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Mage Wars => General Discussion => Topic started by: jacksmack on August 23, 2019, 11:31:54 AM

Title: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: jacksmack on August 23, 2019, 11:31:54 AM
Long time ago when Meditation amulet was a promo i voiced my concern. (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=12950.0)
Most people called it trash just by looking at it. "it takes 2 actions, and then your still down 1 mana."

However after some time meditation amulet anyway found its way into the meta. It was definitely not used by all (spawnpoint) books, but it was represented occasionally and with mixed success. Back then necromancers seemed to benefit the most from it and could often get away with spending their full action on building their manapool while libro pumped out brutes.
After some time it saw more and more play and was eventually perceived as a good card with its uses.

(Rather recently) a few other cards has been released which also exchanges actions to mana.
Remove curse
Disperse
Crumble

Besides this we got new mana generators:
Wispwillow Amulet
Mana Lotus
Remove curse (can be used to generate mana only and not removing.)
Ritual of Kallek

Ritual of Kallek is a chapter of its own. Since this card is in the game it more or less nullifies the other generators, but im still mentioning them because even without Kallek they still try to do what Kalleks does but in a less efficient and/or consistent way which could potentially still be a problem even if Kallek was errataed or banned.

Before i move on:
Looking at any single card isolated is not very interesting. Its how a card synergies with other cards and mechanics of the game.


So whats is the problem?
In short: Rush / fast books cannot compete anymore.... AT ALL. They are dead with the current card pool.

It has for a LONG time (many releases) been an uphill battle to rush vs defensive spawnpoint mages who stays in their starting zone. But the combination of the above mentioned cards simply wrecks the last tiny chance fast books had vs them.

Its pretty simple... the time (rounds) it takes for you to cross the board and either engage the opponent mage or attempt to get board control is longer than the time that it takes for your opponent to recover his initial mana expense of the spawnpoint(s).
Im not gonna go in to the details on how this is performed by the defensive player... if you disagree with this feel free to try any fast book of yours and attempt to beat my tripple spawnpoint necromancer, my gate wizard....and for the sake of it... i could make a Priestess abusing the above mentioned cards as well. (This is on OCTGN.)

Kallek is potentially the biggest but not the only problem. Crumble and Disperse also deserves to be mentioned.
It used to be the case that (not counting discount rings) that casting an enchantment and benefiting from it before it would be dispelled would leave you ahead in the sense that for instance with a bear strength you would have gotten 1 attack off with more dice leaving the offensive player in some sort of an advantage after he nullified your quick cast.
Crumble and Disperse skews this in a problematic way... It makes undoing too easy and adds to the forgiveness of the initial mana sink of the spawnpoints.

All in all there are too many ways to get mana back too fast.


Without having played a single domination game at this point, i'm leaning more and more to that format being the best for MW since it wont allow you to sit in your corner and just abuse you start 5 zones from each other and correspond correctly to your opponents actions.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: keejchen on August 23, 2019, 01:18:09 PM
I have a few thoughts/questions on this.

Intangible from Arcane Duels talked about this way back, rushes have a lower ceiling and will not win as consistently. You are right that this is a trend that is becoming more pronounced. But is that a bad thing? The game is moving towards longer, more complex games, distancing itself from fast-paced mainstream card games.

Would you really prefer the opposite? That rushes were the main strategy in the game? Run forward, throw boulders, games are over in 30 minutes, all books are the same because opposed schools doesn't mean anything when only a small percentage of your SBP ever sees play. Obviously a middle ground is best, but at least long games are the lesser of two evils.

The big downside of Ritual of Kallek is that it burns your SBP for a short term gain. If SBP is worthless, then the Ritual is amazing. If SBP is worth something, then the Ritual is not worth as much. Same could be said about Wispwillow, Mana Lotus and Remove curse.

Everyone is limited by SBP, when building a book you need to balance it so you can win the game after your economy has paid off, both against rushes (which you claim is easy) but also other economy books (which should then provide you with some challenge).

How does your multiple spawnpoint Necromancer do against a multiple spawnpoint opponent? More importantly, do you consider those games boring?

Theoretically it is possible for a game of Mage Wars to last indefinitely, if both mages resolve to just sit in their corner and do nothing every turn. But how often does that happen? I think this has happened once in my MW career, no one wanted to engage so we agreed to a draw and played the next game. Does it often happen to anyone else? What happens in those situations?

Eventually you will have to engage to win, in a game of two economy books you should see skirmishes across the middle zones and larger, more important spells to swing the game like conjurations and zone attacks. Sounds fun and epic?

The biggest issue is probably real life time constraints? I like to think that quality games take time, and Mage Wars Arena at its slowest is still faster than most grand strategy games. Although it would really help if OCTGN had a save function.

Finally, the take from this is that more people should play Domination, it's a really fun game mode!
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: jacksmack on August 23, 2019, 01:42:47 PM
I have a few thoughts/questions on this.

