April 21, 2019, 05:27:02 PM

Author Topic: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars  (Read 22592 times)

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2014, 06:17:15 PM »
So we;ve had under the microscope...

* Destroy Magic
* Rise Again
* Mana Siphon
* Banish

All of them proven to have some utility to varying degrees.
Surely there must be some other cards that people want to place with Gate to Hell?

What about understanding Opportunity Cost?
You can only wear 1 Belt
Regrowth and Veteran's Belt are both great
Colossus Belt is not only situational but never going to compete in that hotly contested slot
Colossus Belt - I hereby consign you to join Gate to Hell

Much like a new Cloak would have to be as good as Elemental
But any old Helmet would be added to many Forge builds.

Well, we all know there are lots of sub-optimal cards, especially creatures
Er, was there a Gorilla in the core set? Faeries? Leeches?  Harpies? Trolls?
Creatures are just too easy a target as there are a lot of parameters to balance.

What's really interesting are those cards that are potentially useful but you just can't see the use for it.

Stranglevine seems over-costed - but then again it kills Blasting Banker with its ranged only attacks.

What we really need are a few brave souls to accuse some grey area cards of not being that good really.

Surely someone else will bite? (Where's Aylin when you need some lively debate on this forum...)

I know I have learnt at least 3 new things from this thread so far. To question is to learn.

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

baronzaltor

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 1765
  • Banana Stickers 19
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2014, 09:42:50 PM »
No card ranking discussion proceed without mentioning how terrible Psylock is.

sIKE

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 4172
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Ugh
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2014, 10:45:03 PM »
No card ranking discussion proceed without mentioning how terrible Psylock is.
On a scale of 1 to 10: 1 being sucks the south bound end of a north bound donkey 10 being Kate Upto

0

This is mainly due to low armor, life, and flying and Push. Any one thought about a tangle vine on it to give it the unmovable trait?
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

Charmyna

  • Playtester
  • Full Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Banana Stickers 1
  • Dark Destroyer
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2014, 03:04:58 AM »
What about understanding Opportunity Cost?
You can only wear 1 Belt
Regrowth and Veteran's Belt are both great
Colossus Belt is not only situational but never going to compete in that hotly contested slot
Colossus Belt - I hereby consign you to join Gate to Hell

Much like a new Cloak would have to be as good as Elemental
But any old Helmet would be added to many Forge builds.

Very good thought (not surprising it comes from you though ;))!
Im very curious how cursed equips might work - not sure if they are in planning, but they would definitively be very cool since you could block such valuable slots as the belt!


No card ranking discussion proceed without mentioning how terrible Psylock is.
On a scale of 1 to 10: 1 being sucks the south bound end of a north bound donkey 10 being Kate Upto

0

This is mainly due to low armor, life, and flying and Push. Any one thought about a tangle vine on it to give it the unmovable trait?

I agree Psylok is on the lower end of a power cards list. Giving it tanglevine would be a very interesting move fore sure, but I doubt it will do alot of damage afterwards ;).

So let me throw in some more spellpoint sink cards:
I believe most if not all holy attack spells (well atm we have only two: Pillar of Light, Blinding Flash) are by far too inefficient in general. Sure, against non-living creatures the damage to mana ratio is fine and the stun chance is quite nice, but I doubt someone would use a single target attack spell (Pillar) against a zombie with resilient. So the only situation I could see Blinding Flash being useful is if you are trapped in a zone full of zombies. In that scenario I guess most would prefer to use teleport instead of Blinding Flash (its a full cast with 0 range). In the end, this card seems to be useful in such a narrow niche that I would not spend two spellpoints even as the priest(ess).
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 03:17:39 AM by Charmyna »

silverclawgrizzly

  • Charlotte Mage Warrior
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2480
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2014, 03:11:16 AM »
What would happen I wonder if there were some effect that gave items Upkeep like Mordoks Obelisk does for creatures....
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster
What we must all remember is no matter the game we were all newbies at one point.

Charmyna

  • Playtester
  • Full Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Banana Stickers 1
  • Dark Destroyer
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2014, 03:19:14 AM »
What would happen I wonder if there were some effect that gave items Upkeep like Mordoks Obelisk does for creatures....

That would be a very strong card, difficult to balance I guess.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 03:22:27 AM by Charmyna »

silverclawgrizzly

  • Charlotte Mage Warrior
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2480
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2014, 03:44:47 AM »
I could actually see the dwarven warlord being able to do it.
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster
What we must all remember is no matter the game we were all newbies at one point.

lettucemode

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2014, 11:30:30 AM »
What we really need are a few brave souls to accuse some grey area cards of not being that good really.

