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Mage Wars => Strategy and Tactics => Topic started by: abyssalstalker on December 04, 2013, 03:09:07 PM

Title: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: abyssalstalker on December 04, 2013, 03:09:07 PM
Hey guys,

I've been reading around the forums and it seems like everyone is talking about the Necromancer. This is fine and all but I'd love to see some minds come together on developing Druid strategy and tactics!

I've found out the hard way that in a Druid vs. Necro matchup the Druid just doesn't have time to build up too much. The Necromancer comes out with way too many creatures whether he uses one spawnpoint or two. I had lost my first three games vs the necro since his focus was creature offense and mine was late game. This poor strategy has been discussed to death on the forums but I had heard the Druid was all about growth and spreading so I initially thought she may have more of an edge in that regard. Regardless, I found that if I use my vines aggressively and only focus on a basic economy the Druid works well against a Necromancer.

I'd love to have some discussion on Druid-style spells so I'll throw in my thoughts for each:

Vine Tree My personal favorite tree. Unlike the Samara Tree you can utilize spells that are deployed right away rather than having to wait. I cast this first turn in my starting zone and treebond with it. I generally protect this tree at all costs.

Samara Tree At first I was amazed at the amount of actions that could be saved but then I analyzed and playtested this card and realized its rather weak. Casting only seedling pods means that the investment in this tree is astronomical. It takes three rounds for a seedling pod to be able to deploy, and potentially 2+ to break even with its casting cost. This, coupled along with their vulnerability since your enemy can attack one and waste its mana. The only saving grace this tree has is making seedling pods gain cantrip. However, being zone exclusive and its cost make that rather prohibitive.

Mohktari Tree - I'm personally not a huge fan. Doesn't affect her conjurations. Even if it did almost all her plants have regen 1 or regen 2 already. It's benefit also works for the enemy if they having living creatures in its zone. It not being zone-exclusive is its only saving grace in my opinion and is situational.

Etherian Lifetree When I first read this I thought it would be extremely powerful for swarm builds and her plans in general. Then I read the recent FAQ and realized the +2 life is for everything on the board, including enemies. Also, because its innate life even the undead gain the benefit! This tree quickly became situational in which its main benefit would be if you had far more creatures than your opponent and gained more of an advantage. That being said, if I was on the losing end of creatures vs this tree Id just focus all I could on the mage rather than get tangled up.

Nightshade Lotus Ive only played against the necromancer at this point so I havent been able to really test this in the field but the spell itself seems decent. It seems that you save 1 mana at all levels over a regular sleep enchantment. Plus, its a vine so you could deploy this with the vine tree (or even quick cast it) when you have initiative to almost guarantee a sleep without a proper reaction. Seems good against an opponent that has one or two big creatures. Would be almost useless against a swarm.

Seedling Pod I see the potential in casting seedling pods all over the board and making your opponent worried but at the same time its a pretty steep investment if you only cast it from your mage. They are extremely vulnerable and take a long time to pay off. This section goes hand-in-hand with my gripes of the Samara Tree. I just dont see these being viable.

Stranglevine Its an aggressive tanglevine. Since it initially only has 6 health (2 less than tanglevine) it can be one-shotted if you cast it too early in a round. In order to properly utilize this spell I feel it should be used in the final quick cast phase so it gains at least one round of its upkeep benefits. This is a double edged sword since you cant play it cheaply through a seedling pod or vine tree. Overall, I think it can be a good card against someone that uses one or two big creatures. I could also see this being very good against an unprepared forcemaster.

Tanglevine It has 8 health which I find more reasonable than its big brother Stranglevine. This card can be used to keep a nasty monster from coming at you or to lock one down so it cant escape (at least on foot). Ive been in absolute woe since teleport completely destroys this. I cant count the number of times I wanted to deploy a tanglevine on an enemy and then teleport them into my vine snappers. Sure, I can use a quick cast teleport then full cast a tanglevine but what if he has a teleport prepared? Id rather have two ready if I was going for this kind of play.

Mohktari Branch Its a nice way to remove burn or taint from your plant objects. I wish she could use it to heal without removing conditions but that was overruled. Id definitely keep it in her book.

Druids Leaf Ring I find my vine tree casts more plants than I do due to mana constraints. That being said, I usually try to find some way to use this every round I have it on. I have been currently quick casting it on the first turn and then casting my lifebond tree for one less mana.

Vinewhip Staff It seems kind of expensive for what it does. The Vine tree allows you to deploy two vines a turn and I cant imagine many scenarios when you actually need three in one turn. The stuck command is unfortunate since it takes a quick action, four mana and a vine. Id rather just use a deployed tanglevine. Overall, a pretty weak weapon IMHO.

Bloodspine Wall Much better than the wall of thorns; Id go as far as to say it makes it obsolete (for the Druid). Not only does it cost less mana, but the attack affects any monster that passes through. Plus its unavoidable. Plus it can bleed living creatures with 66.4% chance. Extremely reasonable to use extendable on since it has a low mana cost and the spell is only level 1. Also, using thornlashers to snatch creatures through the walls is delightful. Id definitely keep a couple in my book.

Corrosive Orchid This flower has bite! I love that its attacks can corrode and that it has the conjuration rule of attacking before or after a friendly creatures action. If this is deployed and you have initiative you can attack and dissolve and potentially corrode with just this flower. Thats pretty good. My  only complaint is that it cant move and can only target 0-0. I had an enemy walk out of its zone which was aggravating since its not really worth a teleport or push just into this flower alone.

Togorah Disappointing without some kind of quick melee attack. This means that even though he is always guarding, its purpose is strictly to be used as a meat shield and nothing more.  The worst part is its armor isnt even that high. Considering this thing costs 2 mana to move and cant swing if it does I find its 21 mana investment a complete liability. I dont even feel using cobra reflexes on this is worth the time summoning this guy.

Kralathor This guy is the man. He can be summoned through the vine tree which is great since he can be deployed. He has good stats and the growth potential is phenomenal. He definitely becomes a high-priority target when he comes out. I feel like he does best against someone with several medium creatures. Lots of creatures can over run him and bigger creatures may be hard to get the final blow on. Situational in my opinion but is very strong when used correctly.

Vine Snapper Hands down my favorite plant with a huge flaw; it cannot uproot. To be fair, for 7 mana the stats on this plant are unreal. They make the perfect cheap guard that can be summoned through vines, discounted through the druid ring or even pop out of seedling pods. It crushes me that the enemy can walk around these guys, though. I really wish I could put more than four in my spell book. I think they are awesome to pop out of a vine on an enemy spawn point (if he uses one) or channeling buildings.

Spitting Raptor Its meant for the beastmaster IMHO. I dont use it on my druid since it has no plant or vine traits and doesnt synergize well with her. As such, I have no comment on its use since this thread is about the Druid.

Raptor Vine A fantastic plant. While it loses a lot of its value against non-living creatures since it has Vampiric, I still think it holds its own weight. Having five dice for 9 mana is pretty impressive, especially since it can be discounted through either her ring, her vine tree, or even a seedling pod. This plant is her bread and butter in my opinion. Since it has such nice stats it needed to be offset by being rooted which is fine. As long as it is able to move then its viable. I keep four in my deck.

Tataree I love that he can heal the conjurations or give mana. He is the only quick creature in the game so far so thats pretty neat. I summon this guy relatively early and set him to work on my conjurations right away. I wish he was not Legendary so I could summon more than one. On an even funnier note, against another druid the first person to spawn it is going to have some laughs.

Thornlasher A really thematic and interesting plant. 7 mana is cheap for its stats and that snatch can be used in very tactical ways. My favorite is pulling things through bloodspine walls. You can also use it to pull things out of position like guards or even a very tasty mage snack into a group of vine snappers or other plants.

