Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Spellbook Design and Construction => Topic started by: cbalian on June 28, 2013, 10:51:15 AM

Title: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on June 28, 2013, 10:51:15 AM
I've been doing all kinds of varied deck builds, like fire themed, or air wizard, or all flyer decks or whatever weird set up depending on the mage played.  What I'm trying to do is come up with a "base" or standard spell set that I put in EVERY (or almost every) book with a set of the basics.  Like nullify, dissolve, armor sets, defenses etc etc.  The purpose of this is I could have pre built spell books already ready to go with the said spells and spend like 60-70 points for the basic "must haves" then I can spend 50-60 points on creatures/spells random mage specific stuff for various "fun" builds strategies.

I guess that was a very long way of asking for advice on what you all think are some of your "MUST HAVE's" either your favorite spells or spells you put in most of your books.  I realize it varies by Mage etc but in general what cards do you use the most?
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on June 28, 2013, 12:50:39 PM
Telleport 1-3
Dispel 2-4
Dissolve 1-4
Seeking Dispel 1-3
Force Push 1-3
Regrowth Belt 1-2
Bear Strength 1-2
Cheeta Speed 0-1
Purify 1-3
Minor Heal/Heal 1-2 or Drain Soul/Drain Life: 1-2
Deflection Bracers/Something to create a Defense 0-2

Elemental Cloak (non-wizard)
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on June 28, 2013, 09:12:58 PM
Any other opinions?

I couldn't think Of any other ones that were seeming universal other than certain chests or maybe: mana flower/mana crystal.

Or maybe moon-glow amulet.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 01, 2013, 12:47:37 PM
Elemental Cloak is one of the best defensive pieces of equipment in the game, and as a level 1 spell easy to splash into any spellbook.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 01, 2013, 01:39:28 PM
Elemental Cloak is one of the best defensive pieces of equipment in the game, and as a level 1 spell easy to splash into any spellbook.

Actually, I don't think it's the autoinclude people make it out to be.  It's more of a meta piece.  The amount of armor you get for the price tag is actually lower than usual, so unless you're part of a group that plays a lot of elemental spells, you're probably better off with Rhino Hide.

Granted, though, that I imagine most groups play some mages that use fire/lightning/etc.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Wiz-Pig on July 01, 2013, 04:35:55 PM
@reddawn: it's level 1. If there is elemental magic it helps a lot. Not sure why you wouldn't put it in your deck, you don't have to cast it.  ???
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 01, 2013, 05:38:20 PM
I'm gonna have to agree with the thought that it is a good include, unless you are the wizard which has its own clock if I recall. I'd think one of every slot isn't a bad idea.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Paleblue on July 01, 2013, 05:58:04 PM
I pretty much agree with your list. Bear / Heal / Purify and Cheetah are a maybe (depends on your book), but all the rest are auto include.

The only improvement I would make is having one block and maybe nullify on the list. Again these are pretty situational but I put them as a higher priority than heal.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 01, 2013, 06:32:06 PM
@reddawn: it's level 1. If there is elemental magic it helps a lot. Not sure why you wouldn't put it in your deck, you don't have to cast it.  ???

Ok, but you could make that same argument about pretty much any level 1 card.  I'm just saying a few things here:

1. Armor is more relevant than elemental resistances.
2. Elemental Cloak does not offer adequate armor for its cost.
3. Elemental Cloak is therefore not the auto-include people make it out to be.

It's a good card, but if were are talking about cards that should be in every single book, there are others that are more important.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 01, 2013, 06:51:27 PM
That's not true, that's quite a poor argument. And a rule of thumb, any statement that includes absolutes: all or never is usually not true.

Furthermore, saying it is a level one is not the primary argument but a subsidiary argument. The primary argument is name a Mage that won't use elemental attacks. Maybe force master? Maybe, but you never know. when is elemental wand not included? Warlock: Fire spells, and lighting spells can be powerful. Furthermore, as a defense the cloak is positive against a Mage that wants to fight at range will likely try to use fire or lighting and this clOak would be a good fall back to mitigate that. Which then brings about the "yea that's well and good" from the naysayer that tries to argue cost.  At 2 in the book to combat a semi viable strategy (locks and wizards are popular) it would be a good include for a few different mages. Even for the forcemaster which could be ranged to death .  It seems only the wizard it is not highly viable. Maybe a ranking system is best.

Essentially it is a very low book cost, situational (but that is not bad because consensus seems to be everything is situational), but powerful when used correctly. Finally, FROST DOTH COMEITH SOON! And that could be a band wagon deal.

Maybe 1/*: Situational, but there is moderate chance of use.
2/**: useful in several situations and/or a counter to current meta strats. (TOL is common so exp would be plus conjuration attack spell.
3/***: Multiple situational uses and/or a counter to a very common meta strat.

Nothing is to say this list can't evolve. Though unlike most CCGs/TCGs few of our cards are useless.
2/**:
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 01, 2013, 07:14:03 PM
@reddawn: it's level 1. If there is elemental magic it helps a lot. Not sure why you wouldn't put it in your deck, you don't have to cast it.  ???

Ok, but you could make that same argument about pretty much any level 1 card.  I'm just saying a few things here:

1. Armor is more relevant than elemental resistances.
2. Elemental Cloak does not offer adequate armor for its cost.
3. Elemental Cloak is therefore not the auto-include people make it out to be.

It's a good card, but if were are talking about cards that should be in every single book, there are others that are more important.

Adaquate armor is subjective, I'd like to hear a more objective comparison. Realistically how much armor can you load on? +2 chest, aren't the leather boots and gloves +1 each for 2 mana, but then that is it. that kind of maxs out the armor I think, but those slots are then used. And new gloves and boots are out, and so where do you get the armor from? My rule of thumb is 3 armor because someone ran the numbers, so with those new boots and gloves I'd rather have, I'd say this cloak and a chest fits a nice bill. And it's nice for the resistances.

Lastly, it could provoke a dispell, which is nice so better equip isn't lost.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 01, 2013, 07:26:05 PM
why don't you change the rank. there are currently 8 mages so there is 64 combinations.

if a card is used in 64/64 then its a must have. then base the rest on your opinion of what mage you would use it on and against what mage and how much of the item you use.

eg take elemental cloak gives 1 armour and ele resistances. so 2 attributes means I half each value see below.

i would use the armour on 7 mages (not war lord) and I would use it against 7 (force master most likely has piercing +1  so its useless) 7*7*.5= 24.5

I would use the else resist for 7 mages again but only against 2 (wizard and warlock) 7*2*.5=7

adding these means you would only use it 31.5/64 = 49% of the time

I would assume anything with a score above 90% would join the must have list. note you can adjust the values for the available mages in your meta
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 01, 2013, 08:01:46 PM
Actually, because of the pierce you would want to use it if you dOnt have a great alternative because you will likely have a chest on for armor, and the 1 extra armor reduces the intensity of pierce on you.

So then what cloak is the cloak to use other than this one?
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 01, 2013, 08:51:01 PM
adding 1 armour is countered by 1 Peirce. it only gets value when you add it to another armour item, so there will be times when it wont be of value. by definition it isn't valuable 100% of the time so it should not be an must have card.
for most mages you can get 2 armour for cheaper (with 1 ele resist) and if there are some mages who will attack you without an ele resist provided by the cloak you don't have a good card in that case.

not saying its not a very good card most of time, but there are match ups where you don't use it. so you should not have it in a must have skeleton deck build.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 01, 2013, 09:07:28 PM
adding 1 armour is countered by 1 Peirce. it only gets value when you add it to another armour item, so there will be times when it wont be of value. by definition it isn't valuable 100% of the time so it should not be an must have card.
for most mages you can get 2 armour for cheaper (with 1 ele resist) and if there are some mages who will attack you without an ele resist provided by the cloak you don't have a good card in that case.

not saying its not a very good card most of time, but there are match ups where you don't use it. so you should not have it in a must have skeleton deck build.

