Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Strategy and Tactics => Topic started by: Charmyna on August 08, 2013, 08:20:18 AM

Title: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Charmyna on August 08, 2013, 08:20:18 AM
This is a list of combat tricks which in many games allowed me to get an action advantage. IMO in the end, most games are won as a result of accumulated action advantages. Therefore, it might be quite helpful to know these tricks.

The turtle cracker trick:
Lets assume you and your opponent have some heavy hitters and itís a stall. During the next rounds your opponent summons even more creatures hoping to get ahead of you. Instead of doing the same, you cast enchantment transfusion, nullify, jinx and force hold on your own creature! Now, teleport the opponents mage into your zone (you might need to pull off his nullify first) and reveal enchantment transfusion to move jinx, nullify and force hold to his mage! BńM he is at a MAJOR MAJOR action disadvantage and wont get out of your zone for 2 rounds at least (you can cast a second jinx in the next round to make sure). His creatures will need some time to follow their master. Often, this time is enough to kill the opponent with your heavy hitters and maybe a wizard tower.
I had so many games in which the opponent turtled and suddenly he was defeated without his creatues being of any use.
A variation of this trick is to cast transfusion + turn to stone+force hold on your own creature while in a stalled situation. When the battle begins you can move turn to stone and force hold on the attacking creatures which will give you a major action advantage as well.
Some might argue that enchantment transfusion costs an action and mana, so you start this combo with a disadvantage. But, in some situations an action/mana disadvantage doesnít hurt that much. An action disadvantage especially hurts if it is an accumulated disadvantage, which this combo is able to cause in a later part of the game. So in the end, this combo is not useful if you are in the middle of a battle. But it is great if you are preparing for an upcoming battle!

The timed Jinx:
Cast enchantment transfusion + jinx on your own creature. If the opponent casts a quickcast you really donít like this round, reveal transfusion and move jinx to the opponent during the counter spell step. He will be able to cast that spell in the next round and you will have spent quite some mana and two actions while he lost only one. So this trick does cost a lot. But, unlike normal jinx, you can decide which spell to jinx!

The timed Nullify:
Cast enchantment transfusion + nullify on a creature which your opponent might not target with a random enchantment or incantation. If he targets a different creature of yours with an incantation you really do not like (e.g. teleport, force push, explode, dissolve, purge magic, drain life, drain soul, knockdown), reveal transfusion and move nullify to that target to counter the incantation. This is especially useful against incantations which cost a lot, since usually your opponent will make sure there is no nullify on the target. But, in this case, although there is no face down enchantment on the target the incantation still gets nullified!

The timed whatsoever:
You can use enchantment transfusion together with reverse magic, block and reverse attack. In all these combinations, the base protective enchantment does not allow you to decide when it is triggered. But, the combination with transfusion grants you this freedom of choice unless the creature you casted it on is targeted or the creature you want to move the protective enchantment on is out of range.

The ultimate push:
Use force push + wall of thorns + wizard tower + jet stream to do over 20 damage in one round!
This combination can end a game very quickly if the opponent is unaware of this threat. The downside is, 2 armor decrease its damage by roughly 45%. So, it is risky to prepare it even if the opponent has zero armor, since he might foresee it and cast a rhino hide or nullify before the action phase.

The Forcemasters instant kill combo:
Maybe one of the most effective combos, but only the FM can use it. Cast Mordok's Obelisk or Essence Drain on a creature followed by a Mind Control. In the next Ukeep Phase refuse to pay the upkeep -> the creature is gone forever (unless its resurrected ;)).

