Single Mage strategies (in General)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 5:31 AM EST

Hi all, with the statistic *cough*correction*cough* ;) of Tattoos of Jigorokano, I need to amend my single Mages strategy a little.

I feel my poor little Jig no longer provides the best solution for me. I've also changed from FB to MM. I don't want to commit to a form of attack that is reduced/negated by a single item, no matter how uncommon that item might be at the moment.

These are the ideas that have been forming;

1: Drop the tattoos and equip a CBF. Unlearn Evasion, Dispel Magic and Protection; sink these points back into Hit points and MM.

The CBF will reduce/negate one of the most common and powerful magical attacks being used at the moment. The cloak will also return damage to melee attackers.
Single minion, so no 'friendly fire' damage from cloak.
Opponents EO's will have little effect.
Concentrates all xp into only Hit Points and MM.

This set up gives no defense to ranged physical attackers.
Allows no Skills or Enchantments.

2: (Heavily influenced by Myth's 'Towering Inferno') Swap the ToJ for a DD tattoo. In order for the DD familiar to survive past the first attack would have to train AS instead of Hit Points on Mage. Would probably choose a tattoo of Steel over Flame/Ice. Ranged attacks are better than pure melee, and without a CBF, my Mage would take friendly damage from a Flame familiars FB.

Gain an extra body to soak some attacks with Hit Points equal to my Mage.
Gain an extra magical attack alongside my Mage.

Weak to Dispel Magic. DM would reduce the Hit Points of both minion and familiar.

3. Swap the ToJ for a ToA. I would be trading AC (lack of body armour & cloak) for Strength and Dexterity.

Cut down on the amount of double hits I take from Dexterity gap.
Strength and Dexterity would allow me to use a ranged weapon for the first round when MM doesn't attack.

4. Swap the ToJ for a ToE. Go a really defensive route. If Endurance only reduces physical damage, drop DM for AMF to reduce magical damage taken.

With both physical and magical damage reduce, might become very hard to kill

Is a ToE worth losing two armour slots?

I'm not sure which direction I should take (and I know no Tattoos of Steel have spawned yet!), have I missed anything in my summaries of these ideas?

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] January 6 2005 6:08 AM EST

I like your ToA idea, they're all good but you seem to want to play this a little too defensive. DM+FB is still an awesome attack even with CoBFs, so few people use them and when they're more common then maybe MM would be the choice spell but for most it's FB.
DD tattoo, good idea but I don't like training AS, how about going with a strategy weighted very heavily on the offensive side of things. Archers can't kill all opponents in ranged which is why they aren't great, mages can, there's a big advantage, just train normally and use the fireball tattoo and accept that it'll only get one round, ToJs may not even survive for 2 rounds, I'm not sure, but if they can only survive 1 round then the fireball tattoo is better.

I really think a single mage should have a very big attack, for defense I still like the ToJ. Nerfs hit hard but the FB/HP and DM strat has only gotten stronger from them, opponents' can no longer win through their tattoos and the heavy hitting single mages really start doing a lot better.
Don't be so quick to change your strat, it's only a small amount of opponents who you can't beat.

QBJohnnywas January 6 2005 6:16 AM EST

GL, I've followed your previously very difficult path of the single mage with much interest. No advice here, just some thoughts.

In Cb1, the direct damage spells initial costs and amount of xp needed to make them powerful in comparison to the comparitive ease of increasing the nw on a weapon made it seem an impossible task. But the much lower initial costs of DD spells now make it seem a very attractive proposition.

I know it's early days yet but I've taken a basic EEMM strat which has given me a good comparison with CB1 as to how powerful the new strats are. From what I can see all the talk of how overpowered the tattoos are have taken the attention away from what I think is the single most important change in the game. Dispel magic. This has really changed a lot of strats, and a lot of people don't seem to realise that. Your basic EEMM, EEET strats now require a certain amount of xp put into HP if facing DM. Whereas previously a 4 minion team could take on a single tank/mage quite easily, if that single minion team has DM it's a much more equal fight. Add a tattoo, any tattoo and that single minion is now very well placed to do extremely well.

A bit of waffle there but to simplify: I believe that single mage with all xp equally into HP/DM/MM would be the equivalent of all those pesky VA-archers in CB1.

Any meatshields now would have to be trained in HP, thereby making AS a lot weaker. You would be vulnerable to AMF but if your MM is high enough that shouldn't matter. Equip the ToJ and you have someone who isn't vulnerable to AMF on your side.

