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Messages - The Dude

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Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Down (under) dog
« on: June 10, 2017, 06:02:06 AM »
Don't have anything after DvN :/ No biggie though, that will all happen in good time.

Regrowth belt over the enchantment because I want fellella doing other things besides casting regrowth on me, and 2x because it tends to get dissolved.

Key is to think ahead and not overuse the amulet. I use it to get off a biggie plus rouse next turn while having mana left to activate enchants. It's another tool, not the whole package.

Dispel for poison blood if it really becomes an issue, but it's either them or me. Heals are for my creatures more than for me.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Down (under) dog
« on: June 09, 2017, 08:36:00 PM »
Beastmaster, I mean, he's a hunk. There's no doubt about it. Able to make companions out of the fiercest of animals, making them that much stronger because of domestication. He's great, quick casting falcons better than a magician produces a dove.... but today, it's not about him. He has a kin, much more primal, hunting, lurking... someone who is all but ignored in today's game of mages in the arena. Yes, my friends.

I'm talking about the Johktari BM

Here's the list I'm playing with currently:

1x Fellella 3 pts
1x Sosruko 2 pts
1x Steelclaw 4 pts
1x Giant Wolf Spider 4 pts
1x Dire Wolf 3 pts

total points in creatures: 16

1x hawkeye 1 pt
4x Jinx 8pts
3x Bear Strength 3 pts
3x Rhino Hide 3 pts
3x Marked For Death 6 pts
1x Cheetah Speed 1 pt

total points in enchantments: 22

2x Regrowth Belt 2 pts
1x Dragonscale 3 pts
1x Elemental Cloak 2 pts
1x Leather Gloves 1 pt
1x Leather Boots 1 pt
1x Hunting Bow 3 pts
1x Enchanter's Ring 1 pt
1x Meditation Amulet 2 pts

total in equipment: 15 pts

1x Battle Forge 5 pts
3x Mana Flower 3 pts
2x Tanglevine 2 pts
1x Wall of thorns 1 pts

total in conjurations: 11 pts

2x teleport 8 pts
1x charge 2 pts
2x Seeking Dispel 4 pts
2x Minor Heal 4 pts
2x Heal 8 pts
2x rouse the beast 2 pts
1x Force Push 2 pts
2x Dispel 4 pts
2x Dissolve 4 pts
1x Battle fury 2 pts

Total in incantations: 40 pts

2x Hurl Boulder 8 pts
2x Surging Wave 4 pts
2x Acid Ball 4 pts

Total in Attack Spells: 16 points

Total: 120 pts

So, what's so great about this list? Well, it's a great example of a tempo book. However, a key difference here is that we have a number of spells that let us gain the tempo whenever we need it. It's a not a book in which we need tempo right away. We can stall, bide our time, and go when the moment is right for the kill. With closers like Hurl Boulder and Battle Fury combined with the bow, we have a great way to end the game quickly after getting early hits with our fatties. I'll explain a few of the key importances of the book, but I feel this is a build best learnt by trying it out. You have multiples in many of the critical spells, and with meditation amulet, you have more than enough mana to get there.

1x Dire Wolf: With a few other rather large creatures in the book, this dude is perfect for adding aggression to the board without wasting too many resources. He's perfect for when the Mage is already bloodied, and helps to turn our bow on. Pairing him with the cheetah speed in your book is a great way to sic him on your foe quickly. He is a little fluffy, but getting even two thirsty attacks off with him is enough to do the dirty work.

1x Fellella: Why include enchanter's ring AND the faerie? Well, there is a number of rounds where we are using the amulet and then enchanting something, so we might as well benefit from the ring's discount. Fellella is for the 3x Marked and the 4x Jinx. Having her help stall for the kill rounds while we have our action to throw acid or Boulders  and shoot is critical. She may seem hard to set up, but really, with the amount you are gaining per round (15 with an amulet activation), she will be out in no time.

1x Giant Wolf Spider: Okay. I'll admit it. I've always wanted this card to be good, ever since we first saw this guy in  CoK. Is he? Well, the ability to taint the enemy off of a tanglevine is not something to look down your nose at. As well, shooting effective tanglevines himself is Bad effing A. He's expensive, especially because you get the most effect when you combine a Rouse with him. But try him out. He's a beast.

1x Sosruko: Oh my God does taunting make me giggle like noone else. The image of a little ferret running between the feet of world's most powerful mages, aggravating them to the point that they are punching thin air in an attempt to kill them is not only objectively hilarious, it's also quite good. What's it best on? Those guys who always seem to guard the zone. Taunt them away from that action, get that crap out of here!

