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Messages - DeckBuilder

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Rules Discussion / Re: ERRATA - Temple of Light
« on: July 21, 2013, 05:26:54 AM »
As someone who advocated making ToL Epic as the sole fix (to Temple attrition) in another thread, this change, in combination with HoB Unique (and the Gencon damage tie-breaker) seems a nerf too far.

A decision was made not to have a super-flexible arena-wide FOCUSED aggression/healing/defence vs. swarm by making HoB Unique. And I respect the decision, making the game more positional hence tactical instead of having arena-wide benefits.

This HoB decision SEVERELY limited the former power of ToL. As an interim, I'm surprised the designers did not stop there and see how this changed the meta. To add this (user-defined) activation cost to ToL makes it seem over-costed. Worse, the errata is just so inelegant. I think the "clunkiness" of this errata is what irks me most. For a game I absolutely love, and so intuitive to play. they may have marred it with this errata (the other 2 seem perfectly reasonable).

I suspect this change was preemptive, to allow for more (cheap) Temple releases in the future. If we are to get 3 new Temples of 5-6 cost, then again we have a cheaply-powered guarded Laser Lighthouse issue. If this was the reason, they should release this weaker version (superseding the original) with those new cheap temples. If future releases is the reason to nerf ToL so much (in conjunction with HoB), then it was premature. In the meantime, who would want to play the nerfed Priestess now?

I think I'm sad because all I'm seeing are moves away from control into aggro (like the Gencon tie-breaker which is even more inelegant). ToL/archers/guards was a nice zonal control concept that was different to others. There are so few "pure control" strategies. Yes, there is skill in playing aggro well but I contend there is even more skill in playing control well because it is less reliant on dice and more reliant on correctly-timed effects you impose. Control here is the correctly timed and targeted denial of mobility, aggression, mana and spells as well as removal of threats (enchantments, equipment, creatures temporarily). As someone who regularly plays control at Magic Nationals, I may be biased. But there has to be balance between these 2 polarities (there is no Combo because of pick, the other axis is Versatility vs. Focus). What the designers seem to be doing here is to move competitive play away from the more cerebral chess-like control game. Perhaps because they want to make it a Con Tournament game and control is just not that game. Which is a shame, to hobble this great game so as to make it fit within 60-90 minutes, reducing its appeal to those who like its chess qualities.

The Gencon tiebreaker decision, along with these 2 nerfs, has made Priestess uncompetitive in tournaments and it pushes players down the Route 1 "roll better dice than your opponent" aggro vs. aggro approach. Even a Wizard can't play pure control, where he trades his life resource to gain control as he will lose on tie-breaker no matter how much board control he has. He instead keeps an eye on the timer then nearing time, he spams-out his ranged damage spells (mana-to-damage efficient but not persistent) to try to catch-up on tie-breaker in what is simply a mathematical formula that tries to optimise persistent benefits vs. one-off benefits. There is simply no time for finesse.

In Magic, if you play Control competitively, you know that if you lose the first game, the best you can hope for probably is a draw. Likewise, you know that it is perfectly ok to win the match by winning the first game and not having time to complete another. There are a lot of 1-1 draws in competitive Magic tournaments. The ranking for them is decided by other tie-breakers which, over time, has been fine-tuned to be regarded as a paradigm for win-lose-draw result Swiss tournaments. This ensured balance between Aggro and Control in tournament results. There is great skill in winning a large Magic tournament with Aggro. The main skill in a game like this is adapting your play to beat your opponent's strategy. The skill required is equal to the higher skill level deck in a match-up. An Aggro player needs great skill to beat a high-skill Control deck piloted by a good player. It takes great skill to win a tournament irrespective of the sophistication of your strategies. It's just a shame that the tournament rules (and the Temples errata) promote Aggro so much.

It's not limited to Mage Wars. In Netrunner, Criminal and Weyland dominate in tournaments because they can win matches 7-0 hence win the bonus tournament prestige points. In Game of Thrones, a recent agenda and Plot opened the floodgates to Aggro wins. I'm saddened at the similar "reward Aggro" direction Mage Wars is going (maybe to make it more commercially accessible to younger age groups). This ToL errata (arguably unnecessary in the context of the HoB errata) makes one "staple" Core set control mage not tournament-competitive (in the context of the new tie-breaker) by further eroding (zonal) control in the game.