Playing around initiative:
This is not a special combo per se, but it is very important to think about initiative if planning combos. Often the best time to start/prepare a combo is when the opponent has initiative. The reason for this is that you will have the last quickcast in this round and the first quickcast in the following round. Therefore, in between these two quickcasts your opponent cant react unless he has a face down enchantment prepared!
If you have at least as much creatures as your opponent and he used his quickcast already, you will have 3 actions in a row if you use your mages action last (if you got a wizard tower even more). Three actions (+wizard tower) give you the potential to lay down some devastating combos. E.g. you can push off his nullify, teleport him and then jinx/force hold/nullify him. After that he will have a quick action which should be eaten up by your jinx/nullify and then your heavy hitter and wizard tower can attack him.
If you dont want to focus him, but one of his heavy hitters, save the action of your own creature with the highest damage output till the end. Then, teleport his heavy hitter (preferably the one without a face down enchantment) into your zone and attack it with your big creature and the wizard tower. In the next round, nullify his heavy hitter to prevent a teleport or protective enchantment/heal and hit it again with your big creature + wizard tower. Thats two hits from your big creature (e.g. a grizzly with bear strength) + two casts from wizard tower - most creatures do not survive this.
To sum up: Playing with initiative is often crucial to finish off big creatures or to deal impressive amounts of damage to the opponents mage.

Using the Battle Forge during late game in combination with Mage Wand to save actions:
Usually the downside of the Battle Forge is that at some point you dont have any (useful) equipment left to make use of its action and mana. But, if you still have two mage wands at that point you can use the forge to switch the bound spell without spending your mages action! Just cast the second mage wand with your BF which will put the wand in your hand into your spellbook. The new casted wand will have a new spell bound to it.
Sure, its cheaper to just use your mages action to switch the spell for 3 mana, but you loose an action and with this trick you might even save mana since during endgame your Forge might have quite some mana on it which you cant effectively use otherwise.


To be continued ...
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Fentum on August 08, 2013, 12:52:10 PM
I have been the unsuspecting and entirely blameless victim to most, if not ALL of these tricks. They are fun. How we laughed on the way to A&E.

The initiative timing piece is key to pulling off major combos. Thinking a turn ahead is always useful.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Cnoedel on August 27, 2014, 07:57:42 AM
Necroing this thread, it is a really good read AND i've got to be sure: Is the Foremaster-insta-kill really possible?
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Marhem on August 27, 2014, 08:54:59 AM
Not unless you have 12 spare mana and a dispel
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Ganpot on August 27, 2014, 11:49:48 AM
I guess I'll try my hand at this topic.  Keep in mind, I'm relatively new, and don't know which strategies are considered normal. 

1. Walled In
This only works if you start with initiative, preferably as a Warlord.  First turn, walk to center close middle of the board.  Take absolutely no actions.  As long as the opponent did not move to the center far middle zone, you are good (if he/she did, you are screwed).  Second turn, walk to center far middle zone, and carefully cast 2 connecting Walls of Steel.  If the opponent was in a corner, you should have completely walled him/her in, and you should skip the next step.  Turn three, quick-cast a final wall to fully enclose your opponent.  If you have done this correctly, your opponent will not have had a chance to react. 

Next, either build some Archer's Watchtowers and summon some ranged units to pelt the mage from beyond the wall.  After that, start summoning Talos.  By the time your opponent gets out of his walled off area, you should be just about finished.  This is all assuming your opponent doesn't possess teleporting or flying creatures, of course.  It's a massive gamble, but it is also hilarious if you can manage to pull it off. 

2. Self-Inflicted Mana Siphon
I heard about this combo from someone else (sorry, can't remember who at the moment).  If only works if you are a priest(ess) and put Divine Intervention on yourself.  When your opponent casts Mana Siphon, reveal Divine Intervention and teleport yourself out of range.  Your opponent will be forced to choose himself/herself as the target, and then spend the next several turns trying to destroy his/her own conjuration. 
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Schwenkgott on August 27, 2014, 12:37:31 PM
hmm I consider most of these tricks as very ineffective and not practical.

For example: The turtle cracker trick

- When both players build up heavy hitters, there is usually no mana left for any enchantments.

- When someone is turteling, he has a plan to bring the enemy to him. The other mage could simply teleport you to his heavy hitters first. He might do this earlier, because he does not waste actions on enchantment stacking.

- When reavealing all the enchantments of this turtle cracker trick, you need a lot of mana (additionally to place the enchantments and summon your heavy hitters). A part from mana problems for that, no enemy would wait that long with an attack.


