Q: When/where does the Hero's Path campaign take place?
Hero's Path experiences are in stores during the entire Theros block, across three event types—the Prerelease, the Release Weekend FNM (and later tournaments at the store that weekend), and the Game Day tournament.
Q: How does the Hero's Path progress? What is a quest?
The Hero's Path is a series of nine quests, three arcs for each of the three sets in the Theros block. You can start on any of the quests. They increase in challenge as the block progresses, but you can also collect a Hero Card from each completed quest to help you against the last quest in the each arc.
Q: What are the quests of the Hero's Path?
The first three—the Theros quests—are:
Choose your Path at Theros Prerelease (September 21–22, 2013)
Gift from the Gods at Theros Release Weekend (September 27–29, 2013, beginning with FNM)
Face the Hydra at Theros Game Day (October 19–20, 2013)
The last six (quests #4 through #9) occur during Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx events, and are not yet announced.
Q: Do I have to play in the tournament to participate in the Hero's Path?
Prerelease quests—yes. The Hero Card is inside the Prerelease pack you purchase for use in the tournament, and any associated Hero's Path activity is also inside that pack. So you will need to participate in the Prerelease tournament (or at least purchase a Prerelease pack) to participate in the Hero's Path quest there.
Launch Weekend and Game Day quests—no. Although there will be Magic tournament events happening at the same time in the same place, you do not need to play in any of them to participate in the Hero's Path activity there.
Q: Do I have to participate in the Hero's Path activity at the tournament?
No. If you just want to play in the tournament, you do not have any obligation to participate in the Hero's Path activity. (At the Prerelease, you will still receive a Hero Card in your Prerelease pack, but you are welcome to do whatever you like with it!)
Q: What happens if I complete all nine of the Hero's Path quests?
Players who complete all nine of the Hero's Path quests will gain entry into the Hall of Heroes, a special webpage showing the greatest champions of Theros and the Hero's Path.
Q: What is a Hero Card?
A Hero Card is new kind of card that you'll collect as part of the Hero's Path campaign—it isn't a Magic card, but it has Magic-like abilities. Each Hero Card is unique, with different abilities. You use Hero Cards as part of your deck in a special experience later in the campaign called a Challenge Deck. Hero Cards also correspond to digital achievements on Planeswalker Points.
Q: How many individual printed Hero Cards are there?
There are twenty-one total. There are five at each Prerelease (one per choice of box), one at each Release Weekend, and one at each Game Day. Since there are three sets in the Theros block, this means there are three sets of seven to collect, or 3 x 7 = 21.
One "complete" set of nine Hero Cards—one per quest in the Hero's Path—is one Prerelease, one Release Weekend, and one Game Day for each of the three sets.
Q: Do Hero Cards have color? Are they artifacts? Are they permanents?
Hero Cards do not have color. They are not artifacts, either; they have type "Hero," a new card type specific to the Hero's Path. They do function as permanents.
Q: How do I use a Hero Card against a Challenge Deck?
When you bring a deck to use against a Challenge Deck, you may also bring some number of Hero Cards. These begin the game on the battlefield and have abilities that tell you how they operate in game.
Q: What is on the back of a Hero Card?
There's a Planeswalker Points achievement code on the back of each Hero Card, along with some information about the quest it was awarded for.
Q: Can I use Hero Cards in my [Commander/free-for-all/Legacy] games against other players?
Although we designed the Hero Cards for use against the Challenge Decks, you can use them with your play experiences however you like. Remember, for the Hero's Path, you bring some number of them with your deck and start with them on the battlefield. Whatever house rules you'd like to add for your own custom format, feel free!
Q: What is the last Hero Card for? The one you receive for successful completion of Quest #9. I've already beaten all the Challenge Decks at that point!
The last Hero Card completes the series (for collectors and memorabilia), provides another tool for players who wish to replay any of the Challenge Decks again ("New Game +"), and provides the last achievement for Planeswalker Points.
Q: What is a Challenge Deck?
A Challenge Deck is a standalone deck that you play against using your own Magic deck. These experiences are designed to be played against Standard-format decks, and you get to use Hero Cards you have collected to help you out against the Challenge enemy. You can face the Challenge Deck alone, or with friends, and when you win the game, you receive another Hero Card to commemorate your achievement.
Q: Do I have to have a Standard deck to play against the Challenge Deck?
No. Any Magic deck will work. The Challenge Decks are optimized to work against Standard-format decks, but you can vary the difficulty so that it'll function against anything from a sealed deck to a hypercompetitive Legacy deck!
Q: Does a player play as the Challenge Deck?
The Challenge Deck has special rules that determine how it will play. These rules are proscriptive, meaning the Challenge Deck functions like a robot or computer algorithm—it executes its program no matter what. It is helpful to have an extra person to run the Challenge Deck to track its special rules, but it is not necessary to enjoy the experience.
Q: Can many players play at the same time against the Challenge Deck?