Barkskin Can be abused by summoning for a tough round, using regen during upkeep and then not paying its cost. If you have the druid ring summoning this for 3 mana and utilizing cantrip is pretty awesome. Sure, it takes an action but I find myself wondering what to do with my quick cast at times since the Druids plants generally save her all the actions she needs.

Burst of Thorns Solid nuke, but I dont like how I cant target a vine from any range. It feels out of place when you can generally cast her spells through vines  without worry. Destroying the Vine marker is unfortunate. I would probably only use this nuke against a rather strong creature that has armor and can bleed.

Renewing Rain I wish there was a cheaper single target version of this spell. Being a full action and 9 mana is prohibitive. With those flaws this card unfortunately becomes situational at best.

Acid ball Good if you anticipate high-armored targets. Since it only costs her one spell point Id throw in at least one if not 2.

Veterans Belt - The druid has the potential to have a lot of armor if you desire. Converting critical damage to normal damage is pretty powerful. She's one of the few mages I can really see taking use of this item.

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Bear Strength I love how its only one point for her. Id definitely buff myself with it since I feel the Druid can spare the actions to attack. Throwing it on Kralathor, Vine Snappers or Raptor Vines (more vampiric!) is awesome too. Id include minimum of one in the deck.

Rouse the Beast a pretty awesome card. This can work in great conjunction with deploying her plants and then activating them that round. Since her plants are fairly strong for their cost (and level) plus her not needing many actions I see this as almost a staple.

Hurl Boulder An incredible powerful, mana efficient quick cast nuke. I generally include these in any mage book in case Im in a pinch. Id throw one her way as well.

Hurl Rock (promo) 4 mana for 5 dice is incredible. A reasonable nuke to finish off a creature you were close to killing. 66.4% chance to daze is nothing to sneeze at, either.

Surging Wave Unavoidable and only one point for her spell book. Nice D12 conditions that can potentially  bring enemies into / away from your plants.

Geyser recently ruled that you can extinguish plants with it. Id add it in my book if I anticipated going against some heavy fire spells. If just normal fire is anticipated (IE, no warlock) then I think the mohktari branch ring is good enough.

Dissolve Id probably include one in my deck since corrosive orchids can do it for me in general. Its nice to have a cheaper, quick cast version, though.

Dispel / Seeking Dispel Obviously a must for any mage. Include liberally.

Force Push I think this is borderline a staple on a mage wand for the Druid. It could save her mana rather than bringing several raptor vines forward through uproot. Also, it can bring someone into her unmovable vine snappers / corrosive orchids so they be of use since mages tend to avoid their zones.

Teleport Obviously a staple to any mage. I find it even more so for the Druid considering she can teleport the enemy mage or high end creatures into her unmovable vinesnapers / corrosive orchids. This is also the ONLY WAY for her to move a vine snapper that is in a unwanted zone.

Cobra reflexes Probably the Druids best option for a defense since Reflex Boots are War. Id include one in my book for sure since its in her school.

Heal / group heal / minor heal good if your plants are in a pinch. Group heal is especially good if you have a lot of plants in a zone and are trying to strong arm the opponent.

Eagle Wings Im unsure how Eagle Wings would work on rooted plants. Maybe someone can enlighten me and tell me if its useful?

Falcon Precision Face value unavoidable buff is nice to deal with the forcemaster or creatures with defense (knights, etc). Id include at least one.

Hawkeye If you have the spare actions you can throw this on Thornlashers for some extra damge!

Lion Savagery (promo) I think casting this on Raptor Vines is pretty reasonable since they are most likely going to move. Plus they can gain more vampiric. Pretty solid choice.

Regrowth Same issue here with the regrowth belt. Barkskin seems to make this not necessary since the trait doesnt stack.

Rhino Hide Amazing to cast on yourself or Kralathor. Couple this with a Veterans Belt and Barkskin and you are truly a tank!

Enchanters Ring - It's cheap and a good investment if you plan on buffing yourself. Since the vine tree and seedling pods can take care of most things I can see a scenario where you quick cast enchantments and use your full action to attack.

Bearskin - This was the armor I defaulted to due to it being the nature school. I wish the Frost -2 wasn't so useless, though (at least for now). I would have thrown in a Dragonscale Hauberk since burn is deadly but it costs triple for the Druid.


Regrowth Belt - Doesn't seem necessary since Regeneration doesn't stack and her Barkskin can be "abused" by first regenerating and then not paying the upkeep (or just keeping it on her when she's low HP and/or in danger).

Mana Flower - Seems to be her default channeling building since it's in the Nature School. It has the plant sub-type so her seedling pods can grow up and become plants if you have the time to build your economy.

Altar of the Iron Guard (promo) - While this is war (triple points for Druid) it may be a good idea to have one on the board. Summoning a vine snapper (or other plans) through vines in a strategic location with guard seems extremely useful for offense or defense.

Wall of Thorns - Is not a vine which is a bummer. Since level 1 creatures aren't attacked I find this wall rather weak. It wont help you in most swarms. I feel like the higher creatures that will be affected wont be phased since most have decent armor and it's multiple two-die attacks.

Fellella I could see her being useful buffing the druid and acting as a source of income if she sticks around for several rounds. The main issue is the druid herself has to full cast her. Situational for sure, but Fellella is a consideration.

My biggest complaint I have about the druid is her creatures / conjurations that cant be moved and mages simply avoid their zone. The Vine Snapper and Corrosive Orchid are the main two that cause me woes. I feel like Im wasting their potential if I spread either of them out and dont make a kill zone. Speaking of a kill zone, I think its pretty cool to set up a few vine snappers and orchids together and teleport a mage in. This has the same feeling of the Golem Pit.

I would love to see more treants at varying mana levels. They can be small or medium treants that have various purposes. The plants are great thematically but a real druid has some treants on her side!

I am disappointed at her lack of variety with her plant creatures. I honestly wouldn't even mind if I could put more than four vine snappers,  thornlashers or raptor vines in my book, but I cant. That means I have very few creatures that synergize with the Druid well. Please release at least four more creatures for her in future expansions!

I wish there was some way to heal her conjurations, especially her bonded tree, besides just renewing rain (only two points is weak) and taratee. It seems the only way to keep them safe is guards and just keeping them away in general. I'd love for a single target conjuration heal, living or not.

Id love for any recommendations for spells, usage or any general strategy to help make my druid more potent. Thanks for the read and suggestions!
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: sdougla2 on December 04, 2013, 03:45:52 PM
I haven't played as a Druid yet, so I'll have to see how things play out. Still, here are my thoughts on your comments so far.

I believe that Mohktari Tree only works on friendly living creatures.

Etherian Lifetree only works on living creatures and conjurations. It does not affect undead, as they are all Nonliving.

Still, I don't know that I would want to bond either of those trees either. Vine Tree seems like the obvious choice, which makes me want to try bonding Samara Tree just to see how it would work.

I agree that Bloodspine Wall is better for the Druid than Wall of Thorns, but I hardly think Wall of Thorns has been replaced. Wall of Thorns has much higher damage potential against an unarmored mage, and it works well with swarms of level 1 animals, as they can move through Wall of Thorns without being attacked. This doesn't matter to Thunderdrift Falcons, but helps Bitterwood Foxes for example.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: ACG on December 04, 2013, 03:49:48 PM
I like the druid more than the necromancer, but I haven't played her against an especially aggressive opponent yet.

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Samara Tree – At first I was amazed at the amount of actions that could be saved but then I analyzed and playtested this card and realized it’s rather weak. Casting only seedling pods means that the investment in this tree is astronomical. It takes three rounds for a seedling pod to be able to deploy, and potentially 2+ to break even with its casting cost. This, coupled along with their vulnerability since your enemy can attack one and waste its mana. The only saving grace this tree has is making seedling pods gain cantrip. However, being zone exclusive and its cost make that rather prohibitive.

