• erobert

Dearly Beloved Enchantments (SPOILER!)

As I have noted elsewhere, the sheer enjoyment I still really have in playing Mythgard is the simple reason that, unlike many other card games, where you deposit cards on a battlefield and that is that, it still feels like much more of a board game to me. While I still have some question of how to make the most of this system in the game,[1] The idea that you can carefully place game pieces on a board, react away from an opponent’s Minions to race, or challenge their attackers to create a logjam, means that everything played onto the board comes with its own decision points.


The Lane System and Enchantments

The system of Lanes not only facilitates a dynamic and engaging surface on which to the play the game, like pressure points on a Chess board, they can also host Enchantments which fortify spaces and generate lasting value in that space. Enchantments in Mythgard are, often controversially[2], the site of delicate balances between developing a lane with a Minion that will attack, block or otherwise contribute immediately, or an Enchantment that will provide lasting value over the course of the game. Enchantments are especially oriented toward value as while they often will not immediately generate Tempo, often requiring Minions to do anything at all, they are much harder to remove than Minions, and can thus generate value over longer periods of time. Enchantments highlight the Lane system in Mythgard and present lasting sources of value for more controlling deck types, and even have a dedicated Path, Rainbow’s End, which rewards a deckbuilder for jamming as many Enchantments as they can into their deck! This is often, in my estimation, also a problem, as players are encouraged to seek out value at the level of deckbuilding and find themselves with powerful glass cannons. Especially as we have seen in many aggressive decks attempt to cash in on the lasting value of Enchantments with disposable Minions, particularly those with Rush, you can be handily gassed by a control deck with sufficient mass removal and life gain. While your Yellow opponent builds up defenses and nukes your board, you may easily be left with a hand full of useless Cairnhenges and Shadow Trapezes.

This feels exacerbated by the card advantage from Rainbow’s End being tied to RNG, drawing at the end of turn if the top card of your deck is an Enchantment, and thus providing a rather erratic experience which may result in you simply running out of gas at the worst possible moment. The synergies and excitement that comes with Enchantments seems to require having many of them, which in turn may dilute the ability of your deck to build a robust board of Minions, offensive or defensive. What I have said previously that I value in Fires of Creation[3] is the ability to utilize the value instruments while also being able to have flexibility in deckbuilding, not being beholden to a Path which asks you to squeeze as many of one sort of card into your deck as possible. While there are some enchantments with more potential for tempo plays, there is also potential for efficiency in a more expansive value of enchantments that can take up more space on the board.


The Spoiler: Hall of Matrimony

Hall of Matrimony, as the name indicates, relies on the harmonious conjunction of two Lanes that become a complex enchantment which can benefit multiple minions simultaneously and also provide you with twice the Enchantment for just one slot in your deck. While it can perform the normal snowball tricks like a well timed Cairnhenge, it is, perhaps, a little less than exciting on that front, after the ring of betrothal has already been used. What it can do however, is promote certain lines of play, both in terms of available synergy and the simple shape of the board.


Though many player are, seemingly, always hearing the hoofbeats of Magmataur, many successful aggro and racing strategies will rely on clustering minions on one side of the board or the other in order to concentrate attacks away from defensive minions, or especially make the most of cheap aggressive enchantments, like Demolition Speedway, and Impel or Swift to let multiple Minions utilize these bonuses. Having the ability to enhance multiple offensive threats without needing multiple cards in hand can help a more aggressive deck avoid running out of gas. Ring of Betrothal can similarly allow you to direct opposing minions away from specific attackers and prevent unfavorable trades.


Perhaps even more exciting is that many of the synergies in Blue that rely on Enchantments being open and available. Twice the Enchantments from a card in hand is twice as many landing spots for a Loambacker from Terra Forma, and tantalizingly for three Mana, you have two three-Mana Enchantments which will each get their own elemental from Earthslide, and then immediately trigger the +1/+1 for both of them! Xiomara’s ultimate utility action will have two beefy Loambackers triggered for a more reasonable deckbuilding investment in Enchantments. Singing Stone can be a vital Artifact, triggering Fires of Creation for just one Mana, and still have a broad effect on the board, even without a ton of Enchantments in the deck itself. Bristling Necklace could similarly be used to track down your Hall and provide two slots on the board for just a single deck slot!


The possibilities for Hall of Matrimony I find electrifying, not simply in its play patterns (though I think I will be happy to see more Earthslides after expansion than I ever saw before!) but in how synergies can be explored at the level of deckbuilding without needing to sacrifice flexibility. The new expansion has exciting tools for reinforcing existing synergies, but also opening the door for something new and exciting with existing cards from the core set.

Special Note

While the Lane system offers exciting gameplay potential, it is also the source of some beloved and iconic art in game. The continuous art of Deserts which stretch across all seven lanes is one of the most appealing versions of this graphical design, but all Enchantments painting a beautiful jungle or cityscape on your lanes is the sort of detail that really demonstrates the potential of the lanes to create a vibrant board on which you play this game, rather than a simple container of game pieces. The Halls of Matrimony themselves are a lovely mirror, a reflection of the complementary halves of this grand chamber and the marriage within! We can similarly admire the lovely wedding band that our happy couple generate, which not only signal the cosmic significance of these iconic Rings, sacred (it seems?) to the ritual games, but which are devoted to the appropriate Color in game. The stone set into this ring is Mythgard’s very own Norden Blue Gem, a dazzling peek into the continuity of the ongoing development in art and lore in a game already rich in both.


Footnotes

[1] My hottest take by far at this point is that after banning Impel in most booster drafts, I would like to see the power removed from all formats but this nuclear take will have to wait for another day. [2] Many Minions have been nerfed specifically because of their interaction with Stairway to Hades and To Heaven and Back. [3] For more see: https://kryptikgaming.wixsite.com/mythgard/post/fires-of-creation-the-power-within