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Hex Essentials: Shardless

Hey everyone, thanks for sticking through this series with us; we’re nearly done and hope that you have enjoyed it. We have covered all five shards at this point which leaves us with just artifacts, resources and any other miscellaneous cards without threshold requirements.

Troops

Surprisingly, there have been some powerful Shardless troops. These troops have seen constructed play quite a bunch, so don’t underestimate these fellas just because they have no shard affiliation!

Droo’s Colossal Walker

Droo’s Walker was popular in both Set 1 and Set 2 constructed. Combined with Soul Marble or Dimmid, Droo is quite the 5-drop; the trick to Walker is to mitigate the required cost of 8 health to re-ready. This allows Droo’s Colossal Walker to be seen in every D/X variation. As long as there are ways to mitigate the negative side effect of this troop, we believe its power will not diminish in Armies of Myth.

Electroid

Electroid is not only one of the least expensive Uncommon cards, but it is also an absolute powerhouse. Playing dwarf/robot aggro allows you to take advantage of this 1-drop. The more cards that are released the more aggressive potential Electroid will have, as a 3/4 for 1 is no joke. Sure there are restrictions but even this early on it is totally possible to work around them.

Tectonic Megahulk

Tectonic Megahulk goes hand-in-hand with the aggressive dwarf deck mentioned above. Ever since Kaldheim brought Megahulk to the first Ruby Cup, the robot aggro deck has been quite popular and even won the Season 1 Cup of Fate. However, since there are no additional dwarves in Armies of Myth, we might see the popularity of this deck die down. However, if Control decks still linger in Set 3, we can see aggro dwarves coming once again in the next set. Keep an eye out for this one!

Argus, Herald of Doom

One of the greatest cards thematically, Argus was seen in both sets mostly as a reserves card and sometimes maindeck when combined with Soul Marble. Herald of Doom has lost its popularity by end of Shattered Destiny constructed; however, it can most definitely still be in control decks as a 1-of.

Artifacts / Shards / etc…

Normally this would be our spot to talk about actions like Burn or Eye of Creation; however since we’re going “shardless” with this article we’re looking primarily at artifacts & shards.

Chaos Key

Chaos Key is a universal Artifact that is usually played in decks that can not deal with a specific threat. For example, Blood and Ruby have no Constant removal in Fate Block, so decks based on those shards relied on Chaos Key to get rid of those threats. While Chaos Key is expensive to trigger, there be room in reserves for a catch-all neutralizer like it until something strictly better is introduced.

Crackling Vortex

Vortex is the very first rare resource to be released, and its auction house value (currently over 500 p) goes to show how sought-after such widely-useful cards are. This slots pretty easily into single-threshold decks and getting extra utility out of the shards you’re playing is a deceivingly big deal. Some champions, admittedly, don’t have charge powers you’re likely to need more than a couple times in a game. Those with abuse-able or expensive charge powers will love Crackling Vortex, however, and as long as it’s constructed-legal you’ll want four of these.

 

Set 2 Dual Shards

Shard of AncientsShard of CunningShard of HatredShard of RetributionShard of ConquestShard of Life, Shard of PurposeShard of Innovation, Shard of SavageryShard of Instinct

The keystone of any deck-builder’s toolkit, the dual shards allow players to consistently get the threshold they need. Although there are new threshold fixers in Armies of Myth, having more is never a bad thing. Pick these up as soon as possible—they should be a high priority!

Sapper’s Charge

An honorary Sapphire card as far as we’re concerned. Sure it might work well in other spots as well but it gives Sapphire access to something which it wouldn’t see otherwise: direct damage. You have the option of either playing it as soon as you draw it to bully your opponent and show that it’s there or you can wait until they play their critical card and then you dismantle their plan. Usually this decision is decided on whether you play or draw at the start of the game.

Shards of Fate

While Shards of Fate will still see play through the Myth Block, it will continue to see less and less play. Long gone are the days where it was our only non-basic resource available. Having access to any threshold you might need seems pretty good but missing out on that charge can set you back more than you might think.

Sleepers

These are cards which might have at best seen marginal play in constructed but have some sort of powerful potential that could be unlocked in the future. Keep an eye out for these!

Forge of Cadoc

Free cards ALWAYS have potential. In order to really utilize it you want to be able to reliably play it on turn one, which means you’ve gotta have plenty of dwarves and artifacts in your deck. The only deck running many right now is the robotic agro deck which needs the extra cards more than the extra resource. Although it hasn’t seen much play yet, this definitely feels like a card that has more room for growth than most of the other sleepers we’ve named throughout this series. When new sets are announced pay close attention for 2-3 cost cards which have huge potential to put you ahead if played early on.

Drowned Shrine of Ulthar

Drowned Shrine sounds like a powerful card on paper, but it has not been popular in competitive play. Naturally, drawing more than one Drowned Shrine (especially if your opponent can’t answer it already) becomes a dead draw, which hurts the player. This card is there to keep what might otherwise be degenerate decks in check; if Syzygy turns out to be a real card then this will definitely be quite the dagger.

Surge Mechanism

The idea with Surge Mechanism is that if your deck is so slow and grindy that the game just goes on and on then at some point you might crank out enough resources to deliver a killing blow with something like Life Siphon or Burn to the Ground. This becoming a reality is an issue for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it would be an incredibly boring deck to play against which isn’t particularly healthy for the game. Still, a deck that leverages Surge Mechanism to frustrating effect could certainly slip through R&D at some point.

Jank Bot

So… Jank Bot might be more of a troll card for constructed than a legitimate beast. That doesn’t mean that it’s not fun to play with though. If Jank Bot becomes its own popular format where people just want to have fun and make different 150-card decks to play against one another then it will be pretty hard for you to participate without four copies, won’t it? The jank is real—embrace it.

Eternal Guardian

From time to time this construct has had an interesting spot in the meta-game. Some opposing decks might not have any way to kill you if you’re able to land one of these on the board. Early on there were many Blood based decks that relied on Life Siphon as their win condition and if you were able to get them to use their extinctions early then they’d be unable to ever get rid of the Guardian.

Piecetinker’s Final Say:  Just wanted to give a quick thank you to our readers! We hope you enjoyed our end of set review and we’ll see ya next time!

Funktion’s Final Say: It has been a couple weeks since we put out our last article but thus is life, thanks everyone for sticking around we really appreciate it. We’re both very excited for the release of Armies of Myth and just want to HIGHLY recommend that if you don’t already have a playset of the dual shards that you should definitely make sure that you take care of that ASAP.

 

Piecetinker is new to the competitive scene of TCGs. Despite this, he placed Top 8 in both the HexTCGPro July and Invitational tournaments. Primarily focusing in Constructed play, Piecetinker will continue to learn and improve his skills. You can find his Twitter here.

1 Comment on Hex Essentials: Shardless

  1. Thanks guys for the great articles, great reads!

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