December 14, 2019, 05:28:00 AM

Author Topic: Rush/Fast books are dead and will never recover unless cards are Errataed/Banned  (Read 2500 times)

jacksmack

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Long time ago when Meditation amulet was a promo i voiced my concern. (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=12950.0)
Most people called it trash just by looking at it. "it takes 2 actions, and then your still down 1 mana."

However after some time meditation amulet anyway found its way into the meta. It was definitely not used by all (spawnpoint) books, but it was represented occasionally and with mixed success. Back then necromancers seemed to benefit the most from it and could often get away with spending their full action on building their manapool while libro pumped out brutes.
After some time it saw more and more play and was eventually perceived as a good card with its uses.

(Rather recently) a few other cards has been released which also exchanges actions to mana.
Remove curse
Disperse
Crumble

Besides this we got new mana generators:
Wispwillow Amulet
Mana Lotus
Remove curse (can be used to generate mana only and not removing.)
Ritual of Kallek

Ritual of Kallek is a chapter of its own. Since this card is in the game it more or less nullifies the other generators, but im still mentioning them because even without Kallek they still try to do what Kalleks does but in a less efficient and/or consistent way which could potentially still be a problem even if Kallek was errataed or banned.

Before i move on:
Looking at any single card isolated is not very interesting. Its how a card synergies with other cards and mechanics of the game.


So whats is the problem?
In short: Rush / fast books cannot compete anymore.... AT ALL. They are dead with the current card pool.

It has for a LONG time (many releases) been an uphill battle to rush vs defensive spawnpoint mages who stays in their starting zone. But the combination of the above mentioned cards simply wrecks the last tiny chance fast books had vs them.

Its pretty simple... the time (rounds) it takes for you to cross the board and either engage the opponent mage or attempt to get board control is longer than the time that it takes for your opponent to recover his initial mana expense of the spawnpoint(s).
Im not gonna go in to the details on how this is performed by the defensive player... if you disagree with this feel free to try any fast book of yours and attempt to beat my tripple spawnpoint necromancer, my gate wizard....and for the sake of it... i could make a Priestess abusing the above mentioned cards as well. (This is on OCTGN.)

Kallek is potentially the biggest but not the only problem. Crumble and Disperse also deserves to be mentioned.
It used to be the case that (not counting discount rings) that casting an enchantment and benefiting from it before it would be dispelled would leave you ahead in the sense that for instance with a bear strength you would have gotten 1 attack off with more dice leaving the offensive player in some sort of an advantage after he nullified your quick cast.
Crumble and Disperse skews this in a problematic way... It makes undoing too easy and adds to the forgiveness of the initial mana sink of the spawnpoints.

All in all there are too many ways to get mana back too fast.


Without having played a single domination game at this point, i'm leaning more and more to that format being the best for MW since it wont allow you to sit in your corner and just abuse you start 5 zones from each other and correspond correctly to your opponents actions.

keejchen

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I have a few thoughts/questions on this.

Intangible from Arcane Duels talked about this way back, rushes have a lower ceiling and will not win as consistently. You are right that this is a trend that is becoming more pronounced. But is that a bad thing? The game is moving towards longer, more complex games, distancing itself from fast-paced mainstream card games.

Would you really prefer the opposite? That rushes were the main strategy in the game? Run forward, throw boulders, games are over in 30 minutes, all books are the same because opposed schools doesn't mean anything when only a small percentage of your SBP ever sees play. Obviously a middle ground is best, but at least long games are the lesser of two evils.

The big downside of Ritual of Kallek is that it burns your SBP for a short term gain. If SBP is worthless, then the Ritual is amazing. If SBP is worth something, then the Ritual is not worth as much. Same could be said about Wispwillow, Mana Lotus and Remove curse.

Everyone is limited by SBP, when building a book you need to balance it so you can win the game after your economy has paid off, both against rushes (which you claim is easy) but also other economy books (which should then provide you with some challenge).

How does your multiple spawnpoint Necromancer do against a multiple spawnpoint opponent? More importantly, do you consider those games boring?

Theoretically it is possible for a game of Mage Wars to last indefinitely, if both mages resolve to just sit in their corner and do nothing every turn. But how often does that happen? I think this has happened once in my MW career, no one wanted to engage so we agreed to a draw and played the next game. Does it often happen to anyone else? What happens in those situations?

Eventually you will have to engage to win, in a game of two economy books you should see skirmishes across the middle zones and larger, more important spells to swing the game like conjurations and zone attacks. Sounds fun and epic?

The biggest issue is probably real life time constraints? I like to think that quality games take time, and Mage Wars Arena at its slowest is still faster than most grand strategy games. Although it would really help if OCTGN had a save function.

Finally, the take from this is that more people should play Domination, it's a really fun game mode!
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jacksmack

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I have a few thoughts/questions on this.

