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Messages - DeckBuilder

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16
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 28, 2014, 03:20:27 PM »
@ Deckbuilder
I think your idea will work, with one tweak. Make the mages pay for those spells out of their 120, but all paid as if they were in-school (note that this is similar to my everyone-trained-in-level-1-arcane idea). That way you don't have to deal with trying to restrict bloated spellbooks.

I know. I was the first to highlight your idea when it came up as interesting. It is based on yours. Props.
But I was just looking at everyone talking about multipliers (even you with your great Arcane level 1 idea).
When what is really needed is a constant adjustment.

What I'm trying to do here is remove the FACADE of customisation. For 6 of those spells, there is no choice.
I added the other 6 because I believe the bluffing game (that not all can afford) will greatly enhance the game.

It's not customisable when you have to include those first 6 spells is it?
Even trained, you're effectively saying your customisable budget is 112.

I see no problem with inflation as it allows for interesting ambitious builds, not the dull efficient ones that work.
I only see benefit from it. As for the current efficient builds, there is a diminishing returns of greater efficiency.

Thank you, webcatcher for your idea (was linked to Novice in a way). We were both undermining Arcane access.
But the epiphany I had was to break free from the shackes of changing multipliers and just give a constant to all.
Unfortunately, this free bonus is worth far less to the Wizard. What a shame.

There is also a limitation to not be too spell points efficient - you've only got 66 slots to spend 120 points on.
This creates interesting builds of different toolbox cards and/or ambitious combos using out-of-school spells.
None of this is possible under the current model.

17
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 28, 2014, 02:46:45 PM »
I've grown to really hate the balance of this game.

Yes, this is also the same with my friends. The lack of balance is killing the game.
And the cheesiness of some moves when the game pretends to be a tactical game.

Yes, the design decisions have been baffling. Not just the Jokhtari / Necromancer example.
With Druid and Resilience making Fire already very strong, what shall we release next...?
I wish it was Forcemaster vs. Warlord, alternates that fixes them (or makes FM less one-dimensional).

However, let's not be too negative about it.
I don't think they've made irrepairable mistakes.
Just that correcting them could be very messy.

Really valuable and valid points, Aylin. Welcome back. I've missed your acerbity.
Who needs Acid Ball when you're spitting it naturally? :)

Now let's be positive, folks.

Ok, obviously I'm a fan of Novice but I actually think a rule change is the most elegant solution.
So here is an off-the-wall idea. See what you think, folks.

BASE SPELLS NEW RULE

(The rules in this section are "Pro" rules, played in tournaments, as they beg the question: why 3 Teleports in Core?)

All Mages gain the following 12 "base spells" for free (on top of their 120 spell ponts)
2x Dispel
2x Dissolve
2x Teleport
2x Seeking Dispel
2x Nullify
2x Block

No Mage may have more than 80 cards that fit in their spellbook (this includes the 2 Mage cards)
That means you have 120 points to spend on maximum 66 cards (adhering to a max. 6/4 rule too)

RATIONALE

I think every book devised by an experienced player automatically lists 2+ of Dispel, Dissove and Teleport.
So if it is such a "hygiene" purchase, not in the least bit customisable, why not give it to everyone for free?
It's this spell points tax that helps Wizards so much (especially Water Wizards) who buy essentials cheap.
By giving 10 levels of Arcane for free (I'm a shareware fan), you immediately devalue the Wizard's Training!

What about the other 3 spells, you say?
The bluffing game of hidden enchants is frankly enchanting
However, we are stuck with mandatory reveal.
Quite often, non-Wizards can't afford Nullify or Seeking Dispel
So the "could it be a Nullify?" bluffing game is lost as chances are it's not
But now every mage has a couple of them!
It hugely spices up a game when you look at all hidden enchantments suspiciously!
Even when playing against the guileless Warlord.
Of course you also need to arm players with the means to remove hidden enchants.
Blocks added purely because their possibility tactically restricts attack sequencing.
You also need another triggered enchantment to bluff if your build doesn't use them.
And because nobody except Forcemaster plays it surely? Now they are a possibility.
Anything that adds exciting uncertainty to the game is benefiting the game greatly.

But this would devalue equipment and enchantments, you say?
Devaluing equipment is a good thing, they are far too good hence Forges everywhere.
As for enchantments, you can always get one use from any persistent enchantment.
You'll have to time it so it's not hit by the opponent's base 2 Seeking Dispels though...