With regards to evasion and protection:

At the levels we are at, at the moment these two are at a funny place. The amount of xp you need for evasion makes it very expensive. At this low level though you would probably only need an evasion of around 30 to make it very useful but as more money is made and weapons get bigger that would soon be next to useless until you can get some displacement boots.

Protection obviously is very useful in large amounts at blocking damage but not that necessary until you reach a higher pr and, now with DM in the game it's very vulnerable. To combat DM you would need to keep pumping xp into it to keep it at a high level.

I think the changes to DD spells costs have made the single tank strategy a lot closer to the single tank strats of old, and based on those keeping it simple is better. I'm going to try out the single mage and from what I've seen, even without a tattoo, HP/DM/MM would seem like a really good idea.

Tibike77 January 6 2005 6:47 AM EST

Well, I guess he *IS* worying about that very small amount, in the ideea that the single mage will be "top of the line" material, so the opponents will have top of the line equipment...

First of all, I would *love* to see a few ToE figures from a couple of fights, get an ideea of what amount from what kind of damage it dampens. If the damage dampening is far below what a heavily upgraded MCM+CoI combo can provide later on, I see no reason to stick around with a ToE for too long.
The ToA is pretty nifty overall (harder to hit, less times hit, less damage from physical attacks, etc), but in the long run I really wonder (again) if it's really worth the MCM+CoI tradeoff.

Now, take a moment to actually *look* at the thread discussing DM here, in "General". Apparently, most EO/ED got a heavy level:effect boost (compared to CB1 ratio), while DM has a 80% level:effect ratio. However, DM is applied (at the moment of the test, so yesterday) individually to each and every enemy enchant... so a single mage's huge (1/3 XP) DM could almost completely negate any 4-minion, equal-PR enchanter's enchantment (sic) - that includes enemy AMF/AS/GA.
So, basically, any single mage should never leave home without a good dose of DM as EO - 1/4 to 1/3 of XP.

Hmmz, that leaves the question of the spell to be used open.
Apparently nobody gives a damn about CoC anymore (I have a vague suspicion its damage was revamped), so the talk is MM-vs-FB.
MM : much better damage per shot, but only fires later ; wondering if a ranged weapon that can shoot in those "out of spell range" rounds would actually fire ; overall, weakness against WT, ET, WET, EET and ETM teams, excellent vs TEEE teams.
FB : a very rare item can heavily reduce its effectiveness, but against most "unprotected" targets, in conjunction with DM (so bye-bye enemy AS) can easily lead to the elimination of enemy E/M in the ranged rounds, leaving only the tank or heavily HP-trained minions around (in case enemy doesn't use AS but trains HP on all minions, he's toast anyway).

Ok, so there it is, enough ranting for now... let's look at the numbers... I only see the MCM+CoI as relevant armors (tatoos only in the very beggining), FB as preferred DD spell (for now, might switch to MM much later if encountering large CoBF), DM is indispensable, Prot/GA is optional (just drains XP from where it's really needed, so leave it off until much later).

Tibike77 January 6 2005 7:10 AM EST

Sorry, correction - enemy AMF/EC casted on you is only reduced by "their" DM, it's unaffected by your own DM.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 7:41 AM EST

:) Thanks for the replies!

First, my Evasion and Protection. Both are at base (well eveasion is at 107... but hey...), I pumped protection a little way to see what it's curve looked like. 1000 gets you (4), 2000 (5) and by 3000 it was still 5. So I untrained, dropped it back to base and used the left over xp to pump my DD.

Evasion is future proofing. Dex only gives a maximum of 2 physical hits, pth can give an unlimited amount. But no-one has a big enough pth for this to be a worry, and there's only 1 pair of DBs that have spawned so far. I'm fine with leaving Evasion at base. With a ToJ, I considered dropping it altogether. The familiar would take the physical hits, not I.

DM. I love it. It's the equaliser versus multiple minions. It's also the only way to boost DD spell damage (apart from increasing the spell itself) and has a great return for points spent.

But, DM works better with FB. If you face an AS team and your MM is large enough to take out 1 minion per turn anyway, reducing thier AS to zero doesn't really help. It'll still take 1 round per minion. On the other hand, with FB, DM gives you the chance to to wipe out everyone in 1 round.

Maybe I am planning to be too defensive. But the longer I last, the more MMs I can fire! ;)

"wondering if a ranged weapon that can shoot in those "out of spell range" rounds would actually fire"

Yes they do, but with 20 strength and dexterity, it's not worth it.

