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Posting these ahead of the stream tomorrow OCTGN Patch Notes

1. You can now Bind cards to the drake and the pandemonium
2. Martial Mastery and a few others that weren't binding are now fixed but won't automate their effects
3. Ki should have token art now
4. Updated art for the Elementalists's Glyph art to better reflect active vs inactive
5. Ice Ring's cost is fixed
6. Sai's dice are fixed
7. Monk and Elementalist should now validate to the proper SBP #'s in game. Double check the math and let me know if you find issues
8. Passive Ki generation effects should automate (Monk inherent, Battle Meditation, etc)
9. Ki Spend effects are mostly automated (Monk abilities, melee attack spells, etc)
10. Some spells have changed. Check the Dev Diary video for full change list and download the image pack and install again for updated art

General Discussion / Re: Arcane Duels - Announcement Stream Event!
« on: June 13, 2020, 08:30:13 PM »
Mage Wars OCTGN Patch Notes
1. Swarms will attack properly (X 1 die attacks)
2. Shallow Sea doesn't affect spells now
3. Overgrowth didn't have traits, it does now
4. Akiro's Favor timing should work now
5. Earth Elemental isn't affected by its zone attack
6. Fire Elemental and wall of fire now take proper hydro damage
7. Chat spacing is now a thing
8. Living Armor is automated
9. Added new game mode and corresponding playtest sets:
   A. To use the new game mode, just click the 3rd option upon game start up
   B. Most of the new stuff is in the "Playtest..." sets that will appear in the spellbook builder
      B1. The out of game Spellbook Validator is still not fixed yet (Sorry!). It's taking a bit more digging than I had hoped, so I couldn't finish it in time for this update.
      B2. Elementalist/Monk will also not currently calculate correctly in game yet, so you'll have to manually do that. Testing changes often enough that updating the Validator is on the list, but it wasn't top priority.
   C. The Ethereal adjustment will only apply to the playtest game mode, not the normal one.
   D. Same with other Playtesting adjustments. They may change throughout testing so keep an eye out for more announcements

Alternative Play / OCTGN Card Image Packs
« on: June 13, 2020, 08:12:45 PM »
Here's the image pack location for those who may need it:

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League Season 2
« on: October 22, 2019, 10:11:35 PM »
Matchups for Week 2!

Group A
Shoopuff (Johktari Beastmaster) Vs Sicherheit (Wizard)
jbuzzsaw (AC Warlock) vs JackSmack (Priestess) (Random)

Group B
Knabbmaster (Necromancer) vs Sir Jason Crage (AC Warlock) (Random)
Werekingdom (BW Warlord) vs RobMurray (Johktari Beastmaster)

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League Season 2
« on: September 18, 2019, 12:32:20 PM »
When you say the following:

Swarm (Please remember all non-mage objects are also spells)
Creatures with the Swarm trait cannot be targeted by non-attack actions or spells that do not specifically target Swarm creatures.

Does this mean that Flying Creatures can not attack a Swarm Creature? You emphasize that all non-mage objects (the flying creature) is a spell, and that spells can not target them... and I think you have to target something to attack it....

Hi Dave! The flying creature would be able to attack a swarm because the clause "Cannot be targeted by non-attack actions or spells" is intended to imply that all attacks can target the swarm, regardless of the source.

Also, when you say (again about Swarms):

Additionally, they are immune to ... life gain that does not target swarms.

Does this mean that they do not benefit from Innate Life, such as from an Etherian Lifetree?

This is the correct interpretation of the rule :D

I hope that helps!


I'm back from a bit of a break. I'm going to cherry pick a few quotes, then give my thoughts.

So whats is the problem?
In short: Rush / fast books cannot compete anymore.... AT ALL. They are dead with the current card pool.

It has for a LONG time (many releases) been an uphill battle to rush vs defensive spawnpoint mages who stays in their starting zone. But the combination of the above mentioned cards simply wrecks the last tiny chance fast books had vs them.

