ve looked and I’ve looked and the only thing that I could see is that the current monetization plan is “working as intended”. Which is to say, yes, no free cards for you. Ever. Cards have value and it would diminish their value if anyone could ever get them without paying for them. And that is intended to be “fine” because you can trade cards between players. I attempted to comprehend that logic a couple of times and repeatedly failed to do so.

      My number one reason for not liking Magic was that the land system is a perfect example of bad game design (if you intend for 40% of the cards in a player’s deck to exist for the sole reason to allow him to actually play the game with the rest of the cards, you might be a redn… erm, your game design might be lacking). I could live with this flaw, though, if it wasn’t for the second reason for not liking Magic: I don’t have a spare house to sell in order to play it. Hex seems to be dead set on following this “mortgage or GTFO” approach.

      • Rwlyra says:

        So not only they rip off the mechanics of Magic, they also want to monetize it the exact same way? Looks like the copyright lawsuit wasn’t entirely unjustified…

        I didn’t play Hex but their card art is not as pretty as Magics/Derpstone/hell, even MMDoC therefore it must be bad.

      • The Unnamed Council says:

        The patch for Shattered Destinies has also “ninja-loaded” some resources (opposing Champions/Villains for example) that will be used in the PvE part – The Frost Ring. We are getting there, although it’s not going to happen this year as we originally hoped for :(.

        What this means is that the PvE part, which feasibly you could play without making an investment into the game, is not available yet. The “Not-Open Beta” we are in is actually a true Beta in that regard, and we are all playtesters.

        My best advice is to look for like-minded players and hook up with them. Any game is more fun with funny/friendly people to play it with and Hex is no exception.

        For those who do spend money on it: You’ll find that Hex is a lot more affordable than previous CCGs (which is what made me back it in the Kickstarter, I am a horrible completist). Nominally a booster costs $2, but you have a 2% chance of getting a Primal boosters consisting of 13 rares and 2 legendaries. This effectively pushes the average price down to about $1.70. Plus CZE is handing out quite a bit of boosters in their tournaments, another good source to get additional cards. Lastly there are the chests (which we will be able to open when PvE comes online) and the mechanic that you can “roll” them on the Wheels of Fate: You pay gold to spin that mystical slot machine and have a chance to get sleeves, PvE cards, Alternate Art (AA) rares or legendaries, and so on.

        Stuff you can put on the Auction House (AH) to get platinum, the in-game currency, with which to buy more – you guessed it – cards.

        The point is: Even with a key element missing there is already a lot to do and it is cheaper to get a playset than it looks at first glance. Even without being member of a guild.

        • Vandelay says:

          I think the problem is it is expensive to get started and, as ever, using a made up in game currency instead of real money only makes things worse. Each of the starter decks is 1000 platinum. As you get one for free, that leaves you with three to get to have access to the four sides. This means you have to spend £25 to get 4000 platinum, giving you the three starter packs and 1000 platinum leftover, which you will probably spend on 5 booster packs.

          So, you come away with 180 cards (plus the 35 that you have in your free starter pack,) which could be worse. It would also give you a good bunch of cards to be able to trade with. Still, £25 seems a lot to spend straight off the bat, particular as there are quite a few of these games competing for our attention now and you can’t guarantee that the game will turn out to be something you will want to invest in so early on.

          The alternative is that you don’t bother getting all the starter packs and go for the £5 option (800 platinum) that will let you get four booster packs, but then you have no guarantee that the cards you get on those packs are going to be practical for your race. £10 (1600 platinum) to get another starter pack plus three booster packs, is probably the best place to start.

          I would really like to get a bit more into one of these games and I think it is probably between this and Infinity Wars as to which gets my attention. I liked the unique gameplay of Infinity Wars, but I also felt like the different sides had a particular style that wouldn’t allow for deviation. I guess more strategies might open up with more cards, but it did seem a little limiting. Hex is more traditional, but is doing more interesting things with the card types.

          • dmcAxle says:

            Buy cards from the Auction House instead. There are tons of guides online which tell you what cards are good.

            The game has an Auction House so you can easily save money not having to buy packs and people still do not realize it lol.

          • Reapy says:

            Man I was just about to go investigate this game finally but this takes the cake. There is a reason I never bothered to look at magic, and this seems to echo that.

            I guess there is something wrong with me in that I find no joy in giving people money so that they may or may not give me what I want. I’m not sure how this ‘closed pack’ model of sales works with people. Great so there is now a secondary market for it, and now I have to figure out how to play the game (without cards to practice and learn) so that I can appropriately value what I want to buy so that I don’t get ripped off.

            Meh whatever, really wanted to give hex a shot too, *shrug* , I’ll keep waiting for another card game to try to do it better. Hearthstone is fun at least from time to time, but I wanted to try something with more meat.

          • dmcAxle says:

            AUCTION HOUSE
            Reapy.
            AUCTION HOUSE

            You can buy what you want. It’s not just packs and you don’t need to find someone trustworthy to trade with and not get ripped off. The auction House does it all for you. You couldn’t read the comment below before writing something like that?

            The Auction House has the option to show the LOWEST LISTED PRICE of all listed items of the thing you want. The prices will always be fair. There is 0% way for you to get ripped off.

            They also give you a free starter of your choice..explaining how each deck works before you pick. Then you get trials that let you practice against AI for 15 free cards..including rares.

