The Snowball of Playing around Cards with Positioning

Hello, today I played in the Duelyst World Championship Qualifiers and had a very exciting match with quite a lot of good games.  The opponent was vs a player named “Mrenderman” who played very well the series, and since it was the only recorded match of me I’ll go over one of the games.  I haven’t done a post like this in a long time ever since about march , so I figured today would be a perfect time to go over playing around cards and Positional Advantages.  I’ll be going over the before and after plays of this game, for you to think about what you’d do in the before, and help think about what the best possible after play could be with my thought process of how I won.

So to start off, I censored out his hand as it’s unimportant for now and will distract from the important point: what you should be playing around.  His 6 mana turn is coming up and you know what that means, Makantor!  With that in mind, you want to position your best to play around this while getting the most efficiency out of your cards.  So lets think, how can we do that best?  We don’t really want anything within 2 spaces of each other, and with Mist Dragon Seal we can do some fancy positioning.  

This was my ending turn with the hand I was given, and where the snowballing begins.  This is weak to plasma storm and Inner focus on sojourner to somewhat play around it could be very good.  However, I feel like the risk of that is an unfortunate downside as holding onto Inner focus with Bloodborn Spell + Killing edge is too important.  Also his turn last time was a Thumping wave on my Ki beholder+azure herald. A sojourner+ki beholder on his 5 mana turn is way too good to pass up a Plasma storm on, so he must not have had it.

With that knowledge I felt he didn’t have Plasma Storm so the odds were in my favor for him not to have it. Luckily he didn’t replace into a Plasma storm and our play paid off with the knowledge of him not having Storm + our ability to not lose to Makantor with positioning.

As you can see the next turn he killed Sojourner with a hit, and followed up with Rejuvenator.  Now that we have more cards what should we be thinking and how should we play our turn?  As Songhai with all these Combo Pieces we can do quite a few things!  We want to start getting Chakri closer, but if we do it will be in range of Rejuvenator. With this in mind I think to get the maximum amount of pressure by clearing his board to keep Chakri Avatar and Heartseeker safer.  

There’s quite a few ways to go over this, but only one optimal way while playing around everything. We could inner focus Chakri and go full face, but that’s incorrect due to us having no cards after that and it’d leave us with almost no board after Rejuvenator kills Chakri  So another way is to somewhat ignore board by going to the right with our general and Heartseeker to the right and Killing edge the Heartseeker, kill Rejuvenator, and move Chakri closer.  This is a decent position, and gives us what we want of protecting Chakri while Keeping Heartseeker safe from Herald + Playing around Plasma storm.  However, this is suboptimal, Makantor can kill the Killing-Edged Heartseeker by hitting our General, so we need to play around that still.

I ended my turn with this Boardstate which plays around Plasma Storm, Makantor, and puts him in a situation where if he chooses one side of the board to deal with, he can’t reach the other.  It used all of our cards unlike the play that left Herald on board, but it gives us a lot more threat, since Makantor could have ruined half our board, and allowed him to Egg morph the Chakri later with almost no fear.    So the use of all our cards to give him a board state he can’t deal with for a long time as well as keeping our additional 1/1 Heartseeker safe from any minions he had.  

So far we’ve gone from a very small board that snowballed to this gigantic lead, with very minimal risk due to playing around everything.  This is a great position and feeling to be in, to snowball while fearing very little with our knowledge of the game.  However, even though we have a pretty big lead through these plays we still haven’t won the game and may need to do more. So never stop thinking of what to play around until you’ve won.

Now as we can see, a few turns later he egg morphed my Chakri and my buffed Heartseeker.  We also are now in danger of Bounded Lifeforce exactly, with his BBS next turn he’ll have 3 extra attack on top of the 10 bounded damage.  We also are weak to Plasma storm again due to all the Egg morphs resetting buffs.  So we need to both play around Bounded Lifeforce and Plasma now since they’re the only two ways we lose at this point.  To do this we need to dump our hand, and bodyblock with Bloodborn Spell, which sounds very simple but we can do it in an optimal fashion.  

This is the ending of that turn, and I won shortly after with Heartseeker pressure and the Chakri.  The important point of this was to think about Bounded Lifeforce mainly as to not die to it.  So why even post this picture if it’s that simple?  Well it was fairly simple in that regard, but the way to bodyblock is important in this game.  I’m still thinking about Makantor Warbeast and keeping my general as a post to prevent it from letting Makantor completely hurt everything.  This is important because if I let the ⅚ Chakri in range of his general he’d be able to live a hit from general+2 heartseekers after facetanking 5.  He also will be able to kill both Chakris if I ran 2 to the left instead of diagonally up to play around Makantor.  Then he can come back in the game with Plasma+earth sphere, and L’kians etc.  So It may seem simple, but it’s still good to think about the perfect way to finish the turn.

Anyway, hope this helped, just remember to think of the best ways to play your turns and play around every possible choice your opponent can do!

If any of you wanted to watch the full games they’re Here .