August 05, 2021, 07:03:41 AM

Author Topic: Pentagram  (Read 11092 times)

krj

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 05:45:13 AM »
i like Pentagram. it promotes offensive tactics, because of additional channeling for attacking enemy creatures. just fire firestorm into zone with at least 2 creatures and you get 2 extra mana for P. lovely :)

baronzaltor

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2013, 09:51:40 PM »
The problem with Pentagram for me is that its method of mana generation is counter intuitive to what a spawn point is for.

Spawnpoints are for getting creatures on the table.
Pentagram requires you to already have creatures actively engaged in the fray to make it worth using.

You need creatures attacking to fuel it... if you have creatures already attacking and in the fray, then the spawnpoint really wasn't that vital to get your creatures flowing as they are already out mixing it up.  Youre better of using your actions and mana to support your attackers and apply more pressure than to drop the cost of a Pentagram and wait for it to spit out a creature (and wait for that creatures summoning sickness to wear off).  Sure the Warlock can get in the fight and fuel it himself, but now in a build that aggressive there was probably a better way to spend that 14 mana, and that action.  

Thats just me. The only build I can really see a Pentagram being useful in is an attempt at a Warlock swarm, but neither his creatures nor his spells really support a strong swarm.  His best creatures are a handful of hard hitters like a Dark Pact Slayer, A Vampiress or Goran riding alongside him while he either beatdowns or fireballs and life drains the opponent down.  For me the only successful ways to play Warlock have to be much more fast paced than a Pentagram works in.

Pentagram could also function decently in a build made specifically for mass melee 4 player games where the pace is slower and theres lots of attacking to be had.

Tacullu64

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 10:28:27 PM »
I wonder, would the damage barrier from the demonhide armor power the pentagram?

Kytan

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 12:05:56 AM »
I don't like pentagram either, it's not terribly effient like other people have said, and the fact that most warlock builds aren't creature heavy, not enought to justify the 14mana action and points in spell book construction.  Also there just isn't that many dark creatures out there that I want to play, the hellions, a dark pact slayer or 2, a lord of fire and that's bout it (would love the vampire if she could be my blood reaper).  I just think that for the 14mana I would rather play a hellion rather than my spawn point and have to wait 5-9turns for my pentagram to breakeven and play one of the 5 creatures I have in my deck.

Tacullu64

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 11:12:17 AM »
Full disclosure, I have never played the pentagram. Ok, I've never played the warlock. The warlock is the mage that interests me the least. I have 2 priestess lists, 2 beastmaster lists, and a fire wizard build I still haven't tried ( the priestess builds are probably more modifications to my current book than actual new builds) and I still haven't put any effort into the warlock. My point, I'm not an expert on the warlock.

I am a prolific theory crafter though and I'm going to indulge my habit again, right here, right now.

It seems to me that the pentagram is a spell you play in the early game to get your pay off in the mid/ late game. I don't understand why the warlock has to start putting damage on the opposing mage right away. Isn't he allowed to spend some time building for the future? The warlock seems to be good at dealing more damage than his opponent. Once he starts the beatdown I don't think he wants to stop it just to play a creature to replace the one that just died. That's where I think the pentagram would come in, replacing creatures lost to attrition in the mid and late game without forcing the warlock to take a break from his offensive onslaught to cast a full round spell thus blunting his damage output.

I would think that while the warlock wants to start his beatdown sooner rather than later, more importantly he doesn't want to stall out once he starts.

krj

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 03:54:25 PM »
Tacullu64 --- exactly!!! :D
Pentagram is cool :)

baronzaltor

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 06:12:57 PM »
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7100
I wonder, would the damage barrier from the demonhide armor power the pentagram?


I *Think* that works.  The mage gains the barrier ability, and its an attack roll so he is the one attacking.  So Im reasonably certain the barrier counterstrikes (or any counterstrikes) would trigger it.

Koz

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2013, 09:14:13 AM »
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7123
Full disclosure, I have never played the pentagram. Ok, I've never played the warlock. The warlock is the mage that interests me the least. I have 2 priestess lists, 2 beastmaster lists, and a fire wizard build I still haven't tried ( the priestess builds are probably more modifications to my current book than actual new builds) and I still haven't put any effort into the warlock. My point, I'm not an expert on the warlock.

I am a prolific theory crafter though and I'm going to indulge my habit again, right here, right now.

