With the recent announcement of the $100k HIT (Hex Invitational Tournament) and the settlement of the WOTC lawsuit, the buzz around the future of the game has gotten positively chirpy. If you haven’t yet heard about this and don’t have a basic understanding of what I’m on about, check out the links above or Matt Miller’s great article here.
Of course, like all fans of the competitive scene, I dream of being able to win the HIT and earning those awesome rewards, including what I think will be the single most valuable in game item ever—The Invitational Winner Sleeve, especially considering it’s the first.
This got me thinking, “What would it realistically take someone to get into the final event? To be flown over to Hex Ent HQ and accommodated in the Golden State?” The road to the $100k tournament has been outlined on the main website, but beware eager traveller! The journey is more treacherous than it seems. For what does it truly mean to the average shard-slinger in terms of time and plat?
So for giggles, I had a crack at trying to figure out how one could get enough IQ tickets to participate in one of the 12 Invitational Qualifiers and this article captures the results of my analysis. Your critique is welcome, and I’m more than happy for you to take this and put a more detailed spin on it to arrive at better estimates.
Before we jump into it, I’ll list the assumptions we’re going to run with:
|Cost of pack from AH (assume as default purchase option)||175|
|In any multi-round event, each round of play||60 minutes|
|In sealed or draft, deck construction time takes||20 minutes|
|In draft, draft phase takes||30 minutes|
|Gauntlet games take approximately||20 minutes|
|Average number of games to win a Gauntlet||7|
Now, let’s see what data we have to work with:
|Event Type||Packs Required||Entry Fee||Total Plat Spent|
|8 person Comp Draft||3||100||625|
|8 person Comp Constructed||0||300||300|
Plus, straight from everyone’s favourite Minotaur Mercenary, the IQ ticket reward structure:
DAILY SCHEDULED TOURNAMENTS
- 4 wins receives 10 qualifying tickets
- 3 wins receives 4 qualifying tickets
- 2 wins receives 1 qualifying ticket
8-PERSON DRAFT AND CONSTRUCTED QUEUES
- 1st Place receives 1 qualifying ticket
SEALED AND CONSTRUCTED GAUNTLETS
- 5 wins receives 1 qualifying tickets (you can have losses)
You need ten of these puppies to be eligible to participate. Using the above as our source of truth, we then apply our assumptions to arrive at the best case scenario for each event and then convert the plat into USD.
|Best case scenario||Number of events||Tickets Won||Time (Hours rounded up)||Plat Spent||USD conversion|
|8 person Comp Draft||10||10||39||6,250||$63|
|8 person Comp Constructed||10||10||30||3,000||$30|
“But wait a minute Chocmaw! It can’t be that easy.”
Unfortunately Sunshine, I agree. Plus, we haven’t even taken into consideration what it costs to build a Tier 1 constructed deck, if that’s the way you want to go about it. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Let’s assume a plebeian 40% win rate on all your games and see what it takes to get your 10 IQ tickets then, eh?
|40% scenario||Number of events||Tickets Won||Time (Hours rounded up)||Plat Spent||USD conversion|
|8 person Comp Draft||25||10||96||15,625||$157|
|8 person Comp Constructed||25||10||75||7,500||$75|
It appears that the Daily Scheduled Constructed events are your best punt for plat—and the most time-effective to boot.
One thing that you’ll need to consider is the cost of building a Tier 1 deck for these events. If we take the recent Sapphire Cup as a benchmark, check out hex tcgbrowser for the costs of the top 8 decks (Anyone ever tell you how awesome you are Bogdan? Much <3 for the site).
The decks cost $51, $125, $251, $111, $108, $123, $184 and $288
That’s an average of $155. Big-time commitment. My wife would Parriphagy my butt if she knew, type of commitment.
There might be some argument for going with the 8-man comps or gauntlet, but being an all-or-nothing scenario doesn’t appeal to the regular battle hopper like yours truly. However, time commitment may be a concern and to be honest, if you’re the weekend warrior or gamer parent sorts, the gauntlets might be the way to go if you can’t spare 3 or 4 hours at a stretch. Sealed events are also a great way for people new to the game to open packs, come to think of it.
There might also be the rationale that if you go down the draft route, you can sell what you don’t need, but imho, Set 3 is super saturated and I don’t know if the influx of players will be enough to boost AH sales to make this worth your while. Particularly, if you take into account the glut of booster packs in prizes that are going to come from all of us going at these tournaments like a Crocosaur in heat.
I hope this article’s given you some soup for the grey cells. If you want to check out my amazing spreadsheet and work it to permutate and combinate other scenarios, go for your life. Just click here and make sure you clean up and turn off the lights before you head out.
Here’s wishing you all the best on your journey to a smashing HIT.