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Author Topic: Good luck to the Gen Con players!  (Read 12785 times)

Koz

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Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« on: August 13, 2013, 08:37:01 AM »
I hope everyone that plays in the tournament at Gen Con has a great time and I wish everyone the best of luck!  I will be down Friday thru Sunday but won't be playing in the event.  I had planned to, but with the Temple errata's the build that I had spent about a year working on was basically wrecked and I didn't feel like scrambling to playtest something new with only a few weeks to do it.  IMO they basically screwed the Priestess the most with those errata's and gave the tournament to the Forcemasters and Warlocks (one of those will win, almost guaranteed).  But I'm not bitter about it  :P   

Anyway, I intend to stop by the gaming area and try and meet some Mage Wars folk at the very least, so I hope to  see you all there!

Tacullu64

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:36:37 AM »
I would narrow it down even further to the Warlock. He has so much versatility compared to the other mages at the moment. He has more viable builds and thus the best chance to adapt to what he needs for the current match up or game state. Although he hasn't shown much in tournament play to date, I think the Wizard has the best chance to upset the apple cart. It all depends if a dedicated control player has come up with a build that can handle the whole field not just the Warlock.

What I'm interested in now is the make up of the field and how many Warlocks will have a copy of HoB in their spellbook. Prior to the errata it wasn't economical for the Warlock to get into a HoB contest with the Priestess, now he can match her for 3 spellbook points. I suspect there will be an inordinate amount of Warlocks but only a small handful use HoB.

Hopefully AW will post some breakdowns of the field each day and who won if not the actual spellbooks. It would probably be best to post the spellbooks at the end of the event.

Anyways like Koz says, good luck to all the players.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 10:38:17 AM by Tacullu64 »

Koz

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 08:31:45 AM »
I'd agree that the Warlock probably has the edge over the Forcemaster due to versatility.  The Forcemaster tends to be just a bit more predictable due to her restrictions and lack of a solid creature base.  Control builds are a bit too slow right now and nuke builds have never been very good, so the Wizard is lacking in tournament play right now mostly due to the fact that he can't win in the allotted time reliably enough.  The Warlord is...well, the Warlord  :P  The Priestess got hurt the worst by the errata since Temples were her strongest strategy.  The Beastmaster...I just don't know what happened to this guy.  I can't point to any one thing, but with the last two expansions he just really seems to have fallen below the power curve.  It could just be a matter of the other mages getting cards better suited to developing their individual strategies than what he has received.  I don't know what it is, but he's really fallen down the rankings for me. 

So, yeah, I'm calling yet another Warlock win at Gencon, which has been handed to them on a silver platter thanks to the erratas.  I hope I'm wrong because I thought this game was very well balanced, but if the Warlock wins again then it clearly isn't and they need to have a close look at what kinds of cards they are making for the other mages. 

I guess we'll see.  Sorry if I'm coming off as all negative, I really do love this game and the player base here seems very cool, but the errata's are still a sore spot for me.  They killed my favorite build.  Oh well, I still hope to say hi to some Mage Wars folks and put some faces to the names and talk about this awesome game this weekend!   :)

Tacullu64

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 10:47:36 AM »
I disagree that there is not enough time for control builds win, with one caveat, control vs control matchups, but then both players are in the same boat. I know a lot of players have claimed to have problems finishing games in ninety minutes let alone sixty. I believe these folks were truthful and not exaggerating, I just don't believe it has to be this way. I think that given MW age the tournament scene is still evolving and that tournament spellbook building is in its infancy. I think all spellbook types will get refined over time as a true meta developes, but none more so than control builds, they are always lagging behind in the beginning. My Wizard statement revolves around the question, is this the tournament that control builds take a huge leap forward? I predict that day isn't too far off, it happened in MtG with a deck known simply as "the deck" and it should happen in MW too.

In my mind the strength of the Warlock at the moment is his completeness relative to the other mages. He just has more options that are more economical. He can do it all the best or second best. He is the best damage dealer. His in school access to vampirism makes him second only to the Priestess in healing (some might argue he is better since he can attack and heal with the same action). He starts the game with the most life and because of his exclussive access to Drain Life he beats the Priestess at her own game of life gain, how crazy is that? He is the only mage with in school access to curses which is the one advantage he is suppose to have. I would say his personal mobility is his greatest weakness, but really only the Beastmaster and Wizard do it better, and he has great in school flyers. The Warlock is definitely the best equipped to deal with a tournament field. Now ask yourself how much better will he get compared to the rest of the field when the Druid vs Necromancer comes out? Think of how many in school goodies he is going to get compared to the other mages.

I guess I forgot about the Priest. I think there could be a good aggressive Priest build out there waiting to be revealed. That could happen at Gencon.

