Well so far, I have been trying to address the similarities between the two games and contrast to see if there is enough difference. But today, let’s just simply look at part of the game that is fundamentally different. HEX uses Champion as a representation of player. This system not only provide every once and a while special power usage, but much more potential in the overall game play. This is well demonstrated in the special type of Champion card, which is available in the PvE mode.
In the PvE mode, you will have your own champion and as HEX claims the game is MMO/TCG, the champion will level up and let you customize it with different abilities. But this is something I believe deserves its own article.
In short, Mercenary is a special type of Champion that a player can use during the PvE, and these mercenaries have a preset abilities/skills i.e. not customizable.
What’s the analogy in the Magic?
In short, there is nothing analogous in Magic in their standard format. Standard champion system is not unique to HEX as same system exist in World of Warcraft TCG, Hearthstone, Shadow Era, and Carte to name a few. In Magic, one may argue there is a special format called, Commander, and they may indeed be analogous to Champion; however, it is not a standard format of play and therefore including such seems a not true comparison.
Change the Game’s Rule
The potential and power of the champion/mercenary system is that it can actually change the game rule on the fly. This may perhaps be unique to HEX. Some of the already revealed mercenary readily show this potential.
This is one of Mercenary card. Since this will be your Champion in a specific game that you decide to use him, all of his abilities are their from the beginning of the game (as long as you meet the level requirement).
Here take a look at Passive ability at level 15. “You have no maximum hand size.”
Basically, by having this mercenary set as your champion, you have changed the game’s fundamental rule (maximum hand size). It is not in a special format of game play e.g. Magic’s commander, but rather just by the selection of this champion, you changed the game rule.
Another Mercenary is here. This time take a look at level 10 ability. Now you have changed the starting hand size to 9.
Use of Champion in a standard format of games in HEX, there is a potential that HEX can do many neat tricks and even change; otherwise, unchangeable standard game rule e.g. start hand size, maximum hand size etc. In fact, this is not just a potential but in HEX, they have already demonstrated their plan is indeed to do that as shown by PvE Mercenaries.
So what is to prevent from the potential of future Champion’s in PvP having other general rule change affecting stats or abilities e.g. instead of starting 20 health, how about starting at 25?
The champion system even without looking into MMO aspect i.e. level up and equipment features, have a great potential and design space for developer. Since Magic does not have the direct counter part in their system, this is certainly not something Magic can do in any easy way.