January 27, 2020, 03:19:57 PM

Author Topic: Niche Animal tactics  (Read 750 times)

DaveW

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Niche Animal tactics
« on: November 28, 2019, 08:56:35 PM »
I was thinking about Creatures to put into a Straywood BM book recently, and have considered a few that I'd never used much before for specialized roles. I'm sure that there are others, but here are the ones that I came up with the other day:

Feral Bobcat:
Even when you don't have initiative, you can get a guard out before your opponent gets to act if cast in first quickcast phase. In conjuntion with the Altar of the Iron Guard, you can quickcast the Bobcat as a guard -- as it has a melee defense, it could take a hit away from your Mage and might possibly be around for another turn. Use it to guard again or move it to attack with the Charge bonus on the next turn... whichever is better at the time.

Mountain Ram - Two uses:
1) vs. Corporeal Conjurations... half the spell book point cost of a Force Hammer for a six dice attack (presuming that it gets the charge bonus). This is a creature that seems best cast when in a zone adjacent to a corporeal conjuration with a Rouse the Beast cast on it to keep the opponent from putting a wall between it and the target before it can attack. It'll probably get a second attack on another target the next turn.
2) vs. Creatures... 4 die attack with a bonus 6+ push when moving... might push the enemy into or through a wall, or reposition it where it might not want to be.

Hellfire Ants:
The swarm of choice seems to be the Bees... but the Ants have something going for them: Their additional strikes may be made against different creatures. This allows them to knock several creatures off guard in the same turn, or "sweep" from a guarding creature into the creature you really want to attack. Downside: Any guarding creature will get its counterstrike in after the last time you attack it, so you will lose one attack each time you change between guards. On the positive side, however, each guard ttacked will only do one damage in return due to the swarm trait. Therefore, it doesn't matter how big the guard is... attack the largest guards with this one creature and then attack your main target with your other creatures.

Hunting Falcon:
Everyone has seen a pet Thunderift Falcon, but against an enemy with a sturdy flyer (Victorian Griffin, for example), a pet Hunting Falcon could be a better choice in my opinion. You get three extra life and piercing +1 for the extra two (or three, if a pet) mana and Fast trait as compared with the Thunderift Falcon. Either bird will be hindered by the flyer... so most of the time I would find the extra life and piercing the better choice. Downside: You don't get to quickcast the thing as it is level 2.

Any other interesting animals... especially those that might have niche usefulness that people may not often consider?
  • Favourite Mage: Asyra Priestess

Arkdeniz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
  • Banana Stickers 2
  • Hated by the Dice
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 10:39:43 PM »
I have a charge-based BM deck that uses the Rams extensively. Lots of fun. And you are right - mix them up with some thorns or bloodspines and you're laughing. Particularly good if matched with something like a Rhino that draws aggro.

What I have had trouble getting to work are the Atticaran Porcupines. They just don't have that level of threat that makes opponents need to attack and thus bring the counterstrike +2 melee into play. Any thoughts?
  • 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

SirJasonCrage

  • Jr. Mage
  • **
  • Posts: 76
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 05:58:11 AM »
I always wanted to make a bleed-stacker Johktari with the bow and some direwolves (shooting the bow saves mana so the lair can spam more wolves). Add bloodspine walls and Wolverines and Crocodiles and Pblood and Darkfenne owls and Deathlock to keep the bleeds on.

It's fucking expensive though, you scew yourself over with deathlock, the bow is ridiculously hard to use and necros just giggle at the sight of you.

DaveW

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 08:39:41 AM »
What I have had trouble getting to work are the Atticaran Porcupines. They just don't have that level of threat that makes opponents need to attack and thus bring the counterstrike +2 melee into play. Any thoughts?

There are plenty of ways around guards, but maybe Chant of Rage?
  • Favourite Mage: Asyra Priestess

DaveW

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 08:55:52 AM »
It's fucking expensive though, you scew yourself over with deathlock, the bow is ridiculously hard to use and necros just giggle at the sight of you.

Deathlock should be ok since you will be doing (in theory) more damage to the opponent than he is to you (especially considering bleeds), in my opinion. (I might take out any kind of healing in the book to save spellbook points.)

I don't try to use the HBow... it seems too costly for its effectiveness... you might want to forego trying to get additional bleeds on the Joktari's non-spell attacks with all of the creatures in there, and just go with a Kajarah and a backup copy (you probably don't have the mana for the Spear).

On Necros... until the Pillar of Righteous Flame gets nerfed, a book like this has to have one. You will want to focus on creatures with high attack dice numbers, and attacks that do direct and/or critical damage for zombies in addition to your main focus (needs balance). Also, maybe grab a Wand of Ice and Fire to burn nonliving creatures with.
  • Favourite Mage: Asyra Priestess

Powlich

  • New Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2019, 06:26:43 AM »
Thanks to this thread, I put together two decks yesterday. One based on the Feral bobcat, and one on the Emerald Tegu. Tho, both decks are very similar to decks I've played with before.

The bobcat was the first spell I added more copies of after my first game of MW, so you could say it was my first favourite card. It's still one of my favs among the animals. I think the bobcat has great potential as a pet. If it gets melee attacked and miss the def roll, it will probably survive and maybe be able to get a second chance with the def during the next round. And with a pet, you don't have to worry about the Bobcats worst enemy, the Hurl rock. If you quick cast the cat and then move to an adjecent zone with an enemy and then rouse the cat, you can get a cheap extra 6 dice attack. The plan is to cast some charge +1 conjurations during the game, so those extra rouse attacks will increase in power during the game. If all your cats die, you can hopefully finish the game thanks to an almost free Slavörg with good charge bonus. But in the end, you can think about removing all your Bobcats from the deck and replace them with Falcons instead…

The idea with the Tegu is to make the enemy mage die from rot dmg mostly. There are a lot of cheap enchantments for minor creatures that can help you. I'm using Fellella to cast those. My base strategy is to enchant the Tegu with Akiro's favor and Badger frenzy, just to help you get those rots on the enemy fast. Use sanguine thirst for healing. There are a lot of spells nowdays that can give you extra counterstrikes, like Defend, Reprisal, Defend me, Packleader's Cowl. That means more rot and more vampire healing. I also have some counters against necro, since rot won't work.

DaveW

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 06:27:16 PM »
My BM book has four Bobcats and six Falcons, along with a couple of Foxes and some level 2 creatures. I also have Cervere, a Grizzly, and Slavorg in there... with two Rajan's Furies for the bonus charge and the amulet that gives you the choice of +1 mana or one point of healing on losing a creature... a Lair and the Ring of Beasts... some other things that I like to have in there are the Packleader's Cowl and Staff of Beasts that provide options on what to do with your mana and/or actions. My last game I tested the Altar of the Iron Guard so that I could quick-cast or deploy a guarding Bobcat. It annoyed my opponent so much he put out a Balista specifically to kill the Altar.... (Note that I'm working on peeling off a few creatures from that book... but I think the four Bobcats are staying in it as long as I have the Altar in there.)

Note that the Rots do not work on poison immune creatures, which makes a Necromancer match-up vs. the Tegus especially difficult (the Necro is immune as well....)
  • Favourite Mage: Asyra Priestess

zot

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 754
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 05:54:09 PM »
It is a really strong play to qc a guard during first qc. and for the guard to have a defense is a huge bonus. an excellent idea and adds strength to the build. very well done sir.

farkas1

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 525
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2019, 11:28:39 AM »
Great thread DaveW.  I have enjoyed this thread a lot and have been contemplating ideas for this for a while.  I really want to try out your altar idea.  I have a book in the works that uses a similar method. 

The Beastmaster and nature school in general has the best creatures imo.  They are so diverse and buff-able with all the in school spells, abilities, and in-school or animal synergy healing potential is really dangerous to the opponent.  I also appreciate all the out of school animals that offer even more variability to the beastmaster.
Thanks for this again Dave, this offers some good insight to the nature school!

Animal Tactics-----FarkaS Take

Sosruko

This little ferret can trigger a lot of hate.  He is best used on a mage, a familiar, or a big threat.  Stopping a full action from a mage is this creatures most valuable asset.  Using him once to stop a mage from full casting a creature at Gencon was an epic feat at Gencon 2 years ago.  Sadly, he died to a drain soul a turn later. Better him than a drain soul to my mage. 

Silver Claw Ratel with use of Lair and discount ring/faerie

Now not great for combo of altar or packleaders cowl.  A pet ratel that has damage is very dangerous.  Throw on a wolf fury and now we potentially have a 5-6 normal attack with another 3 die attack because of double strike. 
11 life, 2 armor, 2 piercing.   15 mana total.  Set up with a lair tho , and or a ring/wychwood faerie to use one less fullcast and 2 mana coming from lair and one less mana from ring/faerie. Making it only 12 mana to set up.

Lair offers many of these creatures an outlet to come out cheaper and be more effective and making especially the silver Claw Ratel shine!


Thornlashers with creature charge combo

Now the great thing about thornlashers are they are in school.  Combo them with setting up your charge creatures attacks and or repositioning the enemy creature to get off another charge attack is excellent.
Mountain Ram, feral bobcats, lion savagery creatures, and or rajan’s fury

Unicorns rule

Dorseus maybe a new favorite of mine in my beastmaster.  Seeing this combo play out in ADMW Season 2 was very fun to see.  He is an animal and can heal other creatures keeping things you want alive longer.  Highland unicorn is also a great asset and can heal a whole group of little critters for a long time.  Even countering the pesky idol of pestilence or even an enemies consecrated ground and stench of death.  Now I am not sold on the lowland unicorns because of their spellbook lvl seems a little high to me, but is an option.  You could look at is a lvl one creature and life tree combined with one less quick or full cast but it still would be 4 Sbp so you lose 2 sbp for something else.  Lair also casting them is also just an amazing

Darkfenne Owl 
I like using poison blood a lot and this gives an option for the straywood to quick cast it and prevent any healing in the zone.  same sbp and a creature on the board that can damage things.  this even blocks dorseus from using his special healing ability.  Now this owl only has a one die attack. But it always happens for me or against me.  One die faerie throwing 2 damage crits out.  Try it now with the pesky owl, So much fun. 


Last but not least Snakes/reptiles!!!!


Darkfenne Asp, Swamp Serpant, and Or Tegu

Now like mentioned by DaveW not great against the undead, non living and necromancer.  However, they will require much effort from your opponent to figure out if it is a real threat.  Most likely they will see and receive the hate they maybe deserve.  Darkfenne Asp are great for attacking and removing guard markers having a 58% chance to dodge all regular attacks.  Rots can be also a great counter to those low life creatures you fight against other non-nature books.  Not bad options either imo. 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 07:44:02 PM by farkas1 »
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster

Coshade

  • Arcane Duels Host
  • Global Moderator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 1879
  • Banana Stickers 6
    • View Profile
    • Arcane Duels!
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2019, 12:01:33 PM »
I've also been loving the unicorns lately for BM. Passive heal with an animal sub type creates a nice mobile medic. Not to mention you usually see other very viable targets besides the unicorn. It makes targeting a little uneasy for the opponent.
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

Arkdeniz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
  • Banana Stickers 2
  • Hated by the Dice
    • View Profile
Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 01:10:52 AM »
I've also been loving the unicorns lately for BM. Passive heal with an animal sub type creates a nice mobile medic. Not to mention you usually see other very viable targets besides the unicorn. It makes targeting a little uneasy for the opponent.

I run them as a pack using Priestess(It is what I call the "My Little Pony" book). My meta is low on area spells, so my opponents have had massive trouble when confronted by a zone containing Dorseus, Highland and Lowland(x2) all healing each other. Throw in a couple of Blessed Focus enchants...lots of fun. Currently 4 for 4 against all comers. Not a fast build, mind you. 
  • 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