Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Spellbook Design and Construction => Topic started by: Charmyna on July 07, 2013, 07:41:05 PM

Title: The build that won 42 lost 0 or the reliable damage temple build
Post by: Charmyna on July 07, 2013, 07:41:05 PM
The basic idea:
This thread is not about Temple of Light + Hand of Bim-Shalla being a strong combo Ė it is about how to enhance this combo to become even stronger. Many temple builds rely on a solo-mage or a single strong creature, which is buffed with HoBS and Battle Fury for burst damage. The weakness of this type of builds is that you can prevent the damage quite mana efficient with different ways of crowd control (e.g. tanglevine, teleport, walls, daze, stun, restraint, defence rolls etc). So the idea of this build is to find a way which makes it very hard for your opponent to prevent the damage or in other words: We are looking for reliable damage sources.

Success rate:
To catch your interest, let me emphasize that from over 40 games I played with this build it had a 100% success rate (and in the majority of these games I never had more than 15 damage)! I know, it sounds unbelievable, but still its true. This is not because I played against morons Ė me and my strongest rival played over 70 games against each other and if I donít use this build my success rate against him is roughly 50%. So we are quite at the same level and we both played against many different builds and more than 15 different human players via OCTGN with a good success rate even without this special build.
Considering all this, the reason for the outstanding performance of this build has to come from somewhere else than player skill ;).

The core cards of the build are:
-   6 Hand of Bim-Shalla
-   2 Temple of Light
-   3 Gremlins (if you can afford them, take 4)
-   2 Battle Fury
These cards work with every mage (although I have my favourites) and even if you add some important meta cards (e.g. seeking dispel, dispel, teleport, maybe a couple ballistae in the future) you still have enough spellpoints to combine this strategy with a second for flexibility.

The Opening:
The following example assumes that you have a Channeling of 10, but the first three rounds work also with channeling 9.

Round 1 (20 Mana):
HoBS + Gremlin = 12 Mana

Round 2 (18 Mana):
HoBS + Gremlin = 12 Mana

Round 3 (16 Mana):
HoBS + Temple of Light = 14 Mana

Round 4 (12 Mana):
HoBS + Battle Fury

In round 4, this build has the potential to generate a total of 22 damage dices divided into 4 rolls from which 3 have piercing 1 and one has a high chance to daze/stun (5 dices from ToL, 3 from the Gremlin without buffs, 14 from gremlin buffed with HoBS and Battle Fury). BTW in round 4 this build has 2 mana left, which can be used to give the gremlins fast (assuming channeling 10).
This damage output is quite high, but other builds achieve this as well. The important point is that it is really difficult for the opponent to prevent the damage. Walls donít work against Gremlins. Tanglevine and other forms of crowd control are very inefficient against this build as well, because you need to control both gremlins and the mage at the same time! If you donít, the free creature is buffed with 4 HoBS and a quick casted Battle Fury without you having the chance to interrupt this (to tell the truth, if the mage wants to attack with Battle Fury in Round 4, he canít cast the fourth HoBS).
On the other side, it is quite difficult to lower the damage outcome of this build by focusing on either the conjurations or the gremlins. HoBS and ToL both absorb good amounts of damage in respect to their mana cost. Attacking gremlins is really horrible since they are cheap but have a nice defence and enough life and armor to survive a hit from a level 2-3 creature. And if the gremlin survives the HoBS is a really efficient way to heal them up (contrary to other forms of healing, there is no randomness involved in using HoBS).

To hopefully start a nice discussion, let me end with this:
My friend and I played many games via OCTGN and in RL against each other and against other players. We played against all common types of builds (e.g. solo-mage, swarm deck, curse deck, solo-mage temple deck, mana denial etc.), but we never came across a build that is a real threat for the one I discussed here. If you donít believe me, try the opening I posted above and let me know how it worked ;).
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: nitrodavid on July 07, 2013, 08:08:40 PM
how did you handle flying sweepers like lof and east wind. or a light immune flying creature like the angle.

I would classify this as a rush swarm/control. 3 lvl 2 creatures by turn 4 is very swarm like and the daze/stun is your control

as for how would react if I personally saw that build heading towards me I would hope I had one of the following
damage barrier + circle attack (fire or lightning)
 suppression orb (your move actions act like teleports but are still move actions and will cost you 1 mana each)
general anti swarm tech (obelisk, cloak etc)

 out of those the biggest weakness I see is the suppression orb because you are a pest the other mage can run 2 zones away and make you constantly waste 2 mana per gremlin. since by turn 4 your opponent will have 50mana on the field I think they could have

suppression orb (8)
cheetah speed (5)
defensive creature to protect orb (up to 29 mana)
leaving 8 mana for a defensive mage item.

 I'm not saying it will beat your deck but I think it will hamper it. I believe your build works very well against the current meta which I find is very offensive based, while I personally always don't like that and go defensive in all my builds. the biggest problem is there could be a build designed to best yours but I would not run it at a comp because it will get squashed by traditional aggro meta
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: sIKE on July 07, 2013, 09:05:00 PM
These builds work well until Thunderbolt (Core)/ Grimson Deadeye, Sniper (FvM)/ Hurl Meteorite (Promo) with 3 zone ranged attacks are brought out and just the other mage sits back and blows these all up. Yes a bit of a mana sink but just hanging back and taking these out turn after turn and developing your own offensive capabilities.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: nitrodavid on July 07, 2013, 09:58:08 PM
on a good day it will take you 2 thunder bolts to take out temple. that's 2 full action and 20 mana turns while you have 3 gremlins chasing you down.

deadeye is great for taking it out if you can keep him alive against the 2x5 (1 pierce) attack that will be coming your way on turn 2
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Paleblue on July 07, 2013, 10:25:47 PM
I would counter with sniper and dwarf guards.

Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Charmyna on July 08, 2013, 06:24:54 AM
how did you handle flying sweepers like lof and east wind. or a light immune flying creature like the angle.