Samara tree is fantastic. The big advantage is in having a spawnpoint that you can use every round cheaply without having to decide immediately what it will cast. This essentially guarantees that you will be gaining the benefit of all the extra actions, whereas with other spawnpoints you often either waste actions if you don't have a good spell to cast that round, or else force yourself to spend mana on spells you don't really need to gain the benefit.

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Etherian Lifetree – When I first read this I thought it would be extremely powerful for swarm builds and her plans in general. Then I read the recent FAQ and realized the +2 life is for everything on the board, including enemies. Also, because it’s innate life even the undead gain the benefit! This tree quickly became extremely situational in which its main benefit would be if you had far more creatures than your opponent and gained “more” of an advantage. That being said, if I was on the losing end of creatures vs this tree I’d just focus all I could on the mage rather than get tangled up.

Does not affect nonliving objects. (edit: already beat me to it).

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Togorah – Disappointing without some kind of quick melee attack. This means that even though he is always guarding, its purpose is strictly to be used as a meat shield and nothing more.  The worst part is its armor isn’t even that high. Considering this thing costs 2 mana to move and can’t swing if it does I find it’s 21 mana investment a complete liability. I don’t even feel using cobra reflexes on this is worth the time summoning this guy.

Quick melee attack would border on being broken. I don't use this, but it seems comparable to Earth Elemental (less life, but more armor and regeneration, as well as the ability to be buffed by nature enchantments). I would not say it is strictly a meatshield, though it does accomplish that nicely on its way to its target.

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Tanglevine – It has 8 health which I find more reasonable than its “big” brother Stranglevine. This card can be used to keep a nasty monster from coming at you or to lock one down so it can’t escape (at least on foot). I’ve been in absolute woe since teleport completely destroys this. I can’t count the number of times I wanted to deploy a tanglevine on an enemy and then teleport them into my vine snappers. Sure, I can use a quick cast teleport then full cast a tanglevine but what if he has a teleport prepared? I’d rather have two ready if I was going for this kind of play.

Possibly the most useful spell in the druid's arsenal, considering her play style.

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Rhino Hide – Amazing to cast on yourself or Kralathor. Couple this with a Veterans Belt and Barkskin and you are truly a tank!

Considering the lack of armor on the druid's plant creatures, this is a must include in any druid deck. Makes a huge difference to her creatures.

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I am disappointed at her lack of variety with her plant creatures. I honestly wouldn't even mind if I could put more than four vine snappers,  thornlashers or raptor vines in my book, but I can’t. That means I have very few creatures that synergize with the Druid well. Please release at least four more creatures for her in future expansions!

I find thornlashers and vine snappers enough, actually. They work well together too - the advantages of polyculture, I suppose. The druid's real strength lies in her conjurations.

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My biggest complaint I have about the druid is her creatures / conjurations that can’t be moved and mages simply avoid their zone. The Vine Snapper and Corrosive Orchid are the main two that cause me woes. I feel like I’m wasting their potential if I spread either of them out and don’t make a kill zone. Speaking of a kill zone, I think it’s pretty cool to set up a few vine snappers and orchids together and teleport a mage in. This has the same feeling of the Golem Pit.

Thornlasher, tanglevine, stranglevine, and vinewhip staff can help a lot with this.

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Bloodspine Wall – Much better than the wall of thorns; I’d go as far as to say it makes it obsolete. Not only does it cost less mana, but the attack affects any monster that passes through. Plus it’s unavoidable. Plus it can bleed living creatures with 66.4% chance. Extremely reasonable to use extendable on since it has a low mana cost and the spell is only level 1. Also, using thornlashers to snatch creatures through the walls is delightful. I’d definitely keep a couple in my book.

What I like most about Bloodspine wall is that it does not block LOS.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Celestia on December 04, 2013, 04:04:32 PM
I adore the druid. I have built and will be testing later, a spellbook that uses the Vine Tree, the butterfly, and that faerie familiar to kind of build a base on half the map, while the druid runs about outside, messing with stuff. Then if the opponent focuses on the forest, I'll just break all his stuff with the Druid herself, and if they focus on the Druid, I'll just churn out some Voltrons or build a death pit while having a relatively safe place to run to.

In general I've been using either Thornlasher or uproot Creatures, but I'd like to try using the Nightshade Lotus and Corrosive Orchid heavily to see what the can do.

I was actually very happy with the Vinewhip Staff. I think it can be worth the cost to stuck opposing creatures.

My only complaints with the druid are tree selection, and treant selection. I think the only worthwhile choices are Vine Tree and Samara Tree, and the latter is so slow, it's not really even an option. Additionally, there aren't  any vine or many plant cards outside of this set. Understandable, but unfortunate.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 04, 2013, 04:12:32 PM
Disagree on the single dissolve. That card is wayyyyyyyy too good in druid to not to have at least four of. You lose an action, a card, and mana, yes, but you recover that in spades when you destroy countless pieces of equipment contingent on the strategy of the mages book! As well, it's only 4 spellpoints for four of them. One thing I absolutely love about the druid are all the cards she is supposed to have are really cheap, so you can afford a lot of sugrings, acid balls, dissolves, and geysers. You are probably going to need them, anyways. Druid functions as a support mage, lacking in any real physical or magical traits, she has the incredible able to throw vines, which will make your animal creatures that much more effective on the battlefield. You have enough ways to get free actions that you feasibly feed Kralathor for a few rounds to buff him beyond belief, and go to town supporting that beat stick. When comparing mages, I liken the Druid much more to the priestess, as seen in the Core Box. None of the winning priestess builds were solo or particularly aggressive (sans DivineNecrop as it was really fringe, often winning the first couple of games against inexperience, but relatively weak for tourny play (didn't stop me)). How she functions best is in support, and she has a wealth of spellbook points to defend her army with. From bloodspine wall + snatch, and various other incredibly interesting combos, she is also incredibly tactical, which is not even mentioning the tactical accuracy it takes to place and cast from vine tokens.

And I know there are those of saying: But the beastmaster can cast deathfangs from the lair and support them with reassemble! The pet cemetery deck isn't quite there yet, but we will see rise to it someday. No, today, we are talking about the Druid. Specifically, a card we know and have tried unsuccessfuly to use along time ago, Fellela. This chick wasn't very good in beastmaster, who is naturally much more aggressive, but the druid, oh man, the druid. An incredible play with her is round one felella, Harmonize. The next round we can cast vine tree and have HER Cast harmonize on it,  and then can cast battle forge+ Meditation. The next round can be spent casting a druid ring from the forge, casting harm on battleforge with Fellela, and finally using amulet to gain three mana, so you are now at 10 mana for the round. Finally, cast vine tree into your start zone, and then treebond that shit. You are set with effectively 5 actions a turn, channeling a million mana. Please note that I am not saying this is greatest against a hyper aggressive opponent.

You could also try something a flying army, Gravikor, and a field of mines waiting to burst tanglvines, Snatchers, and walls at you? Sounds like a good plan to me.  I would also try out the gorilla as a means to guard your sacred Tree of Awesome. and then teleporting him in to do some real damage. Circle of Lightning may be a good addition too, as well as a pacify or two. A circle of fire if you have enough spellpoints, as CoF is your single best protection against the undead.

Also, abuse healing, which you can really do with treebond. You are effectively healing 4 for that exchange. Include a hand and Renewing spring, and you are healing for a million. Worried about corrode? Cantrip chain barkskins.

As you've seen from all these strategies, support is the main aspect of her core, and where she fits best.

In anycase, I would love to see more talk of the Druid!
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: baronzaltor on December 04, 2013, 04:20:42 PM
cast from vine tokens.

