A self-described MMOTCG (Massively-Multiplayer Online Trading Card Game), HEX: Shards of Fate is designed by Cory Jones, the creator of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, and Kevin Jordan, one of three original designers of World of Warcraft. HEX allows players to play solo or cooperatively against AI in a fully realized MMO world, and against other players in numerous forms of organized and unorganized play including booster drafts and limited tournaments.
HEX: Shards of Fate is a free-to-play game where players earn cards and equipment by taking on a wide variety of PvE content alone or in groups, using the in-game auction house, or through the purchase of decks and booster packs. Using these cards, players construct their decks and challenge extensive raid dungeons or one another in PvP.
As part of the PvE experience, players will also be able to build their character by gaining levels, earning talents, and wearing equipment that modifies the way their decks play in numerous ways. While character levels, talents, and equipment will not be a part of regular structured tournament play, there may be opportunities for more casual, free-for-all tournaments where everything is allowed.
In typical HEX play, players build a deck consisting of 60 cards and one champion and pit it against their opponent. Over the course of battle, players take turns drawing cards, playing resources, and casting spells, with the primary goal of bringing the opponent's life total from 20 to zero. This is accomplished by utilizing cards of the following five varieties:
- Troop - The primary form of aggression in HEX, Troops are creatures permanently summoned to the battlefield that defend their controller and attack the opponent
- Action - Actions are typically one-off effects used to turn the tide of battle. Basic Actions are restricted to the player's turn but Quick Actions can be used on the opponent's turn
- Constant - Constants behave similarly to Actions as battlefield modifiers, but their effects persist on the battlefield until removed
- Artifact - Artifacts are faction-agnostic and can behave in a wide variety of ways similar to the other card types
- Resource - Resource cards provide players with Charge, Threshold, and Resources, the three things required to utilize spells and champion abilities.
To help customize their play experience, players will be able to modify the effects of their cards through gem sockets in all game modes and equipment in PvE. Certain cards have sockets that can hold minor or major gems, each of which confers a different bonus should the card be played.
While there are only 20 different varieties of gems (10 major and 10 minor) in the game, equipment is significantly more varied. Each piece of equipment in the game is tied to a specific card and provides that card with a wide variety of special effects and attributes. Equipment is solely earned and used in PvE play, with their own rarity levels. Certain pieces of equipment belong to sets that, when completed, unlock unique cards that players can use in their current deck.
PvE Cards and PVP Cards
Some cards can only be played in PvE. Look for a small yellow demon skull in the lower middle part of the card next to the Rarity Info.
Dungeons & Raids
The PvE content of HEX takes place primarily in dungeons scattered across the world of Entrath. During their exploration of these dungeons, players will encounter battles, puzzles and traps as they build momentum towards the final encounter. The more successes a player has on their way to the end of the dungeon, the better the rewards will be, encouraging full exploration. However, players must balance this against the three-strikes-you're-out failure state and decide whether the risk of gaining nothing is worth the chance of greater riches.
Clearing certain dungeons will allow players to tackle raids, significant challenges that can only be overcome by a group of three players working in unison. These raids will be the key to unlocking the best equipment and cards in the game.
Double Back Cards
Taking full advantage of the digital format, Cryptozoic has introduced the concept of Double Back cards. Aside from the regular card back ordinarily seen during play, cards have a second back that keeps track of a variety of stats and allows the card to evolve. Each card has a set of unique achievements that, when fulfilled, transforms a card from its standard art version to an extended art version. Additionally, each card has an experience bar that, when filled, upgrades it to a foil version of itself.
Set one's mechanics
Sets are like TV seasons for card games. With each one comes a new theme. Each Set usually brings with it a new group of mechanics. So far, twelve mechanics have been revealed.
Crush - If a troop with Crush is blocked and has a higher attack then it's blockers defense then the difference of the damage goes to the blocking troop's champion. (ex. "Crush" troop with attack of 5 is blocked by a troop with a defense of 2, blocking troop's champion takes 3 damage)
Defensive - Troop with Defensive can only block.
Escalation - After card's effect resolves shuffle it back into your deck. Then, double the bold number in the text of each card you own with the same name in all zones(deck, graveyard, hand ).
Flight - Troop with Flight can only be blocked by other troops with Flight.
Inspire - As another troop with cost equal to or greater then this troop's cost enters play under your control it permanently gets stated bonus.
Invincible - A troop with this ability cannot be destroyed. But still can be removed from play.
Lifedrain - Champion gains life equal to damage dealt by troop.
Rage - When attacking, troop permanently get +X to attack where X is equal to the number next to Rage. (ex. Rage 2 would give a troop +2 to attack)
Speed - Troop with speed can attack the same turn it is played (normally when you play a troop they can not attack in the same turn they are played)
Spellshield - Opposing Champion can not target a Troop with this ability.
Steadfast - Troop does not exhaust (tap) when attacking.
Swiftstrike - Troop with this ability deals it's damage first to blocking troop. (If swiftstrike troop's attack is equal to or higher then blocking troops defense it doesn't take damage from blocking troop.)