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Subject: Damage Threshold, an idea... rss

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Scott Douglass
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Damage Threshold

Doing more damage than your opponent is certainly an important factor, particularly for aggro and mid range plays. Control strategies can get away with having fewer potential dice to roll for a long time as long as they do a good job of grinding away at their opponent's offensive options and preventing their opponent from getting attacks in.

I think that your damage threshold is a good thing to consider when you're thinking about a build, but you'll also need to worry about guards, defenses, and Blocks reducing the number of dice you actually get to apply to the enemy mage in a given turn. Many new players don't spend enough time considering how to roll enough dice to actually threaten their opponent meaningfully, I definitely agree with you there.

You also need to consider how big the individual attacks are, and how much armor your opponent has. Rolling 18 dice that's split between 2 or 3 attacks is incredibly threatening against 3 armor. 18 dice split between 6 attacks is still threatening against 3 armor, but not nearly as threatening.

In terms of aggro and mid range plays, the longer you build up, the stronger your attack needs to be. This should probably translate into a higher damage threshold, although I could see it being reflected in a more resilient attack that's harder to disrupt. That would mean that it's harder for your opponent to lower your damage threshold.

I agree that attack spells are important for finishing off an opponent, particularly for aggro and mid range strategies. They're not mana efficient enough to use as your primary early damage source, but they're great for burst damage. A Wizard with Hawkeye can make two 8 dice attacks with Hurl Boulder all of a sudden, and that takes way less upfront investment than setting up a similarly powerful melee attack. I recently added Hurl Boulder to my Beastmaster build because I felt like I didn't have a good way to finish my opponent if they had enough guards and my creatures kept dying. The way I tend to play the Priestess, Pillar of Light is awesome for preventing my opponent from applying pressure, but I don't really use attack spells to deal damage.

DoTs and healing can be important factors as well. Ghoul Rot, Magebane, and rot can effectively add to your damage threshold, although the damage will be set rather than variable. If you roll a few more dice than your opponent, but they have Regrowth Belt and Vampirism healing them, your damage threshold is effectively lowered by the amount of the healing.

Wizard

I would need to play a bunch more games with Wizards of various elements in order to say whether an Earth Wizard is really better than an Air Wizard. I tend to think that an Earth Wizard is better at mid range plays, and an Air Wizard is better at control plays. That's the way I play my Earth Wizard. I build up my channeling and play several Iron Golems/Earth Elementals for a while, then I go in for the kill. When I played an Air Wizard, I focused on building incremental board advantage. I used Gorgon Archers to shut down my opponent's attack options, and lightning attacks to daze/stun my opponent's creatures so that they wouldn't actually get to roll all of those dice. I've explored building a Fire Wizard, but I haven't actually played with one enough to really compare Fire Wizard options to other element Wizard options.

Pressure/Threats vs Damage Threshold

I tend to think about the game more from the perspective of pressure and threats than from a damage threshold perspective. They're related ideas, but pressure and threats are more general.
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Philip Moerenhout
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There's no doubt that rolling more dice is better than rolling less dice. After all, the only way to win the game is by doing a certain amount of damage to the opposing Mage.

However, no matter how much dice you roll, a succesfull Defense will neutralize them all.
Let's say you have a 50-50 chance to Defend and you roll let's say 10 dice each attack, that will still bring your attack down to ( on average ) 5 dice per attack.
So, let's say you're casting a 5 mana, Fireshaper Ring improved unavoidable Flameblast every round and you'll probably be getting even slightly better results damagewise, thanks to the Burn condition.

My point is : it's not simply a matter of getting more and more attack dice - although that's not a bad thing, by any means - but one may get just the same damage output by rolling less dice but using certain traits to the fullest of their advantage.
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Scott Douglass
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I like what Tacullu64 had to say in the MW thread about the idea of damage threshold being your sustainable damage output ignoring one time defensive plays like Block. That way your damage threshold doesn't necessarily match your actual damage output in a given turn, but it serves to illustrate how threatening you are on a long term basis. You may do a great deal more damage one turn by playing a pair of attack spells or a Battle Fury and an attack spell, or you may do considerably less damage that turn in the face of defenses, Block, Reverse Attack, and position control.
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C. E. Freeman
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Glad you liked it I copied it over. I really think Padawan had a great idea starting this topic. Mage Wars is still new and there are so many things to discuss and figure out.

