Welcome to the new world of the Alachian Sea where the gold is flowing and the dungeon encounters are won on turn two!

My name is CoachFliperon and I have been tackling PVE since it was introduced to the game. One of my best creations so far (besides this guide!) is the “Red Ranger” list for the Frost Ring Arena that is still considered by many as the best way to farm FRA to date.

I particularly enjoy the puzzle aspect of PVE, always trying to find the fastest and most consistent deck to farm gold. Ever since Adventure Zone 2 and the Ranger class were announced, I started brewing new lists to try and surpass the previous “gold per hour” standards. At the time, I was convinced the Ranger would be a top tier class (both in terms speed and consistency) for gold farming. Little did I know that I would, with the help of trusty contributors, produce a list that would surpass expectations on both accounts that is also very cheap to build!


The Vennen Ranger offers by far the best combination for such an objective. Not only does it provide access at high level to the two most aggressive shards (Blood and Ruby), but the Vennen racial traits are perfect for farming as well. Both the [Devoted] and the [Ruthlessly Efficient] traits provide some form of acceleration. On top of that, the third trait unlocked at level 15 provides 3% additional gold! But wait, there is more! The Vennen Ranger Race/Class combo provide us with a pet that is Unblockable!

Presenting The “Big Spider” Guide

The goal here is very simple; You want to get the biggest, meanest spider (hence the name!) so that you can kill your opponents very quickly. On earlier levels, the pet spider merely acts as a reliable threat. At level 15 however, it will provide an unstoppable force that will regularly help generate upwards of 10 damage on your first turn and close to 20 on your second turn, resulting in an average turn win between 2 and 3.

The goal here is very simple; You want to get the biggest, meanest spider (hence the name!) so that you can kill your opponents very quickly.

This guide will help you get your newly created Vennen Ranger to level 10, enabling you to farm The Great Machine Graveyard dungeon as soon as possible. In order to achieve that, we are going to skip as much of AZ1 as possible, do all the quest lines in AZ2, reach level 10 and finally start farming the most rewarding dungeon of AZ2 (best gold per run, possibility of looting a Clatterclank mercenary from the dungeon packs!).

The guide will not be covering any challenge encounters. These are really fun and well, challenging, encounters that will be rewarding your hard work! As such we won’t be spoiling these fights for you here. Use your imagination and the gold you will be farming with the help of this guide to acquire what you need to beat them! If all else fails, the HexPrimal Shop should be able to quickly get you what you need!

The Guide In Numbers

  • Estimated platinum value of level 02 decklist: ~340p
    • assuming commons at “0” cost
    • only mandatory equipment
  • Estimated platinum value of level 15 decklist: ~1350p
    • assuming commons at “0” cost
    • excluding quest rewards
    • only mandatory equipment
    • only mandatory mercenary
  • Estimated platinum value of level 15 decklist: ~1950p
    • with everything (cards, equipment, mercenaries)
  • Time to reach lvl10: Between 5 to 6 hours (skipping all dialog, doing the minimum in AZ1, avoiding AZ2 challenge encounters, assuming perfect clears on all dungeons)
  • Resource gain for completing the guide
    • ~38 000 gold (~6600 per hour) (including win streak dungeon bonuses)
    • 2 dungeon packs of every dungeons besides the last two of AZ1 (skipped)
    • 5 AZ1 packs
    • 13 AZ2 packs
    • One copy of all quest and racial reward cards (from completed quests)
  • Gold earned on a perfect The Great Machine Graveyard run (6 nodes)
    • Below level 15: 3529 gold
    • At level 15: 3634 gold
    • Gold per hour indicators for max level (your fastest time will vary depending on your skills along with many internal and external factors. Just do as best you can, these are here to give you a rough idea of what to expect)
      • 10min run | ~21.8k gold per hour
      • 08min run | ~27.2k gold per hour
      • 07min run | ~31.1k gold per hour

General Notes

  • Playthrough Of The Guide:
  • When evaluating starting hands, always pay attention to card types as Vennen trait [Devoted] will be reducing the cost of a random action in your hand once you chose to keep one.
  • Past level 10, always chose to “draw“. Make sure you are able to attack with your spider on your first turn.
  • Don’t hesitate to mulligan your first hand aggressively. Hex PVE provides you with a free mulligan, use it!
  • If an encounter gives you trouble, prioritize assembling a Lifedrain threat instead of going for speed.

