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Author Topic: Beastmaster - help me understand him  (Read 8558 times)

Dunnagh

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Beastmaster - help me understand him
« on: January 29, 2015, 08:21:50 AM »
In its Basic concept, the beastmaster *seems* to be easy:
Swarm Opponent, win.

But I somehow dont seem to be able to make him work.

Deck Type A:
Swarm
I cast a Ring of Beast and start casting as many small creatures as I can. then as I come nearer, I enhance them with Bears Strength (making my Pet Falcon hit with 7 dice).
The Problem: One Ring of Fire / Chain Lightning and all my pets are gone

Deck Type B:
Big bad meanie:
I cast a big hitter and enhance him even further. Didnt work for me, either.

My Basic Problem with him is the lack of mana:
The "Lair" is obviously useful somehow: but how? turn 1 starts with 19 mana. casting a lair for 15 leaves me at 4. Next turn I am at 11 (12 with lair) and could cast 2 small creatures. the Bonus the lair gives me is being able to cast a third creature. But how do I do that without the mana?

Against the Wizard, I was facing another mana Problem.
He already has 1 more than me. He started with Mana Crystal and the Manaring, giving him 12 mana per turn. He then cast a Forge, some small armor items and Mana Siphon, targeting me (7 mana per turn). My pet got hit with +2 upkeep (5 mana per turn). With 7 more mana per turn than I have, how am I even supposed to beat him? The obvious strategy here is just doing nothing, casting mana flowers and a mana ring myself and staying out of range to not be a target for Mana Siphon. But still he has at least 1 mana more than me, which Kind of puts me on a countdown. In 8 turns, he has 8 more mana than me, which is 1 decent creature or a cool armour.

So what am I doing wrong? What SHOULD I be doing instead of complaining here? ;)

cheers
dunnagh

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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 09:17:30 AM »
Welcome to the Forums!

We'll do our best to get you on the right track.

First, I hate wizards too.  Wizards are cheating all the time with their discounted arcane stuff.  Big beardy cheaters.

You've nailed a couple of archetypes for the beastmaster.  Excellent work!  Here's how to make the most of them.

Type A) Treat little creatures like attack spells...if they get one good hit off they've done their job, two and they've paid for themselves.  Don't bother enchanting them individually, look for some group buffs like Rajan's Fury, Etherian Life Tree and a Call of the Wild.

Type B) This is known as a buddy build in some circles.  I would start off with something smaller than a bear like a Tegu or a Raptor and include a battleforge (I know it costs a lot of spellpoints).  The point here is to make use of your melee +1 trait and some equipment to go toe to toe soon.  Beastmaster can get up to 7 attack dice very easily.  The added flexibility of being able to quick cast a small creature to keep up the pressure is very good, but tertiary in this build.  When your first pet dies, hit them with the Grizzly Train and Tanglevine them in his full attack.

Generally awesome advice I've received: You have to learn what your opponents are capable of.  It's hard and it takes a lot of experience, but being prepared to kill that Mana Siphon with a Force Hammer or Dispel that Essence Drain is extremely important.  You need to know what's going to cripple your strategy and build your book to have an answer.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 10:29:56 AM »


My Basic Problem with him is the lack of mana:

The "Lair" is obviously useful somehow: but how? turn 1 starts with 19 mana. casting a lair for 15 leaves me at 4. Next turn I am at 11 (12 with lair) and could cast 2 small creatures. the Bonus the lair gives me is being able to cast a third creature. But how do I do that without the mana?


I think your math is off. -

starting 19, 15 for Lair leaves 4.
round 2 - 4+9=13, +2 lair = 15 mana. - Allows you to cast a Falcon Pet (7) and either another falcon (6) or Mana Flower (5)

Or you could only cast the one falcon pet and pass, leaving 19 mana for the next turn and summon 3 more falcons (18) Deploy from lair, Full action, and Quick action through beastmasters built-in ability.

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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 02:33:47 PM »
Ok first welcome to the arena! The Straywood Beast Master is my favorite mage so this is how I've managed to make him work. I fight two Wizards normally along with a Priestess, two Force Masters, a couple of Warlords, and other Beast Masters.

1. As Puddnhead Conjurations like the Etherian Life Tree and Rajas Fury are great ideas. Another good way to keep falcons alive is a Renewing Spring. They can just fly back and take a sip from it anytime they want.

