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Author Topic: How to effectively use the Force Master?  (Read 7671 times)

HERO

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How to effectively use the Force Master?
« on: November 20, 2013, 01:11:50 AM »
I'm still pretty new to the game, but I would consider myself a pretty good, well-rounded gamer who's had his share of competitive TCGs, minis and board games.

After picking up nearly everything for Mage Wars (don't have Druid vs. Necro yet), I wanted to play the Force Master because I think she looks the coolest.  Sadly, after doing some in-depth research and class analysis, I'm a little confused of her purpose.

It seems that all the other classes in the game can function better than she does.  When you compare her spell repertoire with respect to point cost, it seems that she's very unfocused and cost ineffective.  Take the Wizard for example, a lot of the staple spells that people find essential are in the Arcane tree.  It's no surprise why people consider the Water Mage to be extremely strong, capable of multiple styles of play and openers, access to cheap and plentiful Dispel/Dissolve/Teleport/Mage Wand, all while having access to any creature in the game for 1-2x.

The other classes also feature pretty decent abilities, but the main thing to take away from those classes is that they can take creatures.  Creatures in their own school costs base, those outside costs 2x, and very rarely do they need to dabble in their weakest tree to take the 3x penalty.  Why is it that the Force Master is the only class in the game that pays triple for all creature spells outside of the Mind school?  It doesn't help that mind creatures are a complete flop with all things considered.  Creature actions dictate the pace of the game a lot, and having a class with limited openers and predictable gameplay is just a little lackluster.  I don't think the concept of solo play works very well in a game where multiple actions result in more dice rolled, and more dice equates to more damage while multiple creatures means more survivability.

If her purpose is to play control, I don't think she does a very good job at it.  If it's about doing solo damage, I don't see it either (especially with the Bim-Shalla nerf).  It's certainly not about supplying creatures, because she's pretty bad about that.  A spell-slinger mage doesn't work either because you're going to run out of cards, and they have finite use/application.  Aside from a few Grizzly teleport tricks, what is her actual win condition?  What can she do that a Water Mage, or a good Priest, or good Beastmaster, can't do better?

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 08:47:30 AM »
With an obelisk down, she can mind control your big creature and not pay the upkeep cost, instantly killing it.

HERO

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 11:52:38 AM »
With an obelisk down, she can mind control your big creature and not pay the upkeep cost, instantly killing it.

Yes, I realize this.  But is that all she has to offer?  Like I said, a class should be able to offer something more right?

Qube

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 01:14:11 PM »
She is a combat machine.  Force field is the best defense there is.  Galvitar is the best weapon.  Her basic mage abilities are both very useful.  Add to that her tool box of spells like mind control, charm, force crush... and I'm not too sure I see the problem.  My usual opponent says he will just concede if I bring another FM to the table. :(

HERO

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 01:27:52 PM »
She is a combat machine.  Force field is the best defense there is.  Galvitar is the best weapon.  Her basic mage abilities are both very useful.  Add to that her tool box of spells like mind control, charm, force crush... and I'm not too sure I see the problem.  My usual opponent says he will just concede if I bring another FM to the table. :(

The problem here is that she's one person, with limited actions, with highly cost ineffective creatures, with bad matchups.  She has absolutely nothing to deal with Iron Golems for example, and if you fought against a Water Mage, I just can't see her making any progress.  If you manage to lock her down, it doesn't matter how much mana you spent on her to get her into fighting position, she's still just as susceptible to other mage's spells.  If you know something about Magic, she's basically a Voltron caster, but with no hexproof.

If your opponent concedes if you bring FM to the table, I suggest you guide him here and take a look at some Wizard/BM/Priest builds.  Having limited actions while being susceptible to disables and other mage actions is just pretty terrible.

Zuberi

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 01:45:52 PM »
As mentioned previously, she is a combat machine. She is easily the strongest mage by herself, with the best offense and best defense of any mage. She can melt faces with Galvitar and Dodge/Block/Forcefield damage all day long. She can negate your creature advantage with Charm, Mind Control, Mordok's Obelisk, and Suppression Orb. She is simply a beast, and thus she needs a big draw back to keep her in check.

That said, the triple cost on creatures is a limitation, not an all out ban. You are correct that solo play is not appropriate. Instead you want a few big strategy. Include 2 or 3 level 4 creatures in your spellbook and you're golden. You then have options of going 2 big creatures or 1 big + mage at the beginning. If you can get 2 creatures + mage beefed up, even better, but the Forcemaster is best played super aggressively. Do not give your opponent time to build up.

