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Subject: Skills Strong/Weak? rss

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N F
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Greenwood
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Hello,

I typed this the other day it somehow never posted...

I've had a really hard time finding many posts about skills through the search or the googs. So, I'm brand new to MK and curious about some things...

*Are the skills balances across heroes? I assume so, because otherwise there would be tons of posts complaining about it.

*I noticed Goldyx has almost all Once Per Round skills, while some others have more or almost all Once Per Turn skills. My initial thought is that any of the skills done 3-4 times per round would be better than a skill done once per round even if more powerful on a 1 to 1 use basis.

*Are the Crystal/Mana token skills strong? On the one hand, they don't give you anything unique. On the other hand, the two mana can equate to 4 move, influence, attack, or block depending on the cards you play them on. Or even greater powers. That almost seems like they are the best skills when looked at that way.

Any other thoughts on skills? Are they just the most boring or maybe straight forward aspect of the game so nobody gets excited about them?
 
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Ken
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I don't have as many plays as a lot of the people that will reply, but:

* I find the skills pretty balanced across the different Mage Knights. There are definitely some that I want to get more than others (Norowas's skill that acts like a command token, for example), but they're pretty even.

* I think you're looking at the per turn/per round thing too narrowly. The per round skills tend to be very potent because of their limited uses. And you shape your deck and recruiting around the differences in skills. Maybe you can only pull in mana once per round, but if you do that at the right moment, it can turn an otherwise mediocre or bad turn into a very good one.

* See above - I think the crystal/mana skills are very strong.

Skills bring a lot of flavor to the game and can really shape how you approach it.
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Joe Van
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Having now played with all four characters multiple times (I too am relatively new to Mk, probably 10 plays), I definitely feel like the skills are balanced. They all seem to have 1-2 really good skills, and multiple skills that are useful but not as amazing. It's interesting how well the skills actually work for the individual character too.
 
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Alison Mandible
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When it comes to "once per round" vs. "once per turn"... if you're next to an enemy that will take Attack 6 to defeat, you'd prefer "Attack 2 this turn, Attack 8 next turn" to "Attack 5 two turns in a row".

A lot of things in the game are like that; it's all or nothing, so having one big boost is better than a consistent small boost.

So once per turn bonuses are often weak compared to a skill that gives you one big turn per round. Every-turn abilities that are flexible, like Who Needs Magic, are still useful though.
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Michael Drog
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Yeah the value of skills is very situational including your AAs, wounds obtained, units, and map situation.

However there are other threads ranking skills. Norowas's Bonds of Loyalty is by far the best skill in the game.
 
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Christian Shelton
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There was a similar discussion a while ago: here
And a poll (by the designer) before that: here
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Nestor Ivanor
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i have only played with Tovak and Norowas, my girlfriend as played with Arythea and Goldyx.

I DID NOT like playing with Norowas. I like to acquire units and Norowas is supposedly the best at that but i did not like his skills or cards compared to Tovak. I'll stick with Tovak from now on.

My girlfriend usually plays with Arythea and loves using spells and crystals and Goldyx is supposed to be the best with mana/crystals however she did not like using him.

I really think its preference on who you like to play with and who you are comfortable with and possibly even who you have most experience with.
 
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Rahul Chandra
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The scenario will affect which heroes are stronger as well, between the skills and their special cards. For example Norowas seems weak in Dungeon Lords (unless you draw Bonds of Loyalty right away maybe?) but strong in Blitz Conquest with the extra units added. Goldyx' crystal skills look weaker to me in Mines Liberation. Tovak's assortment of once per turn +combat skills help in a scenario where you do lots of smaller fights (Dungeon Lords as compared to Volkare or Conquest scenarios).

Relampagos wrote:

Any other thoughts on skills? Are they just the most boring or maybe straight forward aspect of the game so nobody gets excited about them?


I think they're the part I get most excited about during a game! I just levelled up, which way will my character change.
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Jochen Wiesner
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In general all Mage Knights have one or two very strong turn by turn skills that I would call their signature moves.

