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Topics - andy

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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.

Spellbook Design and Construction / First-ish build: Earth Wizard
« on: May 30, 2015, 10:35:16 PM »
I first started getting into this game about a year ago.  I bought all the expansions (not the spell tomes yet, because I couldn't decide between those or a second core set), I taught a friend to play, and we played about three games.  But this was my last year of grad school and it's been insanely busy, so I basically put the game down.  I've recently been getting back into it, because I've been watching the Arcane Duels series on YouTube.  Seeing some people play who know the game a bit better made me realize various things I was doing completely wrong when building spellbooks, so now I've put a bit more thought into my current book.

The basic idea is that Hurl Rock and the Wizard ability Arcane Zap become obscenely efficient when enchanted with Hawkeye.  I really liked the Johktari Beastmaster rush deck that was in one of the Arcane Duels videos, but it seemed like if the opponent somehow survives your initial rush, you could run out of steam.  You lose 3 Hurl Boulder in the first 3 turns, and you end up out of mana.

Instead, the goal of this build is to follow up a few initial Hurl Boulders by settling into a loop of Hurl Rock/Arcane Zap/X, where X is one of the cheap range 2 attacks.  For a total cost of 11 (the Mage's 10 channeling plus the Tower's 1) each turn, you can shoot the opponent for 12 or 13 dice per turn, and you should be able to keep this up indefinitely by putting one spell each on the Wizard's Tower and the Elemental Wand.

[spellbookname]Lightning Bolt[/spellbookname]
[mage]A Wizard (Earth) Spellbook[/mage]
[mage]built by the OCTGN SBB[/mage]
[mwcard=FWA04]3 x Hurl Boulder[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFA02]6 x Hurl Rock[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNA01]2 x Acid Ball[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1A09]2 x Jet Stream[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWA02]1 x Force Hammer[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1A08]1 x Geyser[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKA01]1 x Surging Wave[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1A13]1 x Thunderbolt[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1A11]1 x Pillar of Light[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1J04]1 x Battle Forge[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKJ02]1 x Wizard's Tower[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1J12]1 x Mana Crystal[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1J16]1 x Mordok's Obelisk[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKJ01]1 x Enchanter's Wardstone[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1W04]2 x Wall of Thorns[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKC08]1 x Gargoyle Sentry[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC03]1 x Devouring Jelly[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E21]2 x Hawkeye[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E05]1 x Cheetah Speed[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFE02]1 x Akiro's Favor[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFE07]1 x Rust[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E31]1 x Poisoned Blood[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E36]1 x Rhino Hide[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E32]1 x Regrowth[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFE04]1 x Brace Yourself[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E29]3 x Nullify[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E23]1 x Jinx[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKE04]1 x Enchantment Transfusion[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1E38]1 x Teleport Trap[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1Q08]2 x Elemental Wand[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1Q18]1 x Mage Staff[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1Q11]1 x Gauntlets of Strength[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ09]1 x Wand of Healing[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1Q33]1 x Wind Wyvern Hide[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ07]1 x Veteran's Belt[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1Q32]1 x Suppression Cloak[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKQ06]1 x Eagleclaw Boots[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1Q09]1 x Enchanter's Ring[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1I06]4 x Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1I24]2 x Seeking Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1I07]3 x Dissolve[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1I12]3 x Force Push[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1I28]1 x Teleport[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1I01]1 x Banish[/mwcard]
[cost]Total cost: 120 pts[/cost]

There are a variety of different openings that you can do, depending on how aggressive you want to be from the outset.  But basically, the setup you want is Hawkeye, then Cheetah Speed, then Akiro's Favor on the Mage, Wizard's Tower in the far center (or near center, but I think far center is probably better), and Elemental Wand on the Mage bound with Hurl Rock.  I'm sure the attack package in this build looks excessive (maybe it is, I haven't actually played the deck yet), but here is the reasoning behind each inclusion:

Hurl Boulder/Hurl Rock: Hurl Rock is the most efficient attack card in the game (and even more so with Hawkeye), and Hurl Boulder is close (and remains cheap for the Earth Wizard).  Probably most of the damage will be done by these.

The utility package (Acid Ball, Force Hammer, Geyser): To reduce armor, destroy conjurations, and get rid of burns if necessary.

The cheap attacks (Acid Ball again, Pillar of Light, Jet Stream, Surging Wave): These are the attacks which can fill out a Hurl Rock/Arcane Zap/X trio whose total cost is under the 10+1 channeling.  (Geyser is technically cheap enough, but the range is too short and the effect not detrimental enough.)  Which of the X you use depends on what you need.  Pillar of Light give you Ethereal damage with the chance to Stun.  Acid Ball (obviously) corrodes armor.  Jet Stream has the high chance for an extra 3 dice of damage by pushing the opponent into a wall.  Surging Wave has less chance to Push, but has slightly higher damage.  Alternatively, you can put Hurl Boulder on the Wizard's Tower.  The duo of Hurl Boulder/Arcane Zap does 11 dice of damage per turn and leaves you with 2 mana leftover to build up mana over a few turns or play out enchantments.

Thunderbolt: If this is bound to the Elemental Wand and my Mage is in the center, I can hit the entire board.  With Akiro's Favor, there's a 75% chance to Stun, so you can (likely) keep the opposing mage incapacitated for several turns.  (This seems gimmicky but tempting to me.  Part of me knows it's not worth the spellbook points, and I'll never use it because it's too inefficient.  But another part of me likes the gimmick and hopes to pull it off.)

Pretty much the rest of the book is just a collection of potential answers to things the opponent might do, and some alternate routes to victory if something goes wrong.  I could equip the Mage with the Mage Staff and Gauntlets of Strength and start melee attacking.  I've got some armor and a strong defender in Gargoyle Sentry if the opponent is somehow being more aggressive than I am.  Poisoned Blood stops healing.  Mordok's Obelisk won't shut down a creature rush deck, but it might buy a turn during which I can do another 12-13 dice of damage.  Banish is there just in case they cast something large (i.e., Adramalech) to distract me.  But really, the plan is to cast almost entirely attacks.

Any comments or criticisms would be helpful.  One preemptive thing I should mention is that there's only 1 Teleport and no Leather Boots/Gloves because these cards are in another spellbook.  Eventually, though, I'll buy a second core set probably and be able to build more books at the same time.

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