Hex: Shards of Fate – Frost Arena Guide

Welcome to our HEX: Shards of Fate strategy guide for the Frost Arena PvE (player versus environment) mode! If you’re new to HEX, check out our review of the game here, and when you’re ready to dive in and play, our Beginner’s Guide will ease you into the game. Otherwise, grab a drink and sit tight, because it’s going to be a long one!

Hoggarth, Keeper of the Frost Ring has invited you to participate in a little challenge. Can you survive against 20 individual battles over 4 Tiers in your search for gold and other shiny things, like Stardust?

In your way is a smorgasbord of opponents all packing different ways to make your life difficult, and Hoggarth isn’t above getting involved himself by throwing extra “challenges” your way. These will make your current game harder — but should you succeed, Hoggarth will, in just about his only sporting gesture, either remove a loss from your Arena record or, if you currently have no losses, will buff you up in one of the following ways for the final boss fight of the Tier.

hex-frost-arena3

Sit tight, and don’t get too chilly in here… You just might freeze to death.

In descending order of usefulness, here are the buffs:

  • You start the game with 5 Extra Health – Ugh, not much help really…
  • You start the game with 2 Charges – Very useful if playing a multi-charge Champion.
  • You start the game with one extra resource – You can get off to some blistering starts with this buff.
  • You start the game with an Arena Brawler in play – Free 3/1 on turn 1? Yes please.

Here are the challenges you may face, this time in descending order of misery:

  • Your opponent starts the game with a Cerebral Fulmination in play – More often than not this will actually help you.
  • Both players have 6 Booby Traps inserted into their decks – Irrelevant the vast majority of the time.
  • At a random point your opponent will cast a free Oracle Song and Soothing Breeze – Can often throw off your attacking tempo but usually isn’t game breaking unless in an already difficult encounter
  • Your opponent starts the game with an Inferno in play – Fun if you’re an aggro deck, but a NIGHTMARE if you’re a control deck. You may just have to roll the RNG dice on this one if you’re slow.
  • Your opponent randomly spawns a Headless Executioner for free – Sure. Free 5/5. That’s fair right?  Well at least it can’t block and it’s just a guy at the end of the day.
  • Your opponent starts the game with a Tunneled Troop – This could be very frightening if it’s a Reese, Monsuun or something which really benefits the opponent.  Otherwise it may be weaker that the Headless Executioner.
  • Your opponent starts the game with a Command Tower in play – If you and your opponent are in a race this will swing the balance. Additionally any of your opponents with Construct Foreman can turn this into a 3/3 and destroy you early.
  • Your opponent starts the game with Shrine of Prosperity in play – Against some opponents, this is game over. Many of the Champion Charge Powers are overpowered but expensive.  This makes them not expensive, buffs all their Troops AND makes their spells cheaper. The only reason this card doesn’t see more play in constructed is the investment required, and so with no investment, this card’s broken.
  • Your opponent casts a free Mastery of Time after your 3rd turn – What?!!! Okay, THIS is not funny. If you’re behind on the board when this triggers, cross your fingers because it’s almost certain you’re not coming back.  Take control of the board and just hope this doesn’t happen.

The worst thing that can happen with these challenges is when they spawn on boss encounters. If it spawns on a normal random encounter, sometimes you’ll just suck it up and take the loss. On a boss encounter you don’t have that option — you have to beat the boss and even when facing it, after a loss the challenge will trigger again.  However, any buffs you had for the initial fight will be lost. Yep — Hoggarth REALLY isn’t your friend!

I discussed in my introduction to HEX how in Frost Arena, most of the time, you’ll want to side with aggressive decks, be they Orcs or a Dwarf/Robot build, however there are some times where you can get a little creative. I’ll show off a couple of builds before I get into the encounters (as always, Equipment are in brackets).

Wild/Sapphire Combo

Champion: Running Deer

This is the deck which is responsible for the frankly irresponsible amount of Rhinos on the board in my introduction article. 🙂

Broke

There is no way this opponent has a chance in an icy hell to get out of this stampede.

The main factor with this deck is that the A.I. doesn’t really know how to interact with it, and since it can “win in one turn” (although that turn is usually multiple turns which I take for myself because I’m just selfish like that) you can wait until the last minute to go nuts.

The main game-plan is usually just to resolve Chimes of the Zodiac as fast as possible (Hopefully for 0 off an Indigo Dreamwalker… They’re the best Chimes) and then use the next turn to either take 2 turns with Mastery of Time or make a ridiculous amount of Rhinos with Crash of Beasts.

The deck is a riot to play and is one I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for something other than Orcs or Dwarves.

Mono Blood Soul Cube Control

Champion: Zared Venomscorn

This is about as control as you can get in the Frost Arena, as many of the decks are extremely hostile to control or have ridiculous endgame which you can only match with Soul Cube. What makes this deck work is Argus and his absurd equipment which lets you pay 4 resources and discard him to void any permanent in play. You can then use Call the Grave or, even more brutal, Rise Again to either put Argus into your hand or back into play. I use a 1-of Killipede but a 3rd Argus is probably a better call.

