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Topics - Sailor Vulcan

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General Discussion / Why does MW Academy get so much hate
« on: December 23, 2017, 06:29:41 PM »
I'm kinda curious about this. I keep hearing Arena players complaining about how much they don't like MW Academy and how they think it's a bad game. Some people have called it "watered down Arena" or a ripoff of MtG. (Btw, these last two blatantly contradict each other. Either its watered-down Arena or its a ripoff of MtG. NOT both.)

Personally, I love both Arena and Academy, and I honestly don't understand why Academy is getting all this hate from an audience who I would think would compose a major component of its target demographic. The most likely explanation I've thought of is that people don't understand how academy is different from and similar to arena, try to play it like an arena player and they make a bunch of play mistakes and think that the game is just badly designed when it turns out they're just bad at it and havent practiced very much.

But then one of my friends who helped playtest it and played it about 100 times ALSO says that Academy is a ripoff of MtG. Specifically he said that Academy is MtG with a different skin--same mechanics but in a different thematic setting. Now, this same friend said that yugioh and pokemon tcgs are ALSO ripoffs of MtG, rather than just being in the same genre, so its possible that the entire CCG genre looks like basically the same one game to him for some reason.

I honestly have no clue what's going on here. I played mtg for about three years straight and then played it a bit on and off a couple years after that, and I have played both arena and academy extensively. Academy is NOT the same game as mtg. The differences between MW Academy and MtG run deeper than just having different thematic settings. There ARE major mechanical differences between Academy and MtG. Anyone who disagrees with the last two sentences is wrong as a question of simple fact.

Let's review some of these differences between MW Academy and MtG:

1. Having your entire deck in your hand vs shuffling and drawing
2. Going back and forth with creature actions vs all creatures attacking at once
3. Having your player avatar ALSO be a creature like the ones you summon vs having it be a "planeswalker"
4. guarding rules vs blocking rules
5. the inclusion of a spell point system for building decks vs not using such a system
6. spells having an action cost and a mana cost vs only having a mana cost
7. having a channeling stat vs scaling mana generation via lands
8. being able to reuse mana from previous turns vs all of your leftover mana disappearing at the end of the turn

Also, everything I just mentioned that sets academy apart from mtg are things that it has in common with Arena!

Besides all of that, Arena and Academy also have the same distribution model (basically LCG except that we're not allowed to use that word for any games with that distribution model not made by FFG because dumb censorship). Arena and Academy are also amazingly well-balanced because of the spell point system, and both are possible to play competitively in constructed formats without getting burnt out or being rather wealthy. Unlike MtG.

The main similarities between MW Academy and MtG are:

1. they're both duels between magic users.
2. they're both customizable card games with a short game length
3. they both take place in only one zone with no movement

And the main differences between Academy and Arena are:

1. Academy has 1 zone no movement, Arena has 3x4 zones with movement.
2. Academy takes about 20-30 min to play on average, while Arena takes about 1.5-2 hours to play on average.
3. Arena has higher level spells than Academy
4. Arena mages have a higher spell point stat.
5. In Academy, after being melee attacked by a creature with pest trait, a guarding creature that does not have pest can keep their guard marker if they do not counterstrike. In Arena, the guard marker goes away regardless.
6. Arena has a planning phase and quickcast phases, while Academy does not.

I think it should be extremely obvious from all of this that Academy is NOT MtG stuck into a different thematic skin. I suppose that people who say that it's watered down Arena are closer to being right. However, there is nothing "watered down" about Academy. Academy is not watered-down Arena. If anything, Arena is Academy taken up to 11! The only reason people think otherwise is because Arena just so happened to come out first. If Academy had come out first before Arena, I'm pretty sure no one would be complaining about how Academy is "watered down".

Out of curiosity, how well does Academy sell compared to Arena?

Mages / Why does no one use the divine auras ability?
« on: December 21, 2017, 08:14:23 AM »
I've played some games against paladins on octgn this year, and I've *never* seen anyone use the divine auras. Why is that? Any paladin users want to chip in here with your thoughts?

Remember the spellbook I won the gen con academy tournament with? I updated it with cards from the forcemaster and warlord sets. Tadah!

