Transformation Nation

May 13, 2013

If you’re anything like me, then the word “transform” probably has some sacred meaning to you. It likely means you grew up in the 80s and 90s, and you loved a certain cartoon that involved robots that could transform into cars, jets, tanks, motorcycles, trucks, helicopters, and even dinosaurs!

Before I jump too far ahead here, let me introduce myself. My name is Drew Walker, and I’m one of the designers for Cryptozoic that is working on HEX. I am also the head designer and creative content lead for the World of Warcraft TCG, which I’ve worked on for the last five years. That being said, I’m extremely excited to have the chance to show off one of the awesome new features that HEX is going to bring to the digital TCG table the way no TCG has done before. As you may have already deduced, I’m talking about cards that transform!

Now, let me paint a quick picture for you. Imagine, for a moment, that you are playing a TCG. On your side of the board you have a totally innocent dragon egg just hanging out, not bothering anyone. Now imagine that the dragon egg can eventually turn into a dragon, provided it survives long enough to hatch, and nothing would make you happier than to unleash the full fury of said dragon on your opponent.

Then, something magical happens. Your egg has survived long enough, and the dragon inside is ready to spring forth into the world! Now you check the card and look to see the awesomeness that is about to commence, and you see “put a Dragon token into play” or “while this has a Dragon counter on it, it becomes a Dragon with some stats and powers.” Your face suddenly becomes a frown, and you use a nearby penny to represent your amazingly epic dragon.

This experience is something that TCG players have had to deal with for years with physical products. We don’t want to give players a huge build-up only to have them be letdown by the outcome, and HEX aims to correct this atrocity. Imagine that same scenario one more time, but now imagine how excited you would be to see your dragon egg card literally transform into the dragon that’s inside. With HEX, we are able to fully explore and express the fun of transforming cards.

Let’s take a look at one example of an actual HEX card that transforms: Soul Marble.


As you can see, much like the dragon egg example I gave above, Soul Marble is in need of some time and energy before it can truly shine. The beauty of Soul Marble is that it can transform into not just one, but two different cards. Having that kind of flexibility feels about as close to cheating as you can get, and it allows you to be the sculptor, creating a masterpiece that fits the need of whatever situation you might find yourself in. Oh, you want to see what a transformed Soul Marble is capable of? I think I can make that happen.


If you find yourself in need of a troop to help keep you alive, or you need to find a way to start threatening your opponent with consistent damage, then it might be wise to craft the Soul Cavalry from the blank slate that is Soul Marble.

On the other hand, you might find yourself already with a bunch of troops on your side, but you can’t seem to find a way to get through your opponent’s defenses. If that’s the case, then you might want to use the Soul Marble to create the Soul Armaments and give your troops that extra oomph to really give a beating to your opponent. Either way, the choice is yours, so sculpt your masterpiece wisely.

Soul Marble represents just one type of transforming card that exists in HEX. Let’s take a look at another type of transforming card that’s part of a bigger cycle across all five shards:


With Soul Marble, you had a choice of what you wanted to transform it into, but Ascetic Aspirant has a very specific goal in mind. Thematically, Soul Marble and Ascetic Aspirant differ in that you are creating something out of the Soul Marble with the former, while the latter is a troop that is growing and evolving before your very eyes. The Ascetic Aspirants represents a card that can transform not once, but twice. His first transformation will see him become the Enlightened Seeker:


On a mission of meditation and inner peace, the Enlightened Seeker chooses to not add to the violence in the world around him. He will still contribute to your cause, but his biggest impact will come if he can survive his deep meditation and introspection. If he does, he will return to the world forever changed as The Transcended, allowing you to search your deck for whichever card you want every time you would draw a card, helping to enlighten you and maybe even bring you one step closer to his level.


These cards just scratch the surface of what HEX does with transforming cards. There are still other cards that can transform between two states, cards that transform when combined together like “Voltron”, and there are even ways to transform opposing troops that might be giving you a headache.

I hope you enjoyed this quick look into the world of HEX and are as excited as we are about the digital space and transforming cards. Keep it locked to this website and come back tomorrow for a brand new preview!

-Drew Walker

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