And I guess before I go further, here are your bog standard Frost Arena grind decks. They’re about as efficient as you get:

Dwarves:

Champion: Bertram Cragraven

Orcs:

Champion: Urgnock

The Orc deck is a slight change from last week but, to be honest, this deck’s so solid at beating Frost Arena you could probably put Zakiir in there and the deck would still crush the Arena, I just wanted another 1-drop and he’s the best we have currently.

The Frost Arena – Tier 1

If this is your first time in Frost Arena, you’ll be going through the first tier. I would not recommend you do this in subsequent runs because you’re able to skip it and for the sake of efficiency, that’s exactly what I would do.

The encounters here are mainly weaklings, they’ve had their life totals reduced from 20 to 15, and they only start with 6 cards, so this breaks you in rather easily.

Let’s just have a quick look at who you’re up against.

Spam Bot

Passive Ability: At the start of the game, 4 random Robots in your deck get one of the following at random: +1 ATK or +1 DEF
Charge Ability: 1Target Robot you control gets one of the following at random: +1 ATK or +1 DEF
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out ForWar Hulk

Has some cheap artifact creatures which, when combined with his ability, can be rather annoying, especially for aggro. Probably one of the stronger Tier 1 foes but that’s not really saying much.

SPAM Bot

Gobbleglade Witch

Passive Ability: Whenever a Troop with more than 4 health dies, gain 2 life
Charge Ability: 5 (W)Target Troop you control battles target opposing Troop with the lowest ATK
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out ForHoneycap

Nothing really to be too afraid of, it’s pretty much like playing against a bad version of the Mono-Wild deck from the Proving Grounds. They’re really letting you in easy here.

 Goggleglade Witch

Storm Cloud

Passive Ability: None
Charge Ability: 2 (S)Exhaust Target Troop
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out ForCloud Titan

The best this deck can do is annoy you with it stupid Happy Cloud grin.  The best “trick” it can pull off is exhausting your Troops and pinging it for 1 with a Clear Sky Stormcaller… No, I’m not kidding.

 Storm Cloud

Dragon Guard Stalwart

Passive Ability: Whenever you gain life a random Troop in your deck gets +1/+1.
Charge Ability: 1 (D)Gain 1 life
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out ForIncantation of Righteousness

You can almost hear the ’80s calling. This guy’s all about “Stayin’ Alive” and his rather irritating little ability does get tiring after a while. He’s rarely going to threaten you, just make it a chore for you to win.

 Dragon Guard Stalwart

Mentor of the Grave

Passive Ability: Whenever a Troop enters your hand from a graveyard it gains +1/+1
Charge Ability: 3 (B)Void target Troop in your graveyard, then gain health equal to the voided Troops DEF
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out For: Corrupt Harvester

A very weak mono-blood deck which should be a pretty easy pushover.  There’s really nothing threatening here aside from the Harvester, just make sure it doesn’t hit you too often and you’ll see off Mentor easily enough.

 Mentor of the Grave

Psychotic Arsonist

Passive Ability: Whenever a Troop comes into play there’s a 25% chance it gains Speed and +1 ATK
Charge Ability: 2 (R)Deal 1 damage to target opposing Champion
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out For: Ash Harpy

A fairly weak deck overall but even weak Ruby decks can be scary. If his first 2-drops trigger his passive ability you could be in for a world of trouble. If they don’t, his card quality is just too low to be any threat.

 Psychotic Arsonist

Eternal Guardian

Passive Ability: At the start of your turn, gain [1/1], then gain a random threshold of which you have the least
Charge Ability: None
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out For: Arborean Rootfather, Azurefate Sorceress

Say hello to the Tier 1 boss and one of the most colorful encounters in all of Frost Arena. He has no shards in his deck at all — it’s all spells, so he’s not going to run out of action soon.

His Troops aren’t that strong, but they’re all socketed with gems and he has one of each Aura in his deck making things a little more worrying.  However he doesn’t come out of the gate very quickly and you can often knock him on his backside before gets going.

If he does get going though, he isn’t going to stop, so attack fast and pin back his guys.

 Eternal Guardian

 

Burn-and-Pressure

This is pretty much what you want to always be doing, if you can manage it!

Tier 1 Wrap Up

After the relatively cushy introduction you’ve had to the Frost Arena, you’ll probably be thinking you’ve got everything in hand. Well, here’s the bad news. You will not face Tier 1 again if you are playing Frost Arena for the rewards. After you have beaten Tier 1, in the future you’ll have the ability to skip it entirely and I suggest that you do so.  The rewards are simply not worth the time invested.

Now you’ve made it to Tier 2, you will face tougher challenges and bosses. As with Tier 1, I will first go through the regulars and then do a strategy section on the bosses.

For me the regulars fall into distinct categories of threat level, so I’ll spend a bit more time concentrating on the high-threat enemies rather than the weaklings.