Lvl 1-15 Walkthrough

Feel free to refer to the interactive AZ1 or AZ2 Map if you need help pinpointing the location of the nodes.

Step 1: Lvl1 To Lvl2 | Crayburn Castle

The first four encounters of your character are done with a pre-made deck. As a Vennen, you will be fighting the sinful Orcs! One thing to note here is that the Vennen deck is of slower pace in general than the Orc decks. The pet spider will help significantly but don’t be cocky. Your first objective will be to stabilize, then to kill your opponent. Also, do not hesitate to trade your spider for anything with one defense that has more than one attack. Assembling a big lifedrain troop usually leads to a swift victory.

Step 2: Lvl2 | Building The Level 2 Big Spider List

After completing Crayburn castle, you will be entering the campaign map. Your first task, before advancing to the next node, will be to open up the deck builder and create a new list|talent configuration according to the following:

Deck Updates: Level 2

Vennen Big Spider Ranger Lvl 2

Talents (1 point)

  • Take any 1 cost talent you like, I usually go with [Pet Training: Shared Exercise] to be able to use Kog’Tepelt’s Thirst on my pet spider in the first 4 turns.


  • Treat your spider as expendable.
  • If a fight gives you trouble, prioritize assembling a lifedrain threat over speed.

Step 3: Lvl2 To Lvl3 | Questing To Reach Tranquil Dream Dungeon, Level 3 Talent Upgade

In order, you should complete the following nodes:

  1. Feralroot Bear
  2. Cockatwice
  3. Savage Lord
  4. Corrupt Dryad
  5. Cave In (turn in and get new quests)

Deck Updates: Level 3

New Talent point: reset talent points and select [Pet Training: Ferocity]

  • This talent is the centerpiece of the build and you should immediately see a significant difference in terms of speed by using the improved version.

Step 4: Lvl3 To Lvl4 | Tranquil Dream Dungeon

No specific path here, you have to clear all the nodes. Be careful on the boss fight (Sister Midnight), she can sometimes use removal so don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Completing the dungeon quest at the Cave In should get you to level 4.

Deck Updates: Level 4

New Talent point: [Chew Toy]

  • Don’t forget to use it on the same turn you call your pet for extra damage.
  • After the first activation, use it as a sacrifice fodder.

Step 5: Lvl4 | Questing To Reach Fort Romor Dungeon

In order, you should complete the following nodes:

  1. Little Sky
  2. Pale Moon
  3. Army of Myth
  4. Cave In (turn in and get new quests)

If you didn’t get to level 4 yet, you should complete previously skipped nodes (Hag Sorceress quest line should be enough) or another run of the Tranquil Dream dungeon to reach level 4 before going on the next step. (see step 4 for lvl4 deck updates)

Step 6: Lvl4 To Lvl5 | Fort Romor Dungeon

No specific path here, you have to clear all the nodes. For the last three encounters, you will have to chose between 3 available cards, here are the optimal choices for an easier clear:

Completing the dungeon quest at the Cave In should get you to level 5. It will also give you access to the Adventure Zone 2 map.

Step 7: Lvl5 To Lvl6 | Brutecrown Bluff + Talent Updates

Nodes to clear before the dungeon:

  1. Lurking Crocodile
  2. Captain Chumspike (do not attack, just block with your spider or any other big troop, actively mulligan for added defence on your blockers and/or Lifedrain)

Deck Updates: Level 5

New Talent point: [Pet Treats] + [Lay of the Land]

  • Pet Treats provides you with free damage boost at no cost for earlier kills in general. Keep in mind that the Pet Treats are actions so it does interact with [Devoted] racial trait.
  • Lay of the Land creates Fertile Ground that, when available in opening hand, provides unparalleled acceleration.

