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Messages - Jon.Ambriz

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General Discussion / Re: Is Mage wars about to fade out?
« on: May 27, 2016, 11:35:31 PM »
I suppose I'll get off the rocking chair and throw in my two cents to the OP's statement and a few other opinions I see on this thread:

For me, MW is one of my all time favorite games, but the "competitive" scene has become stale and predictable for me; by "predictable" I mean that a vast majority of the cards that AW has released will never see play because they are "sub-optimal" or "useless", and that takes a lot of the charm of competitive building decks away from me. Sure, I can play casually, yet for me is that there really isn't a scene in my neck of the woods - outside the few people I can tear away from MtG to sit down a play, and the two/three people who actually play MW.

Now, I have been playing this game since beta back at GenCon '11, and have seen this game go through multiple changes, but I can agree with a few other's sentiments that a more streamlined release schedule for more Arena-centered content would be nice (though, we all remember how...rushed FM v W felt). No fault of the playtesters, since they have to try out a lot of combinations to try and balance before release. Nor no fault of Arcane Wonders because they should be using this IP to make varied content so we have things like Domination and Academy.

All in all, for me at least, I am on a semi-permanent hiatus from the game till I can find that spark again. What will that spark be? I don't know, but it is missing.

Finally, when was the last time a newsletter was sent out? I mean a newsletter going into strategies and varies aspects of play.

Love the commentary guys, but take this for what it is: a casual book for some casual fun. Sure, I agree 100% that I either need to switch out to the Straywood Beastmaster and go for more Emerald Tegus for sturdier creatures, but think about it this way:

If I play a bat, what do most people think? It's an easy creature to kill. That's an action that they aren't spending on me. OR, more specifically, that's a spell they are using to kill my creatures. Also, to address the point about a Necromancer stacking armor, or the Necromancer in general, that is why I have ten attack spells, and an Elemental Wand in my book. I know the Necro is immune to poison, that's when this book switches from summoning creatures to full on attack spell rush.

So, against a Necro, my Turns would be:

T1: Hawkeye and Akiro's Favor (Hidden), move to C1 or C3 (depending on location on the board).
Deployment: Reveal Both.
T2: Double Cast Hurl Boulder, reroll as needed.
T3, Equip Elemental Wand w/ Final Hurl Boulder, Mongoose Agility (Hidden)
T4: Double Cast Hurl Boulder again.
T5-etc.: Move and Cast Hurl Boulder as needed.

Next, to the point about a Purify. That's fine and dandy, I'm not too concerned about it. But, as I pointed out to Knabb master, WHEN the Purify is dropped is much more important than IF. One Rot isn't going to be bad, but 4 or 5? A little problematic. I'm seeing most casual players dropping a Purify after 2/3 Rots are applied, or in some extreme case 4/5 Rots. Even more experienced players would not let Rots stack up 7+.

Why Johktari (as opposed to Straywood)? The Straywood Beastmaster can quickcast the bats, whereas the Johktari needs a full action, so what does the Johktari bring to the table? You have no ranged weapons (so the ranged +1 trait is useless) nor a spawnpoint (so Fast is offset by the need to stay in place when summoning). Is wounded Prey really better than Melee +1, Pet, and quick summoning?

Also, if you are trying to kill with poison, it seems to me that armor is kind of irrelevant.

What is your plan to deal with a necromancer?

I assume you mean Hurl ROCK is used to turn off defenses; Hurl Boulder would be a waste.
I'll start here with you in my list of replies ACG. I like the Johktari because she as in innate Fast so I don't have to waste a card for Cheetah Speed, which means I only need Mongoose Agility in order to dash out of an unfriendly situation. Also, how I play the first opening turns and when I summon Bats are all dependent upon whether or not I have Initiative or not, and what my opponent is doing. If they are sitting back, then I'll throw out a Bat. If they are coming towards me quickly, I have my Fast trait to run away and stop them with my attack spells like Arc Lightning for a round of stun. With respect to SBM, I will agree that quick summoning is nice, but I find it to be very one-dimensional and easy to see how he's going to play. Hurl Boulder turns off the defenses of a FM because it places the Slam Condition on her, which Incapacitates so she can't use her innate Defense and any other Defenses, the exception being of course Force Field because it activates as soon as I declare my attack on her. Hurl Rock is good for turns when she's close and I want to try and delay a melee attack with Galvitar.

