One of the most intimidating things about a TCG for a new player is the vast array of specific terms and slang that get tossed around to describe the game. Add in the fact that, due to the similarities of the two games, Hex has already inherited a lot of terms from Magic: The Gathering, and things can be very confusing indeed.To that end, I’ve compiled a glossary of terms and their meanings, some of which are specific Hex keywords, and others which are general TCG terminology.
Comments will remain open here, so if you have anything you want added to the glossary, feel free to drop a comment at the bottom!
(Note: this assumes at least a basic familiarity with Hex and how it plays. Basic game concepts like Blocking, Drawing etc won’t be covered here.)
Crush – When a troop with this keyword attacks, any leftover damage from the blockers is applied to the target Champion.
Defensive – A troop with this keyword can only defend, and may not attack directly.
Escalate – Cards with the escalation rule increase the power of subsequent copies of the same card, usually by double, and are shuffled back into your deck after being played rather than being discarded to your graveyard.
Flight – A troop with this keyword can only be blocked by other troops that have the Flight keyword.
Inspire – A troop in play with an Inspire effect will apply that effect to any other troops put into play that have an equal or higher cost. The specific effect varies from troop to troop.
Invincible – Troops with the Invincible keyword cannot be damaged, either by combat or other effects like Burn. Further more, they are completely immune to “destroy” effects such those used by Murder and Extinction. This makes dealing with them, especially if they have a high defence, quite difficult. It is worth noting that effects which give permanent reductions in defence don’t count as damage, so if you reduce an Invincible troop’s defence to zero in this way, they will still be removed.
Lifedrain – When a troop you control with Lifedrain deals damage, your own Champion will gain health equal to the damage done.
Rage – This keyword is followed by a number, and the troop with this keyword will gain attack equal to that number every time they attack. For example, Rage 2 would cause the troops attack to increase by 2. This increase is applied before the damage is resolved.
Speed – Troops with Speed can attack on the turn that they are played. This essentially stops the troop from suffering from Troop Trauma.
Spellshield – Troops with Spellshield cannot be targeted by enemy abilities or cards that specifically target a troop.
Steadfast – Troops with Steadfast are not exhausted when they attack, meaning they can attack and still block in your opponents turn.
Swiftstrike – A troop with Swiftstrike will deal their damage before an opponent’s troop, instead of at the same time. If this damage is sufficient to kill the target troop, they are discarded before they have a chance to attack.
Socketable Minor/Major – Socketable cards are card which can be equipped with either a Minor gem, for Socketable Minor, or any gem, for Socketable Major. Gems alter cards and/or grant them extra abilities. You can find more information on Gems and Socketing here.
General Hex Terms
Resources – Resources are the currency you use in order to play your cards. They are granted primarily by Resource cards and come in 2 parts; temporary resources and permanent resources. Temporary Resources are resources you have available to spend in that turn. Permanent Resources are essentially how many resources you will get each turn – at the start of each turn, you will gain Temporary Resources to spend equal to your total number of Permanent Resources. Temporary Resources are reset at the start of each of your turns (you can’t save them up), while Permanent Resources remain in place between turns. Cards like Hex Engine grant Temporary Resources that must be used that turn, while cards like Surge Mechanism grant Permanent Resources, which will increase the number of resources available to you next turn, but have no immediate effect. Resources are roughly equivalent to Mana in Magic: The Gathering.
Threshold – Threshold is a requirement you must meet before you are able to play cards from the 5 main Shards. Each card (except for Artifact cards) has a Threshold, and you gain Threshold points primarily by playing Resource cards of that Shard. For example, playing a Diamond Resource gives you 1 Diamond Threshold; this means you can now play cards that have a Threshold Requirement of 1 Diamond. Threshold is not spent or lost when playing cards – once you have the required Threshold, you can play as many cards as you want that meet your current Threshold, as long as you have the resources available to do so. For example, if you had 1 Diamond Threshold, but 3 resources, you will still be able to play 3 copies of Kraken Guard Mariner in 1 turn.
Exhaust – An Exhausted card is turned sideways, and can no longer attack, block or perform any other abilities that require the card to be exhausted, until after the upkeep step of your next turn. Called Tapping in Magic: The Gathering.
Bury – Move a card to the graveyard.
Void – Completely and permanently remove a card from play. Voided cards are unable to re-enter the game at all, except in cases where a card has specific effects for voided cards (such as Trial of Faith.)
