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Author Topic: Altar of Infernia  (Read 5445 times)

iNano78

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Altar of Infernia
« on: November 29, 2016, 01:53:12 PM »
Lost Grimoire volume 1 brings us this beauty from the school of darkness:

Quote
Altar of Infernia
Quick; 0-1; Zone
7 mana; Conjuration - Artifact; Lvl 2 Dark
2 Armor; 6 Health
Zone Exclusive; Epic

All creatures lose, and cannot gain, Melee +X traits. This does not affect Melee -X traits.

Sounds straightforward, right?

...

Or is it?

It turns out, when you look more closely (e.g. see the Codex), Mage Wars deals with adding attack dice in a variety of ways. Sometimes, the cards themselves or the rules and Codex as written state that a creature or creature type or damage type or mage gains "Melee +X", but other times it might say to "roll extra dice" instead. Depending on the wording, it may or may not be affected by Altar of Infernia. In general, you need to see if the trait keyword "Melee +X" is used in the effect of the ability or spell or condition marker, etc.

Here is a list of spells and abilities that are affected by Altar of Infernia, followed by a list that are not affected. Please feel free to post spells and abilities I've missed that you think are interesting.


Alter of Infernia affects:
- buffs that directly add Melee +X (typical examples include Bear Strength, Wolf Fury, Giant Size, Gauntlets of Strength, Paladin's Valor, Blessed Focus, Knight's Courage, Power Strike, Call of the Wild, etc)
- Growth markers (give Melee +1 for each Growth marker; thus Kralathor, The Devourer, Ravenous Ghoul, Shaggoth-Zora won't benefit as much with Infernia in play; each Growth marker still gives Innate Life +3 though)
- Rage +X (similar to Growth; thus Mountain Gorilla is affected)
- Ehren, Enduring Paladin
- Valshalla, Lightning Angel
- Steelclaw Matriarch
- Redclaw, Alpha Male doesn't buff other canines (aside from Armor +1)
- Wychwood Hounds don't buff each other (aside from Armor +1)
- Knight of the Red Helm usually gets Melee +2 when attacking strongest creature
- Azurean Genie (a "wish" can still be used for Healing 2 or Stagger)
- Hand of Bim-Shalla (similar to the Genie)
- Sacrificial Altar (although a creature still gets the Piercing bonus and there is mana refunded)
- Animal Kinship + canine(s)
- Staff of Beasts won't give a melee bonus to a friendly animal (but can still be used for healing)
- "Battle Skill" Mage ability (e.g. Straywood Beastmaster, Arraxian Crown Warlock, Bloodwave Warlord)
- Straywood Beastmaster's "Pet" (no general Melee +1 nor additional Melee +1 when in-zone)
- Bloodwave Warlord's "Veterans" AND command order "On Guard!" (although doesn't affect "Release Volley!" = Ranged +1, or "To Battle!" = Charge +1)
- Malakai Priest's "Holy Avenger" (no Melee +2 for you!)
- Johktari Beastmaster's "Wounded Prey" (no Melee +1 against that creature)
- "Siren's Call" ability wouldn't give a friendly creature Melee +2
- Paladin's "Vengeful Aura" doesn't give Melee +1, but still gives Piercing +2 so might still be worthwhile against heavily armored (but not Resilient) targets
- Aquatic creatures in Shallow Sea don't get Melee +1 (but non-aquatic non-flying still rolls 1 less die as normal...)
- Gate to Hell wouldn't give  Melee +1 buffs to demons
- Bloodfire Helmet wouldn't give  Melee +1 buffs to demons
- Demonic Link wouldn't give  Melee +1 buff to the demon
- Drakas, Imp Overlord wouldn't give  Melee +1 buffs to demons
- Similarly, Unholy Blood Ritual is a bad idea with Altar of Infernia in play!
- Kharne, Horned Demon normally gets Melee +X where X is the number of enemy creatures in its zone. Well, not with this Altar in play!
- Wildfire Imp wouldn't get Melee +2 for attacking an object with a Burn marker
- Wreck of the Viridian Lace would still grant Ranged +1 but not Melee +1 to pirates
- Temple of Meraveran becomes quite useless in Infernia!
- Shoalsdeep Tidecaller drops his Melee +2 bonus in Infernia, but still gets +4 to the effect die in initiative rounds
- Temple High Guard counterstrikes first but doesn't get Melee +2 when Guarding
- Metatron doesn't get bonuses for Temples in play
- Eligor Larington doesn't get a Melee +2 bonus (but does still gain Piercing +1) when counterstriking
- Alandell, the Blue Knight isn't worth putting mana into unless you REALLY need that Daze effect to trigger
- Acolyte of the Bog Queen can't give Melee +1 to zombies (but still reconstructs Skeletons and does Cleric stuff)
- Sentinel of V'Tar wouldn't get Melee +1 when guarding, but would still get all the other bonuses
- Standard Bearer wouldn't give Melee +1 but would still grant Armor +1 to other friendly creatures
- Dawnbreaker Ring would only grant Ranged +1
- Lightning Ring would only grant Ranged +1 (...)
- Deathshroud Staff wouldn't buff undead creatures with Melee +1
- Flank Attack would only grant Piercing +2