You are talking like every attack has piercing. Most attacks don't have piercing so the +1 armor will be useful more times than not, unless you want to posit that sometimes your opponent will roll all criticals so +1 armor wouldn't be useful then either. That argument would apply to all armor though.

There are no cards that are used in every game. However, that doesn't invalidate this list. Therefore the questions are how likely you are to use it, how much benefit do you gain from its use, and how much does it cost you to include it in your spellbook?
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Paleblue on July 01, 2013, 09:44:17 PM
If we are strictly going with MUST haves then Teleport (or push), Dispel and Dissolve are essential. If you don't have these in your book and get caught out you will lose the game instantly. Cloak / Armor etc are 2nd tier in my eyes.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 01, 2013, 09:48:36 PM
I said +1 armour was good against all mages apart from force master. because if we are going to imagine the hypothetical build where she would not attack you with her blade then there are much larger variables to consider.

would you put on an ele cloak against force master if you were the warlord?

and I also said that most mages (all except earth/water wizard) have cheaper ways of getting more armour in both cost and mana


the topic of this forum is "a base set of cards ALL mages should use"
 ele cloak should not be used by ALL mages (ie warlord) so it should not be on list

and yes there are spells you should always have like dispel (even warlord).

sure you can divide this into lists of what each mage must have but that is a different topic
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 01, 2013, 09:57:52 PM
If we are strictly going with MUST haves then Teleport (or push), Dispel and Dissolve are essential. If you don't have these in your book and get caught out you will lose the game instantly. Cloak / Armor etc are 2nd tier in my eyes.

I put teleport, dispell, and dissolve in all my books. I also put an elemental cloak and all my books. It's just too cheap not to when you consider the potential benefits.

If you plan on keeping your mage out of harms way I could see how one might consider armor and cloaks second tier. I figured no matter how hard I try sooner or later I will have to mix it up with my mage (truth to tell I plan on my mage being in the thick of it). So I put a greater value on armor and elemental resistances. But then I prefer a defensive/counter punching style of play.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 01, 2013, 10:03:00 PM
I said +1 armour was good against all mages apart from force master. because if we are going to imagine the hypothetical build where she would not attack you with her blade then there are much larger variables to consider.

would you put on an ele cloak against force master if you were the warlord?

and I also said that most mages (all except earth/water wizard) have cheaper ways of getting more armour in both cost and mana


the topic of this forum is "a base set of cards ALL mages should use"
 ele cloak should not be used by ALL mages (ie warlord) so it should not be on list

and yes there are spells you should always have like dispel (even warlord).

sure you can divide this into lists of what each mage must have but that is a different topic

I don't build my spell books to fight a particular mage. So yes I would put an elemental cloak in my warlords spell book, Knowing full well I might never use it against a forcemaster but I will be glad I have it against the warlock.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 01, 2013, 10:37:58 PM
why have ele cloak when you have fire armour for 1 less cost. sure you could argue "ele protects against warlock or lightning wizard" but if you want versatility the +2 armour compared to +1 will protect you more when the majority of attacks (from all sources) you will get will be non elemental.

I'll give you the maths.
+1 extra armour gives you on average 0.5 damage reduction
-2 ele resistance gives you 2 damage reduction.

this means the else resistance is 4 times better. but ONLY if every attack is the element resistance. a lightning wizard will have a hard time casting lightning attacks every turn and you must include attacks from the creatures.
 if you get hit by 1 lightning + 3 non male attacks (eg lightning bolt + 3 creature attacks) both items are equal. (note that there are many more creatures with fire attacks than lightning so this goes in fire armours favor)

this is the best case scenario for the cloak if you are not against the lightning wizard the fire armour is far Superior.
(I think you may have read my post about armour efficiency)

because of the maths I could never instantly recommend the ele cloak in every warlord book

Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 01, 2013, 10:44:27 PM
In the scenario you described I would want both the armor and the cloak. Maybe that's just me and my defensive mindset.

Don't under estimate the -2 reduction to the D12  effect rolls. I hate being set on fire or stunned/dazed.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 01, 2013, 11:11:09 PM
my excel spreadsheet puts that into account but I'm on phone so can't post it.

I honestly think you are being to defensive and not very efficient about it. don't get me wrong I have else cloak in all other builds including my warlord solo build. but I would not instantly include it in every warlord book I make. i would are wasting 3 points when I could get the same or better effect for 2 points. or  for the same points and less mana (eg chest and boots)
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 01, 2013, 11:56:52 PM
adding 1 armour is countered by 1 Peirce. it only gets value when you add it to another armour item, so there will be times when it wont be of value. by definition it isn't valuable 100% of the time so it should not be an must have card.
for most mages you can get 2 armour for cheaper (with 1 ele resist) and if there are some mages who will attack you without an ele resist provided by the cloak you don't have a good card in that case.

not saying its not a very good card most of time, but there are match ups where you don't use it. so you should not have it in a must have skeleton deck build.

You are talking like every attack has piercing. Most attacks don't have piercing so the +1 armor will be useful more times than not, unless you want to posit that sometimes your opponent will roll all criticals so +1 armor wouldn't be useful then either. That argument would apply to all armor though.

There are no cards that are used in every game. However, that doesn't invalidate this list. Therefore the questions are how likely you are to use it, how much benefit do you gain from its use, and how much does it cost you to include it in your spellbook?

Agreed, so what is the alternative cloak? Even if you don't use a card doesn't meZn it was not needed in highly likely scenarios. And I would also posit it is prudent to have one of each armor piece so as to respond to situations especially pieces with armor because ther is one universal constant in this game (right now at least) to win you have to damage the other Mage, and armor reduces damage taken.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 02, 2013, 12:16:42 AM
planning tour book to use every item slot isn't wise even with battleforge. I understand this Is counter to most games especially computer games that want you to fill every available slot.

I rarely find I am able to cast more then 3 equipment and if I plan on casting more then 5 the battle forge is a must. I must assume your meta allows for slower build up time. for example in my meta the most items I have been able to cast in a comp game was on a priestest build and I only got out
staff of asyra
ring of dawn breaker
ele cloak
regrowth belt

hence I dont think it is necessary to have an item for each slot. if you read most book building topics you will hear similar suggestions.

for a practical example your warlord should go fire armour + leather boots. this gives him + 3 armour -2 flame for only 8 mana and is far better then 1 ele cloak which gives +1 armour -2 tri ele resist. also if you know your 100% going to vs the air wizard get the lightning armour, don't just include cloak for the chance of lightning wizard
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 02, 2013, 12:34:11 AM
planning tour book to use every item slot isn't wise even with battleforge. I understand this Is counter to most games especially computer games that want you to fill every available slot.

I rarely find I am able to cast more then 3 equipment and if I plan on casting more then 5 the battle forge is a must. I must assume your meta allows for slower build up time. for example in my meta the most items I have been able to cast in a comp game was on a priestest build and I only got out
staff of asyra
ring of dawn breaker
ele cloak
regrowth belt

hence I dont think it is necessary to have an item for each slot. if you read most book building topics you will hear similar suggestions.

for a practical example your warlord should go fire armour + leather boots. this gives him + 3 armour -2 flame for only 8 mana and is far better then 1 ele cloak which gives +1 armour -2 tri ele resist. also if you know your 100% going to vs the air wizard get the lightning armour, don't just include cloak for the chance of lightning wizard

Funny I didn't say you have to use it, but I did say its best to have it. Especially in a tournament where you likely won't know the other Mage. And oops it's a wizard that is fire or air.