Intangible from Arcane Duels talked about this way back, rushes have a lower ceiling and will not win as consistently. You are right that this is a trend that is becoming more pronounced. But is that a bad thing? The game is moving towards longer, more complex games, distancing itself from fast-paced mainstream card games.

Would you really prefer the opposite? That rushes were the main strategy in the game? Run forward, throw boulders, games are over in 30 minutes, all books are the same because opposed schools doesn't mean anything when only a small percentage of your SBP ever sees play. Obviously a middle ground is best, but at least long games are the lesser of two evils.

Its very bad... its not like the game ever been mainstream fast-paced. I'm not saying that fast books should be the only way... but they have struggled for a LONG time... and now they have been executed completely by academy cards.
THATS bad!
And yes i would prefer the opposite... fast games are much more interesting to play and to watch...this is obviously subjective. But you make it sound like there is no interesting decisions to be made in those games, and that's clearly wrong.


The big downside of Ritual of Kallek is that it burns your SBP for a short term gain. If SBP is worthless, then the Ritual is amazing. If SBP is worth something, then the Ritual is not worth as much. Same could be said about Wispwillow, Mana Lotus and Remove curse.

Everyone is limited by SBP, when building a book you need to balance it so you can win the game after your economy has paid off, both against rushes (which you claim is easy) but also other economy books (which should then provide you with some challenge).
Kallek doesnt kill you in terms of SBP's. Thing is you only need to do it 2 or maximum 3 times.
As soon as you go into casting it 4-5-6 times then you are often better off with the first cast being a mana shard, harmonize, crystal or flower.


How does your multiple spawnpoint Necromancer do against a multiple spawnpoint opponent? More importantly, do you consider those games boring?
But...Haven't lost with the original version (before kallek) basically because its pumped with more creatures than any other player ever put in his book.
This is my point... people need to guess how many spbs i spend on creatures and thats DURING the play... and its during first round before they get to see anything... because if they put their Spawnpoint in their own start zone then its kinda over already there... boring for both of us.

Besides the necro when its Slow vs slow:
Usually it comes down to some random boring timing about who kidnaps (teleport to death zone) who's big baddie first and basically executes the opponents army 1 at a time until his book is emptied.
Not interesting at all.

Eventually you will have to engage to win, in a game of two economy books you should see skirmishes across the middle zones and larger, more important spells to swing the game like conjurations and zone attacks. Sounds fun and epic?
Never happened... never will happen... Zone attacks are not solution also they are expensive and often out of school. include 2 of them... there goes your spb's.

The biggest issue is probably real life time constraints? I like to think that quality games take time, and Mage Wars Arena at its slowest is still faster than most grand strategy games. Although it would really help if OCTGN had a save function.
Problem is that the quality is often not there... so its just a lot of time.


Finally, the take from this is that more people should play Domination, it's a really fun game mode!
i guess we agree here.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Knabbmaster on August 23, 2019, 01:52:36 PM
I am not really sure what you mean with aggresive books. Early rushes have always been bad, since you can trade actions  (healing the damage, play jinx...) and the defender gets a headstart with 30 + life (3 rounds or 6 actions). What HAS been (and still is?) possible is to snowball early on with for example a big creature that kills stuff from turn 3 or 4. You always need to have an advantage in order to go for their mage.

I mainly think that AW forgot that conditional effects should not lower the cost. Like ritual of kallek does not really deal damage and the amulet does not restrict you to 1 action.

I like games that are eventful the length does not really matter. My favorite types of games are when both mages are at 20 ish damage for 10+ rounds while they still try to get long term advantages at the same time. Just summoning 10 creatures each and then slam them into eachother all at once is the worst experience BY FAR.

I hope we get more cards like deathlock and Idol of pestilence to kill turtles.
And also if you get a quick game you can just go again! ;)
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: jacksmack on August 23, 2019, 02:12:32 PM
What HAS been (and still is?) possible is to snowball early on with for example a big creature that kills stuff from turn 3 or 4. You always need to have an advantage in order to go for their mage.

And this is the point i'm trying to make.... its no longer viable. Opponent gets same size creature out WITH a spawnpoint to back up due to the mentioned spells that recover your mana too quickly.

Also its a bit absurd to talk about round 3 when the opponent is in his corner. Even round 4 seem risky... since your essentially risking falling behind on actions if you begin teleporting / force pushing / running double with mage).
But you are not guarding while you rush him thats for sure. That means he gets to open on your bad boy and focus it down and suddenly you need to pay attention to keeping it alive thus reducing your pressure dramatically.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: farkas1 on August 23, 2019, 04:31:41 PM
Jacksmack you make some great points and have valid concerns.  I donít agree with everything you have said tho. 

I think with the game style you describe can be long and boring.  But we have had ritual of kallek builds at gencon and still get games in under 90 min.  I would say that is fairly fast games still.   I would also say the counter to such builds is highly aggressive builds that either go straight after the mage and or target the engine such as spawnpoint killing ect. 