The Regulars

Zodiac Shaman

Passive Ability: When a Champion draws a Troop there is a 25% chance that Troops becomes quick
Charge Ability: 3 (SDW)Coyotes in all decks gain +1/+1 and Cost -1
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out ForOzawa, Cosmic Elder, Living Totem

Say hello to the lowest of the low.  Like his PvP card, Zodiac Shaman poses pretty much no threat at all. His deck is mainly based around health gain rather than any sort of attacking strategy, his resources and thresholds are all over the place, and the cards he uses, with the exception of his one Ozawa, are all completely non-threatening.

Crush him at your will and move on.

Zodiac Shaman

Construct Foreman

Passive Ability: None
Charge Ability: 2 (R)Create a Booby Trap for each Champion and put them into their decks.  Each Champion draws a card
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out ForFiendish Cabalist, Born of the Flame, Ragefire

This is one of the more fun encounters and, if I’m honest, It’s very rare you’ll lose to him, but his early game burn combined with the fact he can produce a massive Fiendish Cabalist early is definitely something to watch out for.

He’s definitely more of a pain for the slower control decks as you won’t be able to use the extra cards he gives you, but for a speedy aggro deck he’s everything you want from an opponent as he gives you the very tools you need to kill him. A great, fun, and overall rather easy encounter.

Construct Foreman

Wild Root Dancer

Passive Ability: At the start of the game each Champion choose a target Troop in their decks and creates 4 copies of that card and puts them in their deck
Charge Ability: 5 (DW)Look at the top 5 cards of your deck and put any revealed Plants into play and the remaining cards into your deck
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForBriar Legion, Verdant Wyldeboar

Wild Root Dancer is the ultimate in Briar Legion decks.  This does mean that it’s slow to come online and you can rush it fairly quickly without too many issues. Your main problems are going to come when Bramble Creeper and Vine Trap combine to make one heck of a wall in your way, especially since Vine Trap has equipment that says, “When Vine Trap blocks a Troop that Troop gets -2/-0 permanently”.

Fliers or pure speed are the best way to take this deck down, but a couple of well-placed removal spells will work as well. Be careful when playing a sweeper or control deck as eventually those Wyldeboars are going to come back through Wild Root Dancer’s Charge Power, so always be ready.

Wild Root Dancer

Emberspire Witch

Passive Ability: Champions can’t gain health
Charge Ability: 1 (R)Deal 1 damage to each Champion
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForRampaging Tarasque, Inferno, Heroic Outlaw

Emberspire Witch is pretty much a race. She won’t put any blockers in the way for a while but she will fling a lot of burn and, like many other bosses, has the occasional Heat Wave which will make a mess of an early rush.

However she won’t do anything threatening until late in the game and, after the first couple of burn spells, she may run out of answers. Additionally she doesn’t seem to use her Champion ability much so the race becomes a bit more lob-sided in the player’s direction. Creatures with 3 or more health and fast attacks are the way to beat this lady. Brutal Commander, especially, is something Witch is ill-equipped to deal with.

Emberspire Witch

Darkspire Enforcer

Passive Ability: When a Troop you control with Darkspire in its name dies, create a card with that card’s name and put it in your deck
Charge Ability: None as of current patch
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForDarkspire Tyrant, GortezumaThroat Cutter

Mono-Blood Orcs is the name of the game for Darkspire Enforcer.  This match-up is mainly about seizing the initiative and keeping hold of it.  Darkspire Enforcer will damage itself with its Shamed Gladiators and Fang of the Mountain Gods so a stall situation may be all you need to win, however be careful once Darkspire Tyrants start dropping, as he can produce an infinite supply of them thanks to his passive ability.

As long as he doesn’t come roaring out of the gate with Turn 1 Fang, turn 2 Gortezuma, turn 3 Murder/Throat Cutter then you should be able to keep him under control until you take over the game and run him down. If he does get that start then hold on for dear life and prioritize killing Gortezuma before he becomes invincible.

Darkspire Enforcer

Eldritch Dreamer

Passive Ability: Troops without Flight have -1 ATK
Charge Ability: 3 (S)Target Troop gets “When this deals damage to an opposing Champion, draw a card”
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForThunderbird, Menacing Gralk, Storm Colossus

The name of the game is grind for this guy. Using his Ancestor’s Chosen and fliers to try and knock your life total down all the while using annoying cards like Time Ripple and Buccaneer to peg you back that little bit further every turn

That said, most of the aggressive decks you want to play in Frost Arena will either have a lot of fliers or will be packing Rage or another Attack buff, so in the end his ability ends up being non-symmetrical and costing him damage to the point where his Storm Colossus or an unanswered Thunderbird are his only real threats. An encounter only made a little more difficult by the fact that it’s slower than the others.

Eldritch Dreamer

Avalanche Giant

Passive Ability: When a Troop deals damage to a Champion it gets +1/+1
Charge Ability: 2 (RW)Target Troop you control gets +2/+2 this turn
Threat Level: Medium (Aggro) / High (Control)
Cards to Look Out ForGas Troll, Gore Feast of Kog’Tepetl

This guy can be very difficult to deal with if you come out of the traps slowly.  His best start will often have you taking 6 on turn 2 and facing 2 3/3’s (Gas Troll into powered-up Gem Snatchers).

