October 14, 2019, 08:44:27 PM

Author Topic: Core Spells Revisited  (Read 629 times)

farkas1

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 522
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Core Spells Revisited
« on: March 11, 2019, 03:17:17 PM »
Equipment Core Set

Arcane Ring, Bearskin, Dawnsbreaker Ring, Deflection Bracers, Demonhide Armor, Dragonscale Hauberk, Elemental Cloak, Elemental Wand, Enchanter’s Ring, Fireshaper Ring, Gauntlets of Strength, Helm of Fear, Ivarium Longbow, Lash of Hellfire, leather Boots, leather gloves, Lighting Ring, Mage Staff, Mage Wand, Moloch’s Torment, Moonglow Amulet, Ring of Beasts, Regrowth Belt, Ring of Curses, Staff of the Arcanum, Staff of Beasts, Suppression Cloak, Wind wyvern Hide.

Standouts in Current Meta

Not a lot has changed from release of the core set till now.  Mage and Elemental Wand remain king of weapon/ shield slot.  Leather is still very effective and Regrowth belt remains in many books.  All the discount rings and rings that improve attacks spell types have seen some new spells over the years for added flexibility. 
The biggest question remains if Bearskin will see any action over other armor options.  Frost recently added has changed this only a little.  The reason why is because only a few forms of attack spells can be decreased by bearskin, the frost creatures doing only regular damage does not help the chances of seeing a frost meta need for bearskin viability.  Which is sad we have a great new trait and only see a counter to it in two spells.  We also have new spells like the fire and ice wand and frost trap to apply frost conditions without an effect roll which bypass the need for bearskin all together.  So Bearskin most likely will not see much more use. 

Conjurations Core Set

Animal Kinship, Battle Forge, Deathlock, fog Bank, Gate to Hell, Hand of Bim-Shalla, Idol of Pestilence, Lair, Mana Crystal, Mana Flower, Mana Siphon, Moktari, Mordok’s Obelisk, Pentagram, Poison Gas Cloud, Rajan’s Fury, Sacrificial Altar, Suppression Orb, Tanglevine, Temple of Asyra, Temple of Light, Temple of Dawnbreaker, Tooth and Nail, Wall of fire, Wall of Stone, Wall of thorns, 

Standouts in current meta

Battle Forge still going strong maybe a little less with the release of gear up but even then finds a way into high equipment builds.  Deathlock, Idol of Pestilence may find their way into books wanting to combat the high use of regen creatures, heals enchantments, ect.  As well as a nice counter against the “Bees”.  Speaking of the bees way may see use of hand of bim, poison gas cloud as also nice counters or buffs.  Wall of thorns still stays strong as well as our favorite mana channeling generators the flower and crystal. 
I have seen an increase in mana siphon, suppression orb, Mordok’s, Obelisk.  The big thing is Movement and smaller creatures (swarm builds seen a lot more play bc of Academy)
the manalock has seen a recent insurgence in the meta. Especially in tournament play. 

Gate to hell is still not useful. I would like to hear if this was ever used in any format and if it was ever viable back when the game was first release. I am Surprised this remains unchanged.

Another card that does not get love currently is pentagram. The release of force hammer in the 1st expansion has not helped and nothing has really benefited pentagram since. I do feel with the release of academy warlock and the adramalech warlock expansion it has helped give the pentagram some new choices. The squishy nature of pentagram still remains a problem. 
Animal Kinship has seen a bit of help in the release of academy lvl 1 animal creatures that benefit the beastmaster.  Fun to try out still not sure how viable in tournament play. 

Creatures Core List

Adrmelech Lord of Fire, Asyran Cleric, Bitterwood Fox, Blue Gremlin, Brogan Bloodstone, Cervere, Dark pact Slayer, Darkfenne Bat, Darkfenne Hydra, Emerald Tegu, Fellella, Feral Bobcat, Firebrand Imp, Flaming Hellion, Goran Werewolf Pet, Gorgon Archer, Gray angel, Highland Unicorn, Huginn Raven Familiar, Knight of Westlock, Malacoda, Mana Leech, Moonglow Faerie, Mountain Gorilla, Necropian Vampiress, Redclaw Alpha Male, Royal Archer, Samandriel Angle of Light, Skeletal Sentry, Sosruko Ferret Companion, Steelclaw Grizzley, Stonegaze Basilik, Tarok the skyhunter, thunderrift falcon, timber Wolf, Valshalla Lightning Angel, Whirling Spirit