2. One thing you can do with a Beast Master pretty easy is pin an opponent down as you can easily have more Tanglevines than they do Teleports. Positioning can be key in this game and this is a good way to make someone stand still for your bigger threats to pound on them.

3. Ok when talking about your "big guns" creatures you want to save your Enchantments for grizzly bears, Cervere, Galador, and the like. the main thing your Enchantments for are the Beast Master himself but it can be worth to Cheetah Speed a bear or Lion Savagery Cervere. If you want to buff up a falcon though Lion Savagery is the way to go. They get scary fast then.

4. Speaking of your mage though the Beast Master can get very scary very quickly. The primary melee weapon I use is the Mage Staff as it's both Ethereal and has Reach. This along with an Akiros Favor and Bear Strength means you're going to take out Mana Siphons with ridiculous ease. A Force Hammer is a good idea for enemy Conjurations too of course. Using Animal Kinship and some basic easy to find critters you can get +1 Melee, +1 Armor, Elusive, and Tough -2 all of which can't be removed without destroying the totem. Using the "Big Three" as I like to call them of Nature Enchantments: Bear Strength, Rhino Hide, and Cheetah Speed you get to be a disgusting fighter.

5. You mentioned hating Wizards. Hey I hate them too. They're tricky buggers but they aint gods. They're not even close to being unbeatable. So here's some basic tricks that'll hose them and really any other mage.

-Acid Ball their Modoks Obelisk and have your weenies just swarm it. Without armor that thing drops like a rock. Same thing for their Wizards Tower. Also if they're stacking armor then Acid Ball is vastly superior to Dissolve. Spitting Raptors can help with this too.
-If they haven't that much armor due to either not casting it or your Acid Ball techniques then Force Push them through a Wall of Thorns. It never stops being funny I promise you.
-Dissolve is for their wands. Wizards love wands because Attack spells go away quickly. If you can get rid of their Elemental Wands then every single attack they make has to count.
-Dispel is for Damage Barriers, Divine Protection, Regrowth, and other specialty tricks.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 02:49:11 PM »
First of all, if you're supporting swarm, don't enchant individual creatures, support them with totems, Etherian Life Tree, Acid Ball, Rust, Marked for Death, and/or Call of the Wild. Second, you have to be careful how much you invest in a single threat, particularly when you don't have other threats available to back it up.

To my mind, the Beastmaster is all about efficiently building just enough economy that he can continually apply more and more pressure over time. Quick Summoning, Ring of Beasts, Enchanters Ring, Battle Forge, and Lair are the main reasons this works. The Lair in particular lends itself to aggressive placement, and, thus, to aggressive plays. It's tougher than other spawnpoints, and lets you start applying pressure very quickly.

Here are some Beastmaster openings you can try:

Battle Forge Rush:

Turn 1 (19): Sprint to NC (Near Center) -> Battle Forge (11)
Turn 2 (20): Deploy Ring of Beasts -> FD (Face Down) Brace Yourself -> Steelclaw Grizzly (1)
Turn 3 (10): Deploy Enchanter's Ring -> Advance to FC (Far Center) -> Thunderift Falcon Pet -> FD Bear Strength (1)

This allows you to launch a fast attack with a pair of durable threats (the Steelclaw Grizzly and your mage), but with some small creature support. You have a bit of economy from Battle Forge, but it's certainly still possible to stall out a bit against mana denial.

Bear Spam:

Turn 1 (19): Mana Flower -> Mana Flower (9)
Turn 2 (20): Ring of Beasts -> Steelclaw Grizzly (2)
Turn 3 (13): Enchanter's Ring -> FD Brace Yourself (10)
Turn 4 (21): Steelclaw Grizzly -> FD Bear Strength (4)

If you play a bear every other turn or so, you can launch a pretty strong attack, although it will be slower than a Battle Forge Rush. This opening will have to be adjusted more than the previous one if your opponent is aggressive, but you have plenty of mana to work with.

Falcon Swarm

Turn 1 (19): Sprint to NC -> Lair in FC (4)
Turn 2 (13) [2]: Deploy Thunderift Falcon Pet -> Advance -> Thunderift Falcon (1)

This opening sets you up for the fastest attack, and has enough economy to keep you going to some extent from the Lair, although you have to be really careful of zone attacks and Chain Lightning. One thing to keep in mind is that you can opt to use Timber Wolves or Emerald Tegu as the basis for a Lair play instead of relying on Thunderift Falcons. They won't be able to apply pressure as quickly, but they are far less vulnerable to swarm counters.

