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Messages - Koz

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General Discussion / Re: Is the Priestess Overpowered?
« on: October 30, 2012, 11:37:30 AM »
Quote from: "Nihilistiskism" post=2768
The Priestess is, for now, my go-to for competitive play. I don't run the Temple of Asyra in my spellbook. I have Clerics, but I drop them as afterthoughts maybe 1 in 5 games, so they are probably coming out, altogether. In my opinion, the Priestess is bogged down by these cards, and is much more brutally effective in the short game than people, in general, perceive. I was one of the people originally stating she's slow, but now she's fast. It takes time and practice to see what works, think outside the box, a bit, and bring out her true potential, but as she stands, now, I'm playing games with no Asyra in less than 45 minutes and netting close to zero damage on the priestess, herself. I do see her as a real tournament contender. She's stronger than the Warlock, by far, from my perspective, and while everyone else crows about him I just have to snigger.

Is she overpowered? No. There's nothing in this game that is overpowered. The balance in this game is exceptional. Is she very, very strong? Yes. In my opinion she is the strongest Mage, but, as with all games, people only need to tweak their builds a bit in the right direction to counter her, and then she must tweak her build to counter the counter, and thus the story begins.


Interesting.  I've been doing a lot of theorycrafting regarding the Priestess and playing around with build ideas.  Originally I had the Temple of Asyra in and was going that route, but in my first revision I took it out, thinking that it would be too slow.  Seems like maybe I was on point there.  I've got a build that I think will be very good, but I'm not sure yet since I haven't played it.  I looks good "on paper", but that doesn't always go so well in practice.  

Looking at what I've come up with, I think it will utterly own the "in your face beat-down" style mage builds and I think it will handle the Wizard heavy offense builds pretty well too, although that will be a bit tougher.  I'm a bit worried about the swarm builds though, although the strategy of focusing on the enemy mage and just trying to survive/delay the swarm seems to work in general.  Of course, that's all on paper as I've said.  I hope to test it soon.

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

General Discussion / Re: Is the Priestess Overpowered?
« on: October 29, 2012, 09:24:17 AM »
You could always try Deathlock.  You don't have to be a Dark mage to include it in your build.  Dropping that on your side of the board forces her to send something over there to deal with it or never heal/gain life.  Same goes for Poisoned Blood.  

I think aggressiveness is the key though.  Letting the Priestess set up is a bad idea, once she gets rolling she's a tough nut to crack.

General Discussion / Question about the upcoming expansion
« on: October 27, 2012, 12:00:29 PM »
I was curious as to how many unique spells there are going to be in the Forcemaster/Warlord expansion.  In the base set there are something like 174 unique spells out of a total of 322 cards.  According to the newsletter, the expansion is going to have a total 216 spell cards, but I was wondering how many of those are unique cards and how many are duplicates and/or reprints from the base set.  

Obviously I'm not talking about cards with the Unique trait, but I'm sure you've picked up on that  ;)

As a follow up, when is the expansion expected to hit stores?  By Christmas?  What about the 2nd Core Spell Tome?  Any idea when that will be released?

General Discussion / Re: Mage specific cards in future expansions?
« on: October 26, 2012, 02:21:46 PM »
I agree that Nihil's suggestion is superior to cards that can only be used by one particular mage.  But, it looks like they have started down that route, so I am assuming it will continue.  I don't have a huge issue with the way they've done it really, although Nihil's suggestion is superior.  They could always do both I suppose.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Favorite way to deal with Beastmaster
« on: October 26, 2012, 09:34:11 AM »
Quote from: "Hedge" post=2615
I was thinking of putting these in my Warlock Deck.

I've been tempted to play these in EVERY deck.  They are that good and that cheap (both mana and spell book wise).  The only problem is the Zone Exclusive issue.   You can only have so much stuff like that out so you have to choose wisely.  But tempting to include them in every build.

Rules Discussion / Re: Flyers pushed against outer walls. Bashed?
« on: October 25, 2012, 04:45:01 PM »
Very much so.  Thanks to all who answered.  We were playing it right, but apparently some people on BGG were not.  

Thanks again!

Rules Discussion / Re: Flyers pushed against outer walls. Bashed?
« on: October 25, 2012, 02:42:05 PM »
Actually I did see that before, but I'm not sure if the person who answered it is an employee of AW or if it was just someone answering who thinks they know the answer.  That's why I like going here for rules quesitions because I know who all of the "official" people are  :)

Thank you for the reply, but I just want to make sure that answer is correct before I find out at a very inconvienient time (like a tournament).

