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Author Topic: The Bait...  (Read 9598 times)

The Dude

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The Bait...
« on: May 13, 2013, 02:41:38 AM »
Let me paint a picture for you:

Imagine a coil of snakes, not vicious as in normal life, but sickly, gray, and dying. Instead of snapping out in angst of being attached to such a hideous creature, they can barely open their jaws enough to let their decaying teeth show. Venom from the snakesí fangs is dripping down to the base of this tangle of creatures, which only gets more disgusting as the viewer looks further down the disgraced Gorgon body.

This is the view I want to give my opponent as they take down this menace. wait, did I read that right? You sure did. I want my opponent to destroy this archer, because it is, indeed, bait.

WHAT?

At sixteen cost, this monster with regenerate two, an attack that devastates the opposing mage, why would I want you to kill it? The answer is simple. It gets you on my side of the board, it sets me up to destroy you. You can move in to kill the Archer, fine. But you will die in the process.

But why the archer? Why not choose something cheaper? Doesnít efficiency and tempo play any sort of role when you play? Well, the answer is not so simple. I want the Archer for a few reasons. The first is that it is an instant threat that opponent must deal with, or they will lose the game. The second is that while they waste time getting to the creature itself, the archer can hit them with those weak conditions, which can completely deter an aggressive mage into attacking me, or at least hold them off while they purify. The third, and not so obvious reason, is that the best way to stop the Archer from attacking is to be in the same zone as her Youíll notice that the range on the Gorgonís stone arrow attack is 1-2. Hence, if the mage is in the same zone, the creature loses much of itís power. The fourth reason is that it is hard to kill. With 16 life and regen 2, it is going to take a least two rounds with some powerful attacks for the mage to kill the archer. These four reasons alone are reason enough to spend sixteen mana. You are playing a sente threat that they HAVE to respond to, and they have to use up a lot of action, card, and mana resources in order to deal with her. All the while, you can be doing any number of things, like attacking the mage with ranged spells, setting your creatures up to do major damage, throwing walls to stop the mage from getting away.

The Bait is a powerful tool the control player can use to defeat the aggressive player, and I think that the archer is the best option, as itís inherent weakness is actually is most amazing strength. Sure, you can use other creatures to bait the opponent, but a lot of the other creatures out there are either not enough of a sente threat by themselves, or they can be easily dealt with by other means. For the Warlord, using the sniper is a good tactic, and obviously Lord of Fire is bait on a stick for the Warlock, but I donít think the Priestess and the Beastmaster have as many baiting options, other than using the Archer herself.

This Bait tool can also be used to different effect as well. You can use the bait to get swarms in position to AoE them to death. This will take patience, and persistence to play correctly, but I believe it can be done.

When is the best time to bait out the opponent? Well, for my Earth Wizard build, I usually want to have my two iron golems out before I cast the Archer. This allows me to set the Golems up in position to smash the opposing mage. This is around round 6-7, so this is incredibly early for the control player to begin taking control, but I feel that any later, and the bait loses some of itís attention getting. You also want to be mindful of where your threats are in relation to the bait. You want to have your threats far enough away that they wonít be considered threatening to the opponent, but close enough for you to use your tricks in order to get your threats to where they need to be in order to strike when they take that bait.

So, how can a swarm player use bait to his advantage? Well, another tactic to employ is to use your mage as bait. You want to have a mage with a higher life total to really use this tool without putting yourself in to much danger, but against a big creature/solo build, you can oft use yourself to bait the opposition into going into just the right zone for your swarm to attack. This is much harder than it sounds, and it is suggested that you start by using bait in a non swarm setting, but if set up correctly, it can be used to great effect.

What about the Priestess? She has a terrible starting life total, and not many holy creatures are threats enough to be sente. So what can you do? Well, there is the amazing Divine intervention/Vampiress opening, but that has been discussed, and there are many counter attacks that are usually planned out in more experienced players builds. So, if you donít want to use 12 spell points for that dark creature, why not try baiting yourself, and when shit hits the fan, intervening yourself out of the situation at hand? This is probably the most difficult of all the ways to utilize the bait tool, but I think it can be devastating if used in the right book.

