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Author Topic: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook  (Read 7385 times)

Alexander West

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Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« on: February 04, 2014, 10:54:37 AM »
Initially I was inspired by the Forcemaster with two Silverclaw Grizzly build.  I really liked the synergy between the Forcemaster's Force Pull power, and the huge damage on the slow attack of the animals.  When I saw the druid, I saw a lot of tools for keeping someone in a space:  Vinewhip Staff and Tanglethorn.  I also saw a book that could play a lot of really good in-school spells, so could afford important out of book spells like Teleport to manage opponent's location.

Once I committed philosophically to controlling my opponent's location, I felt I could move all-in on spells that are great if you never move:  Vine Snapper, Fortified Position, Mohktari, Silverclaw Grizzly Bear, etc.  I further like that unarmored plants benefit the most from the spell Fortified Position, which is an Enchantment I truly love.  For only 2 more mana I get a Rhino Hide that affects every creature I have, including my Mage?  Yes please!  I know it can be dispelled, but they only have so many disspells, y'know?

After playing with it, I like the way the book performs.  Vine Snappers and Raptor Vines are *so* mana efficient for their damage output, and the movement control spells (Teleport and Force Push) make up for their weakness when the opponent tries to exploit it.  I've generally been summoning 1 big (Grizzly most of the time), and then having my Vine Tree keep up a supply of plants as needed.

I feel like the deck could be a little weak to fire, even though I've included a few big non-Plants as a plan B vs. Mages I suspect of having lots of fire magics.  I also wonder if I truly have enough vs. Flying creatures?  I feel pretty vulnerable without a Maim Wings.  I also wonder if Renewing Spring might not be better than Healing Wand?  They are about the same in points, but the spring can remove a lot of conditions much faster if a big area gets hit with something gross like a Plague Zombie death or a Ring of Fire.

The first Decoy would be really nice, as might a second Force Push.  Maybe I should have a Mage Wand? However, I am not really sure where I could/should make room for such things.

I'm curious about other people's thoughts on this general strategy (it's a lot like Golem Pit, but it doesn't require a corner, and isn't as all-in on being a combo), and this book list in particular?

Mage Wars deck (built using OCTGN deckbuilder) 2/4/2014 12:00:00 AM

Spellbook points: 120 used of 120 allowed

1 Druid

---  Conjuration  ---
2 Corrosive Orchid
1 Nightshade Lotus
1 Mohktari, Great Tree of Life
1 Vine Tree

---  Creature  ---
1 Kralathor, The Devourer
1 Galador, Protector of Straywood
4 Vine Snapper
2 Raptor Vine
4 Thornlasher
2 Steelclaw Grizzly

---  Enchantment  ---
1 Falcon Precision
2 Bear Strength
2 Bull Endurance
1 Regrowth
1 Barkskin
2 Fortified Position
2 Eagle Wings
1 Mongoose Agility
1 Cheetah Speed

---  Equipment  ---
1 Vinewhip Staff
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Leather Gloves
1 Veterans Belt
1 Meditation Amulet
1 Wand of Healing
1 Enchanter's Ring
1 Bearskin

---  Incantation  ---
4 Teleport
3 Dispel
3 Dissolve
4 Burst of Thorns
1 Force Push
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 10:57:26 AM by Alexander West »
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webcatcher

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 12:00:35 PM »
No tanglevine?

Alexander West

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 12:04:47 PM »
Right, no Tanglevine.  The problem is that Teleport is one of the best cards in the game, and it breaks Tanglevine, Quicksand, and maybe another few cards I'm not thinking of (and for less mana to boot!).  I'd rather have re-useable modes of entrapment (like Thornlasher) where they still probably need a spell to escape, but my thing is still around the next time I get them into the punishment square.
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Aylin

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 12:34:32 PM »
You still want Tanglevines. While Teleports cost potentially less mana to remove a creature from Tanglevine than the cost of Tanglevine itself, you still use up one of their maximum of 4 Teleports if that's how they escape. And if you're really committed to keeping your opponent still, Tanglevine is a really obvious thing to take.

Besides, what Tanglevine is great for is restraining guards as a QC. The fact that it takes at least one action to destroy the Tanglevine is just icing.



Anyway, drop Bull Endurance. Rhino Hide would be better, or more Bear Strength.


And where are your Acid Balls?

Gizzu

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 12:52:26 PM »
I think Etherian Lifetree could also work, and Mokthari Branch too.

