Hex: Shards Of Fate Launches New Card Set

Ooh, it’s a veritable game of 400-card pick-up this week! Blizzard’s Hearthstone is blasting a new expansion, and fellow free-to-play card ’em up Hex: Shards of Fate [official site] is flinging a huge wad of new cards around too. Hex yesterday launched its fourth card set, named Primal Dawn, which adds over 250 new cards, a new card ability, a new tournament format, and all that.

So, that’s over 250 collectible cards, and 300 new cards in all. Get casting, wizards? From Friday, a launch event will offer two fancy cards with alternate art – one for taking part in the special tournaments, and the other for winning one.

As for the new format, Evolving Gauntlet is meant to be a cheaper type of sealed deck tournament that’s friendlier to new players. Not requiring a solid deck like constructed and costing less to enter than sealed and draft tournaments, Evolving Gauntlet gives players two proper booster packs to start with and another three with only commons and uncommons. And there’s that whole ‘evolving’ thing. Hex Entertainment explain:

“Unlike Sealed Deck Gauntlet, which awards you an additional pack per win at the end of your run, Evolving Gauntlet buffs your available card pool during your run. Like Sealed Deck Gauntlet, you can completely rebuild your deck from your sealed pool in-between matches, including swap your champion. Use these new cards and make your existing deck more powerful or completely change your build around a newfound legendary card!”

You get more packs as you go, see, rather than a wodge held back to the end.

Hex finally launched its first bit of PvE singleplayer in January. It was only the first step, with Hex Entertainment saying more adventures are to follow.

You can download the Hex client over here, or it recently launched on Steam now too.


  1. Stuie says:

    The new tournament mode is absolutely brilliant, and the new set has been a ton of fun thus far. There were some unfortunate server issues last week after the Steam release, but the game is in great shape now and the set release has been going great.

    • quidnunc says:

      I definitely like it more than sealed gauntlet. There’s more room to make an archetype there but it feels so bad getting a pool that is terrible after spending $10+. There’s much more gameplay per dollar out of the evo gauntlet (3 best of 5 tournaments over 1 in sealed). I would do draft if I could to better build my collection but I can’t spend 3 hours playing that.

  2. BlackeyeVuk says:

    GameForge sure come long way since Ogame. I miss old times.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    I love Hex from a design point, but they’ve made it near-impossible to participate as a free player (in multiplayer – the campaign is lovely and everyone should check it out). The amount of grinding required is insane.

    This is certainly their right – I have nothing against developers that want everyone to pay in – but it’s definitely not a normal F2P title and it’s a little disingenuous that it’s marked as one. And there is definitely not a ‘flat fee’ option, so it’s very much a spend-all-the-money CCG (though I give them major points for letting you sell your collection).

    • quidnunc says:

      They’re working on ladder which will presumably make it more pleasant to do constructed without a lot of good cards. Just keeping in mind that even in games like HS which have a cheaper path to getting cards that a lot of people are spending money (probably just as much as Hex over time) even though it’s technically “f2p” (which really means you invest an inordinate amount of time into the game and even in that case there is a limit to the gold you can earn in a day)

      • malkav11 says:

        Yeah, it’s hard to argue that Hex is currently a good option for someone wanting to participate in PvP with no real money investment whatsoever. Even though Hearthstone’s F2P model is insanely slow and oppressive without spending real money, it does exist, and Hex doesn’t really offer an equivalent at the moment. But for me, the big selling point of Hex is that campaign (and to a lesser extent, the Arena). As far as I know, no other digital card game has anything like as extensive or robust a singleplayer component, and there’s so much more to come. And it’s all going to be free.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        My post should in no way be construed as endorsing Hearthstone as a wonderland of free-to-play accessibility; at the end of the day, all blind-booster CCGs (including real-life ones!) have an element of pay-to-win in them that disadvantages free players. So far Magic Duels and Card Hunters are the only ones I’ve played that really feel fair to free players (the former because it’s generous enough with quests to give you a pack every single time for minimal playtime, and – more important – never, ever gives you unusuable duplicates, and the latter because it’s just exceedingly generous and rare stuff generally isn’t better than common stuff).

        But yes, it’s *doable* in Hearthstone, particularly with things like the Arena and Tavern Brawl to even the playing field; Hex, currently, has no such options. I do look forward to them existing.

        • Vandelay says:

          It is surprising that no card game has gone the LCG/ECG route, which have become popular in real world card games. Release the base set as free to play and release an extra 20-30 cards every month or two for a fiver.

          I suppose that structure doesn’t lend itself to unlocking cards with the never ending grind that so many f2p (and too many pay up front games,) love so much. I’m sure I would not be the only one to see that as a positive though.

          Of the electronic CCGs I’ve played, I quite like Infinity Wars. I felt that offered a fair amount to a f2p player, but had enough incentive to pay. Rare cards were still hard to get without paying and weren’t that easy even when you did.

  4. malkav11 says:

    I’m more excited for the next big milestone – i.e. the release of Adventure Zone 2, which I believe is also scheduled to add at least one of the remaining three classes promised, and more of the other PvE mechanics that aren’t in yet – strongholds? mercenaries? Not 100% sure. Still plenty of set 1-3 cards I don’t have and would super like to. But there’s no denying Primal Dawn is full of awesome new cards and will really reinvigorate drafting, at least for a while.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      I had an enormous amount of fun with the first adventure zone (even if some of the writing is TERRIBLE – I still have shivers from the Coyotle opening) and eagerly await more.

