Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Best Free-to-Play PC Games Released in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/515so/best-free-to-play-pc-games-released-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/515so/best-free-to-play-pc-games-released-in-2017 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:12:07 -0500 Brandon Janeway

This year gave us some amazing games, including a handful of free-to-play games for PC. We came up with 7 games that we think are the best free-to-play PC games released in 2017. 

Hand of the Gods

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is for anyone who is a fan of Hearthstone or who wants to play a strategic card game. Mixing the style of SMITE with that of turned-based card games, the game itself is free and only has players pay for additional content if they want to. Additional content comes in the form of card packs and exclusive items, but otherwise, the game can be played without spending a penny. Hand of the Gods is available here.


Fortnite is a co-op multiplayer survival game with PvE and PvP modes. The PvE campaign requires payment, but Fortnite is at its best in its PvP survival mode. This is a 100-person battle royale on a single map, with unique combat mechanics and environmental features. The PvP alone makes it a great game. You can play Fortnite here.


Dauntless is a co-op, action role-playing game where players team up to battle fearsome monsters and reap rewards. You can craft powerful weapons from your hunts and use them to take down your next kill. There are numerous weapon types to chose from, and the grim setting does a lot for the game's atmosphere. Dauntless is currently in open access, and you can access it here.

Total War: ARENA

If you are looking for a strategy game that utilizes team mechanics, Total War: ARENA should be on your radar. It thrusts two teams onto an ancient battlefield to take part in large-scale warfare. Your team will need to make use of all its resources in order to take down the enemy army. Total War: ARENA is available in early access here.

Lost Ark

Lost Ark is a new action-oriented MMO with a beautiful fantasy setting. The game utilizes a non-targeting combat system and a quarter-view angle to intensify the action and provide a more dynamic feel. If you are a fan of Diablo, or if you're looking for a new MMO, this game may be for you. You can play Lost Ark here

Black Squad

If you want a free-to-play first-person shooter, then check out Black Squad. The game has a standard premise of CIA vs terrorist cell, but it's a nice break from typical first-person shooters. Black Squad is very free-to-play friendly and very easy to jump into, even if you have never played an FPS before.

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game

If you are a fan of The Witcher franchise, then GWENT may be calling your name. A strategy-based card game set in the fantasy world of The Witcher, GWENT has a promising eSports field and deep mechanics that allow for a lot of player freedom. The game is currently in open beta, and you can access it here.

These were our top picks for the best free-to-play PC games released in 2017. Let us know in the comments what free-to-play game you are playing this year.


Hand of the Gods Closed Console Beta Begins Today https://www.gameskinny.com/qyc8x/hand-of-the-gods-closed-console-beta-begins-today https://www.gameskinny.com/qyc8x/hand-of-the-gods-closed-console-beta-begins-today Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:15:44 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Get ready to dominate the Pantheon, console players. Georgia-based developer Hi-Rez Studios announced today that their strategic CCG, Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics, is entering closed beta on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Gamers who are Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus members will have free access to the closed beta starting today. 

But that's not all. Those players will also receive with the beta a free Hand of the Gods promotional bundle that includes: 

  • Five Core Packs
  • A special Leader skin (PS4 players will receive Galactic Invader Ah Puch, while Xbox One players will receive Xeus Zeus)
  • A beta-exclusive Labyrinth card back
  • A unique Tree icon

If you are currently not a member of Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus, don't worry: you can still join the closed console beta. All you have to do is purchase either HotG's Founder's Pack ($19.99) or the Venus Competitor's Pack ($19.99). Both collections provide unique incentives, such as card packs, icons, and even bonus SMITE (MOBA) content.

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is a collectible card game that melds the world of SMITE with strategic deck building and tactical turn-based combat. The game first released on the PC and has been refined over months of closed- and open-beta testing on the platform. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics as it develops. If you're already playing HotG or want to make sure you start out on the right foot once joining the beta, make sure to check out our Hand of the Gods guides

Hand of the Gods Guide: The Best Free Decks and Starting Decks https://www.gameskinny.com/chi12/hand-of-the-gods-guide-the-best-free-decks-and-starting-decks https://www.gameskinny.com/chi12/hand-of-the-gods-guide-the-best-free-decks-and-starting-decks Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:14:42 -0400 Craig Snyder

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is the next CCG jumping in on the latest gaming craze. It puts a a "Hearthstone meets XCOM" spin on SMITE -- one of the most popular MOBA games on the market right now. Hand of the Gods takes some very interesting elements from other games like Hearthstone and Duelyst to create a simple card game experience on a more lifelike, grid-based board.