4x Jinx: The best time to wear a striped sweater is all the time. The best time to throw a Jinx? When you want to kill the mage. Jinxing them off of a heal or a teleport is so very powerful, having 4 of them for 4 potential rounds of this is just good. Decent players and above tend to realize when a Jinx is coming, but even making them play around it is good enough. We only need a window of 3-4 rounds to kill the mage. Jinx helps.

If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, please, I'd love to hear about them!!

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Max copies of a spell?
« on: June 09, 2017, 07:39:34 PM »
Max Jinx was a decent thing in Water Wiz for a while, as well as earth tempo wiz.

General Discussion / Re: Possible friend in need
« on: June 09, 2017, 07:38:05 PM »
Poppa, have we met?

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Safest Conjurations?
« on: June 08, 2017, 02:57:01 PM »
Killing mana generators is great if you do it before they profit off of it (before round 4-5), AND if you can do it while not stalling your opening. Ergo, it's probably best only to kill channelers if that is a part of your game plan. Deviating except in extreme circumstance kills your tempo.

General Discussion / Re: Possible friend in need
« on: June 08, 2017, 01:13:16 AM »
A response....

So, my wife, the one who originally posted that link, as well as trying to help me get my collection back, got in over her head. I didn't have any part of what she was doing, she was simply trying to surprise me. I showed her my articles that I've posted on here, as it's something I'm proud of. I've not done much with my life, so those articles, however small they are, this game, no matter how niche it is, has meant so much to me.

I lost everything when I totaled my car. I didn't ask for any of it back. My wife,after I met her, found out about my love of games. I told her what happened. A word on eviction... find a place to store your things! I had all of my netrunner, my dear collection of Mage Wars, Glory to Rome (my grail), as well as about a dozen or so board games. When I was evicted, I took all of that, as well as my magic books (card magic has been a hobby of mine for about 15 years), in my car, and drove to Lexington, to find a place to stay. That didn't work out very well, but, on the way back, I totaled my car completely. Tow trucks are expensive when you have no dollars in your pocket, so I grabbed what little I could out my car, determined to get the rest when I could. That never got to come to fruition. So, those things were lost. I've lost many things before, but I've always managed to hold on to my games, as they are pretty much the only material things I value. It's okay, it was just stuff. I had moved on entirely.

But the itch. Slowly it came back. The itch to game.

and it was small at first. I picked up a few srpgs on steam (the closest video games to board games that one can find). And then I got back into hearthstone, because I had gotten a smartphone that could run the app. And then, once I had a job that afford such a luxury as gaming, I indulged. I started with Ashes, Innovation, and Impulse. Ah, and Motainai (can't afford Glory to Rome!). I met my wife around this time, and started teaching her how to play some of these games. I kept alluding to Mage Wars, how great it was, how it was the game that got me into the hobby. I showed her this website, these articles.

And then, on Christmas, I get two packages. A metric ton of Mage Wars stuff. She made an account on BGG, and used my account here to reach out to others. It was incredibly sweet, and I love Allison with my entire heart, but I think she wasn't coming from a negative place. We had just found out she was pregnant, so I think she was trying to do the best she could while she can. She figured out how to trade, and placed a trade with a user for another game used to love dearly, and while she received the item, she never sent her end of the deal back out. That's the extent that I know, and the reason behind her account (awaddle) being banned.

As far as the elduderino42, I'm not sure who that is, but they have a kickass username!

Boocheck, I appreciate the gesture, and I love the mat! Forest board is definitely my favorite, and I can't believe you sent that to me! It's sitting on my coffee table right now, I play solo quite a bit on it.

Silverclaw, although I never received what you sent, that's totally okay, just the fact that you thought about me enough in the first place is enough to fill my heart with joy.

As for the late response, well, I live in the boonies now, meade county kentucky, in which internet is an expensive luxury that I am just now getting to the point of being able to afford. But, I am more than willing to answer any questions you have for me or for Allison.


Events / Re: ADMW Open - OCTGN Tournament!
« on: March 25, 2016, 01:37:46 AM »
who's thedude44?  ???

Strategy and Tactics / Re: countering damage-over-time builds
« on: March 04, 2016, 10:57:34 AM »
If the creature is buffed and you will kill it next round, it's pretty easy to plan seeking dispel for the obvious transfusion.

