Kismet’s Draft has finally went live and while I may not be able to speak for others, I myself was very excited. After many months spent casting Twilight Eclipse and transforming troops into Merry Butterfly using Puff’s charge power, I was ready for a change and boy did Hex deliver. Kismet’s Draft is a unique take on the idea of collaborating all of the past limited favorites from set three through seven to make a pseudo nostalgic format where players old and new have the fun of casting these old gems in limited matches.  What I’m here to do for you all is a provide a breakdown and tier list of the archetypes I’ve had the experience playing with and against. This should give you all a good idea how you want to jump into the format and help you understand the meta you’ll be up against (and hopefully help you win some of those cool exclusive animated sleeves up for grabs).

The tier list below will begin with the champion choices going into a detailed explanation of the synergies and key components you’re going to want to look out for while drafting. Afterwards I will give a short explanation of a general idea how to play the deck focusing on the win conditions.

Tier 1

Sapphire/Ruby Morgan McBombus Tempo Aggro

Morgan McBombus in Kismet’s Limited might be the closest thing we will ever have to playing a constructed deck in a limited format. What you lack in the powerhouse troop department you make up for with massive amounts of card advantage and removal. The general idea of the deck is to have a large number of actions you would want to be casting on your own turn, so cards like Dingle and Weave Into Nothing may be fine but don’t generally find their home in the maindeck of a McBombus deck. The powerhouse cards you’re want to keep a lookout for include Burning Tendrils, Lanupaw’s Sight, Consult the Talon, Pyretic Performer, Flickering Gobbler, and Hatchery Malvoker.

The idea of the deck is to abuse cards like Hatchery Malvoker, Embertongue Skarn, Luminarie Kindler, Hired Horn Hunter, and Cumulus Oculus playing a large number of actions compared to the general deck. Other core parts of the deck may involve a number of Prestidigitator, Runeseeker, Thunderfield Seer, Cyclone Rider, and a number of troops such as Warpsteel Shardsworn whom are Minor/Major Socketable.

Topping off the rest of the deck you’re going to look for later picks of Ashwood Transmuter to discard those late game shards generated from card advantage while digging through your deck with Arcane Focus and Theorize. Sapphire Ruby happens to have a large amount of removal so finding late Feed The Flames, Skarnbreath, Cremate, Boomsmith and Shackling Strands should not be too uncommon so no need to over prioritize them constructing your deck as they can easily be replaced with Evaporate and Cripple worst comes to worse.

While socketing for this archetype you’re generally going to be putting Minor Sapphire Of Wit and Major Sapphire of Sorcery on almost every troop unless you have a somewhat smaller number of actions you can do Minor Ruby of The Arena Or Minor Ruby of Zeal if needed. Drafting the later curve filler picks, try to collect: Cyclone Rider, Mechanized Aerialist, Gallant Duelist (Valor count as an action), and Hired Horn Hunter (which you need to be giving Minor Ruby Of Zeal) depending on what your curve needs. The last few cards I want to mention are your late game finishers and pseudo bombs which might go somewhat underlooked that include Chilltail Guide, Flickering Gobbler, and Runeseeker.

Below is a photo of an example deck list of what a Morgan Mcbombus deck list might look like to give you guys an idea where the curve want’s to be.

Tier 1.5

Sapphire/Wild Winter Moon Midrange

What if I told you that you can draw lots of cards and play a dedicated midrange deck in limited? Well you can if you decide to play the Winter Moon. I would have her at Tier 1 if it wasn’t for the fact that there’s a high variance of when/if you’re drawing prophesied cards from her charge power (as well as a low life total) and hence I’ve put her slightly below Morgan Mcbombus.

The general mindset you want to have when drafting a Winter Moon deck is to make sure you’re cycling through your deck as fast as possible. One of the strongest perks of playing Winter Moon is a more likely chance of of drawing into the bombs you’ve drafted high due to the sheer amount of card advantage your charge power produces.