Now the negative the ritual of kallek and or mediation amulet has made 10 channeling mages stronger which is problematic.

Solutions:

Ignore it
  I agree that 9 channeling mages are at bit more of a disadvantage, but it either means copying a similar tactic/ always have a Spawnpoint/ or being super aggressive with current meta in mind.  I donít think it means auto win if playing against a meditation/kallek 10 channel mage its it is just stupid tough

Other possible solutions
 The 10 channeling standard has been discussed and I do feel maybe an easy fix to some of these issues.  I donít think it hurts the 10 channeling mages at all imo.  The other inherit abilities or schools are good enough if not sometimes better than most 9 channeling mages (zap, shield, treebond,poison immunity, life gain ect). 

 I wonder maybe another solution would be start 9 channeling mages with more mana turn 1.  Say 5-6 more mana than 10 channeling mages.  This would give a little bonus to aggressive mages but also not hurt 10 channeling mages long game. 



Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on August 23, 2019, 04:32:44 PM
   I think ritual in its current form is bad for the game. it is too Efficient. I posted in another thread even a simple change like it costing 5 mana to get 8 back and still deal the damage limits when it will get used. still useful, but not highly efficient. kallek changes the opportunity costs for the game tremendously. now you can simply have it all. part of the games appeal and nuance are the players choices on how to spend their limited supply of mana.

   I do concur that some more sources of global damage or finite life are good. that is part of the reason the owl (was supposed to be a raven) making a zone finite life were put into the game. to help blunt healing.


   I do not agree that rush is completely dead. sure it could use a boost. however I do agree that it should be something balanced so that games do not devolve into rush v rush and whoever wins initiative wins the match.

   I also would like to see a spawnpoint for fm. a power generator that spits out force spells would be cool.

Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on August 23, 2019, 04:34:48 PM
Other possible solutions
 I wonder maybe another solution would be start 9 channeling mages with more mana turn 1.  Say 5-6 more mana than 10 channeling mages.  This would give a little bonus to aggressive mages but also not hurt 10 channeling mages long game.

this is an interesting idea
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: farkas1 on August 23, 2019, 04:45:33 PM
Yea ritual having max zone range is crazy strong.  That needs to immediately change to be 0-1 target ect. 
That said I donít like banning cards or nerfing them so they never get used. 

I also think a damage per mana would have been an Easier solution to the problem. Change it so every mana gain deals one damage. It would help  the trick of stacking of damage on one creature that can immediately regen/remove damage during upkeep.   

Again interesting discussion and topic!!!
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on August 23, 2019, 04:53:17 PM
restricting the range of the creature damaged is ok. but I think a change to its efficiency is all that is needed too. costing 0 is too efficient.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: wtcannonjr on August 23, 2019, 06:20:54 PM
  I also would like to see a spawnpoint for fm. a power generator that spits out force spells would be cool.
Hmmm... this sounds like a Thoughtspore.

It has a channeling rate and can cast force spells that are Incantations or Attacks.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Puddnhead on August 24, 2019, 11:25:15 AM
  I also would like to see a spawnpoint for fm. a power generator that spits out force spells would be cool.
Hmmm... this sounds like a Thoughtspore.

It has a channeling rate and can cast force spells that are Incantations or Attacks.

Thoughtspore's problem is that it has to take an action to do those things.  If you could do ANYTHING in Deploy with a Forcemaster it would be wonderful.  You can't....unless you battleforge.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Powlich on August 24, 2019, 02:37:40 PM
Hi guys!

After about one year away from MW, I have the ambition to get back on octgn and play a few games soon. I was planning to try and play a bit more aggressive than before, hoping I would enjoy the game more overall. So this is kind of bad news for me. This game didn't need more annoying spells if you ask me. But I guess I will accept the challange to try and beat those super economy decks. The more the odds are against you, the more fun it is when you finally win. :)

I still think that I prefer to play Domination over standard Arena nowdays, because Domination delivers more enjoyment per minute than Arena (usually), and the meta is much more "open" in Domination, if you see what I mean.

Rant over... See you in the arena!
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on August 24, 2019, 06:50:12 PM
welcome back. and note not everyone agrees with the conclusions stated.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: DaveW on August 24, 2019, 06:56:51 PM
Other possible solutions
 I wonder maybe another solution would be start 9 channeling mages with more mana turn 1.  Say 5-6 more mana than 10 channeling mages.  This would give a little bonus to aggressive mages but also not hurt 10 channeling mages long game.

this is an interesting idea

Agreed... some extra mana for nine channeling mages would be interesting to try. More than about five and then there is no real disadvantage to having the lower channeling mage. It also provides more options for the early game... I would love to try a Battle Forge / Lair (near center) opening for the Beastmaster, for one example.