In most games I played against a Lord of Fire,he did one attack before dying after a combo of knockdown/force hold + buffed up gremlin. 14 Life is nothing against such a gremlin+ToL ;). Even if the LoF is buffed with defensive enchantments he often goes from full life to extinction in one round.
The light immune Angel is the toughest creature for this build, since a lot of the sustained damage comes from the ToL. One way to come around the angel is to damage the opposing mage while lowering the damage output from the angel (force hold, curse of agony etc). It is far easier and mana efficient to crowd control the angel compared to controling the gremlin. If the angel is buffed up with some enchantments it can be worth to banish him - the 3 rounds until he comes back often are enough to kill the opponent given the high burst damage of this build.
 If the opponent lets me build up 5-6 HoBS, a combination of force hold/knockdown + buffed up gremlin often kills the angel in one round (in the case of 6 HoBS that would be 2*8 dices after consideration of aegis 1 against 14 life and the 1 armor from the angel is ignored because of the gremlins piercing).
Think of this build more as a strategy than an actual build: The strategy is to create damage sources which can't be countered mana efficiently. Big creatures like the one you mentioned can be countered efficiently because their base costs are so high, whereas for the gremlins and the ToL it is very mana inefficient to counter them given their low costs compared to their survivability.
So at the end of the day, this build either has a mana advantage or a damage advantage.


I would classify this as a rush swarm/control. 3 lvl 2 creatures by turn 4 is very swarm like and the daze/stun is your control

as for how would react if I personally saw that build heading towards me I would hope I had one of the following
damage barrier + circle attack (fire or lightning)
 suppression orb (your move actions act like teleports but are still move actions and will cost you 1 mana each)
general anti swarm tech (obelisk, cloak etc)

 out of those the biggest weakness I see is the suppression orb because you are a pest the other mage can run 2 zones away and make you constantly waste 2 mana per gremlin. since by turn 4 your opponent will have 50mana on the field I think they could have

suppression orb (8)
cheetah speed (5)
defensive creature to protect orb (up to 29 mana)
leaving 8 mana for a defensive mage item.

 I'm not saying it will beat your deck but I think it will hamper it. I believe your build works very well against the current meta which I find is very offensive based, while I personally always don't like that and go defensive in all my builds. the biggest problem is there could be a build designed to best yours but I would not run it at a comp because it will get squashed by traditional aggro meta

Damage barriers can be a problem for the gremlins. But in many cases they have enough life to survive, which allows efficiently healing them in the following round with the HoBS (reducing my damage output). Even if the gremlin dies, as long as he delivered the combo-damage its worth the mana. Circle of Lightning is dangerous because it lowers the damage from the battle fury, so I would dispel that. A wizard that has a few circles might be a problem, but I guess that is a rather uncommon build. Anyway, if I cant dispel the circle, I would attack his other creatures to make best use of the high burst damage, which often gives an advantage in the long run. If he is a solo mage, he will have a hard time since he will be constantly dazed.

You mentioned Suppression Orb. Well, a hidden strength of this build is, that although you can rush quite well with it, you dont have to! If the opponent turtles with an Orb or Obelisk, i just build the 5th and 6th HoBS in round 5. In Round 6 I cast nullify on the opponent and remove his divine protection or whatever defensive stuff he has. In the next Round in which the opponent has initiative, I position my Mage in a range of 2 from the opposing mage and cast battle fury on a gremlin. Assuming he does not have more creatures than me (otherwise casting Suppression Orb/Obelisk would be a strange move), his mage has to use his action marker before my last gremlin. So, before the buffed up gremlins turn, I use the quick cast to teleport the opposing mage into my zone and attack him for 25 dices of damage (7 from ToL and 2*9 from gremlin). In the next round I have initiative for another 25 dices of damage. The only thing he can do against that is using his quick cast, but since I casted nullify on him, he cant use teleport or reverse attack etc.
Im not saying this works always as described, but the potential of a huge burst coming from ToL+buffed up Gremlin puts the opponent under great pressure and makes it very hard to decide what to do next. And since the damage from the gremlin is so high, the mana costs from Orb are negligible. The obelisk doesnt work against this build as well since usually 2 gremlins are enough. This is why the common counter strategies against swarm decks dont work against this build.


These builds work well until Thunderbolt (Core)/ Grimson Deadeye, Sniper (FvM)/ Hurl Meteorite (Promo) with 3 zone ranged attacks are brought out and just the other mage sits back and blows these all up. Yes a bit of a mana sink but just hanging back and taking these out turn after turn and developing your own offensive capabilities.

Those spells are very mana inefficient. Maybe you shot down the first and maybe even the second ToL, but then  the mana disadvantage and the damage from the gremlins+HoBS is a real problem. The Grimson Deadeye Sniper is a mana efficient solution, but its difficult to protect him. You can cast a nullify on him, but still its possible to use quickcast+full action to teleport him out of his safety zone and kill him in one round with ToL+gremlin. There might be a combination of Sniper+walls+archer tower for indirect trait that works, but i havent met them and putting up all those isnt really mana efficient. Btw, if you spend so much mana on protecting the sniper, I could use a thoughtspore with fireball or teleport to target your sniper even behind the wall and still have the mana advantage on my side. Or I use the buffed up gremlin to destroy the wall in one round followed up by a teleport of the sniper.
BTW I often play this build with a Forcemaster, which allows me to pull the deadeye even through nullify for only 1 mana.
Edit: Just had a funny idea. I could destroy the wall that protects the sniper with a buffed gremlin and replace it with a wall of pikes (costs 4 mana and does not block Line of Sight). The wall of pikes will prevent you from putting up another wall to block LoS to your sniper. In the next round its easy to teleport your sniper out of the zone or to push him through the wall of pikes.

I would counter with sniper and dwarf guards.