Brutecrown Bluff

First three nodes are standard encounters.

Important note: At this point you will be presented with a choice, it is best to chose ZAGG as the new queen. Making this choice will remove her from the Great Machine Graveyard encounter list which is beneficial for the Big Spider build as her deck runs multiple turn two removal that tends to significantly slow you down.

  • Nogg Nogg’s Handler (as Zagg): The goal is to be completely on the defensive until you can use your troop copy effects to create gigantic flight troops and kill the opponent in one or two attacks.
  • King Kazraga: This is one of the hardest fight to complete with the early Big Spider list. You will likely have to do it a few times before you get a solid draw. The goal is to get Lifedrain online as soon as possible to compensate for the fact that the list doesn’t handle opponents that go wide in long fights very well. Be mindful about when to push for the next stage of the fight.

After turning in the dungeon quest to Takumi you should now be level 6.

Deck Updates: Level 6

New Talent point: [Ranged Expertise: Overwatch]

  • This talent is a lot better than it appears and does play a significant role in the max level farming build. The simple guideline here is to always make sure it is active during your opponent’s second turn or on any key turn that relates to troop creation (via champion power).

Step 8: Lvl6 To Lvl8 | AZ2 Questing

The important part of this questing section is to get both Augustine and Katsuhiro mercenary in your party as soon as possible. To achieve that follow the only path available to the right. While making your way towards Naagaan (AZ2 quest hub for the Underworld faction) you will be encountering Augustine. Once you have taken all the quests at Naagaan, go back to your starting point in AZ2 and do the left side of the Alachian Sea. There you will quickly encounter Katsuhiro.

You do not need to concern yourself with updating the default decks of these two mercenaries. Having both as party members ensures that you have an additional charge at the start of every fight. This should make the upcoming nodes and dungeons a lot easier and quicker.

Besides getting the two mercenaries as a priority, the rest is just free-form questing. You should be completing all the nodes around the Alachian Sea until the only remaining node is Portsmeare (Kraken’s Cove dungeon).

After completing all these quests you should have just enough to get up to level 8. I would suggest to do other runs of the Brutecrown Bluff dungeon if you are not level 8 yet in preparation to the Kraken’s Cove dungeon.

Deck Updates: Level 7

New Talent point: [Eye of a Sniper]

  • This talent makes your Overwatch power hit 75% of the time instead of 50% of the time making it a lot more reliable and impactfull. The same guideline still applies, always pop Overwatch for your opponent’s second turn or later if you know troop creation will happen.
  • Taking this talent here will also improve the next talent we’ll get getting at level 8.

Deck Updates: Level 8

New Talent point: [Ranged Expertise: Leg Shot]

  • Since we already have Eye of a Sniper, this talent is now 75% chance to hit.
  • Can be used as a free removal against 1 defense troops
  • This talent is especially important at this juncture since it helps a great deal against the infamous Kraken’s tentacles!

Step 9: Lvl8 | Kraken’s Cove Dungeon (Portsmeare)

General tips

  • This dungeon introduces a “persistent” mechanic where certain encounters and troops will negatively affect your deck for the whole duration of the dungeon run. Pay attention to the dialogues and terrain effects to avoid frustrating surprises!
  • During this dungeon, always keep Leg Shot open for a possible Grappling Tentacale appearance. Making them defensive is essentially the equivalent of removing them since your main attacker is Unblockable!

Path to follow

  1. Mayor Galway
    1. Once you beat him, the fight will transition into phase two and the Mayor himself will be present on the board as a card. If you beat the encounter without killing him, you will get him as a mercenary.
  2. Into the storm
  3. Hardshell Ambush
    1. Do not go all in on one troop if you can avoid it, this encounters plays Morphology as removal.
    2. After this fight, take the path going up.
  4. Nairne, Sea Sorceress
    1. Beware of Grappling Tentacles!
  5. The Siren
    1. Beware of Grappling Tentacles!
  6. Queen Magaidh
  7. Spirit of the Sea
  8. The Kraken
    1. Beware of Grappling Tentacles!
    2. The Kraken also uses the Crashing Wave card that gets played for free and returns your threats to your hand and deck! The key thing here is that troops with 6 or plus attack will stay on the board. Make sure you have at least one in play as soon as possible to keep the pressure going.