Yes. The Challenge Decks are designed to function equally well against one player or many. If many players play together against the Challenge Deck, they are on a team against the Challenge Deck as their single opponent.
Q: What is on the back of a Challenge Deck card?
The back of the Challenge Deck cards is a unique back that communicates this is a special Theros-related experience. These cards are not intended to work as Magic cards; they do something specific related to the Challenge Deck experience.
Q: Can I buy a Challenge deck?
Yes! Stores will be able to sell Challenge Decks starting with the Game Day event.
Q: Can I put my own cards into the Challenge deck to customize the experience?
What you do with your own Challenge Deck is up to you. The cards in the Challenge Deck function similarly to Magic cards, but you may need to make your own house rules if you want to intermix existing Magic cards into the deck. Remember, Challenge Decks have their own special card back, so if you want to customize your own, you'll probably want to use sleeves.
Q: How difficult is the Challenge Deck to beat?
The Challenge Decks are designed to be a challenge, but still defeatable, by a deck roughly equivalent to an Event Deck. More powerful decks will have an easier time, and you can increase the starting difficulty of the Challenge Deck experience to match what you think your deck's power is.
Q: I lost against the Challenge Deck. Can I play it again, or am I out of luck?
Yes, you can play against it again. There's no limit to the number of times you can play against the Challenge Deck. Once you have beaten it the first time in the store, you will receive a Hero Card, but you can still play against it more times if you want to have fun with it.
Q: I missed Game Day! How do I battle against the Challenge Deck in my store now?
Stores should have the Challenge Decks available to play against even after Game Day finishes. As long as supplies last of the Hero Card, you can play against the Challenge Deck and receive it when you win.
Q: I ran into a corner case with the rules of the Challenge deck and I'm not sure what to do! How do I resolve this?
The goal of the Challenge Deck experience is to be accessible to a wide array of Magic players and to be as fun as possible. Not all corner cases are going to be handled by the core rules of the experience. That's ok, though—if you and your friends come up with an interpretation you like for a weird edge case, use that! The goal is to have fun.
QUEST 1—CHOOSE YOUR PATH
Q: What is Quest #1?
Quest #1 takes place at the Theros Prerelease. It is themed "Choose your Path"—you select a heroic path for yourself from among the five colors of Magic, which both determines the seed booster you'll use to build your deck at the event and the Hero Card you receive inside the box. In addition, there is a light Quest #1 activity related to discovering more about the world and cards of Theros inside the box.
Q: Can I choose multiple paths?
Yes. You can attend as many TherosPrereleases as you like and choose a different heroic path (and therefore a different Hero Card) each time. If you don't have the time or desire to attend multiple Prerelease events, you may still be able to acquire the Quest #1 Hero Cards another way (e.g., trading).
Q: Am I constrained in some way later in the campaign because of what I choose in Quest #1?
No. You are not bound to anything later in the Hero's Path campaign because of the heroic path(s) you chose at Quest #1. The only effect choosing a path has is on the Hero Card you receive and the nature of the Quest #1 activity at the event.
QUEST 2—GIFT FROM THE GODS
Q: What is Quest #2?
Quest #2 takes place at Theros Release Weekend, beginning with FNM. It is themed "Gift from the Gods"—if you can decipher a divine message, you will receive a Hero Card. This activity involves a special poster that contains a visual puzzle. When you find the answer, on your own or in collaboration with friends, you can tell the store owner to receive the Hero Card.
Q: Do I need to play in a tournament at Release Weekend to participate in Quest #2?
No. You can go into the store anytime on Release Weekend to work on the puzzle poster activity.
Q: Do I need to have a deck to participate in Quest #2?
No. Quest #2 is a light puzzle activity that happens alongside regular Magic tournament events.
Q: I don't know if I'll be able to make it into a store. Will the puzzle poster image be available online?
Eventually, yes. During the Hero's Path, you'll need to go into a store near you to receive the physical Hero Card for participation, so the puzzle poster itself will only be available to look at in those stores. Later, we'll post the puzzle image online.
QUEST 3—FACE THE HYDRA
Q: What is Quest #3?
Quest #3 takes place at Theros Game Day. It is themed "Face the Hydra" and is the culmination of the first arc of the Hero's Path. Each participant, either alone or with friends, battles with his or her own Magic deck against the Hydra Challenge Deck, a unique experience with unique cards designed for the Hero's Path. You can use your Hero Cards to help during this encounter. When you defeat the Challenge Deck, you will receive a Hero Card.
Q: How many Hero Cards can I use against the "Face the Hydra" Challenge deck?
Two. (The amount of Hero Cards you can use varies among the three Challenge Decks—challenges further along in the Hero's Path allow more Hero Cards.)
Q: Can I use multiple copies of the same Hero Card against the "Face the Hydra" Challenge Deck?
Yes, you can use the same Hero Card more than once against the "Face the Hydra" Challenge Deck. You are still limited to two total Hero Cards.