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Messages - DeckBuilder

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Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 23, 2014, 09:38:54 AM »
In particular, I feel like Druid + Vine Tree is very effective against Wizard Tower.
In general I feel like almost any Battleforge based strategy that is at least moderately defensive should also be good vs. Wizard Tower.

Thank you, AlexW, for your sage advice - which I took and it indeed proved correct.

I quickly cobbled together a Buffed Elites Aggro Druid build below and it beat BB piloted by my friend.
We then swapped books and he did exactly the same to me (though I made alcohol-fuelled mistakes).

AGGRO DRUID (Vine Tree + Battle Forge)

4 Raptor Vine (12)
1 Kralathor (4)

1 Marked for Death (2)
4 Bear Strength (4)
4 Rhino Hide (4)
2 Hawkeye (2)
1 Divine Protection (2)
1 Force Orb (2)
1 Cobra Reflexes (2)
1 Barkskin (2)

1 Vine Tree (2)
1 Battle Forge (6)
4 Mana Flower (4)
6 Tanglevine (6)
4 Corrosive Orchid [8]

1 Leaf Ring (1)
1 Enchanter's Ring (1)
1 Moonglow Amulet (2)
2 Bearskin (2)
2 Elemental Cloak (4)
1 Leather Gloves (1)
1 Leather Boots (1)
1 Veteran's Belt (3)
1 Vinewhip Staff (2)
1 Healing Wand (2)

6 Dispel (12)
6 Dissolve (6)
2 Teleport [8]
1 Rouse the Beast (1)

12 ATTACKS (12)
6 Surging Wave (6)
6 Acid Ball (6)

Key Play Requirements:
1. Accept (with Hawkeye) you use 2 Waves to kill each Battle Forge - you must remove spell action sources
2. Beat BB on the mana race as you have the tools (Leaf Ring + Flowers superior to Harmonize)
3. Vine Tree can sprout a Raptor wherever Orb appears to Bear Strength and Rouse the Beasts
4. Don't give BB time to build up (and especially set up Transfusion tricks), pressure from the start
5. Accept you pay 4 extra mana on first Orchid on Dissolve Wand when Armour Ward appears then Dispel it
6. Other Orchid targets include Suppression Cloak and the other Wands (leave Armour to Corrode)
7. Target Leather item with your plentiful Dissolves to trigger Nullify before Marked to Death (reveal later)
8. Accept your first Acid Ball will have a Defense when Force Orb appears which you then Dispel
9. This match-up is about compressing action bursts so leverage your extra actions, spell actions and mana

Now I appreciate neither of us can play BB anywhere near as well as you, Charmyna, so maybe it's not a clear-cut bad match-up.
Especially as this build was quickly cobbled together (based on my last "Druid book clinic" build) and I'm sure it can be improved.

With just 2 Druid games under my belt (playtesting over!), I've kicked Necromancer out (after just 2 games) and fallen for the Druid.
I think they designed her to be the answer to the Wizard - and they've done a good job because it's subtle.
She's got mana against mana denial, cheap spawnpoint, corrode armour, vine range spells, auto-hindering.
It's taken this long to realise she's great - I've got so much catching up to do, reconnecting with the meta.

Anyway, the Druid Aggro build above should be ok against other builds (so it's not just a BB killer).
It needs work though, someone who's an expert at the Druid.

Meantime, I'm just happy the "unbeaten BB" can be beaten after the shock of discovering how good it was.
I'm pretty sure Forcemaster Almost Solo (Forge, 1 Grizzly, buffs on both, Force Hammers) will also beat BB.
BB is just a moment-in-time meta build and I know the next set will have more hate against similar builds.
I'm also happy that this crisis in confidence with the game design has proven hidden depths in DvN design.

Thank you, Charmyna, for sharing BB. It's a great build and got me thinking about a less extreme version.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: The weaknesses of the non-living
« on: February 22, 2014, 03:09:20 PM »
Boom, I found the synonyms you used for "Nonliving" hilarious.
Even your description on the effect breezes have on falcons. Bravo!

You are absolutely right, take to the skies.
Jokhtari already plays Raptors so Eagle Wings works well on them and Galador (beware you Golems!).
Remember to reveal after their Lumbering entry or Wand Teleport on it and before their Declare Attack.
Problem is Wizard Nonliving (Earth/Air) trades 2 SPs Wings for 1 SP Dispel (with Ring discounts cost equal).
Whilst staying in Nature school, there is also Etherian Lifetree and Renewing Rain that only helps the Living

I also like tempo as many Nonliving are "motionally handicapped" (copying your writing style).
So Force Wave on 4 Jellies or 4 Brutes can delay (even if it is the inevitable demise of our brave Jedi)
Unfortunately not Golems, which like Incorporeal don't even burn baby burn, normally a cure for most problems...

In the end, just separate Nonsentient Monkeys from the Organ Grinder - then beat up the Organ Grinder.
(I personally would have loved a rule that Nonliving needed Line of Sight to mage to perform any actions)
So having a No Entry Wall is usually a great enabler to do this (seen Zombies claw at a Steel Wall?)

