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Author Topic: Wizards who pay triple  (Read 14658 times)

iNano78

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Wizards who pay triple
« on: April 14, 2015, 09:40:25 am »
There are several threads and countless comments, not to mention tournament results, suggesting that - in the hands of experienced players - Wizards are the most consistent and overall powerful mages.  This also probably explains the glaringly obvious lack of an alternate (female) Wizard in a spell tome expansion to date, with an alternate Warlord taking the Wizard's place along with the other 3 core set mages.  To quickly summarize some advantages of the Wizard, he gets:
  • solid special abilities that are universally useful regardless of play style or the way his deck is built (e.g. can shrug off up to 3 damage per round; always has access to a 3-dice non-elemental ranged attack = an innate way to attack flying creatures),
  • naturally high channeling (10),
  • exclusive access to some of the best conjurations and equipment (e.g. Suppression Cloak, Wizard's Tower, Gate to Voltari),
  • a spell point discount for Arcane (e.g. staple spells like Dispel, Teleport, Nullify, Enchanter's Ring, Mage Wand; powerful spells like Banish; many high-level creatures with powerful abilities; all the mana denial enchantments, conjurations and incantations; most of the channeling increasers) AND an elemental school of his choice (e.g. Elemental Wand; Watergate = Dissolves, Acid Balls; Earth/Pit-trap = Iron Golems, Spiked Pit and all the efficient Earth attack spells; Fire with all its powerful attack spells, Battle Forge, Fireshaper Ring, etc),
  • to pay triple for nothing (e.g. every out-of-school spell in the game that isn't exclusive to a type of mage/training costs double for the Wizard).

What if the Wizard paid triple for all out-of-school spells?

Suddenly the Wizard's choice of elemental school would matter a lot more.  Do you go with Water to get cheap Dissolves for your "mana denial / attrition" strategy but are limited to weaker attack spells?  Oh, and then you also pay triple for Battle Forge, Dragonscale Hauberk, etc.  Or do you choose Fire to at least limit Battle Forge to 4 spell book points, get cheap Hauberks, make use of the many powerful attack spells?  But then you pay triple for Dissolves (probably best to go with Explode), Acid Ball, etc.

Oh, and let's not forget that Reverse Attack now costs 6 to put in your book, and you'll be restricting yourself pretty heavily if you want to run Armor Ward or summon a Steelclaw Grizzly or four.  Even the Nature-school enchantments like Hawkeye, Cheetah Speed, Rhino Hide, etc, are going to start putting a dent in your spell book.  No more spell books with 70+ cards in them unless you want to strictly stay in school!

I really like the idea of giving the Wizard some really tough choices during spell book building so he can't be the ultimate jack-of-all-trades with cheap access to answers for everything in every spell book.  It would be a pretty simple errata that could go a long way towards leveling the playing field and simultaneously open up design space for elemental school cards (e.g. powerful water attacks, Frost damage, etc) and for an alternate (female) Wizard that doesn't just end up making the existing Wizard even more powerful - e.g. maybe she's more in-touch with nature and pays single for Arcane, double for all elemental and level 1-2 Nature spells, and triple for everything else - but doesn't have as strong/universal special abilities.

If this is too much of a "nerf," a compromise might be to make non-Arcane primary schools (e.g. Dark, Nature, Holy, Mind, War) cost triple while out-of-school elemental spells cost double - or vice versa.  But I think it is still possible to build (several) viable Wizard(s) using full-out "pays triple for out-of-school" rules, despite being much less flexible (e.g. fewer answers in his book).  Besides, there are still 4 possible choices of elemental school, so it might actually add diversity since the four choices would have more distinct styles sort of "forced upon them," rather than slight variations on a theme all running the same toolbox of out-of-school answers.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 09:55:43 am by iNano78 »
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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 10:27:22 am »
I really appreciate the effort you've put into thinking this through.  I have been the culprit on a few of these anti-wizard comments.  In the end I've chocked it up to just being inexperienced, but a few things I have noticed still cause some concern for me:

1) At least 60% of the books I see on OCTGN are wizards.
2) 100% of the wizards I see are running Wizard's Tower and a toolbox of attack spells.
3) It's not that wizards have a ton of dispels and dissolves it's that they have SO MANY ACTIONS.  They can plan 4 spells a turn (2 planning, 1 tower, 1 huggin)!  Not to mention the spells they have on the mage wand and the elemental wand and the action advantage they've gotten from either Gate of Voltari or Battleforge. It's disgusting.  And now someone is talking about giving them a book that will let them plan another spell?!  Who's drinking too much?
4) 70% of the books I see are running Wall of Thorns + Force Push

To this end I have made it my mission to find a spellbook that will destroy all wizards and punish those who play with thorns.  It would be nice to have competitive matches with other mages, but in the end...I just want the wizard player to cry (in a nice and friendly competition way, of course).  I haven't succeeded yet.