I have read the thread where a designer explains this. I just think that, in addition to HoB Unique and time-out tie-breaker announcements, to also add the ToL nerf in the current card pool just seems... excessive.

I really hope I am wrong on this.

Ha ha Fentum, u make me laugh. U should have seen my local Brighton beach in this heatwave.

@ Werner

I think "broken" is a very strong word that players should be reluctant to use. Even when calling for Temple of Light (a far stronger spell) to be made Epic, I never used that over-used word. Because "broken" is a damning indictment on the game itself (and can be damaging).

Jet stream is definitely stronger than it looks because of wall bashes and passage attacks. But most significant targets have at least armour 2 so attack 2 dice with 3 dice wall bash is severely blunted.

My main issue with Jet Stream is the 75% non-certain push is always directly away (only choice when diagonal). So it is good for a ranged specialist mage like an air wizard.

Force Push is a subtle utility spell for a chess player. I have used it to distance awake a sleeping creature iwith a 3 dice wall bash, move myself out of swarm hindrance to cheetah speed escape, nudge a slow creature out of position and, in melee builds, to lure an activated target 1 closer to be in reach of my attackers, moving it away from guards. It is not a "push" but the equivalent of D&D 4E's "slide".

I think most of my spell books now have Force Push in instead of Jet Stream. (Exceptions are ranged fortress Priestess who wants to push enemy away from intervening Poison Gas and the air wizard trained in Jet Stream and Teleport). My first ever Beastmaster started with Jet Stream + Wall of Thorns. Someone on BGG (padawan or scott douglas) suggested Force Push was better. I arrogantly ignored it. But he was right and I switched to 3x Force Push. This is after constantly using Teleport for 1 and realising I was wasting spell points.

In short, Force Push is a very versatile subtle spell. In this example, it allows a mage to slide a target sideways through a wall of thorns (or Hugrinn can pull the target towards it as LOS is not blocked). Both spells have their positives. While Jet Stream can situationally do far more damage (e.g. flyer by the arena wall or Whirling Spirit), I prefer the versatility that the 6 spell points I pay for 3x Force Push gives me. I think this subtlety vs. brute force preference is a question of personal play style and I wouldn't be critical of any who prefer the opposite.

But the humble Jet Stream is not "broken".

Rules Discussion / Re: Can you Guard Conjurations against Flyers?
« on: July 12, 2013, 02:51:38 AM »
Thanks, guys. So the general consensus seems to be that the "creature" reference in the flying side bar should be "object" instead. Be good to have an official FAQ on this.

I'm slightly disappointed as I feel some conjurations are perhaps a bit too powerful and you perhaps pay too much of a premium for flying (as Mages are forbidden to fly in the arena so it just gives you very limited Mongoose Agility whilst making you a ranged target that walls can't protect). So my literal interpretation would have solved both of these perceived issues. (Flying archers on the other hand are a different matter!)

In the interim, I shall accept the wisdom of those more experienced and treat this as a rare case of slightly sloppy rules drafting. But it would be great if someone from the design team clarified what is, unlike quite a lot of the other rules queries, a pretty ambiguous rules position. We have gone for RAI instead of RAW. I'm fine with that.


Rules Discussion / Can you Guard Conjurations against Flyers?
« on: July 11, 2013, 05:12:09 PM »
Guarding (p29)

"Protect the Zone: If a creature is in a zone with one or more enemies with guard markers (except for guards he can ignore; see sidebar), that creature cannot make a melee attack against any object without a guard marker."

Ignoring Guards (sidebar p29)

"In some cases, guards can be ignored. If an attacking creature can ignore a guard, it may choose to melee attack a different target in the zone, and does not have to attack the ignored guard.

Flying Creatures and Guards: Guards affect a flying creature when it makes a melee attack, but only if it is attacking a non-Flying creature in the guard's zone."

I contend that the rules as they stand allow Flyers to ignore guards when melee attacking conjurations in that zone. The rules specifically only allow guards to interpose against flyers when they melee-attack non-Flying creatures.

