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Author Topic: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?  (Read 7777 times)

Sailor Vulcan

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Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« on: November 28, 2014, 07:33:42 PM »
I really want to be able to make my own unique spellbooks that are competitive to play and that I will enjoy enough to actually keep using them and not grow bored of so quickly. I've been playing for over a year and I still have been unable to do that. I suspect that the reason for this is that I still haven't successfully figured out what mages I really like and enjoy.

I like playing the wizard enough that I haven't grown bored of mage wars itself yet. But so far I have not successfully made any wizard builds that I have not grown bored of relatively quickly, with the possible exception of the one I made yesterday. We'll see how that one turns out, I guess.

I also suspect that the reason that I'm having so much trouble figuring out what mages I would sufficiently like is that I dislike playing the forcemaster because I can't build any interesting spellbooks with her that actually work. If I could come up with any good ideas for a forcemaster spellbook, there is a chance that I would LOVE playing her, but I don't know that because I haven't ever been able come up with any good ideas for forcemaster spellbooks. Believe me I've tried and tried and tried and playtesting inevitably and unfailing proves the strategic premise of every single forcemaster spellbook to be unfeasible, except for the standard three that everyone already knows.

The black friday sale ends in a few days, and if I want to buy any of the expansions at the sale price, I need to decide on a mage or mages to stick with BEFORE that.

Help, please?
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 03:57:59 PM »
Hey Vulcan,

Maybe I can be of some help. I went to the first GenCon tourney with the Forcemaster and it did alright. At the time it was a solo build because I wanted that moment of being surrounded by 6 creatures and still feeling invincible. It was fun but afterward I realized two things:

#1 Books that just rush hardcore tend to ruin the feel of the game, because they either win before the opponent can respond correctly or they get stomped and run out of steam. Either way you look at those outcomes that's not what Mage Wars should be about.

#2 There's a certain finesse to using the forcemaster that makes her feel unique. In order to rush with her properly you need to either hurl boulders with no care in the world (pretty boring) or you need to use what resources she does have at her disposal to get those hits off without taking a blow yourself.

Now, I don't know if you want to go with a solo build or not but there are some other options. In episode 8 of Arcane Duels Coshade (Justin) made a forcemaster build that took advantage of thoughtspores. It was a really cool idea... Unfortunately I had the perfect build to fight him with but if it weren't for that I would have been in big trouble. Whatever type of build you're looking for I would be happy to help.

Also, if you're having worries that the game might start getting boring have you considered that maybe it isn't the spellbooks that are instigating the concern? Maybe you need to change it up a little and play someone else. I'm used to playing the same three people and with that we tend to form our own meta. When your stuck in your own way of playing with the same few people it becomes hard to think about other ways of playing. Just look at the forums for example, every time someone posts a deck concept or strategy there seems to be a 50/50 split on whether they have a good idea or not. I think that's because they aren't used to that frame of mindset.

Anyway, if you need help with a deck concept then pick an idea out and I'd be happy to throw some cards around.  If you just need some fresh air and want someone new to play then maybe we should duke it out sometime. I just picked up OCTGN and probably going to set it up this weekend. Let me know
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014, 04:38:31 PM »
Hey Vulcan,

Maybe I can be of some help. I went to the first GenCon tourney with the Forcemaster and it did alright. At the time it was a solo build because I wanted that moment of being surrounded by 6 creatures and still feeling invincible. It was fun but afterward I realized two things:

#1 Books that just rush hardcore tend to ruin the feel of the game, because they either win before the opponent can respond correctly or they get stomped and run out of steam. Either way you look at those outcomes that's not what Mage Wars should be about.

#2 There's a certain finesse to using the forcemaster that makes her feel unique. In order to rush with her properly you need to either hurl boulders with no care in the world (pretty boring) or you need to use what resources she does have at her disposal to get those hits off without taking a blow yourself.

Now, I don't know if you want to go with a solo build or not but there are some other options. In episode 8 of Arcane Duels Coshade (Justin) made a forcemaster build that took advantage of thoughtspores. It was a really cool idea... Unfortunately I had the perfect build to fight him with but if it weren't for that I would have been in big trouble. Whatever type of build you're looking for I would be happy to help.

