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Fantasy HexTCG and Building a Market

Let’s discuss two topics about fantasy: The wrap up from the Fate Cup and the creation of a sustained fantasy league. Also, read through to the bottom to learn how you may be able to earn an Alternate Art Buccaneer sleeve.

Fate Cup Fantasy Wrap-Up

I had tallied the final points of the Fate Cup wrap-up a few weeks ago, published the list, and sent out the prizes. For those of you that missed it, the final list is:

1stLakosPolan5000 Plat, 20 Set 2 Boosters
2ndXenavire2600 Plat, 17 Set 2 Boosters
3rdVogar2500 Plat, 15 Set 2 Boosters
4thDerceto13 Set 2 Boosters
5thShinshire12 Set 2 Boosters
6thTrebonia10 Set 2 Boosters, 3 Set 1 boosters
7thRook5 set 2 Boosters
8thHavocRagefire, 2 Baby Yetis
9thStrifeSet 2 Primal Pack

Congrats to the winners of the fantasy competition and the 53 people we had enter the contest. As you can plainly see, the donation rate was substantial and people were very interested in making the event happen. As a result, we will run a similar event for the Blood Cup with a twist on the fantasy contest—more on that later.

Some quick statistics and figures. The average cost of the 9 winning teams was 130.22, while the full group average cost was 132.90. This is partially a function of Strife’s team that ran a thin 109 points total, the cheapest team in the whole competition. The winners scored 13.11 points on average while the full field scored 4.32 on average.  The distribution of total team costs are in the histogram below:

The top 10 picked players were:

Times PickedPlayer

NeroJinous was one of the cheapest, most picked byes in the game; however, he scored only 13 points for his team. In terms of performance, SaDOlution was the person on the top 10 list that earned the most points (4), while Hapson, Fridged, and Kindmime all scored 1 point for their teams. The rest of the top 10 failed to score any points. This relates to how well people did relative to their initial seeding (and cost). The top 10 players that improved over their initial seed were:

Rank ChangePlayer

Generally speaking, these people are the best bets you can make in the game. GoldenSaucerGuy, the cheapest buy available, transcended his initial seeding and advanced 61 places. Likewise, we can see the people who may have been the worst buys:

Rank ChangePlayer

There are a few more stats I could get into for this, but this should be sufficient for most people’s interest. If there is anything else you want to know, comment below and let me know or you can always look at and play around with the data here.

Fantasy For Every Cup

There was significant interest in the fantasy competition for the Cup of Fate, however I am not quite sure if  that is general interest, or particular interest since it was the capstone tournament. As such, we will create an experimental fantasy competition for the Blood Cup. The rules for this new competition will be slightly different. Normally, a salary-based approach to a fantasy team gives you a budget to buy players. Each player costs a certain amount based on their past performance. Instead of using past performance, we will try to use a market-based approach where your costs are dependent upon what people have bought previously.

Here are the rules:

  1. You get a budget of $500.
  2. You can buy up to 5 players for your team. You cannot buy a player more than once.
  3. Each time someone buys a player, the price for that player goes up $20, and everyone else goes down by $0.25.
  4. The price of your team is locked in once you purchase all 5 players: there is no alterations.

So, this should be interesting: if you buy early, you may get some good deals on cheap players. If you buy late, you may have better information as to who is and is not playing. That $10 Cirouss buy may seem good 3 weeks before the tournament, but to find out that he is not able to play a week before the tournament goes live could be devastating.

Before I make this fantasy competition live, I need your help. As such, to make sure this works well, I need people to enter fantasy teams on this form here. Make a legal team (costs $500 or below). To see the costs of each player, simply go to the spreadsheet here. All player prices will update in real time and change, so make your picks quick. If I am missing a player, email me at and I will add them.

This initial trial is just to test out the system. If it works, I will set up a formal fantasy competition like before. As you can see, I have pre-seeded some of the prices based on Cup of Fate purchases. That NeroJinous price.

Buccaneer AA Sleeves

The competition is now over; congrats to JohnDruitt whose fantasy entry earned him the golden raffle ticket!

As a bonus, I will do a random drawing for one set of  AA Buccaneer sleeves. You can enter up to two times by doing the following:

  1. Leave a comment on this post about fantasy, what you would like to see, what you want changed, or any other thoughts about this.
  2. Fill out the form mentioned above with a legal team that costs less than $500. Doing both of these things earns you two entries into the competition while doing either enters you once.

The competition to win the sleeves will close in 48 hours; the market fantasy might be up longer if I need more data.

Good luck!

Michael Allen is a competitive HexTCG player, co-host of the 2 Turns Ahead podcast, and founder and moderator of the Hex Subreddit.

55 Comments on Fantasy HexTCG and Building a Market

  1. I think it went well last time cant wait to play again this time won’t make a mistake like last time >.> surpised that mine was the cheapest team though

  2. This may be a lot of fun 😛

    I don’t know if it’s technically possible, but displaying the total price of the team as you select players in the form would make the process much more pleasant.

