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Messages - reddawn

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General Discussion / Re: A Not-so-subtle review: Mage Wars.
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:48:45 AM »
I share the sentiment that Mage Wars is a much better game than Magic at its core, but I don't think WotC is really that concerned about Arcane Wonders overtaking them.  Though MTG is truly lackluster comparatively, the way the game is constructed encourages fierce loyalty from its players, as with many TCGs, but with Magic and its formats, even more so.  Single cards can be so expensive and so iconic to many players that they'll invest heavily financially to experience what they think is something worth having...and in a game like Magic, a card's price is usually pretty indicative of its power.  It's like buying a membership to a yacht club; you get to be a part of an exclusive experience.  

However, when you realize the game actually sucks, you're pretty much stuck with cardboard that is really only important to a select group of people.  And at that point, you're faced with a dilemma; do you want to stay a big fish in a small pond, or do you want to start all over with a new, if admittedly better game?  Do you leave behind the social circles which held value for you, in which you were possibly an important member?  

Magic is the worse game, it often brings out the worst in people (especially at the competitive level), but no one can deny the fierce loyalty behind its community.  It keeps many gaming shops open single-handed and that's just the truth.  Every single gameshop I've been to places its MTG product up at the front of the store, before everything else, and for good reason.  It's extremely profitable and the perception is that it is the best TCG around.  

And WotC isn't stupid; they know what sells.  There's a reason why they just got done with two product lines, Scars of Mirrodin block and the current Return to Ravnica block, that are pretty much revisits of their most wildly successful products.  Magic, put frankly, is an icon of the industry, one that is so successful it can basically regurgitate old products as new products and still sell fantastically well.      

Great games have died because they lacked community support.  I'm not saying Mage Wars will die; indeed, I hope it prospers exactly because it deserves to.  But it really needs to foster its own image, its own identity, and its own community before you can really ask to compete with a juggernaut like Magic.  It can't survive as "the Magic alternative" for very long; there have been plenty of those and honestly, none have them have come close to surpassing MTG.  MW needs to be its own entity and idea, and I think that's what organizers should be focusing on because other than some similarities in theme, the games are entirely different in form and function.  

That said, all the support MW offers to its players and the enthusiasm it's showing towards retailers and OP is very encouraging.  The forums here are welcoming and genuinely helpful, unlike the caustic forums at MTGSalvation or WotC's own site.  Players want a positive experience regardless of the game, and MW offers both in droves.  To be motivated about the game players need to see a strong, welcoming community as MW's backbone.  Once we have that, the quality of the game will speak for itself.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Counter Priestess Temple Build
« on: March 22, 2013, 10:21:24 AM »
Fire spells on conjurations is usually pretty good, since you only need a burn or two (if that much) to activate afterwards.  I've found that Firestorm or Ring of Fire is pretty good at wiping out zone-heavy play.

Otherwise, try to get some creatures or equipment with piercing against the heftier temples.  Hand of Bim-Shalla can be destroyed easily without piercing, but the others are tougher.  

Luckily, I play the Warlock a bunch, and between Slayers and Hellions, and the Lash and Sectarus, I really only have to worry about ethereal conjurations.  If you go with the Beastmaster, you might want a Steelclaw Bear or Tarok, or Tooth and Nail if you're going for a swarm of foxes or falcons.  As a wizard, you'll probably have to settle for fire spells or just competing with your own Gate to Voltari.

I'm not saying daze/stun is useless, btw.  It's very good.  I guess I just don't see status effects in terms of one being better than another, since they all have their uses.

Quote from: "Koz" post=9434
Quote from: "reddawn" post=9433
Quote from: "Koz" post=9421

1. The Warlock doesn't really have anything solid that deals with incorporeal stuff

2. Yet another reason IMO that Lightning > Fire.

1.  Demonhide Armor is a safe bet.  Every mage needs armor and one that deals ethereal critical damage  pretty easily solves most incorporeal problems.  Against the Spirit, though, just Enfeeble it.  You effectively solve a 12 mana (plus upkeep) creature for 6 mana, since the only real reason to use the Spirit is for its quick action melee attack anyway.  

Ah yes, Demonhide Armor, I had forgotten that it did Ethereal damage.  That's one option, although I'm not a fan of the card personally.

I don't get the Enfeeble comment.  The Enfeeble curse makes a creature Slow, but that doesn't necessarily prevent it from being a pain to deal with.  One of the more common uses of Whirling Spirit is to place it in the same zone as its controlling mage so that it can act as a Guard or just attack normally and knock melee mages out of the zone to keep them back.  In that scenario the Whirling Spirit does not need to move, so being slow would be irrelevant.

