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Topics - Koz

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I've been away for quite awhile and haven't played in many months, so I was wondering if the Druid and Necro had turned out to be any good in a competitive environment at all (I've yet to actually play with either).  I ask because I don't see a lot of threads about winning builds with these two or any reports of strong showings at tournaments with them.  I had a lot of hope for the Necro so I'm hoping it wasn't a big swing and a miss for Arcane Wonders.

I'm not looking for how good these two are in some random playgroup, I'm hoping for some feedback from top players as to the viability of these mages in high level play.  Any such feedback to be had?


General Discussion / Spellbook sale over at coolstuffinc
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:51:07 AM »
Coolstuffinc has the Spellbook bundles 2 & 3 on their daily deals today for like $7.99. 

Just a heads up   :)

General Discussion / Enhanced Art Mage Cards
« on: September 06, 2013, 11:19:26 AM »
I had a quick question regarding the enhanced art mage cards that were being handed out at Gencon.  I ended up with the whole set that was available: Wizard, Priestess, Warlock, Beastmaster, Druid, and Necromancer.  My question is, when will the Forcemaster and Warlord be available?  I'm also interested in getting the ones for the Priest and Beastmistress.  Any clue when those will be coming along?

Also, are these enhanced art cards going to be made available in other ways besides con events?  I'd hate to miss out on the ones I don't have when they become available.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Overused cards?
« on: August 27, 2013, 11:58:07 AM »
This is an old thought that I have discussed within my playgroup before and it has come back to light with some recent deck theorycrafting and build testing and I was wondering what other people's thoughts were on the subject.  The issue I am referring to is regarding "overused" cards.  In that I mean cards that go in pretty much every build, regardless of Mage or strategy. 

As an example, this is pretty much how I start every build, regardless of the Mage:

Dragonscale Hauberk x1
Elemental Cloak x1
Battle Forge x1
Agony x1
Nullify x2
Teleport x2
Force Push x2
Dispel x2
Seeking Dispel x1
Dissolve x2
Bear's Strength x1

From there I will modify those above numbers depending on Mage and strategy, such as possibly adding more Teleports or more Nullifies, or whatever.  I rarely subtract any of those cards though (with the exception of possibly removing one Dissolve for an Explode in the Warlock).  In addition to those cards, I also will use the following cards 99% of the time depending on which specific mage it is:

Gauntlets of Strength x1 (for all melee builds)
Retaliate x2 (for all melee builds)
Leather Boots and Leather Gloves x1 each (for most builds, but not all)
Eagleclaw Boots x1 (for 90% of my builds)
Regrowth Belt x1 (for most builds except Warlock which runs Colossus Belt for anti-control)
Stormdrake's Hide x1 (for back up armor)
Reverse Magic x1 (most builds)
Falcon's Precision x1 (for all melee builds)
Mage's Staff x1 (all builds not running a better weapon already, such as Lash of Hellfire)
Rhino's Hide x1 (most builds get one of these)
Cheetah's Speed x1 (all melee builds get one)
Bull's Endurance x1 (most builds get one)
Poisoned Blood x1 (most builds get one)
Purge Magic x1 (every Wizard build gets one and a lot of others if I can squeeze it in)
Purify x1 (most builds except Priestess)
Mongoose's Agility x1 (for all melee builds)

In addition, I pretty much run a lot of the mage specific spells that go with each mage every build, as follows:

Wizard: Wizard's Tower x2, Arcane Ring x1, Steal Enchantment x1 and Mana Crystal x2
Warlock: Lash of Hellfire x2, Drain Life x1, Ghoul Rot x1, Magebane x1 and Deathlink x1
Beastmaster: Ring of Beasts x1, Enchanter's Ring x1
Priestess/Priest: Staff of Asyra x2, Ring of the Dawnbreaker x1
Forcemaster: Forceblade x1, Forcefield x1, Ring of Defense x1, Forcering x1
Warlord: I don't play Warlord... but... Iron Golem?

