Latest Articles

From the Deck: Packs, Primals, and Chests

A Pack Isn’t Just 15 Cards

When HEX went into Closed Beta, they gave all their Kickstarter backers many of their rewards which included many, many packs.

Cory Jones mentioned during the Kickstarter that he wants packs to be an experience unto themselves. He wants many exciting moments tied to packs, and I think HEX has pulled that off. This article will be talking about all these experiences in detail. Experienced players may not find any new information here, but there are new players all the time and hopefully they can find some information here on the entire process of acquiring packs of new cards.

One thing of note is that most of these experiences go off no matter how you acquire the pack, including winning the pack in a tournament.

Primal Pack

Purchasing a pack from the HEX Store or winning a pack in a tournament has a chance of creating and gifting you an additional pack called a “Primal Pack”. Primal Packs contain 15 cards, but 2 of these are guaranteed Legendary and the other 13 are all Rares (in addition, a Legendary chest is also in the pack). These packs are great for filling out collections as once you have your playsets of commons and uncommons they have the equivalent of 15 packs contained within them.

The only thing that's better than first place.

The only thing that’s better than first place.

Players have collected data on Primal Pack generation, and the general consensus is that it’s a 2% chance of getting a Primal when you get a pack. There is no need to even open the original pack; the Primal is generated and gifted at the time of purchase or winning the pack.

Packs listed on the Auction House have already “rolled” their chance to generate a Primal, so they won’t have an additional chance at giving a Primal when you buy them. This is a contributing factor as to why they are cheaper than purchasing the packs directly from the HEX store.

Opening the Pack

This is the standard experience that you get with physical TCGs. When you open the pack there is an approximately 8 in 9 chance you will get 11 Commons, 3 Uncommons and 1 Rare card. The other 1 in 9 chance you receive a Legendary card instead of a Rare.

The HEX pack opening UI allows you to open a single pack at a time or multiple packs. I would recommend not opening any packs and only opening them in Draft or Sealed events. In those cases, it still acts as if you opened it in the pack opening UI, plus in those events you have the opportunity to win more packs in exchange for the modest entry fee.

When you open a pack (either in the UI or in a tournament), in addition to your cards you will also receive a Chest. This chest has a rarity tied to it as well, from Common to Legendary, with Common being the more common chest you acquire of course.

Spinning Chests

Gold is spent to gamble on a chest. You earn gold currently by playing in any PVP tournament, with more gold acquired the better you do. This method of getting gold will be going away when PVE content is introduced. At that point PVE will be the only avenue for earning gold.

The primary purpose of gold at this time is to upgrade the chest to a higher quality. The higher quality of chest, the more it costs to spin. Although there are other prizes to be won when spinning a chest, we’ll see that those prizes have no bearing on the gold cost to spin a chest. When PVE is implemented (which means PVE cards, equipment, and mercenaries) we will be able to open the chests and presumably get all that (and possibly more gold) within. No one knows the exact contents of chests at the time of this writing.

The better quality the chest, the better quality stuff that comes out of it—which is why you want to spin them (to upgrade them) to get better stuff when you can open them. When we are able to open chests, you’ll generally want to open chests that you have already spun in the wheels of fate and can no longer spin any more.

As for spinning, it’s irrelevant which level of chest you spin, Kismet’s wheels of fate spin the same for any level of chest. Same chance at any of the rewards. “But why is the cost higher?” you ask. Well, that’s because you are gambling to upgrade the chest (remember, this is the primary purpose of spinning).

What happens if you upgrade a Legendary chest? Well it becomes a highly sought after (and can-only-be-obtained-by-spinning) PRIMAL chest with presumably Phat Lewt inside. FUN FACT: Since you can’t upgrade a Primal chest, the cost to spin it is 0 gold (assuming your upgrade comes with a respin as well, as most do).

No one knows how attainable Gold will be in PVE yet. This, coupled with the same-rewards-for-more-expensive-spins have most people ONLY spinning common/white chests for now. It’s the cheapest, gets you rewards, and allows the most spins for your gold.

Shards of Fate chests are denoted with a gem icon next to the chest, while Shattered Destiny chests will have the comet icon on them. These will contain different items, related to the set they were found in, and spinning these chests will result in different rewards.

One possible reward for spinning three red crowns

One possible reward for spinning three red crowns.