And I know there are those of saying: But the beastmaster can cast deathfangs from the lair and support them with reassemble! The pet cemetery deck isn't quite there yet, but we will see rise to it someday.

Deathfangs are Canines, but they lack the Animal subtype.  So they cannot be cast from Lair.
The only synergy they offer the Beastmaster is that Redclaw can buff them.

Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 04, 2013, 04:23:30 PM
Viva La Pet Cemetery. You can't crush my dream.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: abyssalstalker on December 04, 2013, 05:52:16 PM
Sdougla2 Thank you for the corrections on Mohktari and the Etherian Life Tree. I had read innate life for the Etherian and forgot about the friendly word, haha. When I said Wall of Thorns becomes obsolete I meant for the Druid specifically. I hadnt thought about its capabilities vs an unarmored mage (a level 6 creature) so thanks for bringing that to my attention. It seems it would be good against someone who brings their mage forward often like the Warlock or Forcemaster.

ACG I do agree the Samara Tree has potential but its a risky investment. I think the main problem I have is that I invest mana into throwing those seeds around but end up not having enough mana to utilize them all. Ill have to play test the Samara more but it seems the Vine is more practical.

It is certainly true her plants lack armor but Im unsure if its worth the 4 mana investment to cast Rhino Hide on them. More testing will determine its efficiency.

I do agree that things can be done to get around the Vine Snapper and Corrosive Orchids immovability but its unfortunate they have to be approached at that angle. Im going to play a lot more Druid and find out the most effective way to keep those suckers munching and spitting!

Celestia I do feel like being able to place a Stuck condition on someone is pretty useful but it seems costly using a quick action, 4 mana, and a vine token. Ive avoided the staff but Ill try implementing it in some future games to see if it really does pay off.

The Dude I had passing thoughts of adding extra dissolves. I do agree that being face value, she can definitely benefit from more dissolves. Since I have trouble with the Corrosive Orchids and opponents avoiding them maybe Ill swap one out in favor of two dissolves.

I do agree that her school completely takes care of her. The nature school is just so broad and beneficial, and the 1 point water school is utilized very well.

Can you explain what you mean by spending actions to feed Kralathor? Do you mean through enchantments or simply by having him go around and munching enemies?

The one thing that really stands out from your post is that you consider the Druid to be supportive, like the priestess. I actually do agree with you on that wholeheartedly. It seems her conjurations are capable of their creation but she is the one that makes them fierce, healthy and strong. Most of the games I play are actually 2V2 where we utilize some custom rules (I talk about it in the alternative play section). I can definitely see the Druid being a strong ally to any mage, really. I cant wait to test her out in this environment.

As I said above, I can definitely see Fellella being a great companion to the Druid. My only concern is utilizing mana efficiently since you will have an incredible amount of actions! I havent implemented her yet but I certainly plan to. Thanks for your example play-by-play. It definitely helped me envision her usability.

Thanks for the discussion all! I can see the Druid being one of my mains along with the wizard. I really enjoy her playstyle and see a lot of potential. Lets keep the conversation going!
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: baronzaltor on December 04, 2013, 06:08:12 PM
If you routinely stack a multiple thornlashers/vine snappers in the same zone, it can be worth considering running Fortified Position and give all the plants in the zone 2 armor (despite it being triple cost).

Fortified Position + Shift Enchantment is a good way to keep a mobile protection zone for your rooted creatures/self.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: DeckBuilder on December 04, 2013, 08:09:00 PM
A great read, Abyssal Stalker! I agree with most of it. We don't have DvN in the UK yet so apologies because my post is pure theory craft.


1. You make a reference to multiple Orchids in 1 zone. You can only have 1 Orchid and 1 Lotus in each zone, even in a mirror match-up. This creates "immunity" from another vine range Dissolve when you are in a zone with an Orchid already (even if it's your own in a mirror).

2. Orchid and Lotus get round Nullify (and Transfusion Nullify). This is huge against Wizard. It's also good design as the Druid needs to Dissolve persistent fire sources like a Lash or an Elemental Wand with Fireball, as well as Sleep Lord of Fire or a Hellion Blood Reaper.

3. Spawnpoints are weak because they Deploy at start of round (your mage generally summons last action when off-initiative to minimise inactive time). This is exacerbated if all your creatures have 0 armour with regeneration. Rouse the Beast is key, especially as vine spells can summon right on the enemy mage while you are 2-3 away. Without it, your Deployed vine creature may be weeded before it ever acts.

4. Enchantments are your friend. Your second ring is Enchanter's Ring (as Mokhtari's Branch does not help you!). Eagleclaw Wings cast First QC can grant safety to a creature Deployed midst of the enemy (reveal after luring a move to it, before attack). A flying Thornlasher is lovely board control with hindering vines. Other must-haves are Bear Strength (Vine Raptors, Kralathor) and Rhino Hide (on those without Wings, regeneration good against Few Big, armour against Swarm focused damage). Also a single copy of Falcon Precision for Kralathor taking out Undead Knights or a familiar safe from Surging Wave.

5. I agree about Vinewhip and Togorah but a Druid must beware Flyers, immune to so many tricks (Bloodspine, Tanglevine, Stranglevine, Surging Wave etc). Eagle Wings again helps but Lotus is the key against Lord of Fire or Samandriel (both should be popular in the meta). There's currently no Psychic Immune Flyer (or even Poison Immune Flyer so both Flowers useful against Falcon Swarm).

6. I'd play Teleport Wand, not a Force Push Wand (I appreciate Bloodspine synergy but re-positioning Rooted or moving prey to your Vine Pit is more vital). Stay away from enemy Dissolve range. Only you can Dissolve at vine range. With a Teleport Wand and Rooted, you play Suppression Orb. Teleport Trap works with a suddenly appearing roused Thornlasher (if you want to risk the d12).

7. You really should spend 5 spell points on Dragonscale and Elemental Cloak. If your creatures are vulnerable to a particular persistent fire source (Lash, Fireball Wand/Tower/Spore, Lord of Fire, Hellion etc), you should at least tech yourself to battle the vulnerability source. With Barkskin, Rhino Hide and novice leather defences, you add Bear Strength and Mage Staff (reach, ethereal) to face these fiery threats.

8.  You need to have some answer for Deathlock, Wizard's Tower (Fireball), Obelisk (don't over-commit to too many creatures as you lack Beastmaster's Fast Swarm focus removal) and Akiro's Hammer (eats Trees for breakfast). Elemental Wand is a solution here (if already avoiding Dissolve range) with 1x Force Hammer (also ethereal) and 1x Hurl Boulder (to Slam flyers to the ground to be Tangled/mangled).

9. I feel Lifetree is great. Every one of your many conjurations and creatures will benefit. With no armour regeneration, it's important to give as much life buffer to prevent 1 round removal. Obviously golden against Nonliving, it's also great against the prevalent Few Big strategy. The only match-up where you won't play it is Beastmaster Swarm (like the build I posted in the "Help vs. Necro" S&T thread). You even get 1 off with your ring. A cheap strong option for a mere 2 spell points!


I'm sure there are many other observations but it's late here in the UK (2am) after returning from the pub. Which worries me that I'm talking rubbish. Whilst everything I've written is caveated with "in theory", I hope the above gives you food for thought. And thanks for a great read.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: ACG on December 04, 2013, 09:48:45 PM
Quote
4. Enchantments are your friend. Your second ring is Enchanter's Ring (as Mokhtari's Branch does not help you!). Eagleclaw Wings cast First QC can grant safety to a creature Deployed midst of the enemy (reveal after luring a move to it, before attack). A flying Thornlasher is lovely board control with hindering vines. Other must-haves are Bear Strength (Vine Raptors, Kralathor) and Rhino Hide (on those without Wings, regeneration good against Few Big, armour against Swarm focused damage). Also a single copy of Falcon Precision for Kralathor taking out Undead Knights or a familiar safe from Surging Wave.

