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Author Topic: Metagaming with 4golem.bok  (Read 6701 times)

ringkichard

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Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« on: July 16, 2013, 12:24:41 PM »
I haven't had time or the opportunity to test it more than a couple of games, but I've been working on a new book that has 3 goals:
  • Uses a neglected mage well
  • Performs passably against agro Forcemaster, and Temple spam books
  • Takes some of the new cards for a test drive

Here's what I've got so far:
Quote from: experimental 4golem.bok
Warlord (Bloodwave)

4 Iron Golem
2 Dwarf Panzergarde
2 Grimson Deadeye, Sniper
1 Thorg, Chief Bodyguard
(30 points)

2 Mage Wand
2 Helm of Command

1 Dragonscale Hauberk
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Regrowth Belt
1 Ring of Command
(23 points)

2 Teleport
2 Force Push
2 Charge

2 Battle Fury
1 Whirling Strike
1 Sniper Shot
1 Perfect Strike

2 Dissolve
2 Dispel
(34 points)

2 Mana Flower
1 Archer's Watchtower
3 Wall of Steel
(11 points)

1 Standard Bearer
1 Fortified Position
2 Spiked Pit

1 Nullify
1 Armor Ward
1 Enfeeble
18 points

2 Hurl Boulder
4 points

TOTAL POINTS:
120

The heart and soul of this book is the 4 Iron Golems. They're ridiculously cheap for what they are capable of. 5 Armor, 13 health, and 6 Melee for 13 mana is the most efficient attritional creature in the game. And unlike the legendary creatures, you can bring all 4 into play at once. If your opponent cannot avoid fighting the Golems, he or she is in some real trouble. They'd be the best creature in the game by a wide margin if they were not slow.

The rest of the book is dedicated to improving on the Golems' strengths and addressing their weaknesses. Which basically means "Forcing your opponent to fight the Golems, and punishing them when they do."

Charge, Teleport, and Force Push (2 of each) provide the mobility your Golems lack. The Warlord can re-use those spells with 2 Mage Wand and 2 Helm of Command. Steel Wall, Enfeeble, and Spiked Pit can help him keep his targets in place. This book is committed to playing positionally, and has the tools to do it.

The soldiers in the book are all anti-kite. The Panzergarde can take a hit, and can step in front of attack spells for the Warlord. Grimson's range is effective against dancing enemies, and Thorg is especially good at luring enemy creatures to their deaths. His taunt is as good as a push against most creatures.

The book has 2 main ways of increasing the effectiveness of its Golems: the Standard Bearer enchantment and Veteran tokens. While the Standard Bearer must enchant a Soldier (Dwarf Panzergarde for preference), its +1 Melee and +1 Armor applies to "all other friendly creatures in the same zone". Veteran tokens are awarded "whenever a friendly non-Mage creature melee attacks and destroys an enemy creature." Unlike most other buffs, these abilities work on the non-living, non-soldier, Iron Golems.

Aside from that, the book generally lacks ways to increase the power of its creatures. This is a book designed to do an efficient and powerful thing over and over again. It's not interested in building a Pet Steelclaw with Vampirism, Bear Strength, and Cheetah Speed. For that price, this book summons three Iron Golems and uses brute force to smash that Bear to death. In a pinch, the Warlord can use his Battle Orders ability to buff Thorg and the Panzergarde, or to give Grimson +1 Ranged (and if the Warlord is wearing the ring, the spell is free), but Iron Golems should be doing the heavy strategic lifting, and those kind of tactical plays aren't the planned path to victory.

There's one exception to this, and that's the temple build. The plan against Temple of Light is to block Line of Sight with a Wall of Steel and then chip it down with Grimson in the Archer's Watchtower. Whenever the Laser Tower player breaks the wall, summon another one. The book has two copies of Grimson, because the first one will probably die, and it'll be important to summon a Panzergarde or two to soak up ranged spell attacks.

The book has a few tricks. If you cast Spiked Pit and then teleport your opponent's mage into that zone, he or she is going to be stuck there for the entire next activation (baring teleport). If you do this after the opponent has activated, you've bought yourself quite a bit of time to beat with Iron Golems. And don't forget that you can stack Nullify and Armor Ward. The requirement of baiting the Nullify makes the Armor Ward more likely to prohibit, rather than just tax. 