Life is like a box of chocolates, you won't know what you will get.

And furthermore I play a fast attack warlock, so I end up using barely 25% of my book.  So how does that comport with only Having every slot as a slow play. The point is to be prepared, who the hell uses every spell?
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: sdougla2 on July 02, 2013, 12:40:07 AM
I build my spellbooks without knowing who my opponent is going to be, so I need plans to cover a variety of enemies. Elemental Cloak is not as efficient as having the relevant armor, but it applies to more types of attacks, and it stacks with armor. You shouldn't necessarily play it every game, but it's nice to have as an option. It's not absolutely essential, but I still like to include it as an option.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 02, 2013, 12:49:01 AM
i cant count how many times i have said something similar to "yes it is a great card but not essential".

and this thread is about essential cards for all mages. players can refer to the topic "the good, the bad, the neglected" for a list of good spells.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Texan85 on July 02, 2013, 01:15:42 AM
i cant count how many times i have said something similar to "yes it is a great card but not essential".

and this thread is about essential cards for all mages. players can refer to the topic "the good, the bad, the neglected" for a list of good spells.

Didn't say it wasn't essential, it is as there is 1) better hands and boots than leather armor, so where else are you getting armor other than those 3 slots, a chest isn't an uncommon item to have dissolved or exploded, and 4 armor is the magical number before you see noticeable diminishing marginal utility (so it isn't a waste), and 2) frost is coming so not only is fire and lighting going to be a counter it will be a fully effective. And 3) how else are you going to try to avoid that kind of damage once your chest gets burned down.

And finally essential doesn't mean always use, it is essential because your going to take damage, and it's not unheard of to take fire or lighting damage; then soon to be frost damage which will be the flavor of the month.

And the counter argument that because it doesn't meat your subjective definition of essential doesn't automatically make it non-essential. How about someone make an actual counter argument?

Because even it if gets dissolved that means your opponent found it s big enough threat to get rid of it. Otherwise you at least get one armor and two less dice on the finisher spells that people like. Not to mention aren't most the common zone attack spells fire, lighting, or light. That's 2 of three and a priestess will likely be the only one to run light spells.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 02, 2013, 04:39:59 AM
with armour know that every point if armour will decrease your damage taken by .5 until you have the same armour as the attack dice your receiving. and on average you will reduce there attack by 1/2 damage (if you have more armour then 2x there attack die).
what this means is if you are against a swarm of 4 dice creatures don't get more then 4 armour, if against 6 don't get more then 6 etc.

if you want best value you guess/calculate the average dice of all the attacks you will take (ie try to deflect the strong ones) then get armour equal to that number.

 note: that 2 armour is equal to 1 aegis and aegis isn't reduced by piercing
is that the quote where you got the 4 is the magic Armour number? what this post means is you dont want to get any more defence then half the average dice you will receave. you dont have to have that armour but you should not have more then it.

ok i am at my computer now so i can type easier

the issue i see is i a lack of understanding of each other point. to clear it up i will state my point clearly
"the elemental cloak should not be added into every spell book made"

to justify this point i will refer back to the warlord

QTYMaxCard TypeCard NameSpell
 lvl
SchoolCasting CostSpell Book CostTotal Book Cost
1
2
Bearskin Armor
1
Nature
6
2
2
1
2
Dragonscale Hauberk
1
Fire
6
2
2
1
3
Elemental Cloak
1
Arcane
6
3
3
1
2
Leather Boots
1
War
2
1
1
1
2
Leather Gloves
1
War
2
1
1
1
3
Storm Drake Hide
1
Air
6
2
2
1
2
Wind Wyvern Hide
1
Air
6
2
2

so to compare similar cost items

elemental cloak vs a chest armour + boots or gloves

i have already mentioned in a previous post the efficiency of the 1 extra Armour of of the chest vs the universal elemental resistance. to continue that point you must see what elements you are likely to take damage from.
there are only a 3 sources where you can take lightning damage from they are
while there are many more sources of fire damage

there is currently no frost damage in the game so that is irrelevant.

so for and effecent spread of damage resistance you are best to equip your self with the flame resistant chest armour and a pair of boots or gloves. these cost you 4 mana less and provide you more damage protection due to the +2 Armour by comparison.

THEN if you feel the need to add extra items to boost your defense by all means throw in a ele cloak and one of every equipment items you need but as you will only have the mana generally to equip between 3-5 items you should prioritize your book options.

forgive me if i don't comment any more about this unless any new information gets said that i haven't already covered in my previous posts
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: baronzaltor on July 02, 2013, 04:48:29 AM
It also depends on how much your build relies on healing.. I dont run much armor in my Forcemaster or Warlock beatdowns because of the volume of health I recover from Vampirism and the occasional Drain Life (as Warlock)

If you run a Regeneration Belt, Vampirism, and a few heals, you can get away without worrying so much about how much armor you wear.  Whereas if you are not carrying many ways to restore health youll need it more.

In those cases protection cards like armor and Elemental Cloak become less "mandatory" in the sense of essential cards.

I tend to not think in terms of must have cards, but simply must answer scenarios.  It doesnt matter what card you use to answer that scenario, so long as you have an answer.    Now, often that answer will be the same (such as with Dissolve being the most common answer to "What if I need to control Equipment?")    So in that regard I dont have too many things I consider must haves outside of the basic array of go to common spells like Teleport, Push, Dispel, etc.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Fentum on July 02, 2013, 07:03:24 AM

I'm with Nitrodavid on this one. Elemental Cloak is 'great' but not 'essential'.

Is everyone agreed on Dispel, Dissolve and Teleport, from the OP?

What if you only had a single choice?

For me, it would be a tough choice but it would be Dispel. Then Dissolve. Then  Teleport. That's it for essential.

Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 02, 2013, 08:17:42 AM
Great discussion folks, I appreciate the feedback.  When I started this thread I wasn't sure it was going to go this direction, but it is really informative to a new mageling like myself.

I've debated the armor thing (balance of armor vs defense) quite a bit so this has been helpful to me.

I always use dissolve and dispel but I've never put a Teleport in any of my decks (including the Wizard).  Anything outside of the Wizard it seems like a large amount of spell points for what it does.  Since it appears several of you use it and I have never used it, what type of scenarios do you find it so essential?

It seems to me at best it is a costly way to buy you 1 maybe 2 turns of safety.  Do you use it to teleport creatures away or toss your creatures in faster or move yourself out of danger?  Or any of the above depending on the situation?  I just think with a cost of 3-9 mana I could find other stuff to spend that much mana on.  But that is probably from my own inexperience with it.

Against a slow creature I could see it being hugely helpful but any other creature will be back in your face in 2 turns.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Fentum on July 02, 2013, 09:14:09 AM

'All of the above'

With a wizard, I tend to stick teleport in a wand as it is so useful to that Mage. With others, it is the flexibility that makes it worthwhile. Getting your Mage out of trouble. Putting an opponent into trouble. Moving a friendly creature without using its action. Etc, etc.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 02, 2013, 10:52:47 AM
I don't believe you should put multiple Teleports in every book, that's just an unwieldy amount of spellbook points.  As a one-of, however, it's a very useful catch-all spell.

I've personally found that the low-mana War School commands are more useful to my typical aggressive style.  Charge, Evade, Battle Fury, Power Strike, etc are all great Quick-Cast surprises to use right as you activate a creature.  Whirling Strike on Adramelech is particularly brutal, if your opponent doesn't see it coming.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Zuberi on July 02, 2013, 11:33:23 AM
I'm still kind of a mageling myself, but I put teleports in all of my spellbooks and here's why: In mage wars, the whole point of the board is that positioning matters. And teleport lets you control positioning. You can split up your enemies, regroup your allies, retreat to safety, go on a blitzkrieg offensive, the list goes on.

