Tony
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I'm new to Mage Wars and have three games under my belt. I started with the base game, loved it, and now have all of the expansions, too.

Game 1 -- played Beastmaster in apprentice mode.
Game 2 -- played Beastmaster with full spell book that my friend put together
Game 3 -- played Beastmaster with full spell book I put together

The rules say the beastmaster is the easiest to learn/play, and this helped me get the general mechanic of the game.

But, I am really struggling with building a non-beastmaster spell book for some reason.

I'd really like to try the Priestess or Forcemaster. But, am having a hard time seeing the synergy for these two, or the cost benefit analysis of what spells to pay double or triple for. This was easy for the Beastmaster as there are so many nature spells.

Can anyone share a few tips regarding things should be sure to do and not do when building a spell book for the Priestess or Forcemaster? Any other tips to help me put together a good spellbook?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

 
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Scott Douglass
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The Forcemaster is generally better off being aggressive. You generally want to play 1-2 big creatures, then get in your opponent's face and start kicking their teeth in. Thoughtspores add a lot of flexibility, but are incredibly fragile, so using them successfully can be difficult. If you aren't using Thoughtspores, you should run Battle Forge. Here is a sample opening:

Turn 1 (20): Sprint to NC (near center) -> Battle Forge in FC (far center) (12)
Turn 2 (22): Enchanter's Ring -> Steelclaw Grizzly -> FD (face down) Cheetah Speed (3)
Turn 3 (13): Force Ring -> FD Bear Strength -> Force Pull -> reveal Cheetah Speed -> reveal Bear Strength -> Attack with Steelclaw (4)

At this point you probably want to play Galvitar and dealing some damage. This is assuming your opponent stays in their starting corner. The Force Pull can be applied to either the Steelclaw or the enemy mage, but preferably against the mage.

Use Forcefield, Defenses, and Armor to reduce incoming damage. use Vampirism to start healing once you're down to about half health. Force Pull makes it hard for your opponent to get away from you. The Forcemaster is probably the mage that should take the most out of school cards at the moment, as there are very few creature options within the mind school so far, and cards that boost damage are all out of school.

I'll write something up about the Priestess a little bit later. Overall she's much more flexible than the Forcemaster, and she can play few big, attrition, midrange, and control successfully. The longer the game goes, the better it is for the Priestess generally speaking.
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Tony
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Thanks Scott... This is very helpful! I'm going to look at all the spells you mentioned now. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Priestess when you have time.
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John Q
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FM works well with the devouring jelly. You can push and pull it around so it can go to work. The jelly heals itself, and it's crazy hard to kill.
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Sam Carroll
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I agree with most of what's been said about the Forcemaster. I see her as a mage that's intended to play near-solo, with only one or two creatures in support. The Invisible Stalker is great; I've had good success with an Iron Golem as well. I always use a Battle Forge and go heavy on equipment for her. Play very aggressively.

The Priestess has a lot of really strong creatures, so I generally try to build an army with her. I will frequently throw down a Temple of Asyra and an Asyran Cleric turn 1; maybe play some Walls of Pikes to protect your temples. Royal Archers, Knights of Westlock, Brogan Bloodstone, Guardian Angels . . . there's all kinds of possibilities. I don't use much equipment for this build. Some basic armor, a Dispel Wand, the Crown of Protection and Ring of Asyra. Instead, I focus on Conjurations - the Hand of Bim-Shalla is useful even after it got nerfed; likewise Temple of Light.

Note that I play a pretty slow Priestess; other builds are possible (playing a big angel on turn 2, for example), but I'll let someone else talk about those.
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Scott Douglass
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As I mentioned before, the Priestess has a lot of different options. Restore is a fantastic ability, and makes the Priestess probably the best mage in the game at using Veteran's Belt. Divine Reward encourages you to use holy incantations and enchantments.

First let's look at a couple of mage specific cards available to the Priestess:

Divine Intervention is one of the best cards in the game. It can be used as an expensive Teleport, but it can combine that functionality with a counterspell or a dodge. In particular, this has fantastic functionality against early aggression for economic builds. I like to play 2 economic cards (Battle Forge + Moonglow Amulet/Mana Crystal or Temple of Asyra + Harmonize) and move forward 1 zone so that I can quickcast Divine Intervention on my opponent during round 2 if they sprint to NC round 1. Many of the more aggressive openings involve running to NC round 1 and casting a big creature round 2. When your opponent tries to cast an expensive spell during round 2, flip Divine Intervention during the counterspell step, teleport your opponent to their starting space, gain 1 life, counter the spell they tried to cast, and buy yourself some time. If you counter Adramelech, Lord of Fire this way, you've basically already won, but even if it's something like a Dark Pact Slayer, Steelclaw Grizzly, or a Dire Wolf, you're still coming out ahead. It has other applications, but holding off or at least slowing down extremely fast aggression is where is shines the most. Keep in mind that Divine Intervention becomes much less exciting as a counterspell if your opponent has a creature Spawnpoint.

