November 29, 2020, 07:49:09 am

Author Topic: Bringing all mages on par!  (Read 282233 times)

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #75 on: February 27, 2014, 05:26:30 pm »
I agree that Epic is the simplest and best fix for the tower. Here's an alternative to the Wizard nerf off the top of my head. What if this sentence was added to the Training section of the rulebook: "Because they are critical for any mage and are among the first spells learned in any magic curriculum, all mages are considered trained in level 1 arcane spells regardless of their other training restrictions."

I like elegant solutions. And this is elegant.
A rules change that applies to all mages hence why it is not mentioned on cards because it's universal.
I like the elegance of the solution.

However, it changes the game hugely.
I'm still working out what this does. to the game...

Very interesting...
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

ringkichard

  • Flightless Funpire
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2564
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Kich, if you prefer.
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2014, 05:39:50 pm »
Very interesting! Nullify and Dispel and Seeking Dispell and .... I'm at work, would we need to exempt any creatures?

Doesn't solve Teleport, but hits a lot of the other problem areas.
I can take the fun out of anything. It's true; here, look at this spreadsheet.

baronzaltor

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 1765
  • Banana Stickers 19
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #77 on: February 27, 2014, 06:09:10 pm »
Global Level 1 Arcane Spells would effectively make all the following spells novice:

Dispel
Elemental Cloak
Enchanters Wardstone
Enchantment Transfusion
Harmonize
Jinx
Mage Staff
Mana Crystal
Moonglow Amulet
Nullify
Seeking Dispel
Teleport Trap
Shift Enchantment (already novice)

and, a promo card: Mana Vampirism

Arcane actually doesn't have any level 1 creatures at this point that I can come up with.

Charmyna

  • Playtester
  • Full Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Banana Stickers 1
  • Dark Destroyer
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #78 on: February 27, 2014, 07:03:48 pm »
I agree that Epic is the simplest and best fix for the tower. Here's an alternative to the Wizard nerf off the top of my head. What if this sentence was added to the Training section of the rulebook: "Because they are critical for any mage and are among the first spells learned in any magic curriculum, all mages are considered trained in level 1 arcane spells regardless of their other training restrictions."

I like elegant solutions. And this is elegant.
A rules change that applies to all mages hence why it is not mentioned on cards because it's universal.
I like the elegance of the solution.

However, it changes the game hugely.
I'm still working out what this does. to the game...

Very interesting...

I like the elegance of this solution as well! But there is a huge BUT:
What will this do to the meta? I am quite sure the majority of builds will include 5-6 Dispels and 2-4 Seeking Dispels. In such a meta how many builds will include enchantments which cost more than two spellpoints? I might take some enchants for three spellpoints in my books (e.g. triple cost lvl one), but I would really hesitate to include level two out of school enchants into any book or level four enchants like Forcefield.
So in the end such a change might hurt deckbuilding flexibility and the game in general. Therefore I prefer to go with a Novice Dispel+Dissolve version which only work on level one targets and with lower range. The risk of hurting the game is lower as compared to the big elegant solution and if we feel those two spells are not enough more novice versions like Nullify can be added later. I prefer going the way to balance step by step instead of rushing forward.

webcatcher

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #79 on: February 27, 2014, 07:05:14 pm »
I think we could exempt creatures for the sake of flavor. The enchantments, incantations, conjurations and equipment would solve a lot of arcane-school-utility-concentration issues and would retain the fluff (because why wouldn't a master mage in any discipline be trained in basic arcane spells?)

webcatcher

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #80 on: February 27, 2014, 07:12:59 pm »
Quote
What will this do to the meta? I am quite sure the majority of builds will include 5-6 Dispels and 2-4 Seeking Dispels. In such a meta how many builds will include enchantments which cost more than two spellpoints? I might take some enchants for three spellpoints in my books (e.g. triple cost lvl one), but I would really hesitate to include level two out of school enchants into any book or level four enchants like Forcefield.

It'll definitely change the meta, but I'm not sure it'll be for the worse. I think one of two things is likely to happen.