I never played against Dwarf Panzergarde, so the intercept might work nicely with the sniper. But that still doesnt protect the sniper against being teleported or pulled (especially if playing against the forcemaster).
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: sIKE on July 08, 2013, 10:57:30 AM
Once again if I am three zone away and I am shooting at your ToL, you will have to come to me. If you have dropped as much mana here has you have described, you will not have much to teleport me with. It is a passive defense which allows me to build up my strengths as I do not necessarily shoot each turn. The goals behind this kind of strategy is for the opposing mage to charge in to your firing base and get demolished. But if the mage does not play by your rules and start slowly grinding on your HoBs and ToLs at some point the advantage flips. I move forward one and teleport say the Gorgon Archer to me and hack to pieces.

I have seen the same thing done with Wizards Tower and Ballista in the same zone. Quite nasty by the way. Drop a Intercept Critter in the same zone and you have quite a blast radius....


Please forgive me for my ignorance, what are gremlins?
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: wolf88 on July 08, 2013, 05:09:53 PM
Wow this build sounds NASTY. I knew that someone would find a way to exploit the Gremlins sooner or later :)
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Paleblue on July 08, 2013, 06:25:55 PM

I never played against Dwarf Panzergarde, so the intercept might work nicely with the sniper. But that still doesnt protect the sniper against being teleported or pulled (especially if playing against the forcemaster).

A teleport would be expected, so a nullify on the sniper would probably be something I would plop down early (or wall off, though I'm not all that keen on walls). Your strategy certainly seems powerful and I think the majority of mages would struggle and if you didn't have the right reaction to it most people would die.

Certainly seems like temple play is the fad at the moment!
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: baronzaltor on July 08, 2013, 06:38:54 PM
Thou only a promo, so not yet tourney legal, lion savagery is amazing with blue gremlins if you can find the dice tower promo set.

It grants +2 charge and +1 pierce.  Since gremlins count as teleporting when they use fast, move they can exit and renter the same zone unhindered and always attack at 5 with 2 pierce.  7 if you give him a bear strength too.

Also, since their movements are teleports they are great for eating watchtower snipers because they can walk through walls.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Paleblue on July 08, 2013, 07:00:40 PM
Thou only a promo, so not yet tourney legal, lion savagery is amazing with blue gremlins if you can find the dice tower promo set.

It grants +2 charge and +1 pierce.  Since gremlins count as teleporting when they use fast, move they can exit and renter the same zone unhindered and always attack at 5 with 2 pierce.  7 if you give him a bear strength too.

Also, since their movements are teleports they are great for eating watchtower snipers because they can walk through walls.

I really wish these promos where out, so many good cards I want to get my grubby hands on! Out of curiosity how many copies of each cards did you guys get?
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: sIKE on July 08, 2013, 07:15:03 PM
Ah! Blue Gremlin. I can she how useful these little guys can be especially now without (from a tourney perspective) something like the Morning Star with the Unavoidable trait. Once that card goes main stream it will void the Defense advantage of the creatures like this.

Has anyone tried kiting your gremlins?
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: baronzaltor on July 08, 2013, 07:26:05 PM
Thou only a promo, so not yet tourney legal, lion savagery is amazing with blue gremlins if you can find the dice tower promo set.

It grants +2 charge and +1 pierce.  Since gremlins count as teleporting when they use fast, move they can exit and renter the same zone unhindered and always attack at 5 with 2 pierce.  7 if you give him a bear strength too.

Also, since their movements are teleports they are great for eating watchtower snipers because they can walk through walls.

I really wish these promos where out, so many good cards I want to get my grubby hands on! Out of curiosity how many copies of each cards did you guys get?

My brother and I each ordered 2 of the dice tower sets.  Each of  them has 1 copy in it.  So our collective set has 4 of each
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Charmyna on July 09, 2013, 10:01:28 AM
Once again if I am three zone away and I am shooting at your ToL, you will have to come to me. If you have dropped as much mana here has you have described, you will not have much to teleport me with. It is a passive defense which allows me to build up my strengths as I do not necessarily shoot each turn. The goals behind this kind of strategy is for the opposing mage to charge in to your firing base and get demolished. But if the mage does not play by your rules and start slowly grinding on your HoBs and ToLs at some point the advantage flips. I move forward one and teleport say the Gorgon Archer to me and hack to pieces.
I have seen the same thing done with Wizards Tower and Ballista in the same zone. Quite nasty by the way. Drop a Intercept Critter in the same zone and you have quite a blast radius....
Please forgive me for my ignorance, what are gremlins?
Well, if you cast a Sniper in the first or second Round, I might change my opening. I would think of a way to position the temple of light on a field from which he can immediately shoot at your sniper. But who knows, maybe you got the right answer. Lets test it in OCTGN! Im online the next hours.
BTW Ballista+Wizards Tower sounds really nice  :).


Thou only a promo, so not yet tourney legal, lion savagery is amazing with blue gremlins if you can find the dice tower promo set.

It grants +2 charge and +1 pierce.  Since gremlins count as teleporting when they use fast, move they can exit and renter the same zone unhindered and always attack at 5 with 2 pierce.  7 if you give him a bear strength too.

Also, since their movements are teleports they are great for eating watchtower snipers because they can walk through walls.
There was a discussion whether or not the gremlins can be hindered if they use their inherent teleport. Unfortunately there was no official response yet. I feel like gremlins are too good if they will be fast and cant be hindered after paying 1 mana. Thatís why I play it with them being hindered.
Btw I donít think itís a good idea to cast two enchantments on a gremlin. If they die, you loose too much action/mana. One advantage of this build is, that whatever your opponent kills, it will cost you one action and only the base mana (no mana from enchantments). Or to put it in another perspective: A gremlin with those 2 enchantments costs 17 mana. Now, its much more harmful for you, if your opponent in some way prevents the damage from the gremlin. Whereas, if instead of casting those two enchantments, you cast two HoBS, the damage will be split into your creatures and the Temple of Light. So its really difficult to avoid the damage of those HoBSs. Im not saying that I never cast an enchantment on a gremlin though ;).


Ah! Blue Gremlin. I can she how useful these little guys can be especially now without (from a tourney perspective) something like the Morning Star with the Unavoidable trait. Once that card goes main stream it will void the Defense advantage of the creatures like this.
 
