Hey all! Corey Burkhart here to give you the updates on what’s coming with Scars of War for the Immortal format!
Immortal, for those who missed the first announcement about the format, is where anything goes. Every gem, every champion, and every PvP card is at your disposal because nothing rotates out like in Standard constructed. Today we’re going to be announcing the HexPrimal.com Immortal Championship Series, talking about the HEX design philosophy for the Immortal Format, and introducing the new watch list for Immortal!
We’re partnering up with Hex Primal to run Immortal tournaments. We’ve been working hard together to come up with some formats that’ll best suit players across the board, allowing everyone to play Immortal matches on demand as well as accommodating those looking to play Immortal for big prizes.
When Scars of War releases, we’ll have a tournament in the On Demand section of the Battlegrounds titled “HexPrimal.com Immortal Queue.” Entering these tournaments will open the deck selection menu and show you all decks you have saved that are legal under the Immortal Format rules. Once you select a deck, you’ll be in the queue searching for an opponent to battle with!
After winning a match in the HexPrimal.com Immortal Queue, you’ll earn a HexPrimal.com Immortal ticket. These are saved up in your stash and are non-tradeable. Earning 20 of these tickets allows you to enter the HEXPrimal.com Immortal Championship Series tournament! This is a scheduled tournament that you’ll find in the special tab. Immortal tickets will reset after each championship, so make sure you win that extra match to qualify. The prizes and dates for the tournaments are as follows:
Rewards for the tournament:
*Contains 1 copy of all cards of a set chosen by HexPrimal.com
The championship dates (2017):
We’re excited of the possibilities Immortal brings. Already in spoiler season we’re seeing people talk about combos that they can make with cards from Scars of War and cards from Shards of Fate and Shattered Destiny. Some of these were placed here purposely to be powerful combos you could play in the Immortal format together, and some were just waiting for their piece to rotate out of Standard. This excites us! We want to see people eager for what they can do in the Immortal format. It’s a new deckbuilder’s paradise, where all their old favorite cards and gems are still on display to do new and powerful things.
Where this can breakdown, however, is when something goes too far over the line. Because we aren’t spending as many resources in the office playtesting as many Immortal matches, some things will slip out that might make some combinations of cards too powerful. In these scenarios, we’ll take action ensure the widest array of audiences is having an enjoyable experience.
As such, our design philosophy for the Immortal format is going to be somewhat different than the one you see in the Standard format. With Immortal, we’re going to take a much more active stance on policing the format and stepping in when things are too far over the line. When we make card sets in HEX, we try and consider all the angles, but there are some combinations we’re going to miss once we expand past the 5 or 6 most recent sets. There are not enough hours in the day for our team to test every permutation in Sealed, Draft, Evo Sealed, Standard, and Immortal. Therefore, we’re implementing a two-tier process for banning and unbanning cards that we’re calling “The Watch List”.
Prime Ruby of Destruction
Minor Wild Orb of Conservation
Minor Sapphire gem of Mischief
Angus the Arsonist
The Watch List is a collection of cards, champions, and gems, that we’re concerned might cause design constraints on the format or could lead to a multitude of unfair ways to end the game in a quick manner. The Watch List will consist of entities that have either recently come off the banned list or we are looking into potentially banning. The goal of the Watch List is to make the process of banning and unbanning cards more transparent for the community, to give more insight into why we think a card, gem, or champion is over the line, and to help the secondary market adjust to potential bannings and unbannings. We understand that, at the end of the day, these cards you have collected have value, and we want them to retain that value the best we possibly can.
Our plan is to announce updates to the banned and watch lists on the second Thursday after each HEXPrimal.com Immortal Series Championship Tournament. We want the format to have time to develop between any changes we make and the next championship. With 4-7 weeks, that’ll give players enough time to try out new decks and combinations, adjust their existing decks, and have the landscape of a fresh new metagame evolve.
We don’t want to go around changing the banned and watch lists without merit. Therefore, we’ll be carefully analyzing data from various Immortal matches (and specifically higher level tournaments) before making each change. The above list is our starting list, and currently the only banned entity is the Prime Ruby of Destruction. Please note that under this system, when we choose to remove something from Immortal, it’s not gone forever. Our Ban/Watchlist structure accommodates change in both directions—i.e. the card, gem, or champion can return at some point if the Immortal environment changes. Furthermore, we’ll always be sure to give a detailed reasoning as to why an entity was deemed fit/unfit to partake in the Immortal format.
For example, we knew the Prime Ruby of Destruction was powerful when we made it back in Shards of Fate, but its full impact took a while to notice. Gems are a difficult thing to develop because small changes impact dozens of other cards, essentially adding several orders of complexity to the set development process. After a few sets of experimenting with the Prime Ruby of Destruction, we have decided it is doing too much for one socket, especially as there’s little opportunity for counterplay. You don’t have the ability to Kill your opponent’s troop in response with this socket, and this leads to many non-intractable scenarios. As such, it will be banned for the foreseeable future.
Finally, as we introduce the Immortal format, we will also be making some improvements to card appearance. With Scars of War, we’re changing up the look of our cards slightly to denote cards that are Standard legal or Immortal legal at a glance. This change is in the color background of a card’s cost. Cards with a black background are legal in Standard—i.e. the same look that you’ve come to know and love. Those with a grey-silver background are cards that have rotated out of Standard and are no longer legal in the format. This is our first step among many at improving the deckbuilding and communication processes for players trying to build decks in HEX. We’ll be making other improvements as time goes on.
For the examples above, Verdict of the Ancient Kings is being reprinted in Scars of War and is Standard legal. However, Born of the Flame has rotated out as it has the silver/grey colored cost symbol. We’ll still use the thorns and crown frame around the cost to denote a PvE card like you can see in the Slaughtergear’s Reaver.
I’m exceptionally excited for the Immortal format. The HexPrimal.com Immortal Series is something that I’ve been waiting to talk about for months now, and I’m excited to see all the different decks that people will build and play with. I’m looking forward to show off all the work that Hex Primal has put into this series, and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I will!