  3. I totally agree with Plaga. Having to work two pages and do the calculations is rather cumbersome. What would also be great is if there was a top five most expensive & cheapest players.

    IGN: Duzran

  4. Fantasy is a great idea. And the proposed format seems very interesting.

  5. btw I work the day of the blood cup, so if I do enter I’ll probably play just for the lulz and drop after a few rounds, so I can sleep for work. In case any1 wanted to waste 300 fantasy dollars on me =P

  6. I find that fantasy competition concept very interresting
    Curious to see the value of some players a week from now.

    IGN Olfff

  7. I just made a really cheap team 😛
    I plus the idea of Plaga with the calculation made automatically. I know it would involve work but the fact that someone could submit a team while you’re making your own calculation might results in a wrong total cost.

  8. I’ve never played fantasy games like that, so i don’t have much to contribute in terms of ideas but it looks like fun 🙂

    IGN: Szimek

  9. I agree with the others. I’m not sure this is workable with realtime updates and having to cross-reference two pages. It might work more smoothly if updates were done daily instead of in real time, but I guess that has its own issues.

    IGN: Thoom

  10. First time I m going to participate in any fantasy game, looking forward to it.

    IGN : Phoenix

  11. Interesting idea. To echo what’s already been said… this seems difficult to do with the real time updates. Maybe if you had a webapp instead of the spreadsheet and google form?

    IGN: Svenn

  12. I’m really surprised how much change there was in rankings.. I guess people are picking big name but not the best players or what?

  13. Having shifting prices, like others have said, is a really neat idea, but you’ve gotta make sure it’s workable and that people don’t feel cheated by stealth price increases and such. Fantasy leagues aren’t really my thing, but it’s a cool idea and I might enter when the next one starts up.

    IGN: AuraWarrior

  14. I have never done a fantasy league, either, but this looks very interesting. Looking forward do doing them in the future 🙂

    IGN: ValueCity

  15. I have to agree with the manual adding being cumbersome. I would not recommend someone else to do it using your phone…
    But always nice to have someones to root for!

  16. I would want to have better access to / more reporting on the player stats (both historical data and upcoming events they’re playing in and prediction / tips / links to news as applicable) preferably integrated into either the buylist spreadsheet or a future webapp (that also functioned as the buy submission). has a really nice fantasy sport system that made it easy to get into, providing a lot of information on my team. I don’t expect you to duplicate everything there but emulating it as much as possible given your budget / constraints would be awesome. I think it should be relatively straightforward to get their previous finishes & decks referenced with those dates on the buylist.

    IGN: Clark

  17. I’ve never played fantasy sports of any sort before, so this entire concept is new to me. Could be interesting, but I’d rather here the winners discuss the decks they used than watch rankings.

    IGN: Parallax

  18. Will we see a fantasy season, with trading of players or any other interaction? If a season, would we see Fantasy player match-ups and points based on the match-up, or would we see one pool and most points wins approach?

    Perhaps, in addition to picking players, there could be some sort of fantasy competition about decks used in the tournament. Maybe a “guess the threshold requirement distribution of the winning deck” or “guess the shard ratio among all decks (with or without sideboard)”. Of course, this might be complicated by the multi shard cards being revealed, but a workable format should be possible.

    IGN: Eternal

  19. Guessing Shinshire did not pick himself for his fantasy team 😛

    I quite enjoy the fantasy element, gives you people to cheer on.

  20. I enjoyed the Fantasy Competition for the Fate cup. It increased my investment in watching and let me cheer on HAVOC deep into the tournament.


  21. I like the concept of this very much. I’m looking forward to finding out more once the test completes and you have developed a formal set of rules for play.

  22. IGN: Svidurr

  23. I second the phone app comment

    IGN: Bast

  24. I like that fantasy will be continued, but it seems a bit cumbersome system. Gut reaction is I liked the first system better, but I am willing to try it out and see. Best of luck.

  25. Having the prices of players fluctuate based on how often they are picked is an awesome idea. However, everyone probably shouldn’t all start at the same base price – the first group to pick players have a massive advantage.

    IGN: Pierson

  26. The evolving cost of the players based on demand is interesting. Even getting in relatively late, it seems I had no trouble buying the ones I wanted, though.

    IGN: Shadowflame

  27. Instead of (or in addition to, or mixed in) to the player fantasy contest, I would love to see a card based fantasy contest.

    It would work pretty much the same, you buy cards and based on demand they go up and down in value. At the end, each card is scored based on inclusions in top decks.

    It could either run during the whole season (buying a card that does not see play now, but might with set 3), or the values could be seeded based on the last cup.

    IGN: Rarlig

  28. I agree with the previous posters, I think a system that automatically tracks and updates prices of the players as you’re selecting them would lure many more players in. Still, it’s a pretty interesting opportunity and I’m sure it will be improved a lot in the future.