Step 10: Lvl8 To Lvl9 | Alachian Sea – Ship Battles!

This guide will not be including a Spider-based Ship list. You can find many different lists in the forums, especially on the Adventurer’s Guide thread.

As a general rule of thumb the easiest way to clear these nodes quickly is to create a “Factionned” list using all 3 initial talent points in the “Crew” category. With that, you either use Ardent Recruiter or Underworld Recruiter with their respective equipment and as many troops related to their respective factions. The other really important card is the Sea Squire. You get the card going to the right most path of the Sea. You will get the card immediately upon reaching the second node there. Once you have it, get back to the port, add it to your deck and enjoy free removal with a nice body on the tougher encounters!

If you struggle with the optional quests don’t fret. Just do the minimum going to the far right/down path and go on to questing and the next dungeon. Having one less level doesn’t really matter until you decide to do dedicated farming dungeon runs.

Here is an example of the kind of core that should let you do all quests objectives in your first travel on the sea:

Ardent At Sea

Deck Updates: Level 9

New Talent point: [Pet Training: Shared Exercise]

  • This talent won’t be part of the final build but until we reach level 10, it is the best use of this additional talent point.

Step 11: lvl9 | The Great Machine Graveyard Dungeon

When exiting the Alachian Sea, you will be presented with two paths. I like to take the top path first when leveling but at this point, the goal is really just to reach level 10 as soon as possible while doing the remaining quest lines. You could as easily go with the bottom path and clear Kukatan first.

  • Note that you may get level 10 before you complete Step 13. If that is the case skip to step 14 right away for a very significant boost in power level of the deck. Then just get back to completing all remaining quest lines and proceed to step 15.

Node to clear before dungeon:

  1. Monk of the Six Strikes

Dungeon General tips

  • The goal here is to clear the quest line for experience. Don’t worry about having to do a few retries on certain fights. When you come back as a level 10+ character, things will be VERY different!
  • This dungeon will be unforgiving at times with the current state of the deck. If the AI decides to chain a very punishing sequence of cards, don’t despair. Most of their lines are beatable with well-timed removal and/or skill use.
  • Speaking of which… well-timed uses of Overwatch and Leg Shot will make your life A LOT easier!
  • The boss will likely require you a few retries to find the right timing for your cards. The goal here is to clear the quest line for its experience, not to start farming. Do as many tries as you need.
  • Don’t hesitate to assemble the whole robot before the last fight, it makes it a lot easier.

Specific encounter tips

  • Sraptooth Mangler
    • Make sure you prioritize a hand with removal. Having Leg Shot succeed on one of the starting Scraptooth Cacklers will help tremendously.
  • Dynamo Swarm
    • Make sure to use Overwatch for his champion power activation.
  • Scutt Unleashed
    • Make sure to use Overwatch for his champion power activation on his second turn.
    • Prioritize having a troop with more than 5 defense.
    • Lifedrain is very important in this fight.

Step 12: Lvl9 | Questing

Following the completion of the Great Machine Graveyard dungeon you should continue moving up to complete all remaining nodes to the north then get back to the remaining south nodes that leads to Ruins of Kukatan

  1. Constantina
  2. Naagaan (turn in quests)
  3. Devouring Doomspore
  4. Greenpaw Emancipator
  5. Wandering Totem
  6. Sister of the Herd

Step 13: Lvl9 | Ruins Of Kukatan

This dungeon offers lots of alternative paths. To avoid most of the more difficult fights for the list, follow the following route:

  1. Mosquito Swarm
  2. Cocodile River
  3. Filk Ape
  4. Niblin Ceremony
  5. Exploding Zombies
  6. Lukaz
    1. On this fight, you should not be attacking with your pet, just make it as big as possible and block his Behemoth until you can attack to give it the finishing blow. At that point you should usually be able to swing for victory in the following two turns.

