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Author Topic: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars  (Read 25560 times)

DeckBuilder

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2014, 10:44:17 AM »
@ Lettucemode, Boomfrog, Webcatcher

Thank you for your interest.
Yes, yes, I can see where it can be used and you give very insightful feedback
But let me ask you this simple question...

"Have you ever played Destroy Magic or even included it (more than once) in a book?"

The Prosecution rests its case, your honour.
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webcatcher

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2014, 10:50:15 AM »
No,  but I don't usually play a wizard. I suspect it would be meta dependent. If Charmyna's Banker build caught on I might take Destroy Magic.

Concerning Rise Again,  I've seen opponents use it as a deterrent.  Turned face up it means I either have to waste a dispel or make absolutely sure my opponent doesn't kill that creature,  so I often end up playing more defensively.

ACG

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2014, 10:56:09 AM »
So, surely everybody must have a few "WTF?" cards they are willing to share?

Okay, I can point a few fingers, in the hopes of learning something new:

Mana Siphon: I see little reason to choose this over essence drain. I suppose against a solo mage it might have some utility, but generally people have at least one creature, and essence drain pays for itself twice as fast (or destroys a creature cheaply, which is even better). I suppose Mana Siphon can't be dispelled, but I still don't see its utility.

Banish: This card seems too expensive to me for what it does. Remove a creature for 3 turns only to have it return unscathed for 14 mana? Why not summon my own strong creature with that mana, or do something else?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 10:57:41 AM by ACG »

DeckBuilder

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2014, 11:07:04 AM »
@Silverclawgrizzly: ... Yes, interesting. ... I can see why you would put them in every book.  How many Bear Strength do you like, and how do you like to use it?

@Zuberi: ... I am incredibly curious to "get a glimpse into your mindset", and that of anyone else who is willing to share....

@DeckBuilder: I guess my goal is to expose how we are each thinking about spells both so that we all gain by gaining insight into other player's evaluations, but also might have a greater understanding...

Why do I get this feeling that we're all being analysed by a psychiatrist here?
"Hmmm. Interesting. Very insightful. Now tell me more about your mother..."
I just worry about when he PMs me his invoice... :)

Yeah, AlexW, I do realise that our categorisation are different.
My categorisation is a 2x2 grid quadrant really.

One one axis you have Proactive (based on my strategy) and Reactive (based on your strategy)
This is the point you brought up with Charmyna in the Banking Blaster thread

The other axis is Undercosted or Overcosted

But what you have brought in is a third dimension, making it a 2x2x2 cube
The z axis being Trained or Untrained
Where Undercosted or Overcosted removes the school of the spell in its evaluation (which mine included)

[Trained or Untrained] x [Reactive or Proactive] x [Undercosted or Overcosted] = 8 possible categories

Again, I think the scope is just too huge.
Which is why I focused on just 1 aspect (Proactive vs. Reactive) because it helps me in non-public debates


Even though I feel this subject needs de-scoping, I will be following this thread and hope contribute more soon.
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

Alexander West

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2014, 11:11:19 AM »
Banish: This card seems too expensive to me for what it does. Remove a creature for 3 turns only to have it return unscathed for 14 mana? Why not summon my own strong creature with that mana, or do something else?

I think it's right to compare this spell to Turn to Stone, Force Hold, and/or Sleep.  It's a spell designed to neutralize a big for a while so you can do something without it bothering you.  On the front end 14 is a tremendous amount of mana.  Turn to Stone for 3 turns costs 14 as well, Force Hold for 3 turns costs 10, and Sleep 7/9/11 on level 4/5/6.  I think a premium is being paid since Banish works on anything.  That said, I'm not generally willing to pay for Turn to Stone, and Force Hold isn't my thing either.  I like Sleep more since it is so cheap, *and* requires some kind of resource expenditure from my opponent to end it.  I guess if level 6 nonliving summons started to be a big thing, I might consider a Banish?  But until then, it shall remain forlorn.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 11:31:51 AM by Alexander West »
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sIKE

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2014, 11:17:43 AM »
@Deckbuilder,

I have found Rise Again to be almost magical against the Druid. She likes to put a Vine Snapper in the same zone as her tree to protect it. I like to put Rise Again on it, then kill the Vine Snapper, making sure I have enough mana on hand to cast it when it finally dies. Now, I don't have to stay near the Tree getting zapped by vines exploding thorns like crazy and being still for those hard hitting stationary critters of the Druids. I can shoot off a fireball (Wand of Fieballs) pull back and let a mid-critter finish off the snapper and now I have two critters chomping on the tree and the snapper is quite efficient at it. When the end is nigh I get close and pop in a Fireball. That Intercept stuff works both ways...
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lettucemode

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2014, 11:18:55 AM »
Spells which are reliant on opponent's build need to be cheap in levels
Else they won't be put into books on the off chance when there is so many others competing
The Opportunity Cost is simply too high just for an off-chance

I have nothing against the in-game cost
Purge Magic - 12 mana, range 1, quick spell (QC flexibility), can be Nullified
Destroy Magic - 16 mana, range 1, full action (mage stationary)
That seems imminently fair
What I have trouble is the spell points cost

4SP toolbox will never get into a book
Toolbox spells that rely on opponent's build have to be low level for game variety

That is a really good point and I can't help but agree.

