July 15, 2019, 05:36:34 PM

Author Topic: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?  (Read 10332 times)

Arlemus

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2014, 08:51:20 PM »
I agree, Arlemus, that both the Forcemaster and the Warlord suffer from their weak schools more than any other mage. They are the only ones that are actually required to dip into their weak schools in order to make a viable build. However, the Forcemaster's play style is much better supported by the current card pool. She was actually considered overpowered for a brief time, before errata to Battle Fury. Her power has been in steady decline since her release, however, and the weakness for creatures is definitely holding her back from where she would otherwise be, but she remains viable because the cards still support her being super aggressive and killing her opponent before they have time to properly respond.

In comparison, the Warlord seems to want to swarm the field. There's already debate about swarms even being viable, and so many people would consider that to start him off with a handicap. Then you add in that his spawnpoint has not been considered very good, and his swarming play style goes down the drain. Finally, his Veterans ability is somewhat subpar because he has no control over it or any way to predict it's usefulness. It depends entirely on what strategy and creatures his opponent decides to use as to whether it is any good. All of the Forcemaster's abilities are good. The weak school tax definitely exacerbates things, but it's not the only thing.

That's taking a look at how things stand pre Forged in Fire. The errata to Garrison Post and all of the new cards being released will definitely change the playing field. But you are correct that the weak school tax affects both the Warlord and Forcemaster, it's just that there's a lot more going against the Warlord. I do not consider him unplayable like some have stated. I've seen him do very well with an Elite Squad of troops. However, he is definitely the most handicapped of the mages.

Well I think you targeted the problem, but it's not with the Warlord, it's with how people understand the Warlord and then play him based on those understandings.

I agree that many people see the Warlord as a "swarm" mage, and I thought so too for a while after he came out, but it's a false view of him.  Another false view of him, one I also believed for some time, is that he is a leader of an "elite squad."  The truth about the Warlord, one I hope other people start to recognize, is that he is a leader of an efficient army.

The problem with swarming as the Warlord is that he simply has no real ability to swarm, and it doesn't have anything to do with his spawnpoint.  To be a "swarm" mage, you need the be able to bring in as many creatures as possible every turn.  The two mages that I would say have the ability to swarm are the male BM and the Necro.  Both the BM and the Necro can, if played to support it, bring out 3 creatures every turn.  The BM accomplishes this through his full action, quicksummoing, and lair; the necro accomplishes this through his full action, Mortos, and graveyard.  In comparison, the Warlord has only his full action and spawnpoint.  If you're going to swarm, however viable it may or may not be, you simply shouldn't do it with the warlord because he has no ability to bring out any more creatures than the standard 2 a turn.  The reason people believe he needs to swarm is largely because of implications brought about by Standard Bearer and Akiro's Battle Cry.  While both these cards benefit from having a large amount of creatures, it isn't enough reason to believe that the Warlord can or should swarm. 

Now lets look at the "elite squad" build.  This build generally centers around having a few "elite" units that you support.  I believe this build is more viable because it's at least not weak to zone attacks, chain lightning, etc, and at least battle orders help you to support your "elite squad" in some small way.  The problem with this build is similar in concept to the problem with his swarm build; the Warlord simply doesn't have any innate ability to protect/support his troops, other than his situational battle orders.  Basically, the priestess can and does do the same thing (larger creature support) and is better at it.  She doesn't have to pay triple for dispel (for the inevitable curses, etc, that will be placed on your bigger creatures), but more importantly she has an innate ability to counter status conditions like sleep, stuck, etc, which are the biggest downfall to big, or expensive creatures (IMHO).

So, after experiencing these two problematic archetypes for myself as Warlord, I finally came to the conclusion that the Warlord is instead the commander of an efficient army.  This means a few key things to me:

First, the centerpiece of your soldier army is the orc butcher.  Butchers are hands down one of the most (if not the most) efficiently costed units in the game.  Butchers are the lowest cost way to access a creature with a 4 dice attack (IIRC), and they are extremely efficient at 10hp and 1amor for 8 mana.  Butchers are not really worth enchanting because while they are efficient, they aren't the sturdiest to gain enchantment value from, but that's OK because as a level 2 creature that means they aren't worth cursing or controlling either, and they're also prime targets for temporary buffs (aka commands/incantations). 

