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Author Topic: Beastmaster  (Read 6334 times)

sdougla2

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Beastmaster
« on: May 11, 2013, 05:53:05 AM »
People haven't been posting many builds lately, so I thought I'd post something. Here's the Beastmaster list I'm currently running. I keep tweaking things, but this is what it looks like after the last round of tweaks:

Creatures (23)

Bitterwood Fox x6
Thunderdrift Falcon x6
Feral Bobcat
Steelclaw Grizzly
Redclaw, Alpha Male
Timber Wolf

Equipment (13)

Mage Staff
Ring of Beasts
Enchanterís Ring
Elemental Cloak
Bearskin
Gauntlets of Strength
Leather Boots
Regrowth Belt
Wand of Healing

Conjurations (21)

Mana Flower x2
Tooth and Nail
Rajanís Fury x2
Battleforge
Tanglevine x6
Wall of Thorns x2

Enchantments (32)

Nullify x2
Marked for Death
Ghoul Rot
Agony
Bear Strength x2
Vampirism x2
Falcon Precision
Mongoose Agility
Cheetah Speed
Regrowth
Rhino Hide
Reverse Attack
Decoy

Incantations (27)

Dispel x3
Knockdown
Dissolve x2
Teleport x2
Force Push
Battle Fury x2
Rouse the Beast

Attacks (4)

Hurl Boulder

I like to open with a pair of Mana Flowers on turn 1. That gives me the channeling I need to support a strong mid game swarm play. On turn 2 I typically play a Ring of Beasts and either Steelclaw or Redclaw. Steelclaw is better against an early Idol of Pestilence, Mordok's Obelisk, or Suppression Orb, but Redclaw does a better job of supporting a swarm.

Here's my thinking on the card selection:

I need a good number of Thunderdrift Falcons and Bitterwood Foxes in order to be able to keep swarming if my creatures are getting killed regularly. They benefit more from Rajan's Fury than Feral Bobcats since they have Fast, and I'd rather use nature creatures than Darkfenne Bats since I want a bunch of them. Darkfenne Bats are expensive to include in decent numbers. I have the Feral Bobcat in there as a cheap guard. If the defense works, it ends up being an incredibly efficient defensive play. Even if he gets one shotted, that works out to the equivalent of a Block, which is fine. Redclaw, Alpha Male is there to support a Bitterwood Fox swarm and potentially a Timber Wolf Pet. Steelclaw is there is the best 1 big option available so far, and because he's great against many of the things swarms struggle against. I have the one Timber Wolf as a Pet option. I often end up using a Bitterwood Fox or Thunderdrift Falcon Pet, but it gives me some options for 2 big strategies with either a Steelclaw or Redclaw and a Timber Wolf Pet.

I don't always end up using most of my equipment, but it's there for long games and whenever my opponent does something to shut down swarms hard. I like to include an equipment option so that I can play without swarming, de-emphasize swarming, or choose to focus completely on swarming. It opens up options so that I can do whatever makes sense in a particular game. I know that it makes more sense to run Dragonscale Hauberk or Storm Drake Hide at the moment, but I felt like using the Beastmaster's actual armor. Eventually there will be something that it helps against...

Tanglevine is one of the most efficient answers to big guarding creatures. It has some added utility to allow kiting or prevent kiting, but mostly I run a bunch because they're cheap and I need a way to get past guards without bleeding little creatures constantly. At some point I'll probably drop down to 4 or so, but I ran out last game, so I figured I'd trying running 6. It's not like they cost many spell points. I don't have quite enough channeling without the Mana Flowers to support some of the swarm plays I prefer, which is why I tend to open with 2 Mana Flowers. Wall of Thorns is included in order to control positioning, and because it has nice synergy with swarms of level 1 creatures. It's also nice to have the option to Force Push someone through it if I want to beat my way through a Forcefield or they don't have any armor. Rajan's Fury and Tooth and Nail are there to make my swarm stronger. Getting extra attack dice is stronger in general than +Piercing, but +Charge is somewhat situational. I like the split of 1 Tooth and Nail and 2 Rajan's Furies because it gives me some advantage even if my opponent locks down movement, but it really discourages kiting my swarm, and Thunderdrift Falcons benefit significantly against grounded creatures. Battleforge is there to support an equipment play should one be required.

I have a good distribution of enchantments. Marked for Death is ideal for supporting swarms. Ghoul Rot is a nice way to increase the pressure on my opponent when I'm in their face with a swarm or a few big creatures and an equipped mage. Agony is a nice way to shut down multistrike creatures and make the Forcemaster less scary. Reverse Attack is there as a great answer to damage races and generally help against beatdown. The rest are there to let me buff myself and my creatures. I particularly like to play Vampirism on my Steelclaw Grizzly.

