With the imminent release of the second chapter of the Hex PvE Campaign, we are finally getting our hands on the highly anticipated colorful cast of characters known as Mercenaries. Mercenaries are essentially like the champions you have in PvP, but they’re totally tailored to building and legitimizing a niche style of deck. In short, they’re amazing little characters that you’ll want to collect (gotta catch ’em all!), build around and play with for a variety of reasons. We could keep talking on and on about how great Mercenaries are (you can check out all the spoiled ones thus far on our PvE Spoiler page) but the Mercenary we will be spoiling today is so good, it’s better to just dive right in and just show you what we mean.
While some of you will be eager to scroll right down to see the final product, if you have the patience let us indulge you in the beauty of Damioar Lathe, bit by bit.
So let’s start with the champion power, right off the bat you can see that it’s something that fully embraces the digital medium and redefines the ‘topdeck’ mentality often present in a TCG. The ability to move each Bane (ie: Spiderling Egg or Terrorantula Egg in this case) up five spaces is a really powerful ability at only two charges. One of the most important parts of a Spider deck is getting the engine going, and while this charge power doesn’t actually generate Spiderlings or mill cards from the opponent’s deck, it certainly does a ton to speed up the entry of at least one Spiderling into play (sometimes by as much as 5 turns on a single activation). With it you’ll be able to more quickly start interacting with the other parts of the engine in your deck like say a Psychic Torment instead of just praying to the RNG gods. If only the MajS Subterfuge gem socketed into a certain Sorceress was around to see this day..
This passive power guarantees one Spiderling Egg generation at the start of each of your turns. That’s a win condition right there all by itself. If you wanted to you could just stuff your entire deck with only control cards and win through attrition. Considering that the only thing the dedicated PvP spider champion Zorzym of Korru_ does is insert 3 Spiderling Eggs for 3 charge powers (so around 3 every 3 turns), we can already start to appreciate the power level of Mercenaries.
Upgraded Text – Endless Brood
Each Mercenary has an Upgraded Text that can be unlocked when completing a specific quest and paying some gold, and Damioar Lathe is no different. With this ability the Spiderling that hatch from your opponent’s deck also happen to replace themselves in their deck in the form of new eggs (as long as they survive until the end of turn).
This also opens the door to a whole new Spiderling Egg generation through the use of Dreadling. There are some really powerful generators such as Dread Botanist and Dread Driver that can now pull double duty in generating both Dreadling and Spiderling Eggs. The only caveat is that since the Dreadling and Upgraded Text ability both trigger at end of turn, the order in which they happen will be random, meaning only half of the time will you actually be getting Spiderling Eggs from your Dreadling. How much of a dealbreaker that ends up being for going the Dreadling route with your deck will require some playing around with. After checking with the HxE team it appears that the Dreadling get sacrificed before the Spider count takes place, so there is no Spiderling Egg generation with this method.
So not only do we have Spiderling generation and Bane draw acceleration but we have a powerful milling ability as well? Five troops might seem a lot but those Vilefang Eremite or Hatchery Priest or Nazhk Webguard you might have been holding back can swing to activate this sooner than your opponent would like. And do note that the 10 cards get milled while it’s still your attack phase, so any Spider that enters play will allow say your Nazhk Webguard to exhaust opposing troops before they have a chance to block.
Dreadlings as mentioned before help enable this as well in ridiculously snowbally ways.
So those are the awesome abilities of Damioar Lathe. As I said Mercenaries can be really powerful and I think in this case the abilities combine to….wait. What? There’s more?!
DESTROY. EACH. OPPOSING. CHAMPION. Don’t take those words lightly. You might be thinking that this is a ‘win more’ ability but don’t underestimate the tough challenges that might be present in the PvE campaign. If there’s some weird boss with a 1000 health or has an ability that prevents him from taking damage, you know which Mercenary you’ll want to call to battle. And if there’s ever some Hex free-for-all PvP format where Mercenaries are allowed, well don’t be surprised if everyone decides to gang up on you.
This is a very respectable party passive, especially if one of your other characters happens to be playing the Spiderling archetype. In short if you’re into Spiders, Damian Loathe is a must own.
Shard Alignment & Deckbuilding Requirements
So with all these powerful abilities, of course there’s bound to be a significant drawback right? Like maybe you can’t play any Vennen cards or maybe you’re given a single digit starting health? Nope, 21 health and 4 copies of any Vennen means you can just go nuts. Full spoiler below:
So how about Damioar Lathe, pretty eggsplosive guy ain’t he? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.