Ok, so, after all that, what's my point?  Well, some people I've talked to about this have said that there are too many spells that are "mandatory" if you want to be competitive and that 50-70% of any given spellbook "builds itself".  The above framework doesn't even discuss the obvious includes that go along with each mage, such as Earth Mages running Iron Golems and Hurl Boulders in some quantity in every build, or Warlocks running Fireballs and Flameblasts in some quantity in every build, or Priestess/Priests running some healing in every build, or...well, you get the idea.

I'm not sure how I feel about this honestly, and I've told people who have complained about this that I don't feel its a huge deal, but I have to admit that I'm kind of getting sick of putting the same spells in every single book automatically, but they are too good NOT to include.

Now, before anyone goes off the rails with any red herrings such as "it's not so much the specific cards in the book as how you play it", or "I don't put x2 Dispels in every build, it's just you".  Yes, I know that its the actual tactics used in each game that is most important and I know that not everyone may use the same combination of "auto-includes" as I do, but I bet it will be close.  I get all that and it's not what I'm trying to discuss. 

So, my question is, how does everyone feel about this?  I used to not care about it at all, but recently I've started to not like it to a certain extent because I feel like the spell book building is being taken out of my hands by mandatory includes and obvious includes to the point where I'm not making as many decisions as I'd like to make regarding my build.  I also feel that as more expansions come out, the more mandatory and obvious includes will emerge.

So is it a non-issue to most people as it mostly is to me?  Is there anyone else out there, like my friends, who are really bothered by this?   

General Discussion / Good luck to the Gen Con players!
« on: August 13, 2013, 08:37:01 AM »
I hope everyone that plays in the tournament at Gen Con has a great time and I wish everyone the best of luck!  I will be down Friday thru Sunday but won't be playing in the event.  I had planned to, but with the Temple errata's the build that I had spent about a year working on was basically wrecked and I didn't feel like scrambling to playtest something new with only a few weeks to do it.  IMO they basically screwed the Priestess the most with those errata's and gave the tournament to the Forcemasters and Warlocks (one of those will win, almost guaranteed).  But I'm not bitter about it  :P   

Anyway, I intend to stop by the gaming area and try and meet some Mage Wars folk at the very least, so I hope to  see you all there!

General Discussion / So...who won Origins?
« on: June 18, 2013, 09:13:14 AM »
I'm curious as to the results of the tournament at Origins.  I'm assuming that Origins will have been the biggest official tournament to date and should give us a better picture of the current environment than we've had so far.  Based on the other thread about Origins it seems like a good number of people competed so we should have a good sample of what people are playing.

I'm curious to see if, as some people have stated, that aggro-beat-down is the be-all-end-all of the game, or if control builds won the day (i.e. Priestess or Wizard). 

I'm bummed that I couldn't attend, I really wanted to try my Priestess control vs a larger field, but hopefully I can make Gen Con. 

I’ve had a few PM’s asking me about specific builds and strategies regarding how the Priestess can handle aggro-rush-beat-down, and specifically, Warlock aggro-beat-down.  I’m not going to post a specific build because I don’t have my cards in front of me, and my builds change quite often anyway as I adapt it to the ever-changing landscape of the game.  However, I will go over some specific tactics and strategies that can be used by the Priestess to counter aggro-beat-down.  I have different opening strategies depending on whether or not I have Initiative, and what I feel like doing in the moment (I like to try and be as unpredictable as possible). 

If you do not have Initiative on the first turn: Counter-Rush!

Counter-Rush Method One

Turn 1 (20 mana to start): Most aggro-beat-down builds will rush to the FC zone on their first activation (either through just sprinting or by using Cheetah’s Speed) and will probably play something cheap (Enchanter’s Ring or face down Enchantment or something like that).  In this instance, I like to Counter-Rush.  Sprint your Priestess to NC (one zone from opponent) and drop a Temple of Light (9 mana) in your zone and fire.  You have a 16.6 % chance to Stun, so not likely, but if you get it, you are in a MAJORLY superior position right off the bat.

Make sure the second spell you prep this turn is something that will benefit you if your opponent does NOT sprint to FC.  If they don't do that, save the Temple and cast your second card instead.  It can be the Staff of Asyra if you still want to try and counter-rush, or it can be a Hand of Bim-Shalla for general utility (but that will throw your mana out of whack a bit for the tactics I'm suggesting here).  Or, you could prep the Temple and a Knight of Westlock.  If your opponent sprints to FC, go with the recomendation above.  If they don't, stay in your starting zone and cast the Knight and go with the "Prepare the Bulwark" method listed below (obvioulsy going in a different order than what is listed).  Basically, what I'm trying to say, is be prepared!  Don't be left looking at your cards going "dang...I thought you waz gonna sprint to the middle..."   