The core of Winter Moon is going to be Cottontail Explorer, Arcane Focus, Theorize, Lanupaw’s Sight, Arcane Soil, Consult The Talon, and Thunderfield Seer. Having multiple Cottontail Explorer is really what gets the deck going early. Not only do you thin your deck out through three cards increasing the odds of drawing future prophesied cards, but you also have the chance of drawing 1-3 resources to give you more charges for late game scaling. This jumpstarts the ability to start chaining more spells each turn, as well as putting the non resource cards into the crypt allowing yourself to activate a charge power potentially on your second turn.

Picking up other low costed troops like Eager Lackey, Thunderfield Seer, and Cyclone Rider are also very beneficial for spells like Lanupaw’s Sight and Consult The Talon as well as for their ability to trade down with your opponent’s troops knowing you’re going to be generating more card advantage the longer the game goes.

Actions like Harvest Moon and Lullaby are powerful despite not generating card advantage due to the fact that they give you a stronger game against the dedicated aggro decks, giving you time to get your card advantage attrition game going. You shouldn’t go too overboard on actions like these as drawing too many of them without something to effect the board will put you too far behind early.

Outside of generating a ton of card advantage you also need to be aware of how you’re going to kill your opponent so make sure while deck building you are aware of your win conditions. Having a few cards like Nightsky Prophet and some troops with evasion are needed as well making sure you’re actually capable of bringing your opponents life total down to zero. You don’t need a large number of threats compared to other archetypes as you’re going to be casting multiple Theorize and Arcane Focus to dig faster than other decks. However once again it’s important to strike a healthy balance of these types of cards with ones that actually impact the board state.

Below is an example of what a sample Winter Moon deck might look like.

Tier 2

Sapphire/Blood Zorzym Spiders

I know coming into Kismet’s Draft that Zorzym and spiders had a lot of hype behind them. While somewhat justified, I do find them to be a tier below the top level decks because (outside rares/legendaries) they rely on opponents hitting spiders as a win condition. Aside from being the easiest deck to pilot in the format, most of the cards you’re going to be looking to pick up are common rarity so multiple people can be drafting the archetype while still having enough playables.

Your general core for the deck should involve any number of Runeweb Infiltrator, Vilefang Eremite, Runeweb Cultivator, Hatchery Malvoker, and Webspinner Prelate to make your spiders more threatening. I would avoid playing cards like Hatchery Broodguard and Abominate, there are just much better options.

Your removal package involves Incubation Webs, Parriphagy, and any of the uncommon actions such as Reap, Rot Cast, Strangle, and Dark of Night as they are all great in any blood based deck. Something I like to do when drafting the archetype is to pick up a couple Arachnophobia and Concuss as they become stronger in multiple, and sending both players into a topdeck battle when you’re slightly behind is ok since your opponents deck has spiders and yours will not outside of mirror matches.

If you do happen to pick up early Hatchery Malvokers you can value your actions higher in the future having more synergy with casting actions. Also be wary of drafting multiple Vilefang Eremite and Webspinner Prelate early as they can backfire on you later during the draft portion if you don’t find enough cards generating spiders for your opponent. Ditto for cards like Painbreeder, Priest Of The Sacred Web, and Azure Fang Hierarch as they are powerful but do rely on having other cards to combo with.

Outside of the obvious choices for the deck it’s not a bad idea to pick up something like Food For Thought or Nameless Orator if you’re heavy on spider generators, having to not rely on topdeck mode to hit your win conditions. You can even play Power and Pain with Minor Sapphire Of Lunacy, giving you a potential Vennen as well as burying opponents cards (potentially stopping their fateweave that turn and digging to the spiders quicker).

Below is a sample of what a Zorzym deck might look like.

