The Omen of the Rings (SPOILER!)
As promised, we are here once again to spoil something exciting. Something which has been right in front of our noses the entire time, but which rather than hiding in plain sight, requires a cipher, a key of some sort to work with.
The Rings of Immortality
The Mythics we’ve seen have offered an exciting and enchanting looks as the dazzling mechanics, lore, and art of our of Rings of Immortality, but there have been some bits and pieces lurking right in front of us. You have, I assume, noticed the lovely Rings which have adorned a number of our lovely Mythics, Adorner of Fertility, Terror of Ker, Hall of Matrimony, and now Annulus Fabricator, but what brings forth these vibrant emblems. What sets in motion the auspices of these Pantheon Games?
Our ringed Mythics all have a clear thread binding them in a subtype which portends their cosmic significance, and the invocation of our Games. Omen, interestingly refers primarily to verbal oracles and oracular speech, but nevertheless I think we can imagine the divine invocations of these exciting, potent Mythics with odd effects and shiny jewelry attached. What becomes even more exciting to see what binds these cosmic rings, and the humble origins of their power. The first non Mythic Omen we are spoiling today is a humble Uncommon which has a modest immediate effect, but these curious wooden baubles grow stronger as you collect more of them.
The Spoiler: Garland Arbor
Garland Arbor presents a modest Artifact on its own, a cheap way to put a Forgeling into your hand and gain some life as you build up value, but as its energy ticks up, and especially as you collect more and more you will begin to accumulate your other Omens, or fill up your artifact slots with more Garlands. Being able to use this Divination and draw is obviously somewhat limited, given that previous Omens have been Mythic and there is only this one at Uncommon, there are only so many targets for this draw, but when we note the power available to these unusual Mythics, we can start to see even more potential emerge. While staying simply within Yellow is an option, with four Omens in Yellow, we are encouraged to put the Pantheon in Pantheon games and consider how many colors we can reasonably fit into our Artifact scheme. As Rune has demonstrated on more than one occasion, the Divination of Forgelings, and the necessity of including tools to provide simple card advantage in a deck using Fires of Creation, can easily push an Artifacts deck into three or even four Colors! With Garland Arbor, you are not only using Forgeling Divination, but have an apparatus for drawing cards in your various Colors as well! While none of the effects of Garland Arbor are overwhelming on their own, the variety of things that can be done provides a useful shell that can be applied to many decks potentially.
The potential in Terror of Ker as a way to deal damage over the top or gain a valuable combat trick in Ring of the Novitiate can be especially potent as part of a red splash, where your Terror can be pulled from the depths of your deck by multiple Garlands. Adorner of Fertility also provides a fascinating opportunity to set up a blocker and breath second life into a durable Minion or even force your opponent’s attention to a specific Minion. For my purposes though, especially as you’ll remember my beloved Turbo Blue, is in very old-fashioned Mythgard Controlling schemes with a few exciting new additions!
2v2 A Home For Omens
2v2 is, I think, still one of Mythgard’s most compelling features, offering a wacky random Smash Brothers style party game if you want that, but also a completely different competitive format, more dynamic perhaps than simple Doubles in Tennis or Smash Brothers. The freedom and flexibility in deckbuilding also gives way to more exciting specific strategies, especially, as outlined by my colleague Merlin in the new Center Lane mechanics. The duplication of many effects in the Center Lane yield not only excess value, but provide immediate value for your partner, which ideally they can immediately capitalize upon, even with symmetrical effects like War Fan. Merlin listed one of the most dangerous, a cheap ramping Common in Yellow, a color already well suited to 2v2, and with our new outlandish value engine in Garland Arbor producing Forgelings and offering another tool for churning through our deck to draw Omens to drop. The exciting value of Verdant Jungle is not only that your partner is able to benefit from this ramp, but that on turn one, your partner can also play down a one-drop to occupy Jungle, setting up the ramp immediately on play and often on draw if your opponents don’t have one-drops or otherwise contest Center Lane.
While the general Turbo Blue framework was already designed to make the most of excess mana, having the Omen scheme added in not only provides more things to spend mana on—more Forgelings from Garlands and even Fabricated Artifacts, more draws from Garlands—but also an Enchantment that takes up more space on board than in your deck.