  5. Hunchback says:

    I just picked HEX back up the other day, cause i was really sick of HSs repetitive meta. I knew HEX was super pretty and has interesting mechanics, but i always stayed away from it because people say it’s impossible to F2P it. But i decided to “hell with it” and give it a go, even if i won’t ever be top-level competitive. At worst i would play the PvE and drop it when it’s done.
    And damn, was i surprised of the PvE! It’s actually interesting and complex, it offers classes and builds, deck building, quests… A couple of years ago, when gaming was young, it could have been a game of it’s own!
    I haven’t tried the PvP yet, because i know i have nowhere near enough cards, but (surprisingly for me) i am not in a hurry to delve into it this time.

    I am quite scared of the “epic grind” people talk about, but i also saw streamers show how they grind ~200plat quite fast. Might be actually doable, i guess. And ofc you might get lucky and open a very expensive card and trade it for many a pack.

    Only two problems i have with HEX so far is that :
    1. It’s doesn’t really run on the laptop at my shop, 3gb ram and an i3 aren’t enough apparently :(
    2. It does crash quite often on my Win10 home pc, it seems to be related with the new windows notifications.

    • dBug says:

      Do you have an AMD graphic card? Most Win10 problems with Hex seems to related to AMD cards. For many people installing the latest driver resolved the issue

      • Hunchback says:

        Indeed, i do. And i heard about the Win10/AMD troubles, i installed the beta drivers and it seems to have fixed the problem… maybe… for now.

        So sick of AMD and their driver problems :(

  6. QSpec says:

    I was a huge fan of Infinity Wars despite it never taking off (which is too bad). I don’t much care of HS. I found it to be too simplistic and generally uninteresting.

    How is this game? Better than any of the Magic games (Duels/Planeswalkers)? Is there a better CCG on Steam I should look into?

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      From a game design standpoint, it’s basically Very Good Born-Digital Magic. It’s the closest to actual Magic of any of the CCGs out there (to the point that Wizards brought a lawsuit that was later settled), though it makes use of the digital medium to do things Magic can’t. The design is consistently intelligence, and it’s probably the best *traditional* CCG out there. But, like with Magic, you really have to pay for the pleasure (see above).

      Everyone should play Card Hunter if they haven’t already, even though it’s not really a CCG.

      • quidnunc says:

        I did enjoy Card Hunter (originally when it first came out in 2013). It was licensed, redesigned a bit, and rebranded on tablet as Loot & Legends if anyone wants to play it there but they unfortunately made it more expensive to buy in to the club that gets rares/whatever. In addition to Card Hunter which is like a CCG+SRPG there are several other CCG + Grid based arena combat games like Duelyst and Faeria and probably some others that are early access on Steam (I play all those). There are also lane based games like Scrolls but that’s dead.

        As for the more traditional CCG/TCG, in addtion to Hex (which is my go to game) I play Spellweaver, Magic Duels, and used to play Hearthstone (from beta until becoming bored at the end of Season 2). There are a lot of other games in development which may be fun to varying degrees (Elder Scrolls Legends, Shadow verse, Eternal, etc.).

    • malkav11 says:

      Hex is my favorite digital card game, bar none. To be fair, I am a Kickstarter backer and so I have some perks that a new player now simply wouldn’t (nothing that affects my actual performance in PvP, though, just PvE stuff and a free draft entry each week), as well as a pretty enormous card pool, but I spent that money on the strength of how cool their pitch was and they have been more than delivering.

      It’ll depend on what you’re looking for, though. Hex easily has the best and most comprehensive singleplayer component of any of the traditional set of card games (I think Card Hunter might be up there but it’s a slightly different thing). As far as I am concerned, the core game design is better than Magic because it takes full advantage of the digital space and while it still uses a similar resource system (Magic’s biggest weakness as far as I’m concerned), it mitigates some of the issues by having resources added to a permanent pool (which refreshes each round) and also add a colored “threshold” for card access/effects instead of tying color directly to the resource the way magic does; it also provides a “charge” that fuels various effects including a charge power on your champion, meaning they’re still at least mildly useful if you have all the resources and thresholds you need. It’s also about half the price of Magic at $2/pack in the store and less on the auction house.

      But as others have said, currently it’s not a great proposition for someone who wants to spend no money and play mostly multiplayer; there’s a lot more to keep track of and learn than with something like Hearthstone; it’s a pretty traditional TCG design in that it’s purely cards on a table, albeit with digital enhancements, rather than a fusion of cards and, say, tactical combat like in Card Hunter, or cards and 4X, like the late lamented Star Chamber, etc; it’s still relatively early in its life so it doesn’t have the card pool of some of the really established TCGs like Magic, not all of the intended features are in yet, and sets are currently taking longer to hit than desired by either the playerbase or Cryptozoic (though right now is a great time to jump in); and so on.

      I haven’t played most of the other digital card games on the market – just Hearthstone, Magic (the tabletop and Duels, not MTGO), and a couple of now defunct ones, plus a little Card Hunter. So I can’t really compare overall. But I feel like they’re a genre that, like MMOs, want all the time and money you can spare and it’s not really practical to get into more than one at a time. The difference is you can dip into MMOs and see what they’re like without making that commitment, whereas card games really need you to build up a decent pool of cards to play with to be any fun. And so I stick with Hex, where I have (at last count) over 7000 and going up the more I play. It wouldn’t be reason enough to keep playing if the game weren’t enormously fun, of course. But it is.

    • GC says:

      SolForge has a better gameplay, but the singleplayer is less interesting than Hex campaign…