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Author Topic: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!  (Read 10314 times)

Charmyna

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The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« on: July 11, 2013, 08:21:45 AM »
First, I want to show you the ideal opening for winning in round 3, which assumes that this build has initiative and the opponent plays aggressively. Then, I will talk about how to alter the opening to make it more robust against defensive opponents.


I assume this Mage (M) stands in the bottom right corner and opponent (O) in top left:

O Z Z Z
Z Z Z Z
Z Z Z M

Round 1 (20 mana and initiative):

Quickcast Cheetah speed on yourself (5 mana) and reveal it. Move up and left to the center zone and cast a Wizards Tower (7 mana) at that zone (not the center zone left of you as it will not allow the combo I will show you soon). So your mage and the wiz tower stand at:

Z Z Z Z
Z Z M Z
Z Z Z Z

Round 2 (18 mana in pool, 1 mana on tower, no initiative):

For this opening I assume that the opponent activates his mage before yours. If he didnít cast a creature in round 1 and you had the initiative at the beginning, he has to activate his mage before yours.
Depending on where the opponent moved, you have to alter the order of the quick action marker, your mages action and the wizards tower spell. For example, if the opponent didnít move and is still standing at the starting position, move with your mage (M) one step left to the left center zone and cast a wall of thorns (5 mana) on the border right of your opponent (O). T is the Wizard's Tower, | is the wall of thorns:

O|Z Z Z
Z M T Z
Z Z Z Z

Use your quick action to push him through the wall (6 mana, 10 damage dices):

Z|O Z Z
Z M T Z
Z Z Z Z

 Use your tower to cast jet stream on the opponent (3 mana from pool, 1 mana from tower). This will do 2 damage dice and will have a 9/12=75% chance to push the opponent through the wall of thorns for another 10 dices (total 22 dice):

O|Z Z Z
Z M T Z
Z Z Z Z

If your opponent moved to the zone below his starting position, you can use the same order of spells (wall of thorns, push, jet stream). The only difference is the position of your mage and the position of the wall of thorns (btw for this scenario it was important to reveal cheetah speed at the beginning, because otherwise you could not cast the full combo if the opponent moved one zone downwards):

Z M Z Z
O|Z T Z
Z Z Z Z

If your opponent moved one zone to the right, you need to alter the order of spells, because otherwise your jet stream will not push him through the wall of thorns but will push him against the wall of the arena. So move your mage one left and cast the wall of thorns at the border between the opponent mage and his starting zone, then use jet stream to push him through and  use force push as a quick cast:

Z|O Z Z
Z M T Z
Z Z Z Z

If the opponent moved to a zone next the tower or is in the same zone as the tower (because he attacked your mage), this combo works as well. Only problem is, if the opponent moved to the corner on right top (Mage and Tower are still at the same position (T):

Z Z Z O
Z Z T Z
Z Z Z Z

This wonít allow you to push him through the wall of thorns with jet stream regardless of your spell order. In this case the total amount of dices will be 15 if you succeed on jet streams push (75%) and push him against the arena wall or 12 if you donít (25%).
For now, I assume that the opponent did not move into that right top corner, since if he plays aggressively and your mage is in the center that would be a strange move. Otherwise the damage of this combo will not be enough to kill him in round 3, but enough to put him under big pressure.

Round 3 (14 mana in pool, 1 mana on tower, initiative)

In quick cast phase cast jinx on opponent (2 mana). Opponent tries to quick cast something for sure, but itís jinxed (1 mana).
Push your opponent through the wall again (6 mana) with your full action for another 10 dices. Now, use the tower to cast jet stream again (3 mana from pool, 1 from tower) for 2 dices and 75% for another push through the wall of thorns, which nets 10 dices again. The reason for the jinx is that he cant use his quick action to teleport somewhere or to cast an equipment.
Instead of jinx, you could use your quickcast to push him through the wall. But then he can use his quick cast before you activate your wiz tower. The use of jinx allows your tower to shoot at him before he can react (and you have your full action to force push him as well before he reacts). So there is nothing he can do against those 2 pushes but pray to the goddess of little yellow dices.