Standouts and Thoughts in current meta

Interesting enough there are way more overcosted creatures than I realized Gorilla useless, Royal Archer is 2 mana more expensive than it should be, Stonegaze Basilisk I like but think it is slightly too expensive.  And a host of almost every flyer is too expensive for what you get
Adramelech Lord of Fire and all the big 21 mana angels are an interesting discussion. big flying creatures have for the most part seen a slow trend of use being lowered each new release. I think with the release of big attack spells, Gravikor, more direct damage spells, and ways to get slam, introduction of grapple have slowly made flying less effective. Also with cards that are already available in core that counter, such as knockdown and banish are already super cost effective to deal with big mana flying creatures. The cost of these creatures is way too high making it way too much of a risk to make that big of an investment do die in two turns.  If they appropriately costed and flying was not seen as such a valuable trait these creatures would see play again.   I would suggest the big Angels to be lowered to 18 mana.  Adramlech at most should cost 20.  Thus why these creatures never come out anymore

Similar with Tarok, Huginn, Moonglow Faerie, and even Fellella they are overcosted because of a couple things flying being number one and secondly the defense traits.  I don’t think in early design they knew how much unavoidable trait would be included making most of these creatures one shotable.  I think lower mana for all these creatures is an ideal solution to make these competitively playable.  Fellella gets a bit of a pass because enchantment familiar is an amazing ability still.  She still should cost less.  The only well costed flyers in this set still is the thunderrift falcon and gray angel.  Even Darkfenne Bat is costed 1-2 mana than it should be. 

Enough talk on flyers there is so many great cards and well costed cards that are still core to players’ books today.  Gorgan Archer is one of the best archers in the game still, Asyran Cleric, Timber Wolf, and most animals are still effective.  Vampiress and Cevere still draw the hate like no other creatures.   Brogan Bloodstone does not get the same love as before I think due to critical strike and other high piercing creatures or enchantments.  Still a great list of creatures tho.  Just a lot of solid creatures that are still great in the meta currently. 
Freeze mechanic still does not affect the use or need to use more creatures like Steelclaw grizzly which is somewhat sad.  Steelclawgrizzly is still awesome to have but negative frost traits don’t really make them that much better.  Only two attack spells and the effects of creatures can be reduced and not the dice of the creatures which is what it should be. 

Enchantments Core List

Agony, Bear Strength, Block, Bull Endurance, Cheetah Speed, Circle of Lightning, Cobra Reflexes, Death Link, Decoy, Divine Intervention, Divine Protection, Eagle Wings, Enfeeble, Essence Drain, Force Hold, Force Orb, Force Sword, Ghoul Rot, harmonize, Hawkeye, Hellfire trap, jinx, Magebane, Maim Wings, Marked for Death, Mongoose Agility, Nullify, pacify, Poisoned Blood, Regrowth, Retaliate, Reverse Attack, Reverse Magic, Rhino Hide, Sacred Ground, Teleport Trap, turn to Stone, Vampirism.

Standouts and Thoughts in current meta

So many great enchantments and almost all these are still useful and remain some of my personal favorites.  So many great ones I think the one I see the biggest increase lately are bull endurance and regrowth.  Reasons behind this there are a lot more creatures with high armor low life that utilize these spells to great use.  I have seen regrowth so much now I am tempted to bring a deathlok in everybook. 
Some cards that I think could be looked at in either future designs or balancing are Cobra Reflexes, and Eagle wings.  Like before there a lot of counters so these are not as common or useful in current meta.  I still like an eagle wings on a gorgan archer and think it is fairly cost effective.  I do think some of these spells if designed today would all have a mana or two decrease if played on a minor level creature. 

Incantations Core List

Banish, Battle Fury, Call of the Wild, Charge, Dispel, Dissolve, Drain Life, Drain Power, Evade, Explode, Force Push, Group Heal, Heal, Knockdown, Lay Hands, Minor Heal, Perfect Strike, Piercing Strike, Purge Magic, Purify, Resurrection, Rouse the Beast, Seeking Dispel, Shift Enchantment, Sleep, Steal Enchantment, Teleport, Vampiric Strike,

Standouts and Thoughts in current meta

Again lots of great spells, solid cards that appear regularly throughout and never see any decrease are dispel, dissolve heals.  With release of curse item and corrosive orchid we have seen a slight decrease of dissolves because of in school options are a little more cost effective. 
Battle Fury is just as popular now with so many new creatures to get off an effect twice or big hits if the creature or mage is buffed up.  Lots of the commands have seen a lot of use out of the non-living creatures like golems and zombies. 
I think people should consider banish and or purge magic more in books.  There has been a rise in enchantment heavy creatures that these spells could wreak if they were more prominent. 
The only card that is questionable is Drain Power.  I don’t like effects like this and worse yet a lot of times it may not pay off and resulting you in worse spot in the game.  Solution to have a lower cost one that only does a die or two for maybe 6 or 8 mana.  Or get rid of it entirely. 

