Most TCGs that have cards of various types generally include an untyped group of cards that can be used in any deck. Magic: The Gathering has colourless spells, the Pokémon TCG has normal types, and Hex has Artifacts. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the artifact cards we’ve had revealed so far.
Many of the artifact cards we’ve seen so far are related to Dwarves, and have a great deal of synergy with Dwarf/Artifact themed decks. Cards like the Worker Bot and War Bot are frequently created by Dwarf cards, while things like the Construction Plans: Inspiration Engine and the Volcannon pictured above use them directly in order to achieve their effects. Of course, this interconnectivity between the cards makes them a little tricky to analyse individually – by itself a single Worker Bot isn’t much use, but if you have a dozen of them specifically for activating the Volcannon, they suddenly become pretty useful tools.
This relationship between Dwarf and Artifact cards is actually the core premise of one of the decks playable at GenCon this weekend – lots of cards dedicated to generating robots and make artifact cards easier to play so that you can ultimately destroy your opponent with things like the Volcannon or Argus, Herald of Doom. Unfortunately, this can also be a weakness for the deck – since so many cards are dedicated to achieving these limited number of win conditions it can leave you extremely vulnerable if you don’t actually draw those cards, and you will find it very difficult to win the game if all you have available to you are lowly Dwarven researchers and Worker Bots.
Of course, not all artifact cards are tied in with Dwarves and robots – that would be pretty boring. Some, like the Chaos Key, the General’s Tent and the above-pictured Shrine of Prosperity have much more generally useful effects that could easily find a home in any number of different deck types. In fact, the Chaos Key is the only card we’ve seen so far that is capable of removing an opponents Constant cards once they are in play. There are certainly bound to be more but even so, it has a great effect that is sure to see a lot of play.
General’s Tent and the Shrine of Prosperity are interesting in that they don’t necessarily fit any particular strategy, but rather offer effects that can be broadly useful. Of course, like most things this is both a blessing and a curse. They fit well in a large number of decks regardless of their strategy, which means they are easy to rely on, but since they don’t specifically fit whatever the main drive of your deck is there may well be better cards to chose that do fit. Of course, if your deck’s strategy is to make all of your cards more efficient, or to have effects that surprise your opponent, both of those cards may well be the perfect fit!
There are also quite a lot of resource acceleration cards that can quite easily fit into many decks, especially if you’re playing Draft. The Hex Engine will increase your resources for that turn and Surge Mechanism will increase your total resource count – both very useful abilities to have, though whether or not the actual cost is worth it as a subject of debate. The Adaptable Infusion Device will grant extra threshold, allowing you to play a bigger range of cards earlier or to play cards outside of any shard you have resources for – though you might not want to rely on that one. Finally, the Charge Bot grants your Champion extra charges, allowing you to use your Charge Powers sooner and/or more often.
Basically, you can replicate all the effects of playing a resource with artifacts. Obviously you aren’t actually going to want to do that instead of playing resources, but if there was one specific element you wanted to accelerate, there are options available to do so. A recent competition ran by some members of the Hex community involved using Hex Engines to trigger combos with Eye of Creation for thousands and thousands of resources.
As you can see, artifact cards have a great deal of variety and use for any number of different deck types, and that’s only from the cards we’ve seen so far – we’ve seen about 30 artifacts so far, and there’s bound to be a great deal more in Set 1 alone. Who knows what else the rest of the set will contain!
GenCon is already under way, and a great many members of the Hex community are in attendance – those lucky people will get the chance to play Hex all weekend. Anyway, in preparation, a number of things have been going on.
– We’ve already had a new card and some changes to existing cards revealed from GenCon, which you can check out on the official Hex forums here.
– Mentioned before that Grissnap over at thedailyhexagame was doing reviews of each of the decks playable at GenCon. He has finally finished those, and also completed his review of all of the decks. Worth checking out if you’re planning to attend this weekend!
– Earlier in the post I mentioned a competition that involved triggering the biggest possible Eye of Creation as early in the game as possible. The contest is now over and you can check out the results by Funktion and Mokog here. A thread on the forums has more conversation on the subject, including specific details of the winning entries.
– You may have noticed that mousing over the card names in this article will actually bring up an image of the card for you. This is thanks to the awesome plug-in developed by bogycoins over at Hex TCG Browser. He supports a couple of popular systems as well as manually adding them, so if you want more info you can check that out here.
That’s all for today – keep your eye on the Hex community for more GenCon revelations over the weekend! Check back later, when I reveal which brand of popular toothpaste is actually poison!