I'm not bitter about the errata, it was actually neutral or helpful to my preferred build, but I was extremely disappointed by them since I never saw the necessity. I was actually over my disappointment until Gencon got closer. I would have really enjoyed seeing what the field consisted of prior to the errata. Well that's more than enough about the errata, it's already done, nothing to do about it now.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 10:53:19 AM by Tacullu64 »

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 12:38:12 PM »
We should start a book on this... (betting for those don't know British idioms)

I humbly predict Wizard to win, probably Earth Wizard. Even against control match ups.

My reasoning...
Enchantment Transfusion (no action Jinx + Nullify on enemy mage once teleported onto Spike Pit with 4 Iron Golems is too strong).
Voltaic Shield and the Gencon tie-breaker
4 Iron Golems + Pestilence + Suppression Orb (+ Deathlock or Gorgon Archer)
Wizard's Tower (Hurl Boulder) + Hawkeye Longbow + Ranged Defences
Metamagic anti-enchantments (Purge vs. stacked curses/buffs)

Enchantment Transfusion is the breakthrough control spell - hurrah!
Voltaic Shield damage prevention with Gencon tie-breaker helps time-outs

My Earth Wizard book (pretty obvious strategy) is unbeaten. In fact, the only game I lost with my Beastmaster (with Galador) was playing against my own Earth Wizard book. There is an inevitability about its victory.

Maybe I haven't worked out how to beat my build yet. The book that caused it most trouble was Warlord ranged zonal control with Bridge Trolls. But I can't see players being ballsy enough to play that... Be great if either won.

Any other guesses which mage will win Gencon?
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ringkichard

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 12:44:56 PM »
That earth wizard build sounds really similar to something I'm working on. We should compare notes!  And yes, my secret suspicion is that its the best book in the game at the moment, if the player can play tight enough to complete all the games in time and on plan.
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Charmyna

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 01:07:19 PM »
I say earth wizard wins - especially one that makes great use of battle forge, wizard tower and grizzly. My earth wizard build is unbeaten as well for over 30 games now.  I played via Octgn against many different players and builds so its not a question of a local groups meta game. Still, time limit and tie breaker might favor really aggressive builds. Anyway, im sure a skilled earth wizard trumps them.

Tacullu64

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 01:45:11 PM »
An earth wizard would be nice. Not my prediction but I'd like to see it.

Fentum

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 02:41:47 PM »
Earth wizard build in capable hands with out of school creature support gets my vote.

ringkichard

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 03:38:33 PM »
On the other hand, It'd be foolish to count out David Chang especially because Warlock is so good right now and he's got so much experience with it.
Assuming, of course, that he decides to play Warlock again.
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sdougla2

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 11:27:54 PM »
I'd agree that the Warlock probably has the edge over the Forcemaster due to versatility.  The Forcemaster tends to be just a bit more predictable due to her restrictions and lack of a solid creature base.  Control builds are a bit too slow right now and nuke builds have never been very good, so the Wizard is lacking in tournament play right now mostly due to the fact that he can't win in the allotted time reliably enough.  The Warlord is...well, the Warlord  :P  The Priestess got hurt the worst by the errata since Temples were her strongest strategy.  The Beastmaster...I just don't know what happened to this guy.  I can't point to any one thing, but with the last two expansions he just really seems to have fallen below the power curve.  It could just be a matter of the other mages getting cards better suited to developing their individual strategies than what he has received.  I don't know what it is, but he's really fallen down the rankings for me. 

So, yeah, I'm calling yet another Warlock win at Gencon, which has been handed to them on a silver platter thanks to the erratas.  I hope I'm wrong because I thought this game was very well balanced, but if the Warlock wins again then it clearly isn't and they need to have a close look at what kinds of cards they are making for the other mages. 

I guess we'll see.  Sorry if I'm coming off as all negative, I really do love this game and the player base here seems very cool, but the errata's are still a sore spot for me.  They killed my favorite build.  Oh well, I still hope to say hi to some Mage Wars folks and put some faces to the names and talk about this awesome game this weekend!   :)

Hmm... Thinking about it, I can't think of much that the Straywood Beastmaster has gotten in the expansions compared to what the other mages got, but I still think he's a strong mage. Of course, with just the base set, I thought that he was the strongest mage (certainly for me), so even without getting much that's relevant, I still think that he's good.
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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 06:39:01 AM »
That earth wizard build sounds really similar to something I'm working on. We should compare notes!  And yes, my secret suspicion is that its the best book in the game at the moment, if the player can play tight enough to complete all the games in time and on plan.

Yep, I shall post my build in the books thread soon (at work with only my Excel spell points calculator to recreate it). I'm thinking of an even more control variant with Seeking Dispel Wand and Decoy for mirror control (Transfusion Wars!), maybe Chain Lightning Wand for mirror Golem clusters. Decoy (with Enchanter's Ring, used with Arcane Ring in Tranfusion "timed denial/reversal") has that bluff element I love in other games (e.g. Netrunner).  This counter-strategy leads to a "rearguard" creature 2 away from Spike Pit death trap to move enchants out-of-range of enemy's Seeking. I don't know what this rearguard creature should be as points are so tight.

