As you may have seen, I was fortunate enough to place second in the on the 28th. This is the deepest I have gone in the Hex Clash and claiming a finalist finish before the battleboard rotates is a great spot to be in (though, I still need two more AAA Herofall cards).
I made sure to document some parts of that journey and wanted to collect them in one place. 145 people entered and I was able to claim a 2nd place finish. Hopefully, there is some useful material in here and not purely a result of survivorship bias.
You can find my pool and my matchups on Hex PVP Tools here. I built three decks with my pool, the first deck ended up being the DS deck that I eventually opted for. I also made a Ruby-Sapphire-Diamond deck that leveraged the ruby removal and Stifling Sting. The third deck leveraged dreadlings a bit more and was Blood-Sapphire-Wild. Clearly, my sapphire was strong and would be in any deck I made. The tri-shard decks did not seem to be that much better than the DS deck and had greater risk of inconsistency than DS. As such, I went for the more consistent pairing. I could have still splashed ruby for Stifling Sting, but I did not want to disrupt the base too much as I had some double thresholds need in both Diamond and Sapphire. From what I could tell, the deck seemed above average for DS, but not that special. Cosmic Calling is a fine card for some early acceleration or diligence mechanics, but was average in my deck. Silver Talon Mandate is a beast if you have a mechanism to exhaust for it. Unfortunately, I did not get an outpost, but fortunately, I did get a Guardian Gralk. So, if I could make it to the late game, I could combo off the Gralk. Twice in my tournament run, my Cosmic Calling hit my Silver Talon Mandate, which made the card even better by allowing it to be cheaper, trigger a counter without attacking, and free-up another Gralk exhaust effect.
I was slightly concerned about being rolled over by aggressive decks, so I opted to exclude Chaos Gate in favor of Strider Scout in my main deck. In slower decks (mostly Ada), I would swap those during the reserves as Strider Scout would not do much against thick-bodied troops and Chaos Gate can allow me to carefully play my hand so I could wipe a board and then fill it up on my side. This swap was largely important in Round 4 against flyleaf as their removal suite was better than mine and had a better ability to fill their board. Polymorphic Army is brutal to deal with given its quick timing as well.
Around match 4, I mentioned in our team Slack (chat program), that my deck kept 2-1ing and felt as thought it were a fragile draw away from a 1-2. Round 5 provided that option against Greedyjawa. Around round 5 is when I also had to switch from my main computer to a laptop and began using a trackpad to play while dealing with a few other distractions. I’m not sure if those factors contributed to any misplays in round 5 specifically, but it did cause some time-loss issues in later rounds (especially round 8).
Reflecting on my matches, there are three rounds where luck saved me against a better deck and a strong player. Round 4 against Flyleaf, Round 7 against Metronomy, and Round 8 against Jinous all provided strong matchups that had every right to go the other way, but some combination of choices, good card draw by me, poor card draws by my opponent, and decisions on the board allowed the deck to squeak through to the top 8. The longest match of the day, and one of the more interesting ones, occurred in Round 8 against Jinous. Game 1 was extremely time consuming and had an interested ending. You can watch the match from his side of the field.
After a very close match, I was able to hit the top 8 as a 7-1 and quickly turned on my recording software to capture the draft and the final games. The video contains no commentary and no sound (except for a few chair squeaks and chat message notifications before I muted everything). I did not pause the recording in between rounds, so you may want to skip ahead after a game finishes, especially between semi-finals and finals:
The most entertaining part of this draft was delving into Rose Kittens and Thorn Pups. I have never opted for Sapphire-Wild in a draft before; I imagined such a deck would necessarily be solely around dreadlings. However, kittens and some pups came to me with a 4/2 split between them. In one game, you will see that I get 5/6 of those cards by turn four and it makes for a very quick game. Here is what my finished deck looked like:
A silly deck, but it carried me to the finals.