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Author Topic: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)  (Read 23653 times)

baronzaltor

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2014, 03:42:06 PM »
I was just pointing out that she has the ability to cast it pretty much anywhere the fastest, for whatever purposes that may be.

AsianChexMix

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2014, 09:35:42 PM »
I just want to gain some kudos to you for your win and report. It truly made me sit back and think more about this game and how to tinker with my books based on my meta. Very insightful and love seeing it all work out!
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2014, 10:35:06 PM »
I think I'll start a separate thread for the Summoning Circle. I'd like to keep this one focused on explaining how awesome Alexander is :)
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Biblofilter

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2014, 02:26:48 PM »
@Alexander first a big congrats on the win! and then a big thank you for posting this and the tourney report.

In another tread you discussed Akiro´s Favor:
and the roll of the dice...

Mage Wars is actually great as far as dice variance goes.  I love that they made cards like Akiro's Favor, which are essentially insurance on dice outcomes.  Additionally, as a player you get to choose whether you play a high variance strategy or a low variance strategy.  Some kinds of books are *much* more dependent on a few die rolls than others, whether because the latter book uses fewer die-based mechanics, or rolls *so many* dice that any specific die roll isn't a big deal.

Creatures like Emerald Tegu, Sosusko and Darkfenne Bat becomes a lot better with Akiro´s.

I think Emerald Tegu goes from 33% to ~50% to make a rot,
Sosusko goes from 50% to ~75% to taunt,
and Darkfenne Bat goes from 25% to ~37%.

I think Emerald Tegu now is a stronger candidate to replace yours/anybodys Timber Wolfs.
As you cannot have 8 Thunder Falcons - 1 or 2 Darkfenne Bats might be an option?

And i think Sosusko is a big actiontreat?

The downside on Akiro´s favor is probably the action/time you take to cast it..
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Alexander West

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2014, 12:19:53 AM »
@Bilbofilter:

Thanks for the congratulations, I'm glad you enjoyed the report and these posts.  :)

Akiro's Favor is a card I'm pretty excited about.  One of the things I immediately thought to do, and almost made it into The Aviary was a Sosruko, Ferret Companion + Akiro's Favor package.  My thought was that the mana was worth spending against most solo mages because the ferret could put them at a huge action deficit.  Andrew talked me down from this plan, pointing out that enchanting Sosruko now made a 10 mana target that could easily be killed by a single Flameblast or Perfect Strike.  I'm pretty leery of setting myself up for trading down mana, so I backed off the idea.

In retrospect, I think I would have very much liked a Sosruko against Nick Tinko's Fire Wizard, possibly against Andrew's Forcemaster, and likely vs. Harry's Warlock.  Being able to waste a solo mage's main action, and possibly stop them from moving is very, very powerful.  What I don't think I realized was that Etherian Lifetree is just as helpful to the ferret as to the falcons.  I wouldn't always play lifetree just to support Sosruko, but if I had a lifetree, it becomes reasonable to enchant the ferret due to his increased survivability.

As far as bats go, I like them, particularly against high armor opponents.  Andrew and I seriously considered including a few as "falcons 7 and 8".  Getting to rot through armor can cause a lot of trouble, and tax people's condition removal resources.  However, I don't very much like the idea of enchanting them, as a 3 point enchantment is a big investment on a 5 point bat.  For just two points I could get another bat, which will double my rots, instead of increasing them by only 50% and putting a lot of eggs in a tiny basket.  Enchanting a Tegu makes a bit more sense to me, a third of the cost of the animal for 50% more rot sounds good if what you want is more rotting.

Edit:  I feel where Akiro's Blessing is really going to shine is the near-solo mage who is relying on a lot of Burn/Corrode/Stun or can't afford to have below average damage dice.  Probably a Warlock, Forcemaster, or aggressive flavor of Wizard?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 03:48:12 AM by Alexander West »
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BoomFrog

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2014, 09:04:18 AM »
In the week before Gencon when we actually put our books together bats never even got considered.  If we had talked about it I'm sure we would have put 1 or 2 in, they are clearly a good choice.  Once you have 3-4 falcons out and your opponent has no creatures then you have dominance over the creature fight.  At that point a bat quick cast on top of the enemy mage will not be likely to need fast and the 1/3rd rot is better then the 1 lost attack die when attacking a mage.

On a side not, we were originally considering Alexander's deck to be a hyper agro deck like my forcemaster, but in retrospect after the tournament it is clearly a control deck.  You gain an incremental advantage over your opponent from the efficiency of falcons and then spend all your mana and actions negating the rest of your opponents play.  In that context 5-6 dissolves and acid balls makes a lot more sense.

Alexander West

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2014, 10:37:54 AM »
@BoomFrog:
In the week before Gencon when we actually put our books together bats never even got considered.  If we had talked about it I'm sure we would have put 1 or 2 in, they are clearly a good choice.

Well, I probably should have thought about them out loud instead of only to myself.  I removed them in my initial cuts before I talked to you about the book because they didn't have Fast.  It wasn't clear to me that they were a good choice until we discussed them after the tournament.