AceMartinez’s original RingStones used a blanket of Deserts to make Singing Stones into a deeply discounted Ollama Ring, and this Deck can use the same trick to make walls of insanely buffed tokens, on the limited Enchantments you are already running. While the native buff of Hall of Matrimony is a modest +1/+1, one card in hand, which can be drawn with Garland no less, provides double the effect from your stack of fabricated Singing Stones! A late game Verdant Jungle might be superfluous, due to your datacores or burned Forgelings, but it can also provide a very inexpensive buff to a Minion, thanks to Singing Stone.
I have previously argued that a critical strength in Fires of Creation is that you can run fewer Artifacts, but this deck sits comfortably at 10 artifacts, knowing that these artifacts can, in the case of Garland Arbor, draw more cards, and especially with the ramping elements, play out titanic Forgelings that will become even more titanic with Rings and Singing Stones! The space saved by playing only the most impactful Enchantments, only five in total, gives you access to the full suite of Blue and Yellow spells, the old standard sweeps, but also the new powerful drawing tool, Bragi’s Ballad. Even Xiomara, in addition to providing a huge body, can use its second power to search for one of your Enchantments, often whiffing, but providing another way to make the most of Enchantment synergy without having to put too many in your deck.
While the standard 3 gem Yellow Mythics, both Twins and Sapo, provide the normal level of value and board development, The Twins especially are frighteningly powerful with just one set of buffs from a Ring or Singing Stone and become more fearsome as your Annulus Fabricator digs up more Singing Stones and the Garland Arbors track down you Hall of Matrimony. Even the life gain from Garland Arbor gives you time to establish your board and stabilize around increasingly menacing threats, fueled by your persistent buffs from Stacking Rings and Stones. Resetting your board through the frequent wipes of 2v2 Control grinders is easier than ever, as you humble Cobblejacks and Forgelings become bigger and bigger threats. Even more impressively many of your minions will handily survive a few turns (!) after Misanthropia hits, and even your puny 1/1s can be safely buffed out of Magnus and Thunderclap range!
Perhaps the most fun of all is that this explosive board-based scheme can work alongside many different kinds of decks from you partner, gaining life, controlling the board, and setting up a lot of defense, to keep the team’s life total afloat while your partner sets up their own schemes! As mentioned above, the Center Lane is a critical part of this strategy, so anything Minion based which can keep that space occupied and protected will work well, and keep in mind that new Center Lane Rules mean that your Center Jungle, as well as stack of Rings will benefit your partner’s minions played in the Center!
The Future of Rings
As with the other elements of Rings of Immortality, the most exciting part for me about Garland Arbor and the Omens is that my treatment here is rather conservative. I think that Garland Arbor absolutely can support only having 5 Omens—3 Garland Arbor, 1 Hall of Matrimony, and 1 Annulus Fabricator—across two colors, with Fires of Creation especially, but that there is no reason whatsoever why we should stop there. Adding more colors as a splash or as part of a more consistent strategy to maximize the benefits of Garland Arbor searching for Omens across all colors, will only further benefit this curious card, and reward intrepid deckbuilders upon launch of Rings of Immortality! I have experimented with many combinations, but I have full faith that the community at large will cook up decks even more unusual than I could have dreamed of. Who will stand triumphantly atop the winner’s Podium at the Pantheon Games? We will find out very soon!
 Hinted at in italics in the previous spoiler!
 NB: Garland Arbor is an Omen itself, so can be searched for with its own activated ability.  https://kryptikgaming.wixsite.com/mythgard/post/the-turbo-puzzle-and-its-place-in-the-meta  https://kryptikgaming.wixsite.com/mythgard/post/a-whole-new-world-hidden-gems-for-the-center-lane-in-new-rules-2v2  https://kryptikgaming.wixsite.com/mythgard/post/terrible-twos-keystone-deck-building-war-fan-in-2v2  NB: All Omens revealed so far cost only one Gem, so will give you a nice outlet for your excess Mana!  https://kryptikgaming.wixsite.com/mythgard/post/dearly-beloved-enchantments-spoiler  https://kryptikgaming.wixsite.com/mythgard/post/fires-of-creation-the-power-within  I can assure you the implications of Hall of Matrimony having incredible synergy with Twins has come up many times in qmode chat.  Merlin has predictably whipped up something special to go alongside this deck which we will see in 2v2 queues near you soon!  Savvy observers might have also noticed that in addition to consistent Gem cost, there is a pattern to the Mana cost of these four Omens.