Hey Mythgardians koolkat here, and like many people in the strategy game community, I’ve always been enamored with the idea of chess. I never actually got around to learning it until Pogchamps, a tournament with many prominent content creators over the course of a few months to show how they improve their play. This tournament brought a ton of eyes to the game, mine included. I never actually got around to learning it until last month or so, and I must say, the things I’ve learned in Chess have helped me IMMENSELY in Mythgard, and they will likely help you as well!
1) Think About Your Opponent’s Game Plan
What deck style is your opponent playing? Are they playing a deck like YP aggro, where if they don’t have a minion on board, they’re basically useless? Or are they playing a deck like YG that wants to stack spells in the boneyard?
Being able to recognize your opponent‘s game plan and understand who can execute their win condition first is an extremely important skill in both Mythgard and Chess. This is also described at length in the classic Magic the Gathering article, Who’s the Beatdown? which should be required reading for all strategy game players.
2) Know the Value of Your Pieces
In chess, a bishop is typically worth about 3 pawns, but a bishop that is blocked in isn’t worth much since it’s far from being an active piece on the board. In Mythgard, your Armageddon Angel isn’t worth much while you’re ahead, or while your opponent only has warded minions, or minions with detrimental demise effects. Even though it’s commonly regarded as one of the best cards in the game, sometimes it’s far from it!
Situational understanding of the value of your cards is key to finding the correct lines of play over one turn, or even multiple turn lines. This idea is how you know what cards to burn or keep, what cards to play or hold, and what cards to recur or divination. This idea is key for reading your opponent as well. Should you Sapo the opponent’s Terragon? Or should you deal with it another way and hold your Sapo for Koxinga or Armageddon Angel? You can improve these skills with practice, or by watching Mythgard content with an intent to improve.
3) Learn Your Opening and Stick to it!
This is one thing that I have trouble with myself, but this season I stuck with 3 main decks for ladder and I ranked higher than I ever have before because my understanding of the decks and matchups are much deeper than I’ve had in the past.
Take my RG list for example. At the end of the season, I was 45-15 with this list for a total of 60 games with the deck. My other 2 focuses were Aether’s GP Seasons, and multiple iterations of trying to make Vampires work (I may have found a solid build that I am currently 14-4 with!). Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of your deck, tech choices, matchups, and burn patterns of your decks are going to be instrumental to your success.
4) Learn Your End Games
Know when to switch up from board control to burn and vice versa. I’ve lost many games that I could have won simply because I was too focused on controlling the opponent’s board state than developing my own. I’ve also lost many games because I was too focused on getting that last bit of damage in instead of removing a minion or two.
Remember the beatdown idea? Turns out, the beatdown can change mid game, sometimes even multiple times! It’s worth taking the extra time on your turn to assess the board state to recognize who has initiative, and who is really in control of the game.
5) Learn From Your Losses
This is much easier in chess than Mythgard. There is no Mythgard engine that will point out your bad plays and give you better ones (outside of replay reviews from top level players!). It’s still important to take away at least one lesson from your loss, and more importantl, actually implement what you learned in your future games!
While you’re starting out, it could be as simple as learning to play around sweepers or big swing turns. When you progress, it’ll be deeper, like learning specific burn patterns for your decks. For example, in the RG list posted above, you always want RG on turn 2, and RRG on turn 3. This is a more obvious one since all of your active 3 drops are 3RR, and most of your active 2 drops are 2R or 2G.
While the comparisons berween chess and Mythgard may seem unapparent, you can use many many things that you learn in chess in many other strategy games! Hopefully you learned something here, and thank you much for reading!