What other benefits does this spell points inflation that helps non-Wizards far more grant?
I don't know about you but I find culling my book to 120 far more painful with non-Wizards.
Now you can attempt the ambitious spellpoints intensive ideas, increasing game diversity!

I really hate that at least 6 spells (usually 10 = 4 Dispels, 4 Dissolves. 2 Teleports) are pre-chosen in all books.
This is just a tax that benefits the Wizard - so let's remove the tax and the Wizard simply loses his advantage.
It also has the beneficial effect of spicing up the game's uncertainty and allowing for points-costly build ideas.
Whilst solutions so far have been about the coefficients (cost multipliers), I'm suggesting a constant bonus to all.
It seems to me this nerfs a Wizard's advantage, remove these spell point taxes and also helps increase diversity.

Have I finally cracked? :)

18
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 28, 2014, 08:36:26 AM »
Wall of Dirt - Earth 1 - Wall, Extendable, Extendable - Mana 3 - Health 6 Armor 0 - And you thought the stones were dull.

I like this because it's such a simple unsexy card that promotes tactical play - isolates Forge too
There could be so much more tactical play skill in Mage Wars

19
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 28, 2014, 08:33:43 AM »
I totally agree about Swarm - Obelisk/Orb is a huge big Sword of Damocles hanging over it
The Beastmaster Swarm build I posted (which uses Lifetree) does work and is fun but has too many weaknesses

I think you are being greedy about the anti-synergy between Lair and Ring of Beasts and Quick Summoning!
You are saying he has too many good options! Hardly a bad thing. :)

My usual Beastmaster does not use Lair, mainly 2 Grizzlies, 1 Galador, 1 Cervere + 4 Quick Summons and is brutal
The synergy is simply Forge -> Ring of Beasts -> Enchanter's Ring -> equip while buffing
No Lair, just straight at the opponent (you can even attack his start corner with a Falcon Pet in turn 2)
It's especially brital against players without Purge Magic (which is a weakness)

On the other hand, I know sdouglas2 posted some excellent Mid Range Straywood posts based on Lair and Flowers
It's not how I play him but I can see the greater long term resilience to my aggro-tempo build.

Yes, Swarm is fun but flawed currently
But the Straywood's other strategies are perfectly competitive against non-Wizards.

I started a thread among playtesters on "How to Improve Swarm and Ranged Control"
Which focused on 2 strategies that I felt were not fully realised with the Warlord (for FIF)
I will cull the less sensitive bits and re-post some of it

But I think we may have stumbled on an important distinction here
Certain strategies that are meant to be suited for certain mages are currently unplayable

Beastmaster Swarm
Warlord Ranged Control
Warlord Aggro Melee
Forcemaster Solo
Forcemaster Spores Control

Maybe, when looking at the non-Wizard mages, we need to identify what associated strategies don't work?

20
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 28, 2014, 06:03:56 AM »
I was a bit surprised with Straywood being Tier 3 in Charmyna's poll
I think the issue here may be "how experienced the player is"
I'd expect the Straywood is the natural starting mage for most players
So I would say you are more likely to encounter newer players on OCTGN playing Straywood, still learning
Could that preference for less experienced players be clouding the issue?
As you can see, I believe Straywood Beastmaster is tier 2

My personal feeling is the Forcemaster is tier 3
Her creatures are so fragile/useless that she has to pay triple for Elites to stay near-par on actions
So she is already stuffed in the long attrition game - win or die
Then we have Psychic Immunity so she avoids half her spells
Yes, the 2 Grizzlies build is very strong, leveraging untype Force Pull and her Defenses - but that's it
There is only one way to play her - she is incredibly one-dimensional
And that does not make for a good mage design (but this cool Jedi superhero idea can be saved)
She is tier 2 for just 1 build (Import) and the other options (Spores, Solo) just don't work
To be tier 2 for using the type of spells you are not supposed to use is horrible design

As for why I rated Warlock below Priest, this may be because my local meta plays a lot of Nonliving
Earth wizard, Air wizard, Zombies, Skeletons
Warlock suffers all the issues of Jokhtari here in a far subtler way (Bloodthirsty Reaper, Vampirism, Death Link etc)
As a result, the Warlock is very unreliable - awesome against Living, rubbish against Nonliving
An unreliable mage is tier 3 in my books

I was not surprised by Priests appearing in tournament games with its most life left as a tie-breaker
Who else has as much damage potential as well as healing potential?
Well, the Warlock has with all his drain life style abilities but he is match-up lotteries
Perhaps again the Priest being stronger here is a reflection of the local Nonliving meta.

