Welcome to a new series called Hex Essentials. While we are waiting for Set 3, Funktion and Piecetinker will be discussing some cards that are absolutely necessary to have in preparation for Set 3 constructed.
As you may or may not know, it will become more difficult to obtain cards from Shards of Fate and Shattered Destiny when Armies of Myth releases. The reason behind this is that Set 3 drafts will be Set 3 only—and whether or not 2-2-1 queues will remain is yet to be seen.
To start off, we’re going to first discuss the cards in Set 1 and then Set 2 will follow. For our first article, we will be primarily focusing on the Blood shard.
There are surprisingly not that many staple troops in the Blood shard. However, the troops in Blood that have become staples are definitely some of the strongest cards currently in Hex.
Corpse Fly is a common troop, yet quite advantageous, especially when played early in a match. A card-for-card trade, due to its discard effect, that still provides decent evasive damage is why Corpse Fly is a staple in Blood. Although you would mostly see this card in mono-Blood decks (due to its threshold) it is still quite viable in dual-shard decks.
One of the most powerful (and expensive) troops in the game is Vampire King, and it’s pretty clear why; if a 3/4 troop with flight and lifedrain wasn’t enough, the ability to cut a troop from your opponent’s hand and generate a new troop is sure to make you want some VK action. Vampire King is often huge threat that opponents will want to stop as soon as possible. If not… you have the game in your hands. Care for a pint of blood?
I kill it, but it keeps coming back again! Xentoth’s Inquisitor (usually paired with the Major Blood Orb of Brutality) is a card you definitely want if you are playing any variation of Blood. Xentoth’s Inquisitor is one of the more popular cards in Set 1—and if more gems get introduced in Set 3, we can even see more flexibility with this card!
Usually a 1-of or 2-of in a mono-Blood deck, Uruunaz is quite a frightening card. The ability to bring any troop in your opponent’s graveyard into play is super powerful, especially when your removal can allow you to target specific troops you’d like to recruit to your army. Uruunaz is, like Vampire King, another troop that’s likely to end the game in your favor if left unanswered.
Actions / Constants
In Set 1, Blood is notorious for control; we have lots of different ways to control the board, opposing hand, graveyard, and even deck. Here are some actions that we believe are necessary to have:
Easily one of the most important cards of the set, Life Siphon has been a recurring threat in the constructed metagame. In the HexTCGPro Invitational, Life Siphon was used in 7 decks (including reserves). Life Siphon is a powerful win condition. Not only that, but Life Siphon allows to user to easily recover from tight situations by gaining a large sum of health. Even in Set 3, we imagine that this will be a staple for mono-Blood or any Blood dual-shard control deck.
Currently, Inquisition is the best card for hand disruption. We can remove a major threat from the opponent’s hand, only limited to non-resources. Along with that useful ability we can see their entire hand as well—resources included. Although this is common rarity, it is definitely a potent control card. If more useful hand disruption cards like Inquisition appear, we might be seeing hand disruption as a common theme in top tier decks.
That’s correct, Murder. If you do not have your hands on this card yet, we suggest getting it as soon as possible. Murder is by far one of the strongest single target removals in the game. Instantly destroying a major threat on the board leaves you in a comfortable position, although its cost and power level are offset by being ineffective against artifacts. Once again, this is another card that will be reappearing consistently in Set 3 constructed. Murder is definitely of the more important staple cards in the Blood shard.
Relentless Corruption was a popular card in the Set 1 constructed format. We saw Relentless Corruption in decks such as Eternal Light, mono-Blood control, Tu-Pact, and sometimes in Blood / Sapphire. When Set 2 hit and Verdict of the Ancient Kings appeared, Relentless Corruption started to die down in popularity. However, this is still a strong card and if more tools appear in Set 3 for Relentless Corruption decks, you will be glad that you picked up a set of these.
Pact of Pain
Pact of Pain is one of the most powerful card-drawing tools to date. The 2-life fee in addition to the resource cost to draw may hurt, but in mono-Blood you have multiple ways to gain life such as Terrible Transfer, Life Siphon, and even Vampire King. This allows Pact of Pain to be an easy card to fit into your deck without having to worry about the current state of your health—as long as you don’t run out of ways to heal, that is.
Boooooooooooard wipeeeeeeeeeeeeee! What’s not satisfying about playing Extinction? Since it is one of only three cards currently in the game that removes all troops from the board (the others being the 10-cost Comet Strike and the return-to-hand Yesterday), it’s hard to remove this card as a staple. However Set 3 might see board wipes as powerful as Extinction. If not, Extinction will be as powerful as ever.
Here are some cards that we believe will be quite powerful in the future, but currently have no place in the constructed at the moment. Keep an eye out for these!
Incantation of Fear
Recently we were introduced to a new card in Set 3 called Exarch of the Egg, and it seems plausible that bury decks might actually be a thing in Set 3. If it is, more than likely Incantation of Fear will once again see the light of day. We have seen the power of Xarlox’s deck in the Frost Arena, and Incantation of Fear adds a nice touch to it.
Demented Demolisher has been off the radar since early Alpha, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone found a way to play with him in Set 3. Removing all of your resources allows the player to draw nothing but power for the rest of the game. Seems like a quite powerful card, but hasn’t really surfaced in popularity. Keep an eye on this one!
Thanks for reading! We will be reviewing the Diamond Shard next—stay tuned!