Seeking is definitely a skill card, meaning that's it's only as good as the player that plays it. I don't think transfusion is a broken enchant by any means. It may be a hard card to play around, but it can DEFINITELY be done. Also, it's pretty obvious when and where transfusion will be played. This is the card's weakness.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: countering damage-over-time builds
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:11:11 AM »
5 dispel magics is kind of really expensive action wise. Especially in most modern DoT builds that seek to burst, wasting those actions on not building any board position. I like purge magic a lot, but that means you can't cast any buffs of yourself until you purge. One times, sure, but you can only cast those with good knowledge that you will be able to get them off before you purge.

I think that there are better answers to DoT builds, and I think cards like cloud and spring can go a long way to helping. Personally, I think Purify is a wonderful, cheap option that removes most of those nasty DoT enchants while not losing you too much tempo.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Card of the Week #2: Battle Forge
« on: February 12, 2016, 11:12:25 AM »
I keep my battle forge away from the center anymore. If my opponent wants to take it out, they need to get closer to my starting corner. To me, it's not worth leaving BF out in the open. I understand the action advantage I would receive if my opponent took out the BF, but the action advantage I get for keeping it is much better. Especially early in a match.

And this is where my thought process was while writing this up. I see the other side though and it's definitely an interesting play.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Card of the Week #2: Battle Forge
« on: February 12, 2016, 11:10:52 AM »
You know, that brings up a valid point. Goading the opponent to attack BF is a valid strategy if you are okay with being out those points and mana. I think this would be something useful to do against a book that naturally wants to turtle, as I think was previously mentioned. Forcing them from cover is a good way to get the jump on them. I just might have to build a warlord around that. Baiting with a BF.

I like it.

Part of the reason I write these is because I love to hear more thoughts and ideas around cards that many of us have preconceived notions about. It's by far some of the most interesting discussion I've had in a while.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: johktari beastmaster revamped
« on: February 10, 2016, 01:05:46 PM »
I also like ferret companion in the JBM builds as taunting imposing creatures can be so critical during the late stages of the game.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: johktari beastmaster revamped
« on: February 10, 2016, 09:18:50 AM »
Rouse is used in two ways in my JBM:

As a trick. If a I cast a med or large creature, I will cast rouse to throw the opponent off.

To get a swarm going a little bit faster. Often times in opening rounds after lair is cast, I'm tight on the manas. So casting a bird off lair, hard casting with mage, and then rousing is only 11 mana.

It's not something you want more than 2-3 of (unless you are crazy and build a book around it), but it is definitely useful both in the early game as engine starter as well as a good mid-late game trick.

Strategy and Tactics / Card of the Week #2: Battle Forge
« on: February 09, 2016, 09:20:16 AM »
Card of the Week #2

Battle Forge

This week, we are going to be discussing a staple In the Mage Wars universe, a card that has been used since the games release and will continue to be used ad nauseam. The card, of course, is Battle Forge. Now, why is this card so popular? Why are there so many books that use this card specifically as an opening? Today on Card of the Week, letís dive in into the fiery hotness (redundant is redundant) that is Battle Forge.

So, letís start by talking about the card itself. You could be the new guy that isnít as familiar with the cards, and thatís totally OK. Thatís what we are here for, to fuel that addiction to the full throttle excitement that is Mage Wars. Battle Forge is a fire/war conjuration that costs 8 to cast,  has four armor, 6 life, and 1 channeling. Itís got this channeling because it isÖ a SPAWNPOINT. And not just your garden variety, run of the mill Pentagram. No, this little guy drops equipment on the regular i.e. every round. Cheap spawnpoint? Great! Buy why?
Spawnpoints are wonderful for one main reason: Action advantage. Without spawnpoints, the Mage is able to take two casting actions a round. This isnít bad, but on average, only allows for 20-40 cards to be cast a game, with 20 rounds being the high end of most games today. This may seem like a lot, but letís think about this. Your opponent doesnít have a spawnpoint, you do. You deploy a piece of equipment every round. Now, instead of 20-40, youíre getting 30-60 casts per game. This is a vast advantage over the opponent. Now, of course you probably wonít have that many pieces of equipment in your spellbook, but the example does leave behind the thought that spawnpoints are a lot more powerful than on the face of things. But enough about just spawnpoints in generalÖ letís get back to the Forge of Doom. Or Battle Forge. What have you.

The reason Battle Forge is just so powerful is that is so incredibly versatile. No, seriously. There isnít a mage to date that hasnít made good use of Battle Forge at some point. The main reason for this is that there is a wealth of equipment to choose from. In fact, the one thing that all books have in common, if anything, is that they all have equipment in some amount. Itís when your book gets to that critical mass of about 8 pieces of equipment that one starts to think about Battle Forge. The reason the low end is 8 is because thatís how pieces of equipment the Battle Forge needs to produce to  break even. Iím ignoring the idea that Battle Forge can sit and gain mana over multiple rounds as that really ruins that advantage you have of having a spawnpoint. There are different thought processes about this of course, but if you simply wanted a higher channeling, there are much cheaper options to do so. The reason it is played so much is so we can have extra actions during the critical building moments of the game.