Eaglewings + Bear Strength + Cervere was my Beastmaster trick for picking on the Organ Donor
Mongoose Agility + Bear Strength + Lord of Fire for poor Warlock (also crippled facing Nonliving)
As one of the advantages of Nonliving being popular is the meta has moved against control spells like Sleep
As for the Forcemaster who now avoids Psychic, she is the most tempo mage and best at isolating the enemy

Holy Mages have cheap access to Samandriel and Temple of Light and Staff of Asrya.
Does anyone play Light attacks?
Holy also can win using Healing attrition assuming Deathlock is removed
That's if your opponent hasn't fallen asleep before your Priestess with Minor Heal Wand reaches 100 Life...

The "sanguinely challenged" (getting the hang of this) also can't be buffed with Falcon Precision
They also don't have Ranged (beyond those Archers)
Maybe Bracers of Deflection and Force Sword could be useful (Force Orb is already in the meta)
Also Feral Bobcats are good duckin' and divin' between their ponderous strikes - here kitty, kitty.
Maybe Block delays and Reverse Attack will hurt (they can Evade) though this seems a waste hurting them
Nor have they access to Holy Might so maybe Incorporeal is a solution? (But not against Air Wizard)
Though that's just trumping their defensiveness with better Unhealing creatures so may be called cheating...

I'm sure there are many other slight weaknesses in being desanguinated.
But if it wasn't for Golems and Spirits not appearing from Voltari, Wizards would just play Nonliving synergies.

As for Jokhtari, Forcemaster and Warlock (aka poor man's Necro), facing creatures with a "hole for a soul" is GG in most cases.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 22, 2014, 01:53:55 PM »
I just had a game against a Brute Squad. I got less than ten damage in total from which a couple where healed by regrowth (he used Deathlock at some point). In the end the bloodthirsty on the Brutes backfired at him since he could not dissolve the Suppression Cloak quickly (partly because of Enchantment Transfusion+Nullify trick) and his zombies had to attack me even though they did only very few damage and he had to pay 2 mana for each attack.

Yeah, I could see that problem. The trick with playing Brute Squad against BB is not to be too aggressive at the start (you can go down the aggro route against other match-ups), after all, you only need 2 attacks to take out Obelisk (and you don't want them distracted so timing of Pestilence is key). Current Brute Squad can be a standard Heavy Armour Forge Mage for slower roll-out of Brutes - still 17 points of 4 Brutes, Shaggoth + Plague. Knowing BB totally (playing myself), I knew I had to sacrifice my first Cloak of Shadows for your Cloak of Suppression else the game was up. But yes, I can see Brute Squad played aggressive (like normal) is a good match-up for BB.

My Curse Necromancer (which I put on hold, so little time to design books these days) should handle BB. The problem is it's got no game vs. Brute Squad (Frenzy gets round 4 Enfeebles) and a poor game vs. Nonliving Wizard (as Cloak of Shadows and 2 Teleports is not enough to win Teleport Wars). I added 6 Chains (Force Wave does not help against. Frenzy) to try to control Brutes (+ Falcons' Fury etc) but still has no Win Con vs. Necro beyond Force Crush + Magebane (which isn't enough). Also Kiting is impossible with Vines as Mongoose doesn't help but Shadows hurts Vine range too. So it has a few really bad match-ups I'm trying to solve but is otherwise a strong idea (I think). I need to test before posting. Alas this weekend is a big playtest deadline.

You know concept but I suspect it works best in Necro (Eternal Knight guards conjuration corner while kiting)
Enchanter's Ring to Curse myself under Cloak of Shadows while kiting (Cheetah + Mongoose vs. Enfeebles)
I suddenly end turn drop 2 Wardstones and free action before Upkeep bypass your Nullify with Transfusion of
Enfeeble + Ghoul Rot + Agony (in BB's case) + Magebane + Poisoned Blood + Force Crush + Nullify
Reveal all with saved mana (Forge equips, 1 self-enchant per turn + occasional Enfeeble, saving while kiting)
Of course the 2 Wardstones (others destroyed during game so far) prevent a simple Purge Magic of them all.

I mentioned it when Tarkin asked to come good on "How to Beat the Wiz?" (so I rough drafted Brute Squad) because if most mages are going Forge + High Armour + Veteran's Belt + Shield + Nullifies, direct damage in a Deathlock world is surely a solution? Going back to Core Set's design, AW created it as the counter strategy (obviously Corrode added later) but they need to ensure Direct Damage stays viable to defeat High Armour.

I was dubious a Necro build with just 1 Knight would work (maybe Bat as poison deliverer!) as he is designed played as Swarm. I ignored his Spawnpoints (and even Ring) with Bruite Squad. Now I am even ignoring using creatures, just Channel 10, Dark access like Cloak of Shadows + Death Link, Poison Immunity, Eternal Knight useful if saving mana, always reanimate). After seeing your Solo build, I'm more confident. I feel Necro Curse Transfusion is just a fun build as it currently has too many bad match-ups but may end up Wizard Killer build (as requested in that thread) against annoying opponents (like me) who only play High Armour Forge Mages.