The morning star is quite interesting, since its more difficult to destroy compared to falcon precision. So maybe that will be a problem. But, even without the defence its not so easy to onehit the Gremlins. The daze of the ToL will work against the morning star as well. So, yes you might kill 1-2 Gremlins, but during that time you get quite some damage.
I had those games, in which the opponent destroyed 5 hands or enough gremlins to overcome my main strategy. But at that point I had nearly zero damage and he had 20+. So it wasnít difficult to finish him off with some fireballs or a push through a wall of thorns.

 
Has anyone tried kiting your gremlins?
Yes, some tried an early suppression orb and kiting gremlins, which is quite annoying. But its not easy to protect the orb against the buffed gremlins. And btw there are only 2 corners, which the ToL doesnít reach. So kiting isnít that easy.
You mentioned Ballistae. Im aware of them being a big threat for the ToL and the HoBS. That is why I included 4 of them into my spellbook and some fire spells. I use the ballistae seldomly, because I dont want non-tournament cards to be the reason for my win. But, I include 4 of them to make sure my spellbook works with them and to be prepared for the time when they will be important meta cards. Still, the opponents ballistae will hurt me, but my own ballistae will make sure, that his donít last long. At the end, he might destroy my temples, but I will have destroyed his ballistae and still have my own. So hopefully thatís enough to win.
If we play together in OCTGN, it would be very interesting to see a build that includes the ballista.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: reddawn on July 09, 2013, 02:04:27 PM
Sounds like a build that is ripe for a zone attack.  Gremlins are good, but they're not going to reliably survive multiple Ring of Fire/Electrify/Firestorm/Hail of Rocks/etc (in fact, they can easily die to just one), and you have to get all your Gremlins on the same target if you want the amount of dice you're talking about, so it's not terribly hard to predict.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: baronzaltor on July 09, 2013, 09:17:47 PM

Thou only a promo, so not yet tourney legal, lion savagery is amazing with blue gremlins if you can find the dice tower promo set.

It grants +2 charge and +1 pierce.  Since gremlins count as teleporting when they use fast, move they can exit and renter the same zone unhindered and always attack at 5 with 2 pierce.  7 if you give him a bear strength too.

Also, since their movements are teleports they are great for eating watchtower snipers because they can walk through walls.
There was a discussion whether or not the gremlins can be hindered if they use their inherent teleport. Unfortunately there was no official response yet. I feel like gremlins are too good if they will be fast and cant be hindered after paying 1 mana. Thatís why I play it with them being hindered.
Btw I donít think itís a good idea to cast two enchantments on a gremlin. If they die, you loose too much action/mana. One advantage of this build is, that whatever your opponent kills, it will cost you one action and only the base mana (no mana from enchantments). Or to put it in another perspective: A gremlin with those 2 enchantments costs 17 mana. Now, its much more harmful for you, if your opponent in some way prevents the damage from the gremlin. Whereas, if instead of casting those two enchantments, you cast two HoBS, the damage will be split into your creatures and the Temple of Light. So its really difficult to avoid the damage of those HoBSs. Im not saying that I never cast an enchantment on a gremlin though ;).
If we play together in OCTGN, it would be very interesting to see a build that includes the ballista.

As a Wizard, Enchantment Transfusion only costs you 1 spellpoint and you can just send your enchantments down the line to the next gremlin when he dies and keep them in the game for multiple use on your other creatures.  Their damage output at 7 and 2 Pierce will more than make up for the cost since with a battlefury its an instant 14 dice of damage with the enchantments safely passed on at their death.   (and can still be bolstered further with hands). 

Also, theres no reason they would be hindered.  If you pay the mana, their movement for the rest of the activation is teleportation..
Teleport reads: "an effect that moves an object directly to another zone, bypassing walls and objects (which includes creatures)"   Creatures are ignored by teleportation movements.  Since the mana is paid when he is activated his round "starts" with his movement considered a teleportation effect so he ignores other creatures in the zone for the purpose of hinderance.

Its the same way  with a Necropian Vampiress. If you pay the mana at activation she "begins" the phase with flying and goes unhindered even though there are creatures in the zone already.

Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: nitrodavid on July 09, 2013, 10:22:35 PM
the blue gremlen says "each move action it is teleported into the next zone"(ref card)

hindered "if a creature starts its action phase in a zone with an enemy creature it can only take 1 move action"(ref pg 9 "hindered movement")

in the same manner

your gremlin starts the zone with a creature it can only make one move action and that action will be a teleport

 that is the direct interpretation of the rules. unless there is info in the FAQ or other official media it should stand

there may be other official words on this because currently the rules would mean any form of restraint (tanglevine) will prevent the move action and prevent the teleport.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 09, 2013, 11:00:19 PM
This is from the official FAQ/ errata. It should help clarify hindering and teleport.

Hindering
The official rule: A creature cannot take a second move action (even if it has the Fast trait), if it is in a zone where it is currently hindered, or has already moved this round out of a zone while it was hindered.
A creature may be able to become unhindered before its first move action. For example, the Necropian Vampiress could gain Flying before she moves. If there are no flyers in her zone before she moves, then she could exit the zone unhindered. If she is unhindered in the new zone, she can move again as a second move action. The same would apply with a creature revealing an Eagle Wings before it takes its first move action.
Movement by teleporting ignores the Hindering restriction. If a creature teleports before it takes any move actions, it can become un-hindered if it teleports into a zone without any enemy objects that can hinder it.
Note that if a creature has moved one zone while unhindered, and is unhindered in its new zone, it can move a second time into a zone with enemy creatures in it (where it will be hindered for its next action phase).
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: nitrodavid on July 10, 2013, 12:10:07 AM
from that FAQ notice it says teleport before a move action. while gremlin uses teleport AS a move action.

that rule in FAQ related to divine intervention being used at the start of creatures phase.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: sdougla2 on July 10, 2013, 01:36:01 AM
Movement by teleporting ignores the Hindering restriction.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: nitrodavid on July 10, 2013, 01:57:33 AM
yes movement by teleport. but for the gremlin it is a "move action". there are many ways to have movement push, pull, tele, move action etc.

unless there is no distinction between a "movement" and a "move action" but I think there is because a restrained creature can have "movement" (eg push) but can't have a "move action".
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Tacullu64 on July 10, 2013, 07:09:44 AM
This is from the official FAQ/ errata. It should help clarify hindering and teleport.

