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CoolGrayAJ
05-22-2013, 09:16 AM
Greetings, Everyone!

One thing I noticed on the Hex forums is that there's a hefty amount of people that have backed Hex, and have very little experience with TCGs, or TCGs in a competitive space. I've also noticed that regardless of experience, people are still dropping $250+ (even double-dipping) on the game, so I felt the need to write about it.

A good number of us are receiving 150+ booster packs, and I know a good lot of you are itching to break those packs open. Personally, I'll be sitting on my packs for a while, and here's why:

http://coolgraycorner.com/2013/05/22/so-you-backed-hex-but-are-new-to-tcgs/

Hope you guys enjoy the read!

- AJ

ShaolinRaven
05-22-2013, 09:24 AM
Good points for people looking for PvP and especially for drafting. I'm a collector at heart though, so I'll be opening packs until I have a full set and then any boosters I get after that will be saved for drafting. I also want a good amount of cards to construct decks and the problem with using boosters for drafts is that you might loose out on cards you want for constructed either because you have a better card in the pack you open for drafting or because the card is better in constructed but not useful in drafting. So I would say open a good number of packs so you have a nice selection for construced and save some for drafting depending on what your focus in Hex is going to be.

CoolGrayAJ
05-22-2013, 09:26 AM
the problem with using boosters for drafts is that you might loose out on cards you want for constructed either because you have a better card in the pack you open for drafting or because the card is better in constructed but not useful in drafting.

This is definitely a great point, considering the very real possibility of people rare drafting in the first few weeks (months?) of Hex.

MrCwis
05-22-2013, 09:31 AM
I partially agree with this, drafting is great and you really learn how some cards work together, but it also skews how you value cards. Sometimes what is an amazing card is constructed is terrible in draft and vice versa. Using MtG as an example, Delver of Secrets was game breaking in standard when used with ponder and a deck built around transforming it, on the other hand in draft is was only mediocre because you couldn't have a deck full of instants and sorceries built to abuse it.

But great article, i look forward to reading more of them when the game is finally released

Deathfog
05-22-2013, 09:54 AM
Does any expect anything more than 1% at most of people putting down $100+ for a Hex KS are not former MTG or at least Yugioh/Pokemon players? Just about everyone should hit the ground running once beta starts since the game is essentially a MTG clone as its core with some reasonably understandable rule changes.

Tyrfang
05-22-2013, 09:57 AM
I'm sure a rather large percent are casual TCG players that simply never committed fully to a single game, but understood the rules well enough to make a deck and play with friends.

ShaolinRaven
05-22-2013, 10:02 AM
Does any expect anything more than 1% at most of people putting down $100+ for a Hex KS are not former MTG or at least Yugioh/Pokemon players? Just about everyone should hit the ground running once beta starts since the game is essentially a MTG clone as its core with some reasonably understandable rule changes.

Still doesn't mean we shouldn't do write-ups and put some things out there for new players to think about because we're also getting all the people that are interested in the MMO aspect of it that might not be as familiar with the TCG side of things. Or are coming from online TCGS that play differently.

Jotora
05-22-2013, 10:20 AM
Hello! I'm also one of the newbies who have taken the plunge (at the Pro Player level).

Originally, I was planning on opening ~50 of those boosters and sitting on the rest, but now I'm re-thinking that based on your article.

So, just to clarify, when you sign up for a draft, you have (the option) to provide the boosters from your collection instead of buying them for the event? This is what I gathered from your article.

Hexmage
05-22-2013, 10:27 AM
To sign up for a booster you'll probably get a couple of options how to pay. You either pay the full price in platinum (the pvp currency), pay in boosters + 1 plat for entrance fee, or some form of 1 free draft token. It might even be the case that the first option doesn't exist all depends on how they program it.

EDIT: On topic of using to learn drafting how to play, it is a great way to become a technically better player. I started becoming "good" at magic when I started reading articles and drafting regularly.

CoolGrayAJ
05-22-2013, 10:29 AM
To sign up for a booster you'll probably get a couple of options how to pay. You either pay the full price in platinum (the pvp currency), pay in boosters + 1 plat for entrance fee, or some form of 1 free draft token. It might even be the case that the first option doesn't exist all depends on how they program it.

Hexmage is correct here. You can use your Kickstarter boosters to draft with, and spend 1 Platinum ($1) for your mandatory entry fee.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure you could also trade your PvE cards for Platinum, and use that Platinum as your entry fee, thus averting ALL monetary costs to draft.

jai151
05-22-2013, 10:33 AM
Hexmage is correct here. You can use your Kickstarter boosters to draft with, and spend 1 Platinum ($1) for your mandatory entry fee.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure you could also trade your PvE cards for Platinum, and use that Platinum as your entry fee, thus averting ALL monetary costs to draft.

