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  • erobert

Fires of Creation: The Power Within

Deckbuilding in Mythgard, as I have suggested elsewhere, is no different from any other card game as it rewards focus and synergy, following a central premise to a viable win condition. The core set of Mythgard provides a variety of possible shells in all colors and while paths like Turn of Seasons provide sufficiently generic value in any kind of deck, others require a more restrictive paradigm in deckbuilding. The most obvious examples are paths which reward the use of a specific card type,[1]and while Rainbow’s End provides a rather straightforward utility, increasing the chance of bonus draws with every enchantment included in your deck, Fires of Creation offers a more complex set of interactions. While I would argue that the deckbuilding restrictions for both paths is currently rather extensive, the direct applications of Fires of Creation requires some more careful consideration.

Fires of Creation, on the surface, appears to promote a similar sort of deck building, rather than providing raw drawing power instead creating a bonus in the form of a Forgeling token for every artifact played. On the surface, this seems to be a rather guided payout in which playing more artifacts yields more bonuses and, as a result, you should be playing as many Artifacts as possible. This deckbuilding paradigm, however, is quickly derailed as we examine the specific mechanics of Fires of Creation. Rainbow’s End provides a pretty reasonably scaling effect—if at the end of your turn the top card of your deck is an Enchantment, draw that card—which provides increasing utility proportional to the Enchantments you add while building a deck. Fires of Creation has…a lot more text than that and that first layer of unpacking is worth our time.

When playing Fires of Creation, your Path itself accumulates one Energy every time you play an Artifact. That Energy figure is then used to calculate the Cost, Strength, and Health of the Forgeling card which is added to your hand. The Energy also determines the name and keyword of the Forgeling, following the pattern of Tempered (Armor 1), Rotary (Blast 2), and Molten (Regen 2), at 1[2], 2, and 3 energy, respectively, repeating that order for all higher values. The Path additionally performs a pseudo-Divination when the Forgeling enters play, allowing you to select any Artifacts in the top four cards (or selecting none if you choose) and shuffling the other cards back into your deck. Finally, all Forgelings have a Demise effect which restores three Durability to all Artifacts you have in play. A few things emerge immediately from observing these aspects of the power. First is that while the draw from Rainbow’s End scales effortlessly on a passive ability, simply having more Artifacts in your deck only generates value if you can actually play them. The raw numbers do not readily benefit Fires of Creation and this is reflected in successful deckbuilding. This restriction is, in my opinion, not much more restrictive than Rainbow’s End. Aggro lists which are required to run excess enchantments over minions to properly utilize Rainbow’s End run the sincere risk of having a hand full of Enchantments without a healthy supply of minions to occupy them. The actual card advantage provided by Rainbow’s End is pretty substantial, simply putting cards, albeit only of one type, into your hand on a regular basis (if you’ve designed your deck correctly). The filtering ability of Forgelings is not without it’s uses, but cannot readily compete with the kind of card advantage provided by all Paths. Instead, Fires of Creation trades in a nebulous space of “virtual” card advantage,[3]even more confusingly in digital design spaces which feature genuinely “virtual” cards.[4]

The next aspect of Forgelings we must consider is how they exist as a literally “virtual” card. Rather than drawing the next card in your deck, which has advantages and disadvantages associated with any random draw, the Forgelings themselves are, as seen above, perfectly predictable. The problem often lies in whether or not you want that perfectly predictable 3/3 Regen 2 Minion for 3 Mana, even with its bonus for coming into play and leaving play. By most accounts, many of these Forgelings, if they were printed as regular cards, would simply not make the cut in any deck. Being “virtual”, they do not have to justify a slot in your deck, but their utility is probably limited to actually wanting to play only some of these Forgelings (commonly the 2-Mana Rotary Forgeling and 4-Mana Tempered Forgeling seem like suitable cards to stand on their own). The scaling of these Forgelings can be useful in a control deck, like those which NKL and Rune have designed, as they rely on these very large late-game Forgelings to close out a game, but for many decks and deck designs, a 7/7 Armor 1 minion for 7 mana will pale in comparison to threats like Sapo. Playing as many Artifacts as possible not only doesn’t necessarily generate scaling card advantage like Rainbow’s End, but it sees diminishing returns as Forgelings become more and more expensive for simple arithmetic gains in stats and no change in keyword. What we can note instead is that with the pseudo-Divination, you can more reliably find Artifacts, allowing you to, perhaps counterintuitively, run fewer Artifacts while still reaping the benefits of the Path itself. The uses of these Forgelings, particularly noting that in the first set there is at least one, the 3-Mana Molten Forgeling, which is not considered incredibly valuable on the board, also provides an interesting flexibility to the path itself. Unlike every other “virtual” card in Mythgard, Forgelings can be burned to increase your Mana pool, but without adding any Gems to your pool. While the Forgelings themselves, especially the first and third, are pretty lackluster minions to play, the ability to develop your Mana without sacrificing a card in hand is an exemplary play in terms of the virtual card advantage which dominates Mythgard specifically. Rather than fishing for specific resource cards in your deck, like in Magic, every card in Mythgard is a resource, but this also means that frequently you must choose in the early game between developing resources immediately and saving valuable cards in hand for later in the game. By inserting a dummy card into your hand, you can mitigate that choice and maintain the value in hand while still developing resources.