Diamond/Wild Papa Goot Stompy

Papa Goot is mostly known for his ability to pump out constants and synergizing with many cards benefiting from having a large number of constants. Not in Kismet’s Draft however. In Kismet’s Draft, we have a new found synergy with older ‘when you gain health’ related troops. In essence Papa Goot activates all these troops’ passive effects & gains you health all for the cheap cost of 3 charges.

The core of the beatdown deck you’re going to be building involves multiple copies of Chlorosaur and Cheery Songbird. These common slot cards are only powerful in the Papa Goot archetype and hence you can expect them to wheel. Another gem you need to be grabbing whenever you see them (including over removal) is Mesa Totemist as they are the most powerful cards for your archetype having their effect trigger each time you gain life without limit. The last card filling your core of troops are Ghost Howlers which I have noticed tabled quite often as like the others they only tend to see play in the not-so-popular Wild/Diamond Papa Goot decks. Mesa Lookout can be a huge blowout when used properly, not only acting as a surprise blocker and pumping the defense of one of your troops but it also triggers your heath-gain-matters troops and causing mayhem on your opponent’s combat math.

As mentioned, one of the biggest strengths drafting this archetype is that you’re going to be tabling most of your troops (except Mesa Totemist) so that should give you the room to pick early universally desired Diamond/Wild cards like Decree Of Banishing, Iremaw, Light Of Day, and Bring To Justice.

Also keep an eye out on your troop to action ratio when you’re not able to pickup early removal as Wild/Diamond lacks in the quality evasion department. In that case picking up a couple combat tricks like Blindside, Smash To The Ground and Flourishing Growth can let you go into combat much safer and finish opponents who come out of the gates slow. For the two-drop slot try to pick up quality cards like Blightbush, Blessed Scout, and Howling Plains Alpha when you can or a few Verdant Mixologist and Lithe Lyricist which become much better when you have multiple Cheery Songbirds, Eager Lackeys and other four drops curving them out on three resources.

Below is a sample of what a Papa Goot beatdown deck might look like.

Takahiro Midrange

Rounding off the tier two deck archetypes I have Takahiro Midrange. This is one of the more unique archetypes being able to pair your primary shard (Blood) with either Wild or Sapphire. The idea of the deck is to abuse your charge power through Deathcry troops and Dreadlings meanwhile piling up your crypt with troops to scrounge so cards like Dread Botanist and Naive Lackey are must-have.

Having multiple Dreadling generators gives you openings to get max value from cards like Merciless Culler, Priest Of The Sacred Web, Xentoth’s Hunger, Abomination, and even a package of Voracious Zombies if you’re seeing them passed in numbers. As well as providing sacrificial fodder, the Dreadlings also fill your crypt to get value from Scrounge. Picking up Grave Offering and Call the Grave can also combo well with Shadowblade Slicer, Dread Apprentice, Death’s Head Rider, Cruel Venomblade and even Smash Magus if you’re in Wild (remember that you can stack the Scrounge effect multiple times).

Vilefang Eremite also has synergy as Dreadlings are also spiders, so being able to drain your opponents for one health each time a Dreadling is summoned can have huge life swings over long periods of time. Deciding whether or not to pair yourself with Sapphire or Wild depends on two different things: one having cards that also synergize with spiders such as Vilefang Eremite and Webspinner Prelate will make you lean more towards Sapphire, where troops like Spring Litter Disciple, Potent Puffball, and Wakizashi Warbunny give you more of the dedicated Dreadling base (sometimes you may even replace Takahiro with Therroz_ in dedicated Dreadling swarm decks).

Here are two decklists to give an idea of the different variations of Takahiro with sapphire compared to wild.



Tier 3

Diamond Sapphire Ada Flyers

Going into tier 3 we have Ada. I did not rate Ada higher on the tier list due to the fact that she relies heavily on uncommons compared to the other archetypes getting a lot of their core from commons.

The three key cards you want to look out for in this archetype are Spellstone Gargoyle, Chilltail Guide, and Airvolution. The concept of the deck is to swarm your opponent with a large number of troops with Flight using your removal sparingly to deal with massive threats stopping you from outracing. Dingle and Cripple are two actions that might shine here since you’re not overly concerned with ground chump blockers left behind.