Like all things Gas Troll based, however, if he doesn’t get that start, or you can kill the Gas Troll early then his ability works for you as much as it does against you and, in fact, cards like Arena Regular, War Machinist and Fang of the Mountain God can get huge buffs off Giant’s passive ability, none of which he plays.

If you’re an aggro deck, you’ll be thanking Avalanche Giant for his passive and accepting the win. If you’re a slower deck and he come flying out of the traps, you’re in for a world of pain.

Avalanche Giant

Malice Demon

Passive Ability: Troops in All Zones have Rage 1
Charge Ability: BR (2)Put Target Troop in your graveyard into play.  It gains Speed and “At the end of your turn, Sacrifice this”
Threat Level: Medium (Aggro) / Very High (Control)
Cards to Look Out ForJags the Blademaster, Mazat Spearman, Ruby Aura

This guy can be extremely scary.  As he gives all Troops Rage 1 and this is cumulative with already existing Rage this means that a card like Mazat Spearman becomes 0/1 with Rage 2 for 1 which is extremely scary. Add into the fact he’s packing Ruby Aura and ways to dig up his Spearman once it’s died, you can see that he can produce a lot of power very quickly and be surprisingly resilient.

The best strategies I’ve come up with are to either out-aggro him or give his Troops permanent de-buffs. For example Crackling Rot gives -2/-2 to a Troop permanently meaning that his Charge Power is no longer a way of getting the Troop back.  Voiding Troops with cards like Solitary Exile is also very good vs Malice Demon. Overall this guy can be very frightening if he begins to outrace you but in return once you get the upper hand he’s not got many ways to come back.

Malice Demon

 

Regret

Regretting that ability yet, Malice Demon?

 

Sniper of Gawaine

Passive Ability: None
Charge Ability: 4 (DR)Troops you control that entered play this turn gain +1/+1 and Speed
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForRoyal Falconer, Royal Den Mother

Mr. Inspire here is a “snowball” strategy. If you get him curve his inspire Troops out you’ll be looking at an uncontrollable situation involving Royal Falconer very quickly.

Fortunately if you pin back his first couple of Inspire Troops, he doesn’t pose much of a threat unless he chains together a couple of Royal Den Mothers.  Just be wary that all you really have to do against Royal Falconer is kill it and leave the 0/1 Falcons to fend for themselves. Beware, however, that since the Falcons cost 3 they will be inspired by pretty much everything in Sniper’s deck so make sure you stop that from happening.

Sniper of Gawaine

Moon’ariu Sensei

Passive Ability: When a Troop goes underground it gets one of the following at random: +1/+1, Lethal, Rage 2 or “When this enters play, draw a card”
Charge Ability: 3 (BW)Put a random Troop from your deck with Tunneling underground
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForBucktooth Roshi, Wakizashi Ambusher, Monsuun

Instead of wombles going underground, it’s bunnies!  The Shin’hare are being let loose and will jump up right under your feet… eventually.

Fortunately Moon’ariu here leaves himself a bit open in the early game and that’s where to hit him. His mid-game is extremely powerful and so you’d rather have him on his last legs by then. If his Troops start surfacing and you’re at life and board parity, things can swing his way extremely quickly, especially if he gets a well-timed Monsuun or Grave Nibbler off. Don’t let that happen — hit him hard and fast early and you’ll have the momentum necessary to finish him off.

Moon'Ariu Sensei

 

Going-Underground

‘Goin’ Underground’ is obviously Sensei’s favourite song.

 

Blood Sphinx

Passive Ability: At the start of the game each Champion chooses an action card in their hand.  It gets “When you play this, copy it”
Charge Ability: 4 (SSBB)Put target action from your graveyard into your hand
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForArchmage Wrenlocke, High Tomb Lord, Relentless Corruption

Out of all the decks you’ll face in the Frost Arena, Blood Sphinx feels like the deck which would most likely end up in the hands of a human opponent.

It’s basically a Sapphire/Blood control deck with a few neat twists.  Bit of bounce here, creature removal there, discard over here, and a couple of big, fat finishers.

The problem is that the A.I. doesn’t really know how to use it’s resources to the fullest and it’s deck doesn’t really feel like it knows what it wants to do, so it really just feels like you’re playing against a weak Sapphire/Blood control deck, with less than 4 Extinction, so if you’re used to facing decks like that then just run straight through him.

If it gets to the late game and he starts drawing masses of cards and casting Relentless Corruption a million times then you’ll be in trouble but, like most Arena fights, take him down hard and fast and you’ll wonder what you had to worry about.

Blood Sphinx

Avenging Angel

Passive Ability: At the start of the game random 4 Troops in each Champions deck gain “When you draw this card play it for free”
Charge Ability: 5 (DD)Create an Angel and put it into your hand
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForAngel of Dawn, Guardian Angel, Spearcliff Cavalier

Angel’s deck is very solid but his ability can be absolutely devastating.  If you’re playing your standard aggro deck you can maybe get a 2/2 or 3/3 for free out of his ability. I’ve seen Avenging Angel hit Spearcliff Cavalier on Turn 1 and then for laughs hit an Angel of Dawn on the next turn and that’s all she wrote.  Occasionally you’ll also face down a Protectorate Defender paired with a Highland Shinobi or a Living Totem and find yourself in a bit of a race but, more often than not, his deck is a bit too high-end to put any real pressure on.