You are 100% correct, CZE has used that (as well as selling equipment for platinum) as an example of how someone could play completely free.

Rhodes
05-22-2013, 10:42 AM
Just wanted to say I'm glad that you have kept in mind brand-new or less experienced players. My wife and I tried to get into MTG, and while we loved the cards, we simply didn't have anyone to play the game with. We both have a love for the idea of a TCG and strongly feel that HEX will transform that into a love for the game. So thanks again for keeping new players in mind, good article.

CoolGrayAJ
05-22-2013, 10:44 AM
Just wanted to say I'm glad that you have kept in mind brand-new or less experienced players. My wife and I tried to get into MTG, and while we loved the cards, we simply didn't have anyone to play the game with. We both have a love for the idea of a TCG and strongly feel that HEX will transform that into a love for the game. So thanks again for keeping new players in mind, good article.

Thanks! I definitely appreciate the compliments, and the more I'm able to encourage less-experienced players to play, the stronger our community can be. Don't hesitate to give me a ring either here, on my blog, or on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/CoolGrayAJ) if you ever feel like talking! I'm always up for it :D

Jotora
05-22-2013, 11:12 AM
To sign up for a booster you'll probably get a couple of options how to pay. You either pay the full price in platinum (the pvp currency), pay in boosters + 1 plat for entrance fee, or some form of 1 free draft token. It might even be the case that the first option doesn't exist all depends on how they program it.

EDIT: On topic of using to learn drafting how to play, it is a great way to become a technically better player. I started becoming "good" at magic when I started reading articles and drafting regularly.Getting good is definitely the plan. I backed at the Pro Player tier and I plan to live up to the name as best as I can. The advice of seasoned TCG players will be an invaluable resource in helping me achieve that, so thanks a lot for the information.*


Hexmage is correct here. You can use your Kickstarter boosters to draft with, and spend 1 Platinum ($1) for your mandatory entry fee.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure you could also trade your PvE cards for Platinum, and use that Platinum as your entry fee, thus averting ALL monetary costs to draft.
Thanks for the information, guys. I'll probably end up opening a bunch of those boosters eventually, but I'll try my best to resist the urge in the meantime and look forward to drafting a ton.

*As a side note, I'm not completely new to TCGs, but the professional/competitive aspect is something I've never experienced.

scyphrre
05-22-2013, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the post. I've only ever played MTG: Duels (2013 via Steam). I considered that my intro to TCG's. I could never find people to play with IRL so I'm looking forward to Hex as the first TCG I can get good at. I'll save my boosters as you suggested. Keep helping out us newbies. I'd love to see an article on general deck building strategies as that seems to be at the heart of what a TCG is about.

CoolGrayAJ
05-22-2013, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the post. I've only ever played MTG: Duels (2013 via Steam). I considered that my intro to TCG's. I could never find people to play with IRL so I'm looking forward to Hex as the first TCG I can get good at. I'll save my boosters as you suggested. Keep helping out us newbies. I'd love to see an article on general deck building strategies as that seems to be at the heart of what a TCG is about.

Planning on it! Be sure to follow the blog and my Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/CoolGrayAJ). I'll be updating there frequently.

Yasi
05-22-2013, 11:31 AM
I enjoyed the read, but the subject is really dumb.

4acrossisemu
05-22-2013, 11:50 AM
Nice read, I dont think i'll sit on all my boosters but i'm certainly more likely to start with my starter kits for a while to get into it more and keep the shear number of cards from becoming daunting and jading me to the vaule of those starters.

Keep it up, we will be watching :)

Hieronymous
05-22-2013, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the post. I suspect most early adopters/backers of Hex are going to be people who have *some* history with TCG's -- played in high school years ago, etc. -- and were at least mildly interested in more competitive play but never had the opportunity for one reason or another (i.e., when I was young enough to play MTG without being the creepy old guy in the game store, I was too poor to afford competitive cards, and now that I can afford cards I'm too old to not be the creeper). There's probably also a small core of "pro" or "semi pro" players who look on cards as an investment.

Honestly, my initial plan is just to use the starter decks to play the full PvE game and then once I've "warmed up" as it were get into more competitive play.

EccentricFan
05-22-2013, 12:09 PM
For some reason, I never got into any of the major TCGs, always going for less popular ones. The two biggest ones I ever got into were Decipher's Star Wars and Lord of the Rings CCGs. Even then, there was one store in town that sold them, and I had one friend to play against, not knowing anyone else who ever played them.