2.  Air spells aren't as efficient for dealing damage and all of them are avoidable, unlike most of the Fire spells.  I value the unavoidable trait more highly than the ethereal trait, since I come across defenses more than incorporeal things.

No, I know that Fire is better at just doing pure damage, but I feel Lightning is better mostly due to the fact that Daze/Stun is often much more useful than Burn.  As far as your comment about Unavoidable goes, fire only has one more Unavoidable attack than Lightning does now that Arc Lightning has been released in the expansion so unless you are going Firestorm heavy, you aren't really getting many more Unavoidable attacks than if you used Lightning.

Guarding and its attack are both quick actions, so the instant the Wizard needs to move (or more likely, is pushed) the Spirit becomes pretty lackluster.  Even still, as a Warlock, I'd be pretty content sitting a zone away and firing off Fireblasts and Fireballs.  The object isn't to kill the Spirit, it's to stop it from guarding and quick attacking, which Enfeeble does pretty effectively.

I have the base set, and from what I can tell, the only avoidable fire spell is Fireball, which is still more efficient and has a better chance to afflict a status than the comparable Lightning Bolt.  The three other fire attack spells (fireblast, firestorm, ring of fire) are all unavoidable, so assuming there's no unavoidable fire spells in the expansion, that's still two more.

There are also ways to get around daze/stun with attack-like incantations such as Explode and Drain Life.  You can also burn conjurations, which I think is a pretty big deal.

Quote from: "Koz" post=9421

1. The Warlock doesn't really have anything solid that deals with incorporeal stuff

2. Yet another reason IMO that Lightning > Fire.

1.  Demonhide Armor is a safe bet.  Every mage needs armor and one that deals ethereal critical damage  pretty easily solves most incorporeal problems.  Against the Spirit, though, just Enfeeble it.  You effectively solve a 12 mana (plus upkeep) creature for 6 mana, since the only real reason to use the Spirit is for its quick action melee attack anyway.  

2.  Air spells aren't as efficient for dealing damage and all of them are avoidable, unlike most of the Fire spells.  I value the unavoidable trait more highly than the ethereal trait, since I come across defenses more than incorporeal things.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Tempo: an in depth look,
« on: March 16, 2013, 06:03:48 PM »
Your point on how initiative affects healing is pretty spot on.  While healing is far more powerful in MW than in MTG,  it's not nearly as good if you don't have initiative.  Or, if you're like myself and play the Warlock heavily, the same goes for Poisoned Blood or a fire spell for the killing blow.  When you factor in how Nullify and Jinx affect initiative, you start to see just how important pretty much every decision you make is.  

Just a tidbit of advice in terms of preserving creature tempo; you usually want to summon them when you do not have initiative (creatures enter the arena inactive anyway).  That way, on the following turn when you do have initiative, you can effectively protect your creature with a Nullify quickcast before you opponent has a chance to Sleep or otherwise mess with your beast.

This is also why I like Rouse the Beast a lot and usually put at least one in books.  While the above tactic is probably the safest way to ensure you get an uninterrupted use out of your creatures, it does start to become predictable (the opposing mage might prepare redundant spells to get around your Nullify).  Rouse the Beast throws a wrench in that predictability for a very low cost.  It's especially good if you have more creatures than your opponent AND you do not have initiative, since you can then effectively get two uninterrupted rounds of actions with your summoned creature (you'll have the initiative next round to prepare the Nullify).  RtB also doesn't slow down your tempo; in fact, you gain 2 actions for the price of one, so your net gain for tempo is still positive (+1 action).

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Tempo: an in depth look,
« on: March 16, 2013, 04:16:26 PM »
I'm not so sure that healing carries the same negative connotations in MW as it does in MTG.  While there are certainly more efficient methods of preserving your life total, like summoning creatures that can both attack (help win you the game) and guard (stop you from losing), those more efficient ways don't guarantee results due to how guarding works with ranged attacks and traits like Elusive.  A Heal spell, while costing an action AND mana, does guarantee results (assuming average dice rolls) and sometimes, buying a turn or two of time is indeed what you need.

Also, MTG is notorious for its infinite combos, which essential make life totals and thus life gain meaningless for the most part (varies by format).  There are also other ways to win the game other than damaging your opponent, unlike in MW.  MW's sole win condition and the concept of channeling helps the cause of life gain.  There's a reason why most solid books include a couple lifegain spells; they're perfectly justifiable in MW for an emergency, unlike in Magic where a spell that only gains life, that doesn't have any combo potential, would never see competitive consideration.  This also has to do with the fact that in MW, you get the spells you need exactly when you want them, whereas in Magic you're lucky to see 1/4 of your deck much less all of it, so the last thing you want is a healing spell at the wrong time instead of a spell that could actually win you the game.