Turn 2 (21 mana): You now have Initiative.  Fire the Temple of Light, then Quickcast Staff of Asyra (9 mana) and charge in and swing.  Between the two shots from the Temple of Light (one from last turn and one now) and one swing from the Staff you have a 42% chance to Stun your opponent and a 67% chance to Daze (and a 91% chance to inflict at least one or the other).  Your opponent’s plans may very well have been thrown off at this point.  If they are playing one of the standard aggro-strats that summons a “big” on turn 2 and you stunned him, he’s probably REALLY thrown off since he won’t be able to summon that turn.  If you only managed to Daze, you still hit him with 6 dice of damage, so you’re off to a good start.

Turn 3 (22 mana): At this point it’s a good idea to summon back up.  If your opponent was Stunned last turn and didn’t get a “big” in play, an Angel at this point can be scary for your opponent.  Against the Warlock, I like to go with Samandriel (21 mana).  With her +1 vs Dark and Non-living creatures she has 6 dice right off the bat against your opponents “big” (LoF, Vampiress and even Iron Golems), she Dazes them on a 6+ and Stuns them on a 10+.  She’s a beast.

If your opponent DID get a “big” in play last turn, then you want to go with something like a Knight of Westlock(13 mana) or Gray Angel (12) and a Pillar of Light (4).  Use the Pillar of Light in the Quickcast phase to zap the “big” to try and get the Daze/Stun (75% chance for one or the other). 

EDIT: Adding another option here that I brought up in a post below.  If you don't Stun the Warlock on Round 2 and don't want to stand toe-to-toe against him and his "big", instead of preparing Pillar of Light and Knight of Westlock, prepare Teleport and Knight of Westlock.  Teleport away in the Quickcast phase then summon the Knight on your activation.  After that, go into turtle mode. 

In future turns, it’s up to you what you do and the state of the game but these are your priorities: Hand of Bim Shalla (cast in an adjacent zone so it’s not easy for them to destroy it with AoE and Sweeping attacks), more Armor (Dragonscale Hauberk and/or Elemental Cloak), and Agony on the Warlock or “big”.   

Counter-Rush Method Two

This is basically the same strat as above, except on the first turn instead of sprinting to NC, you step forward one zone, cast a Cheetah’s Speed on yourself (leave it face down) and cast the Temple of Light one space forward (NC) and fire, same as before.   On turn two, flip the Cheetah’s Speed, quickcast the Staff of Asyra and charge. 

The major differences between these two methods is that the first one preserves more mana (allowing you to get an Angel out early), but is more predictable as to what you are doing.

With the second method however, it’s not as certain as to what you are doing and you can vary up your approach from game to game.  For instance, to keep your opponent guessing, you could move forward one zone on your first activation and cast the Temple of Light as before, but instead of a face down Cheetah’s Speed you could cast a defensive spell like Rhino’s Hide or Bull’s Endurance or something like that (again, leave it face down to keep them guessing).  Your opponent may expect you to rush in on him if you’ve done it before and been successful so he may alter his round two spell selection to counter…and then you don’t rush and instead start to turtle from round two.  Keeping them guessing and reacting to YOUR plays is the best way to thwart the aggro-beat-down builds. 

If you DO have Initiative on the first turn: Prepare the Bulwark

There are two methods I use to counter an expected aggro-rush-beat-down build.  Both are much more passive and defensive orientated than the above Counter-Rush strategy and can be used if you DON’T have Initiative as well if you would rather be more defensive than counter-rush.

First method

Turn 1 (20 mana): Cast Temple of the Dawnbreaker (8 ) in your starting zone, step forward one zone and cast Cobra’s Reflexes (9) (turn it up or leave it face down, it’s up to you).   This gives you a very solid starting defense against any type of threat (ranged or melee) and is something that your opponent cannot just ignore.  If you force them to play things like Falcon’s Precision or Knockdown or something similar then you are making them use their mana for “plan B” which is to your advantage.  You can choose to go with Force Sword if you want to save yourself a little mana, but I like Cobra’s Reflexes for the flexibility.

