Advanced Lane Mechanics in Mythgard
While the TRS website is down KG is partnering with Noah to bring a few of his more important articles to KG so that they can remain available for future players.
Here is the second of those articles:
One of Mythgard's most distinguishing features is its usage of lanes. This lane system leads to a very large number of nuanced decisions per game. Understanding and utilizing good placement and movement in Mythgard can be the difference between good and great players. I've written about some basics of lane placement previously, so be sure to check that out before reading this article. This article is going to be a little less structured and flowing than normal, as we're mostly just covering an itemized list of play decisions. With that out of the way, let's dive right in and explore some more advanced aspects of lane placement.
Blocking Swift Minions
Swift is the single ability that I feel best utilizes the lane system in Mythgard. We really saw just how insanely strong movement could be during the times of buffed Impel allowing Swift for 2 turns and an extra move action for 1. The ability to move around and still get your attacks in puts you at an inherent advantage over your opponent. If you have Swift and they don't, you can attack and move in the same turn while they have to choose between the two.
Swift: Gets an additional move action each turn. Each minion can use only one swift move per turn. Swift moves are used before other move actions.
When setting up a block, you typically have one of 3 lanes to choose from. The position of the block within those lanes general revolves around what else you can block at the same time or even what you may need to avoid to maximize the usefulness of your block. When your opponent has Swift, there's another consideration that needs to be made. With the addition of a move action, they can get around your blocker and potentially push damage as well.
You really want to place your blocker directly opposite their Swift minion when possible. The following picture will show the standard attack and block influence available in the setup.
Red arrows show the possible attacks. Green X's show the lanes blocked by our minion.
Freki Scout's Swift will allow it to move to either side one time and then still attack. Let's look at the potential changes this makes to the current gamestate.
Yellow and Blue Arrows show lanes than can be attacked with a Swift move. Green X's show the lanes blocked by our minion.
If we had blocked this Swift minion by playing to 1 lane on either side of it, it could move the opposite way and still hit us in the face. If we blocked off-right, then Swift would allow for a movement to the left and an open attack and vice-versa.
Yellow Arrows and X's show the block off-right and subsequent Swift action to the left. Blue Arrows and Boxes show the block off-left and subsequent Swift action to the right.
One last thing to note about this line of play is that it does not apply solely to Swift minions. If you see your opponent using the Impel Power, the exact same scenario potentially presents itself with every blocker on turn 2 and beyond.
Maximizing the Use of Agile
Agile minions have the ability to circumvent your opponent's blockers so long as there's just a single crack in the defenses. Making efficient use of Agile is very important to finding those crucial points of damage that can swing a game in your favor.
Agile: Can attack any of the three opposing lanes, ignoring attacking and blocking restrictions.
Make sure that when you're establishing an Agile attacker, you are leaving it away from the end lanes as often as you can. We covered one aspect this with Defender in the previous lane article, but the same rules apply with Agile. The end lanes only have 2 blockers.
Green Arrows show potential attacks.
Playing Strigoi Noble on the end lane left it with only 2 lanes to attack. By playing Sugar Plum Fairy toward the inside of the field, it has 3 lanes to attack through. This means that my opponent only needs to put 1 blocker in the leftmost lane to shut off my Agile from hitting face, whereas they would need 3 to do so to Sugar Plum Fairy.
Playing Into and Around Journey of Souls
The Path system is one of my personal favorite aspects of this game. Having access to an overarching theme or playstyle to build your deck around that actually has impact on the game itself is fantastic. Your choice isn't about "Am I aggro, midrange, or control?" so much as it is about "What Path fits my gameplan and how do I build my deck to utilize that aspect of my gameplan?"
Journey of Souls is one of the more generically useful Paths in the game and one that has clear lines of play to both players. As the user, you should look for trades that optimize the order of your boneyard and as the opposition, you should try to kill your opponent's least impactful minions first.
Now that we understand the play pattern, we ask ourselves "Yeah sure, but how does this relate to positioning?" Well, young grasshopper, when multiple minions die at the same time they go to the boneyard from left to right. This means that playing your most impactful minions to the left side of the field when you suspect your opponent has a sweeper like Thunderclap, Magnus, Magmataur, or Misanthropia assures that your best minions come back first.
Green Arrow shows good placement. Red Arrow shows bad placement.
As we see above, our opponent has 2 blue gems. This means they may be playing Thunderclap. As we take our minion placement into account on this turn, we should also account for the possibility of a sweeper hitting our board. Minitaur is a 1 mana 2/1 with no abilities. Strigoi Pup is a 1 mana 2/1 with Life Tap. Pup is strictly better to get back with Journey of Souls. By playing Pup to the left of Minitaur, it will be the card we get back from Journey of Souls if our opponent kills both minions simultaneously. Playing it to the right would cause us to get Minitaur back in that scenario instead.
Now, what about playing around our opponent's Journey triggers? How do we go about optimizing that? When you are not worried about your own Journey of Souls, you can try forcing the game as far left as possible when establishing your threats. This applies a choking effect to your opponent.
Green lanes allow for Journey optimization around Freki Scout. Red lanes do not allow for Journey optimization around Freki Scout.
If our opponent wants to contest these threats we've established, we're forcing them to the left. They have to find a way to get their Journey triggers arranged in the optimal order while also having less room to do it with. They can't just slam a minion they don't want back to the right without choosing not to contest our setup.
The 2 Minion - 6 Lane Block
Understanding the area of impact your minions have is important. If you're the aggressor in the early game, you have priority in establishing board. You can sort of dictate the flow of the match with good early game placement. Leaving your opponent with no place to play without the threat of a crackback is important to establishing a foothold.
One of the best ways to do this is optimizing your coverage of your opponent's lanes. A great example of this idea is with a placement that involves one minion being one lane off-center one way and a second minion 2 lanes off-center to the opposite side. This setup presents the ability to swing back on your opponent in 6 of the 7 lanes.
Red Arrows represent lanes you have an attack on. Green lane is opponent's only uncontested play.
This particular block is not only highly effective, but also very flexible. If we use a Swift minion in our 1-off block, it can actually move over and hold an attack on the end lane too. This means that with just 2 minions, we hold a threat to all 7 lanes on the board.
Red Arrows represent lanes you have immediate attacks on. Yellow Arrows show the "discovered" attack from Swift movement.
With Freki Scout able to move over and hit to the end lane, there is no place for your opponent to play a minion without the possibility of an attack on it immediately. This can be especially hard to fight into. Keep this placement in mind as you look to establish yourself as the beatdown.
Mythgard is jam-packed with lines to optimize and nuances to learn and master. One thing that has kept me enamored with the game is the high number of decisions in a given game. Learn how to not only play the cards but also to play the board and you'll be well on your way to Champion rank.