Hey everyone! It’s Nicosharp once again with some crazy new brews!
But first, a typical day in HEX general chat:
“Is it possible to beat Mad Aradam?” – King Gabriel
“How do I beat Mad Aradam?” – NobleLixil
“Mad Aradam cheats!” – Elwinz
“This is P2W! You can’t even progress in PvE without buying an expensive deck!” – Supernoob 2.0
Listen up Dinglers: Your Dingler King is here to drop some knowledge on you. We will beat the crazy out of Mad Aradam, with cards so affordable you could use them as tissue if they were manifested in the physical form. What’s more, we are going to defeat him with 3 unique decks. This should give everyone great versatility in tools to work with and think through the encounter puzzle.
If you would like – stop reading here – and build a deck using the above theme. I’d like to hear what you came up with using the same restrictions!
Mad Aradam is a tricky opponent. He has 3 Armor and 55 health. He also has a passive that increases the cost of all of our cards by 1 and gives us a 50% chance to fail playing our cards each turn, with the trade-off that their resource cost is reduced by one each time we fail. This delays our strategy while he employs his own. The other things going on with Mad Aradam is that he is playing cards that bury our deck and steal cards from us. At the start of each of his turns, he buries 5 of our cards off the top of our deck. He also plays a bunch of Chaostouched, including Dementia Daisies, and utilizes a 3 cost charge power that makes a random Chaostouched for him and puts it into play. All of these are ways to quickly deck us out. In our brews, we need to be mindful that we may not get more than 5 turns before we need to find ways to replace our deck with cards that are quickly disappearing into our crypt, all while surviving his onslaught of cheap Chaostouched troops.
Our first deck will feature the two cards below in a mono-Sapphire Hawkor Mercenary deck:
For our Sapphire Hawkor brew, our strategy is to take advantage of Mad Aradam’s passive and get the cost of a Buccaneer or Devoted Emissary down to 0 or less. We will also take advantage of Hawkor’s charge power that reduces the cost of cards with equipment in all zones by -1. We will also utilize cards like Mindcall and Mindcaller to help us complete this strategy quickly. Once we get a Buccaneer or Devoted Emissary down to 0, our strategy is to keep replaying them to pump up the entire board until we have troops that can swing in for enough damage to kill Mad Aradam. Because we are playing equipment that make both Buccaneer and Devoted Emissary quick, we can do that after blocks are declared to make sure the final punch is delivered.
To help keep us pumped, we mix in cheap troops like Thunderfield Seer and Phoenix Guard Messenger to continually trigger Hawkor’s passive that gives all troops in play +1/+1 when an equipped troop is played. This makes it much easier to ramp us quickly into the win-zone. We round out the list with insurance by playing a crucial card to own to beat Mad Aradam—Cosmic Totem. Be sure to pick a few up to help ensure you don’t get decked out!
Chest for Mindcaller
Trinket for Buccaneer
Feet for Devoted Emissary
Head for Mimeobot
Gloves for Phoenix Guard Messenger
Weapon for Jet Cadet
Our second deck will feature Clerics and pump in a budget The Transcended Mercenary deck:
The general strategy here is that The Transcended gives us great access to 4 copies of all common and uncommon cards. With quantity giving us increased consistency in drawing our answers and threats, we will build a deck that can survive and puncture Mad Aradam’s defenses late-game. We do not have to worry about removal, so the strategy to replenish our deck with Cosmic Totem, while building big scary troops with Righteous Paladin, Mesa Totemist, and Ardent Recruiter. This will quickly force the Mad King into chump block mode. The Transcended Mercenary charge power, if we are able to block attackers, will net us large advantages as well if we can go undamaged for 2 turns.
Chest for Ardent Recruiter
Trinket for Ivory Pawn
Feet for Ethereal Healer
Head for Righteous Heir
Gloves for Decree of Banishing
Weapon for Mesa Totemist
Our third deck will feature Dreadlings and Dreams in a Feste Mercenary deck:
Feste is an incredible Mercenary for this encounter. She is also exceptional at tackling tougher encounters in the Kraken Dungeon. She has a passive ability, found at the very bottom left of your game screen underneath her portrait, that allows us to play a single resource to replace our crypt into our deck. This is incredibly effective against Mad Aradam, essentially allowing us to ignore the turn timer his strategy represents to all other decks. The only deck requirement with Feste that needs to be met is that we need to build a deck with at least 10 constants in it. We will build around 3 central strategies to take out Mad Aradam.
The first strategy is War Machinist with Dreadling tech. There are a ton of great dreadling constants, so this allows us to quickly fill up our constant list. We also take advantage of a fun combo that works more effectively with Mad Aradam passive, which is Dread Transport with Glyph of Ferocity. If we get our Dread Transport down to 0 cost, we can create double our resources in dreadlings every turn.
The second strategy is Dream discard with Enter the Dream. This allows us to put all cards with Dream in their name from our crypt into play for free. So, we load up on Dream Skarn and Dream Bear to take advantage.
Our final strategy is to use our constantly filling crypt as a damage source by utilizing Purging Flames. This works well with our dreadling creation, as we can quickly get the bodies we need in our crypt to deal the final blow to Mad Aradam. This deck should feel quite good to play as it combines many aspects of what makes Mad Aradam annoying and exploits it for our benefit. All of the higher rarity cards are PvE cards which can be farmed in the campaign quite easily.
Chest for War Machinist
Trinket for Dream Bear
Feet for Purging Flames
Head for Dream Skarn
Gloves for Suffering Pyre
Weapon for Enter the Dream
A slightly less budget option a fellow HEXer – Selrahc – recently recommended is Sliver of the Immortal Spear. You can use it before you draw for your turn to always have at least 1 card and not be decked out. Then, you can win by dealing a whopping 5,000 damage. Pretty clever!
These articles are for new players and the free-to-play community, so I’d love to hear from you! Was the article helpful? What card/equipment would you like to see featured and explored in a future Fully Equipped article? Is there a campaign class you can’t figure out, or an encounter you want to smack with budget cards?
Until next time, if you want to do the job right, you better show up Fully Equipped!