But has no effect on:
- Ranged +X (obviously)
- Piercing +X (making it a good alternative against armoured foes when Altar of Infernia is in play)
- Charge +X (!)
- Bloodthirsty +X (!!) <- think zombies, sharks, some demons, Goran, Werewolf Pet, etc
- most melee weapon Equipment's melee attacks (e.g. Arena melee weapons usually roll 4 dice + effects/traits/abilities, rather than having a Melee +X trait, so this is a way to mitigate against Infernia; and Academy melee weapons still roll one more die for Arena-level Mages as usual despite Infernia)
- Arraxian Crown Warlock's "Blood Reaper" (since it gains Bloodthirsty +2, not Melee +2)
- Necromancer's "Eternal Servant" (Piercing +1)
- Adramelech Warlock's "Smoldering Curses" ability (since enemy creatures gain Flame +1)
- Similarly, Malakai's Basilica works as normal (since it gives an enemy creature Light +1)
- Interestingly, unlike the "Wounded Prey" ability, Marked for Death doesn't have anything to do with Melee +X, but rather specifies that enemy creatures each roll one more die when attacking
- Gloranna, Avenging Angel rolls an extra die for each Holy creature in its controller's discard pile (up to a cap)... which isn't technically getting Melee +X!
- Lightning Raptor still charges up as normal (changes the number of dice of the attack directly, not Melee +X)
- Afflicted Demon works as normal; e.g. the Weak tokens are both a bane and a boon as usual
- Ballad of Courage (Charge +2, Fast and can't be Hindered)
- Smite (rolls "2 additional attack dice," not Melee +2)
- Zombie Frenzy is unaffected... as are pretty much all other zombie-related bonuses (aside from Deathshroud Staff)

** I didn't mention it above, but "+X vs. ___" traits will still work as normal (e.g. Tarok, the Skyhunter's "+2 vs. Flying", Samandriel, Angel of Light's "+1 vs Nonliving or Dark", Joseph Trublood's "+2 vs Nonliving and Dark", Kralathor, The Devourer's "+2 vs Undead", Titanodon's and Mountain Ram's "+2 vs Corporeal Conjurations", etc)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 04:08:24 PM by iNano78 »
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jacksmack

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 02:49:44 PM »
good write up.

Without checking i would have made mistakes with bloodthirsty and charge.

iNano78

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 03:08:19 PM »
good write up.

Without checking i would have made mistakes with bloodthirsty and charge.

