December 17, 2017, 09:01:30 PM

Author Topic: The New Warlord.  (Read 1287 times)

silverclawgrizzly

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The New Warlord.
« on: August 04, 2017, 09:07:15 AM »
With Arcane Duels fantastic spoiler videos as of late we can finally start discussing a topic I've personally been eager to get into since the development for Academy: Warlord finished up. With cards such as the new Formation spells and particularly the new equipment we've seen I fully expect to see the Warlords to become "the mages to beat" in competitive play. Lets look at what these new cards can mean for both mages shall we?

Warlords can count as soldiers and their battle orders are free actions:

Might as well kick off the big reveal. While carrying the Ivarium Halberd a Warlord benefits from his own Battle Orders and from Formation Spells. That means an Anvil Throne can become Fast, get Piercing +2 on his attack spells, or just gain an extra +1 Armor and Tough -2. Bear in mind he's already Tough -2 so that's going to stack making it very difficult to apply conditions. Is he going to get a Colossus Belt and make it nearly impossible? What about wearing Chitin Armor so you're just not going to Corrode him? Oh you got a lucky roll on the effect dice? Thankfully I have these nice new pants to make you re-roll that crap! If he's wearing the Strategist's Helm he can get that quick burst of speed from Fast WHENEVER he wants it without having to use any action economy up. Oh and so will all his creatures so Goblins can frenzy like zombies now except cheaper and without costing a full action to apply. If he's not using the Halberd he might actually get the Horn of Gothos to apply it to every friend he's got in the arena.

For the Bloodwave he's going to benefit more from the Formations as they're going to stack his already formidable fighting ability. Press the Attack means he's swinging 6 dice while he's holding that halberd AND he can re-roll it. This re-roll of course being in addition to any he gets from putting a cheap Level 1 Enchantment called Akiro's Favor in his book, and frankly you've no excuse NOT to put that in every single War book you're going to make and half the non-War ones too. He's going to get beefier and meaner in the hitting people department. He'll also benefit from getting +1 range on his rocks he's throwing and if he's on a Hill and/or Hawkeye he's pretty much going to terrify people. The ability to make everything hit harder with Charge +1 means he's going to likely favor surging in fast even more so and he'll do well with creatures like Torgo and Izimbilla backing him up. Lets not forget his creatures like Izimbilla or the ole Orc Butchers are going to be using Promotion and being that much scarier and that'll stack with Vet Tokens making them super creatures. Don't forget he's also going to be able to make his guards stronger with +1 Melee and +1 Armor whenever he feels like it so the Dwarven Panzerguarde is really going to be something you might think twice about hitting now.

I wanted to go ahead and get this topic started, there will be more reveals that'll add to some of my points but my hype trains going pretty hard right now.
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farkas1

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 01:08:37 PM »
Yes,Yes,Yes!!!

This set will help the warlord be on another level of awesomeness.  I am pumped about this set because it adds a lot to several other mages and helps the warlord utilize his abilities even more.  Formations and warlords equipment will set them apart from the paladin.  Formations alone is enough for me switch to playing warlord more often and possibly being my new favorite of all the mages.
 

I'm pumped as well for the release of this set!
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RomeoXero

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 03:08:05 PM »
 Ugh. There's some extreme power in this set. Gear up is probably worth the price of admission by itself. I STILL dont and wont play warlords, but this set is certainly going to make them a hell of a lot harder to kill! Some good things that will work for any mages, but damn. No more complaining about warlords being crappy.
 Now when does the priest get his ridiculously awesome equipment that makes him super viable? Hmm?
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 06:57:03 PM »
The Warlords are both legit threats to everyone now. I'd better not hear a single complaint after Warlords start taking major tournaments. I'm honestly glad it's not Gen Con legal as nobody will have had time to prepare.

Priest is already viable but that's a debate for another thread(there's like 50 of em.)
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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2017, 09:44:09 PM »
stirring the controversy, i still am of the opinion that the orc is viable before this academy set.

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2017, 09:54:04 PM »
I admit that there are a ton of new cards that seem to be ...  very very cost efficient. And efficiency is key, if you invest x mana, get value out of it and then your opponent has to invest x+y mana, to get rid of it (perfect example is ghoul rot or mage bane) it is a net win.
And I see a lot of new potentially net-win cards on the warlords side.

Since I am no playtester I never played with the new lvl 1 goblins before, but they seem to be so strong for their mana cost and with all those new, cheap buffs it appears to me that the warlord might finally become a tier2 mage.

Your optimism that he suddenly gets a positive win ration against druid/necro/priestess is premature imho but I think it's unquestionable that these new cards are a huge boost for him.