Transitioning players will find the 40-grid game board intimidating at first. But while the game is young and the card pool is small, now is the best time you'll ever find to learn the basics of the game and start crushing people with the first iterations of power decks. That being said, let's get into our list of some of the best starting decks for Hand of the Gods.

Midrange Ganesha Deck

Leader of the Hindu Pantheon, Ganesha is one of the newer gods to Hand of the Gods. And this deck that's built around him as a leader is completely free -- meaning it will cost you nothing and can be created with cards you have access to upon starting the game. 

Because Ganesha is a powerful support in SMITE, this Hand of the Gods deck is packed with defensive power at its highest end. Brute, Fury, and Venator synergize together to create a wall that should prove difficult for any deck to penetrate. You'll see this combination of cards show up often in this list.

Other Hindu cards like Rama and Pillar of Exile create a disruptive annoyance that opponents will need to deal with as quickly as possible, allowing you to curve into turns where you can make proactive plays on the board.

Check out the interactive decklist for Midrange Ganesha.

Control Ra Deck

This deck harnesses the same defensive powers as the Ganesha deck (in Venator, Fury, and Brute) but focuses more on playing the game as a war of attrition. Ra is one of the best control decks to play in the game due to powerful removal cards like Execute and Sunder.

Neith is the centerpiece of the deck, as she almost always baits out key removal from the opponent or pushes to win the game. Ideally, you want to pull Sobek and Sacred Warrior in your opening hand. If you're alive on board going into turns where you have 7 or 8 mana, this deck is fantastic. 

Check out the interactive decklist for Control Ra.

Midrange Zeus Deck

This Zeus deck offers a smooth curve into some of the most effective 4-to-7-mana cards in the game.

You want to mill for your Marksman ,and it's great if you can also get your hands on an early Brontes. Brontes into Aphrodite, Hades, or Athena is an incredibly powerful play. Two Elder Harpies give this deck the draw engine that it needs to get to late game.

Check out the interactive decklist for Midrange Zeus.

Aggro Odin Deck

This Odin deck is one of the few completely free aggro decks that stands a chance at winning games.

The key to this deck is milling for Hunter's Sigil. It's one of the most overwhelming cards you can play, as it's almost guaranteed to always kill the first drop your opponent players (being that the Cursed Hunters it spawns are ranged).

Check out the interactive decklist for Aggro Odin.

Midrange Bellona Deck

Bellona of the Roman Pantheon utilizes some of the most overwhelming defensive card mechanics in the game.

You're going to want to mill for White Tiger specifically, trying to control the early game using this card and Inferno Cannon. Cards like March, Bolster, and Promote highly incentivize you to have several minions in play within a close proximity of each other.

Later in the game, you're going to want to drop cards like Hercules and Brute to overwhelm your opponent with high-end damage.

Check out the interactive decklist for Midrange Bellona.

Midrange Ah Puch Deck

This Ah Puch deck takes advantage of Zombies early to put you into a position to have a solid late game.

On your first turn, using your Leader Ability to place a Zombie is a perfectly reasonable play. Your Zombies can be used to buff your Hun Batz or for a more powerful Raise the Grave turn.

Combined with the direct damage from Unholy Offering and Chaac, controlling them enemy board should be easy and then you're able to roll them over in the late game with 6 and 7 drops.

Check out the interactive decklist for Midrange Ah Puch.


All of the decks listed here were created by Phonetic. Big thanks go out to him for putting together these lists for new players!

Being that all of these decks cost nothing and can be used right after installation, you can expect that they aren't the most powerful in the game. They are good building blocks, though -- and as you get new cards you can slowly replace cards in your deck to tailor it more towards what you think it should be. After all, one of the best experiences in CCGs is experimenting and tweaking your deck to your own preference.