On the "death" of rush books... I would say that an intelligent plan with a well-crafted spell book can support a rush, or at least have an option to rush... the second-place Warlord (of all things) book is one that I would consider a good rush book... and there were two Kallek books in the tournament (neither of which took first). It all depends on what you put in your book, and how the opponent opens to defend against various possible rush strategies... you can't ignore the possible turn two thorn push, the Divine Intervention of a Vampiress on turn three, or a wand with Hurl Meteroite at range three on turn two, just for a few examples. The reason I enjoy the game is because there are so many options.

No, I don't play on OCTGN... but have had good books played against me by good players, and feel that those two factors are much more of an impact on the outcome of a game than the inclusion of Kallek. Maybe it is too efficient? I don't know... but even as is, there is a way to play against it still.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Puddnhead on August 24, 2019, 09:38:36 PM
Just a note, sharkey's book was a ritual book and it did take first.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: DaveW on August 24, 2019, 11:01:01 PM
Just a note, sharkey's book was a ritual book and it did take first.

Oh, that's right... the Necro that Tim was talking about. Sorry!

For some reason, I had in mind that the two Siren's were the Ritual books. Now that I look at it... it was the Necro and the Druid.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on August 25, 2019, 06:48:02 AM
what I don't want to see is that you have to rush or ritual to be competitive. that is what is bad for the game.

Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Reddicediaries on August 25, 2019, 06:08:59 PM
I have a few thoughts/questions on this.

Intangible from Arcane Duels talked about this way back, rushes have a lower ceiling and will not win as consistently. You are right that this is a trend that is becoming more pronounced. But is that a bad thing? The game is moving towards longer, more complex games, distancing itself from fast-paced mainstream card games.

Would you really prefer the opposite? That rushes were the main strategy in the game? Run forward, throw boulders, games are over in 30 minutes, all books are the same because opposed schools doesn't mean anything when only a small percentage of your SBP ever sees play. Obviously a middle ground is best, but at least long games are the lesser of two evils.

The big downside of Ritual of Kallek is that it burns your SBP for a short term gain. If SBP is worthless, then the Ritual is amazing. If SBP is worth something, then the Ritual is not worth as much. Same could be said about Wispwillow, Mana Lotus and Remove curse.

Everyone is limited by SBP, when building a book you need to balance it so you can win the game after your economy has paid off, both against rushes (which you claim is easy) but also other economy books (which should then provide you with some challenge).

How does your multiple spawnpoint Necromancer do against a multiple spawnpoint opponent? More importantly, do you consider those games boring?

Theoretically it is possible for a game of Mage Wars to last indefinitely, if both mages resolve to just sit in their corner and do nothing every turn. But how often does that happen? I think this has happened once in my MW career, no one wanted to engage so we agreed to a draw and played the next game. Does it often happen to anyone else? What happens in those situations?

Eventually you will have to engage to win, in a game of two economy books you should see skirmishes across the middle zones and larger, more important spells to swing the game like conjurations and zone attacks. Sounds fun and epic?

The biggest issue is probably real life time constraints? I like to think that quality games take time, and Mage Wars Arena at its slowest is still faster than most grand strategy games. Although it would really help if OCTGN had a save function.

Finally, the take from this is that more people should play Domination, it's a really fun game mode!

I think you are somewhat misunderstanding rush in this context .

Obviously just running and throwing boulders will not work and is not a fun experience for any player. But that's not what rush entails. Rush implies aggressive play, which should be a perfectly valid strategy. I personally find games which involve few creatures to be far more interesting and tactical than games with large armies. As JackSmack said, the later often divulge into teleport wars. No fun for anybody.

I can't help but notice that you hardly ever play rushes yourself (at least in competitions), instead favoring the long game. So perhaps you're biased against rushes.

I think the game should have a balance between more economy based builds and more aggressive ones. In an ideal world, I'd see this developing:

Rush beats economy builds
Economy builds beat defensive builds
Defensive builds beat economy builds

Obviously those classifications don't really exist inside the game at this point, but that's what I would have liked to see in an ideal situation.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: keejchen on August 25, 2019, 09:09:55 PM
Of course I am biased, this whole thread is a collection subjective opinions about recent shifts in the meta.

I agree that there has been a drift towards longer games, I just do not agree that the game is worse off because of it. Nor am I suggesting that this trend should be pushed further, but the title of this post suggest that errata/bans are necessary to combat the recent changes and I disagree with that. I wanted to give voice to other side of the debate. I think the game is in the best balance it has ever been (even despite the Pillar! ::)), which is, again, an entirely subjective opinion.