Similarly, the pseudo-Divination effect of Forgelings is necessarily less oriented toward literal card advantage than the drawing effects from Turn of Seasons or Rainbow’s End. Rather than ensuring you’ll have more actual cards, you can control for what kinds of cards end up in your hand. Filtering for artifacts, as described above, benefits a smaller set of Artifacts, particularly those that you want to see chained together by your Forgelings’ pseudo-Divination. Your deckbuilding can similarly maximize the benefits of those Artifacts which yield specific synergies with each other while allowing more room in your deck for tools to control the board. While your Artifacts provide a lot of resilient value, surviving your and your opponent’s board wipes, they frequently do not provide much in the way of board presence on their own.

In alpha, AceMartinez’s Ringstones developed a clear core of Artifacts, primarily Singing Stone and Ollama Ring, which when assembled allowed a board full of Deserts to turn every Parsa Recruit and Cobblejack into a hulking 5/5. By pushing primarily these Artifacts which directly contribute to this core, and expendable cheap Artifacts like Quicksand Hourglass, Ace could establish this synergy consistently and make a board that was both resistant to contesting by opposing minions and which could be easily replenished after a board wipe. Having only the Artifacts that actually contributed either to shaping the board or building this synergistic core allowed Ace to pack plenty of removal and defensive minions, rather than having to wade through excess enchantments in a Rainbow’s End variant of this deck. This deck served as the best model for what kinds of things I would want to do with Fires of Creation.


Turbo Blue

(I cannot tell you why it is not Turbo Yellow, because I do not know)


While Ace’s deck focused on establishing a gargantuan board, I was more drawn to the variety of control tools in the Yellow Artifact catalog, Orbital Jamming Satellite and Model of Duality, and the Blue Mana package, Norn Datacore and Draupnir Band, which could be deployed early to find my control tools later in the game. Forgelings, in this deck, can serve a variety of purposes, either providing a blocker to power Norn Datacore, while also searching for more Artifacts, or serving as an early burn to keep late-game control tools in hand. The use of Forgelings to generate Mana requires a more careful planning in terms of gem costs, prioritizing cards like Blackened Jotun, and this design philosophy synergizes well with the temporary Mana generated by the Blue Mana package, playing out multiple powerful cards on later turns.

At the end of the day, the shell of Turbo Blue looks a lot like many Blue Yellow control decks. Fires of Creation offers a high starting life total and a way to generate virtual cards while developing value tools in the form of Artifacts, and this feels like an especially natural fit given the expansive options for mass removal and defensive minions in these colors specifically. While Turn of Seasons provides more regular drawing, the 1-Mana cycling tools in Yellow, Maze of Iyatiku and Clay Effigy, can help you find the mana artifacts as quickly as possible, beginning the chain of draws and pseudo-Divinations that will help smooth out your draw and get you to value engines both on the board and in your Artifact slots.[5]


The turbo engine at the core of this deck is also well placed to build explosive boards, sink mana into cards like Daigoju Supreme or Ved’ma Flamespar, make the most of Allfather’s Horn as you can rapidly fill the board, buff across the board with Ollama Ring, and even eventually drop threats and play horn on the same turn, if your cache of temporary Mana is big enough! Searching for your ramping tools only becomes more powerful as you consider splashing other colors, particularly Purple as Imperative Bell is an inexpensive Artifact that generates Mana and draws a card, or Red to enable the mother of all mana sinks, Mani, Queen of Tides. The possibilities are still being explored across many colors, and with an expansion on the horizon, Artifacts will only become more exciting to work with!


Footnotes

[1] Likely excluding Journey of Souls as “minion” is a card type common to literally every deck due to the nature of Mythgard’s board, another topic deserving of its own article. [2] On Pursuit, the first Forgeling generated costs 0 Mana to cast, but is still has the other common properties of the 1-Mana, Tempered Forgeling.

[3] A concept I allude to here as I discuss the uses of Mana generated without Gems. For further reading and muddying the water, as always, I return to Mike Flores here and here.

[4] That is to say, cards that cannot be included during deckbuilding and can only be inserted into you hand by other effects.

[5] Look forward to a deck guide on this and its variants!

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