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Author Topic: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes  (Read 12785 times)

sIKE

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2014, 02:43:40 PM »
(it would work better for a mage with a strong swarm option so that it could at least be the last creature to act)

You can pass when your opponent has more creatures than you do. Every other round you can position it as such that it could be the last Action taken during the Action Phases.

But I do agree there are bad match ups, but against a few bigs and solo rush builds like our buddy the Johktari RUSHmaster he is quite good.....

Also I have learned that complaining about the OP nature of Wizard is like spitting into the wind as he doesn't win at tourney's and therefore is just fine.....

** added editorial about the Wizard
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 02:45:11 PM by sIKE »
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2014, 03:07:13 PM »
I wasn't saying the wizard's overpowered.

However, it's not just that the wizard is a bad matchup for the IS, it's that he completely utterly hoses it. There is no way to even fight back, since there are no ways to deal with the ethereal attack trait. The most you can hope for is that your opponent has no quick ethereal attack spells. That means that if I start winning with the forcemaster tank using IS, pretty soon people will start including more ethereal attack spells, like jet stream and especially pillar of light. It's really unlikely to work after the the first time when people aren't expecting it, and sometimes not even then.

And let me just reiterate that if you spend 15 mana plus upkeep on a creature whose only viable actions are move and attack, and you only get off one attack with it before your opponent kills it with a pillar of light, then you basically just lost the game. And if you hold off on its attack indefinitely in fear of that final quickcast pillar of light, then IS will just be sitting there useless for most of the game, meanwhile you're still paying upkeep on it.
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Mystery

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2014, 04:39:50 PM »
how do you do your math on the ethereal attack spells?

pillar of light 4dice = 4 average dmg
arc lightning 3 dice = 3 avg dmg
jet stream 2 dice =2dmg probably 3 if pushed against a wall (should be possible as only uncontainable, which is not unmoveable if i am right)

so, still on avg by just attack spells only pillar of light kills on 2 attacks, while arc lightning or jet stream need more. With lighting bolt you still need one more attack on avg.

That would mean around 10-15Mana investment to kill on avg and 2-3 quick actions vs 15mana+1 upkeep for 1 full action. You probably get 1 or 2 hits in and just imagine that the mage needs its quickcast, reveal a mind control around same time, so he is on pressure, it is not so hard to kill an stalker if you focus on him, but it takes attention and resources to do so.

And apart from mage he is not to bad against, without ethereal it can be quite bad to kill.

Kharhaz

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2014, 05:05:56 PM »
Forcemaster is a low creature, aggro melee themed mage. Stalker is invisible and is hard to target..... except for zone attacks, which do not care about the invisible trait. Attack spells like Blinding Flash and Electrify still do good damage to both mages and have a high chance of adding a status effect to both the mage and stalker.


sdougla2

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2014, 05:39:50 PM »
If I have 5 creatures and you have 2, I will always be the last to activate a creature unless you kill my last creature or otherwise prevent it from acting (Banish comes to mind).

5   2
you pass, I go
4   2
you pass, I go
3   2
you pass, I go
2   2
you go
2   1
I go
1   1
you go
1   0
I go

Whether you have initiative or not, with with more creatures you will always have the final activation.

As for attack spells, many attack spells will be expected to kill the Invisible Stalker for a similar amount of mana to the original investment (2 Lightning Bolts, 3 Arc Lightnings, 3 Jet Streams...), but the thing to keep in mind is that your opponent can improve those attacks. With Hawkeye, Lightning Ring, and Akiro's Favor, you shouldn't need more than 2 Arc Lightnings. Pillar of Light and Invisible Fist are also pretty efficient against Invisible Stalker even without support. Sure, improving ranged attacks require some setup, but that gives long term benefits that are often worthwhile anyway for the strategies that run them. In addition, stunning the Invisible Stalker is particularly efficient due to its upkeep.

Anyone running a couple of Pillar of Lights or Invisible Fists is in a good position to counter the Invisible Stalker efficiently, but Wizards counter Invisible Stalker much more efficiently. It's not that Wizard's are OP in general, it's that Arcane Zap hard counters Invisible Stalker.
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Mystery

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2014, 03:12:09 PM »
do all people carry two of the ethereal attacks? right now also not everyone has elemental wand, So ok maybe with hawkeye or so it will be more mana efficient for them, but not always and if they use der attack spells ok, than the are gone.

And if you fight an air wizard just don't play the stalker. There are always some cards you are not going to play or abbilites not use in certain matchups. Will you pay for the burn as priest vs female warlock? NO...


Of course I'd say the stalker is not extremly strong, but ok. I mean as said before if you are mana wise paying abit more, but u get maybe also a 5dice attack in, and force the oponent to take him into account. and stalker is no iron golem or grizzly

IndyPendant

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2014, 05:40:25 PM »
This...has been gone over before, btw.  But the gist of it is: Invisible Stalker is a bad creature.  It's not a *horrible* creature, such as the Psylocke, but it is bad.  I provide a summary of the reasons below.  Each individual reason can be countered with a yeah-but; it's all of them together that add up to why I will currently never, ever play a Stalker.