The logical and grammatical syntax of the above is follows:
(a) There are exceptions to the Guard rule
(b) Flyers is one of these exceptions
(c) However Flyers attacking non-Flying creatures is an exception to exception (b)

However,  this interpretation (RAW as the game uses precise terminology) has caused some disagreement.

Can someone please clear this up? Many thanks!

Strategy and Tactics / Re: I feel the temple is overpowered
« on: July 11, 2013, 03:16:26 PM »

I have read several of your posts and I respect your obvious experience and skill at the game. Please don't take this post disagreeing with you as disrespectful. It does not change the high regard I have for your knowledge and skill at this game.

You make a valid point that whether a card makes the game appealing to new players should not be a contributing factor. Everyone has their own preference on how accessible or exclusive they would like the game to be.

However, your subsequent dismissal of players who can't cope with the steep learning curve of the game (really? it's one of the most intuitive games I've ever played; anyone who plays D&D 4E, Magic & Chess will pick it up easily) tells me you based lack of appeal due to a perception of complexity. It seems you misunderstand my reasons why I believe ToL is a turn-off for potential new recruits.

ToL is not complex. Playing ToL moderately well is relatively straight-forward. I am not taking anything away from the Origins winner who beat skilled opponents with different aggro builds; that win undoubtedly took great skill (but also the ability to spot a gap in the meta). But any newcomer can take the 1 Core set's 4 temples, 2 knights, 2 archers, 2 mage wings, 2 hawkeye, 1 bow, 2 poison gas, 1 orb, 1 obelisk and make a simple ranged fortress based on a NC ToL that hits any square, mana denial vs. corner swarm (orb, obelisk) etc. Sacred ground and Mokhtari further boost a stationary ranged fortress strategy. I am sure Warlord goodies in the expansion improve this. It is not a complex idea to build your fortress empire. It is in fact common for new players to turtle like that. Like Occam's Razor, the simplicity of ToL is what makes it so good: the simpler the strategy, the less prone to error during execution.

A complex strategy would be mana denial; winning by Force Hold on a mage who spent all 5 Dispels (on Essence Drains and Pacifies on his creatures) while Wand of Drain Power hits him each Early QC at range 2 (Mana Siphon in play), watching him slowly die to Pestilence while you wear Regrowth Belt, achieving the satisfying semi-hard lock playing almost creatureless mana denial, that is a cerebral complex strategy. But ToL? No, it's so obvious: "I've got a laser with X dice + daze/stun and I'm gonna guard it with the best guards whilst hitting you". Oh, what a subtle strategy!

You obviously misunderstood why I think ToL puts off new players hence is bad for the game unless errata'd to Epic. Notice that I did not ask for a banning or nerf its power. I only ask for it to be turned Epic. And the reason is simply this: by allowing multiple copies, you are telling new players: "this is a game like Legacy Magic where you can simply spend more money to get 4 copies of ToL and 6 copies of HoB for an over-powered spell book, where your win rate is influenced by your spend." Sending new players that message, when they have probably been burnt bad by the Magic bug (and probably subscribe to LCGs like Netrunner) is a turn-off for those players. That is one reason why they should turn ToL Epic: a message to potential new players that this is a not a game where max. copies is the key.

The Core set is amazingly generous. As someone with 3 copies of Netrunner Core set and 3 copies of Game of Thrones Core, I was delighted that there were so few cards where I wanted more copies. Probably 2 Core is sufficient to create 4 very nice balanced spell books.

So it's a shame they have 2 obvious cards (ToL and HoB) where any idiot will say: "oh wish I had max, of these". And the main problem is ToL as the vanguard attack card (along with multiple HoB pumped Priestess with Asrya Staff & Ring). I can live with 6 HoB, they can each be culled in 1 round. Having to kill 4 copies of knights-guarded ToL would be too much. It is a bad sign when I feel forced to include Samandriel in my non-warlock spell books.

So the first reason ToL should be Epic is because currently it is turning the game into a wallet-spending exercise, a turn-off for many potential new players. This may be deliberate by Arcane Wonders (I very much doubt it, they seem to be a very nice independent) but if so, it would be short-sighted: more players is better than fewer players spending more on average. Simple marketing principles: higher penetration of a market is better than higher average purchase when total spend is equal in both cases. Because initial conversion is all that matters: repeat purchase is easy once they are hooked.