Arythea got Polarization which nearly assures that you have at least one useful mana token ready. Being able to use black for gold and vice versa means that the mana pool is never really depleted.

Goldyx got Universal Power, which adds lots of flexibility.

Norowas got several unique skills, but the only outstanding one is Bonds of Loyalty.

Tovak got Resistance Break and his two play sidesways for +2/+3 skills. Resistance Break also is only really good in late game, but can be a blessing when fighting red, white and violet enemies. The other two skills also add lots of flexibility.

All in all I'd rate the wound management skills, +Movement and +Influence lowest since I rarely lack those, though if I feel an urgent need for something one of these skills provides there is still a chance I'd take them (except for Power of Pain and I feel no Pain, since I usually try to get rid of wounds as soon as possible). The +Attack skills are ok, they either help with bypassing resistances or with adding ranged attack. Crystal+token skills and Motivation are generally good, but one should not overload on them.

These perceptions are based on about 100 standard city conquest, mostly single player with a few multiplayer coops thrown in between. On different scenarios and especially on competetive games the value might differ.
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Georg D.
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The_Crimson_King wrote:

All in all I'd rate the wound management skills, +Movement and +Influence lowest since I rarely lack those,

you rate movement skills low? Usually You need some good part of movement during the game. So you need either an unit, a skill or some cards which add movement. I doubt you can have a good game with only the basic movementcards. As units with movement aren't always available I would always be happy to draw an early movementskill. That doesn't mean that I always take it but during the first half of the game chance are very high I take the movement skill when I draw it. (At least the movementskills of the 4 basic characters.)

Quote:
though if I feel an urgent need for something one of these skills provides there is still a chance I'd take them (except for Power of Pain and I feel no Pain, since I usually try to get rid of wounds as soon as possible).

If not playing Arythea I agree - but with Arythea it can be great to have some (not too much!) wounds and an according skill.

Potion brew from Goldyx and the healing skills of wolfhawk are great to - you don't have to think too much about blocking and often can take some hit.

Quote:

The +Attack skills are ok, they either help with bypassing resistances or with adding ranged attack. Crystal+token skills and Motivation are generally good, but one should not overload on them.

Motivation is a great skill - at least in Solo game where you alway get the bonus. 2 addtional cards + some mana for a city assault can make a huge difference. It is my biggest disappointent with Krang that he has no such skill.
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Gabriel Honore
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The_Crimson_King wrote:
Norowas got several unique skills, but the only outstanding one is Bonds of Loyalty.


Norowas's forward march totally rocks too, if not drawn on your first level.
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George I.
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The_Crimson_King wrote:
Tovak got Resistance Break and his two play sidesways for +2/+3 skills. Resistance Break also is only really good in late game, but can be a blessing when fighting red, white and violet enemies. The other two skills also add lots of flexibility.
In my last game, I got Resistance Break during my first level-up with a mediocre skill (Motivation?). I was a bit sad to see it, but still took it. It turned out to immensely help me, as I ran into some Ironclads and Gargoyles later on. So, even in the early game, it can be a book.

Regarding the original post: within a single Mage Knight, the skills are not equally powerful of course; some are situational, some are all-around useful and should almost never passed up upon. Nevertheless, across different Mage Knights, the skills are more or less equally balanced, as each one has their own flagship skill. I feel that Wolfhawk is a bit underpowered, but quite competitive.

