Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Spells => Topic started by: farkas1 on October 17, 2018, 01:18:48 PM

Title: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on October 17, 2018, 01:18:48 PM
Alright.  Lets discuss swarms.  These creatures are arriving in the Academy Druid expansion, set to be released very soon. 

The current ruling allows them to be very deadly and semi hard to kill right away. 

The definition is below if you are unfamiliar with it. 

Swarms

This creature is made up of countless Smaller creatures.  Creatures with the swarm trait cannot guard and cannot be targeted or affected by non-attack spells that do not specifically target swarm creatures. When attacking, Creatures with swarm trait may make additional strikes equal to their remaining health.   Additionally, they are immune to conditions, and have the finite life trait. Non zone attacks do a maximum of 1 damage to them.



I am not going to explain every single thing about swarms but I will highlight above one sentence that makes this card one of the most confusing cards in the game.  It also can be debated on a select few cards that may or may not work with the swarms.  \

So the targeting of them is rather difficult in my opinion and with the inclusion of Arena cards it becomes much more complex and annoying to figure out what can or cannot benefit them.  It is one of the main reasons why I wanted to make this list.

I will introduce the many number of cards that can give them a bonus.
The last half I will list and discuss the counters to the Killer Bees.



 



Buffs for Swarms (making them a bigger nastier Nightmare)
Etherian life Tree
Straywood Scout
Dorseus
Hand of Bim Shalla
Marked for Death
Sacrificial Altar
 Crown of Protection
Bloodwave Warlord Ability (veteran markers)
Symbiotic Orb
Rolling Fog
Azurean Genie
Summoning Circle

Cards that maybe questionable (current ruling is a little vague and these could or could not work depending on how you translate objects and spells)


Fortified Position
Standard Bearer
Circle of Protection (not healing)
Sacred Ground
Vtar Sentry

Force Wave (does not work because it is always a spell even after it is cast) 
Enchantment Transfusion (off another creature onto a swarm creature)  I think this move should be illegal



Enchantment transfusion is a card notorious for many sneaky and maybe rule breaking affects in the game.  Similarly it was brought to my attention that this card may work with the current ruling of swarms.  Which means all those enchantments that could not target swarms specifically may in fact can after they are cast and transfused from one object to the new one.  The whole ruling of objects and spell debate that gives them leverage since the enchantments are now objects they now can target swarms.  Giving us super swarms!   I am not on board with this ruling and find that it should not legal.  I know others feel the same way.  So in tournaments I will propose that it is illegal to use Enchantment transfusion in any way shape or form on Swarm creatures.  not sure about shift enchantment if it has the same wording but I am against it too if it works the same way. 

Thoughts

Etherian Life Tree is number one combo with Swarms and especially the Killer Bees.   giving more life and boosting number of attacks by 2.  Straywood Scout is another useful way to get the Bees to have one extra die of attack for first attack! 

Dorseus is also crucial in that it can bypass finte life trait!  Making them tougher to kill! 


There are a number of ways of adding attack dice using non spell abilities from an assortment of cards.  You can even give Swarms tiny insect armor apparently which is pretty funny.  Nature mages have an easier spellbook point advantage in swarm builds as well as just splashing swarms in builds for some sort of sick game of supremacy!   I could see out of School builds using Killer Bees tho. 


List of best to worst mages using Swarms down below.


Druid and Beastmasters
Paladin, Priest, Priestess
Necromancer, Warlocks
Wizard, Warlords
Siren, Forcemaster

Negatives (how to effectively kill Swarms/Killer BeeS)
Gravikor
Defenses, zone attacks, triple strike, double strike, direct damage
Redirect
Veterans belt with armor
Eye for an Eye

Zone attacks
Electrify, Sandstorm, Voltaric Discharge, Ring of Fire, Volley of Flame, Hail of Stones, Blinding Flash, Telekintic Burst, Tsunami (gravikor), 
Oscuda, Elemental Golem , Akiros Hammer, Goblin Bomber, Sardonyx