When I was typing my original post, I considered the ToA version inferior to the ToE. Maybe it's not. Offense is king in CB. I'm drawn to the ToE though, just from watching my ToJ familiar. He takes substantially less damage from everything (magic attacks included) than my mage. My mage has 20AC compared to his zero. So the only factor is his inherantly trained Endurace (Which if level with his others stats is only around 1.5K). A ToA is splitting it's xp over two stats, the ToE 1.

I think I prefer getting another tattoo to a CBF now and I do want to move away from my Jig. So;

1: 1 Shot (20HP) DD tattoo (have to be Flame). Mage 1/3HP, 1/3DD, 1/3 DM.

2: DD Tattoo. Mage trained 1/3AS, 1/3 DD, 1/3 DM.

3: Warrior Mage with a ToA, ranged weapon. 1/3 HP, 1/3DD, 1/3 DM

4: Tanking Mage with a ToE. 1/3 HP, 1/3DD, 1/3 DM-AMF.

1 and 2 are the offensive options, 3 and 4 defensive.

1 vs 2;
1 will do less damage than 2, but is stronger vs DM.

3 vs 4;
3 will get hit less often (strength won't reduce damage, as no melee weapon used) than 4 and will do slightly more damage (ranged weapon if using MM). 4 might (Depending on level of ToE) take less overall damage even though hit more times...


MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] January 6 2005 7:54 AM EST

One mistake I think you're making is that you're pumping DM way too much, especially with MM.

Why? Well what are you targeting? The best one to hit is AS (at the moment anyway) and your MM wont need their HP so low, it'll wipe a minion out per round easier than fireball, using FB even only needs DM to be half of what the other stats are and at PR you can very easily cripple opponents' AS more than enough.

Also I don't like DM+MM, FB works so much better with DM. Another thing is that you're going to take up to 6 rounds even attacking and killing 1 minion per round (1 round without MM, 5 targets including familiar), 6 rounds is way too long especially if only 1/3 of your EXP is in HP.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 8:21 AM EST

Yeah. I think for Single Mages it looks like FB+DM or MM+AMF. I got my DM to 2500, and have left it there so far. a 2K reduction is great!

I really like FB+DM. There's just a part of me telling myself not to focus on something that can be easily and totally stopped by 1 item... If I knew for sure that the enchantment level of the Cloak was compared in some fashion to the level of FB cast at it, I might be more inclineded to use it. But I've been reading mixed reports...

If I do use FB, the ToA get's less attractive. Its Strength will do nothing.

I'm not keen on sporting a DD tattoo without AS. Having it for just 1 attack seems wasteful.

QBJohnnywas January 6 2005 8:30 AM EST

GL, A single BL tank could be taken out by an archer with a large enough bow. That didn't stop people using that strat and I don't think you should worry about yours because of one item - currently very rare - that could stop you.

One word on DM vs AS. I'd say for a single minion team the other enchantment you should be concerned about facing is GA. From my battles DM facing a what seems to be a similarly sized GA is more than a match. Worth keeping that DM around I would think.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 8:42 AM EST

;P I'm being greedy! I don't want to be weak to any strategy! ;)

But I'm leaning back towards FB+DM. I miss the sensation of taking a whole team out in 1 round after thier AS fizzles! ;)

Tibike77 January 6 2005 8:43 AM EST

How about a no-tatoo (preferably FB) mage ?

MCM+CoI+Corn+DB(+EG+MS) -> DX: -2-10(+?-3)[%] Mag:+4+6(+?-6)[%]
You kind of need the MS as you get no AC on the boots, and the CoI/Corn/gloves have relatively low AC bonuses "for the buck". Just my oppinion ; could go for a lower shield though, better magic protection.

Obviously, evasion. Anything else would be useless.

DX vs Haste:
Ok, training DX straightforward gives you a ~15% penality to DX gain, while training haste instead would mean ~9% bonus to DX gain, all things considered, for same XP used (but susceptible to enemy DM). What bout haste instead DX then ?
Now, the good part is that an enemy DM user will have a hard time against you, as the AMF he would have to sport to make a difference against your FB will have to overcome his own DM (hehe).
So it's less DX from haste (get hit more often) but less AMF against you (less reflected damage, more damage on enemy), or "normal" stats (but better DX as you get from actually training DX).

Or no DX/haste altogether ? Hmm, let's see if anything can compensate.
AS/VA/GS are obviously useless.
Protection seems to run pretty low and is applied after AC (so not cummulative anymore?)... really doubt the benefits it can provide.