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 01:48:11 PM »
What does she do better than any other mage? The Forcemaster is the best solo mage in the game. Because you are attacking with her so much, you always have lots of spare mana to cast whatever you want. She is also the best at controlling the position of other creatures on the battlefield.

-Galvatar is the best weapon in the game. Equip it early and go in swinging.
-A built-in defense against both melee and ranged as an innate ability. Means you can afford to take more attacks, so charge!
-Force Pull lets you pull an enemy Mage away from his guard so you can use Galvatar's full attack.
-The Mind Control + Obelisk combo mentioned earlier lets you eliminate most any big creature threat in just one round.
-Swarms? <play Mass Sleep and Forcefield> What swarms?

First turn sprint and Battle Forge. Second turn Galvatar and Force Ring and sprint. Third turn you start bringing the pain while the Forge beefs you up - and you have at least 15 mana to work with. Charm or Sleep all the smaller threats, Mind Control the larger ones. Cast a Thoughtspore with Battle Fury on it for some fun.

Last Forcemaster game I played, I got in my opponent's face as fast as possible (a Beastmaster) and the game ended in 7 rounds with half his creatures asleep on the other side of the arena.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 02:08:13 PM by lettucemode »

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 03:21:36 PM »
I have used a 'few big' FM build with an excellent win rate versus many players and mages in OCTGN.

Essentially, DON'T play solo style, rather use Grizzly and Brogan. Bring out Grizzly first in general or Brogan vs FM, Priest or Priestess. The response from those mages is unprintable in polite company...

Bring out biggie plus force ring turn one.
Bring out Battle Forge plus an enchantment on biggie turn two. Usually bear strength if Brogan.
Send biggie forwards whilst deploying small armour, then weapon, then scimitar from forge and mixing it up versus fuzzy play.
Use force pull with ring to help positioning.

Has been very effective.

In reverse, the Mage I most worry about is FM with a Force field. That, and anything played by Charmyna.


« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 03:35:49 PM by Fentum »

HERO

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 03:44:04 PM »
What does she do better than any other mage? The Forcemaster is the best solo mage in the game. Because you are attacking with her so much, you always have lots of spare mana to cast whatever you want. She is also the best at controlling the position of other creatures on the battlefield.

-Galvatar is the best weapon in the game. Equip it early and go in swinging.
-A built-in defense against both melee and ranged as an innate ability. Means you can afford to take more attacks, so charge!
-Force Pull lets you pull an enemy Mage away from his guard so you can use Galvatar's full attack.
-The Mind Control + Obelisk combo mentioned earlier lets you eliminate most any big creature threat in just one round.
-Swarms? <play Mass Sleep and Forcefield> What swarms?

First turn sprint and Battle Forge. Second turn Galvatar and Force Ring and sprint. Third turn you start bringing the pain while the Forge beefs you up - and you have at least 15 mana to work with. Charm or Sleep all the smaller threats, Mind Control the larger ones. Cast a Thoughtspore with Battle Fury on it for some fun.

Last Forcemaster game I played, I got in my opponent's face as fast as possible (a Beastmaster) and the game ended in 7 rounds with half his creatures asleep on the other side of the arena.

Actually, I've played a handful.  Still consider myself new to the game given I've had <5 games with her.  I've won all of them too, so it's not like I'm coming in all prissy.

It's just that everytime I've played her, I question the amount of spells I have in my book to my Wizard.  For example, in my Water Wizard book, I have 66 spells and a crap ton of versatility in the form of Dispel/Dissolve/Teleport/Creatures/Hexes/Equipment/Spellbinds/Walls.  In my ~45 spell Force Master deck, I only have a handful of Dispels and Dissolves, and not nearly as many versatile spells to cast.  Sure, I'm missing the MC + Obelisk combo, but I'm also missing handfuls of Agony/Gate/Marked for Death/Nullify/Jinx..etc.

I've been reading other FM threads as well and it seems that basic openers for the FM is relatively the same.  I myself have been going the solo +1 route with just her and Brogan.  Her spell collection needs to fit her playstyle and thus, she needs extra equipment and supportive spells to fuel that "Voltron" collective.  Oh, and I have 2x Thoughtspores and 2x Mage Wands to help with supporting casts of spells, but honestly that's it.

Some of you have already shared your experience with FM, but maybe you can share your books?  I'm beginning to wonder if everyone's books look pretty similar or are there more diverse builds to play FM.

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 03:53:59 PM »
Here are links to a few FM books, along with strategies and conversations about how to use the books and make them better.