Lets sum up:
The last time your opponent activates his mage, he had zero damage. Now, he received 24 dices only from your two force pushes and the jet stream base damage. If both jet streams donít push, thatís it, but the chance for this happening is 3/12*3/12=6.25%. So you have a chance of 93,75% to push him at least once, which will net 34 dices of damage! And the chance to push him twice is 9/12*9/12=56,25%! In this case, you do 44 dices of damage and even a warlock is dead.
Let me emphasize, if your opponent is not aware of this strategy and does not move with caution, he has only a very tiny chance to survive. After the combo started, he canít even use a quick cast in the next round, since you jinx him.


If your opponent is aware of this strategy, he might cast a divine protection (reduces the damage from wall of thorns by 50%) or Eagleclaw Boots on him, which give him the unmovable trait (you canít push him). So the opening I posted above is quite risky, but it has the potential to win in round 3.
Since I prefer openings that are more robust against counters, I would summon Huginn in round 1. This will give an important advantage if the opponent starts casting defensive enchantments and equipment. Since Huginn is quite vulnerable, I guess bull endurance is a good choice as a quick cast.
In round 2, I would cast wizards tower and a mage wand with force push or if itís legal in the future Mordokís Tome (which allows preparing a third spell, but still you can cast only 2 spells per round). The reason for the wand or Mordokís Tome is that in the following rounds I want to have Wall of Thorns + Force Push available, but still prepare another spell, which I can use if the opponent plays with so much caution that I canít start my combo. For example, I could prepare a wand of dispel + Wall of Thorns in round 3. If the opponent plays with caution, I cast Wand of Dispel to have even more freedom of choice in the following rounds and to be able to dispel divine protection asap. As a second spell in round 3, I could use the wand to dispel something or to look at a hidden enchantment or use arcane zap. If the opponent did not play with caution, I would start the combo instead with the prepared Wall of Thorns and the Force Push from the Mage Wand. Btw I did not talk about Huginns spell, thatís up to your imagination ;).


I still have to do a lot of testing for this push-rush strategy, so Iím not sure how it works against different builds. But Iím sure it will force the opponent to use defensive enchantments/equipment, which are limited in most decks and which will be dispelled/dissolved quickly with the help of Huginn. I guess focusing Huginn would be a good counter, but since he has bull endurance and the opponent needs to use actions on protective stuff for himself, itís not easy to kill Huginn. And even if Huginn dies, as long as the opponent loses his divine protection and/or Eagleclaw Boots until then, he will be very vulnerable to the Wall of Thorns + Force Push + Wizardís Tower + Jet Stream combo.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 03:32:03 PM by Charmyna »

nitrodavid

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 06:33:15 PM »
would you mind explaining with diagrams.
the main thing I could not picture was I don't see a combination where you can pull somebody through a wall and then push them with tower. because you can't control the direction of push (appart from force push etc) it is defined as the direction away from the caster.

you are likely correct I just can't picture plays without diagrams
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reddawn

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 07:04:53 PM »
Sounds interesting, but a Nullify when you don't have initiative will cause real problems and upset the cadence of what you're trying to do.  Opponents countering with casting walls of their own like Wall of Fog will shut it down since you wont have line of sight.  Eagleclaw Boots, as you mention, which they can protect with Nullifies and other spells.  Casting a Tanglevine on themselves, or some enchantment equivalent. 

Not to mention that any kind of armor cuts the math of your combo drastically.

Those are all very action/mana efficient ways to counter your rather action heavy and mana-heavy combo, and all the while that is happening you're getting trucked by creatures, of which you don't have any (Hugs isn't gonna kill anyone anytime soon).

