September 22, 2019, 03:56:36 PM

Author Topic: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?  (Read 8947 times)

ringkichard

  • Flightless Funpire
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2564
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Kich, if you prefer.
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 10:18:55 PM »
It may be weaker than 4 Teleports but it has more finesse than the artless brutality of Teleport your mage to my horde.

Artless Brutality has a nice Ring to it, don't you think?
I can take the fun out of anything. It's true; here, look at this spreadsheet.

krj

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 04:05:36 AM »
i think also playing versus another Beastmaster/ess could be not easy, because it will also take benefit from Totem's and actually can swarm faster than you or bigger creatures...

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 10:03:24 AM »
@AW
Thanks for the sticky! I view this thread more as a collaborative effort at exploring this neglected archetype
Hopefully there will be plenty of insight (from many contributors) in discussions here to be worth the status

@krj
A mirror match is always difficult because against an identical build, it is down to tactical skill and dice luck
That is why every book needs that "special something" to beat its mirror concept

I'd focus on reducing enemy mage's Armour (Acid Ball, Dissolve, Dispel), Marked For Death and Call Of The Wild
For an edge in resilience, use the Shift Fortified Position trick (assume Marked for Death is Dispelled next turn)
You avoid Etherian Lifetree against living swarm builds
You avoid Rajan's Fury against animal swarm builds except as a Finisher play
Tanglevine is good at delaying Elite animals in poor positions (like Redclaw if Dog Swarm or a Unicorn Pet)
You have Wall of Thorn blocking Elites while your creatures ignore it and you can push enemy through it
Against Tarok (rarely played), I'd propably double Hurl Boulder (or Slam it down for a grounded mauling)

Here's what I consider a standard Straywood Elites build that is also "Tempo Aggro"
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13107.0

The above book would be a very tough match-up but I think that Swarm played well would win
I have talked about a paper-scissors-stone triangle of Super Aggro vs. Mid Range vs. Control
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=12881.msg22200#msg22200

Well, I believe there are many concurrent triangles in the game (it would be too basic if they didn't exist)
One such neglected triangle (that used to be discussed in early threads) is Swarm vs. Elites vs. Control
I believe Swarm > Elites > Control > Swarm (where ">" means has the advantage if equal skill and luck)
This is because Swarm generates huge action overlap over Elites
However Control with its many Epic conjurations and multi-target or repeat attacks keeps Swarm in check
Just try Necromancer Swarm vs. Wizard Mana Denial and see this in play
This is why I believe Beastmaster Swarm (played cannily) has a slight advantage over Beastmaster Elites

Some advantages Swarm has when facing Beastmaster Elites include:
(a) you can summon 2 Foxes per turn and not worry about anti-swarm (Obelisk, Orb, Pestilence, Ring of Fire etc)
(b) you can slow down Elites with Tanglevine, Wall of Thorns and Bobcat guards to leverage action advantage

Jokhtari plays a very different "board control" game and the typical Jokhtari book should be something like...
Lair, Galador, Raptors, Dire Wolves, Hunting Bow, Tanglevines, Pestilence (Bloodthirsty), Deathlock (Bleed)
The ranged is more problematic for this book but I have solutions in the build (also for other ranged builds)
One option is a ground Swarm behind Wall of Thorns that Charge through (Rajan fine vs. Jokhtari ranged)
However the main advantage is tempo: this book's speed should overwhelm Jokhtari Lair before it gets going
Jokhtari's "meditation amulet" is her Bow but it is neutralised if she is being Charged through a Wall of Thorns
So while Jokhtari is a Control variant, here you try to beat her on the tempo triangle of Super Aggro > Control

So yes, any mirror is always a hard match because by definition it is closest to a 50:50
You have "nemesis match-ups" that are one-sided (e.g. Druid vs. Warlock?) but that is simply match-up lottery
With a mirror match, the onus is far more on your tactical skill to outplay your opponent
At least this build doesn't have a Legendary issue that many Elite builds can fall victim to
(This is why my Fire Wizard with Lord of Fire packs a Drain Power for Warlock match-up)

It does hurt that you have to change strategy against these books - so yes, this was a very good point
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 11:20:03 AM by DeckBuilder »
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

