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Tricks of the Trade: Armies of Myth

Bookmark this page right now. This will all make sense in a second and I’m doing you a favor by not telling you why.

BloodDiamondRubySapphireWildPrismatic
Taint
Rot Cast
Sudden Awakening
Harvest of Sorrow
Vampiric Kiss
Starshield
Stinging Ambush
Invigorating Breeze
Martyr*
Pride’s Fall
Shard Ward
Smoke Signals
Mesa Lookout
Ambush Guide*
Startouched Brave
Cry of Adamanth
Vandalize
Lunge
Soul of Battle*
Skewer
Tribal Warfare*
Volley of Arrows
Zakiir’s Whim*
Arcane Zephyr
Entangling Webs
Lunacy
Throwback
Smirking Trickster
Cripple
Epiphany
Suffocate
Lightning Brave
Smash to the Ground
Stinkhorn Soup
Vine Lash
Lullaby
Stirring Oration
Rites of the Tranquil Dream
Scorn of Oberon*
Snarling Ambusher
Return To The Soil
Brown Fox Scout*

Okay, so what is all this nonsense you ask? That right there is a list of every combat trick you might see in the Armies of Myth limited format. Whether you are a drafting veteran or a TCG newb this is sure to be a good reference tool for you. Thinking about making a big play but your opponent has resources open well up there on the chart is everything you need to know. You don’t need to memorize it now by any means that will come naturally with time but this is here to help you along the way. I wanted to put the list right at the top so that when you need to use it you don’t have to sift through a whole bunch of my rambling. TLDR: the list is the important part, my thoughts are just something extra.

A few notes:

  • Each column is sorted by cost
  • The rares have an asterisk after their card name
  • There are 42 cards total & only 35 if you don’t count the rares
  • Don’t forget to check for double threshold where necessary
  • Some cards with prophecy or others like Cerulean High Counselor can still muck things up but any cards like this which I left off are visible on board threats
  • Your opponent might be bluffing. Don’t overthink things but do try to avoid walking into a trap; sometimes you just have to yolo and go for it
  • Note how many 2 cost tricks that Diamond has, none of them are too different from the rest but just be ready for em

With that taken care of, now it is time to go through each one alphabetically in case you’re still hungry for some of my thoughts on the topic. I will be leaving out the rares since we’re talking about limited here and in most cases you should avoid playing around them unless you passed them during the draft or your opponent is giving you a strong read. Additionally, I am primarily talking here about the particular card’s strength as a combat trick or interactive play. I want the following analysis to be as short and to the point as possible, no puns, no fluff, just useful information (hopefully). Threat level doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a ‘good’ card or that it is a high pick, just that it has a lot of dangerous potential (it could still be all three though).

Card Name [Threat Level]

Arcane Zephyr [Low]
It will blank your removal from time to time, deal with it. As a one cost card it is rarely worth playing around. Sometimes you’ll lose your flier to it but on the bright side most fliers have a decent back end in AoM and you’ve got a decent chance of trading.

Cripple [Low]
It is permanent and works well against effects like Deathmask Assailant (which is quite strong). I feel like in some ways it is better than Mesmerize but in most situations it is worse. The cost is restrictive and to get value out of it the wielder has to put them self in a somewhat dangerous position.

Cry of Adamanth [High]
If your opponent has the resources open and has a decent board state you have got to respect that they might have it. It is only usable on the offense so get them to alpha-strike and then blow them out with a trick of your own. In some situations you might want to let your opponent have a little bit of value off of it so that they use all of their resources for the turn and aren’t able to further contribute to their board state. Like other expensive combat cards, it takes a bit of work to set up and you don’t want to pick this highly despite its threat potential.

Entangling Webs [High]
This card is quite powerful and can be difficult to play around. Be wary about playing cards at all during your turn before you’ve declared your attack step. I would definitely rather be the one playing this than playing against it.

Epiphany [Low]
Not a trick really, but it is still something they might be holding back and a way for them to get quite a bit of value if they don’t need to commit during your turn.

Harvest of Sorrow [Medium]
They are going to be that much more likely to make trades with you especially if they’re not the aggressor in the match. You can’t play around it too much but it will at least make you consider how you want to trade against your opponent. Unlike Shadow Rend, I feel like I would pick this fairly highly and that it works well with a number of the champions and archetypes within set 3.

Invigorating Breeze [Medium]
Similar to Preservation. Diamond has a large suite of interactive cards to muck up combat and a copy or two of this could put in work. In Hex formats so far it has usually been the right choice to attack directly into cards like these with your weaker troops early on so that your later game stuff is safe.