Its pretty simple... the time (rounds) it takes for you to cross the board and either engage the opponent mage or attempt to get board control is longer than the time that it takes for your opponent to recover his initial mana expense of the spawnpoint(s).
Kallek is potentially the biggest but not the only problem. Crumble and Disperse also deserves to be mentioned.
It used to be the case that (not counting discount rings) that casting an enchantment and benefiting from it before it would be dispelled would leave you ahead in the sense that for instance with a bear strength you would have gotten 1 attack off with more dice leaving the offensive player in some sort of an advantage after he nullified your quick cast.
Crumble and Disperse skews this in a problematic way... It makes undoing too easy and adds to the forgiveness of the initial mana sink of the spawnpoints.
All in all there are too many ways to get mana back too fast.

Bolded certain parts for emphasis

This, in its essence and intent (as I understand it), reflects my views as well. I don't agree with every solution posted, but I do agree that defensive play and the ease of which mana is recovered from long-game "investments" due to efficiency in later cards is a problem for the game. It also means that to be competitive in a tournament of players all playing to win, using a "rush book" (definition coming later, there is some grey area) is a significant handicap to the point of being noncompetitive.

Of course its problematic to the health of the game that more or less every release since Druid vs Necromancer overall favors long games and passive games.
Eventually a "game of dueling mages" will turn into a "game of emptying your opponents spell book before he empties yours!"

Again, I agree here. It's no longer a game of "dueling mages" so much as a game of starcraft where you spam units out of buildings (spawnpoints) faster/more efficiently than your opponent. Tactics still have some play here, so it's not the end of the world. However, since the ritual and spawnpoint spam is so prevalent, the game does tend to degrade into armies smashing into each other. It's just not a game of dueling mages anymore when mages rarely engage each other.

The above could also be recency bias, but I've had this feeling for a LONG time. Of note, it's not a bash on starcraft. I love that game. It's just not a dueling mage game.

I am still curious to hear what decks "are dead and will never recover [...]" - how he defines a fast/rush deck. Because if he uses the same definition as someone in Discord "Either you have won in T5 or you will definitely lose the game" then imho it's no loss that this kind of deck is not viable any longer.
If he was referring to something else, please let us know what deck exactly you mean. Every deck that doesn't use 3 spawnpoints + mediation amulet + Ritual? Hardly... so what are we talking about!?

Reddice has a good point on this:

I think you are somewhat misunderstanding rush in this context .

Obviously just running and throwing boulders will not work and is not a fun experience for any player. But that's not what rush entails. Rush implies aggressive play, which should be a perfectly valid strategy. I personally find games which involve few creatures to be far more interesting and tactical than games with large armies. As JackSmack said, the later often divulge into teleport wars. No fun for anybody.

I think we're all (including myself, a bit) using "rush" and "aggressive" interchangeably when there should probably be a bit more nuance to the subject. Yes, rush books that can win on T5 or 6 by throwing tons of dice are generally viewed as uncompetitive because those books have no mid or long game plan to which they can pivot. You win, or you get thwarted. I tend to view that as being ok to an extent because it's on the extreme side. Conversely, TOO much economy will do the same thing  at the other end of the spectrum(get beaten by faster books due to extreme investment in the long game).

What I don't find all that interesting is the fact that there really isn't an avenue for a mid-game aggressor to beat one of the aforementioned economy-spawnpoint builds either. Those economy builds are now able to minimize the time that they're vulnerable to the point of them being inherently untouchable due to the time it takes to set up to kill them. I'm going to use a personal example here, but there is a near zero chance that an adramelech warlock book built specifically to fight those long game books actually stands a chance against them. It's simply too easy to earn back the mana/action investment inherent in the spawnpoint/economy play that there isn't really any counterplay that exists other than to build a better spawnpoint/economy book OR outplay your opponent to a significant degree. I find that in high level tournaments, the degree to which people are outplayed tends to be extremely tight. It is good that the competition is close, but it is unfortunate that one must build a narrow set of books to keep the competition close enough for a realistic chance at winning. That reasoning alone is why I chose to run the necromancer at GenCon this year despite my years of practice with a completely different style of play/mage.