Q&A -- Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics Designers Talk Community, Game Design, and More https://www.gameskinny.com/3prlt/qa-hand-of-the-gods-smite-tactics-designers-talk-community-game-design-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/3prlt/qa-hand-of-the-gods-smite-tactics-designers-talk-community-game-design-and-more Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:11:21 -0400 ActionJ4ck

After successful ventures into the MOBA and Arena Shooter genres with SMITE and Paladins, Hi-Rez Studios is now breaking into the crowded CCG space with Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics. With HotG recently moving into open beta after several months of closed beta, we were eager for the chance to chat with designers Scott Lussier and Austin Gallman about the importance of community feedback, their design process, and competitive play. 

GameSkinny: Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics entered open beta a few weeks ago and has been in closed beta for a while now. How important has player feedback been for the development of the game during that time?

Scott Lussier (Lead Designer): All Hi-Rez games have made the community a factor in the development cycle and on Hand of the Gods, we have taken it one step further by giving the community direct ways to contact us through Discord. As the lead designer, my job is to ensure the best playing experience, both competitively and casually, and if I were to remove the community from the equation, I would be missing out on very critical feedback and input. This is why I asked the community to create a channel inside of our Discord called “Ask-Gandhi,” where I answer questions every week day.

GS: HotG recently added the Mayan pantheon, bringing a bunch of new cards and an interesting new zombie focus to the game. Can you tell us a little bit about the process for designing a new pantheon? Do you start with a pantheon that you want to add and try to design mechanics that fit into it, or do you take a more bottom-up approach? Is it challenging to avoid overlapping the new gameplay with existing pantheon cards or carve out a unique role for the new set?

SL: The goal of adding a new pantheon to Hand of the Gods is to create a unique play style for players to learn and master, so the first step of selecting a new pantheon is to assess the current state of the game and the competitive meta. Fortunately, Hand of the Gods currently only has six pantheons, so it is a little bit easier to discover deck archetypes we are missing. For example, our next pantheon that will be adding to the game is Hindu. The Hindu pantheon will be our first control-centric pantheon, which we have yet to add to our game.

After our deliberation, we narrow our options down to one or two pantheons and that’s when the real fun begins, AKA the research! During my free time, I spend about a week or two putting together a presentation for the entire Hand of the Gods development team. This helps the team get a feel for the pantheon so we can capture the spirit of the pantheon in special effects, design, and animation. At the very end of the presentation, I hold a round-table discussion where everyone gives feedback for mechanics or themes for the pantheon and I take down every single suggestion. With the conclusion of the meeting, Austin [Gallman] and myself review my notes from the presentation and we start designing all of the cards inside of the pantheon.

GS: Obviously, Hand of the Gods spins off from one of Hi-Rez Studios' already existing IPs, SMITE, an action MOBA. What are some of the challenges of adapting elements from an existing game into a different genre? Does it feel limiting at all? Liberating?

Austin Gallman (Designer): It is interesting really. We will typically kick off discussions about gods we plan on adding to the game by asking ourselves, “Is there a mechanic for this god that exists in SMITE that will actually transfer over to Hand of the Gods?”. Sometimes there are mechanics that can fit well with just a few modifications, such as Ymir who freezes units with his attacks. Other times, it is much trickier and we will have to think outside of the box. I have found that the gods that do not translate cross-genre as well are typically the most fun to design. We get to explore areas that we couldn’t in SMITE and that is very exciting for us!

GS: The online CCG genre has really risen in popularity lately, with games like Hearthstone, Elder Scrolls: Legends, and GWENT earning themselves some pretty devoted players. How has the presence of these games influenced the development of Hand of the Gods, if at all? Do you find yourselves trying to emulate certain aspects of these games? Do you try to steer clear of any common tropes or mechanics?

AG: We are definitely influenced by many other games in the genre. This includes new and old games alike. There are many features that players have come to expect in online CCGs and we do our best to include those -- as well as leaving our own mark with new and exciting ways to play. The key for us will always be to try and strike the right balance of fun and familiar mechanics with new and intriguing ones.