Regrettably, rooted creatures like Thornlasher cannot gain the flying trait.

Quote
6. I'd play Teleport Wand, not a Force Push Wand (I appreciate Bloodspine synergy but re-positioning Rooted or moving prey to your Vine Pit is more vital). Stay away from enemy Dissolve range. Only you can Dissolve at vine range. With a Teleport Wand and Rooted, you play Suppression Orb. Teleport Trap works with a suddenly appearing roused Thornlasher (if you want to risk the d12).

Thornlashers can fill the same role and are cheaper than Teleport wand. Thornlashers in adjacent zones can even move a creature multiple zones.

Quote
8.  You need to have some answer for Deathlock, Wizard's Tower (Fireball), Obelisk (don't over-commit to too many creatures as you lack Beastmaster's Fast Swarm focus removal) and Akiro's Hammer (eats Trees for breakfast). Elemental Wand is a solution here (if already avoiding Dissolve range) with 1x Force Hammer (also ethereal) and 1x Hurl Boulder (to Slam flyers to the ground to be Tangled/mangled).

Agreed. Regarding the Obelisk, I actually think the Druid should keep a copy in her book - she has plenty of conjurations that can attack, after all (Stranglevine, Orchid, Lotus), so she can swarm without very many creatures (a conjuration swarm). This makes an excellent answer to the Necromancer for the Druid.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: baronzaltor on December 05, 2013, 12:11:46 AM
Another random thought about the Druid, Sunfire Amulet has good synergy with the Lifebond ability from her Treebond.

Since she's gaining 1 health every round, she has more elbow room to shoulder damage for the tree onto herself.  (not to mention both her and the tree can be regenerating too)
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: sIKE on December 05, 2013, 12:17:53 AM
Seems to me that Deathlock should be an auto-play against the Druid.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: barriecritzer on December 05, 2013, 07:29:42 AM
I really like using the thornlashers in combination with the bloodspine walls the only problem is most players will only let you do that once before they kill your blookspine wall, but if you can get a thornlasher on each side of your bloodspine wall then you should be able to kill most creatures or severely hurt a mage before your wall gets destroyed.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Koz on December 05, 2013, 11:11:53 AM
Seems to me that Deathlock should be an auto-play against the Druid.

Yeah, I haven't had any games with the Druid yet, but she seems to have a lot of hard counters by default.  Fire and Deathlock are rough for her to deal with it would seem.  I guess we'll see how the meta develops.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: MrSaucy on December 07, 2013, 11:27:21 PM
Seems to me that Deathlock should be an auto-play against the Druid.

Oh yes. I have played several DvN games as Necromancer, and whenever I didn't play Deathlock I regretted it.

Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 08, 2013, 11:36:51 AM
Deathlock against the Druid is not as strong as it may first seem. Yes, it does help counter what she does best but it does not do I for as long as you would think. She has this incredible ability to spread her vines really, really fast. If you play death lock turn one, as I see most players do, you are doing nothing but helping the Druid position herself to control the board by round 4 or 5. It soil be different if she herself had to toto your corner to stop you but she doesn't. As well, healing doesn't even become a huge issue until late game. If anything, a turn 1 death lock would see a vine tree that isn't tree bound; because i know you are going to focus it down anyways, so I'm going to use it for the ability to place. An extra marker so that when deathlock does godown, I can then tree bond a tree that will take even more advantage of the healing. I don't know, it is a good counter, but against a good Druid player, it doesn't pose as great of a threat as it does in theory.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: MrSaucy on December 08, 2013, 04:35:51 PM
Deathlock against the Druid is not as strong as it may first seem. Yes, it does help counter what she does best but it does not do I for as long as you would think. She has this incredible ability to spread her vines really, really fast. If you play death lock turn one, as I see most players do, you are doing nothing but helping the Druid position herself to control the board by round 4 or 5. It soil be different if she herself had to toto your corner to stop you but she doesn't. As well, healing doesn't even become a huge issue until late game. If anything, a turn 1 death lock would see a vine tree that isn't tree bound; because i know you are going to focus it down anyways, so I'm going to use it for the ability to place. An extra marker so that when deathlock does godown, I can then tree bond a tree that will take even more advantage of the healing. I don't know, it is a good counter, but against a good Druid player, it doesn't pose as great of a threat as it does in theory.

I never play Deathlock vs Druid on turn 1. If I do play Deathlock vs Druid I usually play it on Turn 3 or 4. True, Deathlock doesn't shutdown the Druid, but if you can apply early pressure to the Druid it helps to have Deathlock out to shut down her health regeneration. The Druid can find ways to work around Deathlock, sure, but it gives her another thing to worry about.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: ACG on December 08, 2013, 05:14:03 PM
Another random thought about the Druid, Sunfire Amulet has good synergy with the Lifebond ability from her Treebond.

Since she's gaining 1 health every round, she has more elbow room to shoulder damage for the tree onto herself.  (not to mention both her and the tree can be regenerating too)

Yes. It is unfortunate that Sunfire Amulet conflicts with Meditation Amulet.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 08, 2013, 05:38:49 PM
I guess that is just where interesting strategy will prevail. I don't think reliance on passive healing will win you the game as much as people may think it will. For example an interesting book a friend of mine played was Druid with two temple of the dawnbreakers. This was a strong strategy because it rerolled high damage attacks and effect dice with something easily managed with tree bond and regen. As well, level one water is not something to take lightly. Combining these elements to make an interesting, cohesive strategy will lead to better results against an aggro deathlock deck. I'm not saying that deathlock won't be effective, but rather much less of an impact that when first thought upon, dig?
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 08, 2013, 06:22:19 PM
Yes. It is unfortunate that Sunfire Amulet conflicts with Meditation Amulet.

That isn't much of a conflict...
One gives you 1 life per turn. The other is a waste of spellpoints.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 08, 2013, 07:05:09 PM
waste of spellpoints? Sir, I disagree completely. That a little harsh considering the card hasn't been released that long. In playtesting, the card has set me up for countless incredibly strong openings. Widely usable like sunfire? No. But a waste of spellpoints? Definitely not.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 08, 2013, 07:22:57 PM
waste of spellpoints? Sir, I disagree completely. That a little harsh considering the card hasn't been released that long. In playtesting, the card has set me up for countless incredibly strong openings. Widely usable like sunfire? No. But a waste of spellpoints? Definitely not.

It might be a bit harsh, but I've yet to see any reason casting it as a Druid wouldn't be a detriment. Also I'm not a sir.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 08, 2013, 07:34:35 PM
I apologize, good ma'am, I did not realize you weren't a male! Most people on here are guys, so it's great to see so diversity in these forums. But, onto the point. As I said before, meditation amulet is not a catch all clause. It's only good if you build around it. Specifically, an opening involving meditation amulet gives you a wide birth of options to not only spend more mana when deploying or casting creatures, but also to setup. Cheers!



Dude.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: MrSaucy on December 08, 2013, 08:08:12 PM
Yes. It is unfortunate that Sunfire Amulet conflicts with Meditation Amulet.

That isn't much of a conflict...
One gives you 1 life per turn. The other is a waste of spellpoints.

Funny you say that. I haven't played with Sunfire Amulet or Meditation Amulet but I always thought Meditation Amulet looked a lot more helpful. Extra mana is nothing to scoff at, especially an additional 3 mana. There is a huge difference between having, say, 10 mana on your next turn and 13 mana on your next turn. Not to mention, the Druid can easily become mana starved. Meditation Amulet can alleviate that problem. Finally, if you happen to have a full action that would go to waste by doing nothing, Meditation Amulet is always there as something to fall back on.

Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 08, 2013, 08:23:55 PM
As I said before, meditation amulet is not a catch all clause. It's only good if you build around it. Specifically, an opening involving meditation amulet gives you a wide birth of options to not only spend more mana when deploying or casting creatures, but also to setup. Cheers!

Dude.

In the games that I've played as Druid, I've done best when I've been aggressive immediately. She's the first mage with a cheap spawnpoint that can cast to almost any zone in the area, so you can overwhelm the opponent in actions. The only mage which can match that is the Necromancer with Libro (which isn't nearly as awesome as Vine Tree), but Corrosive Orchard can dissolve it at range "up to 2 zones away from any vine marker", and it gets around Nullify. In the early game actions matter more than extra mana, especially for her (plant creatures being so cheap for what you get), and in the mid or late game it's a bit late to capitalize on mana increasing spells.

Giving up that action advantage for a bit of extra mana seems like a huge mistake for her. I've analyzed using Vine + Samara with Meditation Amulet to death, and it doesn't work at all.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: The Dude on December 08, 2013, 08:43:38 PM
This is where I tend to disagree. In hyper aggressive matches, you have to rely on both mana and action efficiency to help spike your damage as much as possible. Couple that with how much you have to spend in spellbook points, and you quickly have to find a good damage engine that both supports your school as well as dealing high amounts of damage quickly so that you can the opponent before your mana, and therefore your mage actions, simmer out.

Nothing in school for the druid points her to an effective hyper aggressive strategy. She has neither the brute melee force nor the powerful attack spells to really make an effective strike against the opponent. Which brings me to how she has effectively opened in all the games I have seen, which is a strong mana base supported by action efficiency in a slow, but effective, way. Even her mage abilites point to something more controlled, and tempo driven. She has the ability to go aggressive if need be, but that aggressive fire is short lived and saved best for the late game. This is where meditation amulet fits in. It's a four cost piece of equipment, that, yes, causes you to spend your full actions, but as you said, she has the first cheap spawnpoint able to cast almost anywhere on the board. She doesn't really even need her full actions to move or cast creatures, because those vines do the job, and do it well, for her. Couple that with the ability to shoot walls from anywhere, and you quickly have a powerful mage that can really effectively turtle. I say this from experience, and not theory, mind you, because while I have gotten lucky with an aggressive druid once or twice, she has nowhere near the strength of a tempo control druid.

As well, the druid seems to benefit from that mana a lot moreso than other mages that have nine channeling do. Those other mages have a real strength in active play, while the druid can be fairly reactive, and stay in the game. Considering that she can drop a battle forge and vine tree turn one (which is a strong play with the druid), cast meditation off the battle forge, and still have plenty of effective free actions left, she's not a bad target for mediation amulet at all. I'm not saying it's perfect, because there is not a single perfect strategy that exists in this game, but I am saying that it is strong, and it is effective. the druid has the fantastic capabilities that we have not seen yet in mages thus far, and that is the ability to not cast huge threats and still be a threat. That may sound confusing upon first reading, but it does ring true. She is has the ulitiy to deal almost any threat handed to her, and in fantastic ways, I might add.

But, these are just my thoughts on her, and her particular strengths.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 08, 2013, 09:07:49 PM
I do find it slightly odd that you mention her in-school spells not lending themselves to early aggression (and I don't mean putting everything into aggression and not building up - that would be silly), but then mention playing a Battleforge...both parts of which are triple cost for her.

What I mean is that on turn 2 she can have a Roused Raptor Vine attacking the enemy mage (and still have out Vine Tree, Leaf Ring, and possible Mana Flower), and then on Turn 3 follow it up with a Thornlasher, Enchanter's Ring, and Bear Strength on the Raptor Vine. You're still building up (using that action advantage), but you're also putting your opponent on the defensive, disrupting any plans s/he may have had for the early game. Against Fire mages a different tactic would be used of course, but I mean she can disrupt the opponent with an aggressive act and still build up.

I would never advocate that the Druid should focus everything into aggression in the early game; as you said that would destroy her strength.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: cymyn on December 08, 2013, 09:26:24 PM
My necromancer just got paddled by the druid. I built up an army of skeletons while he summoned vine raptors and spread vines across the board. A few well placed walls by him and my army was at a standstill. His plants ate it piecemeal. When I lit his mage on fire he extinguished it with purifying (cleansing?) rain. Deathlock scared him for a turn or two but vine raptors ate it. Malacoda gave him a brief scare but he took out M's armor and killed it with a full court press.

I made a few errors with the Necromancer, but the Druid was flexible, unpredictable, and resilient.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: MrSaucy on December 08, 2013, 11:06:43 PM
I built up an army of skeletons... I made a few errors with the Necromancer, but the Druid was flexible, unpredictable, and resilient.

(Necromancer works better with Zombies than with Skeletons. Trust me. I have tried both.)

But yeah, Druid is a fierce and unpredictable opponent. Even in games where I have seen the Druid lose she puts up one heck of a fight. Next to the Preistess she is one of the hardest mages to kill.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 08, 2013, 11:15:10 PM
OP, I think one important creature you left out is Galador, Protector of Straywood. It fills the Ethereal hole she has, in addition to being effective against Iron Golems. It isn't a plant so she can't deploy it or use Mohktari's branch on it (though that's fine if you use Wand of Healing instead). Even so, I think it's worth using for the 25% Stun/25% Daze chance, especially since it's more effective against Golems than any plant currently.

Also the Novice War school spells are nice too, especially Power Strike (in the current meta I think it is better than Piercing Strike since it actually works against Resilient things).
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: abyssalstalker on December 09, 2013, 09:08:08 AM
baronzaltor - I love your idea of fortified position on a zone with lots of rooted plants. My only complaint is that it costs 6 spellpoints. That being said, it would be worth it saving multiple actions + mana from buffing each individually. Shift enchantment is a fantastic idea to go along with this as you had said. Great thoughts friend, I can see this as being very viable. I had taken some glances at the Sunfire Amulet and definitely consider using it in her book. I agree that having her shoulder more damage from the Tree is a great way to get around healing conjurations.

Deckbuilder - Thank you for your insightful post. I have actually implemented a lot of what you suggested (mage wand for teleports, elemental wand for boulder + force hammer). I have found more use for the Etherian Lifetree and actually consider it more useful now after careful examination. The only time I wouldn't play it is against a swarmer. Earlier that day I actually read that no multiple of same conjuration in one zone so I forgot. I'm not the biggest fan of this rule, although admittedly it doesn't occur too often. I absolutely LOVE the idea of a Suppresion orb. I find that my goal is to move her plants as little as possible due to the mana costs so this is the ultimate synergistic card to punish the other mage while rarely affecting you. Perfect!

Aylinisawesome / the dude - I'm not the biggest fan of the meditation amulet as I feel losing actions is really huge in this game. That being said, I feel like the Druid is one of the only mages that can actually make the amulet viable. This is because her vine tree can essentially cast for her and not worry about range due to vines. I still think it's situational but I definitely can see running it if you plan to have her plants run the whole show and have her pump mana into them. I personally prefer to have her use her actions to support the machines in other ways (enchantments, incantations etc) but to each their own. Galador certainly fills the etheral gap and I appreciate that observation. However, being 5 spell points is a bit much. I also feel like hes kind of expensive for his cost. Plus you have to full cast him through your mage which breaks her synergy a bit. He is certainly an option since he does cost face value on his nature portion. I prefer running a elemental wand with force hammer but its nice to have a creature option if you expect some mean incorporeal creatures!

I found our during my last game that Corrosive Orchids attack is unavoidable. It dawned on me that it can make an attack on a mage through block, defense and nullify. Essentially, if it wants to spit some acid on that mage he's going to get it! As I mentioned in my post, deplying this when you have initation is strong since they only have a quick cast to react to it.

