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Author Topic: The Mage Scale and Matchups  (Read 6902 times)

reddawn

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The Mage Scale and Matchups
« on: November 21, 2014, 08:47:28 PM »
Concept: Create a scale that rates/lists mages based generally on whether that mage excels in the early, mid, or late game

For those who don't really know what "X"-game means, the term refers to how much stuff has happened since the start of the game, usually measured by the amount of cards in play. So, "early-game" would be the first few or so rounds of the game when neither player has played many cards, "midgame" would be when both players have some cards, and "lategame" is when you would expect both players to have played many cards. A mage's stats and the kinds of cards he or she has access determines where they fall on the scale of early, middle, or lategame.

My list, in early/mid/late-game order:


Forcemaster - Straywood Beastmaster - Arraxian Crown Warlock - Priest - Johktari Beastmaster - Bloodwave Warlord - Anvil Throne Warlord - Adramelech Warlock - Druid - Wizard - Necromancer - Priestess.

Generally, the mages nearer to the beginning of the list want to be applying pressure through attacks on the opposing mage, whereas the mages nearer to the end focus more on getting more mana and cards.  Depending on the mage you're playing and the mage your opponent is playing, you may want to be playing more offensively or defensively than you anticipated; that's fundamentally what a matchup is.


Granted, that I still have a lot to learn :D, I attribute a lot of my better playing/deckbuilding to recognizing how a particular mage relates to the other mages in terms of how I should spend mana in a given matchup.  Maybe knowing matchups comes to some players naturally, but Mage Wars gives the player access to so many choices at once that knowing which choice is right can be overwhelming.  This is doubly complicated in that, once you start playing against tougher opponents, you're also trying to out-think your opponent at the same time, preparing a counter for the counter you expect :o.

That's when a mental exercise like the "mage scale" is useful; by knowing where each mage sits, you can cut through the "analysis paralysis" and narrow down your choices during deckbuilding and during a match.  Sometimes the answer to what you should be playing or how to counter your opponent isn't obvious, but knowing how the mages in that game basically relate to each other can at least point you in the right direction.

I'd like to see other players' "mage scales" too  :)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 08:50:46 PM by reddawn »
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Sailor Vulcan

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The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 12:56:53 AM »
Why did you put the straywood beastmaster before the Arraxian warlock? And you listed the wizard as one mage, which is not quite that accurate if you're talking about strategic playstyle and whether they want to play a long or short game.

Tbh, I think it varies more with the spellbook archetype. Grizzly pet plays VERY differently from falcon swarm.  I don't think there is a main point on the scale where you can approximate beastmasters in general to. although there are tendencies.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 11:14:56 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Wildhorn

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 01:29:08 AM »
It depend way more about how the spellbook is build than the mage itself. It is very possibe to build a very agressive priestess (Divine intervention vampiress anyone?) like it is possible to build a very end-game Forcemaster.

fas723

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 05:52:06 AM »
I really love Mage Wars and I'm here at the forum reading every day. However there is a growing attitude in here that I start to dislike.

Very often I see topics in here that starts out with really good intentions, and most often invites to further discussions and brainstorming. But many time the reply’s, instead of contributing to the thread, are just shooting down the initial question and points at it as wrong. This is sad.

Sure your comments are correct. But is that really what this topic asks for?
To me this idea might turn out to be a really good analysis if we just help each other out. Redawn isn't asking about a perfect list that is 100% fool proof, but rather the general approach you can have in a deck building stage or in game play. I would bet there are more "lategame" buils within the priests rather than the Force master, not saying the opposite can't occur, and this might be good input to your play. If additional mage classes are needed (like a Grizzly Beastmaster) well just add it to the concept then. In the end I think it will be a reasonable amount of classes anyhow.

BoomFrog

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 06:54:43 AM »
I agree with fas723, although the opponents spell book matters a great deal, you have to make an an educated guess on turn 1 based only on the opponent's mage.  Once you've seen the opponent's turn 1 then everything is reevaluated but for that initial evaluation you have to decide which of the two of you is benefited from being aggressive.

Fundamentally in every game one of the two players would benefit from moving closer and the other would benefit from staying at max distance.  If both players stay back or both players move closer one of them is misreading the situation.  My list for first impressions is close to RedDawn's.

Forcemaster - Arraxian Crown Warlock - Straywood Beastmaster - Adramelech Warlock - Priest - Johktari Beastmaster - Bloodwave Warlord  - Druid - Wizard - Necromancer - Anvil Throne Warlord - Priestess.

If someone is higher then you on the list you should probably stay in your corner, if they are lower then move forward.  The change I made was moving the Warlocks up and the anvil throne warlord down.  Harmonized pentagram isn't too great and every other warlock plan involves getting in the opponents face.  The anvil throne warlord will out economy you if you leave him alone.  Do not let barracks+battleforge+meditation amulet actually get going.  Bloodwave is less likely to be going for a double spawnpoint.

The list is imperfect and will change depending on the actual book you are playing.  Really when designing a book I start with my 3 turn plan against "aggressive" and a different plan vs "defensive" and then when I'm done with the book you can categorize which types of opponent you consider aggressive and defensive.  And once your opponent plays their first spell then you can reevaluate.

Wildhorn

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 07:33:06 AM »
@fas723: And the attitude I don't like that is growing is when someone post something, get counter argumented in he line of the subject then a 3rd person somehow think it is rude or whatever (while it is not) and feel the need to be some kind of moral heroe and talk about it making the subject to spin out of subject.

fas723

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 08:09:26 AM »
Oh, I'm sorry you felt targeted Wildhorn. It is up to everyone one in here to make that judgment if you should absorb my comment or not. I can't help you did.