Of course this can work the other way as the picture below shows and can be completely hilarious which is why I don’t put Avenging Angel among the top tiers. Angel’s annoying and potentially very brutal but its cards are on the table, it’s really not got many surprises for you, and most of the time you’ll avoid the worst.

Avenging Angel

 

Regret-Argus

I believe that’s what is called “When good abilities go wrong” Mr. Angel.

 

Ruby Enchantress

Passive Ability: None
Charge Ability: 2 (R)Create a random Ruby Action and put it into your hand
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out ForArchmage Wrenlocke, Kindling Skarn

This is the Wrenlocke/Skarn type of deck many have been trying to make work in PvP for so long but can’t quite make it.

Ruby Enchantress’s version is worse than the normal standard except for one minor detail… THAT Charge power. This can get out of hand very quickly, and Kismet help you if she gets a Power of Zakiir off the ability because bad things will happen quickly should that be around.

Your best bet against Ruby is to have Troops with higher than 2 health and to attempt to out-midrange her. As long as you can pin back her Troops, and none of them are that scary, she won’t be able to finish you off but it’s not going to be easy, she can get some insane things off that ability… Then again, she can also get rubbish like Crazed Rummaging. Cross your fingers.

Ruby Enchantress

Ballistics Expert

Passive Ability: Non-Combat Damage dealt by Dwarves and artifacts you control is increased by 1
Charge Ability: 4 (SR)Target Troop gets “Exhaust -> This deals 1 damage to target Champion or Troop”
Threat Level: High (Aggro) / Medium (Control)
Cards to Look Out ForWar Machinist, Flak Scrapper

Overall this deck is a nicely-built Dwarves deck with a very severe underside. In addition, Ballistics Expert will only target high defense Troops with his ability. This lowers your ability to deal with them and makes everything a nightmare for small Troops, as anything he targets will be a Dwarf or Robot and thus deal 2 damage with the exhaust ability.

Add the fact that his War Machinists are powered-up with Tinkerer’s Robes, meaning they deal 2 damage to you and 2 to a creature you control for each artifact he plays, and this can be a mess.  Wait — there’s more. Have I mentioned that he has a problem where he doesn’t have to pay Forge of Cadoc’s cost of returning a Dwarf to his deck and thus can explode out of the gates for no cost?

Just be happy that Tinkerer’s Robes no longer causes him to Heat Wave your entire board when he plays an artifact.

Like all Dwarf and Robot decks, he’s very weak to sweepers, but if you’ve followed my guide and are playing aggro, this guy will be one of your hardest match-ups as he can gum up the ground quickly and will OWN you mid-late game. Three defense is your friend here.

Ballistics Expert

 

Turn-2

Turn 2, and he’s got all of that on the board already??

 

Hero of Adamanth

Passive Ability: When a card leaves play there is a 25% chance that its controller creates a card with that card’s name and puts it into play
Charge Ability: 3 (DS)Void target card you control, the put the voided card into play
Threat Level: Medium to High, depending on RNG
Cards to Look Out ForTown Crier, Royal Den Mother, Noble Citizenry

This guy is either an easy breeze or your worst nightmare. If you get unlucky he can effectively cast 3 Buccaneers on turn 3 and take you completely out of the game. He’ll do this by casting one, then using his ability to void it and return it to play and having his passive trigger so he ends the game with 2 Buccaneers in play and your entire board back in your hand. He can also do the same with Solitary Exile or, even worse, Royal Den Mother (hello 10 power of guys, turn 3) so this guy gets out of control extremely quickly if RNG doesn’t roll in your favor.

This can be another “cross your fingers” fight and really the only real advice I have is to keep him under pressure and save your removal for when he tries to use his Charge ability. Alternatively this is an encounter you can win through decking as he will keep casting Town Criers even in a board stall and can eventually deck himself out with them.

Hero of Adamanth

Paladin of Naagaan

Passive Ability: None
Charge Ability: 3 (BD)Target Troop you control gets +X/+X where X is the amount of health you have in excess of your opponent
Threat Level: High
Cards to Look Out ForVampire King, Righteous Paladin, Incantation of Righteousness

This guy can be the stuff of nightmares. That ability of his is SUPER scary when you combine it with the fact he starts gaining life on turn 1 if he has an Adamanthian Scrivener.

He can also gain some life, land a Paladin of the Necropolis and make it a 5/8 or so with Lifedrain, which is going to be pretty rough to beat. Add the fact that all his Giant Mosquitos are equipped with Lethal equipment and you can see how this guy can get way out of hand.

The secret to beating Paladin is to reduce his life total as fast as possible.  At that point he can’t use his Charge ability and you just end up winning. Beware if you’re playing a slower deck he has Pact of Pain and a lot of life to use so mid-game he can simply blow you away with card advantage. Always be wary when facing the dark Paladin.