My last game was played against a necromancer. He started bringing out a the death ring, libro and graveyard (lots of high investments, I know). He started pushing shaggoth-zora and zombie crawlers to munch on. I was forced to come in heavy and sieged his graveyard with vine tree casted vine snappers and used corrosive orchid to dissolve that pesky death ring. I find that the druid is extremly good for a tactical use. Unfortunately, by the time I got through his graveyard he had vastly out-creatured me. However, my conjurations were safe in the back. We didn't play too much longer after that due to his aggravation. However, I feel like he could have brought that army down and really had his way with me. If I'm in a similar situation I wonder if it's good strategy to siege and remove his options rather than deal with the threat of the army. Any thoughts? I feel like this would apply to any creature-heavy enemy.

Loving this discussion guys, keep it up!
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: jacksmack on December 09, 2013, 09:34:41 AM
My last game was played against a necromancer. He started bringing out a the death ring, libro and graveyard (lots of high investments, I know).

My General rule of thumb:
If your opponent builds up heavily i would say you got 3 options:

A)
Turtle yourself and build up ATLEAST as much as him.

B)
Rush him with 1 or 2 bigs.

C)
Build a small engine and go for him as soon as you peak with it. (This means you gotta land the hammer before his engine starts paying off)

What 3 options you actually have depend on your mage, your spellbook and the enemy spellbook.

There will be matchups where A) will be suicide because the enemy has a stronger turtle mage and/or spellbook than you.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 09, 2013, 10:15:01 AM
Aylinisawesome / the dude - I'm not the biggest fan of the meditation amulet as I feel losing actions is really huge in this game. That being said, I feel like the Druid is one of the only mages that can actually make the amulet viable. This is because her vine tree can essentially cast for her and not worry about range due to vines. I still think it's situational but I definitely can see running it if you plan to have her plants run the whole show and have her pump mana into them. I personally prefer to have her use her actions to support the machines in other ways (enchantments, incantations etc) but to each their own. Galador certainly fills the etheral gap and I appreciate that observation. However, being 5 spell points is a bit much. I also feel like hes kind of expensive for his cost. Plus you have to full cast him through your mage which breaks her synergy a bit. He is certainly an option since he does cost face value on his nature portion. I prefer running a elemental wand with force hammer but its nice to have a creature option if you expect some mean incorporeal creatures!

The main reason I suggest Galador is because of the stun/daze chance on the ranged attack. The fact that it is Ethereal as well is just icing on that cake. It's also important to consider that Galador does not have Flame +2, and is arguably better than any plant against a Warlock for that reason. To me, the 5 points for Galador is pretty cheap since it covers all those weak spots she would otherwise have.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: MrSaucy on December 09, 2013, 02:22:45 PM
My last game was played against a necromancer. He started bringing out a the death ring, libro and graveyard (lots of high investments, I know).

My General rule of thumb:
If your opponent builds up heavily i would say you got 3 options:

A)
Turtle yourself and build up ATLEAST as much as him.

B)
Rush him with 1 or 2 bigs.

C)
Build a small engine and go for him as soon as you peak with it. (This means you gotta land the hammer before his engine starts paying off)

What 3 options you actually have depend on your mage, your spellbook and the enemy spellbook.

There will be matchups where A) will be suicide because the enemy has a stronger turtle mage and/or spellbook than you.

If you are playing against Necromancer, I think turtling is one of the worst things you could do. B will be a better option against a Necromancer who is spending a long time investing in spawnpoints. By playing Libro and Graveyard, the Necromancer is sacrificing an aggressive opening. The Druid can easily take advantage of this and gain the momentum with a strong, early attack, throwing the Necromancer off balance.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: somaddict on December 10, 2013, 03:03:48 PM
If Galador is worth putting in a FM book then he certainly fits here. The main deal is he is mobile and can attack fliers, and he owns holy mages. The daze/stun is a bonus as always. Five points is a bargain, imo. Compare him to some wand and an attack for fliers that gets dissolved.

I also like Electrify here to deal with swarms. I've already played a game with 12+ creatures in the same zone.

Also, Tataree is great at pissing off guards.

The staff is very good, I think. I soft-locked a grow +5 Shaggoth indefinitely, and when he failed stuck rolls I locked down the next big guy too. The only way I can see to stop this is with Wizard's zap or a spell on the vine after deploy.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: somaddict on December 16, 2013, 03:25:43 PM
Another thing to consider, what to do when Adramalech happens? Sleep is 12 mana and easily disrupted, and a tanglevine/stranglevine will be smashed quickly. Teleport gets you a turn. Banish gets you a turn. What does a Druid even do with these stalling tactics? Kralathor can hit him but with Bear Strength Adra is swinging 10 dice on him. Galador and the Spider can stall as well, and a few Acid Balls would help. This is all a lot of mana to cook up, and it's not very effective quickly enough. Meanwhile, the opponent is lashing and burning everything.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: lettucemode on December 16, 2013, 04:16:19 PM
Banish gets you a turn.

Three turns. That should be enough time to either build up some defenses or put the hurt on the enemy.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: baronzaltor on December 16, 2013, 04:33:08 PM
She can turn Tarok the Skyhunter loose on him.

5 Damage and 1 pierce against other fliers for half the mana cost of Adrelmech, and he has a Defense roll against melee attacks from fliers.  Could add on a Bear Strength and he will hammer Adrelmech at 7 dice per swing and still be less of a mana investment.  Acid Ball or Spitting Raptors can soften his armor from range as well.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Kharhaz on December 16, 2013, 05:40:54 PM
She can turn Tarok the Skyhunter loose on him.


The classics never go out of style
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: sIKE on December 16, 2013, 05:44:28 PM
True, but the Beastmaster does much better with Tarok. One animal is one less Plant the Druid so dearly loves....
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 16, 2013, 07:09:26 PM
True, but the Beastmaster does much better with Tarok. Once animal is one less Plant to Druid so dearly loves....

Getting only plants though leaves you too weak to fire damage. Better to diversify a bit.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: sdougla2 on December 16, 2013, 07:50:25 PM
Plus animals have better mobility than plants.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: sIKE on December 16, 2013, 08:50:20 PM
Plus animals have better mobility than plants.
So are you saying Druid with some Animal support is better than BM with some Plant support?

I am just tying to get an idea which way is better. I am playing my first Nec v. Dru on Wednesday. I know, it is a busy time of the year for me though....
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on December 16, 2013, 09:15:06 PM
Plus animals have better mobility than plants.
So are you saying Druid with some Animal support is better than BM with some Plant support?

I am just tying to get an idea which way is better. I am playing my first Nec v. Dru on Wednesday. I know, it is a busy time of the year for me though....

With the Druid, I think it's more a matter of needing to include some non-plants to handle certain threats, Tarok and Galador being the best candidates. Since they're legendary, they work almost as well for the Druid as they do for the Beastmasters (probably the biggest things they can do with them over the Druid is -1 summoning costs, Wounded Prey, and totems). The Beastmasters on the other hand don't particularly need to include plants to handle a variety of threats and can't use them nearly as effectively anyway (such as deploy anywhere + QC Rouse), though having one or two Raptor Vines might make sense depending on your build.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: gw on January 04, 2014, 04:59:19 PM
Hello from Germany =) ,

I am new to Mage Wars and (obviously) to the forum but I really like that game and I got really hooked on it.
I also fell in love with the Druid so I am working a bit on her. There is little opportunity to playtest stuff - we do have our group playing it atm, but obviously we can't meet every day - and we are noobs :) . Anyway, I have a deck which I would like to have some feedback on. I love Fellella and I love the start - I am just totally unsure how to proceed etc.
Below I have given you an optimal 3 turn start (which already might be a bit too optimistic but it shows the general idea) but I feel it might work. What I am unsure about is : a) I probably do not have enough creatures (I do plan to let my Druid fight though) and b) I am sure there are cards in it that don't make sense or are underrepresented. Ok, feel free to comment on it.

