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Mages / Re: The Wizard discussion
« on: August 10, 2015, 02:02:14 PM »
* All of the current cards which are only playable by certain mages either say a particular mage or a particular school that is allowed to play them.  Why not instead say a particular mage/school who is not allowed to play the card?
Though the logic here is very solid, it would subtract greatly from one of the great strengths and appeal of the game itself. That other than a very specific and reasonable few cards, all cards are available to all mages, some at a greater cost than others, but none the less available. Would the exclude be Arcane Mages only or Wizards only? Not a fan of the idea even though logic says, this might be a good idea.
I would say two things in response:
1) I wasn't proposing printing tons of new cards restricted to (or excluding) a particular mage or school of training.  I think it would only take a few cards to give other mages the tools they would need.  Currently, roughly 1/6 of the cards are restricted to a particular mage or school.  It sounds like you're saying you're against any restricted-use cards, but these are clearly going to continue to be printed.  One of the common arguments for the strength of the Wizard is that he doesn't pay triple for any school.  Therefore, some cards printed in order to be used against the Wizard will have to be restricted-use, otherwise they would just give the Wizard a new tool.

2) In the particular comment that you quoted, I was just explaining the phrase "Arcane mages excluded" on one of the hypothetical cards I suggested.  It would, as the phrase implies, exclude Arcane mages.  That happens to be just the Wizard so far, but there could be others printed in the future.  The description of the Arcane school is that mages trained in it understand the flow of mana and magic so that they can control spellcasting.  The particular hypothetical spell I was suggesting would be thematically like throwing a rock against the wall to make noise while a mage is trying to concentrate.  I think it's at least somewhat thematic to exclude the Arcane school for this spell, since that is not the way an Arcane-trained mage would disrupt a spell being cast.  Also, I can imagine other spells which thematically exclude (rather than include) particular mages or schools.  Since I expect restricted-use spells to continue to be printed, I wouldn't mind if they branched out with their restrictions.

Mages / Re: The Wizard discussion
« on: August 09, 2015, 10:31:45 PM »
A lot of the discussion in this thread centers around changes to existing cards that would balance the Wizard.  What about solutions that don't involve erratas or rule changes?  What about printing cards that are not usable by the Wizard and address (directly or indirectly) the Wizard's advantages?  For example:

Name: Interrogation
Type: Incantation
Cost: 4
Text: War mage only.  Choose a level 1 incantation or enchantment spell in the opponent's discard pile.  That opponent must discard 2 additional copies of that spell from their spellbook or prepared cards (or all copies if there are fewer than 2 remaining).

Name: Distraction
Type: Incantation
Cost: 4
Text: Arcane mages excluded.*  Choose a spell bound to an equipment, conjuration, or creature card and discard it.  At the end of the round, the controller may bind a new spell for a cost of 3 mana.

What other sorts of cards could be printed that would do the following:
1) Clearly target the Wizard (without being an overreaction and nuking the Wizard);
2) Be at least somewhat useful not just against the Wizard; and
3) Thematically restrict use away from the Wizard.

* All of the current cards which are only playable by certain mages either say a particular mage or a particular school that is allowed to play them.  Why not instead say a particular mage/school who is not allowed to play the card?

Custom Cards / Re: Mages with non-120 spellbook points
« on: August 01, 2015, 09:56:35 PM »
I've been trying to think of what spell point costs would be reasonable for the mage I proposed in the initial post.  The worry would be creating school combinations that allow for too many cheap, powerful answers in one build.  For example, a mage trained in Arcane, Nature, and Water would be able to cheaply pack a full set of Dispels, Dissolves, and enchantments (Bear Strength, Cheetah Speed, Lion Savagery, Rhino Hide, Regrowth, Nullify, Jinx, etc.).  For that reason, I think it would be safest for the cost of primary schools to be fairly substantial, and the cost of one primary and one elemental school should probably take the total near the usual 120.