Most of the incantations are pretty standard utility or attack options. I like to have 2 Teleports so that I have good mobility options. Battle Fury is mostly for use with my Steelclaw, my Timber Wolf Pet, or my mage. Dissolve is mostly for Wands with Sleep, Chain Lighting, or zone attacks and Suppression Cloaks. Rouse the Beast is primarily there for Timber Wolf.

Hurl Boulder is a nice attack spell that's good at finishing things off. I'll probably add a Hurl Rock when that spell comes out so that I have a cheaper option, and so that I have 2 attack spells. One doesn't seem like quite enough, but I'm not sure that I want 2 Hurl Boulder, and I'm using the rest of my copies of that spell in my Earth Wizard build anyway.

I don't include Lair or Fellella. Lair is too expensive, and really slows down aggression. I can either have a big creature like Steelclaw or Redclaw, or I can have the Lair. I much prefer the big creature. Fellella was a much harder cut. I really like her, but she's quite weak to Idol of Pestilence, and I just don't have the mana to support Fellella, build a powerful swarm, and get a big creature out early. As I've been moving towards these powerful mid game swarm plays, I've been moving away from using Fellella. Fellella is also quite fragile, being vulnerable to both unavoidable attacks and direct damage.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Fentum

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 07:45:18 AM »

I love you, and if we had Mage Wars on Vassal, I would offer to play you this very night!

Koz

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 09:48:56 AM »
I like your build, and mine is quite similar (although I still run Fellella instead of Battleforge).  I like your reasoning behind a lot of your inclusions too.  A few suggestions/considerations:

I agree that 6 Tanglevines seems like a lot.  Dropping back to 4 is probably a good idea.

Bearskin...yeah, not a fan.  I hear what you are saying about it, but I just can't bring myself to run it.  Just seems like a waste.  It's hard to not play with Dragonscale, even if it does cost triple. 

Hurl Boulder.  Have you thought of using Jet Stream instead?  Or in addition to (since you mention wanting another attack spell)?  Jet Stream is underutilized IMO.  It's cheap and if you push something into the wall it's 5 dice of damage for four mana (7 dice if it's a flying creature AND they hit the wall).  Also, it combo's well with Tanglevine and can help set up your swarm to take advantage of their Charge trait.  Another trick with it, if you can pull it off, is when you anticipate that your opponent is going to hit you with an AOE spell that turn.  In the Quickcast phase, hit them with the Jet Stream and hopefully get the push.  Since AOE spells are full actions, they won't be able to step in and blast you with it, and the only way they'll be able to hit the whole swarm with it is if they wait for each of your creatures to move in and attack them first.

Just some thoughts.

Good build.

 

sdougla2

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 10:12:24 AM »
I used 3 Tanglevines last game and wished I had more. 1 more might have been enough, but I was taking out a few extra points anyway, so I figured I'd try it. I agree that it would be better to cut 1-2 to upgrade my armor to Dragonscale Hauberk or Storm Drake Hide, although I'll probably use Bearskin once there are some frost spells out. I think I'd actually favor Storm Drake Hide over Dragonscale Hauberk, since I'm more concerned with daze/stun than with burns.

The thing that bothers me about Jet Stream is that it's inconsistent. If I need to move someone, I want to ensure that I'll actually move them with Teleport or Force Push, not hope for a push from my attack spell that costs more anyway. Slamming someone into a wall isn't as good as having a bigger attack to start with, since they'll get armor against both attacks. If I start having problems with flying creatures I might consider it though.
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paradox22

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 01:33:53 AM »
Quote
The thing that bothers me about Jet Stream is that it's inconsistent. If I need to move someone, I want to ensure that I'll actually move them with Teleport or Force Push, not hope for a push from my attack spell that costs more anyway. Slamming someone into a wall isn't as good as having a bigger attack to start with, since they'll get armor against both attacks.

Agree completely!   The way the dice abandon me at critical times I need a "sure thing!"  Also the point on armor is spot on as well.

Great write up!
Si vis pacem para bellum

Koz

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 09:54:12 AM »
I used 3 Tanglevines last game and wished I had more. 1 more might have been enough, but I was taking out a few extra points anyway, so I figured I'd try it. I agree that it would be better to cut 1-2 to upgrade my armor to Dragonscale Hauberk or Storm Drake Hide, although I'll probably use Bearskin once there are some frost spells out. I think I'd actually favor Storm Drake Hide over Dragonscale Hauberk, since I'm more concerned with daze/stun than with burns.

The thing that bothers me about Jet Stream is that it's inconsistent. If I need to move someone, I want to ensure that I'll actually move them with Teleport or Force Push, not hope for a push from my attack spell that costs more anyway. Slamming someone into a wall isn't as good as having a bigger attack to start with, since they'll get armor against both attacks. If I start having problems with flying creatures I might consider it though.