Druid

---  Attack  ---
1 Force Hammer
3 Acid Ball

---  Conjuration  ---
1 Vine Tree
1 Battle Forge
1 Etherian Lifetree
2 Seedling Pod
2 Corrosive Orchid
1 Mana Flower
2 Nightshade Lotus
3 Tanglevine

---  Creature  ---
1 Galador, Protector of Straywood
2 Vine Snapper
1 Thornlasher
1 Fellella, Pixie Familiar
1 Tataree
1 Raptor Vine

---  Enchantment  ---
2 Harmonize
2 Rhino Hide
1 Cobra Reflexes
1 Jinx
1 Block
1 Nullify
1 Teleport Trap
1 Healing Charm
2 Bear Strength
1 Mongoose Agility
1 Ghoul Rot
1 Vampirism
2 Decoy
1 Falcon Precision
1 Barkskin

---  Equipment  ---
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Mage Staff
1 Mage Wand
1 Druid's Leaf Ring
1 Mohktari's Branch
1 Veterans Belt
1 Meditation Amulet
1 Enchanter's Ring
1 Dragonscale Hauberk

---  Incantation  ---
1 Dispel
1 Seeking Dispel
1 Dissolve
2 Rouse the Beast
1 Shift Enchantment
1 Teleport
3 Burst of Thorns

(http://i387.photobucket.com/albums/oo314/gentlebucket/1cb81e2a-8677-40cf-928d-d698fa133f89_zps2f601601.jpg) (http://s387.photobucket.com/user/gentlebucket/media/1cb81e2a-8677-40cf-928d-d698fa133f89_zps2f601601.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: Aylin on January 04, 2014, 11:41:26 PM
First, Seedling Pods while being terrible in general, are ATROCIOUS when used to summon a Mana Flower.

With the Leaf Ring, casting a Mana Flower pays for itself four turns later.
Casting a Seedling Pod with the Leaf Ring, which then casts a Mana Flower pays for itself seven turns later.

It doesn't save you any mana at all, it just delays the payoff for three turns.

Second, you build up way too much in your opening. The fact that you're having to use Decoy to transfer mana from your familiar to your mage is a bad sign. Also how do you expect to be able to pay for revealing enchantments, deploying equipment, AND deploying vines in addition to at least your Quickcast? Going into turn 4 you have 10 mana to work with (13 including mana on spawnpoints). You're in a really bad spotif your opponent plans on coming for you in the early game, which is a pretty common strategy due to how effective it is.

As a side note to that, if you're having to use Meditation Amulet just to make the Battleforge viable, then it's time to just save yourself 8 build points by dropping both. Without the Amulet you have 9 pieces of equipment, 3 of them are rings (though tbh I've found the Branch lackluster compared to Leaf and Enchanter's, Healing Wand works almost as well and the second hand slot isn't as valuable for the Druid as the ring slot is), one is a melee weapon (why?), and pretty much everything else is situational defensive items (except for the Mage Wand). If most of your equipment is situational then you don't really need a battleforge.

Third, you don't have enough Dissolves or Dispels. There is absolutely no excuse to take less than 4 Dissolves as a Druid. I'd switch out the Seeking Dispel for another Dispel and find some way of fitting in at least one more.

Fourth, Vine Snappers are terrible. The attack is great, but not being able to move is horrendous. With only one Thornlasher and one Teleport, you don't have the board control required to make them work. All your opponent would have to do is move one zone to the side. Raptor Vines are much better. A little more expensive, and the attack isn't as damaging against most targets (lacking the +1 pierce). On the other hand, the ability to move for 1 mana and Vampiric give it better positioning and staying power.

Fifth, Tataree is not worth it. I've tried many times to run the butterfly, but the fact that only has a maximum of 9 life (with Etherian Lifetree and Bull Endurance) means it's too easy to kill with any unavoidable attack (especially zone attacks), or any sort of AoE dot (like Idol of Pestilence which your Necromancer opponent will probably use).

Sixth, consider Tarok. You don't have any flying creatures at the moment and the bird work well against an early Lord of Fire. Also, no Kralathor? It's great against swarms, especially undead ones.
Title: Re: Let's talk about the Druid!
Post by: gw on January 05, 2014, 05:08:16 AM
Thanks for the input. Have also commented on some of your points and will definetely do some adjustments - and maybe play a game today if I meet someone online.

First, Seedling Pods while being terrible in general, are ATROCIOUS when used to summon a Mana Flower.
With the Leaf Ring, casting a Mana Flower pays for itself four turns later.
Casting a Seedling Pod with the Leaf Ring, which then casts a Mana Flower pays for itself seven turns later.
It doesn't save you any mana at all, it just delays the payoff for three turns.
True, I think I have to agree  8) .

Second, you build up way too much in your opening. The fact that you're having to use Decoy to transfer mana from your familiar to your mage is a bad sign.
I like that tbh. It costs a card but it makes Fellella's 2 mana available for any spell. It's not something that is very efficient but I don't plan to do it every turn.

Also how do you expect to be able to pay for revealing enchantments, deploying equipment, AND deploying vines in addition to at least your Quickcast? Going into turn 4 you have 10 mana to work with (13 including mana on spawnpoints). You're in a really bad spotif your opponent plans on coming for you in the early game, which is a pretty common strategy due to how effective it is.
As a side note to that, if you're having to use Meditation Amulet just to make the Battleforge viable, then it's time to just save yourself 8 build points by dropping both.
Without the Amulet you have 9 pieces of equipment, 3 of them are rings (though tbh I've found the Branch lackluster compared to Leaf and Enchanter's, Healing Wand works almost as well and the second hand slot isn't as valuable for the Druid as the ring slot is), one is a melee weapon (why?), and pretty much everything else is situational defensive items (except for the Mage Wand). If most of your equipment is situational then you don't really need a battleforge.
I see. I was afraid you would say so. When building I really wanted to have the Forge in to see how it is running. I did a solo game yesterday and also recognized that actually I don't really need it.
Having the Healing Wand as an alternative to the Branch didn't occur to me :)
I think the Mage Staff is a nice weapon ? It has Reach and Ethereal.

Third, you don't have enough Dissolves or Dispels. There is absolutely no excuse to take less than 4 Dissolves as a Druid. I'd switch out the Seeking Dispel for another Dispel and find some way of fitting in at least one more.
Will be done.

Fourth, Vine Snappers are terrible. The attack is great, but not being able to move is horrendous. With only one Thornlasher and one Teleport, you don't have the board control required to make them work. All your opponent would have to do is move one zone to the side. Raptor Vines are much better. A little more expensive, and the attack isn't as damaging against most targets (lacking the +1 pierce). On the other hand, the ability to move for 1 mana and Vampiric give it better positioning and staying power.
Ok, I agree. I thought Vine Snappers were nice to maybe be cast via vines into the same zone as an opponent's spawning point ? Just to annoy him a bit. Also, it might be a good defensive creature ?

Fifth, Tataree is not worth it. I've tried many times to run the butterfly, but the fact that only has a maximum of 9 life (with Etherian Lifetree and Bull Endurance) means it's too easy to kill with any unavoidable attack (especially zone attacks), or any sort of AoE dot (like Idol of Pestilence which your Necromancer opponent will probably use).
He got wall bashed pretty quickly in our previous games, yes - but ... but ... cute little butterfly !

Sixth, consider Tarok. You don't have any flying creatures at the moment and the bird work well against an early Lord of Fire. Also, no Kralathor? It's great against swarms, especially undead ones.
Ok, I had both in. I believe they were the last 2 cards I threw out due to not having enough points. As I'll discard the Battleforge they will be in again.