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Friday Update – Cream of the Crop

May 19, 2017

Welcome to a round up of the week! We have a new Battleboard, a Kismet Pack rotation, lore, and more!

The Pack

Rock and roll in a metal junkyard. Whispers on the wind. A gnoll genius prepares for a journey. Read more about the The Pack here.

Stay Frosty, Friends

The Castle Battleboard will be rotating out of the Chark Mart soon! If you haven’t picked it up already, you have until Monday, May 29th @ 10:00am PT when the brand-new Frost Ring Battleboard will take it’s place:

Frost Ring Battleboard

If you want to stand stalwart against your opponent’s onslaught, don’t delay. A new board’s on its way!

Kismet’s Reserve Rotation

As we mentioned a while back, there will come a time when the Kismet’s Reserve Silver Talon pack must fly the coop and leave the Chark Mart for good. Starting 5/26 @ 10am PT, a new Reserve Pack will be sneaking into the store like a Ninja in the dark of night. Get ready for the Kismet’s Reserve Oni Pack!

Kismet's Reserve Oni Pack

This new pack is truly the cat’s meow. For 15,000 gold you will get one of these purrrfectly exclusive items!

Oni Assassin SleeveAA StrangleAA Something Borrowed

That’s right, you heard correctly—these packs are only 15,000 gold! At these prices, they will be catapulting off the shelves, so make sure you grab a few before they vanish into the shadows from whence they came.

HEX Dream Stream

We are pleased to announce the start of a new HEX dev stream on Wednesdays from 2:30 – 4:30 pm PT on the official HEX channel. On this show, HEX staff will play games, talk about HEX, and maybe even do a sketch or two. Make sure to stop by if you want to have a good time and get to know the minds behind this game we all love. Our first stream will start next week on 5/24 (Worldclock).

Interview with Thrawn

Thrawn is a player who has been with us since the very beginning. You may have seen them in game, on stream, or in the forums. Today we are going to take a moment and learn about a project he has been working on, Dungeon Masters of Entrath:

Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get involved in HEX?

My HEX user name is a tribute to Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is a tactical genius and my favorite Star Wars character. I hope to someday match his level of brilliance with my HEX play. (Given my win rate, I have a long way to go!) When I’m not playing HEX, I’m an avid achievement hunter on Xbox (my gamerscore is over 290,000), and I enjoy reading horror and sci-fi. My favorite authors are Stephen King and Timothy Zahn (who first created Thrawn.)

I rarely go to Kickstarter, but had the good fortune of stumbling upon HEX early in its Kickstarter life. I previously played another major TCG, but had stopped years before because I thought it was way too expensive for the amount of play I got from it. HEX promised quality TCG play, from home, for half or less the cost… with a PVE campaign on top of it! I knew this game was going to be something special, so I dug deep and contributed all I could afford at the time.

I had the opportunity to take vacation and be a spectator for the HEX $100k Invitational. It was great to meet so many known streamers, players, and HEX staff. I’m pretty introverted (don’t let anything you see on stream fool you otherwise), so it was awesome how welcoming everyone was. I felt like I’d been hanging out with friends I’d known for years, even if we’d had little to no prior interaction.

What is Dungeon Masters of Entrath? What do players need to do to participate?

Dungeon Masters of Entrath is a HEX gameshow, which happens every Wednesday night, from 5-8pm Pacific, on my Twitch channel. Episodes are later uploaded to YouTube so anyone not able to watch live can enjoy the show at their convenience.

I take on the role of the Dungeon Master, with a series of decks for players to challenge. If you can best every deck, you win the grand prize! Lose any game along the way and it’s Game Over, and the prize pool grows for the next challenger. Once someone has defeated the dungeon, we start a new series of encounters. Some dungeons have 4-5 decks that can be faced in any order, while others come with a map I show on stream that has different paths players can explore. This is 1-on-1, private match PVP, with as much PVE-like flavoring as I can give it. Contestants have won drafts, primal packs, boosters, and more for defeating me.

We have a thread in the official forums where players can leave me feedback on the show, and see the rules for the current dungeon.

To participate, players should review the rules for the current dungeon. All you need to do is make a deck (or multiple) that comply with the rules, and then let me know in Twitch Chat you wish to challenge the dungeon. Some dungeons have allowed all cards, but lately I have been designing dungeons around allowing contestants to use Common and Uncommon cards only while I use some Rare or Legendary cards to provide that “AI Only Card” PVE feeling. I feel like that makes the experience more accessible for all players – old and new alike. If I start getting more interested people than I can fit in a 3 hour stream, I will start doing a gameshow-like lottery to determine who is the next contestant, but so far everyone who shows up with a deck has been able to play.