Spin Results:

1 Eye – Respin the chest for the same cost.

2 Eyes – Free respin on this chest.

3 Eyes – Upgrade the chest to the next rarity.

3 Stars – A random Mercenary. This can be one of three mercenaries, a common, an uncommon or a rare.

3 Crowns – A random piece of PVE Equipment. This can be one of three pieces, a common, an uncommon, or a rare.

3 Hands – Upgrade the chest to the next rarity.

3 Moons – A random PVE card. This can be one of three cards, a common, and uncommon, or a rare.

3 Mushrooms – A random deck sleeve. Currently there are three different sleeves you can attain by spinning chests. A common, uncommon, and rare. The art for these sleeves is based on the Alternate Art cards you get on the 3 Skulls result.

3 Skulls – A random Alternate Art card. This can be one of three cards, a common, and uncommon, or a rare.

3 Hearts – Upgrade the chest two levels. Obviously this does only one level if used on a Legendary chest, as there is no chest level above Primal.

3 Spiders – A random PVP rare card. This can be any PVP rare for that set.

In addition the wheel results can be colored. If you get all three colored red, then you will receive an additional reward along with what you spun. For most levels this is simply a booster pack in addition to your reward.

If any of the icons are colored gold, you will receive gold in addition to whatever else you might win. One gold icon is 500g, two is 2500g, and three is 5000g.

Finally, any result on the list that is three stars or higher will not consume the spin available on that chest, and you can spin it again immediately (at a higher price if you upgraded the chest in the meantime).

For the 3 spider level, people have reported receiving a Legendary card instead of a Rare, or a Legendary and a Rare. This usually happens when an “all red” or “all gold” result shows up on the wheel. Many times in these cases the ability to spin the chest again is lost, but that’s a small price to pay for a Legendary card added to your collection!

Some spins will yield twice the rewards!

Some spins will yield twice the rewards!

Opening Chests

At this time, it is not possible to open a chest. We’ve been told that they want chest opening to happen when the Arena is released, so that we can use the PVE equipment we find inside the chests to help us defeat the PVE content.

Once you open a chest it’s gone forever. Pay attention to chests that can be spun vs. those that have already been spun and can’t be spun anymore. In the Pack Opening screen with Kismet, you will see chests with the three slot-wheels symbol on them and chests that have no symbol. If they have a symbol that means they can be spun on the Wheels of Fate.

So there you have it. As you can see Cory Jones wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to make the act of getting and opening a pack in HEX exciting! Something cool is available from every step, from buying to opening and even after you have gotten all the cards out of the pack!

And speaking of Primal Packs, today is Christmas so I think it’s fitting that one lucky reader gets one today! All I ask of you is to post a comment on this article with a tip for new players—something you wish you knew when you first started playing HEX. You must also include your in-game name in the comment so I know where to mail the Primal Pack to. I’ll draw randomly from all the comments at some point tomorrow, December 26th, so be quick!

Matt Miller, known as DeckOfManyThings in-game, is a professional MMO designer by day, and a Hex Kickstarter backer by night. He's been playing TCG's since being taught by Peter Adkinson how to play Magic: the Gathering with Alpha cards, and is now devoting a lion's share of his free time to playing and improving his skills at Hex. Find him at @ManyThingsDeck on twitter or /u/ManyThingsDeck on reddit.

42 Comments on From the Deck: Packs, Primals, and Chests

  1. Tip: Always socket your cards
    IGN: Zebuli

  2. Great Article for new players guys. Here are a couple of tips from me: First tip: Play the tutorials for extra cards and gold.
    Second tip: Play as much draft as you can (recommend not playing the competitive one if you are a beginner). This will give you gold and new packs the most cost efficient way. Third tip: Try to have fun and don’t get frustrated about bugs or players in the proving grounds or those playing with rare and legendary cards (just compliment them about their collection, tell them you are new and most often then not they are willing to give you some cards if you ask them nicely).

    Have a nice Christmas everyone 😀

    Elysion

  3. You can use a minimum of a 40 card deck in drafts and sealed, and a 60 card deck for constructed play! Even though you can play more cards if you want it’s a good idea to stick close to the minimum so your always drawing your best cards! IGN Light

  4. Great article (not just because I could win a primal though ;). Are you going to post a companion piece distilling the information on chest opening once that feature becomes added to the game? Thank you! (IGN: Ombra)

  5. First! My tip for new players is to check out the phase stop settings by clicking the two-gear icon in the middle of the Phase Clock (its in the middle on the right). When you’re new, it helps to activate all the phases, so you can get used taking advantage of priority to use actions like Countermagic or Crackling Bolt even when its not your turn.