Aurora Assault WizardA Wizard Spellbookbuilt by the OCTGN SBBA Wizard Stats Spellbookbuilt by the OCTGN SBB
Attack3 x Firestream3 x Telekinetic Bolt2 x Piercing ThunderstrikeCreature1 x Aurora Lucere, Dawnbreaker's ChosenEnchantment3 x Shrink3 x Arcane WardEquipment1 x Leather Chausses1 x Leather Belt1 x Leather VestIncantation3 x Disperse3 x CrumbleConjuration
Total cost: 40 pts

Dropped gator toughness, dropped both cures, dropped both mends. Added leather belt, leather vest and 3 telekinetic bolts.
The vest is there in case they get rid of my belt or chausses and I need to have a 2nd armor again. The great thing about using leather belt instead of gator toughness is that it costs 2 less mana. Downside is, unlike gator toughness, they can get rid of it before attacking instead of having to wait for me to reveal it when they attack, but that's why I have a third leather, the vest.
Dropping the healing and cures is good because it means I dont have to break my own arcane wards on Dawnbreaker's Chosen. Instead of trying to keep her alive longer, I just include more attack spells, which I can now do because the forcemaster set came with telekinetic bolts!

Round 1: leather chausses and leather belt
Round 2: Summon Dawnbreaker's Chosen

I've already tested this once, and I can already say the difference is quite nice. One thing I noticed is that I need to be less hesitant to use shrink on major creatures even when they're not guarding, because otherwise they might focus down Dawnbreaker's Chosen too quickly, especially since I'm not using any healing spells on her.

Hope you like the new and improved Aurora Assault Wizard!

League / Tournament Play / Mage Wars events during winter break?
« on: October 02, 2017, 09:53:31 AM »
Hi! Are there any mage wars events in the US at some point between December 15th and New Year's Day? Trying to find some because it's usually the most boring time of year for me.


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General Discussion / Need help/advice
« on: September 24, 2017, 01:20:48 PM »
I have been trying to set up mage wars organized play in the Columbus Ohio area for years without success. I simply don't have time to go to my FLGS at the same time consistently every week or two, and because of that I haven't been able to get Mage Wars organized play off the ground here and I'm guessing at this point that it probably isn't ever going to happen. Origins game fair has come and gone six times and we still have no organized play scene here. I don't have the time or a sufficiently predictable schedule to build up the community from the ground up single handedly, and there's no one else here who can do that. The only other competitive mage wars player here is sharkbait and I doubt he's going to be able to help with this any time soon if at all. And because it's impossible for me to find casual arena players here to play with, I'm extremely out of practice, as a lot of people noticed at Gen Con. I honestly am starting to think there's no way for me to stay competitive except to move away to somewhere that actually has a mage wars community, which won't be feasible until after I graduate from college if at all.

Im not sure what I should do now. I mean, it seems like the obvious solution is to stop playing arena competitively, don't buy any more arena expansions and just focus on Academy, and play arena on octgn only. The people I used to play Academy with don't want to play it anymore since I taught them Onitama, there's only one person that I managed to convince to play Academy, and I haven't had the chance to set anything up with him since before gen con. And since most people don't play Academy online, only Arena, that basically means I only have maybe a couple of people I can play Academy with, most of whom will be online only and will usually prefer to play arena instead. And the only times I will be able to play Arena offline is at conventions, and right now I probably have time for about one game of arena on octgn per week on average.

But I don't want the Arena expansions that I already bought to just go to waste.

What should I do?

Please help.


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World and Lore / Who is Kallek, the Lord of Wonder
« on: September 09, 2017, 09:40:35 AM »
Who is Kallek, the Lord of Wonder. Is it a Tsjer-Tet god or something? He wasn't mentioned in the list of gods of Etheria.

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General Discussion / Where is the organized play story material?
« on: September 01, 2017, 01:48:42 PM »
Where is the organized play story material? I can't find it anywhere on the website, and even when it was there before it hadn't been updated in a really long time. Do you guys still have plans for that?

I would like to know because my fanfic series Etheria: Axis Powers has been on hiatus while waiting for more story material to come out.


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Player Feedback and Suggestions / Please change the MW subtitles
« on: August 23, 2017, 07:00:34 PM »
This is a request/recommendation to change the subtitles of Mage Wars Arena and Mage Wars Academy, as well as to add a new one to the overall Mage Wars combat system and make the battlegrounds lineup not be presented as subordinate to arena (which it obviously isn't any more than arena is subordinate to academy or vice versa).

The current subtitle for Mage Wars Arena, "The Customizable Strategy Game of Dueling Mages" could just as easily apply to Academy, and it's so generic that it could just as easily apply to any customizable spell-slinging game, of which there already exist an awful lot of.

And the current subtitle for Mage Wars Academy, "New Standalone game set in the Mage Wars Universe" won't work once the game is no longer new, and we shouldn't need to be reminded that Mage Wars Academy is its own thing, that should be made more clear from how you describe the games in the first place without having to tell us outright that its "standalone" because that just makes it look like you're trying to compensate for all the people who might think it's not. When you make a new base game, the DEFAULT assumption is that it is standalone, so saying it on the box should not be necessary. In fact, this subtitle doesn't really tell you anything about the game unless you're already familiar with Arena! That is obviously not a good thing.