People on the forums have talked about a Divine Intervention rush. Don't do it. If you MUST be hyper aggressive, use a Teleport instead. In either case you can be attacking your opponent on round 2 with a decent sized creature, in both cases you spend 12 mana to get the creature in range on round 2, but by using a Teleport you won't have wasted the ability of Divine Intervention to counter a spell or dodge an attack. These kinds of rushes do put some pressure on your opponent right away, but they don't put enough pressure on to beat a good player, and you'll be behind enough on mana that you'll find it hard to win the long game.

Crown of Protection is fantastic with creatures with high base life and low base armor. Use it on Samandriel, Valshalla, Guardian Angel, and Bridge Troll.

Now, in terms of general strategies, you can play a few big creatures and support them. For this strategy, you generally want to be aggressive, and start applying pressure within the first 4-6 rounds (assuming they stay in their start corner). In this case, use healing, enchantments, and Restore to support your threats. Lay Hands requires just the right positioning, but it is extremely discouraging to spend a ton of effort focusing down a 3 armor Samandriel just to see it get fully healed in 1 action and 8 mana (with Ring of Asyra). Enchanter's Ring and Ring of Asyra help with efficiency, and you probably don't want to play much else in terms of economy for this type of build.

If you want to play midrange or attrition, you're going to want Battle Forge, Temple of Asyra, or both. In order to get both to work, you'll need to use Meditation Amulet, or you won't have enough mana to support them. Overall I would rather just use one or the other for these types of builds though.

Knight of Westlock is a fantastic creature, I just don't like him that much for the Priestess. Healing spells are more efficient on creatures with lots of life, so that getting a large result on your spell doesn't waste healing. In addition, there is pretty much no point in giving a Knight of Westlock additional Armor from Crown of Protection. Still, Knight of Westlock is one of the more solid creatures at that cost, particularly for Temple of Asyra builds. Also consider using Asyran Defenders in a Temple of Asyra build. If you use a lot of soldiers in this type of build, look at Armory and Flank Attack as support options. If you use cheap creatures like Asyran Defenders, consider running Valshalla.

You can also use Royal Archers, but you should generally get a frontline creature first, at least against aggression.

If you play Temple of Asyra, keep it in your starting corner or maybe one zone forward. It's relatively fragile, and I like to keep some distance between it and my opponent.

For attrition, use Armor Ward to keep your opponent from efficiently destroying your equipment, get ~5 Armor from Dragonscale Hauberk, Elemental Cloak, Rhino Hide, Leather Boots, and/or Leather Gloves, play Veteran's Belt, use Restore to keep Corrodes off, and watch your opponent fail to hurt you. Combined with healing you can pretty much tank an army at that point. You'll need to wear your opponent's threats down while this is going on. I think Samandriel and Bridge Trolls work the best (note, don't use Bridge Trolls against a Warlock). With ~2 Armor, Bridge Trolls become incredibly tough, and you can guard with another creature to prevent your opponent from focusing them down. If your opponent leaves a Bridge Troll alone for a couple of rounds, it will fully heal on it's own, which is why it's so great for this type of play.

Daze/Stun chances are great because they take actions away from your opponent. They work best against builds that use few creatures. The best sources of repeatable Daze/Stun chances are Samandriel, Valshalla, and Staff of Asyra. You can also use Temple of Light, but keep in mind the errata. It used to be the best source of Daze/Stun chances, but now it costs mana to use, so I prefer other options.

The best cards for supporting Samandriel and Valshalla are Crown of Protection, Cheetah Speed, Rhino Hide (if you don't use Crown of Protection), Akiro's Favor, Lion's Savagery, and healing spells.

Brogan Bloodstone is the other big creature option that you should really consider from the holy school. His attack isn't that many dice for his cost, but most of the things mages normally use to help mitigate attacks are ineffective against Brogan. If you use him, put Bear Strength and Divine Protection on him. Keep Agony off of him.

You won't have enough mana to get both Samandriel and Valshalla out early, but you can play one early and play the other late potentially.

Here is a thread where I talk about an attrition build I like that uses Bridge Trolls, Battle Forge, and Veteran's Belt.