1) People will begin saving their large enchantments for the endgame after they've already drawn dispels with lesser enchantments. If I'm playing a forcemaster and I want to use my forcefield(s) late game I might drop a magebane or two early game so my opponent has to choose between leaving the magebanes in place and saving his dispels for the big stuff or he can suffer the effects of the curse the entire game. And since I'm getting my own dispels and nullifies cheaper I'll have the extra book points to add the extra magebanes.

2) People will cluster their enchantments more (BB style). My forcemaster might not jump into the fray until she's got a facedown bear strength, mongoose agility, forcefield, nullify, decoy, regrowth on her. Then I reveal all at once and let my opponent either try to dispel them one at a time (very time and mana intensive) or go for the purge magic (and let him hope he guesses right on his seeking dispel lest he target the decoy).

A change? Sure. A change for the worse? I don't think so.

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #81 on: February 27, 2014, 10:30:09 pm »
Warning: Long post to follow. We're talking DeckBuilder size in length, lol

This thread really took off. I had to read 3 new pages before I could post, lol. I'm going to start my post by restating the goal of the thread. We want to make all mages equally viable. Currently we are working with the list provided by Charmyna as follows:

Power Level in the current Meta
1. Wizards (all flavours)
2. Druid, Necromancer, Warlock, Priestess, Forcemaster
3. Straywood, Priest, Jokhtari
4. Warlord

Since half of all mages are already on level 2, I think that is where we should aim for all of them ending up. This means nerfing the Wizard and improving the Priest, both Beastmasters, and the Warlord.

Knocking the Wizard down a peg
So far, people have proposed the following strengths that make the wizard more powerful than we want him.

#1 Cheap Arcane Spells
This is a problem because not only is Arcane very versatile, but a lot of it's spells are considered necessary. I like having versatile schools and believe a lack of versatility in other schools is actually more of a problem than the abundance in Arcane. However the necessitation of spells is a huge issue.

So why are these spells considered necessary? It's not because they are overpowered. It's because they have unique functionality. They do things that nothing else can.

Solution: There should be multiple options, in multiple schools of magic, to achieve any particular function in the game. I like having unique spells that do unique things. I am not proposing that we simply make copies of every spell. However, any card you look at could be categorized according to a fairly small list of functions which are performed within the game. It might perform this function differently than any other card, but there should be other cards that are capable of performing said function.

Example of a function:
Enchantment Removal. Defined as any card which eliminates the effect an enchantment has on the game. Now, there are several cards that can perform this function in a limited capacity, however the list of cards that can perform it in a general sense with any enchantment would be: Dispel, Destroy Magic, Seeking Dispel, Purge Magic, and Steal Enchantment.

The big problem with this list, is that it is entirely Arcane. We need non-arcane solutions. These solutions also need to be viable enough to compete with the Arcane ones. If you can find a card function that is performed entirely by one school of magic, then I believe you have an issue. Currently, this issue plagues the Enchantment Removal I mentioned, as well as Counter Spells (Nullify, Reverse Magic, Jinx).

A lot of people also will cite Repositioning Spells as a problem area (teleport). I think this category may be unbalanced in teleports favor, but I do not think it lacks alternatives. Any spell with a push effect would also fit in this category in a general sense, and there are other spells that could be included in a more limited sense (Charge). I think here we just need to balance the options. A similar case might exist with Equipment Removal (Dissolve, Explode, Steal Equipment, Corrossive Orchid) where there needs to be balance.

Alternate Solution: Whereas my solution is to release cards that perform the same function but exist in different schools from Arcane, DeckBuilder suggests we release Novice versions of the cards. This has the advantage thematically of keeping the flavor of the schools. It also has the advantage of not needing to worry about someone overloading on spells. It has the disadvantage of homogenizing the game.

I don't believe everyone NEEDS to be able to get a function at face value. I just don't think anyone should have the monopoly on it. Being the only one to get it at face value is bad, especially if anyone has to pay triple your price for it. However, the game has room to allow some people to get it at face value and some to get it at double value. Again, nobody should have to pay triple though.