I propose that a new subtitle is added for the overall franchise: "The Ultimate Modular Fantasy Card-Combat System". That tells potential players much more about Mage Wars than saying "new standalone game set in so and so universe" or "The customizable strategy game of dueling mages".

To be honest I'm not sure you even need a subtitle for Academy and Arena specifically. If it's made more clear to people that mage wars is an overall fantasy combat system which can be used for different games, they wont need to be reminded that academy and arena are separate, and they'll know exactly how they are separate.

You could even rebrand the battlegrounds line to have both alternate variant academy sets and alternate variant arena sets. Instead of the mouthful that is "Mage Wars Arena: Battlegrounds Domination", you could just have Mage Wars Battlegrounds: Arena Domination, and then people could just refer to the set by the traits that uniquely identify it, "battlegrounds" "arena" and "domination". "Battlegrounds: Arena Domination". And for the whole lineup of Mage Wars Battlegrounds sets, just call that "Mage Wars: Battlegrounds". You shouldn't make it subordinate to Arena any more than you should make Arena subordinate to Academy or vice versa, which is to say you shouldn't.

To recap, I am making the following requests/recommendations:

1. get rid of Arena's subtitle, "The Customizable Strategy Game of Dueling Mages"
2. get rid of Academy's subtitle, "The New, Standalone Game set in the Mage Wars Universe"
3. Rebrand the Battlegrounds line as Mage Wars: Battlegrounds, and have it include both alternate variant Arena sets AND alternate variant Academy sets
3.5. change the first Mage Wars Battlegrounds set from "Mage Wars Arena: Battlegrounds Domination" to "Mage Wars Battlegrounds: Arena Domination"
4. add a subtitle for the entire Mage Wars Franchise: "The Ultimate Modular Fantasy Card-Combat System" or something similar.


Spells / Thoughts on mind control
« on: August 22, 2017, 01:55:56 PM »
So Mind Control is a level 6 spell, and costs 6 spell points to include in a mind mage's spellbook. If you use it to take control of a beastmaster's falcon, you are spending 6 points to lower your opponent's spellpoints by 1 and then regain 3 spell points, the equivalent of losing 3 spellpoints to lower your opponent's spellpoints by 1. But what if the beastmaster enchanted the falcon with bear strength? then your opponent is losing 2 spell points, and you are regaining 5 spell points.

you can see where this is going. It's probably worth it to mind control a falcon if it has been enchanted with both wolf fury and gator toughness, because then you are paying 6 spell points to lower opponents spell points by 3 and then gaining back 7 spell points yourself. In other words, mind controlling a beastmaster's leverl 1 nature creature which has been enchanted with two level 1 nature enchantments is effectively increasing your spellpoints by 1 and lowering your opponent's spell points by 3. Now, imagine you're facing a warlord, and they are using an earth elemental. If you mind control it, you are spending 6 spell points to lower opponent's spell points by 5 and then you gain back 15 spell points. Effectively you are gaining 9 spell points and then lowering your opponent's spell points by 5.

Now, what if your opponent uses incantations to help increase the creature's impact on the game? Like, let's say you're facing a priestess using brogan, and you manage to bring brogan to the brink of dying, but then she uses a heal to bring him back down to 0 damage. Heal + Brogan costs the priestess 6 spell points, and it would cost you 12 spell points. If you immediately pay 6 spell points to mind control a brogan that was healed by the Heal incantation before it has the chance to use its action again, you are effectively benefiting from the Heal incantation that your opponent, the priestess cast. In other words, by mind controlling a brogan that was just healed with the Heal incantation, you are on net gaining 6 spell points and lowering your priestess opponent's spell points by 6.

A difference of 12 spell points! Imagine, that's like casting a teleport mage wand and then using it twice, only it takes 2 less actions (or just 1 less actions if you are casting it from range 2 instead of range 1, since you'll need to take a move action toward the creature to reveal the mind control).

Also, mind controlling minor creatures is a lot cheaper mana-wise, so don't hesitate to mind control minor creatures if their controller has invested a bit of resources into it.