Keeping in mind that I have decided that I am still inexperienced; I am still holding out hope that wizards can be beaten with more regularity (I have done it, but it takes some significant effort) and that "Wall of Thorns Cheese" won't continue to get card support (Acid Ball, Rust, Surging Wave, Disarm).

All that to say that I would kind of prefer that Wizards stay where they are so that I can prove something.  I do like the idea of making the elemental choice more significant in terms of how the book plays.  Your changes would certainly make for some restricted diversity in wizard's spellbooks.  I think the triple cost for everything else is too much by a long shot.

If things were to be changed, (probably not going to happen given Arcane Wonder's errata policy)  I would suggest giving them a choice of which school (or schools) are going to be triple cost for them since the main draw and feel of the wizard is flexibility.  There are several ways to do this:

1) You could pair schools together such as "Training in Water means triple cost in Fire and Dark" or "Training in Air means triple cost in Earth and War".
2) The wizard also chooses a school or two from which they cannot put spells in their book.

The first suggestion is very complicated, but it ensures at least some kind of sacrifice on the wizard's part.  The second suggestion retains the flexibility and simplicity, but all the wizard would have to do is avoid one or two schools of magic when building a book which is not very hard to do.

As I said before, the wizard does concern me and I also feel that you will get virtually no support on an errata to an iconic mage.  I retain a bit of optimism with the release of Harshforge Plate and Harshforge Monolith and the preview of this new "Anchored" trait from Domination that wizards might be getting their comeuppance soon.
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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 11:04:25 am »
My thoughts are that this specific issue(and proposed fix) has been talked about already. A lot. Then a lot more. for YEARS. It never results in the changes people want. So talk about it cuz you enjoy talking about it, not because you are trying to change basic mage wars rules, because that will just frustrate you.

Now onto the post.
1) Be the change you want to see in the world. In octgn, I often talk to players before loading a book, and ask what they want to see. when they ask me, I say no wizards, because I see too many of them.

2) Other threads addressed this. The same could be said of Galvatar or forcefield and the forcemaster. Some mages have must-have spells which are very good and urge you towards a playstyle. I personally think wizards tower could be a bit weaker to encourage build variety, but i don't see it happening.

3) RE:wizards tower and I don't see a lot of huggin, though I'd love to flameblast him. everyone has battleforge. Wands are fun to dissolve. I don't see elemental wands on them, because wizards tower preserves attack spells. The book you refer to is mordoks tome. Its a very very old promo which has yet to be released.

Promos: Don't assume that because a promo exists that it will always eventually become a "real" spell in its current form. So don't use it just as much as a "real" spell. I personally dislike it when an opponent plays more than one copy of one promo in a game(staff of storms, gloves of skill, ring of gales for example). I'm one of those who uses bear hide with its unimplemented frost-2 over that acid armor's acid-3.

4) Wall of Thorns + Force Push is a bit cliche for me, but if you don't prep for it, you are asking them to do it to you.

I kill wizards pretty well, when I'm forced to and play the right spellbook.

It reminds me of the card game Dominion. People complained that one simple strategy(just buying coins->provinces) is too good for how simple it is. Well-planned strategies will beat it, but medium-planned strategies often don't and that sucks the fun out of it by removing variety (because you have to do it too or research specific strategies to be able to compete). Again, Be the change you want to see in the world by making a personal book and learning to play it well(which can take some time and losing). Also complain when you opponent is not doing the same.
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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 11:26:46 am »
If the wizard was broken wouldn't he have easily won gencon?

There are some concerns with the Wizard. The Wizards tower is very powerful, but it's a conjuration, and can easily be killed with a Force hammer or a force hammer and one, maybe 2 attacks by a creature or the mage.

I don't like that it's free to change spells, and you can do it every turn with no penalty.

The wizard is the most versitile, and has access to the most weapons at their dispposal.

There are a few other cards that need to be loked at and modified, but I don't know when that would hapen. Akiro's hammer, is a great one that needs to be fixed. It's currently garbage.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 11:38:55 am »

If the wizard was broken wouldn't he have easily won gencon?

There are some concerns with the Wizard. The Wizards tower is very powerful, but it's a conjuration, and can easily be killed with a Force hammer or a force hammer and one, maybe 2 attacks by a creature or the mage.

I don't like that it's free to change spells, and you can do it every turn with no penalty.

The wizard is the most versitile, and has access to the most weapons at their dispposal.

There are a few other cards that need to be loked at and modified, but I don't know when that would hapen. Akiro's hammer, is a great one that needs to be fixed. It's currently garbage.