So you're left with GA as your only alternative to haste/prot.
Personally, I'd rather see an enemy mage deal back some damage on itself, and with AMF not usable, GA is your only remaining choice. Again, the beauty of own ED is that the enemy can either not use his own AMF at full strength, or he will use it full strength but leave your ED alone :P

So we're left at these choices of stats/ED...
Stats: HP 20-35% XP (optionally also DX 0-20% XP)
Skill: Evasion 0-20% XP
DD: FB 25-40% XP
EO: DM 20-35% XP
ED: GA 0-25% XP (optionally Haste/Prot instead )

Personally, I would completely forsake DX and haste, ignore protection for the time being, and just focus on GA. Either way, you deal damage - be it by your own GA or by lack of enemy AMF, both sound good to me.

Depending on the amount of XP you train, on each item (just remember, less is more - you have 7/8 possible choices in 5/6 slots, but I recommend to only train preferably only 4) adjust your XP% poured into it thinking about always having your DD>HP>EO>ED>Skill (my personal oppinion anyway).
Decent ratios of DD:HP:EO:ED:Eva are 40:30:30:0:0, ~33:~33:~33:0:0, 30:30:30:10:0, 25:25:25:25:0, 25:25:20:20:10 and the obvious "equaliser" of 20:20:20:20:20.

Well, sure, you won't be "the next Spid" with that strat (more or less impossible without huge AC/NW tank/archer), but you'll be somewhere close to the top.

Personal favourite (and the one I'm going to use on my single FB mage) will be:
HP 25% XP, FB 35% XP, DM 25% XP, GA 15% XP
Comments ?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 9:18 AM EST

Kenny Irons, my old Single Mage on CB1 trained;

HP, Dex, MM, AMF, Protection.

I changed from FB with him, as I was taking too much returned damage from 4 mage teams using AMF and GA.

Evasion and Protection can really be left from xp spending charts, as these are a fixed amount that once bought you'll never touch again.

The plan for Ken was to avoid every physical attack and reduce magical attacks to nothing with AMF.
Dex on Ken was OK. But he would never get it high enough to avoid the first blow, but it did dtop him taking some double hits. I don't think Dex is worth training now.

I have a feeling that in the long run tattoo's are going to out perform armour, as long as you keep your tattoo equipped! ;)

Armour didn't perform too well in CB1, and I think it's been toned down for CB2.

I really do think I'll change back to FB, so which tat do I use with it? I'm not going to stay with my poor Jig!

ToA for some Dexterity?
ToF/S for one round of extra attack?
ToE for an unknown form of damage reduction?

QBJohnnywas January 6 2005 9:19 AM EST

The fireball friendly fire - how badly does it hit the familiar?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 9:35 AM EST

Can't remember. Didn't study it enough. But it did take less than me.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 9:37 AM EST

"Talhearn's Fireball hit Susan for no damage"


Level 9K FB versus a CBF...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 9:39 AM EST

Sorry for third post in a row.

Even with the slight decrease in level from untraining costs, my new FB is performing much better than my MM was.

Apart from against Susan...

Nightmare [NewNightmares] January 6 2005 10:35 AM EST

By the way GL.. in case you are still considering the ToE..
"Both Protection and Endurance apply to both magical and physical damage."
--from the Armor FAQ

That may help influence you a bit in going the defensive route ;)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 6 2005 12:53 PM EST

Yeah, I'm really considering training HP, FB, DM with fixed points in Evasion and Protection and using a ToE (Although getting one is the hard part, might have to settle for a LToE until more spwan...).

A massive FB and hard to kill! ;)

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] January 6 2005 10:06 PM EST

DM+FB=Very, very painful if your opponent uses AS as a lot of people do. Also helps cripple 4T teams which could have really been a big problem, with my HP/FB at equal level and DM at half of their level, fighting an opponent who by the looks of it has half HP in fireball, half in AS, I've been lowering that AS to low enough to kill the character in 1 round, yesterday it'd cast AS at 2k after my DM and I'd hit for 3k, today it casts at 3k, I hit for 4k. By the looks of it AS will quite easily outrun my small DM but how many chars have more than half EXP stacked into AS or any other enchant for that matter? That's my point about if you're training 1/3 as it looks like you're doing from some of those strat change ideas you had, then you need to lay off the DM for a while ;)

Also "ToF/S for one round of extra attack?" AND a considerable amount of extra HP from whilst it only has 20 HP it does give you one extra round of attack.