Never stopped me wasting way to much money on them, or even more obscure games, some of which I can't even remember the names of to this day and haven't a clue what I ever did with the cards.

Anyway, I'm hoping to talk a friend or two into playing this as well, because I'm more interested in that same sort of casual play, design your own deck around fun ideas and try themselves out style than just reading lists popular decks and going out to collect them.

I've always found designing my own decks to be the lion's share of the fun, and will probably avoid competitive constructed play so I don't get spoiled on all the fun combos before I think of them myself. Of course I will be making use of my free weekly drafts, so maybe I'll get drawn into the competitive aspect on that front.

Skylmt
05-22-2013, 12:14 PM
new to anything about tcg expect pokemon which i only traded when i was in 3rd grade. but what is this mana curve im hearing? in building decks?

ShaolinRaven
05-22-2013, 12:40 PM
new to anything about tcg expect pokemon which i only traded when i was in 3rd grade. but what is this mana curve im hearing? in building decks?

Mana curve is how your deck ramps up both resources and casting cost for cards. For instance do you have a ton of resource generating cards and go maybe 2 cast to 4 or 5 cast cards with nothing in the middle. Or do you have a deck that is lighter on resources and uses 1,2, and 3 cast cards.

It is important when constructing a deck to have early play cards and build up to a late game, but how you do this depends largely on the types of decks you want to play.

Skylmt
05-22-2013, 12:43 PM
oh wow thanks. is there a rule of thumb on mana curves?

ShaolinRaven
05-22-2013, 12:50 PM
At your most basic your resources should be about a third of your deck, maybe a little higher if you want to make sure you get consistent resources out. Also for basic construction you want a good spread of cards that cover most casting costs so a good spread between 1-3 casting cost is where the majority should be with your higher casting costs being fewer in number for the late game.

Keep in mind this is just a very basic "good starting idea" build and it will change wildly by what exact cards are going to be in the set and what type of deck you are building. If you have a lot of things that can generate resources for you your curve might ramp up faster, where as if you're playing a lower cost deck that is more about numbers then power you might not have any higher cast cost cards.

For draft you want about 17-18 resources and 23 cards and draft kind of is a catch as catch can, so it differs from construction as it is more about planning on the fly and working with what you get.

Hexmage
05-22-2013, 12:58 PM
Generally you play 17 sources and 23 cards in draft. This is so that you actually hit 4 resources on turn 4 consistently.

In constructed it's different, you generally want at least 24 sources in your deck, up to 28 if your deck is more controlling.

I'm thinking about writing a short draft primer based on my knowledge of magic drafting which seems really close to this game.

jai151
05-22-2013, 01:01 PM
At your most basic your resources should be about a third of your deck, maybe a little higher if you want to make sure you get consistent resources out. Also for basic construction you want a good spread of cards that cover most casting costs so a good spread between 1-3 casting cost is where the majority should be with your higher casting costs being fewer in number for the late game.

Keep in mind this is just a very basic "good starting idea" build and it will change wildly by what exact cards are going to be in the set and what type of deck you are building. If you have a lot of things that can generate resources for you your curve might ramp up faster, where as if you're playing a lower cost deck that is more about numbers then power you might not have any higher cast cost cards.

For draft you want about 17-18 resources and 32 cards and draft kind of is a catch as catch can, so it differs from construction as it is more about planning on the fly and working with what you get.

Most decks run higher than 1/3 mana. In a 60 card deck, 22-24 tends to be the sweet spot.

For draft, you're only making a 40 card deck, not 50. However 16-18 resources is correct.

The resource ratio is, of course, subject to change based on what other cards you're playing and how they interact with your resources (EG cards that exhaust to produce or convert resources, cards that fetch resources, etc)

ShaolinRaven
05-22-2013, 01:45 PM
Most decks run higher than 1/3 mana. In a 60 card deck, 22-24 tends to be the sweet spot.

For draft, you're only making a 40 card deck, not 50. However 16-18 resources is correct.

The resource ratio is, of course, subject to change based on what other cards you're playing and how they interact with your resources (EG cards that exhaust to produce or convert resources, cards that fetch resources, etc)

Yeah I meant 23 cards not 32 for the draft, I typed the number in backwards and fixed it in an edit just now.