So, thatís the bait method. I think it is an incredibly powerful method the mage can use in the arena, and I hope you folks are able to use this in your games, to winning effect! As always, questions, criticisms, comments, and ways to expand upon this idea are welcome!
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sIKE

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 10:15:31 AM »
Isn't a common tactic here to use Banish or Teleport? Move the her to some "safer" place away from me? Being slow it will take a while to get he back into position?
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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 11:43:19 AM »
I want you to waste time killing her.
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paradox22

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 11:52:38 AM »
Yes,  but its also a common tactic to use teleport to put the Gorgon (or other threat/bait) right where you need them...  Or you teleport the enemy mage. 
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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 01:21:31 PM »
I want them to think they are winning. That they are destroying my best threat. And then I counter attack.
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sIKE

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 05:57:33 PM »
My point was to teleport her to my (opposing mage) start corner and just continue on to you (mage) to open a can of whoop.....
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piousflea

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 11:33:45 PM »
In my experience, I've found that the strongest counter to a Gorgon Archer build isn't to rush the archer or to use Teleport to "telekill" it, but rather to drop a Spawnpoint and start playing swarm-style. (this assumes you have a spawnpoint and enough creatures to swarm)

Weak tokens are devastating and cost a crapload of mana to remove. It is much better in my experience to simply throw out so many creatures that it doesn't matter if a few of them are too weak to attack. You can always use the weakened creatures to Guard and absorb a few hits. Better yet, creatures that rely on yellow dice to deal damage (Bats, Imps, Tegus and Hellions) really could care less about having Weak tokens.

sdougla2

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 11:43:30 PM »
That's a good point.

A BM can do that without a spawnpoint.
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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 01:36:11 AM »
This of course, is a tactic that is easiest used on big creature/solo/control builds than it is swarm builds. I have found swarms to not be as efficient against the gorgon, especially without pump effects. A lot of builds are not suited to deal with Gorgon in that sort of fashion, and I don't think most players would use a swarm method to get rid of her. Regardless, it is a valid counter to this strategy, but I do think the Bait tool still has a lot of strength, as it has won me quite a few games.
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Snotwalker

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2013, 07:51:34 AM »
I'm not sure if "the bait" concept being discussed here is really about "Bait" or more about just how awesome the Gorgon Archer is.   8)  We all fear those aweful little Weak tokens! 

That being said, I often have to remind myself to keep my eye on the ball (aka: kill the mage) during Mage Wars games.  It can become very distracting to have swarms or big nasties coming at you.  But in most games, if you spend more time and mana battling opposing minions than you do directly battling the opposing mage, you will lose.

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2013, 10:43:40 AM »
Snotwalker, dead on!. Which was my teleport point. Move here out of play and proceed on to the Mage...
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The Dude

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 06:41:33 PM »
I guess I'm not getting enough of a point across. Ah well, say la vie.

What I'm getting at is that you want to force them to answer your threat (see the Go article). by forcing them into answering your threat, you are "baiting them". I used the gorgon archer as an example. They will lose the game if she's not answered, so baiting her out to better your position is better than teleporting her away from your reach and into theirs. By the opponent answering the Aarcher by getting into the same zone as her you have made her into the position YOU want, not the opposing mage.

Yes, you will lose the game if you focus on creatures more than the opposing mage, but you will also lose if you choose to ignore massive threats such as her.
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Shad0w

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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 09:06:45 AM »
But in most games, if you spend more time and mana battling opposing minions than you do directly battling the opposing mage, you will lose.

^^Truth^^

In a solo build if you have the proper meta the archer is not enough of a threat to make me break from main target.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 09:08:48 AM by Shad0w »
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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2013, 10:43:53 PM »
Yes, but if I have the proper meta for your meta, Gorgon does become a huge problem. Yes, purify is a dick of a card, but if you have to cast purify, I know I'm winning, because you having to cast that means tempo shift. It may be slight, but that's what the bait is meant to do, to seem weaker than you actually are. Kind of a hustle on the mage, if you will allow the analogy ^.^
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Re: The Bait...
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 10:00:40 AM »
I love the Gorgon.  I partnered the Gorgon with the Basilisk.  As they got in range the Gorgon was doing damage and weakening them and the basilisk was crippling them so they couldn't move to get in range to do damage to the Gorgon or the Basilisk.

They spent so much time/creatures/resources trying to kill my Gorgon (who just kept regening) that I simply had time to build up my forces and overwhelm them.

Any "big" nasty like a Gorgon or things I try to just sleep/stun/incapacitate somehow and don't try to kill them.  In the amount of time/resources I spend killing the gorgon I could focus that on killing the enemy mage.  They were too focused on the Gorgon to even bother with me (which worked just fine).