Field Medic is also an underrated card for this archetype, able to trigger its Assault ability easily thanks to the evasion and serving as a catalyst in close races you’re bound to have playing this archetype. Standard removal like Decree of Banishing and what not have a home in all diamond decks, however a new action Inflict Doubt has a nice presence in Ada thanks to the troops she’s able to generate.

Outside of picking up any troops with flying, quality ground troops such as Daybreak Diviner and Prestidigitator are also fine as you do want some troops gaining you card advantage so you can trade against the early troops from your opponents as well as having a solid target for Airvolution.

Evaporate and Deep Freeze don’t shine in Ada as much as other sapphire archetypes due to the lack of mid-combat tricks being casted, but Blindside and Totem Trap are still fine to provide pressure AND fight back against aggression simultaneously at a low cost.

One big downfall to the archetype is how weak you are against spider decks, having little to no answer to the spiders themselves and Runeweb Cultivator stopping most of your early aggressive troops, so picking up a Stinging Ambush or Treacherous Pass when you see one can really help stabilize your mid to late game against the swarm type decks. While drafting this archetype it’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for Talonkeep Watchers and Talonkeep Hunters in numbers because they can take over the game quite fast.

Below is a sample of the archetype.

Tier 3.5

Ruby Wild Grandfather Elk Aggro

I decided against putting this archetype a full tier below Ada due to the sheer power of explosive opening hands it can have. The three most important cards you’re going to want are Surging Wildfire, and Sandstone Rumbler with Major Ruby Of Twinstrike and Smash to The Ground as they all benefit from Grandfather Elk’s charge power.

The concept of the deck is to play out aggressive troops early attacking as quickly as possible while finishing your opponents with troop buffs. One of the key cards you’re going to want include outside of the uncommons is Emberleaf Evoker, being able to cast potentially for free the turn you use your charge power. .

Another selection of troops overperforming include Ashwood Apprentice, Jacked Brutalizer, and Storm Dancer with Minor Ruby of Zeal. If you find yourself drafting a large number of Swiftstrike troops or minor socketable troops to give Minor Ruby Of Zeal, you can pick up late copies of Seeing Red in the draft to apply more early aggression while synergizing with your charge power.

The last three cards I want to talk about in the archetype you want to look out for are Double Trouble, Cry of Gawaine, and Distract. The two buff tricks are high impact combat tricks giving you the final push to gain control of the board state or finish off your opponent with lethal damage, while distract gives you the final push unexpected to hit your opponent for lethal.

Below I share an example of what a Grandfather Elk deck might resemble.

Tier 4

Fiveshard Uzzu The Bonewalker

At first this might come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the archetype, but Uzzu has made her way through Kismet in what might be the most interested limited archetype I have drafted in Hex yet.

The general idea when brewing an Uzzu deck is to pick up many threshold fixers such as Resource Optimizing Infusion Device, Hallowed Radiance, Hextricator, and Immortal Tears so you can abuse cards rewarding you for having multiple thresholds such as Midnight Paladin, Midnight Spiritualist, Lyrical Chanter, and Sepulchra Bonewalker. Having access to tabling your fixers and late dual-shards gives you the ability to basically take the strongest single threshold cards knowing you will have the resources to cast them. This increases the average power of the cards in your deck compared to other archetypes and makes up for having to include threshold fixers.

The downsides in drafting five shard Uzzu can be very punishing against the more aggressive decks having half of your deck generally being dedicated to fixing your thresholds, while using your first few turns generally playing exhausted shards and casting cards to fix your thresholds. The biggest upside drafting this deck as I’ve mentioned is the ability to take the most powerful single threshold cards, and there are quite a few in this enhanced draft format. On the bright side of things outside of the potential flooding, you should have no problems tabling your Midnight cards and threshold fixers as they are not very powerful outside of the Uzzu archetype.