I'm still liking the ToJ myself (hoping for 2 rounds, don't know why I'm using it as it's only defense but I'll see how it goes), but if you want to swap, it needs to be the FB tattoo, still train HP/FB and DM but just use this one to both give you an extra round and a higher chance of killing your opponent in ranged.

InebriatedArsonist January 7 2005 12:27 AM EST

Is it just me, or do I detect some animosity towards Susan?

Fireball versus Magic Missile:

In my opinion, FB is more useful than MM solely due to the extra round of fire in ranged. I've tried both on this server, and I must say that my success rate and damage inflicted in battle have both increased since changing to FB. Half-damage isn't a problem if you're wearing a CoBF, and at any rate most of my battles don't last anywhere past 4 or 5 rounds.

CoBF/FB mage:
Anyway, over on CB1 the CoBF/FB single mage strat was quite viable, and it seems that has carried over into CB2. It requires a good bit of money to stay competitive, but at least right now mages are right next to tanks AC-wise. Perhaps somewhere along the way DM/AMF/GA/Prot would be useful, but that's really a moot point with the effects of the CoBF.

The assumed loadout for the minion would be MCM/Corn/EG/DB/CoBF/Kite. 100 AC is fairly easy to obtain NW-wise, at least as far as CB1 goes, and I don't expect to see many radical changes here. The DB's are essential to cutting down on double and triple hits in ranged, which in my opinion is better than a small amount of AC gained by opting for EB's instead.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 7 2005 1:52 AM EST

;P Don't take it personally!

What level is Susans CBF? I just think that 1 item (maybe no mater how big...) totally negating a single attack is wrong.

I wouldn't have a problem if it gave protection against opponents FB like a FB only AMF or something.

But automatic negation is just cheap...

[FireBreathing]Chicken January 7 2005 2:43 AM EST

yeah, I also use Dispel and FB, but Susan completely negates both my FBs with her CoBF.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 7 2005 3:03 AM EST

Yeah MrC, I'm not going to have my DM as high as my HPs or FB (And I'll have my FB slightly higher than my HPs).

The Tattoo of flame won't give you a full rounds protection. It seems ( I think this was changed from CB1, but might be the way it always worked...) that when a minion dies in a round, all other attacks hit the next in line. So the Tattoo will protect you from one (and I see people sticking a weapon on an enchanter to take it out first) attack, then the big guns hit your mage anyway...

I tried out a LToE and I was fighting just as well as with my Jig. The LToE was about 1/7th the size of my Jig...

My Jig only rarely reaches melee so rarely gets to deal 1 or 2 rounds of damage. Other than that he provides 1/5th of his level as a HP shield for ranged attacks...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 7 2005 4:58 AM EST

One reason a ToE seems so appealing is that using DM I have no way of reducing enemies DD spells other than AC.

A ToE will help me survive facing another massive FB.

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] January 7 2005 5:09 PM EST

That's what ToJ is for ;)

A FB does 10k damage to you.
ToE can reduce it by 4k (I doubt it can reduce it by 40% even but just to make my point it'll be 4k)
ToJ reduces damage by more than 5k for a few rounds by splitting your damage in 2.

As it is that's your defense against me, your ToJ lasts 2 rounds in a fairly even fight against a single mage.
In the 10k damage scenario (assuming your PR/ToJ was slightly higher) you'd have blocked 10k+ where the fight would need to last into melee for you to block more using a ToE (again, assuming it's 40% reduction which I'm fairly sure that it's not).


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 7 2005 6:24 PM EST

;) That's my problem with my Jig MrC.

At the moment, its only use is to soak up a couple of rounds of damage. Which atm it does better than my ToE. But think about this in the long term.

A ToJ splits it's XP over 5 statistics. I'm only using it for 1, It's HP (you could argue that I also get use from it's Dex and Endurance, maybe even UC for the small evasion...), so I'm only using 1/5th of it's XP.

With a ToE it only spends it's XP in 1 statistic, Endurance.

When my ToE reaches the same level as my Jig, I should be getting about 5 times more out of it than my Jig.

Well, that's the idea anyway! ;)

I'll not be surprised if I'm wrong! ;)

It won't be the first time!!

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] January 8 2005 1:26 AM EST

Lol, good luck with that :)

For your sake I hope it works, for mine I hope it doesn't ;P (wont be too happy about having to train a tat all over again)
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