Turn 2 (13 mana): Quickcast Temple of Light (9) in NC zone and on your activation, fire it, then step back to your starting zone

Turn 3: (14 mana):  Knight of Westlock (13)

After that, it’s up to you, but they will be on you by now.  Use your Knight to guard and cast Pillar’s of Light early for the high Daze/Stun chance.  Other priority spells are Armor (Dragonscale Hauberk and or Elemental Cloak), Staff of Asyra and Hand of Bim Shalla. 

Second method

Turn 1 (20 mana):  Knight of Westlock (13) + Hand of Bim Shalla (5).  As above, don’t cast the Hand in the zone you anticipate fighting in. 

Turn 2 (12 mana): Hand of Bim Shalla (5) in adjacent zone + Leather Boots (2)

Turn 3 (15 mana): Temple of Light (9) + Dragonscale Hauberk (6)

With this set up you have 3 Armor (5 with the Hands), Flame -2, a Knight for guarding and a Temple of Light that is doing 3 dice of damage and Daze/Stunning on a 6+.  After that, priorities are: Pillar’s of Light for more Daze/Stun chances, Staff of Asyra and another creature (Grey Angel is good and so is Highland Unicorn).

Other general tips and notes

Daze.  Daze is very good against aggro-beat-down and is actually better than having a Defense die because they cannot bypass the Daze condition like they can the Defense die (with unavoidable attacks or incapacitating you or whatever).  Having both Dazes and Defense dice going at the same time is a tough nut to crack.

Blinding Flash.  Don’t underestimate the power of this spell.  For only 7 mana you can hit both the opposing mage and the “big”, it Daze/Stuns on 4+, it’s unavoidable, Ethereal and can’t be Jinxed.  Against an Iron Golem or Invisible Stalker it does 4 dice of damage and Daze/Stuns on a 2+ (with a 32% chance of a stun).

Don’t panic!  One of the fastest ways to lose to aggro-beat-down is to panic: “omg, he haz fire and demonz and is in my face!!!!!”  He’s not going to kill you right away, especially if you’ve prepared at all for his rush on the first few turns, so…relax.  Don’t fall into a pattern where you are reacting to his plays instead of being proactive to your own strategy.  Sometimes it’s best to just take the hit and calmly drop a creature to shore up your position for next round.  Try to keep the tempo in your favor. 

Healing.  Try not to rely on healing unless you really need it.  Don’t give up tempo by casting healing spells unless you are really getting stomped.  But if that happens, you are probably going to lose anyway.  The best way to heal is passively.  Getting out a Highland Unicorn (or a Regrowth Belt) early is a great way to mitigate damage.

Deathlock.   If your opponent dropped a Deathlock early in the game on their side of the board and the game goes long and you are feeling like you need to heal, don’t panic.  Save up a little mana for a turn, then, when you have Initiative, play and reveal a Divine Intervention.  Use it to teleport to your opponent’s side of the board and go to work on the Deathlock with your Staff of Asyra.  Hopefully you can destroy it quickly while your creatures tie up your opponents.  The good news is, if your opponent took an early action to drop Deathlock, that gave you one more action to prepare for the rush and he had 9 less mana with which to do damage to you with.  If you win the game never needing to heal, they completely wasted the mana and the action.

These are not be-all-end-all strategies and by no means guarantee a win.  These are just suggestions for how to set yourself up for a solid base from which to handle aggro-rush-beat-down.  This game is very well-designed, balance wise, and no one strategy or mage rules supreme (contrary to the opinion of some).  Your individual turn to turn plays will win or lose you the game, but these are some suggestions for those who are having trouble dealing with Warlock rush when playing the Priestess.  Hope it helps  :)

Mage Wars is about to break top 50 territory on BGG!  If you haven't gone there to rate it, you should!  You'd be surprised at how many people pay attention to those rankings and will try top rated games simply because they are top rated.  And, if you know anything about the rankings on BGG, top 50 is a big deal, top 25 is incredible, and top 10 is "god-like".  The higher the rating, the more people who will pick this game up and the bigger player base we will have which will result in larger tournaments for us and more revenue for Arcane Wonders which will allow them to produce more and better products.  Win win!