It seems to me that the pentagram is a spell you play in the early game to get your pay off in the mid/ late game. I don't understand why the warlock has to start putting damage on the opposing mage right away. Isn't he allowed to spend some time building for the future? The warlock seems to be good at dealing more damage than his opponent. Once he starts the beatdown I don't think he wants to stop it just to play a creature to replace the one that just died. That's where I think the pentagram would come in, replacing creatures lost to attrition in the mid and late game without forcing the warlock to take a break from his offensive onslaught to cast a full round spell thus blunting his damage output.

I would think that while the warlock wants to start his beatdown sooner rather than later, more importantly he doesn't want to stall out once he starts.


The problem is the cost.  It's very expensive and doesn't generate the same return as the other spawnpoints.  That doesn't mean that the Pentagram can't be useful, just that it isn't that good, especially in comparison to the other spawnpoints.  

Bottom line is that the Warlock has better things to spend his mana on.

krj

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2013, 09:42:10 AM »
it's also incorporeal which makes it harder to destroy and i wouldn't say it's worse but different.

Tacullu64

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2013, 10:47:11 AM »
Quote from: "Koz" post=7173
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7123
Full disclosure, I have never played the pentagram. Ok, I've never played the warlock. The warlock is the mage that interests me the least. I have 2 priestess lists, 2 beastmaster lists, and a fire wizard build I still haven't tried ( the priestess builds are probably more modifications to my current book than actual new builds) and I still haven't put any effort into the warlock. My point, I'm not an expert on the warlock.

I am a prolific theory crafter though and I'm going to indulge my habit again, right here, right now.

It seems to me that the pentagram is a spell you play in the early game to get your pay off in the mid/ late game. I don't understand why the warlock has to start putting damage on the opposing mage right away. Isn't he allowed to spend some time building for the future? The warlock seems to be good at dealing more damage than his opponent. Once he starts the beatdown I don't think he wants to stop it just to play a creature to replace the one that just died. That's where I think the pentagram would come in, replacing creatures lost to attrition in the mid and late game without forcing the warlock to take a break from his offensive onslaught to cast a full round spell thus blunting his damage output.

I would think that while the warlock wants to start his beatdown sooner rather than later, more importantly he doesn't want to stall out once he starts.


The problem is the cost.  It's very expensive and doesn't generate the same return as the other spawnpoints.  That doesn't mean that the Pentagram can't be useful, just that it isn't that good, especially in comparison to the other spawnpoints.  

Bottom line is that the Warlock has better things to spend his mana on.


I think I am going to ask you to elaborate. I get that you don't like the pentagram but the reasons need further explanation.
 
I feel like I spend more setting up my Temple of Asyra than it takes to set up the pentagram. Spend 10 mana on the temple and 4 mana casting and activating harmonize. I spend 3 of the priestess's mana each of the next 2 turns using the temple to bring out 2 clerics to worship at the temple to get my bonus mana. The time varies depending on what the opposing mage is doing, but if left unmolested I can get the temple ready to start casting baddies on turn 4 spending 20 of my priestess's mana (big if).

The pentagram cost 14 mana and every time an opposing character takes damage get a free mana up to 2 per turn. No fuss no muss. Any damage I cause opposing characters I was going to do whether I cast the pentagram or not. I probably wouldn't have used that harmonize and cast the clerics if I wasn't trying to get the temple up and running as fast as possible. The clerics would probably still be in my book but probably not out so soon.

As for the warlock having better things to spend his mana on I would add the qualifier "in my warlock build" and that would make your statement ironclad and indisputable. Unless there is only one way to build a warlock I am going to hold out hope that someone will find a way to make the pentagram the smart play in their warlock build.

Koz

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2013, 11:55:12 AM »
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7182
Quote from: "Koz" post=7173
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7123
Full disclosure, I have never played the pentagram. Ok, I've never played the warlock. The warlock is the mage that interests me the least. I have 2 priestess lists, 2 beastmaster lists, and a fire wizard build I still haven't tried ( the priestess builds are probably more modifications to my current book than actual new builds) and I still haven't put any effort into the warlock. My point, I'm not an expert on the warlock.

I am a prolific theory crafter though and I'm going to indulge my habit again, right here, right now.

