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PVE Spoiler: Drag to the Depths

Sometimes, playing in Hex PvE is not about winning, but instead about sending a clear message to your ever-patient AI opponent. I and KingGabriel offer some thoughts on the latest PVE spoiler.


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Drag to the Depths is a high-cost board clear in Sapphire, and while its immediate effect is symmetrical and affects both players like an Extinction, it throws all the affected troops into YOUR deck, and turns them all into free-draw-plays like an Angel of Dawn. Whether you’ll see any of these troops is up to chance and your deck’s draw power, but by the time you pay Drag to the Depths, you might have some powerful troops hiding in the depths of your deck that will just pop out and help regardless of their cost and threshold.

However, Drag to the Depth’s 7 cost means that most troops one would draw and play for free, would normally be playable at cost, and if low-power troops are drawn, it may actually be mucking up one’s normal deck tempo. Using lots of draw power to keep drawing into and past any dragged troops is one way to recover board presence after playing it. Fortunately, Drag to the Depths sports a couple of equipment to make playing Drag a better deal for you.

The Seafaring Gloves grants you a charge for every troop that is put into your deck with Drag to the Depths. Fueling charge powers after the board clear is powerful, especially for classes such as Mages, where that turns into a toolbox full of spells. Warriors can Battle for damage and other effects, and with Chapter II, Mercenaries will be bringing all sorts of powers to the table to make use of these charges.

Drag to the Depths’s head-slot equipment, Victim’s Memento, adds “Then, draw a card” to every troop that is put into your deck, which turns the downside of the Dragged troops into all upside. And it is this equipment, enabling potential of drawn Dragged troops, that brings us to a deck idea.

The object of this deck idea is not to win, but to strike abject terror into the heart of your unfeeling AI opponent. Because spiders.

Vennen Mage – Level 9+
Deck Cost: Moderate

3x Hatchery Priest (Gloves)
3x Exarch of the Egg
3x Runeweb Infiltrator (Feet)
3x Nazhk Webguard
3x Vilefang Emerite
3x Zilth (Weapon, Chest)
3x Brood Baron

2x Psychic Torment
3x Kill
3x Oracle Song
2x Lanupaw’s Sight
3x Azure Fang Decree
2x Drag to the Depths (Head)

8x Blood Shard
8x Sapphire Shard
4x Shard of Cunning
4x Zin’xith Silk

Vennen have one of the best shard grids for playing the Sapphire Legendary at our current max level, and the Mage class lends itself to utilizing the charges from Seafaring Gloves. However, for this deck, I’ll leave the gloves off in favor for Hatchery Priest’s Nursery Handlers, for an extra Spiderling with every Spiderling Egg that hatches.

You may notice that this looks a lot like a typical Spiderling Vennen deck, and that would be correct. You could win without ever playing Drag to the Depths, but as I said earlier, it’s not about winning.

Get a lot of Spiderlings. Play Drag to the Depths. Watch your opponent draw chain Spiderling Eggs, and watch yourself draw chain Spiderlings.

Cackle with glee at your combo in action, because this is what PvE is all about.

KingGabriel offers some insight to the card as well:

When considering Drag to the Depths’s main effect it might seem a bit under-powered apart from the fact it opens up more board clear options—however, I think a key thing to note is its main effect has a ton of potential late game. when longer battles in dungeons/raids start appearing.

I really do not see it being used in Frost Ring Arena given its high cost. It would be a fun card to use, but ultimately not effective.

In this regard, it has heavy late game potential, especially with draw heavy decks—I see cards like Forbidden Tomeseeker becoming quite a bit more useful in drawn out battles.

This will also allow you to use AI/boss troops  without any threshold/resource etc. requirement; the effectiveness of this varies from encounter to encounter but its benefit should not be ignored;  being able to play Wiktor’s cards against him offers some overdue revenge that some players may desire.

When it comes to the equipment, the charge gain is a lot stronger for some classes than others. Mages have a wide choice of abilities being re-useable for their charge power and clerics have a lot of late game draw built in that can be augmented pretty decently with the charges gained here.

The head equipment seems a bit of overkill though, but in a heavily draw focused deck it might have some benefits over other cards in the same equipment slot.

Ranger does not presently have as much use for the charge gain, but warriors can use it to clean up the board and stall an opponent’s recovery by making them discard random cards from their hand. I see this having most use in a mage draw/charge focused control deck.

Bear in mind there are a lot of ways to augment actions and making this a quick action could make it even more of a powerful counter—holding high cost cards in hand does not mess up your curve as much if you compensate by larger hand size, non-shards that have resource/threshold elements, cards that allow you to reduce the cost of cards (e.g. War Drums), cards that allow you to play cards for free (e.g. Indigo Dreamwalker),  or cards that can trigger effects while still in your deck.

You can find Hacky on FiveShards tournament casts and several times a week on his personal Twitch channel. A balanced and competitive Hex player, versed in Limited and Constructed; primarily focused on nurturing the ever-growing Hex community, especially on Twitch.

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