Attack Spells Core List

Blinding Flash, Chain Lightning, Electrify, Fireball, Firestorm, FlameBlast, Geyser, Jet Stream, Lightning Bolt, Pillar of Light, Ring of fire, Thunderbolt


Standouts and Thoughts in current meta


Attacks spells have seen several a slow growth in variety over the years.  The cool thing is the core of these spells remain persistent in theme. 
Luminous Blast has kind of made the other holy spells feel week in comparison.  Rock and surging waves dominate for either high dice or high effect chance which takes away some of the usefulness away from the early holy attack spells.  Obviously Electrify, firestorm and ring of fire have more impact in the meta of Killer Bees.  Maybe not the best options out of school but work well for mages that need them. 

I think and know Chain Lightning takes the biggest hit on usefulness. I did not realize this before but blind is a total breaker of this card.  I used blind in a tournament the first hit took place triggering the reveal and the next hit failed the chance to hit making the rest of the attack fail.  It was quite glorious on my end, but I could see the frustration on the other end.  A four mana 1 SBP spell countering a 12 mana 3 SPB spell is a pretty big and swung the game in a major way. 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 04:12:34 PM by farkas1 »
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster

farkas1

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 522
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 04:25:11 PM »
Like to hear everyone’s thoughts on these cards.  Since I was not personally introduced to the game until a couple years after the release of core I felt like I missed out on just core set battles.  I do think the game has changed in a big way and some of the design decisions have shifted to correct some of these issues.

 It would be nice to see some of these cards revisted and cost corrected appropriately.  Many of the flyers in the set are almost unplayable in competitive play.  Ethereal and unavoidable attacks become way to numerous in future expansions which create way too many ways to deal with these types of threats imo.  It is nice to have options and it does help having in school options to these threats.....tho I bet back in early days of the core release players would scramble to figure out a way to deal with incorporeal and things that have a a high chance to defend.
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster

Arkdeniz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 253
  • Banana Stickers 2
  • Hated by the Dice
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 08:18:50 PM »
A challenge to you, Farkas, to make a book or two out of only the Core cards. Play against others using the full array of expansions. See how you go.

I personally think that a Core-only book could still be competitive, at least for the basic 4 mages. Most of the new spells that have come in over the years are really designed for specific mages or are really just variations on established themes.

I see where you are going with Incorporeal and Defences, but it is still also true that most ethereal and unavoidable attacks are still once-offs. Not many creatures have them in-built. So if you are going down the Incorporeal route, take it all the way and see your opponent run out of options. Ditto the unavoidables.

The two major changes I would make to core cards are these:

Gate to Hell. Initial casting cost reduced to 7 (to match equivalents like Rajan's Fury). Still 12 mana to open it, but from then on it becomes a spawnpoint for demons only, and generates 1 mana per turn.

All spawnpoints (Core or expansion, so getting a little off topic) should become unique rather than epic, but become full actions to cast (with the possible exception of the Crusade Banner). If you build a book around a spawnpoint your entire strategy can be (and often is) blown away (literally) in a couple of turns by Force Hammers. With very limited means to repair conjurations, it seems fair that you could have more than one spawnpoint in your book. But it should be an investment to put them out.

I have not found that the flyers are less useful now than they were. I always found them a little weak. Guards take care of them nicely without the need for knockdowns and the like.

Core cards I have never ever seen played by me or an opponent in 5 years of playing are few:

Mountain Gorilla (tho I have put it in a few books it has never come out)
Moonglow Faerie
Retaliate
Turn to Stone

Some others are rarely seen, but still useful in the right spot (I have won at least two games by a perfectly timed Drain Power, for instance)


(One last off topic thought: I have fallen in love with the dissipate tokens on the Force creatures, and reckon that if there was ever a Mage Wars arena second edition, all creatures other than familiars should have dissipate. It is supposed to be a duel of magic, after all, and not the race to build armies as it often turns into. And fluff wise, summoning creatures is almost always a temporary thing in the literature. But that is a debate for another time and place.)     
  • Favourite Mage: Darkfenne Necromancer
"Frost damage is a scam an armor dealer invented once to make a Beastmaster buy a new fur" - Exid


'No! Winter is coming." - Elementalist

DaveW

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 899
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 06:24:30 PM »
I can see Wizards maybe packing a Wind Wyvern Hide now due to more air attacks recently... especially the range zero zone attack. I think that I had one in Champaign.