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=14078.0
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Eddard Stark
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Wrote a blog post about the Priestess a while back. Focused mainly on the spells she has access to but talked about strategy a bit too.

http://magewars.weebly.com/general-discussion/the-priestess

If you don't want to read, basically where she really shines is in the mid-late game scenarios. She has access to many good cards and as others have mentioned, is much more flexible than a Forcemaster.

A general strategy to use with her is the Temple of Asyra conjuration along with Asyran Clerics and Harmonize. They can use their actions to place mana on the Temple by praying to it, which helps build it up quickly, allowing you to get out more expensive creatures easier than other Mages. It can essentially generate 4 mana per round, which is fantastic.

Her 3 big Angels are obviously the main attraction, but personally I usually don't even use them because they're so expensive. As far as Angels, I always stick with the Guardian Angel simply because it's such an amazing guard.

Other than that, I use Knights of Westlock, Royal Archers, and the Highland Unicorn as my main creatures. Oh and I can't forget Brogan. He's just a beast.

Obviously you want to pack some healing spells and many other Holy enchantments and incantations in order to maximize her Divine Reward ability. Her attack spells are meh. Not too powerful but have high chances of Dazing or Stunning. Don't rely on them to kill things unless they're Ethereal or Nonliving. Staff of Asyra is pretty awesome if you want to get up close and personal with the enemy. One of the best weapons in the game IMO. Throw on a Dawnbreaker Ring, Gauntlets of Strength, and a Bear Strength, and you'll hit REALLY hard.

These are just general ideas. Although I like the Priestess, I'm certainly not an expert, so take these with a grain of salt
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Eddard Stark
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sdougla2 wrote:
As I mentioned before, the Priestess has a lot of different options. Restore is a fantastic ability, and makes the Priestess probably the best mage in the game at using Veteran's Belt. Divine Reward encourages you to use holy incantations and enchantments.

First let's look at a couple of mage specific cards available to the Priestess:

Divine Intervention is one of the best cards in the game. It can be used as an expensive Teleport, but it can combine that functionality with a counterspell or a dodge. In particular, this has fantastic functionality against early aggression for economic builds. I like to play 2 economic cards (Battle Forge + Moonglow Amulet/Mana Crystal or Temple of Asyra + Harmonize) and move forward 1 zone so that I can quickcast Divine Intervention on my opponent during round 2 if they sprint to NC round 1. Many of the more aggressive openings involve running to NC round 1 and casting a big creature round 2. When your opponent tries to cast an expensive spell during round 2, flip Divine Intervention during the counterspell step, teleport your opponent to their starting space, gain 1 life, counter the spell they tried to cast, and buy yourself some time. If you counter Adramelech, Lord of Fire this way, you've basically already won, but even if it's something like a Dark Pact Slayer, Steelclaw Grizzly, or a Dire Wolf, you're still coming out ahead. It has other applications, but holding off or at least slowing down extremely fast aggression is where is shines the most. Keep in mind that Divine Intervention becomes much less exciting as a counterspell if your opponent has a creature Spawnpoint.

People on the forums have talked about a Divine Intervention rush. Don't do it. If you MUST be hyper aggressive, use a Teleport instead. In either case you can be attacking your opponent on round 2 with a decent sized creature, in both cases you spend 12 mana to get the creature in range on round 2, but by using a Teleport you won't have wasted the ability of Divine Intervention to counter a spell or dodge an attack. These kinds of rushes do put some pressure on your opponent right away, but they don't put enough pressure on to beat a good player, and you'll be behind enough on mana that you'll find it hard to win the long game.

Crown of Protection is fantastic with creatures with high base life and low base armor. Use it on Samandriel, Valshalla, Guardian Angel, and Bridge Troll.

Now, in terms of general strategies, you can play a few big creatures and support them. For this strategy, you generally want to be aggressive, and start applying pressure within the first 4-6 rounds (assuming they stay in their start corner). In this case, use healing, enchantments, and Restore to support your threats. Lay Hands requires just the right positioning, but it is extremely discouraging to spend a ton of effort focusing down a 3 armor Samandriel just to see it get fully healed in 1 action and 8 mana (with Ring of Asyra). Enchanter's Ring and Ring of Asyra help with efficiency, and you probably don't want to play much else in terms of economy for this type of build.

If you want to play midrange or attrition, you're going to want Battle Forge, Temple of Asyra, or both. In order to get both to work, you'll need to use Meditation Amulet, or you won't have enough mana to support them. Overall I would rather just use one or the other for these types of builds though.