Step 14: Lvl10

This level will give you a very significant power boost. At this point, the list becomes powerful enough to start using it as a dedicated farming list. Getting to subsequent levels will provide additional consistency and speed, but the core from level 10 will be kept in the “optimal” max level list.

Deck Updates: Level 10

Deck Rework (now adding ruby cards):

Vennen Big Spider Ranger Lvl 10

Party Slot 1 – Katsuhiro (mandatory)
Party Slot 2 – *any
Party Slot 3 – *any

Talent Point Rework (take the following talents):


  • Always chose to be “on the draw“. The first turn of the AI is usually very fast so you don’t lose a lot of time by doing so. What you gain however is the capacity to attack with your pet on your first turn which does gain you a lot of speed.
  • You will start seeing these turn 2 kills but the list is not yet as consistent as it will be at max level.

Step 15: Lvl10+ | Farming experience up to level 15

At this point your list should be strong enough to clear Great Machine Graveyard dungeon in a respectable amount of time. You should start running it until you reach level 15. The next section will review the “optimal” deck list and talent selection at 15. Use it as a guideline for the upgrades done on each of the subsequent levels.

Optimal Farming List (Level 15)

Vennen Big Spider Ranger Lvl 15

Party Slot 1 – Katsuhiro (mandatory)
Party Slot 2 – Baxoth of Korru (optional, more damage, synergy with Glyph of Hatred)
Party Slot 3 – Xorak, The Flamehand (optional, best damage boost for a single mercenary, the passive will trigger on most fights and where it matters most)

Talent Configuration


  • Always chose to “draw“.
  • Don’t forget about Overwatch and Scattershot.
  • Mulligan aggressively for the turn two kills as taking an extra mulligan or two is usually faster than taking an extra turn for the kill (once you evaluate hands fast enough).

Great Machine Graveyard farming path

  1. Scraptooth Bouncer
  2. Scraptooth Mangler
  3. Dynamo Swarm
  4. Scrapborn Vargar
  5. Scrapborn Burgg
  6. Scutt, Scrapyard Chieftain

Dungeon Clear With Optimal List:

To Wrap Things Up

I hope this guide will help you get your own gold farming machine in a few hours like it did for me! Comments and suggestions on how to improve the guide are also more than welcome.

May Kismet smile upon you!



  1. Love the guide, using it now played all through the night and got to 11. was wondering if we don’t want to burn through (or just don’t have access to) spectral acorn if there was a good substitute you may have thought about.

  2. Generally speaking, Spectral Acorns are used in deckbuilding as a thinner because they are free and immediately replace themselves with another card, so you end up with effectively a 56 card deck and that much better consistency. In decks with effects that trigger off playing artifacts, that’s an extra bonus function. You are not expected to use their exhaust power, so you’d never need more than four.

  3. @malkav11’s answer is spot on. In PVE you always want to max on Acorns in your deck lists to add consistency. There are a few exceptions to this however as some decks are very dependent on starting hands and having an “unknown” card can be worse than a known one.

    If you don’t have acorns or don’t like them, Burn is a fine choice. Got with anything that cost 1 or less and can do a few damage on the opponent.

    • King Kazraga is definitely the hardest fight for the build. As mentioned in the guide you need a good hand to be able to beat him. You can also refer to the video linked in the guide for an example on the kind of draw/sequencing I used to beat him on that run (and I did had to retry one or two times before winning).

      However, if that doesn’t work for you, I would advise to try and get any mercenary for cheap in the AH that either has access to wild + blood or diamond and build a deck for this fight in particular. Prioritize big troops and giving them Lifedrain. You can then switch for your Kazraga list for that fight in particular and then move on. I assure you that once you go beyond that point, you’ll be chewing through the content in no time!

  4. I will try to find a merc and build a deck to run through the king. But after about 30+ attempts, I never even came close to beating him. I think you got lucky or something, because the +2 rage troop kept getting blocked for me where it didn’t for you in the video. I’d like to see you run it a couple more times. I am really anticipating this build late game, but the king has been impossible for me.

  5. Just to follow up with my experience with this deck. I had no problems with any other fight throughout the campaign except Savvas and Mad Aradam.