Paladin of Naagaan

Seaweed Behemoth

Passive Ability: When a Champion gains a charge it has a 25% chance to gain an additional charge
Charge Ability: 10 (SW)Draw 5 Cards
Threat Level: High
Cards to Look Out ForBellow of Briggadon, Reactor Bot, Eternal Drifter

This deck is about pure, unmitigated power, and don’t be fooled — that Charge Power isn’t going to wait until turn 10 to go off. Almost everything in Seaweed’s deck is designed to buff his charges which, when combined with his cards and ability, make one scary individual.

His main endgame is to activate his ability with Bellow of Briggadon out and spam 10/10s but he’s also perfectly capable of just dropping a turn 2 Reactor Bot and killing you with it if you don’t react fast enough to it.

Speed will be your ally here, hope he doesn’t get an early Pulse Reactor to slow you down too much, because in the end-game you can’t go toe to toe with him without an absurdly-powerful endgame of your own designed to stop him (i.e. the Argus/Soul Cube deck I showed off at the top of the article).

If he’s gotten off his ability twice, it’s very hard to see how you’ll beat this encounter, so don’t let it happen.

Seaweed Behemoth

Nelebrin Scout

Passive Ability: When a Champion plays a resource there is a 25% chance that Champion gains [1/1]
Charge Ability: 5 (W)For each Troop, randomly determine if it is destroyed as follows: Each Troop has a 10% chance of not being destroyed for each point of toughness it has.
Threat Level: Very High (Aggro) / Medium (Control)
Cards to Look Out ForEye of Creation, Succulent Cluckadon, Fist of Briggadon

This guy is dangerous especially for aggro decks. His ability combined with his one-resource Chlorophyllia(thanks Gardener’s Hat) means he can play cards like Succulent Cluckadon on turn 2, which is pretty much “good game” if you’re playing a fast, aggressive deck. I’ve actually had games where he’s cast turn 2 Cluckadon, turn 3 Crazed Squirrel Titan, turn 4 Battle Beetle. No, I didn’t win.

Combine that with a brutal Champion ability and you can see why he’s earned that threat level. For a control deck he’s really no big deal as he just makes fat monsters with little trickery, and well-built control decks have been feasting on those type of decks since the beginning of time. However, if you’re piloting Orcs against Scout, cross your fingers he doesn’t explode out of the blocks, and kill him as fast as you can or you’ll get completely overwhelmed.

Nelebrin Scout

War Bot

Passive Ability: When an artifact enters play its controller gains a charge
Charge Ability: 10 – Void all non artifacts
Threat Level: Very High (Anything but Robots) / Low (Robots)
Cards to Look Out ForDroo’s Colossal Walker, War Bot Dropship, Eternal Drifter

Welcome to the death of many a perfect-run in the Frost Arena. Yes, that ability says 10. No, he’s not waiting that long to fire it. His deck, unsurprisingly, is all Artifacts, and every resource-producing shard in his deck is a Crackling Vortex, so not only is he super-powered, he’s a massive cheat too.

He can fire that ability as early as turn 3 thanks to Charge Bot and the like, so the secret to beating this guy is to manage his ability.

He’ll rarely fire off his Charge ability on one Troop, so if you can win the Troop war with just one Troop, do it. If you can’t, then you’ll simply have to bait his ability and then refill faster than he can kill you. Fortunately your one saving grace is that he’s fairly slow in killing you so you’ll have a little time, but this guy is far and away the hardest random non-boss encounter you’ll hit.

Unless you’re playing Robots yourself, then you can just sit back and laugh as he Voids your Construct Foreman and you beat the tar out of him with Pterobots and War Hulks. Serves him right.

War Bot

So that should give you an overview of the most standard encounters you’ll find. Now we can move on to the beast who run the joint. If you lose to any of the random encounters, as long as it’s not your 3rd loss you’ll keep going. These upcoming guys are the guardians of the gates and you’re not passing without their approval.

The Bosses

The final part of each Tier is the Boss Battle. Unlike the other Tier battles, these match-ups are “must win” in order to progress and each of the Champions comes loaded with their own, sometimes a bit unfair, strategies and cards.

Your reward for taking down a boss is a prize chest, which will either have a piece of Equipment or some Stardust in, and some Gold which scales to the Tier you are fighting at.

All Bosses begin at 25 life rather than the usual 20, meaning that it may take 1 or 2 more turns of beat-down to finish them off. This can often lead to several rather tense moments where you wonder if the rug is going to be pulled out from under you.

Princess Cory

Passive Ability: At the start of the game Cory gains one of each threshold
Charge Ability:
2 (SD)Target opposing card transforms into a random artifact, constant, or Troop with the same cost
Threat Level: Low
Cards to Look Out For: Angel of Dawn, Lady Valerie, Boundless Imagination

Welcome to the RNG-fest of the Frost Arena. However this is RNG done in a rather interesting way. Unlike a certain other boss battle we’ll get to shortly, this battle won’t be over in the first 2-3 turns dependent on what Cory draws.  He can get a “free” Angel of Dawn which is always irritating, but his deck is mainly based around putting a lot of low-powered cards on the board with cards like Lady Valerie and Citadel of Adamanth and then using a card such as Cosmic Transmogrifier or Boundless Imagination to transform everything on the board into something random, and this can backfire on Cory as hysterically as you might think.