Koz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 423
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2013, 04:10:59 PM »
I haven't played swarm in forever so I don't know how well Fortified Position and the Tree help deal with AOE, but I would still be afraid that a Ring of Fire or Electrify would just wreck the whole strategy.  Back when I ran swarm I attempted to counter AOE by using Daze/Stun attacks.  An opponent who is Dazed has a 50% chance of missing any attack, including an entire AOE, which makes it too risky to attempt to cast considering the mana cost of those spells unless they are incredibly desperate.  Things like Pillar of Light and Surging Wave are both cheap and have a good chance to roll an effect (use a Wand to keep it up turn after turn).  The best case scenario is that you correctly predict that your opponent has prepared an AOE spell and you hit them in the Quickcast phase and get the Daze.  They'll probably be too scared to waste the mana to cast it unless they are getting stomped badly and they'll basically be stuck with a dead spell and end up melee attacking instead.  Perhaps the combination of the new cards plus old-school Daze/Stun may be what swarms need to survive.

I would suggest working in some Daze/Stun attacks if you can to help mitigate one of the decks most glaring weaknesses.  Hope that helps and let us know how the build does.  I'm hoping swarm gets a revival with the new stuff that's come out.

sdougla2

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 803
  • Banana Stickers 19
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2013, 06:32:55 PM »
This makes me want to try a few different styles of swarm play. This style of Rajan's Fury spam looks fun. Potentially fragile, but fun. I'll have to test whether it leaves me too vulnerable to zone attacks and Chain Lightning. Cervere seems like a great followup creature once you have 3-4 Rajan's Furies down. Or as an opening threat that's more resilient than Falcons.

For a slower swarm play, I might try something like:

Turn 1 (19): Mana Flower -> Mana Flower (9)
Turn 2 (20): Ring of Beasts -> Cervere (4)
Turn 3 (15): Falcon -> Etherian Lifetree (3)
Turn 4 (14): Falcon -> Rajan's Fury (2)
Turn 5 (13): Falcon -> Rajan's Fury (1)
Turn 6 (12): Falcon -> Rajan's Fury (0)

I also want to build a Valshalla based BM again. I haven't played one of those in a while.
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2013, 11:09:06 AM »
@Koz
Daze pre-empting a multi-target attack is a great insight! I'll try to incorporate in an edit, although one way of defending against full action multi-target attacks is to Push opponent in Early QC, something you want to do anyway to trigger Rajan's. (It's good to see you back on the forum., Koz. You've been quiet. Hope it's nothing I've said...)

@sdougla2
Th original build had Cervere + buffs (Eagle Wings, Bear Strength, Regrowth) but I've had to cull her for other toys suggested by others. I rejected Valshalla as too heavy an investment which while synergetic to some extent, does not give you as much "bang for your buck" as just weenies + global weenie upgraders (which are wasted on Elites). I do realise that not having a Plan B to move to an Elite is an issue when playing Control but I'm hoping that a Fast Swarm can remove any Control Epics dropped by a Control build who is simply trading mana for tempo loss. In the end, they run out of delays and the falcons come home to roost...

@koz & @sdougla2
I recall reading "before my time" discussions between you two when Swarm was discussed. Like piousflea's ROI article and the Dude's gaming philosophy, the posts by both of you were formative in creating my own current view of the game, which is still evolving. Without having the new cards (still), I could see that Swarm is a problem for the Druid and Flyers is a problem for the Necro, which is why I came up with this old chestnut (modernised) variant. And so the meta comes full circle...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 11:13:11 AM by DeckBuilder »
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

Koz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 423
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2013, 12:09:01 PM »
@Koz
Daze pre-empting a multi-target attack is a great insight! I'll try to incorporate in an edit, although one way of defending against full action multi-target attacks is to Push opponent in Early QC, something you want to do anyway to trigger Rajan's. (It's good to see you back on the forum., Koz. You've been quiet. Hope it's nothing I've said...)

No, nothing like that, I've just been very busy and also focused on some other games.  I've been lurking here and there and this thread caught my eye because Swarm builds are something that's always on my radar and I'm always hoping they will become a viable alternative to few-big.  I just wanted to chime in and see if I can help the brainstorming. 

Let us know how your build preforms and evolves so we can see how it's going.  Hopefully I'll get my guys to start playing some Mage Wars again (or I can find time for OCTGN) so I can try a few builds of my own.  If so, I'll share my results.

BoomFrog

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: What does Beastmaster Swarm look like?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2014, 04:10:58 PM »
Can we unsticky this?  The question has been answered:  http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=14540.0