Intangible from Arcane Duels talked about this way back, rushes have a lower ceiling and will not win as consistently. You are right that this is a trend that is becoming more pronounced. But is that a bad thing? The game is moving towards longer, more complex games, distancing itself from fast-paced mainstream card games.

Would you really prefer the opposite? That rushes were the main strategy in the game? Run forward, throw boulders, games are over in 30 minutes, all books are the same because opposed schools doesn't mean anything when only a small percentage of your SBP ever sees play. Obviously a middle ground is best, but at least long games are the lesser of two evils.

Its very bad... its not like the game ever been mainstream fast-paced. I'm not saying that fast books should be the only way... but they have struggled for a LONG time... and now they have been executed completely by academy cards.
THATS bad!
And yes i would prefer the opposite... fast games are much more interesting to play and to watch...this is obviously subjective. But you make it sound like there is no interesting decisions to be made in those games, and that's clearly wrong.


The big downside of Ritual of Kallek is that it burns your SBP for a short term gain. If SBP is worthless, then the Ritual is amazing. If SBP is worth something, then the Ritual is not worth as much. Same could be said about Wispwillow, Mana Lotus and Remove curse.

Everyone is limited by SBP, when building a book you need to balance it so you can win the game after your economy has paid off, both against rushes (which you claim is easy) but also other economy books (which should then provide you with some challenge).
Kallek doesnt kill you in terms of SBP's. Thing is you only need to do it 2 or maximum 3 times.
As soon as you go into casting it 4-5-6 times then you are often better off with the first cast being a mana shard, harmonize, crystal or flower.


How does your multiple spawnpoint Necromancer do against a multiple spawnpoint opponent? More importantly, do you consider those games boring?
But...Haven't lost with the original version (before kallek) basically because its pumped with more creatures than any other player ever put in his book.
This is my point... people need to guess how many spbs i spend on creatures and thats DURING the play... and its during first round before they get to see anything... because if they put their Spawnpoint in their own start zone then its kinda over already there... boring for both of us.

Besides the necro when its Slow vs slow:
Usually it comes down to some random boring timing about who kidnaps (teleport to death zone) who's big baddie first and basically executes the opponents army 1 at a time until his book is emptied.
Not interesting at all.

Eventually you will have to engage to win, in a game of two economy books you should see skirmishes across the middle zones and larger, more important spells to swing the game like conjurations and zone attacks. Sounds fun and epic?
Never happened... never will happen... Zone attacks are not solution also they are expensive and often out of school. include 2 of them... there goes your spb's.

The biggest issue is probably real life time constraints? I like to think that quality games take time, and Mage Wars Arena at its slowest is still faster than most grand strategy games. Although it would really help if OCTGN had a save function.
Problem is that the quality is often not there... so its just a lot of time.


Finally, the take from this is that more people should play Domination, it's a really fun game mode!
i guess we agree here.

Knabbmaster

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I am not really sure what you mean with aggresive books. Early rushes have always been bad, since you can trade actions  (healing the damage, play jinx...) and the defender gets a headstart with 30 + life (3 rounds or 6 actions). What HAS been (and still is?) possible is to snowball early on with for example a big creature that kills stuff from turn 3 or 4. You always need to have an advantage in order to go for their mage.

I mainly think that AW forgot that conditional effects should not lower the cost. Like ritual of kallek does not really deal damage and the amulet does not restrict you to 1 action.

I like games that are eventful the length does not really matter. My favorite types of games are when both mages are at 20 ish damage for 10+ rounds while they still try to get long term advantages at the same time. Just summoning 10 creatures each and then slam them into eachother all at once is the worst experience BY FAR.

I hope we get more cards like deathlock and Idol of pestilence to kill turtles.
And also if you get a quick game you can just go again! ;)
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jacksmack

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What HAS been (and still is?) possible is to snowball early on with for example a big creature that kills stuff from turn 3 or 4. You always need to have an advantage in order to go for their mage.

And this is the point i'm trying to make.... its no longer viable. Opponent gets same size creature out WITH a spawnpoint to back up due to the mentioned spells that recover your mana too quickly.

Also its a bit absurd to talk about round 3 when the opponent is in his corner. Even round 4 seem risky... since your essentially risking falling behind on actions if you begin teleporting / force pushing / running double with mage).
But you are not guarding while you rush him thats for sure. That means he gets to open on your bad boy and focus it down and suddenly you need to pay attention to keeping it alive thus reducing your pressure dramatically.

farkas1

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Jacksmack you make some great points and have valid concerns.  I donít agree with everything you have said tho. 

I think with the game style you describe can be long and boring.  But we have had ritual of kallek builds at gencon and still get games in under 90 min.  I would say that is fairly fast games still.   I would also say the counter to such builds is highly aggressive builds that either go straight after the mage and or target the engine such as spawnpoint killing ect. 

Now the negative the ritual of kallek and or mediation amulet has made 10 channeling mages stronger which is problematic.

Solutions:

Ignore it
  I agree that 9 channeling mages are at bit more of a disadvantage, but it either means copying a similar tactic/ always have a Spawnpoint/ or being super aggressive with current meta in mind.  I donít think it means auto win if playing against a meditation/kallek 10 channel mage its it is just stupid tough

Other possible solutions
 The 10 channeling standard has been discussed and I do feel maybe an easy fix to some of these issues.  I donít think it hurts the 10 channeling mages at all imo.  The other inherit abilities or schools are good enough if not sometimes better than most 9 channeling mages (zap, shield, treebond,poison immunity, life gain ect). 

 I wonder maybe another solution would be start 9 channeling mages with more mana turn 1.  Say 5-6 more mana than 10 channeling mages.  This would give a little bonus to aggressive mages but also not hurt 10 channeling mages long game. 



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zot

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   I think ritual in its current form is bad for the game. it is too Efficient. I posted in another thread even a simple change like it costing 5 mana to get 8 back and still deal the damage limits when it will get used. still useful, but not highly efficient. kallek changes the opportunity costs for the game tremendously. now you can simply have it all. part of the games appeal and nuance are the players choices on how to spend their limited supply of mana.

   I do concur that some more sources of global damage or finite life are good. that is part of the reason the owl (was supposed to be a raven) making a zone finite life were put into the game. to help blunt healing.


   I do not agree that rush is completely dead. sure it could use a boost. however I do agree that it should be something balanced so that games do not devolve into rush v rush and whoever wins initiative wins the match.

   I also would like to see a spawnpoint for fm. a power generator that spits out force spells would be cool.


zot

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Other possible solutions
 I wonder maybe another solution would be start 9 channeling mages with more mana turn 1.  Say 5-6 more mana than 10 channeling mages.  This would give a little bonus to aggressive mages but also not hurt 10 channeling mages long game.

this is an interesting idea

farkas1

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Yea ritual having max zone range is crazy strong.  That needs to immediately change to be 0-1 target ect. 
That said I donít like banning cards or nerfing them so they never get used. 

I also think a damage per mana would have been an Easier solution to the problem. Change it so every mana gain deals one damage. It would help  the trick of stacking of damage on one creature that can immediately regen/remove damage during upkeep.   

Again interesting discussion and topic!!!
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zot

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restricting the range of the creature damaged is ok. but I think a change to its efficiency is all that is needed too. costing 0 is too efficient.

wtcannonjr

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  I also would like to see a spawnpoint for fm. a power generator that spits out force spells would be cool.
Hmmm... this sounds like a Thoughtspore.

It has a channeling rate and can cast force spells that are Incantations or Attacks.
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Puddnhead

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  I also would like to see a spawnpoint for fm. a power generator that spits out force spells would be cool.
Hmmm... this sounds like a Thoughtspore.

It has a channeling rate and can cast force spells that are Incantations or Attacks.

Thoughtspore's problem is that it has to take an action to do those things.  If you could do ANYTHING in Deploy with a Forcemaster it would be wonderful.  You can't....unless you battleforge.
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Hi guys!

After about one year away from MW, I have the ambition to get back on octgn and play a few games soon. I was planning to try and play a bit more aggressive than before, hoping I would enjoy the game more overall. So this is kind of bad news for me. This game didn't need more annoying spells if you ask me. But I guess I will accept the challange to try and beat those super economy decks. The more the odds are against you, the more fun it is when you finally win. :)

I still think that I prefer to play Domination over standard Arena nowdays, because Domination delivers more enjoyment per minute than Arena (usually), and the meta is much more "open" in Domination, if you see what I mean.

Rant over... See you in the arena!

zot

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welcome back. and note not everyone agrees with the conclusions stated.

DaveW

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Other possible solutions
 I wonder maybe another solution would be start 9 channeling mages with more mana turn 1.  Say 5-6 more mana than 10 channeling mages.  This would give a little bonus to aggressive mages but also not hurt 10 channeling mages long game.

this is an interesting idea

Agreed... some extra mana for nine channeling mages would be interesting to try. More than about five and then there is no real disadvantage to having the lower channeling mage. It also provides more options for the early game... I would love to try a Battle Forge / Lair (near center) opening for the Beastmaster, for one example.

On the "death" of rush books... I would say that an intelligent plan with a well-crafted spell book can support a rush, or at least have an option to rush... the second-place Warlord (of all things) book is one that I would consider a good rush book... and there were two Kallek books in the tournament (neither of which took first). It all depends on what you put in your book, and how the opponent opens to defend against various possible rush strategies... you can't ignore the possible turn two thorn push, the Divine Intervention of a Vampiress on turn three, or a wand with Hurl Meteroite at range three on turn two, just for a few examples. The reason I enjoy the game is because there are so many options.

No, I don't play on OCTGN... but have had good books played against me by good players, and feel that those two factors are much more of an impact on the outcome of a game than the inclusion of Kallek. Maybe it is too efficient? I don't know... but even as is, there is a way to play against it still.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 11:07:21 PM by DaveW »
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