I think your damage threshold idea is an excellent subject to discuss. It is a deeper topic than it might first appear. It goes without saying you should roll as many dice as possible. Or does it? What is damage threshold?

To me damage threshold is the minimum amount if dice I can sustain once I gain tempo. By this I mean the number of dice I can roll turn after turn until the job is done. Now it might be that your opponent neutralizes some of your damage dice and your damage output goes down, but for the purpose of damage threshold i'm thinking of what i can do without running out of steam. Even if your opponent neutralizes some of your dice each turn as long as you're rolling them he has to account for them, and he is using actions fending off your attack instead of attacking. I think the worst thing you can do once you gain tempo is give it up. It may get to the point were you think you can finish off your opponent in the next round if you give it every thing you got, but I would not call that maximizing my damage threshold, I'd call it going for broke. If you fail you may have just given the tempo back.

I think before you play your first game with a spellbook you should have an idea of what your damage threshold will be. I also think that number can vary wildly depending on mage, spellbook, and strategy. I think you also have to be prepared to not meet your desired damage threshold and have ways to make adjustments. You are not playing the game in a vacuum. Your opponent will have influence on the effective dice you can roll a turn, unless you are playing a goldfish. So in summary, while I want to maximize my damage dice, damage threshold is the minimum I can roll turn after turn without running out of resources. It's also important to recognize that your damage threshold and effective dice rolled could be different.
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rock lobster
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I feel there's a divide between [Damage-Dealt] Advantage and [Dice Rolled] Advantage.

There are numerous ways to deal damage without rolling any Attack Dice.

And with a very skilled TowerTurtle, it is possible to WIN without [Damage-Dealt] or [Dice Rolled] Advantage.

TL;DR
"Damage Threshold" is overlooked because it's FUZZY as all get-out.


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C. E. Freeman
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rainofwalrus wrote:

I feel there's a divide between [Damage-Dealt] Advantage and [Dice Rolled] Advantage.

There are numerous ways to deal damage without rolling any Attack Dice.

And with a very skilled TowerTurtle, it is possible to WIN without [Damage-Dealt] or [Dice Rolled] Advantage.

TL;DR
"Damage Threshold" is overlooked because it's FUZZY as all get-out.




If one player has defensive advantage or is more skilled they can definitely win rolling less dice. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have a plan for how many dice you think you should be rolling. In my mind it is more of a preparation and basic strategy concept. The actual tactics on the field of battle is where it starts getting "fuzzy", no plan survives contact with the enemy.
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rock lobster
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Oh I read you loud and clear.

The goal of the game is to have life when the Opponent has none. I have defended against tourney-style, Rushdown/MonoBeats Lock(s) to near defeat only to really flip momentum as the Lock runs out of gas--and coincidentally, Dispel(s).

Quicksand almost seems built-for Vampiress.








 
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rock lobster
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Not just enchantments, or melee, or pink elephants. I think I'm saying, "Doing more dmg/dice than your opponent != autowin."

Hence, Fuzzy.


 
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Purple Paladin

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Used Quicksand for the first time this last weekend. Both times my friend rolls 8+ and moves on his way.

Not worth is for a one turn "Stun", if, imo. But maybe just bad rolls.


 
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Scott Douglass
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padawanofthegames wrote:
Quicksand does have power, but I think that if you are focusing on a bunch of damage enchants to end the game, it's going to be difficult when you get that one player with 3x dispel and 1x purge magic. Enchantments are a lot more easily beaten than a well timed battle fury. But thank you for clarifying!


That depends. If you're playing a melee focused strategy it's hard to avoid Battle Fury. If you're focusing on kiting your opponent, it's much easier to avoid Battle Fury.

Enchantments are quite vulnerable to removal, which is why you want to keep enough pressure on your opponent that they can't afford the action to remove it. This works well for aggressive plays. I haven't tried DoTs for control builds yet.

Control builds can win with a relatively low damage threshold. It's mostly a matter of preventing your opponent from taking advantage of their damage threshold until you can reduce their damage threshold to negligible levels.
 
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rock lobster
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still a great thread, OP. wouldn't post if I didn't enjoy it.

A lot of people sleep on the potential ROI of 'Mage Staff.' Dmg Threshold is vital in understanding 'Mage Staff's upside. I'm starting to reach for this (5)cast instead of BimShalla often.
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