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Author Topic: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book  (Read 79336 times)

cbalian

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2013, 05:47:19 PM »
The opponent is dealing with small/cheap threats sent while I do the above.  I make them defend early (usually in their corner) so I have time to do my thing.  If they are too busy responding they don't have time/mana to set up themselves.  By the time you get to a point where you are regenning 6 more mana EACH turn than your opponent that mana adds up.

Spawnpoints and familiars never fall out of favor with me, would I rather cast 4 spells a turn or 2?  Casting 4 things per turn you can overrun your opponent.  If you don't have a spawn point or familiar you area giving up on Action Phases...I think having more action phases wins games.

reddawn

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2013, 06:10:48 PM »
I don't believe that a level 1 creature, even a couple of them, would "make" me do anything, frankly.  A Pet steelclaw, Redclaw posse, Adramelech, Samandriel, or Holy Avenger Knight will, but not a Feral Bobcat or a Fox. 

If your opponent is getting tripped up by level 1 creatures while you cast Familiars and Spawnpoints in the corner, I'm not terribly confident in that quality of opponent.

I'd like to hear your opponent's openings that they use against you.  Maybe I'm missing something.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 06:12:21 PM by reddawn »
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Fentum

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #62 on: July 07, 2013, 03:18:25 AM »

That is what I was wondering. I thought that cbalian might be using a different flow, such as totally focusing on personal defence first. The flow described seems pretty standard, and when I've seen that in a game, the early level ones get stomped or more likely ignored. The opposing Mage is whacking you by turn three latest.

Online, however, I occasionally play guys who just sit and bring out conjurations. Against that flow, it is very possible to completely avoid damage. I wonder if local meta is in play here?

reddawn

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #63 on: July 07, 2013, 10:10:19 AM »

That is what I was wondering. I thought that cbalian might be using a different flow, such as totally focusing on personal defence first. The flow described seems pretty standard, and when I've seen that in a game, the early level ones get stomped or more likely ignored. The opposing Mage is whacking you by turn three latest.

Online, however, I occasionally play guys who just sit and bring out conjurations. Against that flow, it is very possible to completely avoid damage. I wonder if local meta is in play here?

That could be it.  The thing is, I've played with and against Defenses, Blocks, Reverse Attacks, whatever, and against an unwary opponent, they give you a ton of value, it's true.  However, against a decent opponent, he or she is either going to just Seeking Dispel it, trigger it with a smaller attack such that you don't gain much value, or simply wait and then force an attack spell through with Sniper Shot, Falcon Precision, or Perfect Strike the next turn. 

Defenses are fine (I don't really like casting them much, but natural defenses are very good, like the ones on Knights or Cevere), but they are less about actually avoiding damaging and more about keeping your opponent "honest."  In other words, if I play a Block face-down, the value comes more from my opponent waiting to attack or cast an attack spell rather than actually being stubborn and playing into it.  A proper opponent can usually read your plays well; it's about whether or not they can actually afford to be waiting another turn to get the intended value out of their plays.

And even if your opponent has to force attacks through with small spells, who cares?  Value from Defenses (which can fail by themselves) and such only really matters if you're alive at the end of the round.  If he's consistently rolling more dice on you than you are on him, you're probably too dead to consider your options.
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cbalian

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #64 on: July 07, 2013, 12:46:26 PM »
Red your last sentence kind of sums up everything VERY well...
"If he's consistently rolling more dice on you than you are on him, you're probably too dead to consider your options."

Maybe instead of "defensive" I play "offensive" enough that your statement is what is happening, and that is why I almost never take any damage...keep them busy so they can't pay attention to you.

Oh and I totally agree it could be the opponent.  I've been building decks like in Magic the Gathering for years so I may just have more experience at that deck building style and I try to balance synergy with win condition(s).  I try never to rely on any ONE thing just in case they do find a way around it.  The other thing is I put sections in my spell book for early game (mana + spawnpoints) which feeds my mid game (creatures + spells if needed) which sets up for the end game (defensive "base" if needed or all out offensive with big creatures).  Biggest thing I do is rarely ever summon big creatures early or mid game, I save them for the end to swoop in for the kill when the opponent is out of ways to deal with big threats.  Big angels, big bears, big hydras, big whatever.  The only mage that strat doesn't work for for me is the Forcemaster, and for her I just go all out offensive and use a lot of double attacks.

If I am regening more mana and casting more stuff than my opponent eventually it is a game of attrition.  That is why I am big on spawnpoints + familiars and defenses.  Folks can say they aren't worth it, but I don't look at it on return on mana investment I look at it as I am casting 2 more spells per turn than someone else.  Extra action phases win games plus it makes them SPEND resources like a spell or a creature to get through defenses while I am regening resources.