Some examples of play from my experiences:

Breaking up Enemy defenses: I had an opponent who was turtling in a corner. Not the brightest of moves to begin with, but with 3 creatures and himself in the corner I didn't really want to go in after him. So, I teleported him out of the Zone and put up a wall of stone and extended it so that the creatures were all trapped in the corner completely harmless.

Staying out of Reach: Another opponent I went up against focused on beefing up his own melee attacks through the roof. I had lots of fun with two gorgon archers applying weak tokens to him. He couldn't decide what to attack, because every time he went after an archer or my mage, I would teleport it away and he'd get 2 weak tokens, until eventually he was completely impotent and conceded.

Bring out the Big Guns: I like to use teleport to utilize the Full Action attacks on my creatures too. It's one of my favorite strategies. Either teleport them to the creature or the creature to them depending on the situation, as a Quick Cast of course, and then immediately do a Full Action attack for crap tons of damage. Such as Grizzly Bear 7 dice or Hydra Triple Strike.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 02, 2013, 01:29:18 PM
Hmm yes I see the value, I just have been having a hard time justifying that many spell book points (in a non Wizard deck).  I could try to at least toss one in though and keep it in my back pocket for the right situation (which I can see several now that you mention its uses).  That is my favorite thing about this game you have access to your full spell book every round and don't have to wait to "get lucky" to draw the good cards or what you need in a particular situation.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 02, 2013, 06:19:07 PM
how about something along this line, all decks should have a card that does a certain effect then list the cards. you should have at least one card in each category.

de-equipt: explosion, dissolve
 dispel: dispel, destroy magic
 armour: chest, ele cloak, book
mana efficient damage: creatures, weapons
burst damage: attack spells, battle fury
avoid guard: elusive, creatures, ranged attacks
life regen: regrowth/belt, vampire, heal, life drain.

 etc
you can see how this will better help new players as they can find a neccesary spell for each deck
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Paleblue on July 02, 2013, 07:40:48 PM
Hmm yes I see the value, I just have been having a hard time justifying that many spell book points (in a non Wizard deck).  I could try to at least toss one in though and keep it in my back pocket for the right situation (which I can see several now that you mention its uses).  That is my favorite thing about this game you have access to your full spell book every round and don't have to wait to "get lucky" to draw the good cards or what you need in a particular situation.

It may depend on who you are playing with, but as your game evolves you start to realise that positional plays become essential and teleport is what can bring the pain / avoid it. It can also be used to counter some spells for example vines / quicksand and also to a lesser extent force hold.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 02, 2013, 08:20:58 PM
forgot to mention
movement: teleport, teleport trap, force push/bash/wave
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 03, 2013, 09:26:06 AM
how about something along this line, all decks should have a card that does a certain effect then list the cards. you should have at least one card in each category.

de-equipt: explosion, dissolve
 dispel: dispel, destroy magic
 armour: chest, ele cloak, book
mana efficient damage: creatures, weapons
burst damage: attack spells, battle fury
avoid guard: elusive, creatures, ranged attacks
life regen: regrowth/belt, vampire, heal, life drain.

 etc
you can see how this will better help new players as they can find a neccesary spell for each deck

That actually is kind of where I was going with it.  I probably meant to say what "types" of things are needed and maybe not specific cards because it does depend on the individual mage.  Having something in each "category" to handle something or perform X action is a good way to go about it.  Like I said I am a mageling and only played a dozen games or so. 

What I am finding is cards that I go to more often and some cards in my box I almost never use.

I've also been trying to build more "themed" decks to actually get use out of some of the cards that I don't use so I don't end up playing the same strategy over and over.  Just because you know you can win doesn't make it fun, I like the challenge.

So far my only sets of cards I really focus on (regardless of mage) is:
Action advantage:  I like to take more actions per turn than my opponent
** so I try to use spawnpoints/familiars/battleforges - the more I have familiars and spawnpoints summoning things the more actions I have to attack with my mage or cast other stuff

Mana advantage: I like to regen more many per turn than my opponent so I can take advantage of those extra action phases.  Wizard my favorite for this, with my opponent regening only 6 mana per turn and me regening 14+ mana per round I can cast a big creature or extra big spell every turn

Armor/Defense:  So far I haven't quite found the sweet spot here.  I generally try to have 3 points of armor and 3 things to deflect.  I don't normally get hit with more than 4 things in a turn anyways and if I do get hit 3 armor points seems sufficient?

Life management:  I'm actually thinking about taking healing spells out of all of my decks, as it is now I am down to 1-2 heal spells but in the last 6 games I have played I never cast a single heal spell, and in the last 3 games I have played I never took a single point of damage to my mage so heal spells seem a waste of spell points.  I kind of am nervous to take them out though because as soon as I do that is when I will need them lol.  It is like if you bring an umbrella it won't rain, but if you don't have one it will rain.  I like to be prepared.

I do run regrowth belt, regrowth enchantment, and vamparism in pretty much every deck so prefer that method of "passive" healing because I don't have to use an action or quick action to cast a spell, and can get an extra attack in.

Damage output:  Lately I have found myself removing almost all attack spells, and most every incantation.  They are situationally good (and necessary) but if I have the choice to spend mana to cast a spell or cast a creature I seem to like to cast a creature because it will have a longer effect on game than a spell.  The only spell I really like to run is Force Hammers (I kill annoying conjurations or spawn points as soon as my opponent casts them) and I do like Battle Fury for extra damage output as well.

Creatures of course for the bulk of damage (plus they can guard me too if needed).

I'm a big fan of "weapon" damage over "spell damage" since weapon damage is so much more mana efficient.  If I whack someone or shoot a bow it doesn't cost me mana, so I can build my mana up or use spawnpoints/familiars to cast stuff while I hit stuff.

Utility:  I definitely run dispels/dissolves, sometimes steal equipment

So do you think it would be a mistake to drop all heal spells from my deck?  If I'm running regrowth & vamparism?
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: sIKE on July 03, 2013, 04:29:15 PM
Even against Piercing Armor stacks so if you add the Elemental Cloak you are now at a AC of 2. With most default attacks falling in the 3-4 dice range this is significant. As for the quality of the cloak, not only does it increase AC it decrease Flame/Frost/Lighting Attacks by 2 dice but makes the effects rolls more difficult to succeed. For 6 mana it is a very strong piece of equipment. IMHO of course :)
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Paleblue on July 03, 2013, 06:11:22 PM

So do you think it would be a mistake to drop all heal spells from my deck?  If I'm running regrowth & vamparism?

I honestly think that you can drop the healing. With well played blocks (to stop huge damage) + regrowth and vamp you shouldn't need heal. I find most times when people cast healing spells they have already lost the game, I guess it could help out in a real cliff hanger situation - but even then i'm not sold.

Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 03, 2013, 06:39:53 PM
apart from the priestess who gets divine reward I don't carry any heals in my books. even then I only have lay hands and regular heal.

a full heal is really only as good as a strong attack (8 dice damage is common). there are some situation where I find it valuable.
1. you are going to loose but want to stall time for a draw.
 2. you have a swarm or other forms of damage that will kill other mage by the end of turn but he can kill you with quick+full turn combo. (note you can't stop both attacks with block/ reverse because the first attack will reveal both enchantments)

both these cases are pretty rare so I don't bother planning for them (apart from priestess)
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 03, 2013, 08:52:55 PM
I was thinking the same thing.  The couple times I've seen my opponent bust out a heal spell on himself it was kind of an "oh heck I better do something or die" and it really only bought him 1 turn.

I was really on the fence but I'm feeling more confident about dropping heal spells from my decks and using those spell points elsewhere. 