Rules Discussion / Flyers pushed against outer walls. Bashed?
« on: October 25, 2012, 01:57:58 PM »
If a flyer is pushed against an outer wall, do they get Bashed like any other creature?  Since the outer walls are supposed to extend high enough to prevent flyers from leaving the arena, we have been playing it as yes, they do.  This game tends to follow logic, and this seems pretty logical.  What's the official answer though?

General Discussion / Re: Is the Warlock the weakest Mage?
« on: October 24, 2012, 05:19:46 PM »
Quote from: "Nitz" post=2550
I think the issue with the Warlock is when you compare him to the three mages at the same time, he seems inferior.  Everyone does something he does better, or at least more effeciently.  As you've said, his spell list of dark and fire is really good, but not as good as the Wizard who can take Fire and Arcane, or Lightning and Arcane (if you believe that is better).  He can buff a pet, but not as well as the Beastmaster, who can buff and get pets out faster.  He has a high starting life and some ability to do damage for heal, but nowhere near as effeciently as the priestess can heal.  These are all true, and certainly make him feel a little under loved at first blush.  However, if you compare him to each mage individually, in my mind you start to see where he shines.

For example, the beastmaster does some really nice stuff with his creatures, but the Warlock can buff a creature too, just not as well.  On the other hand, his ability to take fire spells for 1/3 of the cost of a beastmaster is huge, and goes a long way towards dealing with the beastmasters weenie rush as well.  Against the mage, Arcane may be more useful than Dark, but I would suggest he get's more use out of arcane spells too.  I'd rather teleport my 9 dice rolling Warlock into combat with your mage than my slow hydra who cost me a full cast and 16 mana, at that point paying 4 to put it in my deck holds a value at least equal to the mages deck cost of 2.  Same could be said for a spell like nullify that can protect the Lash of Hellfire, which to me is way more valuable than any Wizard equipment i put out, even the elemental wand.  Further, volteric shield and +1 mana channel are really nice, but I really enjoy +1 innate melee die as well and think it is on par with the shield when you consider the wizard is trying to move around and not get hit and the warlock is usually trying to get in people's faces.  Plus, the shield is 3 mana and can be avoided, or even under utilized if he's plinked by a small attack.  It's great, but I don't think it's leagues above the innate _+1 melee dice.  Versus the priestess, the warlock has mulitiple ways to shut down her healing, which can negate one of her best assets.  She has no way to reciprecate and shut down his primary asset of damage dealt, other than to cast healing, which as I've said, can be shut down.  He has the extra life (equal to a minor heal +) so he can shut down healing early and win an attrition battle, or heal right before shutting heals off for the game as a late game move.  Could a priestess also shut off healing, yes, would that be stupid on her part, unless it was the extreme end game, yes.  

So from my limited perspective, what i see is this.  the Warlock when compared to the rest of the game seems to be second fiddle to other mages, however, I would suggest he is the second best at what the other mages are best at.  Therefore, while his innate abilities might be lacking when you look at certain aspects across the whole game, when you compare mages one to one, he is very strong becuase he's good at that mages strength, but also better than them at those other areas to.  Also, I would suggest this is true without having to change his build up much.  

on a quick aside, I love the imagery of lighting, and I think your point to the effects is a good one.  however, I would point out it's a lot easier to get  a burn effect to go off than it is stun, and in my mind the effects would rank thus  daze < Burn 1 < burn 2 < Stun.  So for me, that balances out, but if you put daze above burn 1, then fair enough.

This is a good analysis and I think we basically agree but I'm just not sold on the idea he's "very strong".  I think he is good, but a bit short.  

Basically I look at it like this.  If I am playing with the sole intention of winning (like in a tournament) and I want to play an in your face beat-down style deck, I'd go with the Beastmaster because I think he does it best.  If I want to play an attack spell focused deck, I would go with the Wizard, because I think he does that best.  If I wanted to go with a swarm I'd go with a Beastmaster.  If I wanted to go big creature beat-down I'd go with the Priestess (because the angels are amazing) or the Beastmaster.  

I just don't really see a line of play in this game right now that makes me think "the Warlock does that best".  But he's still way cool, he certainly doesn't suck, I still intend to always have a build with him just because he's fun to play.

Thank you though for the in-depth response, it's got some good points in it and given me some things to chew on.

General Discussion / Re: Is the Warlock the weakest Mage?
« on: October 24, 2012, 11:08:32 AM »
Thank you Hedge, Nihil and Shadow.  I'm glad to see that my analysis wasn't completely off base.  Both Hedge and Nihil I know from another game and both are very competent players who were real threats in the tournament scene.  I value both of their imputs since I know they are both good players (even if we don't always agree  ;) ).  Shadow has said he is also a well experienced tournament player so I value that kind of input as well.  