The worry in going so anti-control is you lose to good old-fashion aggro (though Purge has saved me against a Vampire Bear Mongoose Lord of Fire and Curse stacking). Much like magic, I find it impossible to balance books against all strategies. There's always a chink. Hurrah for that. Every build needs an Achilles heel else the game would temporarily stagnate (until new releases fixed this) and become dull as the majority net-deck "The Book".

Hmm... Thinking about it, I can't think of much that the Straywood Beastmaster has gotten in the expansions compared to what the other mages got, but I still think he's a strong mage. Of course, with just the base set, I thought that he was the strongest mage (certainly for me), so even without getting much that's relevant, I still think that he's good.

I started only recently (in fact, you/padawan/rock all gave me great friendly advice and encouragment after my first nervous post on BGG, converting me to this hobby) and yes, my analysis of the game with 1 Core was that Straywood Beatsmaster had the best options (synergies of turn 1 Forge on FC I opened at the time followed by Ring of Beasts and Enchanter's Ring). I appreciate Dark + Fire access synergies but I never felt as comfortable as a Route 1 in-your-face Bear/Cevere slowly buffed up with Bear Strength / Vampirism / Retaliate then Battle Fury and the Roused Wolf Pet similarly buffed. As attack-triggered enchants always benefit you with persistence (over cheaper commands) and cost/damage/longevity of his creature base gave the best ROI, the lack of bursty ranged finishing is a minor weakness (4 point Circle of Lightning sufficient anti-swarm in mirror); the Straywood had it all with a 1 Core pool.

I look at how my Straywood has evolved: the only new cards are Galador, Arc Lightning (Golem/Knight-heavy local meta), Storm Drake Hide (domino effect of a Golem meta) and Eagleclaw Boots (sideboard). However, I take encouragement from the Straywood's fall from 1 Core pole position. It shows that current weaker mages (the poor nerfed Priestess, the CoK mages that were built to fight each other for board control not a solo FM, unloved Warlord who needs more zonal control) can rise while current dominant ones (Warlock has been shown disproportionate designer love) can similarly fall from grace.

Each expansion release shakes up the meta. This is good. I just hope they try to keep all mages more on par. Thankfully (as a Netrunner and Game of Thrones subscriber), expansions aren't that frequent, allowing plenty of time to experiment with the recent expansion. I have been very impressed by AW's slower playtested releases. It is a hard balance as expansions generate revenue but deter entrants who sense a "slow LCG".

I do think Straywood is still a contender as Galador is just amazing, especially with Golems so popular. I will be very happy if my old favourite mage wins Gencon. I just hope the Warlock does not win again.
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Koz

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2013, 08:31:34 AM »
As someone already pointed out, with the next set being Druid vs Necromancer, you can expect to see a lot of Dark spells so the Warlock will get even more love.  Someone on the design team definitely seems to have a love affair with that particular mage.  Or maybe they just have a love affair with aggro strategies in general since those are so strong.  Eh, who knows.

I'd love to see some people being right about Earth Wizard winning Gencon.  That'd be great.  I doubt it personally, but I'd love to see it.

reddawn

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2013, 04:58:35 PM »
Earth Wizard really crushes you if you don't have experience with the new set.  2 Eagleclaw Boots are an auto-include in every aggro book that hopes to be competitive, honestly, and even non-aggro books as well.  They just stop too many powerful effects that control builds have access to, like Slam and Push (especially the Earth Wizard).  Colossus Belt and Eagleclaw boots, and maybe Force Orb, are a strong front against control books.

I just kinda want the Vorpal Blade to be available.  Those little armor pieces are quite strong for their cost, and Sectarus is expensive if youre looking for an extra die and piercing +1  :-\
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 05:04:26 PM by reddawn »
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Tacullu64

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Re: Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2013, 05:19:27 PM »
As someone already pointed out, with the next set being Druid vs Necromancer, you can expect to see a lot of Dark spells so the Warlock will get even more love.  Someone on the design team definitely seems to have a love affair with that particular mage.  Or maybe they just have a love affair with aggro strategies in general since those are so strong.  Eh, who knows.

I'd love to see some people being right about Earth Wizard winning Gencon.  That'd be great.  I doubt it personally, but I'd love to see it.

I was the one that pointed it out. However, I think it's just a coincidence that the Warlock should be getting a lot of love from the set. I'm guessing the primary motivation behind the set is the life vs death theme. The Warlock will just be a lucky benefactor. Having said that, I sincerely hope the other mages start getting more options after the Druid vs Necromancer set releases.