They might be nice to save a creature that is buffed up with enchants I guess, but otherwise I might as well spend the spell points and just summon a new creature.

And like we said kind of a waste to cast on the mage.  I've only played 15 games so far, so still kind of new, but I've never taken more than 10 points of damage in any game, and most games only 1-2 damage for the entire game so regrowth belt, vamparism has always more than covered me.

Thanks.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 03, 2013, 09:15:49 PM
for non holy mages heal cost 4 points so it is often similar to adding an additional lvl 4 creature (extra mana balances extra versatility).
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 05, 2013, 03:07:12 PM
I find it odd that some posters don't think healing is good...healing is very strong.  Along with gaining life, it's probably the best way to counter aggro, especially if you're gaining mana over your opponent every turn.  The make-or-break moment in pretty much every game wherein I've played aggro against defensive/control is whether or not you can stop the other mage from healing and thus undoing all your work. 

If you either don't stop the defensive book from healing or you lose one of your majorly expensive creatures due to not healing it, it's game over.

In fact, I'm testing a defensive Warlock book at the moment, and have found Drain Soul to be really good for this exact reason.  It does everything a defensive/control book wants to do; help kill creatures and gain you life (life that cannot be Dispelled or Dissolved is pretty darn good.)
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Shad0w on July 05, 2013, 04:32:50 PM
Guys keep up the good work I am going to sticky this.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 05, 2013, 05:42:48 PM
I consider Drain Life & Drain Soul in a totally different category than a heal spell.  Anytime you can reduce the opponents life and increase yours at the same time is hugely valuable, and because it does damage it really can't be considered a "heal only" spell.

So yes definitely run Drain Life/Soul, but that isn't running a heal spell.

Although I do kind of like the enchantment that heals 4 dice of damage and you can reveal it whenever (meaning your creature can be on the other end of the arena and still get a heal since you don't need to be in range).  Since that one is so cheap both spell book wise and mana wise I've been considering that one.

I think my biggest thing for being "anti heal" if you want to call it that, is I've only ever cast a heal spell in one game ever.  90% of the games I've played I've never taken more than 2-3 points of damage the entire game so the heal spell sits in the book.

The question that raises is "Do you use a heal spell on a creature going to die OR summon another creature?"

My thought on that is I consider creatures expendable (sorry cuddly grizzly pooh bear) but for the same amount of spell book points you can summon a fully healed ready to go creature guaranteed.  Yes depending on the creature you are out a bit more mana BUT a heal is so random, you might heal a lot you might heal little or even nothing.

My dice rolling skills suck so I always try to rely on strategy over luck so any cards that are more "random" I generally shy away from.  It's the same reason I "generally" don't use big attack spells.  That big fireball is awesome when it hits and crits etc but I could also use an action and mana to do very little damage also.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 05, 2013, 06:19:01 PM
I don't understand how you don't take more than 2-3 damage the entire game.  That sounds totally off, provided that you aren't playing against a vegetable.

And of course Drain Life/Soul is a heal spell...it's a heal spell and a damage spell.  That's just what the card does...?

I'm confused.  ???
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: baronzaltor on July 05, 2013, 06:49:50 PM
I think hes talking more about the difference between heals are passive or secondary to effects vs a pure heal quick action.

Things like Vampirism, Death Link, Regeneration and Drain heal passively or in tandem with another effect.  In some cases not even taking an extra action (like Regeneration). 

Whereas a "heal spell" like Heal or Minor Heal require an action in the moment so it feels less like you are gaining traction as you heal.

Thats my presumption anyway.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 05, 2013, 07:07:06 PM
Heal-over-time vs active healing could be an interesting discussion.  You're spending a single action either way, it's more of what you can afford to put in your book and whether or not you think your opponent is going to Dispel it.  If not, then regeneration effects become very efficient, but if so, then not so much. 
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: baronzaltor on July 05, 2013, 07:09:14 PM
Thats why I like Vampirism so much, you spend the action once and then it becomes a byproduct of your attacks. 

Heal Charm is interesting because you can invest the action ahead of time and reveal it later when you might be in more of a crunch.   Heal Charm is also cool because Fellalia can cast it for you, letting her off heal for you.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 05, 2013, 07:38:55 PM
I actually like Vampirism more for the Beastmaster than the Warlock.  Animals don't have much in terms of special abilities, but Ape and Bear dice counts can get stupid high.  Vampiric Strike I use for Dark Pact Slayers usually, since it has synergy with their natural Piercing +2 (and blood reaper, kinda).  Sometimes an early Regrowth too, since they have an obnoxious amount of life for their cost.

I might actually play the Fairy now that she can do that.  Still, I can't shake the feeling that she's one Sniper Shotted attack spell away from death.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 05, 2013, 09:15:23 PM
I don't understand how you don't take more than 2-3 damage the entire game.  That sounds totally off, provided that you aren't playing against a vegetable.

And of course Drain Life/Soul is a heal spell...it's a heal spell and a damage spell.  That's just what the card does...?

I'm confused.  ???

I play pretty defensively for the most part so I shy away from taking damage.  It does make for slightly longer games, but so far I have never lost a game, and the worst danger I've ever been in is at 10 points of damage, but generally it is 2-3 (sometimes zero if I play as the Forcemaster, she has so many defensives and forcefields not much gets through to her).

So in my defensive line up I generally run something like...

Primary Line of Defense (CREATURE Guards)
I really love Guardian Angel and use her a LOT, I mainly like her because she can block melee AND ranged.  But other creatures are good guards too.  ALL of the cats have deflection, even the baby kittens so if I'm low on mana I toss a kitten out since they only cost 5.  They are cute furry shields.

2nd Line of Defense (DEFLECTIONS)
For those times your opponent has Elusive or you run out of creature guards I run a few Deflection methods.
- EVERY spell book regardless of which mage I play has Reflex Boots + Cobra Reflexes + Force Orb as a bare min
- I add Dancing Scimitar + Forcefield for Forcemaster,
- Depending I add Reverse Magic, Reverse Attack, Block, Nullify all useful BUT I add these sparingly as I like the more semi permanent boots, reflexes, force orb since they can be used over and over

3rd Line of Defense (ARMOR)
For the times my opponent gets through all my guards and has Elusive or removed all my Deflections or gets through them by attacking me more than 4 times in one round...in those very rare times they get through all that and I actually have to take a hit I have Armor
- Bearskin (or any of the 2 armor breastplates is a min - this varies by mage I play)
- Rhino Hide is super cheap (I like to mix enchants in addition to equipment, to avoid dissolve/dispel)
- Leather Gloves I toss in EVERY mage's  book as it is a freebie 1 armor for 2 mana and only 1 spell book point

So umm yes if they can get through all creature guards + all deflections, reverse attacks, reverse magic, block, nullify and they actually hit me I have 3-5 armor to absorb any non critical hits, so it is pretty rare I actually get hit at all but if I do it is maybe 1-2 damage.  Several games I've played I've taken 0 points of damage the entire game.  I run nullifys and reverse magics for those times they try to use direct damage spells on me OR they try to dissolve my equipment.  So I not only protect myself but protect the stuff that is protecting me.

Some of it could be luck of the dice, but I like to be prepared for almost anything and play it safe. 
Granted I am still pretty new to the game so I don't have a huge sample size to go on (only played about 20 games) and it could be my opponents style but so far haven't lost a match with the above cards in my book protecting my mage.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 05, 2013, 10:40:32 PM
Sounds like your group needs to get acquainted with the Unavoidable trait...
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 05, 2013, 10:55:40 PM
Unavoidable wouldn't work on tier 1 or 3 of the defense only tier 2.

I actually run Unavoidable + Elusive for my Force Master and it is very nice.