Playing around with Enchantment Transfusion can be a fun thing, but most of the time it's easier to play normal. (attack and kill the enemy).
One thing is important and should be considered for advanced playing: Planning with initiative 1-2 rounds in advance.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: ringkichard on August 27, 2014, 04:26:13 PM
Given that the person who started this thread is Charmyna, you can bet that these all worked just fine in practice. He won something like thirty consecutive games on Octgn, and designed the spellbook that just came in 2nd place at Gencon.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Schwenkgott on August 27, 2014, 04:51:14 PM
Times change, new tactics emerge. Today, these old tactics will not work anymore on most players. It's like the old watergate. With every new expansion, you have to review all your decks and strategies.
As i said, these tricks are fun, but a lot can go wrong, they won't win you a game against a good player.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Cnoedel on August 27, 2014, 10:31:28 PM
Well winning 30 games in a row in the early meta still manages to impress me :D
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Schwenkgott on August 28, 2014, 02:01:29 AM
Ok, enough talk. Back to the topic. Are there any other crazy moves you guys know about?
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: BoomFrog on August 28, 2014, 09:58:14 AM
Obviously divine intervention as a counter spell for anything, including a summon.

The walled in trick fails if the opponent has eagle claw boots in their book so that's a bit of a gamble to try, however you can use teleport trap to put them back in the can. (It doesn't need LOS)
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Ganpot on August 28, 2014, 01:16:24 PM
The walled in trick fails if the opponent has eagle claw boots in their book so that's a bit of a gamble to try, however you can use teleport trap to put them back in the can. (It doesn't need LOS)
Yeah, I would never advise using it in a serious match.  But it would be funny to pull it off in a casual game, simply because no one would ever expect it.  Once the conquest game-mode comes out, this method might even be able to ensure an instant-win (again, assuming the opponent has no way of getting out). 
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 28, 2014, 01:55:34 PM
I thought the forcemaster insta-kill no longer worked because of the ruling that mind control's upkeep has to be paid first?
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Wildhorn on August 28, 2014, 02:41:39 PM
I thought the forcemaster insta-kill no longer worked because of the ruling that mind control's upkeep has to be paid first?

It still works. It is just not as good because you have to pay the upkeep of mind control before deciding to pay for the creature upkeep.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Maverick on August 28, 2014, 08:13:46 PM
I just figured out the ultimate push combo myself last week. My variant uses the Forcemaster and thought spores with force push. They are flying so they can see over walls and they can move with the Forcemaster. Have them do nothing for a few turns to channel the needed mana. When ready teleport/ force pull the enemy mage next to your wall. Then have the thought spores force push the enemy mage through it a few times. Works even better if you have mangler caltrops on the ground on both sides first and quick casting the wall the turn you do the combo. If the opponent is aggressive and comes to you use your quick cast to cast rust on them or for an additional force push.

Highly circumstantial but if the opponent does not see it coming hilarious.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: MageHorst on August 29, 2014, 04:59:01 AM
Just an addition to the Battle-Forge-Mage-Wand-Action-Saving trick: I worked out the same trick with the Warlord's [mwcard=FWQ05]Helm of Command[/mwcard]. The cool thing is that the 'old' spell goes back to your spellbook, so can you either use for the Mage or for Gurmash and therefore cut down some copies of your command spells.
Title: Re: Lets build up an almost comprehensive list of combat tricks
Post by: Alexander West on September 07, 2014, 10:34:07 AM
My favorite trick lately is boring, but effective:

"Something Between Us"
When an opponent's mage or creature is causing trouble, and you want it gone for a while, how do you get rid of it?  For 8 mana I love to Force Push something, and then put up a Wall of Thorns or Wall of Earth.  The thing is now effectively 3 squares away since it will have to go around the wall.  Sometimes it's worth the extra 3 mana to put them through a Wall of Thorns.  They can walk back through such a wall, but once again it will take their whole action and it won't do anything until the next turn.

I have found it can also work very well if the square in question isn't important to just walk away and throw up a wall between your mage and the square they were just in.  This saves the Force Push and 3 mana.