Charge – Each Champion has a Charge Power, which can be used by expending Charges. Each power varies in both its cost and effect. Charges are gained primarily through resource cards (which grant 1 Charge), though other cards can also grant additional charges to your Champion.
Shard – A Shard is one of the 5 main varieties of card found in Hex – Wild, Blood, Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond. Each Shard has its own flavour and covers different styles of cards, though there is overlap between each Shard. Simply known as Colour in Magic: The Gathering.
Revert – In Hex: Shards of Fate, many of the effects applies to cards are permanent, and persist even if that card is killed or otherwise sent to the graveyard. Reverting a card is the act of returning it to its default state, as you might find it when you freshly removed it from a booster pack.
Troop – Troops are cards which enter the battlefield and can attack and/or block, in addition to performing any other abilities they may have. In most cases, troops will be the source of most of the damage you deal to your opponents. They are essentially the soldiers in your army.
Constant – Constants are cards which stay in play and provide some constant, or triggerable, effect. They do not attack or block like troops, but often provide powerful benefits, allow you to perform useful actions (usually at a cost) or transform into other cards once certain conditions are met. Called Enchantments in Magic: The Gathering.
Basic Action/Quick Action – Action cards are one-time-use cards that have some (generally) immediate effect and are then discarded to the graveyard. Basic Actions may only be played during your turn in either of your Main Phases, while Quick Actions may be played at any time as long as you have priority (and the resources to pay for the card), even if it isn’t your turn. Known as Sorcery and Instant cards in Magic: The Gathering.
Artifact – Artifact cards are those that don’t belong to one of the 5 main Shards. As such, they have no Threshold requirement and can essentially be played in any deck.
Troop Trauma – Newly summoned troops suffer from Troop Trauma, which means they cannot attack, or perform any other action which would Exhaust them, until the start of your next turn. They can still block, however. Speed stops a troop from being affected by Troop Trauma. Called Summoning Sickness in Magic: The Gathering.
MtG/General TCG Terms
Bomb – Used to describe especially powerful cards that can be used to finish off your opponent and win the game.
Buff – A buff is an effect which increases the power or effectiveness of your cards, and come in many shapes and forms. Conversely, a debuff is one that reduces the power of a card.
Card Advantage – The concept of card advantage is that the more cards you have available to you the better your position in the game, and thus effects that give you more cards are very powerful. There is no single concrete definition, but a good article to get you started can be found here.
Cantrip – An ability that lets you draw a card from your deck, usually as a part of another action, or as a side-effect.
Chump Blocker – A Chump Blocker is a small creature used to block damage from a larger creature, even though this will ultimately destroy the defender and not the attacker.
Constructed – A tournament format in which each player enters using a pre-constructed deck made from any cards they have available to them.
Draft – A tournament format in which each players start with 3 boosters each. They open their first booster, pick one card from it and then pass the remaining cards to the next player. This repeats until all cards and boosters are gone, leaving each player with 45 cards, which are used to construct a deck for the tournament. Also referred to as Limited.
Mana Screw – Mana screw is the term for not drawing enough resources (Mana, in Magic: The Gathering) in order to play the cards that you have in your hand. This can be down to poor deck construction or just bad luck. Expected Hex variations of this are Resource Screw or Shard Screw. Conversely, Mana Flood is drawing too many resources, leaving you with no other useful cards that you can play.
Metagame – the metagame is the idea that at any given time there are a number of poplar deck types being used, and that knowing the “current meta” allows you to construct decks that are suited to defeating those popular builds. It is forever changing, and many articles can be found around the internet describing the concept and how to understand it.
Mill/Milling – Forcing your opponent to move one or more cards from the top of their deck directly into their graveyard.
Mulligan – Discarding your initial hand and drawing a new one before the start of the game. Each time you do this, you draw one less card into your hand.
Tutor – A card that gives you the ability to search your deck for a specific card and add it to your hand. Derived from the Magic: The Gathering card “Demonic Tutor.”
Aggro Deck – A deck that relies on fast and/or powerful creatures to quickly destroy an opponent before they can form an effective defence. There are a number of subtypes of Aggro deck that refer to specific strategies or colour combinations.
Combo Deck – A combo deck is one that relies on the interactions of multiple different cards in order to win the game.
Control Deck – Control decks focus primarily on cards that try to slow down or otherwise control the pace of the game, weakening or inconveniencing your opponent long enough for you to get your powerful game-winning cards into play.