My second reason why I believe ToL should be made Epic is simple: keeping it at multiple copies promotes a very dull attrition strategy.

Initially, I was taken aback by a lack of "counter spell" denial control. Yes, you can force the opponent to Decoy you to trigger your Nullify before he Dispels/Dissolves. While Unavoidable attacks waste Block or Reverse Attack. Soon, you will have to Decoy the Nullify then Dispel an "Armour Protection" enchantment before you can Dissolve his equipment. But these "onion peel" layers of protection only provides delay to the inevitable. There is no hard counter in Mage Wars, just delay like Jinx. I concluded they did this because denial control is dull. They want to empower players, not dis-empower them. They want Regrowth to be the counter to Ghoul Rot, saving precious Dispels for when you have no other counter. It's similar to Arabian Nights where duelling mages transform into beasts superior to the opponent's beast form, creating a circle when mouse beats elephant. In Arabian Nights mage duels, there is no counter spells, just adaption to have the advantage over the opponent who will then counter-adapt etc. It's a very dynamic changing rock-paper-scissors duel because any direct counter spell would be so... dull.

That is what 4 ToL and 6 HoB attrition strategy is: it's a dull, dull, dull strategy where opponent must overspend heavity to remove each guarded ToL. It is not the cerebral puzzle that is mana denial, which is an "acquired taste" experience I would not foist on new players (or dare to use against the best players). It is just "spamming temples and knights". Wow, what subtlety.  The designers (wisely) removed hard counter denial control from the game on grounds that it is dull to be constantly frustrated, I am surprised the same enlightened designers have promoted the dullest of dull strategies: temples attrition win.

The solution is simple: MAKE TEMPLE OF LIGHT EPIC. This does not reduce the power of Temple of Light, just its persistence. Imagine if current Epic conjurations were Unique instead! But thankfully there is only 1 Epic Obelisk or Orb so the Wizard better guard it with a Hydra. A wizard can't solely focus on his conjurations when they are Epic. The same should apply for ToL. It is a strong play (with correct support) but once removed, that should be it. Because otherwise you are promoting dull dull attrition where the >9 mana cost of removing ToL makes it an almost inevitable dull ground out win for the Priestess with powers to support this.

I also don't buy into the "I can't give you specific counter strategies" argument. Half the battle is won by a wise choice of spells in your book. You need cards for contingency occasions (Purify vs. Gorgon). I have given some very obvious counters that I use. Yes, you need to know the board situation. A Swarm is obviously best but a wise Priestess will have counters for this with Orb & Obelisk. If going Few Big, you need Cobra Reflexes, maybe Mongoose to bypass those Knight Guards. These are just generic obvious counters. Whatever spell book you build, you must address the question: what do I do when facing a Priestess (who all have ToL and HoB support as must haves, whether fortress or aggro melee)? You need to plan for ToL with specific counter strategies before you even sit down for a game. So obviously your card choices are specific strategies that can be divulged.

There is no harm done to the game in making ToL Epic, only benefits by removing the stink of "wallet wins" that put off potential fresh blood and long drawn-out attrition games that deplete enjoyment. Give a melee Priestess the aggro HoB-pumped build, backed by an Epic ToL. That is enough power. But please don't encourage her to bore you to attrition death with max copies of those 2 temples. That would be truly evil.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: I feel the temple is overpowered
« on: July 11, 2013, 12:53:27 PM »

Here is some specific advice.

Don't wear white underpants.

More people in car crashes wear white undergarments than any other colour. Ergo wearing white undergarments is more likely to cause you to be involved in a car crash.

Oh Mr G, you disappoint me, to resort to that old chestnut, the "correlation is not causality" fallacy, albeit in jest... As a fellow Brit, I am ashamed :). You should be above such cheap sophistry :)
I hypothesise the wealthier demographic of car crash involvement (more likely to be car owners) and white underpants wearers (more likely to afford model-style Calvin Kleins with a short lifespan due to white colour) may be a contributing factor in your example.

Still, it's similar to the reason I give to myself when I try to justify why I haven't learnt to swim or drive yet (where the frequency of exposure to the hazardous activity is what drives the low fatalities of non-swimmers and non-drivers).

I shall download OCTGN soon and hunt you down for a game. The gauntlet was thrown by you, good sir, and you shall not find me easy prey, I assure you...