Take healing for example. Currently ways to heal your creatures can be found in the Holy, Nature, and Dark schools. Nobody is screaming foul that Arcane, Mind, and War mages have to pay twice as much to receive this functionality. However, if all of the healing spells were Holy, we would have a major problem.

Worrying about people overloading on the different options is not an unfounded concern. However, I seriously doubt anyone will dedicate more than 1/10 of their spellbook to a single functionality. Currently most people spend around 10 to 12 spell points on Enchantment Removal (Dispel + Seeking Dispel) for example, including Charmyna's Blasting Banker build, and I doubt that will increase much if any. Thus a non-arcane alternative to Dispel would not be a problem. With a non-water alternative to Dissolve, water mages might carry around 8 or 9 equipment removal spells, but they can do that currently anyways with Corrossive Orchid. Granted the new option might be better than Corrossive Orchid, but I don't think it would change the game that much.

The main effect of releasing alternate school options, would be doubling the number of mages capable of fielding so many spells of that functionality. If we made a Holy Dispel, for example, now you have to worry about Priests having tons of enchantment removal. Everyone else would have the same amount, and Wizards would still have more due to having both Dispel and Seeking Dispel. This would definitely impact the meta, but I don't think it would actually impact game balance or the balance of different card types. We would not see Enchantment use plummet, nor would an alternate Dissolve cause Equipment use to plummet.

The Novice spell idea is actually what would flood the market. Yes, it guarantees no single book overloads on said spells, but as I've just stated I don't think that would happen anyways. However, what it does do, is guarantee everyone will be wielding the same number of these cards that Wizards currently do. That's nearly double the number of Dispels and Dissolves and Nullifies, etc, entering the meta. That will cause a big ripple effect.

Alternate Solution #2: Someone (too lazy to look up who right now, sorry) mentioned giving every mage training in level 1 Arcane. This is a horrible idea. It again homogenizes the game, would flood the market with such spells (like the Novice idea would), and have such a huge impact on the game on whole that nobody could possibly predict the consequences. I do like that it wouldn't require any card errata or even any new cards. It could be implemented over night. So I applaud you on elegance, but it is an elegant nightmare.

#2 Wizards Tower is overpowered
Why is it overpowered? It's not any more useful than other familiars. In fact, being stationary, it could be considered a lot less useful. However it is easier to get out. It is the cheapest familiar to get out (other than goblin builder) and only requires a quick action to do so. It is also tougher to bring down. Every other familiar currently can be gotten rid of with either a single attack spell or a dissolve, while the 3 armor and 7 hitpoints of the tower typically requires at least two actions to take out. Thus, the spell is harder to deal with and easier to replace.

Solution: Making the card Epic would definitely solve the issue. I support this solution.

#3 No weak school
I've stated before that the lack of a weak school for the Wizard has always flummoxed me, as it has others. It seems intuitively unbalanced. Earlier in this thread I even jumped on the bandwagon to grab up our pitchforks and demand such an errata. I would like to jump off that bandwagon now. As I just finished saying above, no school should have a monopoly on any sort of game functionality. If there are alternate solutions to every problem, then nobody should be forced to take their weak school. Thus, giving a mage a weak school should not inherently make them weaker. They should be just as viable with it as without it. Sure, it limits their options and makes them more predictable, but it does not actually make them weaker. Ringkichard made a similar statement somewhere in this thread himself.

Let's say we do make them weak in Nature. Well, they might not use Regrowth, but they could use Heal or Vampirism. They might not use Rhino Hide, but perhaps Fortified Position. No Tanglevine but still Force Hold.

Solution: None needed. It does not actually contribute to the Wizards power, just their versatility.

Conclusion
I think Wizard's Tower needs to be brought in line with other familiars. I'm not positive that making it Epic is the only, or even the best, way to do this, but it is the best solution I have heard. I also think there needs to be non-arcane alternatives to spells with unique functionality. Once those things have been accomplished, I can't think of any reason the Wizard should be out of alignment with the other mages.