Or not.  :D
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: ringkichard on July 12, 2013, 12:46:36 AM
tl;dr: No, Blue Gremlins can't use teleport to ignore the hindering effect of other creatures. The rules are a little confused, but they won't let you do this.

---

The rules say:
"During its Action Phase, a creature can move. If it moves, it must finish all movement before it takes any other action. A creature cannot take any other kind of action and then move. When a creature takes a move action it moves one zone into any adjacent zone. The zone must be horizontally or vertically adjacent (creatures never move diagonally). As a quick action, a creature can choose to move a second zone. In this manner, creatures can move 2 zones per round. Moving into a second zone completes its Action Phase, and it won’t be able to take another action (such as guard or attack)."

So both move actions and quick actions enable a creature to move. Ergo, not all movement is a move action. We don't know for sure if all move actions are movement, though. We do know, from Blue Gremlin, that "Each move action he takes this round is a teleport to the next zone."

The Fast entry in the Codex says,
Fast: This creature may take 2 Move Actions before taking a Quick Action. It may take a maximum of 2 Move Actions during its Action Phase. If a Fast creature gains the Slow trait, both traits are cancelled out. See “Fast Creatures” on page 14.

On page 14, it says,
Fast Creatures:
Some creatures have the Fast trait. These creatures may take two move actions before taking a quick action. However, Fast creatures may not move again as a quick action. Like other creatures, they are limited to two move actions per Action Phase, and their movement can still be hindered by enemy creatures (see “Hindering Movement” on page 9).

So the way Fast works, mechanically, is that the Fast creature gains 2 move actions but then can't use its quick Action to move.

We do seem to have some rules imprecision in the text as written, though. The rules say, "Like other creatures, they are limited to two move actions per Action Phase," which is incorrect. Other creatures are limited to one move action and one quick action per Action Phase, and this results in a limit of moving twice. We can either chose to interpret this as imprecise explanatory text, or draw the conclusion that if you use a quick action to move it is now also a move action. No other text I could find supports the latter conclusion, and I believe it is an error.

How does Hindering interact with all this?

The Rulebook says, "Hindering Movement:
Enemy creatures can prevent your creature from moving into a second zone. If your creature begins its Action Phase in a zone with any enemy creatures it is hindered and may only take one move action during its Action Phase (even if it has the Fast trait). If it moves into a zone occupied by an enemy creature, it is hindered, and must stop and cannot take any more move actions this Action Phase. Some creatures may have a trait or ability which allows them to ignore other creatures that hinder movement. For example, a creature with the Flying trait can ignore non-Flying creatures when moving, and a creature with the Elusive trait may always ignore enemy creatures when moving."

This is more imprecise language, because creatures without fast only ever take 1 move action. The second move is accomplished with a quick action. Still, we have to assume that the author meant to restrict quick actions with hindering, or else hindering does nothing.

---

Where does this leave the Gremlin?
The Gremlin is Fast and "Each move action he takes this round is a teleport to the next zone." The gremlin is Fast, so he does actually have two move actions, which is good, because it avoids the rules messiness above.

The Gremlin does take move actions to teleport. If he begins his Action Phase in a zone with an enemy creature, he is hindered. He may only take one move action during his Action Phase, even though he has the Fast trait (the hindering rules, again).  The Gremlin's only way out of this would be if he had a rule that let him ignore other creatures that hinder movement.

Now comes the confusing line from the FAQ: "Movement by teleporting ignores the Hindering restriction. If a creature teleports before it takes any move actions, it can become un-hindered if it teleports into a zone without any enemy objects that can hinder it."

The Rules for Teleport say,
"Teleporting is an effect that moves a creature directly from one zone to another. The teleported creature does not move through any zones in between, and bypasses all walls, creatures, and objects along its route." Well, the "creatures" part can only mean hindering, so that's promising. When the Gremlin is teleporting it ignores hindering creatures.

There's a problem, though. The hindering restriction does not actually prevent movement, it prevents move actions, and the Gremlin has to use a move action to teleport. This isn't like flying on the Necropian Vampiress; she gains flying for the whole turn, starting as soon as she is activated.

The Gremlin, on the other hand, only gets to ignore creatures when it's teleporting, and before it ever gets a chance to teleport and thereby ignore other creatures, it must first begin his action phase. If it activates in a zone that has other creatures in it, it does not satisfy the Faq's condition that the creature must "teleport[] before it takes any move actions."

The same things happens if it teleports into a zone with a hindering creature. It only ignores the other creature when it's taking its move action and teleporting. But it can't take its second move action while it's hindered, and it would need to take that action in order to ignore the hindering. The Gremlin can't take the 2nd move action it would need to use to teleport, in order to ignore the hindering creatures, in order to take the 2nd move action.

If it helps you think of it, you can imagine it like this: "If I could ignore all the laws, I could become King. If I became King, I could, thereafter, ignore all the laws. But I cannot ignore all the laws, so I cannot become king, so I can not ignore all the laws."
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: nitrodavid on July 12, 2013, 12:58:03 AM
finally I am right for once.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: sdougla2 on July 12, 2013, 02:27:49 AM
Gremlins moving by Teleporting ignore hindering. The FAQ wording indicates that all movement by teleportation ignores hindering. I agree that bypassing all creatures along the route means that you ignore hindering, but I disagree with your assessment of move actions vs movement. Other movement always ignores other creatures anyway. Casting a Teleport on a creature does not interact with where other creatures are placed at all. Divine Intervention could interact with them in terms of getting a creature free of hindering after it's activated but before it moves. Push effects ignore other creatures and hindering. The only place that this rule could even potentially be applied right now is Blue Gremlins. Nothing else moves by teleporting.