Surely someone else will bite?

I'll give it a shot...

Hellfire Trap

Does anyone actually use this card? I have played one game against this card and I just ran my Dark Pact Slayer right through it. Now the damage/mana ratio is actually pretty nice...if it doesn't get Seeking Dispel'd or something. Maybe once the new Warlock comes out, IF GtH + Pentagram see more play, it will be worth placing this card in those zones to protect those conjurations. Who knows though.

Animal Kinship

How about this one, does anyone use this? Personally I feel like it is very situational - you have to be playing multiple types of creatures when it's often better to just focus on one or two (wolves + bear). And if you're doing that the other totems work better. Maybe Deckbuilder considered this for his pre-DvN Tempo Beastmaster book?

Animate Dead

I do not this this card is worth playing at all. I could just use Rise Again so the creature shows up behind enemy lines. Or just summon a Zombie Brute. Either one of those is better than a Slow Grizzly who will take 3 turns to get to where the action is.

Earthquake

Pretty terrible. I can't think of a reason to include it in a book unless the opponent is heavy on Conjurations (Druid I guess)? Difficult to time for the Slam on creatures as well.

Circle of Fire

Not worth playing over Circle of Lightning.

Force Wave, Repulse

Are these used often in Forcemaster books? I think they have very limited use, if any. Never got around to using one in any of my games.

Giant Wolf Spider

Don't see the value in this card at all, unless you're trying to kite or something. If you want a Stuck turret,  Stonegaze Basilisk   is more effective IMO.

Staff of Beasts

Seems pretty bad to me. Good in the Apprentice games to show new players some tricks, but it's more efficient to just attack with your mage for 4 dice than pay 2 mana for 2 dice.

webcatcher

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2014, 11:59:19 AM »
I've tried animal kinship and repulse multiple times. I find both to be subpar.  Kinship is too expensive and requires a long buildup.  Repulse can work for getting you out of a creature scrum,  but will do a worse job than mongoose ability.

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2014, 01:09:13 PM »
No card ranking discussion proceed without mentioning how terrible Psylock is.

Psyloks are indeed terribe but not beyond hope.
All of these poor cards can be resuscitated if there was a will to do so
For example, imagine if this card came out...

Psychic Sensitivity, Cost 2+3, Enchant Creature, Range 0-2, Mind 1, Curse
This creature loses any Psychic Immunity
Psychic attacks gain +1 attack die against this creature


Now Mind Mage books can have Psychic spells, even Psylok (also helps Harpy)
This does not totally devalue Psychic Immunity, just helps vs. a bad match-up
It costs a premium (1SP, 4-5 mana, quick action) to bypass Psychic Immunity
So you may have paid for that ability but the opponents has paid to cancel it
It also provides a Psychic Only Marked for Death so is useful in any match-up
They need to create cards like this for Siren which then resuscitates old cards

So I believe rubbish creatures are actually very easy to fix
Either using new cards or by tweaking the rules just a bit
What I feel is far more difficult to fix is non-creature spells.
Here, let's take Charmyna's example: Light attack spells.

Nonliving is common in the current meta (Jelly, Golems and Spirits hate Light too for some reason)
Priest (guarded) + Dawnbreaker Ring + Hawkeye + Wand of Pillar of Light doesn't feel too shabby?
But here is a spell that is probably only good for 1 mage due to his ability and in a specific build too.

Blinding Flash however is another matter because it is 2SPs
it can be great in a Jelly/Golem Pit but it's just too situational, reliant on opponent's build.
This is where I feel they don't cost some spells properly.
Because there is a multipler, "how likely will I play it?" that is not applied to spell point cost.
They seem to fixate on level as indication of the power of the spell in the best possible case.
Instead of "what is a fair price in SPs to pay for this spell taking into account its likelihood to be useful?"
With Novice being used to give all mages access to "must have" cards (I'm looking at you, Water Wizard).

Because, as someone keeps on wisely saying : "it's (almost) all about the spell points!"

This is all linked to the same topic of many lower end cards: how situational is the card?