I think healing on higher level creatures is especially good.  Creatures that are above level one are very hard to kill instantaneously with attacks, unlike in MTG where you can pretty much snap your fingers to kill or counter creatures.  This is probably the best example in which healing is truly an investment into you winning the game, since you're basically spending magic to gain additional actions with your creatures.  The Priestess in particular gains action advantage in this way, as well as with her ability to remove action-reducing conditions.  Vampiric Strike and Vampirism are also two cards that allow more aggressive books to remain on the offensive with minimal mana and action investment towards keeping creatures or your mage alive.

Overall, I think you're right; healing yourself all the time isn't really the best plan unless you're under heavy duress.  Healing creatures, or using healing traits like Vampiric, on the other hand, I think is very legitimate.

General Discussion / Re: Beastmaster and Wizard
« on: March 11, 2013, 11:57:18 PM »
I really recommend using a Knight to guard your Temple early.  A defense against both ranged and melee attacks backed up with a 5 dice counterstrike is pretty killer.  Also, use the Sacred Ground enchantment to give your units aegis +1 in the zone.  It's a small price to pay to weather zone attacks.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Temple of Asyra Opening
« on: March 11, 2013, 10:46:47 PM »
Checked the rules and sure enough you're right. Strikes me as kind of odd...it makes sense that a fire ring would give a slightly better chance for all your fire spells to burn.  Oh well, in either case, the percentages are pretty significant without the +1 to the effect die.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Aggro, Combo, Control & Hybrid Archtypes
« on: March 11, 2013, 04:14:25 PM »
The mages as I see them in relation to these terms:

Warlock: Definitely Aggro-Control.  He is rewarded for using curses (control enchants) over buffing enchants, and his Bloodreaper ability makes his demons very cost-effective.  Sure, it costs life, but aggro strategies are known for sacrificing resources to gain immediate advantage.  Aggro strategies don't care about their own life total, only that the opponent dies before they do.  The warlock also has the highest base life and a melee skill, so he can stay on the enemy mage without needing to retreat much.

Priestess:  Appears to be control or maybe midrange-control.  She is rewarded for preserving her resources in order to gain a long-term board and mana advantage, after which she can drop haymaker Angels that are simply more powerful than most creatures and are difficult to interact with due to flying.  She also has access to the best defensive creatures in the game with which to guard her conjurations, the Knight of Westlock, and an Angel that punishes your opponent for destroying your clerics (mana batteries resources with some utility).  Gray Angels are particularly midrange-control-y; they're decent beaters in the midgame with an emphasis on preserving other units and resources once they have outlived their usefulness.  She also has access to the most efficient dazing spells, letting her get the action advantage over other mages for very little cost.

Wizard: Not sure the Wizard falls easily into a particular category, but I'd probably say control also.  The elemental school choice varies, but arcane does not, and a majority of arcane spells focus on manipulating your opponent's resources while increasing your own.  Additionally, most arcane creatures are rather expensive and have powerful full-action attacks, but poor quick-action attacks, and are also Slow so they can't really make good use of quick actions anyway.  They also have regenerate, which rewards zone-specific controlling play and makes it hard to engage them at range effectively over the course of the game.  Gate of Voltari also rewards this strategy.

Beastmaster:  Aggro-combo for sure.  Combo in MW doesn't carry the same kind of undertones as combo in MTG does though...you still have to win through combat, regardless if you stack enchantment after enchantment on a large fatty creature, or horde a bunch of smaller creatures and then use a Call of the Wild or two.  The Beastmaster doesn't really have much in the way of controlling cards, and even the ones he can use effectively, like Tanglevine, reward you more for using them against guards than to control creatures.  

These aren't meant to be strict interpretations of how each mage MUST play to be effective--on the contrary, I've been on the receiving end of some innovative aggressive tactics from the Wizard and Priestess.  That's the great thing about this game; if you want to play a very aggressive Priestess or Wizard, or a very controlling Warlock or Beastmaster, it's certainly possible and effective if you time it right.  I do however think that, in the above roles, each mage is an expert and will more often succeed from those lines of play.

So, to summarize:

Warlock: Aggro-Control

Beastmaster: Aggro-Combo

Priestess: Control, or Midrange-Control

Wizard: Mainly control, varying somewhat depending on your element choice

Rules Discussion / Re: Is Counterspelling with walls possible?
« on: March 11, 2013, 02:26:58 PM »
One thing you could do to achieve a similar result is cast a wall during the first quickcast phase, disrupting your opponent's LoS, if you suspect your opponent will try to cast something on you the first chance he/she gets.  This will only work if you have initiative, however, otherwise you'll cast the wall too late to achieve the desired effect.