Also, if you're having worries that the game might start getting boring have you considered that maybe it isn't the spellbooks that are instigating the concern? Maybe you need to change it up a little and play someone else. I'm used to playing the same three people and with that we tend to form our own meta. When your stuck in your own way of playing with the same few people it becomes hard to think about other ways of playing. Just look at the forums for example, every time someone posts a deck concept or strategy there seems to be a 50/50 split on whether they have a good idea or not. I think that's because they aren't used to that frame of mindset.

Anyway, if you need help with a deck concept then pick an idea out and I'd be happy to throw some cards around.  If you just need some fresh air and want someone new to play then maybe we should duke it out sometime. I just picked up OCTGN and probably going to set it up this weekend. Let me know

#1. Well, most good builds aren't purely agressive with no defense. Otherwise they could very easily fall prey to things like wall of thorns push. That being said, strategies that are mostly aggressive don't ruin the game. They're actually quite fun to play and play against. And aggro spellbooks aren't an anti-strategy playstyle, by any means. Is losing due to running out of steam really worse than losing due to taking too long to gather steam? And what do you mean, BEFORE they can respond correctly? If the aggro book runs out of steam, it's because the control spellbook actually did respond correctly. Do you think aggro in mage wars is overpowered in general?

#2. I prefer to make and play my own unique spellbooks that are fun to play and competitive (or at least viable). It doesn't seem like I can come up with anything good for the forcemaster that hasn't been done to death already.

I've been playing pretty much exclusively on OCTGN since I have trouble finding people to play with in real life outside of events, which there aren't enough of in my area. I'm hoping to become an ambassador when this semester is over. The mage wars community in my area must consist of more than just me or they wouldn't even be selling mage wars in either of the FLGS near me. And yet it seems that the community isn't really there. I'm the only one I've ever met in my area who really likes mage wars.

My most frequent online opponents are pretty much anyone who's online when I am: murphy, juli, johansson, schneente, gaspode77, biblofilter and probably quite a few more, and it seems to depend on the season and time of week.

That might be part of the problem too, OCTGN games just aren't the same as being able to play face to face in real life.

I'm not bored of mage wars yet. And if the problem were just a lack of variety of opponents, then I would have figured out and decided on what expansions to buy by now.

And picking an idea I like is exactly the problem. The problem really isn't a lack of deckbuilding skill, it's that the decks I do build I don't enjoy enough. So telling me to pick an idea out first and then offering to help me build on it, while much appreciated, is just a little bit redundant since that's not what I need help with.

I really do appreciate your advice, and I'm sorry if my response sounds argumentative. For most people in similar but more familiar situations, a lot of what you said would be very very useful. But most people who don't know what mages they really want to play are in that situation because they're beginners without very much deckbuilding skill and without having explored all the other mages.

Unfortunately, that's not what's going on here. This problem would be a lot easier and simpler to solve if it was. I'm not a beginner, I'm actually fairly decent at building viable/competitive spellbooks and I have explored all the other mages, and yet I'm still having this problem. I'm starting to get the impression that maybe even though I love mage wars, I'm just not that into the mages that have been released so far. But I'm not sure. Maybe I should wait for the alternate forcemaster or the illusionist to be released or something?
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2014, 08:53:48 PM »
To start with, I'm sorry if I offended you. I wasn't suggesting you were new to the game. You respond on the forums way more than I do so it would be foolish to assume that about your skill level.

I was more saying that it sounds like you're afraid of losing passion for Mage Wars. I've been there with games, when you're running around in circles doing the same thing over and over again and it becomes stale. I guess I'll try to change my approach here.

What is it you're looking for exactly? Do you want some broad deck concepts? Like other ways you could try playing the Forcemaster other than the obvious choices. Or do you want some card suggestions to base decks off of?

It's hard to answer your call when I'm not sure what your play style is. Do you prefer a control method more, are you super defensive in nature, or is aggression your bread and butter?
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2014, 09:43:44 PM »
Thank you. I'm not offended, and I know that you weren't intending to imply that I'm a beginner, it's just that the advice you were giving me in that post was a LOT more applicable to similar situations that we're both already familiar with, and most of those similar situations just happen to be of the nature which I described. It was an easy mistake to make. It's like having a bag filled with a bunch of blue balls, and you predict the next ball you pull out will also be blue, and then someone slips a red ball in there and you barely notice it because it's the same bag with all the blue balls. It's not like you thought the red ball was actually blue.