I'm totally new to BB, Charmyna (really taken with "end game Wizard's Tower", that's your build's big insight for me).
But playing it just that once, I have a few suggestions...

Mana Siphon - nobody plays Ethereal much (11 with Ring)
Suppession Orb (7 with Ring) - when their threats smash your Obelisk in 1 corner, play Orb in opposite corner
Surely the distraction tempo cost of removing them is greater than the cost to you of playing them?
You already know with Mana Denial that the greater you turn the screw, the more it hurts (and more fun it is).
Mana advantage is diminishing (every +1 Channel worth less than last) so Mana disadvantage is exponential.
Each spell is Cost/Channel in % term of each turn's income so make Channel as low as possible with burdens.
I'm teaching grandmothers to suck eggs (English phrase: means you're the expert) but I don't understand why not go "all-in"?

I also think you underrate Purge Magic's action efficiency (not everyone plays Transfusion Nullify, Charmyna)

And the Bat - please it's got to go, it's a 2SP affront to a very strong build.
It's humiliating to be beaten by a book that has 1 Bat as it's only creature!
It's just rude! :)

Anyway, a really great build and I'm going to test it (with a few changes above) against
* Almost Solo Forcemaster (Forge + Buffs + 1 Grizzly)
* Curse Warlock/Necromancer which is also Mana Denial (been playing Wizard Mana Denial for a long time)

I'm hoping some non-Wizard builds will beat BB because if it doesn't, it really is time to inspect 2 cards:
(a) Wizard's Tower that made Wizards dominant since it arrived
(b) Veteran's Belt that is pushing the meta down dull Forge High Armour, destroying diversity in builds
This dominance of Wizards really needs to stop if Wizard Solo is better than Forcemaster Solo!

Here's hoping you soon lose with BB, Charmyna! :)

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 22, 2014, 08:32:47 AM »
Still, what this all leads to is that most of his creatures will not attack me every round (especially not if they are zombies).

You make a well-known point about High Armoured Mages just taking the hits every second turn, just standard sequencing tactics.
However, Zombie Brute Squad uses Zombie Frenzy and movement spells (Teleport, Force Push, Force Wave) to land its punches.

Forcemaster lures you into a Grizzly with Force Pull, bypassing Nullify while dodging your range 2 Fireballs.
Curse Warlock Enfeebles threats while safely kiting protected by Nullify, Cloak of Shadows, Cheetah Speed.
Guardian Angels protect Holy Mages, Druid and Raptors Corrode you to death, Gargoyle protect Wizards etc.
I would still like to believe there must be ways around this build (that also have a game against others).

I could not believe it when they previewed Veteran's Belt when they knew the Voltaric Shield issue already.
Veteran's Belt created Forge High Armour Near Invulnerable Equipment builds, destroying Core Set balance.

But your cutting edge is the spike damage within short space of time you can achieve with Wizard's Tower.
That is a very good insight, Charmyna, keeping Wizard's Tower "in your pocket" until you spike burst to win.

I have now tested BB (playing against myself only sadly) and BB did win against my latest Zombie Brute Squad with its Forge (for High Armour like every other build now), Pestilence, Deathlock, Enfeeble and Move spells. But it was close, a few luckier rolls and I feel the result could have been different. The end was nigh when BB Teleported to range 1 to trigger my Nullify with cheap Wand Dissolve target then, gaining Initiative, BB Dissolved the second Cloak of Shadows. Looking back, I should have moved Necro that round but that's the problem with Zombie Frenzy, a full action. Obviously, I played as a Novice and having total knowledge was to BB's disadvantage but I've played many more games as Wizard compared to my 2 games with Necro now so player skill level was roughly equal in my experiment. Yes, it passed the test, it's a great build, congrats Charmyna.

I think it would have a harder time against Forcemaster Solo with 1 Grizzly (Forge pimping FM with equips and enchant buffs as you have no Purge), against a Voltari build with Gargoyles, Jellies, Teleport Wands or against Holy Mages with Guardian Angels, Knights, Brogan.

However, after testing it, i agree its Mana Denial is a sufficient delay to play its spike damage burst.
After testing BB, I actually felt dejected that they may have destroyed the game at the highest level.
First Wizard's Tower then Veteran's Belt - I miss the far more balanced game that was just Core Set.
I can't see it changing in near future either as theme not game balance seems to drive design choice.
It's all really depressing.

Congrats, Charmyna, on your great new build! Now pass me another helping of that delicious humble pie...

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Dice vs Armor table
« on: February 22, 2014, 07:13:10 AM »
Yes, very much, thank you both for your hard work.
There seem to be a few anomalies in both results
With Aylin (e.g. 1 die vs. 2+ should be constant, 2 die vs. 4+ should be constant, I attributed it to her Monte Carlo sampling technique.
But it seems you have used an "every permutation" mathematical model? (Wow!)