Meditation Amulet Lair

Turn 1 (19): Advance one zone -> Lair in NC -> Meditation Amulet (0)
Turn 2 (9) [2]: Deploy Emerald Tegu -> FD Brace Yourself -> Meditate (3)
Turn 3 (12) [2]: Deploy Dire Wolf -> Meditate -> Leather Gloves (3)

Here you have more economy, which supports playing larger creatures more consistently, although you won't be able to apply as much pressure as quickly as with Falcon Swarm or a Battle Forge rush.

I agree with most of what Silverclawgrizzly talked about, though I would add that Dissolve is also for Suppression Cloak.
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 02:55:32 PM »
I agree with most of what Silverclawgrizzly talked about, though I would add that Dissolve is also for Suppression Cloak.

Granted I agree with that. Should have remembered that myself thanks for catching it brother.
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 07:28:35 PM »
One of the key weaknesses of the Beastmaster is that most of his creatures are cheap and good, but they tend to go down fast.  Of course, Cervere is one of the best creatures in the game, equaled only by Brogan, and Steelclaw Grizzlies are one of the most frightening things to buff up in the game (Turn 1-Enchanter's Ring and Steelclaw Grizzly, Turn 2-Nullify and Mage Wand [Teleport], Turn 3-Bear Strength [Steelclaw Grizzly] and Teleport [Steelclaw Grizzly] is a real fun opening for the Beastmaster and the Druid).  A Breastmaster (or Druid) can really have their opponent on the ropes real quick with that combination and, while the Steelclaw Grizzly is ripping their opponent to shred, they can be spamming Mana Flowers while supporting the Steelclaw Grizzly.  If you play it right, you can get three good hits with the Steelclaw Grizzly before your opponent brings it down and you can have brought enough Mana production to start playing the game.

Dunnagh

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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 11:11:44 PM »
Thanks for all your advice.

I probably should have mentioned Im currently only possessing the base game, thus some of the spells mentioned here I dont know ;)

Still, some good stuff!

My biggest problem in that one game was mana drain. He played that Mana Siphon, +2 upkeep for a valuable pet AND sucked 8 mana from me (with that spell that cost 16 and drains 8 dice of mana from your opponent). That VERY soon left me with next to no mana AND nearly no mana generation (9-2-2=5). I gave up at that point because he was at 12 Mana + generated 12 per turn. He also had the staff that drains mana :-/

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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2015, 08:28:27 AM »
Force hammers work wonders against conjurations.

And adding the expansions will help you greatly. Druid Vs Necro is my personal favorite.
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 04:33:07 PM »
First of all, if you're supporting swarm, don't enchant individual creatures, support them with totems, Etherian Life Tree, Acid Ball, Rust, Marked for Death, and/or Call of the Wild. Second, you have to be careful how much you invest in a single threat, particularly when you don't have other threats available to back it up.

To my mind, the Beastmaster is all about efficiently building just enough economy that he can continually apply more and more pressure over time. Quick Summoning, Ring of Beasts, Enchanters Ring, Battle Forge, and Lair are the main reasons this works. The Lair in particular lends itself to aggressive placement, and, thus, to aggressive plays. It's tougher than other spawnpoints, and lets you start applying pressure very quickly.

Here are some Beastmaster openings you can try:

Battle Forge Rush:

Turn 1 (19): Sprint to NC (Near Center) -> Battle Forge (11)
Turn 2 (20): Deploy Ring of Beasts -> FD (Face Down) Brace Yourself -> Steelclaw Grizzly (1)
Turn 3 (10): Deploy Enchanter's Ring -> Advance to FC (Far Center) -> Thunderift Falcon Pet -> FD Bear Strength (1)

This allows you to launch a fast attack with a pair of durable threats (the Steelclaw Grizzly and your mage), but with some small creature support. You have a bit of economy from Battle Forge, but it's certainly still possible to stall out a bit against mana denial.

Bear Spam:

Turn 1 (19): Mana Flower -> Mana Flower (9)
Turn 2 (20): Ring of Beasts -> Steelclaw Grizzly (2)
Turn 3 (13): Enchanter's Ring -> FD Brace Yourself (10)
Turn 4 (21): Steelclaw Grizzly -> FD Bear Strength (4)

If you play a bear every other turn or so, you can launch a pretty strong attack, although it will be slower than a Battle Forge Rush. This opening will have to be adjusted more than the previous one if your opponent is aggressive, but you have plenty of mana to work with.

