Not too long ago, I have introduced the idea of modular deck design. Today, let’s take a look at another very common module: Resource Engines. What options will we have? This is another article that I published on the HEXRealms.
Modular Deck Design
Imagine a standard 60 cards deck. Let’s say you have 400 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 is intentionally thinking this way or not, many experienced player’s deck can be viewed or dissembled by modular thinking. 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 are responsible for certain specific 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 call it the “basic resource module.” Now the rest of 36 cards can have couple other basic/relatively common modules. Resource Engine is one of the common module to think about.
As we all know that the resources forms the basis of this game. Without a resource, you will not be able to use any of the card you have in your hand. With an appropriate deck design, during first several turns you should be able to build up your resource 1 per turn under normal circumstance. Being able to do this require its own deck optimization, but that would be some other topic for me to cover. The resource engine here refers to ways to boost resource beyond this typical 1 per turn resource build up. Even if you don’t understand any specific deck types in HEX, it should be easy to understand that if you can cast a bigger (higher cost guy) before your opponent can, that may provide you significant game advantage. Put this general concept into a bit more extreme and imagine one can design a deck that utilize some specific high cost card(s) to the point it is almost a instant win for the player if he can cast it. In this situation, it is clearly of a benefit for him to be able to reach to the high cost resource goal as soon as possible.
Specific Resource Engines in HEX
Just as for Draw Engine article, let’s take a look at what cards are currently available to potentially act as resource engine.
Simple basic mathmatics applies here. It gives 2 temporary resources each turn with its ability, but it costed 4 to cast. So generally speaking, it takes after two uses of this card’s ability before you start seeing the gain from it. But there is also some potential additional effect of this card, which is actually resource curve shifting. Let’s take a look at actual example.
Turn 4: Hex Engine
Turn 5: Normally you will have only 5 resources this turn (assuming you are casting resource cards every turn this far). But now that you have HEX Engine out, you actually have 7 resources to spend!
Again, this may be a great importance on certain types of decks.
*In magic, there was a very similar card but it costed 3, and was believed to be overpowered.
Does it mean cost of 4 may be more balanced? Or may be too much of a nerf? The answer is I don’t know. One of long time Magic player, a friend of mine, believes it is a huge nerf. As he actually knows Magic very well, I take his word for it. However, if you have Technical Genius out on turn 2, HexEngine can become the Worn Powerstone itself. This, I believe is a good game design.
This one is an interesting counter part of the HEX Engine. In fact, these two cards make me current representation of HEX’s resource is actually a good one (though initially confused me). Basically, what this card does is when you use its ability, you will have permanent addition of resource to your resource pool rather than the temporary. Let’s take a look at some example.
Turn 3: Surge Mechanism
Turn 4: Normally you have 4 resources here. But you can actually use Surge Mechanism’s ability this turn, and do something else with 2 left over resources.
Turn 5: Here you have 6 resources rather than 5. The reason is Surge Engine added +1 to maximum resource value up on last turn’s use. You use this again, this turn.
Turn 6: Now you have 8 resources rather than normal 6.
If you compare this to the HEX Engine, Turn 6 HEX Engine would give you also 8 resources but the difference becomes significant after this point. Turn 7, Surge Mechanism becomes 10; where as Hex Engine is 9. So is Surge Mechanism better than the HEX Engine? Not necessary. Each time you add resource, you have to spend 2 resources; whereas, HEX engine is just tapping itself. Again, I think it depends on the deck and some deck may even benefit from the combination of the two.
Situational Resource Engine
This card only works for the Artifacts but when considering artifact’s cost, this card is giving a significant boost to the resource. For example, if you cast 2 artifacts one particular turn you actually saved 2 resources i.e. it is equivalent of having two extra resources in this particular instance.
Again, this one is also situational but if it is not a resource nor troop cards, then you gain a cost reduction benefit.
Threshold + Resource
With the way it is stating, I am assuming this actually also charges your champion twice. The only down side is you don’t gain temporal resource that particular turn i.e. it really costs 3 rather than 1. But this card gives threshold boost in addition to permanent resource curve shift.
If one consider charge power of a champion as part of resource, then there are cards that specifically boost this.
Most obvious one.
Your resource card gets double charge power.
I’m sure I have missed some potential resource engine cards here, if you find one, please let me know.
The resource engine is one of common modules in dTCG decks, but it is not for every deck. Even with a partially revealed Set.1 cards alone, I can already see there are various options for the resource engine in this game. Especially, several are artifacts, so it is independent of the deck’s shard.
Do you have any comment? You can certainly post here or post on the original article at HEXRealms, where you have actual chance of winning a booster pack. 🙂