  6. Nice article, should be really helpful for new players (I know it would have been for me back in the day 😉 ).
    So here is my tip: In most cases you should play your creatures during the second phase if you were attacking. That way your opponent has to be worried about combat tricks even if you don’t have any in hand.
    My ign: ValueCity

  7. Second! be sure to check out the streamers on http://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/HEX%3A%20Shards%20of%20Fate
    they would love to answer any questions you might have

  8. When I first started playing drafts I created 60 cards decks and I was losing so BADLY. Until I realized I can make 40 cards deck (minimum) with 17 shards being the ideal shard number, it made winning drafts a possibility! I wish someone told me this before losing a few tournaments though. :p

  9. As a new player, I think one of the best things you can do is start reading and listening to experienced TCG pilots on how to play the game. Simple strategies and deck building knowledge will prevent you from getting frustrated when starting out. Learn how to decide your resource numbers and how the basic deck concepts (aggro, control etc.) should be played. Lastly, only play limited in the beginning as it is the most efficient use of your money and will put you on a more even playing field with other players.

  10. Not just for new players, and it should be obvious, but be nice.
    There are a ton of friendly and helpful players in this game and just being nice and seeming keen can get you a long way. It may be draft advice, tips on what to play in constructed or even free cards. There are always people willing to help you out in this game.
    Now this does not mean be nice with the hopes of getting free stuff, but just be a genuine person and it will get you far. Even if you get nothing other than someone to chat to you are better off than you started.
    Remember it takes nothing to say hi and have fun at the beginning of a game. Say GG to your opponent if it was a good game, don’t be rude or mean if you lose to bad luck, it is not your opponents fault and we all get it at some point.
    Last of all, remember to have fun, it is the reason we are all here. Even if things don’t go your way try to take something from the experience.
    If you want to chat, try and catch me in general chat I am yggdrasill. Just know that I am often drafting at work so cant always chat.
    Merry Xmas

  11. Get drafting, it’s by far the most efficient way to build your collection and your knowledge of cards, synergies etc.

    IGN: Áth Cliath

  12. Tip of the day: When playing a draft, it is recommended to go for a 40 card deck instead of the 60 card deck you usually would make. This allows for making a deck that optimally uses only the best cards you drafted, and improves the deck in general.

    Ingame name: Thaelan

  13. Do all the trials associated with your starter deck to earn free cards and gold. Then challenge an win against random people in the Proving Grounds to earn more gold. Finally, check out the Auction House to spend that gold on cards you need for your deck.

  14. To learn the cards most often used in drafts, enter the rock-league, and play around with deckbuilding on http://hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/cards

  15. Tip: you can do all starter trials for all the 4 starter decks without buying them in the store. To start the series of trials for a deck you just need to own all the cards from it, just for the first match. Doesn’t matter how you get them, but cheap on the ah or even lend from someone. See the deck lists on: http://hextcg.com/starter-decks
    my ign:aVen

  16. TIP for new players: Unlike many other competitive games, the hex community is one of the most open and helpful out there. If you have any question feel free to ask in the general chat or even to your opponent if you are mid-game, most of the time they will be happy to help you understand the rules and improve your play.

    Merry Christmas, guys!

    ign: Plaga

  17. Solid article, covers most of what my friends told me when I started.

    Tips for the newbies: Don’t waste time and gold/platinum buying commons and uncommons when you first start out, just get to drafting and pretty soon you’ll have so many you won’t know what to do with them.

    Tip 2: Post everything you likely won’t ever use to the auction house, including any copies of cards past 4. You will be amazed at some of the things that sell, and it only takes a few minutes every couple of days.

    ign – buscemi

  18. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the community it awesome and will do everything to make a new player to feel more welcome.

  19. Dont open your primal packs until gencon or hexcon. If you open them on that period of time the chests you generate from those packs can roll exclusive stuff even if you didnt go to the convention.

    ign- Raizen

  20. Always check the deck verification before saving in a limited tournament.It will show if you forgot to socket and threshold
    problems.Also in drafts go for faster decks,7 cost cards are hard to play and dead draws most of the time.

    IGN- RoyG

  21. Great article, my advice to a new player is to look at the ah and buy some cheap rares, play in the proving grounds and then start drafting.

  22. Just to touch on to the contents of the article: uncommon rewards (three matching symbols that are red) appear to either be as rare or slightly rarer than rare rewards (three matching symbols that are gold). Unlike uncommon cards, you can expect uncommon rewards to be about as valuable as their rare equivalent.

