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Updated Rules, Regulations, and Ban List

We are a mere six days away from the Blood Cup. If you aren’t already signed up, please sign up here. You must sign up before the tournament starts. This post is a compilation of everything you will need to know to participate fully in the blood cup and to minimize hiccups as much as possible.

1. Reserves and Decklists: We allow a 15-card reserve. Consequently, we require decklists of all participants. Decklists must include the Champion, the 60+ card deck, the 15-card reserve (must be exactly fifteen), and any gems used in the initial deck configuration. All participants must email their decklists with the above information to us ( by 8:00am PST (WorldClock) on the morning of the tournament, December 20th. We will post the full set of decklists after the final round completes and also highlight the top 8 decklists. You may change gems during reserves/sideboarding, but not in-between matches.

1a. Template for Decklist

Your ingame name

Your name on Challonge

Champion: (Name)

4x Card1
4x Card2
4x Card3
2x Card4 (Prime Ruby of Destruction)
So forth

4x More cards
4x More cards

2. Confirmation: Confirmation begins at 8:00am PST (WorldClock) and the tournament starts at 9:00am PST (WorldClock). To confirm your participation, just log into Challonge at any point within an hour prior to the start of the tournament (8:00-9:00am PST). If you do not confirm your registration prior to the tournament beginning, the tournament will automatically drop you.

3. We will stream the tournament from We will cast all pairings, coverage, and rulings on this channel. Players should have it open/accessible to hear updated news. If you are casting the game, we highly recommend you use a card blocker to enable us to do feature match coverage.

4. Matches: Each match will be determined by the player that wins two games out of three. The match ends when one player wins two games. The client will decide the turn order in the first game using a coin flip. The loser of the previous game will determine if they play or draw in game.

5. Reserves: Players get 2 minutes to side in and out their cards.

6. End-of-time Procedure: Since we cannot run best-of-three matches through the client presently, it is possible that, after 60 minutes, some matches will not be completed. When time is over, the current turn will finish and the players will play five more turns (combined, not each.) If neither player has won two games at this point and neither player has more wins, then the match is a draw. If, after 5 turns, the match is 1-0, then the player with one win wins the match.

7. Slow Play: Since we are not watching all the games in person, it is difficult for us to determine slow play.  However, if you are streaming and your opponent seems to be intentionally playing slow, call a judge over to your stream and we will observe the match.  The escalation of penalties for slow play is: warning, time reduction for the offending player’s clock, game loss, match loss.

8. Top 8: We will run the top 8 through the in-game queue.

9. Bugged Game Policy: Unfortunately, there are times when the game may substantially bug out or make it impossible to preserve the state of the game. If the players can preserve the state of the game, they should make efforts to do so. If the game bugs in a way that the players cannot agree to play through, neither player has fatal damage on the board/hands (if streaming), neither player is willing to concede the match, and the bug prevents the match from proceeding, then players are to restart the game. Players do not get extra time for bugged games.

A. Unfortunately, there are several interactions that we heard exist, but cannot confirm the precise steps to replicate those bugs. In interactive cases, we will have to treat several bugs “as is”. That is, play will proceed as if the bug were intended. Unfortunately, the number of existing bugs that we were unable to catch suggests that the number of restarts would be higher than necessary for the tournament.

B. If a bug fundamentally breaks the state of the game, we will have the players restart the game. The threshold for this categorization is higher and may include instances where a player’s self interactions trigger the bug.

C. If you find an interactive bug in your match that we have not listed, do report it to us.  We will try to keep a running list of “as is” bugs on the FiveShards website for quick reference. Additionally, if you find a bug that fundamentally negates your opponents cards, not only are you obligated to inform the judging team, but you should inform your future opponents. For example, if we were to discover the Nibbler bug mid-tournament, it would be the player’s obligation to tell each future opponent that their debuff effects will not work on the card.

10. The administrators of the tournament are also the judges for the event. For the Blood Cup, the judges will be Pentachills, juzamjedi, and Zubrin. Any decisions by the judges are final.

11. If your deck is built around exploiting a bugged card that is clearly bugged in your own testing, you will forfeit the match you are currently in and we will drop you from the tournament. Since this is early in the set, there is a possibility that people will discover bugs not yet reported. All such bugs should be reported to the tournament administrators for banning consideration (as well as CZE). We strive to ensure the integrity of the tournament.