Tier 1 mages (above average):
Druid, Necro, Priestess

Tier 2 mages (average):
All who are not Tier1 or Tier3

Tier 3 mages (below average):
Siren, Bloodwave Warlord

I know, Mage Wars player do never agree on those "rankings" but I think it is common knowledge that the Bloodwave Warlord was considered (by most) to be on of the weakest mages. So some efficient cards certainly do not offset the balance right away because he needed this. To become viable.



The strongest cards from this new expansion so far:

1. Elven Warrior


If you compare him to other lvl 1 creatures, there are plenty of "equally" efficient creatures.
Mana Worm (6life/1armor/2dice + mana drain) for 5 mana
Acolyte of the Bog Queen (7life/2dice + "healing") for 5 mana
Skeletal Minion (6life/3dice) for 5 mana
Asyrian Cleric (6life/1armor/2dice + healing) for 5 mana
Wychwood Hound (7life/2dice + 1amor/1dice if another of them is present in the same zone) for 5 mana

And so on, and so forth. So at first glance his stats are nothing special. Buuut against other creature decks he excels if played by a Bloodwave Warlord because he can get veteran tokens and secondly those cheap formation buffs might really do something. Add the helmet for a "free" charge +1 every turn and they are at 4 dice, piercing 1. Not bad for a 5 mana trash creature.
Although, for 3 mana more you could get a butcher.. And he has 4 life and "1" dice more (technically 2 but you know).. I still think the goblin is more efficient, but we will probably see a mix of both? Because the Warlord only has 9 channeling, he's probably play with barracks + at least 1 outpost, so it's 11. And using 8 of those 11 mana every turn for a butcher probably is too much because you can't properly use your other 2 actions. But well, I need to play myself to say for sure.

2. Press the attack


Why only on #2 you ask? You are right, Press the Attack would be good without the Elven Soldier but Elven Soldier wouldn't be good without Press the Attack. Still, I think a strong, cheap lvl 1 creature is more valuable in general than a good buff. But this buff right here is wonderful. In most cases only costing 2 mana (because of the Ring of Commands) you basically get value out of this card even if you only use it by 1 creature.
Bear Strength costs 4-5 mana and gives you +2 meele. This card costs 2-3 mana and gives you meele +1. And the opportunity to roll all attack dice again for 2/1 mana. Soo... it is already decent enough if there is only 1 soldier in the zone - but honestly - how often is that going to happen in a swarm deck?
This card definitely is a key card for anyone who attempts to build a swarm Warlord.
And you can use it with the Paladin and a army of "Knights of Westlock" as well.. and they have 6 dice which they can reroll then...  And since the holy school lacks regular power buffs in school like Bear Strength, this is a perfect card for such a build as well. Especially because paying 2 mana to reroll a 6 dice attack is much more attractive than rerolling 3-4 dice.
And probably the best part is, that with the new Warlord weapon the mage himself can use the effect to reroll his dice and gets an additional attack die as well. That's deadly efficient as well..
To sum it up, this card has many implications and is useful in a variety of situations and additionally is a very cost efficient card, certainly one of the best new cards!

3. Ivarium Halberd


Doesn't look like much at first glance. But again, it is another one of those highly mana efficient new cards. Compare it to the last 2 released weapons (the Trident and the Paladin sword) and the first thing you recognize is that it is sooo much cheaper! Far cheaper but looking at the powerlevel it is as good as those weapons who cost 4-5 more mana! The Sword of Radiance costs 8 mana and has 4 dice (without piercing) but it has some other stuff (ethereal and +2 vs. non living) and you can daze/burn etc pp. The Trident also costs 8 mana, has 1 piercing more and Push on 5+  (and a theoretical ranged attack, ok..)
Still, my point is, that this card is super mana efficient if you consider wearing the helmet (+1 charge)  and have a Press the Attack revealed in the zone. Suddenly you already have 7!! dice with piercing 1. (4+1[pta]+1[BO/charge]+1[ability]). And for 2 mana you can reroll those dice.
It's best compared to Vorpal Blade which I consider to be the most efficient weapon at the moment. But this weapon is - in the right setup - even stronger/more efficient.
Okay, now the drawback - the reason why it is so comparatively cheap - it's a double handed weapon.
Pretty big disadvantage (no Elemental Wand to throw a stone every turn) but I think this weapon suits the Warlord better anyway. He was designed to fight in the front lines (meele +1 inherently and 36 life..) and it was strange to have this Warlord equipped with a Mage Wand in the one hand and an Elemental Wand in the other. That just never really fit. So I think this card is more balanced than the other 2 but still a strong card because it fits the theme perfectly.