The cost of +1 channeling probably doesn't need to be too high, but it's hard to choose a value here.  The risk, if the value is too low, is that a mage could train in only one school and then pump their channeling too high.  It seems safest to impose a maximum here (and with the +1 melee/ranged for similar reasons).  The cost of +1 starting life can probably be fairly low without much worry.  I think I would start with the following for testing:

Spell Points: 175
Life: 32
Channeling: 8

Pay 30 spell points for training in any primary school.
Pay 20 spell points for training in any elemental school.
Pay 5 spell points for +1 channeling (max +3).
Pay 3 spell points for +1 starting life.
Pay 5 spell points for +1 melee or ranged attack (max +3).

Basic Attack: 3 dice.  You must choose melee or ranged before the start of the game.

Because of how flexible this mage is, I'm sure this is quite breakable.

Custom Cards / Mages with non-120 spellbook points
« on: July 30, 2015, 03:11:20 PM »
Mages have a variety of starting life totals.  Both the Priestess and the Druid (with the Treebond ability) can alter their life totals during the game.  Mages also have a couple of different starting channeling stats, and there are many game cards that affect channeling.  All current mages start with 0 armor, but there are plenty of cards that give/take armor (and I saw some speculation in another thread that the Paladin might be a mage with starting armor).

The fourth stat at the top of all mage cards is the 120 spell points.  I see no particular reason why this should be fixed.  In fact, it seems to me the only reason to print this on all the mage cards (instead of just in the rule book) is with some plan to let it vary at some point.  Here are a few different ways this stat could be adjusted:

Direct bonus/penalty: This would be a mage whose printed spell points are more/less than 120.  There would have to be some other stat or ability to offset this.

Conditional extra spell points: It would be neat to see, for example, a mage who gets 1 extra spell point for every 10 level 1 spells in the book (or with some other, better tested, numbers).  Or a mage who gets 1 extra spell point for every out-of-school creature, etc.

Pay spell points for bonuses: I really like the idea of having a mage with a very high spell point stat and the following ability.  Before the start of the game, the mage can
  • lower their spell stat by X to gain training in any major school
  • lower their spell stat by X to gain training in any minor school
  • lower their spell stat by X to raise their starting channeling by 1
  • lower their spell stat by X to raise their starting life by 1
  • lower their spell stat by X to raise either their melee or ranged attack by 1
(Note: The X values would all be different, and would likely depend heavily on playtesting.  The mage would have to communicate all decisions before the start of the game.)  It would especially neat if, along with such a mage, there were "this mage only" cards that referenced this ability.  For examples, an equipment which gives armor and Flame -1 if trained in Water, Earth -1 if trained in Air, etc.  So the "this mage only" cards would also become customized by the ability.

Sideboarding: Imagine a mage with a spell stat like "120 + X", where they can spend X spell points on a pile of spells separate from their spellbook.  Upon some game condition (perhaps as a full/quick action), the mage would be able to add 1 of these cards to their spellbook for the remainder of the game.

General Discussion / Re: Circle of Lightning
« on: June 15, 2015, 02:13:25 PM »
Did you not get one in the core set? It should be in every core set.
I think that's precisely the question.  It was definitely in the core set before (I think I have the 2nd printing core set, and I've got a Circle of Lightning).  But the 4th printing (arena) core set card list (here) does not list Circle of Lightning.  So I think the question is whether anybody can confirm that Circle of Lightning is or is not contained in the 4th edition core set.

I can't answer that particular question, but I will point out that Circle of Lightning is still listed in Core Spell Tome 1, so new players do still have a way to get this card.

Spells / Re: Card idea: Meditate
« on: June 09, 2015, 12:14:24 AM »
This means that X in your example should be right between 1 and 2. 1 is too low, and 2 is to high...
Make it a full action and 2 should be fine.
In comparing Black Lotus to Meditation Amulet, don't forget that Meditation Amulet may keep taking actions as you use it, but it doesn't get planned during those turns.  On turns when you use Meditation Amulet, you likely planned two cards that you might need and found that you didn't need one after all, or you're in a midgame stalemate, or you've got creatures attacking so you can afford to use your Mage's action meditating, etc.  But in these situations, you were still able to plan two spells, whereas Black Lotus would take up a planned spell every time you want to use it.  I think it could probably net 3 mana without making Meditation Amulet (or Mana Crystal, or Harmonize) obsolete.