Strategy and Tactics / Re: I feel the temple is overpowered
« on: July 11, 2013, 12:38:24 PM »
@ Reddawan and Jacksmack

I am going to post this in the rules section of this Forum and BGG. Because my interpretation of the p29 sidebar is that Flyers (Elusive, Retrained/Incapacitated/Pest Guards) are the exception to the generic Protect the Zone Guard rule. And the exception to the Flyer exception is when it is attacking a ground creature. I have read the "Protect the Zone" paragraph and the "Ignoring Guards" sidebar and there is no doubt that Flyers attacking ground creatures is the exception to the exception as worded in the rules.

Is there a FAQ on this? I am not trying to be argumentative, just want to clear this up and I will readily accept a FAQ that goes against my interpretation. I don't want to be a literal rules lawyer but MW is incredibly precise in its wording (e.g. decoy states "zone or object", allowing it to be cast on enchants or equipment for when we get future enchants that can attach to these cards). That is why I have assumed that the reference to creature in the sidebar means that attacking conjurations is not an exception to the Flyer exception.

This could just be ambiguous wording that a FAQ will clarify (this FAQ could also add that ToL is Epic :)!). But this thread on ToL is not the right place to debate this rule. Which surely must have been picked up already?

Strategy and Tactics / Re: I feel the temple is overpowered
« on: July 11, 2013, 02:18:52 AM »
Sorry to resuscitate this old chestnut: I was just proffering my own solutions to ToL + HoB which was asked by the previous poster who was saying "nobody actually gives specific strategies to combat ToL, just generic dismissal that it isn't overpowered."

As for where I stand on this, I think ToL can be circumvented by experienced or even tactics-savvy players who have strategised for that contingency with sideboard cards in their toolbox.

Even then, it becomes a bit too much of a lottery with the ToL effect die and any defence die you adopt to counter it: let's be honest, the d12 is the big random element in the game. Being hit by that stun so early in the game is too much of a tempo loss when Temple Crawl is being piloted well.

However, the existence of Temple of Light damages the game because it is instantly PERCEIVED by new players (like my local meta where I remain unbeaten as latecomer learner) as overpowered. If players are willing to add the word Epic to ToL and are still be happy to play Priestess, then surely there is no harm in such an errata?

New players are saddened when they see what seems to be a broken card because

(a) it costs so much more to than 9 mana to destroy an 8/3 ToL, only for another to then spring up; l this not a "generalised" but a specific example of why the Priestess adopting this strategy should win a war of resource attrition. As that strategy is so dull, making it Epic solves this and improves the game.

(b) it is (like HoB) a NON-ACTION: so it's like having a second Quickcast marker that hits 10/12 squares with 4 dice daze/stun no immunities except 1 creature. The ability to string extra free actions before or after to get a longer sequence of effects is huge. Why did they make it a non-action?

ToL (with cheap HoB support) is a turn-off when trying to convert new players to commit to this great game because of PERCEPTION. Ergo it is bad for the game without an errata,

My (unsatisfactory) solutions are:
> (going first) sprint NC then QC Battle Forge FC to deny that key zone
> (going second) sprint NC then QC blocking wall, turn 2 cast Samandriel
As a warlock playing second, I would cast Vampiress instead as she can fly over the wall and bypass guards to attack ToL for 1 mana.

But the very fact that I have specifically come up with openings against Priestess because of 1 card that I fear, that is an indication that ToL seems overpowered to new players who will be put off by the game.

Hey, what other card has created so much feeling and so much debate? Something is wrong here, if only being a turn-off for recruiting fresh blood, and to for one poster to indirectly call Piousflea (a major turnament winner) a poor player because he did not cope with it at the Origins final (albeit an unlucky early stun) is an indication of how flawed the "not overpowered" camp arguments are.

Let's be clear: I am only proposing that Temple of Light becomes Epic like Mordok's Obelisk and Suppression Orb which are game defining conjurations. This will prevent the EXTREMELY DULL attrition strategy that any Priestess with access to 4 copies of ToL and 6 copies of HoB (as well as aforementioned Epics against Swarm) should build currently. When there's an optimal build for 1 mage, it causes all other mages to compulsory toolbox against it and 1 card is a turn-off for new players because it (alone in Mage Wars) stinks of "buy more to become more powerful so wallet buys win rate", then there is a problem gentlemen.