Yeah, I hear you about the Jet Stream, you had just mentioned you were thinking about adding Hurl Rock to your build for a second attack spell and I thought Jet Stream might be a good fit.  I wasn't thinking about it so much as a "sure thing" but more of a way for you to get more out of your other cards if you get the Push while still getting off an attack.  Obviously if you need to move someone, Jet Stream isn't what you would want to rely on.

And yes, the getting to apply armor twice thing is certainly a downside and I hadn't forgotten it. 

Was just a thought  :)

TricksterHat

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 07:26:37 PM »
Looks like a good strong build.

It seems like you plan to be on the offensive. Personally I would worry a bit more about my defenses, because if the opponent wins the tempo race in early game your response options seem limited.

I am a bit paranoid about Gorgons weak condition and include a Purify in most builds where I might become dependent on a strong creature like the Grizzly.

As mentioned, I would also consider a bit more fire-protection.

Finally (and no surprise to you  :) ), I would include a big creature or two, so that it is possible to switch to a "Few Big" strategy if the opponent has a strong anti-swarm plan.

sdougla2

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 08:41:47 PM »
Elemental Cloak is probably enough fire resistance. I don't really think I need more. That you tell me to add more fire resistance tells me you have trouble with Warlocks.

Wand of Healing allows me to remove status conditions. That's the entire reason I included it in the build. Gorgon Archers can be a real problem without some way to remove status conditions, although a BM cares less than a Warlock because of how strong the BM's swarm options are.

I have a few big option. A Steelclaw Grizzly and a Timber Wolf Pet is already a pretty strong pair of creatures if I decide to go that route. Against a first turn Idol of Pestilence I'd probably go with a Steelclaw, possibly as a Pet, play the Battleforge, and then decide whether it made more sense to kill the Idol and swarm, or just kill my opponent directly.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say that I lack defensive options. I have a ton of creatures, and I can guard with them if necessary. Feral Bobcat is the most efficient small creature in that role, but I can use other creatures for that as necessary, and Steelclaw, Redclaw, and a Timber Wolf Pet make pretty sturdy guards. I can get myself up to 6 armor. I have Regrowth Belt, Agony, and Reverse Attack. I can use my creatures to hinder and Tanglevines to restrain my opponent's creatures as I back off and build up again or kite my opponent if necessary. I can use Teleport, Force Push, Wall of Thorns, and Mongoose Agility as alternative means of escaping from creatures. What exactly would you add that improves a BM's options defensively? Block? I just have no idea what kind of options you're looking for. I look at the list and think I have plenty of options in most regards.
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baronzaltor

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2013, 10:13:02 PM »
I like to sprinkle in Darkfenne Bats into Beastmaster builds when spellpoints allow for it.  They make for interesting pet options and its nice to have the ability to rot on a quickcastable creature.  But due to their double spellbook cost they dont always fit.

sdougla2

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2013, 10:22:15 PM »
I haven't tried making a Darkfenne Bat my pet yet. I've been valuing Fast over Rot due to Rajan's Fury and how inconsistent landing Rot is. Plus Thunderdrift Falcons are cheaper to fit in the spellbook than Bats.
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TricksterHat

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Re: Beastmaster
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 08:45:03 AM »
Elemental Cloak is probably enough fire resistance. I don't really think I need more. That you tell me to add more fire resistance tells me you have trouble with Warlocks.

Wand of Healing allows me to remove status conditions. That's the entire reason I included it in the build. Gorgon Archers can be a real problem without some way to remove status conditions, although a BM cares less than a Warlock because of how strong the BM's swarm options are.

I have a few big option. A Steelclaw Grizzly and a Timber Wolf Pet is already a pretty strong pair of creatures if I decide to go that route. Against a first turn Idol of Pestilence I'd probably go with a Steelclaw, possibly as a Pet, play the Battleforge, and then decide whether it made more sense to kill the Idol and swarm, or just kill my opponent directly.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say that I lack defensive options. I have a ton of creatures, and I can guard with them if necessary. Feral Bobcat is the most efficient small creature in that role, but I can use other creatures for that as necessary, and Steelclaw, Redclaw, and a Timber Wolf Pet make pretty sturdy guards. I can get myself up to 6 armor. I have Regrowth Belt, Agony, and Reverse Attack. I can use my creatures to hinder and Tanglevines to restrain my opponent's creatures as I back off and build up again or kite my opponent if necessary. I can use Teleport, Force Push, Wall of Thorns, and Mongoose Agility as alternative means of escaping from creatures. What exactly would you add that improves a BM's options defensively? Block? I just have no idea what kind of options you're looking for. I look at the list and think I have plenty of options in most regards.


Ahh, didn't know the Wand of Healing.

If elemental cloak (+perhaps nullify) is enough for you I wont argue. It would be my first priority to dissolve/explode as a warlock. It is mostly just me being paranoid since I have only played as Warlock myself, never against one.

But it seems like you got most things covered. I will show it to my swarm-crazy friend.