21
Ok guys, this is the last day of February so we need to get out there and vote! We are off 40 or so votes from last month! We are ahead of Thurn and Taxis at least but still behind Suburbia in overall vote count.

sIKE, you prompted me to dig out my old BGG account password and vote.
I even found Zuberi there and responded to him, while selling Mage Wars' Eurogamer credentials.
(Oh dear, I've become embarrassingly pro-establishment)

It made me think that we really should be discussing interesting stuff on the BGG forum.
I think I'm going to copy Resources to that forum so that Eurogamers will be more attracted to the game.
I think the problem Mage Wars has is it looks lowbrow when it's actually deceptively deep
There's a lot of intellectual snobbery among gamers (I'm living proof) so we need to rebrand the game on BGG a bit.

I know because I come from a Eurogamer background, but with a perference for deep, strongly thematic games.

22
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 27, 2014, 05:26:30 PM »
I agree that Epic is the simplest and best fix for the tower. Here's an alternative to the Wizard nerf off the top of my head. What if this sentence was added to the Training section of the rulebook: "Because they are critical for any mage and are among the first spells learned in any magic curriculum, all mages are considered trained in level 1 arcane spells regardless of their other training restrictions."

I like elegant solutions. And this is elegant.
A rules change that applies to all mages hence why it is not mentioned on cards because it's universal.
I like the elegance of the solution.

However, it changes the game hugely.
I'm still working out what this does. to the game...

Very interesting...

23
Rules Discussion / Re: Divine Intervention & Creature Spell
« on: February 27, 2014, 05:17:17 PM »
Ok, I answered that last post on my phone so short.

Recruiting 4 Knights (and a Guardian Angel if needed) is part of the plan! How else can I make the Pit deadly unless I have them?

You attack with Lord of Fire? I have 2 Knights guarding at the same cost, even against his Sweeping hitting him back for 10 dice (later boosted with Bear strength). Then come the Archers. As for Fireball, by all means destroy your threat build up with early attacks! You are playing into the Priestess hands. How will I get rid of all those burns and heal?

I think Ghouls are the pits. Absolutely no synergy. Overpriced pap, over-action intensive situational rubbish.
We had this argument at previews when you loved the Ghouls and I loved the Brutes, we hated the other.
2 Ghouls cost the same as the 2 Knights guarding me while your Ghouls "beat on my mage"? Who will win?
As for Pestilence, isn't that what Unicorns were created for?
Now if you mentioned Deathlock, that could cause problems. But not Ghouls and Pestilence.

BB? yes, you will have to play a different game. But take tarkin's Priestess build. It's just as heavily armoured and again the Priestess has all the tools to beat BB. but now she can Counter + Teleport you anywhere at instant speed. It's too much.

You want to attack my 4 Knight Guards with 4 Vine Snappers?? Fine. I let you. Then I walk over to the other corner. Remember I can heal pretty easily too with a Unicorn or just Healing Charms.

Beastmaster Swarm. 6 dice Falcons (4 Fury -1 Aegis) shouldn't kill Knight guards even if they fail Defence but the Counterstrike certainly should. Guardians and Archers help as well. However i agree that the rarely Beastmaster Swarm does cause problems because of creature overlap but coming in too early spells doom for the Swarm.

We can play this theory-crafting Rock Paper Scissors all day.

The point is not necessarily about a Holy Pit (it could be just be a modified Priestess build like tarkin's).
The point is

Using Divine Intervention plus Enchantment Transfusion to counter your spell and move you anywhere is too much.

It's only Epic? You only need one chance to set your trap.

I hate visiting this thread because it just gets me so angry that something so obviously SILLY is tolerated.

So apologies if I just log off from this infuriating thread.


24
Rules Discussion / Re: Divine Intervention & Creature Spell
« on: February 27, 2014, 04:31:50 PM »
And Priestess doesn't have creatures like Guardian Angel against ranged? Knight Guards?
Do I need to tell you how resilient a Priestess is?

Why can't you accept that both countering your spell and moving you wherever I like where you have no defence is huge?

I know you have a rabid hatred of Turtle Pit.
And I don't want it to work either.
But put your hatred aside and think about the issue in hand.

Is there nothing super cheesy about DI + ET in your eyes?