I am a very simple person so I will just look at 1 die vs. 1 armour
Half the time (0, 0, 1), I will score 0 net damage so I will re-roll.
This re-roll gives me a 1/3 chance to score 1 damage (2, 1*) and 1/6 chance to score 2 damage (2*)
Which equates to +0.67 damage in 50% situations which equates to +0.33 damage.
Yet when I look at the delta chart of 1 die vs. 1 armour, I see 0 (yet +0.33 in 1 vs. 0).
I'm sure there must be something I've not considered here but I don't know what it is...

Other anomalies was me expecting the deltas to erode away with extra armour but it doesn't always erode?
E.g. in 7-9 dice attacks, the deltas above 2 armour feels random (for a method that doesn't use sampling).

I suspect some of these issues may due to difficulty transposing tables into posts, errors creep in easy.
None of this takes away from the hard work that you (and the strangely quiet Aylin) have done.
And I am very grateful for this feedback (and so amazingly quickly too). Many thanks.

At first glance, it seemed like my maths intuition was wrong about its benefit.
But if I identify how much +1 die gains in original table, deltas are comparable and in some cases superior.

I think what can't be captured is probability of hitting a target damage level (anything excess is irrelevant).
Why do you say the deltas on standard deviation is "not possible" to demonstrate lower variability / higher consistency?

In some ways, this may demonstrate luck plays less of a role in the attack dice than any I ever anticipated.
Which is heartening (and explains my initial phobia of d12 effects).

Yes, Akiro's Favour is most definitely geared to the effect die.
But it's also a good insurance against outlier poor attack rolls.
And grants more certainty achieving a target kill damage level.

Hmmm, I was surprised by these results but these gains have to be compared against +1 die and +2 dice.

Very thought-provoking. Thank you, both of you!

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 21, 2014, 10:46:26 AM »
Touched a nerve here, have we sIKE?  ;D

Thanks for the great response, Charmyna.
All good stuff. We are all learning here.

You say you haven't played against a Wizard with BB?
I assume it will lose against Walled Altar of Skulls cheese?
How does it handle Hyper Aggro like 2 Grizzly FM?
In my only non playtest game recently, I thrashed a Wizard with Zombie Brute Squad.
Pestilence and Deathlock while chased by 4 Frenzied Brutes should hurt?

It's obviously a great build if unbeaten.
Just that I would feel naked playing Solo.
Congrats on your great results with it.

Would reply more but typing on phone.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 20, 2014, 07:41:13 PM »
This is one reason for putting in three Enchantment Transfusion and four Nullify

I'm sorry, Charmyna, but I'm daring to take issue with you here (gulp). Apologies if my explanation is very obvious to you but I think that, just like I took issue with your "It's all about the spell points!" claim, you are overselling control in MW.

Not unexpectedly considering Golem Pit's trap, I'm a big fan of Enchantment Transfusion, a combo enabler in this game as it allows more than 2 consecutive spell actions (without resorting to ready marker actions) and action bursts (or fleeting "windows of opportunity" as I called it) which is what combo is in a game of pick any 2 spells you can freely sequence.

However, I've seen a few posts recently that place Enchantment Transfusion on this pedestal as some sort of "pinnacle" of control.
If you have Transfusion Nullify on a bystander creature (even enemy), you have "true control" as opposed to "soft control" of just Nullify.
That is why you never waste an action: it only costs 1 mana (with Ring) to place a Nullify or Transfusion on an ally, setting up defenses.

However, let's not forget these facts: using Enchantment Transfusion means you have additionally paid...
+1 spell point (assuming Wizard)
+1-2 to cast it
+1 mana per enchantment moved (Arcane Ring discount on Nullify)
most importantly, +1 quick action

You pay this Premium for a timed counter of a spell, whether Dispel, Seeking Dispel, Dissolve (assuming Nullify ready as well) etc.
The designers have deliberately made it hard to put a "stranglehold" of control on the game as such denial cleverness is just not fun.
Because you do pay a steep premium but sometimes it's worth it as denying some critical spells are more important than others.
I contend a proper Aggro book will play at such a fast tempo that you should never get a chance to set up 2 card combo defenses.

As for...

Wont you prefer to have two more Dispel and a Seeking Dispel in most of your Spellbooks instead of a really seldomly used Purge Magic that has the risk of failing?

I believe this is disingenuous. Sometimes, when I know I've been so aggressive as to remove all Nullify protection, 1 quick spell action to remove 3 enchantments that cost 3 quick spell actions and more mana than the 11 (ring) to Purge is key to regaining Tempo Advantage. Forcemaster uses it with Steal Equipment against Dragonscale in an Armour Ward meta or a canny Wizard may use Steal Enchantment in a meta full of Wizards with Rhino Hide + Regrowth + Divine Protection. If I spend the same mana but less actions than you, I am up on the deal (because I am playing short game tempo, not long game attrition, I'm willing to pay more SPs). Just the knowledge I'm a Wizard is enough to prevent enchantment stacking against a potential Purge Magic. Else for just mere 12-1 mana and a quick action, you lose Bear Strength + Mongoose Agility + Forcefield.

You claim "I have Enchantment Transfusion and Nullify ready to counter" but how do you trade 2 actions for my 1 to deny me?

