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 Post subject: Mythgard
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:28 am 
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Anyone played it? I haven't, but it seems to be getting some stellar reviews.

If someone has played it, any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Mythgard
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:29 am 
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I played through the campaign of Mythgard. It (both the game and the campaign) are surprisingly good. Here're some of the mechanics:

- There are seven lanes. You play your creatures into any of the seven lanes.
- A creature can only attack the creatures in the lanes in front of it, or adjacent to it (so a creature has maximum three attacks, sans special effects). If there are no creatures in the opposing lanes, then you get to hit your opponent's face.
- Every turn, you may "burn a card". This effectively means shuffle a card back into your library, and then you get a mana crystal (effectively lands). The mana crystals replenish every turn.
- There are different colors, and when you "burn a card" you add a mana crystal of that color.
- There are built-in mana sinks. You get to choose two to go with your deck, which practically make sure that you'll never run out of things to do.
- You cannot interact during your opponent's turn.

Upshot is that you cannot mana screw and you cannot mana flood. These alone remove the two most frustrating things about Magic. Furthermore, you can actually put expensive cards in your deck knowing that at worst you can burn them if you draw them early. Same goes for cheap creatures: if you draw them later when they're less effective, you can burn them. One downside is it feels rather tame. I think pre-Homecoming Gwent was still the best CCG I've played, if we neglect the imbalance caused by the coin flip.

So far in the games I've played the game has felt like there's plenty of scope to the gameplay, but not being able to interact during opponent's turn undoubtedly removes complexity. Magic is the only major card game I'm aware of right now that allows this.

I want to quite Magic because of how miserable constructed feels, but I've not been able to bring myself to do so. Let's see if Mythgard can make me quit.


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 Post subject: Re: Mythgard
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:04 am 
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After having played several more games (albeit against the AI), I gotta say, this game wildly exceeds my expectations. It's got several advantages over Magic (not to mention its other competitors):

- No mana flood & mana screw. A huge deal.
- It's different. The correct plays aren't usually obvious. Questions such as "which lane should I put this minion in" I have no firm idea how to answer, in spite of being familiar with CCGs in general. The same goes for "which card should I burn". It's true that you wouldn't expect knowledge of one game to translate to knowledge of another, but some concepts such as card advantage ought to transfer easily.
- It's different enough to the point that I am not confident trying to play limited in Mythgard. Wow. I can't easily evaluate which cards are better than others, I can't tell if most decks want 1-drops, etc.
- Tons of decisions. Many turns in Magic there are simply no relevant decisions. For example I might only have one playable card in hand, and since my creatures are bigger than opponent's, I am going to attack. This makes for a no-decision turn. This never happens in Mythgard. Which card to burn is itself a decision (usually there are 3+ choices too), and then there is which card to play (usually there will be multiple options), and then which lane to play them. This neglects hero powers & the fact that creatures already on the board have multiple options as well.
- One of the big advantages of Magic is that it has so many different types of decks. Mythgard does not have the card pool, but the scope to eventually get there is present. There is definitely scope for all three of aggro, combo and control.

To go with all these there are some other features that make it pleasant:

- Dust system (similar to Hearthstone). You can convert unwanted cards of one kind to another.
- PvE mode. A big deal, you can't play MTGA except PvP, and then it can get rather stressful. I certainly remember a lot of misery before I had a big collection built up.
- You can actually save a PvE game, then come back and finish it later.
- It's not as resource-intensive. MTGA lags for me quite a bit if I'm trying to do something else; that does not happen with Mythgard.

I'm actually hard-pressed to name something Mythgard does worse than Magic. I suppose not being able to interact with your opponent during their turn is a possible one, but I'm not actually sure that's a bad thing since it makes games so much easier to play. Not having counterspells is another possible issue, but many people find counterspells unfun in Magic too. Not having as big a competitive scene is likely the biggest weakness. I don't know if it'll be temporary, it doesn't seem to be gaining much traction (if Twitch viewer counts is anything to go by).

I'm certainly playing less Magic because of Mythgard the past couple of days. Perhaps one day I'll finally uninstall :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mythgard
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:06 pm 
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Having played a lot of Mythgard these past few days I can now say there are some things Magic does better than Mythgard!