25
Rules Discussion / Re: Divine Intervention & Creature Spell
« on: February 27, 2014, 03:54:25 PM »
As for DI, there are numerous way to counter this play, once again fool me once shame on you, fool me twice...

Divine Intervention + Enchantment Transfusion

I have instant speed Counter Your Spell + drag you into my Holy Pit

Huginn could try to break it I guess - but you have to play a Wizard for that and there's way around that too.
The only other way to break that I can see is to play a Holy Mage and do the same back to me.
And then we get into timing issues.

Please sIKE, enlighten me how to break this?

26
Rules Discussion / Re: Divine Intervention & Creature Spell
« on: February 27, 2014, 03:24:49 PM »
[Zuberi, I will respond with my counter arguments but I'm a bit busy at work here in the UK]

Ok, Zuberi, I've finally got time to answer you. I haven't forgotten.
Apologies for the delay but I was preoccupied on more interesting threads than proving something I already know.
Meantime, Lettucemode has been doing an excellent job highlighting the holes in your argument (bravo!)

Me, and no doubt many others, including Arcane Wonders, respect you immensely as an expert on the rules.
However I believe there have been cases where you blind adherence to the rules may be damaging to the game.
I gave up too easily on Mind Control, where you played your "This is the Law!" Tablets of Stone rules expert card.
Arcane Wonders ruled with you, partly no doubt because you are the safe pair of hands and I'm the loose cannon.
Unfortunately the Forcemaster suffered with the errata that followed once they realised your way was too strong.

I get the (unfair?) impression it's all about the rules, not the bigger picture like fun or intuitivemess or even balance.
One moments the rules state X and you are a staunch advocate of X.
Next minute they change the rules to Y and you are a staunch advocate of Y.
The fact they changed rule X to Y (like "watering burning plants") doesn't make you question why you supported X.
It's a good thing you weren't active during my House Rules thread as you would have pilloried me for not respecting rules.
Well, here's a thing about me, both in games and in other areas of life: respect has to be earned.

Frankly, using Divine Intervention like this only earns from me the greatest contempt that they knowingly allowed it.

This adherence to rules "because they are the rules" is an admirable trait (maybe you are a soldier or a policeman?).
It is the polar opposite to me as I am always questioning, always critiquing, seeking to improve and not to stagnate.
From recent frustrations I've faced, I think your conservative approach is far more at home as a Playtester than me.

However this time, I am not going to give up so easily.

Due to the way Teleport's targeting system is setup, I would be able to teleport you further than you could teleport yourself. I then would have several options to restrict your movement or block your line of sight to prevent you from getting back to your fortress, using my quick cast before you have had a chance to act. You shouldn't simply engage in a teleport war. That is quite unwise. Especially if they have a teleport wand (which must be dissolved).

So let's wheel out the old cliche that Teleport is there to defend against a turtling Mage/Priestess in her corner.

Firstly, let's talk about Teleport before I come to the irrefutably broken card that is Divine Intervention.

Any Wizard doing this Turtling trick will have Nullify protection.
More than that, he will have plenty of time to set up 3rd party Nullify + Enchantment Transfusion protection.
Because you have been spending Mage actions moving while he has been doing stuff in a super-efficient way.
You cannot hope to Teleport him out or Dissolve his Teleport Wand range 1 (they created Orchid to bypass).

In fact he has so much control, the moment you're within range 2 to Teleport him, you'll be sucked in instead.
Where the Enchantment Transfusion trap is sprung. I said it back then that given time, there's inevitability about it.
Again, they created Cloak of Shadows to prevent this happening too easy (but it's also Dark Mage Only tech).
Necromancer can wait him out with Pestilence + Deathlock in opposite corner; they have mage-specific answers.
Even worse, as mentioned in "How to Beat the Wiz?", the Necromancer could build Altar of Skulls and out-turtle.

So between vine range Orchid to destroy Teleport Wands and Necromancer tech, they have reacted to Mage Pit.
But these are specific tools for specific mages - what about the rest?
It's a very horses-for-courses approach instead of just changing the rules or introducing Novice cards for all etc.

Your theory that you can just out-Teleport a Mage and extract him out does not hold water in practice.
So while I agree this would be a good reason to keep Teleport and endure the pain, it just fails in that task
No benefit but we retain Teleport Checkmate, this brutal technique lacking finesse, detrimental to the game.
It does not make sense allowing Enemy Mages to be Teleported under our current card pool (or with FIF).