Transfusion Nullify is great in theory. Yes, it does sometimes work and I love it when it does. But it's overrated. Because a good player shouldn't give you time to gain 2 actions when he only had 1. A good player doesn't attack when he sees no possible Nullify protection. He Dissolves your Armour instead. Just like you state how you systematically Dissolve an enemy Wizards' Armour.

Enchantment Transfusion is best used for multiple enchantments (like Force Crush + Curses on the turn that you cast 2 Wardstones) because the penalty paid (mainly +1 extra banked action) is minimised for a sudden burst of banked actions that you get.

I don't understand where you find time to cast all of these control enchantments. As players should pressure you long before you have cast 7 Armour + Veterans Belt + Regen 2 + Aegis 1 (which, even with a Forge, takes time).

I used to play a game called Diplomacy. I was good at it, a force at European and Worlds. What I learnt is just a "name to be feared" is enough to psychologically defeat an opponent. Good players made mistakes against me they would never otherwise make. Because they had mentally accepted they would lose. So they did. Even though they could have easily beaten me. A feared reputation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I sometimes watch your excellent podcasts and ask: "why are your opponents so afraid, giving you so much time to gain control?"
You're an amazingly strong player, Charmyna. But if you're honest, you'll admit you shouldn't be given time to do these "tricks".

The 2 Grizzlies Forcemaster build does not care that she spends 24 points on just 2 creatures. Because it's NOT "all about the spell points". It's quite often having the perfect spell for that tiny window of opportunity you have. And yes, 1 quick action Purge Magic when you know he has no Nullify protection can be priceless in turning the tempo to your advantage as you just spent less actions and mana.

Even the concept of negative denial is very difficult to execute in MW (thank goodness else it will be as dull as playing against Magic Control decks). You have 6 Dispels for my 6 Bear Strengths on my 4 Raptor Vines? All it means is you have spent equal to me (less Ring discounts) - yet I have gained 6 attacks with +2 dice when I reveal them. Denial in MW is by definition giving opponent who plays well at least 1 use of that spell you deny. As with Enchantment Transfusion, the designers have deliberately put control at a disadvantage. Otherwise, it would be too strong. Not all opponent spell actions are equal. Sometimes, it's worth spending more actions with Transfusion Nullify to prevent a spell action (like Purge). But it's a mistake on your opponents' part if they do not see the possibility and guard against it.

I watch your play and I have nothing but admiration at the quality of your play, Charmyna.
However I also get frustrated at watching some of your opponents' Fear at attacking you.
It's this Fear which allows you to feel Transfusion Nullify protects you from Purge Magic.
That you can freely Dissolve all your opponent's Armour but they can't do it back to you?
What are they doing instead then?

Your success is richly deserved and I've always said you're one of the best players in the world.
However, I hope you'll agree part of the reason why these builds work for you is because of fear.
You've psychologically beaten most of your opponents with your reputation before the first move.

But the main reason is the game rewards skill more than book-building and you're incredibly skillful.

Transfuse Nullify is hard to repeatedly pull off against good opponents (it's better used for multiple shifts to bypass Nullify).
Purge Magic is a meta card in the game: even if you don't play it, you have to account for it when playing against a Wizard.
Just as with your "it's ALL about the spell points!" claim that I disagreed with, I'm sorry that I have to disagree with you here.
I hope you don't take this disagreement of "always being in control" in the wrong spirit as I have the utmost respect for you.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Dice vs Armor table
« on: February 20, 2014, 02:48:19 AM »
Hi fas723

Thanks for getting back on this, it's much appreciated. I might as well be blunt.

There is a promo card called Akiro's Favour and its persistent enchantment benefit is this:
Once per round when attacking. this creature may either reroll ALL its attack dice using the new roll or reroll a d12
In my "Promo Cards Feedback" thread, I slated it (and Ballista) as overpowered as printed.

Now evaluating the re-roll of d12 (for effects or for Daze), even a dumbo like me can do that
For example: if I am Dazed, before I had 50% miss, now I have a 25% miss if I use it that way
Re-rolling a Daze miss takes priority of its use but 50% of the time, I would not need to use it that way
(Daze is situational, the effect die is worse, Arc Lightning's Stun 9+ becomes Stun 5/9 with reroll option)

What is beyond my rusty maths (maybe not SAS/SPSS/Excel) is to evaluate the value of the optional reroll all keep 2nd roll effect

My maths intuition tells me that it's worth between +1 (Hawkeye) and +2 (Bear Strength) dice
I also know that it will reduce the variability making the attack more certain to deal a threshold damage
Note the versatility of this spell - it's just awesome (especially for mages with all those control effects)

Because it's a promo card (and I have already slated its cost), I'm not divulging any design secrets here
I came to you because I worry AW may be making a big mistake here (they appreciate it's undercosted)
And I care deeply about the game and don't want a ubiquitous card so would like it costed appropriately

So can you please use your maths skills to evaluate the benefit of this card?
You would be doing the game an invaluable service if you could put your mind to this very soon?