Eventually you will have to engage to win, in a game of two economy books you should see skirmishes across the middle zones and larger, more important spells to swing the game like conjurations and zone attacks. Sounds fun and epic?
Never happened... never will happen... Zone attacks are not solution also they are expensive and often out of school. include 2 of them... there goes your spb's.
Happens to me all the time. Both the semi-final and the final in the league were won by zone attacks. Maybe you should try them some time. ;)
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: farkas1 on August 26, 2019, 10:21:37 AM
Iím on board with keejchenís logic.  As I pointed out earlier rush builds are not dead. They maybe more difficult to execute.  I would say keep things the way they are until next couple of tournaments.  I donít think we have fully explored the Current meta yet.   Zot took 2nd with well planned book construction and a rush tactic that worked.  I donít know if he ran any zone attacks but I do feel they could have been very effective against a ritual of kallek book.   Zone attacks are really effective, my buddy and I run a tsunami in every other build because they can swing a game.

Also more mana does not mean longer games, I think it has and should make games shorter for longer timed builds to reach quicker peaks  in which they wish to target the opponentís mage. I do think ritual needs to be looked at closely in future games and tournaments,  it is a card that has made a Large impact on the current meta. 
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: jacksmack on August 26, 2019, 04:07:27 PM
Whether or not its good, bad fun, annoying, entertaining, hilarious or whatever to the game that rush books are dead is obviously subjective but more importantly: completely irrelevant to the thread.
I'm just stating the current situation. I don't care who likes the state of the game or not.

And then suddenly we are off to zone attacks which is irrelevant to the fast / rush books being dead "issue".
A fast book will not win any games if they suddenly change strategy to board control and try to kill 2-3 bigs with zone attacks and attack spells before proceeding with the opponent mage.

Of course its problematic to the health of the game that more or less every release since Druid vs Necromancer overall favors long games and passive games.
Eventually a "game of dueling mages" will turn into a "game of emptying your opponents spell book before he empties yours!"
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Reddicediaries on August 27, 2019, 10:26:42 AM
"The game is moving towards longer, more complex games, distancing itself from fast-paced mainstream card games."

And this is what I take issue with.

I do not see these longer games as more complex. Large armies clashing is boring, at least for me.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: jacksmack on August 27, 2019, 12:05:33 PM
Imagine they released a full action upheaval with no level restriction and able to also target incorporal which also repays you 2 mana. Or in other words essentially be 2 mana cheaper than the conjuration it targets.

Then we have Soul Harvest. Imagine that it wasnt epic or restricted to necromancer and instead of healing it gave back 2 mana. Exchange "target creature" with "arena" to the target line" so it cannot be nullifed (Hello crumble), but put in the text that creature has to be within 1 zone.


Do you see the picture i'm trying to make?


Its insanely problematic that the undo cards are more efficient than the "do" cards in arena.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: DaveW on August 27, 2019, 05:16:21 PM
Do you see the picture i'm trying to make?

No. My brain can only take so much.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Enti on August 28, 2019, 03:08:09 PM
First of all I want to address the obvious flaw in your reasoning:

Quote
if you disagree with this feel free to try any fast book of yours and attempt to beat my triple spawnpoint necromancer, my gate wizard....and for the sake of it... i could make a Priestess abusing the above mentioned cards as well.

The problem with that statement is that you are in the top 90 percentile of "experienced mw players"  / competitive players. So you probably beat 9 out of 10 players who challenge you regardless of the deck you use. So if you beat someone it's not necessarily because your "triple-spawnpoint+ritual"-deck is stronger, but because you just played better, sry ~  :p


---

That aside, it would be hypocritically of me not to admit that my own 2 strongest books are both using the Ritual  and are both spawnpoint-builds.

And that nicely leads to the point I want to make:

How do you define a fast/rush book?

1. First thing that comes to mind is probably this answer: By the amount of spawnpoint the book uses.
Example: If you are playing without a single spawnpoint you are by definition a rush/fast-book.

2. Another approach might be the question "in which turn does this book want to engage the enemy under regular circumstances?"
Example: If your strategy is to hit the enemy mage at least in turn .. 5? Then it's a rush book.

3. We neither ask how many spawnpoints a book has nor do we let an arbitrary number of turns decide if one book is a rush book or not, but we judge by the question: "What is the strategy of the mage?"
Example: If the book is tailored to attacking only the mage, never other creatures, conjurations or spawnpoints, then it's a rush/fast book.

Honestly, all of those ideas have merit. As long as we haven't even established what exactly a fast/rush book is, it's kind of strange to discuss how effective those books are.  Because everyone is talking about a different book in their mind.

Taking up my earlier comment about how my two strongest books are ritual and spawnpoint books, I would also categorize them as aggressive, maybe even early aggression-books. But I would not say that they are rush-builds.

Maybe a good way to figure out how aggressive a book is to ask how fast they get to their dmg-peak or near it?
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: farkas1 on August 29, 2019, 03:12:49 PM
First of all I want to address the obvious flaw in your reasoning:

Quote
if you disagree with this feel free to try any fast book of yours and attempt to beat my triple spawnpoint necromancer, my gate wizard....and for the sake of it... i could make a Priestess abusing the above mentioned cards as well.