Battle Forge is also extremely prominent because it complements two strategies with extreme effectiveness. Aggressive, solo mage or big buddy builds LOVE BF because they can cast all of the equipment they need to beat face quickly so that they can go on the offensive. It is the same reasoning that turtling loves BF so much. In addition, control builds can use BF to hand pick the defenses they need each round without planning it or spending the action. Ever squandered a planned force push by deploying an eagleclaw boots? Thems the beats.
I feel like I should point out that Battle Forge also has some really interesting possibilities. For example, you can switch out wands, effectively changing the spellbound spell, without wasting the quick action. And getting additional action advantage OVER the already wonderful advantage inherent in spawnpoints? Iíll take it. Or, running 3 wispwillow amulets and a mana flower instead of 2 mana flowers? Paying 1 mana for a 6 round channeler with a Harmed up Battle Forge is just so sexy.

There are some weaknesses of the Battle Forge, however. The first, and the most damning is the mana cost of using BF. Itís not cheap. You can mitigate that by using cheap equipment, but the better equipment is more expensive but also worth having. If you are going to play with Battle Forge, you are going to need to budget your mana for the first half of the game. The other factor that can be pretty harmful against the BF is that itís really easy to tech and kill it. Surging wave rolls for a million against it, is cheap in spellbook points, and is cheap to cast. And there isnít really a way to protect BF from it! You can cast a creature with intercept, but chances are you wonít have that much mana to work with anyways. You can cast a wall, but again, this is mana intensive and doesnít really defend the BF while at the same time limiting its range. The best way to defend against BF rush is to take advantage of them attacking your weak point and attack theirs. The only time BF rush is effective is if itís done extremely early on. After about 3 rounds, the advantage of BF is done, and there is time better spent doing something else. So, if itís early like it should be, it is easily telegraphed. Moving to NC after BF is cast is a hard tell that they will be surging next round. Take advantage of that knowledge. Beat their face in, or just capitalize on their lack of investment on the board. You will be having a lot more mana to work with, so get some of those creatures out, tanglevine them after the wave, and smash face. Punish them with your knowledge of their plan. In essence, if your BF becomes a target, you will know. Use that.

A question I often see come up and a common mistake newer players will make is the placement of Battle Forge. Itís pretty easy, actually. Donít place it in the center zone. Force the opponent to make it over to your side to attack your engine. Donít play it out there in the open unless you have a huge reason to do that. This greediness is okay against newer players, but veterans of the game will punish that greediness with a vengeance. Donít get in that habit. So, that leaves three zones you can cast BF in. The starting zone, the zone directly above you and the zone directly to your left. What this comes down to is the strategy you have. If you are aggressive, to the left of you is best because them attacking it, at best, puts them 2 zones away from your starting zone. As well, your effective BF casting range will put you at most 2 zones away from the opponent. Perfect level 2 spell range. If you are slower build, directly above you is a better play because your effective range covers your entire half of the board and the NC of the opponents side of the board, allowing you to build your engine without having to worry about getting in the opponentís line of fire.

The point I want to touch on before we close here is a question that was asked on the forums and brought up a few interesting possibilities to my mind. The question was, should you include 2 Battle Forges in your book, ever? And right now, we are going to ignore the SB cost of having two BF in your book because that is irrelevant. Would you include two Battle Forges in your book if you could? Itís non unique, so itís fine. Something like turn 1 Battle Forge, Battle Forge? I think this is an incredibly entertaining idea and I would love to see a book that could make it work. I think DWL or JBM would be in the best position to make this work as the JBM has the ability to start hitting fast and hard, and the DWL can manipulate equipment pretty much at will. You would also need something like 16 pieces of equipment to make even limited use of your BF? Thatís a little much, even for me. Then again, if I had the ability to switch equipment at the beginning of the round, I would totally do so if I could afford it. You would also need an effect 10-11 channelling, which is definitely possible for the cheap with the advent of Wispwillow amulet.

So, to kind of close things up here, Battle Forge is an incredibly versatile conjuration that can be used in any number of ways. In addition, this card is STILL being explored, even though itís a core set card! Itís a card that constantly gives me new ideas and possibilities, and plenty of books to build around! So, pull out those cherished Battle Forges, and letís try something new with this Card of the Week.

This is true guys, this is true... I knew there was a reason I had spine wall in in the first place!

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