(I'm a firm believer in tapping into a fan base and crowd sourcing, it's a free asset, everyone feels good, win-win)

I may get in trouble for being so frank...

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 19, 2014, 08:30:04 AM »
I don't think this is an unusual dichotomy,  it's just how metas work. X beats Y, so everyone stops using Y.  Eventually,  everyone stops bringing X because it mostly just counters Y and no one uses Y. Since no one uses X, an enterprising player is free to once again bring Y.

Good point, Webcatcher (dammit, why are games forums full of clever people? Probably why I like them)

However (there's always a "but" when I compliment), you have to admit the meta needs to be pretty mature to turn full circle.

Corrode is a DvN mechanic. I'm impressed at the dynamism of the OCTGN meta if it is already so mature to do this.

It also presumes 2 match-up variables
(a) you are not playing High Armour like me
(b) you are not playing Corrode

I contend that if one statement is false, the solid book and great play will triumph
However, what about the match-up where both variables are false?

Surely every Wizard's Tower has Acid Ball in its Toolbox?
Surely every Wizard leverages the synergy of High Armour + Veteran's Belt + Voltaric Shield?

Which is why I concluded that if Charmyna has beaten other Wizards with this, then it's due to his play skill.

I'm not attacking Charmyna (although I admit I'm not exactly endearing myself to OCTGN players on this forum).
In fact I've been profuse in my compliments.

But (there's always a "but") the fact that it is unbeaten just does not make sense.
Maybe because Charmyna has used Voltari as his spawnpoint and I've used Forge due to Golems/Spirits.
Maybe Watergate has so influenced the OCTGN meta while Golem Pit influenced my local meta down high armour.

I will test and I will no doubt need to eat huge helpings of humble pie (like I did over Procrastination Amulet).
I'm just speaking my honest impressions.

I hope it works because that means my build will work too.

But at best, I believe this to be a "moment in time" meta build that card gamers know all about.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Drunken Wizzard
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:54:00 AM »
Yeah, definitely a breath of fresh air...

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:37:24 AM »
Yes, awesome analysis and counter-arguments on all points, Charmyna.
Looking back, it's a bit amusing seeing my genuine shock in my PM about the Bat - that really threw me.
I actually thought this was some sort of German Practical Joke! :)

If this works, then I'm thinking my Necromancer Mana Denial Curses build with just 1 Eternal Knight may work too.
Uses Cloak of Shadows + kiting (Cheetah/Mongoose/4 Enfeebles) to Transfuse Curses from self to bypass Nullify.
I put it on hold because I didn't feel Necro + Forge + just Eternal Knight was sufficient actions in the current meta.
Your build, Charmyna, has certainly opened my eyes that it's possible.

"BB" is a very high skill book to pilot (unlike Golem Pit or Brute Squad which you can write an algorithm to play).

Oh, how I envy all you guys with your vibrant meta.
The only way I get locals to play me is if I use my playtest cards to "coo!" over then give them the print-out cards.
I shall learn OCTGN soon and be humiliated by you, Charmyna, like so many others.
(Poor sIKE is still obsessing over losing with his Necro to BB even though Mana Denial was always going to win)

I have a different insight on why low armor is the current metagame: Acid Ball.

It used to be that Leather Gloves and Leather Boots were superior to, say Rhino Hide because it cost seperate Dissolve/Explodes to remove each piece.  By having many different pieces of armor, it was possible to ensure having some armor almost all the time.  Now a player can have a good chance of trading 1 Acid Ball (5 mana + 1 action) for Leather Boots and Leather Gloves (4 mana + 2 actions), and still have a good chance of getting a critical damage in on top of it!

I also think that in a high-Acid Ball metagame, Veterans' Belt is weakened.  If an opponent can corrode/Dissolve all of your armor, they don't care about your Veterans Belt.  Playing the belt (which is quite powerful if all is going well) is an opportunity for an opponent to gain advantage without having to directly counteract it.

Firstly, you make a good point, AW: I fully appreciate that Corrode was designed to combat a Heavy Armour meta
That's why Healing Wand (or Priestess) is de rigeur, even if not action-efficient (Acid Ball does not equal Corrode 2)
What I find is a slight double standards is that, if there is so much Corrode, what is Blasting Banker's answer to it?
You have to Corrode his armour down to zero before replacing works as removal (Forge does it but mana inefficient)

There was an intrinsic dichotomy in the meta-assumption used here:
(a) I am relying on a low armour meta on OCTGN because of Corrode
(b) I am perfectly safe playing High Armour with no Corrode removal
That crux is what I initially found to be a flawed premise in the build.

Which is why I've been building a direct damage "banked mana" build which assumes High Armour by both mages
As my answer to High Armour was to go down a direct damage route.
(As it was your request, Tarkin, in "How to beat the Wiz", I will get the build fine-tuned but I'm sure you've tried it.)

Just when you think you've seen all the current meta has to show you, we get a sudden spate of interesting builds.
Damn, this game is awesome!

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Drunken Druid
« on: February 19, 2014, 06:04:13 AM »
Hi again.