Anyways I'm just saying what has worked for me.  Your experience may differ, and maybe it is my opponent that is "allowing" me to do this, but like I said I like to put stuff in the deck to deal with them and have multiple ways to win so opponent or not a lot of it is deck building and planning the early, mid, late game and keeping control so they have to deal with you so they can't build up or attack you.

Fentum

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #65 on: July 07, 2013, 02:58:58 PM »
Hi Cbalian,

There is a lot of interesting stuff there. It would be great to get a match via OCTGN if you have the time.

I think your comment ref offence vs defence may be spot on. Although you mentioned tiered defences. It could be that your offence puts the opponent on the back foot thus you avoid damage.

The matches I have played wherein I took little to no damage are ones where I was very offensive.

I am often noted as being very offensive...     ;)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 03:09:11 PM by Fentum »

reddawn

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #66 on: July 07, 2013, 05:00:09 PM »
If I am regening more mana and casting more stuff than my opponent eventually it is a game of attrition.  That is why I am big on spawnpoints + familiars and defenses.  Folks can say they aren't worth it, but I don't look at it on return on mana investment I look at it as I am casting 2 more spells per turn than someone else.  Extra action phases win games plus it makes them SPEND resources like a spell or a creature to get through defenses while I am regening resources.

My problem with most spawnpoints and familiars is that while they do give you additional actions, the actions that you are doing with them are not very powerful.  Quality of actions, particularly when it comes to creatures, is very important, because creatures gain more and more value as you summon higher and higher levels of them, and as they stay on the board rolling lots of dice and doing stuff.  Spawnpoints are expensive, such that you aren't going to be able to cast enough powerful creatures after you play it to survive against powerful creatures your opponent will have that will outnumber you. 

Foxes and Imps and so on will only get you so far, and apart from the beginning 1-3 turns of the game, you rarely have the opportunity to cast large, high level creatures that can reliably help you kill your opponent.  Thus, why I wrote a small strategy article which, in a nutshell, recommends casting fat creatures early on.

Not saying spawnpoints are totally worthless, they're just situational, and there are a lot less situational plays you could be doing that would see more powerful, immediate results.  In the games in which I or my regular, more experienced opponent cast a spawnpoint, and the other cast hefty creatures to attack and defend with, it was an uphill battle the entire game, and at no point did I or he say "wow, this spawnpoint is really helping me out."  In my games as the BM in which I cast Lair, my foxes just died too fast even with Redclaw out, and in my games as Warlock and the Pentagram, I wasn't usually in a position to capitalize on an Imp removing a guard (in fact, they were usually on guard duty).

I could see where Spawnpoints could have a use in matchups in which neither mage has a particularly good early game with which to force the other on the defensive and attempt to end the match earlier rather than later.  Even then, though, there are much cheaper and varied ways of gaining extra actions and channeling that most Spawnpoints seem like overkill.

That's why I asked what your opponents are playing/doing, because that would allow me to better understand the context in which your high opinion of Familiars and Spawnpoints could appear more justified.
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nitrodavid

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #67 on: July 07, 2013, 06:12:04 PM »
lvl 1 creature swarm's best asset is group buffs. spells like
tooth&nail
marked for death
redclaw buff
sacred ground
fortified position
standard barer (warlord only)
unicorn
tree of life

if you create a swarm with a combination of group buffs you could produce a formidable force
 any swarm with a unicorn in the centre is going to be hard to compete with unless you have anti swarm tech.
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cbalian

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #68 on: July 08, 2013, 07:27:58 AM »
I see what you are saying red and I'm still trying to learn too (like I said I'm still pretty new to the game) so maybe I don't fully understand some of the mechanics.

The question I have for you when you say "quality of action" I am confused.  Let's set aside the debate if a spawnpoint is worth the mana investment or not and get to the action (or quality of actions).  A spawnpoint summons the same creatures that your mage does so the quality is the same.  A creature is a creature.

If you are saying it is more efficient/higher quality action to summon a big creature vs a spawn point, that might be true but after the spawn point is out you can summon TWO creatures instead of ONE.  That is where I am trying to say the power (and extra action phase) is valuable (at least to me) regardless of the mana investment.

If I am going creature heavy I use my mage to summon medium to big creatures (since they will have better position depending where I am on the board) and the spawnpoint summons the little swarmlings (practically free).  A lair with harmony is regenning 3 extra mana per round, a lvl 1 creature costs 5, so for a mean 2 mana investment I get an EXTRA creature out each turn.  Sure it is a baby and no that won't win me anything but an extra creature for 2 mana that doesn't cost my mage an action phase is worth it to me.