Have you ever played Destroy Magic or even included it (more than once) in a book?

Nope, have never played the card or even included it in a book.

Zuberi

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2014, 11:44:55 AM »
And I think of rise again as costing 2 + X where X is the level of the creature (I think, I'm not at home). You just don't pay X until the creature dies.

I just wanted to clarify that you have to reveal rise again and pay it's reveal cost BEFORE the creature dies. Once the creature dies, the enchant is discarded as well and you no longer have the opportunity to reveal it. This is a minor contention, since you can reveal after dice are rolled and before damage is dealt (except in the case of damage dealt during the upkeep stage, so no waiting to see how those burns turn out).

DeckBuilder

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2014, 11:50:54 AM »
Okay, I can point a few fingers, in the hopes of learning something new:

Mana Siphon: I see little reason to choose this over essence drain. I suppose against a solo mage it might have some utility, but generally people have at least one creature, and essence drain pays for itself twice as fast (or destroys a creature cheaply, which is even better). I suppose Mana Siphon can't be dispelled, but I still don't see its utility.

Banish: This card seems too expensive to me for what it does. Remove a creature for 3 turns only to have it return unscathed for 14 mana? Why not summon my own strong creature with that mana, or do something else?

That's more like it, ACG! Let me try to help out here.

MANA SIPHON

In Denial Wizard, I play Mana Siphon with Essence Drains, Obelisk, Orb, Cloak, Armour Ward, Wardstones
Because every extra point of denial is better than last as a spell's cost = mana cost/(channel-burdens)
Using your zones to deny mana is actually more effective than increasing your mana (or that's my theory)
But it's a strategy you have to go all in

I generally use it as early as possible, and like it
It serves these purposes
(a) it destroys the opponent's carefully micro-managed maths at the start
(b) I want to deny more than 3 mana Essence Drain costs (1 for my Ring, 2 for when reveal before Upkeep)
(c) its incredibly resilient (with ethereal less popular) and distracts the opponent's units from attacking me

In Mana Denial, you are simply trading
Essence Drain is trading your 2 SPs for his 1-2 SPs Dispel (1 of 6 max.) and 3 mana (a good trade)
Mana Siphon is trading 3SPs and 11 mana for a few turns of distraction plus 2 mana for each turn surviving
In isolation, none of them work well but combined, they hurt incredibly when your channel 7 has burden 6

I'm pretty sure you play Magic, ACG, and you know how the control decks leverage mana advantage to win
It's just the same here - but it was very frustrating for the opponent which is why I don't play it anymore

There's an old thread "Is mana denial viable?" where piousflea taught a new poster called DeckBuilder a few lessons on this strategy.

Mana Siphon is good - but only in conjunction with all the other Mana Denial tools that the Wizard has.


BANISH

This one is harder to justify as I have never ever played it or even included it in a Wizard book.

Your opponent has Lord of Fire with Bear Strength, Cheetah Speed, Mongoose Agility, Vampirism on it.
That's a lot of eggs in 1 basket.

In theory, a Wand of Banish will probably cost you 1 rounds mana in every 3 to remove it from the game.

Nowadays it would be Shaggoth Zora bloated with 6 Crawlers emerging from it. You can't sleep Shaggoth.

It's not much different to Turn to Stone which costs 12 mana for those 3 turns.
Yeah Force Crush is better for 12 but that's too expensive, Force Hold is just 9 in 3 turns.
But all 3 of those are suddenly Dispelled and the creature is ready to not-so-surprise attack you.

Banish is a tempo play like Sleep and above enchantments (ok, Force Crush can be part of a Win Condition)

Is it good? Well, I've never played it.
And whip Vinewhip Staff, I can't see anybody relying solely on a single Timmy behemoth strategy anymore.
Banish it will be great if creatures with a coming-into-play or leaving-play disadvantage become popular.
So maybe it's just "ahead of its time"?

Oh, who am I kidding, I can't defend Banish, sorry.
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

DeckBuilder

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2014, 12:11:46 PM »
@Deckbuilder,

I have found Rise Again to be almost magical against the Druid. She likes to put a Vine Snapper in the same zone as her tree to protect it. I like to put Rise Again on it, then kill the Vine Snapper, making sure I have enough mana on hand to cast it when it finally dies. Now, I don't have to stay near the Tree getting zapped by vines exploding thorns like crazy and being still for those hard hitting stationary critters of the Druids. I can shoot off a fireball (Wand of Fieballs) pull back and let a mid-critter finish off the snapper and now I have two critters chomping on the tree and the snapper is quite efficient at it. When the end is nigh I get close and pop in a Fireball. That Intercept stuff works both ways...