Lightning Brave [Low]
In a vacuum it is a flat upgrade to Phoenix Guard Enforcer, which I felt was quite good in the right deck. As a combat trick it falls short as spending four resources on 1-1 removal is likely to set you back. Where it might excel is masking combat damage by playing it during the end step to effectively give it speed. You’re going to have a hard time playing this effectively if you’re already behind.

Lullaby [Medium]
This might even be a high threat to be honest. Not only does it have the potential to really wreck someone but it can even offer you a “take backsies” situation after your opponent has tried to dagger you during combat. Reversion in general ought to be a bit stronger during set 3 and this just feels like it has a lot more flexibility than meets the eye. Finally, it offers even more potential in unison with swiftstrike if played it after the faster damage is dealt. It is going to take a bit of practice to really be able to wield this one properly.

Lunacy [Low, possibly nonexistent]
I’m probably missing the interaction that makes this have some sort of use as a trick. Maybe I’m not, maybe it really just doesn’t do anything special if played as a quick action beyond generating some Spiderlings to use as blockers?

Lunge [High]
As far as tricks go this is the one you want to be playing. Adrenaline Rush already put in work and the reduced resource cost is well worth the loss in attack power. Before you block consider how bad it will hurt if you lose that troop.

Mesa Lookout [Medium]
The biggest thing going against this card is that if you’re holding it and you leave the resources open but don’t use it you’re going to be putting yourself behind. That said this guy should be able to turn things around significantly mid-game if you find the right opening. As a quick troop / trick this is going to be more effective than Lightning Brave.

Pride’s Fall [Medium]
Removal is removal, avoid getting 2 for 1’d where possible. This is a good example of something that’s a medium threat and still a very solid card, you’re going to be getting rid of something problematic but it is also a card that you can’t play around too heavily.

Return To The Soil [Low]
Atrophy was decent, this isn’t Atrophy. Compared to Nature Reigns you get to draw a card but how often is that worth another two resources? Without Bertram styled decks there just isn’t as much incentive to run this.

Rites of the Tranquil Dream [Low]
Okay so maybe you find a quick troop and give it +1 +1, but do you still have enough resources to play it that turn. I wouldn’t worry about ever playing around this card, if they get lucky and dream then it is what it is. It is still pretty good though getting to hold it back during your opponent’s turn and buff the troop you wind up playing next turn.

Rot Cast [Medium]
See Pride’s Fall comments. Removal is removal making this a card that undoes the combat trick rather than a trick itself.

Shard Ward [Medium]
Mostly a defensive trick rather than an offensive one. Be careful to invest too much into one play if you think your opponent has this. If you do think they have it you should try to trade for it early on without investing too much into doing so.

Skewer [Medium]
Once again removal is removal, but this does have something extra going for it. The damage dealt to the player is real and there is a lot you can do here and I expect this to be one of the highest picked cards with Armies draft. The player damage can be very similar to giving one of the attacking troops crush and if the blocked troop already has crush then Skewer is going to be even more backbreaking.

Smash to the Ground [High… really high]
Another very highly pickable card. If you think that your opponent has access to it then you’re going to want to block way more often during the late game. With this card being just a flat X cost it has so much potential to just go “BOOM YOU’RE DEAD.” Sure you can use it as a combat trick to kill a troop but more often than not you just want to land the killing blow. Is this set 3’s Volcannon or Royal Cutblood? We’ll find out soon enough.

Smirking Trickster [Low]
It can pretend to be a “Burn target attacking troop” but it won’t always get there. While we’re on the topic it at least lets you know what kinds of tricks they might have up their sleeve.

Smoke Signals [Medium]
This is going to be strong while both players are in race mode. If someone pulls this off and gets some value then the follow up swing on the next turn is going to be brutal, there just won’t be much left on the opposing board. It won’t improve your troops permanently as would Preservation, but it has the potential to turn the match around. Finally, don’t neglect the option this gives you to swing and then use any exhaust abilities your troops might have to really throw off your opponent; unfortunately there actually aren’t many abilities which will do that.

Snarling Ambusher [Medium]
See comments about Lightning Brave. The reduced resource cost means that the trade isn’t anywhere near as painful. It isn’t quite as much a threat, prophecy onto these quick Coyotle and then they become much scarier at quick speed.

Starshield [Medium]
Much like Arcane Zephyr it is cheap and if they have it then tough luck. In Starshield’s case there’s not quite as much room to protect a troop from removal but this one makes up for more room to act as a trick and kill an attacker.