Falcon Swarm

Turn 1 (19): Sprint to NC -> Lair in FC (4)
Turn 2 (13) [2]: Deploy Thunderift Falcon Pet -> Advance -> Thunderift Falcon (1)

This opening sets you up for the fastest attack, and has enough economy to keep you going to some extent from the Lair, although you have to be really careful of zone attacks and Chain Lightning. One thing to keep in mind is that you can opt to use Timber Wolves or Emerald Tegu as the basis for a Lair play instead of relying on Thunderift Falcons. They won't be able to apply pressure as quickly, but they are far less vulnerable to swarm counters.

Meditation Amulet Lair

Turn 1 (19): Advance one zone -> Lair in NC -> Meditation Amulet (0)
Turn 2 (9) [2]: Deploy Emerald Tegu -> FD Brace Yourself -> Meditate (3)
Turn 3 (12) [2]: Deploy Dire Wolf -> Meditate -> Leather Gloves (3)

Here you have more economy, which supports playing larger creatures more consistently, although you won't be able to apply as much pressure as quickly as with Falcon Swarm or a Battle Forge rush.

I agree with most of what Silverclawgrizzly talked about, though I would add that Dissolve is also for Suppression Cloak.

These all look good.  If you want to try small creatures, my wife likes to start with a Fox Swarm:

Turn 1 (19): Mana Flower -> Mana Flower (9)
Turn 2 (20): Lair -> Ring of Beasts (3)
Turn 3 (14+2): Bitterwood Fox -> Bitterwood Fox -> Bitterwood Fox (2)
Turn 4 (13+2): either 3 more Foxes, or whatever she wants for a pet, or perhaps just a Mage Wand of Rouse the Beast so she can save up for a "roused" Redclaw on Turn 5, etc.

Probably not as strong (and certainly not as aggressive) as the Falcon Swarm, but she likes the high channeling for more options in the mid-game.  And once she's run out of Foxes, she really likes that Mage Wand to spam Rouse the Beast so she can get some of her bigger beasts (Timber Wolves, Emerald Tegu, etc) into the fight more quickly in the mid-game.
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Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 06:27:23 PM »
The thing that makes canine swarms weaker than falcon swarms is mobility. They can be hindered and blocked by walls more easily. On top of that, Redclaw only gives his melee and armor bonus to canines in his zone.  You basically have to keep the enemy mage still if you want your canine swarm to be effective, and then you also have to worry about them being picked off more quickly and easily before they can even reach your Redclaw since they can be melee attacked by nonflyers as well as being hindered by them. Maybe if you enchanted the zone with your lair in it with fortified position/sacred ground, and tanglevine enemy mage behind fog banks two zones away. And to deal with vine markers, earthquake?Does the spreading vines ability require LoS to where the new vine markers will be placed from the mage or from previously placed vine markers?

Since foxes have less life than Falcons, you might need to cast Etherian Lifetree earlier as well. Though if you keep the enemy busy with Redclaw and a pet fox/timber wolf (and your mage) long enough, you should be able to have time to bring out the other canines, totems and Etherian Lifetree. I think.

Also, zone Attacks are your worst enemy here. You'll probably want access to fumbles and daze/stun conditions. Or maybe put the sacred ground/fortified position in the zone with enemy Mage instead of the lair?

Edit: Redclaw costs 16 mana, so canine swarm probably is meant to be played without the lair.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 06:36:41 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 07:07:10 PM »
A Bitterwood Fox has the same life as a Thunderift Falcon, so they are equally vulnerable to zone attacks, but Bitterwood Foxes are more vulnerable to melee attacks and mobility obstacles.
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Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2015, 09:05:14 PM »
Oh wait thought Falcons had 6 life, but they don't. Got mana cost confused with life lol. Thx for catching that.

Also, a canine swarm is more vulnerable to zone attacks  BECAUSE of their mobility issues and their reliance on Redclaw. Redclaw's melee and armor bonus is only given to canines that are in the same zone as he is, after all.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 09:08:53 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2015, 05:05:29 AM »
I like to use the beastmasters melee +1 trait. It works well with quick summoning because first you use full action to move and attack and then quick cast a level one creature spell. This leaves mana for an additional action so I like to include either lair, battle forge or fellella to cast my additional spell each turn.
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Re: Beastmaster - help me understand him
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 09:14:01 AM »
A Breastmaster (or Druid) can really have their opponent on the ropes... <snip>

So where do I find this BreastMaster.  Sounds like a fun mage to play with  :D