As far as constructed for a 60 card deck I normally only use 20 resources, but I tend to play the swarm decks. If I'm building something a bit more cost intensive I do add more, but as I sated it is a very basic concept and always depends on what you're constructing deck wise.

djlowballer
05-22-2013, 05:55 PM
A great blog post for people new to the game. One should also be aware that a booster tends to be worth more sealed than open. You are guaranteed a rare every booster, but you have no guarantee that slot is filled by a choice rare or legendary. Drafting is better because you get to open your packs and improve your deckbuilding skills while learning the cards. Making top cut(or at least winning a game in some formats) wins you more boosters to prolong the experience. You can continue drafting or sell off your earnings to other drafters. The proceeds should be enough to help you buy some Rares you want or bulk commons.

MTGO is a different game but you can win one draft and have enough earnings to get a play set of all common/uncommon cards in one of the standard releases. Buying that with boosters is going to take much more money and you don't get the benefit of playing.

fido_one
05-22-2013, 06:11 PM
Hrrrmmff,
As an all around cynic it pains me to say anything nice but that was a damn fine article. I don't fit squarely into this demographic but I do enough that after reading this I'll be drafting a few more times before I dip into general booster opening strategy than I had originally planned. Thanks.

Ebynfel
05-22-2013, 06:11 PM
The only comment I want to make to the people who are new to C/TCGs and backing Hex.

I dont care where you pledged, more power to you, and thank you for the help in making this game a reality for all of the experienced tcg players that know full well what to expect. I'll do what I can to assist if I am available, and the community thus far seems great for questions. Welcome aboard, even if you backed before me. Looks like it will be one Hell of a ride :)

Again, this game looks awesome, and every backer from seasoned TCG pro to the person who has never cracked a pack, I hope this game is everything we are salivating for and more.

Ebynfel
05-22-2013, 06:17 PM
Yeah I meant 23 cards not 32 for the draft, I typed the number in backwards and fixed it in an edit just now.

As far as constructed for a 60 card deck I normally only use 20 resources, but I tend to play the swarm decks. If I'm building something a bit more cost intensive I do add more, but as I sated it is a very basic concept and always depends on what you're constructing deck wise.

In constructed I have been known to run anywhere fro mas little as 15 lands(Good old cantrip/cycle Xerox combo type decks) to 25 for a heavier affair. Honestly, I've always found the sweet spot in limited play(40 card decks) to be in at about 17 resources, give or take depending on your curve and colors. Either way, Limited is a very fun and straightforward way to learn the game, though it takes practice. You'll learn card interactions well, as you'll see the cards the set has to offer interact together in a balanced way. You'll also get a feel for resource management, critical decision making, and just plain having fun playing a game. All in all, it's win/win if you can afford it. And if you're backing, you've got packs available to throw at limited.

In all, good article.

ramseytheory
05-22-2013, 06:34 PM
I played the Pokemon TCG as a kid (don't laugh) and I've dipped a toe or two into Magic, but I was always put off by the size of the pre-established metagame, the extremely high prices, and the number of incredibly rare Type 1 cards I had no practical way of getting. Being in at the ground floor of a Magic-like game is a pretty great opportunity from where I'm standing. I'd love to see articles setting out proper TCG strategy, since right now the seminal articles all seem to be written with reference to various different points in Magic's past. Extracting the general principles from ten year old decklists in card sets I don't know is non-trivial.

Ebynfel
05-22-2013, 06:36 PM
As we see more reveals here, ramsey, we'll be able to put together more and more potential theorycrafts and whatnot, and the complexities and interactions will be explored long before any of us backers even enter the beta if we see enough cards by that point. It's early, all will be revealed in time :)

Lochar
05-22-2013, 06:38 PM
I'll admit that I played Yugioh when it first started coming out and dumped stupid amounts of money in it. During my high school years even.

I was one of the better players in it, and even had a Seto arch-nemesis who literally walked around with his Blue Eyes in a case.

Getting in on the ground floor is fun and the kickstarter lets us get a lot of good usable cards without throwing tens of thousands of dollars at it.

Ebynfel
05-22-2013, 07:03 PM
nothing wrong with that Lochar. I was always more M:tG myself as I started playing WAY back in 1994. Yu-Gi-Oh didn't have appeal in my crowd, as we saw it as a dumbed down card game with hella expensive cards(While we touted Moxes, go figure.)

In all, it's not a bad game, and nothing to be ashamed of. Different games came through a different 'gamer generation' and getting in on the ground floor of a TCG is always a good spot.

Lochar
05-22-2013, 07:06 PM
Oh, I played Magic as well. Still play that one, actually. I think this is my third return to Magic. I was just pointing out that getting in on the ground floor of a TCG can make the game seem wildly different than coming in even six months later. And with as many boosters (and starter decks to pull apart!) as we're getting, we'll have the nice fun stuff to play with without plowing a year's worth of salary into it.

...No, I haven't plunged a grand into MTG in the last two months getting back into the game. Why do you ask?