Agreed. I wouldn't have thought of some of the markers (e.g. Growth, Rage, Wrath), but would have thought Charge and especially Bloodthirsty would have been affected. There are some other weird ones, like Gloranna, Avenging Angel and Lightning Raptor (unaffected) compared to Kharne, Horned Demon and Metatron (affected).

Overall, it seems that demons don't like the Altar of Infernia (brings back bad memories of their former home?) with some exceptions, while zombies and sharks are pretty much unaffected. A lot of individual knights are heavily nerfed by the Altar (especially Ehren, but also Knight of the Red Helm and Alandell the Blue Knight, and many of the enchantments that specifically target knights). And many creature swarm strategies - perhaps unsurprisingly - take a big hit from this Altar (e.g. Redclaw/canines, Hounds/Bears, Call of the Wild, Drakas,  Gate to Hell / Bloodfire Helmet, Standard Bearer, Wreck of the Viridian Lace)... with the notable exception of zombie swarms (via Zombie Frenzy and Bloodthirsty in general). And of course, many solo/buddy strategies that look to throw handfuls of dice through repeated buffs (e.g. Gauntlets of Strength, Bear Strength/Wolf Fury, "Battle Skill", Animal Kinship(s) + canine, Giant Size, etc).

Marked for Death is also weird. I suspect it was worded as is to avoid having to say that enemy creatures gain both Melee +1 and Ranged +1 against it. In the Arena core set, symbols are preferentially used for Melee +1 and Ranged +1, but in this case, if the symbols were used, it might confuse players as at a glance as it might look like the cursed creature is gaining those attributes rather than all other creatures gaining those attributes against this creature. So while I suspect the intention might have been to give a Melee/Ranged +1 ability to enemies attacking this creature, it isn't worded that way, so Marked for Death gets around Altar of Infernia... making it stronger and more crucial for swarms to run Marked for Death in a post-Grimoire meta.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 03:17:12 PM by iNano78 »
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Kelanen

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 04:32:43 PM »
Great summary!

bigfatchef

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2016, 06:52:30 PM »
Yeah thanks a lot!
Many things to do wrong here.

farkas1

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2016, 08:34:25 PM »
Like wise of everyone else said, great job writing on this card!

This card I knew messed with some of my builds, however it's refreashing to see it does work against various other mages as well.  Many books must lookout for this card and most likely going to be target to take down once it is out.  It makes some openings now really difficult to play successfully, especially the book I played against last week. 

Again great write up,  brings clarity to all the things it does and does not do!  :D
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Beldin

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 04:19:48 AM »
Nice write up.

I too would have thought charge and bloodthirsty would be affected. So only direct sources are effected. Nice spot.

Halewijn

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 05:31:24 AM »
Thanks!

Some differences are quite random though... Would be more logical if it affected all the same. Wounded prey and marked for death are different because marked wants to give a bonus to ranged attacks too.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Altar of Infernia
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 09:17:31 AM »
Thanks!

Some differences are quite random though... Would be more logical if it affected all the same. Wounded prey and marked for death are different because marked wants to give a bonus to ranged attacks too.

Charge +x doesn't give a creature stronger muscles.
It just means they have more momentum and will crash into an enemy harder.

Bloodthirsty doesn't give a creature stronger muscles. It just means they're hitting harder due to bloodthirst.

Lightning raptor becomes more electrically charged over time, and that charge is being used to hit harder, but not to increase the size or muscle mass of the lightning raptor. The raptor is not releasing that much lightning out of its wings either. Otherwise it would have a daze/stun chance rather than just stagger.

And things like weak tokens or marked for death or damage type +x are things that affect the defender of a melee attack, not the attacker.

If you have a stronger weapon, then you'll be able to do more damage even if you can't gain muscle mass, simply because you have a stronger weapon.

In the case of a skeleton it's bone density, not muscle mass, of course, and remember it tends to be harder to buff undead creatures.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 09:26:45 AM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Beldin

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2016, 07:16:35 PM »
I really like this card. It definitely sits at the 115-130 place in my books. It favours the books without lots of melee buffs, like necromancer and my kraken druid.