That's not how brokenness works. If it's significantly easier to win with the wizard than the other mages, or if other builds have to go out of their way to prevent the wizard in particular from having that advantage, then the wizard is broken, even if he doesn't actually get first place in Gen Con. In mage wars player skill plays a bigger role in who wins than spellbook building.
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Schwenkgott

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 12:05:32 pm »
I cannot agree on the overpoweredness of the Wizard. As there was said: he is versitile, that's very true. But that does not make him more powerful as the other mages. Every mage, with the right spellbook and tactic, can beat a Wizard.

1) Huginn: In my eyes a waste of mana. He can cast incantation spells (Dispel, Dissolve, Teleport, Push), but he also wastes them. And he is very vulnerable to unavoidable attacks. You will spend more mana to protect him with enchantments and have to safe the mana to reveal them for all following rounds.
btw. Nearly every other Mage has access to a similar Familiar.

2) Wizard Tower: Good thing about it is, that he does not waste the spell. Bad thing is, that his spell cannot be improved. Why would i use a Fireball with my Wizardtower, when i can shot it with my buffed Mage for 2 additional dice? That being said, a Wizard Tower is not invulnerable. If the Wizard spends 7 mana for it and uses a spell, that will drain his mana. If you kill the Tower with mana saving melee attacks, setting up the tower will be a waste of mana for your opponent. If he is cautious and places the tower 2 zones away, you could also run out of range and make the tower useless. You might also just block its Line of Sight with a wall. All of this sounds not very overpowered to me.

3) But i can partially agree with your proposal. I like playing with and against specialized Mages. The Wizard should have an access penalty to certain schools. Maybe triple cost for the three schools, that he refused to be trained in, is not a bad idea.

Akiro, I have never prayed to you before. No one will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that one stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Akiro... so grant me strength! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 12:10:47 pm »
As I said several times, I do understand that I'm significantly inexperienced compared to a tournament veteran. 

1) I've never played a wizard.  It's consorting with the enemy ;)  So, I am a token member of build diversity community.
2) Charmyna was the one who made me hate wizards so much.  He's very good and gave me a high bar to attain to with my mage wars play.  He ran several builds, but all of them had a forge, a tower and a wand or two.  My goal was to beat his wizard, but I've taken a long time to learn good strategies and now he doesn't play on OCTGN anymore  :'(

I'm not giving up.  Wizard is here to stay and I'm still trying to assert some anti-arcane dominance.
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Schwenkgott

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 12:19:03 pm »
My goal was to beat his wizard, but I've taken a long time to learn good strategies and now he doesn't play on OCTGN anymore  :'(

His spirit is still there, floating around in the wideness of OCTGN. Every player who has faced Charmyna once has internalized some of his spirit :)
Akiro, I have never prayed to you before. No one will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that one stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Akiro... so grant me strength! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 12:42:02 pm »
In mage wars player skill plays a bigger role in who wins than spellbook building.
While true, skill is a vital component, what your packin counts for a lot too, ask Schwenkgott about his duels with Charmyna and his Watergate Wizard as I consider them peers as players they are good players to ask these kind of questions too.

I will not to talk further about my thoughts on the Wizard,as I have spent a couple of hundred posts on this topic already.
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iNano78

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 01:01:47 pm »

If the wizard was broken wouldn't he have easily won gencon?

There are some concerns with the Wizard. The Wizards tower is very powerful, but it's a conjuration, and can easily be killed with a Force hammer or a force hammer and one, maybe 2 attacks by a creature or the mage.

I don't like that it's free to change spells, and you can do it every turn with no penalty.

The wizard is the most versitile, and has access to the most weapons at their dispposal.

There are a few other cards that need to be loked at and modified, but I don't know when that would hapen. Akiro's hammer, is a great one that needs to be fixed. It's currently garbage.

That's not how brokenness works. If it's significantly easier to win with the wizard than the other mages, or if other builds have to go out of their way to prevent the wizard in particular from having that advantage, then the wizard is broken, even if he doesn't actually get first place in Gen Con. In mage wars player skill plays a bigger role in who wins than spellbook building.

Similarly, if it's so overpowered that it restricts design space for future cards or future mages (e.g. alternate Wizard), then a fix might be warranted.  I fear that's maybe one of the reasons why we haven't seen Water spells that deal Frost damage yet.  If there were Water attack spells on the same power level as Fire, Air and Earth, especially if they have some sort of freeze effect (hence "Defrost" keyword on some flame damage cards), then a Water Wizard - who already benefits from cheap Dissolves and Acid Balls - might be too strong.