1) The Stalker costs 15 mana to cast, and 5 spellbook points.

2) It has an upkeep cost of 1 mana per turn.

3) It is both nonliving and incorporeal, so almost all buffs are useless to it, it cannot be healed, and it has the zero armour and low health typical of Ethereal creatures.

4) There are multiple reasonably convenient sources of ethereal damage that are perfectly viable for non-incorporeal uses (such as Mage Staff and various attack spells).

5) Invisible can be gotten around via ethereal and zone-attack spells.

6) While Invisible, it does not Hinder--but it is still Hindered by Druid Vine tokens.

7) You can just ignore the Stalker; since it is so expensive for the benefits it provides, concentrate on winning the damage race instead.

Now, to repeat: each and every one of these points have their counter-arguments.  The problem is that when taken altogether, they add up to a rather poorly designed, overcosted creature.

However.  It is also worth noting that the Invisible Stalker was a part of AW's very first expansion for Mage Wars.  In my opinion, AW has vastly improved the quality of their expansions since CoK, and FM vs WL was still pretty good overall.

My point is, don't lose track of the fact that inherently weak cards like the Stalker are by far the exception, rather than the rule.

echephron

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2014, 05:48:16 PM »
I haven't noticed people talk about one benefit of having an invisible stalker in play which does not attack.
The enemy is likely to prep an attack spell for the IS, and save his QC till the end. This limits the spells they can prep, especially if its a spell they would not cast on your forcemaster.

I'd like to see a list of enchantments which can target a (visable) IS
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sIKE

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2014, 06:16:28 PM »
Agony            Creature
Arcane Corruption      Creature
Chains of Agony         Creature
Charm            Non-Mage Creature
Debilitate            Creature
Enchantment Transfusion   Creature
Enfeeble            Creature
Essence Drain         Non-Mage Creature
Force Crush         Creature
Force Hold            Creature
Fumble            Creature
Harmonize            Object
Jinx               Creature
Life Link            Incorporeal Creature
Magebane            Creature
Marked for Death      Creature
Mind Control         Non-Mage Creature
Mind Shield         Creature
Pacify            Non-Mage Creature
Rust               Creature
Stumble            Non-Flying Creature
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echephron

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2014, 10:30:55 PM »
not charm, mind control, mind shield, pacify (psychic immune), harmonize(not channelling object)
pointless ones:
rust
jinx
mage bane
Arcane Corruption(no positive enchantments)

Near pointless:
Debilitate
Marked for death

Life Link? you mean death link which is living creature only. or is it a SUPER SECRET playtester card for the distant shaman? I'm guessing it is.

so that leaves only these as "worthy" spells to cast on it:
Agony            Creature
Chains of Agony         Creature
Enchantment Transfusion   Creature
Enfeeble            Creature
Essence Drain         Non-Mage Creature
Fumble            Creature

Force Crush         Creature
Force Hold            Creature
Stumble            Non-Flying Creature

EDIT: incorproeals are uncontainable, so cut all the force spells but fumble.

well i'm surprised IS isn't uncontainable or unmoveable. Half of these viable spells are force spells oddly enough. maybe a creature made out of force should be immune to the force subtype.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 02:52:16 PM by echephron »
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Mystery

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2014, 02:40:39 AM »
force hold and force cursh: incorporeals cannot be restrained or am i wrong

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2014, 07:06:24 AM »

force hold and force cursh: incorporeals cannot be restrained or am i wrong

Incorporeals have the uncontainable trait. They can be restrained, but not by spells that specifically specify that they don't work on uncontainable creatures.
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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2014, 09:11:34 AM »
Actually, in the entry for restrained it states that it does not work on Uncontainable creatures. So no you cannot restrain Incorporeal creatures.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: the problem with Invisible stalker and question about possible future fixes
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2014, 10:02:30 AM »
Oops, I didn't see that. My bad.
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Sailor Vulcan

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I recently attempted another tank forcemaster, and it gradually and inevitably morphed back into my first one. It doesn't work without invisible stalker. But invisible stalker is still WAY too fragile. I honestly think it should get an errata, since any fix that uses new cards would likely have to depower ethereal attacks. Maybe if it were forcemaster-only, but it seems weird to have an ethereal-counter restricted just to the forcemaster for the sole purpose of making the stalker viable.

Invisible stalker is one of the if not THE only card in the game that is hard-countered by anything. Most spells in this game are not rendered entirely useless by the mere existence of a particular game mechanic. Cheetah speed can be destroyed by a dispel, and a enchanter's wardstone can make it harder to destroy it, and teleports and pushes and charges give other ways to improve movement and positioning. You summon an invisible stalker and attack with it even once, and they can OHKO it with a single pillar of light in the final quickcast phase. No other cards in the game that I know of are that desperately vulnerable and situational.

Has anyone been able to think of any solutions to fix the stalker that don't rely on errata and don't unbalance other cards? I really am interested to know.

Thanks!
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