No it isn't the fastest opening strategy but (over time) the extra mana + extra creatures do add up, to help the end game.  A strong beginning and opening position is awesome but it's how the game ends not how it starts that matters most to me.  Which is why I like to save the "big creatures" for the end because the opponent has less resources available to deal with it.  So the baby level 1's are fodder/nuisance, get a few dice in, do some guards as needed but then end it with the big guys after the opponent is overwhelmed a bit.

If I do summon anything kind of big early it would have to be ranged or maybe a flyer to deal with flyers.  Like one of my favorite creatures in the game is the Gorgon Archer, making your oppnent weak and roll less dice is so attractive, plus her regen is awesome.

reddawn

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #69 on: July 08, 2013, 05:27:18 PM »
1. I see what you are saying red and I'm still trying to learn too (like I said I'm still pretty new to the game) so maybe I don't fully understand some of the mechanics.

2. The question I have for you when you say "quality of action" I am confused.  Let's set aside the debate if a spawnpoint is worth the mana investment or not and get to the action (or quality of actions).  A spawnpoint summons the same creatures that your mage does so the quality is the same.  A creature is a creature.

3. If you are saying it is more efficient/higher quality action to summon a big creature vs a spawn point, that might be true but after the spawn point is out you can summon TWO creatures instead of ONE.  That is where I am trying to say the power (and extra action phase) is valuable (at least to me) regardless of the mana investment.

4. If I am going creature heavy I use my mage to summon medium to big creatures (since they will have better position depending where I am on the board) and the spawnpoint summons the little swarmlings (practically free).  A lair with harmony is regenning 3 extra mana per round, a lvl 1 creature costs 5, so for a mean 2 mana investment I get an EXTRA creature out each turn.  Sure it is a baby and no that won't win me anything but an extra creature for 2 mana that doesn't cost my mage an action phase is worth it to me.

5. No it isn't the fastest opening strategy but (over time) the extra mana + extra creatures do add up, to help the end game.  A strong beginning and opening position is awesome but it's how the game ends not how it starts that matters most to me.  Which is why I like to save the "big creatures" for the end because the opponent has less resources available to deal with it.  So the baby level 1's are fodder/nuisance, get a few dice in, do some guards as needed but then end it with the big guys after the opponent is overwhelmed a bit.

6. If I do summon anything kind of big early it would have to be ranged or maybe a flyer to deal with flyers.  Like one of my favorite creatures in the game is the Gorgon Archer, making your oppnent weak and roll less dice is so attractive, plus her regen is awesome.

1. Yup, sorry if I seemed like a jerk.  I wasn't trying to imply that you're awful at the game or something, I just usually play competitively so that's the mindset I bring to the discussion and sometimes it comes off as more than a little hard-nosed.  So, when I see someone write something I might view as wrong, I feel obligated to express my clearly superior view  :P

2&3. Spawnpoints can technically summon the same creatures, correct, but my point was that you will not be able to afford the more powerful ones after you have paid for a spawnpoint.  It's not like right after (or heck, even many turns after) you conjure a Pentagram you can just start summoning turn after turn of Slayers.  The mana just isn't there, so you have to summon Imps or Bats instead. 

I'm not debating the fact that all creatures are creatures (which is redundant), I'm saying that it different levels of creatures have different impacts/uses, and that while Spawnpoints may let you summon smaller ones faster, you will ultimately get better gains, both immediate and longterm, in terms of actions and mana if you just summon very powerful ones instead. 

Additionally, it has been my experience that beyond the initial 3-4 beginning turns, assuming you are not the Straywood Beastmaster, summoning creatures is a luxury that you cannot often afford.  A good opponent will push you around, get his/her creatures in your face and beat the junk out of you unless you are prepared to fight back, or at least trade blows. Once you've started to fight, there are usually more pressing actions that you need to do, like heal yourself, your creatures, buff them, control opponent's creatures, etc.

4. I understand that you believe that you're gaining value from investing in the Lair, and the Lair is probably the best spawnpoint arguably to invest in if I had to choose, but that 20+ mana or so you're spending on the Lair could give you some serious muscle with which to beat down your opponent. 

There are some matchups in which the BM can't just bare-knuckle beat the crap out of his/her opponent (like against the Warlord), and in those matchups gaining some extra channeling is a good idea...but spending upwards of 20 mana on a Lair and Harmonize is just overkill.  At that point, destroying the Lair becomes insanely efficient when in reality a Mana Flower or two will get the job down at half the cost or less.