I mean, it's a neat way to use Wizards Towers I suppose, but they're too many what-ifs for this kind of opening to work well.  Your opponent is pretty much guaranteed to have something that deals with it, and you only have initiative half to time, assuming you can reliably Jinx someone over and over.
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nitrodavid

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2013, 07:22:08 PM »
I also understand this is an ideal case. but I think even your ideal case assumes the Mage is a sack of potatoes.

 let's compare the 2 most common agro mages, warlock and force master.
both of them have a weapon that can kill your wall in 1 hit. the warlock doesn't even need full action. both are likely to use battle forge first turn so you can't jinx their weapon.

granted the best part of your combo is they don't see it coming till the turn 2-3 combo. but that only works when you have initiative. I can't speak for all mages but I know there is always something planning when a mage users cheetah speed.
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Paleblue

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2013, 08:41:25 PM »
Sounds effective, armor would be a great way to stop a heap of the damage. Also I would nuke Huggy immediately no matter the scenario.

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 06:19:56 AM »
Seriously... this is fucking great.

Ignore the nay sayers who suddenly start nullifying themselves turn 1... please bros... just please.

You are putting down 24 dice of hammer slammer buja wtf pwn Bruce Lee kung fu power!!!!! IN ROUND TWO!!!!!
And guess what... its out of the fooking blue sky!

None of you guys would have ever seen it coming if you faced this opening before reading this post.
The only information you have is wizard tower and cheetah speed for your planning round 2, and for your actions round 2.
If you dont move a creature first in round 2 and the recoqnize the hammer slammer in your face, and then afterward run away from wall with your mage.... then its OVER!

Round 3 is a bit off though:
You QC jinx, to stop enemy teleport / armor / heal / nullify / whatever.
Then you push him through wall with forcepush by activating your mage.
Now its his turn he will of course not leave his mage standing there, so after he does his running around you should activate Wizard tower and hit him with the biggest attackspell you have mana for, as you cannot expect another wall of thorns push.

sIKE

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 08:08:07 AM »
The nice thing about the wizard tower, is you can activate it after Mage's action and before the OP can move. Once again armor is a good way to minimize the damage, it leaves you within two zones of the OP mage and on the next turn you can do the same if you have the spells needed to pull this off....
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Charmyna

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 03:16:26 PM »
Seriously... this is fucking great.

Ignore the nay sayers who suddenly start nullifying themselves turn 1... please bros... just please.

You are putting down 24 dice of hammer slammer buja wtf pwn Bruce Lee kung fu power!!!!! IN ROUND TWO!!!!!
And guess what... its out of the fooking blue sky!

None of you guys would have ever seen it coming if you faced this opening before reading this post.
The only information you have is wizard tower and cheetah speed for your planning round 2, and for your actions round 2.
If you dont move a creature first in round 2 and the recoqnize the hammer slammer in your face, and then afterward run away from wall with your mage.... then its OVER!

Round 3 is a bit off though:
You QC jinx, to stop enemy teleport / armor / heal / nullify / whatever.
Then you push him through wall with forcepush by activating your mage.
Now its his turn he will of course not leave his mage standing there, so after he does his running around you should activate Wizard tower and hit him with the biggest attackspell you have mana for, as you cannot expect another wall of thorns push.


Thx for a big fat hammer slammer laugh flash!!!

When I realized the combo power of wizards tower, force push and wall of thorns I was sitting somewhere in nowhere and thought : WHAT? How can such a burst damage be legal? OMG WTF I JUST COUNTERED MY UNDEFEATED TEMPLE BUILD  (its here in the forum! ;)).
So the first thing I did was thinking how i can adjust to this ultra pwnage. Gladly there are ways to prepare against it, but they cost actions and slow down your normal strategy. So I guess best use of this combo is to cast the wiz tower to threaten the opponent and see if he prepares right. If he doesnt and you find the right timing, the game is over.
With this said, maybe some of you have tried this out and made your opponent cry because his doom came out of the  fooking blue sky (jacksmack found a really appropiate wording for this combo ;))?