The gameplan against a Forcemaster book with multiple Hands of Bim-Shalla is for the Warlord to hug a Guarding Iron Golem. A fully charged Forcemaster does a terrifying amount of dice in damage, but is still only going to kill one Iron Golem a turn, worst case; 5 Armor counts for a lot. If the Forcemaster comes into the zone on turn 5, you should have 2 Iron Golems, a defensive enchantment (Nullify or Armor Ward), A Mage Wand of Teleport, and Eagle Claw Boots waiting for her. If she holds off to ready a decoy and a dissolve, you can buy yourself even more time with Walls and Spiked Pits, and then cast Grimson to let him take shots at the Hands. Just don't give the Forcemaster a chance to unload a full action attack with Battle Fury, and feel free to use Teleport and Force Push defensively. The goal is to stick with the guards until you have enough muscle to win a damage race. Save your Dispels for Force Field, and buy as much time as you can. If you get to 4 large guards (Thorg, Golems) you can kill her in two consecutive turns. 

The book does have some unfavorable matchups: Wizards can be a problem. Air Wizard especially (Elemental Wand of Chain Lightning looks like a beating), but any opponent who can buy Teleport and Mage Wand at wholesale price is going to to be a tough nut to crack. Thankfully, Iron Golems are immune to poison effects, which makes your Sniper better than their Gorgon Archers, and your Golems really don't care about Poison Gas Cloud. And they're probably the best creature in the game for beating through Wall of Stone/Steel. I expect that this matchup would have difficulty finishing within tournament time limits.

Curse focused Warlock can also be an issue. You need to block LoS with walls, because you've only got one Nullify and only two Dispels. Without positional support, the Golems will have to work hard to corner the Warlock. Best plan is probably to hide while building up Golems, then telegank the Warlock into the Golem Pit to end the game quickly.

Other than that, there are some individual cards to be careful of. Valshalla has a lightning sword, which is unpleasant because nearly every creature in the book has Lightning +2, and Brogan Bloodstone has Piercing +3, which makes him really unpleasant with Hand of Bim Shalla + Bear Strength + Battle Fury.

Let me know what you think!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 12:29:13 PM by ringkichard »
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wolf88

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 06:29:20 PM »
I run a similar spellbook with an Earth Wizard and it's brutal, I've been interested in making a Warlord variant with Sniper but it's still not good enough. Yours looks fine, but a little too low on "utilities" for my taste

sIKE

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 07:48:12 PM »
That was point, when you get in to a meta such as this, a counter is bound to emerge that moves you away from the meta you described. If our not popping out the Golem every turn, then it is no longer the meta your playing.

If you play Promo's a pair of Ballista's with +3 Piercing each can take one down quickly. Add a bit more Piercing to the FM's attack like Critical Strike and a Melee buff (which is typical) and he can take one down with either a BF with 2 Quick Attacks and if he hasn't move a BF plus the Double Strike will toast one very quickly. I have put close to 26 dice with one attack...the opposing mage was flabbergasted! He then proceeded to push me through a freaking Wall of Thorns and took me down. I am finding that building an action advantage is key to winning.
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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 09:01:15 PM »
Careful there... Action advantage stems into what you do with your actions, not how many of them you have. Cheers!
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sIKE

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 09:59:50 PM »
Padawan,

I have done a bunch of gaming against a ToL + WT build with a BG or two and an Angel, when he is running 6 actions to my 2-4 I loose every time. Over and over again. Now the guy I am playing against is very good at playing the game and using initiative his to advantage. I have learned a lot from playing over a dozen games against him. I don't think that I am a slouch when it comes to playing the game, but more actions vs. less actions seems to be where the sweet spot in the game is.
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Tacullu64

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 10:22:27 PM »
sIKE

I tend to agree with padawan but I can definatly see your point. If you are playing an opponent who is your equal or maybe even a little bit better, a 2 action per turn advantage can get kinda ugly.


ringkichard

Nice book, I like it.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 10:35:27 PM by Tacullu64 »

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 11:21:55 PM »
I'm sorry, but I just can't agree here. The most effective mage will win by his efficient use of actions, not by the number of actions he has. That being said, you have to react to what the opponent is doing with your actions. If your opponent is casting 2-3 creatures, you should have an effective answer to that. It all depends on how the opponent is using their actions.

That being said, if my opponent even begun to try and build, I would go massively aggressive on him. Especially against a build like that that depends on time to work properly.