I’m on board with keejchen’s logic. As I pointed out earlier rush builds are not dead. They maybe more difficult to execute.  I would say keep things the way they are until next couple of tournaments.  I don’t think we have fully explored the Current meta yet.  Zot took 2nd with well planned book construction and a rush tactic that worked.  I don’t know if he ran any zone attacks but I do feel they could have been very effective against a ritual of kallek book.   Zone attacks are really effective, my buddy and I run a tsunami in every other build because they can swing a game.

This isn't intended to diminish zot's play, or those at GenCon, but zot took 2nd in a field of 6. Zot played his mind out, and made one hell of a run with a book that was at a significant disadvantage from the roll for initiative. This disadvantage was despite the fact that the book was designed to beat the ritual spawnpoint economy books. Zot "stole" a few wins where most would have never stood a chance, and that's a testament to his play. I'd argue that if he'd leveled the playing field and joined the dark side (read: Played a ritual book) the tournament would have turned out quite differently.

I'm not trying to argue that these books are unbeatable, but I do believe that the economy spawnpoint books are at a significant advantage vs every other type of book that exists to the point of it over centralizing the game around them. Remember when everyone ran wizards because they enjoyed a similar advantage from the start of a game? In my opinion, this situation is similar.

One of the things that the ritual of kallek specifically does is that it exacerbates the divide between 9 and 10 channeling mages. 10 channeling mages (+Druid) benefit more from ritual than their 9 channel counterparts due to the already significant extra mana they enjoy during the game. It's a multiplier effect that tends to spiral out of control.

I don't have a lot of immediate solutions to the issue though without a complete rework of some of the systems in mage wars. One of the reasons we're trying out the rule that all mages channel 10 in the league season 2 is to see the effect that has on both variety of mages and variety of builds since the initial playing field is a bit more level. The hope is that the initial starting advantage previously enjoyed by the economy spawnpoint builds is smaller to the point that they may have a larger window of vulnerability that they have to account for. We'll see how it plays out the next couple of months. Hopefully that data can drive further discussion.

As always, the above is just my 2 mana :D . This looks like a great discussion at least because it brings some good ideas out.


Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League Season 2
« on: September 18, 2019, 10:14:08 AM »
Sounds great!

Is life bond still part of the druids ability?

Great point.

Yes, Life bond is still a part of the token. The main post has been adjusted to reflect that

Events / The Arcane Duels League Season 2
« on: September 18, 2019, 08:53:18 AM »
The Arcane Duels League Season 2

League structure and outline
  • The League will be played in a round-robin fashion with each competitor playing each other competitor once. If enough competitors for 2 groups, then each competitor will play only those in their group
  • Once Group play has finished, there is a 4 person, single elimination play-off to determine the Season's champion
  • To begin, Arcane Duels is accepting 8-16 entrants. The number of entrants that have signed up by 28 September 2019 will influence how we set up the league. An announcement about the exact structure of groups will be made between 29 September and 5 October 2019.
  • In order to enter, you must commit to playing one mage wars game per week. That equates to 7 games in 7 weeks. If that commitment is too much, please do not enter.
  • If you would like to enter the League, email with your name on OCTGN. SIGNUPS WILL CLOSE 28 SEPTEMBER 2019. The target start date for the league is Sunday, 6 October 2019.
    • The weekly schedule will be as follows:

      On Monday of each week, every entrant submits the mage that they will play to
      **Those who don't submit their mage choice by Monday night shall be hounded relentlessly on Tuesday by Coshade (and no one wants that, so submit on time). If by late Tuesday a mage choice is not received for a competitor, their mage choice will be randomized.
      ***Monday will also include the announcement of the results from the previous week for all weeks after the first

      On Tuesday the matchups for the new week will be announced. Both competitor match up and mage choice will be announced.

      Competitors have from the matchup announcement on Tuesday until 2359 Central US time Sunday to get their matches played and the results emailed to
      *You can email just the result in a text format,video recorded by you (you'll need dropbox or gdrive for that), or the OCTGN inherent replay files for possible later casting.