About Round 3:
I could just push him through the wall and he could do nothing against it. But (!!!) then he would have a quick cast before my full action and before my tower gets to shoot at him. So he can use quickcast to teleport and my wiz tower cant push him through wall. Therefore I jinx with quickcast. I still can push him with my full action for 100%!!! The advantage is, that after that full action my wiz tower can attack him and push him again through the wall. And there is just nothing he can do about it as hes jinxed (added explanation to jinx in first post).

would you mind explaining with diagrams.

done
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 03:37:10 PM by Charmyna »

reddawn

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2013, 04:00:25 PM »
None of you guys would have ever seen it coming if you faced this opening before reading this post.

Yeah, I wouldn't have known what exactly was going on, but you don't really have to bend over backwards to play cards that counter this.  Most players include some combination of what I mentioned in their spellbook, and I didn't even mention healing.

And putting a Nullify on your mage is something that has a good chance of happening in a non-cheese build, since one of the best ways of getting dice on a mage is Force Pushing her away from her guards.
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jacksmack

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2013, 03:28:06 AM »
You are right about my comment to round 3.

I realized after i left my computer that the Tower isnt a creature and with initative you can do everything before enemy gets to act. (QC jinx to counter his QC save butt spell.)

sIKE

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2013, 11:59:24 AM »
This strategy is quite potent and not necessarily early game and even with armor it is quite brutal and is by far the easiest way to close the game out that I have seen so far. 20 dice damage even with armor and rolling 10 groups of two means there is a good chance to hit you multiple times with critical damage and bang a way at you. If you are at 15-20 damage already and this gets sprung on you it is pretty much game over.
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reddawn

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2013, 01:13:20 PM »
This strategy is quite potent and not necessarily early game and even with armor it is quite brutal and is by far the easiest way to close the game out that I have seen so far. 20 dice damage even with armor and rolling 10 groups of two means there is a good chance to hit you multiple times with critical damage and bang a way at you. If you are at 15-20 damage already and this gets sprung on you it is pretty much game over.

Taking 3 turns to do this isn't really "springing" this on anyone.  If this is all you do for 3 or so turns, you're probably going to die in short order to any assortment of threatening creatures.
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nitrodavid

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2013, 11:02:44 PM »
this combo is good because I think it will increase the amount of fire school mages.

as soon as I see a wizard tower and cheetah speed I would hope I could do one of the following.

 turn 2 fireball/flame blast
turn 2 jinx on wizard

because if you have a wizard and a tower on the field without that wall you are in a bit of trouble. so as the opponent you have to stop something in the turn 2-3 wombo combo
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Charmyna

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2013, 01:21:23 AM »
this combo is good because I think it will increase the amount of fire school mages.

as soon as I see a wizard tower and cheetah speed I would hope I could do one of the following.

 turn 2 fireball/flame blast
turn 2 jinx on wizard

because if you have a wizard and a tower on the field without that wall you are in a bit of trouble. so as the opponent you have to stop something in the turn 2-3 wombo combo


The problem is: You dont know whether the ennemy will push you through a wall of thorns or starts throwing fireballs. So I would cast dragonscale hauberk+nullify, since both are good defensive choices against being pushed through thorns or against fireballs and explode. Still, I would have used a full turn for defensive stuff while the opponent only casted wiz tower to threaten me. If he suddenly changes his tactic, my defensive stuff might be worthless in the next few rounds whereas his wiz tower is useful in many situations and btw has channeling 1.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:23:09 AM by Charmyna »

werner

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Re: The push-rush strategy or how to win in round 3!
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 07:31:57 AM »
It takes a 2x strength "Force Push" to enact this 10 dice Wall of Thorns event.

Jetstream is default strength push. Our group already plays it as not enough push, but I've sought out official ruling on the Mage Wars Facebook page.

If Jetstream gets DmgDice *and* a 2x strength push, then Jetstream is broken.