But yes unavoidable would throw a wrench into a good chunk of my defense, I might even use up a dispell on that one.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 06, 2013, 12:19:46 AM
an unavoidable attack from an elusive creature or an unavoidable range attack will only be stopped by forcefield
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Fentum on July 06, 2013, 06:00:11 AM

Cbalian wrote...


I play pretty defensively for the most part so I shy away from taking damage. 

That is a strong series of defensive tiers. I am interested in how it plays out. Do you generally turtle and set up all that stuff? I have never played anyone who tried that. Is the flow of the match a passive defensive build up by you followed by your counterpunch?

 

Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 06, 2013, 07:06:57 AM

Cbalian wrote...


I play pretty defensively for the most part so I shy away from taking damage. 

That is a strong series of defensive tiers. I am interested in how it plays out. Do you generally turtle and set up all that stuff? I have never played anyone who tried that. Is the flow of the match a passive defensive build up by you followed by your counterpunch?

I don't really "turtle" or take time to set up...I like to keep the flow going and pressure on opponent mage.  So it is kind of a mix of send baby creatures for them to deal with really EARLY (kind of a mini rush/aggro) THEN while they are dealing with that I can set up...while summoning equipment/defensives etc.

To do this in a decent amount of time (or it would take forever to set up and I would get overrun) I use EVERY action possible.  The more things cast PER TURN the better to get set up faster than my opponent can handle it.  If they are too busy defending and staying alive they spend their resources on that and they can't really even mount an attack on me.  So honestly even all the defenses listed are the back up but I don't generally rely on them (but they are nice to have).

I am a HUGE fan of familiars and spawn points.  Like the last Beastmaster game I won I never summoned a single creature with my mage and still won.  I let the familiar cast the enchantments.  That gives me 4 actions per turn.  I'd love to run battle forge but it is spell book cost prohibitive in that deck, but I do run it in others. 

Mana regen is key to make use of those familiars and extra actions.  I get the mana flowers/mana crystals/ pendants / harmonize out early.  Getting 14+ mana per turn adds up to a lot of power over 10 mana per turn since it all adds up.  When I play the Wizard I deprive them of mana and toss upkeeps on them right away.  If your opponent is getting 6 mana a turn and you are getting 14 what are they really going to do to you with 6 mana?  At that point they can only get overwhelmed.

Since this is a pretty mana heavy set up I don't run attack spells (since they cost mana).  Well I run a couple, like Force Hammer to squash a temple or stuff like that, but I hate Temple of Light so that is dead usually within 1-2 turn of it hitting the board.  Other than that I mainly like to do damage with weapons, it's SO mana efficient.  So after the defenses are set up I pull out a bow and shoot them while they come at me, then a sword or something when they get closer.

It kind of all depends on the mage.

I guess for the Wizard I do "turtle" a little bit, but for the Forcemaster especially I like to get in on the action (battle fury with her sword doing 10+ dice of damage per round is deadly to the enemy).

For the Wizard my favorite combo is Gorgon Archer + Basilisk.  You can turtle all day long with those.  If they get close to you Basilisk to hold them in place the Gorgon pinging away with decent damage but esp with Weak, by the time they actually get to you they are doing 1 dice of damage and aren't a threat.  They also spend so much time killing the Archer because they see that as a threat, and with it regening that gives me so much time and mana on the Wizard to keep tossing other stuff at them...hence they never really attack my Mage if they are too busy dealing with creature threats.

So it isn't all defense, sometimes keeping pressure on them so they aren't attacking me is a "defense" too.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 06, 2013, 04:27:16 PM
The amount of set up required for these defenses and such leaves me pretty skeptical, honestly.  What the heck is your opponent doing while you increase channeling, make spawnpoints, summon large/small/etc creatures, put on armor and defenses, and more?

In the games I play, I'm either full-on attacking or defending by turn 3 or 4 at the latest, with very little opportunity to set up anything beyond a mana crystal, a class-respective ring, and the couple of heavy creatures I need to attack or defend with.  After I learned good openings and taught them to my opponents, spawnpoints and other very expensive luxuries quickly fell out of favor.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 06, 2013, 05:47:19 PM
The opponent is dealing with small/cheap threats sent while I do the above.  I make them defend early (usually in their corner) so I have time to do my thing.  If they are too busy responding they don't have time/mana to set up themselves.  By the time you get to a point where you are regenning 6 more mana EACH turn than your opponent that mana adds up.

Spawnpoints and familiars never fall out of favor with me, would I rather cast 4 spells a turn or 2?  Casting 4 things per turn you can overrun your opponent.  If you don't have a spawn point or familiar you area giving up on Action Phases...I think having more action phases wins games.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 06, 2013, 06:10:48 PM
I don't believe that a level 1 creature, even a couple of them, would "make" me do anything, frankly.  A Pet steelclaw, Redclaw posse, Adramelech, Samandriel, or Holy Avenger Knight will, but not a Feral Bobcat or a Fox. 

If your opponent is getting tripped up by level 1 creatures while you cast Familiars and Spawnpoints in the corner, I'm not terribly confident in that quality of opponent.

I'd like to hear your opponent's openings that they use against you.  Maybe I'm missing something.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Fentum on July 07, 2013, 03:18:25 AM

That is what I was wondering. I thought that cbalian might be using a different flow, such as totally focusing on personal defence first. The flow described seems pretty standard, and when I've seen that in a game, the early level ones get stomped or more likely ignored. The opposing Mage is whacking you by turn three latest.

Online, however, I occasionally play guys who just sit and bring out conjurations. Against that flow, it is very possible to completely avoid damage. I wonder if local meta is in play here?
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 07, 2013, 10:10:19 AM

That is what I was wondering. I thought that cbalian might be using a different flow, such as totally focusing on personal defence first. The flow described seems pretty standard, and when I've seen that in a game, the early level ones get stomped or more likely ignored. The opposing Mage is whacking you by turn three latest.

Online, however, I occasionally play guys who just sit and bring out conjurations. Against that flow, it is very possible to completely avoid damage. I wonder if local meta is in play here?

That could be it.  The thing is, I've played with and against Defenses, Blocks, Reverse Attacks, whatever, and against an unwary opponent, they give you a ton of value, it's true.  However, against a decent opponent, he or she is either going to just Seeking Dispel it, trigger it with a smaller attack such that you don't gain much value, or simply wait and then force an attack spell through with Sniper Shot, Falcon Precision, or Perfect Strike the next turn. 

Defenses are fine (I don't really like casting them much, but natural defenses are very good, like the ones on Knights or Cevere), but they are less about actually avoiding damaging and more about keeping your opponent "honest."  In other words, if I play a Block face-down, the value comes more from my opponent waiting to attack or cast an attack spell rather than actually being stubborn and playing into it.  A proper opponent can usually read your plays well; it's about whether or not they can actually afford to be waiting another turn to get the intended value out of their plays.

And even if your opponent has to force attacks through with small spells, who cares?  Value from Defenses (which can fail by themselves) and such only really matters if you're alive at the end of the round.  If he's consistently rolling more dice on you than you are on him, you're probably too dead to consider your options.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 07, 2013, 12:46:26 PM
Red your last sentence kind of sums up everything VERY well...
"If he's consistently rolling more dice on you than you are on him, you're probably too dead to consider your options."

Maybe instead of "defensive" I play "offensive" enough that your statement is what is happening, and that is why I almost never take any damage...keep them busy so they can't pay attention to you.