Against a Necromancer I would either switch to Rushing him before he has the chance to summon his horde, or I will go for WoT+Force Push cheese to force him to equip armor before I kill with four passes through the Wall.

One card too have in mind is [mwcard=MW1I20]Purify[/mwcard] and you have no way too remove equipment.
This is true for both Purify and equipment, but this book is set so that once the Bats are out, the Purifies can do so much. Sure, one Purify is going to be annoying to deal with once the Rots have stacked to say 7+, but by the time even 4 Rots get placed a Purify is more likely. But, there is also Nullify to deal with Purifies as well. As for equipment, with this version of the build I'm not really concerned because regardless or not, the effect die will roll. The Forcemaster I was testing this book out had [mwcard=MW1E12] Divine Protection[/mwcard] in play, so my Bats were only rolling 1 die worth of damage. Most of the time they didn't even DO damage, but still placed a Rot condition on her. Though, to be fair I will most likely place in at least one Dissolve, or hell even an Explode to deal with Mage Wands and/or Wands of Healing.

I think you have an interesting idea here. I am curious to see how you change the book as time goes on.
I am wondering how you manage your actions. Holding off your opponent while getting the bats out seems really tough.

You have no way of generating buff actions or mana as your opening. Generally that means you want to rush a lot. How do you "get safe" after rushing to allow yourself time to cast all those cute critters?

Why no teleport? Do you rely soley on Force Push? I am wondering because poison cloud and teleport go together decently.

Against the Necromancer I would consider putting in more acid balls. The WOT and no armor should be enough for you to defeat him after your rush. What are your thoughts on that?

How I manage my actions, that is tricky. With this kind of dual book, with both Spell Rushing and Summoning, I have to think on the fly at least two to three turns in advance as to what my opponent might do and plan around that. This is especially true in the first turn. I can generally get away with assuming some things with considerations to what mage I'm fighting since most players fall into the same kinds of trends. If I think the opponent will play passively for a round or two, I'll let the bats out in my own zone so they have time to get ready and then start moving.

Now, I favor Force Pushes over Teleport because I'm an old school MW player and I LOVE Wall of Thorns + Force Push cheese. If I am able to position correctly, I will win in two/three turns even through armor since I will be rolling 20 dice will a top damage combined damage of 40 if I perfect roll crits. My ideal situation would be that on one side of the WoT would be the PGC and Mangled Caltrops. so as soon as they enter the zone with MC they are hit again and the PGC stops them from running too far away from me to chase.

Next to your point about no means of generating extra mana or actions. That does not necessarily mean I will want to rush. It just means I have to be very aware of my mana each turn, and what I want to do in the succeeding turn. If I am going to rush, I won't summon the creatures and keep them benched for late game when I can assume heals from my opponent have been used.

Also, I have come to the thought that my health is another resource I can expend in order to accomplish killing the other Mage. Sure, I may have to take one or two turns of damage, but I have Blocks/Brace Yourself/Healing Charms/Minor Heals for that.