This is what Arcanus had to say about it in another thread:

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=8412.msg8702#msg8702

"The official rule: A creature cannot take a second move action (except by teleportation), if it is in a zone where it is currently hindered, or has already moved this round out of a zone where it was hindered."

Also, a quick action can be used to move, and if it is, then it's a move action. Therefore, I don't think that the wording on fast is wrong or imprecise. It's saying that you can move twice, then take a quick non-move action.

Fast:

"This creature may take 2 Move Actions before taking a Quick Action. It may take a maximum of 2 Move Actions during its Action Phase."

Quick Action:

"During their Action Phase, creatures can take a move action, followed by a quick action. Quick actions include guarding, casting a quick spell, taking a second move action, or making a quick action attack."

That seems pretty precise and well worded to me.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: ringkichard on July 12, 2013, 03:35:51 AM
I agree that if, "a quick action can be used to move, and if it is, then it's a move action," is true than there's no wording problem. But I don't see that sentence anywhere in the rules or the FAQ.

I also agree that if the wording Arcanus used on March 2nd was what was published in the FAQ, then it'd be pretty clear that creatures that change zones by teleportation are unaffected by hindering. But that's not what he said on March 5th, or what was published in the FAQ.

That said, given the March 2nd comments (which I hadn't seen before), Arcanus and the Rules Team did seem to have intended that Blue Gremlin would be able to teleport even though hindered.

Here's what was written on March 2nd
Quote from: Arcanus
Movement by teleporting ignores the Hindering restriction. If a creature teleports before it takes any move actions, it can become un-hindered if it teleports into a zone without any enemy objects that can hinder it.
The official rule: A creature cannot take a second move action (except by teleportation), if it is in a zone where it is currently hindered, or has already moved this round out of a zone where it was hindered.

And here's what was written on March 5th
Quote from: Arcanus
We have decided to update hindering, and here is the official rule right out of the FAQ:

The official rule: A creature cannot take a second move action (even if it has the Fast trait), if it is in a zone where it is currently hindered, or has already moved this round out of a zone while it was hindered.
Note that the phrase "except by teleportation" has changed to "even if it has the Fast trait" in the updated version that made it into the FAQ.

Arcanus continues,
Quote
Note the keyword "while" above. If a creature can teleport away, or gain flying, BEFORE it moves, then it is essentially unhindered and can move freely. We felt this was better for the game, possibly more fair and realistic, and allowed for interesting tactics.
Again, Blue Gremlins don't teleport BEFORE they move, they teleport WHEN they move. Arcanus even stresses this difference.

Quote
Here is the rest of the FAQ entry:

A creature may be able to become unhindered before its first move action. For example, the Necropian Vampiress could gain Flying before she moves. If there are no flyers in her zone before she moves, then she could exit the zone unhindered. If she is unhindered in the new zone, she can move again as a second move action. The same would apply with a creature revealing an Eagle Wings before it takes its first move action.
More of the same.

Quote
Movement by teleporting ignores the Hindering restriction. If a creature teleports before it takes any move actions, it can become un-hindered if it teleports into a zone without any enemy objects that can hinder it.

The March 2nd comments mean, "Even though it's hindered, it can take move actions if those move actions are teleports." The March 5th comments mean, "If you can get free by teleporting before you move, you can move unhindered; just like flying."

Without the bit of context present in the March 2nd comments but missing from the March 5th comments, there's no way to know that "Movement by teleporting ignores the hindering restriction" applies to the Blue Gremlin coming as it does between a discussion of how flyers that gain flying BEFORE moving are not hindered, and after a discussion of teleporting  BEFORE moving to get to an un-hindered square.

If the sentence, "Movement by teleporting ignores the Hindering restriction." was in its own paragraph and had some explanatory text that didn't talk about teleporting before moving, it'd be a lot more clear that the FAQ intended to support the March 2nd intent. But the phrase "except by teleportation" in the March 2nd response has been specifically omitted from the March 5th, FAQ, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what that means.

---

Now, I have no idea what caused this change in wording, so I won't pretend that I know the intent of the rules here. It's weird that teleporting is mentioned, but not Blue Gremlin specifically. I can't tell if Arcanus was just being coy, or if he was referring to a card that existed during playtesting but hadn't (and hasn't) yet been to the printer, or if he was just future proofing.

It's quite late at night, but if no one has started a rules forum thread about this tomorrow, I'll do so myself.
Title: Re: The reliable damage temple deck
Post by: Charmyna on July 13, 2013, 08:06:44 AM
Sounds like a build that is ripe for a zone attack.  Gremlins are good, but they're not going to reliably survive multiple Ring of Fire/Electrify/Firestorm/Hail of Rocks/etc (in fact, they can easily die to just one), and you have to get all your Gremlins on the same target if you want the amount of dice you're talking about, so it's not terribly hard to predict.

A ring of fire is a good answer against two gremlins, but I rarely stand in the same zone with both. If I do, its because I have initiative in the next round and can move out one gremlin before he can cast ring of fire or because I can hit his mage with a 2nd burst from a buffed gremlin (who often has falcon precision, so defence, blocks etc wont work). A second hit from a buffed gremlin will put him above 20 damage.  With so much damage, even if he kills both gremlins the damage from ToL + whatever my mage has in petto always was enough to finish the opponent quickly. Btw the daze from ToL works against zone attacks as well - so their efficiency decreases.
Anyway, often I alter the opening and skip the 2nd gremlin to cast HoBS+ToL in round 2. That way, the burst damage starts earlier, but its easier to avoid it with guards since I dont have a 2nd gremlin. An interesting alteration of this build is to cast Cervere, The Forest Shadow in round 1. Its the legendary panther that has fast and elusive. So its really difficult to avoid his damage. Downside: Since he costs 15 mana, its more efficient to use crowd control on him compared to the gremlins (btw if you dont have initiative in round 1 and your opponent casts the panther, you have misplanned your first round, which really hurts).