Second, you're going to be using barracks, but you aren't going to "spam."  You're going to get board presence with butchers, because they are the most efficient way to do so, and answer the other mage in an appropriate way (acid ball armor stacking, making a bigger soldier, etc).  Most of my games I average 3 butchers.  I wouldn't consider that a spam; use grunts to fill in for butchers on turns you need more mana, and minor heal the butchers when they get to half hp or lower.

Lastly, meditation amulet.  Meditation amulet is the generator that fuels the Warlord's efficient army.  It makes up for the relatively costly opening, and gives your full action the best way to generically influence the game, i.e. mana.

It feels like I'm explaining a particular build now, but I think it's for the best.  It's obviously more complicated than that but I'll stop here.  I'll agree that the Warlord had problems (like dealing with armor pre-DvN) but after DvN and especially now after the outpost errata, I think he's no worse than any other mage, and better than some.  I know it's heresy to think think the Warlord is a good, even strong, mage but I really don't think there's anything going against him that isn't player based, rather than game based.

TL;DR:

1) The warlord has no swarm capacity.
2) The warlord is no better or worse at supporting an "elite squad" than another mage (maybe slightly).
3) The warlord DOES have access to extremely efficient creatures and commands that give him an edge.
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Zuberi

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2014, 03:07:49 AM »
I don't mean to sound mean, but nothing in that post made me think any higher of the Warlord. Your suggestion does not sound like any kind of brilliant insight that we've all been missing. The tactic you stated might be fairly viable, but it's not incredibly powerful and still suffers from the Warlord's limitations which would bring him below the level of otherwise equally viable tactics. In short, he's still the most handicapped.

Again, I don't claim that he's unplayable. You might be able to win with the tactic you gave, or with an Elite Squad tactic, but you are going to have a harder time than other mages using otherwise equally viable tactics because of your limitations. Arcane is an unavoidable tax, Veterans is an unreliable ability, and Battle Orders becomes less powerful with less creatures (as do several of his spells). That's looking just at the weaknesses of the mage which have nothing to do with the player playing him.

Arlemus

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2014, 08:12:15 AM »
I don't mean to sound mean, but nothing in that post made me think any higher of the Warlord. Your suggestion does not sound like any kind of brilliant insight that we've all been missing. The tactic you stated might be fairly viable, but it's not incredibly powerful and still suffers from the Warlord's limitations which would bring him below the level of otherwise equally viable tactics. In short, he's still the most handicapped.

Again, I don't claim that he's unplayable. You might be able to win with the tactic you gave, or with an Elite Squad tactic, but you are going to have a harder time than other mages using otherwise equally viable tactics because of your limitations. Arcane is an unavoidable tax, Veterans is an unreliable ability, and Battle Orders becomes less powerful with less creatures (as do several of his spells). That's looking just at the weaknesses of the mage which have nothing to do with the player playing him.

I didn't claim it was "brilliant insight," but my main point was that people don't know how to play the Warlord.  They try to do things he can't do, and thus fail.  They spam grunts, put a standard bearer on something a little meatier, then cry when zone attacks tear their frail army all down anyway.  They then blame "omg triple arcane so awful" as the reason, when realistically he doesn't pay any more for triple arcane that isn't made up for by the fact that he has access to efficient creatures.  Something the almighty wizard doesn't have, outside of the blue gremlin (in school).  Having to teleport slow creatures around the map is incredibly inefficient, but no one ever talks about that.  To the contrary, some say slow isn't even that bad of a trait because of teleport.

Veteran is situational, battle orders is situational.  Does that mean they're bad or that you should spam grunts or w/e in a futile attempt to make them less situational? I don't think so.  Even if you battle orders a single creature, and don't even have his ring out, you're still only pay 1 mana for 1 die, and a 1:1 ratio of mana and dice is still great.

I recently played a game on octgn against an earth wizard that used battleforge to stack armor and vet belt, then drop big creatures and teleported me into them.  People seem to thing this strategy is top tier, like most things wizard, but I honestly I didn't have that much trouble playing against it as Warlord, the game was pretty even the entire time. 