 I'm kind of both. Aggro and control I mean. I generally prefer few or no creatures. Whether I want 1, 2, 3, or 4 creatures depends on the build. I usually won't want 5 or more though. Swarm is okay and somewhat enjoyable every once in a while, but usually it's not really my thing. I like tanking to an extent, I'm not sure whether that's  a big extent or a small extent since I've only ever come up with and played one good tank spellbook.

It's difficult for me to describe in terms of my current experiences in mage wars. Maybe I have some preconceptions, and it will be easier to identify my playstyle in mage wars if i take into account how I like to play in general.

Ideally, the kind of strategies I would like in customizable strategy games in general:

-kirby/judo (use your opponent's power against them)
-Thwarting (thwarting the enemy's plans so thoroughly that they can't recover, then beat them while they're down) This is very different depending on the game, i think. In mtg it would be some variation of a counter spell deck. In mage wars it's godzilla earth elemental attacking tokyo destroying their economy before it can completely pay itself back. It was fun, but not as much as I thought it was. Maybe stomping around tokyo with a giant teleporting behemoth will grow on me more than it has already. It was definitely unique though.
-the "you can't catch me" strategy (run around, dodge attacks, and let the enemy wear themselves out and get hurt trying to land a hit on you.

that's all the archetypal examples I can think of off the top of my head.
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 12:56:48 AM »
-kirby/judo (use your opponent's power against them)
-Thwarting (thwarting the enemy's plans so thoroughly that they can't recover, then beat them while they're down) This is very different depending on the game, i think. In mtg it would be some variation of a counter spell deck. In mage wars it's godzilla earth elemental attacking tokyo destroying their economy before it can completely pay itself back. It was fun, but not as much as I thought it was. Maybe stomping around tokyo with a giant teleporting behemoth will grow on me more than it has already. It was definitely unique though.
-the "you can't catch me" strategy (run around, dodge attacks, and let the enemy wear themselves out and get hurt trying to land a hit on you.

Well if you're considering the Forcemaster still then you she definitely fits the first and third type of play style. Obviously because of her triple cost in non-mind creatures it's harder to pull off a Godzilla.

From my experience I often had a lot of mana once my main equipment/enchantments were cast. So I think you could pull off a large creature if you wanted. Invisible stalker is nasty, however, just one creature guarding can thwart his plans; On top of that it's easy to destroy him if your opponent has the right juju.

I'd check out a thoughtspore build. A few acid balls, surging waves, forcepushes, teleports, etc. on the field at a time can be pretty intimidating. Plus Thoughtspore is one of two things that can teleport something over a wall because of the flying/line of site. So you could do something crazy with walls I suppose.

You could also do curse build. I found that the fear of mind control makes the opponent use less large sized creatures. But if they do then use curses and charms to force the opposition to dispel, make them run out then bring in mind controls.

The cool thing about the FM is that she appears to be the most aggressive. Yes, Galvitar helps that case but the truth is she is played aggressively because she's inherently the most defensive. If you want to exhaust your opponent she's the mage to do that with. Just watch out for surging wave and knockdown, That's what your forcefield is for.

Besides the other three builds you mentioned that's what comes to mind so far with the FM. Your comment earlier is probably spot on. Because she lacks the more interesting spells (waiting for that male FM) right now there aren't as many ways to play her. This has happened with most mages when they first come out.

Anything sound good? Also, are there any other mages that you'd be interested in? The new Warlock is very interesting and I think most people are having a hard time trying to figure her out. That could be a fun mage to tinker with, plenty of breathing room or making your own deck ideas.


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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 09:28:03 AM »

Invisible stalker is nasty, however, just one creature guarding can thwart his plans; On top of that it's easy to destroy him if your opponent has the right juju.

invisible stalker is elusive due to invisible, so he ignores guards. I never forcemaster, but I'd say the stalker is only easy to kill if you expose him early. some rounds you might not let him attack to keep him untargettable. I wouldnt worry about a zone ethereal attack either.

Now back to the OP:
I too have your problem of not sticking to one spellbook. For me it was more like i wanted to try all the things out a bit, but now its too much work to get a good idea for a book.
 