Occasionally he will get something like a double Pack Raptor into free Angel start and you’ll be flailing around trying to stay alive, but otherwise he’s a fairly simple “removal and beat down” boss so shouldn’t cause any well-built deck too many problems. Control decks may have a few more problems as more time passed is more stuff transformed, and more potential disasters to avoid.

Princess Cory

 

error

I don’t think you wanted that to happen, Cory…

 

Xarlox, The Brood Lord

Passive Ability: At the start of the game create 3 Broodlord Eggs for each opponent and put them into their decks
Charge Ability: 4 (SB): Bury the Top 3 cards of target opposing Champion’s deck and put a Spiderspawn into play for each Troop buried this way
Threat Level: Very High
Cards to Look Out For: Word of Xentoth, Chronic Madness, Terrorantula

Do you have Arachnophobia? Well, you will after just a few rounds with this nightmare. The toughest boss in the game is staring a hole through you and the problem here is that you never know when he’s going to strike.

Xarlox the Broodlord

 

Xarlox is predominantly a “mill” type deck, which wouldn’t ordinarily be that threatening, until you realize that with a good enough draw he can bury your whole library by turn 7 or 8. He’s also hidden some surprises for you in the form of his Broodlord Eggs which “hatch” into the vile Terrorantula when you’re unfortunate enough to draw them or have them buried from your deck.

Against Xarlox you are in a race against time because eventually your library will be gone and there’s almost nothing you can do to stop it so mid-range strategies really suffer against him. That said, I have built up so much negative feeling against this dude that I have designed multiple decks for the sole reason of beating this guy over the head with his own cards or just trying to negate his main win-condition of either milling you out or beating you up with many cheated-into-play 5/5 Spiders of Doom.

And-The-Horse-You-Rode-In-On

Not that I’m petty or anything, but I feel this is an entirely justified response to Xarlox’s evil.

As for overall strategy against Xarlox, the game plan I tend to lean towards looks like the following:

  • Hope you don’t see a Turn 1 or Turn 2 Broodlord Egg or you’re probably done, except with a few outlying draws or decks.
  • If Xarlox has a Word of Xentoth turn 3, cross everything and pray.
  • Beat him down as fast as possible and don’t stop.

If all the above fails, here’s a random side note. If you reveal a Broodlord Egg to Jank Bot’s ability, you can play it for free and it will not spawn a Terrorantula, since it never hit your hand or the graveyard.

Xarlox-Foiled

Notice anything, Xarlox?

 

Uzume, Grand Concubunny

Passive Ability: If Uzume controls 5 or more Shin’hare they all gain +1 ATK
Charge Ability: 3 (WB): Create a Random non-Unique Shin’hare Troop and put it into play
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out For: Strength In Numbers, Unique PvE Shin’hare, Onslaught

Uzume is everything your Shin’hare deck wants to be, however her strategy relies on snowballing and thus if you can pin her back with one or two removal spells or, even better, a well-timed Extinction, she’ll have very little to fight you with as you bludgeon her to death. However if she gets an early Fertile Engorger or, Kismet forbid, a Ritualist of the Spring Litter you could be looking at a very fast world of pain heading in your general direction. Do not let this bunny start reproducing and you’ll be fine.

Uzume Grand Concubunny

Zoltog

Passive Ability: BBRR When an Orc Troop Zoltog controls deals damage to an opposing Champion, create a Savage Raider and put it into play
Charge Ability: 5 (BR): Create 3 Savage Raiders and put them into play
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out For: Relentless Assault, Crushing Blow, Poca The Conflagrator

Zoltog is to Orcs what Uzume is to Shin’hare. However, I personally find his encounter easier than Uzume because I tend to play the Mono-Ruby Orc deck in Frost Arena which is just simply outright superior to Zoltog’s deck.

Zoltog has no outside of combat removal and thus cannot really spring any surprises on you. If you’re able to contain the rampaging hordes of Orcs then you’ll be okay, just look out for the Turn 5 Savage Raider spawn as that can begin to get a little out of hand. Overall, though, you shouldn’t have too many problems beating Zoltog down, because his deck’s just a little bit too “all over the place” and he has, on many occasions, killed himself with his own self-hurting Orcs when I’ve forced a stall situation. One big hint I can give is that the A.I. is NOT good at “bluff attacking” so if he attacks when he doesn’t have to, in what looks like a losing battle, chances are there’s a trick waiting.

Zoltog

His Majesty, King Gabriel

Passive Ability: When King Gabriel controls Boldheart prevent all damage that would by dealt to King Gabriel
Charge Ability: 6 (DD): Create a Boldheart and put it into play. It gains “Must Attack”
Threat Level: Medium
Cards to Look Out For: To The King, Blessing The Fallen, Unique PvE Humans

Joining the ranks of tribal synergies is His Majesty, King Gabriel.  He represents Humans and, more accurately, the Inspire mechanic.