I had planned to do a write up on the 4 sub par mages as well, but I didn't realize how long this was going to be, so I shall do those at a later time.

sIKE

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 4172
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Ugh
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #82 on: February 27, 2014, 11:46:55 pm »
@Zuberi

Very nice write up, the only thing I didn't see covered was nerfing the very superior Spell Cost efficiency of the Wizard. The efficiency allows for both depth and breadth in spell selection that no other mage can match.  We can talk around everything else, but nothing you wrote up will prevent a Water (or choose any element) Wizard for carrying the best spells that Air, Fire, and Earth have to offer, and the same for spellbook construction costs with the Dark, Nature, Mind, and Holy schools.

It only gets worse with each release, just a wider selection to choose from....
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

Sailor Vulcan

  • Secret Identity: Imaginator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3130
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #83 on: February 28, 2014, 12:13:34 am »
Many really good arguments! I've changed my mind lots of times now.

A few things I noticed:

Do all mages really need an opposing school(s)?

If there's ever a Holy/Dark mage what would its opposing school(s) be?

Also, the beastmaster pays triple for fire but not war or arcane. How would it be thematic for arcane and nature to be enemies? What would it be like to have an arcane/nature mage? I imagine it to be something like blue counter wizards in MtG. Summon a swarm of creatures and the more you have, the more spells you can counter. Or build up armor/health/defenses etc on one really controlling and long lasting creature to control the opponent as their life depletes.

Just reminded myself that the scope of the solution does not necessarily need to equal the scope of the problem.
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster
I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #84 on: February 28, 2014, 12:58:59 am »
@sIKE

I thought about listing the fact that the Wizard can choose training in a minor school, but towards the end of the post I was kinda wanting to wrap it up, lol. Plus it kind of is subject to the same arguments under point #3 regarding not having a weakness in any school. It increases their versatility but not actually their potency. And potency is the topic at hand.

So they can cherry pick a minor school and don't suffer any weak schools. This means any new cards that come out can most definitely be beneficial to the Wizard, especially any elemental spells. However, they won't benefit the wizard any MORE than any other mage with similar training.

Earth spells do not benefit an Earth Wizard more than they benefit the Warlord. That is not why the Wizard is strong and the Warlord is weak. The primary thing at fault there is the monopoly that Arcane has on certain functionality and the overall weakness of the War school. There are other issues as well, but the fact that Wizards can dip into Earth is not one of them.

A great example here would be to compare the Wizard to the Warlock. Before Wizard's Tower was released, most people considered these mages equal (both top tier). That's what we want to get back to, an equal playing field. Nobody would argue that the Wizard is and was more versatile than the Warlock, but the point is he was not more powerful. A fire wizard didn't out-warlock the warlock. They actually played quite different from one another. But they were both viable.

To be honest I think nerfing the tower is all that is actually needed to knock the wizard back down to tier 2. Breaking his monopoly on Arcane spells doesn't actually hurt him. It will however benefit the other mages and is a good philosophy for the game in general. None of the schools of magic should have that kind of power. Some people seem to think the Wizard needs more of a nerf than this, but I think that is more of an emotional back lash than anything that's been well thought out. Plus, we don't have to change everything at once. Nerf the tower and then reassess the situation. If he needs further tweaking, we can do so. But we don't want to slam him into uselessness. Baby steps.

I would like to add that I forgot to include one of the big reasons that the Wizard's tower is overpowered. It get's to act out of turn. Most of the other familiars require a creature action to act. The only other one that does not is Sectarus, and it is limited by only being able to act after your mage has performed a specific action (melee attack). Meanwhile, the Wizard's Tower can act before or after any friendly creature. This allows for powerful combos and even more versatility.

silverclawgrizzly

  • Charlotte Mage Warrior
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2480
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #85 on: February 28, 2014, 01:11:46 am »
Being able to cast out of turn is easily the Wizard Towers greatest strength in my view. Very good point Zuberi.
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster
What we must all remember is no matter the game we were all newbies at one point.

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #86 on: February 28, 2014, 01:22:29 am »
Indeed. I have no clue how I forgot it in my assessment. It doesn't change the fact that I think making the tower Epic is the best solution thus far suggested though.