The problem with that statement is that you are in the top 90 percentile of "experienced mw players"  / competitive players. So you probably beat 9 out of 10 players who challenge you regardless of the deck you use. So if you beat someone it's not necessarily because your "triple-spawnpoint+ritual"-deck is stronger, but because you just played better, sry ~  :p


---

That aside, it would be hypocritically of me not to admit that my own 2 strongest books are both using the Ritual  and are both spawnpoint-builds.

And that nicely leads to the point I want to make:

How do you define a fast/rush book?

1. First thing that comes to mind is probably this answer: By the amount of spawnpoint the book uses.
Example: If you are playing without a single spawnpoint you are by definition a rush/fast-book.

2. Another approach might be the question "in which turn does this book want to engage the enemy under regular circumstances?"
Example: If your strategy is to hit the enemy mage at least in turn .. 5? Then it's a rush book.

3. We neither ask how many spawnpoints a book has nor do we let an arbitrary number of turns decide if one book is a rush book or not, but we judge by the question: "What is the strategy of the mage?"
Example: If the book is tailored to attacking only the mage, never other creatures, conjurations or spawnpoints, then it's a rush/fast book.

Honestly, all of those ideas have merit. As long as we haven't even established what exactly a fast/rush book is, it's kind of strange to discuss how effective those books are.  Because everyone is talking about a different book in their mind.

Taking up my earlier comment about how my two strongest books are ritual and spawnpoint books, I would also categorize them as aggressive, maybe even early aggression-books. But I would not say that they are rush-builds.

Maybe a good way to figure out how aggressive a book is to ask how fast they get to their dmg-peak or near it?

1.  spawnpoint builds can be still very aggressive like mention in your last comments they may not mean rush build.  I would say a battleforge can support a rush and out of all spawnpoints it has the best potential to support a big buddy mage, or solo mage.

2. I would classify rush book as engagement anytime before round 6.  typically turn 2-4 are where I see a rush book being more effective to a spawnpoint sit in corner and pump out creature book. 

3. I would agree in all points so far.  including the goal for winning condition for your Book/mage has alot to do with if your book is a rush book. 

The last comment is what I am finding out too that goes against the slow, long games that has been mentioned by players is that ritual books speed up slow long books.  Players will get wreaked real quick by a few big creatures swinging 5-7 dice each attack. 

That said... is ritual of kallek card in particularly good for the game, I dont know yet.  I would say in tournaments it does have the highest potential to get a nerf or bann from all the released cards so far.  I still think it is too soon to start nerfing any potential card, but that is my personal preference.  If there is a majority that think otherwise I am fine with the decision.  Again good topic and good debate.  I don't think it is an easy decision for future tournament organizers.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: farkas1 on August 29, 2019, 04:26:29 PM
A couple other things I do agree that crumble and disperse have the mana advantage but I still feel I see more dispels and dissolves than any of the other remove card spells.  I would say remove curse definitely hurt the curse game.  But I donít believe the removal game is inhibiting a rush style book anymore than their counter parts.  Heck purge magic is in the base set and totally ruins most mass enchant builds. 

Stalling out, slowing down is a natural counter to rush builds.  It does take precious actions and mana to do tho. 

So counters like nullify, can get avoided and in my opinion Iím seeing less use of in many matches for good or bad.  But most of the time a player is going to double up maybe even triple up the spells like enchantments, equipment ect. they know they need. That maybe potentially removed. 

So the counter to the counter is just to cast more equipment or enchantments than the opponent can deal with.  The only removal game Iím not fond of is mana denial/drain and thankfully it is not fun to play or not popular in the meta. 



Okay that being said those are my opinions and observations.

What would you Jacksmack like the cardpool to be or what specific changes would you make for Mage Wars to be the style of game that would improve the variability of play styles? 

One solution and could be an easy fix is by only allowing Arena cards and banning all academy cards in tournament play.  This would allow for a different meta to emerge and avoid some of the problematic cards that seem to mostly academy focused.  I wouldnít mind a smaller card pool or contained card pool for small tournaments.  It would be interesting to try out.  I know the convention up North East uses core set for first rounds ect.  That maybe too restrictive for players who like other mages tho. 
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: DaveW on August 30, 2019, 11:28:22 AM
Ban all academy cards from tournaments and you have a fixed card pool and the end of variety.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: Enti on August 30, 2019, 06:00:30 PM
Yeah, I think banning a gigantic, random number of cards will solve no problems. And nobody seriously advocates for that.