Aurora Assault WizardA Wizard (Air) Spellbookbuilt by the OCTGN SBB
Attack3 x Firestream2 x Piercing ThunderstrikeCreature1 x Aurora Lucere, Dawnbreaker's ChosenEnchantment3 x Arcane Ward3 x Shrink1 x Gator ToughnessEquipment1 x Leather ChaussesIncantation3 x Disperse3 x Crumble2 x Cure2 x Mend
Total cost: 40 pts

R1: enchant self with face down gator toughness and equip leather chausses
R2: Summon Dawnbreaker's Chosen

This spellbook is very aggro. Have Dawnbreaker's Chosen attack the enemy mage while you throw attack spells at them. Make sure to crumble and disperse their armor and aegis as well. If they summon a major creature use a shrink on it. Most creatures in academy are minor creatures, they will be unable to remove Dawnbreaker's Chosen's guard marker because she treats them as pests and she'll be able to ignore them if they guard. And a major creature enchanted with shrink will be given the pest trait and so will get the same treatment, so if there are any major enemy creatures, its a good idea to use shrink on them. Remove things like armor and aegis etc and keep throwing attack spells at the enemy mage and attacking with Dawnbreaker's Chosen until they die. If your own damage gets to high, use dawnbreaker's chosen to guard. Cure is good for dealing with pesky weaks on your dawnbreaker's chosen as well as healing it. If the enemy shrinks or tangleroots dawnbreaker's chosen it's often a good idea to disperse it.

Note: Something that I found out after I had already won the tournament is that this deck's main strategy is weak against a priestess using disciples of radiance. If you're using this deck against that, you must destroy the disciples first before going after the priestess. The disciples allow her to damage you for up to three direct damage and use burst healing in the same action. Armor will not protect you, and as long as the priestess has the disciples she'll be able to kill you faster than you can put damage back onto her. Unfortunately I did not get to face such a deck during the tournament. I probably would have got my a** kicked if I had, just like I did in the casual game I played against such a spellbook after the tournament was over.

Hope you like it! Enjoy!

Events / Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« on: August 21, 2017, 01:53:48 PM »
Hi. I wrote a blogpost with my thoughts about the recent Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con as well as thoroughly debunking common misconceptions about Mage Wars Academy. Thought some people might be interested in this, and I hope it convinces more people to give Mage Wars Academy another chance. I wasn't sure where to post this because there doesn't seem to be an event page for the Gen Con Mage Wars Academy tournament. Not sure why there isn't.


Edit: added recap of the matches I played in the tournament with commentary as well as a link to the spellbook I used. Edited organization and presentation so it reads much better now. If you already read it and didn't like it I encourage you to try reading it again, it's much better now.

Edit: added in a line about how the lack of move actions in academy means that academy full actions have less value than arena full actions relative to quick actions.

General Discussion / Anybody at gen con want to play?
« on: August 18, 2017, 04:54:25 PM »
Anyone at gen con who wants to play some more mage wars today?

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Mages / the book that the priest is holding in his card art?
« on: July 23, 2017, 08:56:09 PM »
Is that a holy equipment that hasn't been released yet? It occurred to me just now that he's the only non-academy mage that's holding a book in his card art. So far we've got two book equipments: libro mortuos and mordok's tome. what's with the one in the priest's card art that never appeared in the set and no one ever seems to have talked about or even noticed? Is it an actual spell which we might see in the future?

General Discussion / How can we make mage wars more popular?
« on: July 05, 2017, 10:17:43 PM »
I was considering finding another game to be my main hobby game, and make mage wars more of a side game. the following are what im looking for in a hobby game:

-affordable to play both casually and competitively
-customizable strategy
-mostly skill based (no mana screw)
-tabletop game (as opposed to videogame)
-it's well-balanced
-it's not obscure

Thing is, I looked and I looked and I looked, and it seems that there are literally zero games in all of existence that meet these six criteria. Mage Wars meets all of the criteria on this list except for the last one, and it makes me rather frustrated.

Seriously, meeting the bare minimum of quality, accessibility and organized play shouldnt make a strategy game automatically obscure unless its chess go or bridge. that's just ridiculous. a game as good as mage wars doesnt deserve to remain obscure forever. i have my own suspicions on why mage wars is so obscure, but i would like to know what other people think. why exactly is mage wars obscure, and what can be or is being done to fix this if anything?

NOTE: I'm NOT saying mage wars is failing or going away anytime soon. Being obscure is not the same thing as losing popularity. But Mage Wars is kind of an obscure game, and I was wondering what any of us can do to fix that if anything. Or perhaps it isn't worth it to do so, and if so why?

I feel kinda stuck. There are no other hobby games that will satisfy me like mage wars does, but no one plays mage wars in public in my area, and ive looked and looked and i CANNOT find another hobby game suitable to replace it.


Rules Discussion / Question about Force Bash and Wall Bash
« on: July 05, 2017, 03:20:43 PM »
If Force Bash pushes a creature against a wall, will the creature still be slammed after the wall bash? Or does the target have to actually leave the zone in order to be slammed? And if it does get slammed after wall bash, can you still slam another creature in the same zone? The text on the card seems a bit confusing and it's not clear what the intent is.


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