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Subject: Class Analysis - Battle Wizard rss

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Eric B
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I am generally not a huge fan of the cloth and stave magic users in games. Because of this it took me awhile to play the Battle Wizard. They looked decent on paper, but once I played the class in person I was pleasantly surprised. The Wizard is yet another fun class in the Massive Darkness roster that is really powerful. Some might think they are a glass canon like the typic wizard in other games, but in MD they are actually a decent damage dealer AND healer. What makes them so good? Well, sit back and let me tell you!

The first skill I always go for is Fireball. This skill gives +3 swords if you roll at least 2 bams. Not other skill in the game comes close to proving the same amount of swords at later levels. Using Elias or Baldric will grant you an automatic bam in shadow mode so all you need to roll is one additional bam to gain the +3 swords. At level 1 that can be huge, especially considering the yellow dice has +2 swords on the bam side anyways. That's up to 5 swords with a single bam roll and will go through all but the best defense dice at level 1. Considering most enemies are only rolling 1 or 2 blue die (4 shields max), that shouldn't be too hard. Karl will give you the required 2 bams as well if you roll at least 1 bam. At later levels (3 and 5) this skill adds a diamond to the mix, but the damage potential is also increased. You can gain up to +5 swords at level 3, and an astonishing 7(!) at level 5 as long as you roll 2 bams and a diamond (or 1 bam and 1 diamond depending who you are playing as). The best part is you can still go the bam or diamond portion of the damage if you don't get the other symbol(s).

The next spell I usually go for is Shadow Magic. With this skill, all blank results turn into a bam in Shadow Mode. This can be great for helping you get the bams required for Fireball. It turns your roughly 16.5% chance of rolling a bam with a yellow die into a 33% chance. The second version of this skill at level 4 goes one step further and lets you flip one blank result (as well as still turning the rest of the blanks into bams). Flipping a blank result is pretty amazing because the best die faces are on the opposite side of the blanks. This turns a whiff into the best possible roll with either 2 swords and a bam (yellow die), or 3 swords and a diamond (red die).

The next option I usually get is Sword and Spell. When to get this skill can be a little tricky as it requires you to be in melee range and using melee weapons. While the re-roll on you attack is always great, you will have less range and be more susceptible to enemy attacks and counter-attacks. Since you will usually be using most of your bams for Fireball, that also means there won't be many (or any) left for Freeze or Life Siphon at lower levels when you are rolling only a couple of dice. The level 3 version of this skill gives an automatic +2 swords so if you have gotten to level 3 and still not purchased the first version of it, I would heavily suggest doing so at that point.

One thing to note is Sword and Spell is heavily reliant on your group make up. If you are playing with a bunch of melee classes, no tank, and not seeing many melee weapons drop, it might be better to hold off on going for. If you are playing with a range or magic heavy group and a tank who will be taunting, this skill can be amazing. It really just depends.

The last three Wizard skills are all kind of a toss up in my mind and depend on your group make up as well. If you have a tank in your group then Enhance Health and Life Siphon are not nearly as important as you shouldn't be taking much or any damage. In these cases I would suggest going for Freeze to try and stop enemy counter-attacks (especially if you are in melee with Sword and Spell). The only down side is you will be using most of your bams for Fireball so you won't have a ton left over for Freeze. However, by this point in the game you should be around level 3 so you will be rolling more dice and have a better chance of scoring bams. What really makes Freeze great is the level 4 version. At this point the skill goes from costing 2 bams down to 1, and any stunned enemies take an automatic 3 wounds. This means heroes like Elias and Baldric you will automatically get a bam and in turn 3 wounds on an enemy in Shadow Mode. Having this skill ready to go right at level 4 can be reason enough to go for Freeze first.