          • The Unnamed Council says:

            What dmcAxle said.

            Don’t bother with buying the starters. If you like the game invest a bit into it, buy boosters and go for a Sealed event (this weekend is best – they are sure to fire ;-)). Once you get familiar with the cards, try a Draft. The payout is quite good that way.

            Then hit the Auction House to get the cards you want. Get Set 1 cards – they are dirt cheap. If you want to make money, sell some Set 2 Legendaries or Rares that you don’t think you’ll need.

            In the end Hex is a TCG – that means investing a certain amount of money if you want to play competitively. If you don’t come back in 1-3 months for The Frost Ring, the first PvE element.

    • Winged Nazgul says:

      The F2P model is based around PVE which isn’t implemented in the Beta yet. Right now, only PVP is in which relies on the usual MTG model of selling packs for real monies. Enterprising cardsharks can make their $10 initial investment go infinite by winning draft tournaments and selling prizes/drafted cards off to fuel future drafts.

      Me, I can’t be bothered and have slipped into my Mr. Suitcase mode of old.

    • Lessing says:

      That’s because there aren’t any F2P bits yet, the whole PvE component isn’t implemented yet. At the moment it’s very much pay to play, like a paper TCG. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just there’s very little awareness in the media (e.g. here on rps) and for a new player in-game that that’s the current situation.
      Regardless, hex is amazing, as is the new set, and any tcg enthusiast should really check it out.
      Expect some PvE game modes to drop very soon.

  4. Gothnak says:

    I backed Hex and have barely played it as i’m mainly waiting for the PvE. I’ve still got a bunch of packs to open, but it seems a little pointless as i won’t have as many cards as those already playing, so going into a tourney will get me killed.

    Therefore i continue to wait and instead play Hearthstone Arena every day.

  5. jasta85 says:

    It definitely looked like magic back in the kickstarter days but it’s definitely be evolving into its own game. I love the mechanics they’ve introduced that can only be done in a digital game (multiple cards combining into new, unique cards, care producing other cards, etc). Not to mention the upcoming PvE elements that will definitely throw some spice in.

    I will say that it can be very tough if you are not willing to spend any money, but you aside from the starter decks, set 1 cards are dirt cheap on the auction house. if you’re willing to spend a little cash you can build a competitive custom made deck for very little money.

  6. The True Turrican says:

    Alice, for all you MtG needs, check out Manalink 3.0 or Forge. There’s also mods for DotP, if it needs to be fancy.

  7. Koozer says:

    My HEX experience:

    Pass priority
    Pass priority
    Pass priority
    Pass priority
    Pass priority

    • dmcAxle says:

      Why don`t you try pressing F8 aka the end turn button on the phase wheel? It passes priority on every available moment except declaring blockers and end of turn.

    • Blowfeld says:

      F10 at enemy turn when you dont want to interfere works wonders, too.

      Try the magic of f5 and f8 when it is your turn. Your world will be rocked ;)

    • Lessing says:

      This has all just changed in the latest update. F5, F8 and the magical F10 will solve all your woes.

  8. rusty5pork says:

    Gave Hex a try, immediately saw that it used a “special cards for resources, like land in Magic” system, and instantly uninstalled. Why do people not understand that this mechanic is one of Magic’s greatest flaws? Half of the games devolve into “oops, I don’t have enough mana,” or “oops, I have too much mana and nothing to do with it.”

    • dmcAxle says:

      And yet no other card game has been able to reach Magic in depth. Seems like a necessary evil to make interesting effects that are not broken. On the worst side of the spectrum with no lands, you have Hearthstone where aggro is always good because you can just spam small guys in your deck and always be able to play them (See: Hunter, Warlock).

      Scrolls is honestly the closest thing to a skillful card game I have played but that is because there is not much RNG in scrolls when you can always discard a card to draw 2 cards and the Cooldown and unit positioning system has a lot of depth. Scrolls is barely still a card game maybe.

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        artrexdenthur says:

        I rather strongly dislike the idea that Magic’s lands are a good thing, or a necessary evil, or otherwise related to its admittedly great depth. I don’t have any hard evidence one way or the other though.
        What is for sure, though, is that Hex makes at least a token effort to improve upon the situation. Hex’s land-equivalents can all pay for any type of card, you just have to have a certain number of the correct color in play (usually just one) in order to play other cards of that color. For example, if Magic used that system and I had 1 untapped swamp and 5 untapped mountains in play, and two 3-cost black cards in my hand, I could play both of them because of my one swamp and six total lands.
        In addition, playing a land-equivalent in Hex gives your champion a “charge”, and each champion has a special ability that you can use with a number of charges, which is a decent mitigation of what in Magic would be mana flood.
        This leaves the problem of mana screw by pure land count unchanged, but those two fixes are (a) not nothing and (b) In my opinion, not drastic enough to cause more harm than help.

  9. Tiltowait says:

    I have pretty much played all of the card games except Hex. I would really like to see a total tcg shootout article. Magic vs: Duels of the Champions, Infinity Wars, Hex, and Hearthstone. So far I have enjoyed Duels and Infinity Wars the most. As far as game play I would give Infinity Wars the edge.

  10. zaphod42 says:

    Isn’t this game in the middle of being sued to oblivion by WOTC?