CYA
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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 01:13:43 PM »
I really like this book. And I love the name.

webcatcher

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 01:35:54 PM »
Tanglevine's not a permanent fix, you use it the same way a forcemaster uses stumble (one of my favorite spells in the game) - Once you've got a creature in your grizzly/vine pit, you use the spell in the QC and then your opponent either has to let them get chewed up for a turn or waste a teleport or force push getting them back out. You've got enough equipment control that no one is going to teleport wand their way to victory against this book, so if you can force them to choose between leaving a creature (or mage) in a high-damage situation or burning a precious teleport that's a win/win for you.

Zuberi

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 01:57:34 PM »
I'm not convinced that tanglevine would add anything to this build despite several comments supporting it. A thornlasher plus vine marker will create a more permanent situation that they can not escape without using a teleport. The best argument I've seen for him to include tanglevine is to use it against guards.

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 03:10:04 PM »
I'm not going to say thornlasher isn't great, but I think there's a few compelling arguments for tanglevine that we haven't covered yet.

1. Thornlasher can move you into a square, but it can't keep you from moving out of a square (it can pull you back in, but that's not the same thing).
2. Thornlasher will fail to snatch 1/3 of the time. That's hardly a sure thing.
3. Tanglevine costs 2 mana less than thornlasher, which isn't a lot but could make a difference.
4. Tanglevine takes effect right now. When you summon a thornlasher you have to wait until the following turn to activate it, so no matter when you activate it your opponent has at least 2 QC actions to deal with it before it can do anything.
5. Thornlasher takes a full action to cast, Tanglevine is a quick. Probably doesn't matter since you're casting from your vine tree most of the time, but it could.

So sure, Thornlasher is great, but there's enough corner cases where the Tanglevine would be superior that I'd seriously consider dropping one lasher from the book in return for 2 vines.

Zuberi

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 03:17:09 PM »
Truth, but for those corner cases, won't his vinewhip staff accomplish the same thing?

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 03:27:50 PM »
Huh. I suppose it could, particularly in the mid to late game when you're not faced with the prospect of potentially having to cast the staff and use it's ability in the same turn.

ringkichard

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 04:00:54 PM »
I'm not sure that "no Tanglevine!" is the right call, but I think that one of the reasons Teleport is so good is that is gives a 2-for-1 against conjurations, and avoiding that makes sense to me.

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Alexander West

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 03:08:54 AM »
I'd like to thank everyone for both the interesting discussion on Tanglevine, and the useful card suggestions.

As far as Tanglevine goes, so rarely does it seem like it would be the right choice over Thornlasher, Force Push, Burst of Thorns, Vinewhip Staff, or the increased damage over time presented by a Vine Snapper.  I am convinced it could be nice to save a book point to take a guy off guard compared to Force Push, with the two mana being a reasonable trade for the actions eaten to destroy the vine.  Weirdly, though, the chance that an overconfident or unwise opponent would blow a Teleport is really the most alluring incentive.  Fundamentally, if I have access to more Teleports than my opponent, I feel very good about my chances of victory.  Wanting to trade my 5 mana for your 3 mana is sort of an unexpected stance, but Teleport is that good.  And, of course, sometimes they just don't have it and you get to wail on them...

I will certainly try a singleton copy over something less useful, though I'm keeping all my Thornlashers!  One book point seems like a fine price to pay for a little more versatility.  (Particularly in the early game before I've had time to Vinewhip Staff, or late game when maybe my staff has been Dissolved.)

@Aylin:  I'm very interested in your opinion on the various Water spells.  I was attracted to Burst of Thorns because of its more or less unlimited range, and my perception that I could always force an opponent to come to me with it because of the damage tiebreak.  (Combined with access to Corrosive Orchid to destroy healing equipment?)  Though, the more I think of it, 1 copy plus a Mage Wand seems like a better long range plan.  (With either a 2nd copy or a different attack spell to finish something off when urgently needed.)  When do you use Acid Ball?  Mostly to destroy Mage's armor, or as just a general debuff vs. armored summons?  Certainly, it seems like a Marked for Death with extra upside against anyone with 2+ points of armor!

@Aylin:  Also, why the dislike of Bull's Endurance?  Is the fact it can be Dispelled so bad that it's worth the out of faction points for a real heal incantation or enchantment?
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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 03:53:58 AM »
Tangle Vine is good for when you're about to launch an attack with animals and you don't want the mage to run away. It messes with their tempo cause now they need to either teleport or use attacks to get rid of it. It's part of making your opponent react to you instead of reacting to them. There's a lot of good ways to make that happen of course though. Tangle Vine also normally catches people off guard.

I agree with Bulls Endurance it can be a real life saver until you can get some Regeneration or actual healing going on. Yeah it can be dispelled but so can any other Enchantment but we still use them.
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Re: Welcome to the Jungle - A Druid Spellbook
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 06:16:10 AM »
@Alexander West: Burst of Thorns only has a range of 2... Not unlimited.