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Author Topic: Flexible and action efficient Beast Master  (Read 6068 times)

Fentum

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Flexible and action efficient Beast Master
« on: June 28, 2013, 04:54:21 AM »
I have been very much enjoying Mage Wars over the last couple of weeks using the pre-con decks. I have around ten games in now, and I can no longer avoid the temptation to create a deck. I have, however, resisted the temptation to use my shiny FM v WL expansion. I want to get the base concepts going first.

I have posted my first attempt at a custom deck, and I should like to invite comments. Feel free to critique heavily, as all feedback is very welcome.  I haven't really optimised it yet. It just has  a general build to support the intent of the playstyle. (e.g. I would likely remove Lair).

I have used the deck once vs a Priestess Angel build. The game was cut short due to time constraints, but the mage did work as intended. Not to say I was doing well, just that the intended plan largely executed.

The thinking behind the build is that flexibility and action advantage are key in the early game. More so than e.g. mana advantage, which takes time to deliver. I am looking to develop early game action advantage by depoying a Battle Forge, tooling up the BM as a melee monster. At the same time, summoning a 'few' level one creatures via the BM ability, in order to harass targets of opportunity. At worst they will become living 'Blocks'. That covers the action advantage part.

Flexibility is provided by the options that are retained through turns 2-5. With the Battle Forge out on turn 1, I will certainly tool up the BM. I then look at the opponent and figure whether to add additional equip via my QA, plus a level 1 creature via QC Quick Summon to aid a swarm route. Alternatively, I can go few big, tooling up the BM and dropping a Steelclaw, Cervere, etc. Essentially, the Battle Forge tools me up whilst the BM Quick Summon gives me options to go swarm.

I guess I could add a lair for even more action efficiency, but I worry that the mana cost is far to high for the early game.

The ultimate goal is to have a strong BM in melee supported by either a swarm or a few big, depending on the opponent's build. To get to that point rather quickly.

Here's the deck (thanks go to Cosworth at OCTGN for an outstanding deck building tool)...

Geyser x2
Jet Stream

Lair
Mana Flower x2
Rajan's Fury
Tanglevine x3
Tooth & Nail
Wall of Thorns x2
Battle Forge

Bitterwood Fox x3
Cervere
Emerald Tegu
Feral Bobcat x2
Mountain Gorilla
Redclaw
Steelclaw Grizzly
Thunderift Falcon x2
Timber Wolf x2

Bear Strength x2
Block
Bull Endurance
Cheetah Speed
Cobra Reflexes
Eagle Wings
Marked For Death
Mongoose Agility
Nullify
Regrowth
Retaliate
Rhino Hide x2

Bearskin
Elemental Cloak
Regrowth Belt
Ring of Beasts
Mage Staff
Gauntlets of Strength
Leather Boots

Battle Fury
Call of the Wild
Charge
Dispel x2
Dissolve x2
Force Push x2
Group Heal
Heal
Knockdown
Minor Heal
Perfect Strike
Rouse the Beast
Purify
Shift Enchantment

This is basically the precon deck with a few adjustments towards the playstyle goal. All feedback welcome.













« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 05:50:26 AM by Fentum »

Fentum

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Re: Flexible and action efficient Beast Master
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 10:09:09 AM »

Update: took the BM out vs a Warlock and won handily. Too many targets for the Warlock to handle and the BM was able to hold his own against the Warlock's creatures. Worked as intended, though the BM did his melee vs creatures whilst the BM's creatures killed the Warlock. I guess that's flexibility!

ringkichard

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Re: Flexible and action efficient Beast Master
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 12:06:42 PM »
A lot of my games are played with Beastmaster, and I could give you the run-down on each card, but I don't know if that's really the most helpful thing to do. I'd be more interested in hearing about why you were losing to the Priestess, and what you think you can do to fix that.

In my experience, flexibility and power are somewhat at odds in this game. We all want to be able to make dazzling plays of mental acrobatics, but sometimes the path to victory is summoning a pet falcon and two Steelclaw Grizzles and just tearing the other guy to pieces.

That's not to say there's no room for cleverness or strategy, just that when I play Beastmaster, I play it as an agro deck, and if my opponent is defending well, only then do I get subtle.