Teleport was a brutal way to solve the Turtle Problem that has actually backfired and caused more problems.

The designers should have approached it by granting greater benefit for controlling more zones with zone exclusives.
By making sure ranged tech like Akiro's Hammer (why Golem Pit has a Fog Wall) is available to breakdown a Fortress.
By creating more "smoke them out" cards like Pestilence (how about damage from adjacent Passage Blocked Walls?).

There are more creative ways to solve the Turtle Problem than Teleport which is the most sledgehammer method.
Which has backfired badly, a standard shortcut for totally ignoring tactics, destroying players who want to wargame.

Now for the subject of this thread, Divine Intervention (and its interaction with Enchantment Transfusion).
Transfusions give my Divine Intervention the freedom to always survive, no need to guess, even vs. Destroy Magic.

So there you are, after triggering Nullify, casting a 12 cost Teleport to move me 4 zones from my Sacred Fortress.
Except I trigger Transfusion, move Divine Intervention to you to drag you into my Knight Pit instead then wall you in.
Your 12 cost teleport is countered and because you went within range 2 to cast Teleport, you are now in my Holy Pit.

Divine Intervention + Enchantment Transfusion (which bypasses Nullify) means there is no way you can extract me!

So yet again the initially sensible reason you give for retaining Teleporting Enemy Mages has been debunked!
Teleporting Enemy Mages with the current card pool is causing untold damage to the game.

Zuberi, I suspect you are an Arcane Wonders plant, not just because of your sudden appearance, knowing the rules so well.
But also always blindly supporting the rules, backing them at every opportunity, a super loyalist on BGG and Facebook too.
If you're not a plant, this Judge Dredd following laws and not common sense is probably done with the best possible intentions.

But sometimes it's important to step outside the comfort zone, to consider heresies like (whisper it) "changing the rules"...

27
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 27, 2014, 02:19:36 PM »
But a Priest book won at Bashcon, didn't it?

Indeed. And there was a pretty unusual Earth Wizard build as the sole Wizard...
I am not taking anything away from the worthy winner (who in my opinion was brave to enter with a Priest).
But I think OCTGN is a much better indicator of what's a strong mage out there (and the global meta).
I would be interested if sIKE or Lettucemode could print out the win/loss resulte of mages on OCTGN...

What we may be seeing is a difference in books because of tournament timings and win on damage/health rules.

We have to assume that there are two different metagames in MW: one for timed games and one for untimed games.

I can see why most people would think this way. I will tell you from experience that you can play anything from the most aggressive builds to the most control heavy and win in about 45 minutes. Just keep in mind the goal is to kill the other mage. The only time I see games take 2 hours plus is when you have 2 turtle builds and nobody wants to commit to attacking.

The OCTGN meta and most local metas I expect, all play an unlimited time limit game.
Because frankly I consider it the most skillful way to play the game (but sadly impossible in tournaments).
And yes, just like in Chess, you resign when you know your chance of victory is lost (when Aggro stalls vs. Control).

You yourself Kich, playing Air Wizard, came 2nd in Tom's convention and said...

My big takeaway from my games tonight? Cloak of Shadows is the real deal, and my Wizard Teleport Ambush book had a miserable time trying to go off against Necro under tournament timing. I couldn't be more pleased!

Your game report and others gave quite crucial insights for me in 2 ways because it confirmed:
1. Obscured hurts Wizard (why I focused on Necro in the later "How to Beat the Wiz" thread)
2. There is indeed 2 different metas, the tournament game and the unlimited time limit game.

I know how erudite you are, Kich. So I hope you refering BashCon's Priest win was not deliberately disingenous. :)

As for your fave phrase, between "spiders catching flies" and Aaron's "turn on a dime", we may have a long wait...
Meantime I wonder how many disenchanted players may leave the Mage Wars hobby because of this imbalance.
I mean how long have they known that Wizard's Tower, coming out with Temple of Light's nerf, was overpowered?
From the way I've lost local players, I weep at the damage that ostriche conservatism may have done to the game.

You have also claimed...

I can think of two cards off the top of my head in the new set that will disrupt the meta enough to require adaptation from BB.

Wizard is still very strong, of course, but the metagame is always a moving target.

As you know from PMs, I don't think a War Mage Only card and another War 1 Earth 1 card will dethrone the Wizard.
They just give a Warlord a good game against a Wizard (I admit the latter will have impact as everyone can play it).
I fear you are feeding false hope like...