So, here is another book I put together not too long ago:

[mage]Johktari Beastmaster[/mage]
[mwcard=FWA01]2 x  Arc Lightning[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKA01]1 x  Surging Wave[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1a09]1 x  Jet Stream[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1a07]1 x  Lightning Bolt[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWA04]3 x  Hurl Boulder[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFA02]2 x  Hurl Rock[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWJ08]1 x  Renewing Spring[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j18]1 x  Poison Gas Cloud[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKJ01]1 x  Enchanter's Wardstone[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1w04]2 x  Wall of Thorns[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWJ06]1 x  Mangler Caltrops[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC16]1 x  Spitting Raptor[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1c08]4 x  Darkfenne Bat[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1c12]1 x  Emerald Tegu[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKC09]2 x  Giant Wolf Spider[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFE02]1 x  Akiro's Favor[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e28]1 x  Mongoose Agility[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e29]2 x  Nullify[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKE03]2 x  Healing Charm[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e12]1 x  Divine Protection[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e21]1 x  Hawkeye[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e03]1 x  Bull Endurance[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX2FFE04]1 x  Brace Yourself[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e02]2 x  Block[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWE03]1 x Falcon Precision[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q06]1 x  Dragonscale Hauberk[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q07]1 x  Elemental Cloak[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q08]1 x  Elemental Wand[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MWSTX1CKQ06]1 x  Eagleclaw Boots[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q02]1 x  Bearskin[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q17]1 x  Lightning Ring[/mwcard]
[mwcard=FWQ01]1 x  Dancing Scimitar[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i12]4 x  Force Push[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i06]2 x  Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i17]2 x  Minor Heal[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i24]2 x  Seeking Dispel[/mwcard]
[cost]Total cost: 120 pts[/cost]

See TL:DR at the end if you don't want to read.

Behold and be afraid! Though they may be small, in a micro swarm Darkfenne Bats are things to be afraid of! Now, let me tell you a story: I got the idea for a Johktari build from Intangible0's Johktari spell rushing book, so I used that as a base. Starting with Hawkeye and Akiro's Favor and a couple Hurl Boulders I crafted it, but then I got an idea. What would happen if I stacked poisons? They are hard to get rid of, and a lot of books I have seen for both casual and tournament play do not have Wand of Healing in them.

So, armed with this knowledge, I began looking for ways to stack poisons. Poison Gas Cloud was nice for poison DoT damage, and a nice hinder, but I wanted more. I was stuck for a few days on what to do. Then, they came. Out of the shadows, like little messengers from Hel, the Darkfenne Bats crossed over my eyes on the spell book builder. Sure, they are weak and super frail, but if I were to get the Rot Counters stacking, then I would be set. With a smile on my face, and an evil gleam in my eye, I started crafting. How could I pass up Emerald Tegu and Giant Wolf Spider? The Taint and even more Rots would be delicious!

But wait, what does the Spitting Raptor have to do with DoTs? I'm glad you asked, imaginary person! I figured that by the point of the game where someone would stack armor, I would need some way to get around it, and the Spitting Raptor seemed perfect.

When the book was complete, I went and tested it. Against a solo, heavy Enchantment Forcemaster, RNGsus was on my side that night, and I managed to stack throughout the game: roughly 19 Rot tokens, and keep three Stuck Tokens on my opponent for roughly 6 - 7 ROUNDS, and keep 1 Taint Marker as well. As the game drew to a close, all three of my healing methods were blown to just barely avoid lethal damage; Healing Charms were used at the end of the Damage Step to off-set lethal damage, and Minor Heals were cast in place of anything else to boost my life out of the DANGER ZONE[/b] (cue guitar solo), and Renewing Spring pull out the very late game to heal enough to keep going. This casual game was won only by the using a tried-and-true method: Force Pushing through Wall of Thorns against Aegis 1 four times in order to kill.

TL:DR: This build takes advantage of Corrode/Rot/Stuck/Taint conditions in order to deal indirect damage during Upkeep. The Hurling Boulders are used to turn off defenses, and the Wall of Thorns+Force Push combo pairs well with Poison Gas Cloud to hinder and cause even more Upkeep damage and hinders movement for the next aerial assault from the Darkfenne Bat swarm.