Pretty much every Inspire Human can be found in this deck and some of the PvE exclusives like Lionel Flynn are extremely powerful. However, His Majesty seems to have overlooked the fact that HEX doesn’t really offer incredibly good resource fixing at the moment — he can often be very slow coming online with his Tri-Shard deck that has a ton of shards which produce 0/1, meaning that one or two well-placed removal spells can ruin his day spectacularly. All isn’t lost if he summons Boldheart as the 6/5 has to attack, and you can kill it in combat… Unless of course he summons himself through To the King, then you might have a problem on your hands.

His Majesty King Gabriel

Eurig The Robomancer

Passive Ability: When an artifact you control transforms ready all Troops you control
Charge Ability: 3 (SR)  Transform all War Bots you control into War Hulks.  Transform all Worker Bots you control into War Bots. Create a Worker Bot and put it into play
Threat Level: High
Cards to Look Out For: Ingenuity, Bertram Cragraven, Rocket Ranger

Eurig is what happens when the Artifact deck goes absolutely crazy, and out of all the regular bosses he is the one who gives me my most losses.

Most of them come down to Turn 3. If Eurig has Ingenuity backed up by his Charge Power, you are going to massively struggle as he’s just effectively made a 7/7 for 3 resources and drawn 2 cards. Oh, and he’ll probably also have some sort of horrendous Construction Plan for you as well.

This battle can be a lot easier if he doesn’t have that sort of opening but, in my opinion, Ingenuity is easily the most powerful of the “Boss” cards, next to Word of Xentoth from Xarlox.

The fact most of his Troops are artifact Troops also causes issues as Blood players will be looking at their Murders with vengeful hatred as a War Hulk slams into them. Fortunately Extinction works rather well against Eurig.

What’s holding Eurig back, sadly, is his A.I. It doesn’t quite have the timing right for its Construction Plans transformations, and a couple of other things. In the hands of a human player I am pretty sure that both Eurig and Xarlox’s decks would be unbeatable over any of the current A.I.s, and they’d probably mean instant losses for the heroes taking on the Frost Ring Arena.

To elaborate on my point, let’s say you attack with a 4/4 into 3 Worker Bots and a Construction Plans: War Hulk on 3 charges. Against a human this would be suicide as you would exhaust your Worker Bots to transform the War Hulk, and then Eurig’s passive ability would trigger, readying all his Troops and thus your 4/4 gets mauled. The A.I. currently doesn’t know how to do that, so here’s your window.

My advice with Eurig is twofold: you have to pick your fights well against him, and sweepers work remarkably well. Unfortunately, he’s probably the most anti-aggro of all the bosses and thus will cause the most trouble. He is pretty much the reason I put in 8 “burn” spells in my Mono Ruby Orc deck, because he puts so much in the way, and if you’re going into the Arena, I highly suggest you have something ready for the Robo-Boss or you’ll regret it.

Eurig the Robomancer

 

This-is-annoying

REALLY regret it!! This is annoying…

There is one final boss character… one you might want to find and, in fact, it becomes your sole reason for grinding Arena late in the day.

Considering how, in over 2500 Frost Arena matches I’ve never encountered him, and thus never beaten him, I can’t really offer much advice on what to do. He takes the place of any random encounter in Tier 2 to Tier 4, including Boss Fights, but his spawn rate is ridiculously low. Nevertheless, I can reveal what you’re up against should you find him:

Uruunaz

Starting Life Total: 30
Passive Ability: At the start of Uruunaz’s turn, bury the top 2 cards of target opponent’s deck
Charge Ability: 6 (BBB): You may play target card in an opponent’s graveyard and all cards with the same name as that card in your opponent’s graveyard for free

Think you’re ready? Well there’s a ton of loot waiting for you if you are. Best of luck — the Blood Dragon is waiting.

Urunaaz-boss

 

Phew! That’s all for now! Let us know what you think in the comments below, and please share any Frost Arena tips and tricks of your own!

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Andrew Clayton
Author: Andrew Clayton View all posts by
A finance professional by day and a gamer by night, Andrew goes by the online handle "Boomer". Andrew has over 15 years experience in Trading Card Games, including an English National Team appearance at the 'Magic: The Gathering' World Championships. In 2013, Andrew discovered Hex: Shards of Fate and it has been his game of choice ever since.
  • Revolutionary

    I found the article to be quite informative for this particular part of the game, although the Mono Blood Soul Cube Control example deck is insanely expensive at the moment with the Vampire King being considered one of the best cards in the game and Extinction being one of the runner ups. Those cards alone at about $150 to the price of that deck.

    Many say that is to expensive for cards that are not even real but hell, you can print them out and and long as we have a growing player base and in interesting game, the value is only going to go up for these rare T1 cards.

    I’ll be adding them to my collection as soon as I can.

    EnigmaJake – Creator of the Bloody Bunny Arena Deck

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