I like the druid, so i'm gonna promote her. she can do the "you can't catch me" strategy with hinder vines and immobilizing stuff like the vinewhip staff. Plus she can tank really well if she needs to, which you expressed some interest in.  and if you want a godzilla wrecking up their stuff, i suggest [mwcard=DNC06]Kralathor[/mwcard], but that only works if you attack creatures at first rather than economy. she can take out a spawnpoint well with a couple vine snappers, but thats probably too swarmy for you.

I'm not sure how to "use your opponents power against them"(is that just reverse attack/magic. what else would that apply to?) but i do love it when they make a 20+ mana creature with enchantments and i keep it stuck in the corner all game.

-kirby/judo (use your opponent's power against them)
-Thwarting (thwarting the enemy's plans so thoroughly that they can't recover, then beat them while they're down) This is very different depending on the game, i think. In mtg it would be some variation of a counter spell deck. In mage wars it's godzilla earth elemental attacking tokyo destroying their economy before it can completely pay itself back. It was fun, but not as much as I thought it was. Maybe stomping around tokyo with a giant teleporting behemoth will grow on me more than it has already. It was definitely unique though.
-the "you can't catch me" strategy (run around, dodge attacks, and let the enemy wear themselves out and get hurt trying to land a hit on you.

Now that i think of it, the warlord can do all three of those.

1)lure them into attacking your guards like [mwcard=FWC15]Thorg, Chief Bodyguard[/mwcard] boosted with the orc warlords "on guard" and some zone stuff
2)[mwcard=MWSTX2FFI02]Conquering[/mwcard]their conjurations is the quickest way I know to take out a spawnpoint or mana boosters
3)you can do the "you cant catch me" on most mages, but the dwarf warlord with shield rune [mwcard=MWSTX1CKQ04]Reflex Boots[/mwcard] is pretty slippery.

"get hurt trying to land a hit on you" sounds like you want a good damage barrier and tankability.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 09:48:00 PM by echephron »
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2014, 08:43:09 PM »
I don't know if this will help you, but I was thinking about what it would take to make Thoughtspore viable, and began to wonder about Guardian Angel.

That spellbook would probably use her pull ability defensively, and play all kinds of weird cards that Forcemaster doesn't usually run, and would need to make up for the high spellbook cost of one or two Angels by spamming whatever is attached to the Spores, but that kind of Forcemaster could make an interesting gunboat type spellbook.

And in a long game, you might be able to overwhelm your opponent's dispels and get Forcefield or Mind Control to stick around, and those are pretty good lock and kill methods, respectively.

Alternately, what would a spellbook with 4 mind control be like if it also had a bunch of other "must dispel" enchantments in it?
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2014, 09:40:18 PM »
This is a really rough idea of what I was thinking with the Guardian Angel. This would obviously require a lot of tweaking.

[spellbook]
[spellbookheader]
[spellbookname]Gunboat Forcemaster[/spellbookname]
[mage]Forcemaster[/mage]
[/spellbookheader]
[spells]
[spellclass]Attack[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNA01]3 x  Acid Ball[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWA04]4 x  Hurl Boulder[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1a09]1 x  Jet Stream[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWA02]2 x  Force Hammer[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Conjuration[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1j08]1 x  Hand of Bim-Shalla[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j21]1 x  Suppression Orb[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j16]1 x  Mordok's Obelisk[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Creature[/spellclass]
[mwcard=FWC16]4 x  Thoughtspore[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKC06]2 x  Guardian Angel[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Enchantment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=FWE05]2 x  Forcefield[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e34]4 x  Reverse Attack[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e16]2 x  Force Hold[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e01]1 x  Bear Strength[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Equipment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=FWQ04]1 x  Galvitar, Force Blade[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q06]2 x  Dragonscale Hauberk[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q07]1 x  Elemental Cloak[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Incantation[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1i12]2 x  Force Push[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i07]3 x  Dissolve[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i06]3 x  Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i24]1 x  Seeking Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFI06]3 x  Defend[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i28]2 x  Teleport[/mwcard]
[/spells]
[cost]Total cost: 120 pts[/cost]
[/spellbook]


First Turn: (20) Mordok's Obelisk and Suppression Orb (4)
Second Turn: (14) Thoughtspore (6)
Third Turn: (15) Guardian Angel, Defend (0)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 09:53:36 PM by ringkichard »
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2014, 10:22:24 PM »
And here's a draft of the 2nd idea.