Oh and I totally agree it could be the opponent.  I've been building decks like in Magic the Gathering for years so I may just have more experience at that deck building style and I try to balance synergy with win condition(s).  I try never to rely on any ONE thing just in case they do find a way around it.  The other thing is I put sections in my spell book for early game (mana + spawnpoints) which feeds my mid game (creatures + spells if needed) which sets up for the end game (defensive "base" if needed or all out offensive with big creatures).  Biggest thing I do is rarely ever summon big creatures early or mid game, I save them for the end to swoop in for the kill when the opponent is out of ways to deal with big threats.  Big angels, big bears, big hydras, big whatever.  The only mage that strat doesn't work for for me is the Forcemaster, and for her I just go all out offensive and use a lot of double attacks.

If I am regening more mana and casting more stuff than my opponent eventually it is a game of attrition.  That is why I am big on spawnpoints + familiars and defenses.  Folks can say they aren't worth it, but I don't look at it on return on mana investment I look at it as I am casting 2 more spells per turn than someone else.  Extra action phases win games plus it makes them SPEND resources like a spell or a creature to get through defenses while I am regening resources.

Anyways I'm just saying what has worked for me.  Your experience may differ, and maybe it is my opponent that is "allowing" me to do this, but like I said I like to put stuff in the deck to deal with them and have multiple ways to win so opponent or not a lot of it is deck building and planning the early, mid, late game and keeping control so they have to deal with you so they can't build up or attack you.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Fentum on July 07, 2013, 02:58:58 PM
Hi Cbalian,

There is a lot of interesting stuff there. It would be great to get a match via OCTGN if you have the time.

I think your comment ref offence vs defence may be spot on. Although you mentioned tiered defences. It could be that your offence puts the opponent on the back foot thus you avoid damage.

The matches I have played wherein I took little to no damage are ones where I was very offensive.

I am often noted as being very offensive...     ;)
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 07, 2013, 05:00:09 PM
If I am regening more mana and casting more stuff than my opponent eventually it is a game of attrition.  That is why I am big on spawnpoints + familiars and defenses.  Folks can say they aren't worth it, but I don't look at it on return on mana investment I look at it as I am casting 2 more spells per turn than someone else.  Extra action phases win games plus it makes them SPEND resources like a spell or a creature to get through defenses while I am regening resources.

My problem with most spawnpoints and familiars is that while they do give you additional actions, the actions that you are doing with them are not very powerful.  Quality of actions, particularly when it comes to creatures, is very important, because creatures gain more and more value as you summon higher and higher levels of them, and as they stay on the board rolling lots of dice and doing stuff.  Spawnpoints are expensive, such that you aren't going to be able to cast enough powerful creatures after you play it to survive against powerful creatures your opponent will have that will outnumber you. 

Foxes and Imps and so on will only get you so far, and apart from the beginning 1-3 turns of the game, you rarely have the opportunity to cast large, high level creatures that can reliably help you kill your opponent.  Thus, why I wrote a small strategy article which, in a nutshell, recommends casting fat creatures early on.

Not saying spawnpoints are totally worthless, they're just situational, and there are a lot less situational plays you could be doing that would see more powerful, immediate results.  In the games in which I or my regular, more experienced opponent cast a spawnpoint, and the other cast hefty creatures to attack and defend with, it was an uphill battle the entire game, and at no point did I or he say "wow, this spawnpoint is really helping me out."  In my games as the BM in which I cast Lair, my foxes just died too fast even with Redclaw out, and in my games as Warlock and the Pentagram, I wasn't usually in a position to capitalize on an Imp removing a guard (in fact, they were usually on guard duty).

I could see where Spawnpoints could have a use in matchups in which neither mage has a particularly good early game with which to force the other on the defensive and attempt to end the match earlier rather than later.  Even then, though, there are much cheaper and varied ways of gaining extra actions and channeling that most Spawnpoints seem like overkill.

That's why I asked what your opponents are playing/doing, because that would allow me to better understand the context in which your high opinion of Familiars and Spawnpoints could appear more justified.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: nitrodavid on July 07, 2013, 06:12:04 PM
lvl 1 creature swarm's best asset is group buffs. spells like
tooth&nail
marked for death
redclaw buff
sacred ground
fortified position
standard barer (warlord only)
unicorn
tree of life

if you create a swarm with a combination of group buffs you could produce a formidable force
 any swarm with a unicorn in the centre is going to be hard to compete with unless you have anti swarm tech.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: cbalian on July 08, 2013, 07:27:58 AM
I see what you are saying red and I'm still trying to learn too (like I said I'm still pretty new to the game) so maybe I don't fully understand some of the mechanics.

The question I have for you when you say "quality of action" I am confused.  Let's set aside the debate if a spawnpoint is worth the mana investment or not and get to the action (or quality of actions).  A spawnpoint summons the same creatures that your mage does so the quality is the same.  A creature is a creature.

If you are saying it is more efficient/higher quality action to summon a big creature vs a spawn point, that might be true but after the spawn point is out you can summon TWO creatures instead of ONE.  That is where I am trying to say the power (and extra action phase) is valuable (at least to me) regardless of the mana investment.

If I am going creature heavy I use my mage to summon medium to big creatures (since they will have better position depending where I am on the board) and the spawnpoint summons the little swarmlings (practically free).  A lair with harmony is regenning 3 extra mana per round, a lvl 1 creature costs 5, so for a mean 2 mana investment I get an EXTRA creature out each turn.  Sure it is a baby and no that won't win me anything but an extra creature for 2 mana that doesn't cost my mage an action phase is worth it to me.

No it isn't the fastest opening strategy but (over time) the extra mana + extra creatures do add up, to help the end game.  A strong beginning and opening position is awesome but it's how the game ends not how it starts that matters most to me.  Which is why I like to save the "big creatures" for the end because the opponent has less resources available to deal with it.  So the baby level 1's are fodder/nuisance, get a few dice in, do some guards as needed but then end it with the big guys after the opponent is overwhelmed a bit.

If I do summon anything kind of big early it would have to be ranged or maybe a flyer to deal with flyers.  Like one of my favorite creatures in the game is the Gorgon Archer, making your oppnent weak and roll less dice is so attractive, plus her regen is awesome.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on July 08, 2013, 05:27:18 PM
1. I see what you are saying red and I'm still trying to learn too (like I said I'm still pretty new to the game) so maybe I don't fully understand some of the mechanics.

2. The question I have for you when you say "quality of action" I am confused.  Let's set aside the debate if a spawnpoint is worth the mana investment or not and get to the action (or quality of actions).  A spawnpoint summons the same creatures that your mage does so the quality is the same.  A creature is a creature.

3. If you are saying it is more efficient/higher quality action to summon a big creature vs a spawn point, that might be true but after the spawn point is out you can summon TWO creatures instead of ONE.  That is where I am trying to say the power (and extra action phase) is valuable (at least to me) regardless of the mana investment.

4. If I am going creature heavy I use my mage to summon medium to big creatures (since they will have better position depending where I am on the board) and the spawnpoint summons the little swarmlings (practically free).  A lair with harmony is regenning 3 extra mana per round, a lvl 1 creature costs 5, so for a mean 2 mana investment I get an EXTRA creature out each turn.  Sure it is a baby and no that won't win me anything but an extra creature for 2 mana that doesn't cost my mage an action phase is worth it to me.

5. No it isn't the fastest opening strategy but (over time) the extra mana + extra creatures do add up, to help the end game.  A strong beginning and opening position is awesome but it's how the game ends not how it starts that matters most to me.  Which is why I like to save the "big creatures" for the end because the opponent has less resources available to deal with it.  So the baby level 1's are fodder/nuisance, get a few dice in, do some guards as needed but then end it with the big guys after the opponent is overwhelmed a bit.

6. If I do summon anything kind of big early it would have to be ranged or maybe a flyer to deal with flyers.  Like one of my favorite creatures in the game is the Gorgon Archer, making your oppnent weak and roll less dice is so attractive, plus her regen is awesome.

