Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creature Class Critique # 23: Wizards

More power in their fingertips than in a Giant's biceps. You know them by names such as Argammond, Warwick and Carrag the Black. These are Wizards of the MidRealms. They can make or break a game, and decks can be built around them. But will they work together? Possibly.

There are nine types of Wizards found wandering the disputed lands, and unlike nearly all other classes, they are divided among the Mortal and External classes. (The O-Men are the only other single class creatures to be like this.) Quickly, they are Seer, Visionary, Cleric, Sorcerer, Grand Avatar and Rik' Sook from Limited and Voodoo Wizard and Necromancer from Dagger Island and Carrag the Black from Drifters Nexus.

There are no Wizards in Necropolis Park (though Rik' Sook looks like he belongs there).

Common Threads

Bribery: Most of the Wizards are in it for the money, and Gold will count for a lot with them. But things change over time, it seems, because after the Revised edition came out, all the expansion Wizards have turned their eyes toward the ladies and will go for the Babes.

Channeling: All but one can receive channeling. (Mini-quiz: which one?) Find another creature class (with many members) that can boast that! On top of that, two of them can channel (though one channels only to Undead.)

Commands: Bad news - five of these guys are command cards, so you can't use them all at the same time. But if you're out for power and you're using their channel receiving abilities, then you could look at this as flexibility.

Size: All the Wizards are human or humanoid. That is, Medium-sized. Too bad there isn't a Tookle for Mediums, huh? Nah, that would be silly.

Other "Theme" Cards

Elandar, Mighty Wizard: He's not a Wizard, he's a Wanderer and he blanks out texts boxes. This actually only "harms" Carrag the Black and Clerics as the rest don't come into play in primary attacks. It actually *helps* the Grand Avatar by removing a restriction!

Wizards Tower: A Stronghold Upgrade that aids any channeler (not just Wizards) by bumping CMP up by 1. And you have 2 channelers in this

Sacrificial Altar: Yes, it's a theme card. Clerics use Altars and they're Wizards. Unlike Dungeons & Dragons, there is no distinction between Clergy and Magic Users. Spells are spells, you know. And besides, you'll need the stones if you're planning to channel.


Channel! Fight and channel! Then channel some more! The abilities demand it.

Some of these guys are better than the others, particularly in this type of deck. The Visionary is helpful to try to avoid your opponent's OCBs, but the Seer isn't going to give you any useful information. Voodoo Wizard gives you a great power boost, but Rik' Sook's ability is only needed for one other Wizard (he gets better with a secondary class). And the Sorcerer's AOE is nice, but it's expensive -- unless your playing against Sikura, you're better off with Vitale's Dark Cloud. (Granted, Sorceror can be re-used, but your opponent will be on to you after the first attack.)

Secondary Classes

Usually Wizards are support for other cards in your deck -- the high OCB creatures, creatures with immunity to or bonuses against certain sizes, lots of channeling non-receivers, etc.

But if you want to put multiple Wizards together as a main class, one (obvious) secondary pops to mind: Undead. The Necromancer channels to some (not all) of them, Rik' Sook allows the Necromancer to channel to more of them. Carrag the Black gets amazing bonuses for the "dead" Undead creatures. Grand Avatars can channel to some or all of them. And you can still use the Voodoo Wizards command for the secondaries.

(Visionary and Seer are less important but they're still channel receivers.)

It might have been nice if there were Wizards for Angels or Demons & Devils or Knights or what have you, but there aren't. (Not even my made-up Alchemist from a previous Elements post.)

Otherwise, the only other uses is to make the Wizards the secondary class. Take a class with a good OCB, then use the Visionary to insure that the best bonuses go up against the right type of creature. If playing Knights, you might consider Seers to balance your Lancers (ooh, but look out for those Titans!). And then use Rik' Sook to channel to your non-channelers for a little surprise.

Quiz answer: Necromancers cannot accept channeling.

Summary: Wizards would better supporting others, but there's no reason why the Wizards can't work for themselves with just a little support from others instead. Just have plenty of stones and channelers for pumping these guys up. You'll need them.

C. J. Burke
Keeper of the Flame

Wizards' Guild: Stronghold Upgrade 24
All Wizards defending on this Stronghold space can receive double their usual limit for channeling.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Now this is a cool Barnyard Animals card

If you like homebrew cards, such as my .sig cards or the Seven Seas expansion, check out the Champion's Odyssey Card, Preview #10: Abracadabra!

I don't know if it would tip the balance for a Barnyard Animals deck, but, like Chicken Soup, it couldn't hurt.