If there’s one thing you can always safely bet on in any card game, it’s that aggro strategies lend themselves to early ladder climbing and Mythgard is no exception. With the ever-present Mono-Red Aggro lists that have stayed around through multiple balance changes now, I think that branching into another color may be more correct than staying in just red. Whether that’s orange for Serendipity Ifreet and Temptation to round out your top end or purple with Misfortune to carry your lack of top end while giving pseudo-overrun to most of your minions.
If the title of this article wasn’t a dead giveaway, we’re going to be talking about the latter ladder option in today’s post. I’ve dabbled in Red/Purple before but never tried going quite as low to the ground as this deck does. You are essentially looking to establish a couple non-Rush minions and then use your plethora of Rushers to chip damage or clear the way for your Shinobi to win you the value game. The biggest change for me personally was that this is the first deck in which I’ve played Misfortune. It will not be the last.
Spending 3 Mana to effectively trade into pretty much any minion on the board while also dealing 2 damage to face and also getting my Misfortune back is amazing value. Pairing this card with Shinobi of Wind lets you look to put in an attack with the Shinobi and then burn spell an enemy minion for 5 damage. This is usually the most effective use, as it saves you from ramming in and trading an attacker. If you do need to trade attackers, however, you have quite a few high-value minions to trade with thanks to Journey of Souls.
The First Draft
This deck was something I put together and then did not get a chance to test as much as I’d have liked to for publishing an article like this. However, I’ve got a great team around me and Eolis was kind enough to help me out. She played this deck on stream to help me get enough games tested to make a deck profile. I think that having someone other than the creator of a deck do some testing is important and I greatly appreciate her willingness to jump in and lend a hand without knowing the deck herself. You can see some highlights from that stream here:
Conceptualizing and building the first draft of a deck is important, but learning how to evaluate the performance of your deck and adjust as needed is a vital skill to have. Without learning to find your weaknesses and objectively reflect on your downfalls, you won’t be able to grow as a player.
As I watched Eolis play, I took mental notes about where the deck seemed to be faltering and where it was also most successful. I did the same while I was testing it myself and through those notes I came to the following conclusions:
Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad
I set out to build this deck to use as many of the Shinobi as possible. I love the design of the cards and just wanted to use them. The testing left me to believe that Shinobi of Fire is not a strictly wrong choice, but it probably not an optimal choice. You would often only be able to really make use of it when ahead and its relatively weak stat line meant that it wasn’t blocking well when attacking around blockers.
I think this card should be replaced with one more copy of each of the other Shinobi. I generally found Smoke and Wind to be much more impactful on the board and wishing that a drawn copy of Fire was one of the others probably 80% of the time I saw them.
It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
Journey of Souls is the lifeblood of this strategy. The ability to trade your Rushers and fuel Journey gives aggro decks some sustainability not often found in aggro strategies for other card games. This is not news to anyone who has been on the giving or receiving end of aggro decks. What might be news is that one of the best complementary cards for this build also relies on recursion.
I began testing Misfortune because I had seen other community members talking about how great the card was. I had completely overlooked its recent changes and cannot really take credit for introducing it to the strategy. Using Misfortune as your closer in aggro strategies effectively gives you a kill spell that also casts Ignition on your opponent’s face when you take their minion. Misfortune then returns to your hand and is ready to be used again next turn. This card is great and I would love nothing more than to play 3 or 4 copies if I could.
Bat Out Of Hell
Rush minions can be rather polarizing within the community. We’ve seen the Red Rush strategies of old using Shadow Trapeze to combine Rush and Agile. This effectively turned your Rush minions into burn spells with the flexibility of a subsequent block. One thing that’s undeniable is that the more Rush minions you have, the faster your gameplan can be. The hit the board like a bat out of hell.
I contemplated whether this deck wanted to play Dashing Ringmaster to give our Shinobi the added utility of a Rush attack. I like the idea of dropping Ringmaster and then immediately throwing a Shinobi of Wind down and smacking my opponent with it, but I ultimately decided against the Ringmaster. It’s a magnet for removal and slows our curve some. The latter is made up for in the subsequent plays it allows, but the former is a bit too preventative to balance that out. I don’t want a minion that will be gone when the morning comes.
I Would Do Anything For Love
When someone tells you a deck is heavy aggro, you typically imagine more 1-drops than this deck plays. This deck’s 1-drop slot is a bit weird. We’ve decided not to play the more 1-drop heavy package that would also include Strigoi Pup and Simuzen for more utility in Crimson Pact and Ghost in the System.
I decided to play Ghost in the System because 2/3 is a rather punishing stat line against aggro decks that will inevitably pop up early in the beta cycle while people build their collections. Cards like Eager Recruit, Freki Scout, Daring Trapezists, and Panic Raider can’t punch through a 2/3 without Infuse. Some players may not even have Infuse unlocked yet. I think Ghost in the System is a card that will come out later but it is really good in here for now.
The Crimson Pact helps with removing an overstatted minion like Serendipity Ifreet when you don’t have Misfortune. This can arguably be removed with the aforementioned Ghost in the System for more 1-drops if you prefer… but I won’t do that.
All Revved Up With No Place To Go
The last change I contemplated was my use of Infuse. Revving up a minion to push an extra point of damage is the normal go-to strategy for hard aggro decks. I defaulted to Infuse out of habit and moved on.
What I noticed as I played more was that Shinobi of Wind was often my most valuable minion in any given gamestate. Whether your opponent is contesting your minions and letting you pick them off with Shinobi’s Breach before hitting face with the previously blocked minion, or they’re just leaving good enough trades that Shinobi is effectively dealing double damage to face, resolving this effect is crucial.
The problem with resolving the effect is that Teleporting takes our standard action and prevents us from attacking before the opponent can play another blocker. Switching Infuse for Impel allows us to move Shinobi of Wind to any place we can create an open attack for it. The later turns of this deck often involve dropping Misfortune on a blocker, teleporting Shinobi to an open attack, and pinging a minion for 5 to further open the board. When you do this, the Misfortune still puts in the extra 2 that the Shinobi’s Breach isn’t putting to their face.
The Final Form
Learning how to evaluate your deck and make further iterations as you test is very important. I didn’t end up making many choices to this list, but there was a lot of consideration that went into things that could change. While I’m not going to confidently say that this deck breaks the meta or even has higher-tier consideration, I can say that you’re likely to win more games than you lose. This is a solid foundation with which to explore the color combination. If you like this deck and find changes to make that I didn’t think of, please feel free to find me the Mythgard Discord or comment here and tell me about them. I’m excited to see where this archetype goes moving forward.
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