King:

That is an incredible build. It will go into my playtesting rotation.

I would add maybe 1 more hurl boulder and an AoE, but other than, sweet beats man!
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wolf88

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 06:26:36 AM »
I'm sorry, but I just can't agree here. The most effective mage will win by his efficient use of actions, not by the number of actions he has.

Assuming both mages are skilled enough to have very high action efficency, then certainly having more actions seems to be what tips the scales in one's favour.

reddawn

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 03:05:41 PM »
1. You might want to consider a bit more anti-flying tech.  Thorg is pretty good for that purpose, yes, but a Maim Wings or Force Hold/Crush will make your book more well-rounded if your opponent ends up controlling Thorg too much.  I find that Thorg can last for a while, but will fall to too much focus-fire (like most things).  Also, some of the most aggressive creatures like Dire Wolves and Bloodreaper Slayers can usually ignore his taunt.

2. What do you need 3x Wall of Steel for?  The Warlord slugs it out at range better than most mages, so I wouldn't think you need it to block LoS. 

3. I kinda doubt you'd need 4 Iron Golems.  They're good defensively, sure, but I've only ever seen 2 cast in a single game.  And Golems themselves have limitations; I find that in combination with Thorg, they present a good defense, but by themselves they can be worked around more easily.

Three golems at most seems more than enough for most builds, even if you're looking to really mess with a Forcemaster. 

4.  I would drop the wands for 2 more copies of Hurl Boulder.  Hurl Boulder is your main win-con in this build, and you really can't have enough of a win-con (within reason).  Wands are kind of whatever; maybe with an Earth Wizard you could expect to want access to that every turn and be able to cast it, but not really sure about a Warlord.
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ringkichard

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 08:55:36 PM »
Yeah, anti-flight needs some help. My initial reaction is, "I'll use Gravikor when that comes out," which may be a problem with Gravikor. Is everyone going to run that, and just hate flyers out of the meta?

Force hold is really appealing because it helps with positional play, too. I don't like the upkeep, but it's hard to argue with the utility.

I'm not really worried about dire wolves and slayers with bloodreaper because guard trumps bloodthirsty and nonliving golems are immune to the extra damage.

Wall of Steel may be a place to save a few points, but it's pretty key to my plan against difficult matchups. On the other hand, I don't have teleport trap to allow non-LoS teleporting, so I may be missing full value. I like walls for positional play, and a 1st quickcast wall can really ruin an opponent's plans and card selection for the turn, but you're right that they may not all end up in the future versions of this book.

The plan with the Golems is to use them as offensive creatures. Part of that is a deliberate deviation from orthodox play style. Where many lists would summon 2 or 3 medium creatures, or one big, and then try to enchant and incant that creature to victory, this book, if not stopped, wants to keep playing creatures turn after turn after turn. It's not a traditional swarm book, but its happy to play like one if it can. Lots of agro books actually have very shallow benches after the first three creatures, and this book wants to run them out.

Against 1Big Beastmaster for example, (or Vampiress rush) one potential line of play is:

1. 19 2x mana flower
2. 20 Iron Golem
3. 18 Iron Golem
4. 16 Iron Golem
5. 14 Iron Golem

Now, in practice, you're right that this book is going to get to Iron Golem #2 and then probably have to worry about countermeasures from the opponent like forcepush against the Warlord or Ghoul Rot + Magebane, or whatever, but I think it's important that there be a credible threat to a turtling or sluggish opponent: "If you leave me alone for the start of the game, you will never be able to win by attrition. And every time I can buy a full action of tempo, I'm using it to summon another Golem. Or Throg."

What's more, if the opponent spends tempo on a temporary solution for a Golem (teleport, banish, stuck, whatever) this book's philosophy is that the best possible response is just to summon another Golem and keep going.

My anticipated win condition is damage from creatures. The boulders are utility and spike damage (like battle fury), but I don't expect to ride them to victory. I'm not casting these golems just to defend, they need to kill, too.

And yeah,  I probably need an AoE attack spell besides Whirling Strike. Not sure where I'll find the points, but that's what playtesting is for.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 09:01:23 PM by ringkichard »
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nitrodavid

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Re: Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 03:55:39 AM »
sorry for the slow add, but this is finally on my complete book list
Being Aussie we place all our cards face down, apart from enchantments which are face up