With an ever-growing pool, they can't continue to give levels to situational cards based on "potential full impact"
They need to multiply it with "% possibility of achieving full impact" and reduce situational card spell point costs
Else they'll never get played as competition for a place in your cram-packed 120 budget gets ever more difficult

As for current situational cards, they need to introduce mechanics to make them more reliable
Priest showed how to make Pillar of Light playable in a specific build (even then, dissolve the Wand)
For Psyloks (which started this post), a curse like Psychic Sensitivity would help (still not great)
But the main problem with Psyloks (and the rubbish Harpy scream) is the full action range 0 attack
I assume they had visions of Force Hold on victim while the Psyloks circled above which is possible

In the end, Psyloks and Blinding Flash are pretty hard to defend with the current pool of cards

My personal hate is Firestorm: I'd love to range 1 nuke but can't swallow its spell point cost.
Because like Destroy Magic, casting a full action spell at range 1 (don't hurt yourself) is tricky.
Has the existence of the Druid in the meta brought this card into play?
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

sIKE

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 4172
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Ugh
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2014, 01:54:42 PM »
What about understanding Opportunity Cost?
You can only wear 1 Belt
Regrowth and Veteran's Belt are both great
Colossus Belt is not only situational but never going to compete in that hotly contested slot
Colossus Belt - I hereby consign you to join Gate to Hell

Much like a new Cloak would have to be as good as Elemental
But any old Helmet would be added to many Forge builds.

Very good thought (not surprising it comes from you though ;))!
Im very curious how cursed equips might work - not sure if they are in planning, but they would definitively be very cool since you could block such valuable slots as the belt!


No card ranking discussion proceed without mentioning how terrible Psylock is.
On a scale of 1 to 10: 1 being sucks the south bound end of a north bound donkey 10 being Kate Upto

0

This is mainly due to low armor, life, and flying and Push. Any one thought about a tangle vine on it to give it the unmovable trait?

I agree Psylok is on the lower end of a power cards list. Giving it tanglevine would be a very interesting move fore sure, but I doubt it will do alot of damage afterwards ;).

So let me throw in some more spellpoint sink cards:
I believe most if not all holy attack spells (well atm we have only two: Pillar of Light, Blinding Flash) are by far too inefficient in general. Sure, against non-living creatures the damage to mana ratio is fine and the stun chance is quite nice, but I doubt someone would use a single target attack spell (Pillar) against a zombie with resilient. So the only situation I could see Blinding Flash being useful is if you are trapped in a zone full of zombies. In that scenario I guess most would prefer to use teleport instead of Blinding Flash (its a full cast with 0 range). In the end, this card seems to be useful in such a narrow niche that I would not spend two spellpoints even as the priest(ess).
I said Psylock and was thinking Thoughtspore, Push into the Arena Walls is the main reason why both of these cards suck so hard. The thinking was to Tanglevine a Thoughtspore so it couldn't be pushed. I know this gives up the floating wand piece but will keep it useful as at least as a possible 2 ranged cannon.
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2014, 02:00:46 PM »
I'll give it a shot...

That's better! Our programmer for OCTGN vents his frustration...
I will try my best to defend your cards, lettucemode (though most are really hard to justify)

Hellfire Trap - don't get me ranting about Mandatory Reveal
It would be so much more fun if Traps were not Mandatory Reveal
It's Dark 1, isn't it? So it's a 1SP Fire spell for Necro against Druid?

Animal Kinship - this is a Timmy card., right?
So that Timmy can boast my Beastmaster is +11 Armour and attacks for Melee +12!
(He forgets to mention his opponent was asleep and left him unmolested to do this)
Yes, this one is there with Gate to Hell in my books

Animate Dead - well, you can Wand this unlike Rise Again
Again for the type of player who doesn't want to win the game
Just kill every enemy creature then bring them back as zombies
Especially laughing at his Zombie Valshalla as it gets angrier
Sadly. his opponent will be attacking himself to end the pain...

Earthquake - I reckon it will become more useful
It's good at killing vines, damaging flowers and trees
I believe Earthquake is a "sleeper card" for the future
My issue with it is it's so meh, it's just this little tremor
Earthquake! should be Epic. arena wide, damaging all non-flying objects
"Did the earth move for you when I cast that spell?" - er, not really mate

Circle of Fire - agree Lightning is so much better
Especially since Dragonscale and Clloak is everywhere
Also all those creatures with Flame -2 or Lightning +2
But only Air Wizard pays 2SPs for a Circle of Lightning
A Druid who has run out of Dispels may not like it much
Burn is also a good weapon against Resilient Zombies
If Swarm becomes more popular, I could see it played
In fact, after Forged In Fire, this could be played more

Force Wave - this is the only spell in your list that I like
Yes, I've had some fun with Force Wave and Zombies
But the most fun I had was with my Jelly Hoover build
4 Jellies + Wand of Force Waves pushing them around
Only problem is when you hit the wall edges or corners
It was a hilarious fun build as locals are sick of Teleport
Force Wave is also ok vs. Swarm, there's an old post on it
Wall of Thorns is a very cheap way for spread damage

Repulse - ok, this I cannot defend really because random
If only it wasn't random but instead all in 1 chosen direction

Giant Wolf Spider - how much? For those stats? Next please.
And to add insult to injury, it's not even animal for synergy!
(Yes, arthropod) - I see other insects appearing in promos.

