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Author Topic: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant  (Read 7469 times)

DeckBuilder

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Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« on: January 31, 2014, 01:20:04 AM »
Has anyone tried this obvious variant rule?

"At the end of the Planning Phase, return all discarded cards that are not creatures or Epic to spell books"

Thinking it through, it should create a lot more emphasis on creatures (good) and far more variety in games
Because all books will be more Toolbox hence more diverse and there would more emphasis on play skill
No need to commit to Poison or Psychic and play match-up lottery, you have diverse strategies in one book
So seeing opponent play Rock, you play Paper, so he changes to Scissors, you to Lizard, him to Spock etc

It lessens the Spell Point Resource (attrition strategy is Holy with Resurrection as Raise Dead obliterates)
It lessens "taxes" like Teleport, Dispel, Dissolve (both Incant and target are cantrips, just tempo removal)
It means spells with Immunity (Psychic, Poison etc) can be included in books so not rely too much on them
As for Wands, all they'll do is give you an additional option to cast, just like Mordok's Tome but far weaker
That Wizard's Tower won't be so sick, I will be able to rely on just 1 equipment in each slot, it all feels ok
And the really important spells that destroy strategies (Orb, Obelisk, Pestilence etc) will not have Cantrip

It seems such an obvious variant that I was wondering if anyone has tried it?
(I'm a bit time/opponent starved to test it but my feeling is it could be good)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:32:54 AM by DeckBuilder »
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Mage Wars Cantrip Variant
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 01:22:11 AM »
That's an interesting idea. Maybe I'll give it a shot tomorrow if I get a chance.
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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 02:32:21 AM »
Thanks, Silverclaw. What little play I get has got to be dedicated to playtesting new cards to pull my weight.
Else all I am is a design meddler and pain to them.

I have slightly changed the variant to "Delayed Cantrip" - see above.

This is because there must be a tempo loss when playing or losing a card.
Also a reason for having more than 1 copy of each Incant or Attack (less so Equip, Enchants still multiple).
It also prevents cheesiness: if you want to play 4x Hurl Boulder in 2 rounds, you have to pay SPs for them.

These are some of the by-products of this variant that I hope will occur.
(a) Active Healing will be more important else the distance nuke strategy could easily win
(b) Board Zonal Control (be it spread swarm or ranged) will be more important else Mage Teleport escapes
(c) Situational Silver Bullets (Falcon Precision, Divine Might) added so defensive traits force you to respond
(d) Match-Up Lottery Bullet Vests (Immunity, Burnproof) will not be as crippling playing that nemesis mage
(e) There's no longer that "he won because I ran out of Dispels" punishing decision to just have 4 not 6 etc
(f) It would make single-use familiars like Huginn more appealing (familiar's spell is still be delayed return)

By having a "sin bin" delayed cantrip, you add value to surprise "I play 2 copies" yet get round card attrition
It also adds some value to playing Wands and other spellbind cards which are bit nerfed without the delay

You can see I'm just making it up as I'm going and this was just a random blurted-out idea (as is my wont)
But my mind is already racing on the repercussions and I'm actually quite convinced it would be all good
Maybe a false dawn but I can't see the flaw in the idea yet...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:52:44 AM by DeckBuilder »
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 02:49:24 AM »
One question I have DeckBuilder that maybe I'm missing is how do you plan to deal with Enchantments? I mean obviously they don't go back into the spellbook until they are dispelled or countered some how but then there's still the need to keep multiple copies of some curses for example if I feel like Ghoul Rotting a bunch of creatures with my Warlock.

Still this seems very interesting indeed. I'll let you know if I get a chance to mess around with it.
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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 02:58:10 AM »
Enchantments would be multiple copies to suit
If I anticipate X targets simultaneously to Bear Strength or Ghoul Rot, I put X copies
Obviously opponent may Dispel 1, freeing a copy so maybe I put X-1 copies in my book

The Silver Bullet enchants create a nice dilemma
I summon a Knight of Westlock
Next turn I plan for a Dispel but you don't cast Falcon Precision
All persistent enchants can be timed to gain 1 use for their cost before it is dispelled
Persistent enchants provoke a dispel while Commands add extra pain or same 1 use effect cheaper

As for triggered enchants, if you Seeking Dispel it, thank you very much it was a Decoy!

I'm racking my brain to find a flaw because it seems such a simple variant...

It totally requires a completely different mind set when building books and playing the game though...
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 03:16:23 AM »
Yeah I'm digging the idea a lot myself. Now to build a spell book around it and convince a friend to do the same.
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ACG

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 06:50:45 AM »
What if you just allowed the player to regain 1 card, rather than all of them? That would preserve the incentive to have multiples of each card, and would still allow for attrition-type strategies. Also, you should probably not allow players to regain conjurations if creatures cannot be regained; otherwise there isn't much incentive to take the time to destroy them, except for territory reasons.

Zuberi

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 07:15:12 AM »
This idea makes me nervous. It would drastically change the nature and balance of the game. Everyone would basically just include one of every spell and all the books would start to look alike. I enjoy having to make tough decisions on what to include in my books and come up with specific strategies.