Mages / Re: Necromancer and Druid Thoughts/Speculation
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:56:10 PM »
I see you use the Englishman's spelling of lich :P.

I agree though, I would definitely like to see the lich theme in some manner or another when the Necromancer comes.  I don't think any game has really done a good job with the balance or theme of a Lich well; understandably though, it's kind of hard since infinite life runs counter to balancing a game.  

I have faith that if AW does choose to go with that theme, they'll succeed.  Their team is quite good with perfecting the exact feel of a theme, yet making sure it's impeccably balanced.

Rules Discussion / Re: Is Counterspelling with walls possible?
« on: March 11, 2013, 05:37:52 AM »
You cannot quickcast or take a quick action when it's not your turn in the round to activate your mage or friendly creature.  The only time I know of that you can do something while an opposing mage or creature is acting is revealing enchantments, and only in between particular events of that creature's action phase.  Hence, why counterspells like Nullify and Jinx are enchantments; no other card type has the ability to do things during the action phases of an opponent's creatures.

I might be forgetting an exception, but long story short, you cannot cast walls when it's not your turn to act.  Thus, you cannot cut off LoS in that way and counter a spell.

There's a section in the rulebook that specifically goes over the steps you go through when casting a spell.  I think going over that again could give you a better understanding of how exactly countering a spell works (since there is literally a step for it).

Also, if you don't feel like trawling through the rulebook, here's a link to the youtube series that goes over spellcasting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0K0e6anR6M&list=PL59opxr_1pUsU2yXOp7CQJqZarwRP9rob&index=6

Go to 4:50 for your answer.  Hope that helps.

Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Soft play board (arena)
« on: March 10, 2013, 08:13:18 PM »
Depends on what you mean by Magic play mat...most official play mats for that game are meant for only you, not your opponent, and even combined are not as large as the MW arena.  Custom ones are usually smaller, sometimes larger, depending on how much you're willing to pay.

Speaking of, if someone got a hold of the arena image, I can't see why you couldn't get a custom soft playmat version.

I personally really like the feel of a board as an arena, it feels more "real" as if you're looking down into an arena.  If anything, I would kinda like arena walls to give the game a more 3d feel, but that's probably not everyone's preference.

Mages / Necromancer and Druid Thoughts/Speculation
« on: March 10, 2013, 06:54:07 PM »
Being a fan of the Dark and Nature schools, I'm eager to see the Necromancer and Druid.  The Warlock fuels the aggressive side of the Dark school, being Dark/Fire with aggro-y demons, so I imagine that the Necromancer will be focused on more on a controlling kind of gameplay, being Dark with ice spells with tenacious zombies and dead stuff.

Some basic things I think the Necromancer might have:

Spawnpoint: maybe some kind of Tomb that gets bonus channeling when creatures die.

Equipment: a staff that buffs undead seems obvious, or some armor that allows you to move damage from the necromancer onto your undead minions

Conjurations: something cool could be a conjuration that uses a Phylactery theme, where the Necromancer loses some life when the conjuration enters play, but gains a good bonus like extra channeling or more damage or something.  Or maybe the phylactery thing could give him extra life for an upkeep cost.

Enchantments: More curses, like one that turns a creature undead.  Then another enchantment that would be similar to Mind Control except it would allow the Necro to take control of undead creatures.  Call it Command Undead  ;)

Attacks: Water spells with a freezing focus have been hinted at in other parts of the forums.  Maybe have them deal less damage but have high effect rolls to freeze or whatever.  Lots of damage upfront doesn't seem to fit a Necromancer--he'd probably rather just render his enemies useless and let his zombies eat them.


Spawnpoint: Something interesting could be a spawnpoint that rewards you with extra channeling for having more and more nature conjurations, kinda like temples for the Priestess but more generally.  It would give off a feel that the arena was being invaded by a forest, which is a neat theme.

Equipment: Not sure on this one...Druids don't strike me as really having a desire for equipment.  Maybe only one or two, since artifacts run counter to plants and nature in general.  Not really sure what they'd do...probably a ring for nature spells, maybe a cloak or armor of thorns for a damage barrier?

Conjurations: Give her some conjurations that can attack stuff in or near its zone, like aggressive plants.  She could spend mana to allow them to move, that'd be interesting.  Or maybe walls that can attack units that are near enough to them.

Attacks:  Vines that push or pull, blasts of harsh sunlight, lots of poison effects.  I'd like to see an aggressive Druid that tries to dominate the arena through gradually taking command of zones.

Well those are my expectations...anyone else?

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