I recall kich said in a post in the BB thread that there are at least 2 new cards that will give that build trouble...

But I sincerely hope I am proved wrong, that all my anti-Wizard proposals that never saw fruition were not needed.
However assuming the final cut is still true, I sadly do not see Wizard being dethroned in the unlimited time format.

28
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 27, 2014, 10:25:26 AM »
Warning! Warning! Another long post from DeckBuilder

I am immensely enjoying this thread - so thanks, everyone, for both its friendly positive tone and great content.

Variant cards are not original (why Tarkin also thought of it), just an elegant way of obtaining 2 benefits
1. eroding the Universal school that is Arcane but also
2. creating more choice for all mages (except Water Wizards) when building books.

I have been pushing for some time to have a "Utility Cards mini-expansion" (Magic deck box size, 55 cards)
Initially it was to give more copies of existing cards we all want (Dragonscale, Teleport, Enchanter's Ring etc)
However, this upgrade (very different to other expansions) is also an opportunity to explore Variant spells
Because I really dislike the fact I can't choose different spells, compromising spell functionality to pay just 1SP
The main resistance seems to be that Mage Wars is driven by Theme, not by expanding deck building options
Hopefully, by including Novice spells that weaken Wizard's monopoly of Arcane, this idea may be reconsidered

Novice Teleport doesn't work, because Teleport is a Level 2 spell and the novice trait means you always pay 1 spellpoint (another example of poor rule construction to add to my list; there are many traits that could be worded much more efficiently to allow for greater scope...)

Nerfing range alone might not be enough (the parameters could be tweaked, of course).

Good points, ACG. I think changing other parameters is also the way forward.
So I am going to expand on your suggestion, ACG.

WHAT IS NOVICE?

The advantages of treating Novice as a same name variant spell is
(a) same maximum allocation
(b) must adhere to the no friendly duplicates attached rule (only 1 of Nullify or Novice Nullify on target)

Let's establish a basic principle of the Novice spell which I propose should be the following:

"In some situations, using a Novice spell is just as good as the Trained version
But in all other situations, the Novice spell must be worse than its Trained version"


What you are getting for buying cheap is simply a more situational version of the trained card

DISPEL

Let's look at an obvious Novice Dispel (because it already exists as a cantrip with upfront + opportunity cost)

Dispel, Cost X, Incant, quick. range 0-1, targets a level 1 revealed enchantment, metamagic, Arcane 1 Novice
Destroy target level 1 revealed enchantmemt of casting cost X


If you pay 4SPs, a quick action, 4 mana and your shield slot opportunity cost, you get a cantrip version.
Which can then be Dissolved so the opponent is up on spell points (why Dispel Wand is a Wizard toy).
How many times have you just Dispelled a Mongoose Agility or Agony (or Marked for Death if Swarm ever works)?
This Novice spell gives the Wizard no advantage but gives all other mages more options, especially the Warlord.

Just existence of this would mean the mage who used to have 4 Dispels [8] may choose 2 + 4 Novice.
Which not only erodes the Wizard but also provides greater skill when building your book

DISSOLVE

Now imagine if this applied to Dissolve...

Dissolve, Cost X, Incant, quick, range 0-0, targets Mage, Water 1 Novice
Destroy a level 1 equipment of casting cost X attached to target


This is ok for a melee mage or when being attacked by a melee mage
It would still be used in a mix with full fat Dissolves in non-Water mage books
Yes, it will devalue equipment so reduce Battle Forges out there, a good thing

Suddenly paying 4SPs for a level 2 out of school equipment may not be that much of a risk anymore!
Both Novice spells make out-of-school 4SPs investments (Vampirism, Mage Wand) less of a risk, increasing diversity

TELEPORT

Now what about Teleport?
Good point, ACG, about design restrictions like Novice wording (there are so many, it gets me so annoyed)
There is nothing to say you can't have a level 2 Novice spell!
Yes, it costs 1SP to everyone but you can only have 4 Teleport spells maximum
Novice Teleport must be very weak compared to normal (as here, even a Wizard gains, though gains less)

Teleport, Cost 6 Incant, quick, Range 0-0, Targets Friendly Mage, teleport, Arcane 2 Novice
Target teleports to a target zone up to 2 zones away


This is a range 0 push 2 for yourself only with targeting zone restrictions intact
It is incredibly less verastile than Teleport, in reality just an Escape spell mostly
Yes, it will devalue Tanglevine but it's too good anyway (I don't like Stranglevine or Quicksand)
But it will also help reduce the fear of cheesy Teleport kills as escaping will be more affordable
While Teleport still grants the ability to extract a Fortress Mage 4 zones away from its Corner

I know Teleport is a polarised subject so this is just a tentative proposal
If this existed, I know some of my opponents wouldn't insist on playing with our House Rule

NULLIFY

So what about Nullify, another Wizard cornerstone?
Here, although I hate mandatory reveal, we are stuck down this route
Because any optional reveal would be better, so it may have to be as weak as...

