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Reflection

So, I made it to Mythril rank. When I first started playing Mythgard in August, I thought if I made it this far that would make me “good” at the game. Now that I’m here, I can see how much I have to improve on, and how much more work I have to put in to improve, even to mid to high Mythril level. Sure, I’ve beaten my fair share of high Mythril-level players, even some Champion players, but I don’t think that I’m at their level quite yet. I don’t have a positive win rate overall, 285-306 record on ladder this season, just over 48%. A lot of this time was spent floundering  between G01 and G03 playing great decks poorly, and playing less than great decks. Again pretty poorly.

After deciding to actually try to improve and climb, I used 3 decks. For G01-G05, I played pre-patch BR Rainbow Rush. Starting at G01 0.0, I went about 21-9 bringing me up to G05. Once I got there, pretty much everyone was playing that same deck, so I switched to GP Reanimator, going 11-4 up to about rank G08. Once the patch hit, nobody was playing BR aggro anymore, and the meta was highly volatile so it was really hard to target anything. With this in mind, I decided to start using a very flexible option, RO Stairway, also known as Heaven and Hades, and my favorite, ValueTown. It’s a bit more budget friendly than a standard ValueTown list, but the added consistency of the deck makes it a little easier to play. I played this deck up to Mythril, getting to ~80 points in G10 about 3 times before dropping back down, even getting demoted go G09 at one point. I ended up pulling it through after a 7 game win streak, giving me a 24-13 record overall with this list. All in all, I went in with a 68% win rate, going 56-26.

Improvement

After about 230 hours of gameplay and almost 600 games, I think I have a pretty decent understanding of the game. I also have a really good understanding of what I need to improve on. Now I’ll go over 5 things that I still need to improve on, even though I’m a Mythril-level player.

Lane Placement

This one probably loses me games more often than anything else. Sometimes it’s more complex interactions that I just don’t think about, and other times it’s super simple things like playing around Temptation and Traitorous Murmur, just losing me games on the spot because I tried to overextend my blockers. Typically this happens when I have low HP, and the odds of me winning are low regardless, but in these situations every percentage point counts to stabilize, and adding the chance of Temptation or Murmur lowers that percentage immensely. On top of this, paying attention to things like Impel to place your attackers, blockers, and enchantments correctly will drastically improve chances of winning.

Take this board for example. Looking back at this replay, the correct play seems super obvious, but I did not make the correct play here, and they stabilized and ended up winning the game. I noticed that I didn’t have the gems to play the Wyvern on To Heaven and Back, then play it again, so I decided to try to preserve it by playing it in lane 3 to kill the 1/1, giving my Trapezist the empty lane to swing for 4. What this play did was make an empty lane for them to drop their Magmataur, clearing my board and giving them the opportunity to stabilize.

The correct play here would be to play the Wyvern on lane 2 anyways, clear out the 2/1 recruit to get it back into my hand then pushing the damage face so I had the Agile Rusher in my hand to push that final bit of damage next turn.

Remembering Powers

Einherjar Thane

Powers are something that I constantly forget about, which is weird because I came from Hearthstone. Sometimes it’s simple things like floating 2 Mana when I could’ve Infused, or not blocking straight across versus Impel. Other times it’s not trading your Recruit up on Thane with Infuse, and instead dropping a Trapezist, letting the Thane completely control one side of the board. It’s good to have a mental checklist before you make your plays, which segues perfectly into our next topic.

Turn Planning

Look at your hand, look at your Mana, count your gems. Consider what card to burn, if any. What does the board state look like? What lane do you play your minions in? What order? Do you trade? Turn planning is a super complex topic that deserves an article all its own, but we’ll cover what we have here. My favorite method is the LOOP method.

L- Lethal. Always check to see if you have lethal first. Is there any way to manipulate the board to take those final points of life? Any way to burst them down from 15? No? Next step.

O- Options. Don’t do the first play that pops into your head. Think about other things. Think about what might be better, think about what might be worse. Think about what colors they are in, look at the cards they’ve burned. If you made the play, what would blow you out? Is that in their colors? Do they have the Mana for it? Base your play off of these factors for your best chance.

O- Ordering. Play your cards in the right order. Play your Recruit before you shuffle with Shopworn Bull to shuffle the token. Swing face before playing your Back Alley Ronin. Swing with your minion before sacrificing it with Wings of Abaddon. Kill off as much of your board as possible before playing Seven Ring Ritual. Use ordering to maximize the effectiveness of every card.

P- Positioning. We covered positioning in number one, but always keep it in mind when planning out your turns. Think about where you play things and where they will end up after the turn is over.

I’ve used this since I read about it in a Hearthstone article from Kjellstroem, and I would highly recommend reading it as a LOT of the information still applies.

Read the Cards

This is the top tip for any card game ever made. Ask any pro player, and this is what they’ll say to improve your play. READ. THE. DAMN. CARDS. Don’t try to kill off the 2 health Shadhavar Beast with your Trapezist. Don’t rush your Racer in Shadow into the 2 health Scion of Pride. Don’t play your Armageddon Angel on To Heaven and Back. Yes, these are all things that I’ve done, and some have lost me the game on the spot. Read the cards, know what the cards do and how they interact, and plan your turns accordingly.

Take this board state for example. The play seems obvious… slap Stairway under the Wyvern and you have exact lethal! That’s what I did, and instead of respawning, the Wyvern POOFED out of existence. If I took the time to read my cards, I would know that the Wyvern has Ephemeral because it was brought back by Journey of Souls. The correct play here was to Teleport the Wyvern in front of Magmataur, then play my own Magmataur in lane 5 and hope they don’t have that final damage.

Card Advantage

Peri at the Gates

This one is a little more abstract than the others, but is quite possibly more important than a lot of them too. Basically, card advantage is having more cards in hand than the opponent. Sometimes this means fitting in that 4 Mana 2/2 Peri at the Gates when you’re slightly behind on board, other times it means not playing that Trapezist and using your Infuse instead (back to tip #2). At its core, just don’t play cards when you don’t need to. In practice, it’s a lot more than that. Don’t miss out on some much needed pressure to conserve cards, but don’t drop three 1 and 2 health minions going into a blue deck’s turn 4. Don’t “chump block” a minion with Overrun unless you really need that extra one or two health. Don’t use your removal on minions you can take care of either with board pressure, later on, or with chump blockers. With every card that you play, think “is it necessary that I play this now, or can it wait for later?”

In typical card games, this concept matters a lot more to control than aggro decks. I’ve found in Mythgard, it’s quite the opposite. Card advantage in Mythgard translates more directly with board pressure, and there are many options for the aggro to gain card advantage. You have Journey of Souls, you have Panic Raider, you have Insurance Broker, Shopworn Bull, Ichor Feast, and many many more card draw options for aggro. Of course you still have a ton of options in control as well. You have Maze, Clay Effigy, Raid the Tombs, Chort Stag, Peri at the Gates, Revelation of Ximec, and again, many many more options. You’ll always need some sort of card draw, no matter the archetype.

Conclusion

Even though I hit Mythril, even though I beat Champion-level players, there isn’t a single person who plays Mythgard 100% optimally. Every person has things they can improve on, and everyone is in a different point in the learning process. Read articles, watch videos, watch streams, watch replays! There’s tons of resources out there for every level of player to improve at the game, so absorb as much as you can and you’ll hit Champion rank in no time.

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2 Responses

  1. I come from a long line of CCG’s, and over the years I’ve become more and more competitive. However, I have recently discovered, with Mythgard that there is very little room for error while making your plays and decisions.

    This article explains a lot of what I’ve come to learn about the game, very well.

    10/10, Would read again!

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