- Color identity. Mythgard has six colors but they all feel rather similar to each other. Conversely in Magic we have red is the most aggressive color (usually), white has cheap efficient creatures, blue has counterspells, black has win-at-all-cost cards + hand disruption, etc.
- History. Can't fault Mythgard for this, but fact is Magic cards have a ton more flavor than Mythgard. In Magic we get to play with planeswalkers who have identifiable histories (in spite of the fact i dislike planeswalkers as a card type ...), as well as cards like Fires of Invention which clearly has Purphoros making something in his forge, and so on. In Mythgard we instead get what feels like a bunch of vanilla
creatures with no history. I remember reading that playing with cards like Glorybringer are fun in part because it's got a nice dragon printed on the card. However, some people would happily play with a blank piece of cardboard with "Glorybringer" written on it. The latter group of players are likely to be much happier with Mythgard.
- Snowball effect seems pretty strong. It's pretty easy to play a card that buffs your creature and simultaneously kills theirs. For example if I have a 3/3 out and my opponent has a 3/3 as well, I could play something that buffs my 3/3 to 4/4, which gives me a favorable trade. In Magic opponent can simply choose not to block, but in Mythgard opponent is in trouble. This is esepcially the case since the cards that apply +1/+1 are either very cheap or simultaneously develop the board at the same time. It's like putting a lord into play at instant speed after opponent declares blockers - usually a blowout.
- Compounding the above is that the removal in this game seems pretty bad. Magic has e.g. Murder which will always kill a minion. This game doesn't have nearly as efficient removal, and in fact there are few unconditional removal spells. Board wipes are also rather cost-inefficient. I suppose the redeeming idea here is that your creatures are also removal spells, but per the above example of a 3/3 failing to remove opponent's 3/3, your creatures can be very bad removal spells.

However there are also a few more things Mythgard does better than Magic:

- Mythgard limited is very cunning. There are two big innovations. First, you are given the option to "cull" or "boost" the odds of seeing certain colors. This means it seldom feels like you're drafting cards that don't matter. The other innovation is that you are sometimes offered multiple cards. This is huge. For example in Magic if you draft Stoneforge Mystic but then never see an equipment, you've drafted a dead card. In Mythgard, you are likely to be offered both Stoneforge Mystic and an equipment in the same pick. It is very cunning, too bad Magic cannot emulate that feature.
- The other thing is that Mythgard offers some netdecks that you can play even if you don't have the cards. These netdecks rotate quickly, and lets you play competitive constructed even as a new player. Comparatively when I started Magic Arena, I tried to hide in Limited while I accumulated cards (although at least I had monoblue as a cheap competitive deck to play constructed with).
- One more nice thing about Mythgard is that it doesn't have mulligans, yet I almost never feel like I have an unplayable hand. Even if I draw expensive cards in my opener, I can always burn them.

Overall, suffice to say, I haven't logged on to Magic for a few days and don't miss it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mythgard
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:38 am 
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Wow, I can actually play this game from a browser. Amazing piece of software, this is.

EDIT: Nevermind. Turns out playing the game from a browser, performance worsens drastically.


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 Post subject: Re: Mythgard
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:04 pm 
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Now that I'm playing Magic again I can (finally?) say Mythgard has one major weakness relative to Magic: the deckbuilding is uninteresting. You more or less pick your colors and jam the best cards (accounting for mana curve of course). There are some synergies which you can build around, but there's nothing of the sort in Magic. Mythgard archetypes can pretty much be described by the colors they're playing. A lot of this is likely due to the card pool, which is not big, but part of it might also be due to the fact that cards are rarity-limited in decks, similar to Magic Duels. You can only have one mythic, two rares, three uncommons and four commons in a deck. It doesn't help either that the deckbuilder is awful compared to Arena's.

That said, I'm still playing Mythgard, so yeah.


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 Post subject: Re: Mythgard
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:50 pm 
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Well it only took a bit more than a week, but Mythgard's gotten quite stale. Don't get me wrong, I still think the game on a fundamental level is superior to Magic, but the card pool just isn't big enough (or card design just isn't interesting enough).

As it is I'll probably switch: play Mythgard to hit the daily cap, then "focus" on Magic (quotation marks because I doubt I'll take Magic very seriously).


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