Regarding Wizard's Tower, I'm always surprised it isn't Zone Exclusive.  Most corporeal conjurations that represent large objects are Zone Exclusive... and surely the Battle Forge represents an object small enough to fit inside a single room in the Wizard's Tower.  Yet, you can put a Wizard's Tower in the same zone as another key conjuration (like a Battle Forge).  Compare to the Warlord's "outposts" that can't even be placed in adjacent zones!  And free spell swapping is pretty crazy when you consider the usual spellbind swapping costs or restrictions on wands, Thoughtspores, etc.

Last night I played an Earth Wizard only because we earned story achievement points for casting attack spells and both my Warlock spell books were lent out.  I briefly considered a Thoughtspore-swarm Forcemaster, but glad I didn't because another player went with exactly that. 

In one of my matches, my Wizard's Tower proved to be a liability because its Hurl Boulder got Reverse Attacked for 7 self-inflicted damage (doh! should have Seeking Dispeled first).  But in the other, it pulled off a free Hurl Rock to crush an Anvil Throne Crossbowman immediately after Huginn had Teleported him off of his Archer's Watchtower from behind a wall.  Later, the Tower Hurled a free Boulder at the opposing mage on the final turn right after his armor had been stripped.  As for Huginn, in addition to Teleporting without LoS restrictions (due to flying), he also casted an Earthquake that took out a wall and Battle Forge, and was about to Explode some armor when he failed to avoid a Hurled Rock (splat). Huginn can be a pesky threat that just adds another option each turn through additional planning, resulting in some big plays that generally only a Wizard can pull off.  If he had Spellbind, he'd be way too good - but I had Dispel bound to a Mage Wand, Hurl Rock bound to an Elemental Wand, and either Rock or Boulder bound to the Wizard's Tower at any given time, so it didn't bother me too much to have Huginn burning a Teleport or Dissolve or Explode or Earthquake or... whatever each round.

We can debate whether or not each particular "Wizard only" and "Arcane Mage only" spells are overpowered compared to options available to other mages, and whether or not the current Wizard mage's abilities are too good in comparison (e.g. don't need to be built around like most of the other mage's abilities), and I'm sure there will be many pros/cons listed and many people taking the for/against sides.  But as Schwenkgott noted, my proposed change doesn't errata any cards nor take away any abilities; it simply reduces the options during spell book building, limiting the number of answers (and threats, in the case of Grizzly-based Wizards) that the Wizard can bring, so he isn't as stocked full of answers.  That said, he still has the cheapest access to Dispels and Teleports, both spellbind Wands, all the key channeling increasers (Crystals, Harmonize, Moonglow Amulet), most of the mana denial spells (Mordok's Obelisk, Essence Drain, Suppression Cloak - although he might be paying triple for Suppression Orb), etc... so I don't think this proposed change would make him unplayable. And all it would involve is errata to his ability card.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 01:07:00 pm by iNano78 »
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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 09:21:55 pm »
The Wizards tower is very powerful, I don't like that it's free to change spells, and you can do it every turn with no penalty.


This is my biggest issue with the Wizard and the spammy nature of the multiple actions they are allowed. The free change of spells as well as it not costing an action like a wand is a major issue. While in theory the tower is relatively weak, it can get out very quick and start doing massive damage before you can do anything to defend against it. Secondly, spending time/attacks/mana/spells to destroy the tower is a delay on doing the same to the mage which is the point of the game. I understand the versatility that the Wizard should have but the Tower is the biggest issue I think and should have been errata'd to be similar to either a wand or Akiro's Hammer in that in shouldn't be allowed to be fired every single turn or it should have a cost/action associated with changing the spell attached; if not both.

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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2015, 08:06:06 pm »
What if the Wizard paid triple for all out-of-school spells?

All other schools? No one would play him.

I wouldn't mind that a school or two might cost triple for him though. Maybe give the option of paying double for all non-Arcane, or taking training in one element in exchange for paying triple for the other three?

Or... War is about as opposed to Arcane as there is. Make War and the opposite element (Earth vs. Air; Fire vs. Water) cost triple.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 08:14:41 pm by DaveW »
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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2015, 03:42:24 am »
i would add Nature as a triple cost for Wizard.

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Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2015, 07:33:11 am »
Entire schools of magic aren't always opposed to each other in mage wars, but rather the mages themselves are opposed to certain schools. Beastmaster does not pay triple for arcane or war, but he does pay triple for fire spells. Druid also pays triple for fire, but unlike the beastmaster pays triple for war spells. The warlord does not pay triple for nature nor water spells.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 07:35:47 am by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: Wizards who pay triple
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2015, 08:43:21 am »
I do support the idea though of making the Wizard pay triple for nature spells.
Since the Wizard gets so many ( arcane ) staple cards so cheap, it makes sense to make another category of staples ( nature enchantments ) cost triple.

That would certainly balance things out somewhat imo.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 08:47:50 am by Borg »
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