It seems to me that the pentagram is a spell you play in the early game to get your pay off in the mid/ late game. I don't understand why the warlock has to start putting damage on the opposing mage right away. Isn't he allowed to spend some time building for the future? The warlock seems to be good at dealing more damage than his opponent. Once he starts the beatdown I don't think he wants to stop it just to play a creature to replace the one that just died. That's where I think the pentagram would come in, replacing creatures lost to attrition in the mid and late game without forcing the warlock to take a break from his offensive onslaught to cast a full round spell thus blunting his damage output.

I would think that while the warlock wants to start his beatdown sooner rather than later, more importantly he doesn't want to stall out once he starts.


The problem is the cost.  It's very expensive and doesn't generate the same return as the other spawnpoints.  That doesn't mean that the Pentagram can't be useful, just that it isn't that good, especially in comparison to the other spawnpoints.  

Bottom line is that the Warlock has better things to spend his mana on.


I think I am going to ask you to elaborate. I get that you don't like the pentagram but the reasons need further explanation.
 
I feel like I spend more setting up my Temple of Asyra than it takes to set up the pentagram. Spend 10 mana on the temple and 4 mana casting and activating harmonize. I spend 3 of the priestess's mana each of the next 2 turns using the temple to bring out 2 clerics to worship at the temple to get my bonus mana. The time varies depending on what the opposing mage is doing, but if left unmolested I can get the temple ready to start casting baddies on turn 4 spending 20 of my priestess's mana (big if).

The pentagram cost 14 mana and every time an opposing character takes damage get a free mana up to 2 per turn. No fuss no muss. Any damage I cause opposing characters I was going to do whether I cast the pentagram or not. I probably wouldn't have used that harmonize and cast the clerics if I wasn't trying to get the temple up and running as fast as possible. The clerics would probably still be in my book but probably not out so soon.

As for the warlock having better things to spend his mana on I would add the qualifier "in my warlock build" and that would make your statement ironclad and indisputable. Unless there is only one way to build a warlock I am going to hold out hope that someone will find a way to make the pentagram the smart play in their warlock build.


I posted a summary of the Pentagram and why I don't like it in a different thread.  Here is a summary:

"Pentagram: Worst spawnpoint IMO. The requirement that it only gains extra mana from damaging opposing creatures is much worse than the Priestess's temple and (especially) the Wizard's Gate to Voltari (which is the best spawnpoint). Once again, this ability is dependent on your opponent's build. If your opponent is playing few, or no, creatures, gaining extra mana is going to be difficult. It's Ethereal trait is not enough of a benefit to justify the harsher requirements of mana generation."

You have to keep in mind that I don't think ANY spawnpoint is all that good to begin with.  They are just too slow and expensive.  Most games I play just don't last long enough for spawnpoints to be worth the trouble.  They CAN be good, and they have their places in certain builds, but they are awfully expensive and a bit slow.  

To address your specific point about the Temple though, the advantage the Priestess has is that the Temple is cheaper to begin with and the Clerics can be used to heal/guard/attack, which makes them multi-purpose so it's not like they are just "mana batteries".  

With the Pentagram you are relying on damaging things which you might have some trouble with on certain turns.  If your opponent is playing few to no creatures you may not have as many targets to damage (limiting your ability to gain mana) and if your opponent is locking you down in any of a number of ways (Force Hold, Daze, Stun, Tanglevine, Push effects, Defense Dice, etc etc) you may not be generating ANY extra mana for a turn or two.  

Personally, I'd love to see my opponent drop a Pentagram.  It'd be a good indication that I'm about to steamroll him right into the earth ;)

Koz

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2013, 12:09:22 PM »
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7182
Quote from: "Koz" post=7173
Quote from: "Tacullu64" post=7123
Full disclosure, I have never played the pentagram. Ok, I've never played the warlock. The warlock is the mage that interests me the least. I have 2 priestess lists, 2 beastmaster lists, and a fire wizard build I still haven't tried ( the priestess builds are probably more modifications to my current book than actual new builds) and I still haven't put any effort into the warlock. My point, I'm not an expert on the warlock.

I am a prolific theory crafter though and I'm going to indulge my habit again, right here, right now.

It seems to me that the pentagram is a spell you play in the early game to get your pay off in the mid/ late game. I don't understand why the warlock has to start putting damage on the opposing mage right away. Isn't he allowed to spend some time building for the future? The warlock seems to be good at dealing more damage than his opponent. Once he starts the beatdown I don't think he wants to stop it just to play a creature to replace the one that just died. That's where I think the pentagram would come in, replacing creatures lost to attrition in the mid and late game without forcing the warlock to take a break from his offensive onslaught to cast a full round spell thus blunting his damage output.