    For my advice for new players: I really wished I didn’t just open any of my packs. Its certainly fun to be able to open a bunch at once, but you end up in a way better place if you only open your packs as part of a tournament. Scheduled Sealed is the one you want if you intended to open packs to build a collection. It has the best payout per entry fee in the game, and unlike draft you don’t have to worry about choosing wrong by adding bad/worthless cards to your collection or worry about passing a decent card to add to your collection so you can pick up common removal.

  23. You’ll usually want 22-24 resources in your Constructed decks and 17/18 resources in your Limited decks (draft/sealed).

    IGN: Cuirann

  24. Tip: don’t buy starter decks from the hex store, look up deck lists and buy the individual cards from the auction house. If you make the decks that way you can play all the starter trials for the free cards and gold.

    Ign: desk

  25. TIP : the minimum deck size in Limited is 40 cards, and 60 cards in Constructed. NEVER go above the minimum deck size. You hurt your chances of drawing the cards you need if you do.

    IGN : MinusElOso

  26. TIP: nobles are there to help you and will answer any questions you have

    ign strife

  27. Nice article. Merry Xmas all !
    My tip : When facing a blood deck try to keep a card you don’t mind discarding in hand in case they have the bloody flies which make you discard 🙂
    ING : Lannisterland

  28. TIP: Lethal only works if you deal damage. If, say, you put lethal on a 0/1 hopper, it won’t kill the other troop.

    IGN: Krapurpants

  29. The starter trials are a good way to get acquainted with the game and to get some additional cards and gold for your collection. You can play them even if you haven’t bought the starter deck. You just need the cards, which are obtainable on the Auction House or from experienced players.

    IGN: Baldo

  30. My Tip would be to watch Hex streamers as often as you can. Not only do they do a lot of giveaways to help you get started, but learning from their excellent plays (And terrible mistakes) will help you get more value when you are playing yourself!

    IGN – Lytaran

  31. great artcle deck ,)

    well, if id give u one most useful/powerful tip i could…
    Know every step before u take the step.
    So if youd like gonna do draft, read at least few draft guids or ask few good players how to do it efectively. The same for every step u gonna take like chest spinning, sealed, drafts, etc especialy trading cards (know real value). theese presteps requiring your patience, but are pretty worth.
    At the end: as you cant learn all (even in real life) just theoretically (by reading stuff etc), you will need find your own answers and start doing practical steps right after u know basics you learned. Dont be disappointed when you will make mistake, every one great player made millions of them on their way to be top. Good luck and marry Christmas everyone.
    ign: marek

  32. Don’t be frightened by the seeming complexity of the game, everyone has been a newb at this game

    Set a small budget aside, read the articles, learn and, above all, enjoy yourself. Games are meant to be enjoyed, it dosn’t matter if you don’t have 4 of every legendary. If you have fun and a story to tell, that’s all that really matters.

    IGN: Boomer

  33. Don’t worry about now knowing everything about the game, everyone was a newb once

    The most important thing you can do while the game is in its infancy is partake, enjoy it, become a constructive part of the community and spend some time learning through streams and articles. Improvement will take time but it will happen and it’ll be all the more rewarding when it does

  34. Don’t open packs – draft!! I’ve opened lots of my KS packs to build my collection and wish that I hadn’t now…

    Also, pay attention to the AH prices for cards you want and eventually you’ll get a deal!

    IGN: Misneach

  35. Draft your packs… you have more fun and can get gold!

    IGN: ShateredHand

  36. In many cases, it is a better idea to play new troops in your second main phase AFTER attacking with troops you already have out. It gives your opponent less information to work with when they are deciding if/what to respond with.

    IGN: Morghulis

  37. I was very quick! 2:51am on 12.26 quick!

    Anyway, I counted 33 entries (even the ones where people didn’t give me their IGNs, I figured there were few enough, we could track them down). I put them all into a spreadsheet, then I went to Random.org and generated a number between 1 and 33.

    The winning number: 16 – Plaga on the list. Plaga, your Primal Pack has been mailed to you!

    Congrats from everyone at Fiveshards.com!

  38. Tip: don’t be afraid to mulligan if your opening hand is shard flooded, shard flood is just as bad as shard starved

    IGN: Foozilla

  39. Go for a race when you start drafting. It can be Humans (D/R/S), Shinha’re (W/B), Orcs (R/B) or Dwarves/Robots (R/S). Just pick your rares and then go all way long in the other 14 picks for cards that belong to that race theme.

    IGN: Kukulkan

  40. Tip: Rock League is the most cost effective way to learn to play.
    IGN Ratticus

  41. Don’t be afraid to abandon your first pick in draft. You’ll be in a better deck if you go with colors people are passing to you.
    IGN: Herford

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: