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Author Topic: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback  (Read 7900 times)

Aylin

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Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« on: February 22, 2013, 02:35:31 PM »
At the moment, I play Mage Wars exclusively with some of my friends.  I've been trying to work out a Warlock deck that's fairly versatile and can ruin all of their plans while I run in and stab things with the new sword.  However, I would love some feedback since I've only played a total of six games so far.

What I'm aiming for is a curse-heavy deck that can shut down creature-heavy builds, which seem to be the staples the people I play with use, while still being fairly scary to creature-light builds.

I am a little worried that I don't have enough attack spells, incantations, dissolves, or buffing enchantments though.  The other thing I'm considering is dropping to four or five creatures and removing the Pentagram, but I don't know if that would be worth it.


Attack spells: 5 (11 points)
2 Fireball
2 Ring of Fire
1 Firestorm

Creatures: 4 (17 points)
1 Adramelech
1 Dark Pact Slayer
1 Goran, Werewolf Pet
1 Necropian Vampiress

Equipment: 11 (18 points)
1 Demonhide Armour
1 Sectarus, Dark Rune Sword - Familiar
1 Elemental Wand
1 Helm of Fear
1 Gauntlets of Strength
1 Moloch's Torment
1 Ring of Curses
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Leather Boots
1 Regrowth Belt
1 Fireshaper Ring

Incantations: 7 (15 points)
2 Dissolve
2 Explode
3 Dispel
1 Drain Life

Walls: 1 (2 points)
1 Wall of Fire

Conjurations: 5 (11 points)
1 Battle Forge
1 Idol of Pestilence
2 Mana Crystal
1 Deathlock

Enchantments: 30 (44 points)
2 Bear Strength
1 Cheetah Speed
2 Vampirism
2 Agony
1 Death Link
2 Ghoul Rot
2 Mage Bane
2 Maim Wings
2 Marked for Death
2 Poisoned Blood
2 Jinx
4 Nullify
2 Hellfire Trap
2 Decoy

Feedback is definitely appreciated.

Koy

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Re: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 05:42:42 PM »
Greetings AylinIsAwesome and welcome to the forums!

The first feedback I have is that you have a very tall order ahead of you if you are seeking a curse focused build.  I don't think the cards are there yet for this to be a very effective style of play, but it is certainly a fun one!  The bigger problem is that you are facing creature heavy decks and want to counter them with a curse heavy deck.  I don't think that will work very well in your favor, unfortunately.

The main problem, as I see it, is that you would fall behind quickly spending all of your actions and mana on curses on the creature heavy builds coming at you.  Considering that curses aren't instantly effective at controlling threats, you are falling behind with no immediate gains to show for it.

Looking at the cards you have in your book, however, tells me a different story.  I see a nicely rounded deck that isn't relying on curses.  You can have a beastly geared mage to battle with, with several Big Bads that you don't need all of them in play to really deal the damage.  I think this is a winning strategy and I wouldn't try to shift into a bigger curse investment of cards.

Some thoughts:

You have a Pentagram and a Battle Forge.  I would argue that you only want one of these action granting cards.  Casting two of them takes so long to break even on mana spent that I believe it to be a losing move.  Also, as has been discussed in the Spells forum, the Pentagram is weak.  It is easily the worst spawnpoint, and I do not use it.  The Forge is quite nice though, especially with the amount of equipment you are packing.  Pentagram for Deathlock is a winner, I think.

I would consider doubling up on the Helm of Fear.  You mention you are facing creature heavy decks, and thus the Helm of Fear becomes hugely important.  If I were facing you with a creature focus book, you would simply not have a Helm of Fear on the table.  Prepare for that and have a backup or two.  Simularly, Demonhide Armor can really do a surprising amount of damage against swarms and would be a priority card to remove.  Not sure I'd double it, though.

I would drop the skeletal sentries, and one of the demons.  The sentry's immunity to the Idol of Pestilence doesn't outweigh the fact that they are a poor creature, in my opinion.  You will likely only want to Blood Reaper once in a duel, and I find the Dark Pact Slayer the superior demon to the Hellion for Reaping.  Important to note here that I have not received my expansion yet, so the Psychic Immunity might have far greater value to you than me currently.

I personally would run more anti-equip cards, too.  There are too many priority equipment cards, and a geared mage is very scary.

As much as I try, I can't really justify the cost of walls.  The Walls of Fire could be better served as more attack spells.  This would make the Fireshaper ring nice to have too, though if you want to move away from the Lash I can see it not making the cut (there is some Sectarus pun here if you squint just right).

You have no Drain Life spells, which like Explode, give you two abilities in one action.  They are crazy expensive, but I find them so very powerful as the warlock.

Chains of Agony I skip, and most times Agony too.  They are just not helpful enough compared to so many other cards that would take that action and mana.  Consider the more curses you have in play the less effective your Curseweaving is too.  And believe me, you want to keep Death Link going.  And Ghoul Rot.

4 Nullifies might be overkill.  Consider you have so much equipment out that it sorta protects itself to a point.  You cast Sectarus and I plan to melt it.  But you also cast the Demonhide Armor... now I have to choose, etc etc.  I personally love a geared mage and count on having a target rich environment for my opponent.  They can't melt them all!

These are just some random, off the cuff thoughts I had.  Usual disclaimer here that I'm not an expert, and am sitting at my desk 'working" so I take it for what it's worth. :)

Aylin

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Re: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 09:57:25 PM »
Hello Koy,

I'm not sure that I agree with the Pentagram being the worst one, but I do agree that it's not in the top two (which are Gate and Temple in my opinion).

However, get what you're saying about putting myself into too deep a mana hole at the beginning.  Battleforge and Harmonize will take 6 turns to pay off in mana, while Pentagram and Harmonize will take 5-9 turns (probably closer to 6-7 though).  Casting both costs a total of 30 mana, probably in the first two turns, except in that time I will only have 28 to work with...

In that case, taking out the Pentagram makes more sense since it won't be summoning as many things as the Battleforge anyway.

-4 points (Pentagram)

Which means creatures will be an even more substantial cost than they are currently (also taking up an action to summon one), and I agree that Skeletal Sentry does not make the cut.

With the other creatures though, I'm not sure.  Goran is nice, the Vampiress is awesome, and Dark Pact Slayer makes a great Blood Reaper.  From here, I'm not sure if I drop Adramelech (high cost, awesome melee) or the Flaming Hellion (medium cost, decent damange).  (As for the Blood Reaper, I agree that it's never worth making more than 2, with 1 being the normal amount and Dark Pact Slayer having the advantage there because of the extra HP and 2 Piercing). I guess the Flaming Hellion is the one to drop since there are already other creatures in that price-range that are better, but I've never had Adramelech out before a game was already "over".  On the other hand, I'm not sure dropping to three creatures is wise.  I suppose dropping the Flaming Hellion might be the better choice, and focusing on getting out Adramelech a little earlier.  I'm not sure what psychic immunity you're talking about though...my Flaming Hellion card says Flame Immunity.

-5 points (Skeletal Sentry and Flaming Hellion)

I'm not entirely sure on the walls myself.  Normally whenever I cast them my opponent uses her/his army to bring at least one section down asasp, or just ignores it and moves around it for the entire game.  Extending a wall is also so expensive...  I can drop one, not sure about dropping both though since stopping things from hitting me in the face for a turn definitely has some benefit.

-2 (Wall of Fire)

Total of -11

As for things to add...

2 - Deathlock
2 - Explode
3 - Drain Life
2 - Force Push
1 - Hellfire Trap
1 - Decoy

piousflea

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Re: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 11:29:51 PM »
Quote
The first feedback I have is that you have a very tall order ahead of you if you are seeking a curse focused build. I don't think the cards are there yet for this to be a very effective style of play


IMO, the main mis-use of curses is when people try to win the game with just curses.

Curses by themselves are less powerful than creatures or attacks, and to add insult to injury they can be easily dispelled.

Curses in combination with creatures can be utterly devastating, and every time an opponent spends an action Dispelling, that's one less action he can use to control or Guard against my creatures.

Always get a creature advantage first, then use curses to stay one step ahead of your foe. For example, an opponent who plays defensively and makes good use of Guard may make it very difficult to attack into his army, effectively causing a stalemate. So you throw out a few Deathlinks and Ghoul Rots - now every turn of stalemate is an advantage for you. By the time he dispels your Ghoul Rots, you should be prepared to attack him some other way. Maybe his creatures are sufficiently softened up for a frontal assault. Or maybe your creatures have been burning his Conjurations while he sits in the corner Guarding and Dispelling.

============
Quote
Battleforge and Harmonize will take 6 turns to pay off in mana, while Pentagram and Harmonize will take 5-9 turns (probably closer to 6-7 though). Casting both costs a total of 30 mana


First of all, never harmonize a Battleforge. I'm serious. Never Harmonize a Battleforge. By the time the Harmonize pays off, chances are you've already played all the equipment you'll ever need to play, and all that extra mana will sit on the battleforge and never be used.

As a general deck construction rule (for anyone, not just Warlocks), I would strongly advise against spending more than 16 or so mana on spawnpoints and mana generators, until you're sure your opponent is not playing beatdown. Here's why:

A typical beatdown deck will attack you by Round 4 at the latest. At that point, the beatdown Mage can have a total of 46 Mana on the board - for example, a Bear Strength Cheetah Speed Lord of Fire plus a Sectarus.

If you've spent 16 mana on mana generators, you'll have generated at most 6 more mana than the other guy, so you could have 36 Mana of combat-worthy cards. That's a 10 mana disadvantage, which is like fighting a Lord of Fire with a Knight of Westlock - not great, but there's a chance you could delay him for enough rounds that your mana advantage kicks in.

On the other hand, if you've spent 28 mana on mana generators, and generated ~10 mana, you're stuck with only 28 mana of combat-worthy cards. That's an 18 mana disadvantage, which is like fighting a Lord of Fire with a Thunderift Falcon. You do NOT want to be in this situation. EVER.

My philosophy on mana-generators is that it's like playing Starcraft (or some other RTS). If your opponent goes for a zergling rush, you cannot go a full-economical build. You have to stop expanding and fend off the zerglings or you will just die. If you play slightly higher-economy than the rusher, you have a much better chance of defending the rush, and your econ will eventually kick in and overwhelm him.

MrSaucy

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Re: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 12:48:02 AM »
I would run with more attack spells, including some earth attack spells and some more fire spells.

And more creatures. If you are playing as the warlord, creatures are your business. Just look at all the things the Warlord focuses on... they are all aimed at pumping out (and pumping up) creatures. So for creatures, maybe thrown in some creatures with ranged attacks (like the Goblin Slinger dudes) and some grunts; sometimes, having 3 weak creatures out is more effective than having 1 powerful creature out.

For conjurations, I would stick mainly to the Warlord conjurations. I personally dislike using Idol of Pestilence and Deathlock UNLESS I am a 100% aggressive Warlock, which doesn't sound like your build at all.

For enchantments, why do you have Vampirism abilities when you have Deathlock? Deathlock applies to YOU as well. When Deathlock is out, NOBODY can gain life, so keep that in mind. If you are going to keep Deathlock, ditch things like Vampirism and Drain Life. Same applies to Regrowth Belt. I suggest including more Agony. People underestimate Agony I think, but it is extremely useful. The difference between somebody rolling 4 attack dice and 2 attack dice is huge.

For incantations, why not include some more OFFENSIVE incantations, you know? Battle Fury, Perfect Strike, Piercing Strike, things like that.

I hope some of that helps. In the end, playing your deck correctly is half of the battle. As long you build a deck around a goal and stick to it, you should be fine.
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Aylin

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Re: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 12:55:53 AM »
Quote from: "piousflea" post=7875

============
Quote
Battleforge and Harmonize will take 6 turns to pay off in mana, while Pentagram and Harmonize will take 5-9 turns (probably closer to 6-7 though). Casting both costs a total of 30 mana


First of all, never harmonize a Battleforge. I'm serious. Never Harmonize a Battleforge. By the time the Harmonize pays off, chances are you've already played all the equipment you'll ever need to play, and all that extra mana will sit on the battleforge and never be used.


It takes 6 turns for Battleforge + Harmonize to pay off though in terms of mana, and it will take longer than 6 turns to get out all of the equipment.  On the other hand using a mana crystal instead of harmonize with a battleforge pays off on the 7th turn, and is two targets for my opponent to bring down to stop my mana-flow.  Perhaps that would be the better turn 1 play...

I don't think it's worth putting Harmonize on Sectarus either, so I suppose I will be dropping both Harmonizes.  I'm not sure if it's worth having a third mana crystal/flower, but I'm leaning towards no.

That gives me another 4 points to work with.

Perhaps a second Bear Strength and a Cheetah Speed would be worthwhile.


Perhaps with a build like this:

1.
19 mana
Spell 1: -8 Battleforge
Spell 2: -5 Mana Crystal
=6

2.
16 mana/1 mana
Deployment: -1/1 Ring of Curses
Spell 1: -5 Mana Crystal
Spell 2: -2 Hellfire Trap
=8 (6)

3.
19 (17)/1
Deployment: -8/1 Sectarus
Spell 1: -2 Nullify (on myself)
Spell 2: -2 Decoy
=7 (5)

4.
18 (16)/1/1
Deployment: None
Spell 1: -15 Goran, Werewolf Pet
Spell 2: -1/0/1 Magebane/other appropriate curse (casted with Sectarus if possible)
=2 (0)

If required I could flip the Decoy to pay for one of the other enchantments if I understand the rules correctly.

How is something like that?

Aylin

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Re: Warlock Spellbook - Looking for feedback
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 01:10:07 AM »
Quote from: "MrSaucy" post=7881
I would run with more attack spells, including some earth attack spells and some more fire spells.


Well, what would you recommend dropping to fit in more attack spells?

Quote
And more creatures. If you are playing as the warlord, creatures are your business. Just look at all the things the Warlord focuses on... they are all aimed at pumping out (and pumping up) creatures. So for creatures, maybe thrown in some creatures with ranged attacks (like the Goblin Slinger dudes) and some grunts; sometimes, having 3 weak creatures out is more effective than having 1 powerful creature out.


I'm not playing Warlord.

Quote
For conjurations, I would stick mainly to the Warlord conjurations. I personally dislike using Idol of Pestilence and Deathlock UNLESS I am a 100% aggressive Warlock, which doesn't sound like your build at all.


Idol of Pestilence is awesome...I can't imagine a Warlock spellbook without it.  Deathlock seems to me to be more of a meta card to deal with Priestesses.

Quote
For enchantments, why do you have Vampirism abilities when you have Deathlock? Deathlock applies to YOU as well. When Deathlock is out, NOBODY can gain life, so keep that in mind. If you are going to keep Deathlock, ditch things like Vampirism and Drain Life. Same applies to Regrowth Belt.


I know it applies to everyone.  However, I don't expect to play Deathlock in every game, nor do I expect it to survive an entire game once cast if my opponent REALLY wants to kill it.

Quote
I suggest including more Agony. People underestimate Agony I think, but it is extremely useful. The difference between somebody rolling 4 attack dice and 2 attack dice is huge.


I do like Agony, but I'm not sure it's worth having two of them with Curseweaving.  As you say, people underestimate it so it's unlikely someone will want to devote a Dispel to it with "better" targets out there (Death Link, Ghoul Rot, Magebane, Marked for Death).

Quote
For incantations, why not include some more OFFENSIVE incantations, you know? Battle Fury, Perfect Strike, Piercing Strike, things like that.


For a Warlock, I'm not sure how worthwhile Perfect Strike is as fire spells are Unavoidable.  For the others, I don't know what I could drop to put those in.

Quote
I hope some of that helps. In the end, playing your deck correctly is half of the battle. As long you build a deck around a goal and stick to it, you should be fine.