Startouched Brave [Low]
When played it is going to come down and stop some damage and then sit there. Generally it is better to be the one that is threatening rather than be under threat. It might be worth a reminder that it doesn’t have defensive.

Stinging Ambush [Medium?]
Oh boy! I expect to get rekt by this hard. Don’t worry about this getting your single defense dudes (it is going to happen) quite as much as you should instead pay attention to what troops your opponent has and how they might be able to kill your bigger dudes in tandem with this.

Stinkhorn Soup [Low]
Functional removal that will often 2-1 the person playing it. The Spiderling and Phantom don’t fit quite as well with Wild as they do with other shards. This enables swiftstrike troops to go on both offense and defense at which point it moves up considerably on the threat scale.

Stirring Oration [Medium]
The first sets had Wild Growth and Crackling Sprout respectively, Oration is the new one and similarly favors the player that wants to attack early and often. If you can stall them out on the following turns then just make the defensive trade of your dude for their trick. You need to be pretty confident about your curve here though and the nice part is that if you do this early they won’t be able to escalate their board that turn since they spent their resources on the trick.

Sudden Awakening [Medium]
Get them to invest into killing your best troop and then get it back. Either that or make a loose block and keep your troop. Bonus points if the troop has an ability when it enters play. Regardless, this card will put in work.

Suffocate [Low]
Four-cost does not a strong Countermagic make.

Taint [Low]
Possibly a medium, the cost is what it has going for it.

Throwback [High]
Here we go. Not quite as big a tempo play as Time Ripple where you get to also increase the cost but they are still going to feel bad when they replay. If they’re playing Sapphire be very careful when you choose to activate shift or buff a troop of your own. Maybe I overvalue tempo but it really is where most of the momentum lies in limited formats.

Vampiric Kiss [Low]
I rate this down just because you’re at a little bit of risk playing this while your opponent has resources open. With it only being two damage for three resources the efficiency is low. Removal will always hold value but this definitely has more potential to miss than usual.

Vandalize [Low]
There just aren’t as many artifacts that matter in this set and there are even fewer where I would really call this a “trick” per se. [Off-topic: it is awfully efficient]

Vine Lash [High]
It is narrow but fliers are scary and killing them for cheap is just great. Likely more of a reserves card but be wary of investing too heavily into a big flying threat. Furthermore, if something is already a big enough threat you might want to avoid giving it flight unnecessarily.

Volley of Arrows [Low]
You’re likely to see this coming, so much so that if you think it is about to happen you should just get ready to blow them out. It is REALLY unwieldy and getting it to even be a Mortar Strike is going to take some work. It can hit champions however.

… and there you have it. Once again I highly recommend bookmarking this page just for the purpose of having a reference while you dive into drafting Armies of Myth, as many of us will. See you all on the field of battle!

Funktion became active in the Hex community very early on as one of the first people producing Youtube content. Funktion made top 8 of the July HexTCG Pro Series, and can be caught in draft queues at all hours of the night. You can find him on Twitter Twitch & Youtube

5 Comments on Tricks of the Trade: Armies of Myth

  1. In regards to Throwback: I didn’t think cards lost track of their target when they changed zones in Hex. If I am right, then throwback is not a counter to shift, the card would just gain the shift ability while it is in your hand.

    • If a target changes zones while the ability is on the chain the ability almost never resolves. In the past there have been a few cases where it didn’t work like that and would still go through but in most cases it was chalked up as a bug and fixed.

  2. Thanks for the write up, it’ll be nice to have these all in an easy to access page. Some of the card links are broken, though. For example, Cripple has strong tags around it and I think that’s messing up the pop ups for some of the cards.

  3. Posting this because having all this in the same place is useful to me (sorry I’m greedy).
    List of Removal that is not a combat trick: ? = questionable removal, * = rare
    Blood:
    Noxious Glory*
    Merciless Culler
    Shadowblade Assassin
    Parriphagy
    Bloodpit Reaver*

    Diamond:
    Inflict Doubt
    Etherealize
    Purge*

    Ruby:
    Scorch
    Fiery Indignation
    Playing With Fire?
    Flaring Passions?
    Staggering Blast
    Bombwright
    Boomsmith

    Sapphire:
    Spider Nest?
    Incubation Webs
    Harbinger of Hastur?*

    Wild:
    Storm Drummer?
    Carnasaurus*
    Predatory Prey
    Crocosaur*

    Artifact:
    Gilded Lyre

    Prismatic:
    Angel of Judgement?*
    Walking Calamity*

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