Cards like this inevitably get used in degenerate combos. They're nifty, but ultimately too dangerous to print, imo.
I really don't see what degenerate combos would be possible, even if X was unreasonably high.  In other games (like Magic), combos usually occur when resources can be transformed into each other in a loop that nets some benefit.  In Magic, specifically, a lot of combos do center around trying to generate mana, but that's because you can play more cards with more mana.  In Mage Wars, that's not the case.  Even if you could generate a high amount of mana, you are still limited in your actions.  There's no way to create a recurring loop in Mage Wars.

Spells / Re: Card idea: Meditate
« on: June 07, 2015, 09:50:47 PM »
Perhaps I'm not understanding the card correctly.  Hypothetical situation: suppose the Wizard has 3 Mana Crystals in play (current channeling 13).  If they use this card, they pay 10.  On the following turn, do they channel 15 (their current + 2), or do they channel 28 (their current, plus current + 2 from Meditate)?

If the former is correct, then this card would basically be worthless.  I would never play it over a Mana Crystal or Harmonize.  If the latter is the intended effect, I could see it being used in the right deck (especially if it has the right subtypes and traits; e.g., it would probably be a "mana" spell with cost decreased by Arcane Ring).  I feel like you would maximize its value by over-committing to channeling effects early on.

I don't mean to hijack, but I'm curious what others think would be a fair for the following hypothetical card, which would serve a similar purpose:

Name: Black Lotus
Type: Incantation
Target: Mage
Action: Quick
Cost: 0
Trait: Novice
Text: Add X mana to target Mage's mana supply.

Basically, how much mana is 1 quick action and 1 spell point worth?  Meditation Amulet nets 2 mana after 1 quick and 2 full actions, but has the potential to keep providing more mana (especially during actions that might otherwise be used ineffectively).  Mana Crystals might net an average of 3 or 4 mana over the course of the game, but could net more and provide lasting advantage in a long game.  By contrast, this hypothetical card can only give the one-time boost.  Would you use up an early game action on this if X were only 2?  Would it completely replace Mana Crystals if X were 4+?

Spells / Re: Why must spawnpoints always have channeling?
« on: June 06, 2015, 12:45:39 AM »

Mage: Antman
Special Ability: Insect Affinity - Whenever a friendly insect creature in Antman's zone takes a move action, Antman may move along with it.  Whenever Antman makes a melee attack, each friendly insect creature in Antman's zone makes its own attack as an extra attack against the same target as part of the same attack action.  The additional attacks occur during the additional strikes phase in any order you choose.  Even creatures who have already used their action this round take part.

Creature: Worker Ant
Level: 1
Cost: 1
Armor: -
Life: 2
Trait: Pest, Swarm ("You may put up to 10 copies of this card in your spellbook.")
Quick Attack: 1 die, critical damage

Creature: Soldier Ant
Level: 1
Cost: 3
Armor: -
Life: 3
Trait: Pest, Swarm
Quick Attack: 2 die, critical damage

Creature: Flying Ant
Level: 2
Cost: 4
Armor: -
Life: 3
Trait: Pest
Quick Attack: 2 die, critical damage

Creature: Fire Ant
Level: 2
Cost: 4
Armor: -
Life: 3
Trait: Pest
Quick Attack: 2 die, critical damage, 8+ burn

Conjuration: Ant-hill
Cost: 8
Trait: Spawnpoint
Text: During deployment, Ant-hill may cast up to two level 1 insect creatures, or up to one level 2 insect creature.

Enchantment: Giant Man
Cost: 2 + 6
Trait: Antman only
Text: Once each round, Antman may lose Insect Affinity until the end of the round to gain Melee +4.  Use a ready marker to keep track of this effect.

General Discussion / Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN - Installation
« on: June 04, 2015, 10:23:53 PM »
I have not seen any video like this.  Charmyna has a video on his twitch channel showing how to use OCTGN during the game (like, showing all the short cuts).  As somebody who has been thinking about learning how to play on OCTGN, the main things I'd want to see in the video beyond just the installation itself are:
- how to search for games
- how to start and join a game
- how to start a practice game (not open to other people) just to familiarize yourself with the interface

Rules Discussion / Re: do creatures under neutral control hinder?
« on: June 03, 2015, 03:44:42 PM »
I assume you're referring to the V'Tar orb guardians (which are the only example of a neutral creature that I can think of).  The rules for Mage Wars Battlegrounds Domination can be downloaded at this link.