---

One way I categorize Beastmaster books is by their conjurations. The one I play has none. This isn't because I think that's obviously better, it's just the way the book evolved. But I really like the idea of a Battle Forge in Beastmaster, and I think you should run with it. Forge has the smallest mana cost of any of the extra action conjurations, and is ready to go every turn.

I do sort of wonder if there isn't more equipment you could add to better take advantage of the forge. Dancing Scimitar? More armor? Elemental Cloak? Any of the equipment from the new expansion (I don't own it yet either)?


---


The Beastmaster book I play is a bit non-standard, but I'm pretty happy with it. I'll paste it here not to say that it is what you should play, but to give you an example of what I mean about trading in versatility for power. For example, I don't have Cobra Reflexes, or Bull Endurance, or Regrowth, or Retaliate, or Call of the Wild, or Charge, or Group heal. I've got 2 Bear Strength, 2 Vampirism, and 2 Rhino Hide.

You'll see that my action advantage generator of choice is Fellella, though to be honest I only get to cast her when I'm already winning. I think Battle Forge may be a stronger initial play, but I'm playing so many enchantments that I cant quit her.

Things I wish were in here but aren't:
2 more Teleports (So spellbook-expensive, but soooo good. My candidate for best card in the game.)
2 Dire Wolf (don't own expansion yet, probably will replace a Bear and the Timber Wolf)
1 more Reverse Attack
1 Geyser (for Warlock and Priest, and just finishing off injured critters, or dazing unsolvable problems)
1 Chain Lightning (for Iron Golem)
1 Sniper Shot (For my Gorgon against Forcemaster or Priestess)
1 more Falcon

I could add most of the wishlist by cutting 1 Gorgon, and get nearly all of it by dropping Gorgon entirely, but Gorgon solves so many problems for me: range, flyers, big creatures, small creatures, soloing opponents, scaring turtling opponents into attacking, scaring midrange decks into attacking too soon, etc, etc.

Total Cards: (52)
Total Spellbook Cost: (120)

Mage:

Beastmaster (Core)

Attack: (2)
Force Hammer x2

Conjuration: (0)

Creature: (10)
Bitterwood Fox (Core) x1
Fellella, Pixie Familiar (Core) x1
Gorgon Archer (Core) x2
Steelclaw Grizzly (Core) x3
Thunderift Falcon (Core) x2
Timber Wolf (Core) x1

Enchantment: (20)
Agony (Core) x2
Bear Strength (Core) x2
Cheetah Speed (Core) x2
Eagle Wings (Core) x1
Jinx (Core) x2
Maim Wings (Core) x1
Marked for Death (Core) x1
Mongoose Agility (Core) x2
Nullify (Core) x2
Reverse Attack (Core) x1
Rhino Hide (Core) x2
Vampirism (Core) x2

Equipment: (8.)

Bearskin (Core) x1
Enchanter's Ring (Core) x1
Gauntlets of Strength (Core) x1
Leather Boots (Core) x1
Mage Staff (Core) x2
Regrowth Belt (Core) x1
Ring of Beasts (Core) x1

Incantation: (12)

Battle Fury (Core) x2
Dispel (Core) x3
Dissolve (Core) x3
Seeking Dispel (Core) x1
Shift Enchantment (Core) x1
Teleport (Core) x2

I can take the fun out of anything. It's true; here, look at this spreadsheet.

Fentum

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Re: Flexible and action efficient Beast Master
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2013, 03:44:29 AM »
Thank you so much Ringkichard.

I agree with your comments there. The book I posted is like 'stage 1' of the build. Basically the precon tweaked towards the goal. Your suggestions would take it to the next step. I like to play Wizard and love the Gorgon Archer, so I'll put them in. There's an Elemental Cloak in already, but I do like the Dancing Scimitar idea. Also needs teleports and vamp. It's a start and I really appreciate your comments.

Ref the vs Priestess match, things were going pretty well. I had a bunch of little guys plus a couple of medium in the Priestess middle zone. BM was tooled up with offence but no defence as yet. Guardian Angel was tangled. Valshalla out. All looked reasonable. Then Priestess divine intervention to corner. Valshalla stunned BM which I totally forgot about  :-[

Could have gone either way from there, but I reckon I would have lost it.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 04:37:34 AM by Fentum »