Thou only a promo, so not yet tourney legal, lion savagery is amazing with blue gremlins if you can find the dice tower promo set.

It grants +2 charge and +1 pierce.  Since gremlins count as teleporting when they use fast, move they can exit and renter the same zone unhindered and always attack at 5 with 2 pierce.  7 if you give him a bear strength too.

Also, since their movements are teleports they are great for eating watchtower snipers because they can walk through walls.
There was a discussion whether or not the gremlins can be hindered if they use their inherent teleport. Unfortunately there was no official response yet. I feel like gremlins are too good if they will be fast and cant be hindered after paying 1 mana. Thatís why I play it with them being hindered.
Btw I donít think itís a good idea to cast two enchantments on a gremlin. If they die, you loose too much action/mana. One advantage of this build is, that whatever your opponent kills, it will cost you one action and only the base mana (no mana from enchantments). Or to put it in another perspective: A gremlin with those 2 enchantments costs 17 mana. Now, its much more harmful for you, if your opponent in some way prevents the damage from the gremlin. Whereas, if instead of casting those two enchantments, you cast two HoBS, the damage will be split into your creatures and the Temple of Light. So its really difficult to avoid the damage of those HoBSs. Im not saying that I never cast an enchantment on a gremlin though ;).
If we play together in OCTGN, it would be very interesting to see a build that includes the ballista.

As a Wizard, Enchantment Transfusion only costs you 1 spellpoint and you can just send your enchantments down the line to the next gremlin when he dies and keep them in the game for multiple use on your other creatures.  Their damage output at 7 and 2 Pierce will more than make up for the cost since with a battlefury its an instant 14 dice of damage with the enchantments safely passed on at their death.   (and can still be bolstered further with hands). 

Also, theres no reason they would be hindered.  If you pay the mana, their movement for the rest of the activation is teleportation..
Teleport reads: "an effect that moves an object directly to another zone, bypassing walls and objects (which includes creatures)"   Creatures are ignored by teleportation movements.  Since the mana is paid when he is activated his round "starts" with his movement considered a teleportation effect so he ignores other creatures in the zone for the purpose of hinderance.

Its the same way  with a Necropian Vampiress. If you pay the mana at activation she "begins" the phase with flying and goes unhindered even though there are creatures in the zone already.

I tried the opening with a gremlin+bear strength, falcon precision etc. It worked but I think it was not as robust as the opening with the HoBS. The problem is, its too difficult to protect the enchantments. Even with nullify+enchantment transfusion there are ways to destroy the enchantments - I have to admit its difficult though.
The major downside of the multi enchantment opening is you need so many actions to cast bear strength, lion savagery, falcon precision (often needed), nullify and enchantment transfusion. You might think of skipping nullify as the enchantment transfusion protects against purge magic in some way. But, if your opponent sees so many enchantments on a creature with only one face down enchantment, many will take that as an invitation for seeking dispel+purge magic, which will put you at a major mana and action disadvantage. Btw,  to get rid of the enchantments your opponent wouldnt even need purge magic, if he had enough burst damage and you only have one creature next to the buffed gremlin. He could teleport the unbuffed gremlin or your mage (whoever is the creature next to the buffed gremlin) out of the range of enchantment transfusion and then kill the buffed gremlin. To prevent this, you need to be very careful with your positioning, which might bring up other problems.
Edit: I just realized, I was wrong about that last part. If your creature dies and your other creatures are too far away, you still can transer your enchantment to the creatures of your opponent. This might sound very strange since you give them bear streangth etc but it totally would make sense. Next round, before they can make use of the enchantments you cast another transfusion on them to move the enchantments back. Thats a really cool trick if you ask me :).

You proposed to use battle fury with gremlin+bear strength+lion savagery for 14 damage dices. That doesnt work. It would be 7 dice on first attack and 5 dice on second attack because charge only works on the first melee attack in that round. So lion savagery does 2 dice per round if your gremlin moves and attacks (regardless of using battle fury). The HoBS does 2 dice each round if the gremlin attacks (no need to move) and the temple of light shoots (which is a ranged attack and often more useful than a melee attack). The HoBS also inreases the chance to daze with the ToL AND it has synergy with battle fury. In addition, you can use the HoBS to heal if you dont attack in that round (in this situation lion savagery would be useless in that round) or you can use HoBS for +1 armor, which in some rounds prevents more than 1 damage. Do you still think lion savagery is a better investment than HoBS? ;)
You might point out that lion savagery gives +1 piercing as well and to cast it you only need 2 mana instead of 5 for HoBS - so in some rounds you might be able to cast savagery but not HoBS. That is true, but the benefits of HoBS outweigh those two aspects if you ask me.
I forgot to emphasize how useful the +1 dice per round is, which HoBS "produces" with ToL. It is much more useful than increasing the attack of a creature by +1! This is because of the way the ready marker from ToL works. You can use ToL before or after a friendly creature is/was activated. I cant stress how important this difference to the activation of normal creatures is! Lets say, my gremlin attacks a creature, which was not activated this round, and after that attack the creature only needs two more damage to be killed. Now, I can use the ToL to kill the creature and the opponent looses the creatures attack this round! I CANT STRESS ENOUGH HOW USEFULL THIS IS!!!
All conjurations, that work in this way (e.g. Wizards tower, ballista, HoBS), are very powerful, since they give you so many choices to do damage before the opponent gets the chance to react.