I do think the problem is with the players, mostly.  If the mindset is "swarm" or "elite squad," FiF isn't going to help that, at least not from any of the cards previewed.
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Zuberi

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2014, 10:26:00 AM »
If your position is that situational abilities and fewer spellpoints due to an unavoidable tax are not detrimental, then I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree. I do believe that Forged in Fire will help with the problems I perceive by giving more synergy to his spells and abilities and reducing the pain of the Arcane tax.

Arlemus

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2014, 10:51:59 AM »
If your position is that situational abilities and fewer spellpoints due to an unavoidable tax are not detrimental, then I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree. I do believe that Forged in Fire will help with the problems I perceive by giving more synergy to his spells and abilities and reducing the pain of the Arcane tax.

Obviously that's an unreasonable position.  At this point I'm realizing my arguments have been falling on deaf ears.  I'm merely saying that taken in context, the detriments the Warlord has are at least cancelled, if not overcome, by his access to a relatively nice set of in school creatures.  Also, there are ways to get rid of/negate enchantments besides the end all be all Dispel.     
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Aylin

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2014, 01:55:52 PM »
Obviously that's an unreasonable position.  At this point I'm realizing my arguments have been falling on deaf ears.  I'm merely saying that taken in context, the detriments the Warlord has are at least cancelled, if not overcome, by his access to a relatively nice set of in school creatures.  Also, there are ways to get rid of/negate enchantments besides the end all be all Dispel.   

Arlemus, you're being ridiculous.

The Warlord is terrible for many different reasons, one of which is the triple Arcane cost. It is not the only reason.

The biggest reason is that the War school is so incredibly weak compared to any other major school! All those War incantations you like so much? Everyone one worth using is level 1. Every. Single. One.

So could you please stop turning every thread into, "The Warlord isn't weak, all of you just don't know how to play correctly!!11!"? We've all gone over why the Warlord is underpowered and needs buffs dozens of times before.

Now, FiF will change how the Warlord ranks. They're adding things to the War school to address nearly every major concern, so after it's released the Warlord might be a force to be reckoned with. But until then nobody is going to take a Warlord book seriously unless you can give some hard evidence that we should. Saying that the Orc Butcher is the cheapest creature with a 4-dice attack and it works as long as you spend all your quick actions buffing them for one turn isn't going to cut it.

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2014, 04:01:18 PM »
Obviously that's an unreasonable position.  At this point I'm realizing my arguments have been falling on deaf ears.  I'm merely saying that taken in context, the detriments the Warlord has are at least cancelled, if not overcome, by his access to a relatively nice set of in school creatures.  Also, there are ways to get rid of/negate enchantments besides the end all be all Dispel.   

Arlemus, you're being ridiculous.

The Warlord is terrible for many different reasons, one of which is the triple Arcane cost. It is not the only reason.

The biggest reason is that the War school is so incredibly weak compared to any other major school! All those War incantations you like so much? Everyone one worth using is level 1. Every. Single. One.

So could you please stop turning every thread into, "The Warlord isn't weak, all of you just don't know how to play correctly!!11!"? We've all gone over why the Warlord is underpowered and needs buffs dozens of times before.

Now, FiF will change how the Warlord ranks. They're adding things to the War school to address nearly every major concern, so after it's released the Warlord might be a force to be reckoned with. But until then nobody is going to take a Warlord book seriously unless you can give some hard evidence that we should. Saying that the Orc Butcher is the cheapest creature with a 4-dice attack and it works as long as you spend all your quick actions buffing them for one turn isn't going to cut it.

When people stop turning every post into a tier list, I'll stop defending the Warlord.  Until then, you're just going to have to learn to deal.

And it's not just the Warlord I have to defend.  There was a thread about how Togorah was horrible, and the arguments made for him being terrible were, themselves, terrible.  Arguments were made that you could just make two smaller, mid-range creatures for his cost and it would be better.  It makes no sense to say "oh, well I could just have 2 raptor vines for his cost" when they do completely different things.

Similarly for this thread, people ranked the Warlord lowest, mainly because of triple arcane, and then pointed the OP to a FM book that pays triple for 2 grizzlies.  I proposed the fact that it makes literally no sense to put down the warlord for needing ~24 book points for arcane utility spells, but then recommend a FM build that needs ~24 book points for creatures.

And since when did I say I liked War incantations  ???? All I said was butchers are a good target for them.  Sure, I like power strike some but I didn't reference it in this thread.  I don't think I've ever referenced any war incantations even outside of this thread besides power strike, and that was in an entirely different topic. 

