Howdy, Hexers! Today we look at one of Hex’s most unique features: the auction house. Most digital TCGs either eschew the concept of the commerce or rely on other methods for players to trade resources. Hex’s auction house is a major step toward the MMO promise—a tool for players to master the acquisition side of a TCG and provide another element of play! Today we shall examine two big questions about the Auction House: What strategy should I use for the auction house, and when should I buy or sell cards?
For the sake of simplicity we can classify play priorities into three groups: Limited, Constructed and Collection. Limited players seek great games but use limited-format tournaments to even the playing field. These players use the Auction house to help fund drafting and playing sealed events. Collectors enjoy the art, flavor and design of the game; they want to have at least a single copy of each card available as well as the cards they need to build the decks they like. Constructed players—much like collectors—often want and need access to 4 copies of each card to build decks but they will sometimes focus on their favorite play style to save them from large investments. Constructed players often benefit the most from buying single cards. These aspects give rise to different focuses. Drafters focus on how to sell single cards and buy boosters. Collectors buy and sell boosters and singles. Constructed players often focus on selling boosters and buying singles.
Choose Your Strategy!
Start by figuring out your priorities and focusing on what is the most fun for you. Are you a drafter, collector or constructed-focused player? Once you choose you can move on to the art of knowing what and when to buy or sell. For the constructed path, begin by researching successful decks that interest your play style. Watch the Hex twitch streamers to see if those play styles suit you and then, once you’ve chosen to build a certain deck, make a list of the cards you need. Constructed players benefit by buying single cards and then winning tournaments. Prizes from the tournaments are put up on the AH to fund future singles purchases. What if you just like to play PvP games and try different strategies? Then you should follow the path of the drafter! Drafters learn the limited play environment and sell the singles they acquire to buy more packs and pay drafting fees. Collectors have a fun road before them trying to acquire every card in the game but the Auction House is the tool to make that dream easily attainable. Collectors often follow a hybrid path of drafting and buying singles. All singles above the collector’s desired count are sold on the auction house and used to buy packs for drafting.
Buying & Selling Tips
The link between each of these different styles is buying and selling with the old adage of “buy low, sell high” being paramount to getting the most out of your platinum. Use these tips to help maximize your purchases:
Know the Lowest Price
Each rarity has a lowest platinum price it can sell for. Commons bottom out at 3 platinum, uncommons at 10, rares at 30 and legendary cards at 50 platinum. Any time is a good time to buy singles at these prices as they will not go any lower. Constructed-viable cards are rarely at the price floor; for those cards you should scope out the auction house well before you compete in any events so you have time to find a good price.
Look at the Volume of Cards
Watch for multiple pages of a single card being listed. This means people are trying to sell the card. This could be the time to buy because the lowest bid/buyout is close to as low as it will go. Be careful when you see few listings of a card. Low volume means the supply is limited and prices may be elevated, making it less likely you’ll score a good deal.
Buying Booster Packs
Boosters come from tournament prizes, the Hex Store, and the auction house. If you can win boosters, do it! If you must pay for them, the auction house is the best spot to buy generic boosters. Drafters rely on the auction house and try to win boosters to keep their play costs low. Collectors use boosters to start their collections. Constructed players will often sell the packs they win to buy singles they need.
If the auction house is the place to buy boosters then why buy them from the official Hex store? Primal Packs! These are special boosters that contain 2 legendary cards and 13 rare cards. Only packs won from tournaments and bought from the official store have a chance to generate primal packs. The best time to buy packs from the official store is when new sets are released; very few of those packs will be available on the auction house and deals are less prevalent.
Sell Your Extras!
Generally you only need 4 of any card for PvP because you can use each copy of a card in any number of decks. Extras can then go to your friends or you can sell them! Most common cards do not sell for platinum but tournament staples do. Uncommon cards will sometimes sell for platinum and tournament-staple uncommon cards can sell above the platinum floor. When you search these cards on the auction house, use the reverse logic of buying: If you see many pages of the card and it is at the price floor, do not sell your card. If there is only a single page of the card, list it and command a premium price. Use good judgment. Keep a record of the prices you see handy. Keeping a written record saves your brain power.
What About Selling Packs?
Boosters should only command a price above 200 platinum when that set is no longer sold in the Hex Store. Until then, sell boosters by matching or slightly undercutting the lowest price if you need your boosters to sell quickly. If you want to save your booster for value, be prepared to wait. Hex has many sets already planned and will be implementing more tournament formats as the game continues. The booster you can buy on the auction house today for 150 platinum could sell for 300 or maybe 1000 in several years. The best part is that they take up no room on your shelves while you wait!
We can’t forget to talk about Hex’s free to play currency: Gold. Gold will primarily come from PvE sources like dungeons, quests and raids. Until that content is implemented, gold temporarily comes from winning in the proving grounds and tournaments making it cheaper to get than platinum. A tournament staple common that may sell for 3 platinum could be worth 500 gold. Use the same logic for buying and selling in gold as you would for platinum. Always be careful when you list auctions that you have the right currency chosen. Knowing when to buy a card for gold and when to buy it for platinum is a learned skill that needs practice. Master the conversion between gold and platinum and you may find yourself having more fun on the auction house than the proving grounds!