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Design Team HLC Recap

UVS Games Design Team

Today we bring you a collection of thoughts from the UVS Games Design Team from their experiences at the Hero League Championship. Thank you to everyone who joined the event, played us in some Gunslinging, and had a great time with the greatest community in gaming!


Tim Frie

I, like the rest of the design team, had the privilege of attending the recent Hero League Championship in Orlando at the start of the month. It’s always one of my favorite times of the year, to get to interact with the players, as well as help out with the main event.

I arrived late on Thursday to see players filling the lobby, meeting up before the body of the event began on Friday to spend time with friends, to confer over deck lists for the Last Chance Qualifier, or trade, or any number of other activities you’d expect to be going on. The one thing that was for sure, people were excited to be in attendance. What a weekend lay before us!

On Friday, our team set up to play pickup matches with players. Meanwhile, the room was abuzz with excitement over the LCQ going on. That event seemed to run very smoothly, and we had old and new friends alike checking in on gunslinging matches between their rounds in the event. Showing off the characters and deck possibilities in our prepared decks was fantastic, and quite often I heard either from my own rival, or another sat in the area that they were looking forward to something from the upcoming Dark Tournament set, but now after playing against us, there was a new card or character they wanted to try out. I brought 4 new decks myself; Jin, Rinku, Yusuke, as well as RandoGun Midoriya 5. Gunslinging was a blast as always, and more than a few of my opponents caught me off guard. The main thing that was for sure, everyone told us how excited they were for the upcoming year!

Saturday I had the pleasure of helping to run the matches and rulings for the Main Event. We got started around 10 am. I cannot express enough how proud I am of our players and their level of mastery over our game and rules. The few times there was need for judge assistance, interruptions were short and resolutions to issues were quick and easy. We got through the day without much issue. The variety of decks and adjustments made to decklists exhibited was quite exciting for me. Meanwhile, the rest of my team continued to play matches against event attendees over the day, having some wonderful conversations with our fans.

Sunday went quite similar to Saturday for myself, but I was able to walk around the main play hall a little more than the previous day. Watching some small amount of Retro and Teams matches was great. I even got to experience some of my first multiplayer matches over the weekend. It was just such a great way to kick off a really exciting year full of new UniVersus product and gameplay. It’s always sad to leave an event full of UVS players, but I’m eager for our fans to get to experience everything we’ve got in store for 2024 and I know we’re all looking forward to getting together again for the next Championship.


Jeremy Ray

HLC is over and what an event it was. First off, I want to give my biggest congratulations to Nick Ragan! Nick is an incredible member of the community, hosting community driven events for cool prizes, being one of the main ambassadors for the retro format, and manning the incredible UVS cube for cube drafts. I’ve known Nick for a long time and I’m so happy to see him win the big one.

Nick’s Endeavor 3 deck was a brilliant blend of Old and New. Mixing together an older but effective Order kick package, with the new tools Endeavor has to offer as a character, and you get an impressive blend of speed and card advantage that can pressure even the most effective defenses in the game. It was my favorite deck of the weekend and I wasn't surprised to see it go all the way.

Outside of the main event, I want to talk about how incredible gunslinging was for me. Over the weekend I sat across from over 50 different people, and got to know, meet and reconnect with so many members of our community. I had no bad experiences, every person I met was awesome to play a game of cards with. It was an absolute pleasure to show off a few of the new tools the Dark Tournament is bringing us to the community and I hope everyone I faced enjoyed themselves as well.

One of the joys of gunslinging is seeing how people are utilizing new cards in fun ways, some of the coolest interactions and decks I saw were things like Kyle Jacobitz’s all box topper’s Asui 3, Nick Ragan’s Double Front Deku 2, and special shoutout to the epic game I had with Juan Escobedo and his Vash deck, that came down to the very last card in his deck before milling out to beat me!

I cannot stress how much I genuinely believe we have the best community in gaming! HLC was an incredible experience and I can’t wait till the next time!


Matt Smith

The HLC was my first foray into the UniVersus competitive scene, and I have to say it was a blast getting to meet so many of you! 

To start with, I want to give props to the event staff, those operating the event and those judging. I found they did such an excellent job, I heard no complaints which is very difficult in an undertaking this large.

Meeting the community and gunslinging with our Dark Tournament decks was a unique opportunity to show off a set that we are all super excited for. That excitement came through with everyone that came to challenge my silly Kuwabara mill deck, and the others I was piloting throughout the weekend. I especially enjoyed playing against the player's early efforts with the new challenger decks. That Wolfwood can do a lot of damage! I think everyone had a great time exploring the new stuff and just playing Universus, even without the sort of high stakes we were there for. 

Speaking of high stakes, this wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging Nick Ragan’s insane run through the LCQ and HLC event itself. It goes to show as long as there is a chance to qualify, there is a chance to win! Congratulations Nick.

I was so happy to get to discuss UniVersus with you all and I look forward to doing so again as we continue to develop the game so we can keep giving you a reason to get together.


Shane Duckworth

The 2023 Hero League Championship was an amazing time.  The energy in the room was incredible, and a lot of players came in from all over just to play in the Last Chance Qualifier.  I heard many times from players that they were just happy to be there playing UniVersus.  I couldn't agree more with that sentiment, as I had an absolute blast jamming UniVersus games in Orlando!

The design team was given the green light to use cards from the upcoming Yu Yu Hakusho Dark Tournament booster set for our gunslinging event.  This was the best possible scenario for us as we were able to showcase Yu Yu Hakusho characters in action with some cool combos!  The actual real physical cards also help materialize the future set for the players.  While players were picking up the cards to read them or admire the art, I was honestly surprised at how many players actually knew what my cards already did!  I am very glad we have such an excited and engaged community who are hyped for our upcoming products!

I built a total of 6 different decks to gunsling with: Bui, Karasu, Younger Toguro, Genkai, Shishiwakamaru, and Chu.  This is generally more than necessary, however I figured the more characters I build for, the more of an impact I could have for the players.  When someone sat down to play against me, I would reveal all 6 characters and have them pick one who they wanted to fight against.  It was very common to hear something like, "I am really excited for Genkai, let's play against her!"  I was happy to showcase many neat combos and interactions, and I saw many lightbulbs spark up during the entire weekend gunslinging.

Congratulations to Nick Ragan for qualifying in the LCQ, having an insane winners bracket run, and becoming our 2023 HLC champion.  Nick has been playing since the UFS days and has always had incredible positive energy for the game.  It is so cool to see his effort and passion finally pay off!  Thank you to everyone who came out to play and to those who were watching the stream at home.  It truly was an awesome experience.

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