Life Siphon is another skill that contributes to the Wizard being a tougher character. This skill is also dependent on your group make up. If you have a dedicated healer or a bunch of healing in your group this ability can be saved for later. If not, and especially once you have Sword and Spell, this skill can be essential for keeping yourself or others alive. With merely a single bam you can heal 1 wound on yourself or an ally, and at level 5 that 1 bam can heal up to 3. That can be an automatic 3 healing depending on your hero. Since Enhance Health for the Wizard does not supply any regen, this is the only way for you to self heal.

Lastly that brings us to Enhance Health. This skill gives the standard +1/2 health for the Wizard at levels 2 and 4. There is nothing particularly special or great about this skill as it doesn't supply any
regen. It will increase your hp and that's it. However, it also doesn't require any bam rolls like the other defensive skills I just mentioned so keep that in mind. Generally speaking I would go for this skill last on the Battle Wizard.

That just leaves the Free Class Skill "Teleport 2" and the Signature "Enchanter". Teleport 2 is basically just Slippery, but on magic users. It is pretty self explanatory and much needed when trying to escape combat with an enemy. Enchanter on the other hand turns a diamond into 2 bams. Since the Wizard is so reliant bams this can be very useful. Depending on your roll and what skills you have bought this can provide a lot of different options. Do you roll a single diamond and turn it into +4 swords instead of +3 with Fireball? Do you turn it into +3 heal and +3 wounds/stun with the last levels of Freeze and Life Siphon? Do you use it for a weapon? Since the Wizard only uses 1 diamond, turning extras (or even that first one) into bams is a great option for the cost of 1 xp.

That brings us to the hero selection. For their Shadow Mode skills, Myriam needs to have a bam rolled by the enemy so she can steal it. This has more flexibility than Elias's Shadow Mode skill since it can be used on both offense and defense, and since it takes away an enemy's bam and gives it to yourself. However, it's also not a guarantee like on Elias. Elias gets a guaranteed bam, but only when attacking. Both of these skills are equal yet different. As for their special skills, Elias gets Zap while Myriam gets Healer. Zap lets you roll a yellow dice once per activation and deal wounds equal to the number of swords rolled at range 0-2. The enemy does not get to roll any defense to stop this and does not get a counter attack, making it great for taking out 1-2 minions (or doing a little extra damage to a roaming monster). Myriam on the other hand is more defense focused letting her roll a blue die once per activation and heal the number of shields for herself or an ally. This can be great for healing someone near death with 1-2 wounds without incurring a counter attack.

While I generally don't touch on the cross-over heroes, I think it's worth mentioning here that Baldric is also a very strong choice. He gets the same +1 bams in Shadow Mode as Elias, however his special skill is incredibly powerful. It allows you to dual wield magic weapons as if they are one handed. This gives him the most offense dice in the game as a Battle Wizard, easily allowing you to max out red and yellow offense dice and do it before level 5.

Speaking of weapons, the Battle Wizard is a little weird in that they can use both melee and magic weapons. It's usually optimal to dual wield melee weapons to get the most damage output though. Unlike some other classes such as the Ranger and Nightrunner, the Wizard uses a lot of bams for their skills meaning they won't have many left over for weapon enchantments. A lot of magic weapons also have effects that overlap with the Wizard's skills. For instance the Wand of Stupor stuns with bams and the Wand of Healing heals with bams. Generally speaking these weapons can be useful at lower levels, like the Wand of Stupor only requiring 1 bam to stun instead of 2, however later on the class versions of these skills put the symbols to better use (1 bam stunning AND doing +3 wounds).

As for melee weapons, you are generally going to be best off going for something like the Magma Sword and Long/Short Sword. The Magma Sword allows you to use any extra diamonds to do 3 wounds, while the Short or Long Sword max out your red or yellow dice and give you a little extra defense. Using a weapon that has enchantments that use bams isn't really advised since you will almost always put them to better use on skills like Fireball or Freeze.
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Brant Benoit
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These are great write-ups. I've really been enjoying them all.
Keep up the good work!
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