Let me show you one possible situation illustrating the benefit of the ready-marker mechanic of conjurations:
Assume the following: You dont have conjurations but a couple of creatures which follow the normal activation mechanic. Your opponent (a solo mage until this round) has zero damage and initiative. He passes as long as possible (since he has other plans than attacking you). You attack him with your creatures and move your mage last, since you want his mage to be activated before yours. Now, your opponent activates his mage and casts a big creature, lets say a vampiress. If your mage does not a lot of damage, you have no way to deal much damage to the vampiress in this round - so it will be difficult to kill her before she is activated next round. I guess, you wouldnt attack the vampiress at all and do whatever you planned for your mage.
Now, lets assume the same situation, but instead of many creatures you have many conjurations (e.g. only one gremlin, a ToL, 4 HoBS and a ballista with 2 load tokens). You attack the opponent with your gremlin and he activates his mage to cast the vampiress. Now, you can decide what to do: You can use your conjurations to attack the mage, which in the end will have a similar effect as in the first situation with alot of creatures on your side. BUT, you can decide to focus the vampiress instead. That will be 5 dice from the ToL and 5 from the ballista. The vampiress is half dead! Since in the next round you have initiative, thats another 5 dice from the ToL. Pair this with an attack of the gremlin with +4 melee and the vampiress is dead before she did anything! Btw, the wizards zap is also great as a quickcast paired with ToL to finish off creatures before they activate.
It might not be the best idea to attack the vampiress and do alot of damage to the mage instead. BUT, you have the choice! And in some situations that is crucial - it can be game changing!
I tell you, with this temple build it happens often that an ennemy creature dies before it attacks once or twice.
In this example, I included ballista - a promo card. There are other non-promo cards, which work in the same way, e.g. wizards tower. I dont say those cards are overpowered. But, I say the ready-marker mechanic of those conjurations is really amazing! It gives you so many choices before your opponent is allowed to react. I posted a strategy that is based on this ready-marker mechanic here:
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=12736.0

To the posters above: Thanks for bringing up the discussion about gremlins teleport. I dont mean it ironically - its an open question for which I would really appreciate an official answer.


So, did someone try out the opening or a similar one? I can tell you, I had alot of fun this week in over 20 games against nine players I didnt play against before, who tried to threaten my build ;) - especially in those games against someone who already posted interesting ideas in this thread.
Im online in OCTGN most of the time this weekend, so if youre up for a game, im happy to meet you there (my account name in OCTGN is charmyna as well)!
Title: Re: The build that won 42 lost 0 or the reliable damage temple build
Post by: dexmark on July 16, 2013, 02:10:11 AM
The basic idea:
This thread is not about Temple of Light + Hand of Bim-Shalla being a strong combo Ė it is about how to enhance this combo to become even stronger. Many temple builds rely on a solo-mage or a single strong creature, which is buffed with HoBS and Battle Fury for burst damage. The weakness of this type of builds is that you can prevent the damage quite mana efficient with different ways of crowd control (e.g. tanglevine, teleport, walls, daze, stun, restraint, defence rolls etc). So the idea of this build is to find a way which makes it very hard for your opponent to prevent the damage or in other words: We are looking for reliable damage sources.

Success rate:
To catch your interest, let me emphasize that from over 40 games I played with this build it had a 100% success rate (and in the majority of these games I never had more than 15 damage)! I know, it sounds unbelievable, but still its true. This is not because I played against morons Ė me and my strongest rival played over 70 games against each other and if I donít use this build my success rate against him is roughly 50%. So we are quite at the same level and we both played against many different builds and more than 15 different human players via OCTGN with a good success rate even without this special build.
Considering all this, the reason for the outstanding performance of this build has to come from somewhere else than player skill ;).

The core cards of the build are:
-   6 Hand of Bim-Shalla
-   2 Temple of Light
-   3 Gremlins (if you can afford them, take 4)
-   2 Battle Fury
These cards work with every mage (although I have my favourites) and even if you add some important meta cards (e.g. seeking dispel, dispel, teleport, maybe a couple ballistae in the future) you still have enough spellpoints to combine this strategy with a second for flexibility.

The Opening:
The following example assumes that you have a Channeling of 10, but the first three rounds work also with channeling 9.

Round 1 (20 Mana):
HoBS + Gremlin = 12 Mana

Round 2 (18 Mana):
HoBS + Gremlin = 12 Mana

Round 3 (16 Mana):
HoBS + Temple of Light = 14 Mana

Round 4 (12 Mana):
HoBS + Battle Fury

In round 4, this build has the potential to generate a total of 22 damage dices divided into 4 rolls from which 3 have piercing 1 and one has a high chance to daze/stun (5 dices from ToL, 3 from the Gremlin without buffs, 14 from gremlin buffed with HoBS and Battle Fury). BTW in round 4 this build has 2 mana left, which can be used to give the gremlins fast (assuming channeling 10).
This damage output is quite high, but other builds achieve this as well. The important point is that it is really difficult for the opponent to prevent the damage. Walls donít work against Gremlins. Tanglevine and other forms of crowd control are very inefficient against this build as well, because you need to control both gremlins and the mage at the same time! If you donít, the free creature is buffed with 4 HoBS and a quick casted Battle Fury without you having the chance to interrupt this (to tell the truth, if the mage wants to attack with Battle Fury in Round 4, he canít cast the fourth HoBS).
On the other side, it is quite difficult to lower the damage outcome of this build by focusing on either the conjurations or the gremlins. HoBS and ToL both absorb good amounts of damage in respect to their mana cost. Attacking gremlins is really horrible since they are cheap but have a nice defence and enough life and armor to survive a hit from a level 2-3 creature. And if the gremlin survives the HoBS is a really efficient way to heal them up (contrary to other forms of healing, there is no randomness involved in using HoBS).

To hopefully start a nice discussion, let me end with this:
My friend and I played many games via OCTGN and in RL against each other and against other players. We played against all common types of builds (e.g. solo-mage, swarm deck, curse deck, solo-mage temple deck, mana denial etc.), but we never came across a build that is a real threat for the one I discussed here. If you donít believe me, try the opening I posted above and let me know how it worked ;).

I thought the temple of light is an epic card. Can't have more than 1..

Title: Re: The build that won 42 lost 0 or the reliable damage temple build
Post by: The Dude on July 16, 2013, 04:36:59 AM
No, it's unique my friend! Can't have more than one in the arena at a time, but you can have up to four in your book!