Unlike the Air Wizard, I'm a noob when it comes to Poison Ivy Druid.
So please don't expect much insights from me.

Again it looks solid but just few minor quibbles.
You can't bond with Togorah (he's pretty useless in my opinion, nerfed for not having a quick yet Vigilant)
Eaglewings don't work with Rooted (I too got caught out by this in the rules, so you are not alone on this)
Though maybe the 2 copies are just for Kralathor and your Ram? That works.

My main issue, however, is I suspect that Toolbox is not the way to go with a Druid.

I theorise that, in a game of "pick your cards" where combo is just action burst, there are 2 axis in the game:
* The Tempo Axis is Aggro <-> Control (yes, you can go Aggro Control, place a threat and protect it/remove threats)
* The Versatility Axis is Focused <-> Toolbox (yes, often correlates but there are Focused Control and Toolbox Aggro)

Your style of play seems to be Toolbox (this means no match-ups are walkovers but you've got a game against any)

I suspect there are 2 strong builds in Druid
* an aggressive one with Vine Tree and Rouse the Beast etc
* a defensive one with Samara Tree, Procrastination Amulet, Vine Snappers, Conjurations (terraforming)
Mixing the Aggro and the Control builds may end up unfocused

The point about the Air Wizard build is you Focused on a Theme (Push) and added a Toolbox of cards to help it
Here, it just feels schizophrenic
This may be fun but a competitive book will have the resilience to out-attrition half a book
By which time switching to the other strategy is too great a resource investment/tempo loss

That's just my theory and I may be talking out of my posterior (you won't surprised how often my friends say this)

It'd be interesting to see if, after a few more plays, you find some mages are better for Toolbox builds than others

Cheers again for posting.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Drunken Wizzard
« on: February 19, 2014, 04:41:24 AM »
Firstly, congrats on your first brave posting of your strategising, it's quite daunting. And it's a woozy of a debut.

I like the book, so many interesting choices instead of spamming an undercosted card which is efficient but dull.
I like the game write-ups, informative yet very readable (though I'm surprised you chose Gorgon against Necro).
I especially like your signature prefix! Nicely self-deprecating branding - you don't work in marketing perchance?

As for...

I have no more teleports or enchanters rings  could we get a few key guards in just like a 5 pack? that would be awesome!

I have been saying these booster packs should exist since I first joined this forum in July and even 2 days ago.

Ideal distribution is complicated because the utility of the card and how common it will appear in different books.

For example, everyone wants more

* Teleport
* Dragonscale Hauberk
* Elemental Cloak
* Regrowth Belt
* Enchanter's Ring

Booster packs with these spells (and others) should be created because there is demand for them.
Maybe each of these Booster packs should have a theme.

For example: "Beastmaster Booster 1" may have all the missing level 1 animals, Rajan's Fury and Marked for Death needed to play that archetype, "Wizard" will have more Teleports, Whirling Spirits etc. I'm just thinking about the cards we borrow and proxies we use. (Not to mention any errata text cards). These boosters would be cheap and themed towards certain builds to minimise what you need. It's good support.

You really would think a commercial company would grab sales/profit opportunities!
Maybe they want to force players down Spell Tomes but here in the UK, the Tomes are so expensive, I just got a 2ndCore Set instead.
Themed booster packs will be such a non-purchase (unlike Tomes) that they'd fly off the shelves as players build simultaneous books.
Maybe if we all mentioned it constantly, they may realise how pack size/composition is so important in marketing.
The problem is numbers needed require a Mage Wars brain as you must judge the utility of each card to appear in different spellbooks.
4 Destroy Magiic? - er, no thanks (0 would have been a nice number until we get more zone/conjuration enchants)
Anyway, I replied to this post never intending to meander into one of my pet peeves...

Your book is not only fun but really rounded hence competitive, it's well-built for so many match-ups, Drunk! :)
The one thing I would suggest is to possibly try to make room (7SPs) for Huginn + Bull Endurance + Regrowth
Although he uses up valuable Incants, being able to peer over your Walls is really useful (may need more Push)
He won't often come out, he's match-up dependent (much like your whole toolbox of cards concept).
But when you get into "Wiz-Port Wars" or a Holy Mage uses Divine Intervention to escape, you'll appreciate him.
The only time I managed to snag a Divine Intervention using a Seeking Dispel was using my far-sighted Huginn.
Because like Wands, he also give you another option which is great tactical advantage, allows for finesse plays.
And your attraction to this book (I was constantly told it's not a deck) is because you're a stylsh finesse player.

One other issue is a rare Warlord match-up (allegedly some play the poor unloved Orc, no wonder he turned out bad..).
As an Air Wizard, Wall of Fog only costs 1 and protects your conjurations from Akiro's Hammer which wreaks control.
[Edit: scratch that, you have Wall of Fire for this but Surging Wave/Dragonscale/Cloak common so Fog may be better]

Otherwise I can see this book is great fun to play and if I had the promos, I'd use it to attract players to the game.

A welcome return of the totally toolbox book based on a strong consistent theme. Bravo!

