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To HIT or not to HIT

G’day Hexers!

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 play60 minutes
In sealed or draft, deck construction time takes20 minutes
In draft, draft phase takes30 minutes
Gauntlet games take approximately20 minutes
Average number of games to win a Gauntlet7

Reasonable, yes?

Now, let’s see what data we have to work with:

Event TypePacks RequiredEntry FeeTotal Plat Spent
Scheduled Constructed0500500
Scheduled Sealed62001250
8 person Comp Draft3100625
8 person Comp Constructed0300300
Sealed Gauntlet62001250
Constructed Gauntlet0500500

Plus, straight from everyone’s favourite Minotaur Mercenary, the IQ ticket reward structure:


  • 4 wins receives 10 qualifying tickets
  • 3 wins receives 4 qualifying tickets
  • 2 wins receives 1 qualifying ticket


  • 1st Place receives 1 qualifying ticket


  • 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 scenarioNumber of eventsTickets WonTime (Hours rounded up)Plat SpentUSD conversion
Scheduled Constructed1104500$5
Scheduled Sealed11051,250$13
8 person Comp Draft1010396,250$63
8 person Comp Constructed1010303,000$30
Sealed Gauntlet10102712,500$125
Constructed Gauntlet1010245,000$50

“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% scenarioNumber of eventsTickets WonTime (Hours rounded up)Plat SpentUSD conversion
Scheduled Constructed1210486,000$60
Scheduled Sealed12105215,000$150
8 person Comp Draft25109615,625$157
8 person Comp Constructed2510757,500$75
Sealed Gauntlet25106731,250$313
Constructed Gauntlet25105912,500$125

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.



Karth (Chocmaw) originally backed Hex for the promise of PvE awesomeness, having never played a TCG before. Since then, he has discovered the joys of PvP and now meanders along, trying to understand the intricacies of the game better and improve his play.

12 Comments on To HIT or not to HIT

  1. A kingly sum, indeed. But well worth the price!

  2. While it might be rough to factor in the value of the cards you open in sealed/draft events, I think it is worth considering the costs you recoup via pack winnings. With a 50% win-rate, your EV from an 8 player draft tournament is 1.5 packs, so the true cost of entering a draft is closer to 363 plat. A similar calculation could be done for other formats, though doubtless scheduled constructed will still be massively ahead of the rest.

    • Agreed. Chark did mention somewhere that he wanted to see the Daily Scheduled events fire up, hence the rather obvious bias in terms of rewards.

  3. Basically: do Constructed Daily and only have Draft and Gauntlet as a “While I’m waiting for Daily to fire” or “Just to open packs and have fun”.

    If you win 3 out of 4 games in two dailies, you’re already 8 tokens there. I think it’s designed to keep in mind the tournament is for the top tier players, because a winner of any qualifier is the top in the world and is a prize of around $2k depending on where you live.

    All this being said, I don’t think I’ll enter in more than two or three of the 12 Qualifiers. They’re not designed for players to enter every one.

  4. See now I’m curious, do you enter like the 10th,11th,and 12th qualifiers hoping that the previous 9 winners, who will be very skilled players, wont be in them giving you a slightly higher win rate?

  5. My plan is to do mostly Scheduled Constructed and drafts when I am waiting for them to fire, as Mitchel said. But if you come in new without cards, this way will also be rather expensive.

  6. Does anyone have an approximate number for the average value of a pack’s contents? Set 3 cards are definitely cheaper than Set 1 or 2 were, but I still think it skews the analysis too much to assume that they have 0 value.

  7. I would not count card value from Limited for this analysis, but I would count the value of prize packs. The cost of draft should be 100 plat plus 1.5 packs (3 offset by 1.5 in prizes) and sealed should be 200 plat plus 3 packs (it’s actually slightly more if I remember right).

  8. If you intend to do the sealed qualifiers I would not shy away from the daily seal as the practice will help in the long run. I know I have avoided sealed the whole time so im a bit behind on the learning curve for it. Also if you can guarantee tickets for sealed as well as constructed, the seal qualifiers basically pay you to play since the packs you open are free.

  9. What a great work done and what a nice read. The road to Invitational seems to be not easy, but now I know where to start at least 🙂 Thanks!

  10. I’d really love to qualify for one of these events, but the numbers that you laid out here pretty much proves it’s not going to happen for me. Skill to actually get the tickets aside (or my lack thereof), I doubt i’ll be able to find the time to play enough events to get the 10 tickets. But with that being said, I’ll still probably do a few more gauntlets and drafts than I normally would in hopes that I can get a bit lucky. The Scheduled Dailies are obviously the way to go, but I’m not sure If i’ll be able to get into one when they fire off.

    IGN: pjvedder

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