General Discussion / Re: Level 99 Crossover Cards
« on: January 10, 2015, 11:43:50 PM »
Yeah...Both look awesome for both defensive and aggressive builds. But, I'm seeing Gerard becoming a new buddy-buddy creature given his passive. If I'm reading it correctly, he'll stack Piercing with each of the Gold Tokens he has on him, effective after just two Upkeeps and one Battle Fury he'll be dealing "True Damage" and completely ignoring all common types of creature armor in the game; the only exception being of course those creatures with Resilient.

Just as Borg said: Battle Fury, Whirling Strike, Defend are good incantations, not to mention Retaliate, to generate gold. Then you boost his survivability with Rhino Hide, and Bull Endurance. To finish his insanity off, throw on Bear Strength, Falcon Precision, Lion Savagery, Cobra Reflexes, Cheetah Speed, and Mongoose Agility because why not?  :o sooo many ways to break that passive! Though it all goes to hell if he's Force Crushed, or Essence Drain then Banished, or hell even hit with Purge Magick/Destory Magick or Arcane Corruption.

Mages / Re: Why the Beastmaster isn't very good
« on: October 28, 2014, 09:14:06 AM »
I can't tell if this thread is serious or facetious...

[...]This is why BM is not wining competitions or serious games.

But, Alex West won the Gen Con Master's Tournament with a SBM Flyer Swarm.

Now, if you're going for a swarm based warlord, then your current set up is, like you said, very slow. Before I get to the swarm idea, I would first highly suggest you put one or two Nullifies in your book, because you have no easy was of avoiding incantations. True, your [mwcard=MWSTX2FFQ05] Harshforge Plate[/mwcard] makes casting on your slightly more difficult, but any aggro book will have more than enough mana to just not care, as I'm sure you've already found out. Then you also have to worry about Corrodes with all the armor your stacking.

Onto the swarm; if you're thinking about swarming, remember that the key to swarming is getting creatures out fast. What is your typical T1 - T4 moves? With your current set-up, I'm thinking:

  • T1: 19 mana: Barracks (12), Construction Yard (7)
  • T2: 9 mana, Barracks 2 mana, Con.Yard 1 mana: Deploy Goblin Grunt (2 from Barracks, 2 from pool) and Quick Cast Archer's Watchtower (1 from CY and 3 from pool) -> 4 mana
  • T3: 13 mana, B (3 mana), CY (1 mana): Dep. Goblin Slinger (B3 and Pool 4), Summon GG (Pool 4). No QC ->5 mana
  • T4: 14 mana, B (3), CY (2): Dep GG (3 B & 1 Pool), Summon GG (4 pool), Final QC Battle Forge (2 from CY, 6 from pool) -> 3 mana
  • T5: 12 mana pool, Barracks 3 mana, Construction Yard 1 mana, Battle Forge 1 mana.

For a swarm book, getting out five creatures is not bad over the course of three turns, though your Grunts will be Squishy and your Slinger in the tower might be targeted first because of the Range +1 and Indirect being much more annoying than a Goblin Grunt's 3 melee attack.

*Edit*: Have you thought about taking out the Bridge Troll and adding in two more Goblin Grunts, one more Goblin Slinger, and one more Wall of Earth?

Spells / Re: Several suggestions for change
« on: October 15, 2014, 03:00:04 PM »
-About heal:
  In Many Rol Games, normally when a priests or a sorcerer, use they heal spells, they can wound demons and nonliving creatures, maybe a rule with " if a creature have the demon type he suffer damage indeed heals of spells", because i believe it´s very ridicoluis when i used in my last game a heal spell for my Adramalech , maybe dark creatures would be his own type of heal, as a dark pact or similar according with his thematic.
Having heal spells inflict damage on dark creatures would severely limit the ways a dark mage could heal his creatures, and place an unneeded handicap on them. Those dark mages are already paying triple the spell value just to put those healing spells into their books, and that's a good enough price. Even with a "dark pact" kind of healing incantation, how would it be worded; how would it interact with non-dark and non-undead creatures, since Skeletons have Reconstruct/Undead Resurgence and Devouring Jelly has its "inflict damage, reconstruct 2 damage" effect.

