Orcs like to kill things. That is a universal truth that we can all agree on. That’s why, when I was looking to build my first all-out aggressive deck in Hex: Shards of Fate, I went straight for the trusty green-skinned, blood-loving rage-facers that are orcs.
I’ve had great success with this deck so far in Hex’s alpha, so I wanted to share it with you!
What is Hex: Shards of Fate
Hex is a TCGMMO currently in closed alpha being developed by Cryptozoic Entertainment (makers of the World of Warcraft TCG and a bunch of other licensed board/card games). At its core, it is a trading card game, similar to Magic: The Gathering. It has sets of cards, with different mana types (called Resources in Hex), and you use those cards to build decks to battle against opponents with their own decks.
The “MMO” side means that, eventually, Hex will have full PVE content like dungeons, raids, factions, keep-building, etc. But for now, the alpha is focused squarely on PvP. Testers have access to all of the cards in the game and can build as many decks as they like to fight with.
DISCLAIMER: Because Hex is only in alpha, many of these cards will change before release. I’ll try to keep this deck list updated, but use common sense when referencing this in the future.
The Rage of the Orcs Deck
This deck focuses on two main mechanics: packing as many orcs onto the battlefield as possible and giving them Rage. Rage is a keyword that means that the troop gets a permanent +1 to its attack damage every time it attacks. It scales really well and can get scary if you start swinging early, which is what this deck was made to do.
It sacrifices a lot to ensure that you’re constantly putting pressure on your opponents’ health total. It has almost no spells or clever tricks, and it deals almost as much damage to itself as it does to the enemy on most of the early turns. But, with great risk, comes great reward.
I’ve provided a full card list with commentary below. You can hear me talk about the deck on our most recent episode of Threshold, the Hex podcast that I co-host.
The Card List
Kranok (Charge power:  Pay 2 health, draw a card)
3x Fang of the Mountain God
3x Furious Taskmaster
4x Shamed Gladiator (socket: Blood Orb of Hatred, “Rage 1”)
4x Claw of the Mountain God
4x Throat Cutter
3x Veteran Gladiator
4x Xentoth’s Inquisitor (socket: Prime Ruby of Destruction, “When this troop enters play, it deals damage equal to its ATK to random enemy troop”)
We need games to be over quickly with this deck. Our troops hit harder as the game gets longer, but they’re always going to be flimsy. Every turn your opponent has is another chance them from to draw AoE removal to ruin our day. Kranok’s power (pay 2 health, draw a card) is exactly what we want. It can be played on turn 4. It helps us fill the board with orc troops. It trades defense for more offense. We weren’t using that health anyways.
Cheap and quick. This is the perfect turn-one play, and we’re happy to give up our own health to make it happen. If the life loss becomes a liability later on, you can always block with it to kill it.
This guy is key to this deck. Turn 3 can be a vital point in our matches, because they’re starting to beefier troops. This troop lets you keep the momentum in your favor, and ensure they’re kept on their back foot the whole time. At the very worst, it baits their removal before you play your biggest threats. Don’t forget it can give the Speed to itself!
This is the one card in the deck I’m not completely sold on yet. It’s strong, swinging as a 3/2 on its first attack (thanks to the socketed gem that gives it Rage 1), but the 2 health cost feels a tad heavy for what we’re getting.
This is our answer to big threats on the other side of the board. If my opponent is starting to mount a respectable offense of their own, I’ll often save this for defense. It can easily scare off anything they’ve played by turn 3.
Throat Cutter, I love you so much that I used your art as the lead image even though it’s way too vertical. This is one of the lynchpins of this deck. We’ll likely have 2-4 orcs on the board by the time we play this guy. It’s an amazing trick to play right before combat: suddenly they have more damage coming at their face and they can’t block the way they were planning to. This is the sort of card that makes this deck so efficient: we don’t need Actions because half of our Troops have Actions attached to them.
Veteran Gladiator is a little slow for my tastes, but it’s a great stalemate breaker. When I get caught in a situation where I can’t attack because of my opponent’s big blocker, there’s nothing I want to draw more than this card.
Wrathseeker usually doesn’t do much beyond trade with one of their defenders, due to its measly 1 health. But his incredible attack values mean that he’ll almost always kill whatever blocks him. And, hey, someone’s gotta take one for the team so the other orcs can get through!
What?! This is no orc! The reason I let this spider infiltrate the ranks is because it has the coveted Major Socket, which lets us put the most powerful gems in it. Specifically, the ultra-powerful Prime Ruby of Destruction, which makes this Troop deal 3 damage to a random enemy Troop when it enters play. Like Throat Cutter, this trick completely upsets your opponents’ blocking plans and lets you keep swinging. Even better, this card is an easy 3-for-1. You play it, it kills a random enemy Troop. They use an Action or Troop to kill it, but it just goes back to your hand. You play it again and kill another random enemy Troop. Then you still have it on the board to swing with! It’s an incredible combo that completely negates a lot of the need for removal Actions in this deck.
This game is a game ender. He won’t help you get within striking distance, but if you have momentum when this hits the board, the game is immediately over. Play it before combat, and watch as 2/1s pop up all over your side of the board.
I actually like this one more than Zoltog. For one, he’s not unique and their effect stacks if you have multiples out. But more importantly, it adds Rage 2 to all of your orcs if you’re low-health too, which means it can help you come back from a losing situation. And since our strategy involves burning our own health every turn as well as our opponent’s, it’s not uncommon for this to give Rage 4 to all of your orcs.
I love flexible removal. This can be a finishing burn spell if you just need to nuke the last bit of damage on the champion. This can be big bomb-removal in late game, or cheap early removal. There’s not a lot of room for Actions in this deck, but this one is a must-have.
2x Ruby Aura
There’s nothing a Troop-heavy deck wants more than combat tricks. We’re going to be in combat every turn, and even the wimpiest of defenders can threaten to take down our Rage-pumped attackers, due to their low health. Just having this in your deck will make your opponent think twice before blocking with something they care about. And playing it when they think they’re making a brilliant block will make you laugh out loud. It’s glorious.