I've used Turn to Stone in the past, but that was within the first year or two... so it's been a while.
  • Favourite Mage: Asyra Priestess

Reddicediaries

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 1083
  • Banana Stickers 1
  • Out of the ashes, a new power will rise.
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 06:34:17 PM »
A challenge to you, Farkas, to make a book or two out of only the Core cards. Play against others using the full array of expansions. See how you go.

I personally think that a Core-only book could still be competitive, at least for the basic 4 mages. Most of the new spells that have come in over the years are really designed for specific mages or are really just variations on established themes.

I see where you are going with Incorporeal and Defences, but it is still also true that most ethereal and unavoidable attacks are still once-offs. Not many creatures have them in-built. So if you are going down the Incorporeal route, take it all the way and see your opponent run out of options. Ditto the unavoidables.

The two major changes I would make to core cards are these:

Gate to Hell. Initial casting cost reduced to 7 (to match equivalents like Rajan's Fury). Still 12 mana to open it, but from then on it becomes a spawnpoint for demons only, and generates 1 mana per turn.

All spawnpoints (Core or expansion, so getting a little off topic) should become unique rather than epic, but become full actions to cast (with the possible exception of the Crusade Banner). If you build a book around a spawnpoint your entire strategy can be (and often is) blown away (literally) in a couple of turns by Force Hammers. With very limited means to repair conjurations, it seems fair that you could have more than one spawnpoint in your book. But it should be an investment to put them out.

I have not found that the flyers are less useful now than they were. I always found them a little weak. Guards take care of them nicely without the need for knockdowns and the like.

Core cards I have never ever seen played by me or an opponent in 5 years of playing are few:

Mountain Gorilla (tho I have put it in a few books it has never come out)
Moonglow Faerie
Retaliate
Turn to Stone

Some others are rarely seen, but still useful in the right spot (I have won at least two games by a perfectly timed Drain Power, for instance)


(One last off topic thought: I have fallen in love with the dissipate tokens on the Force creatures, and reckon that if there was ever a Mage Wars arena second edition, all creatures other than familiars should have dissipate. It is supposed to be a duel of magic, after all, and not the race to build armies as it often turns into. And fluff wise, summoning creatures is almost always a temporary thing in the literature. But that is a debate for another time and place.)     

Don't think spawnpoints should be non epic; the aggressive player has it hard enough as it is. And in matchup of two late game books, by the time the second could be cast, it would likely be too late.

The dissipate on all creatures in interesting. Would have to look into the balance.
The Phoenix shall rise.

Arkdeniz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 253
  • Banana Stickers 2
  • Hated by the Dice
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 08:56:47 PM »
Actually, Turn to Stone might be another spell that would work well with dissipate rather than upkeep.
  • Favourite Mage: Darkfenne Necromancer
"Frost damage is a scam an armor dealer invented once to make a Beastmaster buy a new fur" - Exid


'No! Winter is coming." - Elementalist

farkas1

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 522
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 01:12:36 PM »
 I like the idea of more dissipate spells on creatures, enchantments, or even extending some incantations.  Also very interesting note on spawnpoint conjurations Arkdeniz.  epic right now feels a little harsh because of so many attacks spells, easy ways to get critical damage and/ or piercing.  With introduction of druid academy and  the spell reclamation, spawn points are now even easier to take out.  Lair is still beefy enough imo to have the word epic. 

I believe some of the other conjurations maybe should have a little more life.  Spawnpoints conjurations maybe taking another set back with the introduction of a critical attack spell fist of iron in academy monk.  I know someone is going to try and one shot punch a lair with this and a force hammer.  its gonna happen. 

also with recent talk about body guard, things like body guard, defend me, defend, altar of iron guard, interceptors ect.  maybe become more popular to protect those important spawnpoints from these newer threats
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster

DaveW

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 899
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Core Spells Revisited
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 11:31:52 PM »
Actually, Turn to Stone might be another spell that would work well with dissipate rather than upkeep.

From the beginning, I liked the way that Turn to Stone was different from Banish in its impact... fixed time for Banish, but Turn to Stone could be handled through Dispel, etc. I would not change Turn to Stone to a dissipate mechanic.
  • Favourite Mage: Asyra Priestess