Knight of Westlock is a fantastic creature, I just don't like him that much for the Priestess. Healing spells are more efficient on creatures with lots of life, so that getting a large result on your spell doesn't waste healing. In addition, there is pretty much no point in giving a Knight of Westlock additional Armor from Crown of Protection. Still, Knight of Westlock is one of the more solid creatures at that cost, particularly for Temple of Asyra builds. Also consider using Asyran Defenders in a Temple of Asyra build. If you use a lot of soldiers in this type of build, look at Armory and Flank Attack as support options. If you use cheap creatures like Asyran Defenders, consider running Valshalla.

You can also use Royal Archers, but you should generally get a frontline creature first, at least against aggression.

If you play Temple of Asyra, keep it in your starting corner or maybe one zone forward. It's relatively fragile, and I like to keep some distance between it and my opponent.

For attrition, use Armor Ward to keep your opponent from efficiently destroying your equipment, get ~5 Armor from Dragonscale Hauberk, Elemental Cloak, Rhino Hide, Leather Boots, and/or Leather Gloves, play Veteran's Belt, use Restore to keep Corrodes off, and watch your opponent fail to hurt you. Combined with healing you can pretty much tank an army at that point. You'll need to wear your opponent's threats down while this is going on. I think Samandriel and Bridge Trolls work the best (note, don't use Bridge Trolls against a Warlock). With ~2 Armor, Bridge Trolls become incredibly tough, and you can guard with another creature to prevent your opponent from focusing them down. If your opponent leaves a Bridge Troll alone for a couple of rounds, it will fully heal on it's own, which is why it's so great for this type of play.

Daze/Stun chances are great because they take actions away from your opponent. They work best against builds that use few creatures. The best sources of repeatable Daze/Stun chances are Samandriel, Valshalla, and Staff of Asyra. You can also use Temple of Light, but keep in mind the errata. It used to be the best source of Daze/Stun chances, but now it costs mana to use, so I prefer other options.

The best cards for supporting Samandriel and Valshalla are Crown of Protection, Cheetah Speed, Rhino Hide (if you don't use Crown of Protection), Akiro's Favor, Lion's Savagery, and healing spells.

Brogan Bloodstone is the other big creature option that you should really consider from the holy school. His attack isn't that many dice for his cost, but most of the things mages normally use to help mitigate attacks are ineffective against Brogan. If you use him, put Bear Strength and Divine Protection on him. Keep Agony off of him.

You won't have enough mana to get both Samandriel and Valshalla out early, but you can play one early and play the other late potentially.

Here is a thread where I talk about an attrition build I like that uses Bridge Trolls, Battle Forge, and Veteran's Belt.

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=14078.0


Beat me to it
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Scott Douglass
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I don't use the holy attack spells with the Priestess generally. I like Pillar of Light for the Priest, but if I'm going to use attack spells for the Priestess, I'll probably use Flameblast, Surging Wave, or Hurl Boulder rather than Pillar of Light.
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Peter Cooper
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Royal archers and healing and life-generating spells for the Priestess. It's hard to get close to her.
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Steven Durst
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Johnny Q wrote:
FM works well with the devouring jelly. You can push and pull it around so it can go to work. The jelly heals itself, and it's crazy hard to kill.


I use the Jelly in my build as well. I hate slowing my tempo to cast him though but I think he'll bring me better utility in the future rather than just me (or my thoughtspore who gets one-shotted, every...single...game).
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Aaron Brosman
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Brogan Bloodstone is a fantastic addition to a Priestess. Because of her Restore ability she's great at supporting hardy creatures. Give Brogan a Divine Protection, and he's quite a tough nut to crack.
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Jared Ridinger
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I run my Forcemaster completely solo, its kind of a teleporting fighter build. Battleforge as many have mention is very important. I use a variety of spells to lock down/hinder the opposition: Bone Walls(they're cheap)and Stumble are helpful. Of course spells like Teleport and Force Push are a must for my build. Its not super strong, and it is difficult to use, but it is very fun.

The Priestess I'm using currently is kind of a holy army spellbook. The main idea is get some out some big creatures, Brogan and the Angels(Guardian Angel is particularly useful), and provide them with healing and protection. I pack several wands (Mage, Dispel and Healing) and some more melee oriented equipment so I can move the Priestess in for the kill when the time is right. I do have a couple of Pillar of Light to try and daze big threats. Its slow for sure but if it picks up steam my opponent is usually in for a tough fight.
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Tony
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I ran a Forcemaster + Steelclaw Grizzly + Thoughtspore familiar with Force Push spellbound to it, and it did pretty well. I went with only a couple of creatures which was odd at first, but worked really well with the FM as you all noted. Lots of great combos for the Forcemaster it seems.
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