But, if you're going for school only healing magic, then why not have school only healing magic for the other seven schools outside of holy and dark? I know I'm using a slippery slope kind of statement, but that's kind of where the conversation will go once you start talking about "healing" instead of "reconstruction" for living creatures.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Meditation Lair
« on: October 15, 2014, 02:42:25 PM »
I would say with your current T1 - T4 plan, you are really slow to get the swarm going; I mean, really slow. Also, by playing the Lair in such a defensive manner, you give up a lot of potential board control. An aggressive solo mage could easily use one turn to get to OC and then move into attack the following turn, while your swarm hasn't even begun to gain momentum. I'd suggest trying to tighten up the spawn time of your swarm, assuming that your opponent does not have a Cheetah Speed in their book, or you're not playing against a Johktari Beastmaster.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Help with finishing FM build
« on: October 15, 2014, 02:07:33 PM »
In the Gencon tournament this was the strategy of one of the players, prevent all damage and win at time from sunfire amulet, he got 2nd place.
The 2nd place winner was a solo Fire Wizard who used kiting and position to get 2nd. He didn't prevent all damage, he just predicted moves and was able to take a zone advantage.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Help with finishing FM build
« on: October 13, 2014, 03:42:50 PM »
Vampirism is the best choice to heal a FM imo as it can heal 3 damage on a rather consistent basis.
Regrowth or Regrowth Belt come next with their 2 regenerating.
Sunfire Amulet adds 1 life but that makes little difference imo as it takes 5 turns to increase your life total 5 clicks, you're better of playing a minor heal then so you can get +/- 5 damage healed with one stroke.

If you're low on damage, there's no need to play Sunfire Amulet, if you're high on damage it's probably too little too late for it. I consider it a wasted action better spent on something else really. my 2 cents :)
But, consider that most of the action doesn't happen for 1 - 3 turns, which means the Sunfire Amulet has more than enough time to tick up life if it's played on T1.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Help with finishing FM build
« on: October 13, 2014, 01:47:20 PM »
You know, the more I think about a strategy built around a turn 4-6 win, the more I wonder why I would need things like the Regen Belt and Sunfire Amulet, as those are geared towards long games.  It seems to me that I'd be more inclined to just double up on my important enchantments and swing for all I'm worth, and try to end it early.

That's correct. You don't need them in an agressive build.
In an agressive build you're focused on generating as many attack dice asap.

Regen Belt and Sunfire Amulet do not put damage on the opposing mage.

They are more like plan B cards when the original plan does not work out as planned and things are going to take "a little longer" :)

Obviously they are only worth it when played by a Battle Forge because the FM needs his actions for much more important stuff like Retaliate, Reverse attack, Dissolve, Dispel, Force Hammer, Battle Fury, Force Push, Teleport and things like that ;)
If you look at the top finishers for the GenCon tournament, there was at least one FM in the top 8. That FM used Sunfire Ammy to offset the amount of damage, since you are pounding away at the opposing mage you have little to no way of healing yourself. The +1 Life every Upkeep is a way of making yourself a little more beefy without needing to put too many points into armor. The games I watched this particular FM almost went to time, and he did win quite a few games that way. If memory serves right, that FM also have Vampirism on Galvitar as another way to off-set damage with some healing.

Now, my typical two turn actions are:

T1: QC Cheetah Speed, move to OC (I call the middle two squares off-center); A) FD Hawkeye if I do have initiative next turn, B) Bear Strength if I don't.

T2A) No QC, Move within range then double Force Hammer.

T2B) QC Galvitar, move into zone, reveal BS, attack.