I really like the Warlock and will continue to play him and I'm glad to hear that there are some cards coming that will work well with his abilities.  As things stand right now though I would probably pick the Wizard or the Beastmaster for a tournament.  The Priestess is really good too, but, like Nihil, I'm concerned with the time limt and tie-breaker system.  If a good Priestess build comes up that can win in around an hour I'd consider her for tournament play as well (because her Temples are crazy good).

General Discussion / Re: Is the Warlock the weakest Mage?
« on: October 24, 2012, 09:44:49 AM »
Quote from: "jhsjhs" post=2528
Right, it is a question of balance--WL may be weakest in some ways, as you detail, but there are offsetting advantages. It is hard to call it weak if it dominates games when built well.

Well, any mage can dominate if well built though, especially if playing against inferior builds.  Again, I will reiterate that I don't think the Warlock is bad, just slightly less good than the other mages.

No one here has really been able to point out something that the Warlock can do that another mage can't do at least as good, if not better.  The majority of the things that are unique to the Warlock (Curesweaving, Bloodreaper, Sacrifical Altar, etc) seem slightly inferior to the other mages options.

Only Gewar has really made a good argument here when he said that Dark and Fire schools are really good together (something no other mage can do at this point).  That's something to explore and I'm hoping Gewar will continue with that line of conversation.

General Discussion / Re: Is the Warlock the weakest Mage?
« on: October 24, 2012, 09:34:05 AM »
Quote from: "mitkosim" post=2532
Here's a more direct way that the Blood Reaper is better than the Beastmaster's Pet - it doesn't cost you extra mana. I didn't think it was worth it in the cost in life but boy was I wrong. Both the beastmaster and the warlock are strapped for mana at channeling 9 and being forced to pay an extra 3 (Timber Wolf) or 5 (Grizzly) mana for your pet can make it impossible to cast on a turn that you need it. On the other hand, the warlock needs the bloodreaper to heal him twice to pay for the cost in lost life if it is a Slayer or Hellion (4 life down, 4 dmg healed makes it even, I would say). Incidentally, I do not think that either of those two special creatures should be put out just because you can so my argument above is centered on this premise.

Yep, I agree that saving mana is nice.  In my OP, under Bloodreaper, I put: "Yes, saving mana is good, but the loss of life is very costly as it is helping your opponent win the game", so I did acknowledge this.  The healing you get from the Bloodreaper is nice, to be sure, but you never get that loss of life back, while the Beastmaster gets his mana back from creating a Pet.  Personally, as a side note, I think the best use of the Pet marker is not big animals like the Grizzly, but rather the cheaper creatures like Foxes or Falcons.  The mana cost is cheaper and the extra stats make the weenie creature a bigger threat.  But that's another topic.

Also regarding the sacrificial altar - it doesn't just give you +1 melee - it also gives you piercing +1 so that's kind of like +2 overall in most situations (let's call it a +1.5). The Hand doesn't do that for free. And you know, for that last desperate attack against the opposing mage with your buffed and equipped Warlock who is to say that attacking with Adramelech and then sacrificing him for +6 melee, +6 piercing on your own mage is not worth it ;)

Sure, if you set up some perfect combo, Sacrifical Altar can win you a game.  I acknowledged that the card has its uses.  In my OP, under Sacrificial Altar, I said: "This card isn't terrible, but it's not really good either, and it has it's uses at certain times' and "I don't think it's a terrible card, just not great".  So, you and I are in agreement on the card it seems, but it's not the kind of card that really gives the Warlock much of an edge.  You're probably better off spending that mana and that action doing something more reliable.  And Hand of Bim-Shalla blows this card away, hands down....for only one more mana.

General Discussion / Re: Is the Warlock the weakest Mage?
« on: October 24, 2012, 09:21:10 AM »
Quote from: "Gewar" post=2525
How Warlock is any good:
- he has most life
- he has two schools, that are very offensive - Fire is direct damage heavy and Dark is debuff heavy, which makes good combo
- Wizard can have Fire speciality, better channeling and cheeper Holly school, but he has much less life and no Warlock-speciffic offensive spells.
- Beastmaster have almost same life, better pet, but do not have ree acces to fire spells, which are the best offesively (Battle Forge, Fireballs, Burn Effect) and again, no Warlock-speciffick spells

I don't think that you can compare one school to another out of context - they do combo one with another and with other perks - much life + fire + dark + Warlock only spells make him competetive.

This is the kind of discussion I was looking to have.  Yes, the dual schools are significant and I pointed that out in my OP.  I think that is one of his strengths that is very good.  However (there's always a however  :P ), the Wizard also has two schools, one of which can be Fire.  In addition to that, I think that the Arcane school is better than the Dark school overall.  While I LOVE the flavor of the Dark school and think it has many good spells (Ghoul Rot, Drain Life, Maim Wings, etc), Arcane is a staple school for pretty much every build.  Mana Crystal, Dispel, Seeking Dispel, Teleport, Harmonize, Jinx, Nullify, etc.  Those are all big cards used in A LOT of builds.  Dark spells aren't nearly the staples that Arcanes are.  So, IMO, the Fire Wizard is superior to the Warlock as far as schools go.