GS: HotG recently had its tournament debut at DreamHack Valencia, so it seems like there's some intention to bring the game into the competitive eSports scene. What are some of the added challenges of developing a game tailored for competitive players in addition to casual players? Do you find yourselves having to weigh whether certain mechanics or changes would benefit one but not the other? Or is there no difference at all?

AG: CCGs are inherently competitive, so we are always designing with the highest level of play in mind. With that said, it is important to not forget about the casual player. It is very critical to us to make sure that the game is very accessible to players across all skill levels while still having enough depth to create a compelling competitive experience. This is no small task and is something that we work hard to improve over time.

GS: Finally, we're obviously going to be seeing more additions and improvements as the game progresses through open beta. What upcoming changes are you most excited for players to experience in the coming months?

AG: The Hindu Pantheon! This pantheon gets me very excited for two reasons: One, it is our first control-centric pantheon, which is long overdue, and two, this pantheon features brand new mechanics that alter the entire way you currently play Hand of the Gods.

Players can gain access to the Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics open beta through HotG's official website and can look forward to the release of the Hindu Pantheon as the open beta continues. PAX West attendees will also be able to get an early taste of the game's competitive side at a $5000 open bracket tournament organized by the Hand of the Gods team. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for all of your HotG news.

Hi-Rez Studios Announces Hand of the Gods Open Beta https://www.gameskinny.com/2u3d3/hi-rez-studios-announces-hand-of-the-gods-open-beta https://www.gameskinny.com/2u3d3/hi-rez-studios-announces-hand-of-the-gods-open-beta Thu, 13 Jul 2017 04:00:01 -0400 Robert Kazmierczak

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is a strategy collectible card game that takes the world of SMITE and applies it to a unique combination of deck building and strategic unit placement. After a few months of refining the game in alpha and closed beta, developer Hi Rez Studios has finally launched an open beta for the game. 

In addition to its recent name change, Hand of the Gods' newest revisions have made it impressively accessible for players of all skill levels. Changes made over the past few months have streamlined the game, making it easier for new players to grasp the core concepts. Meanwhile, the deck building aspect offers its own unique challenges to veteran CCG players. 

In an official statement about these changes, Lead Designer Scott Lussier said: 

"Over the course of Closed Beta we’ve reworked the strategic elements of gameplay and deck building while making combat much easier to read and understand."

To kick off the open beta, Hi-Rez is offering the Venus Competitor's Pack, which includes over 70 cards as well as the Venus skin for Aphrodite in SMITE

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is free-to-play, so anyone can now join in the battle between gods. You can download the open beta from the official SMITE Tactics website. And be sure to check out the trailer at the top of this article for a fresh look at the game.

SMITE Tactics is Changing Its Name to Hand of the Gods https://www.gameskinny.com/rvtr6/smite-tactics-is-changing-its-name-to-hand-of-the-gods https://www.gameskinny.com/rvtr6/smite-tactics-is-changing-its-name-to-hand-of-the-gods Tue, 16 May 2017 18:12:06 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Hi-Rez Studios, the developer of SMITE, has officially announced that spinoff game SMITE Tactics is getting a name change. In a statement released today, the studio said that their tactical turn-based strategy game will now be known as Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics.

"SMITE Tactics was always meant to be a working title for our new strategy game set in the SMITE universe."

The studio went on to say that this is merely one of the many steps that it will be taking in the process of pushing this new game toward its full release. Not only is this the first card game that we've seen from the studio, it's the first Unreal Engine 4 game Hi-Rez has produced.

After spending four months in closed beta, Hi-Rez has made many other changes to the game and focused continually on improving graphical and asset quality, adding Roman and Chinese pantheons to the Greek and Egyptian ones already available, and increasing the number of cards players have to choose from. In addition to those changes, the core gameplay loop was tweaked with the addition of summoning stones that now act as the final match objective.

This name change marks yet another turning point in this strategy spinoff's development, and Hi-Rez isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The studio plans to continue refining the game and its art in Unreal engine, and adding more content and strategies for players to utilize. 

To sign up for the closed beta, you can visit the official Hand of the Gods website