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 01:23:52 PM »
I agree with Zuberi. This delayed cantrip idea is kind of like having infinite spellbook points that get gradually added to your spellbook over the course of the game. And with infinite spellbook points we won't be making challenging strategic decisions in deckbuilding. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but I don't think it would actually work in practice.
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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 05:44:32 PM »
What if you just allowed the player to regain 1 card, rather than all of them? That would preserve the incentive to have multiples of each card, and would still allow for attrition-type strategies.

Yes, ACG. Yet again you have come up with an improvement.

"At the end of each Planning Phase, each player returns 1 card from their discards to their spell book."

I know it is a variant of your Archivist idea, (I still remember our chats).

Also, you should probably not allow players to regain conjurations if creatures cannot be regained; otherwise there isn't much incentive to take the time to destroy them, except for territory reasons.

You forget about Zone Exclusive = "Territory reasons"

All conjurations that are not Zone Exclusive have an effect beneficial to that build
I would remove a Crystal/Flower/Wardstone/whatever to replace it with my own...
Even if I couldn't, stripping you of mana is not bad if I have no other good play with that creature.

This idea makes me nervous. It would drastically change the nature and balance of the game. Everyone would basically just include one of every spell and all the books would start to look alike. I enjoy having to make tough decisions on what to include in my books and come up with specific strategies.

Oh Zuberi... I have trouble culling down to 120pts when I plan a book.
You will want 2 of some spells. And you will spend more on creatures.

Ok, I guess the only solution is for me to test this out. And see if my instinct is correct.
Now I find shortlisting to 120pts with a sufficient creature base to be quite challenging.
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 12:38:28 AM »
It was fun trying it out. I can see how it wouldn't fly in the long run though but was still cool.
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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 09:46:17 AM »
What was it like? Really long game I'm guessing?
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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 12:28:30 PM »
We tried Necromancer VS Warlock and it didn't go that long. Basically it set up like normal with Mana Crystals, Battle Forges etc. But I decided that since I didn't need to conserve spells I'd just start blasting away at the Necromancer before he got his full spiel up and he just sort of responded in kind. Game took about 45 minutes. Lets just say if a Necromancer doesn't have to worry about keeping those Zombie Frenzies in reserve.....yeah my face got eaten pretty quick.
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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 09:23:19 PM »
Thanks for trying it out, Silverclaw, you are a good sport
Yeah, maybe ACG's toned down version idea would be better

The strategy taken by both of you seems odd
I think I'd have gone for Huge Mana Advantage
Which would have led to a long game I suspect

However, do not feel downcast by your defeat
Warlock vs. Necromancer should almost always result in a win to the Necromancer
Unless you Go For The Throat right from the start (no Forge/Crystals, just Hyper Aggro)
Even then, I fancy Necromancer's chances as he's simply a more powerful mage design

Why so? Apart from the stats (10 Channeling, abilities that synergise)..

All the Warlock benefits below are useless against a Necromancer
Death Link - 100% useless (your best curse)
Ghoul Rot - 100% useless (but not vice versa)
Hem of Fear - 100% useless (mage makes no attacks)
Bloodthirsty (reaper) - only vs. mage
Blood Reaper heal benefit - only vs. mage
Vampirism - only vs. mage

To worsen Warlock's plight, Deathlock is played in Necromancers and Nonliving Wizard builds
Warlock resilience (just like Druid) is based on passive healing; Nonliving builds just shut it down

These imbalances in the design of mages (like Jokhtari and Warlock) is why I'm a firm believer that

Earth Wizard + 4 Iron Golems + 4 Devouring Jelly + 4 Mage Wands + 4 Teleports

is the current strongest build out there and, played fast, can win in a tournament's 90 minutes
Because, just like Skeletons trump Bloodthirsty Zombies, Wizard's Nonliving trumps them both
The weakness, of course, is Holy but that school is underdeveloped so not much of a weakness

So, Silverclaw, don't feel too bad about having your "face eaten" by Frenzied Zombies
(My Zombies = 4 Brutes, 1 Shaggoth, 1 Plague + 3 Frenzy, you don't need more to win)
It was a really bad match-up for a Warlock so your chances were pretty slim anyway...

Thanks for trying it out
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 10:26:22 PM by DeckBuilder »
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Mage Wars Delayed Cantrip Variant
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 10:46:47 PM »
Glad to try it out but I have to respectfully disagree about the Warlock Necromancer build. I generally win against Necromancers with my Warlock. Mage Bane, Chains of Agony, Agony, and Enfeeble work just fine on the mage itself. Cheetah Speed + Mongoose Agility means I'll avoid their attackers a lot of the time. Put enough Fireballs/Flame Blasts in your book with an Elemental Wand(and hey a Force Hammer) and you get a speedy little range fighter who can destroy Constructs easily and get around the board where you need to be. The "Run n Gun Warlock" works fairly well in my experience so far though I'm drooling over Forged in Fire obviously. Take down the Necromancers Cloak of Shadows and he's wide open. Not enough Necromancers put enough offense from the Mages stand point in my view so far. They rely on their minions which are damaged by Fire Walls, Fire Traps, and avoided otherwise.
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