4. Gear Up


This card is another thematically good card and I think a very important one as well for the "way to play" the new Warlord. Because you just cannot afford to play the barracks and a Battleforge. It slows you down, you need to press the attack and not stand in the corner, starting to mediate to get the mana for all your spawnpoints (you see what I did there? :p).
All those new stuff.. the helmet, the weapon and the Breeches want to be equipped but you only need it once the fight actually starts.
So it really makes a difference when you have to cast this equipment. If you have to cast equipment right from the start, you severely limit your options because it drains a lot of mana (BF [8] + 1-3 mana additionally every turn). In the best case you get your creatures out at fast as possible and the moment you have enough you sprint into meele and then you equip yourself, that way you have used your mana more efficient since the alternative would be that you had your equipment from the start but 1-3 creatures wouldn't be on the battlefield yet or they would but not ready to fight yet. I hope I could express why this card is so good for the swarm Warlord.

5. Strategist's Helm


Well. I think this card is pretty strong and might make a ranged-build finally viable. I wonder if you can use Battle Orders twice in the same zone and turn? Once from Gurmash and once from the Warlord himself? Should be possible.. And if it is, that might be another strategy, maybe playing with Gurmash instead of barracks..? Or maybe with both? Though, both might be too slow..? Well, it's an interesting card which might allow for developing whole new strategies.

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2017, 11:34:05 PM »
Just want to point out that Formations are Warlord only. Paladin cannot use them.
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Enti

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2017, 11:39:03 PM »
Oh, I mixed up Warmage and Warlord in my head. Thx for clarification.

silverclawgrizzly

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 04:53:59 AM »
You mentioned the new level 1 goblin. To the best of my knowledge we haven't shown them yet.
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Enti

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 05:07:27 AM »
You mentioned the new level 1 goblin. To the best of my knowledge we haven't shown them yet.

I'm talking about the Elven Soldier. Just realized he is not a goblin, makes sense, thinking about the name ^^

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 07:42:46 AM »
There's a lot of "giving fans what they want" in this set.

If one were to list most of the Warlord ability wish list items, it might go something like this:
  • 10 channeling (or equivalent)
  • Battle Orders is a free action rather than QC spell
  • Warlord is a "soldier" (or at least benefits from his own Battle Orders)/li]
Now, on any turn, including turn 1, your Warlord could cast:
- Gear Up (2)
-- new cloak (3)
-- new helmet (2)
-- new halberd (4)

That's 11 mana and 1 QC to get all 3 effects listed above, plus effectively a Wolf Fury (e.g. The new weapon is 4 dice Piercing +1, for 4 mana and QC). So this costs you net 7 mana for abilities that one might argue should have been on the ability card to begin with. That's not terrible... but this also costs you 4 equipment slots and excludes the use of any wand (incl Helm of Command), Horn of Gothos, the equipment discount hammer, etc.

It's not bad... just pointing out it comes at a cost in terms of mana and equipment opportunity.

Hmmm. On a turn 1 without initiative, how about QC Gear Up with equipment listed above, then give yourself the Fast Battle Order as a free action with mana discount (0), then double-move to near-centre and put on Champion's Gauntlets (2). Next round, you have initiative and are likely in striking range with 4 equipment on and 15 mana to work with. And even if your opponent stayed put round 1, an Anvil Throne Warlord can always give his ranged attacks Piercing +2 (free) and Hurl Meteorite, plus final QC a Lesser Teleport to ensure you're in striking distance to start turn 3. ... Although you probably wouldn't have enough mana as you'd prefer to put some runes into those equipment... maybe play a Harshforge Plate and/or Armor Ward turn 2 to protect your investments.
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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 07:57:49 AM »
Playing gear up in the first round is a terrible idea as I explained above :p

Why would you do that? Better increase your mana channeling or try to generate an action advantage.

silverclawgrizzly

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 09:06:47 AM »
Ok let's refrain from criticizing each other's strategies. The reasons to Gear Up on turn 1 are fairly straight forward, to get the benefits immediately. If YOU don't want to please understand not everyone is bound to agree. :)
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 09:11:14 AM »
One thing I'm wanting to do, obviously not on Turn 1 is to combo gear up with a dwarves runes. You could get 5 armor in one turn if you're willing to pay for it.
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Re: The New Warlord.
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 09:37:13 AM »
Well, equipping both rings + cloak might even be decent, when I think about it since that is comparable to getting additional channeling. But why would you equip a weapon and the helmet in t1? Just curious about the strategy behind it.

@silver: Criticizing is such a negative word. Discussing fits better and this thread is especially made for discussions about the new cards, isn't it?