On a side note, we were originally considering Alexander's deck to be a hyper agro deck like my forcemaster, but in retrospect after the tournament it is clearly a control deck.  You gain an incremental advantage over your opponent from the efficiency of falcons and then spend all your mana and actions negating the rest of your opponents play.

Yeah, I was thinking about this after the tournament!  I think it's actually economy-aggro.  This is to say that its first stage is economic development in the form of Lair (investing 15 in +2 mana / turn and +1 action / turn), and then immediately changes gears to maximum aggression (for a Nature mage).  This feels like pure aggression against a lot of books, but explains why I always felt on the back foot when playing against more aggressive books on the spectrum.  Your Forcemaster is also economy-aggro, but much more emphasis on aggro because you spend 7 fewer early mana on economy, and the aggressive cards you buy into have a faster payback than mine do.

I kept thinking my nightmare matchup would be a 100% aggressive mage who just ran at me and then unleashed a stream of Fireballs, Explodes, and Hurl Boulders.  Any mage who could convert their first 46-50 mana (4 turns) into 36+ damage is scary, and will easily beat the rate the falcons can kill someone even with punching backup from a Beastmaster.  (Falcons can't kill until the end of turn 4, where this hypothetical aggressive mage would probably kill at the beginning of turn 4.)

« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 10:43:22 AM by Alexander West »
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Biblofilter

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2014, 11:42:51 AM »
Well i only own five Thunder Falcons so that makes bats an obvious choice  :)
I was thinking about making the bat pet instead?
Summoning it early would be nice, but thats probably to slow?
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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2014, 12:51:44 PM »
Against a hyper-agressive Attack Spell book, since Togorah isn't really an option, I wonder if the best strategy isn't damaging disruption. You've already got Dancing Scimitar, Reverse Attack, and Wall of Thorns/Force Push. A Rolling Fog might help with blocking LOS, and once the opponent is forced into melee, things like Defend and Circle of Lightning can help, too, as long as you've got a solid creature to put them on (Dire Wolf? Bridge Troll? Dragonclaw Wolverine?).

I do think the biggest weakness of this book is its vulnerability to being hated out, but playing it this year at Gencon was an inspired metagame choice.
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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2014, 01:26:01 PM »
Congratulations on your win!

It seems every time someone asks a question about your spellbook it just looks tougher and tougher. Are you on OCTGN? Everyone's going to want to play against you on there now--including me!
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zot

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2014, 09:30:25 PM »
"
I kept thinking my nightmare matchup would be a 100% aggressive mage who just ran at me and then unleashed a stream of Fireballs, Explodes, and Hurl Boulders.  Any mage who could convert their first 46-50 mana (4 turns) into 36+ damage is scary, and will easily beat the rate the falcons can kill someone even with punching backup from a Beastmaster.  (Falcons can't kill until the end of turn 4, where this hypothetical aggressive mage would probably kill at the beginning of turn 4.)
"

Which is why i mentioned that i would have liked a matchup against you. Alas, I made a huge mental error against Nick in round 2. Of course easy to say in hindsight. Otherwise you might have had your nightmare scenario. In fact, that is exactly the same way I should have played against Nick. Bad misjudgement on my part.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 09:32:30 PM by zot »

Alexander West

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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2014, 11:20:14 PM »
Alas, I made a huge mental error against Nick in round 2. Of course easy to say in hindsight. Otherwise you might have had your nightmare scenario. In fact, that is exactly the same way I should have played against Nick. Bad misjudgement on my part.

Interesting.  I think Nick's book is close to the best possible against this "pure aggression" mage.  Having Battle Forge, multiple copies of Dragonscale Hauberk, Veteran's Belt and plenty of armor and healing seems like the right combination of tools and actions to blunt a concerted assault?

The reason I think The Aviary is so weak to this line of play is that it's investing mana in aggression instead of defense, and only has token copies of armor and healing.
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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2014, 08:25:45 AM »
Did anyone play zone attacks against your birds  or a few bigger flyers to eat'em? Anyone try to Fireball your tree?

I read in the report that the wizards didn't really use Arcane Zap, which is really odd to me.  And even against non-swarm, a zone attack can still be pretty good if you catch the opponent and a conjuration in the same zone, though ideally there'd be more than that. 

I usually put in at least 1 zone attack or if I'm playing Necro, Poison Gas Cloud.  If you can time them correctly, their efficiency is pretty ridiculous.
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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2014, 08:58:09 AM »
Destroying the Tree is probably a good way to deal with this book since the birds are very vulnerable without the tree!
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Re: The Straywood Aviary (GenCon 2014 Championship Spellbook)
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2014, 09:36:28 AM »
Did anyone play zone attacks against your birds  or a few bigger flyers to eat'em? Anyone try to Fireball your tree?

I read in the report that the wizards didn't really use Arcane Zap, which is really odd to me.  And even against non-swarm, a zone attack can still be pretty good if you catch the opponent and a conjuration in the same zone, though ideally there'd be more than that. 

I usually put in at least 1 zone attack or if I'm playing Necro, Poison Gas Cloud.  If you can time them correctly, their efficiency is pretty ridiculous.
I am very used to Hawkeye on a Wizard using Arcane Zap. Making it a 4 dice 2 zone ranged attack. Combined with a small 0-1 ranged attack can deal out some good damage.
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