I don't know if Mage Wars can ever make top 10 (that's really hard), but let's at least get it to top 25!  Go rate it if you haven't already!!!!

General Discussion / Spell Zone Pack Announced
« on: March 21, 2013, 12:24:00 PM »
I saw on BGG that Arcane Wonders has announced that the Druid vs Necromancer expansion is slated for a Gen Con release and that there will be an expansion before then with the alternate art/ability mages which was called a "Spell Zone Pack".  This was all apparently announced on the Dice Tower site, although I haven't had the chance to look it up myself.

I'd love to see some sort of announcement about these products right here on the main site as well as a targeted release date for the "Spell Zone Pack".  

Regardless, I'm pumped for more product!

Rules Discussion / Mind Control and Upkeep
« on: March 06, 2013, 01:57:09 PM »
If you use Mind Control to take control of a creature that has Upkeep, I imagine the caster of Mind Control will have to pay that Upkeep correct?  And if they choose not to pay the Upkeep the creature would be discarded as per normal I assume?

Rules Discussion / Damage Barrier Question
« on: February 15, 2013, 09:55:16 AM »
After seeing the newly spoiled Circle of Fire a question came up that hadn't occured to me before.  Does a Damage Barrier count as an actual attack?  Is it afffected by cards like Marked for Death, Counterstrike, Reverse Attack, etc?

Rules Discussion / Do Multiple Battle Fury's stack?
« on: January 18, 2013, 03:49:53 PM »
If I cast multiple Battle Fury's on a creature before they attack, do they gain the effects of each, or do they only get the one extra attack regardles of the number of Battle Fury's cast upon them?

General Discussion / Promo suggestions for future Organized Play Kits
« on: January 08, 2013, 11:26:58 AM »
Conversation has been a bit slow on the boards here so I thought I'd try to get some going.  I like that they are releasing commonly used spells as foil stamped promos in Organized Play Kits.  I'm not sure which cards they are planning on releasing in the future, but I thought we could all share our thoughts on prime candidates that we'd like to see.  These are my suggestions for cards I'd love to have more of (in order of preference):

1. Battle Fury
2. Reverse Magic
3. Reverse Attack
4. Nullify
5. Teleport
6. Flameblast
7. Jinx
8. Dissolve
9. Seeking Dispel
10. Jet Stream
11. Geyser
12. Harmonize
13. Bear's Strength
14. Sleep
15. Block

What does everyone else have for a "top 15" that they'd like to see?

General Discussion / Availability of Promos
« on: January 03, 2013, 02:17:11 PM »
I saw a poster that came with the Organized Play kit that had a picture of two cards on it.  One was a piece of Equipment called Meditation Amulet and the other was something like Asyrian Defender.  The Defender was obscured so I have no idea what he did, but the Amulet was clear.  I had a comment and a question regarding these cards.

First, the comment.  Mediation Amulet seems terrible.  Unless it has been changed since it was previewed on the poster, basically it costs 1 mana (I think, might be 2) and allows the mage to spend a full round action to gain 2 mana.  That seems...awful.  I would much rather spend my full action doing just about anything else, even just double moving.  How many times per game will you just sit there and spend your full round action gaining 2 mana?   Few to none. I value my full round actions more than that.  Am I missing something here?

Now, the question.  What are the availability of these cards?  The reason I ask is because I saw a poster on BGG mention using it as if he had one.  Are these released in some way?  If not, when will they be?


Spellbook Design and Construction / Post your best Warlock build
« on: October 30, 2012, 11:21:45 AM »
The Warlock is often talked about as being very powerful (one poster on BGG went as far as to say they were afraid he was broken) and in fact, some people have boasted that they have never lost with the Warlock.  As a means of getting a good conversation regarding "deck construction" going, I'm hoping people will post their Warlock builds so we can talk about some particulars.

Obviously play styles matter, so please include any "key strategies" that make the build work...well, other than "run at them and bash them in the face with Lash of Hellfire"  :P

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