Regarding the flagship skills, I feel that these one define each Mage Knight:
- Arythea: Power of Pain; I always take it, even when I do not have any wounds in my deck. Being able to play these wounds sideways for +2 (instead of +1) is a game-changer.
- Goldyx: Universal Power; being able to play any card sideways with mana for +3 or +4 basically is the all-around Jack-of-all-Trades. Doesn't matter if you draw Movement or Influence at the wrong time, just use Universal Power to get what you need.
- Norowas: Bonds of Loyalty; the most scenario-dependent for sure, a bit more useful in the longer scenarios, but still, it's basically an extra unit and usually for free, due to the -5 influence discount. Being able to take it with you is just an extra bonus, I don't find myself taking much advantage of it, very situational.
- Tovak: Resistance Break; in the absence of elemental attacks, especially in the early game, this can be a life-saver. It makes especially the assault of Mage Towers much easier, as the Mages have elemental resistances, but not physical ones. And should you run into Golems... not that terrifying any more.
- Wolfhawk: Know your Prey; definitely her most powerful skill. Being able to ignore a trait of the enemy token (usually a defensive one) is a game-changer. Golems turn into cakewalks, Ice enemies don't paralyze you anymore, you may be able to refuse blocking an ex-brutal fire enemy, Storm Dragons can be blocked much easier...
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Rahul Chandra
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Picon wrote:

Regarding the flagship skills, I feel that these one define each Mage Knight:
- Arythea: Power of Pain; I always take it, even when I do not have any wounds in my deck. Being able to play these wounds sideways for +2 (instead of +1) is a game-changer.


Just doublechecking - you know you can't normally play a Wound for +1, right? I agree that Power of Pain is Arythea's flagship skill and very rarely pass it up.
 
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George I.
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rchandra wrote:
Just doublechecking - you know you can't normally play a Wound for +1, right? I agree that Power of Pain is Arythea's flagship skill and very rarely pass it up.
No you can't. The "+1" comment was referring to the generic rule of being able to play any non-wound card sideways for a bland +1. Under normal circumstances, wounds can never be played, not even sideways.
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Jochen Wiesner
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IMHO the only good thing you can do with wounds is get rid of them. Power of Pain doesn't help with that. It turns a very bad card into a mediocre one that should better be not in the deck so the deck becomes more dense, and it still gives -2 to score. Once you got no wounds left, you simply have wasted a skill slot.
 
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N F
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Greenwood
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Thanks all! Great conversation. I guess I'll start to see what you are saying as I play more. So far I've only used the Heisman posing Dragon. Maybe I'll try Tovak with all his once per turn skills and see how different that is. Since I'm inexperienced, I've really liked the crystal/mana skills that are maybe not the strongest, but are always useful in some way.
 
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Sam Carroll
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Yes, once-per-turn skills feel different from "flip" skills. They will help your hero to lots of pretty good turns rather than one huge turn. Turn that to your advantage by going after artifacts (in dungeons, tombs, etc.) where you can use your once-per-turn skills each time. Then you can use your artifacts for the big city assaults. (Plus, artifacts don't require mana to use, and Tovak is often short on mana!)

I particularly like Tovak's "Shield Mastery" skill, which contributes a chunk towards blocking any enemy - it's efficient against anything but a Cold Fire attack. (I know it's not the most popular skill, but I like it!)
 
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Kester J
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Relampagos wrote:
Thanks all! Great conversation. I guess I'll start to see what you are saying as I play more. So far I've only used the Heisman posing Dragon. Maybe I'll try Tovak with all his once per turn skills and see how different that is. Since I'm inexperienced, I've really liked the crystal/mana skills that are maybe not the strongest, but are always useful in some way.


This is a pretty fair assessment of the crystal skills. You're never unhappy to see them in your choice of two, but they are never amazing either. They're particularly useful when you're relatively new to the game, as they tend to make hand and deck management a bit easier.
 
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George I.
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The_Crimson_King wrote:
IMHO the only good thing you can do with wounds is get rid of them. Power of Pain doesn't help with that. It turns a very bad card into a mediocre one that should better be not in the deck so the deck becomes more dense, and it still gives -2 to score. Once you got no wounds left, you simply have wasted a skill slot.
It's scenario dependent, as usual. In scenarios against Volkare, the goal is simply to defeat Volkare; scoring is irrelevant. As you WILL get knocked out on higher levels, except if you have a huge Unit force with you, this +2 might be all you need.

But, it's still a fair point. Arythea's skills make your deck fatter, which is usually bad.
 
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