I am still curious to hear what decks "are dead and will never recover [...]" - how he defines a fast/rush deck. Because if he uses the same definition as someone in Discord "Either you have won in T5 or you will definitely lose the game" then imho it's no loss that this kind of deck is not viable any longer.
If he was referring to something else, please let us know what deck exactly you mean. Every deck that doesn't use 3 spawnpoints + mediation amulet + Ritual? Hardly... so what are we talking about!?
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: wtcannonjr on September 01, 2019, 09:12:40 AM
I know the convention up North East uses core set for first rounds ect.  That maybe too restrictive for players who like other mages tho.
I think this may be a reference to the WBC tournament held in Sevens Springs Resort, PA. This summer the WBC Arena tournament did expand the format to allow all Arena mages and cards, but continued to exclude Academy cards. We also dropped Apprentice mode from the demos and tournament rounds in an effort to attract more experienced players.

I need to provide a post-event report with details but here are the highlights. We had 11 players participate in the two day event with a customized Straywood Beastmaster (Chris Byrd) winning the event for his third year in a row. New players to the game were allowed to select any standard book of the 14 possible mages to use for the 4-round tournament.

The Academy cards have been excluded on the basis that interactions between Academy (with still evolving rules) and Arena rules have not been fully documented (or systematically tested). In addition, the card effects and interactions between the two product lines are more likely to involve questions that would interrupt games during the timed events. 

RE: Variety
I don't see a fixed card pool as the end of variety. However, it does change the focus of variety to exploring different strategies and tactics within the range of decisions a player has to make both before and during a match. The Arena only format provides players a choice of 14 different mages with unique training across 10 different schools and 14 different combinations of mage abilities. It also provides 482 unique spell cards distributed over these 10 schools. Plenty of variety by these numbers.

I prefer to see the glass half full of water rather than half empty. Adding Academy cards to the tournament glass feels like mixing oil with water just to fill up the glass. It does add a new taste to the overall drink, but I prefer the water only. Other tastes will vary ...
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on September 01, 2019, 11:50:53 PM
this sounds interesting from a bookbuilding perspective. takes us back some time for sure. I would have to check my competitive books to see how it may affect the builds and consider alternatives to any academy cards in them.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: DaveW on September 02, 2019, 08:37:35 AM
I have all my Academy and Arena cards mixed together. Just the prospect of having to sort them out would be seriously depressing. Then it would get worse once I got to realize how much money I spent in getting Academy cards to use with my Arena set (especially lately, knowing that there won't be any more Arena cards coming out)... I'd never use them again as I absolutely despise Academy play.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on September 02, 2019, 12:16:23 PM
there has been nothing official about further arena sets.
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: DaveW on September 03, 2019, 09:59:07 AM
there has been nothing official about further arena sets.

Yes, well, I've given up hope on future Arena expansions. I'll also never play Domination or Academy again, so....

Not only that, but I'm doubtful that Academy will have much more that could be used in area, now that I have seen some of the stuff that came out in Monk. The Monk, to me, is weird and has really odd spells. I hope they do stop trying to replicate martial abilities... even if you try to explain it as mana is really ki instead. Those few spells from that produce that I have seen really give me less of a feel that this game is staying on point in terms of genre, and more about finding excuses for validating strange tactics and simulating something less "fantastic."
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: SharkBait on September 18, 2019, 10:46:12 AM
I'm back from a bit of a break. I'm going to cherry pick a few quotes, then give my thoughts.


So whats is the problem?
In short: Rush / fast books cannot compete anymore.... AT ALL. They are dead with the current card pool.

It has for a LONG time (many releases) been an uphill battle to rush vs defensive spawnpoint mages who stays in their starting zone. But the combination of the above mentioned cards simply wrecks the last tiny chance fast books had vs them.

Its pretty simple... the time (rounds) it takes for you to cross the board and either engage the opponent mage or attempt to get board control is longer than the time that it takes for your opponent to recover his initial mana expense of the spawnpoint(s).
......................
Kallek is potentially the biggest but not the only problem. Crumble and Disperse also deserves to be mentioned.
It used to be the case that (not counting discount rings) that casting an enchantment and benefiting from it before it would be dispelled would leave you ahead in the sense that for instance with a bear strength you would have gotten 1 attack off with more dice leaving the offensive player in some sort of an advantage after he nullified your quick cast.
Crumble and Disperse skews this in a problematic way... It makes undoing too easy and adds to the forgiveness of the initial mana sink of the spawnpoints.
.......................
All in all there are too many ways to get mana back too fast.

Bolded certain parts for emphasis

This, in its essence and intent (as I understand it), reflects my views as well. I don't agree with every solution posted, but I do agree that defensive play and the ease of which mana is recovered from long-game "investments" due to efficiency in later cards is a problem for the game. It also means that to be competitive in a tournament of players all playing to win, using a "rush book" (definition coming later, there is some grey area) is a significant handicap to the point of being noncompetitive.



Of course its problematic to the health of the game that more or less every release since Druid vs Necromancer overall favors long games and passive games.
Eventually a "game of dueling mages" will turn into a "game of emptying your opponents spell book before he empties yours!"


