## Megaminx Beginner’s Walkthrough, ECE Trio Tutorial (no last layer)

I’ve been on a Megaminx kick for the past 10 days. After posting that 10-minute (plus) non-last-layer solve, I practiced a bit more and finally did learn the last layer (beginners’ tutorial coming soon). I’m down to about 6 minutes now for a full solve. With one exception that I’ll point to in my upcoming last layer post, I couldn’t find many good Megaminx tutorials online. Instead, I kept bumping into statements that solving a Megaminx is just like solving a 3×3 — but with a bunch more F2L steps. Yeah, that is basically right. But not entirely.

On a cube there are just 4 F2L slots. Except for some incremental efficiency gains, there’s really no magic to the order in which you fill those slots. On a Megaminx, order does matter — at least, I found that certain face/slot orders flows more smoothly, with a lot less potential for accidentally destroying already-solved portions.

I also found that there will always be one tricky V-shaped slot formed by an edge-corner-edge (ECE) trio. In the end, it turns out that’s it’s not that hard to form and insert the trio without breaking up the solved neighboring faces. I just wish someone would have created a clear tutorial one it, since it’s not entirely intuitive. Having figured out a technique that worked well for me, I decided to do a quick walk-thru video showing the face/slot order I use and then explaining the way I fill that ECE trio:

This is a beginner doing a beginner’s work; there’s some inefficiency and excess hunting throughout. But the basic approach works, and works well. The ECE trio portion starts at 3:58, and should be easy enough to follow.

For those that prefer images over video, here’s the basic approach: Having completely solved the white, yellow, blue, and red faces (in that order), the bottom half of the cube is nearly done. Here’s what the puzzle looks like:

Just the border between the green, purple, and light blue remains for completing the bottom half. That border is comprised of two F2L slots, each easily filled by using the top layer as a workspace) and the ECE trio (highlighted in red outline). Inserting the trio and then solving the two last F2L slots completes everything but the last layer.

The trick to solving the ECE trio is first inserting one of the edges and then using the top layer as workspace for forming and pairing the corner and other edge. So, I first insert one of the edges (blue/purple here). Next, I get the other edge and corner into the top layer:

Then I pair the edge and corner in the top layer:

Once paired, the issue should become obvious: You can’t insert the pair into the proper slot without disturbing the already solved green face. The trick is to move the edge over one position (to the other side of the V), creating above it a false/temporary F2L slot into which the formed pair can be inserted easily:

Inserting the pair forms the trio, which can then be put into place with a single turn:

Of course, the other edge could have been inserted first, resulting in a mirror of the case above. In that case, the green/blue corner would be moved one slot out of place (to the other side of the V), forming the “floor” of the false/temporary F2L slot:

This is frightfully easy once you know the trick. Without it, this got me totally screwed up a few times!

Last layer tutorial coming soon…..