Hi HEXers. We’re quickly coming up on the release of Primal Dawn, which will be the greatest thing since sliced bread (sliced bread being invented the previous winter). Be on the lookout for official word on that release date here on HEXTCG.com sometime in the future.
Most of our staff is working on launching the Primal Dawn update and all the goodies that come wrapped up in that package. Those developers whose work typically comes earlier in the process, like card design and art, are hard at work on Chronicles of Entrath – Chapter 2.
“Dawn” is an interesting word to use for our next feature release in that here in the office, it HEX feels like such a different game compared to where we were with the Armies of Myth release. Clearly, Chronicles of Entrath – Chapter 1 is a huge part of that. But we also just completed our first ESports tournament— quite successfully, I might add. Those are the two big parts of HEX you’ve seen, but there’s so much behind the scenes that’s been updated as well.
Over the last year or so, we’ve launched multiple initiatives to optimize our processes and workflows in game development. What that means in plain language is that back in early 2015, we identified some ways we could do things better and also saw a need for some development tools. This is with the goal of making us more efficient, therefore allowing everyone to spend more time doing what they do best.
For example: If you can believe it, we used to organize art with a spreadsheet and JPEG email submissions. Nearly everything was done by hand. Ask our Art Director Tyler James about it sometime. Starting last fall, everything regarding art was now done via web tools and proprietary software that we designed specifically to hook into all other HEX-related development programs. From concept to the card busting out of your booster pack, it’s a much smoother ride for the Primal Dawn pieces than it was for Shards of Fate.
That’s just a brief glimpse into how we’re not just working on content updates, but we’re actively improving and speeding up our ability to deliver this content to you. Hooray!
With the community team, we’re buffing up our regular player columnist count as well. Doubling, in fact! Go, go empower! We have two new talent additions who will both have their first piece published next week! One will examine the game’s tournament metagame by asking fundamental questions rooted in decades of TCG history. The other will examine a popular deck and give you a quick guide—what it aims to do, what its matchups are, and ways the author thinks the deck can be improved. If you’re looking to buff your gauntlet game and win more Constructed matches, you’ll want to catch each piece on the regular!
And now… for our regularly scheduled show—the preview cards!
This week’s focus is on Blood / Wild archetypes. This is best represented in the Shin’hare– their belief in life and death, growth and decay.
For the Shin’hare, death comes first. These two cards work on the idea that something, or someone, has to go. A hell of a way to fertilize the fields. The Pactmaker Heretic will win drafts on its own if left unchecked. A blood-magic buffed body and the choice to either turn fallen troops into health to win a beatdown race or card advantage to overwhelm control decks. The void is going to see a big influx of Battle Hoppers in the Primal Dawn.
Pactmaker Heretic is a giant among Shin’hare. Most among this Underworld race are tiny troops and win not by outclassing opponents one-on-one, but by swarming enemies with endless shock troops. The Shin’hare themselves can’t match the size of Entrath’s bigger threats, but they can use their grim magic to tank those big beasts with undead allies. Rotten Rancor can raise anything, but with the battle effect bigger is better. Permanently buff your troop before it dies, then dig it out of your crypt to send your opponent’s troop to theirs.
For the first three weeks of March, FiveShards will run two weekly constructed tournament series. The open tournaments will be in-client, standard constructed, swiss with a cut to the top 8, require no entry fee, and offer 10,000 platinum for first place in addition to boosters and qualifying points for the top 16 players. Players may enter either or both tournaments (though the points are tied to a specific finale), and the final tournament will happen at the end of the month which features 20,000 in platinum prizes for the top 4 of each series! One series occurs on Saturday, at 4pm PST while the other will take place on Sundays, at 8am PST. For more details, visit the official FiveShards page for the series here.