Quote from: pg 8
V'Tar Orb guardians are not controlled by any Mage and do not have an action marker or an Action Phase.  They are treated as "enemies" by all players and creatures in the game.
(Emphasis mine.)  So yes, the guardians do hinder.

General Discussion / Re: Warped Mage Wars Cards.
« on: June 02, 2015, 02:31:57 PM »
Do you live somewhere particularly humid?  I tend to store card games (Mage Wars, Magic, Lord of the Rings, etc.) in those standard white card boxes, and I sometimes toss a few silica packs in with the cards to keep them dry.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: On the viability of Aggro in Free-For-All
« on: June 01, 2015, 07:12:09 PM »
How about something like: whenever an attack from a creature, spell, or conjuration deals at least X damage (I'm not sure what a fair value for X would be), the controller of that attack gains Y mana (I'm not sure what a fair value of Y is).

Alternatively: Any round in which a Mage deals 0 damage, they lower their channeling by 1.  If they deal 1-X damage, their channeling remains unchanged.  If they deal >X damage, they increase their channeling by 1.  (Doesn't apply for the first 3 rounds).

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: First-ish build: Earth Wizard
« on: June 01, 2015, 06:58:49 PM »
I don't see the need for Elemental Wand at all. Playing one slows you down both because of the action and the mana cost. If you want to play an attack spell that you don't run a lot of copies of, use Wizard's Tower if possible to preserve the spell. Otherwise just run 6 Hurl Rock and 4 Hurl Boulder and you'll have plenty of attack spells for damage, the trick is making that damage count. Use Rust + Acid Ball spam + Devouring Jelly to deal with armor stacking as much as possible, and use Poisoned Blood and/or Deathlock to prevent healing.
Yeah, I didn't get much use out of the wands.  I certainly would have been better off casting my Devouring Jelly earlier than I did, or casting Battleforge for more actions.

Like I was saying about the Beastmistress vs Necromancer video.
You may get the impression that the Beasmistress rush book was really powerful because it destroyed the Necromancer in 4 rounds
I didn't expect to have the same experience as that game.  But I would have liked to do closer to 12-15 damage off of the initial Hurl Boulders (rather than the 5 damage I actually did).  That would have been a big enough hit right out of the gate that my opponent would have had to spend more actions on things like Regrowth.  I've also identified several other mistakes I made, which were mostly about ignoring my opponent's build-up while pushing for a quick kill.

Mostly Arc Lightning, Chain Lightning, and Lightning Bolt... an Air-trained Wizard will have one Chain Lightning (maybe two), and multiple copies of the other two. Also, don't forget other lightning sources that are encountered somewhat frequently: Circle of Lightning (enchantment, but does Lightning damage), and Valshalla, the lightning angel (Creature) come to mind.
At the moment, I have only played a total of 3 games (4 including a learning game with the apprentice decks from the core set) with one other friend who does not own the game.  There may be more players at local game stores, but I'm not going to bother seeking them out because I'm about to move away anyway.  Long story short, I like to build the spellbook as if I'm planning for a metagame (and maybe I'll eventually learn OCTGN and play there), but at the moment there's 0 chance of me playing this against a Wizard.  Because I only have the one Wizard.

Please be aware that Nullify does not protect your enchantments as that spell does not target the Mage. You might want to pack an Enchanter's Wardstone for that.
Yes, sorry, I misspoke there.  The deck does have an Enchanter's Wardstone, and I played that out as well as Nullifies.

Akiro's Favor also might be an option here... one action, five mana and taking up two spell book points is not bad to spend since it will let you reroll either a miserable set of damage dice or give a second shot at that slam (which you miss more often than not otherwise).
I do have an Akiro's Favor in the book, although on average I think it's not worth it for the damage.  For the effect die, it can be worth it depending on the effect and the chance of activating that effect.  For example, Akiro's Favor gives Pillar of Light a 30% Stun chance, which I think is pretty significant.  It gives Thunderbolt a 75% Stun chance.  But if I just need more damage, I'd rather spend that 5 mana and 1 action on another Hurl Rock.