That's really clever. Plants with their high hit points become Resilient and are Rooted not Slow so not even Stunned. Wow!

It's almost like the designers did this on purpose...:)

Learnt 2 good things about Mage Wars in this thread
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

ACG

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2014, 12:26:14 PM »
Plants with their high hit points become Resilient and are Rooted not Slow so not even Stunned. Wow!

The not being stunned is an excellent reason to reanimate plants (thornlashers especially). However, reanimated creatures do not gain the Resilient trait (which is probably a good thing).


So you are saying that Mana Siphon is useful in a committed Mana Denial strategy; I guess I can see that. I don't play mana denial any more for much the same reasons you don't (not much fun for the other person), so for me it has no place.

I like the comparisons of Banish to Turn to Stone; I actually occasionally run Turn to Stone. I think I prefer to pay the mana over several turns rather than up front, though. But yes - if your opponent has all their eggs in one basket, a Banish every 3 rounds leaves them wide open.

I'm pretty sure you play Magic, ACG, and you know how the control decks leverage mana advantage to win

Actually, I am not really much of a Magic player. I've played once or twice, but I don't like the CCG model of distribution, so I don't buy them.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 12:38:36 PM by ACG »

lettucemode

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2014, 12:40:13 PM »
Creatures enchanted with Turn to Stone or hit with Sleep can still be buffed, and the enchantment or condition itself can be gotten rid of the next turn, or sooner if the other player anticipated it. Banish however has no such counter-play. That's why I consider it the superior answer to one-big-rush strategies like Adramelech.

silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2014, 01:10:21 PM »
@Silverclawgrizzly: ... Yes, interesting. ... I can see why you would put them in every book.  How many Bear Strength do you like, and how do you like to use it?

@Zuberi: ... I am incredibly curious to "get a glimpse into your mindset", and that of anyone else who is willing to share....

@DeckBuilder: I guess my goal is to expose how we are each thinking about spells both so that we all gain by gaining insight into other player's evaluations, but also might have a greater understanding...

Why do I get this feeling that we're all being analysed by a psychiatrist here?
"Hmmm. Interesting. Very insightful. Now tell me more about your mother..."
I just worry about when he PMs me his invoice... :)


Many have tried to analyze me int he past :)

To answer your question it depends on the mage with most of them I use 1 Bear Strength, 1 Rhino Hide, and 1 Cheetah Speed but with nature classes I'll put in 2 of each minimum. Generally one for my mage and one for valued creatures.
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DeckBuilder

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2014, 01:54:18 PM »
Creatures enchanted with Turn to Stone or hit with Sleep can still be buffed, and the enchantment or condition itself can be gotten rid of the next turn, or sooner if the other player anticipated it. Banish however has no such counter-play. That's why I consider it the superior answer to one-big-rush strategies like Adramelech.

That's a good point. Also Turn to Stone has a 6 point upfront cost too.
Yes, I am starting to see the value of Banish. Thank you, ACG and Lettuce, for the insight.

Force Hold is my favourite control card (for FM: 2+1 with ring, upkeep 2 with orb is amazing)
Maybe that's why I didn't give Stumble attention (until now)

The not being stunned is an excellent reason to reanimate plants (thornlashers especially). However, reanimated creatures do not gain the Resilient trait (which is probably a good thing).

Guess who stopped reading when he saw "Slow" on Reanimates...?
These Reanimates are even more rubbish than I thought.

However sIKE's trick of Rise Again on Vine Snapper Treebond guard is still great.
Hmm, I may give Rise Again a spin in a combative Sectarus Curse Warlock build.
But it's such situational 3SP card, only useful against a handful of Living targets.
If only there was a better Dark Living than Hellion as a good guaranteed target...

Naah, it's just too much of a long shot gamble for 3SPs - but probably yes for 2SPs.
Which proves my point about opponent-build based spells needing to be lower level.
Would there be more Reversal of Fortune fun if Steals were more common at level 2?
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

sIKE

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Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2014, 02:19:58 PM »
@Deckbuilder

I find either a Rise Again or Animate Dead both are level 3 spells, one is two points more than other. What do both buy me? In one game a half-cost steel clawed grizzly, yeah he was slow, until that Zombie Frenzy. I think that ends up being a good deal for me, as the Necro's zombies are only useful in groups, the skellies are ok but really don't deal a lot of dice of damage and you really can not buff that other than with Commands. The nice thing about Rise Again, though it costs two more, is that I don't have to be at range for it to payoff and it is a Quick cast vs. a Full cast for the Animate Dead. The nice thing about Animate Dead against a Druid is that the creature you pull back into the arena comes into the zone that you are in, think Vine Tree. I of course have to stay still for that round or have some other mechanic to move (push/tele) to get out of that zone. So they both have strengths and weaknesses and with a little thought you can play to the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.
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