Kelanen

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2016, 01:21:20 AM »
Given that it doesn't hit Charge or Bloodthirsty, you are essentially looking to counter two Bear Strengths with it (and you'll need to let those hit you once each at minimum, probably once and twice). Less than that and you are overpaying, better to Dispel.

I think it's a really interesting toolbox card, and I'm glad it's around. I suspect it's less powerful than many think though.

I agree slow Necromancer is a natural fit.

iNano78

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 08:34:44 AM »
Given that it doesn't hit Charge or Bloodthirsty, you are essentially looking to counter two Bear Strengths with it (and you'll need to let those hit you once each at minimum, probably once and twice). Less than that and you are overpaying, better to Dispel.

I think it's a really interesting toolbox card, and I'm glad it's around. I suspect it's less powerful than many think though.

I agree slow Necromancer is a natural fit.

I think an interesting thing about Altar of Infernia is that it's effectively a "silver bullet" against several individual strategies/books. 

It completely nerfs:
- Ehren, Enduring Paladin
- Metatron / temples
- Valshalla, Lightning Angel
- Animal Kinships Beastmaster (at least for melee offense)
- several Solo mages that depend on Melee +X bonuses
- several Buddy mages that depend on Melee +X bonuses

What it doesn't nerf, in general, are:
- creature swarms, but with several exceptions that include Redclaw canines, Wychwood Hounds, Wildfire Imps, Matriarch bears, Bloodwave Warlord swarms that deserve Veteran tokens, several mass buff spells for swarms (e.g. Call of the Wild, Viridian Lace, Standard Bearer, and pretty much anything that makes demons better)
- Ranged mages (and non-mage creatures), including bow attacks, attack spells, Arcane Zap, Temple of Light, Wizard's Tower, Ballista, Thoughtspore, Sersiryx, anything you might put on an Elemental Wand, etc
- curses
- specific melee-based creatures that get buffed despite Infernia - e.g. Griffin, Blood Demon (think Blood Reaper), zombies, sharks, most cats (tend to get Charge or Piercing bonuses, including via Makunda)

So while I'm not sure I'd build a book around using it (since it will be useless against many strategies, and its effectiveness depends on what your opponent brings to the table), it also seems worth taking in most Dark books as insurance against several different opponent strategies - especially if any of those strategies would be your weakness otherwise. In this way, it's kind of analogous to Mordok's Obelisk / Suppression Orb, but for different types of match-ups. If you include both Mordok's Obelisk and Altar of Infernia in your book, you have a plan against many different books ranging from swarms (use Obelisk, which is probably better overall and works against zombies and sharks) to melee solo/buddy (use Altar of Infernia). Of course, there are still many strategies that get around both (e.g. anything ranged, Warlock buddy using a Blood Demon Reaper or Adramelech; curses; Blasting Banker; etc)... which is probably what you're using if you include both Mordok's Obelisk and Altar of Infernia...
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Halewijn

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 08:39:54 AM »
Exactly. My favorite aspect of this card is the fact that it nerves Ehren.  ;D

Lately I never found any good reason not to include Ehren in any holy book/opening. With some easy healing it becomes a tank and now we even have healing that bypasses finite life. With this card out there this might change.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 09:25:49 AM by Halewijn »
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farkas1

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 09:15:48 AM »
Yea I agree this might not be a card to build around.  However if you have a slow build it will be worth it to add even in non dark trained schools.  i say this might be one of the few conjurations that is worth putting in many books based on its expansive things it counters.  This card is so good and so brutal.  I will love it when I play it and hate it when it's played against me.   
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bigfatchef

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Re: Altar of Infernia
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 09:28:27 AM »
Well it js only a good card as long as your own strategy does not depend on melee +x.
On the other hand it will be even more important to have something prepared to take it down fast. Like a druid tree or a battleforge of a lair. Forcammers welcome.