I will also add that, once ToL is errata'd Epic, there is no HoB problem. I appreciate that Arcane Wonders is a business and it is fine for them to cater to obsessives who want 6 copies of it (atking into account their fragility to be one-shotted by buffed Bigs). HoB is not the luck-orientated life-sapping Laser that ToL is.

I really hope designers read this forum and heed arguments for an Epic errata. As I am very new to the game (very experienced at others including its influences) but I really LOVE this FUN game, a great balance between intuitive simplicity, tactical depth and strategic planning, with randomness to test adaptability and anticipating opponent moves for bluffing. Well done, designers, on a great game. While over-costed cards will just become obsolete and under-costed cards can be nerfed in future expansions (e.g. Dispelling Wand vs. Bear Strength etc), I see no other solution for ToL except to make it Epic so that the strategy can't over-focus as it relies on 1 copy. There is no shame in making that 1 small errata, changing ToL Unique to Epic.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: I feel the temple is overpowered
« on: July 11, 2013, 01:33:57 AM »
"If a creature is in a zone with one or more enemies with guard markers (except for guards he can ignore; see sidebar), that creature cannot make a melee attack against any object without a guard marker."

Not sure which part of the rules you're reading, but guards do protect conjurations. 

Anyway, you just cannot make sweeping generalization like "oh, Priestess has a ToL, ergo she wins the attrition war."  ToL is far down on the list of why the Priestess makes for a good defensive mage.  If you would have said "her easy access to powerful healing, especially Lay Hands" or "her ability to gain a lot of life at no cost," maybe we could have a discussion about that.  But this hype around Temple of Light is just getting old at this point, and has little basis in reality.

It's under "Ignoring Guards" sidebar (p29), the exceptions to the rule that you quote:

"Guards affect a flying creature when it makes a melee attack, but only if it is attacking a non-Flying CREATURE in the guard's zone."

The game is very precise in its terminology and if it meant for you to be able to protect Conjurations, it would have said "Objects" instead.

I viewed this rule as an (much-needed) advantage to paying the cost-premium of Flyers and an (equally much needed) disadvantage to relying on guarding key conjurations.

Hence why non-Warlocks having Samandriel in their spell book is an elegant solution to suspected ToL + HoB (and which Priestess won't run them?).

Strategy and Tactics / Re: I feel the temple is overpowered
« on: July 10, 2013, 12:45:35 PM »
For a Few Big strategy (like Wizard), spend 10 spell points on Samandriel. If you start off going second (or duck a 1 in 6 stun in turn 1), you summon her NC turn 2 and attack ToL (assuming in FC) on turn 3. The rules even state you can only guard creatures from flyers (not conjurations) so ToL is soon doomed from the Light Immune Flyer (as the priestess has over-committed to Temples to contest in the air). If a card forces all others to include a specific creature, the designers should errata ToL to Epic at least.

The only other plausible anti-ToL strategies I can think of are
> walls blocking LOS while assembling a small army 1 away
> creatures with ranged defence (ideally inherent not buffs)

As for attacking the Hands bolstering it, if you can't kill the ToL in this 1 round of attacks but can reliably kill an adjacent HoB, I see value in culling the boosting HoB, especially if powered by Rajan's Fury. But generally focus on the ToL threat.

I do think the designers may have goofed by not making ToL Epic as this creates a very dull attrition strategy as opponent over-commit resources to destroy each successive ToL hence the priestess should win the battle of attrition by default. The combination with cheap HoB is what makes ToL far too simple and strong.

If the designers don't errata it (no shame to discover unforeseen overpowered cards in games like this), I hope future expansions feature cards that nerf it (Steel Wall helps).

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Mana Denial: viable strategy?
« on: July 07, 2013, 06:34:15 PM »
Hi again.

Drain Power Wand was awesome for this strategy! I have revised my opinion of it, great with right support (Arcane Ring, Mana Crystals, Medallion, Harmonise, Mana Siphon).

Other great finds was Enfeeble and Force Hold. Along with Drain Essence and Pacifism, there is just too much to Dispel so some of them stick.