I've also seen a lot of people mentioning how Fire is the best damage school, but I'm not sure I agree and I think that's worth discussing too.  Our group is leaning towards Lightning as being the better school as far as offense goes.  Stun and Daze are HUGE.  Yes, Burn is very good, and it can really add up, but Burn is very dice dependant while Stun is ALWAYS good.  Honestly, if you have the choice, would you rather put a Burn token on the opposing mage, or a Stun token?  It's a no brainer for me.  Unless the mage is on the verge of death and might die to the Burn during upkeep, I'd go with Stun.  I'm thinking that those players who are "never losing" with an in your face build aren't getting hit with enough Stun, Daze and Push effects.  If they were, they wouldn't be winning every game.  

So, Gewar, we agree on the Warlock's strong points, but I'm not sure it places him equal, or better, than the other mages.  Don't get me wrong, and I think some people are reading my OP wrong, I don't think the Warlock is bad, or "can't win".  I think the Warlock is good but falls just a bit short on the scale.  No game like this can really achieve perfect balance, but AW came pretty close with this game.  But, IMO, the Warlock is slightly on the lower end of the power curve.

General Discussion / Re: Is the Warlock the weakest Mage?
« on: October 23, 2012, 10:18:27 PM »
I don't mean to be out of line, but I don't think you guys got the point of the post at all.  I don't mean to sound rude, but I'm a bit exasperated by the responses.  I wasn't asking "how do you make a good Warlock build".  I'm fully aware of how good cards like Idol of Pestilence and Suppression Orb are.  I'm fully aware that you need to include non-Warlock spells in a build.  Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, but I feel like I'm being talked down to here, like I "don't get it".  I know how to play, and I know how to build spellbooks and I know which cards to use in which situation (yes, dropping a Deathlock is a priority against the Priestess, I know).  I will also say that I immediately question the validity of your comments when you claim that the Warlock "never" loses.  I can only see that being possible if the all of the players who play against the Warlock aren't as good as the Warlock player.  I'm not saying they are bad, but if he is winning that much, it must be because he is simply the better player.  I guarantee that if he played in our group, he wouldn't win every match.  Promise.  I'd bet my collection on it.

I understand that the Warlock beat-down is very good, but how is it better than the Beastmaster doing the same thing?  What unique abilities makes the Warlock better at it?  The Beastmaster, IMO, can do the beat-down better, because while they are hitting hard in melee, they can also quickcast out an animal creature to keep adding to the number of attacks that are being sent out, turn after turn, or cast an attack spell, or Battle Fury, or whatever.  The Beastmaster also has a familiar that can fly around behind him dropping enchantments on him turn after turn.  

Also, saying things like "it's pretty easy to get the Warlock up to 6 armor, which helps" is a strange comment to me.  It's easy to get ANY mage up to 6 armor.  What unique cards/abilities does the Warlock have that makes him get armor faster than anyone else?  Answer: none.  So how is the ability to get up to 6 armor an advantage specific to the Warlock?

The point of this thread, was that when you compare each Warlock ability and each Warlock specific (or dark mage specific) card, most of the time the other mages have a better alternative.  Can the Warlock win?  Of course!  But I fail to see what he can do that another mage can't do better, except reuse curses.   Fire spells?  The Wizard can do it just as well.  Equipment/Battleforge build?  Any mage can do that.  Vampirisim?  Any mage can cast that (although it's expensive for the Priestess, but she doesn't need it anyway with all of her healing).  

If you want to rebut my post, then you need to do things like tell me how Bloodreaper is better than the Beastmaster's Pet.  Or tell me how Curseweaving is better than Voltaric Shield or the Beastmaster's quick animal summon.  How is Pentagram better than any of the other spawnpoints?  Besides a couple of cards, like Lash of Hellfire and Moloch's Torment for example, what can the Warlock do that another mage can't do at least as well, or possibly even better?  They have a few benefits, as I outlined, but I still feel they are on the weaker side of the scale.  

Sorry if I'm coming off as harsh, but I feel like the point flew right past you guys.  If you have specific examples of things that the Warlock does better than any other mage I'm all ears.  But from what I've seen, the few good things they have that no one else can do (Curseweaving, Lash of Hellfire, Moloch's Torment, etc), aren't enough to make the Warlock be better than the alternative mages.  He's good, but a bit behind the curve.  IMO.

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