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #87 on: February 28, 2014, 02:51:27 am »
Zuberi's Assessment Part 2: Tier 3 Mages
The following mages have been deemed sub-par by my esteemed colleagues: Straywood Beastmaster, Johktari Beastmaster, and Priest. Thus, I shall be taking a look at why that is the case and what can be done to improve them.

Priest
I'm starting with the Priest because, well, he is my favorite mage. This makes me more familiar with him than the others. It might surprise you to hear me say this about my favorite mage, but I agree with the assessment that he is handicapped. I don't think he is anywhere near unplayable. He can compete quite nicely. He even won a tournament here recently. But overall, he does have a harder time of it than his fellows. Why is that?

Lack of Options
The main problem with the Priest is options. The Holy school he is trained in includes 7 enchantments, an equal number of incantations, and even fewer conjurations and equipment. Most of it's incantations are healing spells, and one third of it's creatures are level 5 legendary creatures. It has no level 2 creatures at all. And the vast majority of these spells are defensive in nature, while the Priest screams to be an aggressive mage.

Now, sure he can dip into other schools. However, like most mages, he would like to get as many in school options as he can before looking elsewhere. Being trained in a school with a very limited card pool which doesn't even support your style of play is a big hinderance.

The solution is simple. Release more Holy spells. Across the board. More conjurations, enchantments, equipment, incantations, and creatures are all needed. New attack spells would also be nice, but many schools don't have them at all, so I'm not going to complain about those. Preferably release holy spells that support aggressive play. I expect these are already planned for Paladin vs Siren and eagerly await that expansion in probably another 8 months.

Johktari Beastmaster
The other mage from Kumanjaro, the Johktari is also considered sub-par. Unlike the Priest, she has many options available to her. What are her issues then? Her inherent mage abilities. She has one ability that is useless in way too many matches, and her other abilities do not play nice together.

Wounded Prey
Her first issue is Wounded Prey. This ability looks pretty nice to start with. It is a free, reusable, [mwcard=MW1E27] Marked for Death[/mwcard]. Unlike that card, however, it only works against Living Creatures, and can not be used on the enemy Mage. In a meta flooded with non-living creatures, this makes the ability completely useless in too many matches for comfort.

Obviously, we need to make this ability useful against people who don't run any living creatures. I don't think we need to do an errata to the ability itself though. Perhaps create a Beastmaster only conjuration that only provides a benefit if they don't have any mage specific markers (Wounded Prey and Pet) currently in play. In a normal match up, they would then have options, and in a match up where wounded prey was useless she would have an alternative (note this would help against Solo Mages as well). It might be possible to make such a card useful to mages other than beastmasters. I don't want a card with too narrow a market, but this is an issue unique to the Johktari. Perhaps our creative expert, ACG, can come up with something more elegant. Maybe he already has and I'm just not thinking of it.

Hit and Run
The second problem with the Johktari Beastmaster is that she is screaming for freedom. She cries out to be our number one skirmisher mage, conducting hit and run attacks and kiting her opponents in circles. She has both the Fast trait and the Ranged +1 trait (for non-spell attacks). Unfortunately these two can not currently be used together.

The solution would be to make a ranged weapon with a quick action attack. This would allow the Johktari to come into her own and do what she was born to do. This does need to be playtested thoroughly for balance, as it could easily be over powered, but she is just begging for it.

Straywood Beastmaster
The only core mage that is considered sub-par. Honestly, I'm not certain why. He would love to have more swarm support, but I think he should be perfectly capable of a few big strategy. I'm failing to think of any actual weaknesses that are keeping him from being Tier 2 where we want him to be. Perhaps the problem is that too many people are trying to play him with Swarm, since that is what he clearly wants to do, and he just doesn't have the support necessary for it?

Therefore, my proposed solution to bring him up to the appropriate level is to release cards to support a swarm strategy. Nothing specific comes to mind, whatever more creative people than I can think of will work.