Point is, I never even said I liked them, I don't particularly like any of them that much; most are utilitarian, so I don't your whole spiel about me liking them.

However, I will defend them.  How exactly does them, "every. single. one," being level 1 make them weak?  Sure, it means easy access for every mage basically, but that doesn't inherently make them weak.  Dispel and nullify are both level 1, and they're "god mode, OP, omg, great."  Dissolve is "amazing" and it's level 1.  Sure, I'd like some more that would likely end up being higher level due to their effects, like a stronger power strike, but that doesn't make the others inherently bad for being level 1.

And I'm not saying everyone who complains about the Warlord is bad at playing him, but it's a lot easier to say "these cards suck, this mage sucks, etc" than to improve your gameplay and fix your book.  I seriously doubt anyone who claims "Warlord pays triple for arcane, bottom tier" has even given built a Warlord book they're invested in at all in the recent past.  It takes very little effort to claim something is bad, people do it with nearly every card in this game that isn't wizard related. 

Combustion was just previewed and immediately, even though no one has even played the card (minus playtesters), so many were complaining it was terrible.  I happen to think that to fully judge a card you need to play it first. 

So, no, I'm not being ridiculous.  I don't care if you think so.  I don't "like war incantations so much," I never said I did.  They're OK.  I never said you should "spend all your quick actions buffing them," again you pulled that straight out of nowhere.  I think people are too dismissive of the Warlord because of triple arcane and it leads people to never play him, and you aren't going to be good with something you don't play. 

Look, I'm not going to agree with you, and believe me I know you're not going to agree with me, but the least you could do is treat my opinion with some respect instead of sitting on your high horse calling me ridiculous.  I don't agree with you, but I'm not rude enough to treat your opinion like dirt.
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Lord0fWinter

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2014, 04:23:29 PM »
I considered not posting this cause I'm not trying to add fuel to the fire, but oh well...


When people stop turning every post into a tier list, I'll stop defending the Warlord.  Until then, you're just going to have to learn to deal.


I would assume you're exaggerating, b/c although this does get talked about alot (And I don't see why it's wrong to tell a new player what the general consensus is when he asked), it is hardly talked about in every post, so that is just false. I already went back and said I should have just referred him to another thread that talked about it, but if it so offends you, I apologize.


Similarly for this thread, people ranked the Warlord lowest, mainly because of triple arcane, and then pointed the OP to a FM book that pays triple for 2 grizzlies.  I proposed the fact that it makes literally no sense to put down the warlord for needing ~24 book points for arcane utility spells, but then recommend a FM build that needs ~24 book points for creatures.


I would ask that you take whatever spellbook you would like to make and play it against that FM book about 10 times and see who comes out on top more often.


However, I will defend them.  How exactly does them, "every. single. one," being level 1 make them weak?  Sure, it means easy access for every mage basically, but that doesn't inherently make them weak.  Dispel and nullify are both level 1, and they're "god mode, OP, omg, great."  Dissolve is "amazing" and it's level 1.  Sure, I'd like some more that would likely end up being higher level due to their effects, like a stronger power strike, but that doesn't make the others inherently bad for being level 1.


Well, IMO the War school is unfairly represented with their incantations b/c most of them are novice, so every Mage only pays 1 for them, nomatter what their training is. Most other incantations from other school are not.


And I'm not saying everyone who complains about the Warlord is bad at playing him, but it's a lot easier to say "these cards suck, this mage sucks, etc" than to improve your gameplay and fix your book.  I seriously doubt anyone who claims "Warlord pays triple for arcane, bottom tier" has even given built a Warlord book they're invested in at all in the recent past.  It takes very little effort to claim something is bad, people do it with nearly every card in this game that isn't wizard related. 



Similarly to what Aylin and Zuberi said, just taking the Warlord and looking at his abilities, he is one of the weaker Mages. Obviously a Mage's abilities aren't the only thing that matters in a game, but it's still the place to start when comparing with the other Mages. Veteran markers are not reliable to make your soldiers better and the Battle Orders support a swarm style build, or at least they get more effective the more creatures you have. But he does not have the capacity to swarm. I agree that many of the War school creatures are good though. FiF will change all this and I see him rising up the tiers significantly.