Events / Re: First Mage Wars Tournament on OCTGN
« on: June 01, 2015, 04:56:47 PM »
I also really liked watching the commentated game.  It was very helpful for me as a newer player who is still learning a lot of the basic strategy of the game.  My only comment is that the audio was occasionally glitchy (watch for a minute or two starting around 10:30 in the finals commentary, for example).  It happened a few times throughout the match.

Thanks for the feedback.  I'll respond to some of the comments a bit out of order.

Thunderbolt has range 3 of course but it's also 6 sbp's and 10 mana a pop.
Yeah, as I said, I know it's gimmicky.  This will be the first card to come out to make space for other options, such as a Fire spell.  Flame Blast didn't make it into my cheap attack package at the moment because its range is only 1.

Gauntlets of strength I wouldn't bother with in this build. Melee is not your "game" and you can save 2 sbp's here.
Leather Gloves however would serve you much better as well as Leather Boots.
The Leather Gloves and Boots are in another deck at the moment.  You correctly identified the card I put in just to take their place (Gauntlets of Strength).  I don't really see myself using the Gauntlets unless something has gone pretty wrong (although that's true of most of the non-attack spells in the deck).

where are the Mage Wands ?
I'm not sure what I would need them for.  I want the Elemental Wand for attack spells so they don't get used up.  I don't really see the need for more than 4 Dispels or 3 Dissolves/Force Pushes, so I'm not sure what I would reasonably put on a Mage Wand.  Would it be just for Teleporting multiple times?  That seems pretty expensive.

You may not need more than 1 Hawkeye. I know your strategy counts on it and therefore you probably foresee a backup but this card is usually not worth wasting an action, mana and a dispel on and remains untouched the entire game, so there's potential to save 2 sbp's there.
Hawkeye is a 3 mana investment which should be giving me 2 extra dice per turn.  If I were the opponent, I would Dispel it.

Why do you use Wind Wyvern Hide ? Overall an Elemental Cloak would help you out in more situations.
1 less armour but Flame, Frost and Lightning -2.
I used Wind Wyvern Hide because Dragonscale Hauberk is in another deck and I needed some armor.  It's true that Elemental Cloak gives -2 to Flame, Frost, and Lightning, but there's no actual Frost damage in the game yet, right?  And what Lightning attacks are really used?  Elemental Cloak just seems like 1 less armor.

Shift Enchantment would be a nice addition ( especially with Rust ) and cheaper than Enchantment Transfusion to use.
Disarm ( on a Wand ) could also be a nice addition.
Shift Enchantment seems like a good idea, and it was something I was looking at but ended up cutting.  Once Thunderbolt comes out, it will probably go back in.  I don't know about Disarm, though.  I guess you'd use it to turn off an important equipment piece so you can have a big turn, but I'll probably need the Wizard's actions, since I'm mostly only going to have 2 or 3 actions per turn.

I'm about to go play the deck for the first time, so I'll see how things go.

EDIT: The game didn't go so well.  I was playing against a Necromancer Zombie build.  Since I built both spellbooks, I thought it was only fair that I explain what my book did before the game started (since I knew his entire book).  Naturally, the result was that the opponent opened with a Battleforge stacking armor rather than a Libro Mortuos spawning Zombies.  I rolled terribly on an initial pair of Hurl Boulders (5 total damage from 2 Hurl Boulders), and then missed killing off the Battleforge with a horrible Geyser roll.  I also found myself really lacking actions.  I needed to play out Nullifies to protect my enchantments and Elemental Wand from being Dispelled and Dissolved, but every action spent casting Nullify was an action not spent hurling a boulder.  Meanwhile, I was ignoring some damage from Zombies while I continued to try to attack, but the low damage start and Battleforge were generating too much advantage.  I switched mid-game to a mana denial strategy, with Enchanter's Wardstone, Mordok's Obelisk, and Suppression Cloak, but I pretty much switched too late.

Really horrible rolling aside, I think the lesson is that I probably shouldn't be aiming for the turn 2 or 3 rush.  I probably should open with more action/mana advantage and aim for turn 4 or 5 attacking.  I'm going to tweak the build a little bit with that in mind, and maybe plan for a Mana Crystal/Battleforge opening instead of Hawkeye/Cheetah Speed.

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