What made you decide to start Dungeon Masters of Entrath?

I have wanted to stream more HEX for a while, but I wanted to do something unique that would set it apart from other HEX streams people could be watching. I really love all the things HEX is able to do as a digital card came and wanted to have some way to have fun in non-traditional formats using the cards I already own. A gameshow seemed to me like the best way to get to make some unusual decks that would never otherwise see play and motivate others to do the same. Plus, with some prizes on the line and constantly changing formats, that adds some excitement and drama to the proceedings!

I felt there is a gap for players who want to play the game, are done with PVE, and who aren’t yet interested in limited play or the competitive ladder. I wanted to try to help full that niche.

What is your favorite part of the contest?

I love interacting with my viewers and contestants. A lot of players challenging the dungeon buy into idea they are seeking glory and challenging an “evil” Dungeon Master, so we engage in some pretty hilarious role-playing / trash-talking. (All in good fun, of course!)

It’s also amazing when players challenge a dungeon with a deck I had never even considered. I’m inspired and get ideas from what people use to take me out. There’s so much creativity in the HEX community, and players are great about finding ways to break every challenge I set before them. I spent a couple hours making 5 different mono-shard decks for a dungeon, only for BirthingPodder to come in and defeat them all with five different mono-shard decks of their own… on the first try. It was pretty impressive!

We know there’s always a lot more going on behind the scenes. Can you tell us what it is like to build a community contest? Are there things that were harder than you expected? Easier? More fun?

What you see on stream is only a fraction of what goes into making a community contest work. On the content production side, I need to design a dungeon concept, then the decks, write a rules update so players know how the dungeon is going to work, and then review everything to make my best judgement on how well the content is balanced. It also takes time to design the stream layout, and promote the stream, to try to grow a following. For every hour you see me streaming Dungeon Masters of Entrath, I spent an hour or more getting things ready.

Surprisingly, the hardest thing about running the contest is managing my lengthy list of decks in-game, because I don’t delete them after a dungeon has been cleared in case I want to do “flashback” dungeons and revisit past decks. Deck folders to better manage my collection is on my wishlist.

Building dungeon decks, while time consuming, has been more fun than I expected. It’s fun to seek out some under-played cards or champions and then figure out how I can make those work for an interesting dungeon encounter. I even have a Daughter of Stars deck!

What is one thing you would say to someone who hasn’t tried your contest yet?

Don’t be intimidated! I strive to cultivate a very laid-back atmosphere on the show. Please don’t be concerned about how “well” you do. Several players have lost on the first room of a dungeon, and a few dungeons have taken players collectively over a dozen attempts to clear. Of course it’s fun to win on a gameshow, but at heart, Dungeon Masters of Entrath isn’t about winners or losers, or analyzing optimum lines of play. This is a show about having fun and seeing what crazy things we can make happen. Whether you have been playing since Alpha, or downloaded the game last week, I want you to have a good time!

Any last words?

I have recently also starting doing what I call “HEXercise” streams, where I stream HEX while walking on a treadmill. I thought this might be a fun way to try to be more active and work on my personal weight loss goals. I was pretty nervous the first time I did it, but those who have stopped by have been very supportive, which helps motivate me to keep doing those. It’s another way to have fun, be weird, and provide a unique HEX viewing experience.

The HEX community has so many awesome people in it, and Dungeon Masters of Entrath has been a fun way to give back to a community that’s always been great to me. I hope to see more of you facing me in the dungeons in the future!

Do you have an awesome story of your own you wish to share? Reach out to dinotropia@hextcg.com with your details and we might just showcase you in a future update!

HEX Clash

The HEX Clash is back once more! Sunday, starting at 8am PT (Worldclock), you have another chance to prove your mettle and walk away with cash and exclusive prizes! Will you end up a proud owner of these fine cosmetics like last week’s winners?

Herofall AA
 
HEX Clash

Join us this Sunday and find out!

For full details on prizing, please check out our tournament page here.

Clash Stream

Nero Jinous will be Clashing it up on the hextcg twitch channel while the tournament is in progress! Be sure to tune in about 15 minutes before the Clash starts for some pre-game hype. He will be doing HEX-themed art and some limited exercises between rounds, so it should be a party.

See you all on the battlefield this Sunday!

Community Tournaments

Finally, our community continues to put on fantastic tournaments for everyone to participate in. We recommend checking out our forum calendar for upcoming events. This weekend, FiveShards will be hosting the Sapphire Cup, sponsored by the one and only Broom Bot. Check it out!


Got any questions? Want to chat with other players? Then discuss this article in our Forums! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or enjoy regular streams on our official Twitch channel.