Combustion was just previewed and immediately, even though no one has even played the card (minus playtesters), so many were complaining it was terrible.  I happen to think that to fully judge a card you need to play it first. 


Agree with you here. It'll have its place in spellbooks, and those who are judging it beforehand (unless they're a playtester and have used it), shouldn't hate so much on it before trying it. The Meditation Amulet got a bunch of hate when it first came out but many people have turned around on it. With Combustion, of course you'd rather have the Burn markers on whatever object they are on, but this card can be played as a finisher for a spike in damage.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2014, 04:58:42 PM »
If your position is that situational abilities and fewer spellpoints due to an unavoidable tax are not detrimental, then I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree. I do believe that Forged in Fire will help with the problems I perceive by giving more synergy to his spells and abilities and reducing the pain of the Arcane tax.

Obviously that's an unreasonable position.  At this point I'm realizing my arguments have been falling on deaf ears.  I'm merely saying that taken in context, the detriments the Warlord has are at least cancelled, if not overcome, by his access to a relatively nice set of in school creatures.  Also, there are ways to get rid of/negate enchantments besides the end all be all Dispel.     

You both have good points. I made a post a while back (don't know where it is) about how the warlord is meant to be played and how people probably are not playing him right, but that fell on deaf ears too. The arcane tax and his abilities being situational is detrimental. In fact, I don't think Arlemus was disagreeing about that. However, I think he is right that a big part of the problem is that people aren't playing him right.

The blood wave warlord wants territory. His battle orders:

To battle! Gives charge +1. Soldiers gain extra attack power when entering enemy territory

On  guard! gives melee and armor +1 while guarding. Helps his soldiers protect the territory they've already gained.

Release volley! Can help keep enemies at bay and also help clear the way for melee attackers to charge into enemy zone and increase their foothold.

Veterans ability rewards soldiers who succeed in gaining territory.

For creatures to big to destroy in battle efficiently, quicksand tanglevine, or simply hold them off some other way like with walls while you achieve your objectives.

You want to checkmate the enemy mage. You want them in a position where they have nowhere to go, where anywhere they move they are in the line of fire, and that they are already within the line of fire.

You can try going blitzkrieg and take your enemy by surprise by sending goblins to guard all the key zones before those zones are claimed by using barracks and garrison posts and heavy use of on guard!, or you can go slower and muscle your way through with your buddy thorg and claim your territory with him and you're mage alone (perhaps using ivarium longbow in this case), or do the strategy that's slower than goblins but faster than buddying with thorg, and summon Orc butchers.

Goblins are low mana cost so it's easy to summon a lot of them to guard lots of zones quickly, but theyre also more fragile so you need to defeat the mage quickly before you lose the territory you gained, hence "blitzkrieg"

Thorg is tougher and and he can help his master clear a path through the arena with brute force, moving the line of battle closer and closer to the enemy mage, abandoning old territories for newer ones either when advancing or retreating.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 05:16:18 PM by Imaginator »
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Aylin

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2014, 08:32:04 PM »
Arlemus,

The difference between the Warlord and the 2x Grizzly Forcemaster book is that the Forcemaster book has been built, tested, and performs quite well. When you can come back with with a Warlord book that is actually effective against other players of a similar skill level, and can prove this, then we'll talk.

-Aylin

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2014, 01:04:25 AM »
Arlemus,

The difference between the Warlord and the 2x Grizzly Forcemaster book is that the Forcemaster book has been built, tested, and performs quite well. When you can come back with with a Warlord book that is actually effective against other players of a similar skill level, and can prove this, then we'll talk.

-Aylin

That's not a bad idea.  I'll try to post my build by tomorrow, it might help someone.   I've used it against octogon players, as well as my IRL friends, and it does well.  It's hard to prove anything, but I'll see what I can do.
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ahzrab

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2014, 07:27:44 AM »
Can a Mod please split this thread?
Half of the discussion has nothing to do with the initial topic.

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Re: Current Tier-1 Spellbooks?
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2014, 05:03:15 PM »
Sigh, another "tier list" thread  ::) .  Is there any way we can consolidate these? 

I can't be the only one who sees the hypocrisy of putting down the warlord for paying triple arcane, but recommending a book list that pays triple for grizzly bears.

I could but I would need all the links. Do not have time to search till after Origins and by then I will have forgot about this.  :P
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