Nullify, cost 2+2, enchant, quick, range 0-2, targets non-Mage creature, metamagic, Arcane 1 Novice
You must reveal if this creature is targeted by an incantation or enchantment
You may pay its reveal cost to cancel that spell. Then destroy this enchantment when it is revealed


Again vastly inferior to a trained version (doesn't protect/disrupt Mages), in some cases it's just as good
It still triggers on the same spells as Nullify and this is important (anything less and it could be better)
I would use this spell to protect a Buffed Elite from control spells, Purge Magic etc, adds unknown mystery
Maybe it is too weak but it is very difficult to create a lesser version with the same mandatory triggers

JINX

Another cornerstone of the Arcane repertoire, this needs a Novice version to give to Aggro mages

Jinx, Cost 2+1, enchant, quick, range 0-2, targets creature, metamagic, Arcane 1 Novice
You must reveal when this creature casts a level 1 quick non-enchantment spell
Cancel that spell, return it to its spellbook and rebate its mana then destroy this enchantment


Again, I hate mandatory reveal cards but in this case, the no duplicates rule prevents stacking
Jinx is such a tempo card, a brutal trade at mana disadvantage, it really suits aggro builds more
It can delay a key Dissolve, Dispel or Force Push though it it does not help against Novice Teleport
Again the distinction between level 1 (6 copies) and level 2+ (4 copies or epic) becomes relevant

SEEKING DISPEL

Continuing the opening of Arcane School to other mages, this is another staple as control becomes stronger

Seeking Dispel, Cost 2, Incant, quick range 0-1, targets Hidden Enchantment, metamagic, Arcane 1 Novice
Controller must reveal target enchantment, paying whatever cost necessary, else destroy this enchantment


This may be nerfing control a bit too much, just the first idea that came to my head. I dunno.

HARMONIZE

Another staple of Arcane exclusivity is this spell and I feel a Novice version should be offered

Harmonize, Cost 2+2, Enchant Epic or Legendary Object, quick, range 0-2, mana, Arcane 1 Novice
If this object has a Channeling attribute, increase it by 1


This is just to make spawnpoints and familiars more appealing to all Mages, less of an investment to buff.
I can't raise its cost (because Novice must be able to replicate in some situations rule) but can limit targets
Here I chose to exclude the Mage, Battle Forge, Thoughtspore etc

ENCHANTMENT TRANSFUSION

Finally, the last cornerstone of what makes Arcane special - but without giving other mages its tricksiness

Enchant Transfusion, Cost 2+X, quick range 0-2, enchant creature, metamagic, Arcane 1 Novice
Same tiny text but only any number of controlled revealed enchantments and only range 1 transfusion


Here we try to emulate what the picture on spell shows a beastmaster is doing, saving enchantments
I think its important that the Novice does not have half the tricksiness of the original
But it can identically replicate its use in some situations
This was inspired by Wildhorn's comments about "Transfusion cheese" which this tries yto minimise


Anyway, these are just rough draft ideas of course, open to debate - I'm sure others can do better
But the point is that, apart from Dissolve, they are all Arcane staples
By giving lesser versions at 1SP price for all Mages, it weakens Wizard considerably in a far better way
Without blurring the colours of Arcane's flavour by giving it to other schools
Whilst also more choice to our strategising when we build our books - a win-win!

Obviously the inverse occurs as well, rewarding War with better versions of Novice Commands etc
There would be slightly more powerful versions of existing Novice spells for those trained mages
But the priority is to weaken Wizard which is why I've stuck to these spells (and not included Block)
I've also avoided the entire mandatory reveal issue and gone for lesser clones that can replicate

WIZARD'S TOWER

You could extend this concept to Elemental spells but I'd rather not
Instead I'd nerf Wizards' Tower so that it cannot change its spell (like a Thoughtspore)
It's because of Wizard's Tower that all Wizards field the same toolbox of Attack spells
By removing its ability to change spells, you still allow ballsy builds like Blasting Banker
You remove the samey-ness of Wizards, who will now have more spells of their element
That's just my opinion on how to nerf Wizard's Tower without destroying BB Nuke builds


Sorry about the length of this - it's long even by my standards!
But I felt it was important to paint a "what if" world where these spells existed so that we could all envisage it

I know Charmyna is in contact with Aaron and I hope I have managed to convince him about this approach.