I would think that while the warlock wants to start his beatdown sooner rather than later, more importantly he doesn't want to stall out once he starts.


The problem is the cost.  It's very expensive and doesn't generate the same return as the other spawnpoints.  That doesn't mean that the Pentagram can't be useful, just that it isn't that good, especially in comparison to the other spawnpoints.  

Bottom line is that the Warlock has better things to spend his mana on.


I think I am going to ask you to elaborate. I get that you don't like the pentagram but the reasons need further explanation.
 
I feel like I spend more setting up my Temple of Asyra than it takes to set up the pentagram. Spend 10 mana on the temple and 4 mana casting and activating harmonize. I spend 3 of the priestess's mana each of the next 2 turns using the temple to bring out 2 clerics to worship at the temple to get my bonus mana. The time varies depending on what the opposing mage is doing, but if left unmolested I can get the temple ready to start casting baddies on turn 4 spending 20 of my priestess's mana (big if).

The pentagram cost 14 mana and every time an opposing character takes damage get a free mana up to 2 per turn. No fuss no muss. Any damage I cause opposing characters I was going to do whether I cast the pentagram or not. I probably wouldn't have used that harmonize and cast the clerics if I wasn't trying to get the temple up and running as fast as possible. The clerics would probably still be in my book but probably not out so soon.

As for the warlock having better things to spend his mana on I would add the qualifier "in my warlock build" and that would make your statement ironclad and indisputable. Unless there is only one way to build a warlock I am going to hold out hope that someone will find a way to make the pentagram the smart play in their warlock build.


I posted a summary of the Pentagram and why I don't like it in a different thread.  Here is a summary:

"Pentagram: Worst spawnpoint IMO. The requirement that it only gains extra mana from damaging opposing creatures is much worse than the Priestess's temple and (especially) the Wizard's Gate to Voltari (which is the best spawnpoint). Once again, this ability is dependent on your opponent's build. If your opponent is playing few, or no, creatures, gaining extra mana is going to be difficult. It's Ethereal trait is not enough of a benefit to justify the harsher requirements of mana generation."

You have to keep in mind that I don't think ANY spawnpoint is all that good to begin with.  They are just too slow and expensive.  Most games I play just don't last long enough for spawnpoints to be worth the trouble.  They CAN be good, and they have their places in certain builds, but they are awfully expensive and a bit slow.  

To address your specific point about the Temple though, the advantage the Priestess has is that the Temple is cheaper to begin with and the Clerics can be used to heal/guard/attack, which makes them multi-purpose so it's not like they are just "mana batteries".  

With the Pentagram you are relying on damaging things which you might have some trouble with on certain turns.  If your opponent is playing few to no creatures you may not have as many targets to damage (limiting your ability to gain mana) and if your opponent is locking you down in any of a number of ways (Force Hold, Daze, Stun, Tanglevine, Push effects, Defense Dice, etc etc) you may not be generating ANY extra mana for a turn or two.  

Personally, I'd love to see my opponent drop a Pentagram.  It'd be a good indication that I'm about to steamroll him right into the earth ;)

piousflea

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 02:51:12 PM »
Theoretically speaking it seems like the Pentagram would combo well with an aggressive melee-attacking Warlock. Hitting stuff with your Lash would contribute 1 mana toward the Pentagram and you could summon creatures without using your own full actions.

However, I have yet to see Pentagram work well in an actual build. Blowing 14 mana early means that you are too weak to compete in early game melee. I don't like it.

Tacullu64

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2013, 04:11:00 PM »
Quote from: "piousflea" post=7199
Theoretically speaking it seems like the Pentagram would combo well with an aggressive melee-attacking Warlock. Hitting stuff with your Lash would contribute 1 mana toward the Pentagram and you could summon creatures without using your own full actions.

However, I have yet to see Pentagram work well in an actual build. Blowing 14 mana early means that you are too weak to compete in early game melee. I don't like it.


As I said in my original post I am not a warlock expert so I certainly haven't seen it work well yet either.

I am of the philosophy that there are quite a few cards that are situationally great and the way spellbooks are built allows us to take advantage of this. As an example that is not pentagram I'll use deathlock. I put deathlock in every non- priestess spell book I make. I have only ever used it against the priestess but for 4 build points I feel like I could afford to put it in.