1. Yup, sorry if I seemed like a jerk.  I wasn't trying to imply that you're awful at the game or something, I just usually play competitively so that's the mindset I bring to the discussion and sometimes it comes off as more than a little hard-nosed.  So, when I see someone write something I might view as wrong, I feel obligated to express my clearly superior view  :P

2&3. Spawnpoints can technically summon the same creatures, correct, but my point was that you will not be able to afford the more powerful ones after you have paid for a spawnpoint.  It's not like right after (or heck, even many turns after) you conjure a Pentagram you can just start summoning turn after turn of Slayers.  The mana just isn't there, so you have to summon Imps or Bats instead. 

I'm not debating the fact that all creatures are creatures (which is redundant), I'm saying that it different levels of creatures have different impacts/uses, and that while Spawnpoints may let you summon smaller ones faster, you will ultimately get better gains, both immediate and longterm, in terms of actions and mana if you just summon very powerful ones instead. 

Additionally, it has been my experience that beyond the initial 3-4 beginning turns, assuming you are not the Straywood Beastmaster, summoning creatures is a luxury that you cannot often afford.  A good opponent will push you around, get his/her creatures in your face and beat the junk out of you unless you are prepared to fight back, or at least trade blows. Once you've started to fight, there are usually more pressing actions that you need to do, like heal yourself, your creatures, buff them, control opponent's creatures, etc.

4. I understand that you believe that you're gaining value from investing in the Lair, and the Lair is probably the best spawnpoint arguably to invest in if I had to choose, but that 20+ mana or so you're spending on the Lair could give you some serious muscle with which to beat down your opponent. 

There are some matchups in which the BM can't just bare-knuckle beat the crap out of his/her opponent (like against the Warlord), and in those matchups gaining some extra channeling is a good idea...but spending upwards of 20 mana on a Lair and Harmonize is just overkill.  At that point, destroying the Lair becomes insanely efficient when in reality a Mana Flower or two will get the job down at half the cost or less.

5&6. This is where we fundamentally disagree the most.  Again, I don't know really how your opponents play so it's very hard for me to make sense of whats going on in your games, but in every game in which I have spent all my starting mana on huge aggressive creatures, my opponent must do the same or will be steamrolled, and vise versa.  It's simple math really; if you throw more mana at your opponent that he or she does at you, you're 9 times out of 10 going to come out on top.

This is not to say that there is no late-game in Mage Wars, or that improving your channeling/actions serves no purpose.  It's just that, in most matchups, one of the mages is already at a mana advantage from the get-go.  Yes, you could improve your channeling a whole lot if you're playing BM against a Priestess, but I don't really know why you would...the Priestess's abilities specifically rewards her the more spells she casts and thus the longer the game goes on, while neither BM are rewarded in that way.  The BM also has a better aggressive early game. 

In matchups in which mages have the same base channeling, then things become more complicated and subject to which creatures you open with, but usually, one mage stands to benefit more as the aggressor and the other stands to benefit more as the defender. 
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Mohobie on July 30, 2013, 01:04:13 PM
While I'm still rather fresh to mage wars, I have found very little fits into every deck well. You have to keep in mind that the point cost will very based on the mage. Not to mention that some mage stratagies might for example have you propelling your mage across the field hence needing cheetah speed, where others might have you drawing them into you in which case a cheetah speed card might be less valuable then something else. I think key elements need to be included, like healing, protection, etc but the the actual cards will probably vary.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: reddawn on August 01, 2013, 08:35:27 AM
That's true.  For example, even though the new Johktari BM is the same class as the old Straywood BM, I've found that they encourage different approaches to play and spells.  They both use animals, but the new BM rewards using the Legendary creatures much more, since they tend to be anti-creature and Wounded Prey, which is also anti-creature, actually works with legends whereas Pet doesn't.

She also is rewarded for using bows too, which is an important distinction because the nature school lacks easy access to powerful ranged attacks/attack spells.  I find the Hunting Bow too expensive (situational Piercing +1 and Bleed is not worth 3 more mana...), but the Ivarium Bow works out just fine.

This isn't to say the J. BM is somehow better, just that they're a lot more different than you would initially think.  I tried some of the Straywood BM's strategies with the other BM, and it just didn't work very well most of the time.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: kiwipaul on June 11, 2014, 03:00:49 PM
So, even though this thread is a bit dated it is still relevant.  Since this came out we have had druid vs necromancer.  I was wondering what people think as the must haves still?  Or now with the extra set, more experience and a new expansion ready to come out.

Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Lord0fWinter on June 11, 2014, 03:20:40 PM
So, even though this thread is a bit dated it is still relevant.  Since this came out we have had druid vs necromancer.  I was wondering what people think as the must haves still?  Or now with the extra set, more experience and a new expansion ready to come out.

I don't know if any new "essential" cards have come out, but some very useful ones definitely have (or are about to), including:


Along with those, it's my opinion that the new set will make Banish/Turn to Stone much more common than before to deal with Sardonyx/Talos since nobody should ever try killing either of them :) But that's just a prediction, we'll have to wait to see.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Cnoedel on August 07, 2014, 07:54:02 PM
Digging out the old topic - for me there are some spells i use in almost every spellbook:
2xBlock
2xNullify
2xDispel
2xTeleport
2xDissolve
1-2xSeeking Dispel
1-2xForce Push
1x Enchantment Transfusion
1xDecoy (1 Decoy is just to good for its price)
1xPerfect Strike
1x Defend
1xHoly Strike (Promo; Novice [Holy1] for 2 Mana: attack gains Etheral trait)
0-2xRust
0-2xAcid Ball
0-1xDisarm
0-1xArmor Ward

Some of the mentioned cards are Novice, they do not hinder the Spellbook very much and add a lot of strategic value. A perfect strike will hopefully kill somerthing like a tataree, holy strike against incorporeal, disarm as a short time way to remove equipment...

So I sometimes add a finishing attack spell and one REALLY big creature (like Hydra, Angel, Earth Elemental, whatever) to counter other fatties.

Then there is a mandatory Ring for pretty much every Mage and most of the time there is a weapon of choice - the cards may differ but for me they are an auto-include. If there is any space left i take some novice-equipment since they don't use much space and are always helpful
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: echephron on March 15, 2015, 09:58:24 PM
I think of it more as "After you finish making a spellbook, look at this list of spells to see if you forgot about some." someone somewhere listed these categories, and did it better than me, but here you go. A better person would fill in the spells for each category too.

Enchantments negation:(nullify, dispel, harshforge stuff...)
Enchantment negation negation: enchanters wardstone
Equipment negation: dissolve, acid ball, disarm
Equipment negation negation: armor ward
Condition removal: wand of healing, purify, or renewing spring are 95% of them
immobalization/moving enemies:
Anti-immobalization/moving allies:
channelling: mana flower/crystal, discount rings
creature protection:(armor, defenses, aegis, regen, healing, block, ect):
anti-creature protection:(armor reducers, some of the equipment negation again, falcon precision)
Damage source: (strong overlap with anti-creature protection)

and probably some other categories.

Anyway, that generates a list of ~20-30 spells. some categories wont matter every time(like armor reduction in a damage over time book), and some will really matter, like a way to remove mind control or forcefield.
Title: Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
Post by: Phoenix on April 24, 2015, 07:56:13 PM
I realize that this thread is fairly old, however I  have just gone through a deck building frenzy.  After building many decks I have run out of the following cards.  Thinking that this would be an indicator of the most used cards, I would post it here.
Tanglevine
Force Hammer
Rhino hide
Force Push
Nullify
Dispell
Disolve
Teleport.
     I realize that I have at least one copy of each of those spells in every spell book I build.  I hope this helps