Multi Attacks (triple or double strike spells
Badger Frenzy,  Spray of Barbs, Ludwig Boltstorm, Gravikor or Eagle Wings (w/  Darkfenne Hydra, kumanjaran Leopard, Gaurding Cerberus, Goran Werewolf, Sir Corazon, Galvitar, Deptonne Berserker, ect,)

Direct Damage
Magma Golem, Ice Spikes, Whirlpool and Gravikor, Helm of Justice, Disciple of Radiance, Idol of Pestilence, Malacoda, Poison Gas Cloud, Plague (on another non swarm creature), consecrated ground,

Defenses against Killer Bees
Any defense chance, force sword, Cobra reflex, reflex boots, ect.  Spiked Buckler, Veteran Belt with Armor, Suppression Cloak, Dodge, Force Field, Block, Repulse, Mass Cowardice, Alluring Orchid, Altar of Infernia,

Push attack spell effects
gravikor + surging wave, tsnunami, swell, or jet stream, windstorm, or sandstorm. 

There seems like a lot more things to counter swarms then there is to help them out. Donít let that fool you tho.  Aggressive Swarm builds not considering current meta can and will get wreaked if none of these above counters are in your builds.  Zone attacks are best way to deal with them however just like most zone attacks mana to overall effectiveness could set your plan back and it may backfire if the attack is unsuccessful.  There are some quick easy counters that maybe in your book already.  Such as Gravikor, or alluring Orchid, eye for an eye, redirect, or maybe even mass cowardice.  These spells are already benefiting your build in other ways so an extra one maybe important to have to stop the bees from even hitting or ground the flying threats and get to work using non flying creatures.  Other spells or creatures to consider more are ones that have the double or triple strike attacks.  Which can quickly decimate any swarm. 


also learned push effects still work since they are not conditions.  I simply overlooked this, but discovered it a few months ago.  Attacks spells with push and wall bash are basically double strike for the swarm creatures allowing to get up to 2 damage from both attacks.  not bad options if you don't have those zone attacks available. 

Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Arkdeniz on October 17, 2018, 03:12:27 PM
I point out the text on Enchantment Transfusion states that enchantments can only be moved to a legal target (so you canít shift Plagued onto Malacoda or Eagle Wings on a Skeletal Knight). Since Swarms are not a legal target for any spell that does not specificly target Swarms, this should prevent that particular exploit.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on October 17, 2018, 03:26:32 PM
Cool problem solved.  If someone wants to argue for it please give your reason.  Iím totally fine with enchantment transfusion not working on swarms.   :)

Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Puddnhead on October 17, 2018, 04:44:53 PM
I point out the text on Enchantment Transfusion states that enchantments can only be moved to a legal target (so you canít shift Plagued onto Malacoda or Eagle Wings on a Skeletal Knight). Since Swarms are not a legal target for any spell that does not specificly target Swarms, this should prevent that particular exploit.

I'm fairly certain that RAW this is incorrect.  The Swarm trait prevents SPELLS from targeting Swarms.  Once the Enchantment has been successfully cast it becomes an OBJECT.  The Swarm trait does NOT prevent OBJECTS from targeting Swarms.  I am very happy to be wrong on this one, but it seems to be the correct way things interact.  For instance, if Objects are also Spells that would prevent everything from targeting swarms...including Creatures! The only way to deal with Swarms would then be with your Mage's personal attack (Mages are never spells) or with Attack Spells.  This seems to be a clearly erroneous interpretation of the rules.  Objects do not equal Spells is the only way I see the rules actually working here.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Arkdeniz on October 17, 2018, 05:16:29 PM
Puddnhead,

The targeting rule re ET has been confirmed in the Rules Supplement:

"The enchantments must be moved to a legal target creature (a target you could cast the enchantments on as if you were casting each enchantment again on the new target)."
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Puddnhead on October 17, 2018, 08:36:07 PM
Puddnhead,

The targeting rule re ET has been confirmed in the Rules Supplement:

"The enchantments must be moved to a legal target creature (a target you could cast the enchantments on as if you were casting each enchantment again on the new target)."