    Ideally, there will be a featured match up each week. Arcane Duels will reach out to the competitors in the match up chosen for that week and work to schedule either a live cast or acquire the replay files.
  • If one party has been unresponsive in scheduling a match, they will forfeit the match and be given a loss
  • If attempts have been made by both parties to schedule a match and it just doesn't line up by the end of the week, let Arcane Duels know and we will try to help on a case by case basis (typically by having the match scheduled for the following week with those competitors being required to play 2 matches during the next week)
  • If neither player has attempted to schedule, both will be given a loss
  • The first unresponsive week will incur a warning. The second will incur a drop and the competitor will not be allowed to participate in the next season (should we have one).
  • If required, a judge makes the final call on a rule. Any argumentative discussion that takes an excessive amount of time will receive a warning then if it continues that player will be disqualified.
  • If a player gets disconnected and dropped during a tournament match it will be considered a loss for that player
  • All cards released on OCTGN are legal to use. All promotional cards available on OCTGN are also legal.
    Players will build a spellbook with the standard amount of spellbook points and restrictions.
    Any promotional cards that have been officially released in a set will be considered to read as the official released in a set version

Restrictions And/Or Clarifications

  • The Druid's Treebond will not confer channeling + 1, only Innate Life +4 and Lifebond +2
  • Disciple of Radiance Text Change
    Once per round, whenever your Mage casts or reveals a healing spell, Disciple of Radiance may deal 1 direct light damage to a target creature in her zone
  • Casting a Spell - Change to the end of the Pay Costs Step
    Previous wording - If you cannot pay all of the costs, the spell is cancelled and discarded, and you have lost the action.
    New wording -If you cannot pay all of the costs, the spell is cancelled and obliterated, and you have lost the action.
    Everything else remains unchanged about the step
  • Steep Hill
    Steep hill will block Line of Sight if you cast a spell and it goes through two diagonal sections of the.
  • Force Pull
    Once per round, the Forcemaster may cast this quick Force spell. Target creature is Pushed 1 zone towards the source of this spell. Will not Push a creature through a wall with the Passage Attacks trait.
  • Trample
    - If a Flying creature attacks a non-Flying object, it loses Flying until the end of the attack.
    - Elusive Creatures can ignore guards when making a Trample Attack
    - Defenses that do not work against Melee attacks cannot be used during the Avoid Attack step, however all other types may be (choosing one during the step following normal rules).
  • Symbiotic Orb
    Symbiotic orb triggers during the Avoid Attack Step
  • Burns
    Object is on fire. This is a flame condition. Each Upkeep Phase, roll 1 attack die of direct flame damage for each burn marker on each object. On a roll of “0,” remove that burn marker. Burn markers have a removal cost of 2.
  • Dig in and Press the Attack only apply to the zone they are in
  • Object Enchantments, equipment, creatures, and conjurations are spells which represents objects in the game, remaining in play after they are cast. The Mage is also considered an object. Incantation and attack spells do not become objects.
  • Swarm (Please remember all non-mage objects are also spells)
    Creatures with the Swarm trait cannot be targeted by non-attack actions or spells that do not specifically target Swarm creatures.  When attacking, Creatures with the Swarm trait may make additional strikes equal to their remaining health.  Additionally, they are immune to conditions, healing, and life gain that does not target swarms. Non-zone attacks do a maximum of 1 damage to them. Swarms cannot guard.
  • The Embalmed
    When summoning The Embalmed, remove target non-Epic Living creature in any discard pile from the game. This creature becomes a copy of the removed creature, gaining The Embalmed’s traits and subtypes. X= the removed creature’s mana cost

Other info
  • If you wish to be a caster please contact me at Even if you cannot stream you could always join me or anyone else casting the game. Players are allowed to cast for games that they are not competing in.
  • Judge positions will be less easy to apply for. If you wish to be a judge then you will not be allowed to participate as a contestant in the tournament.
  • Matches must allow official commentators and judges in as spectators. Non-Official Tournament spectators are not allowed to spectate a game unless both players agree to it. Some games will be streamed live, and may be posted on youtube for all Mage Wars fans to view.