    IGN: Ariathor

  29. Good luck.

    IGN: Enyeez

  30. I think we need an introduction to the fantasy universe, as I dont know whats going on.

    IGN: Enyeez

  31. I agree with the other comments here, you need to make it so the prices are calculated automatically behind the scene, otherwise it gets too messy.

  32. This looks to be a great idea, but it’s very tedious with the manual pricing.

    IGN: Tartarus

  33. Sounds interesting, but I think early pickers have too much advantage.
    IGN: Zebuli

  34. Agreed with Zebuli. There seems to be almost no disadvantage to picking earlier because the players those people take are the one who always show up to play.

    IGN: Angmar

  35. great idea

    IGN: desk

  36. It would have helped me if I could see peoples play test group/guild I like to support my own group but also pick some from other groups to hedge my bets.

  37. Thanks for running this, Zubrin.

  38. It looks very interesting. I am sad, that I missed that first round of this.
    IGN: Silmegil

  39. The totally scientific method of choosing all guildies almost worked out for me. Alas, JohnDruitt and Kayas couldn’t bring home the gold for us.

  40. Mitthrawnuruodo // May 27, 2015 at 8:03 am // Reply

    This is an interesting idea. I hadn’t heard of any Hex fantasy stuff before this. Really needs to have a cost calculator as part of the picker though.

  41. I’m not sure how the fantasy cup could necessarily be made better. The idea of buying up players is pretty unique in and of itself, enough that there’s a fair bit of interest in it as is. The problem with trying to introduce other concepts around that one is that at its core, the cup depends on the real lives of the players, who may or may not show up. I foresee that throwing other additional features out of whack fairly easily all on its own. Perhaps there’s something in the later portions that could be implemented that I’m not thinking of, but wouldn’t that just distract from the core element in play here? I think this setup is fine as is.

    IGN: Legan

  42. Fantasy is fun, and I’m glad you guys are doing it. Agreeing with other posters though, picking was a little tedious and some sort of webapp would make it easier than a google form.


  43. Live update on prices may be a problem. The cost of your team may change during your picking. Maybe update every 5 minutes?

  44. I picked my team and didn’t have much information to go by except some people I’ve seen streaming or the last Cup of Fate. To make it more attractive to newer players and level the playing field, I think costs based on previous rankings, wins/losses, etc may be a better indicator to costs. Only downside is that it may require more work on your side.

    Also, why even have players who are not playing as an option? If you happen to pick everyone who is not playing, then you are not vested in the rest of the fantasy league and less likely to continue to follow.

  45. In it to win it to win it!

  46. Christian Russo (pjvedder) // May 28, 2015 at 9:48 am // Reply

    Hope I’m not too late for the AA Sleeve giveaway. But regardless, here are my thoughts on the fantasy league you outlined above.

    First off, I love the idea of this, and I’m really upset that I missed it for the blood cup. I did my research, had my team ready to go, but then some things came up and i never finalized it before the deadline.

    Anyway, I understand the need for the live updating to make the values for the better (or at least perceived better) players higher, however I think there’s some major downside to this. I don’t think the popularity of the picks really should coincide to their value, but rather a player’s performance. I think there should be some kind of overall player value associated with their previous tournament accomplishments. Similar to how you probably started the rankings for this and for the previous fantasy competition, i think those rankings should only change when the player does something in the competitive realm to warrant a change. If there are multiple tournaments besides just the Shard Cup series maybe a player can get a boost or decline in points. Maybe you can even factor in some kind of point bonus for a 4-0 published deck in a VIP tourney? I think those things should dictate the cost, not popularity.

  47. I think this will get fascinating once we have more of a developed (please never use the word pro until it becomes actually appropriate) amateur scene.

  48. Cant wait to see how this pro(just for you fridged <3) scene matches up. excited to see how the blood cup turns out!

    IGN: AngryDucklin

  49. Here to win sleeves

  50. looks great im in! sicne the post drawing requires a suggestion: make the pick player screen display prices somehow 😛 ( yea yea might not be possible :P)

  51. I agree with many of the above suggestions, especially somehow linking stats to each player (a big part of normal fantasy sports).

  52. Just saw this and Input a Trial-Team – quite hard now to get a semi decent Team but still doable – the 200+ picks most probably won’t be worth a pick either way though since you will be hard pressed to make a legal one – Pheelon

  53. i wish u have some kind of webapp that we can use, manual picking is really tiring you know. But anyway its such a good idea that we all love it^^


  54. Looks fun, but in general I think this sort of thing needs more stats to go by. Currently it’s so extremely hard to predict anything. As you said.. we might not even know who enters the competition.

    It would be awesome if we could have something like a player presentation a week ahead of the tournament where each player could write something after all decks are locked in (so you can mention what you think the meta is going to be) to make a case for why they should be picked (and perhaps prices for the most picked players).

    Not very realistic to get that going though I imagine, but one can hope… 🙂

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