Here is an example of what an Uzzu shell looks like.

Tier 5

Wild/X Furriko Variations

At Tier 5 Furiko is somewhat a back-up plan when things go wrong trying to jump into one of the more powerful archetypes but instead are stuck with a Wild/x deck that’s all over the place. I don’t recommend wanting to jump into Furiko outside of mid pack two as there are much better archetypes, however having access to him makes you feel somewhat comfortable while drafting Wild.

The best way to lay out the core of a Furiko deck consists of either going for a high troop count, or an explosive turn involving Dreadlings while using your charge power to swing for an all-in turn. A few cards you’re going to want to pick up include Cottontail Explorer and Dread Harvest, both getting you resources to ramp up while also giving you charges to activate your charge power. If paired with Sapphire it’s a good idea to pick up Battle Agenda, Arcane Soil, Burly Botanist and Wild’s Favor to have those explosive turns summoning Dreadlings while activating your charge power for a huge burst of damage. Pairing Wild with Ruby/Diamond you’re going to want to get a troop heavy deck while drafting powerful cards on their own and winning through the sheer value of Furikos charge power. If paired with blood, picking up anything to create Dreadlings and Spiders will give you much more value to the charge power increasing your odds of killing your opponent.

Others

Outside of the primary tier list, I also want to add in some insight of cute little interactions, tips, and rare things you can do in Kismet’s Draft that I would not necessarily give their own archetype to, however are relevant enough to give some insight on as they can give a great edge over the competition. I would not consider these “archetypes” by any means, however I do think they deserve some discussion as rare as they can be they are very powerful when the pieces come together.

  • If you’re drafting an action heavy ruby deck and happen to pick up a decent number of Arena Regulars, going Swampbutt and throwing in an Arcane Alacrity or two while putting in a handful of sapphire draw actions, you can have a very explosive combo dealing massive amounts of damage in a turn.
  • In Ruby Blood you can have a few cards putting Spiderling Eggs into your opponents deck giving you potential targets for Seeing Red on an unblockable troop. This also makes the quick action Spontaneous Combustion very powerful giving you an additional three damage from the target troop you’re sacrificing.
  • Crackling Magma is fine in the maindeck with the amount of Spider and Dreadling decks seeing play. You can randomly catch your opponent offguard blowing them out during combat, while still being a zap that does not hit the opponents life total as a target worst comes to worse.
  • Therroz was a popular choice during set 5/6 for the Dreadling archetypes, but I think in most cases you’re going to want to be using Furiko as he is giving you double the strength of the effect while not  going away end of turn even while not being able to activate the charge power as soon.
  • Bloodspinner Zorath can replace Takahiro or Zorzym in some cases when you have a large number of cards like Priest Of The Sacred WebGrim Harvester and Vilefang Eremite as you have the ability to abuse sacrificing troops for strong effects more than once. You can also throw in Arachnomancers to create a flow of card draw.
  • Always keep an eye out on a number of pairs of Talonkeep Watchers with Talonkeep Hunters, as well as Scraptooh Gnashers with Brutetown Bashers and Voracius Zombies with Relentless Zombies. Being aware of them tabling early can give you an open signal to start collecting them as a troop package that fit in all archetypes.

For for the last segment I want to give a short list of some cards I have found to be overrated and underrated with an explanation why giving you guys some insight before jumping into some Kismet’s Drafts.