  • ALL coordination will be done through email. The reason signups require email is so Arcane Duels can easily track match up coordination (everyone should CC when figuring out when you can play your match). This helps us see if someone has been unresponsive and can take appropriate action
  • The above reason is why you must email to sign up. If there are issues with that, let us know through some other means and we'll try to accomodate.

Link to Challonge -

Group A

Group B

Sir Jason Crage
Rob Murray

Current Matchups!
Sicherheit (Straywood Beastmaster) VS Jbuzzsaw (Bloodwave Warlord)
JackSmack (Siren) VS Shoopuff (Bloodwave Warlord)
Sir Jason Crage (Araxian Crown Warlock) VS Werekingdom (Straywood Beastmaster)
Rob Murray (Wizard) VS Knabbmaster (Necromancer)

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League
« on: June 12, 2019, 08:33:56 AM »
---------Semi Finals Matches---------------
Sorry for being a day late!

Keejchen (Wizard) VS Jacksmack (Straywood Beastmaster)
Shoopuff (Forcemaster) vs Knabbmaster (Wizard)

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League
« on: May 13, 2019, 08:36:15 PM »
The third week's matchups are set!

Competitors, please contact your foe and schedule a time to play. Please remember to CC for coordination purposes

Round 3

Shoopuff (Paladin) Vs Enti (Druid)
SJC (AX Warlock) vs Farkas (BloodWave)
jacksmack (Necromancer) vs Werekingdom (BloodWave)

Keejchen (Wizard) vs Sharkbait (Adramelech Warlock)
Knabbmaster (Wizard) vs Reddicediaries (Paladin)
Biblofilter (Necromancer) vs Ein_Micha (Necromancer)

The front post will reflect this shortly as well

Alternative Play / Re: OCTGN Mage Wars module 2.1.22 patch notes
« on: May 13, 2019, 07:25:43 AM »
Thanks for all your work.

Sounds great with the added phases. I’m wondering if just 1 phase before upkeep is enough?

For the update 2.1.23, this has been implemented. It should make between turns go faster while still giving pre-upkeep pauses for reveals. I'm working on the deckbuilder next, though I'm not as familiar with its language so it may take me a bit longer

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League
« on: May 07, 2019, 10:55:01 AM »
The second week's matchups are set!

Competitors, please contact your foe and schedule a time to play. Please remember to CC for coordination purposes

Round 2

Jacksmack (Necromancer) vs Shoopuff (Wizard)
Farkas (Necromancer) vs Enti (Druid)
Werekingdom (Wizard) vs Jason (Arraxian Crown Warlock)

Reddicediaries (Paladin) vs Ein_micha (Arraxian Crown Warlock)
Sharkbait (Johktari Beastmaster) vs Knabbmaster (Wizard)
Keejchen (Wizard) vs Biblofilter (Bloodwave Warlord)

The front post will reflect this shortly as well

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League
« on: April 30, 2019, 08:22:22 AM »
The first week's matchups are set!

Competitors, please contact your foe and schedule a time to play. Please remember to CC for coordination purposes

Round 1
Shoopuff (Necromancer) vs Farkas (Straywood Beastmaster)
Sir Jason Crage (Arraxian Crown Warlock) vs jacksmack (Necromancer)
Werekingdom (Priestess) vs Enti (Arraxian Crown Warlock)

Reddicediaries (Paladin) vs Keejchen (Druid)
Sharkbait (Johktari Beastmaster) vs Biblofilter (Bloodwave Warlord)
Knabbmaster (Wizard) vs ein micha (Wizard)

The front post will reflect this shortly as well

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League
« on: April 29, 2019, 12:01:55 AM »

The groups have been SET, Competitors must submit their Mages by 2359 Central US time Monday.

Events / Re: The Arcane Duels League
« on: April 28, 2019, 04:52:47 PM »

League kick off stream tonight at 8PM Central (0100 UTC, sorry Europe, we'll make it a VOD later)


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