I don't play warlock but if I did I would try to include a pentagram. I'm pretty sure it would never be used against another warlock or a beastmaster but I could envision senarios against the wizard and priestess where I would not want to use a full action in the mid or late game to summon a creature although it would still be in my best interest to summon something.

Some cards pose questions for your opponent to answer. Some cards answer your opponents questions. I am proposing that pentagram is used to answer the question of how do I summon a creature mid game and beyond when I don't want to take a full action with my warlock. I don't think it works as a threat that asks your opponent to answer it.

Aylin

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Re: Pentagram
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2013, 07:28:14 PM »
The way I look at the Pentagram compared to the other spawnpoints is like this:

Gate to Voltari:

14 mana to gain 1-3 mana per turn (most likely 2-3 but a mage casting no spells in a turn happens occasionally), with the added benefit of making your opponent not want to cast spells.

With the mental effect on your opponent and several good creatures that it's capable of summoning, it is a good spawn point.

Temple of Asyra:

10 mana for 1 mana per turn, can spend 5 more mana twice to gain +1 mana per turn.

I consider this to be the most expensive spawnpoint.  Yes, the initial cost is 10 compared to 14/15, but for the other spawnpoints getting 2 mana per turn with them is not a stretch (Lair is base 2, Gate gets 2 if opponent casts 1 spell, Pentagram gets 2 if you hit the opponent's mage once with any creature) and to get two mana per turn it requires 15 mana spread out over two actions.  Additionally, the Gate and Pentagram can potentially get 3 mana per turn reliably against the right build (swarm for example) and for the Temple to get that it requires a third action and another 5 mana.

Now, on the other hand the Clerics have some minor utility for other things (though they have the worst attack of any creature and the healing is fairly negligible [an entire action for 1 damage healed on average does not seem worthwhile]) and the Temple itself has great synergy with the Temple of Light.  Combined with the really powerful Holy creatures and the Priestess' power in the late game it can definitely be worth it despite the high cost in actions/mana to get it running.

Lair:

15 mana for 2 mana per turn.

Fairly expensive (second only to the Temple) but definitely worthwhile for the Beastmaster due to the wide variety of creatures it can summon (especially for swarm builds).

Pentagram

14 mana for 1 mana per turn, up to 2 more mana per turn with successful attacks.

As a spawnpoint, I don't consider this one to be the "worst".  For a build that would use the Pentagram multiple creatures are likely, so even against creature-less builds it is fairly unlikely that all of them would be stunned/daze/miss (for example, a Forcemaster using the new ring that boosts defense die rolls by one with Cobra Reflexes, Bracers of Deflection, Force Orb, and Force Sword would give a 5% chance to negate 5 attacks in this way), so getting 2 mana per turn on most turns is not unreasonable.  Also, against builds that field multiple creatures getting three mana per turn out of it is almost guaranteed (as Firestorm, Ring of Fire, or Adramelech can each get 2+ attacks in for one action).  So as something that summons creatures I don't think it's that weak.  Ignoring what the spawnpoints can summon I'd place it at about the same level as the Lair, with the Temple and Gate being the two best in most circumstances.

The problem with Pentagram is that it can only summon Living Dark creatures, which throws out the Skeletal Sentry.  For Dark creatures under 10 mana worth summoning this leaves the bat (the imp isn't worth it in my opinion).  After that there are the two level 3 demons which are fairly good (though they aren't quite as good as one of the level 4+ dark creatures and cost almost as much).  Then of course there is the vampire, the werewolf, and the two named demons.

So all of the creatures worth fielding are fairly expensive, except for the bats, so in order to get full use out of the Pentagram is requires you to go into the late game.  And here is the big problem...the Warlock is strongest in the early to mid-game, with the other mages getting comparatively more powerful as the game takes more time.  This means that instead of spending 14 mana for a long-term benefit, it is better in many cases to spend that mana now for an immediate beatdown (like a turn 2 or 3 werewolf in your opponent's face).

Of course, this problem will probably be solved when more expansions come out featuring more low-level dark living creatures (and hopefully more demons) and perhaps some more cards that give benefits to demons, which it honestly feels like he should have (more things like Gate to Hell would be cool).


Summary:  While I don't think that the Pentagram is one of the best spawnpoints, I would put it on par with the Lair in terms of mana generation.  The problem I have with it is that the summonable targets either are too weak or are extremely-powerful beasts that are better to summon immediately instead of waiting for the Pentagram (or any spawnpoint) to generate the mana required to bring it to the arena.