[spellbook]
[spellbookheader]
[spellbookname]Overload[/spellbookname]
[mage]Forcemaster[/mage]
[/spellbookheader]
[spells]
[spellclass]Attack[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNA01]3 x  Acid Ball[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWA02]2 x  Force Hammer[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Conjuration[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1j21]1 x  Suppression Orb[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWJ05]1 x  Mana Prism[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1w04]4 x  Wall of Thorns[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j08]1 x  Hand of Bim-Shalla[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j16]1 x  Mordok's Obelisk[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Creature[/spellclass]
[mwcard=FWC08]1 x  Invisible Stalker[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1c18]1 x  Gorgon Archer[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Enchantment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=FWE07]4 x  Mind Control[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e16]2 x  Force Hold[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWE05]4 x  Forcefield[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Equipment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=FWQ07]1 x  Psi-Orb[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWQ04]1 x  Galvitar, Force Blade[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWQ03]1 x  Force Ring[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWQ01]1 x  Dancing Scimitar[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q06]2 x  Dragonscale Hauberk[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Incantation[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1i12]3 x  Force Push[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i06]3 x  Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i24]1 x  Seeking Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i07]3 x  Dissolve[/mwcard]
[/spells]
[cost]Total cost: 120 pts[/cost]
[/spellbook]

The idea here is that you have 4x Forcefield, and it's really hard for your opponent to win through a Forcefield.
You have Orb and Obelisk to punish swarms, and 4x Mind Control to punish one big.
You've even got (a ludicrously expensive) Gorgon Archer to take advantage of the Orb and Obelisk synergies.

Gameplan is something like

1. (20) Gorgon Archer (4)
2. (14) Suppression Orb (6)
3. (16) Mordok's Obelisk (8)
4. (17) Mind Control (7?)
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 10:33:03 AM »
That looks pretty cool. Where does the invisible stalker fit into it?
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 05:50:35 PM »
The Stalker is in there because you gotta have something beside Galvatar to threaten them with if they don't bring their own creatures, and because Invisible is like Elusive but better. And sometimes you'll luck out and they'll have left all the etherial damage sources in their other pants, and then it's an incredible pain to kill.

Adding in a Bear Strength for the Forcemaster might not be terrible, or an Eagle Wings or a Hawkeye for the Gorgon.

Mana prism is in there to soften the blow of Harshforge Monolith.


The Wall of Thorns + Forcepush combo is nice if you ever get it, but don't stress about it. You could replace the Thorns with Wall of Earth or Wall of Bones and both Force Push and your wall would still be awesome. That said, you can probably cut back to 2 walls if you want to make room for some nature enchantments or another forcepush.

You've also got the Mind Control + Mordok's Obelisk combo, which is more expensive than it used to be, but still works fine.

The real skill in this spellbook will be managing mana. It's got a lot of expensive spells, and a lot of upkeeps. On the other hand, you've got Galvatar, which gives you a pretty good attack. If you cast that turn 4, and stick to one spell a turn and one attack a turn, the mana situation should go easier.

This book also lacks Teleport, which makes me uneasy, but Force Push is so much cheeper since it's in school, and the Ring works on it. If you can find a point, I wouldn't mind a 4th Force Push.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 06:05:23 PM by ringkichard »
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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2014, 07:14:50 AM »
My crazy plan to make thought spores viable is to wall off your corner and cast sacred ground and fortified position. Because LoS is blocked the enchants can't be dispelled. They can also guard to his behind the walls on turns they are not casting. It restricts them to the corner but it makes them very tough and the forcemaster excels at keeping the fight in the area she wants it in.

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Re: Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2014, 08:46:53 AM »
While you complain that you can't build a book you like, I just wish I had people to play against.
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Struggling to create spellbooks that I really like. Help?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2014, 11:45:27 AM »
While you complain that you can't build a book you like, I just wish I had people to play against.

I also wish I had people in real life to play against. I'm always playing on OCTGN. However, I'm planning to start working harder on forming a player community in my area when the semester is over. If anyone here has a Facebook account, there are quite a few mage wars Facebook groups, and maybe you could join or create one for your area. I'd prefer not to specifically reveal where I live on these forums, since I prefer to keep my online identities at least relatively separate. But anyone who already knows who I am in real life and lives in my area would be welcome to find me on Facebook to play mage wars with me in real life.
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