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Author Topic: Strategy Article - Outs  (Read 1528 times)


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Strategy Article - Outs
« on: August 29, 2016, 08:39:10 pm »
Hi guys!

This article is in response to a question on here about what toolbox spells are needed, in the way of dispels et al, and I realised to answer it would require quite a long answer to do it justice and it would be better described as an article on the subject of outs.

What is an out?

An "Out" is the strategy used to change the board state from unfavourable to favourable, to allow a book to complete one of its paths to victory. Usually an out is applied when you are in a bad situation and have to stabilise before winning. It sometimes call for using cards in creative ways, such as applying an enchantment just for its curse sub-word or applying flying to a creature with regenerate 1. Also using a combination of cards to change the board state, so that the card(s) in the arena are no longer a threat to you can be classed as an Out. Lastly an out can be as simple as using Teleport to reposition a slow creature 4 zones on your first quick cast then take double move upon activation.

The Rules of Outs
  • Never quit! A game is never lost until you have no Life or Health remaining. I have seen guys concede a game where if they had just took a tiny bit of time and thought about how to change things a tiny bit then they could get to a point where they could just ignore the damage they were being dealt and deal with the opponent effectively. You cannot play to your outs if the game is over!
  • Where is my focus? Ultimately you will never win this game if you do not do enough damage to the opponent mage. They will always win if you never damage their mage and only their creatures. This said, however, Adramalech is a huge threat and can kill in 6 turns, so unless you can kill their mage in less turns then focus on the large creature first, armour up, etc.
  • What is left in my book? More will be said about building to your outs later in the article, however this is knowing what your book can do and the spells in that book. As the game lengthens what you have left in your book will ultimately shape the outs you can play. Do you have 2 Acid Balls and an elemental wand in book, and a wizards tower (under the old wording) in play? Not an entirely efficient way to deal with zombies, but an out all the same.
  • What resources do I have? Health:Life, activations remaining, and Mana are the main resources that an out worries about and also in that order. You can have all the actions and Mana in the world, however if the opponent kills you in the next quickcast phase then it does not matter. If you have enough life left (atleast 6 or 12, depending on the book) then look at your actions. Do you have Hugin or just a lone gargoyle sentry in play? This will shape any outs. Lastly Mana, can I afford to do all my actions this turn, or does a more efficient out, played over more turns, work just as well?
  • How well do I know my opponent's mage? This is more of an advanced level of outs. It is looking at what your opponent has, what strategy are they forming, how can I counter that while not using precious resources better used to further my own plan. It is also knowing the sort of spells a book will have given a certain mage. A warlord will not have a lot of Arcane spells, so an enchantment heavy out will not be dispelled as easily.
  • How fragile is my out? Any combination of cards gets weaker the more complex you make it. Does your out require the mage to stay where he is, and what happens if he decides to move? Does an exact set of actions have to take place, in a certain order, for the out to work? Sometimes you will get to a point where you do not have a simple out, however plan to the most simple out each time. Also sometimes you have to be bold and try the risky play, it can work, just it may not if there is chance involved.

Building to your outs

As a good friend of mine says: "Playing Mage Wars is just a small part of the hobby, the biggest part is building spellbooks."

And he is right. If you do not plan your outs, you can never play to them. This means working out how many spell points you need to beat your opponent with under optimum conditions, how many to have as a plan B, if that is no longer optimum (optional), and the rest makes up a toolkit of outs. This toolkit is shaped by the current Metagame (which could be an whole article to itself), however some cards are staples for any book. Dispel, Dissolve, Disarm, Crumble, Teleport are all staple cards. The number of each depends on the book I am building, which schools that mage is trained in, and how much of a problem I feel a certain situation will be to me.

I hope this helps, and as always thanks for reading.


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Re: Strategy Article - Outs
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 09:46:17 am »
Good read.  As far as other spells that can play as outs that I like to use.  knockdown, tanglevine, walls, force push, or jet stream.  A combo of two of these cards can lead to stabilizing the field and help turn the game. 

What spells do others use as outs?
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Sailor Vulcan

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Strategy Article - Outs
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 10:53:08 am »
Neither disarm nor crumble  are staples. And I would argue that most so-called staples are only "near-staples"; cards that are necessary for most books but not all. I have a warlord that doesn't use any non-novice arcane spells whatsoever except elemental cloak, and as far as I can tell his biggest fears are

1. To be enfeebled by an opponent with superior mobility after gurmash has died (gurmash can cast charge instead of Mage).

I have brace yourself, heal, and hand of bin shalla to help gurmash stay alive, and I have a second copy of gurmash in the book.

2. Lots of enemy piercing

There currently is no way to reduce piercing directly. You just have to destroy the source of the piercing attack trait.

I don't think he cares that much about other specific enchantments. He has harsh forge plate and harsh forge monolith, so opponent will pay extra for enchants on him.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 10:55:16 am by Sailor Vulcan »
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