29
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 27, 2014, 01:05:45 AM »
That is what I said, Tarkin. The Novice spells have the same name.
So you can't have 6 Dispel and 6 Novice Dispel. You can have 6 Dispel of any combination.

Game of Thrones has 5 different versions of Jamie Lannister. You can only play 3 copies in total.
Mage Wars won't go that far, just the option of having weaker Novice variants.

It gives greater deckbuilding choice and erodes his power base without. blurring the colours.

30
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« on: February 26, 2014, 07:09:54 PM »
Wow, I disappear for my RPG session and this thread has grown immensely!
I think I'm going to give up my plan of collecting/listing ideas here and go with the lively flow


Ok, firstly I like the Triple for Nature suggestion as an amendment because it feels right
Especially as we have no mage with Triple Nature weakness - but how much will it really hurt the Wizard?
1 Regrowth, 1 Rhino Hide, is he really that hurt by it? I don't think so.

Now let me explain the Novice idea better

Novice Dispel is called Dispel, exactly the same (Arcane 1) except range 1 and Novice
Novice Teleport is called Teleport, exactly the same (Arcane 2) except range 1, Friendly Creature and Novice
Novice Dissolve is called Dissolve, exactly the same (Water 1) except range 0 and Novice
And so on

You are only allowed to have 6 copies of a level 1 spell of the same name (like Dispel)
You are only allowed to have 4 copies of a level 2 spell of the same name (like Teleport)

Obviously Water Wizards will not have Novice spells of any of the above 3, they are experts at them
But the rest of us can choose how many of their 6 or 4 maximum are

Novice is just a variant of the same spell name, just weaker and available to all mages at x1 cost
This is not a new concept
Game of Thrones has many same name variants, you can only have 3 of them, no matter which variants
Magic Legendary rule applies to every version of variant Planeswalkers of the same name

We are creating a cheap Utility school (everyone trained) by using the Novice mechanic
But mainly we hit Arcane hard with slightly weaker versions of the staples (Dispel, Teleport, Nullify, Jinx)
So that we actually remove what makes Wizards special - their access to Arcane

They are still masters of Arcane: they will have no Novice Arcane spells, only full fat versions for same SPs.
There is no blurring of colours, just an acceptance that other mages get slightly weaker versions at x1 cost

Let's look at it another way.
Currently a minor reason why War is so weak is many of its Commands are Novice, available to all
But what if there were non-Novice versions?
Piercing Strike, War 1, same cost, gain +4 Piercing
Power Strike, War 1, same cost, gain +3 Melee
Suddenly War Mages get a slightly improved ability for the same mana and SPs because of their training.
(Just like the Wizard will always use current improved versions of Dispel and Teleport for the same costs)

This approach with Wizard is to
(a) remove what makes him special by giving lesser versions to everyone at the same cost
(b) create CHOICE when you build books - go with 4 Dispels or 2 Dispels + 4 Novice Dispels? (Both 8SPs)
We win on 2 levels here because choice is good in customisable games
And the best thing is we have no "blurring of colours" - those Novice spells are still Arcane.

Similarly, we ensure absolutely no more "Wizard Only" cards - whilst other mages gain exclusive toys
Exclusive toys are simply extensions of the Mage card (Galvitar is a classic example)


I am not against suggesting nerfing the Wizard card - but it does feel quite drastic.
What I am suggesting instead is a far more subtle route to eroding his power base.
Also frees spellpoints in our books, much needed because the budget stays 120 yet we have a bigger pool.


Finally, I would like to remind everyone of an undeniable fact.
When it was just a pool of Core Set cards, the Wizard was not overpowered.

It was Wizard's Tower that pushed him over the edge.
Ever since Wizard's Tower came out, it has been "Wizard wins again."
If we are to suggest anything drastic (option D - errata), I suggest we concentrate on:

(a) Wizard's Tower - just nerf it like Temple of Light
(b) Teleport - I have suggested a rules tweak like the Stun Exception to avoid altering cards here

Those are the real culprits of Wizard's dominance.

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