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Topics - Hanma

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General Discussion / 2015 Gencon Championship Report and Spellbook
« on: August 07, 2015, 01:27:06 AM »
On the off chance that people read this forum but don't check out the spell book design and construction forum, here is a link to my report for those that want to read it! http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=15863.0

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So, it took a few days but the 2015 Gencon tournament report is finally here! I had to give myself a few days of recuperation to get over the post-con exhaustion. If anyone hasn't done four days of gaming with five hours of sleep a night and tons of traveling, I would recommend it, it really pushes you mentally and physically...despite the fact you're sitting around playing games. Also, for those of you wondering what the heck my deck name is all about I'll leave you in suspense for awhile, but I promise it's there!

For anyone that hasn't met me I'm Nick Tinko or Hanma on the forums, I've done mostly lurking these past few years but that is going to change! I met Jerome(Diji) and Andy(The Dude) at Origins three years ago when I randomly saw a Mage Wars tournament being played. I thought it looked cool and decided to check it out. I was pretty much sold instantly on the game when they told me there is essentially a class system(picking your mage), deck building, and very little random elements to the game since you get to pick your spells every turn. I've dived in ever since! Two months later I got third at Gencon, followed by an unfortunate defeat at the hands of Alexander for second place the next year. So it's only fair I won it out this year, right? My best friend James(Grislewald) and I spend a lot of time playing Mage Wars, he has been my play test partner and a gigantic portion of the reason I even get to write this report. Early in the game I also played with and talked a lot to Charmyna when he was around. For this tournament report I'm going to talk about metagame evolution to give an idea of why I think the things that I do about the game to give an overall idea of what lead to the idea of Weighted Training Clothes. I'll follow it up with the deck list, card choices, the tournament report, future book changes, and some thoughts on the direction of the game.

So, to start, where did this book come from? Ever since the start of the game James and I have been playing some variation of this spell book and it has continually gotten better as the game has progressed. We tend to always eventually conclude that this book, or a close variation, is the best possible book that can be made right now. Unfortunately we always tended to find this out when I couldn't play it at Gencon. Does that mean it's invulnerable? Of course not, but I'd give it an 80% or more win ratio when the two players are of close to equal skill. The idea behind the book is that actions win the game, the more actions you have the more cards you can play out of your book every turn, and there's no better mage suited for the task than the Wizard. We have always called this book Action Wizard, due to the fact that it plays Gate to Voltari, Wizard's Tower, and Huginn. It used to run Battle Forge but it unfortunately was a bit too slow and had to be removed. As you can see, by using these cards, if they stay on the board, you are getting three actions in addition to your wizard every turn. So we have actions, what's next?

From my experience there tends to be three main ways to play the game: aggro, mid-range, and control.  Aggro strategies tend to involve a lot of smaller mana efficient creatures(Straywood Aviary) or crazy attack spell aggression(what I call Attack Wizard). Mid-range you will typically see a big creature or two with support from the mage. Control can be anything from Priestess with crazy life to Action Wizard but they all tend to involve a lot of what we call investments, such as spawn points and cards with +channeling. So with these basic concepts I'll list the book and explain what led me to my individual card choices with some insight as to how my metagame has evolved over the past year since the last Gencon.


Weighted Training Clothes!

Conjurations:
4x Mana Crystal
1x Gate to Voltari
1x Mana Prism
2x Wizard's Tower

Creatures:
4x Blue Gremlin
2x Gargoyle Sentry
1x Huginn, Raven Familiar
1x Devouring Jelly

Equipment:
2x Dragonscale Hauberk
1x Moonglow Amulet
1x Leather Boots
1x Leather Gloves
1x Regrowth Belt
1x Elemental Cloak

Enchantment:
6x Jinx
3x Nullify
1x Reverse Magic
1x Harmonize
1x Hawkeye
1x Rhino Hide
1x Brace Yourself
1x Essence Drain

Incantations:
4x Dissolve
4x Dispel
3x Seeking Dispel
2x Heal
1x Minor Heal
1x Teleport
1x Defend

Attack Spells:
6x Hurl Rock
5x Acid Ball
1x Hurl Boulder
1x Fireball
2x Flameblast
2x Surging Wave
1x Invisible Fist

Okay, okay, what is the deal with the deck name? For any of you that have ever watched a fighting anime, you know that you can never reveal your true power until a break point, when you face that opponent you have to go all out on. That's when you take off the weighted training clothes and go hard! https://33.media.tumblr.com/6995eb1c24a2d492464cf9c2f515857c/tumblr_nhf7p1WdFl1rcxbkyo1_250.gif

Haha, anyway, this book was designed for the tournament with two main openings. One is an aggro opening with double or quadruple mana crystal into Wizard's Tower to tempo them out by dropping a Jinx and two attack spells a turn so that their one action can't keep up with your three and all their extra mana doesn't matter(We will call this the Attack opening). I opted to use this opening in the swiss matches. While this opening is super effective it's actually not as strong as opening with Gate to Voltari and Mana Crystal while using Jinx to keep your opponent from overwhelming you with aggression as your Gate to Voltari generates absurd mana and actions(We will call this the Gate opening). This was taking the weighted training clothes off to show your true power in the games that really mattered! Hence I aimed to use this opening in finals only, showing every opponent until finals only a lesser version of my book. On to card explanations!

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