Getting started with HEX can be daunting, it’s a card game with a lot of depth and it’s something above and beyond most online TCGs. That’s okay though, but I’d like to provide you with a supplement to the online tutorial. First of all, let me explain the best thing to do is to pay attention in the game’s tutorial.


The tutorial that automatically plays when you first start the game is crucial to understanding how the game plays. A lot of times tutorials don’t tell you everything you need to know, but this is a rare instance where it tells you exactly everything you do need to know. So pay attention.

If you’re a bit confused at any point, here’s a basic rundown of how HEX works. There are multiple phases for each player, in each phase you can play different cards and do different actions. The simplified phases are as follows:

  • Draw Phase - You draw a card, your cards are untapped, and your resource points are renewed.
  • Main Phase 1: You can play any card now, including one shard card.
  • Battle Phase: You choose your enemies to attack, your opponent chooses which of his or her units will defend against your attack, then you resolve the combat to see what damage is done.
  • Main Phase 2: You can play any cards you didn’t play in Main Phase 1, in addition, at the end of this phase if you have 7 cards in your hand you will take damage.

The goal of the game is to make the opponent run out of cards or lose all of their health. You achieve this by attacking their hero directly, but if they have any troops on the field they can block the attack, unless a unit has some special condition to prevent it.

Cards come in four types, Threshold shards, which add an additional Threshold which increase your Threshold for that resource, troop, basic / constant cards, and quick action cards. Quick action cards can be played during the opponents turn after they take their priority for that turn.

Cards cost resource points to play and require a specific amount of Threshold points for a different element. A card may require 3 blood Threshold and 5 resource points, while another may require 2 blood Threshold and 1 resource point. Let’s say you have 6 resource points and 2 blood Thresholds, you will only be able to play the second card, until you played another blood shard.

The battle phase works by you picking the troop cards that are in play and have been in play for a full turn to attack your enemy directly. Your opponent will then pick their own troops with a defense higher than your attacking troops attack (or equal) to block the attack, or choose multiple troops to try and defend against a single attacker. If your card’s attack is higher than the enemy’s defense, it is destroyed. If your card’s defense is lower than the enemy’s attack, then it is destroyed. This works for each encounter.

You can build your deck in the deck builder - but that’s way beyond a starting guide. The first deck that you get is well balanced enough to start with and learn what the cards do and what special affects are on the card.

Five Tips for Starting Hex

  1. Always do the PvE trial first, as it not only unlocks extra cards, but really helps drive home the tutorial.
  2. Don’t sweat deck building until you’ve earned some cards. In the same light, don’t worry about socketing until you’ve earned some gems.
  3. There is a big divide between PvE and PvP in HEX. Game mechanics are the same, but PvE allows equipment and other things that PvP doesn’t, including PvE exclusive cards.
  4. Remember your goal is to destroy the enemy’s health or make them run out of cards. Take whatever avenue you think is necessary. It could be pure offense and overwhelm them as fast as you can or it could be long and drawn out, with a heavy defense that just wears them down. The choice is up to you, but often with TCG’s, decks that try to be good at everything usually aren’t.
  5. Keywords can appear on cards, depending on what the keyword is is the effect it gives a card. Keywords appear on the left of a card when you inspect it (right click). A keyword like “Steadfast” means a card won’t be exhausted or tapped when it attacks, making it ready to defend you next turn.

Final Advice

Just play! HEX is so simple, the depth comes from the strategy. So get out there and play, learn as you go, and enjoy the game. Hopefully these tips should be enough to get you pointed in the right direction.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our HEX: Shards of Fate Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.


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