One of the greatest part of TCG is the variation in deck build; hence, play style. Although the combination of cards are limitless, the actual play style have some finite variations, hence, archetype/deck type classification. Now, interestingly, deck content itself can have some modular design within, and some of those modules are automatic inclusion in many decks. Today, let’s take a look at “Draw Engine.”
Modular Deck Design
Imagine a standard 60 cards deck. Let’s say you have 300 cards to choose from, and each can potentially have up to 4 copies. You can already see the combination can easily reach to infinite as the game continues to add more cards. One of the approach to build a deck is to just start including cards you like, or pick a card or combination of cards, and build around them.
Whether one consider this way or not, many experienced players also have some modular thinking in their mind as they do deck building. By this I mean, although deck as a whole works in synergy or revolves around the central concept i.e. archetype/decktype of the deck, there are bits and pieces that act certain role.
For example, everyone have to include resource cards in the HEX, which is roughly 24 cards. You can think this as one part of the module, let’s all “basic resource module.” Now the rest of 36 cards can have couple other basic/relatively common modules. One of which is “draw engine module” to accelerates your hand draws, and the other is “resource boost module.” Obviously, some deck may not need one or other, or perhaps neither. But generally speaking, including these modular components into a deck helps you from getting resource screw, and benefits you with card and resource advantage.
As specified above, draw engine is cards that helps you give extra hand draws. In TCG like HEX, “card advantage” can be very significant. Extra draw means you have more chance to draw resource i.e. less chance to get resource screw, or you get more options to choose from. You may well made a nice concept deck, but how often do you get into the situation “only if I had the card in my hand…” More copies in the deck definitely provide better chance of drawing the card you want, but that can only go up to 4 copies maximum, and technically the chance is increased only for the particular card. Whereas, by accelerating your drawing i.e. draw more often than 1 per turn, you are essentially boosting chance to draw any one of a card in your deck.
Specific Draw Engines in HEX
As of now, not all the cards are revealed for the Set.1, so these are just based on the cards that had been revealed so far. But let’s take a brief look at some of potential draw engine players. Since you will most likely making a deck with idea “I want to have this combo to finish off” or I want make aggro archetype beat down deck type etc., it makes most sense to divide “draw engines” by Shards. Because your shard will be determined based on core of your deck, then matching to that core shard/color, you will add corresponding draw engine module.
As for the color/shard, this shard provides the most options for draw engine building, which is somewhat standard for this color (when compared to Magic).
As we have seen on the twitch demo, and included in the GenCon 2013 preconstructed deck, this can be very powerful draw engine; especially, if you can have it early in the game.
Action based deck i.e. Control Archetype Permission Deck Type etc. would probably benefit from these as Draw Engine units.
Standard draw card of its own.
Somewhat situational, and probably extra draw here are bonus effect than the primary purpose of draw engine. But not all deck need true dedicated draw engine, and even one or two extra draw will still help.
Even after the nerfing from the original version, in a blood shard deck this may be one of the primary choice for draw engine module by many players.
This is not a true color/shard, but as we have seen with twitch demo and precontructed deck, and of course named as favorite deck type by Cory and Ben Stoll, it is safe to call Artifact as one specific color.
Research librarian may be very good draw engine card when enough artifacts are combined.
With an appropriate use, this can act as decent draw engine.
Definitely not primary use as draw engine, but its an option.
Practically speaking, this is probably not something you would include just as classic draw engine; rather you would include this as part of core strategy.
Currently, only one option.
In concordance with the Ruby’s color, this constant draw engine don’t care what opponent does. It’s all about you. So despite you are giving the boost also on the opponent, hopefully the boost of draws you receive will end the game even quicker before your opponent can do much.
Remember the Champions. They can be thought of as guaranteed to have card in every single game from the turn one. Some of them provide abilities that directly links to card draw i.e. they can act as draw engine.
Not all decks will need draw engine, but when making a deck, it is wise to at least think about whether you should include draw engine module in your deck or not. Remember card advantage can be very substantial especially in a game with dedicated resource card because you are essentially shrinking your hand size every turn.