Staff of Beasts - this could be easily saved with this support card:
"When this mage heals a target, pay to remove 1 condition on it"
I believe this Paladin card is needed to make active healing better
We can't all be carrying Healing Wands in our left hands, it's silly!

So, in summary. here is where I stand with your list, Lettucemode:
Needs the Right Build - Force Wave
Awaiting Future Cards - Earthquake. Circle of Fire, Staff of Beasts
Only for Casual Play - Hellfire Trap, Animate Dead, Giant Wolf Spider
Lowest Plane of Hell - Animal Kinship, Repulse

Maybe others have found interesting uses for these subpar cards?
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

sIKE

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 4172
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Ugh
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2014, 02:21:37 PM »
Once again I find these conversations very interesting. I played a Druid last week, who towards the end of the game I pushed a zone to the right and threw up two walls from top to bottom in-between my NC/FC zones, dividing the board in half. I then through a Hell Fire Trap (Druids don't like fire) at the bottom of the board. Now he had to go through it or Dispel it. IMHO a Win Win for me. Board control against a Druid, imagine that. The time it bought me, allowed me to get all of my slow/lumbering zombies together for one last frenzy of a meal.

Doesn't always work, but when it does.....
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 02:24:23 PM by sIKE »
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

IndyPendant

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Banana Stickers 2
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2014, 03:22:32 PM »
Heh.  All right, I'll try my hand at this too:

Useless cards: (Definition: would never ever see in a spellbook, nor could I ever imagine a way it could ever become useful; waste of cardboard.)
Akiro's Battle Cry, Gate to Hell.

Almost useless cards: (Definition: useless except in very rare/niche circumstances, and even then almost certainly still not worth including since it is so terrible.)
Akiro's Hammer, Animal Kinship, Barracks, Colossus Belt, Defense Ring, Destroy Magic, Divine Might, Earth Elemental, Earthquake, Fellela Pixie Familiar, Force Bash, Giant Wolf Spider, Goblin Bomber, Horn of Gothos, Ichthellid, Invisible Stalker, Lay Hands, Mountain Gorilla, Pentagram, Repulse, Resurrection, Samara Tree, Screech Harpy, Staff of Beasts, Teleport, Temple of Light, Whirling Strike.

Interesting: I would have thought I would have more Useless cards, and less Almost Useless.  If people are interested, I might do another post describing why some of those cards ended up in the Almost Useless category.  Now for some disagreements about selections by other players:

Force Wave: I'm in agreement with DB on this.  I also had one fun moment when I was trying to make a version of his BM Swarm deck work, where my opponent's mage had Eagleclaw Boots on: I used Force Wave to push all of his and my own creatures through a Wall of Thorns.  Then my own creatures (all level 1) simply ran back through to attack the mage with +3 from Rajan's Furies.  Niche card rarely included, but can be rather useful when it is.

Animate Dead: I actually prefer this to Rise Again: you have complete control of when and where you get the creature, you can select from anything in the discard pile when it's cast, it can't be Dispelled, and it costs less mana.

Circle of Fire: Reasonably good in the current meta, and while CoL is definitely better, I don't think it's +2 spellbook points better for a Warlock/Firewizard, for example.

Hellfire Trap: Situational use that can actually be somewhat useful in those situations.  Not my favourite card, but there are lot of cards that are much, much worse.

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: Categorizing Power Levels of Spells in Mage Wars
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2014, 03:31:16 PM »
Teleport

I would be interested in hearing why you believe Teleport is almost useless.

Samara Tree

The value of Samara Tree (and, more specifically, Seedling Pod) is in the delayed actions that it allows. Essentially, Seedling Pods allow you to put off making a decision about what to cast until you have seen your opponent's move, without having to waste one of your own actions. They are also useful on the rare occasion that you have nothing to do with your action. If you have a Samara Tree, then for a small fee (2 Mana per turn or 1 if harmonized) you can bank an action every turn indefinitely, until the tree is destroyed. I have found Samara Tree/Seedling Pod to be very useful. The point is to give yourself flexibility in the future, when you may need it. I would include Seedling Pods even in a deck without a Samara Tree, but the Tree is a nice option for a low cost.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 03:37:20 PM by ACG »