Again, I agree here. It's no longer a game of "dueling mages" so much as a game of starcraft where you spam units out of buildings (spawnpoints) faster/more efficiently than your opponent. Tactics still have some play here, so it's not the end of the world. However, since the ritual and spawnpoint spam is so prevalent, the game does tend to degrade into armies smashing into each other. It's just not a game of dueling mages anymore when mages rarely engage each other.

The above could also be recency bias, but I've had this feeling for a LONG time. Of note, it's not a bash on starcraft. I love that game. It's just not a dueling mage game.

I am still curious to hear what decks "are dead and will never recover [...]" - how he defines a fast/rush deck. Because if he uses the same definition as someone in Discord "Either you have won in T5 or you will definitely lose the game" then imho it's no loss that this kind of deck is not viable any longer.
If he was referring to something else, please let us know what deck exactly you mean. Every deck that doesn't use 3 spawnpoints + mediation amulet + Ritual? Hardly... so what are we talking about!?

Reddice has a good point on this:

I think you are somewhat misunderstanding rush in this context .

Obviously just running and throwing boulders will not work and is not a fun experience for any player. But that's not what rush entails. Rush implies aggressive play, which should be a perfectly valid strategy. I personally find games which involve few creatures to be far more interesting and tactical than games with large armies. As JackSmack said, the later often divulge into teleport wars. No fun for anybody.

I think we're all (including myself, a bit) using "rush" and "aggressive" interchangeably when there should probably be a bit more nuance to the subject. Yes, rush books that can win on T5 or 6 by throwing tons of dice are generally viewed as uncompetitive because those books have no mid or long game plan to which they can pivot. You win, or you get thwarted. I tend to view that as being ok to an extent because it's on the extreme side. Conversely, TOO much economy will do the same thing  at the other end of the spectrum(get beaten by faster books due to extreme investment in the long game).

What I don't find all that interesting is the fact that there really isn't an avenue for a mid-game aggressor to beat one of the aforementioned economy-spawnpoint builds either. Those economy builds are now able to minimize the time that they're vulnerable to the point of them being inherently untouchable due to the time it takes to set up to kill them. I'm going to use a personal example here, but there is a near zero chance that an adramelech warlock book built specifically to fight those long game books actually stands a chance against them. It's simply too easy to earn back the mana/action investment inherent in the spawnpoint/economy play that there isn't really any counterplay that exists other than to build a better spawnpoint/economy book OR outplay your opponent to a significant degree. I find that in high level tournaments, the degree to which people are outplayed tends to be extremely tight. It is good that the competition is close, but it is unfortunate that one must build a narrow set of books to keep the competition close enough for a realistic chance at winning. That reasoning alone is why I chose to run the necromancer at GenCon this year despite my years of practice with a completely different style of play/mage.


Iím on board with keejchenís logic. As I pointed out earlier rush builds are not dead. They maybe more difficult to execute.  I would say keep things the way they are until next couple of tournaments.  I donít think we have fully explored the Current meta yet.  Zot took 2nd with well planned book construction and a rush tactic that worked.  I donít know if he ran any zone attacks but I do feel they could have been very effective against a ritual of kallek book.   Zone attacks are really effective, my buddy and I run a tsunami in every other build because they can swing a game.

This isn't intended to diminish zot's play, or those at GenCon, but zot took 2nd in a field of 6. Zot played his mind out, and made one hell of a run with a book that was at a significant disadvantage from the roll for initiative. This disadvantage was despite the fact that the book was designed to beat the ritual spawnpoint economy books. Zot "stole" a few wins where most would have never stood a chance, and that's a testament to his play. I'd argue that if he'd leveled the playing field and joined the dark side (read: Played a ritual book) the tournament would have turned out quite differently.

I'm not trying to argue that these books are unbeatable, but I do believe that the economy spawnpoint books are at a significant advantage vs every other type of book that exists to the point of it over centralizing the game around them. Remember when everyone ran wizards because they enjoyed a similar advantage from the start of a game? In my opinion, this situation is similar.

One of the things that the ritual of kallek specifically does is that it exacerbates the divide between 9 and 10 channeling mages. 10 channeling mages (+Druid) benefit more from ritual than their 9 channel counterparts due to the already significant extra mana they enjoy during the game. It's a multiplier effect that tends to spiral out of control.

I don't have a lot of immediate solutions to the issue though without a complete rework of some of the systems in mage wars. One of the reasons we're trying out the rule that all mages channel 10 in the league season 2 is to see the effect that has on both variety of mages and variety of builds since the initial playing field is a bit more level. The hope is that the initial starting advantage previously enjoyed by the economy spawnpoint builds is smaller to the point that they may have a larger window of vulnerability that they have to account for. We'll see how it plays out the next couple of months. Hopefully that data can drive further discussion.

As always, the above is just my 2 mana :D . This looks like a great discussion at least because it brings some good ideas out.


Shark
Title: Re: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned
Post by: zot on September 18, 2019, 09:40:52 PM
"stole" ?

 :D