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: CURSE YOU!!!! Warlock.
« on: February 18, 2014, 03:56:05 PM »
Looks fun.

I may not be best to comment here as I have no sense of fun build, efficient killing is all that matters (Spike!)

I'm in a bit of a rush, Silver, so apologies if these are just quick notes and I'm a bit brusque

Mana Denial + Curses is actually a Tier 1 build (or near that), certainly not fun!
This is a bit of a schizophrenic build as I can see you're a bit of pyro, Silver! :)

So anyway, some quick fixes

-2 Ravenous Ghoul (6) - why? They are for
-2 Wall of Fire (4) - best with Dragonscale and Elemental Cloak, you need range 2 LOS and have Cloak of Shdows
- Drain Life (3) - 12 mana late game? So unreliable. Yes it bypasses armour but so does DOT
- Drain Soul (3) - maybe Skeleton Necro to stick poison, maybe mana denial/advantage build on a Mage Wand.

Are you Curses or Fire? Feels schizophrenic. Generally better to focus.

You have Elemental Wand yet you already have so many fire spells?
Wands (and Tower) are there to toolbox that perfect spell in match-up
Force Hammer, Surging Wave, Jet Stream etc (note all range 2)

If you really want flexibiity, go with 3 Rings (choose 2 according to match-up) and add

+1 Enchanters Ring (2)
+2 Enfeeble (4)
+1 Mongoose Agility (2) - with Cheetah Speeds and 4 Enfeebles and Cloak of Shadows, you get the idea

+2 Enchantment Transfusion (4) - gain ring bonus and safety of Cloak
+1 Force Crush (6)
+1 Nullify (2)
+1 Jinx (2)

You cast all of above + usual curses on your self for 1 each while kiting from his Slow elites, safe in Cloak of Shadows
Then once you have 2 Enchanter's Wardstones, transfer them all to him and reveal with all your banked mana


+1 Poison Gas Cloud (4) also helps when he's held in place but bit Win More...

You need to couple this with Full Blown Mana Denial
Siphon (as you have, always cast early)
Orb, Obelisk (against Swarm builds as Enfeebles are against Elite builds)
As well as 2 Crystals ad Battle Forge
I also like Mage Wand + Drain Power (but this manoeuvre is very tricky to get right)

Once you Transfuse Force Crush onto him, you Drain power every Early QC with Initiative so cannot remove it due to the Wardstones...

You are range 2 in your Cloak of Shadows (key piece, you need 2)

Don't worry about your conjurations being destroyed as you need the zone space for 2 Wardstones cast the turn you transfuse

All those Curses are banked actions for 1 big Transfusion action burst with sudden Mana Denial vs. Purge
That's the essence of Curse build
As you can see, the Curse build does not dabble in fire, you can't be a servant to 2 masters...

Because of Cloak of Shadows, I believe Mana Denial + Curses is actually best in Necromancer (you don't need Curse Weaving, just access to Dark, Cloak of Shadows and 10 channelling)

I was fine-tuning this build for the unfinished "How do you beat the Wiz?" thread but been diverted by design duties

Then you came along and brought it up!

Sorry gotta go but hope that's food for thought...

The first time you "checkmate" someone (especially with the Drain Power "soft lock"), just watch their jaw drop... :)

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 18, 2014, 12:08:11 PM »
I'm a bit worried my comments about Charmyna beating OCTGN players will be misconstrued.
I've had a good-humoured warning PM from someone I consider a friend on this forum.
So, because I don't have Dragonscale (Flame -2), I'm re-posting my reply to him on public.

I never said OCTGN players "sucked"!  And certainly not YOU!
I just said the skill difference between Charmyna (so far ahead) and his capable opponents may be a contributor
As well as the low armour meta anomaly which feels so contrary to the amazingness that is Veteran's Belt

I'm just surprised such a mana-intensive action-poor build is unbeaten!

You have to admit Tarkin's Priestess and Indy's 2 Aggro Books (variants on posted) looked very strong bulds.
I freely gave them compliments because I would be happy to pick up any of those spellbooks and pilot them.

I just found it hard to swallow the viability of Blaster Banker piloted by Joe Average or even a competent player.
Unlike the other 3 spellbooks I have mentioned, I would not be comfortable piloting it as it breaks all the rules.

It's actually a Bat!!! And I thought it was a Hydra guarding the Obelisk and Tower! A Bat!!! Seriously?
I honestly don't get it but, after being burned on Meditation Amulet, I'm gonna have to suck it and see myself.

I am really setting myself for a huge helping of humble pie here!
But hey, it's fun to be friendly opinionated and be proved wrong.

Before I get Angry OCTGN emails (I know yours was good humoured), I think I will post this public with an apology.
I never said OCTGN players suck so please don't flame me! :)

I hereby apologise to all OCTGN players who were offended by my comments about disparity in skill level.
I would be thrashed by Charmyna too, both on OCTGN and IRL (hopefully less thrashed).
However, for those of you who have been beaten TWICE by this strategy, I say:
"Fooled by him once, shame on him. Fooled by him twice, shame on you!" :)

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