5&6. This is where we fundamentally disagree the most.  Again, I don't know really how your opponents play so it's very hard for me to make sense of whats going on in your games, but in every game in which I have spent all my starting mana on huge aggressive creatures, my opponent must do the same or will be steamrolled, and vise versa.  It's simple math really; if you throw more mana at your opponent that he or she does at you, you're 9 times out of 10 going to come out on top.

This is not to say that there is no late-game in Mage Wars, or that improving your channeling/actions serves no purpose.  It's just that, in most matchups, one of the mages is already at a mana advantage from the get-go.  Yes, you could improve your channeling a whole lot if you're playing BM against a Priestess, but I don't really know why you would...the Priestess's abilities specifically rewards her the more spells she casts and thus the longer the game goes on, while neither BM are rewarded in that way.  The BM also has a better aggressive early game. 

In matchups in which mages have the same base channeling, then things become more complicated and subject to which creatures you open with, but usually, one mage stands to benefit more as the aggressor and the other stands to benefit more as the defender. 
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Mohobie

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #70 on: July 30, 2013, 01:04:13 PM »
While I'm still rather fresh to mage wars, I have found very little fits into every deck well. You have to keep in mind that the point cost will very based on the mage. Not to mention that some mage stratagies might for example have you propelling your mage across the field hence needing cheetah speed, where others might have you drawing them into you in which case a cheetah speed card might be less valuable then something else. I think key elements need to be included, like healing, protection, etc but the the actual cards will probably vary.
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reddawn

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2013, 08:35:27 AM »
That's true.  For example, even though the new Johktari BM is the same class as the old Straywood BM, I've found that they encourage different approaches to play and spells.  They both use animals, but the new BM rewards using the Legendary creatures much more, since they tend to be anti-creature and Wounded Prey, which is also anti-creature, actually works with legends whereas Pet doesn't.

She also is rewarded for using bows too, which is an important distinction because the nature school lacks easy access to powerful ranged attacks/attack spells.  I find the Hunting Bow too expensive (situational Piercing +1 and Bleed is not worth 3 more mana...), but the Ivarium Bow works out just fine.

This isn't to say the J. BM is somehow better, just that they're a lot more different than you would initially think.  I tried some of the Straywood BM's strategies with the other BM, and it just didn't work very well most of the time.
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kiwipaul

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #72 on: June 11, 2014, 03:00:49 PM »
So, even though this thread is a bit dated it is still relevant.  Since this came out we have had druid vs necromancer.  I was wondering what people think as the must haves still?  Or now with the extra set, more experience and a new expansion ready to come out.


Lord0fWinter

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #73 on: June 11, 2014, 03:20:40 PM »
So, even though this thread is a bit dated it is still relevant.  Since this came out we have had druid vs necromancer.  I was wondering what people think as the must haves still?  Or now with the extra set, more experience and a new expansion ready to come out.

I don't know if any new "essential" cards have come out, but some very useful ones definitely have (or are about to), including:

  • Acid Ball
  • Meditation Amulet (depending on your Mage/strategy)
  • Stumble
  • Veteran's Belt
  • Wand of Healing
  • Defend
  • Rust
  • Fumble
  • Debilitate (Promo card)
  • Morning Star
  • Akiro's Favor

Along with those, it's my opinion that the new set will make Banish/Turn to Stone much more common than before to deal with Sardonyx/Talos since nobody should ever try killing either of them :) But that's just a prediction, we'll have to wait to see.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 03:33:04 PM by Lord0fWinter »
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Cnoedel

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Re: A "Base" set of cards ALL Mages should have in there book
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2014, 07:54:02 PM »
Digging out the old topic - for me there are some spells i use in almost every spellbook:
2xBlock
2xNullify
2xDispel
2xTeleport
2xDissolve
1-2xSeeking Dispel
1-2xForce Push
1x Enchantment Transfusion
1xDecoy (1 Decoy is just to good for its price)
1xPerfect Strike
1x Defend
1xHoly Strike (Promo; Novice [Holy1] for 2 Mana: attack gains Etheral trait)
0-2xRust
0-2xAcid Ball
0-1xDisarm
0-1xArmor Ward

Some of the mentioned cards are Novice, they do not hinder the Spellbook very much and add a lot of strategic value. A perfect strike will hopefully kill somerthing like a tataree, holy strike against incorporeal, disarm as a short time way to remove equipment...

So I sometimes add a finishing attack spell and one REALLY big creature (like Hydra, Angel, Earth Elemental, whatever) to counter other fatties.

Then there is a mandatory Ring for pretty much every Mage and most of the time there is a weapon of choice - the cards may differ but for me they are an auto-include. If there is any space left i take some novice-equipment since they don't use much space and are always helpful
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 12:25:56 AM by Cnoedel »
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