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13104.15

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13123.0
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Fentum

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 03:57:52 PM »
There's no way I'm sharing my book.  ;)

There are many ways to play FM effectively. Of the various routes I have seen, the three most effective have been...

Few big as per my post above
Thoughtspore with push or teleport, plus tooled up FM
Solo with forcefield

I take your point ref a versatile Wizard book, in fact, my main is an Air Wizard, but I still have PLENTY spells and several routes to win in my FM book with even THREE big. Grizzly, Brogan, Galador. Two big is slightly better
. I would trade versatility for effectiveness most times. Clearly, a bit of versatility IS required.

Ps what is voltron collective?

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 04:16:01 PM »
It's just that everytime I've played her, I question the amount of spells I have in my book to my Wizard.  For example, in my Water Wizard book, I have 66 spells and a crap ton of versatility in the form of Dispel/Dissolve/Teleport/Creatures/Hexes/Equipment/Spellbinds/Walls.  In my ~45 spell Force Master deck, I only have a handful of Dispels and Dissolves, and not nearly as many versatile spells to cast.  Sure, I'm missing the MC + Obelisk combo, but I'm also missing handfuls of Agony/Gate/Marked for Death/Nullify/Jinx..etc.

That is kind of the point of the Wizard, though. He is supposed to be more toolbox-y and he is very efficient with his spellbook points. I'm pretty sure books for all other mages have around 45-50 cards, so it's the Wizard who's the exception here, not the Forcemaster.

Zuberi

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2013, 04:21:15 PM »
I've built spellbooks for all of the mages and usually end up between 50 & 60 spells. The Forcemaster does seem to come out with fewer spell options than the other mages, more often than the Wizard comes out with more. But you are indeed looking at two extremes. The Wizard is the most versatile mage, while the Forcemaster is the most focused. The question of the original post though, as I read it, was about effectiveness and not versatility. The focused strategy of a Forcemaster can be very effective. They might not have tools for every possible situation, but they have the tools needed to get the job done.

Zuberi

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2013, 04:25:33 PM »
Quote from: HERO
I wanted to play the Force Master because I think she looks the coolest

If that is indeed your reason for playing her...then just use her Mage Card and use the Wizard's Ability Card (or whichever mage you prefer). You get your favorite playstyle, abilities, spells, and looks. Arcane Wonders has specifically stated you can mix the two.

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Re: How to effectively use the Force Master?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2013, 04:36:26 PM »
There's no way I'm sharing my book.  ;)

There are many ways to play FM effectively. Of the various routes I have seen, the three most effective have been...

Few big as per my post above
Thoughtspore with push or teleport, plus tooled up FM
Solo with forcefield

I take your point ref a versatile Wizard book, in fact, my main is an Air Wizard, but I still have PLENTY spells and several routes to win in my FM book with even THREE big. Grizzly, Brogan, Galador. Two big is slightly better
. I would trade versatility for effectiveness most times. Clearly, a bit of versatility IS required.

Ps what is voltron collective?

Just Voltron, it's a term used in magic that represents a mage who builds himself up to be stronger and stronger.  Normally he's Hexproof (cannot be targeted by spells and abilities), loaded with enchantments, equipment and other buffs so he can single-handily kill the enemy mage.  This is pretty much the FM, minus the hexproof and without counterspells for the most part.  With that comes the threat of enemy spells and abilities that target her and render her combat ineffective.

It's fine, I can share my book if you'd like.  I don't think it's something to hide since we're all players trying to improve our game.

Quote
Forcemaster
47 spells, 120 spell points

1 Battle Forge
2 Battle Fury
2 Bear Strength
1 Brogan Bloodstone
1 Charm
1 Cheetah Speed
1 Colossus Belt
2 Dispel
2 Dissolve
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Falcon Precision
1 Force Crush
1 Forcefield
2 Force Hold
3 Force Push
1 Force Ring
1 Galvitar, Force Blade
1 Gauntlets of Strength
1 Hand of Bim-Shalla
2 Mage Wand
1 Mind Control
1 Mordok's Obelisk
2 Piercing Strike
1 Psi-Orb
2 Regrowth
3 Sleep
1 Suppression Orb
2 Surging Wave
2 Teleport
2 Thoughtspore
1 Vampirism

I worked with 2x Vampires before, same with 1x Brogan/1x Vampire, and I've also tried Grizzly/Brogan.  In my personal experience, you're better off spell-slinging with the help of 2+2 Thoughtspores/Wands to control the board rather than summoning another creature.  I find Surging Wave to be one of the best spellbind spells because of the ranged Slam.

I'm very disappointed about the Invisible Stalker though, have you guys found much use of him?