JadiimJedi has won his spot to play for the $100,000 in prizes at the HEX Invitational
What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been playing HEX?
My name is Jason Barnett and I am from the Dayton, OH USA area. I am one of the Kickstarter backers and I have been playing HEX since the very beginning of Alpha.
You just won the HEX IQ and will be going to California to play for the grand prize of $40,000. What went through your mind right after the final game?
I was so pumped! I was screaming and shouting that I won and it felt great to finally take it down. I have come close a couple of times before this tournament and it felt great to finally take it all down. I shared the good news with my Dragonborn teammates and also on social media and everyone was really supportive about my win. I felt great and every time someone sent their congratulations to me it just kept that feeling going.
What are your thoughts now?
Christmas time for me I will spent the holidays relaxing. Now that the holidays are over I plan on practicing constructed for the tournament. Even though I love playing constructed my win rate in draft is higher because I play it more than I play constructed. As a shoutcaster for the Fiveshards series I get to watch a lot of different matchups and I have a good feel for the metagame, but that does not replace knowing lines of play for my specific deck of choice.
What is it that you love about HEX?
I am a mix of competitive and creative. I am the type of TCG player that wants to try out every idea and figure out which new ones will actually work in the current metagame. It is that mix of creativity and competitiveness that I love and HEX lets me explore card interactions in several ways that are not possible in physical card games.
What makes you launch the game and battle it out with your fellow HEXers?
It depends on my mood. I launch it to draft most of the time. I also launch it if I have a new idea for constructed that I want to try out with a teammate. We have discarded so many terrible decks, but occasionally we hit gold with a new archetype like the Tetzot Azurefate deck back in set 2 constructed. That iterative process of trying out a new idea is a lot of fun for me even though it doesn’t work out most of the time.
What does HEX mean to you?
HEX is as much about the friends I have made in the community as it is about the competition itself. I have traveled to Gencon every year since HEX was created just to hang out and play in those special events and I also attended HEX Raid 2015 because I just can’t get enough of the game. HEX players are a smart bunch and it’s fun to hang out with all of them.
If you were to win the HEX Invitational in February, what would you do with the grand prize?
A mix of things. My computer is getting old and replacing it would be good. I would also use some of it to continue going to HEX events like Gencon since it is much easier to convince my wife to let me travel if my hobby has paid for itself. Probably most important of all though… I should probably upgrade my internet service so I can try my hand at streaming again some time.
Could you tell us a little about the deck that carried you to victory in the HEX IQ?
I can! This was a sealed tournament and I took a screenshot of my sealed deck for the Swiss and also my draft deck for the top 8.
I was incredibly happy with my sealed deck. I had everything you could ask for in limited… aggression, evasion, removal, card advantage, and a couple of true bombs. As soon as I put it together I told my teammates I expected to top 8 the tournament.
I was also incredibly happy with my draft deck. I felt like I read the signals correctly and was rewarded heavily in packs 2 and 3 with a lot of great cards for my RW Elf Ramp deck. During the draft I passed 2 Pyresoul Summoners and some other goodies so I was nervous about passing a potentially very strong RD deck. My finals opponent was in fact that player, but I had enough cheap removal to survive his early rush and my bigger troops took over once we got to the end game.
Where can people watch you play?
I am a contributor to the 2 Turns Ahead Podcast which is hosted over on Fiveshards.com. We just finished recording an episode about the IQ if people want to hear more about it. I am also a writer for Fiveshards and a shoutcaster for the Fiveshards community tournaments. I used to stream on Twitch, but my internet is not reliable enough at the moment to stream.
Do you have a message to your fellow HEX IQ winners? Why do they need to be on the lookout for you?
Even though it is a competition I hope we all get to hang out for a while at HEX HQ and maybe go out to eat for some dinner or something. I am already friends with several of my competitors. I have known Neo for a while and it will be good to see him again. I will also get to meet my Dragonborn teammate Vazrael for the first time in person which is pretty awesome.
While I hope to make a good showing overall I mostly want to win against Djinni. Djinni was the player that beat me back in the draft finals of IQ #2 and I’d love another chance to beat him when it counts the most!