Now, these two turns in a casual game generally set me up fairly well since double Force Hammer with Hawkeye is strong enough to bring down most conjurations, especially spawnpoints (4 base +2 Conj +1 Hawkeye), while B will set me up nicely to keep Force Pulling my victim back into me for a Double Strike with Galvitar.

Anyway, against the Straywood BM, I would not recommend Mind Controlling his pet. I would Pacify and Charm it because if you can't pay the Upkeep on the Pet, it will be destroyed, then the SBM will just make a new pet with something potentially more dangerous like a Timber Wolf, Grizzly Bear, etc.  Against swarmers, you only want to reveal the Mordok's Obelisk and Suppression Orb (and Gravikor once it becomes legal <3 ) only when the swarm has hit Critical Mass, or the point where the swamer's counter vastly overpower yours. The Upkeep +1 will take out some of the swarm creatures, and the Suppression Orb will restrict their movements to either of the Conjurations. Just remember against a Straywood BM he only has 9 channel with a base 19 on T1. That's why I say Mordok's and Suppression Orb are situational but a staple, even if you are running hyper aggressive.

For creatures, I'd say a Zombie Brute is super underrated paired with a Forcemaster. Is it expensive? Hell yes, but, not much more than a Necropian Vampiress; however, unlike the NV, with a ZB you have the reassurance of infinite armor with Resilience, and Blood Thirsty +2 with a base QA 4. In your example against the Staywood, a Zombie Brute is a HUGE THREAT because that 6 QA will quickly add up, forcing the swarm to either split up to bring the ZB down (good luck with that) or all-in and try to kill the FM.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Lifeblood Priestess
« on: October 09, 2014, 01:59:06 PM »

So if for no other reason than to help get her hooked I should probably stick in a unicorn and maybe an Eagle Wings so she can make it fly.

now we have a Pegasus! that's awesome.

I once made a Dragon the was quickly killed. I put Eagle Wings on a Spitting Raptor. My opponent hit it with Knockdown and a quicksand.

My favorite Eagle Wings story is from using it on Gorgon Archer.

Snakes on a Plane

My favorite is a Darkfenne Hydra with Eagle Wings and Cheetah Speed. The REAL Snakes on a Plane.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Help with finishing FM build
« on: October 09, 2014, 01:19:43 PM »
You might consider replacing Decoy with [mwcard=MW1E24]Magebane[/mwcard], as a source of DOT damage. That 1 direct damage really stacks up. I also like [mwcard=MW1E23]Jinx[/mwcard] if I can predict them playing anything that would be super annoying like a big creature or hard hitting spell.

Just minor correction,[mwcard=MW1E23] Jinx[/mwcard] can only stop quick cast spells, no the only creature it can delay is[mwcard=DNC17] Tataree[/mwcard]. I managed to kill a[mwcard=DNC04] Grey Wraith[/mwcard] with The butterfly, but probably not enough to consider it as a big creature :D

Ah! Thanks for correcting me on that >_>

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Help with finishing FM build
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:29:38 PM »
Try the obelisk and orb before you cut them.  I'm not sure how well they will work, I've never used them myself.  But don't cast too much antiswarm before your opponent has committed to a swarm.
Yeah, this is quite annoying when the Obelisk and Orb come out before the swarm has hit "critical mass". Then the swarmer just stops spawning to throw everything at both to destroy them before going back to nomming the FM in the face.

I also agree that taking out Regrowth is a good idea, since Regeneration doesn't stack. The Vampirism is good, and Sunfire Amulet is strong, and an underrated equipment. Just remember like BoomFrog said, you WILL be action reliant, so every action has to count toward the ultimate goal of killing the opposing mage.

You might consider replacing Decoy with [mwcard=MW1E24]Magebane[/mwcard], as a source of DOT damage. That 1 direct damage really stacks up. I also like [mwcard=MW1E23]Jinx[/mwcard] if I can predict them playing anything that would be super annoying like a big creature or hard hitting spell.

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