I am so relieved!
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on October 17, 2018, 09:17:00 PM
Yeahhhhh...dispute settled!!! Thank you puddnhead for sharing ur thoughts. Thank you Arkendeniz for confirming that it does not work on the swarms.  We can all sleep at night and not worry about super killer bees coming at us.   ;D
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Arkdeniz on October 17, 2018, 11:02:19 PM
It seems to me that the basic rule is that the powers of cards on the board can affect a swarm*, but a card played from the hand (except for attack spells) will not.

So incantations and enchantments (other than zone enchantments) will have no affect, but creatures, conjurations and attacks will work (subject to normal rules around traits and subtypes).

If this is right, you can add V'tar Force Sentry to the lists of cards that could hamper and aid Swarms (depending on who controls the Sentry).
 

*with the exception of some specifically forbidden spells, such as ET.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: keejchen on October 18, 2018, 06:03:59 AM
Good write-up Farkas.

Just one note: Crown of Protection does not work on swarms, the ability on the crown is a non-attack spell requiring a target.

I still hope there will be an official statement/update/clarification to the swarm trait, I foresee many frustrating debates coming up when the cards actually start getting used.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Coshade on October 18, 2018, 11:02:28 AM
Nice thread! I think this kind of FAQ thread is needed for swarms
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Coshade on October 18, 2018, 11:15:45 AM
Also I think Consecrated Ground is a decent counter as well!
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on October 18, 2018, 12:01:19 PM
Thanks all.   I added the ones Mentioned.  Please let me know if there is any more cards I missed. 
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: wtcannonjr on October 18, 2018, 12:03:37 PM
So, would a Reverse Attack spell require the swarm to kill itself using the extra attacks based on its health with each attack dealing one damage off the swarm's health?

Looks like Nope. I just checked the wording in the top message and it says "may" for the additional attacks.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on October 22, 2018, 08:54:14 AM
Yea reverse attack only prevents first attack and it would only do one damage even if first attack was buffed up. The key is is would prevent the buffed up first attack if any melee dice were adding using marked for death, bim.  Etherian life tree would just add more attacks. 

The only Card that really does the full damage for first strike would be eye for an eye I believe. 
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: wtcannonjr on October 23, 2018, 06:54:22 AM
You might want to add Doublestrike and Triplestrike to the Negative column as they remain effective in dealing more than one damage per Attack Action.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on October 23, 2018, 07:29:09 AM
I will change the wording but I listed those as multi attacks.  And put them up on the counters list along with my are listings of cards for counters.  Triple and double strike are very effective and are very strong counters to swarms.  Note you need Gravikor or eagle wings to kill the bees with many of the creatures who have these traits
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Arkdeniz on October 23, 2018, 10:03:24 PM
I will change the wording but I listed those as multi attacks.  And put them up on the counters list along with my are listings of cards for counters.  Triple and double strike are very effective and are very strong counters to swarms.  Note you need Gravikor or eagle wings to kill the bees with many of the creatures who have these traits

Youíd quite possibly need a push or teleport as well, since many double/triple strikers are slow, and the double/triple strike is a full round action. Without such things the Swarm could just keep moving away...
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Jbuzzsaw79 on October 31, 2018, 08:06:12 AM
Force push don't work on them they way I read it but dose force wave? Yes since hit everything in zone?
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Puddnhead on October 31, 2018, 09:17:07 PM
The pushes and ports are for the triple striker.
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: zot on December 23, 2018, 02:13:14 PM
the Lifetree does not work to increase health. the swarms have the finite life trait and cannot gain life. nor can they be healed for the same reason.

Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: jacksmack on December 23, 2018, 02:51:05 PM
the Lifetree does not work to increase health. the swarms have the finite life trait and cannot gain life. nor can they be healed for the same reason.

innate life bypasses the finite life trait
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: shoopufff on January 27, 2019, 07:18:25 AM
Hey, just read the post and I believe the part about defenses is incorrect. I dug up an old forum post from Arcanus (The game creator) which stated that additional strikes are extremely good against defenses which would make swarms explicitly good against them because the defense only applies to the first attack (as Farkas noted about reverse attack but seemed to suggest defenses were a good counter?).

Here is the relevant portion of the quote for those curious:



The short answer is that Reverse Attack only bounces back the very first individual attack or strike.  It will not affect additional strikes or attacks. 

This is also realistic;  The Reverse Attack is a force bubble that bounces the first attack back.  After that attack is bounced, it is destroyed.  SO, successive attacks or strikes, after the first one, are not bounced back.  As much as possible, we try to make Mage Wars realistic and intuitive, unless it overly adds complication.

Creatures with doublestrike or triplestrike are very effective against Defenses, because only the first attack or strike is affected.  Block and Reverse Attack are also a Defense and work the same way, which keeps them consistent.

Now, here is the long explanation, in case anyone is interested!   :)

An attack action is a creature action (quick or full) used to make an attack. Sometimes the attack action will be an individual attack, or it might comprise multiple separate attacks (also referred to as "strikes").  Each individual attack in that action is called an attack sequence

For example, double strike, triplestrike, and sweeping are one attack action (always a full action), but have multiple attack sequences.  Some attacks do not follow all of the steps of the attack sequence.  For example, the second attack sequence of a Doublestrike attack action, skips the Declare Attack Step and only has 3 steps.

Defenses, like Block and Reverse Attack, only affect one attack sequence.

When an attacker (which we will call Creature A) attacks the creature enchanted with Reverse Attack (which we will call Creature B), Reverse Attack must be revealed during the Avoid Attack Step. If the Reverse Attack effect occurs, the remainder of Creature A's attack sequence is canceled, and instead Creature B must immediately make an identical attack sequence targeting Object A. This reversed attack sequence is then resolved as normal.

If Object A's original attack action consisted of multiple attack sequences (doublestrike triplestrike, sweeping, etc.), Object A picks up the series of attack sequences where it left off after reversing the first sequence.

Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: farkas1 on January 28, 2019, 08:34:24 AM
Yep I donít know if I implied the whole attack or every attack is avoided but it does apply to the first buffed up strike if the swarm opponent was to hand of bim +1 melee, scout +1 melee ect.  So yea they are not as effective but to avoid one attack from the bee attack Cycle is really good. 

On that note Iím going to make an up dated list and edit and post it back here further down on this page.  I Played a bee swarm book at Winter War and it was quite effective.  I took 2nd and almost had first place worn 3 life and 5 life  left to  my opponent at several times in The match.  So I will do a write up and notes of the bees. 
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: shoopufff on January 28, 2019, 08:15:58 PM
Yeah that's fair, it would be useful against buffed up first attacks but overall, if they are going swarm it's quite likely they will have more than one and unless you have an infinite defense, it will still only reduce a small amount of incoming damage.

I would argue that killing the things that make them strong (Straywood scout / marked for death / etherian lifetree) would be more beneficial than trying to get defenses overall.

In that regard I think your best bet is to get into the zone where these things are congregated and prepare a zone attack like you suggested because those seem to be the most effective way to deal with swarms as you said. But of course, the enemy mage using swarms will be aware of that too and try to thwart you.

Also, congrats on the tournament, looking forward to the update!
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: Puddnhead on January 29, 2019, 09:10:51 AM
SANDSTORM is now META!
Title: Re: Buffs and Counters to Killer Bees
Post by: DaveW on January 30, 2019, 10:39:44 AM
SANDSTORM is now META!

I did use Sandstorm to take out two swarms at Winter War 2. I wish I had put two in my book.