12. Deck Checks: If a player suspects that an opponent is playing with cards that are not in their original configuration for game 1, or if they are playing with cards that are not in their decklist or reserves, the player can immediately ask for a deck check.  A tournament judge will then cross-check the suspected cards with the submitted decklist. If the player is found in violation, they automatically lose the game. If a player is found to make the mistake a third time, we will escalate the penalty to a match loss. Players may request two deck checks throughout the tournament and checks resulting in penalties will not count against the player’s total number of checks.*

13. Any player caught cheating or attempting to cheat will be dealt with at the discretion of tournament organizers, including but not limited to disqualification, banning from future events, and withholding prizes.

14. Feature Match Policy: If you are playing in the Blood Cup and are streaming, we take that as consent that you are willing to allow us to use your stream as a feature match on the main channel (  If, however, you would not like us to do this, please let us know as soon as possible and we will not host your stream.

Banned List

This list is preliminary.  If we are missing anything, let us know and we will quickly add it. We expect the list to be finalized Thursday night.

  • Grave Nibbler—If buffed while underground, the Grave Nibbler can no longer be buffed or debuffed.
  • Eldon the Imprisoned—Can transform from non-troop damage.
  • Rune Ear Burrower—this card continues to gain +1/+1 from troops in some situations.


Exploitive Behavior

There are a few cards that players can exploit on purpose. If a player does so with any of these cards and their opponent provides evidence of it, the offending player will lose the match and forfeit the tournament.

  • Flak Scrapper—The artifact sacrifice stage happens during resolution, allowing players to target an artifact for resolution, then sacrifice the artifact for a second effect while still allowing Flak Scrapper to resolve. Example, A player may use Flak Scrapper, target an Immortal Tears, sacrifice the Tears to get a shard, then still have the Scrapper do two damage.  This exploitation is prohibited. If you use an artifact for Flak Scrapper, you cannot choose to sacrifice it for anything else.
  • Shoggoth—Shoggoth can counter cards while in play and also remain in play. Shoggoth’s ability is meant to only be used in your hand. Using Shoggoth’s ability while it is in play will result in removal from the tournament.


Conditional Ban

This list is preliminary. If we are missing anything, let us know and we will quickly add it. We expect the list to be finalized Thursday night.

  • Robots and Giles—If you use Giles on a variety of robots, it also gives dwarves or other races/classes the +1 attack. As such, robots are legal in all non-Giles decks. If you play Giles, you cannot play robots.
  • (It appears Charge Bot might be buffing Orcs in the same manner as this. Using Giles on any artifact troop might just have to be something avoided)


Cards with Known Issues

This list is preliminary. If we are missing anything, let us know and we will quickly add it. We expect the list to be finalized Thursday night.

Cards in this category are bugged in a way that undermines how CZE intends for them to interact. We determined their bugged effect to either penalize the player using them or minimal enough to warrant a warning, but not an outright ban. A bug with these cards will not result in replaying a game or match:

  • Augmentation Bot—Buffs are removed when it leaves play.
  • Callous Awakener—Does not trigger inspire on the troop it takes and loses charges when its owner disconnects.
  • Cosmic Transmorgrifier—It can make PVE troops, many are not quite programmed to work fully yet.
  • Eternal Drifter—Inconsistent on threshold requirements; also, attempting to use the power on this troop can fail and immediately skip the phase you are in (Main or Second).
  • Escalation Cards—They cause cards to disappear from the user’s deck.
  • Feral Domination—Certain troops, such as Rune Ear Commander and Dangerous Beast, do not appear to trigger it. This may be intended as these troops enter play with less than 5 attack/defense.
  • Mentors—Replicated mentors will transform into non-useable abilities.
  • Parallel Evolution—It can make PVE troops, many are not quite programmed to work fully yet.
  • Peek—Does not resolve correctly when returned to deck with Loregoyle.
  • Replicator’s Gambit—Putting some troops into play one-by-one instead of simultaneously.
  • SPAM Bot—loses self buffs when it leaves play/is transformed.
  • Uruunaz—Does not trigger inspire on troops it takes.


*We liked this rule from the hextechs tournament so we shamelessly adopted it for our own tournaments.

Michael Allen is a competitive HexTCG player, co-host of the 2 Turns Ahead podcast, and founder and moderator of the Hex Subreddit.

2 Comments on Updated Rules, Regulations, and Ban List

  1. Hey, first off thanks for hosting this tournament! I’m wondering though about getting the update news by watching the twitch stream. Will we be required to have audio enabled for this? I’ll be streaming myself, and it would be kind of weird to have the sounds from the main stream playing over my stream. Will there be text news updates? Maybe like a command (like !latest or something) to display the latest important news in the chat?

    • As long as you can see the video, you should be good.
      If you don’t have sound, you’re going to NEED to pay attention to chat.
      In the past for other tournaments, I’d leave the stream muted in the background, and check what they were talking about between rounds. Most importantly keep an eye on the time.

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