As for whether to go with a Thunderbolt Wand or Staff or Arcanum, I think packing both and making the decision based on your opponent is best. You certainly don't want to go melee against a fully equipped Warlock. I think it may be the same about Mana Leeches, used against creature-light builds where Suppression Orb and Mordok's Obelisk have litte value. Adaptability seems to be paramount. Just the impression I get. I may well be wrong.

In the end though, after an exhausting mentally draining game that seemed to be played in viscous slow motion, you can't help but think: "surely there are easier strategies to win with a wizard?"

Cerebral and fun are often different things. I far prefer luring the enemy into a well-executed Chain Lightning, with its exciting random dice rolls. That to me is a nice balance between non-random chess and an unpredictable dice game.

Mana denial works (in a 1 Core meta). But after 1 game, I'd only try it again on a hardened enthusiast who appreciates its finesse. Or if I really want to subject that opponent to a slow agonising game for some past wrongs! :)

Denial has always been a killjoy strategy. It's great that Mage Wars has a viable denial strategy (Nullify is just an easily-bypassed disruption) but it's not for every playgroup.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Mana Denial: viable strategy?
« on: July 05, 2013, 03:07:29 AM »
Thanks for the reply. You sound positive about the strategy in our meta card pool so I will give it a try.

I was thinking of keeping my distance from the opposing mage and using a wand-bound Thunderbolt (1 copy in Core) as a win condition. This is because, if I was the opposing mage, I would rely on a buffed up melee basic attack as my wincon when facing Mana Denial. I know this means not draining with Arcanum Staff but I viewed Enchants like Essence Drain and Pacify as temporary mana denial. tempting the opponent to dismiss creature or wait until he has accumulated the mana to remove it. I also wanted to nuke at range (circling with Thunderbolt knights move away using Cheetah Speed, having put Poisonous Gas Clouds in the centre 2 squares) because at 1 range, the opponent can Dissolve my (1 copy of) Cloak of Suppression (first Decoying any Nullify protecting it) which I view as critical to a Mana Denial strategy.

So like the Mana Leeches, I had discarded Arcanum Staff (wizards aren't battle trained), preferring wands, but I take your point about using a free mana attack but my preference is ranged. Maybe Bow + Hawkeye is sufficient range 2 damage 5 free (instead of wand-bound Thunderbolt + Hawkeye + Lightning Ring). I just like the 3 range soft lock of me circling opponent around Poisonous Gas Clouds (which also protect Mana Denial conjurations). Obviously every control wizard would have maximum copies of Tanglevine (3) and Enfeeble (2) so again, this tells me I should ranged, not melee.

I also did not intend to go totally creatureless. Not Hugrinn (the familiars seem so fragile to common Fireblast) but the 1 copy of Gorgon Archer in a core set, ideally with Eagle Wings in a centre square. This was to Weaken what I felt was the best counter to Mana Denial, namely Buffed Solo. It also helps create an alternate wincon.

Anyway, thanks for the encouraging feedback. I will give it a try.


Strategy and Tactics / Mana Denial: viable strategy?
« on: July 04, 2013, 06:23:03 PM »

This is a first post here (padawanofthegames, who has been incredibly friendly, told me to join here on the BGG forum that I joined last week).

I am conceptualising a Mana Denial strategy for when I unveil my Wizard to my meta, which has (self-imposed) limited itself to 1 Core at present. My issue is I am worried that Mana Denial is a flawed strategy (perhaps within the 1 Core limitation).

I note Mana Siphon, Suppression Orb, Mordok's Obelisj and Pestilence Orb are all Epic (I appreciate the latter 3 must be played only after the opponent "over-extends" by over-summoning at distance). So playing with 1 Core does not hurt the strategy (most of those conjurations are contingency vs. swarm).

But I am also aware a Core set only has limited copies of the following non-Epic spells: Suppression Cloak (1),  Essence Drain (3), Pacify (2) and Drain Power (2) - although I am not sold on the latter as it seems over-costed, even with an Arcane ring discount.

My question is simply this: am I being too ambitious trying a Mana Denial strategy with just a 1 Core pool? Please note my opponents are equally restricted to 1 Core, so can't summon 2 Grizzlies to kill my conjurations.

Is Mana Denial really feasible as a competitive build or an illusory half-realised concept awaiting future cards?

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