Conclusion
All three of these mages are on the cusp of being where they need to be. The Johktari is the only one with specific weaknesses, while the other two just need more card support.

Up Next: The Warlord.

silverclawgrizzly

  • Charlotte Mage Warrior
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2480
  • Banana Stickers 4
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #88 on: February 28, 2014, 03:09:59 am »
*stops reading his newspaper* The Stray Wood is sub par? I'd like to test that theory.  8)

Note I only partially swarm with the Straywood. I use large creatures to keep my opponent bust while I build a decent sized army/power base.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 03:11:37 am by silverclawgrizzly »
  • Favourite Mage: Straywood Beastmaster
What we must all remember is no matter the game we were all newbies at one point.

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #89 on: February 28, 2014, 04:00:42 am »
Zuberi's Assessment Part 3: War. What is it good for?
I'm hoping this assessment is actually the least useful to Arcane Wonders. With Forged in Fire on the horizon, they have hopefully already analyzed the Warlord with a fine toothed comb and are getting ready to fix him at any moment. Still, we're looking at everyone, and you never know if they might have missed something. So let's dive in to why this guy is considered the worst of the bunch.

Allergic to the Arcane
No other mage is stifled as much by their weakness in magic as the Warlord is. This relates to what I posted in my previous write up on the Wizard. Currently the Arcane school of magic has a monopoly on certain functions within the game. This requires any mage who wants those functions to buy into Arcane. For a mage who pays triple cost on Arcane, this tax is unbearable.

This tax applies to Enchantment Removal and Counterspells. It can also be felt with Repositioning spells, as push effects can be easily defended against unlike teleports. This means the Warlord will be completely ineffectual at these functions of the game.

The Solution, as I posted in my Wizard section, is to make viable non-arcane alternatives for these functions. They don't have to be War spells, I'm perfectly fine with the Warlord paying double cost to get them. But he should not have to pay triple to get some form of Dispel and Nullify. You should also nerf teleports by introducing a mechanic that defends against them. That way push effects would be a viable option for the Warlord, and anybody else.}

In War, nobody wins.
War is without a doubt the weakest school of magic currently. It's most useful cards are Novice, conferring no special benefit to the Warlord, or level 1, confering a very small benefit to the Warlord. His creature pool is actually really nice, but otherwise he just doesn't have any strong or distinctive spells that make War worthwhile.

The solution is to release some level 2+ War spells that are worth caring about. Something to make the other mages jealous and just maybe think about dishing out the points for.

Mage Abilities
I'm not certain if his Veterans and Battle Orders ability are fine with a few big strategy or not. They don't seem too weak. However, they both would definitely benefit from increased swarm activity. Battle Orders gets better with the more creatures the Warlord has, while Veterans gets better when your opponent has multiple small creatures instead of a few large ones.

Solution: Make swarms a more viable strategy. This will diversify the game as well as helping the Warlord.

Leading from the Front
With his Battle Skill, the Warlord would make a perfectly capable front line leader. However, his equipment is a hinderance. The weapon made for him requires 2-hands and is not significantly better than other mages 1-handed weapons. This limits his options without an adequate pay off. You could provide him with a new weapon (there's 2 promo ones to choose from) or you could make the War Sledge a more attractive option. Perhaps release an enchantment that gives +1 Melee to 1-handed weapons and +2 melee to 2-handed ones.

Outposts
Do these really need to be spaced so far apart? Really? I'm sure you guys have a reason for this limitation, but I would really like to see it actually put into the game. Regardless, he could use some more outposts since his spawnpoint runs off them and he would really like to use his spawnpoint. Garrison Post is nearly useless and Archer's Tower is only good for a ranged strategy.

Conclusion
What the Warlord needs is a massive amount of card support. He needs non-arcane options for certain functionality within the game, and he needs worthwhile War spells. He would like to have more outposts, equipment, and swarm support but I'm not sure those are absolutely necessary to bring him on par. Addressing the disparity between the Arcane and War schools may be enough to fix this mage. However, if you're releasing cards to fix these two schools of magic, you could go ahead and throw him a bone in those other areas.