    The Great Machine Graveyard is a cakewalk. Although I changed the talent choices and went with Ranged Expertise: Leg Shot and RE: Scattershot (level 13) as I didn’t see the need to have any burning counters since I burn through the damage so quickly. The ability to slow down the opponents troops although not essential is more helpful. At least with the GMG runs, imo.

    • I ended up using a budget terrormill deck. Cost me like 100 plat at the max, and I full cleared it relatively easily. You just have to make sure you don’t actually mill them out, because that doesn’t register as a win. I milled the storm of the century like 3 times and was getting pretty frustrated. You have to kill the encounters with damage, so make sure you’re attacking with the terrorantulas to win.

  6. 1) I own all 54 mercs ever released- which three have the best suited party buffs for this deck?
    2) If you built this deck without any budget demads, would is still look the same?

    Best Wishes
    -Jonas “prinsallan” Aastrnad, Sweden

    • If you look at the very end of the guide there is a “Farming” version of the list. That one was created without any budget restriction. If you use it with the suggested party composition (Xorak, Baxoth and Katsuhiro) you will get turn 2 kills on most fights.

      You can also replace Baxoth with Sekki for his card draw passive. Should be as strong if not stronger of an option.

  7. Im on lvl 7 have all cards you mentioned but really… im struggling in the last fight of Brutecrown Bluff… i tryed i dont know… 15 or 16 times… simply cant do it .-. any advice?

    • I will be making an update to the guide soon for the Brutcrown dungeon (before the end of the week if things work my way). The short version is that you should try following this alternate lvl5 list for Brutecrown instead of the one you currently see in the guide: https://hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/deck=204046

      Make sure you enter the last stage of the boss fight with a big lifedrain spider + either a big army of lethal troops thanks to Engorger recursion (with call the grave) or with a big Death Cap (so you can attack with it and mostly wipe his board on your next swing) leading to a more achievable win!

  8. I will be updating the guide before the end of the week with a new deck update specifically for Brutecrown. The few new cards will still respect the Common/Uncommon rule I had for the leveling list. But in short, here it is:

    use gloves for Engorger and Trinket for Death Cap. Strategy for the boss fight is to sit on the first stage to get a big lifedrain spider on the board with either a deathcap or an Engorger. Use call the grave on spider if they kill it or on engorger to build a massive board of lethal troops. The other variant is to grow the spider but also grow your Death Cap. if your deathcap is big enough, on the last stage you will attack with it and wipe most of the last boss board, leading to a quick victory with the big spider.

    2x Charge Bot
    2x Fertile Engorger
    3x Killblade of the Milky Eye
    2x Naive Lackey
    2x Bloodsoaked Brawler
    3x Untamed Duskwing
    2x Death Cap
    2x Corrupt Harvester

    1x Spectral Acorn
    3x Call the Grave
    3x Gruesome Deed
    3x Abominate
    3x Kog’Tepetl’s Thirst
    3x Blood Aura
    3x Kill
    3x Taste For Blood

    21x Blood Shard

  9. Hello, started playing yesterday and got a question for you.
    What i have to do before following this guide? (since i wont have the cards needed).

    Thanks in advance.

    • If you just started, it depends on how you want to approach the game. If you want to remain “F2P” then I would suggest just to play whatever you like. As you play you will get gold and cards that will help you get things started. Even though you may not have the cards, Vennen ranger is sitll a very powerful class to play for one of your first characters.

      If you feel like investing a bit, a good portion of the cards are very cheap to get. Even more so, you can probably ask in the general chat or on HexTCG discord for ppl’s spares. (discord link: https://discord.gg/Xeb6Ng) If you feel like investing a bit to get things started, this list will remain competitive even though a new set is coming out tomorrow so it is a safe investment if you intend to get into gold farming.

    • The decklist you see in here is a framework. If you are missing some cards you can just use what you have in these slots and try it out. If you are missing too much the deck may not play out the way you’d like but testing is key. There are many players who modify the leveling lists to suit their need who had great success with it still. Be creative!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here