Overated Cards

Hatchery Broodguard – At a six cost 4/5 I found him to be very underwhelming. At that point in the game you’re most likely facing a dreadling swarm, some spiders or a number of evasive creatures as aggressive decks without evasion are not very popular in this format and when you do happen to play against one, they are most likely activating Furiko’s charge power the turn after you cast him.
Totem Trap – Outside of the troop having to attack or block (not being able to kill troops like Dread Botanist etc), I think four seems to be the magic number for relevant troops you’re wanting to remove in this format. I would avoid playing this unless you find your deck coming out of the gates very slow and need an early game action to effect the board state.
Woolvir Baa’sher – The biggest issue with this guy is that he does not have crush. You can find yourself multiple times not being able to block anything while never having a good attack, and by the time you do he is generally trading with a three drop after being useless for multiple turns. This is the perfect example of a “win more” card.
Hatchery Cultivator – If this card read “Deploy- Put 3 spiderling eggs into your opponents deck” it would be fine at best, and that’s  generally what he is doing but worse in some cases. I think this is a win more card as well while generally making the cut 100% of the time you should not be taking him early over troops like Hatchery Malvoker and Runeweb Infiltrator.
Predatory Prey – You most likely don’t want to be playing this action unless you’re low onn removal. Having a five drop pseudo removal spell action requiring you to have a troop of equal or larger size is just asking yourself to get blown out. Once again feels and plays very much as a win-more card.
Xentoth’s Hunger – Most will be surprised seeing this here , but with the amount of cards generating spiderlings, without having a high dreadling generation count, I would almost never see myself trying to play this action.
Emperor’s Lackey – When I first saw this card I thought it would be very powerful as it is in constructed, but outside of high dreadling production or deathcry troops, I don’t see myself taking this card high enough or looking to play it in every blood deck.
Ghost Feather – I still don’t understand how this card is considered top tier. It’s generally becoming the target for the prophecy effect, and with the ability to get reverted or destroyed after becoming relevant, I don’t think it should be taken very high at all.

Underrated Cards

Concuss – Becoming better in multiples, This card is an all star anywhere from the top end curve in blood/ruby aggro all the way through spider decks. Don’t be afraid to try out this little gem, being able to catch your opponent off guard can flat out win you the game.
Midnight Spiritualist (Outside of Uzzu) – At five cost 3/1 is not very exciting, but in some ways with the number of single target removal spells, having multiple bodies from one card can be quite powerful in the current format. I don’t think you should be taking the card high, but it’s a fine filler card in diamond nonetheless.
Cry Of Gawaine – This card is the most over performing card in the entire format for me. I do think that the quick action becomes much less powerful after your opponent has knowledge it’s in your deck, but it’s a great trick that can often finish your opponent the turn you’re casting. It also has the ability to be casted defensively causing a massive blowout when unexpected.
Smash To The Ground – I almost want to consider this quick action a bomb. More often than not you’re finishing your opponent with lethal damage, while also having the flexibility to become a defensive or offensive combat trick giving you great tempo swings.
Grave Offering – Obviously becoming much stronger as the game goes on, just having the synergy with scrounge and giving yourself massive card advantage, I don’t see how this card goes past pick 6.
Mesa Lookout – This card should see play in 100% of Diamond decks just due to the sheer flexibility. Generally you don’t want to be casting him unless you’re getting value through making your troop buffed to survive a ruby removal spell or giving an extra body during combat while also buffing your own troops. I have even seen cases where my opponent counts out lethal damage going for the alpha strike and you throw this bad boy out there and surprise them blowing them out.
Hired Horn Hunter – Giving him swiftstrike is a must, as this man has such a high potential value as well as becoming a fine blocker on five, I don’t see how he does not see more play knowing he has the potential to do double digit numbers of insane burst in one turn.
Ashwood Apprentice – Though many by now might understand how strong he is, I still see them very late. This guy gives you great flexability with Empower as well as a pseudo win condition late game negating two of your opponents troops from blocking giving you windows to push through the final few points of damage.

I hope you all have found some use out of this guide as I know the format is still very new and after putting in hours of grinding Kismet’s Limited I’ve shared my insight of the metagame. I wish you all the best of luck in future Kismet Limited events.

Cheers.

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Kurtis is a high energy individual always looking to find every little interaction and detail possible giving himself an edge in HEX: Shards of Fate.

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