Wildhorn

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 09:26:05 AM »
Oh, I'm sorry you felt targeted Wildhorn. It is up to everyone one in here to make that judgment if you should absorb my comment or not. I can't help you did.

Your comment was targeted either at me or Imaginator and both comments said about the samething, so my comment fit anyway.

Sailor Vulcan

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The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2014, 01:58:48 PM »
I really love Mage Wars and I'm here at the forum reading every day. However there is a growing attitude in here that I start to dislike.

Very often I see topics in here that starts out with really good intentions, and most often invites to further discussions and brainstorming. But many time the reply’s, instead of contributing to the thread, are just shooting down the initial question and points at it as wrong. This is sad.

Sure your comments are correct. But is that really what this topic asks for?
To me this idea might turn out to be a really good analysis if we just help each other out. Redawn isn't asking about a perfect list that is 100% fool proof, but rather the general approach you can have in a deck building stage or in game play. I would bet there are more "lategame" buils within the priests rather than the Force master, not saying the opposite can't occur, and this might be good input to your play. If additional mage classes are needed (like a Grizzly Beastmaster) well just add it to the concept then. In the end I think it will be a reasonable amount of classes anyhow.

Pointing out the flaws in an idea is not the same as criticizing a person. Good ideas are still good ideas even after they've been poked by critical thought. Not so good ideas have holes that can be found in them and then patched up. The really terrible ideas are the ones that are unsalvageable and need to be scrapped.

Reddawn had an idea and posted it on the forums where presumably other people would be expected to give feedback on it. I gave feedback. I pointed out a flaw in his idea and implied a way to improve it. I did not bash anything and I made no ad hominem statements.

I understand what it feels like when you put a decent amount of effort into coming up with an idea only for other people to find holes in it. The appropriate way to deal with holes in your ideas is to patch the holes, and to brainstorm a LOT more ideas to replace the ones you can't salvage. Not to get discouraged or angrily rebuke other people for finding the holes for you.

As far as I could see, while the hole in Reddawn's idea was not insignificant, it was still only ONE hole (or 1.5 holes if you want to be nitpicky) and an easily patched hole at that.

And seeing as the constructive criticism I gave was of Reddawn's idea and not yours, your complaining about my "attitude" wouldn't be appropriate even if you were right.


Now can we please stick to discussing ideas rather than people?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 02:04:01 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Coshade

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2014, 03:36:06 PM »
This is a great way to gauge the matchup before it starts! Do you think starting channeling and health play a factor into this? I wonder if you play a priest the list would be different then if you played a druid (or any other mage)?

I would also consider moving the Joktahri up a bit. The fast trait can be really brutal.

My personal list is -
Johktari Beastmaster - All Wizards - Forcemaster - Adramelech Warlock - Anvil Throne Warlord - Bloodwave Warlord - Priest - Necromancer -  Straywood Beastmaster - Arraxian Crown Warlock - Druid - Priestess

I find the rushing of a wizard a huge problem. It's really hard to tell what kind of wizard they will decide to play. So I'm usually really cautious when facing one. 
For example Turn 1 double move then quick cast wizards tower, then wizards tower attack spell is a strategy that most wizards can do.
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BoomFrog

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2014, 08:58:57 PM »
Quote
Johktari Beastmaster - All Wizards - everyone else...
This smells like my meta from a year ago.  Super aggressive books that try to turn mana into damage with no investment in mana or action generators.  They simply lose to forcemasters though, so I still think FM deserves the #1 spot.  Anyone who charges a FM is going to regret it.

I'm also surprised to see straywood so low on the list.  You obviously have not felt the falcon fury.

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2014, 09:07:56 PM »
Would it be helpful if we split a few different Wizard builds out and rank each separately somehow? True, you can't exactly know whether the Wizard is playing any particular style until the first turn or two passes, but you can rank a Gate to Voltari build separately from heavy mana denial, Gargoyles plus many attack spells, etc.

Even just noting training might be helpful. A Water Wizard is generally more utilitarian and thus might be lower on the list than an Earth Wizard who probably has many effective attack spells.
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Coshade

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 09:28:03 AM »
Quote
Johktari Beastmaster - All Wizards - everyone else...
This smells like my meta from a year ago.  Super aggressive books that try to turn mana into damage with no investment in mana or action generators.  They simply lose to forcemasters though, so I still think FM deserves the #1 spot.  Anyone who charges a FM is going to regret it.

I'm also surprised to see straywood so low on the list.  You obviously have not felt the falcon fury.

It's true. Aggressive decks are just starting to pop up in my meta. Things like spawn points are leaving turn 1 because of the constant aggression. I haven't really experimented with the Forcemaster too much! I think coming up with proper counters to aggression is going to be my groups next challenge.

I also think the first three are really close to eachother. Not sure if you could switch the Johktari being #1 though. That's gonna take some playing with Forcemaster to figure out.

I have faced the Falcon fury. Usually I think I've gotten lucky and had a chain lightning or some archer to counter it. If I wasn't playing the Wizard I would worry about it.
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Coshade

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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 09:32:15 AM »
Would it be helpful if we split a few different Wizard builds out and rank each separately somehow? True, you can't exactly know whether the Wizard is playing any particular style until the first turn or two passes, but you can rank a Gate to Voltari build separately from heavy mana denial, Gargoyles plus many attack spells, etc.

Even just noting training might be helpful. A Water Wizard is generally more utilitarian and thus might be lower on the list than an Earth Wizard who probably has many effective attack spells.

I think you're on to something with this. Since at a tournament players are required to tell you the type of wiard they are playing you can make a judgement on their playstyle
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Re: The Mage Scale and Matchups
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 10:21:53 AM »
I Don't know about a water wizard being that weak. Surging wave is incredible.
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