Hello fellow Hexers! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written anything about HEX, but after a bit off for some personal time I’m delving back into the world of Entrath, and there is something that has stuck out to me since I started playing HEX again.
Cory Jones and company are very good at designing digital card games.
Things are new and fresh every set, but each new strategy comes with the proper floor and ceiling, which can be hard to come by currently. What does that mean, though?
I think the best phrase that I can use is that there are a lot of mechanics in HEX that are easy to use and difficult to master, and that is a great thing! Players in the game are going to have varying skill levels—that is a given—but how do you go about making it so that all players have a great experience regardless of skill level? That is the trick, and I have to say that the Fateweave mechanic has hit this on the nose.
Something that can only be done effectively in the digital space, HEX really has a slam dunk of a mechanic with Fateweave as it facilitates this “low floor, high ceiling” mentality that I mentioned earlier. So, what does that mean in practice?
Let’s look at a few different player demographics and see just how this type of ability impacts them.
A beginning player is just learning the ropes of the game. What the different card types are. What abilities are. Action types, triggers, charges, and champion powers. This can all be complicated. The most frustrating thing about a game like HEX, especially when you are new, is that there is not a guaranteed resource system, and the quickest way for a new player to be turned off a card game is to just not be able to do anything.
Losing isn’t the worst. Opponents doing powerful things with rarer cards than what I currently have isn’t the worst. Sitting there while I don’t have any resources is the quickest way for me to get frustrated and stop playing a game.
Fateweave is great at helping mitigate this.
An intermediate level player knows the ropes already and is coming into their own in terms of deck building and play skill. They generally have ideas that they want to try, but aren’t quite sure how to go about applying them. Intermediate players are generally “level 1” players when it comes to thought trees and play patterns. They aren’t as much interested in what the opponent is doing and like to just play their cards and enact their game plan.
Once I get to this level in a card game, what I look for is consistency in game plan enactment and ways to “level up” my play skill.
Fateweave is great at facilitating this. Getting resources or non-resources when needed is perfect in terms of enacting a game plan. I almost always get to do whatever it is that I’m trying to do and, because of that, at some point will catch onto what the better players are doing with their cards, decks, and Fateweaves to level up and progress as a player.
An advanced level player can build decks properly, read metas, and take advantage of all the unique digital mechanics that HEX has to offer. They can extract as much value out of their cards as possible and eek out every advantage they can from navigating the game and using their cards properly.
Fateweave is a mechanic that greatly rewards this type of skill: The ability to read the texture of a game and choose properly; calculating and playing to outs properly; building decks with unique resource numbers because of the freedom Fateweave offers.
On top of all that, advanced level players are still having “level up” moments where they figure out something they can do with cards and mechanics and Fateweave is right at the top of this player growth.
The low floor makes it easy to learn the mechanic and apply it to the basics of the game in order to learn and enjoy learning, while the high ceiling makes the mechanic more and more powerful the more you learn and better you become at navigating and assessing situations in the game.
Nothing out there matches Fateweave in terms of elegance and effectiveness, and I think it’s one of the main reasons that I have fallen in love with HEX all over again.
Now that I’ve finished gushing about how awesome Fateweave is, let’s get to what deck I’ve been climbing my way out of Bronze with and how impressed I am with it’s namesake mechanic.
Brighthammer Adept socketed with Minor Diamond of Fate
I. Love. Momentum.
Mechanics like Momentum always make me very happy because they do something extremely simple yet very important: Momentum rewards you for doing something you want to do every turn regardless; playing resources. And in this deck, Momentum is extremely powerful.
Jeff Hoogland wrote about this deck over on HexPrimal.com already, and I want to echo some of the sentiments he expressed there. The early Momentum troops do an insane amount of damage early, and with Leprechaun Artist, Shamrock, The Goldfather, and Exalted Pathfinder, there is a surprising amount of resilience, grind, and card advantage that you get to generate.
This deck does a very good job at putting the opponent on the back foot and not letting up off the gas. Oh, and guess what? We get to really take advantage of both sides of the Fateweave coin. How lucky! Getting resources to trigger our Momentum is great, but we can also go into overdrive with Exalted Pathfinder. Neo isn’t overpowered in only the Matrix, he is here in this Momentum deck as well.
Lady Avalanche works wonders in this deck as giving a Goldfather Momentum is great, and playing an extra resource can be bonkers. Getting an extra resource drop is what leads to the wombo-combo turn three where we get to play a Waxshot into a two drop into Palm of Granite + Lady Avalanche ability and stomp all over our opponent.
I didn’t get a chance to play with all the Frostheart cards, and now with Dead of Winter I am still trying to catch up, but I can say that Fateweave is amazing. This Standard format feels awesome. The Crusaders were great, and the deckbuilding requirements they had made it feel unique at first, but it quickly became that they were the best strategy and the 10 factioned troops that you would play were almost universal across the board. I really like that the format feels wide open now and that Dead of Winter has added enough elements to make Illuminate great and control decks viable. Aggressive decks aren’t forced into being Crusader-centric, and Ali Aintrazi is back to winning tournaments.
What is your favorite Standard deck? What are your favorite 887 draft archetypes? Please let me know either in the forums or on Twitter. Making content, streaming, and chatting about HEX is all I want to do right now!
I’ve been away for a few months, but beware. ChrisVanMeter is back battling on the HEX ladder, and my sights are as deadly as the winter.
With 20 years of TCG experience, Chris VanMeter brings a unique perspective to HEX. Favoring constructed decks that can either go under the competition or as far over it as possible, you can find Chris playing draft, sealed, and constructed on his Twitch channel and talking about his experiences endlessly via social media.